10 points to consider before buying a walk mower
(BPT) – Warm weather means it’s time to get back in the routine of mowing the grass every week. While it’s difficult to find the motivation to do chores when you’d rather bask in the sun, the right walk mower will make the job easier and faster.
Before making a purchase, consider these top 10 points to ensure you get the right walk mower for your needs. The result: a beautiful yard and more time to enjoy the glories of the season.
1. Yard size
The size of your yard may dictate the size of mower you need. A walk mower is adequate for most urban and suburban yards. When shopping, research deck size to determine how much grass is cut in each swipe. The Toro TimeMaster has a large 30-inch deck so you get more mowing done in less time.
The types of terrain in your yard may require a special type of walk mower. Rough terrain or steep hills will benefit from a specialty mower like the Lawn-Boy All-Wheel Drive mower. This mower has added traction in hilly and sloped mowing conditions, plus it doesn’t require oil changes.
3. Self-propelled vs. push
A self-propelled mower will move when the feature is activated by the user. A push mower moves fully by the power of the person pushing it. Much of the decision relies on personal preference, but if you have a large yard or many hills, a self-propelled may be beneficial.
4. Space/storage issues
How much room do you have to store the mower? For tight storage spaces, consider compact mowers. The Toro Recycler with SmartStow offers power without the big storage footprint. Because it can be stored upright, it takes up to 70 percent less space than a conventional 22-inch mower with the handle in standard position
You need a mower to maintain your yard, but the fact is you need to maintain your mower as well. Ask about maintenance requirements before making a purchase. Some mowers are designed to require less upkeep, such as having an engine that doesn’t require oil changes.
6. Your personal physical condition
Be honest about your current physical condition when researching walk mowers. Some models are created to better suit people with physical needs rather than others who are more physically fit. Ask questions and find the right one for you so you can mow confidently.
Some walk mowers will come with a selection of accessories. Research what is included and what will require an additional investment. Things like a striping kit and bagger may be included.
Understand what fuel is required before making a walk mower purchase. Using the incorrect fuel will damage the engine and void the warranty. A four-stroke engine typically requires unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 87 or higher. Gasoline with up to 10 percent ethanol (gasohol) by volume is acceptable. Gasoline with 15 percent ethanol (E15) by volume is not approved for use.
9. Electric start vs. pull start
Different models will have different procedures for starting the engine. Most people are familiar with the traditional pull start. Another option that some models have is an electric push button. Choose based on your preference, budget and physical ability.
Finally, look at what options the mower offers. From the range of cut height to options that switch from mulching to bagging, different models will have different features that may appeal to your individual needs.