I think my trusty old Briggs finally died last fall. Was considering switching to electric, but re-considered after reading a thread here about it, about batteries not lasting long. It's really the starter that's been a pain. I've been doing the maintenance every spring, new oil, new filter, new plug, sharpen the blades. Don't mind that so much. It's just gotten harder and harder to start. Don't even really need self-propelled, since I'm in flat Indiana, pretty fit. and it only takes me about 45 mins to do the lawn (I don't know how big it is). I've been trying to filter for a gas, push, mulching, non-propelled, with an electric starter on home depot and lowes, and haven't found any.

Got any suggestions? Should I still be considering an electric one?

2 Answers 2


If your yard is small enough to mow completely in 45 minutes, you may want to consider a reel (manually powered) mower. I've used one for decades and it helps keep me fit, while allowing me to enjoy the quiet of my neighborhood. :) My lawns over that time have ranged from 5000 sq ft to 10,000 sq ft. The only downsides that I've ever noticed are that it is difficult to keep the grass much higher than 2 inches (mowing becomes much more difficult as the grass gets higher), it can be difficult to mow after you've been gone on vacation for a couple of weeks, and twigs from trees can jam the mower. These mowers are really best in lawns with few or no trees (and certainly, no oak trees, which are incredibly "sticky"). Also note that the grass should really be totally dry when you mow, which may be an issue if you live in an area that's susceptible to early dewfalls.


I cut for about 45 minutes but have several odd shape areas. I find the modern rope pulls gasoline to be very reliable , I am on my second , the deck rusted away on the first ( Huskee ) but it still runs well. No choke, no primer, no throttle ; just a rope . I buy the cheapest one at Tractor Supply ( new one is Troy built) , it may have a B & S engine. They nearly always start on one pull ( I am over 80 , so they start pretty easy). They cut fine although the operator has no engine control. I have noticed an improvement in the blades; after about 8 years the old blade is in relatively good shape ; I believe the blades are now heat-treated . Until 15 (?)years ago it was just soft cold rolled steel ,very dull in few uses.

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