What You Need to Know When Shopping for a Used Lawn Mower
Find the best lawn mower for your outdoor chores with these tips.
Consider Your Yard and Budget
Before asking “what lawn mower do I need,” first consider the kind of yard you have. Is it large, medium, or small? Is it flat or does it have a slope? Is it clear or are there trees and landscaping features to mow around? These factors will determine which kind of lawn mower will be the easiest to use in your outdoor space. Next, of course, you will need to factor in your budget. If you are shopping for a used lawn mower, aim for mowers priced at 70% or less of the retail price. Shopping online on a site like Kijiji can allow you to quickly find the kinds of mowers you want in your area, and sort according to price, making it easier to stick to your budget.
If you have a small, flat lawn, you may want to opt for a simple old-fashioned manual reel mower. This kind of mower is powered solely by the physical action of pushing it. It requires little maintenance and costs nothing to run, but is harder to push and not strong enough to tackle thick, unruly grass.
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Push Lawn Mowers
For small-medium sized lawns, a simple push lawn mower can be an inexpensive, effective option. A mower with a gas engine can be best for medium-sized lawns, as it allows you full freedom in range and length of use. However, a gas-powered lawn mower is a bit noisy due to the engine and require gas and oil to run, making it less environmentally friendly. An electric lawn mower is quiet and environmentally friendly but may limit your mowing range if it runs from a corded connection, or cut down on your mowing time if it runs on a battery.
Self-Propelled Lawn Mowers
If you have a large or medium yard, but don’t mind sacrificing the riding feature for a lower cost, a self-propelled lawn mower may be the answer. This kind of lawn mower features a drive-train to drive the mower forward, and you simply have to walk behind and steer.
Lawn Tractors and Riding Mowers
For larger yards, convenience becomes ever more important. If your outdoor area is very spacious, you may want to consider a riding lawn mower or even a lawn tractor, so you can tame your yard as you sit comfortably. These heavy-duty mowers are rugged to take on various types of terrain and handle thick grass and weeds with ease. They often can be paired with accessories such as snow plows or carts to make them useful throughout the year. If your yard features lots of landscaping, double-check to see how precise the steering of the mower is, to ensure close cuts around trees and other features.
Buying Second Hand
Finding a used lawn mower allows you to find a great mower at a much lower price than new, but buying second-hand requires you to do a bit of extra checking before buying. Ask the seller for any paperwork they have with the mower. A user manual gives you guidelines on its use and care, and the original purchase receipt allows you to verify its age. Ask about maintenance done on the mower. The oil should have been checked every time before starting, the air filter cleaned after every few mowings and the mower should have been serviced every year to sharpen the blades and change oil and air filter. Inspect the handles and wheels for any physical wear or damage, and ask to start up the mower and test it to ensure that it runs well.
With these tips on what used lawn mower to buy and how to check over a used mower, you should be ready to start your search. Remember to be patient when shopping for used lawn mowers, and take your time finding a perfect fit for your yard.