Size of lawn
Before purchasing a mower the first question you should ask is, what size is my lawn? . Most push mowers are suitable for an acre, which is about 13,277 square metres, anything above this size will see you, most likely, wanting to purchase a ride-on mower. So before making the big decision as to which mower, think realistically about how much time you have to mow your lawn on a busy weekend and select your equipment accordingly. Your property size does impact how long it takes to mow your lawn and larger lawns require more mowing time for obvious reasons.
If your yard is more than half an acre in size, a riding mower may be worthy of consideration. Riding mowers are precisely what the name suggests, allowing users to sit down on the job. Riding mowers can be as no-frills or as elaborate as your budget allows and have so many options to choose from that the selection alone can be mind-boggling. There are three basic kinds of riding lawn mowers: rear-engine, lawn and garden tractors, and zero turn radius mowers.
When somebody asks you to picture a lawn mower, this type is usually what comes to mind first. Standard walk-behind mowers are suitable for lawns that are 3/4 of an acre or less and have no significant physical limitations. Like riding mowers, the different types of walk behind mowers are endless, though there are three main types of these as well: gas powered, electric powered, and manual reel mowers.
Rear-engine ride-on mowers are generally quite basic and cheaper. Rear-engine mowers often feature power levels similar to high-end push mowers, and offer the same versatility, except you sit on them. Rear engine mowers usually feature smaller chassis and cutting widths, making them ideal for smaller lawns and driving through tight spaces, such as gates and fences.
Corded lawn mowers provide endless run time, but you are limited by how far the extension cord goes.
While many corded lawn mowers are over 20m, you may still have to unplug and replug as you mow and have outdoor power points around your yard.
Cordless mowers are obviously unbound by cords, but may feature limited run times of an hour or less, making a second battery necessary if tackling anything more than a small lawn. Charging the batteries of a cordless mower also takes longer than how long you can run them for.
If you live on a yard bigger than ¼ acre, a petrol mower with a 50cm plus cutting width is most likely more suitable. Electric mowers are also generally lighter than petrol as they don’t have a mechanical engine on-board.
When it comes to deciding whether you want a petrol or battery lawn mower it comes down to your yard and your preferences. For most modern suburban blocks with a small yard, an electric mower is probably ‘good enough’. Electric and/or battery mowers benefit from quieter operation, have no emissions and are commonly cheaper than petrol mowers.
However, petrol mowers win out by their sheer ability to get the job done because they often feature more powerful motors, with leading torque figures and cutting widths. For homeowners living on older, bigger blocks or semi-rurally, a petrol lawn mower is probably still the best option.
Gas engines sizes run from 140 cc to 190 cc. Larger engines produce more torque and are less likely to stall in tall grass at the beginning and end of the cutting season. A larger engine also helps drive self-propelled mowers more effectively uphill.
From least-expensive to most-expensive, mower engines may be traditional side valve design, overhead valve, or overhead cam. More expensive engines provide increased durability, reduced noise, and less oil consumption.
Push mowers or walk-behind mowers are useful for lawns less than an acre in size.
Every landscape is different, but here are some general tips to help you find a mower that’ll perform well for your lawn. Consider your lawn size:
- 1/4-Acre or Smaller Lawn: Look for either a corded electric or a gas mower.
- 1/4-Acre to 1/2-Acre Lawn: Look for a gas or cordless electric model. Some corded mowers may be options, depending on the location of power outlets.
- 1/2-Acre to 1-Acre Lawn: Look for an 80-volt max cordless mower or a gas mower. You may appreciate a self-propelled mower for a lawn this large.
- 1-Acre Lawn or Larger: Consider a riding mower.
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