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Lawn Mowers Wiki – All About Lawn Mowers
I mean, you can’t take care of your lawn if you don’t have a lawn mower. A lawn requires weekly maintenance in order to keep it looking good. Here we are talking everything about lawn mower you need to know, from the best lawn mowers around to a certain problem of your specific mower model you have.
What we are gonna cover in this page –
A Brief History of Lawn mower
A brief history of lawn mower, few facts and statistics and more
Types of lawn mower
You will learn every types of lawn mower names and details
We will talk about present and future of lawn mower and current top brands
Lawn care is not that hard as some of you may think. My assumption is that if you are here, that means you want to do your own lawn. This makes you a DIYer. This also means that you are also a DIYer in other things in your life.
DIY lawn care is very different from other DIY tasks. Mainly because you are doing something that Americans pay billions of dollars to get done. When you bought your house, your lawn and your landscape is the only living that you bought.
Because of that, you will have to approach your lawn differently. Now, you already where I’m going with this. Lawn care!
To be more specific, lawn mower. I mean, you can’t take care of your lawn if you don’t have a lawn mower. A lawn requires weekly maintenance in order to keep it looking good.
The more you mow, the healthier your lawn will grow.
How do you mow a lawn? Well, by using a lawn mower. In all the equipment you need to purchase for your lawn care strategy, you should never cheap out of the mower.
In fact, if you are on a limited budget, I recommend spending the majority of your budget on a good lawn mower.
What Is A Lawn Mower?
A lawn mower is a machine that is used to mow your lawn. It has wheels and blades to cut the grass to an even height. A lawn mower is also known as a grass cutter or mower.
There are different types of lawn mowers. Some are manual, while some are powered by either a fuel engine or battery. The height at which the mower will cut grass is sometimes fixed. However, most of the mowers have adjustable height options to cut grass at varying lengths.
How Does A Lawn Mower Work?
Although walk-behind lawnmowers can differ in appearance from model to model, they all operate on similar principles. In this section, I’m going to discuss how a lawn mower works.
Walk-behind lawn mowers have a four-cycle engine similar to an automobile engine. Four-cycle engines run on gasoline and have a separate sump for oil. To start the engine, the brake veil arm must be held down as the starter rope is pulled.
The height of the deck is then adjusted using the levers. Depending on the terrain, you will need to ensure the blade will cut the grass evenly. To do that, the levers should be set at the same level.
Now, the blades start rotating and cut the grass. Also, depending on the terrain and application, different types of blades are available for a lawn mower. Most lawn mowers come with a standard lift blade that can be used for mulching, bagging, and side discharge.
High-lift and gaiter blades are best suited for bagging and mulching, while low lift blades are useful when the terrain is sandy or dry and when the clippings are not bagged.
However, it wasn’t always like that. Back in the day, lawn mowers were entirely different.
History Of Lawn Mowers
The first of its kind was invented back in 1830 by a British engineer named Edwin Bunning. Back in the day, lawn mowers were reel mowers. The cylindrical blade was connected to the wheels and rotated when the mower is pushed.
This was back in the middle of the 20th century. Edwin Bunning made the first even lawn mower that was powered by an internal combustion engine. This invention of this because available in 1902.
After 24 years, the first electric version came to the market. After World War II, a newer type of mower emerged, housing small yet powerful engines.
Types Of Lawn Mowers
From small residential lawns and gardens to larger residential lawns, there are several types of lawn mowers out there. Each of these mowers are designed to suit a particular scale and purpose.
There are non-powered push mowers, aka reel mowers, piston-engine powered push lawn mowers, and electric mowers. In the following section, I’ll be discussing the various types of grass cutters.
Types Of Lawn Mowers By Rotation
If you categorize all the mowers by rotation, you can divide them into two categories.
1. Cylinder Or Reel Mowers
What you call a reel mower in the US is known as a cylinder mower in the UK. It has a cutting blade that is horizontal and fixed to cut grass at the desired height. Over this fixed blade is a reel of blades that spins faster as you push the mower.
This movement forces the grass to get past the cutting bar. The reason why these mowers are called cylinder mowers is the blades that are in the blade cylinder form a helix. This creates a cylinder shape movement and thus the name.
It is very easy to make a clean cut with a properly adjusted reel mower. The action closely resembles that of a scissor cut. The blades of the cylinder don’t have to make any contact with the cutting bar. If the gap between the blades is smaller than that of grass, it is still possible to make clean cuts.
Even cylinder mowers have different variations. While they have the same functionalities, for example, wheel-driven rotary blades, rear roller wheels, and wrought iron handle, some of them do come with an engine.
- Push Mower
The first type is called a push mower. This type of lawn mower is designed to be used on small lawns. The blades are connected to the wheels, and when the mower is pushed, the blades start spinning rapidly. The typical cutting widths of these mowers are 12 to 20-inches.
The same mechanism is also applied to larger push mowers. The more prominent variations of these mowers are used on larger areas such as parks or sports fields. They are towed by a truck or a van. This is where the concept of ride-on lawn mowers came.
- Engine Powered Reel Mower
Now, put an engine on a reel mower, and you have yourself a gas-powered reel mower. To power the wheels, reel, or both, an electric motor or a gasoline engine can be added to the mower. Most of the time, you will see lawn mowers with an engine.
Typically, the engine doesn’t power the wheels. Instead, the engine is used on residential lawns to spin the blades. The operator pushes the reel while the motor spins the reel. Most traditional lawn mowers are designed based on this concept.
Now, take it a step further, and you will see electric-powered lawn mowers. They can be either cordless or corded. The only downside is that they are less powerful than a gas-powered lawn mower.
2. Rotary Mowers
A rotary mower consists of a cutter deck system, a blade mounting and drive system, mower blades, power source (gasoline/electricity), and wheels. As the name suggests, these mowers rotate at a vertical axis. This type of mower cuts the grass by spinning the blade at high-speed.
The impact from the blade is enough to cut the grass. Due to its mechanism, it results in a rougher cut. The blade is connected directly to the crankshaft of the engine. You also see a belt pulley system or a hydraulic motor propelling the blade. Some mowers have more than one blade.
It doesn’t matter how complicated or big the lawn mower is; every rotary mower comes with a motor. This motor is what makes the blade spin fast. Faster spinning blades mean it will be able to cut grass cleanly.
An internal combustion engine is placed on a rotary mower to power the machine. The engine may run on either two cycles or four cycles motor. Four cycles motor burn only gasoline while two cycles burn a mixture of oil and gasoline. There are also electric rotary mowers that use a battery or powered by a cord.
3. Riding Mowers
A walk-behind self-propelled mower is ideal for hilly lawns that aren’t bigger than one-half acre. On the other hand, for small lawns that are smaller than a quarter-acre, a rotary push mower will do. However, for lawns that are bigger than one-half acre, you will need something even more powerful.
And this is where riding mowers come into play. There are different types and sizes of riding lawn mowers that can make the task of mowing larger acres much easier.
Riding mowers have different blade sizes and horsepower engines suitable for larger lawns.
- Small-End Riding Mower
The smallest riding mower in the market comes with an engine of about 14 horsepower. Even this entry-level riding mower can easily cut up to an acre, and the pricing starts at a thousand dollars.
The heavy-duty version of a riding mower is called a garden tractor. This type is suitable for larger lawns and is available in different variations. From 18 to 24 horsepower engine, there are different garden tractors on the market. These tractors can even pull attachments behind it to disc or plow a garden.
Garden tractors are expensive, and the price usually starts from $2500 and goes all the way up to $9000. The popular varieties are usually between 3000 to 5000 dollars. A full-sized farm tractor is required for lawns of five acres as these big mowers can tow different mowing apparatus behind them.
- Zero Radius Mower
The zero-radius mower is a type of riding mower that is widely used by lawn care professionals. This type of riding mower is popular for commercial landscaping as well. As the name suggests, the mower has the zero-radius turning capability.
This is useful when you have to around trees and other obstacles precisely. The use of four-wheel steering allows these mowers to move precise regardless of the terrain.
How Riding Mowers Work?
It is just like driving any other motor vehicle. You sit on top of the deck and use the steering wheel to guide the mower. If you know how to drive a car, driving a riding mower will look like child’s play.
In addition to the steering wheel, some mowers have brake and accelerator pedals to control the speed of the mower. Steering is common, though. However, there are other riding mowers that use a lever to control the throttle.
You can increase the speed of the blade or slow it down just like a walk-behind self-propelled lawn mower. The rider can also raise or lower the blade while sitting on top of the deck. Both the blade and the wheels of the mower is powered by the engine.
Most of the time, the engine will be connected to the blade by a belt. There is no axle connected to the blade on a riding mower, which is common in a self-propelled mower.
Types Of Lawn Mowers By Energy Source
It doesn’t matter what variation of lawn mower you buy; it will still need some sort of power source to get it running. If it’s a manual mower, you are the power source here. Now, depending on how these mowers are powered, there are three types of lawn mowers on the market.
The biggest and meanest of the lawn mowers are powered by a combustion engine that uses gasoline as fuel. An internal combustion engine is placed in the deck, and the blade and the wheels are powered by it. These engines can be four-stroke cycle engines or two-stroke cycle engines.
Lawn mowers that use an internal combustion engine typically have only one cylinder. And their power, aka horsepower, can range from two to seven. In kilowatt, it from 1.5 to 6.75. On newer models, they come with an electric starter, while most of the traditional mowers use a manual pull crank to start the engine.
Usually, the engines are carbureted; that is why the pulley system is still in use. Also, pulleys are generally more reliable than electric starters. As for their speed, gas-powered engines have the option to control their throttle. The throttle control will be on the handlebar as well as the emergency brake lever.
On the other hand, there are lawn mowers that have a fixed speed. In terms of power, gasoline mowers are more powerful than electric mowers. They also have a greater distance range over electric. On the downside, gasoline mowers create substantial pollution.
While gasoline mowers are more powerful, they require cleaning and other forms of maintenance like replacing the air filter and spark plug.
Electric mowers are getting popular day by day because of their ease of usage and less maintenance. They run quieter, create less pollution, and ideal for small lawns.
You can further subdivide electric models into two categories. They are corded and cordless. It doesn’t matter if it is a cordless or corded model; both are relatively quiet and produce less than 75 decibels. Electric lawn mowers are also easier to operate and have better safety features.
- Corded Electric
The only advantage of corded electric mowers is that they can run as long as they are connected to a power outlet. You won’t have to worry about running out of power or recharging the battery. However, you are limited in range.
The length of the cord will determine how far you will be able to mow your lawn. Also, maintaining the cord can be a hassle. At max, you can extend the cord up to 150 feet from the nearest power outlet. There is also the risk of accidentally mowing over the power cord, which can cause some serious damage to the mower.
Now, corded electric lawn mowers aren’t cheap. A good quality mower will cost you about the same as an entry-level gasoline mower. Electric mowers also have less power and will struggle when cutting thicker and taller grass.
- Cordless Electric
Cordless variants have their uses. They are powered by 12-volt batteries and are not limited by the cord. A cordless lawn mower with more batteries will give you more range and run time. However, the cost of owning one is more than owning a gas-powered lawn mower.
3. Manual (Human Powered)
Manual mowers or hand-powered mowers are small machines that will only spin the blades when you push the mower. They have gears installed that make the blades spin several times faster than the wheels when being pushed.
Popular Lawn Mower & Tractor Brands
Here are some of the most popular lawn mower and tractor brands that manufacture some of the best and efficient mowers on the market.
The popular Black & Decker company manufactures some of the best corded and battery-powered lawn mowers on the market. Electric mowers make up 15% of the total lawn mower market, and the use of electric variations are increasing each year.
The deck size is smaller and starts from 12 inches to 20 inches. Black and Decker make push mowers designed for small lawns. You can buy one for yourself for 120 bucks apiece. Their high-end models cost around 400 dollars.
One of the market leaders in tractor and mower sales. Craftsman mowers are designed for heavy-duty mowing. MTD makes mowers and tractors for Craftsman, and they make a lot of tractors each year. The gear-drive models start from $1000, and the fully featured ones can cost up to $2000.
Craftsman lawn tractors use engines made by Briggs & Stratton. These powerful engines are housed in a strong deck. Now, among all the lawn mowers and tractors this brand sell, there is one particular model that is famous worldwide, and that is their 42-inch deck model.
While this company is famous for producing gas-powered walk-behind mowers, they also offer battery-powered and corded electric models. This company makes mowers that come with either a Honda or Briggs & Stratton engine and feature rear-bag, side-discharge, and mulching modes.
A name that brings smile to a lot of homeowners. Honda is a famous engine maker that also sells high-end, premium line of lawn mowers. While this company is widely popular as a prominent engine maker, their mowers have more features than most top-of-the-line lawn mowers on the market.
Homeowners will happily pay top-dollar prices for the innovative features that Honda provides to their mowers. This brand is famous for its unique drive systems, steel decks, mulch control, and reliable engine.
Their gas-powered lawn mowers are simply some of the best and most reliable. However, Honda doesn’t make electric lawn mowers.
Another popular brand that makes top-of-the-line gas-powered mowers, tractors, and zero-turn mowers. They make mowers for the commercial and consumer market that are full-featured and use Briggs & Stratton engines.
When it comes to making corded and battery-powered outdoor power tools, Ryobi is clearly the leader in this industry. Their battery technology is simply the best, and they know how to push their cordless technology to the limit.
The single brand has a huge lineup of zero-turn mowers, ride-on mowers, self-propelled mowers, and push mowers. They also make walk-behind mowers that start at a price range of $100 and go all the way up to $800. Their ride-on mowers are slightly expensive, starting at $2500 and up to $5000.
There are other notable brands out there, and it is not possible to mention them all. Other notable brands of tractors and lawn mowers include Toro, Snapper and Simplicity, Troy-Bilt, John Deere, Ego, Cub Cadet, Ariens, Greenworks, Gravely, Worx, Sun Joe, Stihl, Oregon, Makita, and DeWalt.
10 Statistics & Facts About Lawns and Lawn Mowers
1. The British Lawnmower Museum is a museum that only exhibits lawn mowers. The epic place is located in Merseyside, Great Britain. You will find classic and antique lawn mowers there.
2. Lawns play a huge role in producing oxygen. Even a small 50 by 50-foot lawn is capable of releasing oxygens that are enough for a fully grown adult for a day. As the grass growing season approaches, these lawns help maintain the balance of the ecosystem.
3. On the other hand, humans do more harm to the environment when taking care of their law. A recent study shows that each year homeowners and lawn care professionals apply over 80 million pounds of pesticides on the lawn.
4. In the United States, there are roughly 50 million acres of grass. Out of these 50 million, 21 million acres are private lawns. That goes to show you how big the lawn care industry is and why there is a huge demand for lawn care products.
5. While it’s great to mow your lawn twice a week if you don’t have to, don’t do it because a lawn mower (gasoline-powered) that is run for one hour pollutes the environment just like a car that is driven for 200 miles. Either go electric or mow your lawn once a week to save the environment.
6. Not everyone does their own lawn. 1 out of 5 people relies on professionals to take care of their landscaping and lawn care needs.
7. Did you know? In the United States alone, lawn owners spend around 30 billion dollars per year on lawn service and lawn care products. That is a lot of money. Now, caring for your lawn is easy if you have enough time, and it is also cheaper if you do it on your own.
8. Anytime you are around a lawn mower, keep in mind that your mower isn’t your best friend. It can be dangerous. More than 68000 injuries per year are caused by powered lawn mowers.
9. How much time do you think an average American spends on their lawn? One hour? Two hours? Well, typically, people spend over 4 hours per week on their lawn. If you add that up, it is around 208 hours per year.
10. In the US, there are approximately 85 million households that own private lawns, and the average size of the lawn is ¼ of an acre.
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