There is no doubt that lawn mowers are pricey. For example, a quality self-propelled lawn mowers can cost well over $500. Given the price, you likely expect a lawn mower to last many years or at least enough to make it feel like you’ve received a good value. So, how long does a lawn mower last?
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Lawn Mower: Average Life Expectancy
There are many factors that go into estimating the life expectancy of a lawn mower. These factors include maintenance history, brand reliability, engine quality, hours of usage, availability of parts, and more. For example, a routinely maintenanced lawn mower that is used only 45 minutes per week will likely outlast the same mower used 2 hours per week with minimal maintenance.
The being said, the average life expectancy of a residential lawn mower is approximately eight to 10 years. Generally, you get what you pay for when it comes to a lawn mower. Some mowers are manufactured for a service life of only few hundred hours whereas higher-end commercial mowers can last well over a couple thousand hours with proper maintenance.
Importance of Maintenance
The key to getting a lawn mower to last is routine maintenance. Just about every lawn mower manual has a recommended maintenance schedule. This schedule informs the owner of the maintenance task to perform after so many hours.
For example, the owner’s manual for a Honda HRX contains a maintenance schedule that has recommend maintenance to be performed before each use, the first month/5 hours, first 25 hours, every 50 hours, every 100 hours, every 150 hours, every 250 hours, and every 2 years.
The maintenance schedule should be strictly followed to get the most out of your lawn mower. Just like you wouldn’t let the maintenance of your car fall behind out of fear of a reduction in its lifespan, the same is true for a lawn mower.
Buying Used & Life Expectancy
Buying used is a great way to obtain a high-quality lawn mower, at a fraction of the price of buying new. However, it is often difficult to judge the life expectancy of a used lawn mower since you weren’t there to witness its history.
Before you buy a used lawn, we recommend asking the seller to divulge the maintenance history, year of purchase, average hours of use, and repair history with receipts. If the seller is truthful (you’ll have to be the judge of that), you should be able to obtain a decent gauge on the remaining life of the mower once you factor in the overall quality of the brand of mower.
Stick with name brand lawn mowers that you know will have parts available when you buy used. Additionally, always test it out before you buy. Verify no engine smoking, minimal vibration, the self-propelled feature is operational (if applicable), the mower properly cuts grass, the wheels function adequately, and all safety features are in tact.
Also, ask to see the blade to verify if it needs replacement or potentially just a good sharpening. While viewing the blade, verify the deck is not rusted. When in doubt, take someone along who knows what they are looking for in a used mower.