Spring and summer are just around the corner, and you know
what that means; it’s time to start mowing the lawn! If you’re a new home owner
who’s never mowed a lawn, or even if you’re just looking for something new and
cheap to mow your lawn with, there is only one kind of mower you should be
looking at: the classic push, or reel, mower. Unfortunately, I’ve found that push
mowers have a bit of stigma attached to them and people freak out because they
don’t have a motor.
This is silly! Not only are push mowers far better for the
environment than any other kind of motor, they’re also perfect for those on a
budget because they cost a fraction of what electric or gas mowers do. Additionally,
aside from sharpening there is virtually no upkeep. You’ll never have to buy
gas or oil, and you never have to worry about charging them. As long as you’re
not allergic to a small bit of exercise, push mowers will mow your lawn
perfectly. Plus, you’ll feel great afterward! Here are some features you should
keep in mind.
Composite Wheels With
Radial Rubber Tread
These are a necessity for two reasons. One, composite wheels
are pretty much reinforced plastic wheels, which means they will be durable
enough to last your mower a long time. For two, the radial rubber tread tires
ensure that you’ll be able to easily push your mower across your lawn without worrying
about uneven terrain, rocks or anything else.
Adjustable cut height is very important because you’re going
to have to adjust it every time you mow depending on how tall your grass is.
Maybe you forgot to mow it last weekend and it’s really tall. Perhaps you mowed
it a few days ago and you’re just giving it a quick trim before a BBQ.
Adjusting your cutting height is imperative every time.
You’re going to want a lawn mower blade that cuts a width of
above 14 inches. Anything below that is too low, and can make mowing a lawn a
lot more tiresome because you have to make so many more passes. I find around
20 inches is the best and easiest width to mow with.
Since you’re going to be pushing your mower around your yard
with your own manpower, a low weight is best. You don’t want to unnecessarily fatigue
your self. So, whatever mower you buy needs to be below 35 pounds.
You want a cushion grip for the same reason you want your
mower to have a low weight. Push mowers are already harder to push than self-propelling
mowers. You want to reduce hand fatigue as much as possible.
So, now that you know what features are necessary, what
features are unnecessary?
A lawn clipping collection bag, or the ability to attach
one, is something that’s completely unnecessary. Not only does not collecting
your lawn clippings save you both energy and time, it also returns a lot of
healthy nutrients to your lawn. So, don’t worry about just leaving your
clippings where you cut.
Powder coatings are useful to have because they help to
prevent your mower from corrosion and rust. However, as long as you store your
mower properly and take care of it (i.e. don’t just leave it leaning up against
the side of your house when you’re done mowing) you won’t have to worry too
much about rust.
A lot of lawn mowers come with a sharpening kit as a bonus.
This is great, but oftentimes they’re not the best quality, and the best kits out there are pretty cheap regardless. So, I deem them unnecessary. Plus, you should only sharpen your blades a couple times a season anyway.
Push mowers are one of the few things that I don’t really
feel a warranty is a necessity. They require virtually no upkeep, as I
mentioned above. Plus, as I touched on above as well, as long as you properly
store and care for your mower, it should last a very long time. Warranties are
a cool bonus, but you don’t really need one.
Push mowers perform best on smaller yards. If you’re lawn is
over a half acre, unfortunately, you’re going to want to save up money to get a
riding mower (unless of course you want to spend hours mowing your yard).
Scotts, GreenWorks, and American Lawn Mower Company all make
the best budget push mowers. Husqvarna, Craftsman, John Deere, and Honda should
all be avoided if money is tight because they’re too expensive.
If you're a fan of exercise, saving the environment, and getting a great mower for a cheap price, push reel mowers are what you need to buy. Just keep the above mentioned features in mind, and you'll find a great mower that will last you for years.