If you are living in a house, there is a very high probability that your favorite part of it is the backyard. Whether you have a pool or love having BBQ evenings with friends, the backyard is a fundamental part of your home that you should take care of every now and then. And don’t forget the front yard also – your kids favorite place for playing football. Both areas of the home share one and the same similarity – most of the time they are covered with fresh green grass – a pleasure for the eyes. But except the amazing beauty and comfort that such green zones provide your home with, they require some periodical maintenance also.
Grass mowing may not be your most preferred activity, but you will admit how good the feeling you get when looking at the end result is – the beautiful and smooth green areas of your home that make it that dream place you want it to be. And even if you do not fancy taking care of the grass in the front and the backyard of your house, it is an undeniable fact that such works can get way easier if you have the needed equipment.
Which one to buy?
The first lawn mower was invented as early as 1830. Ever since, these machines have been going through tremendous changes in their design and functionalities. For example, the first lawn mower that was used had 5 to 8 different blades which were only able to start rotating and cutting the grass when the machine was pushed around. Of course these blades weren’t the best ones as they were often leaving some areas with unevenly cut grass, but that seems understandable as the technology wasn’t as evolved as now. Yet, the push mowers back then were a great option for automatizing such hard work as grass cutting.
Nowadays, lawn mowers have evolved dramatically. Today’s models usually have one or more very sharp blades that cut the grass in equal height (most of the lawn mowers let you adjust it according to your preferences). The revolving blades of the lawn mowers are powered either mechanically, by the movement of the machine itself (in the cheaper options), or electrically.
When it comes to the types of lawn mowers that are available on the market, you should know that there are many different options that will be able to satisfy all your needs. Here is a list of the most common types of lawn mowers that are available on the market for you to choose from:
Cylinder mowers are referred to as the modern equivalent of the push mowers. Similar in design but very different in operation as the cylinder mower is way more precise when cutting. Cylinder mowers are usually designed with a specific barrel that is located inside which has different rotating blades that make sure no zone is left uncut. There is also a stationary blade, located in the rear part of the machine which acts as the final cutting mechanism that makes the grass even and smooth. Cylinder mowers has one big advantage – they work quietly, without that annoying noise that will wake up the whole neighborhood if you love mowing your lawn before sunrise.
Cylinder mowers are usually recommended for people who take care of their grass more frequently (for example – once a week), as they are not as effective as other types when it comes to grass with bigger height. Nevertheless, it is a cheap and effective option that will help you handle the job easily.
But if you prefer dealing with such works once a month, then you should choose something more powerful like the rotary mower.
If you say the phrase “lawn mower”, then this is the type that most people will imagine. Rotary mowers are the most commonly used as they are the best options on the market when it comes to cost-effectiveness. This type usually runs on petrol (or electricity) which is why they are so powerful when it comes to cutting higher grass. Rotary mowers have a horizontal blade that is usually located on the bottom of the machine and is designed to spin clockwise. One of the biggest advantages of rotary mowers is their ability to work faster. So if you have a bigger lawn and hadn’t cut its grass for over a month, then a rotary mower is your best choice.
When it comes to the different types of rotary mowers that you can choose from, it is important to mention the two most popular – the push and the riding version. As it name suggests, the riding version is intended for people who do not want to spend enough energy and prefer driving across the lawn while doing the needed work simultaneously. Bear in mind that the riding version of the rotary mowers is the most expensive one, but at the same time – the most comfortable. So it is all up to you – if you want to save some money and don’t mind pushing a little bit as a part of your daily exercise program, then the push version is the best choice. Otherwise, spend a little more and ensure your comfort.
Next are the electric mowers. They refer either to the cylinder or the rotary mowers. There are some very tempting benefits when it comes to having an electric mower. For example –they are way lighter because they do not have any petrol motors and at the same time cheaper to operate. On the other hand – they are not as powerful as the petrol once but that may not be a problem for you if you cut your grass on a regular basis. Electric mowers are usually recommended for small to medium lawns. They work quietly which will prevent you from disturbing your neighbors.
Depending on the type of the electric mower you want to buy, there are options with built-in batteries which, so that you won’t need to run a cable across your lawn to power the machine. The battery can be charged once for every time you cut your grass as it should last enough for handling a medium-sized lawn. That makes the electric mowers with built-in batteries a very useful and comfortable option for your home.
Petrol mowers have been around for years. They have established themselves as the most powerful and effective options when it compared to all other types of mowers. They are able to handle overgrown and thick grass in larger lawns without hesitation. But all these advantages come on the expense of petrol mowers being heavier and harder to push.
Nevertheless, there are some new models which offer specific features that help reducing the effort that you need to invest in order to get the job done. So, depending on the size of your lawn and the frequency at which you are willing to get your grass cut, a petrol mower, as the most powerful and effective one, may be your best choice.
Yes, you heard right. Hover mowers are a little bit futuristic, yet very innovative mower solutions that can actually float above the ground. Designed with spinning blades and an impeller, hover mowers basically work by pushing air through the blades which makes the whole machine lift up. The only point of contact between the mower and the ground are actually the blades. The rest of the machine hovers above the ground which makes it way easier to be pushed around.
Hover mowers are usually made from plastic, so that they can be lighter and easier to push. In fact, it is their electric motor, that is the only heavier part in the whole machine. When it comes to their effectiveness in cutting grass, it is reasonable to say that hover mowers can sometimes fail to deliver on uneven terrains or at the edges of the lawn. Nevertheless, they are effective enough to be used on areas with steep slopes.
These are the most cutting-edge option among all others. These mowers are very similar to the robotic vacuum cleaners as they work on pretty much the same principle – a self-mowing unit that is able to do your lawn without the need of your efforts. You don’t have to control it neither! All that you have to do is to place some kind of border like a wire for example, that will guide the robot around the specific area of your lawn that you want to be cut. The technology inside the robotic mower will help it locate the given border and make it work only within it.
If you do not have enough time or are unable to mow your lawn for some reason (or you just don’t want to do it), a robotic mower is your best choice. Bear in mind that such machines are a little bit costlier as they may require you to spend in the range of $750 – $900.
How to choose the best mower according to your needs?
When you are about to choose a new or your first mower, there are some things that should be considered in order for you to make the most appropriate decision. Price, brand, model, features you will say. And you will be right – in fact these things are very important. But there is something else that you should bear in mind when you are shopping for a new lawn mower and it is the type of your lawn. For example – do you have fences, trees, flowers around your lawn or it is just open and smooth? Basically it is the topography of your lawn that will have a very significant influence on your choice.
If your yard has no bumps and is very small, then choosing the lowest-price option on the market is your best choice. And when it comes to price and features, the manual push mowers are the most affordable ones as they cost in the range of $80 to $130. Of course this type may cost way more, but the listed price is the realistic starting point if you want to buy something that will do the job effectively for you (although sometimes this type tends to roll over higher grass, instead of cutting it) without the need to spend hundreds of dollars. Bear in mind that for bigger yards, this type of mower is not recommended as it won’t be a comfortable solution and will most probably make such routine work more like a nightmare for you.
Another preferred solution that you may choose if you want to pay a little bit more and ensure higher cutting efficiency is the corded electric mower. For no more than $300, you will get a quiet, yet very efficient solution that requires just to be plugged in a power source and you can start mowing the grass without annoying all your neighbors around. Nevertheless, corded electric mowers have one major obstacle that, depending on the topography of your lawn, may force you to choose another, more suitable type and it is the cord. Sometimes it may appear short enough to ensure your comfortable maneuvering around fences, shrubs and other obstacles in your lawn.
If you require more mobility when mowing your lawn, then you may consider choosing a cordless electric mower. For an additional $100, at the price of approximately $400, you can buy a very comfortable solution for small yards. Powered by a rechargeable battery, this type requires for you to not spend much time talking to your neighbor while it is turned on. Nevertheless, with once the battery is fully charged, it will last enough for you to do your whole lawn.
Some homeowners prefer to stick to more traditional mowers like the oil-powered ones. If you and your neighbors are not bothered by the noise levels, you can save some money and go for a walk-behind push mower. Priced in the range of $100 to $300, this solution will provide you with more power and efficiency which will help you handle tough weeds and tall grass. Bear in mind that this type has an oil motor which makes it heavier than the electric ones, which may not be a comfortable choice for you if you have to push it around your lawn in a hot summer day.
When it comes to medium lawns, the most affordable solution on the market are the walk-behind self-propelled mowers. You can buy one of these for as much as $200 to $400. They are suitable for almost any terrain and won’t make it harder for you to maneuver around obstacles in a medium-sized bumpy lawn. Equipped with a gas engine and a drivetrain, the walk-behind self-propelled mowers require little-to-none effort from you as they are moving forward all by themselves. All you have to do is to guide them around the area. The speed of most of these can be adjusted according to your preferences which makes them a very comfortable solution for that budget.
But if you want to go for a more interesting and effective solution, then the riding mower is your best shot. Priced in the range of $600 to $900, these machines are often considered as the most comfortable solutions that will quick and efficient working process. As their name suggests, you are expected to get in the driving seat and take control over the mowing of your yard. Although these are not as powerful as the lawn tractors, they are way quieter and easy-to-ride. They are even considered a good option for bigger lawns, but because of the fact that they are not as fast as tractors, they will surely consume more of your time.
If you have a big lawn or a backyard and a front yard that require mowing, then lawn tractors are your best choice. Although much more expensive, starting from $1000 and going up to $1500 and more, these machines are the most efficient ones when it comes to quality and fast work execution. Because of the fact that they have large motors and wider mowing decks, they will be able to handle most terrains and won’t have any problems with bumps, higher grass and plants and etc. Another very important advantage of this machines, is the fact that they are multipurpose and can help you even in the winter. If you live in an area with significant snowfalls, then you may be willing to consider buying a lawn tractor because it will make you handle the tough winter conditions with the help of just a snowplow blade or cart.
If you want to take it even further, then the garden tractor is an option. It is basically a bigger, more powerful lawn tractor that usually has a durable direct-drive motor. Bear in mind that these machines are way more expensive and can cost you more than $2000.
A good option for large lawns are also the enhanced wide-cut self-propelled mowers. Most of them are walk-behind models that have a way wider mowing deck (30 – 35 inches) and powerful drivetrain motors. These machines are able to handle all kind of terrains but will require from you to walk behind and guide them. Although that may cost you some efforts, it is always good to consider choosing such option as it will cost you no more than $1000 – $1500.
Lawn mower repair cost
Whether you have bought a budget option or a high-end lawn tractor, there is always that nasty moment when it may stop working because of an unknown problem. If that is your case, then you have two possible solutions – one is to try fixing it DIY and the second is to seek professional assistance.
Although there are numerous guides for DIY mower repair, it is always better to go to a trusted lawn mower repair shop. The benefits of this choice are many – from the fact that you will get up to 3 months guarantee for the repaired or replaced parts, to the quality of execution, shared know-how and even a bonus regular maintenance check of your machine. So, if you still wonder whether to handle your problem DIY or to seek professional help, then most probably it is the financial aspect of the question that will help you judge how to proceed.
The estimation of mower repair costs is usually based on the separate cost of the parts that need to be repair or replaced and the labor. As with any other machine, the lawn mower repair costs also depend on the type and the complexity of the problem. Bear in mind that when it comes to mowers, it is the diagnostics that is the most specific moment. Understanding what is the real problem with your machine is essential for the way you proceed and whether you will be able to fix it. The problems themselves (or the most part of them, except those related to the motor) are not so serious. That is why the overall cost for a lawn mower repair is not so high.
One of the most common problems are related to the air filters of the machine. As the time goes, these parts usually get clogged with debris and oil and should be replaced once in a while (they can’t be repaired). Many people are used to changing their air filters before every mowing session which most of the time is not necessary. Depending on the size of your lawn and how often you mow it, you should bear in mind that changing the air filter is advisable at least once every month or two. That way you will be able to ensure the safety exploitation of your mower’s engine and preserve it for the long term. If you are not familiar with the air filter replacing procedure, it is recommended that you go to a professional lawn mower repair shop. Depending on the type of the machine and its model, an air filter will usually cost you $5 – $15.
Spark plugs are another tiny, yet very important elements of your mower. A damaged spark plug will often result in your machine being unable to start. These elements should be changed once they have given up working and the whole process is as simple as replacing a lightbulb. Spark plugs usually cost start from $3 and go up to $10 depending on the type of the mower. As you can see, they cost close to nothing, but if damaged, they will compromise the overall functionality of your lawn mower.
One of the most important parts, responsible for the efficient work of such machines, are their blades. No matter how expensive your mower is, with the course of its exploitation, you will start finding out that its blade is cutting less and less efficiently. That is a warning sign that should get you acting. Experts suggest that blades should be sharpened by professionals because of the risk of injuries, typical for such components. Usually a blade sharpening will cost you anywhere in the range of $10 to $30. It is a little bit more expensive than other repair works related to your mower, but it is all because of its importance for the overall functionality of the machine.
A big part of mower repair works is in fact related to maintenance. For example, a mower powered by an oil motor will require some periodical check-ups. Just like your car’s engine, the mower one’s requires its oil to be replaced once in a while (basically once in a year, but it also depends on the model and you should better consult your professional repair service provider). Most of the mowers run with 10W-30 oil but it is recommended that you check your model’s technical guide for further instructions about the most suitable type of oil. The average cost for an oil replacement is $3 – $5 but it depends on the type and the model of your machine.
A regular tune up of your lawn mower most of the time will cost you less than $30 for a DIY. Obviously, it looks very cheap, but bear in mind to factor the time and the efforts that it takes for handling the maintenance, obtaining parts and etc. That is why it is always recommended to seek professional help. Paying a little bit more will guarantee you the safety exploitation and long-lasting life of your mower, as well as save you these unnecessary worries whether you have handled the works accordingly.
On the other hand, a professional repair service provider will require you to set aside as much as $50 – $70 on average for a push or self-propelled mower and $120 to $140 for riding models. Most of the trusted lawn mower repair experts will not charge you for diagnostics. They will, first of all, find out the problem, and then will provide you with the exact cost for fixing it. Most of the professionals usually work on hourly rates which most of the time depend on the brand of the mower and its type, the professional’s fee, the needed parts and etc. For bigger brands such as Kohler and Kawasaki, most professional lawn mower repair shops charge from $60 to $100 per hour. For models from less-known producers, you should expect to be charged approximately $50 per hour.
Here is a list of the services that you are most probably going to use and the approximate price that you are expected to pay based on the hours needed for the work to be completed and the type of the mower:
|Type of work||Details||Average cost
|Tune up for push and self-propelled mowers||Including air filter, oil and spark plug replacement, as well as blade sharping, self-propel adjustment, wheels tightening and etc. (inspection for other issues is also included)||$50 - $70
|Tune up for riding lawn mowers||Air filter and oil change, new spark plugs, blade sharping, clean carb, RPM setting, tightening loosened hardware and etc. as well as inspection for other hidden problems included||$120 - $140
Bear in mind that getting your lawn mower for a professional tune up has another advantage – you may receive useful advice on the life expectancy of your machine and whether it will be suitable for you to fix the problem or run the maintenance. There are many professional lawn mower repair services that are also sellers of such machines. If you work with such, you may be offered to sell your mower to them for which you will receive $30 to $50 on average (depending on the condition) for push and self-propelled models.
When it comes to lawn mower problems, there is a basic rule of thumb – if the problem is internal, then you should most probably consider buying a new machine. Broken rots, pistons, crankshaft damage (when the blade hits a hard object such as stone, brick, tree and etc.) – these are all problems that will cost you a ton of money. Transmission repair is another expensive service as it may require you to spend up to $500. When it comes to motor damage, then things get even more serious. A blown engine of a riding mower for example, may cost up to $1000 to be repaired. And with new machines starting from $1500 – $2000, repairing a broken engine just seems meaningless.
Whatever you decide to do – whether to use professional help or handle your problem DIY, the most important thing that you should know is that regular maintenance is key. For example, one of the very popular problems when it comes to mowers are the carburetor issues. Often, people forget to drain the old fuel after a mowing session which almost always results in sediment buildup which potentially harms the carburetor. Professional lawn mower repair shops services are used to carburetor cleanings because of the fact that people are unaware how to take care of their machines. Although not an expensive repair, such problems often prevent mowers from being able to start.
So, in conclusion – the most important thing that you have to do is to run periodical checks on your machine. In order to keep it in optimal condition for long-term exploitation, you should not neglect the importance of maintenance. Changing the oil and the air filter, replacing the spark plug and sharpening the blades once a year is all you have to do in order to make sure that your mower will serve you effectively for years to come.
5 questions to ask your lawn mower repair professional
Unfortunately, there are those times when your lawn mower goes through some malfunction and refuses to work. Or in other words – it’s time for a repair. Although many people suggest that the repair works can be handled DIY, experts advise that it is always better to seek professional help.
There are numerous problems that your lawn mower can experience. Many mower owners make the mistake to use their machines way too often, which will not be a problem if suitable preventive maintenance is ensured. But without it, there is a big chance that your mower may go down just when you need it the most.
That is why it is always important to have a good lawn mower repair service provider in mind, in case your lawn mower breaks down or just needs some maintenance. Here is a list of few questions that will help you find out the best one to take care of your machine:
1) Ask about their experience.
This is the first thing for you to start with. Although lawn mower repair is not so complicated task, it is always important to leave your machine in professional hands. That means finding such repair service provider, who have experience with different types of models and most importantly – with yours. That way you will be sure that your lawn mower will be fixed professionally and shortly.
2) Ask the professional to walk you through the problem.
That way you will be able to understand the reason for your problem and will be aware to try to avoid it in the future. If the repair professional just says you that the machine “does not want to start”, you should not be willing to have it repaired by him. This and other obvious problems are something that you would have most probably noticed. The main aim of asking this question is to be informed enough how to take care of your lawn mower in future. A professional repair expert will explain you in details what to avoid and how to exploit your machine in the most suitable and appropriate way, in order to preserve it for long time.
3) Ask what will it cost you to have your machine fixed.
Of course you will do that, but what is more important is to ask whether it will be wiser to have your old machine repaired or to buy a new one. Most of the time, lawn mowers suffer from minor problems that won’t cost you a fortune to fix but in case you have bad luck and your machine’s engine is inevitably damaged, it will most probably be wiser to buy a new instead of fixing your existing one. If you have found a reputable repair professional, he will most probably advise you what is your best choice. Most of the time, if it appears better to buy a new machine, instead of fixing your old one and the repair shop that you have contacted is also a seller of such, you may even be offered some discount. Many of the reputable repair shops that also sell mowers do that and it is all up to you to find such.
4) Ask whether the repair works and the replaced parts will have some guarantee.
Reputable repair service providers usually offer guarantee for their work for as long as 90 days. And that is what you should seek for. Of course if you are just having your oil replaced then guarantee won’t be provided, but in any other case where you have a part of your machine replaced or repaired, you should be given a guarantee. And you should start using your machine as soon as possible in order to find out how it works after the repair.
In case you are usually using your mower once a month, that means you may have no more than 3 tests for the period of the whole guarantee (if it is 90 days as the best-case scenario is). So it will be a better idea to use it as much as possible – for example once a week or twice per month in order to put it to a real test. That way you will be aware whether the repair was successful and you can rely on your machine for the long-term.
5) Ask about advice.
Bear in mind that the repair expert is there to answer your questions. That is why you should be willing to ask as much as possible. For example, try to explain the specifications and the topography of your lawn – whether it is steep, bumpy, small or big, with or without fences, trees and etc. That way he will get a clearer idea about your problem and whether you have chosen the right machine for your yard. Most of the time, mower-related problems are all due the inappropriate usage of the machines on terrains that they are not intended to work on. Considering the professional’s advice on this before having your mower repaired is essential, as you may decide that it is more suitable to buy a new one that will serve you more effectively given the characteristics of your lawn.
Advice on the periodical maintenance of the machine are also something that you should be interested in understanding more about. That way, with just some simple steps that you should take once in a while, you will be able to ensure the problem-free exploitation of your machine for the long term.