Walk-behind or riding mower? Here’s the difference

With spring right around the corner, it’s time to find the right mower for your lawn. For new homeowners, purchasing a mower might be a daunting task, but whether you’re a first-time or returning buyer, there’s always more to learn when picking the mower to manage your property. Let’s get started!  

Walk-Behind Mowers

One of the biggest deciding factors is going to be the size of your lawn. If your property is less than a half-acre, you should opt for a walk-behind mower. However, that’s only if you don’t mind working on your feet for longer periods of time. These mowers are ideal for suburban living and tend to be the more affordable option. They are easy to store, which makes them great for homeowners, and you get the power you need to cut grass without paying the price of a riding mower. Additionally, walk-behind mowers tend to require less overall maintenance.

If you have already decided on a walk-behind mower, there are some different features to consider, the first being drive. Front-wheel drive is effective for level ground with obstacles. With front-wheel drive, you can push the handle down to reduce traction on the front wheels to pivot in and out of corners. Rear-wheel drive is great for mowing up or along the sides of hills.  This is because when you push down on the handle while mowing uphill, the front tires do not lose traction.

Another feature to consider involves what the mower does with the grass after it’s cut. A two-function mower will mulch and bag the grass. This is better for the health of your lawn, since the nitrogen-rich grass is returned to the ground. However, a two function does not work as well with tall grass in the spring and early summer. A three-function bags and mulches like the two function, but discards it to the side. This is useful when mowing areas of tall grass.

Riding Mowers: Lawn Tractors vs. Zero-Turn Mowers

If you have a property larger than a half-acre, it’s time to invest in a riding lawnmower. They are perfect for those who need to cut a lot of grass in a little bit of time or who need to avoid standing for long periods. Riding mowers do require regular maintenance throughout the year and demand more storage space in your shed. That being said, nothing beats how fast they get the job done.   

Now that you have decided on a riding mower, the next step is to consider your options — a lawn tractor or a zero-turn mower, the two power machines of the landscaping world. Lawn tractors are ideal for those who want to get multiple uses out of their purchase. The major difference between the two is that a lawn tractor can do just about anything from hauling attachments to plowing snow, while zero-turn mowers could be considered the “specialists” of mowing. Zero-turn mowers are specially designed to execute runs with an effective radius of zero. This means you can turn after finishing a pass to line up perfectly for the next. These mowers have excellent maneuverability and are the fastest riding mowers out there. They provide the most precise cut, making them favorable to landscapers and real lawn enthusiasts.

If you have more questions on the right mower for you, ask your local 21st Century Equipment dealer!

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