Lawn Mower Rant

North Carolina is blessed with awesome growing weather.   You can grow a lawn on your roof here.  The perfect blend of Rain and Sun and optimal growing temperatures for like 10 months in the year.
This means a lot of lawn mowing.  For some, this is a source of great pride and satisfaction.

For me it’s a bloody curse.  For one, I’m allergic to cut grass.  I’m fine around grass, until it starts getting mowed and whatever the feck it is that comes out of it just about kills me.  Watery, red, puffy eyes, and nose that wont stop running.  So for me, when I start cutting grass, I want it done fast and thorough and none of that bagging crap.  I like a Mower and Mulcher in one.  Know what I mean?   This isn’t much to ask for, is it?  Evidently it is.  Because in the last 5 months I’ve gone through 3 mowers.  This last one, did only half the yard before it just went belly up.  Sure it’s used, but before it started on my lawn we had it serviced.  Cleaned out, fresh oil and filter and a new spark plug.  Tuned up.   Ran like a champ…. In the front yard.  And then the Mower must have looked in the back yard because it just said “Screw this” and shut down.   It will start… and it will run… for about 5 seconds max.  Just like the last two.  Even after getting them professionally serviced.  Even had a new carb on one of them.

All three had one thing in common.   MURRAY.

I’ve come to the conclusion that Murray Lawn Mowers really and truly suck.   They are the Phoenix Arms of Lawn Mowers.   Fine when brand new but a couple boxes of ammo through it and they fall apart.  I will never deal with another one for the rest of my life.   I’ll never deal with another Phoenix – or MURRAY ever again.  Life is TOO SHORT.

 

31 thoughts on “Lawn Mower Rant”

  1. The best lawnmower I ever found was the one that my landscaper uses. It has saved me back aches & fights with the missus. And if it blows out (St Agustine lawn, the only stuff that grows in South Florida, is basically Elephant grass genetically miniaturized and reinforced) I don’t have to buy another one.

  2. if you can afford it either get a Snapper or Toro mower. I’ve owned 1 of these (Snapper) and known others who own the other. All have been very reliable and ran for many years with just proper maintenance.
    One clue on what to buy when it comes to lawn equipment is, what brands do the big professional outfits use? If you look, it will these 2 brands, as far as lawn mowers go.

  3. Come on man! You’re a motorcycle guy and one of the brand known for being the most dependable was founded by a small engine manufacturer… buy a Honda

    1. Yup, I sought the advise of an old guy who did lawns on the side and he said go Honda. They cost more up front but they lasted much longer. Put some Sea Foam in the gas tank and you don’t get that varnish in the carb when you store it.

  4. I love my Honda mower. It’s what the professionals use. It’s your Sig Sauer or Beretta of lawn mowers. It bags or mulches with the flip of a lever or installation of mulch plug, depending on the model. It also has variable speed drive and a clutch for the blade. Excellent for a push mower. To top it off, the engine features an overhead camshaft for efficiency.

  5. My craftsman mower has been great. I have your problem with string trimmers. I finally bought a decent one. Not the one I wanted, but the Husky seems to do the trick so far. Even with thick string.

  6. My dear Ogre, it would appear that you have found the definitive argument for who needs an assault rifle, er make that full auto assault mower. I mean you could mow a lawn with a sporting push/reel because nobody needs a assault mower, that’s the kind of weapon only the government or professional landscapers should have access to.
    Well I’m for the 500 horsepower, nitrous oxide injected, zero turning radius, mulching death machine which is capable of mowing down acres in ten minutes.

    1. You bring your mower and run it around my lawn for about 5 minutes, and I’ll grill you a Burger.

  7. Did any of them have Briggs and Stratton motors? I had a Murray for about 15 years with a Briggs and Stratton motor that ran like a champ, only got rid of it when the wheel bearings started to seize. Now I have a Toro with a Briggs and Stratton motor that I expect to outlast that old Murray.

      1. Intersting. What horsepower rating?

        And if your mower only ran for a few minutes after “servicing”, then your technician is a fucking retard.

  8. Interesting.

    Our Murray just gave up the ghost a week ago.

    But it was an electric model, so not really comparable.

    And was 17 years old. We’ll see if the replacement goes 17 years.

  9. All of the working lawn mowers have one thing in common:

    A Briggs and Stratton engine. All of the lawnmower makers have cheap-ass models, and professional models. The pro models have the engine mentioned in them.

    And you can tune up a lawnmower on your own. Replace the plug, drain the oil, blow out the carb with cleaner, and clean up the filter. Easy.

    This one might last a little longer than yourt Murray:
    http://www.husqvarna.com/us/products/lawn-mowers/hu550fh/

  10. When we moved to the lake front home 17 years ago I had two teen boys and a riding mower made in France. The mower lasted about 2 years and then stopped supplying oil to the motor in mid cut. I disposed the boat anchor and did the math. It was cheeper to hire the lawn service once a week then buy a new mower over a 15 year period. Done

  11. MTD makes nearly every mower you see nowadays it seems. They own like 30 brands of mower and make mowers for the brands they don’t own. Yet.

    I buy a sub 1k rider for doing trimming work around the house. Currently on a poulan pro but not terribly happy with it. For the majority of my grass I use a 3 point 7 ft finish mower behind the tractor or for the stuff I mow once or twice a year I just use a brush hog.

    Best advice I have for mowers is use fresh gas, non-ethanol if you can get it and thoroughly winterize them. I’ve had good luck with Toro and Honda push mowers. Old mowers can be a good bet too if you’re handy with tools. By old I mean mowers from the 60-80s. Neighbor has an old 1962 3052 lawn boy that has a been cutting for over 50 years with nothing but a couple pull ropes, blades and spark plugs replaced. So many of the newer mowers are so cheaply made they’re essentially disposable.

  12. I bought a Craftsman mower the same year I bought my house. I paid off the mortgage a couple years ago (took me ten years). Still currently using the same mower. I change the oil, air filter, and blade once every other season. Changed the spark plug once and had to replace a rear wheel. Still runs like a champ. 🙂

  13. If any of those mowers had a fixed throttle carb over the fuel tank with 5 screws holding the carb in place get a carb rebuild kit. The diaphragm goes bad and the mower will not stay running. Carb kit runs around 10 to 15 bucks . Would go to a local mower service place with digital picture of mower make model number and picture of carb. My Daughters mower was purchased at a BX and did the same thing. Rebuilt the carb and runs great again

  14. I think I know what will be down range the next time the ogre goes to the shooting. =)

  15. We had a Craftsman push mower for 20+ years. Only ditched it when the body rusted through. Have a Craftsman tractor that’s at least 15 years old. They were both bulletproof dead-nuta reliable.

  16. +1 on the advice to get an old mower.

    I have a dead simple MTD with a B&S engine from the early 90’s. If you can fix a motorcycle, you can rebuild the carbs and service it youself. Add a new blade and you are ready to go.

    And yea, buy 91 octane gas for it. Ethanol and lawnmowers is evil.

  17. This thread was almost as good as “favorite bug-out gun”

    Toro Recycler Personal Pace.

    308 AR Carbine, M&P .357 sig and 10/22.

  18. Only ten months? We seem to have a fourteen month a year growing season (they sneak in a few during the summer when everything seems to grow twice as fast ) here in Florida.

    I’ve been using a mid to late nineties craftsmen push mower with a I think a 4.5hp Briggs.

    Oil change? What’s that? 😀

    Only replaced the air filter last year because it was acting like yours. (There must have been half a pound of dirt caked on it)

    So check to see if the air filter is clogged.

    Also look for no ethanol boat gasoline. Much better than regular pump gas. Stores longer too.

  19. Honda Lawnmowers are the ticket for push mowers. Mine is used in Wake Forest NC weekly.

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