Mistakes Everyone Makes When Buying A Lawn Mower

Buying the right lawn mower is essential to maintaining your grass. The wrong one can damage it and the right one can keep it vibrant and healthy. According to Taskeasy, regular lawn maintenance results in stronger grass, even growth, and faster recovery. Your lawn puts up with a lot. They deal with seasonal changes, pests, bacteria, and more. It's your job to make sure it stays healthy.

In order to do that you need a good lawn mower. One that suits your yard and its needs. But there are many different types of lawn mowers and each one has specific features. People too often make huge mistakes when buying a new lawn mower. You could buy one that isn't comfortable, that doesn't do the job right, or that constantly breaks down on you. If you want to ensure you're buying the right lawn mower for your yard, it's important to know the most common mistakes people make.

Buying the wrong size mower

If you type "lawn mower" into Google, you're going to get a ton of results. You're also going to see that there are a lot of different-size lawn mowers available. And choosing the wrong size for your lawn can cause massive damage without you even knowing it. That's why knowing ahead of time the size mower you need will help you get long-lasting results.

Trees.com reports that there are four different types of lawn mowers. Ride-on, walk, power, or drive. And there are even more types under each of those. For example, lawn tractors and zero-turn mowers are types of ride-on mowers, whereas push or self-propelled mowers are types of walk mowers. All are vastly different in size and it's important to buy the right one. You can determine this by the size of your yard, your own personal comfort, and your needs. You'll also want to take into account how many obstacles you'll be mowing around, according to Cut Grass Pro. But, in general, the smaller your yard, the smaller the mower you can get away with buying.

Going for the cheapest option

Cheaper isn't always the better option. That's especially true for the lawn mower you buy. Whether you plan to mow a lot or a little, you might still want to splurge on a high-quality mower that's going to get the job done. Every mower has its pros and cons. What matters is what you need it to do. While it's fine to look at cheaper options when shopping, don't be afraid to test out the larger mowers.

That isn't to say cheap mowers aren't an option. There are simple mowers that work and work well. According to The Spruce, a reel or push mower is perfect for all sorts of people. This mower is quieter, environmentally-friendly, and, yes, cheap. But it doesn't chop twigs and cannot be used as a leaf shredder. This is why knowing the type of features you need is important. If you don't need all the bells and whistles, then the simplicity of the push mower may appeal to you. But if you're looking for your lawn to garner long-lasting results and be the envy of your neighbor, spending some extra money on a larger mower is the better choice.

Buying the wrong mower for your lawn

The size of your yard and your own personal needs should be considered when you're buying a new lawn mower. Knowing these will help you determine whether you buy a ride-on mower, a push mower, or a power mower. Buying the wrong size can make it difficult to get the job done in a timely manner. As noted by Briggs & Stratton, the smaller your yard, the smaller mower and mower deck you need.

Larger yards, particularly those with hills and dips, would benefit from a ride-on mower as this will give you better visibility and mobility around obstacles like trees and shrubbery. If you don't know the size of your yard while shopping, do your best to get some kind of estimate. Taking the time to measure it will also help you narrow down your options. And if you need more help in figuring out the size, ask a friend or family member to give you an extra hand or perspective.

Buying a mower that isn't powerful enough

It's true that different mowers have different power levels. This is due to many factors including the blades, the type of mower, and whether it's gas or electric. Knowing how much power you need for your lawn is essential before buying a new one. When deciding on lawn mower power, you have two options: gas or electric. According to Quicken Loans, there are pros and cons to both, and doing a little research will help you choose the best option for you. 

Electric mowers are more modern and while they're better for the environment, they may limit your mowing time depending on how long the charge holds. There are cord options available but that could limit your mobility. Gas mowers cut grass easier and have been around a lot longer, but they're heavier and require more maintenance. You also have the option to buy a push mower, which doesn't require any type of power source except for your own strength.

Choosing the right power source

Do you prefer gas, electric, or environmental? When buying a new mower, it's important to know what type of power source you want. This will help you narrow down your choices and focus on the other features you'll need. One way to determine what type of power source is perfect for you is to consider your budget. In fact, 20 Something Finance reports that switching to a push mower could save you money in the long run.

Push mowers don't require any power source except for you. Electric mowers need electricity to get them moving. There are cord and cordless options, but either one will run up your electric bill. Gas mowers need gas and depending on how much you mow, you could be spending a lot. When deciding on which power source is right for you take into account these three things: your budget, your yard size, and your health. They will help you determine which type of mowers you can start looking at.

Buying a mower you can't start

There's nothing worse than wanting to mow your lawn and being unable to start your machine. There could be many reasons why your mower won't start, but if you find you have constant trouble starting it, you may want to reconsider buying one just like it. Most gas mowers have a pull string start and that, according to Briggs & Stratton, is one of the most common reasons mowers won't start.

Other troubleshooting problems could be losing power in the middle of mowing, a smoking mower, or the blades not spinning properly. This is why regular maintenance is important. If you buy a mower that won't start no matter what you do, don't wait to take it to get serviced. It could need a new spark plug, something could be caught in the blades, or the filter might be dirty. When buying a new lawn mower, make sure to learn everything you can about the reasons why it won't start and schedule a time to check all those troubleshooting areas.

Not reading the user manual

The user manual is there for a reason. When you buy anything, be it a piece of furniture, an electric device, or a piece of equipment, chances are it came with a user manual. Companies don't give you these for no reason. User manuals are vital to learning everything you can about your new purchase. If you start using a new mower before reading the manual, you're bound to make costly mistakes. These mistakes could lead you to ruin the mower beyond repair, and you'll need to buy a new one. 

Many companies will have the user manual online as well as in print. Angi notes that this is a good way to find all sorts of information about your mower. You can go to the company for assistance. Whether you need to change the oil, find out why your mower isn't starting, or looking for safety tips, refer to the manual or the company's website. Don't ignore that manual! Always read it when dealing with something you're not sure about. It will save you so much hassle and wasted time.

Schedule regular maintenance

No matter what type of lawn mower you have, it's important to schedule regular maintenance on it. This includes sharpening the blades, washing it down, cleaning the mower deck, and more. The more you take care of your mower, the longer it will last. Each mower requires different maintenance and it's a good idea to know when and how you should do it.

Gas mowers often need the mower deck cleaned, and The Spruce reports that it's best to do this at least twice during the mowing season. Push mowers may only require you to clean the blades and wipe down the exterior. Ride-on and drive mowers should be taken to experts, especially if there is something wrong with the motor. Your lawn mower, like any outdoor equipment, should never be overlooked when it comes to maintenance. Schedule time on your calendar to do a run-through and be sure to use that trusty user manual, as it will tell you all the areas you should check.

Have a secure spot to store it

Lawn mowers are large pieces of equipment. Even the smaller, push ones take up a lot of space. You should take the time to dedicate a home to your mower. A spot it can live during the mowing season as well as the off-season. Briggs & Stratton suggests storing your lawn mower in a dry place. Somewhere it will be protected from outside elements. Garages and sheds are the most popular storage areas.

Don't pile things on it or leave it somewhere that's difficult to get to. And never store it beside a furnace or mechanism with a pilot light. Before storing it away for the off-season, give it a good clean and remove the battery. You might also want to drain the fuel. Before using it for the first time during the mowing season, take it out and give it a test run. Make sure everything is intact, and, if need be, give it a quick wash or some minor maintenance. This way you know it's good to go when it's time to get to work.

Learn your town's waste regulations

Lawn waste, like any other waste, has regulations, and they vary from state to state. Before you begin mowing for the season and disposing of yard waste, it's a good idea to take some time and study your town's specific guidelines. According to Waste Management, most yard waste consists of tree trimmings and branches, leaves, plants, and brush and grass clippings. Soil, bricks, and stones are not allowed, as they're too heavy.

You should also learn when your town picks up lawn waste. This will help you figure out the best mowing schedule. Having a schedule that coincides with lawn waste pickup will mean you won't have bags loitering in your yard for days. Of course if the weather doesn't permit you to stay on schedule, you may have to adjust, but it's always good practice to mow your lawn as close to the pickup day as possible. You could even coordinate with a neighbor and suggest putting your waste out together. And, if you're a gardener, you could start a compost pile, and turn that yard waste into something amazing for your garden.

Take your comfort into account

Mowing is a strenuous activity and it can do harm to your body if you're not careful. When you're buying a new lawn mower, be sure to take your health and your physical limits into consideration. You may have been able to push a gas-powered mower a few years ago, but now it's tough for you to do that. You might want to switch to a ride-on mower. If you experience more pain sitting than standing, a push mower may be your best bet. If you're not 100% sure, you can always check with your doctor.

There isn't one mower that works for all physical types, which is why it's important to know your limits. And don't be afraid to test out different mowers to learn your comfort levels. You can also learn some neat tricks from ScienceDirect, which tested various different positions when mowing, to show you how to position your hands for maximum comfort. Ergonomics extends far beyond your workspace setup. So when you're looking for a new lawn mower, consider what will be best not just for your yard, but for your health as well.

Choosing the right blades

Your lawn mower's blades are the most important feature. Yes, your gas mower needs gas and your electric mower needs electricity, but without good blades, it won't matter. The blades cut the grass. So while the machine you choose is key, the blades are even more so. And like mowers, there are many different types of blades and each serves a specific purpose. Knowing the type of blades you need will give you a better idea of the kind of mower you're looking for.

iGo Pro reports that choosing blades or replacing the old ones is fairly easy. All you need is the mower's serial number and you'll be able to find replacement blades quickly. They also suggest that sharpening your blades comes down to how often you mow and the length of the grass you're cutting. Your goal when choosing the right blades is to figure out which ones cut your grass the best. Do you mow on a regular basis or do you let your grass grow a few inches before cutting? Once you know your schedule, you'll be in a better position to find the right blades for your lawn mower.

Learn your town laws

Lawn mowers, especially gas and electric ones, are noisy. How many times have you been enjoying a calm spring breeze only to hear it interrupted by a lawn mower? There isn't much you can do to limit the noise unless you buy a push mower. And it might surprise you to learn that some towns have laws about lawn mower use. That's why it's good to know what you can do with one as well as when and where.

Most laws center around driving your lawn mower. HotCars reports that the United States has some interesting laws when it comes to ride-on mowers. For example, did you know that in some states you can get a DUI while driving a lawn mower? You also can't operate one if your license is suspended and don't even think about bringing them onto a highway. These laws may seem silly, but they're in effect for a reason. That's why it's a good idea to check your town laws as they may have time restrictions on when you can mow and how often. It never hurts to know the law, even for yard work.

Not knowing your lawn size and its obstacles

Yards are an extension of your home. Many people decorate them because they want an outdoor oasis to relax in when the weather is nice. If you decorate your lawn with furniture or other large items, you'll need to take those into account when you're buying a new lawn mower. Why? Because if the stuff is too difficult to move, buying a mower you can't maneuver easily is going to make the work harder.

This is why knowing your yard size and its obstacles is important when buying a mower. Remember that push or reel mowers are ideal for smaller yards, as mentioned in Wirecutter, because they don't require a lot of effort to move around. But if you have a gas mower or a ride-on mower, moving around decor might be harder than you think. If you're able to move furniture and decorative pieces easily, then the size of your mower will be less important. But if you have fountains or heavy statues, then a smaller mower will be your better option. Your goal is to make mowing your lawn as simple as you can possibly make it.