It’s time to upgrade your old mower, so let us make your yard care easier with tips on how to choose the best lawn mower of 2016.
Did you know that if your yard is just ¼ of an acre in size, you have to walk up to two miles to cut all the grass? Instead of pushing around 80 pounds or more in the summer heat, get a self-propelled mower. Then all you have to do is guide it!
Of course, you may have realized there are a LOT of mowers for sale. How can you narrow it down? What’s most important?
No worries, we’ve got it covered right here. Let’s look at what features make up the best self-propelled lawn mowers.
Discharge, Bag, and Mulch That Grass
Get the most options you can afford; you never know when you’ll wish you had them. If you like to keep your lawn looking neat, bagging and mulching keep your cleanup down to the minimum.
ng the clippings into tiny bits and discharging them fertilizes the lawn and makes it resistant to dry spells. If you plan to bag instead of discharging, make sure you have a place to deposit the clippings. Some areas don’t allow it in landfills, or charge to dump there.
The best mowers switch between discharging, mulching, a nd bagging with just the flip of a switch and don’t need tools to change out bags or attachments.
To Speed, or Not to Speed
Self-propelled mowers need someone to drive them. Not everyone walks at the same pace. Some mowers with just one speed might be too slow or too fast to make mowing pleasant. Look for mowers with at least three speed settings, or test-drive a one-speed before you buy it.
Front or Rear Wheel Drivers
The basic rules of thumb are these:
- If you plan to bag, prefer rear wheel drive because it handles the weight of the bag better
- It’s easier to mow straight lines with rear wheel drive
- If you have trouble turning, front wheel drive is handy because just tipping the mower backward makes it easy to move in another direction
- If you have trouble turning but want rear wheel drive, get a mower with the ability to disengage the drive
The Engine That Could
Newer 4-cylinder gas engines, especially those with overhead valves or cams, are less noisy than the older 2-cylinder models. They tackle hilly yards with ease and they don’t need a precise mix of gas and oil, either.
Many self-propelled mowers now offer a key-start or electric start button and some are self-priming, too. Look into these if you’re tired of yanking a cord.
Take a look at electric mowers if you prefer quiet mowing without all the mess and maintenance of a gasoline engine. Keep in mind that electric and cordless models may not be ideal for rough terrain or large yards.
Deck Width, Size Matters
Consider your yard. Do you have narrow parts where your mower will need to squeeze through? Or are you faced with lots of open terrain to cover? If you have a large lawn, go with the wider models in the 21 to 22-inch range. You’d be surprised at how much one inch more can make a difference.
Look for one-lever wheel height adjustment, it’s a lot faster and easier than setting each wheel individually. Check the handlebar to see if it adjusts to your height. Squeeze the control bail with your hands—will you be able to hold it against the handlebar for long periods of time, or is it too stiff? If the handlebar has a cushioned grip, that’s better protection against the vibration of the motor. Finally, see if your mower can collapse down for storage. This comes in handy if you need to transport it in a trunk of a car, or if you don’t have a lot of storage space.
Narrow it down with expert reviews to get just the right model for you
Now that we’ve gone over these essential features found in the best self-propelled mowers, it’s time to narrow down the offerings even more. No need to get overwhelmed or drown in research. We did all the work for you already!