Lawn Mowers Compared
Lawn mowers have a variety of features that you must consider when selecting a particular model. Important factors include the size of the mower, the engine type and the cutting method. Many homeowners are also concerned about the environmental impact of their lawnmower.
A push mower is designed to be pushed by a single person. This type of mower may or may not have an engine. A mower without an engine has a blade assembly attached to the wheels. The operator pushes the mower, which causes the blades to turn and cut the grass. The engine on a push mower expends all of its power turning the blades, and relies on the operator to push the mower forward.
A self-propelled mower uses some of the power from its engine to drive the mower forward, so that the operator doesn’t have to push it. A drive belt connects the engine to the wheels, and a simple transmission allows the operator to select a speed setting. Self-propelled mowers typically travel 2 to 3 mph, and the top speed is typically 5 mph. These mowers require a more powerful engine than a push mower.
A riding mower has a seat for the operator. These mowers are self-propelled and self-contained, merely requiring the operator to steer the vehicle. A riding mower generally resembles a small tractor, although they may vary considerably in size. These models are suitable for large yards, sport fields and golf courses.
Mowers may be categorized by their cutting style, consisting of cylindrical mowers and rotary mowers. A cylindrical mower has a blade assembly that rotates around a horizontal axis. The blades move against a fixed plate on the bottom of the mower, slicing the grass like a pair of scissors. This method makes clean cuts, but requires frequent adjustments to ensure the blades align properly with the plate.
A rotary mower uses a single blade mounted to a vertical shaft. The engine turns the blade, causing it to chop the grass blades. The maintenance for the blade on a rotary mower is much less than that required for a cylindrical mower, and generally consists of sharpening the blade periodically. A rotary mower requires a more powerful engine than a cylindrical mower, since the chopping action requires the blade to move at high speed.
Types of Lawnmower Engines
The engines for lawnmowers use gasoline or electricity. Gasoline engines are the most powerful engines, but they also require fuel. However, they also produce exhaust and gasoline can be dangerous to store. Electrical engines produce no emissions, but they require a substantial amount of time to recharge. Electrical engines also make considerably less noise than gasoline engines.
Physical Requirements for the Lawnmower Operator
A push mower requires a significant amount of upper body strength to operate. This is especially true when maneuvering the lawnmower in to tight spaces. A traditional lawnmower engine must be started with a pull cord. The operator pulls a cord quickly and firmly, which requires a good deal of arm strength. Many people are not able to start this type of mower. Modern mowers often have an ignition system, which requires the operator simply to push a button to start the mower.