Top 5 Features You Must Consider When Buying a Lawn Mower

by Mike Palmer

I’d previously written an article on How to Choose a Lawn Mower which dealt more with the different types of mowers available out on the market. In this article, I give you a more in-depth look at the specific features of various lawn mowers.

When it comes to choosing a lawn mower, you are confronted with so many choices that it can be intimidating, especially for the first-time buyer. And the number of new features on new lawn mower models each year can be surprising, even to a veteran lawn mower owner. To help make your decision easier, I’ve broken down the top 5 features you need to consider when buying a lawn mower below:

Lawn Mower Feature #1: Source of Power

gas lawn mowerThe first question you need to ask yourself is whether you want a lawn mower powered by electricity or by gas? There are pros and cons to each. With a gas lawn mower, you have the added expense of engine oil and gasoline, but it’s made up for in maneuverability and convenience. Also, you only have to refill the gas tank when it runs out versus having to wait for the battery on an electric mower to recharge when it starts to run low. You can learn more about gas lawn mowers in my review of one of the top selling gas mowers: Snapper SPV21675. But if dealing with exhaust fumes is not your cup of tea, you should consider buying an electric mower.

electrical cordElectric lawn mowers run quieter, have fewer emissions, and are low in maintenance. For the eco-friendly homeowner, electric is definitely the way to go (unless, of course, you want to go TOTALLY manual with a reel mower) If you choose an electric mower, you have two more decisions to make. First, do you want a corded or a cordless electric mower? With a corded mower, your lawn mower is attached to an electrical outlet with an extension cord. With a cordless mower, you have either an integrated or removable battery that powers the mower. Second, if you go with a battery-powered lawn mower, check out the runtime of the battery. For example, the Black & Decker CM1936 has a runtime of up to 12,000 square feet.

Lawn Mower Feature #2: Push or Self-Propelled

Once you’ve decided on a gas or electric lawn mower, you need to determine whether you need a push or a self-propelled model. Both gas and electric mowers comes in push or self-propelled versions. The push mowers require you to manually “push” the mower, so they’re better suited for level lawns and able bodies. On the other hand, if you have tall grass, rough terrain, or slopes to deal with, self-propelled lawn mowers are the way to go. A self-propelled mower has a transmission that drives the mower, so you won’t have to work as hard. It’s kind of like cruise control on your car. You don’t have to keep your foot on the pedal; you just have to steer.

Lawn Mower Feature #3: Deck Sizelawn mower deck size

The deck size also refers to the cutting swath (or blade size) of the lawn mower. Typical sizes range from 18″ – 21″. The larger the deck size, the wider your cutting swath is going to be. And more coverage on each pass means less time spent mowing.

Lawn Mower Feature #4: Type of Cut

Lawn mowers used to be more specialized. Some do a better job of mulching while others do a better job bagging. But now days, you have 3-in-1 lawn mowers like the Lawn-Boy 10640 that gives you the flexibility of all 3 types of grass cutting capabilities: mulch, bag, and discharge. If you like to mulch or discharge your grass clippings, it’s just a matter of putting on a mulching or discharge insert. Or, if you prefer to bag your grass clippings, simply put on the rear bag and you’re good to go.

bag grass clippingsLawn Mower Feature #5: Weight

The weight of the lawn mower becomes an issue if you have physical limitations that prevent you from operating a heavy push mower or if your lawn is uneven or is on a slope. For example, Black & Decker’s line of electric mowers can weigh from 46 lbs. to 72 lbs, depending on which model you get. The weight is less of a problem if you get a self-propelled mower (unless, of course, you have to take it off and on a truck for transporting).

As long as you understand these top 5 features of a lawn mower, you should have no trouble picking out that perfect lawn mower for your needs.

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