GardenSMART :: Walk-Behind Mowers Help Save Time and Money
Walk-Behind Mowers Help Save Time and Money
By Honda Power Equipment
Photographs courtesy of Honda Power Equipment
Where there's green space, there's usually grass, and where there's grass, a walk-behind lawn mower usually isn't far behind. For the average consumer, the right lawn mower plays a significant role in lawn upkeep, so it's important to select the right model for the job.
Today's walk-behind mowers offer a variety of choices to suit residential mowing needs. Walk-behind mowers are manufactured with a variety of transmissions, drive trains and mulching technologies that differentiate one model from another.
Selecting the right lawn mower starts with sizing up the lawn. "There's a direct correlation between the square footage to be mowed and the cutting width required in a lawn mower," says Elisha Lipscomb, Senior Marketing Strategist, Lawn & Garden for Honda Power Equipment. "For example, for a lawn that's less than ½ acre, select a lawn mower with a 20-22 inch cutting width. If the area is greater than ½ acre, start with a model with a cutting width that's at least 21 inches."
The type of terrain is another important factor. Knowing whether the area is flat or hilly, rough or smooth dictates whether or not the lawn mower model should be self-propelled, should have adjustable wheel height, or should have a rear or side bagger. And, no matter how you cut it, properly maintaining a lawn has everything to do with environmental responsibility. As regulations continue to tighten on disposal of grass clippings, homeowners know that a lawn mower's performance is just as important as deciding when to bag or mulch.
"Mulching is a cost effective and environmentally sound part of mowing. Because mulched clippings return natural nutrients to the lawn, they reduce the need for expensive chemical fertilizers," says Lipscomb. "Mulching also helps maintain moisture in the soil, extends time between waterings, and diverts valuable grass clippings from landfills to reduce the volume of waste."
However, bagging sometimes is necessary, particularly when grass is too wet or high. The most economical choice is a model that can both mulch or bag, or even mulch and bag simultaneously. And where bagging is concerned, blade configuration has everything to do with how tightly grass clippings can be packed in a single bag.
Lawn mowers also offer other technologically advanced features that can help consumers make quicker and safer work of cutting grass. "Honda, for example, offers a Roto-Stop® Blade Stop System on many of its HRX and HRR residential mower models, allowing the operator to quickly stop blade operation without stopping the mower," says Lipscomb. "A clutch system like this allows the user to pass over sidewalks, driveways and even empty the grass clipping bag without wasting time to stop and re-start the mower."
How about ergonomic design? Increasingly, ergonomic industrial designers are creating functional, comfortable and easy-to-use products—inclusive of outdoor power equipment. "Lawn mowing should be as productive and effortless as possible. Productivity suffers when the operator has to constantly grip the handlebars to increase speed, or adjust a jerking mower on an incline, or wrestle to maneuver it onto a truck or into storage," says Lipscomb. "With ergonomics in mind, be sure to take a close look at the lawn mower's transmission and how easy it is to operate the model at a variety of speeds."
And, for those who find lawn mowing more of a chore than anything else, a robotic lawn mower may be worth considering. Many robotic lawn mowers, such as the Honda Miimo, use microcomputers, timers and 360-degree awareness sensors to provide automated, unattended grass cutting within a defined lawn area. Robotic models are also known for quiet operation, quick rechargeability, and, depending on the model, different programmable cutting patterns and programmable timer settings. "For customers who want to be on the cutting edge of technology, have busy lifestyles and don't have the time for lawn care, or for customers who don't enjoy cutting the grass, a robotic lawn mower like the Honda Miimo is the high-tech approach to achieving a beautiful yard."
About Honda Power Equipment
Honda Power Equipment, a division of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., markets a complete range of outdoor power equipment, including outboard marine engines, general-purpose engines, generators, walk-behind and robotic lawn mowers, pumps, snow blowers, tillers and trimmers for commercial, rental and residential applications.
By Dan Heims, president, Terra Nova Nurseries, Inc.
Photographs courtesy of Terra Nova Nurseries, Inc.
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