This page contains purchasing advice for products that we service, not sell. Machines you can trust from The Guys who service them every day. New Apr 2017. Updates coming soon.
Unbiased purchase advise !
Lawnmower purchasing Guide.
The number one question I get asked is "What brand should I buy?"
I can literally talk about this for hours, so I will answer this in two parts try to keep it short.
1) Honda. With mowers now starting around $600 for their push mowers, they are a lot more affordable than most people think. Self propelled models start around $720 , also very reasonable. I have NEVER had a single Honda lawnmower owner tell me they regretted their purchase. NOTE: I would not consider purchasing their HRS 216PKC model. It's not bad, but it's not special, and for $389.00 you can deal hunt and find a better mower.
If for any reason, you don't want to purchase a Honda, $600.00 is a fair bit of money, read on, but be warned, it gets a little long winded. Also, if you are waiting for me to tell you where to
purchase a $200 mower that will last you 20 years, you're in the wrong place.
2) Other than Honda, and a few commercial brands, you can't make a purchase based on brand. The fact is that all brands sell some junk these day. LawnBoy, Toro, Craftsman, WeedEater, Snapper, Husqvarna and so on, all make lawnmowers that I wouldn't pay $150.00 for. Embarrassing garbage. That being said, all of these brands have some great mowers at really good prices.
How do you make a safe purchase?
A) Start by looking at the engine. Get something with a Kohler or Honda engine. These companies don't make a bad lawnmower engine. Though the classic Briggs & Stratton engine is still my favourite, they are phasing it out. The new E, EX and EXi Series engines have a lot of issues in the few short years they have been out. I personally like working on them. They are easy to work on, I like the interesting design, but that is not a selling point for the customer.
UPDATE: Many new Honda engines come with a "Thermowax" automatic choke system. Same great engine, but the choke system has issues on some of these engines that requires repair. Kohler is making a
lesser quality engine that uses a smaller air filter that has had some issues, but they seem to have updated the design again, as of 2019.
If you are making a purchase and have a question about an engine, feel free to send me an email and I will do my best to help you. TheGuysRepair@Gmail.ca
B) Stay away from gimmicks, If you don't need it, don't pay for it. You don't need all wheel drive on a lawnmower, you don't need electric start and you don't need anything that adds extra parts. Purchasing gimmicks WILL end up costing you trouble and money in the future. Example: A regular engine control cable. approximately $20. A dual cable for a automatic door release $65 and twice as likely to fail. A dual cable for all wheel drive $120, more likely to fail and harder to source.
If you follow the above advice you greatly increase your chances of getting a good mower. If you are unsure, and you are ready to make a purchase, feel free to send us an email and we will do our best to help you. You will need to include a link to a website or some way for us to identify what mower you are asking about.
Lawn Tractor Purchasing Guide.
The most common question I get about purchasing a new tractor is “What brand should I buy”
Sorry to say there’s no easy answer. There are many good brands, for both large yards and acreages, but you can NOT make a purchase based on brand alone. I will answer this in two parts and keep it as short as I can.
1) For most people there are plenty of good options from Chraftsman, Cub Cadet, Husqvarna, John Deere and Toro. The problem is that all of these brands are now selling some horrible products.
A) If you are going to purchase any tractor, these days, make sure that it has a Hydrostatic transmission. There are many manufacturers selling “Automatic Transmission” that are VERY prone to failure. Do not purchase any lawn tractor unless you are sure it has a Hydraulic “Hydrostatic” transmission.
B) These companies are all cheeping out with engines on their lower end models. You are safe with Briggs & Stratton, Kohler, Honda and Kawasaki. If it’s any other brand you are taking a big risk. Note: A few of these companies label engines as their own, so you may have to do some research to know what it really is. John Deer used to use a lot of Kawasaki and now use mostly Briggs, but they are usually labeled as “John Deere”.
2) Buy a bigger tractor than you need. You can cut an acre with a 19 ph tractor with a 38” cut, but it will take you a long time, put a lot of hours on your tractor and over work the tractor. In the end, this will lead to a lot shorter service intervals, costing you money, and mean you will have to replace your tractor or do major repairs every few years. Cut the same area with a 25hp 54” cut and you will be done quicker, have to service it less and, if you keep up on your services, it will last you 15-20 years.
A) A single cylinder 19 hp is alright for a half acre yard that is well maintained, but even with a 42” deck, a 19 hp engine is working hard. You’re going to need to cut frequently and keep those blades plenty sharp. For an acre or more, you really need a V Twin engine with 20 or more horse power.
B) If you are on a well groomed lot, you may get away with a small tractor with small wheels, but as soon as you get a few bumps, gopher holes or rough ground in general, you’re going to need something better. Big wheels and a cast iron front axel are a must. Large wheels also go a long way to making the ride smoother. This isn’t just pleasant for the user, but it’s much easier on the tractor and will ultimately lead to a longer life and a better quality cut.
A few extra considerations.
Zero turn tractors are becoming quite popular and there are several good ones out there. if you purchase a zero turn tractor, keep in mind that those small front wheels are vulnerable to holes and ruts. If you have rough property, you may want to stay clear of anything with small front casters.
There are also some higher end, more pricy options from companies like Ariens, Kubota and Gravely. From what I have seen, these tractors don't cheap out on
transmissions and engines, but I'm guessing it's just a matter of time. These brands can be harder to get parts and service for. This means that you usually pay a premium for any service work.
When you factor this into the over all cost of the unit, it sometimes makes more sense to purchase an other brand.