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best "cheap" push mower

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by tacoma200, Apr 19, 2008.

  1. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,426

    I will probably have to eventually get another push mower. It will be a side discharge no bagging. Since I only use it for a couple of hours a month I don't need a commercial mower. Just a cheap one that has adjustable cutting height and starts easy. I have no reason to put much money into one, it just need to start. So who makes the best of the Lowes, Sears, Wally World push mowers.
  2. yungman

    yungman LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Calif.
    Messages: 1,274

    I have the top of the line Troy Bilt TB836 from Lowes. NO GOOD. So rule out this one!!! I'll go for Honda engine next time, I change oil after only 4 to 5 hours, the oil look silverish black!!!! Might look good on a car!!!! People told me it is a sign of a cheap engine (Brigg Quantum 125 hours stuff). Second oil change looked better. Always jam inside if the grass is wet and have to flip it over to clear it. The electric start is absolutely useless.

    If you want to go cheap, go really cheap. I think self propel just make it heavier. I think pushing it is really not that bad except when turning around.:laugh:
  3. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,426

    The only reason I need a small push mower is that I have to carry it over obstacles to get small patches of lawn that have no gate access. It will get very limited use but it needs to start well and like I said have adjustable mowing heights. I don't think a Honda would be cost effective because it will be sitting more than it is being used. But I thought someone might know if one brand had better wheels, and held up generally better than another cheap push mower. Craftsman $139 is on the list. I have a piece of junk Murray right now but it is light and I can carry it easy and throw it in the bed of the pickup. If it had adjustable wheels I would just use it but you have to take the bolts out each time to adjust the wheels. Sometime all you need is a home owner model. I can't see buying a Honda or Toro for a couple of hours running a month.
  4. huskres

    huskres LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 283

    try finding a used lawnboy 10323 or similar...on ebay they are ridiculous but i found two for 100 bucks each. They are 6.5hp and are pretty fast and so easy to work on. Ya they would be used but they will last longer than a craftsman or similar.
  5. yungman

    yungman LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Calif.
    Messages: 1,274

    Sorry!!! I did not expect cheap is $150 cheap!!!:laugh: You know how this place is, cheap usually mean Echo SRM211 or Stihl FS55 cheap, not Ryobi cheap:laughing::laughing::laughing:

    I agree, if that is what you want, you can even go to Home Crapo, they have customer returned stuff or discontinued stuff for really really cheap!! I I don't think you can go wrong with Craftsman low end stuff, they sell so many of them they got to be not too bad. Only thing is you have to go to their outlet to get return items. :waving:
    If you want me to, I have membership to online Consumer Report I can check the rating. What you want is right in line with their specialty.
  6. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,426

    I buy about the best of everything usually but for 2 hours a month I don't need an expensive push mower. I need a disposable one. It will probably never see 50 hrs with me using it.
  7. olde_blue

    olde_blue LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 349

    The things to look for in a cheap push mower (brand doesn't matter much, except for the engine):

    #1: Engine. I'd go for a flat-head Briggs. The ones with the suction carburetors, rather than the gravity feed carbs, seem to be less trouble (although lower horsepower). I've had problems with Tecumsehs (tend to throw rods), OHV Briggs (probably not found on cheap mowers), and I wouldn't touch the Chinese engine that they are putting on some entry level mowers now. I love the OHC Honda GC series engines (except the carb), but you probably won't find one on a simple, side discharge mower. Make sure it has enough power depending on how thick of grass you cut, 4.5 hp should be more than adequate for side discharge work, although 3.5 hp will do.

    #2: Handle. If you are mowing on hills, it will take allot of abuse. Make sure you can bolt it upright to keep it from folding on you. Make sure it isn't too flimsy, and its attachment bracket is strong. Keep an eye out for junk lawn mowers in the trash--salvage an extra handle from a similar mower to replace yours when it breaks. An extra OPS cable is handy to have, too,

    #4: Wheel adjusters. Preferably, they will adjust on the 1/4 inch and aren't so flimsy that they wheels will adjust themselves when you hit a bump!

    #5: Availability of parts/service & warranty. Parts are probably not a big deal on a "disposable" lawnmower, but here I've had good luck with Sears (abet, they have high prices). Get your engine parts and wheels from hardware stores, small engine shops, etc.

    The wheels themselves will be junk on any cheap lawn mower; you just replace them as the wear out or crack.
  8. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,426

    Good enough.
  9. yungman

    yungman LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Calif.
    Messages: 1,274

    Home Crapo or Lowes, customer return, the ones sitting outside the parking lot!!!!!
  10. bigclawn

    bigclawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 413

    Best & Cheap do not belong in the same sentence--and on this particular subject not even worth the time! We are business people and we should be able to make SIMPLE decisions and purchases like this without posting athread on it!!!!

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