There are many things that need to be considered when shopping for a lawnmower, and one of the first decisions a shopper must make is to decide if they are going to buy new or used. If you have found yourself in the market for a new machine, you might be asking yourself, should I buy a new mower?
Buying a new lawnmower can be a promising idea if you have a large yard, you enjoy mowing your lawn, or the cost to repair your current mower is going to cost more than it would cost to buy a new one.
The decision to buy a lawnmower is not an easy one, and since it can often be an expensive investment, shoppers should understand the pros and cons of buying both new and used.
Additionally, if you decide to invest in a new mower, be sure to read on to learn about the best times to buy a new mower.
New Or Used?
Much like a car, there are pros and cons to buying both new and used mowers, and the decision will not be the same for everybody. However, there are a few things to consider.
- Price: Although people often sell used equipment at a seriously discounted price, you may be able to buy a brand-new mower for not much more or even less. For example, a used mower that was $3,000 brand new may still sell for $1,500, which is still quite a lot more than many brand-new models.
- Cost: While price refers to how much you initially spend; cost refers to how much you will actually spend on the mower. Will it need repairs? Will those repairs be significant? If you are looking at an expensive used mower, it is a good idea to have someone look at the machine. They can give you a better idea as to how much you can expect to spend on repairs going forward. When you buy new, however, you know you are starting with a fresh slate.
- Maintenance and Repair Rates: Anyone who owns a vehicle knows that not all cars cost the same to repair, and the same is true for mowers. Just like high-end cars cost more to fix, high-end mowers may very well run up a hefty repair bill as well. It is never a bad idea to research repair prices before making a purchase. However, when you purchase a new mower, the machine will be covered under a warranty for a period, giving you a few years of worry-free use.
- Recalls: It is common for manufacturers to issue recalls without customers being aware. Many times, these recalls will not significantly affect the overall usage, but sometimes a company will issue a recall due to safety concerns.
- Usage: If you are mowing a small 5X5 patch of grass in front of an apartment, there may be no need to splurge on a new mower. However, if you are mowing a significant amount of acreage, it might be wise to invest in a machine that will last you for many years to come.
Ultimately, the choice will depend on the individual and their individual needs. If you have a large lawn or thoroughly enjoy tending to your yard, you might want to consider buying a new mower. If you do not care a lot about your yard, do not have a lot of land, or just need something that will chop the grass occasionally, a used mower might be enough to get the job done.
What Kind of Mower Should I Buy?
If you do decide to buy a new lawnmower, you will then have to decide what kind of machine to buy. Mowers come in all shapes and sizes, and each brand/model has its own set of features. When trying to figure out which one would be best for you, you will need to consider the following things.
It is important to consider comfort when choosing a lawnmower because, although it may not seem important at the time, you will be using the machine for years to come. The last thing you want to do is spend hundreds, or thousands, of dollars on something that you grow to dread using. If you are buying a push mower, will the handlebars be the right height, or will it be hard to maneuver? If you choose to buy a riding tractor, will the seat supply comfort and support for your back?
You could spend $2,000 on a new mower only to watch your neighbor’s $100 mower outlast it. All too often people end up paying much more simply because it is a brand name machine. Make sure that you are paying for quality and not just a name tag. An effective way to ensure your mower will last is to look for reviews online from real people who have owned the machine in question. They will be the ones who can tell you how durable the mower actually is.
What kind of lawn do you have? A push mower might be all you need if you have a relatively flat lawn, while a self-propelled mower might be the better choice for someone covering more rugged terrain. Additionally, front-wheel drive mowers can help propel the mower but may be difficult to manage on large hills, while rear-wheel drive mowers are better suited for heavy add-on’s, such as grass bags.
There are many types of mowers on the market today, and several manufacturers are driving ahead with innovative designs, such as double blade systems. Knowing more about how the different blade systems work (for example, some also allow you to mulch in addition to mowing) will help you better decide which mower is right for you.
It might not be as exciting as a car’s engine, but what your lawnmower is sporting under the hood is important.
While a bigger engine may not mean the machine will move faster, it will be important if you plan to haul, tow, or push anything with your mower.
Additionally, you will have to decide if you would prefer a gas engine or an electric engine. Both come with their own pros and cons.
It might not be as exciting as a car’s engine, but what your lawnmower is sporting under the hood is important. While a bigger engine may not mean the machine will move faster, it will be important if you plan to haul, tow, or push anything with your mower. Additionally, you will have to decide if you would prefer a gas engine or an electric engine. Both come with their own pros and cons.
Since you are going to be the one using the machine, it only makes sense that you should check out its useability. Is it user-friendly? Does it have mechanisms that help the user, such as reverse for when you get into tight spaces? Does the handlebar adjust to match your height? Can you lower the deck to match your lawn height?
Most of us have probably seen a slasher film starring a lawnmower, but accidents are a very real possibility, especially when young kids or pets are around. Make sure you assess your situation, decide what might be a risk, and ensure the mower you buy has safety features in place to prevent any accident that may occur.
Finally, features are important because who does not want a little frill with their mower? From features like cup holders that offer convenience, to features like bumpers that offer protection, make sure you look at all your options and find exactly what works for you.
When Is the Best Time to Buy a Mower?
It seems like stores are pushing their seasonal merchandise earlier and earlier these days, and it is not an uncommon sight to see lawnmowers glistening outside of the hardware store while there is still snow on the ground. However, even though you might be tempted to pounce on the shiniest one in the group, it might be worth your while to wait a few months.
Early spring is the worst time to buy a new mower because the manufacturers and retail stores know that this is when people are going to need them the most. You can guarantee that if you buy a lawnmower in the spring, you are paying top dollar for it.
Summer fairs a little better than spring because stores have to start thinking about their fall items and want to make room for new merchandise. However, even if they reduce the price, it will not be by much because they know the demand is still high for this item.
Late summer, or the beginning of fall, is the best time to buy a new mower. You may not get a lot of use out of it before winter hits, but because the stores need to clear out any seasonal summer items, buyers will commonly find lawnmowers reduced up to 50% or more during the time. However, the supply may be limited because stores have not continued to stock up on this big-ticket item.
In addition to knowing which months to shop for, it is also a good idea to watch out for certain holidays. Stores will often run Father’s Day sales or Memorial Day sales to move seasonal items as well.
You may find these posts helpful:
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Should I buy a mower or pay someone?
How long will an electric mower last?
Should I buy a used lawn mower?
- About the Author
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John Cunningham is an Automotive Technician and writer at Lawnmowerfixed.com.
He’s been a mechanic for over twenty-five years and shares his know-how and hands-on experience in our DIY repair guides.
Johns’s fluff-free How-to guides help homeowners fix lawnmowers, tractor mowers, chainsaws, leaf blowers, power washers, generators, snow blowers, and more.