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best mulching mower for wet grass and rain?

Posted by wonknose 8 (My Page) on
Sun, Oct 8, 06 at 21:48

Hello all,

I am sure there are those here who have considerably more experience than I do with mulching mowers. I am seeking your advice!

I live in a cold climate rain forest and am looking for the best wet mulcher I can get. In other words, it rains 8 months out of the year and sometims for weeks at a time without letting up. Catching a saturday without rain is difficult and often if I don't mow in the rain it doesn't get done. The life of this mower will be spent mowing in the rain or just after it has rained.

My last mower did a wet slime clump fest each time I took it out. Not fun.

note: On the occasion of dry grass, I want to avoid blasting cuttings everywhere as my wife likes to have garden plants around the edges of the yard for display. I was complained at and had to use the bagger on my last mower.

I am looking at the following mowers. Would you be interested in ranking them in the order of which would be the best in wet weather mulching? Please feel free to add affordable mowers I may have missed. I consider the ones I have already listed to be at the top or out of my price range. I may have to end up going used. In fact, please do mention a couple of easy to find used mowers I may want to look at if any come to mind? Thanks tonns :)

Mower list:
++++++++++

[10424/10550] lawnboy goldpro duraforce 2-stroke,offset wheels Aluminum deck (anyone have a link to a site (not ebay) or phone number of a company still selling these new? I searched but did not find any..)

[10685] lawnboy insight, techmseh ,steel deck, rounded front wheels

[10695] lawnboy 'insight gold', honda, steel deck, rounded front wheels

[20055] SR4 toro 'super-recycler', B&S side valve, aluminum deck

[Super fox/Samarui] Quick 36, B&S/Kawasaki, steel deck (just kidding on this one as it is waaay out of my price range and waaaay overkill but they are soo sexy and a man can dream can't he?)

Thanks again,
wonk


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: best mulching mower for wet grass and rain?

Sorry I can't rank the mowers you listed since I have no personal experience with any of them. But I have been happy with what I am using. If you happen to have a Snapper dealer in your area, I would recommend an Easy Speed mulching mower.

I live in Southeast Michigan and we have had some frequent and heavy rain for the past month or two. The last few times I mowed, the grass was relatively wet and at least an inch in length. I was quite pleased that the mower mulched right through without a problem. There were a few small clumps from wet mulch sticking to the wheels and then coming off when I would pivot. Other than that, I have had no problems with clumping from grass sticking to the inside of the deck despite the grass being wet and lush.


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RE: best mulching mower for wet grass and rain?

thanks for the info greatlakesmower!

Hey I found another interesting mower for the list:

[JS40] John deere, B&S, steel deck


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RE: best mulching mower for wet grass and rain?

The LB 10550 is no longer manufactured - but you may find one for sale if you search around. If you use some skill the side discharger mode might fit you bill better than pure mulching to prevent clippings in the border areas.

The fact is any mulching mower when faced with long, thick grass is going to spill some grass out the sides - there is no solution to that problem other than mowing more frequently or mowing with the mower set as high as possible.

I have a Toro Super Recycler 20038. It has the Intek engine - which you can get on the SR4. I would recommend the SR4 w/Intek for you mowing needs. I have mowed in extremely wet conditions with my 20038 and the results have been fantastic. For that particular ability, the 20038 was worth every penny I paid for it. (It is also a pleasure to use the rest of the time.) The Intek is more powerful than the B&S side valve engine - and I have not run into any conditions that bogged down the Intek.

My belief is there is no better mulching mower available - maybe equal, but not better.

If you need to mulch leaves the Toro will do that too - but it does best by mulching first then making a 2nd pass with the bag on.


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RE: best mulching mower for wet grass and rain?

I have the JD JS-40. It has a Snapper easy-line deck. The engine is an Intek w/cast iron sleeve.

The stock blade mulches and bags but you can also use Snapper's Ninja blade for dedicated mulching or hi-vac blade for dedicated bagging. The Ninja does a great job of mulching but I haven't had a chance to use it in the wet yet. The Pacific NW has been extremely dry if you can believe that. I do get a little bit of grass blowing out of the left side when mulching but so far I haven't seen any clumps like I used to get with my old mower.

My only complaint with this mower is that the speed control on anything less than full speed is a little hard to dial in. Full speed is very fast though. If you get it, remove the flap on the grass chute. The Snapper version doesn't have it and with it on, you almost need three hands to get the bag on and off.


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RE: best mulching mower for wet grass and rain?

I've had really bad experiences with Craftsman & Husqvarna mowers in grass with any moisture. I'm a mulcher. Bagging doesn't make sense to me, for regular mowing, for many reasons that I won't get into here. Anyhow, it is common knowledge that mowers work best on dry, short grass-the drier & shorter, the better. However, in the real world, some of us live in wet climates & can't mow as often as allows the best cut by the mower.

Because of such poor mulching performance with Craftsman & Husqvarna in less than optimal circumstances, I bought the Honda HRR2163VXA. I'm impressed with its ability to mulch wet grass, as long as it's not too tall.

My experiences & observations are:

1. for good mulching you need a voluminous deck area to accommodate the grass
2. dual/double blade & related dual/double blad bolt makes for a much more efficient & stable set-up for mulching (thick, slimy grass mulch w/i the deck housing has weight & mass that can exert pressure on the blade ends that can tend to push the blade out of "true" centrifugal rotation)
3. despite the lower horse power "ratings" of the Honda motors, they are at least as powerful as the others
4. self propelled models on the Craftsmans & Huskies absolutely suck in wet grass

I got my VXA used only a few x for the same price ($400) as the Huskie & Craftsman that I'd bought (& returned) that couldn't cut their way out of a wet paper bag. The combination of their "standard" decks, blades & self propulsion designs cause them to bog down very easily, including failure of the rear wheel drive system to operate. They can't hope to come close to comparing to the Honda. If only Honda offered the HRR series with the coveted GCV190 (opposed to the 160) motor!

Have had no experience w/ LB, but would really like to try the acclaimed Duraforce motor of the older LBs on wet grass. Seems like an unstoppable mower.

Oh, I think I'd add one or more Honda HRR or HRX series mowers to your list!


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RE: best mulching mower for wet grass and rain?

I've NEVER found ANY mower that would mulch wet
grass. An accumulation of wet grass under the deck
prevents it from happening and bogs the mower down
eventually choking it out. It just isn't good. I've
used Snappers, with a Ninja blade, Ariens, Toro,
Lawn Boy with mulching blades, Gator blades, etc...
and ALL...the same result with wet grass. Don't mean
to be so negative with your topic, but....it's just
my experience when trying to mulch wet grass.

T-Man


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RE: best mulching mower for wet grass and rain?

If the grass is wet and you can't wait, bag.


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RE: best mulching mower for wet grass and rain?

Wonknose, Tonight I mowed with my 10323 which has a gator blade on it in wet grass and it did great, no clumping. However on the worst part of the lawn it was only cutting 1 1/2" to 2" off but it did fine. If your interested I have a brand spanking new (with Warranty Card) 10550 that I'm looking to sell, it comes with mulching plug and the side discharge cover, owners manual, and oil.


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RE: best mulching mower for wet grass and rain?

A lot will depend on how wet the grass is when you try to mulch. If it truly "rains for weeks on end without letting up" then I doubt that you will find a mower than can mow let alone mulch in those conditions. If it is truly that wet then the grass will mostly lay flat on the ground and that which is cut will stick together like crazy.

On the other hand, if the grass is a little damp, then you should be able to mulch with a mower designed to mulch from one of the major mower makers. Toro, Snapper, Lawnboy and John Deere come to mind. A very good idea would be to mow frequently too.


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