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lawn mower

When it comes to keeping your lawn healthy and attractive, a good lawn mower is the most important tool you have at your disposal. Whether you prefer a traditional push mower with spinning blades, or an automated robot, there are plenty of options to choose from. But there is one common denominator to all these machines: They need a motor for power. Fortunately, there are a number of different types of engines to choose from, including gas, electric and even battery-powered.

The majority of modern lawn mowers employ a central motor that drives a horizontal axle with a vertical shaft attached to a large blade suspended a few inches above the ground. The blade slices the grass with each revolution as it passes over the ground, producing a clean cut and returning nitrogen-rich grass clippings to the soil. Some of these mowers can mulch the clippings, discharge them side to rear or bag them. A mower that can mulch and bag can save you time by eliminating the need to switch between functions, and it’s healthier for your lawn because it returns the clippings to the soil where they supply much-needed nutrients.

If you’re shopping for a new mower, try to find one that offers the right balance of speed and maneuverability. The fastest mowers are the most efficient, but they may be harder to control and more likely to tip over on uneven terrain. A mid-range mower is ideal for most homeowners, as it has enough speed to maintain a fast pace without making your lawn look like a racetrack and is still easy to maneuver in tight spaces and around obstacles.

Some of the newest mowers are battery-powered. They’re usually self-propelled “walk-behind” types, or they can be equipped for a person to ride on them and steer them from a seat. There are also robotic mowers, which can operate fully on their own or be controlled by a human operator via remote control.

A rechargeable mower requires careful thought about how you’ll be using it. If you plan to mow regularly, buying a spare battery is a smart investment. Also, consider the mower’s operating time and if it uses batteries that are cross-compatible with popular home power tools. Some models from DeWalt, EGO and Ryobi, for example, use the same kind of batteries that are found in many other household tools.

Unlike some discount stores and home centers, which stock only a few top-quality mower brands, most servicing dealers carry multiple high-quality brands and will be able to help you make the best choice for your lawn. You’ll also be able to take advantage of any warranty repairs or service that the dealer might offer, which is especially helpful if you have an issue with your mower later on. Lastly, most dealers have test mowers on their showroom floor that you can use to get a feel for the machine before you buy it. Check that the height adjusters are easy to operate, and be sure to try out a variety of blade settings to see how they cut various types of grass.