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Lawn Mower Buying Guide

buying-lawn-mowerThe right equipment can make mowing your lawn a breeze. If you’re shopping for a new lawn mower, the size of your lawn, the terrain and the layout should determine what kind you choose. Here’s a brief comparison of the types of mowers on the market today.

Push Mowers

Push mowers are affordable and ideal for smaller lawns that are about 4,000 square feet or less. Also called a walk-behind mower, they’re easier than riding lawn mowers to maneuver around obstacles like trees. When selecting a push mower, you should consider the size of both the cutting deck and the engine. A typical push mower cuts a 22-inch swath. Engine sizes range from 140cc to 190cc. Unless you need to cut wet or high grass, a quality 140cc engine will work for most home owners. The majority of push mowers are gas powered, however, electric options are available as well. Many walk-behind mowers also come with bagging or mulching capabilities to make it easier to deal with grass clippings.

Self-propelled Mowers

Self-propelled are simply walk-behind mowers with the added advantage of a drive system to help power them across your yard. Since they’re less physically demanding to use, self-propelled mowers are a better fit for larger lawns that are around 4,000 to 6,000 square feet. They’re available in front-wheel, rear-wheel, and all-wheel drive. A front-wheel drive mower is great if you have a lot of trees or other obstacles to mow around, because you can just tilt the mower back to swing it around corners. A rear-wheel drive mower is best used for hills or uneven ground, where it gets better traction than a front-drive model.

Lawn Tractors and Riding Lawn Mowers

For bigger lawns that are over half an acre, traditional riding lawn mowers and lawn tractors are ideal. Newer models come with a front engine, but some older models have a rear engine. Both are gas-powered and are priced comparably. Front engine mowers are typically larger, but if storage space is a factor, rear engine mowers take up less space. However, rear engine mowers usually lack some added features like a fuel gauge or high seats. You can find models with a cutting deck from 42 to 48 inches, although some can cut a wider swath. Clippings can be bagged, side-discharged or mulched. Other tools can be attached to allow you more options for using your lawn tractor besides just mowing. If you need to better maneuverability for tighter turns, four-wheel drive is also an option.

Zero-Turn Radius Mowers

Zero-turn radius (ZTR) mowers offer the same benefits of traditional riding mowers, plus better maneuverability. Most ZTR mowers have levers, which control the rear wheels separately, instead of a steering wheel. They’re called zero-turn radius because you can actually turn such a tight circle with them that you stay in one place. They’re more expensive than lawn tractors but offer the same capabilities for bagging, mulching and side-discharging clippings. Typical cutting swath is 42 to 50 inches. ZTR mowers do require some practice to learn how to drive, and they can be difficult to handle on hills. During turns, the rear wheels can tear up your grass.

Rental Ranch is Wichita’s Best Source for Lawn Mowers

We’re authorized dealers for several major brands of mowers, including TORO and Snapper. We also carry commercial mowers and offer service and parts to keep your equipment running smoothly for years to come. Come in and see us today!