Lawn Tractor Tires – Sizing Buying Guide
Replacing a damaged or worn-out lawn tractor tire is easy to do, and a whole lot easier than taking the tractor in to be serviced at the dealership or local repair shop. The first step is to find the right replacement tire. When you are shopping for new lawn tractor tires, there are four primary considerations: tire size, ply-rating, the type of terrain and traction requirements, and of course, the price.
Lawn Tractor Tires Sizing
Like any other tire, lawn tractor tires have a series of numbers molded on to the side that spell out specific details about the tire. There are two different sizing systems: two-number system, and three-number system.
Lawn tractor tires using the two-number system display numbers as 4.80-8, for example. This means the tire’s width is approximately 4.8 inches and the rim is 8 inches in diameter. Those are the only two numbers you need to find the right size replacement tire.
The three-number lawn tractor tires numbering system works a bit differently. 15×6.00-6 is a common size. The first number before the “x” indicates the tire’s diameter when inflated and not under load. The middle number between the “x” and the “-,” indicates the tire’s width. The final number indicates the width of the rim. Note that the last number is width, not diameter of the rim. This is always the case with three-number sizing for lawn tractor tires and other garden equipment tires.
Lawn Tractor Tires Ply-rating
Lawn Tractors are very rarely over-loaded, but a tire with a higher carrying capacity is also more resistant to punctures because the casing of the tire is thicker and stronger. If your lawn tractor runs over rough terrain with lots of thorns, or you use the tractor for work other than just mowing, consider replacing with a “B/4-ply” rated tire instead of a “A/2-ply” rating. The number of plies is always stamped on the side of the tire. There are only two options, A/2-ply or B/4-ply in the common sizes for lawn tractors.
There are three main classifications of tread pattern types for lawn tractors: mixed-use turf tires, knobby all-terrain tires, or ribbed tires.
- Turf treads are most common and usually have circumferential rows of chevron shaped tread blocks. These are designed to provide some traction on slick grass, while not digging up and damaging the turf. If you are replacing one tire, you can usually find a tread pattern that is identical, or close to identical to the pattern on the remaining tires, or what came on the tractor when new. A good versatile turf tire is the WDT P512A tire.
- Knobby, all-terrain treads typically have large tread blocks and deeper grooves to provide traction in loose surfaces like dirt, sand or mud. These tires sometimes have a herringbone tread pattern, like the tread on a farm tractor. They feature a high void area (space between the blocks) to evacuate debris from the tire. If you use your tractor primarily for towing or other jobs on dirt paths without the mower deck, a knobby, all-terrain type tread like the WDT P328 tire may be the answer.
- Ribbed treads have circumferential grooves and straight ribs that are either flat or slightly scalloped. These patterns provide some lateral stability to keep the tire from sliding sideways, but are primarily designed to roll easily and last a long time. They don’t provide as much traction as a turf or knobby, all-terrain tire.
You can find a large difference in the price of lawn tractor tires. This is due to factors like the brand name, the associated features and benefits, and even the country of manufacture. A few minutes of online research to see typical for your specific size of tire will be helpful to manage your expectations and to set your budget. This will likely determine if you are going to buy a premium name brand, or if you are better suited to a cheap tractor tire made in china. Small lawn tractor tires can be found for as little as 20, and can run as high as 60 or 70.
No matter what size, ply rating or type of lawn tractor tire you need, you can find multiple options at low on Tires-easy.com. Tires-easy.com has one of the largest selections of lawn tractor tires on the web, a super knowledgeable customer service team, and an extensive distribution network for fast and accurate shipping every time.
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Review: EGO Power battery-powered lawn mower takes much of the pain out of mowing the lawn
I like the idea of doing lawn work. Through all of the sweat and heat, there’s a deep sense of satisfaction once the job is completed. I think I enjoy it primarily because it’s the antithesis of my daily routine as a tech blogger.
Sadly, there are some things that make it hard to enjoy the traditional lawn care routine. The putrid smell of gasoline, the allergies, dealing with mowers that won’t start, the deafening noise, the numbing vibrations of the handle, running out of gas, etc.
The very idea of an alternative-powered lawn mower always appealed to me, but their shortcomings were too much for me to seriously consider one…until now.
Things I hate about gas-powered mowers
- Gasoline fumes smell awful
- Refilling the gas tank
- Starting can be difficult
- The noise is deafening
- They can be very heavy
- The exhaust pollution makes me sick
- They can take up a lot of space
Things that made me dismiss electric mowers up until now
- Not enough power
- Not large enough to make efficient passes
- Cords, if corded, can be dangerous and annoying
- Batteries ran out too quickly
- Charging took too long
- Terrible designs
The EGO Power mower not only eliminates the issues presented by gas-powered mowers, but solves many of the conundrums raised by electric mowers as well.
Not only does this 56V mower pack the power, but it features the battery longevity, the quick charging, and a deck size large enough to compete with gas powered dinosaurs of old. The EGO Power even features a design that isn’t downright offensive, which is a trend that seems to be catching on. Dare I say that this mower makes caring for my lawn fun?
If there is one potential downside to be had with the EGO Power, it would have to be its price. Although the mower is available in a bare tool configuration that omits the battery and charger, once you acquire all of the necessary parts it, adds up to a substantial price.
Thankfully, there are several pricing options and deck configurations to lend as much variety to customers as possible. I purchased my EGO Power from a brick and mortar Home Depot store, as I wanted to view it in person before pulling the trigger on such a product. After testing it out, I’d be confident buying any of EGO’s products from Home Depot’s online store, or even from Amazon.
I purchased the 21″ model from HomeDepot, but if you’re okay with downsizing an inch and losing a few amenities, you can get the 20″ model in several configurations directly fulfilled by Amazon with free shipping. All mowers come with a 5-year limited factory warranty for the mower, and a 3-year factory warranty for the battery charger.
If you have a small to medium-sized yard, then the 20″ mower will most likely work for you. That said, I wanted to get the largest mower that I could get, so I opted for the extra inch. Along with the extra blade width, you get a wider range of cutting heights that can be adjusted. The 21″ EGO Power mower features six cutting heights ranging from 1.5″ to 4.0″, while the smaller version features five heights ranging from 1.2″ to 3.5″. Depending on your needs, this is something to consider.
Cutting height comparison
Along with the width of the blade and the cutting height positions, there are a few other amenities that you’ll only find on the larger mower. The larger mower features three adjustable handlebar positions versus two on the smaller mower. Along with the size difference, there are also self-propelled options to consider, which can add an extra 100 to the price.
Unboxing and Initial setup
The unboxing was surprisingly pleasant for an outdoor appliance, and it was evident that at least some amount of care went into the product’s presentation. The mower arrives completely assembled, which is awesome for someone who wants to get down to business as quickly as possible.
The box that the EGO Power ships in is fairly sizable, but it’s not so large or heavy that it’s unwieldy. If you’re buying the mower from a brick and mortar store, or moving it from the front porch after it’s shipped to your house, it would definitely help to use a small dolly to cart it around.
Included in the package is a 56V 5Ah battery and corresponding quick charger. The first thing that you’ll need to do upon unboxing is begin charging the battery, and EGO’s design makes this as painless and as idiot-proof as possible.
Charging the battery involves removing it from its box, plugging in the quick charger, and placing the battery on the charger so that it lines up with the contacts. After a series of calibration noises, you’ll hear a fan turn on as the unit starts to charge. The fan is moderately loud, but that’s the price you have to pay for being able to charge a 5Ah battery in less than an hour.
Once I took care of the battery charging, it was just a matter of preparing the mower for first use. Initial setup was super easy, because there’s basically nothing to set up. The mower arrives in its storage position, which means that the handle is compressed and folded flat to take up a smaller footprint.
AGGRESSIVE !! LAWN TRACTOR TIRES
The quick-adjust lever located on the side of the mower’s handle allows you to reposition the handle from its folded position into the upright position. Once the handle is upright, you can then use the handle-locking clamps to extend the position of the handles into operating position.
The mower ships with an optional grass catcher bag that can be affixed to the rear in order to catch leaves and grass clippings. As someone with a grass allergy, sneezing and itchy eyes are inevitable, but I find that the grass catcher bag helps keep my allergies somewhat in check.
Starting the mower
Once the handle is in its upright position and fully extended, simply lift the battery lid and push the charged battery into the battery slot until it clicks into place. From there, it’s just a matter of holding the safety button near the top of the handle while pulling the bail switch upward. The mower will immediately start, but the process will be much faster and quieter than you may be used to if coming from a gas-powered rig.
The wonderful thing about battery-powered motors is that there’s no string pulling in order to start the mower. You literally just press the safety button followed by a pull of the bail switch, and the mower starts — instantly. It’s such a satisfying feeling to know that you can start and stop the mower on a whim.
Mowing the lawn
I didn’t opt for the self-propelled version of the EGO Power, and although it would be nice, I wasn’t sure if the 100 premium was worth it given my small, flat lawn. The majority of this mower is made out of high-grade plastic, and while plastic isn’t usually a material that’s deemed to be desirable, I find that it makes the Power. at a nimble-feeling 62lbs (with battery pack), light and easy to maneuver.
Obviously, the most important thing about a mower is how well it performs cutting grass, and after testing it several times, I can say that it performs admirably. Grass was cut on the first pass, and there’s enough power available to easily cut through taller, thicker grass as well.
Although it’s not exactly recommended, I was even able to cut through lightly damp grass with no issues. Cutting my lawn with this mower felt like I activated some sort of lawn care cheat code, lending me an unfair advantage against my itchy allergy-causing nemesis.
Many of the cordless mowers that you’ll see out there feature smaller decks, which require more passes to cut an entire yard. The 21″ deck on the EGO Power feels like a traditional gasoline-powered mower, in that its deck is large enough to cut a yard with fewer passes. I imagine that the 20″ model wouldn’t be all that different from the 21″ model in this regard, so it may be worth the money and weight saved to go smaller.
One of the most impressive things about this mower is its battery life. With the 5Ah battery that it’s bundled with, it features a run-time (45 minutes) that’s longer than it’s total charge time (40 minutes). That’s mighty impressive. For those of you who opt for the slightly smaller 20″ model with the 4Ah battery, you’ll enjoy the same run-time but even less charge time (30 minutes).
Having such charging and battery performance really takes one of the major pain points out of green lawn care. It’s battery-powered, so you don’t have to finagle with cords, and it features a battery that can fully charge and be ready in well short of an hour. importantly, a single charge adds enough run time to be able to completely mow most small to medium yards.
There are a lot of little details that make me admire this mower the more that I use it. One such detail, the LED headlights, makes it easier to cut the lawn in the later hours of the evening. Another detail, the battery gauge on the lithium-ion battery, makes it possible to tell how much juice is left on the mower’s battery. Although I enjoy both of these features, as you’ll see below, each could stand to improve on EGO Power’s later model revisions.
All of the products in EGO Power’s lineup — mower, blowers, trimmers, etc. — work with the same battery packs. That means that I can use the same battery pack from my mower to power my blower. I can even upgrade to a 7.5Ah battery to extend the mower’s 45-minute run time, although that’s probably overkill for my yard size.
I especially love how the mower is capable of folding up for storage. If you’re short on space, this is a huge space-saving feature. Once folded, the mower can stand upright or even be hung on a wall.
Improvements that can be made
The EGO Power isn’t perfect, but I much prefer it to gasoline powered mowers that I’ve used in the past. That said, there are a few areas where improvements could be made.
The battery features a power indicator button that gives users an idea as to how much battery power is left. Unfortunately it only starts to tell you when the battery is low when it’s at 15% battery remaining or below. That seems a little drastic. I wish the battery included a more incremental way to monitor its remaining life.
I also don’t like that I have to stoop down and press a button on the mower’s deck to engage the LED light. I love having a light available, but I often forgot that the light was even there.
I’m far from a lawn care connoisseur, but having a green mower makes me excited about lawn care much in the same way that those who weren’t previously car enthusiasts are excited about driving since Tesla has emerged.
Many gasoline powered mowers make mowing a chore, and many battery-powered mowers make it needlessly tedious. The EGO Power mower throws out many of the negatives about both technologies, and can make mowing enjoyable. It’s not perfect, but it’s as close as I’ve gotten to a gasoline powered mower without any of the negative side effects.
Yes, it’s quite pricey starting at 449 for the 20″ model with 4Ah battery, but the more adoption this technology receives, the faster the will drop. I certainly don’t regret paying a premium if it means not having to deal with gasoline fumes, pulling strings, and all of the other negatives associated with mowing with a traditional mower.
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What Size Lawn Mower Do I Need in 2023? Buying Guide
Spring is here and Summer is around the corner, it’s time to start mowing your lawn. Your scrappy little reel mower just isn’t cutting it anymore or you’re old mower is starting to fall apart. If you’re in the market for a new mower this is the right article for you. Technology has changed a lot with mowers, especially when it comes to battery-powered models, they now rival gas mowers. Let go of your old beliefs and consider your options. The first question you’re likely asking yourself is : What size lawn mower do I need? WE also discuss a range of topics, like : gas vs battery-power vs electric, self-propelled vs push mowers and a whole lot more.
What Size Lawn Mower Do I Need?
There are a lot of factors to consider before purchasing a lawn mower, but the most important one by far is size. And to start off, you need to measure your lawn area (if you don’t already know the number). Knowing the area of your lawn is very important.
Not just for mower sizing but also for deciding how much fertilizer or seed you need. There are online tools, but you can also do it the old-fashioned way with a tape measure or piece of string whose length you know. For square or rectangular lawns this process is quite easy, but if you have an irregularly shaped lawn there are some additional steps to calculating area.
Once you have the area of your lawn, you can start thinking about mower size. Based on various surveys, 10,000 sq. feet is the average lawn size in the United States. Yours may be above or below this number, so size your mower based on how much grass you have to cut.
Guidelines for Choosing the right size lawn mower for your lawn size :
|0.25||14” to 17”|
|0.5||18” to 22”|
|1||23” to 36”|
|2||37” to 54”|
|3||55” to 72”|
The Various Types of Lawn Mowers
Much like pets, lawn mowers are available in a wide range of shapes and sizes. You have reel mowers, self-propelled walk behind mowers, zero-turn mowers, lawn tractors, etc. To make a long story short, it boils down to the following choice- do you want to walk or ride?
Walk behind mowers come in two main varieties- manual, and self-propelled. Yes, there are also reel mowers/ cylindrical mowers. These are the cheapest, and most simple variety of lawn mower.
But good luck if you have a property over 2000 sq. feet, because they cut so much slower than an engine-powered mower. So the two real choices are between self-propelled and push mowers. Not all of us are physically fit enough to push a mower around the lawn for 2 hours.
Hey, if you want the workout then go ahead and get a push mower. Personally, I suggest spending the extra few bucks on a self-propelled model. You’re already making a bunch of noise, might as well get a mower that pushes itself around.
It’s especially handy if your property has slopes or hills. Pushing 70 or 80 pounds of weight uphill is extremely tedious (and you have to make multiple passes). The self-propelled mower category can be further divided into two sections-
Walk Behind Mower
The most popular type of lawn mower you’ll find. And for a good reason- they are plenty for an average American lawn under 10,000 square feet. With an 18 to 22 inch cutting deck, these mowers will trim a medium-sized lawn in 40 to 50 minutes.
I recommend rear-wheel drive over front-wheel drive, since it has better traction for slopes and bumpy terrain. The typical engine size on one of these is around 160 to 170cc. Unlike a chainsaw, these guys use 4-stroke motors so you don’t have to worry about mixing oil and gas.
Makita 18″ Walk Behind Mower / Ideal for Small or Large Yards
This 36V Makita mower is an excellent example of how far battery technology has come. It has the capacity to store four batteries onboard, allowing you to mow non-stop for two miles. Because it’s only 18″ wide, this is a great choice for small yards, but because it has a large battery capacity, it’s also ideal for a large yard. You can buy the model in a variety of kits to suit your needs. Overall, this is an excellent quality walk-behind mower. It’s certainly not the cheapest, but if you want quality, consider this mower.
Lawn tractors and zero-turn mowers are like golf carts with giant blades spinning on the bottom. If you get one of these bad boys, you can mow half an acre in just 40 to 50 minutes. The typical riding mower has a deck width of 36 to 54 inches, with a speed of 4 to 8mph.
Deck width combined with speed can give you an idea of how fast the mower will cut grass. There is a handy online tool for calculating mowing speed based on those parameters. Zero turn mowers are faster in a straight line, and more maneuverable compared to lawn tractors.
Features To Look For In A Lawn Mower
Electric start, double blades, adjustable cutting height, etc. can make a big difference. If you have fun mowing your lawn, you’ll do it more often and that results in a healthy lawn with green grass. If you want a mower with mulching, side-discharge, and bagging capability you will have to pay extra over a basic model.
It’s all about balancing cost vs requirements. If you have a tiny 1000 square foot lawn, don’t go out there and buy a John Deere lawn tractor. It’s a pain to maintain that thing, since a basic task like sharpening the blades requires a removal of the entire deck (unless you own a mower jack).
But you don’t want to cheap out either. I feel like a mower with mulching capability is worth the investment, since it cuts down on cleanup time. And the mulch nourishes your grass.
If you have diseased grass in the lawn or a bunch of dead leaves to clear, you might need a mower that bags the clippings. Selecting a mower is all about understanding which features are the most beneficial to you. Size does make a difference, but it isn’t the sole determining factor.
The Most Popular Lawn Mower Size
A 21” rear-drive gas powered mower is one of the most popular lawn-maintenance tools. Why 21 inches and rear-wheel drive? Because a cutting width of 21 inches is ideal for lawns up to 10,000 square feet (the average U.S. lawn size).
Plus rear wheel drive on a mower generates better traction, especially on bumpy terrain. When you turn your mower, the rear wheels maintain better contact compared to the front ones (which lift up in the air). It should also be noted that rear-wheel drive tends to be slightly more expensive (for the same engine size).
We should also talk about the nuances of gas vs electric. You see, there is no doubt that gas mowers are still the most popular design. Mainly because so many homes already own one.
However, the percentage of electric lawn mowers is growing at an extremely fast rate. Mainly due to new buyers who don’t want to deal with the hassle of operating and maintaining a small gas engine. With an electric mower, you don’t have to worry about engine oil or spark plugs.
You simply plug in the mower or recharge its battery if it’s a cordless model, and you’re all set. Electric mowers are also quieter, something that your neighbors will surely appreciate every morning. And they generate zero fumes.
I will talk about electric vs gas mowers in more detail, because each side has its pros and cons. One thing is for sure though- the future is going to be all electric. I for one am looking forward to a future where our lawn maintenance equipment generates less noise and no polluting gasses.
Time | How Fast Do You Want To Mow Your Lawn?
Some people view mowing their lawn as a matter of maintenance, functionally no different from washing the dishes or cleaning a car. For others, it’s a hobby and much more personal. They actually enjoy spending more time in the lawn while carefully trimming each edge to perfection for that gorgeous look.
Depending on which side of the spectrum you fall into, a longer mow time might actually be a good thing. Personally, I feel like 75 to 90 minutes is the maximum. It’s plenty of time to feel involved in the process while also not being so long as to feel like a chore.
Remember- lawn maintenance consists of far more than just cutting the grass with a mower. You have to edge the lawn and trim places the mower can’t reach. Sometimes you’ll have to walk around with a weed whacker, taking out unwanted plants and shrubs.
And grass grows at different speeds depending on the season. Usually, people cut their lawns once a week during spring but twice a week during summer. On a workday, you’ll really appreciate a fast mower that can trim up the entire lawn before it gets too dark (no such urgency on weekends).
Lawnmower Brands | How Much Should You Spend On A Lawnmower?
You might be thinking which brand of lawn mower is the most reliable. I won’t review any specific brands or models in this article. But I can tell you that a mower shouldn’t be thought of as just another disposable tool.
Consider it to be a long term investment. Sure, buying a cheap 150 dollar machine from some obscure Chinese brand at home depot will get the job done. But if you’re serious about lawn maintenance, you should invest in something that will last.
Toro, Honda, Troy-Bilt, John Deere and several other companies make some excellent mowers. With proper care and maintenance, you can easily get 10 years out of these guys. If you do the calculations, it’s a lot cheaper in the long run compared to hiring lawn services.
What Size Lawn Mower Do I Need? | Buying Guide
Earlier, I talked about how lawnmower size can determine how fast you cut your grass. It is the deck width we’re talking about here, not the actual physical size of the lawnmower itself. Although the larger lawnmowers generally tend to have wider decks, but that’s another topic entirely.
You can upgrade the deck on a lawnmower, provided it has ample engine power to drive the new blade. An under-powered engine will struggle with wider decks, especially if you get into thicker and taller grass. Depending on how long the grass in your lawn is, you’ll also have to take engine power into consideration.
When it comes to mowers, it doesn’t hurt to go slightly oversize. And there are a few reasons for that-
- A larger mower with a more powerful engine will have an easier time climbing uphill (self-propelled models only)
- You can cut through thicker and taller grass, so there is more room for error. If your lawn hasn’t been mown in a while (maybe you were on vacation), a larger mower won’t struggle with overgrown grass.
- Faster and longer blades leave clean cuts, with zero patches. Your lawn gets a nice, uniform shave.
- Quicker mowing times let you FOCUS on other aspects of lawn maintenance. Like hedge trimming and edging.
Consider the Lawn Size and Obstacles
One acre is 43,560 square feet so do your math accordingly. Remember- these are approximate figures and you don’t have to adhere to them precisely. You may not find a 37” deck while looking for mowers, but there might be a 36” model (you get the idea).
Another factor to take into consideration is obstacles. A lawn is rarely one flat square piece of land with nothing in the middle. There are hedges, flower beds, trees, walkways, etc., meaning that your lawn mower needs to have a certain degree of maneuverability.
Otherwise, you’ll spend precious time clumsily tip-toeing between these obstacles. And waste even more time taking a hedge trimmer to smooth out the spots that you missed with your mower. A mower that can make tight turns and cut close to edges is preferable over one that is slightly larger but not as nimble.
Cutting speed is a function of both speed and deck width. And sure, a lot of these fancy new riding mowers or walk-behind mowers advertise themselves as really fast. But practical speed is very different from what you see on the box.
For example- if a zero turn mower is capable of doing 10mph, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will hit the same speeds on your lawn. A lawn has turns, slopes, ditches, furniture, and hedges. All that braking, accelerating, turning, and stopping means the average speed over a 30-minute period will be around half of the advertised maximum in a straight line on level ground.
To conclude- get a mower that’s sized appropriately for your lawn while still being capable of moving around obstacles efficiently. Owning a ginormous riding mower with a 72” deck is meaningless if it doesn’t fit through the gate of your lawn. A mower should also be able to maneuver around obstacles and climb up slopes.
Straight line speed is great, but practical speed is even better. Hence, zero turn mowers are so much quicker at cutting grass than lawn tractors (even with the deck width being constant). They can stop and turn on a dime, while also being faster in a straight line.
Larger Mowers Are Harder to Maintain
This is something a lot of new buyers just gloss over. A bigger mower is faster, but it’s useless without proper maintenance and care. I would rather have a 22” cordless walk-behind that I can take out twice a week than a 64” riding mower that works once every 3 months.
You see, mowers require basic cleaning and check ups. Just like a chainsaw or any other power tool. The blades and underside of your mower’s deck get covered in grass clippings and dirt after a while.
With a 21”walk-behind mower that weighs 90lbs, you can easily lift up the front end or tip the mower sideways. This lets you wash the deck or remove the blade for sharpening. Transporting the mower requires just one person.
But now, let’s move up in size to a zero turn mower or lawn tractor. These big boys can’t be lifted without a mower jack. So forget about sharpening their blades unless you have the proper tools.
And transporting a mower of that size requires a trailer attached to your car. You can’t just fold it up into the trunk. Oh, and storing a riding mower is also going to require more space compared to a walk-behind.
Seating those stubborn lawn mower tires on the rim.
Either you build a shed for that thing, or hope there’s enough space in your garage. And then there’s tire pressure. If one rear tire has more pressure than the other, you will end up with a slanted cut on your lawn.
So now you have to monitor tire pressures and pump them up when needed. If something breaks down in the engine, you can’t just pop open your mower in a shed. After all, this is a miniature car and you will probably require professional assistance.
Clearly, a riding mower is cool and makes the process of mowing your lawn very pleasant. It feels good to sit in a cushioned chair and ride around the lawn while sipping on your favorite beverage. But you also have to bear the responsibility of additional maintenance for a mower of that size.
Push Mower vs Self-Propelled
Alright, we need to talk about propulsion. Clearly, there comes a point when self-propelled is the only choice you got. Nobody in their right mind would take on an acre of grass with a push mower unless they really wanted to spend as much time as possible.
There are 3 factors that will decide whether you go with a self-propelled mower or push mower:
For a lawn that’s in the 2500 to 7500 square foot range, I can definitely see a push mower working just fine. It will get the job done within an hour, especially if you go with a good brand like Honda or Toro. Electric mowers are slightly more complicated, particularly the corded ones. Because you are limited by the length of your power cord.
But with gas engines, up to 7500 square feet is doable. You also have to consider the fact that this is with flat terrain. The numbers are completely different with hills and slopes in the equation.
Even a medium-sized push mower with a 21” deck weighs around 80 to 90lbs. Electric models are lighter, but those are still in the 60 to 75lb range. Point is, you can’t make multiple passes with one of these uphill.
You need a self-propelled mower that doesn’t require the force of your own legs and back to push it up a slope. Especially if you have joint or back problems. Besides, it’s much better to have a mower that your wife and parents can use without straining themselves too hard. Because you won’t always be in the house. A mower’s value is diminished if only the most physically able person in the family can use it comfortably. I suggest taking these points into consideration, because self-propelled walk behind models aren’t exceedingly pricey these days.
I created a chart to give you some guidance on self-propelled vs push mowers:
|Small (||Flat||Push/ Self-propelled|
|Medium (10,000 to 20,000 sq. feet)||Flat||Push/ Self-propelled|
|Medium (10,000 to 20,000 sq. feet)||Hilly||Self-propelled|
|Large (25,000 sq. feet or more)||Flat||Self-propelled riding mower|
|Large (25,000 sq. feet or more)||Hilly||Self-propelled riding mower|
General guidelines for choosing the right type of lawn mower.
This chart has some pretty wide ranges and doesn’t take into account physical ability. But you get the point, it’s a general guide. These are basic pointers on which type of mower to get, and you can adjust based on your own requirements.
If you’re elderly or a senior then I highly recommend buying a cordless self-propelled lawn mower because they are the easiest to maneuver and require the least amount of energy to push. We recently dedicated an article to answer to a common question we get : Best Lightweight Lawn Mower for the Elderly or Seniors. If you have any physical disabilities but still want to cut the lawn then you’ll also benefit from this mower guide. There’s a lawn mower for everyone, so don’t fret. Technology has come a long way.
Self-propelled mowers come in many different flavors. You have walk-behind models, lawn tractors, and zero-turn mowers. There are also some outrageously large walk-behind mowers like the Swisher Versa VTFC42 and DeWALT HW48.
But the large walk-behind mowers are primarily for professional use. As a homeowner, you’re much better off with a riding mower if you are getting something that size. Riding mowers have their pros and cons.
Increased maintenance is one of the big issues with riding mowers. It’s not that they break down often, but they are more complex machines compared to a walk-behind. The parts are expensive.
And you do need to consider deck width, because a mower should be able to go around obstacles in your lawn. Riding mowers are heavy and have tires with deep treads. These can leave marks depending on how soft the grass and soil are.
Gas vs Electric Lawn Mower
This is a debate that has been raging on ever since electric lawnmowers became viable. Before, people used to think that these are mere toys intended for tiny lawns under 1000 sq. feet but now electric mowers have proved their competence. Advances in lithium ion battery technology and brushless motor design have canceled out many of the weaknesses electric mowers used to have in the past.
One thing is for sure, electric mowers are way easier to operate and maintain. All you have to worry about is cleaning the deck and sharpening the blades. That’s it- no more fussing around with engine oil or gasoline.
You don’t need special tanks designed to store fuel. You just plug in a cord, or recharge a battery. And there is no cord to pull, you just push a button and the mower starts cutting.
It’s insanely easy to operate an electric mower, whether it’s corded or cordless. Cordless models obviously cost more since they use more advanced technology. However they also offer a much higher degree of freedom compared to corded mowers.
Gas vs Corded Electric Mower
A corded mower is restricted by the length of its power cord, so you need to have an outdoor outlet. And a small to medium-sized lawn because anything beyond 100 feet will be impossible for a corded machine. However, there are benefits to these simple electric mowers.
For starters, they are very cheap. Even cheaper than low-end 140cc gas mowers. And in terms of performance, they will do just fine with grass that is under 3” tall.
Corded electric mowers are also the lightest type of mower. They have all the benefits of electric mowers, and none of the downsides of gas. But if you have a large lawn (above 10000 square feet) or really thick grass, then perhaps you should look at gas or cordless power.
Gas vs Cordless Electric Mower
Cordless electric mowers are the future, and have made great advances in terms of both range and power. These days, a high-end cordless electric mower can keep up with some of the lighter walk-behind gas mowers in terms of cutting speed. And because you aren’t restricted by any wires, you can go as far as you want.
Provided you have charge, because 30 to 40 minutes of mowing will probably empty the battery. With cordless mowers, you either carry a spare battery pack or you get a model with really fast charging times. There are cordless mowers with mulching and bagging functions.
Most cordless lawn mowers are walk-behind models. But I have seen a couple of riding electric mowers recently. There’s the Ryobi RM480e and ZTR480ex (the latter is a zero turn model).
For now, Ryobi and Greenworks are the only two companies with serious products in the cordless riding mower segment. And these models are insanely expensive, even in comparison to gas-powered riding mowers. But as technology progresses and demand increases, I bet cordless riding mowers will be a common sight.
Are Wider Decks Better?
Not always. They sure cover a larger area, resulting in faster cuts. But if you put a wide mower deck on a really small property with lots of obstacles, it might actually end up posting a worse time than a smaller mower.
That’s because while you’re losing time braking and turning, the smaller mower is just cutting grass. Wider decks also require more blades. For example- a 64” riding mower typically has 3 separate blades under the deck.
It’s impossible to put a single 64” wide blade under the mower because that would require a comically large deck. And a massive engine to drive that behemoth of a blade. However, even with a powerful engine you lose plenty of power during transmission.
The 3 separate blades aren’t bolted directly to the engine. They spin slightly slower in comparison to a mower that has a single blade. As a result, the mower with a single blade can make cleaner cuts with its faster blade speed.
Having a wider deck with multiple blades also means that they don’t always follow the contour of whatever it is that you’re cutting. There will be small dips, rises, banks, etc. in the lawn. And certain portions of a wide triple-blade deck will just glide over these imperfections instead of contacting the grass.
Mulching Mowers | Do You Need One?
Having a mower that can also mulch in addition to cutting the grass is very beneficial. You get free organic fertilizer for your yard, and don’t have to worry about bagging the clippings. A mulching mower has an extremely fine set of blades designed specifically to chop up grass into tiny chunks.
These tiny chunks slip between the regular grass, and settle into the soil. Over time, they decompose into the earth and nourish the grass around them. You get green, lush grass in your lawn without having to spend lots of money on artificial fertilizer (provided there is ample water and sunlight).
Modern mowers usually have a 2-in-1 mulch and bag function built right in. But these aren’t available in the cheaper models. In my opinion, the extra versatility is well worth it.
Sometimes, bagging is preferable to mulching. Especially if you have tall, overgrown grass with weeds in the midst. Bagging is also great for removing leaves from your lawn.
How Long Does A Mower Last?
A well-built mower from any reputable manufacturer should last at least 7 to 10 years with good maintenance. But depending on climate conditions and other factors, the lifespan can vary. The length and type of grass you cut will also decide how long a mower lasts.
Cutting grass 3 times each week puts more stress on the mower as opposed to cutting once per week (duh?). So if you’re serious about lawn maintenance and want to cut multiple times each week for the best grass health, get a high quality machine that is built to last. If you’re using a gas-powered mower, make sure to winterize it.
Winterizing just means draining out all the fuel from your mower before storing it during winter. This ensures that old fuel doesn’t decompose and gum up the carburetor/ fuel lines. You also need to change the air filters and spark plugs periodically.
Last Updated: April 12, 2023 at 11:55 PM / by Gio Sasso
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Zero-turn mowers and lawn tractors provide the wide decks and speed needed to maintain large yards. However, they have their pros and cons, which could make one a better choice for your yard.
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Lawns over half an acre give you plenty of space to play and lounge in the great outdoors. However, when it’s time to mow, you’re looking at a major commitment. Factor in landscaping like flower beds and trees, and you’ll likely add some trimming and spot mowing to your to-do list. The power machines of the landscaping world—zero turn vs. lawn tractor—can keep you from spending the better part of every Saturday behind a lawn mower.
A lot of factors go into determining which type of mower would be best suited for your lawn. Your yard’s size, incline, and landscaping all come into play. Before choosing between the two most common lawn mower types for large yards, get to know the biggest differences between zero-turn mowers and lawn tractors. This guide lays out the pros and cons of each to help you avoid making a mowing mistake with the wrong mower.
Zero-turn mowers are better for lawns with curves.
If your yard spans ½ an acre or more and is dotted with trees, bushes, and flower beds, a zero-turn mower will save you time when it comes to your lawn care routine. Zero-turn mowers have dual-hydrostatic transmissions controlled by two levers, which are key factors in their responsiveness and tight turning radius.
To move forward in a straight line, you press both levers forward, making sure to keep them even. To turn the mower, you either slow or stop power to one side by pulling the lever back, while the other side continues to move forward, giving the mower the ability to do a zero (or near zero) radius turn. This gives zero-turn mowers a mowing pattern that leaves far fewer missed patches of grass at the end of the swath or around curves and corners.
In comparison, lawn tractors have a wide turn radius, which leaves a patch of grass at the end of every swath. You can either come back around on a second pass to get those missed patches or stop and reverse to cut every blade of grass.
Lawn tractors power over slopes and hills.
Lawn tractors have a front-wheel drive that allows them to inch up slopes and hills with relative ease. In contrast, a zero-turn mower’s rear-wheel drive may be difficult to control or lose traction on uneven ground.
However, a word of caution: Both types of mowers can tip over on extreme slopes, which is anything over 15 degrees. Some lawn tractors and zero-turn mowers have roll bars and seat belts, but you’re better off using a push mower or a trimmer on extreme slopes.
A lawn tractor’s steering wheel provides intuitive control.
For those who want to jump on the lawn mower and go, a lawn tractor’s familiar steering wheel and gas pedal will take little if any time to get used to. Basically, you push the gas pedal and go, just like you would in a car. When you want to slow down, you release the gas and press the brake.
The differential speed control offered by a zero-turn machine’s dual-hydrostatic transmission, on the other hand, can take some practice. On these models, you control the speed by pressing the control levers forward rather than using a foot pedal. Hydrostatic transmissions can be touchy, so there may be some lurching and sudden stops until you get a feel for the speed control.
You also have to learn how to time the manipulation of the levers (one pressing forward, the other pulling back) when making turns. Considering that zero-turn mowers can go faster than lawn tractors as well means you’ll be trying to learn how to control the machine at higher speeds.
If you’re nervous about controlling a zero-turn model, a few newer machines have joystick control, which is much easier to use but still requires practice to master.
Deck size makes a difference, but the winner will depend on your yard.
The wider the deck, the fewer swaths it will take to cover the lawn, and the faster you can mow your full property. Lawn tractors have decks that range from 42 to 54 inches, while zero-turn mowers have decks from 42 to over 60 inches.
Choosing the appropriate deck size (and the mower or tractor that provides it) not only involves considering the size of your yard but also the width of the narrowest spaces you’ll need to mow in between or around. To maintain tight spaces between trees or flower beds, you’ll need a narrower deck. However, if you have a flat yard that’s 2 or 3 acres without obstacles, choose the machine with the widest deck you can afford.
Zero-turn mowers go faster, but slower speeds leave a cleaner cut.
Zero-turn mowers offer clean cuts at 5 miles per hour (mph) and can reach speeds of more than 10 mph. In comparison, lawn tractors mow at about 4 mph with a top speed of around 7 mph. However, in some circumstances, such as on sloped or hilly terrain, lawn tractors may be able to maintain their traction and speed better and, therefore, may occasionally mow faster under certain circumstances.
Know that cut quality goes down the faster you mow, whether you’re on a zero-turn or lawn tractor. Even if you have a zero-turn mower, the top speeds are generally used for traveling to another part of the yard rather than actually mow the lawn.
Both types of mowers are pricey, but zero-turn models rise to the top.
When it comes to price—zero turn vs. lawn tractors—both top the price charts. However, lawn tractors are the more affordable of the two, and they’ll earn their keep. They may also be used to pull carts, sprayers, spreaders, and other yard equipment. For the right buyer, a lawn tractor may be a Smart investment. A base model starts around 1,200, but any extra accessories like a bagging kit, trailer, or sprayers must be purchased separately.
Zero-turn mowers start around 2,500 and go well above 5,000, and you may have to buy a bagging kit separately. If your yard spans several acres and/or has a wide range of trees and flowers you need to mow around, a zero-turn model may be well worth it for the time it saves.