My Mower Won't Die - But I Need A New One - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 41 Old 08-15-2012, 08:52 AM Thread Starter
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My Mower Won't Die - But I Need A New One

When we bought this house we needed a lawn mower. A good friend of mine had a John Deere that he gave me. It was just sitting in his garage, with a broken transmission. He used it for 10 years, and found out it would cost $250 to fix it. So, instead he bought an upgraded one from that model. After several more years, that one's transmission broke and gave me that one too.

Well I took the transmission out of the first one and been using it for 12 years as a push mower. It's a great mower, starts on the first or second pull. Wifey says now I need to get a self propelled one, as I have a few health issues that may lay me out prone in the middle of the cut.

I would like a self propelled, rear drive (maybe larger wheels), electric start, adjustable throttle, (speed control), folding handle, with mulching capabilities. Advice will be appreciated.





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post #2 of 41 Old 08-15-2012, 09:38 AM
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I've had a Toro for the past 5 years that I love. It's got the key start (just need to remember to charge the battery every now and then) and is self paced... meaning you push it at your speed, you push on the handle and it goes. It takes a little getting used to from that aspect but it's great once you are used to it.

Pretty sure it's a Toro, when I get home, I'll look again. It's red, lol.

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post #3 of 41 Old 08-15-2012, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cabinetman View Post
When we bought this house we needed a lawn mower. A good friend of mine had a John Deere that he gave me. It was just sitting in his garage, with a broken transmission. He used it for 10 years, and found out it would cost $250 to fix it. So, instead he bought an upgraded one from that model. After several more years, that one's transmission broke and gave me that one too.

Well I took the transmission out of the first one and been using it for 12 years as a push mower. It's a great mower, starts on the first or second pull. Wifey says now I need to get a self propelled one, as I have a few health issues that may lay me out prone in the middle of the cut.

I would like a self propelled, rear drive (maybe larger wheels), electric start, adjustable throttle, (speed control), folding handle, with mulching capabilities. Advice will be appreciated.





.
Have you used a rear wheel drive mower? Several years ago I needed a new mower. I was looking for a front wheel drive mower but Sears had such a good deal on a rear wheel drive mower with a Honda engine I could not pass it up.

To make a long story short that mower went back to the store after the first use. A rear wheel drive is just too hard to maneuver if you do any thing but straight line cutting.

I got a front wheel drive just like I wanted in the first place and have been happy ever since.

George
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post #4 of 41 Old 08-15-2012, 09:55 AM
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Agreed...Toro is hard to beat...One of the best cuts in the market...Personal Pace lets you mow at whatever speed you decide to walk. Guaranteed to start by 2nd pull...Available with electric start...Aluminum deck models have 5 year bumper to bumper warranty...Available with Honda or Toro engine...Will mulch, side discharge, or bag...Rated top on mulching every year.

Roger from the Great Horicon Swamp
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post #5 of 41 Old 08-15-2012, 12:21 PM
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I have a husqvarna push mower starts first time, has big wheels in rear and is self propelled. I like it but hardly use it because a 1/2 acre in this heat is not push mower conditions. I have a 21 speed Craftsmen lawn tractor that sees allot of use.

Seeing that my wife works at sears and likes sales the husqavara cost like $190 total, normally like $500 I think. Then My $2000 lawn tractor was like $600.

As others have said Toro is hard to beat even though like everything else, they use to be better.
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post #6 of 41 Old 08-15-2012, 12:23 PM
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Agreed...Toro is hard to beat...One of the best cuts in the market...Personal Pace lets you mow at whatever speed you decide to walk. Guaranteed to start by 2nd pull...Available with electric start...Aluminum deck models have 5 year bumper to bumper warranty...Available with Honda or Toro engine...Will mulch, side discharge, or bag...Rated top on mulching every year.
Man you a toro salesmen or just heard the sales pitch lately.
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post #7 of 41 Old 08-15-2012, 12:35 PM
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My brother owns a landscaping company and I work for him a lot. A few years ago he bought a cub cadet self propelled rear wheel drive push mower. It was a PITA. You had to drag it behind you if you wanted to move it with out starting it. It broke the first year and it was only used about twice a week.
Now he has 2 Wright Stander mowers. A 36" and 48". There the best. At about $7000, they might be out of your budget but after you drive one, you'll find the money. You will want to cut the lawn twice a day.
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post #8 of 41 Old 08-15-2012, 02:04 PM Thread Starter
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I have a question on the operation of these self propelled mowers. I understand that some may be single speed (engine). The friend that gave me the John Deere's has a Toro Personal Pace he is selling, as he is moving. He's asking $150. I have no doubt that it has been well maintained. These questions may apply to that mower or a similar type.

Questions:

Is it necessary to depress some kind of lever to start the engine?

Is this lever the same one to move forward?

If so, does this lever also engage the blade or is there a separate control for that?

While the engine is running, can the blade be disengaged?

While the engine is running, can the forward motion be halted? If so, does that shut off the engine?

On rear wheel drive while cutting, can the mower be halted and backed up?

I'm concerned about narrow areas on the side of the house where a mower would have to do a two or three point turn because it's so narrow (about 12'), or can the mower be paused with the engine running and make a 180 turn? IOW, do the drive wheels pause?





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post #9 of 41 Old 08-15-2012, 03:09 PM
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Need a laugh? Try reading all these excellent questions while thinking "goat on a leash" .....
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post #10 of 41 Old 08-15-2012, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
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Need a laugh? Try reading all these excellent questions while thinking "goat on a leash" .....

I want some of whatever you're on.




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post #11 of 41 Old 08-15-2012, 04:14 PM
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I guess it depends on how much you want to spend?
I have this one cabby and I like it a lot.
http://m.homedepot.com/p/Honda-21-in...wer/100617092/

When it's rustic......it's rustic
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post #12 of 41 Old 08-15-2012, 04:15 PM
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I see I'm a few hours late to the party, but I have John Deere's version of that Toro. Basically green instead of red. Assuming the Toro is the same as the JD, I can answer those questions.

Yes, but a velcro strap will make it easier, if that's your thing.

Not the same lever, but located on the lever that makes it move, but not in a way that would make it move when you start it. Wow, ok, that made sense in my head. Hopefully your head is like mine.

The blade is connected directly to the engine. If it's running, the blade is spinning. Don't kick the cat down there.

Yes, just stop walking and it will stop with you. It keeps pace with you surprisingly well. No the engine won't shut down just because you stop walking.

Yep, just stop walking forwards and start walking backwards. You do have to pull it because it won't self-propel backwards, which is probably a good thing if you like your feet as much as I like mine.

Not entirely sure what you mean by this, but if you stop walking, it will stop moving. If you completely let go of it, it will shut off, unless you've bypassed that feature with a velcro strap, or similar. It won't fold up and turn in a space it and its handle don't fit in sideways, but I don't know of any mower that will. You can easily stop its forward motion and pull it backwards and maneuver it anywhere you like. I don't find it any less maneuverable that one that isn't self-propelled.
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post #13 of 41 Old 08-15-2012, 04:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cabinetman View Post
I have a question on the operation of these self propelled mowers. I understand that some may be single speed (engine). The friend that gave me the John Deere's has a Toro Personal Pace he is selling, as he is moving. He's asking $150. I have no doubt that it has been well maintained. These questions may apply to that mower or a similar type.

Questions:

Is it necessary to depress some kind of lever to start the engine?

Yes, there's a small lever separate from the push handle that engages the rear wheel drive
Is this lever the same one to move forward?
No
If so, does this lever also engage the blade or is there a separate control for that?
The blades turn when the motor runs
While the engine is running, can the blade be disengaged?
No
While the engine is running, can the forward motion be halted? If so, does that shut off the engine?
Yes it can, no it won't shut the engine off
On rear wheel drive while cutting, can the mower be halted and backed up?
Yes
I'm concerned about narrow areas on the side of the house where a mower would have to do a two or three point turn because it's so narrow (about 12'), or can the mower be paused with the engine running and make a 180 turn? IOW, do the drive wheels pause?
Yes, no worries there.

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Answers above in red

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post #14 of 41 Old 08-15-2012, 06:49 PM
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C-man i din't use to bag my grass, but now i do (LOML wanted it bagged). The mower i had before i started bagging grass was a Sarlo, made right here in Ft. Myers. The sarlo was by far easier to turn than any self-propelled mower i have ever owned, mainly because the engine is in the rear of the deck the blades are driven by a belt. I think the smallest they make is 22 inch. the self propell consists of two metal splined gears that run against the 22 inch rear tires
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post #15 of 41 Old 08-15-2012, 07:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cabinetman View Post
I have a question on the operation of these self propelled mowers. I understand that some may be single speed (engine). The friend that gave me the John Deere's has a Toro Personal Pace he is selling, as he is moving. He's asking $150. I have no doubt that it has been well maintained. These questions may apply to that mower or a similar type.

Questions:

Is it necessary to depress some kind of lever to start the engine?

Yes. This was a safety mandate from the federal govt some years a go.

Is this lever the same one to move forward?

No. At least not on the mowers I am familiar with.

If so, does this lever also engage the blade or is there a separate control for that?

On most walk behind mowers the blade turns when the engine is on. I know there are some models with a separate control

While the engine is running, can the blade be disengaged?

See answer above.

While the engine is running, can the forward motion be halted? If so, does that shut off the engine?

Yes. It does not shut off the engine.

On rear wheel drive while cutting, can the mower be halted and backed up?

NO. That is the problem with a rear wheel drive mower.

I'm concerned about narrow areas on the side of the house where a mower would have to do a two or three point turn because it's so narrow (about 12'), or can the mower be paused with the engine running and make a 180 turn? IOW, do the drive wheels pause?

Just too much work to do this. In theory you could but that is exactly why I returned the rear wheel drive mower.

George





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post #16 of 41 Old 08-15-2012, 07:10 PM
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I fifth the opinion on the toro self-propelled. I dont have the personal pace version (it just goes a brisk walking speed), but it still starts first pull after 3 years with zero maintenance. I think it was $290 when I got it at HD.

If you have a small yard, look into a push reel mower if you dont want it to take up a ton of apace. They work surprisingly well, and you don't have the noise. It's the equivalent of using a jack plane instead of a power planer in the lawn world :)
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post #17 of 41 Old 08-15-2012, 09:10 PM
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George, I've used a Toro self paced mower for the past several years and I have no problem halting the mower and bringing it back. I do it several times a week. I also have no problem making turns with it. Did you buy the Toro or another brand?

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post #18 of 41 Old 08-15-2012, 09:13 PM
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George, I've used a Toro self paced mower for the past several years and I have no problem halting the mower and bringing it back. I do it several times a week. I also have no problem making turns with it. Did you buy the Toro or another brand?
Was this Toro rear wheel drive?

I have tried friends rear wheel drive and liked none of them. Do not remember brands.

The one I returned was a Craftsman.

George
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post #19 of 41 Old 08-15-2012, 09:16 PM
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I fifth the opinion on the toro self-propelled. I dont have the personal pace version (it just goes a brisk walking speed), but it still starts first pull after 3 years with zero maintenance. I think it was $290 when I got it at HD.

If you have a small yard, look into a push reel mower if you dont want it to take up a ton of apace. They work surprisingly well, and you don't have the noise. It's the equivalent of using a jack plane instead of a power planer in the lawn world :)
Reel mowers typically do not work well on a typical Florida lawn. Too much cushion under the mower and the grasses are the crawling type. It would probably work with a Bermuda lawn.

George
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post #20 of 41 Old 08-15-2012, 10:08 PM
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Yep, my Toro is a rear wheel drive and I love it. To be fair I like the front wheel drive Craftsman I had before as well, but this one is head and shoulders above it.

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