questionslawn mower - gas or non-gas

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I started with a reel mower, and they work great for grass. The reason I purchased a gas-powered one was because I have pine trees, and after a couple of years I just got sick of twigs jamming the thing.

So that's my advice -- if you have a twig free lawn with relatively little debris, the human-powered lawnmowers work great! If you have debris or twigs or anything, getting a powered one is the way to go.

Honestly, with the momentum of the blades and how light they are, it's not any harder to push than a gas powered mower. They just tend to be narrower so it takes longer to mow.

http://www.lowes.com/pd_289834-53393-26143_4294801385_4294937087_?productId=1081523

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Reel mowers give a cleaner cut as they act more like scissors but I've no idea how long the blades last. "not any harder to push than a gas powered mower" - not if you had a self-propelled gas mower.
Does non-gas also mean you're considering electric? Corded electric push mowers cut just as well as gas push mowers and have very little maintenance (just sharpen the blade and give the mower deck a clean every once in a while) but the cord can be a pain. Cordless electric mowers can have trouble with longer grass but some more recent models have variable blade speed which helps deal with that.

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From a quick browse of the Home Depot site, if $150 is your limit, you may not have a lot of choice. They only have 2 gas powered ones for $150 or less, corded electrics start at $160, cordless at $200.

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Find a good used mower that will work best with your size yard and your ability to push it... As features and size go up so does the price...

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If your budget could budge upward a little, I would really look into the rechargeable battery powered mowers. You never have to fill up a gas can, change oil, replace spark plugs, or rebuild a carburetor on an electric. Unless you like that kind of thing.
Try this one.
http://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/Sun-Joe-Mow-Joe-12-amp-14-inch-Electric-Lawn-Mower/4401470/product.html?cid=123620
Needs an extension cord, but within budget.

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Electric (battery powered) and craigslist. :) We found a Black and Decker battery-powered on Craigslist, the battery had died and been replaced but the owner had replaced the mower in the meantime. It works really well for a small to medium lawn.

If you try a reel mower, just find a good knife sharpening place, 'cause you'll want to get the blades sharpened regularly.

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2 advantages if you go with the non-gas non-electric push mower:

1. better for environment. no gas or electricity needed, just your body
2. you'll get a nice workout. especially if you enjoy being outdoors anyway, working with your "hands" so to speak, and working out your muscles

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I prefer a gas mower because you don't have to keep moving the cord around and don't need a plug near by or an extra long cord.
Electric mowers are far quieter, not sure on what green footprint they leave but more than likely better for the environment.
I think it comes down to personal preference, cost and in most cases lawn size.
Best of luck in your venture

Reel mowers are kind of what most golf course use (but bigger and gas powered)

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I wish I had an electric every time I try and start my stupid gas mower. I simply don't understand why after only 1 years worth of use, it suddenly become difficult to get it running.
I mean I drive my car every day....
It has an engine in it.....
It even has to endure the rigors of a North winter.....
It starts 99% of the time....
The 13 month mower plague has happened to me with every mower I've owned. Although the length of time has varied a bit. I guess it is probably my fault because I don't get it winterized in the fall or tuned-up in the spring.But who does?

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@jimmyd103: I winterize my gas mower, change the oil and check the spark plugs at the begining and end of each season. Haven't had any issues yet (knock on wood) Same thing with my snow blower, regular maintenance just like your car.

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My dad has one of the Neuton cordless rechargeable electric mowers (they've been sold on Woot before), and I think it's great. It's out of your price range, but maybe you could find one used or something. It has surprising power, cuts well, and is so much nicer than using a gas mower. It makes a lot less noise, no smoke, and is almost pleasant to use in comparison. I'd use it over a gas powered mower any day.
If you end up getting a gas powered one though, try to get something like a Troy-Bilt with a Honda motor, we've had the best luck with it out of all the gas mowers I've used.