Pros: Easy to operate and maneuver. Great mulching.
Cons: Not what I'd call designer colors, but what the heck... it's a lawn mower.
I love this mower... and I'm having trouble with the fact that I'm saying that. I'm pretty much a high tech guy and mowing the lawn is just one of those mundane parts of life that, well, I'd rather pay someone else to do. Anyway, I thought it would be therapeutic for me to actually do this job myself at Mrs. Gizmo's encouragement to do something other than work on the computer and with that I began searching for a mower.
Before I digress in to the story on how I got the mower, let?s get to the facts.
The mower operation is great, very simple. I was surprised that it is very quiet for a (gas powered) lawn mower. A feature that I didn't think would be a big deal, the 6 speeds of self propulsion, is actually very cool. Adjusting the mowing height is accomplished by a single, well sized, plastic gripped metal lever over the rear left wheel. It?s a solid mechanism (as is the entire mower) and works easily and effectively. This is so much better than having to adjust each wheel individually. As for the colors, you could say its gaudy or just lawn maintenance fashion statement.
The mower comes with 3 adapter fittings for how it handles grass. The porthole for discharge is on the right side of the deck. There's an adapter for rear bagging (sort of a mower-over-the-shoulder" configuration), a side discharge chute adapter, and a mulching baffle adapter to block the hole completely for mulching. Mulching is the feature I was most interested in as the bagging and discharge methods only mean more work for me and that's a bad thing.
Mulching was very effective... Now, I'm originally from outside of Chicago, IL. The grass up there is considerably different from that here in Jacksonville, FL. In my childhood home our lawn was Kentucky Bluegrass; soft, even, smooth. Here in Florida, lawns typically consist of what they call St. Augustine Grass and based on my northern orientation; I'd call it domesticated crab grass. St. Augustine grass is a hardy, broad-leafed, firm grass that is not necessarily mulching friendly. To my joy and delight this mower did a fabulous job mulching the St. Augustine stuff without any problem. I'm hoping that as long as I don't let the lawn get out of control, I'll never have to use the bagging feature.
Now, back to the story. Our plan to get a mower was this. My mother-in-law is planning to move from the frozen north to Florida in October. She offered to give us her $600 Lawn Boy mower that she bought last year when she moves down here. In the mean time we'd buy a "get-by" mower... we decided to budget a max of $150.
One night we went to the Sears at the local mall to look at mowers. We told the sales guy in their "Garden Shop" what we were looking for. He showed us the variety of mowers they had and then told us for the price we were looking for we may want to look at their lot of returned mowers. After looking around at their selection and just making conversation with the guy he said, "Ya know, in two weeks we're having an unadvertised 20% off sale. You may want to check back then." We shook hands and I decided to take him up on his suggestion.
Two weeks later we showed up shortly after they opened and there she was, in bright Yellow and Green splendor... a recently purchased and returned Yard-Man 979L. I found the sales guy and interrogated him as to its history. He claimed to know that it was purchased by an older woman who used it once, and decided that she?d rather pay a lawn service (oh, the irony). The original price she paid was over $430. But that day, with the 20% off sale I purchased that beauty for $149.80, tax included. Oh yeah!
So that?s the story. It?s Saturday morning as I write this. I really wanted to be mowing my lawn right now, but it?s raining. I guess that I?ll just spend some more time on the computer. And as for the Lawn Boy my mother-in-law will be giving us. I think I?ll sell it and buy a new DVD player or some other cool tech toy. I don?t need another mower.