Most of the country is still mired in winter, but with warmer temperatures will come the need to decisively choose the best self-propelled lawn mowers for your home grooming and landscaping needs. If you’re ready to upgrade your old mower to a newer model, these are some of the best mowers you could pick up in 2012.
The Black & Decker SPCM1936 retails for around $450, making it a relatively affordable option for families that are a bit strapped for cash but still need to manage a large lawn in the spring and summer. It runs on electric power, rather than gas, which will also help you to save money as the cost of gas and oil continues to rise in 2012. But even though the price is a major motivator, there are plenty of other reasons to love this little guy. Unlike most cordless electric mowers, this model has self-propelling wheels, which are usually only found on gas-powered mowers. Another plus is that the model can turn on a dime, performing just as well as zero-turn radius riding mowers when it comes to maneuvering around things like fence posts or trees. If you're committed to electric over gas, there isn't a finer option in 2012.
In 2012, one of the things you’ve got to keep in mind is emissions. Thankfully, Honda’s OHV mowers were crafted to be in step with both the 2012 federal and California state emissions guidelines. The Honda HRX217HXA retails for $700, and has variable speeds that top out around 4 mph. A great perk is the ease with which you can use a single switch to alternate between mulching and bagging, and the blade has its own clutch, meaning you can stop the blades without having to shut down the entire mower. And in the long term, that means less stress on the engine and a longer useable life for the product.
At almost half the price of the Honda HRX217HXA (the HRR216VKA is only $400), it’s hard not to feel the pull of this unit. The engine is less powerful than the Honda model listed above, but it is still made by the top-ranked lawnmower brand, based on a J. D. Power and Associates customer-satisfaction survey. Not only is the mower surprisingly quiet, but the engine is also really efficient, which will save you on gas. The bagging attachment is nothing to sneeze at, either, so this is an overall good choice for a replacement lawn mower in 2012.
New for 2012, this behemoth will not pull any punches. The motor is a massive 30 horsepower unit, and reaches speeds of up to 8 mph. But what’s really cool are all the extras: cup holders, a power adapter (to hook up a music player, of course), digital readouts, and an electronic height adjustment system. You can only get this model in Sears stores, and you’ll have to pay through the nose: between $3000 and $6500. But with automatic traction control and a fuel management system, it’s worth it.