Let’s say that your property is on the average North American sized lot – either 33X100 or 50×130. For homes this size, you really don’t need anything else but a walk behind mower. Properties larger in size would do well to handle a riding mower for sure.

Most recently, Consumer Reports did a big study (and I mean BIG) with 50 mowers that included electric and gas. The reviews had a ton of factors including how well and evenly the mowers cut the grass. Included in this landmark study were the maintenance histories of the various brands by type of mower.

Anyway, I’ve always liked Consumer Reports. They’re kind of a grass roots organization that people trust …sort of. The reason I say “sort of”, is because there were some shortcomings in this study. For example, it didn’t address noise or any eco-friendly considerations of the gas mowers.

You don’t have to get the report because most of the information is available on line, but what they concluded is that the cost of the lawn mower had little to do with how well it lasted or cut grass. This came as a surprise to me.

If you look at the longitudinal data for lawnmower lifespan, you’ll find that for a lawn the size of the one above (the average lawn), then last around five to six years. From there people either sell the old one and buy new or used. The key here is to understand the relationship between the lawnmower dealer / service network and the users of those brands.

It should come as no surprise that the best, most reliable option are the push mowers. Brands like Scotts and Craftsman are the most well known. Kept in good shape and sharp – they can last twenty years or more.

The report concluded the finest brands to consider are Toro and Honda, with John Deere a close third. I really like John Deere and have found them to be a great long term player.

Of course every lawn mower is going to have its issues. Some are too loud, some have rear-bag issues, some don’t hold enough gas. Some are really easy to start – other aren’t. None are perfect.

For small lawns, I happen to really like push or “reel” mowers because they are eco-friendly and they actually CUT the grass with a scissor like effect. Whereas the rotary blade sort of whacks the grass off, creating less of an accurate cut.

About the Author: Jackson is a lawn mower repairman and true advocate of lawn mower maintenance. Before you buy a used lawn mower in any design, especially used riding mowers.

Hippie yet?
First time to use one. After reading reviews, seemed like the way to go. After first use, yes it was. Highly recommend ditching your gas or electric beast.
By Brewcaster on 2008-03-29 12:19:45
tags{amazon|100|campaign}7 Gang Reel Mower SAVE GAS and Healthy Grass.

This is a 7 GANG reel attachment system that pulls behind your mower.