PDA

View Full Version : Small mowers, Whatcha got?


Swampbeast
11-06-2002, 06:12 PM
Hey! I want to know, what type of small (20-24 inch models) mowers do ya'll use? I use a good ole Toro right now. Thinking about getting an Exmark Metro. We shall see.


:cool:

odin
11-06-2002, 06:23 PM
we have toro and honda 21's
The exmark 21's are same as toro with less engine options and they dont have the recylcer kickers under the deck

AL Inc
11-06-2002, 06:33 PM
I've always had good luck with the Lawnboys, even when I was 10 years old pushing my mower from house to house. Change the plug once a year, clean the air filter periodically, and not much else needs to be done. I have three, one of which I believe is from the early 70's. We still use it several times a week. You can't kill those things! Mike

LB Landscaping
11-06-2002, 06:58 PM
I've got a Snapper. A buddy of mine is a snapper dealer so I get a pretty good deal on them. They are built well.

wriken
11-06-2002, 07:36 PM
Lawnboy here, 2-stroke runs good.

Envy Lawn Service
11-06-2002, 07:42 PM
Originally posted by odin00
we have toro and honda 21's
The exmark 21's are same as toro with less engine options and they dont have the recylcer kickers under the deck

What are kickers?

ilovethisgame
11-06-2002, 07:45 PM
21" Toro proline 2 cycle w/ bbc. If you can find a better 21" mower buy it, or come back to reality and just buy the proline.

-Dave:D

crawdad
11-06-2002, 07:49 PM
An old two stroke lawnboy, came out of an old lady's basement, had never been started, brand new in box, put away for many years. Nice and light, starts easy. But I have to carry another gas can.
Crawdad

TLS
11-06-2002, 08:12 PM
Originally posted by crawdad
But I have to carry another gas can.
Crawdad

You mean that you don't have any other 2 stroke equipement? My LawnBoy runs fine on Amsoil 100:1. Ignore that 32:1 recommendation, unless you want to periodically decarbon the exhaust port.

50:1 Echo oil reduced the carbon buildup frequency significantly. The Amsoil, so far has eliminated it.

I have ONE MIX tank for ALL 2 stroke. From the 16:1 chainsaw to the string trimmer/edger/blower, and Lawnboy.

I too used to have seperate mix tanks....Those days are long gone.

Lawn-N-Garden Guy
11-06-2002, 08:30 PM
I use a ten year old 5hp Toro GTS Bagger self-propelled with electric start and a clutch ,bought it brand new ,went thru 2 sets of reardrive wheels,it has a suzuki 4 stroke and havn't had any problems sept a valve cover gasket,I give it a ten on the scale.

The one We use the most is a Toro Personal Pace mulcher/side discharge 6hp rear wheel,
Not a bad mower for the money,Don't think I'll buy another.

Think I'll own an Emark Metro in the spring.

Lawn Specialties
11-06-2002, 08:47 PM
Toro Proline 2 cycle start good , cut good and completly bomb proof. I do however take the kickers out

Envy Lawn Service
11-06-2002, 09:00 PM
Originally posted by Lawn Specialties
I do however take the kickers out

Somebody tell me what the heck kickers are! :confused:

rvsuper
11-06-2002, 09:03 PM
I have a Toro 21" Proline 2 cycle. Starts usually on the second pull, but I only use it mainly for smaller yards, etc.

GLS
11-06-2002, 09:11 PM
John Deere here...buying a second next spring. One major reason I went with Deere is because of dealer support.

crawdad
11-06-2002, 09:39 PM
Originally posted by TLS
You mean that you don't have any other 2 stroke equipement? My LawnBoy runs fine on Amsoil 100:1. Ignore that 32:1 recommendation, unless you want to periodically decarbon the exhaust port.

50:1 Echo oil reduced the carbon buildup frequency significantly. The Amsoil, so far has eliminated it.

I have ONE MIX tank for ALL 2 stroke. From the 16:1 chainsaw to the string trimmer/edger/blower, and Lawnboy.

I too used to have seperate mix tanks....Those days are long gone. I have some Stihl equipment, run it on Stihl oil/gas mix. They seem to like it. I use Lawnboy Oil/gas Mix in lawnboy. Is it wrong to use what is recomended by manufacturers? How do I know when and how to decarbon the exhaust port?
Crawdad

Jerrys Lawn Service
11-06-2002, 09:41 PM
Yardman, 106-C 20 inch mulchers, there great!

Tvov
11-06-2002, 10:17 PM
We use small push mowers so rarely that we buy the cheapest ones we can find. The latest one bought last year from WalMart, a Lawn Chief or something like that. B+S 3.5hp 20". The smallest, lightest one they had. My last one lasted 13 years, this one will probably also.

Whenever possible, which means basically all the time, our 36"wb takes the place of a push mower.

I know you get what you pay for, but we use the small mowers so little that the cheap ones do the job for us for a long time.

EDWARDS LAWN CARE
11-06-2002, 10:19 PM
when i started off i bought a cheap 5 hp high rear wheel murry and it works great for what i bought it for, just to cut an occassional ditch bank. i know that is not what you are looking for but i don't use one for yards. if i can't cut it with my ztr or walk-behind i don't take the job.

mklawnman
11-06-2002, 10:36 PM
Right now we got a '91 Murray 21inch somewhat self-propelled push mower. Right now we use on just one account that has a steep burm on both sides that the walkbehind will either scalp or make big ruts in the hill so we use the pushmower, problem is we've beaten it soo much over years over the ruts on this burm that we've already had to replace the selfpropelled belt many times, and the front wheel, and throttle. Its a B&S 5hp Vanguard i think, but its not sounding so good when i use it on the hill, sounds like it doesnt have the power or something, though it still cuts. Debating weather or not to buy a John Deere one, heard they have some good commercial self-propelled units. If i get any more acounts that i really do need the use for the little machine ill go buy it otherwise i will sit tight for now.
Matt

Heller Landscaping
11-06-2002, 10:44 PM
We use John Deere because my dealer is the best.:) They will do whatever to get your machine up and running. They even have their home number on the cards they give out to people for emergency calls.

PaulJ
11-06-2002, 11:23 PM
Airens profesional 3-speed w/ 6hp Robin.

Engines great But cut is just OK.
good thing I only use it on couple stops each week.

I'd like to get a toro pro-line w/2-stroke while they still make the 2-cycle.
Worked for a crew about 10 years ago that ran only toros and they were great.

Does anyone use a 24"to 30" mower like the Kees high wheel, or Encore ar I think snapper even made one.??

Met a gate today that I couldn't get my 36" through:mad:

FrankenScagMachines
11-07-2002, 07:35 AM
Lawn Boy 21" steel deck push mower, 2 cycle. Has remote throttle and choke, prime 3x, choke it and it starts second pull, gradually unchoke and you're off! It's not too old as far as LawnBoy's go but is in great shape. This one has alot of power. Who needs a self propelled Lawn Boy unless you're mowing real steep banks? I only use it for small raised areas that you have to go up a couple steps, most steep banks I have found are easier to use the trimmer on. Only other time to use it I can think of would be on narrow islands the big mower won't fit on. Had a '84 Toro 21" SP rear bagger, 3 speed, it was great even with the Tecumseh engine, but anything other than 1st gear you would either jog, run, or need a sulky for! It was rear wheel drive which I prefer over front except for when you have to turn alot, but I think the front wheel drive keeps it going straighter. It cut great! I only sold it cause I didnt' need it at the time. Wish I hadn't now, but I have the Lawn Boy so I'm happy. 2 cycles rule! I use the same mix (50:1) for all my 2 cycle stuff, trimmer, blower, hedge trimmers, push mower, etc. but soon I will switch to 40:1 just because alittle more oil is better than not enough.
Good luck,
Eric

TurfPro
11-07-2002, 07:48 AM
Just a little FYI,,don't always assume more oil is better,,on an air cooled 2 stroke the majority internal cooling comes from the gas,,the oil has little to do with it,,,,when the cool gas hits the hot piston it condensates or sweats and cools the internals of the engine.So when you add oil to the mix you are actually reducing the amount of gas that is available (leaning it out) which can cause the engine to run hotter.I doubt going from 50:1 to 40:1 will make much difference but going to 32:1 or 20:1 might.
We have oils now that lube so well that the days of 16,20,32:1 ratios are a thing of the past.

rkbrown
11-07-2002, 08:30 AM
Toro Proline 2-cycles (self propelled, no BBC) and a Snapper (push). I use the snapper when I need to bag (very seldom) and use the Toros for mulching. I have been using Stihl 50:1 in all my 2-cycle stuff and have been quite satisfied, but am thinking of switching to Opti when this case of Stihl runs out just to try something new.

Lawn Specialties, just curious...why do you remove the kickers ? I have heard (never seen or experienced) from a couple of dealers that the kickers are the reason that the Toros mulch better than the Exmark Metro 21.

Envy - the kickers are 3 pyramid-type shaped things under the deck that I guess redirect the grass to aid in mulching. As you can see from my question to Lawn Specialties, I have no idea whether they actually work or if they were some Toro engineer's daughter's art project that he saw and said "We can add something like this under the deck and charge more money" :)

TLS
11-07-2002, 09:36 AM
Crawdad,

As much as I hate the AMSOIL pyramid sales technique, too much like an AMWAY!!! :rolleyes: They DO make some GOOD products. One of them is their 2 cycle mix. It comes in little bottles and if you mix it with 6 gal's of gas ( I know, ODD size?!) you'll get 100:1. I prefer to mix it with only 5 gal's of gas (somewhere aroud 80:1) It TOTALLY stopped ALL exhaust port clogging on ALL my equipment, and the engines (I'll quote you!) "seem to like it better!"

The Lawnboy oil has to be about the WORST 2 cycle oil out there. It will clog your exhaust ports quicker than any other oil I've used. Heck you mind as well mix in bar and chain oil as a mix!

Do your self a favor, ditch the Lawnboy oil at the very least, and go with your STihl oil at 50:1. But if you ever come across some AMSOIL guy, get a case of his 2 cycle oil. Also check out their greases.....Nice stuff!

As for when to decarbon ports....? When you notice power is low. Same with string trimmers. Just scrape away, and don't scratch the piston.

Good Luck

Lawn Specialties
11-07-2002, 09:54 AM
rkbrown Sorry it took me so long.I didn't invent the idea of taking the kickers out.I had a guy tell me that they would clog less without them. I was skeptical at first but tried it and it works great.I did aplace the other day where the grass was about 4" tall, wet and covered with leaves.The customer asked to have it cut to 2" for winterand it cut through it with no problem and there was hardly anything under the deck when I was done.It works great for but I don't think I'd try it without gator blades

Bob Minney
11-07-2002, 10:00 AM
Ariens 21" w/ briggs 6.5 intek

regnort
11-07-2002, 10:21 AM
A trimmer, anything that I can't get to with a real mower gets the trimmer. I have two honda's and a crapsman that sit on my carport, haven't been cranked in three years.

Reg:D :D :D

Richard Martin
11-07-2002, 02:58 PM
Originally posted by TurfPro
on an air cooled 2 stroke the majority internal cooling comes from the gas,,the oil has little to do with it,,,,when the cool gas hits the hot piston it condensates or sweats and cools the internals of the engine.

I hate to argue with you but your statement about internal cooling is incorrect. It is a simple fact that things happen way too fast inside of a engine for anything to condendsate. All of the cooling inside of a 2 stroke engine is by means of conduction.

rkbrown
11-07-2002, 03:27 PM
Lawn Specialties:

Thanks for the info. I have never had a problem with clogging or clumping with my Toro. If I do, I will give removing the kickers a try. I, too, run a gator in mine.

mike9497
11-07-2002, 04:46 PM
i use a toro 26 inch

TurfPro
11-07-2002, 06:55 PM
I hate to argue with you but your statement about internal cooling is incorrect. It is a simple fact that things happen way too fast inside of a engine for anything to condendsate. All of the cooling inside of a 2 stroke engine is by means of conduction.

Richard,

Without going into a 5 page disussion on the workings of a 2 stroke engine,you need to do some research on them,,,I've personally built in excess of 50 custom 2 stroke engines ranging from mild to wild 95hp methanol burning sand dragsters...everything from custom head design to porting and custom reed cages,alcohol carbs etc........ so I know just a thing or 2 about the workings of a 2 stroke.
Things are not happening too fast for the fuel cooling process to occur ,,although heat is also conducted via the piston rings ,thru the bore,and conducted to the cooling fins.

Here's some good reading if your interested in learning more >

http://ericgorr.com/techarticles/pistondiaguide_ta.html

http://www.macdizzy.com/2stroke.htm

TurfPro
11-07-2002, 07:14 PM
Here's a couple more I dug up,,,good reading >

http://www.engr.colostate.edu/~allan/heat_trans/page7/page7.html

http://www.engr.colostate.edu/~allan/heat_trans/page1/page1.html

kutnkru
11-07-2002, 08:16 PM
IMHO when you discuss the trim mower aspect of lawn care it should be whatever is cheapest while offering the 3-in-1 combo: Mulch/Bag/Side Discharge.

The units will probably cost you under $180 and will consist of those popular homeowner names like: Cub-Cadet/Murray/Yardman/White/MTD/Stanley etc.

As far as 2 cycle engines are concerned, I prefer the Wisconsin Robin myself.

Just my .02
Kris

Swampbeast
11-07-2002, 09:50 PM
Hey Turfpro, thanks for those sites! Lots of good stuff, I learned a thing or two!



:cool:

Richard Martin
11-08-2002, 02:54 AM
Well then TurfPro, I think I'll just take this certificate I have on the wall and throw it away. And the last time I checked there weren't a whole lotta guys on here running alcohol trimmers. As you must surely know there is a huge difference between pump gas and alcohol.

And my 2 stroke experience goes back to the mid seventies with a lot of work on Suzuki GT380s and Yamaha RD350s.

JimLewis
11-08-2002, 05:15 AM
I think most people try out a mower and then just stick with it, never having tried too many of the others on the market. So to ask a question like, "What's the best ....... to buy?" or to ask a question like you've asked may not be of much value.

I'm one of the few people who've used about every kind of 21" mower out there. And I must say the Commercial Hondas are far and away the best. That's why they cost so much.

It's like Mercedes or Rolex. When you are the best, you can charge much more than the competition. They know they are the best. And they charge accordingly. Unfortunately, a lot of LCOs don't know they are the best because they'd rather save a few hundred $ and they've never really compared what's out there.

My 2 cents.

GreginAlaska
11-08-2002, 05:57 AM
Doesn't pressure drop cause a fluid to cool? The bigger the drop, the more it cools, therefore the faster something will condense out of it?

I think so.

:blob3:

TurfPro
11-08-2002, 07:31 AM
Richard,

I've build a few Rd's myself,,nice engines for their time..I really prefer the RZ's though,,liquid cooled and all. And I'm sure you knew I was just using the methanol as an example of what I've done,,not suggesting people use it in their string trimmers :rolleyes: .

A wise man once told me " Once you think you know everything you'll never learn anything "

There are more than 1 type of heat transfer going on inside your "simple" 2 stroke engine at any given moment. Why do you think that if you run your 2 stroke way lean on gas ,it sticks the piston??Ahhh,,,,the piston got hot,expanded,and stuck in the bore. So,all certificates aside what must be cooling it???

I don't want to argue,I just thought I'd throw a bit of helpful info out there about oil/gas ratios and possibly keep someone from causing damage to their expensive equipment.

This is my last post on this subject since it's so far of topic.

If you would like to learn more about 2 stroke theory, read some of the links I posted ,or go here >

http://www.macdizzy.com/2stroke.htm

Happy reading

ProMo
11-08-2002, 07:48 AM
i string the only yard i cant get a wb through the gate. on 2 cycle oil im confused i have a boat motor that was given to me its a mercury kiefleiger probably 1940 something, it says to mix with 10w40 guy thought it was seized but the pull cord has wire going through it and it was hanging up it ran for a second before i cleaned out the carb im ready to put it on my boat but leary of 10w40 for 2 cycle

KLMlawn
11-08-2002, 09:59 AM
Smallest mowers I have are 36" Exmark Metro and Wright Stander ... can't really see the need for a trim mower seeing as I am very proficient with a string trimmer and I mow close with my machines. Smallest Prop's I have are 1/5 acre (with no steep slopes) and I can get those machine just about everywhere. If I can't get my machines thru the gate I don't take the account ... honestly I have maybe turned down a half dozen estimates for this reason in the last 5 years ... I don't think I am loosing much.
I will say I have 3 lawnboys sitting in storage though ...

LAWnENFORCER
11-08-2002, 10:21 AM
I Have a Snapper with a 5hp Kaw. It's old but tough as hell.

Kevin

Richard Martin
11-08-2002, 12:48 PM
TurfPro wrote:

Why do you think that if you run your 2 stroke way lean on gas ,it sticks the piston??Ahhh,,,,the piston got hot,expanded,and stuck in the bore.

When you lean an engine out it increases the burn temps. It's the same as if you use a bellows on an old blacksmiths fire. The more air you add, the hotter it gets.

TurfPro
11-08-2002, 02:02 PM
This is my last post on this subject since it's so far of topic

Do some research ,,,,,,nuff said :rolleyes:

TurfPro
11-08-2002, 02:20 PM
Well almost my last post,,,,:p
heres some more info for you to digest >

All other things being equal, rich mixture runs cool.
The maximum heat energy comes from a complete burn of a stochiometric mixture. When the mixture is rich, there is less air than is needed - and a little less than there would be if the mixture was correct- and so either some fuel remains unburnt or the fuel is only partially burnt- the hydrogen bits go but the carbon is left as elementary carbon. The real power comes from burning the carbon in the second stage- so the engine runs cool from a basic thermodynamic point of view. In addition unburnt fuel in liquid form will be evaporated by the internal temperature, and this will absorb even more heat. - Even cooler!

Richard all I'm going to say is read thru some of the links I posted,,you'll find them interesting,,,and you'll learn something too! :D
Don't blindly reject something because it doesn't fit into your preconcived notions.
Have a nice day

Rhett
11-08-2002, 02:49 PM
The ever popular murray 21 high wheel and my favorite, an ancient snapper high vac self propelled with a 3.5 briggs. Thing cuts and bags about the best I have had.

bommaritro
11-08-2002, 03:00 PM
My home mower is an old 21" Toro which came with the house when I bought it. I belive it is a 5.5 HP Briggs and Stration. I found it in the garage when I cleaned it out. The only thing I had to do with was sharpen the blade, change the oil, and clean out the carb. Once all that was done added some fresh gas and one pull later she was purring. I just bought a 36" and a 48" walk behind so I am proably going to add her to my trailer for small jobs.

Ron

mcambrose
11-09-2002, 09:14 PM
Originally posted by ilovethisgame
21" Toro proline 2 cycle w/ bbc. If you can find a better 21" mower buy it, or come back to reality and just buy the proline.

-Dave:D

Do the Toro's have the clutch so the blade can be stopped? That is what I like best about my honda. My Honda is too slow.

lawn dawg
11-09-2002, 09:33 PM
LB Landscaping,
Have to agree 110%.
Snappers are the best ones for me.
One with a side discharge, and the other with a bagger.
"If it ain't broke, don't fix it".

ilovethisgame
11-09-2002, 09:34 PM
Yes they do but, not after this year on their 2 cycle mowers. The four cycles will continue to come w/ bbc.

-Dave