Maybe you’ve had a generous neighbour who lets you borrow his lawnmower when you need it. Perhaps you’ve relied on a lawn care service to take care of the grass. Or maybe you’ve never had a lawn to take care of, but your new house has a sprawling yard.

No matter the reason, trying to make a decision about your first lawnmower can be daunting. There’s a lot of different types out there. Below is a list of five things to consider when purchasing your own lawnmower. The list will help guide you towards making the best decision based on your situation.

  1. Consider Your Yard Size: When thinking about what lawnmower to buy, it’s important to look at the big picture. Homeowners with a small yard can get away with a push-behind mower. These machines are pretty simple and are usually very reliable. Electric mowers and reel mowers are also a good choice for smaller yards. Both of these lawnmowers are environmentally friendly and are pretty good at cutting in small areas. However, if you have an expansive property, these types of smaller lawnmowers are going to cause a lot of trouble. Larger yards call for the services of a self-propelled lawnmower, or even a riding lawnmower for the biggest property. Riding lawnmowers are significantly more expensive than their smaller counterparts, but they have a massive blade and are controlled via steering wheel just like a car. A lawnmower that’s too powerful for a small yard is going to be a waste of money. Buying one too small for what you need is going to make for a very tiring day.
  1. Keep the Terrain in Mind: Push behind mowers are good for flat yards that are flat and don’t have rocks or trees in the way. Even if your yard is pretty big, mowing on flat terrain can be a good way to get some exercise in. However, yards that have a lot of trees or other obstacles would be better served with a self-propelled lawnmower. A lot of these lawnmowers have bigger wheels that make them easier to back up or turn in small spaces. Self-propelled mowers have the ability to adjust the speed of the engine so you can manage your pace. This feature comes in handy in uneven areas or when going up a hill. Some riding lawnmowers are able to move up hills with ease and tackle rough terrain. However, owners have to be very careful to never mow across inclines while using them.
  1. Think About Where to Buy: It’s tempting to head to a big-box store that has dozens of models on display to make your purchase. It might not be the best choice though. Bigger stores might not have staff members who are prepared to answer your questions. A lot of these places are just focused on getting a sale and usually are not as concerned about working with your individual circumstances. Local ‘mom and pop’ lawnmower shops often have experienced staff with a lot of knowledge that will be especially beneficial as you buy your first lawnmower. They might even be able to repair your machine if it breaks down and give additional advice as needed.
  1. Features: Some lawnmowers are not going to have the ability to collect grass clippings in a bag for disposal. Other lawnmowers might be able to be modified to mulch grass to nourish the lawn. Additional equipment like a lawn and leaf vacuum or other accessory also may be needed depending on the size of your lawn. If you’re out traveling a lot or don’t plan to mow much, a smaller lawnmower might be in order since they usually require less maintenance and replacement parts are going to be cheaper, saving you time and money.
  1. What’s Your Fitness Level: A lot of homeowners like manual reel mowers because they are cheap and emit no pollution. However, they’re quite hard to use and make for tough work, especially if the grass is over an inch high. On the other hand, self-propelled mowers give you a boost while in use, and riding lawnmowers require no physical activity at all other than turning a steering wheel. Before buying, make sure you can physically walk behind and push a lawnmower. If not, a riding lawnmower may be the way to go.

It may seem there’s a lot to think about before buying your first lawnmower. However, they can be a great investment into your health and fitness, and there’s also a sense of pride that can be felt through taking care of a yard yourself.

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