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A guide to lawn mowers

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A guide to lawn mowers

For homeowners, one of the most essential items stored in a backyard shed or garage is a lawn mower. This piece of outdoor equipment is fundamental for maintaining a manicured lawn, which, when tended to on a regular basis, can save you money and frustration in the future.

And, while cost often comes into the equation when looking to purchase a new lawn mower, it is important for homeowners to determine what type of mower is best suited for their property in order to save time and better care for their yard.

Start off by determining your needs in a mower by looking at the landscape of your yard - do you have many trees and flower beds to manoeuvre around, do have a large lot on a slope or uneven terrain, or is it a small urban yard? After you have determined your needs, examine the different types of lawn mowers available to find the type that is best suited to help with your lawn care.

Reel mower (or manual push mower)

This is hands-down the most eco-friendly and least costly option of all mowers. Powered strictly by pushing it, these mowers typically require only minimal maintenance such as periodical blade sharpening. Because the reel consists of fixed blades that are not adjustable, these mowers are only suited for use on very small and flat urban yards.

Corded electric mower

Another eco-friendly option, a major benefit of these mowers is the very limited amount of necessary maintenance and the low cost incurred to operate them. However, they also come with a large drawback of needing to be plugged into an external outlet, making them inefficient for large yards. When considering this type of mower, make sure that all areas of your yard can be reached by extension cord. Keep in mind that if your yard has many landscaping elements it can be precarious to manoeuvre the excess cord which can get tangled in these obstacles. These mowers are not efficient at working through tall or thick growth.

Cordless electric mower

This type of mower has become very popular in recent years, providing all the positive benefits of an electric mower without the inconvenience of a cord. These mowers are outfitted with a rechargeable battery that provides power for approximately 30 to 60 minutes depending on the make and model. Just like with battery-operated power tools, it is possible to purchase a second battery to have at the ready for when the first runs out. With certain models, the additional battery weight may cause difficulty to use on a sloped terrain. Like with corded electric mowers, these machines may struggle with working through tall or thick growth.

Push gas mower

Simply put - with gas comes more power. Outfitted with a larger cutting path than most electric models, these mowers are able to cut through thick grass and weeds and are not restricted by battery life or an extension cord. However, there is substantial noise and exhaust accompanied with these mowers, and ongoing maintenance is required to ensure it stays in proper working condition.

Self-propelled gas mower

This is a great option for yards with an uneven terrain, since it provides all the power of a gas engine without requiring much physical effort. Rear-wheel drive models are designed to excel on hills by providing consistent traction. Front-wheel drive models are extremely easy to steer, making them ideal for yards with many trees and flower beds.

Lawn tractor

For yards of an acre in size or more, a lawn tractor can help make quick work of a large task. These machines range in size and cutting widths and can tackle flat or uneven surfaces. One major advantage of these mowers is that they can be utilized for other jobs, such as snow removal, leaf pick up and hauling, by purchasing optional accessories and attachments.

Zero-turn radius mower

These fast mowers are controlled by a set of levers. While unable to conquer an uneven terrain like a lawn tractor, these mowers excel at steering around gardens, trees and walkways to help reduce cutting time, making them ideal for a large property with many landscaping obstacles.

By Erin Kelly

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