The right lawn equipment for the job
Good Equipment Makes A Difference
Having the right equipment for maintaining your lawn is important. The wrong equipment could make mowing your lawn like trying to cut a steak with a butter knife. Also, if your equipment isn't up to par, you make be spending way more time than necessary cutting your lawn. Today I want to go through, what I think are some good options in equipment for the home owner that wants to have nice looking lawn but doesn't want to spend and eternity doing the work.
If you go the cheap route then expect to work longer and harder for a not so nice looking finish. A good mower is an investment, and if properly maintained will last you for many years. Personally I do not like the look of a standard 21" push mowers cut, but if you do then my suggestion is to buy one in the $350.00 to $400.00 dollar range that mulches. Honda and Toro are excellent choices. Ultimately I would purchase the Toro Timemaster 30" mower. With two blades and a 30" deck, you cut a tremendous amount of time from mowing and you receive a wonderful, striped lawn. The cost of these machines is $995.00. For larger yards, you will want a riding mower, preferably a zero turn. Depending on what size mower deck and what brand you get you can purchase a good zero turn mower for between $2600 to $4,000. A good standard riding mower is going to cost at least $1500 to $2,000, so why not shuck out that extra amount of money to buy something that will virtually last forever? Lets compare performance and cut quality on a riding mower versus a zero turn. Zero turn mowers will reduce the amount of trimming you will have do because of the mowers ability to turn on the spot and to go around objects more effectively. Riding mowers cannot get into tight spots like z-turns and they cannot pivot around objects like swing sets, trees, etc. This leaves a tremendous amount of trim work to be done. Second, you can mow at a faster speed on a z-turn then on a riding mower. This has to do with the deck quality and blade speed. So, if it takes you and hour on a riding mower to cut your lawn, expect to reduce your time in half with a zero turn. If you want a nice, striped lawn, then a z-turn is a must have. As far as deck size is concerned, a 46" to 52" deck is preferable. Toro, John Deere and Cub Cadet offer decent priced zero turn mowers for the homeowner.
String trimmers and trimmer line
String trimming (weed eating), is what will give your lawn that manicured look, so the type of string trimmer and trimmer line you choose is important. You can either use a battery powered or gas powered string trimmer. If you decide to get a battery powered trimmer, make sure the battery is no less than 40 volts. A gas powered trimmer should have at least a 21 cc sized motor. Using an underpowered string trimmer will not give you the results you want. Also when choosing a trimmer always go with a straight shaft. Straight shafts will allow you to trim at a 90 degree angle and edge around your sidewalks, and driveway. Trimmer line should be .80 inches. The smaller line does the best job overall and gives a nice, clean finish. You can purchase a good string trimmer for $175.00 to $300.00 at most box stores along with the trimmer line.
There is nothing worse than having an underpowered blower. I use backpack blowers but since we are talking homeowner use the practical thing would be a hand held blower. There are battery powered and gas powered blowers. Once again, with the battery powered you want to go no less than 40 volts. Whichever blower you decide to go with make sure the blower can blow at least 155 miles per hour. The higher the speed the easier the task. Higher speeds also help with blowing your leafs into a pile in the Fall. A good blower can be purchased for about $100.00 to $200.00 dollars.