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Thread: Good Lawn Mower

  1. #1

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    Default Good Lawn Mower

    Guys, help me find a good lawn mower here, I have a few criteria:

    - Gas Powered
    - Self Propelled with variable speed
    - Rear bag AND mulch capable
    - The ability to switch between mulch and bag without tools

    I'd also like the following, but not required:

    - One adjustment for cutting height instead of on each wheel
    - Something that starts easily maybe like a push button or something

    It looks like my choices in the immediate area are:

    Craftsman
    Toro
    Troy-Bilt
    Murray
    Yard Machines

    Budget is $300.

    Anyone own anything they really like or don't like...just looking for any reviews/feedback/advice here...

    BTW: I tried to talk my wife into getting the new Robomower RL850 but she wasn't having any of it :D

    Thanks in advance
    Last edited by AsSiMiLaTeD; 06-03-2004 at 08:18 PM.
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  2. #2

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    Don't forget the S-Man model ...

    - Gas Powered => Without a doubt ...
    - Self Propelled with variable speed => Uh Huh ... although you will have no control on what it varies to or when
    - Rear bag AND mulch capable => There might be a front bag too. It can mulch anything.
    - The ability to switch between mulch and bag without tools => In fact it can probably do both simultaneously.

    :D

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    I have found that if they bag they usually mulch.

    I didn't see Lawnboy on your list. Personally, I'd recommend one, even if it's a little bit over the budget. I have one now that's a 2 cycle. It's been going for fifteen years.

    Just a thought...
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    My Dad also has a Lawn-boy self-propelled that he's had for 10+ years. It still runs like new. He replaced it with a Craftsman 46" riding mower only because my parents added another 1/2 acre lot to their property.
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    I think Lowes carries 1 Lawn Boy model, so I'll check that out as well...
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    Lawn Boys are great, I currently have a Honda and it's by far the best I've ever owned.

  7. #7

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    Default Re: Good Lawn Mower

    Originally posted by Polkmaniac

    It looks like my choices in the immediate area are:

    Craftsman
    blah ! !

    i just had this go-around with craftsman yesterday and today and i'm still uh,.. unhappy with paying $37 for a drive control cable kit(no one knows what is in the kit) when all i need is a lawn mower cable, granted with special terminations.

    i told the parts counter very politely(it's really not their fault) i'd rather rig a new drive cable and defeat the kill cable(probably the easiest way to rig it) than pay the $37 and took names and numbers of various searsfolk to read the riot act to.

    before i got home i figured, i probably wouldn't let out a peep for a $20 cable even if i thought it was high. so the difference was really $15. the rigging time alone(still would need to buy generic cable and whatnots) wasn't worth that any more than telling sears customer service that i'm unhappy would be worth the time spent on the phone.

    so today i got on my knees and ordered it humbly. the same parts person i talked to yesterday asked how the calls went, so i told her i didn't bother and i'd just call it even after i told the story on the net a few times.

    thanks for letting polk forum be the first.

    in any case, next time i'll look for machines that easily allow installation of generic drive and kill cables(mine seems to intentionally make this option difficult).

    also, my craftsman doesn't mulch very well no matter what the conditions, except thin grass areas where it seems like it doesn't create enough suction to draw the grass up to cut it, even with sharp blades.

    )

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    Toro - I've NEVER had one break down in 40 years of mowing grass...they wear out but only after many many years of mowing. My current one is 17 years old and going strong (used it last night for a couple of hours :().
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  9. #9

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    Default Re: Re: Good Lawn Mower

    Originally posted by scottnbnj
    blah ! !

    i just had this go-around with craftsman yesterday and today and i'm still uh,.. unhappy with paying $37 for a drive control cable kit(no one knows what is in the kit) when all i need is a lawn mower cable, granted with special terminations.

    i told the parts counter very politely(it's really not their fault) i'd rather rig a new drive cable and defeat the kill cable(probably the easiest way to rig it) than pay the $37 and took names and numbers of various searsfolk to read the riot act to.

    before i got home i figured, i probably wouldn't let out a peep for a $20 cable even if i thought it was high. so the difference was really $15. the rigging time alone(still would need to buy generic cable and whatnots) wasn't worth that any more than telling sears customer service that i'm unhappy would be worth the time spent on the phone.

    so today i got on my knees and ordered it humbly. the same parts person i talked to yesterday asked how the calls went, so i told her i didn't bother and i'd just call it even after i told the story on the net a few times.

    thanks for letting polk forum be the first.

    in any case, next time i'll look for machines that easily allow installation of generic drive and kill cables(mine seems to intentionally make this option difficult).

    also, my craftsman doesn't mulch very well no matter what the conditions, except thin grass areas where it seems like it doesn't create enough suction to draw the grass up to cut it, even with sharp blades.

    )
    Which model do you have?
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    I haven't liked Craftsman at all. Lawn Boys are real good. When I was younger I worked at a hardware store that sold lawnmowers and lawn tractors. They had these blue ones, called Dixon. They would turn on a dime and were super fast. Sooo awesome. I'm love to have one now.

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    My father usually buys Honda and those have worked very well for him. Then he found a craftsman on sale. That thing has broken down more in one year then the last 2 honda's he had! Oh and according to sears, Craftsman = Murry + paint job. So I'd stay away from Craftsman and Murry.

    Howie

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    Default Re: Re: Re: Good Lawn Mower

    Originally posted by Polkmaniac
    Which model do you have?
    it's a few years old, craftsman II eager 1. i think it's 6.3 hp.

    it seems like enough power, it never stalls except in tall wet thick grass when the mulch is really overloading. but again, when mulching, it nearly always leaves clumps even with dry not too tall grass, and my blades are *always* sharp. multiple passes will not eliminate or even lessen clumps.

    there are two rpm/self propel speed settings: too fast and too slow. the drive wheels are on the front, i like that better. you can slightly lift the wheels easily to control the speed, backup and trim long grass on edges, over curbtops and whatnot without having to disengage the drive.

    at a glance, i noticed the $37 looking drive control cable/mechanism(or something very similar looking) is still present on some new models, but not all.

    the ridiculously expensive cable replacement isn't global with all craftsman equipment. i changed a cable on a snowblower of roughly the same vintage last season. as the cable was on its way out it broke an undersized steel stamped clamp that held it in place. the replacement was straight forward and as expected. though generic cables not work, the price was not outrageous, shipping was reasonable and fast.

    )

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    Go big time and get a GrassHopper from Oz! It will $8k well spent! :D

    Wes
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    Or a Dixie Chopper! I saw those things when I was watching American Chopper a few weeks back. CRAZY mowers.

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    My father and I weren't as impressed with the DixieChopper as most folks seem to be. We thought the front-deck design had a better ride overall and that it could cut thick grass just as well without slinging thin grass all over creation.

    Wes
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    i bought a sears craftsman 3 yrs ago. every summer i get it tuned up. it looks brand new. this year it got a new blade and a new carb.

    the mower is the toughest thing to start. once started it smokes slightly. for about the first 30 seconds. then it runs fine.

    I hurt my shoulder last year trying to get the damn thing started. i don't know if i got a lemon or what. but from this experience.. i'll never buy another Craftsman. crazy thing was $400.

    and now with the new carb and tune up. thing is still tough to start now.

    Oh yeah. the tune up, blade and new carb were $149
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    Guys, He's only doing what a push mower can handle. Jesus H. it ain't like he's cutting MY yard, give it a break...
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    I've had my John Deere push mower for 6 years now. It still starts on the very first pull. I would definitely look at a John Deere.

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    Originally posted by danger boy
    i bought a sears craftsman 3 yrs ago. every summer i get it tuned up. it looks brand new. this year it got a new blade and a new carb.

    the mower is the toughest thing to start.
    i do have bitches with my craftsman, but in fairness it starts on the first pull.

    there is a primer button on it, i change the spark plug first cut of the season(that's all i do for tune-up), don't drain the gas and it gets stored outside under a carport all year(w/ tarp in the winter) in new jersey. go figure.

    )

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    Originally posted by scottnbnj
    i do have bitches with my craftsman, but in fairness it starts on the first pull.

    there is a primer button on it, i change the spark plug first cut of the season(that's all i do for tune-up), don't drain the gas and it gets stored outside under a carport all year(w/ tarp in the winter) in new jersey. go figure.

    )
    lucky SOB you are.

    I have to get it tuned up every spring. it stays in the garage all winter where it's not heated. i drain the gas out. it will not start first thing in the spring at all.

    I have never owned a mower that is this tough to start. and yeah i know about the primer bulb. it doesn't help any.

    my 8 yr old mower is so easy to start. it gets the same tune up every spring. and i love it. although it's getting worn out now.

    Silly to have a 3 yr old mower i can't use because it's so difficult to start. oh well I can't sell it. no one will want it.

    I do have a big lot... about 100' x 120ft.
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    Originally posted by danger boy
    lucky SOB you are.

    I have to get it tuned up every spring.
    seems to me, tune up guy should step up and do the right thing. i mean, he's not tuning it up to make it run great while its warm but hard to start.

    maybe bring it to him cold, let him watch your starting technique and let him tell you what you are doing wrong. i mean, going in with the assumption that your technique is bad and his tune up is good might get the thing going on the right foot. or maybe better, let him start it the first time before it gets gummed up to show you how to do it the right way.

    not sure this is his problem, but when someone is working on a machine sometimes they forget they are tuning a warm engine and forget to check it again after it's stone cold.

    i do know mine is tempermental with the bulb, one pump more or less than is optimal(5 for my machine, i think exactly what the manual said) or inconsistent pumping technique and the game's over, time to walk away for a while. when i pump it, i push the bulb in and hold it for a second then do the next pump.

    )

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