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How to Choose a Lawnmower for an Average Size Lawn

Updated on September 1, 2012
A Typical Push Lawnmower
A Typical Push Lawnmower | Source

Here are easy instructions on how to choose the best lawn mower in a store, assuming you have an average surburban lawn size about half an acre (0.5) or less. This article focuses on the gas-powered rotary lawnmower.


The first thing to do is ask relatives, friends, co-workers for lawnmower brands and models for recommendations. You want a lawn mower that performs well, is easy to operate, is reliable, and is easy to maintain.


Do an internet search for brands and models. Online researches will give you information on pricing and where you can buy the lawn mower with the specifications mentioned in the steps above. You may even see reviews.


Decide what type of lawn mower to buy. There are reel, rotary, electric-powered, and even robotic. The gas-powered rotary lawnmower is very common.



Choose between a push or self propelled lawn mower. Push mowers are cheaper and will give you a little exercise. If you have rough or hilly terrain or if you are not in good shape, the self-propelled lawnmower will suit your needs. But there are lawnmowers that can be heavy for other people like small teenagers or women. In situations such as these, buying a self-propelled lawnmower makes more sense.



Choose power. Most lawn mowers have 4.5 to 6.5 horsepowers. A lawn mower with less than 4.5 horsepower could make more work and sweat for you, especially if the grass is thick, tall, or wet. Although not recommended, there are some situations where you have no choice but to mow in wet conditions and a higher horsepower lawnmower can give you more power to cut thick wet grass.



Choose Mulcher, Rear Bagger, or Side Discharger feature. The mulcher cuts grass clippings into fine sizes to help fertilize the lawn. No bagging is needed. A rear bagger collects clippings and keeps the lawn clean. The downside is that you have to put the time to empty the bag and figure out what to do with the clippings. A side discharger disperses the clippings on the lawn. This feature is great for tall grass but you may still have to rake the clippings.



You can reuse the clippings for mulch or compose for your garden.



Choose a combination of features. There are some lawn mowers that include two or three of the features from the previous step. For example, some lawn mowers can covert between a mulcher, rear bagger, and side discharger. Some mowers have multiple blade or self-propelled speeds.



Choose cutting swath. A 21 inch or 22 inch mower is typical but there are 18 and 19 inch mowers available. I have "upgraded" from a 21 inch to a 22 inch and found that it does seem to cut more and save time.



Choose between a big rear wheel or small rear wheel. I have tried both and feel that a lawn mower with a bigger rear wheel is more maneuverable. I have tried to research an definitive answer for an advantage but could not find a consensus. You can try friends and neighbors lawnmowers and determine which rear wheel size is comfortable for you.


Look at the buying tips below before you make your purchase. Good luck on your lawn mower purchase.

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