Go Back   BuildingHomes.ca - Building your community! > General > Home Owner Tips, Upgrades and Maintenance

Home Owner Tips, Upgrades and Maintenance General information on what to do with your new home. Garden, yard, driveway, basement finishing, and everything in between.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 2009-07-23, 12:43 PM
Newhomer Newhomer is offline
Junior Member
Regular User
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Ontario/Ottawa
Posts: 21
Default Questions about Lawn Mowers - first time home owners

My wife and I are first time homebuyers, and are considering what to get for a lawn mower. We have looked around at the various options (manual, gas, electric and battery powered) and have narrowed it down to manual and gas powered -- the battery powered ones are too expensive and with the electric we are bound to go through a tone of electrical cords.

We have a small lot in Half-Moon Bay, and right now are leaning towards the manual lawnmower for environmental reasons, however I have some concerns about how well the manual ones cut, and how much maintenance they require to keep sharp.. etc.

I was hoping that those of you on the forum could help us decide by sharing your experiences. Have you had a manual lawn mower, if so did you like it? What are the pro's and cons? Are there any brands that you recommend, or conversely suggest that we avoid. Any feedback is appreciated.

Many Thanks!
J&K

Last edited by Newhomer; 2009-07-23 at 12:55 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 2009-07-23, 01:00 PM
Dave_B Dave_B is offline
Senior Member
Regular User
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: ON/Ottawa
Posts: 218
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Newhomer View Post
My wife and I are first time homebuyers, and are considering what to get for a lawn mower. We have looked around at the various options (manual, gas, electric and battery powered) and have narrowed it down to manual and gas powered -- the battery powered ones are too expensive and with the electric we are bound to go through a tone of electrical cords.

We have a small lot in Half-Moon Bay, and right now are leaning towards the manual lawnmower for environmental reasons, however I have some concerns about whether how well the manual ones cut, and how much maintenance they require to keep sharp.. etc.

I was hoping that those of you on the forum could help us decide by sharing your experiences. Have you had a manual lawn mower, if so did you like it? What are the pro's and cons? Are there any brands that you recommend, or conversely suggest that we avoid. Any feedback is appreciated.

Many Thanks!
J&K [/SIZE][/SIZE][/FONT]
I plan on getting a gas mower myself. First of all, I don't think I will save the earth by getting a manual mower. I'll start with the Energy Star home, recycling, reusable grocery bins and a resuable coffee cup. From there, I will move towards a hybrid car, etc. A lawnmower is a far down the list IMO.

I did at one point entertain the manual mower. The only issue that I have is that they are succeptible to jamming with small twigs and long grass. If we go out of town for a few days and come back to a "healthy" lawn, we're looking to borrow a mower from the neighbors. If there were significant savings in buying a manual, it might change my mind....but there aren't. A good one gets up there in $$$.

I will be going with either a Honda or a Lawn Boy.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 2009-07-23, 01:19 PM
R.F.D. R.F.D. is offline
Senior Member
Regular User
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Burlington (Alton)
Posts: 1,250
Default

I have a good size lawn (with respect to new homes) 40 x 30 backyard, a large side 60 ft, front and about 120 x 6 ft of boulevard. I use a manual push power and rechargeable trimmer. No issues and infact have probably one of the most healthy and greens lawns in my neighbourhood.

As for maintenance, like anything, keep it clean, keep it greased and sharpening is a breeze and the kit is 20 bucks and lasts for numerous sharpenings and of course is key to a healthy lawn.

<quote>First of all, I don't think I will save the earth by getting a manual mower.</quote>

Sorry I have to disagree with this, the newer mowers are better but running a gas mower for 1 hour is equivalent to car covering 550km.

As for the twigs and long grass, yes twigs will get caught, solution, pick them up prior, long grass have easily cut grass coming back from vacation that is 10cm.

I find it funny that homeowners think they need a big 6 horsepower mower, they spend more time starting the bloody thing then actually running it and just an FYI, gas mowers do require maintenance, ask my neighbour who left his in his garage without preparing it for winter. Needless to say he borrowed mine until he fixed his. And the honkin gas trimmers, not needed for the average home these days. If anything a absolute annoyance.

http://www.solarispowerproducts.com/green-facts.htm

Happy mowing...
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 2009-07-23, 01:19 PM
Mudz Mudz is offline
Senior Member
Regular User
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Canton, MI
Posts: 878
Default

Manual lawn mower is awesome. Not only because of environmental reasons but also to avoid noise. (If you dont work out regularly, you might get tired first time)
I bought Yardworks from Canadian Tire with grass catcher. But the grass catches was quiet a pain. Not designed properly. So I decided to toss away the catcher and leave the waste there anyways. They become yellow within few days and are free fertilizer. (Just make sure you keep removing the odd plants that grow randomly.)
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 2009-07-23, 01:25 PM
mc_ottawa's Avatar
mc_ottawa mc_ottawa is offline
Senior Member
Regular User
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Ontario, Ottawa
Posts: 1,209
Default

I'm in a row townhouse with a small yard, so the manual lawn mowers made the most sense.

It's quite quiet, and relatively easy to up-keep. The occasional branch gets stuck, but I think that's happened once so far in the 10 times I've gone out to mow the lawn thus far this summer.

On my street of townhouses, it's pretty evenly split between manual lawn mowers and gas ones.

For what it's worth, I've used both in my time...and I've found that the manual lawn mower is a lot less upkeep. (Gas ones, you need to change the oil, remove the gas out of the gas tank for storage, etc.)
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 2009-07-23, 01:31 PM
CapitalBoo CapitalBoo is offline
Senior Member
Regular User
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 231
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave_B View Post
I will move towards a hybrid car, etc. A lawnmower is a far down the list IMO.
The car should be furthest down your list...

See Item #10 of this list http://www.greenexpander.com/2008/12...-never-expect/.

So although you personally have reduced your daily carbon footprint, the overall manufacturing process of the beloved Hybrid vehicle is more damaging to the environment overall.

When are they going to get the Hybrid vehicle right? Why aren't diesel electric engines more prominent which can run off bio fuels?

CB
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 2009-07-23, 01:55 PM
north59 north59 is offline
Senior Member
Regular User
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Ottawa
Posts: 354
Default

How big is your yard? My back yard is 45ft deep by 45ft wide and I have 8ft of yard between my house and my property line on both sides of my house. I tried using my parents manual mower which was around $150 or so at the time and I couldn't do it. It took way too long and was frustrating. I'm all for saving the environment and whatever but when it takes me 30 minutes with a gas versus 2 hours with a push... thats my time. I had to re-do areas, use the trimmer a lot more than I do with my gas mower, and you can't bag the grass which sucks when you have young kids. When they want to play your fresh cut grass gets all over them, clothes, etc. You could rake it I guess...

If you are in-between gas and manual, why not try a full sized battery or a plug in? My parents had a plug in mower prior to the manual and it was a pain.

I have to wonder how much the carbon the gas mower puts off versus how much the generating station is producing to power a plug in, or how much to recharge the battery power, plus the disposal of the battery at the end of the mower's life.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 2009-07-23, 02:22 PM
R.F.D. R.F.D. is offline
Senior Member
Regular User
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Burlington (Alton)
Posts: 1,250
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by north59 View Post
I have to wonder how much the carbon the gas mower puts off versus how much the generating station is producing to power a plug in, or how much to recharge the battery power, plus the disposal of the battery at the end of the mower's life.
Interesting, but I would have to guess a fraction of what the emissions are from current gas powered technology. Yes the batteries can be bad but can you not properly recycle them?, again oblivious to the actual recycling process for batteries and the byproducts that they create.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 2009-07-23, 02:27 PM
springwater's Avatar
springwater springwater is offline
Senior Member
Regular User
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 424
Default

I don't have first-hand experience with manual mowers, but have a few friends and neighbours who have tried them. The general message I've heard about them is they are a bit of a pain. I know one guy who had his break after one summer of use, and two of my neighbours tried them and ended up going back to regular mowers as the manual ones didn't do a great job, it left the lawn looking pretty rough and were a bit of a pain to operate as I would watch them go over the same areas a few times to get it to cut properly. So take that for what it's worthy, maybe those were just poor quality manuals or something, I don't know.

What I have direct experience with is gas mowers, and personally I wouldn't consider anything but a gas mower. Some people are scared by the supposed maintenance, but really this is not an issue. In fact, I'd say it's almost maintenance free. I top up the oil about once every two years and never touch the spark plug. I guess you could/should get the blade sharpened every few years, but I've never had the need to do so. The only other thing is an air filter thingy, but again, I've never changed that. But if I did/when I do all I'll have to do is go to Sears, get the replacement and twist it on there, not exactly rocket science. The only thing I do is put gas in it every 3rd/4th mow.

I've had good luck with Sears gas mulching mowers. The one I have now is guaranteed to start on the first pull (which it does), which was the only issue I had with my previous gas mower which sometimes required five or six pulls to start. I'm guessing they're all this type now. Mine isn't self-propelled or anything as I did have concerns that that technology could lead to problems so I opted for the standard old-school push mower which I don't find to be too onerous.

I would strongly recommend getting one that mulches (again, this is probably standard by now, I'm not sure). I mow the lawn weekly and mulch every time. That just means I don't use the bag, so as I mow it simply cuts the grass into very fine grass particles that are then left behind as you mow. It seems like magic actually as you typically don't see the grass at all, it just seems to disappear as you mow. It's great because you don't have to mess around with bagging the grass, plus it's good for your lawn. The only time you might run into an issue mulching is if the grass is really long, let's say you didn't mow for a couple of weeks. In that situation I would still mulch rather than bag, but it would usually mean having to go over the lawn twice to clear any grass remnants that remained after the first pass. So I say gas mulcher all the way! But if you go with something else I would avoid electric at all costs. Those things are underpowered, are a total pain to deal with, usually die after a couple of years, and don't cut well. I like that they now have the cordless ones, at least in principle, but you still have all the other downsides of electric, just no cord. I do have an electric cordless trimmer though, which is awesome.

Link to Sears gas mowers: http://www.sears.ca/gp/node/n/396780...=price&size=99

And no, I don't work for Sears, I'm just a big fan of Sears gas mulchers and I like mowing the lawn...
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 2009-07-23, 02:43 PM
springwater's Avatar
springwater springwater is offline
Senior Member
Regular User
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 424
Default

Now that I read the other posts here I should add that gas mowers are indeed loud, that is a downside. I wear earplugs when I mow, so it's fine for me, but is noisy for everybody else.

The environmental argument is a bit of a stretch if you ask me. Of course, every small contribution helps, but like someone else mentioned, the time issue is more relevant to most people than the minor environmental advantage to a manual mower. Plus, if you use a gas mulcher you're saving on the environmental impact of all the grass clipping bags and the transport of them to the dump or wherever they end up. Bottom line is the impact is quite small from a gas mower.

As for winter maintenance, all I ever do is make sure I run it out of gas on my last mow of the season, that way I don't need to siphon it out or anything. That's all I do, run it out of gas, park it in the garage, and I've never had a problem. I probably should change the oil...I guess it would only take about 10-20 minutes.

Oh yeah, and one other positive is that in the fall I use it to mow all the leaves. I don't rake them at all, I just use the mower to mulch them, works great, huge time saver.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
half moon bay, lawn, mower

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Questions for any Emery home owners amz155 Markham / Thornhill / Vaughan 18 2009-06-02 06:57 PM
How much time do you need to sell your home? Fingers Ottawa 7 2009-04-14 09:40 PM
First new home buyer questions nh2008 Markham / Thornhill / Vaughan 2 2008-09-29 01:22 PM
Questions for Starlane Homes Markham-Boxgrove home owners rizwan Markham / Thornhill / Vaughan 11 2008-08-19 04:07 PM
Questions for current Mattamy home owners the radleys Dufferin General 6 2007-09-08 10:01 AM



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:00 PM.



Copyright © PHAND Corporation
This document may not be used elsewhere without the expressed written consent of PHAND Corporation.
*** There is no association between this website and any builder. ***

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.10
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.