Tips for Buying a New Lawn Mower in Jacksonville, Florida

When it’s time to buy a new lawn mower, and you live in the Jacksonville, Florida area, here are a few tips to help deciding which to choose.

Depending on the type of grass you’ve chosen for your lawn, the mild winters we enjoy in northeast Florida mean you may be using your lawn mower from late fall to early spring, to keep your slowly growing lawn from looking shaggy and uneven. And if you do use your lawn mower year-around, buying a lawn mower to suit your needs is even more important.

There are basically two types of “Walk Behind” Lawn Mowers:

side discharge lawn mower1. Push-type Lawn Mowers

The operator provides the power to move these lawn mowers, and can burn off a good amount of energy while mowing an average lawn.

Many lawn mowers have Safety Brakes installed on the handle bar, so that when the Brake lever is released, the blade stops.

Cut Width of the lawn mower tells how wide a path of grass will be cut by each pass of the lawn mower; the wider the cut, the less trips it takes to mow the lawn.

Height adjustment levers (usually one at each wheel) allow the operator to adjust the height of the lawn mower cutting blade; cutting too close to the ground can hurt the grass, cutting too high can mean shorter times between mowing.

Recoil start lawn mowers have a traditional rope which is pulled by the operator to turn the engine over and start the engine. Electric started mowers are started by turning a key to complete an electrical ciruit and start the mower engine with a small battery which is mounted on the lawn mower. Recoil start lawn mowers take more physical energy to start. While it is much easier to turn the key for an electric start lawn mower, the lawn mower batter will need periodic maintenance to provide easy starting. Many electric start mowers have recoil start capability, in the event the battery runs down.

Side discharge lawn mowers are the most common, basic lawn mowers; as grass is cut, clippings are ejected to the side of the mower, left to settle to the ground and decay back into and nourish the soil. Rear discharge lawn mowers are also known as rear bag lawn mowers, because the grass clippings are discharged to the rear of the lawn mower deck, into a removable bag. When the rear bag is sufficiently filled, the clippings can be dumped into a compost heap or recycled by the community, with other yard waste. Rear (bag) discharge lawn mowers tend to leave the lawn with a cleaner appearance, as apposed to the layer of clippings left on a lawn by side discharge lawn mowers.

Troy-Bilt Lawn Mower with Briggs and Stratton small engine.2.  Self Propelled Lawn Mowers

The lawn mower propels itself, the operator has to steer the lawn mower. The operator still uses energy to steer the mower over the lawn. If the lawn to be mowed is medium to large in size, a self-propelled lawn mower can be a real asset.

Some self propelled lawn mowers have swivel wheels at the front of the mower deck, which makes the mower easier to maneuver.

Cut Width of the lawn mower tells how wide a path of grass will be cut by each pass of the lawn mower; the wider the cut, the less trips it takes to mow the lawn.

Height adjustment levers (usually one at each wheel) allow the operator to adjust the height of the lawn mower cutting blade; cutting too close to the ground can hurt the grass, cutting too high can mean shorter times between mowing.

Rear wheel drive gives better traction control and maneuverability than front wheel drive self-propelled lawn mowers, because the operator has to lift the front wheels of the lawn mower to make a turn.

Adjustable speed settings allow the operator to speed up or slow down the speed the mower is going over the lawn, to meet the conditions of the lawn, and to help the operator find a suitable, maintainable pace for mowing.

Recoil start lawn mowers have a traditional rope which is pulled by the operator to turn the engine over and start the engine. Electric started mowers are started by turning a key to complete an electrical ciruit and start the mower engine with a small battery which is mounted on the lawn mower. Recoil start lawn mowers take more physical energy to start. While it is much easier to turn the key for an electric start lawn mower, the lawn mower batter will need periodic maintenance to provide easy starting. Many electric start mowers have recoil start capability, in the event the battery runs down.

Many self-propelled lawn mowers have an engine shut off built into the handle bar, so that when the operator lets go, the engine shuts off. It’s a good safety feature.

Many lawn mowers also have Safety Brakes installed on the handle bar, so that when the Brake lever is released, the blade stops.

Which ever lawn mower you buy, to keep it running like new, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for periodic maintenance.