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Guide to Buying Your Next Lawnmower

Do you hate mowing the lawn? You're not alone. Many people dread this chore, especially if they're using an old, outdated mower to complete the task. The good news, though, is that the newer mowers that are available make cutting the grass fairly painless--and sometimes even enjoyable. You just have to pick the right lawn mower. So to help you, here is our handy shopper's guide.

1) A good guideline to remember is that you need a 20 - 22 inch mower if you have less than half an acre to mow. If you a half to three-quarters of an acre, you should go with a 21 - 22 inch mower range, but with more horsepower.  If you have more than three-quarters of an acre, you need a riding lawn mower.

2) If your lawn has hills on it, buy a self-propelled mower that has high wheels. Otherwise, pushing the mower up the hills will be quite a task.

3) If you have trees on your property that "leave" a lot of "leaves," then consider buying a mower with a bag on the rear, to help keep the lawn tidy.

4) If you can afford it, consider buying a mower with some of these features, as they will make the chore of cutting the grass much easier:

  • A mulcher: This is a feature that will cut all grass clippings and leaves into tiny pieces, allowing them to be dispersed on the lawn as fertilizer. This keeps you from needing to bag the clippings, and instead uses them for a constructive purpose
  • A rear bag: This will collect all of the grass clippings in a bag (hence the name) in case you don't want to use them as fertilizer.  This way, there's no need to rake up the grass. Also, the bagger will prevent a build-up of grass around trees and fences. This will give your lawn a much nicer, cleaner look. Also a rear bag makes the mower more maneuverable than a mulcher.
  • A Side discharge:  This is another way of dealing with grass clippings. In this case, they are forced out from the lawn mower and back onto the lawn.  This is for people who don't mind raking or the discharge from the side.
  • Convertible: No, this doesn't mean you have a retractable roof. It means you can convert the mower from a side-discharge feature to that of a rear bagger.  This way, you can bag the clippings, mulch them, or disperse them with the side discharge, as you see fit.

When you go shopping for your lawn mower, you'll find some that are already completely assembled, and others that you'll have to put together yourself when you get it home.  Obviously the easiest option is to buy one already assembled right in the box. This way, all you have to do is take it home, add gasoline, and start cutting. However, these generally cost a bit more, so you'll need to decide if the convenience is worth the extra cost.

Finally you'll need to choose what kind of engine you want. For instance, an overhead valve engine will create a clean, cool operation that is extremely fuel-efficient.  A dual clean air filter will give you twice as much protection and extend your engine's lifespan. Finally, a Compact V-Twin engine will reduce vibration and help your mower operate more smoothly.

Armed with this information, hopefully you'll be better prepared to buy the right mower. And hopefully by doing so, cutting your grass will be less of a chore and more of a positive experience.

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