Buying a New Lawn Mower: Tips and Considerations

A lawn mower.

The life of a lawn mower is truly amazing. So when it's time to retire your current lawn mower, you might be out of touch with what's new in lawn mowers. These tips and considerations will help you decide which is the best lawn mower for your yard.


If you can, postpone buying your new lawn mower until the off season. When demand declines, so will the price. You will save a substantial amount of money if you can buy it later in the winter.

Pollution controls are now mandatory and by 2011 all new mowers were required to have 35% emissions reduction than the mowers previously on the market. One gas mower can emit as much pollution as 40 cars and belches over 9,000 times more hydrocarbons than electric mowers. Some states have instituted lawn mower trade in programs where you can get cash, or a trade up, for a enviornmentally friendly lawn mower. Contact your local government office to find out if there is one in your county.

Price generally reflects the quality of the mower. Quality in this context refers to stronger blades that will cut better and hold their blade edge longer. Don't go by name brand only. Compare price to features and reputation.

Don't buy for you, buy the best lawn mower for everyone who will be using it. Age, energy level, and size of yard, should be taken into consideration. Electric start and clutch disengagement mowers are safer for every user.

Consider Electric, Gas, or Manual

Electric mowers have "green" on their side. They are quiet (not much louder than a vacuum cleaner), need no emissions-producing fuel, but have power limits that need battery recharge or longer extension cords to get the job done. The average cordless electric lawnmower will require another charge after about 5,000 feet of mowing (about .5 an acre) and requires anywhere between a few hours to 24 hours of charging time. These mowers are light and easy to maneuver. They generally have a narrow area cut between 16 to 18 inches.

Gas mowers are loud, use gas and oil, but have no power limitations. Their cutting range can be up to 22 inches. They require a bit more maintenance related to the spark plug, gas filter, and oil. You can choose a manual push mower or a propelled mower that powers the front or back wheels to help navigate rougher terrain.

Manual mowers are the simple pushed powered spinning blade system. They are good for working off excess energy and cutting small condo or townhouse-type yards.

Consider Rotary or Reel

Rotary mowers cut with a circular blade underneath a housing of metal, plastic, or fiberglass. Horizontally mounted, these fan-style blades spin quickly to cut the grass. Reel mowers rotate and cut downwards pulling the grass into a fixed blade. Both are available in gas or electric.

The Reel Mower is also the design used in the manual mower. The manual pushing motion is engineered to work with the blades and the wheels to create cutting power.