More About Lawn Mowers

More About Lawn Mowers

Although they have become a household name amongst gardeners and homeowners, if you have never had to manage your own garden before you may be unfamiliar with lawnmowers and their functioning. Lawnmowers are almost your only option for keeping your grass neatly and evenly trimmed, as they use rotating blades to trim the lawn consistently.

The lawnmower has been around since the 1820s after being invented by British engineer, Edwin Beard. In comparison to the models we have today, this primary model was large and difficult to manoeuvre and was refined for commercial sales by the 1860s. Thereafter, experiments were conducted until petrol-run models developed between the two World Wars, which formed the basis for most lawnmowers that are on the market today.

Whilst the invention of lawnmowers has proven invaluable to gardeners in modern society, in the last year they have come under fire for their negative impact on the environment. In reality, lawnmowers omit as much fuel as a 1992 modelled car that has driven over 600 miles. The reason for this is that cars have improved dramatically in terms of remodelling and updating, whereas lawnmowers have remained modelled on the older versions.

These household items therefore contribute significantly to air pollution, as almost every well kept lawn – including large sporting fields and school grounds – is maintained through the use of a lawnmower. Manufacturers are now being encouraged to create more eco-friendly models to match competitors.

Robotic mowers are a fairly recent novelty, and are being considered the solution to lawnmowers that are heavy on fuel. These machines are battery-operated and do not require movement from the owner, simply supervision. These little gadgets save fuel and simply require recharging to operate.

Aside from environmental issues, lawnmowers are also the cause of tens of thousands of injuries amongst adults and children each year. This has called for enhanced safety precaution features on mowers, including the popular dead man’s handle that cuts the power when released.

The two most recognized varieties of lawnmowers are the push type mowers and the ride mowers. Push mowers are the most common variety for homeowners, as the size is suitable for most gardens. As the name describes, these machines simply require the owner to push them along their lawns. The variety of push mowers today has ballooned to include a variety of special features, and gardeners can now select tailor-made mowers to match their gardening needs.

Ride mowers are larger to accommodate their owners’ weight, and the obvious size difference makes them more suitable for wider surface areas and larger grounds. These types of machines are equally popular to the push mowers, as bigger communities like schools and sporting grounds require them to maintain wide grounds.

The History of the Lawn Mower

The History of the Lawn Mower

Lawn mower started its lawn and garden invasion in early 19th century when an English engineer named Edwin Budding.  Budding was working on a textile factory when he observed the movement of the machine cutting the cloth.  This served as the inspiration for creating the lawn mower.

When Budding’s lawn mower was made is was for sports grounds and expensive gardens as a replacement to the scythe.  The lawn mower that he made was cylinder or reel-type mower.  It almost looks like the classic reel, current, environmental friendly lawn mower that we have right now.

After 10 years, this simple machine  finally was able to be worked with a horse or a donkey.  And then it took another 60 years before a steam-powered lawn mower was built.

When lawn tennis, croquet, cricket, football and rugby started to became popular, the use of  lawn mower also started to become popular.  Using lawn mower became more efficient that using the scythe. This prompted people to start discovering ways to make lawn mowers efficient.  The first steam-powered lawn mower was patented in 1893 by James Summer of Lancashire. There were also experiments to use petrol and gas to power the mowers.

During the 1870, Elwood McGuire of Richmond, Indiana designed a lawn mower which is lighter and easier to push.  Because of this, by 1885, 50,000 lawnmowers were being manufactured every year and sent out to different parts of the globe.  Mowers with multiple sets of blades was first made in the United States by a Mister Worthington.

At the end of the 19th century, in the same year when the multiple blades was built in the United States, they also made their first gasoline powered mowers.  However, these discoveries on the lawn mower had to stop because of World War II.  The United States economy experienced economic downfall that made people prioritize food other than equipment.

Prior to the war, many people have experimented with rotary blades, especially during the late 1920s and the early 1930s.  A farmer in the Midwest region of the United States had a concept of using a toothed circular saw blade mounted horizontally on a vertical shaft.  This would be suspended and would cut the grass in the lawn in the same height.

This man’s name is Stacy, although he did not patent his discoveries on the mower,  he asserted and claimed that the rotary moving blades of the mower was his idea.  As a matter of fact, his family still has the prints and illustrations which are authentically dated during this period.  Stacy died in 1993.

After the World War II, the lawn mowers became such a demand.  As a matter of fact, by the early 1960s, there were some people who would say that if all the lawn mowers would start at the same time, it could be heard worldwide.

Today, there are limitless possibilities for the lawn mower and other garden maintenance equipment.  For gasoline-run lawn mowers, there are low emission gasoline engines.  These engines lessen air pollution.  Battery operated lawn mowers are also starting to be used by more and more people.  Currently, you can also experience sitting and standing riding lawn mowers.

Lawn mowers are continually evolving.  For some people, mowing your lawn not only reflects how healthy and how attractive your lawn could be.  It also gives a feeling of order, and for some the smell of  freshly cut grass is relaxing.

Lawn Mower Maintenance Tips

Lawn Mower Maintenance Tips

Lawn mowers need to be properly maintained so it will be able to function whenever you take it out of the garage. Here are a few maintenance tips you should know about that will be very helpful.

The best time to clean a lawnmower especially those that are powered by small gas engines is between the months of October and November. This is because fall is coming and if this is not drained, chances are this will not start when spring comes.

To do that, you should run your motor dry. If there is some gas in the tank, take it out and put this in your car’s tank. This will not cause any harm to your car and this is much better than throwing it away.

If you don’t heed this warming and leave gas all winter, you will have to deal with the sticky stuff resulting from the evaporation of the old gas. So just think, you can do this the easy way or the hard way.

A month or two before spring comes you should also consider an oil change for your lawn mower. You can do this by simply draining the old oil and then putting in a new one. Some people don’t change it annually but you should do so every two years.

The air filter of the lawn mower may also get clogged. Although it is not that expensive to replace, you can save money by cleaning it using a light brush or blowing through the holes using some air. That way you don’t have to change this for a new one and save money for something else.

Unlike the air filter, spark plugs have to be replaced regularly. You can buy these from the hardware store, open the lawn mower and replace these with new ones. Before you buy this from the store, be sure you know exactly what the plug specs are because certain brands use different kinds.

The mower blades will get dull over time and you have two options. First, replace these with new ones or sharpen it yourself. You just have to buy a blade sharpener and then work this at the correct angle. The nice thing about the sharpener is that you can also use for axes, hoes and shovels.

A lot of people tend to ignore the underside of the lawn mower. But did you know that this can also make you miss certain spots later on when you mow the lawn and also make it difficult to start the engine? This is why you should also pay some attention to the under carriage and you can clean it using a paint scraper.

It wouldn’t hurt to do take some preventive measures for your lawn mower knowing that the cost of a major repair will be much more expensive. By draining it, cleaning it and replacing a few parts, your lawn mower will be just as good as the day you bought it.

The lawn mower is the best machine to have so your lawn is cut evenly. In some neighborhoods, fines are imposed to those who do not follow these guidelines so if you want that to happen to you, make sure you lawn mower is in good condition all the time.

How to Choose a Lawn Mower

How to Choose a Lawn Mower

A lawn mower is exactly what you need to make sure the lawn looks good all year round. If you haven’t bought one or are planning to buy a new one, you need to know how to choose the right lawn mower for your home.

First, you have to compare what one brand has to offer over another by knowing the price, the weight and the safety features. While shopping, ask the sales person some questions, get a brochure and then look at reviews posted online.

You should also pay attention to the deck. If this is powered, meaning it runs on battery, electric or gas, find out what material is it made of. The best ones to get are those made of stainless steel but if this beyond your budget, you have no choice but to get one made of aluminum or plastic.

One thing that people don’t tell you when choosing a lawn mower is to consider the terrain where the lawn mower will be used. If the terrain is light, then a reel mower is useful however if there is some rough terrain, you will need a high wheel mower.

When looking for a push on mower, it is best to get the kind that has scissor like action rotating blades which passes over a stationary knife because this is ideal for those who have a small lawn.

The cheapest ones in the market do not have a motor so it is quiet and non-polluting. Best of all, these are maintenance free. The only disadvantage is that you get this chore is very tiring and this has to be done regularly.

A great way to mow the land without feeling tired is to get one that is powered using batteries, gasoline or electricity. Among the three, gasoline has proven to be the best but these are noisy and not environment friendly.

You can choose from the 2 cycle or the 4 cycle gasoline powered lawn mower. Of the two, the four cycle gasoline consumes less fuel and does not pollute that much. This is operated by riding on top while some require you to stand up. For those who don’t want to sit or stand, get one that is maneuvered by remote control.

If you don’t want to deal with glass clippings, you can get a lawn mower that comes with a bag which collects it so can dispose of it easily. Another option is to get what is called a mulching mower which cuts the grass into small pieces and you can hardly see them.

For those who have bigger lawns, better get either an electric or gas powered rotary motor that has a circular blade under a protective housing. If pushing the mower is hard, get one that allows you to ride it.

The last thing to check before buying a lawn mower is the warranty. This will be useful if ever you have problems with the unit you bought.

There is a lawn mower for everyone and while some are faced with budget constraints, you will still be able to find one that is just as good as an expensive brand. If you haven’t found one yet, try looking for these products online because they could be cheaper even if you add the shipping costs.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Lawn Mower

Things to Consider Before Buying a Lawn Mower

Don’t let that attractive advertisement lure you into buying that state of the art, feature-laden lawn mower without carefully looking up things to consider before buying a lawn mower.

Before you start burning those hard-earned dollars to purchase one, make sure you know what to look for and what you need to consider before making that decision.

As you know by now, lawn mowers come in a wide variety of sizes, types, and price ranges that would require some careful research before purchasing one, lest you buy one not suited to your needs or with your current lawn or garden setting.

Frankly, there are a some things to seriously consider, such as the terrain and size of your lawn, how much you can afford, how long the lawn mower is expected to last and even your own mechanical knowledge, since all lawn mowers require periodic maintenance.

First, start your research by taking a careful look at your lawn.

If you have been thinking of replacing your old mower, you may already have a good idea of what will work for you, since you have already managed to work over your lawn.

If you have just moved into a home, you must know how many square feet of lawn space you have and would require mowing.

This is important because recommendations for various mowers are partially based on lawn size measured in square feet.

Here are some tips in doing your research, which may not only save you time, but the inconvenience of regretting a compulsive purchase.

Take a careful walk around your lawn, check to make sure if the terrain is smooth? Are there shady spots that are oftentimes wet, especially after watering? Are there trees with surface roots appearing on the ground? What kind of obstacles are there like boulders, patches of rocky ground, etc? Fixtures like planter boxes, bushes, patios, walls or other barriers that can make maneuverability a bit difficult?  Is it a level surface or a sloped area?

Next thing to consider is by making a self-assessment.

Do you really enjoy working in the garden or maintaining your lawn? Would you feel feel comfortable getting your hands dirty by cleaning the air filter, changing the engine oil, and checking spark plugs? How about replacing old or damaged belts and scraping off cut grass sticking to the metal or painted parts of your lawn mower? Or getting down on your knees to remove the blade and sharpening and balancing it?

A good quality mower will last for many years if it is maintained properly, but an ill-maintained one cannot last very long.

Finally, the next best thing you need to consider is your budget.

Spending the right money on the right type of lawn mowing equipment can be your best investment yet.

How much can you afford for a lawn mower? How long do you project living in your home, is it for keeps or just a specific period of time? Do you travel often and spend most of your time away from home? Will you need your mower in the next one, two or three years, even more?

These are some of the basic questions you first need to knows the things to consider before buying that lawn mower and it may be deemed wise for you to weight the pros and cons of your situation, that way, you do not get to spend money on something that may just end up gathering cobwebs in your garage or supply room.

Knowing the Different Types of Lawn Mowers

Knowing the Different Types of Lawn Mowers

Have you ever looked at your lawn and thought that maybe it is about time to get your hands dirty and show your neighbors that it is about time that you have a spanking lawn you can be proud of, then it is about time for you know the kinds of lawn mowers that would be best for your front or back yard.

With the hundreds of varieties that you see in the market today, there are basically two kinds of lawn mowers that will work for you, these are reel mowers and rotary mowers.

In the early 19th century, lawns were usually maintained by hard-working gardeners using scythes and spend many hours just to cut grass at an even length and area coverage.

It was only until 1830 when an English engineer named Edwin Budding invented the first reel mower.

The first mowers were heavy and awkward, but was a great improvement from the scythe.

Over time, engines and other innovations were added, leading to the creation of the rotary lawn mower by Power Specialties of England in 1933.

Reel-type lawn mowers use sharp blades on a revolving cylinder called a reel and when  the reel mower is pushed forward – either by muscle or engine power – the reel with the blades move over the grass.

As the mower progresses forward, the rotating blades come in sliding contact with a stationary bar that is parallel to the ground at a particular height for clearance.

The stationary bar is called a bed knife, where the grass is held up and is cut by the shearing action of the reel blades against the bed knife.

The mower can be adjusted to various cutting heights.

Reel mowers can cut lawns depending on the desired grass height and this is why reel mowers are preferred for use on golf courses.

The shearing action of reel mowers make a cleaner cut than that of rotary mowers and often leave finer grass clippings.

Precision blade adjustment is important to a reel mower, since the bed knife must be adjusted at the right position for the grass to be cut properly.

If the bed knife is adjusted too close to the rotating blades, it will only hang up on the bed knife and if the bed knife is too far away from the blades, the grass will not be sheared properly.
Oftentimes, all it takes to make the right adjustment is with a few turns of a screw or bolt to keep the reel properly adjusted and most models even have markings or guides to make it easy to make the proper adjustment.

On the other hand, rotary mowers use a flat horizontal blade that turns at the speed of the engine at variable speeds.

The engine sits on a housing, which is referred to as the deck and an engine shaft protrudes through the deck.

The blade is bolted to the underside of the engine shaft and the underside of the deck provides a clearance from the blade, which acts as a vacuum chamber that lifts up the grass to ensure a better cutting action.

An innovation to the rotary mower is the rotary mulching mower that cuts grass into finer pieces compared to traditional rotary mowers.

Mulching mowers vary from a single blade with non-traditional configuration to two non-traditional blades with a tricked-out deck, but both systems make the most of cutting blade grass several times over until it is cut finely.

They are popular because leaving grass cuttings on the lawn is becoming more popular as a means of fertilization.

Rotary mowers are much easier to use on taller grass, but do not cut as cleanly and evenly as reel mowers.

The spinning horizontal blades for rotary mowers, even with the deck ‘vacuum chamber,’ often causes grass to bend as it cuts and rotary mower blades must be kept sharp in order ensure clean cutting of grass.

However, maintaining rotary mowers are much simpler, since the horizontal blades are easy to remove and sharpen or replace.

As you go along the process of learning what could be the best mower for your lawn, you will gradually be familiar with the various features of each lawn mower type and be able to tell which ones seem right for you.

Take note that there is no point in rushing to buy one unless you are sure of what you need.

Each type has its advantages and drawbacks and by knowing that kinds of lawn mowers that are in the market. You may be able to make that decision to pick the right one that is suited to your needs.

How to Fix a Lawn Mower Motor

How to Fix a Lawn Mower Motor

If your lawn mower is not working like it used to, this means that there is something wrong. Since this is powered by electricity or gas, chances are there is source of the problem is the motor. Here are some steps to help you assess what is wrong and then fix the problem.

First, before you get yourself down and dirty, put on some gloves and wear some eye protection. You don’t want anything to get on your hands or eye so it is better to be safe than sorry.

Next, disconnect the spark plug so the engine will not accidentally start on its own when you are trying to find out what is wrong.

Before you take apart the motor, examine the spark plug because the problem could be right there in your hand. Spark plugs will conk out due to wear and tear. If this is the case, you simply have to buy a new one and then replace it. Should the lawn mower start and work like it used to then your problem has been resolved.

If that didn’t work, examine the ignition system. The best way to check is by touching the end of the spark plug with a grounded piece of metal. If there is a spark, then this is not the problem.

Sometimes there is already wear in the wiring and this is what causes the problem. If this is the case, you better bring it to the service center rather than working on it yourself.

The carburetor just like in a car is the number one cause of engine trouble. To make your lawn mower work again, all you have to do is clean it especially if this is covered with gunk. You can clean it using some water and leaving it to dry. Another option is to run a wire through it especially in those hard to reach places.

If the situation has not improved, you better check on the fuel tank and gas lines. Should there be a clog, try using either a thin wire or a light brush. It is also possible that using some push primer will do the trick as this helps create the right air fuel mix for the motor.

The problem may also originate from your intake and exhaust valves. This can happen if you don’t change the oil regularly. Unlike the other parts, you can’t clean it and put it back where it is located. You have to buy new ones and although this will cost you some money, it is still cheaper than buying a new lawn mower.

One part in the lawn mower which is not that significant is the spark arrestor. This part is commonly found in outdoor motors and sometimes it catches sparks. This should also be cleaned because if no action is taken, your lawn mower could catch fire and the best way to do that is with a wire brush.

The lawn mower is made up of many small parts and if you do not take care of it properly, it may conk out on you when you least expect it. To prevent that from happening, do some preventive maintenance work every three or six months. If there is a problem and you don’t know what to do, better get help rather than making things worse.

Robotic Lawn Mowers

Robotic Lawn Mowers

Wouldn’t it be great when we can just program something to do a certain task? Well we are almost there thanks to robotic lawn mowers. Right now there are two types of robotic lawn mowers namely the friendly robot and the lawnbott.

The friendly robot is just great because you can easily program it to do cut the grass. It also has sensors and child lock features so you are sure it can cut the grass evenly and pose no threat to children. The lawnbott happens to be smaller and more efficient than the friendly robot. Other than that, it can do the same thing like the robotic lawn mower.

Both are battery operated and can be recharged so you don’t have to buy any new batteries once these are worn out. This you can say is also its shortcoming because if you have a big yard, you will have to recharge it for some time before it can complete the rest of the yard. In terms of how much electricity it consumes, some estimate that this will only be $7 to $10 per season.

There are two ways that robotic lawn mowers are guided. First these are guided by wires that have been planted in the ground. The second is by or the global positioning system.

What will probably make you reconsider buying a robotic lawn mower is the price.

The cheapest one you will ever find is a little over $500 but it is not automatic so you will have to control this via remote. For those that are hands free, the price range is from $1500 to $15,500 but this model can cut up to acres. This means that there are a few lawn mowers out there that sell for the same price than a riding lawn mower!

But if you think about it, convenience and environmental friendliness are there since you don’t have to do this chore anymore. You can pack it away when it is finished but before you do that, make sure you clean the undercarriage.

To date, robotic lawn mowers are the second largest category of robots being operated in homes. Early last year, the Swedes launched a new type of lawn mower that happens to be more environmental friendly than before.

This is because their robotic lawn mower does not need any batteries. It is solar powered and can cut about half an acre of grass on its own. Just like other robotic lawn mowers, it is guided by wire that is buried along the perimeter of the property. It also comes with safety features and for those might try to steal it, there is a built in theft deterrent alarm.

Robots have slowly replaced a few of the things we used to do by hand. A good example is in the automotive industry where machines are now the ones assembling certain parts. This just means that it is inevitable that certain chores will also be done by machines and the robotic lawn mower is just one of many we see now and will soon encounter in the future.

You can buy your own robotic lawn mower from various stores and online. You should read the reviews, compare their prices and check out their warranty before you buy it so you are sure you get good value for your money.

Lawn Mower Maintenance

Lawn Mower Maintenance

What do you do when your top of the range, state of the art lawn mower breaks down?  Repair shops can prove expensive and many of the common break down issues can be easily resolved with a little knowledge. Once you purchase your own mower, then you should take some steps on how to maintain it.There are some steps that you can do to make sure that your mower is running in optimal condition.

Every month when checking your mower, make sure to check that the blades of the mower are sharpened.  With dull blades, the mower uses 20 percent more fuel since you would have to spend more time going over the grass to give the whole lawn a total even cut. How  does the blades get dull?  There are rocks in you lawn, and these rocks are not free from the blade. They will take away the sharpness of the blades.

Getting excess vibrations whenever you are mowing indicates a damage in the blade.  To avoid vibrations, check the blade and the engine mounting bolts. Check the mower wheels, bearings and axles for wear and lubrication.  Replace loose, wobbly wheels. Check belts and gears for wear and fit.

After mowing everyday or after the last mowing of the year you can do the following maintenance tips:

• Use a hose to spray the clippings and grass that may be clinging to the underside of the deck of your mower.  Before spraying your mower with water and taking out the clippings, make sure that the cable is properly disconnected from the plug.

• Drain the remaining fuel from your mower. Make sure to disconnect the spar plug first before you drain.  If your mower would be in storage for a long period of time, then it is likely that the gas would get bad.  Removing the gas will prevent it from going bad inside the carbueraetor and engine.

• After removing the gas, you can put the spark plug in again and run the engine to burn the remaining fuel and runs out gas.

• When using a lawn mower which  has been in storage for a long time, be sure to change the oil in the mower first.  You can also have the spark plug replaced, most spark plugs can fowl up and should be replaced once a year.

• Replace the air filter.  Not replacing the air filter is like not letting your engines breathe.  Experts suggest that you replace the filter, once a year.

• If the mower is not working and you have already tried t change the parts that you need to change, then it would be better to bring the mower to the service center where it could be checked about the problem.

The best tip in making sure that you lawn mower is working properly and will last for a long time is preventing lawn mower problems from happening at the beginning.  But how can you do that?

• Follow a suggested annual maintenance cycle for yard enthusiasts and gardeners.  This cycle would include draining oil out of your mowers each fall to prepare for the spring.  The spring time will be a busy season.

• Get a mower service person to check on your lawn mower at least once a year to check if there is something wrong or just do some checking on your lawn engine.

Zero Turn Mowers

Zero Turn Mowers

Lawnmowers have been a staple in gardeners’ homes for years, and ongoing advancements in technology means there is a far wider variety of choice than there was previously. As a result, gardeners are no longer looking to the traditional mowers to groom their lawns, but are instead seeking machines with advanced settings to help make the most of their lawns.

Riding lawnmowers, or tractor mowers, have become increasingly popular over the past few years, and with good reason. Riding mowers are obviously larger in size than your traditional mower, as they need to hold the weight of the rider. As a result, riding mowers are also able to cover a wider surface area of your lawn, meaning your lawn is mowed more effectively, in a shorter time.

Today, there are two popular types of riding mowers on the market. The first is the conventional rider, and the second is the zero turn radius motor, commonly abbreviated to ZTR. Conventional riders need to maneuver anything from 4 to about 28 inches in order to turn 180 degrees, meaning your parallel cutting lines may not lay side-by-side.

The ZTR is a more advanced alternative, as it can save you precious inches as you turn and allow you to mow systematically with out readjusting your mower after every completed line.

Another reason the ZTR is preferred is because they usually have larger and more powerful motors. The conventional mower usually travels at a speed of around 4 miles an hour, with better models increasing to 9 miles, whereas the ZTR typically runs at about 15 miles an hour. This may not seem like a significant difference, but it means that something as large as a sporting field can be mowed in 10 minutes.

The steering system is another point of difference between the conventional rider and the ZTR.  With the conventional mower, the steering is traditional located and handled at the front of the machine. The ZTR machine, on the other hand, has a steering system at the front of the machine as well as one at the back to allow independent rotation of the rear wheels.

This is one of the mechanisms that allows the ZTR to rotate freely, as it makes maneuvering into the next position easier than rotating all four wheels at the same time.

Whilst the ZTR may sound like the obvious choice, the difference in price to the conventional riding machine may influence your decision. Conventional options usually cost between 1000 to 3000 dollars, whereas the ZTR prices shoot up as far as 7000 dollars.

Regardless of the type of riding mower you choose, there are a few precautions you need to take. Your mower needs to have a reliable warranty. Most should offer a two year warranty, and you are lucky if you find one that holds for three years.

This will protect certain parts and potential defects in your machine, and hopefully include the delivery and set up of your machine as well.