Are you looking for Best Lawn Mower For a 1/2 Acre Lot for your AWESOME Lawn? Well, I have some information and a comparison between several types of lawnmowers. Here is my personal opinion about this question.
Do I Need A Riding Mower For 1/2 Acre?
Best Lawn Mower For 1/2 Acre Lot – Comparison Table
Best Gas Mower for 1/2 acre lot
Low Price per mile
Best Price/Efficiency. You can mow up to 15 acres!
Best Zero-Turn Mower in 2019!
Best Electric Mower for 1/4 acre lot
How To Choose The Riding Lawn Mower
It has become common practice for landscape companies to utilize riding lawn mowers as an integral part of their businesses worldwide. Residential homeowners are also increasingly using riding mowers as well. Compared with the manual push mower, a riding lawn mower makes it much easier to care for yards. So the question is, which riding lawn mower is best for your situation?
If you have a lawn that is bigger than half an acre, then your optimal choice is a riding lawnmower. When selecting the best riding lawn mower, the front-cutting deck is what you need to pay the closest attention to. The front cutting deck is the housing that covers the cutting blade. The longer that a cutting deck is, the bigger the cutting blade is. And the bigger the cutting blade you have, the more grass it will cut. Therefore, if you have a big lawn, you want to get a mower that has a longer cutting deck so that your cutting time is sped up.
Using a riding mower makes cutting your lawn a much faster job. Also, riding mowers are much better for people who have health problems since there isn’t nearly as much manual labor required. There are other purposes that riding lawn mowers serve, like a small trailer or snowplow.
Don’t confuse riding lawn mowers with lawn or gardening tractors. There is a significant difference. The cutting decks on the riding tractor are mounted in the middle instead of the front. This makes riding tractors a lot less maneuverable.
Gas Powered vs. Electric Riding Lawn Mower
Just like cars, there are both electrically and gas-powered riding lawn mowers that are available. If you buy an electric mower, you need to ensure the battery is completely charged before you use it. Electric mowers are more environmentally friendly and quieter. In terms of the negatives, given that the mower is battery-powered, there is always the chance that the battery will completely drain before finishing the job. Electric mowers can also be very expensive.
One big advantage that gas-powered mowers have is they are much more efficient compared to electric mowers. They expend less energy, handle wet conditions a lot better, and are less expensive than electric mowers.
There are advantages and disadvantages to each kind of mower. When deciding which kind of mower you want to buy, you need to weigh the efficiency advantage versus the environmental advantage.
Maintaining Your Mower
- Whether you buy an electric or gas mower, you will need to keep it well maintained at all times. Keeping the blades sharpened is the most important thing that you need to do. If you have a sharp blade, your lawn will look a lot better. Dull blades, on the other hand, will give your lawn an uneven and raggedy appearance.
- Low tire pressure, similar to a vehicle, harms how well your riding lawn mower performs. Low tire pressure can cause the mower to use up more battery power or gas while using it. However, it is also important not to over-inflate your tires. Over-inflated tires can burst whenever you run over something sharp like a stone or glass.
- Before each use, you should clean the engine compartment and rider. Your objective is to clean any debris out that might have built up from the last time you used it. Also, check the air filter since, over time, debris and dust build up and can cause airflow issues. When there are airflow problems, this will eventually lead to efficiency issues.
- Monitor the oil level at all times. Just like a car, if the engine is run while low on oil, it can cause the engine to seize up. When an engine seizes up, it can ruin the motor and will have to be replaced. The oil should be changed at the beginning of each season or every 50 hours’ worth of use.
- A final thing you should do is check the cables and battery regularly. Any corrosion that begins to build up should be eliminated by using a damp rag. Acid leaks coming from the batter can cause corrosion to build up.
Dangers and Cautions
Riding lawn mowers are more dangerous to operate than manual mowers, given they are so much larger. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission released a study that showed that some of the more common dangerous problems associated with riding lawn mowers include users being run over by a mower, riders falling off the seat, and mowers tipping over.
To completely protect both yourself and family members, the following precautions should be taken:
- The first thing you should do is read the owner’s manual
- Don’t allow children to operate a riding lawn mower
- Before turning the blade on, test ride the mower first
- Don’t wear loose-fitting clothing that can potentially get caught up in the mower’s blades
- Don’t transport other passengers on the mower
- Always clear your lawn before mowing to ensure that you don’t run over anything dangerous that can be sent airborne
- Service your mower regularly and keep it properly maintained
- Shut off the mower before attempting to make repairs
- Only operate the riding lawn mower when you are seated in the driver’s seat
- Never add gas to the tank while the engine is on
- Shut the blade off whenever you are riding on gravel areas, the driveway, or sidewalks
Pros of Purchasing a Riding Lawn Mower
Although it can be more expensive to ride a lawn mover than a regular mower, there are quite a few advantages to purchasing a riding lawnmower. For starters, when to comes to riding lawn mowers, you have just as many choices; this also includes zero-turning radius mowers.
With a mower that is a zero-turning radius, you can, and in a single pass, cut around trees and shrubs, you can get right up to the edge, between the tree area and the grass. There are actually two varieties of riding lawnmowers. One is a tractors style riding mower, and the other, a zero-turning radius. People with large areas in need of mowing will find a riding mower to be ideal. These include attachments to bag grass clippings and mulching capabilities, and there are models with a combination of both.
You can many accessories, but this is especially true for the tractor models. You can buy trailers to haul feed to your livestock or to carry supplies to your garden, and you can buy plows that have helped clear winter snow. There are even attachments that can help plow a garden. You can also find attachments that turn a lawn tractor into a leaf grinder, and the grinding capabilities will turn the leaves into compost.
Riding lawnmowers have an electric start and a larger fuel capacity in comparison to regular mowers. Their fully adjustable cutting decks allow you to cut heavier and taller grass as well as areas of your property that are undeveloped; a regular mower would be bogged down by this and cut out.
When purchasing a riding lawn mower, pay close attention to the brands. There is a variety of riding lawn mower brands. John Deere offers lawn mowers in the zero-turn model as well as the tractor style. A trendy brand of riding mowers is Toro, which is to the great availability of Toro lawn mower parts. There are various repair parts and covers available. Even some can maintain themselves; removing the cutting blade is not that hard if you have the right tools.
The Difference Between Riding Mowers and Tractors
There is a difference between riding lawn mowers, and lawn tractors that should be noted, the motor of most riding lawn mowers is located in the rear and with lawn tractors in the front. The driver controls all the operations, and the cutting heights are easy to adjust on the go if needed. In comparison with a lawn tractor, a riding mower has less power, and it can get around flat surfaces at a much faster speed than most lawnmowers can. There are usually fewer accessories for the riding mower models, and they are also not very great to use during the winter. During the winter season, they have to be stored.
Many local lawn and garden retailers can provide you with riding lawn mowers and are also available online. Regarding price, many of these lawn mowers cost around five hundred dollars or a bit more. However, they save you so much time that they are worth the price in the long run. Purchasing a riding lawn mower should not even be a question in your mind. If you are not certain if this is the right choice for you, there are quite a few product review sites available online; look over reviews that other lawnmower customers have left, there you can find features, product specifications, pros and cons, and anything that you are interested in knowing more about.
What Do We Have?
It can be a tough decision trying to select the best riding lawnmower. Ultimately, the factors that will mainly influence you will be safety and price. It is nice to have bells and whistles. However, they are not completely necessary. Before buying a riding lawn mower, make sure to carefully read reviews, consumer reports, product descriptions, and check info on our website.
Three Types of Mowers – Reviews & My Opinion
My yard is 40,000 square feet of mostly turf-type tall fescue. Now, the first mower that I had all along is the tractor. I’ve had a tractor for 20 years that I’ve lived in my big house, and they treat me very well. And it’s always been a Craftsman tractor, and this is my second. The first one I had was green.
So secretly, before I bought this house, I looked at my measure of success was to, I wanted to have a home that was a big enough yard that I could have a lawn tractor. And this was it.
I’ve always mowed it with a tractor until last year. All right, let’s start with the tractor.
- First and foremost, easy to drive.
- Straightforward steering wheel. I never worry about it tipping.
- It is easy enough for my kids. When they were young, I would teach them how to drive it, let them start mowing the lawn, and have some responsibility.
- It gave me a decent cut.
- It works best with side discharge.
- Very slow
- Cost per mow too high
The lawn tractor is the easiest to drive. You can have your kids do it. You can do more than mow with it. And you can use it for a snowplow. You can pull things with it. The disadvantages are the turning radius and the slow mowing speed.
TimeMaster – Gas Mower
The cool thing about the TimeMaster is it comes with a bag. It comes with the ability to side discharge. If you want a container, the bag goes right here. And that plugin there, if you take that plug out, lets all the clippings come out of the back into the bag, and it works well.
But the magic to this mower is that plug right there. I say magic because the mulching capability on that mower when the plug is installed is second to none. I have not. Neither one of these mowers can compare when you’re talking about mulching.
- The cut quality is excellent, and the clippings are so beautiful. You don’t see them at all.
- I love the personal pace. You rule the mower, not him.
- Very Cheap
My only complaint about it is the gas tank is too small, and it’s got this foam thing inside it. So when you fill it up with gas, it tends to overflow because you can’t see how much gas is in it until it’s too late, and then it starts spilling out. So that’s a pain in the neck. That’s the only complaint about it. And I can barely get my whole front and back done on one fill of gas.
Cub Cadet Ultima – Zero Turn Mower
Cub Cadet Ultima is a 42-inch, the same deck size as the Craftsman tractor, 42-inch. By the way, the Toro Lawn Tractor is 30-inch. But 42-inch is the biggest that will fit through my gate on that side of the house and the shed in the backyard. So that’s why I went with a 42-inch. They also come much bigger, up to 54-inch. But 42-inch is the smallest, and it’s perfect for this yard.
However, my commitment to them is done. I’m giving you my honest opinion on this. And honestly, I love this mower.
It’s so much fun to drive. I love Zero Turn. If you’ve never driven a Zero Turn, it’s a new experience. I got to tell you, compared to the lawn tractor. So that is something I recommend if you’ve got a decent-sized lawn, maybe 15,000 square feet.
Side discharge and bagging are the best cut with this. I’m not happy with the mulch kit, but the side discharge works excellent. The only trouble is, it blows out a lot of air, and it gets the grass clippings all over the place. So the next step is I’m going to evaluate them, not undercut quality. They all have good cut quality.
- The Zero Turn is the fastest mow!
- It is undoubtedly the most agile.
- Most comfortable to turn.
Testing Each Type of Lawn Mowers
But what I’m going to assess them on is their Time Master. And that is, how quickly I can mow in my yard each one of them. Now, when mowing with any mower, what kills you is the turns. That’s the thing that slows you down and takes the most time. So it always is more efficient to mow in the longest direction of your yard.
When I try and mow this way, which I occasionally do to prevent compaction, that takes twice as long, and it feels like because I’m turning around twice as much. So I’m going to try three tests. The first one is going to be going in this direction. And I’m going to use the video timer to be my stopwatch.
Test number two is going to be going in this direction, perpendicular to the original. That is going to be the shortest distance. Test number three will be on the diagonal, the same as the first two, but 45 degrees. Of course, the lawn tractor lost all three of those tests because it is just so painful to turn around. It’s tough to most stripes with a lawn tractor.
It’s much more efficient to do circles around the yard, but that’s not good for the grass. The Zero Turn is the most valuable. It is effortless to turn the thing. You have to be careful about tearing up the grass. And the TimeMaster, with itself repelled, is easy to set as well, mainly because of that personal pace. Let’s take a closer look at that.
Find Your Best
You don’t even realize what I’m doing there. Let me back it up. In slow motion, you can see I’m not even behind the mower, and I can squeeze the trigger and get it to go without having to move. So it optimizes my steps. Okay, let’s look at the pros and cons of each.
And the only disadvantages are that it’s rough on the grass and of course, it is the most expensive.
Now, looking at the price for performance, approximately the cost of the Zero Turn, $2,700, the TimeMaster, $1,100, and I valued the lawn tractor would be about 1,850. Then I broke down the cost per mow.
And the way that I did that is I used my average from last year, I did 40 mows, and I figured the lifespan of these machines would be ten years.
Zero Turn vs. Gas Mower vs. Lawn Tractor – Comparison Table
|Mower||Zero Turn||Gas Mower||Lawn Tractor|
|Cost per mow (price/10 year, after you divide into 40 mows)||$6.75||$2.75||$4.63|
|Mow Time (15, 000 sq. feet)||13.5 min||27.5 min||25 min|
|Cost per mile||$6.75||$5.62||$8.60|
Now, let’s take a look at mow time. I can mow my lawn front and back with:
- The Zero Turn in 13 and a half minutes.
- The TimeMaster 27 and a half
- and the lawn tractor 25 minutes.
Now, no surprise there. The Zero Turn is the fastest. The TimeMaster is 104% slower than the Zero Turn, and the lawn tractor is 86% slower than the Zero Turn.
Now, when you use that difference to adjust the cost per mow, look at what happens.
- The Zero Turn stays the same;
- The TimeMaster is still the cheapest $5.62 per mile;
- but the lawn tractor goes up to $8.60. It’s the highest cost per mow when adjusted for its performance.
How to Choose the Lawnmower – Buyer’s Guide
As the saying goes, information is power. The next time you are in the market for a lawnmower, you should be curious to ensure that your final decision will be the right one. To be able to ask the right questions, take the following into account:
Types of Lawnmowers
Once upon a time, battery-powered lawnmowers were weak and inefficient. Thanks to advancements in technology, however, that is no longer the case. Today, battery-powered lawnmowers are surprisingly capable and competent.
They come in both the push and the self-propelled varieties. Typically, they use lithium-ion battery packs. Lightweight, compact, and easily rechargeable, these packs are undoubtedly convenient. However, their runtimes are rather short when compared to those of gas-powered mowers.
The most common types of lawnmowers out there are powerful, efficient, and high-speed gas mowers. Moreover, they are not limited in their runtime by rechargeable batteries, allowing them to cover a lot more distance in a single session. Like their battery-powered counterparts, they come in both push and self-propelled varieties. Of course, they need to be refueled and maintained with regularity.
A cross between a small car and a gas mower makes lawn tractors capable of cutting a lot faster than simple push mowers. As a result, they are very well-suited for taking care of large lawns.
Many of them include cruise-control and height adjustment options, allowing for a more precise mowing. Some models even involve hydrostatic transmissions that help with the use of plows and other tool attachments.
Zero-Turn-Radius Lawn Mowers
These are similar to lawn tractors, the difference being that, instead of a wheel, you use a zero-turn with a pair of levers to control the vehicle.
This allows zero-turn radios lawnmowers to be more maneuverable and nimble than lawn tractors. Typically, this type of mower is gas-powered.
Think of rear-engine riders as a mix between walk-behind mowers and lawn tractors. They offer some of the comforts and benefits of the latter without many of its disadvantages.
They are compact and relatively lightweight. However, they aren’t as powerful or efficient as lawn tractors.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Lawn Mower
Push or Self-Propelled?
Generally speaking, push mowers are more affordable than self-propelled ones. Of course, they depend on your physical effort to perform their job. In the end, the decision should come down to whether you have the energy and the time to push the mower around or not.
The size of your yard will inevitably play a huge role in that decision. Slopped lawns can also become a factor.
It’s crucial to think about the size of your lawn before deciding if you have a small yard of less than 1/4 acre, a self-propelled mower (or, even worse, a tractor).
On the other hand, if your yard is rather large, purchasing a self-propelled mower with a decent amount of power may be the best option.
If your lawn is ample and obstacle-less, a large mower with a large cutting deck is probably a good idea.
However, if your yard has a steep terrain that includes obstacles like trees, flower beds, and ornaments, you should look for a more maneuverable option. Zero-turn radius mowers, in particular, can be remarkably agile.
Ideally, it would help if you cleaned your mower after every use. Depending on the type and style of the machine, this can be more or less difficult. A washout port can make this a lot easier, so keep your eyes open for mowers that include this feature.
Without a doubt, you want to get a lawnmower that can be controlled with precision. For that reason, it’s essential to take into account its maneuvering capabilities.
Make sure the wheel or levers provide enough control and do not stick. Cruise control is an extra feature that you may want to consider when looking at lawn tractors.
Desirable Features in a New Lawn Mower
Uniform Wheel Sizes
Some lawnmowers feature larger wheels on the back. Generally speaking, this makes them less efficient than mowers that have uniform wheel sizes.
Some mowers include a clutch that allows deactivating the blade without stopping the engine. This can be very useful when you need to take a small break without restarting the engine all over again.
Older gas-powered mowers use a pulling system to start the engine. However, newer models include a single-button electric start that makes the process a lot more convenient. Click&Run, oh, yes!
One-Lever Height Adjustment
Various self-propelled mowers include a one-lever system for adjusting the height of the whole mowing deck at once. Without a doubt, that makes the adjustment process a lot easier and more convenient.
An automatic drive feature can help you vary the ground speed with high effectiveness and efficiency. Typically, this feature is controlled with a lever.
Electric Power Takeoff Switch
This switch automatically allows you to engage and disengage the blades, helping you extend the belt’s lifespan.
Now that everything is laid out on the table, you should have a clearer idea of what kind of lawnmower to go for. Without a doubt, all the products presented in this buyer’s guide provide great value and are worth considering.
However, there are essential differences between them that you should take into account before making a decision.