Without a doubt, buying a lawn mower is an important and often costly purchase, so it's definitely worth taking the time to evaluate all your options before making a decision. Today, the Internet also poses a kind of dual aid and dilemma when it comes to shopping around for a new lawn mower. While it's incredibly to research different lawn mowers, it's fairly easy to get overwhelmed while doing so. We will first take a look at lawn mower basics before getting into the models themselves. By determining your own specific needs, you'll be able to make an informed decision when buying a new lawn mower. Also, it is advised that you physically evaluate the lawn mowers before making a final purchase. While using the Internet may be simple, the piece of mind you get by physically inspecting the lawn mower at your local home improvement store is unparalleled.
First, you need to determine what type of lawn you have. How large is it? For instance, you will almost certainly lean towards a riding mower over a push mower if your property is larger than 1/2 acre—even more so if you have a physical disability or anything that would make pushing a mower too difficult. Conversely, a gas or electric push mower may be a great alternative if you have a smaller lawn. In fact, push mowers are typically much less expensive than riding mowers and many of today's models are self-propelled.
Let's take a look at the different types of lawn mowers available today. Electric push mowers are walk-behind mowers ideal for small, flat lawns. These mowers use electric motors to propel the cutting blade; however, you must push the wheels for the mower to move forward. While corded models are available, it is advisable that you select a cordless electric push mower to avoid potential snags and hazards that come with mowing with a cord present. Next, gas-powered push mowers come in both push and self-propelled versions. These mowers use a four-stroke engine and are available with different cutting swaths as well, although most commonly cut a 21-inch or 22-inch swath. If purchasing a gas mower, the self-propelled model is worth the slight increase in cost since this feature makes the lawn mowing process much simpler.
As today's technology increases, lawn tractors are quickly becoming the leaders of the lawn mower industry. These models use front engine placement with seats in the rear as opposed to the older riding lawn mowers, which had seats in the front and the engine in the rear. Typically, these machines can mow between a 42-inch to 48-inch swath, which can greatly reduce the time it takes to mow a larger lawn as compared to the electric or gas push mowers. Tractor mowers are also much simpler to clean after mowing since these models use side discharge chutes to spread the severed grass as you cut your lawn. However, the downsides to these models are that they require larger storage space and add-ons can be pricey.
Finally, zero turn radius mowers are another great lawn mower on the market, although these models are typically much more expensive than the models previously mentioned. These riding mowers are ideal for large lawns with premium landscaping; in fact, zero turn radius mowers are the chosen model of most landscaping companies. These mowers allow you to use twin steering capability to make precise cuts with blades that cut between a 42-inch and 28-inch swath each time. However, the steering wheels have been known to cause damage to some lawns in certain circumstances due to the mower's turning capability. Lastly, while it's fairly easy to begin operating the previously mentioned mowers right out of the box, there is a learning curve for the zero turn radius mowers.
Now, to round things out, it's important to keep a few common sense tips in mind when operating your new lawn mower. Always ear plugs or some type of ear protection when operating your mower. Nearly all of today's top lawn mowers produce sound levels of 85 decibels or more, which humans should have ear protection for. While music may be a great way to pass the time when mowing, it's not recommended as you should always be paying full attention when mowing. Also, be sure to check over your shoulder whenever you have the mower in reverse to avoid colliding with objects or damaging your mower.