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lawn mower questions


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My poor OH is finding that mowing the grass is getting increasingly harder.  As he doesn't want help with this task, we have decided to get a new mower.

After whizzing round local shops and looking on line, we have narrowed our choice down to a Cub Cadet, tractée with big back wheels.  So far so good but, as is usual with us, we now have a small disagreement about pull-cord start or electric key start.

I'd have thought it was a no brainer as it's only about 100 euros difference in price.  What OH says is (besides balking at the higher price), how does the battery charge and does it make the mower much heavier?

Anyone know the answer to that?

I spoke with a French friend today and he told me that I need to make sure that the  embrayage is separate from the vitesse.  In other words, the mower is capable of being stopped without it switching off altogether as, for example, when a neighbour passes by and wants to chat or you need to empty the grass box.  So, if this embrayage is independently engaged, perhaps the pull cord is not such a problem as you would only need to pull it once for each session of mowing?

Any thoughts, please, gardeners?

PS most of this "lawn mower specific" vocabulary is unfamiliar to me in either French or English and so I am having to use words I have heard or read.

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Makes sense, spend the extra money for comfort and listen to what the experienced locals say, no shortcuts. Good idea for the clutch to be separate from the motor so you can leave it running without stopping the engine. Electric starts are so much easier. Maybe you have to charge the battery when not in use.

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I damaged the tendon in my right arm so could not pull start the lawn mower or strimmer and had to get someone else to do it for me. Decided to buy battery strimmer and will most certainly go for push start mower in future - well worth the extra cost. Obviously a little heavier with a battery etc but not that you notice when the thing is driven. If you have a lot of grass I would go for the sit on tractor type lawn mower.

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The battery is charged whilst the engine is running, just like in a car. I have done hundreds of hours of grass cutting on several different types of ride ons, all electric start, very few problems (last one was over 20 years old and still started fine).

You must disconnect the battery when you lay it up for the end of the season and put it on charge occasionally to prolong its life. You can jump start them just like a car and if you have one, a lithium battery pack can also be used if the battery is completely dead in the middle of a field. You don't need a working battery for the machine to run, it just needs to be connected.
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I got the impression the original question was about a walk behind type lawn mower, if it's a ride on then weight is not an issue.

Apart from my small pull to start mower (which I use because it has a collection box) I have had a tractor type ride on mower with key start for 16 years, never removed the battery during winter and in that time had one replacement battery.

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Thank you for all the answers and now I know which to buy[:D]

Spider is right about our wanting a push itself mower.  Had a Husquvana ride-on in the last FLAT and large garden but, in this house, the garden is too fiddly in little bits and has a couple of steep slopes.  A French friend overturned her ride-on and cut off one leg and mangled the other!  Here where we live, there are a lot of gardens with slopey bits and a ride-on does not always fit the bill.

Lehaut I have taken on board what you have said about battery maintenance.

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[quote user="ericd"]..... Just a thought ..... have you considered those robotic lawn mowers?[/quote]

Eric, OH seems to think a robot won't work because of the ground being rough, slopey in parts, full of tree roots, cailloux, etc.  Yes, I know, your average "garden" in the French countryside[:D]

Have been round a few outlets today, looking at mowers and spoken to a couple of gardening professionals.  We have now more or less chosen though the Cub Cadet shop was not open today.

The shop has a workshop attached and mechanic and so we are hoping that the servicing etc would be easily taken care of.

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  • 3 years later...

We have a selection of mowers, due to our strange assortment of grassy bits.

A small hand start 6.5 hp ride on now in it's 13th year, cost €600 in the crate, build it up yourself etc.

It's on its second spark plug and third blade + numerous repairs to the grass box, adjustments, punctures etc etc.

A Honda side discharge mower - no grassbox - only used in emergencies (madame likes the grass to be collected!)

Titan 6.5 hp  22 inch walk behind mower - my exercise bike !

And then there is Mowcron our robot mower. So named because if in doubt or in need of advice he heads off in the direction of Berlin - just like hIs namesake when Mutti Merkel was chancellor !!

Joking aside, if you can use a robot mower get one, they save no end of work.

The secret is to install the perimeter wire exactly as the instructions say. You can avoid obstructions, tree stumps, flower beds etc by routing the wire around them, again, do exactly what the instructions say.

If you could design your garden from scratch and have paved edges level with a nice flat lawn then install the perimeter cable so that the robot mows over the edges on to the paving, you could have a next to zero maintenance lawn.

They do need  their little blades replacing periodically, cleaning underneath, etc.

Ours is about 5 years old and has had two replacement batteries in that time.

Ours is a Flymo 1200 r now superceded by a later model with more bells and whistles than ours - bluetooth - hose washable (good idea ours can't be washed) 







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