Looking for advice on a Walk Behind Mower

exmarFebruary 8, 2013

Hi Folks,

Decided I need to exercise more and thinking of getting a walk behind, non self propelled, mower to mow some of my 4+ acre lawn. This hurts as I have a GT, and LT, and a Gravely with riding sulky in the barn. However, I'm not going to do "structured" exercise and pushing a mower I would do.

Looking around the internet, noticed a Husqvarna with a Honda engine at Amazon which seems OK, also there's Troy Bilt with a Kohler I think at Lowe's. they're in the $259-289 range and seem reasonable. I seem to recall hearing some bad things about kohler mower engines, have heard nothing but good about hondas.

I don't want a Big Box store $159 "throwaway" mower. If I do this want something that will be around a while.

Don't know much about walk behind mowers other than fixing them for friends occasionally, any advice appreciated.

Thanks for your time,


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Large rear wheels (if not self propel) and wide body will be my suggestions. Plus, I would not omit the self propels, since the walk is the exercise vs the stress of pushing. I omit the self propels on my 70' X 120' lot (with house included) due to the maneuvering vs good long runs (30 min cut).

Cutting Grass Is Needed But Not Fun IMO. I walk 2 mi 5 days a week (in a park) regardless to other chores to try and get my exercise. I need the walk first to get the energy for the other. Mid to upper grade engines/mowers seem to all be about the same quality IMO.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 6:53PM
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loger, thanks for the response, I agree, large rear wheels are a must. I'm going to stay away from self propelled as that's just more "shiny parts" to break. Since the intent is primarily to exercise and secondarily to cut grass that seems reasonable.


    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 9:15AM
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Are there walk behind mowers with steel cylinder sleeves? That was a favorite find in the 70s B&S. They had quality and could take a rebuild since the rings usually took the wear.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 12:23PM
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I bought a Honda self propelled last year. It mows good but does not start good. It is the most expensive small mower I have owned and does not start any better, actually not as good as my Briggs.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 3:03PM
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Actually exmar, I disagree the Honda engines are poor starting units . I have neighbours who paid big bucks and swear they will not buy another overpriced Honda mower again lol. I now have a Toro 21 inch personal pace that I picked up at Home Depot for just under 350 bucks and it starts one pull every time with the Kohler 6.5 . I have two new hips and use the this large rear wheeled unit with gret pleasure using the front drive only when necessary on uphill sections.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 10:41AM
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Thanks for all the responses. ewalk, the Toro sounds of interest, however, can't find it. Did a little research and if it's the Toro Model 20099 it's discontinued. That would make sense, if something works and holds up, naturally the manufacturer's want it off the market....:-)

Thanks again,


    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 12:12PM
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My local dealer sold Huskvarnas. He claimed that they would start on the first pull. I believe I have had mine for at least 5 years and it still almost always starts on the first pull and runs great.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 2:31PM
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I have 2 mowers. The first is a Toro with the big back wheels and powered front wheels. The second is a push Cub Cadet.

It is amazing how much the wheel construction makes a difference. The Cub has steel wheels with bearings and the Toro has plastic wheels without bearings.

Even with the powered front wheels the Toro is harder to push and is more of a workout than the Cub Cadet.


    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 12:58PM
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Don't get Troybilt or Craftsman( same, with different name). I have the top of the line 6 years ago, just for home use and very occasionally mow a rental property, maybe 4000sqft each. The wheel is dangling already!!! I use it maybe twice a month only. The deck is thin, dented out just because of the blade hitting something and hit against it.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 7:26PM
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Exmar sorry for the delay in replying as to the Model # 20371 is the unit I currently have . It is currently priced around $339.00 at Home Depot.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2013 at 6:35PM
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ApprenticeGardener(7b or 8)

Used Craftsman for years. Switched to Honda self-propelled last year. Never been happier. ALWAYS starts on first or second pull when cold--first on restart.

Best Wishes--Carl
Atlanta, GA

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 8:34PM
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Craftsman should be avoided, they are prone to problems with leaking oil and hard starts. There is sometimes a reason why things are affordable. You can never, ever go wrong with a Honda product of ANY kind. We had a Honda mower when I was a kid (prob one of the first avail, and I think my mom finally retired it after over ten plus years, and that was prob because she didn't need to mow her new property). I have had 4 Honda automobiles as well. Now, we have a Husqvarna with the Honda engine, and it is superb. It starts easily, but what's more impressive is its smooth stop as well. It is very fuel efficient (a Honda staple) and now going into its 3rd season, the oil will probably be changed this coming fall, as it is still relatively clean and full. I would say that a lot of people fall into the trap of never checking or changing oil, air filters, spark plugs, wheels, blades etc, and this is why people say that certain brands are worse than others. You wouldn't treat your car that way (or maybe you would, lol), so why do it to your mower. Also, a lot of people leave gasoline in their engines during the winter, or dormant season, without adding stabilizer, this is also very bad over the long run. Its not hard to run the mower out of gas in the fall, or to simply pour a capful of stabilizer. These things bug me! It easy to do almost all of the maintenance yourself, you don't need to be a mechanic, or even very handy, just willing to protect your investment. Oh yeah, don't leave your mower outside at the mercy of the elements either!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 10:55AM
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