1/2 Acre Lawn Mowing Options

jhoybs(5)April 12, 2012

I purchased a 21" Craftsman walk-behind (non-self propelled) mower in 2000 that I used for 10 years on a 1/10th acre lot (still works fine). We moved into a new home on a 1/2 acre property two years ago and it now takes us about 2-2.5 hours to mow our fairly flat lot. Since moving in, we've been debating a mower upgrade. We've talked about a rider (all neighbors have them), but are leaning towards a walk-behind because of the exercise. Mostly, we'd just like a little reduction in the mowing time and effort (especially in the summer when it approaches 100 degrees).

A coworker mentioned to me that a good self-propelled mower would help us quite a bit. Can anybody comment on this?

I've narrowed my choices down to a Honda HRR216VKA, Toro 20332 and a Toro SR4 (this last one would be a reach in affordability). 99% of the time, we mulch. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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911radioman

I mow a 1/4 acre and I own a John Deere JS46 mower. Love the mower and I can knock mine out trimming and all in no longer than an hour. Not trying to sell the JD mower, but I've been really happy with it, but I'd also give the high end Honda's a good look too. Solid machines, no doubt.

If you were to look at a rider for your size lot, I'd give serious consideration to either a Snapper or a small Simplicity. Both have deck sizes around the 30" mark and would excel on a small lot.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 8:11PM
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tomplum

Have you considered that new Toro Timemaster? There is some talk on these further down the forum.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 10:58PM
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jhoybs(5)

911radioman - I haven't read anything about John Deere walk-behinds, I'll do some research.

tomplum - I have looked at the Timemaster and from the size alone, it is impressive. I read some horror stories on the web since it was just released and has typical 1st-release problems. The only issue is the price; it is about double what I wanted to spend.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 7:22AM
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rustyj14(W/PA)

Spend the cash now for a new Snapper rear engine riding lawn mower---or---spend a lot later in Doctor bills, especially new knees, etc.
Anybody who thinks mowing that much grass with a push mower will be fun, hasn't been at the mowing game for very long! Sheesh: "Buy them shoes, send them to school, and they eat the books"! rj

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 9:59AM
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bornite

I just got a Toro Timemaster yesterday because the John Deer 14sb bit the dust and torqued a bolt off in the spindle. I was going to get the new 25 inch Ybravo but it was expensive...1499 and there were no dealers anywhere for hundreds of miles. I came very close to getting it but fell for the 30 inch toro when I saw how compact it was. Handles fold up so nice I can get it in my SUV. It was only $1000 at the toro dealer...same as Home Depot. ...and it was SO much wider. I used it this weekend and it cleaned up the yard really well...noticibly faster. I could push it under pine trees just fine. It handles just like the John Deere...mostly because the engine is set back by the rear wheels because of the belt drive system so it's balanced...easy to lift and turn..really easy. Personal pace system seems rugged. The mower blades come outside of the wheels by 1/2 inch or so so it's actually nicer to trim with. The variable speed Pace system is very responsive and tight...like my Kirby vacuum cleaner except no reverse. No clippings to be seen after running over the yard. I can't do the wet spots any better than the JD..it's heavier but the footprint is bigger. No improvement. I can almost span the little "creek" I have where the sump pumps to the surface in wet season. Toro starts like a Honda...really easy. Electric start seems heavy and useless by comparison. This thing seems built like a tank but maneuverable...I know the flat deck is not meant for wet grass and that there are no high lift mulch blades yet but give it a while. I grabbed the first ones that appeared on the shelves here in Chicago this weekend. No dealer has any personal experience to speak of. I sort of feel that they might be in short supply once folks find out how easy they are to run. I'm not sure on cut quality...it was the first cut of the season and the yard was very uneven. It sliced through the thick stuff like butter taking off 1-2 inches but I'm not sure it can whip off the top 1/2-1 inch. Yard looks tended to. We'll see.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 1:52AM
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fruitjarfla

Bought my Snapper RER 28" cut mower in 2003 and have done almost nothing except ordinary maintenance. Living in Florida, it is used weekly except during a couple of cooler months. Lot size to cut is smaller than yours - mine is about 1/4 acre interrupted by 3 beds containing trees an bushes - lot of curved cutting. Would I buy another if mine were to fall apart for some reason? Yes. I bought a riding mower because of time, my age, and a much better choice of cutting heights.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 8:36AM
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