Deciding on the Best Mower for Your Lawn

Deciding on the Best Mower for Your Lawn

Deciding on the Best Mower for Your Lawn

When shopping for a new lawnmower, most homeowners don’t realize how many options are out there. Manufacturers now offer equipment with a dizzying array of features. Options are great! But, it can be difficult to determine which ones are best for you and your lawn care needs.

It’s helpful to start by sorting out what characteristics are most important to you in a lawn mower: price, brand, features, accessibility...etc. After you know what you’re looking for, consider the size of your lawn, factor in your level of physical fitness, your amount of free time and any features in your lawn - such as hills, flower beds, ponds, lakes or any obstacles to mow around.

Once you’ve made a list, let us help you narrow down your search with a few tips.

Small Lawns - Up to ¼ Acre

If you have a smaller lawn, chances are you will experience the usual obstacles of awkward patches of grass and unusual yard shapes. In such cases, you will need to have a mower that is highly maneuverable. Here are a couple options we suggest:

Traditional Gas Mower

These mowers are the conventional option for yards up to ½ acre in size. A traditional gas mower will provide plenty of power and have a tank that will last the length of a mow for most yards. Most crank with a pull start, but some feature an electric starter that eliminates the need to use the pull cord. Gas mowers do need the right fuel, so be sure to follow the manufacturer’s requirements to keep the mower running properly.

Cordless Electric Mower

These mowers are available as push or self propelled. If your yard is relatively flat, with mostly even terrain, we recommend a push mower. However, if your yard has a lot of hills or uneven terrain, we recommend going with a Self Propelled Mower, which means the motor will help to power the wheels, making it easier for you to push through the uneven terrain. An important thing to note with all cordless electric mowers is that you are limited to the capacity of the battery, which typically lasts about an hour and takes 2 hours to fully charge.

Small Riding Mower

For those with physical conditions making push mowing difficult, a small riding mower will provide a comfortable way to mow lawns quickly and efficiently. While not as powerful or fast as lawn tractors, they will offer a quieter and smoother ride. For a small lawn, nothing more than a cc30 type mower would be necessary.

Cost: $300 - $1500

Medium Lawns - ¼ Acre to ½ Acre

For those with a medium size yard, you will typically find yourself in a subdivision, with plenty of neighbors close by. Such characteristics of a medium size lawn can vary, being flat and smooth to relatively uneven and slopped. Here’s our suggestion:

Gas Self-Propelled Mower

Using a self-propelled push mower will help you to get the job done quicker than your typical push mower because you will have some help maneuvering through your terrain. If your yard slopes, we would also suggest taking a look at mowers that have rear or all-wheel drive to make things a bit easier.

Small Riding Mower

The closer you get to the ½ acre range, the more inclined you may be to check out some smaller riding mowers. And again, for those with physical conditions making push mowing difficult, a small riding mower will get the job done quickly, efficiently and comfortably. For a medium lawn, a 42” Cub Cadet tractor or the Hustler Raptor would do the trick.

Check out these specific models:

Cub Cadet Signature Cut Series Push Mowers
Cub Cadet CC 600
Cub Cadet XT Enduro Series 42" Tractors
Cub Cadet RZT Zero Turn Mowers
Hustler Raptor 42" Zero Turn Mower

Price Range: $300 - $3000

Medium Lawns - ½ Acre to 1.5 Acres

We tend to see medium to large yards closer to Evansville's rural areas. If you have property with more than a half acre of land, you'll likely want to look at a riding mower or zero turn mower. And depending on just how much acreage and the setup of your land, we have a variety of features and offers we would recommend when you visit us in Newburgh.

Gas Riding Mower or Lawn / Garden Tractor

Gas Riding Mower or Lawn / Garden Tractor - If your lawn is closer to the half acre range, you would probably be safe with a small riding mower and smaller mowing deck. These mowers will be able to handle gentle slopes, so a good one can take on even a large lawn.

Check out these specific models:

Cub Cadet CC 30 H
Cub Cadet XT Enduro Series--specifically deck sizes 50 and under

Small Riding Mower Price Range: $1300 - $1500

Lawn / Garden Tractor Price Range: $1500 - $6000

Zero-Radius-Turning Mower

These models turn in place around one of the rear wheels and are operated with two steering levers. A common misconception about zero turn mowers is that they are only for large acreage. With a smaller lawn, though, you tend to spend more time turning the mower than actually mowing. That’s why if you have ½ acre to 1.5 acres, we suggest considering a zero turn to get the job done. You will save time turning your mower and be able to get the job done quicker.

Check out these specific models:

Cub Cadet RZT (L/SX) 42-50 deck sizes

Cub Cadet Z Force (L/S) deck size 48(L/S) deck size 48

SCAG Liberty 36 and 48

Hustler Raptor 36 and 42

Hustler Raptor SD 42-48

Zero-Turn-Radius Mower Price Range: $2500 - $4500

Cub Cadet Zero Turn Mower

Are there any Hills, Slopes, Banks, or Ditches that you mow? Or water that you mow around?

Your yard holds a lot of potential. Cub Cadet’s award-winning zero-turn mowers are here to help you unlock it. The brand that introduced zero-turn technology to the residential market offers incredible efficiency, maximum comfort and ultimate durability from the protection of an e-coating corrosion defense system. All the Cub Cadet mower decks have the wash-out port which allows you to hook a garden hose on the deck and wash it without having to crawl underneath the mower. And with steering wheel control models, you can enjoy increased hillside stability and reduced mowing time. 

No matter what size lawn you have, safety and performance are extremely important. If you mow slopes or hills, if you mow around a lake or pond, or if you have an extensive amount of trees and landscaping, you may want to consider a steering wheel model zero turn. Most zero turn models do not work on slopes, ditches or hills over 15 degrees. They are designed to mow lawns and little else. Steering wheel zero turns on the other hand, are designed for slopes up to at least 18 degrees, and some report mowing up to 30 degrees slope. They have other advantages, and disadvantages, as well...

Steering wheel zero-turns use a front steering mechanism instead of castor wheels which increases your stability on slopes over a small residential zero-turn. The front wheels help to hold the mower on the slope which greatly reduces the load on the transmissions. They do turn differently than your lawn tractor but the steerable front wheels helps the mower stay on side slopes better than a residential lap bar ZTR. Steering wheel models are also much more stable on hillsides due to the front castors. When these wheels turn, they eliminate the mower wanting to nosedive down the hill, making these machines much safer and secure on hillsides.   

Steering wheel zero-turns will turn better going downhill than a lap-bar zero-turn. But, don’t expect them to mow hillsides. A good rule of thumb is to try backing up the hill with your mower. If the rear wheels lose traction and start to spin the slope is too steep to mow up. If you have a walk out basement mow the slope diagonally – going downhill! Yes, it takes more time, but it is safer. 

The steering wheel zero-turns will not ride as rough as a residential zero-turn but the ride is still different from your lawn tractor. Because the steering system on these mowers needs to be robust to handle zero-turning there is more weight on the front than a residential zero-turn so they don’t have the head bobbing “bounce” of a small ZTR on rough lawns.

Along with handling hills and ditches better, Steering Wheel Zero Turns, mow around trees, landscaping, and water faster and more safely. You can minimize the rings left around trees when mowing, due to the true four-wheel steering. When mowing around lakes and ponds, you are less likely to slide on the slope leading down to the water and less likely to tip over because the weight of the unit is more even front to back.

RZT and Z Force Homeowner models and Pro Series Commercial units are available in the steering wheel model. Check them out at  SHOP Steering Wheel Zero Turns

And, if you really, really just want a zero-turn, but you're someone who mows the lawn and can’t get the hang of lap-bars, then a steering wheel zero-turn is for you!

Large Lawns - 1.5 Acres to 3 Acres

Gas Riding Mower or Lawn / Garden Tractor

The bigger your yard gets, the more you will really want to take a look at the size of the deck on your mower. Most riding mower deck sizes range from 42” to 54,” and the correct deck size greatly depends on the amount of lawn to be mowed. The next step up from a riding mower would be a lawn / garden tractor, whose deck sizes go up even more in size, making it easier for you to mow more yard at once and get the job done quickly.

Check out this specific model:

Cub Cadet XT Enduro Series deck size 54”

Gas Riding Mower or Lawn / Garden Tractor Price Range: $2500 - $3500

Zero-Radius-Turning Mower

If you’re looking for better cut quality and striping for your yard, a zero turn is better suited than a tractor. And the more acreage you have, the more important we find it is for individuals and families to invest in the added features, deck size and speed. Zero turn mowers are also known to provide a perfect solution for maneuvering around trees, shrubs, and other obstacles.

Check out these specific models:

Hustler Raptor 52”

Hustler Raptor SD 54-60”

Cub Cadet RZT (L/SX) 54”

Cub Cadet Z Force 54-60”

SCAG Liberty 52”

SCAG Freedom 48”-52”

Hustler FasTrak 48”

Price Range: $2500 - $6500

Large Lawns - 3 Acres to 6 Acres

How much acreage do you own? Maybe you’re even a commercial mower? How quickly do you want to get it done? And how comfortable do you want to be? If you fall into the large lawn category of having 3 to 6 acres of land to mow, we suggest investing in a zero turn mower.

Zero-Radius-Turning Mower

Trust us, you will not be disappointed after investing in a zero turn mower for your large lawn. With superior cut quality and advanced precision cutting, you’ll leave your freshly mowed lawn feeling like a pro.

For 3-4 acres, check out these specific models:

Hustler FasTrak

Hustler X-One

Cub Cadet PRO Z 100 series

SCAG Patriot

SCAG TigerCat II

Price Range: $5000- $10000

For 4-6+ acres, check out these specific models:

Hustler Super Z

Hustler Super ZHD

Cub Cadet PRO Z 500/700/900 series

SCAG Cheetah

SCAG Turf Tiger II

Price Range: $8000 - $24000+

Zero-turns are finish cut lawn mowers not field/pasture mowers. Even the $5000 to $14,000 commercial models are designed to mow your lawns beautifully but they don’t work well on grass/weeds over 6 inches. They don’t like stumps, rocks, dirt mounds any better than your lawn tractor. If you want to mow the pasture when the grass is over 6 inches you will have to mow the same area at least twice. We will always suggest a rough cut mower or a “Bush Hog” brush mower for that kind of mowing.

At A1 Power, our knowledgeable and factory trained sales team is always ready to assist you in making the purchase that will most suit you and your lawn care needs. Stop by our showroom today and let us help find a mower that works for you.