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Best mower?

 
MJ Solaro
Posts: 131
Location: Bellevue, WA
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What's the best mower you've come across? Something that works but is also environmentally friendly as well?

I was looking online, and came across the Remington Powermower, which is battery-powered & rechargeable. Hook it up to a solar or wind system for a few hours and you're good to go.

But does anybody else have any other recommendations? It'd be awesome to find a mower with built-in solar...

 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 20508
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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I've been a big advocate of the scott's classic manual mower.  It is one of the very few manual mowers that can be set to 3" cutting height.

 
                        
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I have a Neuton battery electric rotary mower to replace a Craftsman manual rotary.  Works pretty well, though with the mulching blade and max height (which is right around 3) it does lose a bit of suction power to lift heavy grass.  It's very quiet and light.  It takes the charge of one battery for me as I have a fairly large yard and it has a narrow 13" cut. 

The reel mower I could get the height, but twigs would jam the blades or tall grass/weeds would be bent and not cut requiring more passes.  Not a problem with the Neuton. 

I don't miss having to deal with gas, fuel, oil changes, a definite plus to the Neuton.  Come spring, I plug in the batteries and go.
 
                              
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I agree with Paul on the Scotts. have craftsman newer one and the plastic rollormajigs that adjust, well, suck at high settings.
However the angle of the bar on the scotts is wierd I'm a bout six foot, I think if you were 7 foot to 8 foot tall the scotts would be just right. Its not really the height but you have an awkward angle needs to be closer to the ground on mine.. time for push mower customization. If you agree with keeping the clippings to feed your lawn/worms you wont want the clipping catcher mcdeally.

DERRRRRR, looks like the handle assembly can be flipped to a better angle.
Now made in China, lets hope they still are well manufactured.

The achiles heel(s) are the soft metal height adjustment tabs which are easily bent to where they no longer fix the height. True indeed once the lawn is quite high it tends to push the blades over rather than cut well. More challenging is when the lawn has been trodden down. A little pre raking to get it to stand up can help.
 
MJ Solaro
Posts: 131
Location: Bellevue, WA
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Does anybody around here use critters for caring their lawn? I've heard sheep are great for keeping it clipped, and have even heard of chicken tractors that work away a patch at a time [pic below]. Anybody find success with this? Being in the city, I find it hard to imagine life without my lawnmower, but these are fun ideas, and I'm curious how well they work.

 
jeremiah bailey
Posts: 343
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What kind of batteries are used in those electric mowers? What kind of toxic waste program is necessary to properly dispose of them? Were you just planning on throwing it in the landfill when it stopped working and couldn't be repaired or needed a new battery? Shame on you! For both plug-in and battery mowers, how much electricity does it take to power/recharge it? How much extra electricity is actually produced at the plant to make up for the losses due to line resistance between you and the plant? Even hooked up to solar/wind, you'd need a fairly hefty battery system to properly power a mower. A battery system that will eventually need to be disposed of as toxic waste. I'll keep my dino burner. Its side effects are about the same level as electric, imo. Cheaper TCO for gas as well, considering the initial cost of equivalent electric or gas mowers. On the plus side, it doesn't add strain to an already overburdened electric grid. A grid which is mostly powered by coal, nuclear, and man made dams. What I'd like to see is small diesels become ubiquitous enough to become viable/cheap for mower use and run them on biodiesel. I am considering purchasing a push reel, but that is an expense that will have to wait, as I have a perfectly good and paid for gas burner. Btw... my current mower is a 4hp high wheel, 3-in-1 mulch, rear bag, side discharge. As I'm currently dealing with dandelions, the bagger is great for containing the seed heads, which I'm feeding to the compost pile. I use the mulch setting to keep clippings from spraying everywhere, like the garden and shrub beds. I know they don't really hurt too much, but I like it that way.
 
Susan Monroe
Posts: 1093
Location: Western WA
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Sheep are the original lawnmowers.  That's how all those people with the big estates in Britain kept all that grass mowed.

You can also tell when cattle have been kept in a woodlot -- all the trees are perfectly pruned to the same height.  You could stand in the road and hold a level to the bottom line of the trees, and I doubt the bubble would be off at all.

Sue
 
jeremiah bailey
Posts: 343
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I wonder if I could talk the HOA and my neighbors into a ruminent based lawn mowing and fertilizing system?
 
paul wheaton
master steward
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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My aunt and uncle lived in Kenya for a while.  They hired a local boy to mow their lawn.  The boy was confused - that's really nice grass and you want to feed it to a machine?  Why not bring in a goat? 

My aunt and uncle finally convinced the boy to just do it.  So they got the mower started and the boy started to mow the lawn. 

My aunt and uncle came back a little later to see how things were going. 

Well ....  as americans we just assume that folks will mow in an optimal pattern.  The boy was mowing in a zig zaggy crazy random pattern.  I suppose the same pattern that a goat would use. 

 
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