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Consumer Reports: Top Lawn Mowers

lawn mowerFORT MYERS, Fla. — When buying a lawn mower, Consumer Reports’ Peter Sawchuk says the “most important (thing) is to consider the size of your property. If you have a larger property, that is it takes you more than a half an hour to mow your lawn, then you should consider a self-propelled mower.”

Consumer Reports says opt for a self-propelled mower with rear-wheel drive. Mowers with front-wheel drive have more trouble with hills. The wheels spin out.

Some manufacturers are touting all-wheel-drive mowers. While they do handle hills without glitches, there are drawbacks.

Sawchuk warns that “first, you’re paying a little bit more for it. Secondly, it’s a little bit more complicated, so there’s more than can go wrong with it.”

Mower speeds are another consideration. A single speed like this recommended Lawn-Boy costs 330-dollars and is great for smaller yards. Its electric start makes it easier to start.

However, mowers with two or more speeds let you adjust to conditions – faster to cover more ground in larger areas and slower for better cutting in thicker grass.

Some good choices – the rear-wheel-drive Troy-Bilt for 370-dollars from Lowe’s and a 400-dollar Honda from Home Depot, also with rear-wheel drive.

This report is based on this information.