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Old 04-16-2011, 10:47 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrPizza View Post

Also, in regards to lxskllr's "1/4 hour to mow 1/4 acre with one of those" - It's amusing how people have no clue how big a 1/4 acre is. An acre is roughly the size of a football field (not including the endzones.) A football field is 100 yards by 53 1/3 yards or 5333 square yards. An acre is 4840 square yards. I don't think that 4 guys with reel mowers are going to mow an entire football field in 15 minutes. 4840/4 = 1210 square yards. That means, if you had a 3 foot wide lawnmower, and never had to turn around - could just mow one long 3 foot wide strip equivalent to 1/4 acre, you'd have to walk 1210 yards - more than 2/3 of a mile. The narrower your mower gets, the farther you have to walk. Add in all the turns, and either get a better sense of estimates for areas, else a riding mower. Get an older, used one. The new ones are crap.
That was a 1/2 hour to mow a 1/4ac, and that's from experience mowing my 1ac lot ;^)
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Old 04-16-2011, 11:08 PM   #27
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I have about 1/3 acre and I have an older Craftsman Rider. I used to cut it all with my Toro push mower which has been GREAT but an anniversary gift from the father-in-law (the craftsman rider) drastically reduced my mow time.
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Old 04-16-2011, 11:24 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lxskllr View Post
That was a 1/2 hour to mow a 1/4ac, and that's from experience mowing my 1ac lot ;^)
You might have a 1 acre lot, but you're not mowing 1 acre of grass in 2 hours with a reel mower. Not happening.
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Old 04-17-2011, 08:28 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alkemyst
anyone above actually live on their own and/or make more than $20/hr?


Quote:
Originally Posted by lxskllr View Post
That was a 1/2 hour to mow a 1/4ac, and that's from experience mowing my 1ac lot ;^)
It depends on many factors, such as number of obstacles, etc. It takes me about 90 minutes to mow (with a push mower) and trim my 1/2 acre lawn. I have a fenced backyard along with about 12 trees and a few flower beds to go around, along with an area behind my fence that is hilly and has bushes and plants.
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Old 04-17-2011, 08:32 AM   #30
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Thanks, I'll keep this in mind. I'll probably stick with self-propelled push mowers then.



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Originally Posted by DrPizza View Post
A $2000 John Deere riding mower is a piece of shit made in China under license by John Deere and sold at a box store, unless you're talking about getting a used riding mower. I've seen some great ones go for about $2k. The problem with riding mowers in box stores is similar to what sort of happened here and there in the digital camera market. With digital cameras, everyone was "ohhhhhh, look at all the megapixels!" So, a few camera makers made cameras with high megapixels and crappy lenses, and all you got were finely detailed blur. Riding mowers went the same way with horsepower. "ohhhh, this riding mower has eleventy hundred HP!" As a result, the box stores are getting more and more horsepower in the motors and cutting corners everywhere else. The mowing decks are getting thinner and thinner, and they're being made from more and more plastic.

Also, in regards to lxskllr's "1/4 hour to mow 1/4 acre with one of those" - It's amusing how people have no clue how big a 1/4 acre is. An acre is roughly the size of a football field (not including the endzones.) A football field is 100 yards by 53 1/3 yards or 5333 square yards. An acre is 4840 square yards. I don't think that 4 guys with reel mowers are going to mow an entire football field in 15 minutes. 4840/4 = 1210 square yards. That means, if you had a 3 foot wide lawnmower, and never had to turn around - could just mow one long 3 foot wide strip equivalent to 1/4 acre, you'd have to walk 1210 yards - more than 2/3 of a mile. The narrower your mower gets, the farther you have to walk. Add in all the turns, and either get a better sense of estimates for areas, else a riding mower. Get an older, used one. The new ones are crap.
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Old 04-17-2011, 08:40 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrPizza View Post
A $2000 John Deere riding mower is a piece of shit made in China under license by John Deere and sold at a box store, unless you're talking about getting a used riding mower. I've seen some great ones go for about $2k. The problem with riding mowers in box stores is similar to what sort of happened here and there in the digital camera market. With digital cameras, everyone was "ohhhhhh, look at all the megapixels!" So, a few camera makers made cameras with high megapixels and crappy lenses, and all you got were finely detailed blur. Riding mowers went the same way with horsepower. "ohhhh, this riding mower has eleventy hundred HP!" As a result, the box stores are getting more and more horsepower in the motors and cutting corners everywhere else. The mowing decks are getting thinner and thinner, and they're being made from more and more plastic.

Also, in regards to lxskllr's "1/4 hour to mow 1/4 acre with one of those" - It's amusing how people have no clue how big a 1/4 acre is. An acre is roughly the size of a football field (not including the endzones.) A football field is 100 yards by 53 1/3 yards or 5333 square yards. An acre is 4840 square yards. I don't think that 4 guys with reel mowers are going to mow an entire football field in 15 minutes. 4840/4 = 1210 square yards. That means, if you had a 3 foot wide lawnmower, and never had to turn around - could just mow one long 3 foot wide strip equivalent to 1/4 acre, you'd have to walk 1210 yards - more than 2/3 of a mile. The narrower your mower gets, the farther you have to walk. Add in all the turns, and either get a better sense of estimates for areas, else a riding mower. Get an older, used one. The new ones are crap.
thank you.

to many are talking like 1/4 acre is tiny. its rather a decent size lot. hell of a lot bigger then many sub-divisions use.

for that size i would look for a good self-propelled or a good small rider.

also..no way is anyone push mowing 1/4th acre in half an hour. unless there is very little lawn.
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Old 04-17-2011, 09:11 AM   #32
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Yeah...many around here think they have 1/4 acres as standard when the lot sizes are much much less. a standard lot is usually not even a 1/5 acre.
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Old 04-17-2011, 09:19 AM   #33
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Yeah...many around here think they have 1/4 acres as standard when the lot sizes are much much less. a standard lot is usually not even a 1/5 acre.
When your lot is that small your lawn is pretty darn tiny because of how much room your house, driveway, patio, etc take up.

I've got a lot a bit larger than a 1/4 acre but I'm in Arizona so I chose to limit the grass to only a portion of the backyard, everything else is gravel. I had to pay to put in the sprinkler system so keeping it small was cheaper, and less grass means my water bill is smaller too. The best part is that I can mow what I have in 15 minutes.
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Old 04-17-2011, 09:32 AM   #34
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Yeah...many around here think they have 1/4 acres as standard when the lot sizes are much much less. a standard lot is usually not even a 1/5 acre.
some are even smaller. i looked at on sub-division that was 1/7 on avarage. that was tiny. no real front yard and the back was a joke. just big enough for a patio and play set.

then you consider these are 2k-3k sq ft houses.
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Old 04-17-2011, 09:50 AM   #35
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When your lot is that small your lawn is pretty darn tiny because of how much room your house, driveway, patio, etc take up.

I've got a lot a bit larger than a 1/4 acre but I'm in Arizona so I chose to limit the grass to only a portion of the backyard, everything else is gravel. I had to pay to put in the sprinkler system so keeping it small was cheaper, and less grass means my water bill is smaller too. The best part is that I can mow what I have in 15 minutes.
That is not a problem , the problem would be you going on record saying "I have much more than a 1/4 acre and can mow mine in 15 mins"

There are a lot of morons like that here, they simply do not understand the question they are being asked. I think with these lawn threads they are just so excited about getting a twenty from dad.
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Old 04-17-2011, 10:28 AM   #36
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Thanks, I'll keep this in mind. I'll probably stick with self-propelled push mowers then.
You don't have to avoid riding mowers altogether. I don't know what you have around you, but a great place to ask about riding mowers would be a repair shop. (Out in the rural areas, there are usually a couple of guys who do repairs on the side.) The same is true of push mowers though - go to walmart and you can practically carry their mowers out in a box tucked under one arm. Even if the motors are good, that doesn't do you a lot of good if the body is going to rust out from underneath in 6 or 7 years. My current mower is a Cub Cadet (the real Cub Cadet) from the 1970's. It's only 12 HP, but built like a tank.

One thing that's amazing, and I pointed this out in another thread on this topic, is that even with the same brand and model, there are incredible differences in quality depending on where you purchase the mower. I had a John Deere that came from a farm equipment dealer, and the identical model from Home Depot. From the equipment dealer, the transmission was twice the size, the transmission casing was thicker and stronger; most parts were metal. From the HD, the steering housing and a lot of the steering parts were plastic - I discovered this when I bumped into a small 3" stump sticking out of the ground and broke the steering. The equipment store steering was far stronger.
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Old 04-17-2011, 10:38 AM   #37
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Old 04-17-2011, 11:50 AM   #38
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There is a Black & Decker 36 volt mower on Amazon gold box today, it has pretty good reviews.
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Old 04-17-2011, 01:24 PM   #39
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I love my reel mower. Virtually no maintenance, no noise, and my 9 year old can mow the lawn. (As such, I don't really care how hard it is to push. But it isn't hard to push.)
But for 1/4 acre? Get a decent self propelled.
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Old 04-17-2011, 02:00 PM   #40
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I love my reel mower. Virtually no maintenance, no noise, and my 9 year old can mow the lawn. (As such, I don't really care how hard it is to push. But it isn't hard to push.)
But for 1/4 acre? Get a decent self propelled.
I use a Scotts Classic...they just redesigned it with a grass catcher (I had adapted one on mine). My lot is a little over 8000 sq ft, house is about 1800 sq ft and I can finish my yard faster than my neighbor with his Snapper self-propelled. They are a lot easier to push than those from half a century ago.

I do use Echo for my edging, hedging, weed eating and Stihl for blowing duty. I tried to go green on that using Black and Decker's setup. It was good for weed eating and edging light stuff. The blower was terrible, the hedger ok to about 3/8" soft woods. The main problem was I needed 6 batteries to do everything and they'd need replacement within a year.

I do like it because I can relax and just think when cutting my gas, I don't like there is no 'vacuum' effect so leaves and the like need to be raked....if I do let the grass go longer, it does to a decent job getting a lot of the leaves though. I'd like to try a Fiskars.

OP If you haven't seen it this is a good link:

http://www.consumersearch.com/lawn-mower-reviews
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Old 04-17-2011, 08:27 PM   #41
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Yeah, I read through consumer reviews website.

Dr. pizza, thanks for the advice on ride mowers, I didn't know about the huge variations in quality! That us quite scary!

At this point, I'll see how the Ryobi works. If it sucks, I'll try something else.
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Old 04-17-2011, 08:48 PM   #42
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i got 1/4 acre. got a sears riding mower. love it. never an issue but i take care of it. clean it regularly, change oil/filter and pick up sticks/debri so i don't mow over it...unlike some people. i've seen neighbors run over glass, branches, dirt mounds. lol way to kill a mower.
No reason why a cheap mower can't last years. just can't be too hard on it.
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Old 04-17-2011, 08:58 PM   #43
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Best deal around on a honda motor

http://www.lowes.com/pd_352981-63311...tt%3Dhusqvarna


I've had one like this for 8 seasons and it is very solid
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Old 04-18-2011, 11:10 AM   #44
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My Toro is nearly 30 years old, works great, even though I abuse the hell out of it.
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Old 05-03-2011, 08:26 AM   #45
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Update:

After using the Ryobi once, it was a lemon. Not all 4 wheels would touch the ground at the same time even though the ground was flat (I checked with my level). Also, one of the rear wheels didn't receive power 85% of the time, I'm pretty sure there was something wrong with the gear in the wheel not catching with the motor. Also, the battery (after being conditioned 4 times) still didn't last very long. It took 4 charge sessions to complete the lawn with mild use of the rear wheel motor.

I returned it to Home Depot no questions asked, and picked up the Honda HRX without electric start and without cruise control. The Honda works phenominally. It cuts better, is quite a bit louder, starts on one pull, and the accelerator handle works well for controlling speed. The manual appears to be straight forward about maintanence and easy to follow which is better than I can say for manuals for other devices.

Conclusion: electric mowers just aren't ready to compete with gas mowers in terms of quality. I do note that the Honda cost almost 2x the Ryobi, but, that was only because the market did not have a comparably priced electric mower. Could I have saved money on a similar model from Toro? Probably, but I really like how the Honda does its job, so I don't have any regrets pertaining costs.
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Old 05-03-2011, 08:39 AM   #46
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Not much I can really add to the thread other than electric mowers seem pointless to me. If you have a small enough yard where electric is useful, why not just go entirely off the grid with a reel mower and be almost entirely maintenance free?

But at 1/4 of an acre (assuming that's mostly grass) then you want something gas powered, and ideally rear drive, self propelled.
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Old 05-03-2011, 08:44 AM   #47
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Assuming it starts this will be my 5th year with a $100 Craftsman push mower. Same amount of property. No maintenance except for a new blade (year 3). I figure at $100 it's a throw away. Have never even bothered to empty the fuel or change it the next season. Always started.

Too bad I'll never buy from sears again.
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Old 05-03-2011, 12:31 PM   #48
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Get a goat. No fuel expense, no maintenance and quiet.
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