CINCINNATI - Looking to keep your lawn well-manicured without slicing through a lot of green?
Our partners at Consumer Reports Magazine just put more than 100 mowers through their paces. Testers spent six sweaty weeks mowing, mulching, side-discharging, weighing bagged clippings, and even getting down on their hands and knees to judge how evenly a mower cuts.
When it was all over, Consumer Reports found the least expensive mowers didn't always make the cut.
Among them was a $130 mower from Murray. It has an engine that lacks 'oomph,' only discharges from the side and no bagging or mulching. And worse yet -- you have to assemble it yourself.
"And keep your wrenches handy," said Peter Sawchuk of Consumer Reports. "To change the cutting height, you're going to have to take off each wheel. Most mowers allow you to simply do that by adjusting a lever."
The $140 Weed Eater mower is another one you have to assemble yourself.
And while the $240 Brute model comes assembled, as the least expensive, self-propelled mower tested, Consumer Reports says its mediocre performance makes it no bargain. Plus, it began rusting after a few weeks of routine use and cleaning.
"If you don't mind using a little muscle, we rated two push mowers that cost even less and are best buys," Sawchuk said.
The best buys from Consumer Reports are:
-$195 Murray 11A-A23K
-$200 Troy-Bilt TB-110
Both of these top-performers have premium engines and let you easily adjust cutting height.
Want to use less muscle mowing your lawn? Then consider a single-speed, self-propelled mower.
Consumer Reports recommends the:
-Toro 20370 at $300
As always, don't waste your money.
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