PDA

View Full Version : Which mower would you buy?


amr40509
11-08-2012, 10:18 AM
I hate to ask a question that has been asked a thousand times (and I have spent a great deal of time reading old threads here and searching already) - but I'm looking for the right mower for my situation.

Typical city lot, just under 1/3 acre (with a house on a good chunk of it). Somewhat of hill leading to the back yard (basement lot) but nothing too bad.

It will have a fence soon but I'm going to have one of the gates be a large double gate.

I already have a cheap 21" Craftsman push mower, Stihl KM90R with the straight edger and string trimmer, and an Echo blower - so I have the trim work taken care of.

What mower would you buy?

I don't want something huge due to garage space (I want to park it in front of my truck, so it can't be super wide, but it's not like a 61"Z is a fit for this yard anyways). I guess budget is always a concern to some degree, but I'm not really too restricted by it. I think something under $2500 would be ideal if I had to put a number on it.

I'm kind of leaning in the direction of a Snapper RER (either 28" Hi-Vac 12.5hp or 33" Hi-Vac 17.5hp - both using the Ninja mulcher kit). I grew up spending a LOT of hours cutting 8ish acres every week with a 8hp 28" one (later upgraded to a 11hp when then 8 wore out). Would this be a good solution for this small yard, or is there a reason a small lawn tractor style would make more sense?

macgyver_GA
11-08-2012, 10:29 AM
Buy a used 36" commercial walk behind. Far far superior cut to lawn tractor or RER and much faster.

I maintain 17 properties and they are all small postage stamp lots <1/4 acre. I run a Snapper pro 36" WB with a sulky and I can knock them out in no time. I almost double my productivity compared to running a 21" push mower.

I bought mine used about 3 years ago for $1k. I plan on buying a brand new hydro model in the spring.

I recently helped my uncle prep his yard to aerate and overseed and it needed to be cut shorter before we aerated. He has a lawn tractor and was amazed when it only took me about 20 minutes to cut his yard that usually takes him 35-40 minutes with his rider.

RAlmaroad
11-08-2012, 05:33 PM
How old are you? Age will determine a lot of what you'll be satisfied with. A good walk behind self-propelled Snapper 21" will all but eliminate trim and have a beautiful cut also. I have a Scag and Kabota, but I mow 4-5 acres. The Scag has a beautiful cut which compares with that pretty cut of the Snapper. Artistically a small 21" cut on a well manicured lawn is beautiful.

amr40509
11-11-2012, 06:28 AM
How old are you? Age will determine a lot of what you'll be satisfied with. A good walk behind self-propelled Snapper 21" will all but eliminate trim and have a beautiful cut also. I have a Scag and Kabota, but I mow 4-5 acres. The Scag has a beautiful cut which compares with that pretty cut of the Snapper. Artistically a small 21" cut on a well manicured lawn is beautiful.

31 years old, wife + kid, business owner so I work a lot.

IS500Z
11-11-2012, 08:41 AM
For a small lawn a walk behind will be as fast as any rider. I would look at a good quality 21-inch from companies such as Honda, Toro, Snapper, or Ariens. It depends what dealers carry in your area and which model fits you specific needs. You should also decide whether you plan to discharge, mulch, or bag. Some of the mowers will perform better in one area than in another. For example the more expensive Honda's rear discharge. I have always found rear discharge to be a bit of a pain to work with as a lot of the clippings end up on you. They work well in both mulch and bagging mode.

JCLawn and more
11-11-2012, 09:23 AM
32inch snapper commercial walk behind would fit your needs.
Posted via Mobile Device

amr40509
11-12-2012, 06:48 AM
So I've been scouring Craigslist / eBay - there isn't much out there. Lots of 48" walk behinds, but not much smaller. Would this scare you http://lexington.craigslist.org/grd/3374001534.html

JCLawn and more
11-12-2012, 08:50 AM
Not at all. Not much to go wrong it. The engine maybe depending on how many hrs on it but I'd buy that.
Posted via Mobile Device

amr40509
11-14-2012, 11:18 AM
Give what I've said - What do you think of the option of changing gears completely and getting a Honda HRX217HYA?

For my yard type, would this really be any slower? From a cut quality standpoint...what do you think, is there anything better ?

Keep in mind that I am a mulcher.

JCLawn and more
11-14-2012, 11:28 AM
From a quality stand point unless you out there every 3 days in the spring going slow and taking most of your morning or evening to mow your lawn and leaving squigly 21 inch lines then ya it would work fine.
Posted via Mobile Device

amr40509
11-14-2012, 11:38 AM
Thoughts?

http://lexington.craigslist.org/grd/3352473396.html

JCLawn and more
11-14-2012, 11:45 AM
Honestly if your gonna go that rout go simplicity. They have a very nice consumer walk behind with a single hydro and a heavy deck. The front tires on that will give you fits and the deck is farly thin on the one you just put up. It would last a few years but not much more. Here is a link http://www.simplicitymfg.com/products/lawn-and-garden-products/pacer/
Posted via Mobile Device

IS500Z
11-14-2012, 11:49 AM
The Simplicity is a Ferris painted orange so if you do go for a smaller walk behind and you do not have a Simplicity dealer nearby look for one selling Ferris mowers.

JCLawn and more
11-14-2012, 11:53 AM
The Simplicity is a Ferris painted orange so if you do go for a smaller walk behind and you do not have a Simplicity dealer nearby look for one selling Ferris mowers.

Its different. This is a single hydro and a thinner deck and about $1000 cheaper. I think its about $2100 for that unit new if I recall right.
Posted via Mobile Device

amr40509
11-14-2012, 12:45 PM
For my style of use - is there a compelling reason to go up to the Ferris class of mower? In a yard my size, we are talking about running it for what...30min a week during mowing season here in Kentucky, so probably 15hrs a year?

I don't have any personal experience with Simplicity, but we do have a local dealer and from dealing with them on some other stuff, they seem to be a good bunch.

My parents do have a Ferris (I think its a 2000z) and have been really happy with it (it's roughly 5 years old). But they are mowing 10ish acres (since they got the Ferris the line where it goes from yard to field keeps getting pushed back each year - so they must like it).

JCLawn and more
11-14-2012, 12:53 PM
Simplicy, snapper, ferris, and a few more are owned by brigs now. You really don't have a reason to go ferris but I would not go mtd quality either. Also if you want a garden tractor the simplicity garden tractors leave a cut that beats most ztr's. I liked the pacer when I saw it. A good solid machine and easy to use unlike the belt drives.
Posted via Mobile Device

IS500Z
11-14-2012, 02:09 PM
Its different. This is a single hydro and a thinner deck and about $1000 cheaper. I think its about $2100 for that unit new if I recall right.
Posted via Mobile Device

The Ferris Hydrocut is a single hydro as well. The deck might be thinner than the one produced by Ferris though.

For the OP's lawn I think a good quality 21-inch would be all that is needed. For a 1/3 acre lot you might be mowing an 1/8 of an acre. A larger mower will not save you that much time and might be more of a hassle in turning if there is a lot of landscaping.

rbljack
11-14-2012, 02:28 PM
I picked up a Honda Commercial HRC 216 mower for all my lawns currently which are smaller lots like you are talking about. Its not cheap, BUT its not as expensive as a newer walk behind either. As long as you mulch or bag. For about 1250 bucks, you will have a hydrostatic walk behind mower with rear wheel drive and a honda engine that should last for a very long time as a homeowner unit. You can buy brand new, so there is no worry about how beat up a used model is, and you get a warranty.

If you want speed, get a 32 or 36 walk behind. If you want it to look REALLY good, keep it mowed with that 21 inch honda, and keep your lines straight. It cuts VERY well with the micro cut system. Ive only had mine for a month or so now, but the cut quality is very good. It will have problems in very tall wet grass, but thats the only downside ive seen so far. Thats my two cents, and good luck with your decision. Oh..and if that exmark metro was for sale in my area, I'd DEFINITLY be taking a look at that one too ( i need a bigger mower to go with my honda...LOL).


Oh, and then there is that new Toro Tuffmaster 30" commercial unit thats coming out. I havent seen it cut yet, but it looks interesting. I think the price is going to be around 1700 bucks, but dont quote me on that. Just another option to muddy the water.

JCLawn and more
11-14-2012, 02:28 PM
Ya I remembered that after I put that. Its still a gob cheaper. If the lawn was that tiny I don't think he would be asking what to buy because he would only be limited to a puch mower. You also can't beat a reel mower :D
Posted via Mobile Device

kawasaki guy
11-20-2012, 07:15 AM
I see 36" scags for $995 on craigslist where I am.

kawasaki guy
11-20-2012, 07:30 AM
If you can wait until January, Exmark is coming out with a new 30" mower that is like a 21. It will be called the "Commercial 30" I believe. :)

kawasaki guy
11-20-2012, 07:33 AM
also, I have a 21" Snapper Hi-Vac and I love it. :)

turfbuilder
11-20-2012, 09:31 AM
If you can afford one I'd go with a 36" Wright Stander. That would be your best investment. Time is money.........