Your Lawn Mower

thermal guy

thermal guy

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I bought a Walmart special self propelled no prime about 6 years ago for like 180 bucks. It stays outside all year long under a 5 dollar kiddy pool and has never failed to start on the first pull in 6 years. My neighbor has a 6 grand John Deere lawn tractor he keeps in his garage that almost every year when its grass cutting time needs the dealer to stop by to get running. he hates me😁😁
 
idleprocess

idleprocess

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My neighbor has a 6 grand John Deere lawn tractor he keeps in his garage that almost every year when its grass cutting time needs the dealer to stop by to get running.
Folks live in the country on 5 acres and bought a John Deere X300 first year a decade ago that they got tired of maintaining ~2 years ago and finally replaced with a beefier ZTR of some flavour. The Deere still runs and is used for hauling tasks, but the hydrostatic transmission no longer has the Wheaties to mow all that grass.
 
Bimmerboy

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Starting the 5th season of using a basic 21" Craftsman with a 4 stroke B&S 550 on it. I've been semi-bad with the maintenance. It's only had one oil change, though I'm about to do another, and the blade is beat to hell and back. No sharpening at all, and hit many small rocks. I'll be addressing that soon as well. Also have to keep a couple small parts of the back yard a bit moister. The machine, and I have both been sucking in clouds of airborne dirt for years now... lol.

Speaking of dry dirt, one thing I've noticed with this engine is the air filter definitely requires cleaning a couple times a year or it has trouble keeping its automatically set RPM, and sometimes blows out a decent puff of blue smoke upon re-starting when hot. Seems to not happen after cleaning the filter.

Especially considering the bit of abuse, it's been a great unit, and hasn't failed me yet. I even keep it full of gas through the winter (with Stabil in it) and it fires up with a few pulls after sitting for 6 months. Got it on Craigslist along with a Troybilt TB10CS trimmer, and a nice electric hedge trimmer for $150.

I must be getting older when this thread excites me more than any recent flashlight thread. :party:
 
Chauncey Gardiner

Chauncey Gardiner

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Folks live in the country on 5 acres and bought a John Deere X300 first year a decade ago that they got tired of maintaining ~2 years ago and finally replaced with a beefier ZTR of some flavour. The Deere still runs and is used for hauling tasks, but the hydrostatic transmission no longer has the Wheaties to mow all that grass.

Five acres is a BIG mow!
 
Chauncey Gardiner

Chauncey Gardiner

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Friday morning I picked up the mower. It's a better quality mower. 2009 Toro 6.75 hp recycler, with a bag, and a garden hose connection to clean the underside of the deck!

After lunch I decided to take a look at the carb.
It has a automatic choke. It was stuck closed. It was VERY stuck. After a few coatings of carb cleaner, and WD-40 a little tapping, and finally some forcing, it freed up, but not enough for the weak little carburetor springs to be able to move it. With the choke wide open, it started with two pulls.

To my surprise, it is a self propelled unit. It moves along faster than I am comfortable walking (with a bad hip). Now I can see how my next door neighbor pushes his mower at such a quick pace. It must be self propelled!

It has a deck mounted hose connection, so I had to look up how to use it properly.



Poppy, Does your Toro have Personal Pace?
 
turbodog

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...this engine is the air filter definitely requires cleaning a couple times a year or it has trouble keeping its automatically set RPM, and sometimes blows out a decent puff of blue smoke upon re-starting when hot. Seems to not happen after cleaning the filter.
...:party:

The partial vacuum created by a restricted filter forces the engine to pull oil past the valve seals and/or through the crankcase breather tube.
 
Poppy

Poppy

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Chance, it does not have Personal Pace.

In a video, I see that there is a cable that can adjust the drive belt tensioner. One can make it more or less "responsive". I assume that making it less responsive, means that the belt would be slipping, and that would cause premature wearing of the belt. Replacing the belt would be a little bit of a PIA. Therefore my plan is to not use the mower personally, and instead allow someone else in the house to use it. It's time for the 16 year old boys to be a little more productive around the house.

OTOH the original plan was to give the mower to my son. I have a 70 foot by 3 foot section of yard that I can't get at with the riding mower, and another 6' X 8' section that is easier to get with a push mower.

For that we have an electric mower. I'll give my daughter her choice, self propelled gas, or electric. I'll give the other to my son.
 
bykfixer

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My personal pace Toro used to drag me around like Astro pulling George on the conveyor belt when new. After year 11 it has now become more of a push assist feature than a self propelled grass cutter pulling me around.

My favorite feature is the blade brake. Oh man that is awesome to let go of the handle and the blade stops spinning but motor keeps going. Let go of handle, grab full bag, dump full bag, reattach to mower and resume without having to pull that cord again.

My neighbor bags grass and went electric so that he doesn't have to pull the cord after emptying the bag each time. The electric actually does a nice job overall as long as the grass is not wet. In wet grass the machine does not have the extra torque his petro mower had.
 
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idleprocess

idleprocess

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The electric actually does a nice job overall as long as the grass is not wet. In wet grass the machine does not have the extra torque his petro mower had.
I've never attempted wet grass with the Ryobi. Suspect it will deal with wet grass even worse than it does tall grass, which one can at least bag to shortcut the additional work of the mulching cycle. I do wish it could side-discharge for wet grass.
 
bykfixer

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My son has a Honda that rear discharges in a nicely spread fashion after chewing the blades into fine pieces. If he keeps up with the yard you hardly see the clippings.

Years ago I had a Craftsman mulcher with a rear mounted side discharge attachment. It clogged easily with wet grass but it sure was handy when the yard grew tall every few days in early spring. Hopefully the electric mower makers will adopt that idea.
 
Chauncey Gardiner

Chauncey Gardiner

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........ I do wish it could side-discharge for wet grass.

As much as I enjoy using the Honda HRX 217 mulching mower, easily the best walk-behind I've ever used, sometimes the grass gets away from you. Especially here during our warm, rainy Springtime. Then it's good to own a Toro mulching mower with the side discharge chute. The Honda's rear discharge system is easily clogged when cutting more than 3/4s of an inch.

Case in point - last week we went over to a neighbor's place after it had gone unattended for a spell.

IMG 1587


I called upon the Toro's side discharge for the task at foot.
IMG 1591
 
Lynx_Arc

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I have an older toro with side discharge that clogs up when grass it too wet that one day it got hard to push. I had to replace the transmission on it. I did get it to work better for awhile by adjusting the drive cable as the drive belt for the self propelling par stretches with age and will just slip after it gets too big. My toro has side discharge and it stops up when the grass gets too wet I have to clear it a lot. I'm not interested in battery mowers at this time until this mower cannot be repaired any more.
 
bykfixer

bykfixer

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Same here LA. I use maybe 3 gallons a year if that, and if my Toro lasts 5 more years the 'lectric mowers will be that much better by then anyway.

I do however appreciate all you guinea pigs out there buying them right now though.
 
Chauncey Gardiner

Chauncey Gardiner

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Same here LA. I use maybe 3 gallons a year if that, and if my Toro lasts 5 more years the 'lectric mowers will be that much better by then anyway.

I do however appreciate all you guinea pigs out there buying them right now though.

If ever I downsize our lawn, I'd be open to trying an electric mower. Ideally, having enough "spare time" to mow it twice a week. Grass loves being mowed twice a week during its growing season. 👍

Also, I detest replacing any tool, or anything, for that matter, that is still functioning properly.
 
Lynx_Arc

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If ever I downsize our lawn, I'd be open to trying an electric mower. Ideally, having enough "spare time" to mow it twice a week. Grass loves being mowed twice a week during its growing season
Even if my gas mower dies if a similar model gas mower costs the same or less than a battery mower I still may not bite as by that time we may know better about the longevity of the batteries mowing yards for 5+ years and the replacement cost 5 years from now although I have a feeling that they may put a "tax" on gasoline powered lawn stuff or ban it altogether by 5 years from now forcing us to be a slave to the power company to get our lawns done.
 
idleprocess

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I have a feeling that they may put a "tax" on gasoline powered lawn stuff or ban it altogether
California is well on its way with phaseouts on new models of everything save for large power washers and generators in 2024. I'd be less than surprised if other states or localities follow up with phaseouts on 2-stroke equipment for the smog and noise alone. These phaseouts apply to the sale of new equipment so pretty much everything already in consumers' hands and the distribution chain at time of cutover is unaffected.

forcing us to be a slave to the power company to get our lawns done
The cost of electricity to run an electric lawnmower is the least of your worries.

My lawn - ~3000ft² net area, ~600ft of perimeter - takes about half charge on my two batteries (4Ah/3Ah) to do the job. For simplicity let's say that I need the full 7Ah to edge, trim, mow, and blow the clippings into a pile for collection. Nominally that works out to be 252Wh. Assuming 85% efficient charging gets us 296Wh - we'll round to 300Wh. Paying $0.11 / kWH that means it costs $0.0326 in electricity to mow the lawn or $0.78/season. We'll round to $1 year since there are blinky LEDs on the chargers and I never remove the batteries immediately upon charge completion.

Conversely, when I was using the Toro it would go through about 2 gallons of gas per year during the ~6 month mowing season. For simplicity we'll assume that a gallon lasted 12 weeks and gas was $2/gallon. (1/12) * $2 = $0.1666 in gas to mow the lawn or $4/season. Had I a gas-powered string trimmer the number would be substantially greater, and if I were like a friend who raves about pre-mixed TruFuel for his 2-stroke trimmer I could almost buy a new 40V battery every season with that money.

Regardless of which flavour of power equipment you choose as a home gamer, the real expense is the cost of the equipment divided by lifespan. And in my experience with Ryobi 40V equipment, the TCO argument favors gas-powered equipment which has a similar acquisition cost but longer lifespan; other OEMs may represent a better deal with longer-lasting batteries which are the stumbling block with Ryobi.
 
orbital

orbital

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+

Fun fact:

Toro Global Distribution Headquarters is ten minutes from me.
Good buddy of mine is a Maintenance Supervisor.

____________________

I had a Honda 4-stoke mower, hated it because the blade speed was too slow, I mulch/compose everything & live in the forest.
Blade speed is everything!
What I'd give for a new 2-stroke Lawnboy

________________

Brushless movers are just large power tools.. it's not a guinea pig kinda thing for advancements.
unless you just bought kick-a$s Ni-Cad brushed drill at a garage sale for $60
 
Chauncey Gardiner

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Even if my gas mower dies if a similar model gas mower costs the same or less than a battery mower I still may not bite as by that time we may know better about the longevity of the batteries mowing yards for 5+ years and the replacement cost 5 years from now although I have a feeling that they may put a "tax" on gasoline powered lawn stuff or ban it altogether by 5 years from now forcing us to be a slave to the power company to get our lawns done.
California is well on its way with phaseouts on new models of everything save for large power washers and generators in 2024. I'd be less than surprised if other states or localities follow up with phaseouts on 2-stroke equipment for the smog and noise alone. These phaseouts apply to the sale of new equipment so pretty much everything already in consumers' hands and the distribution chain at time of cutover is unaffected.


The cost of electricity to run an electric lawnmower is the least of your worries.

My lawn - ~3000ft² net area, ~600ft of perimeter - takes about half charge on my two batteries (4Ah/3Ah) to do the job. For simplicity let's say that I need the full 7Ah to edge, trim, mow, and blow the clippings into a pile for collection. Nominally that works out to be 252Wh. Assuming 85% efficient charging gets us 296Wh - we'll round to 300Wh. Paying $0.11 / kWH that means it costs $0.0326 in electricity to mow the lawn or $0.78/season. We'll round to $1 year since there are blinky LEDs on the chargers and I never remove the batteries immediately upon charge completion.

Conversely, when I was using the Toro it would go through about 2 gallons of gas per year during the ~6 month mowing season. For simplicity we'll assume that a gallon lasted 12 weeks and gas was $2/gallon. (1/12) * $2 = $0.1666 in gas to mow the lawn or $4/season. Had I a gas-powered string trimmer the number would be substantially greater, and if I were like a friend who raves about pre-mixed TruFuel for his 2-stroke trimmer I could almost buy a new 40V battery every season with that money.

Regardless of which flavour of power equipment you choose as a home gamer, the real expense is the cost of the equipment divided by lifespan. And in my experience with Ryobi 40V equipment, the TCO argument favors gas-powered equipment which has a similar acquisition cost but longer lifespan; other OEMs may represent a better deal with longer-lasting batteries which are the stumbling block with Ryobi.

Hopefully, your mower's batteries will be fully charged before this year's rolling blackout comes to your city.
 
Lynx_Arc

Lynx_Arc

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Lawnboy 2 cycle was the first gas powered lawn mower I remember using and it finally wore out and we were at a hardware store looking at new mowers and the salesman there said the toro mowers were guaranteed to start on the first or second pull for the first 5 years. That mower died finally after over 20 years of use I think it was the magneto but sadly I inherited a newer toro mower that I'm using still 16 years later that starts on the first or second pull.... still.
 
idleprocess

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Brushless movers are just large power tools.. it's not a guinea pig kinda thing for advancements.
The motors and power electronics are practically commodities now - and simple enough to make durable without any real effort. The only tool I have issues is the original trimmer, whose swivel function stopped locking 2 years ago, but is otherwise working through its 11th season - not a failure specific to being electric.

The batteries however are the weak point. High-current cells live hard lives. The Ryobi packs have historically had mediocre thermal management and monitoring - i.e. the 2.6Ah batteries had but one thermistor and negligible airflow. While there are balance leads to each cell pair in series, I suspect that all of the pack-in batteries' effective failures (deactivate at states of charge ≥25%) are due to a single bad cell. I've contemplated a rebuild now that Molicel P26As are relatively cheap and rated at currents similar to the OEM cells, but I don't know how long a reconstituted battery would last.

Hopefully, your mower's batteries will be fully charged before this year's rolling blackout comes to your city.
If you can't reliably get 90 minutes of power per week, you've probably got bigger problems than the inability to mow the lawn 😉
 
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