Buying a Lawn Mower
Selecting the right mower for commercial or personal use is never easy. Whether you're thinking about purchasing your first mowing equipment or you're looking for an upgrade on your current mower, finding the perfect equipment can be an arduous task. Generally, you'll have a difficult decision to make, given the numerous options on the market. The wrong choice can make your job more difficult, leaving you with a piece of ineffective equipment.
So, you find yourself in a dilemma about selecting the right mower; this is a guide with useful insights to help you make the correct choice.
Zero-turn lawn mower
When buying a lawn mower, most people opt for a zero turn because this equipment has been proven to perform tasks effectively. Unlike other variations, a zero-turn mower is designed to complete a turn with just a simple handle push. It means that you can easily make turns while cutting without turning the entire machine. In addition to this, they also help cut through the densest grass easily and navigate tough obstacles with ease. While other lawn mowers feature rotating blades that cut through the grass, zero-turn models come with a rotating reel. The grass is cut by blades installed on both sides of the reel. This type of mower is an excellent option for anyone with a large yard that needs to be cut regularly.
Benefits of a zero turn lawn mower
A zero-turn mower has many benefits that make it a great choice for all types of lawns. Find out what sets this mower apart from regular mowing equipment.
- Zero-turn mowers are designed for easy maneuverability.
- Zero-turn mowers are designed with blades at the back, while standard lawn mowers have their blades in front
- Zero-turn mowers are designed with sharper blades than standard mowers. It allows them to cut through grass easily without tearing up the crops underneath it.
- Some models of the zero-turn also provide a safety feature that automatically stops the machine's engine when something obstructs the blade. This prevents injury from contact with the machinery.
Types of zero turn lawn mowers
To avoid making a regrettable decision when buying a lawn mower, it is paramount that you have an understanding of the available options on the market and the purposes that they serve. Every mower should consist of an engine, blades, and wheels. However, going beyond that, variations of the equipment are available that serve certain specialized purposes. Here are lawn mower types that you consider when buying one.
1. Push reel lawn mower
The push reel lawn mower is the most popular option because it is the cheapest. This is probably the first option that comes to mind when purchasing a mower to maintain your yard. Like other lawn mowers, the push reel comes with an engine that powers the blade when mowing, but it still requires you to apply your muscles and expend energy pushing through the grass. In most cases, they are small and less powerful, but they can be purchased for as low as $400.
2. Self-propelled lawn mower
Although a self-propelled lawn mower might look similar to the push reel, it offers a couple of advantages over the latter. Unlike in the push reel where the engine powers only the blade, the wheels of a self-propelled mower are also powered by the engine. This means that you won't have to exert as much energy maneuvering the equipment. This type of mower provides power for difficult terrain and allows you to glide over gravel and small stones easily. The self-propelled lawn mower is usually powered by either gasoline or electricity, and it can cost between $300 and $1100 to maintain.
3. Riding lawn mower
Riding lawn mowers are large variations designed to make your job easier. Although they are the most expensive option, they allow you to cut through large yards easily. Several types of mowers fall under this category, including lawn tractors used to cultivate gardens and plow snow. A riding lawn mower can cost anything between $1,500 and $10,000.
Factors to consider before purchasing a lawn mower
Now that you know the different kinds of lawn mowers available, you need to familiarize yourself with factors one should consider before buying this piece of equipment. Below are some of the criteria you need to fulfill when making a decision
- The size of the lawn
The size of the lawn is a major factor that to put into perspective before hopping into the market. You obviously don't want to be riding a mower around if you have a tiny yard. Therefore, as a general rule, a push or self-propelled lawn mower is recommended to people with small lands of 1/2 acre or less. If you're mowing a more significant area, the riding mower is easily regarded as the better option. This type of mower is recommended to people who intend to regularly mow an area of more than 1/2 an acre. You can easily sit back while the riding mower navigates you around the lawn.
- Grass collection
An important feature to look out for in mowers is their grass collection limit. Some mowers may perform better than others but fail to collect as much grass. This means that you have to frequently stop to empty the waste into the bin before continuing. Finding a mower with a high grass collection limit is excellent for people in the lawn care business as it will save you from making frequent trips from the garden to the waste bin while working.
- The Performance
Another thing that you might want to consider when going mower shopping is the engine performance. You need to purchase a mower that matches up to the task that it is required for. You'll find that non-riding mowers have engines with a capacity between 140 and 190 cc. You need to select a size that matches the task that it will be used for, ranging from cutting tall grass to wet grass-cutting and leaf mulching. You also have various engine styles to look forward to, with the common ones being overhead valve and side-valve engine. An overhead valve engine is usually less noisy and consumes less fuel, but it costs more than its counterpart.
- Spend more upfront and save more later
One of the most important things to consider before buying any product is the cost and this is not limited to what you pay upfront to acquire the lawn mower. When calculating the cost of a mower, especially one to be used for a lawn care business, you need to consider factors like maintenance and warranty. Although it might cost you more to acquire a high-end mower, most times, you end up saving more when you consider how much you have to spend for the maintenance of the equipment. This is because high-quality mowers are often made from better-quality components. You'll get easy-rolling ball-bearing wheels and a top-quality engine, among other things. In addition to this, high-end mowers also include a longer warranty. This guarantees you a lawn mower that will last longer and require fewer repairs. In the long run, you save more money by not repairing or replacing the mower.
- Check reviews
Even a top-brand mower can occasionally have a minor problem, so it helps to conduct personal research before investing in any brand equipment. One good way to discover hidden flaws that the mower you are about to invest in may have is to check online reviews. You can find buyers' reviews on the manufacturer's website and retailer platforms like Amazon and other platforms that sell lawn mowers. Also, it wouldn't hurt to consult friends or business associates who have invested in such a mower to ask about their experience with the brand. It's worth noting one or two users with a bad experience doesn't automatically mean that the product is bad. Multiple complaints about the same problem in a brand's equipment are red flags that you should watch out for however.
- What will it be used for?
The kind of grass you’ll use the lawn mower for is also a significant factor to consider when selecting a mower. For example, rotary mowers are commonly used to cut long and rough grass. These mowing equipment operate like the blades of a fan, allowing you to cut the grass cleanly. You should note that some lawn mowers are designed with adjustable blades which allow you to adjust the equipment according to the height of the grass. This is a great feature to look out for, especially if you are starting a mowing business to work on different types of lawns.
- The features and ease of use
Most new models of lawn mowers are designed with certain features that make them safe to use and easier to operate than the traditional mower. Before jumping to the market to buy a mower, you need to consider its features and work out if they are beneficial to you. If it will cost a few dollars more to get a mower with a feature that saves you a lot of work time, then it is a worthy investment. However, you should ensure that you aren't just buying a mower because it has the most features. Instead, focus on getting one that has the features that you need the most.
- Consider your local dealer
Before rushing online to buy a mower, you might want to consider a stop at your local dealer's shop. Purchasing a lawn mower from a department store may allow you to save a little more than your local retailer, but a trip to the local servicing dealer also has its perks. For one, the dealer at the showroom is likely to provide you with first-hand advice about the brand equipment you're about to purchase. Most dealers have products from several top-quality brands on display, allowing you to select the best from the lot. Also, you know where to take the equipment when it's time for repairs.
How much do you need to pay for a good lawn mower?
In the end, the cost of a new lawn mower depends on what type of mower you are looking for. As disclosed earlier in the article, push wheel mowers are the cheapest type of mowers available on the market, and they can go for as low as $100. On the high end of the scale, riding mowers can cost above $1500 and is suitable for people in the lawn care business or anyone who has to cut through a large yard frequently. A common misconception among people who buy mowing equipment is that the more expensive the mower is, the better, but that isn't always the case. Sometimes, you don't have to pay for the most costly item in the store because you require the best. If you are spending more on a mower, there should be a reason for the investment. It would help if you were guaranteed to get certain features or better performance. Some features that may determine the cost of a lawn mower include its cutting width, self-propelled functions, and battery life or power source.
As is the case when looking to buy new equipment, good research is required to find the best mower for you. It is worth noting that what works for another person may not work for you. Every mower has its pros and cons, and it is best to consider what you want from your lawn mower so you can land a reliable model.