Most lawnmowers will last between three and ten years. Push-reel mowers give up the ghost the quickest, commercial mowers live the longest, and the rest of the pack fall in-between. With proper care and maintenance, many lawnmowers will last even longer.
What do seers and sons of seers say about the Green Reaper and when it will come to take your mower to that big, green lawn in the sky? Narrow down the answer to your question by considering the following.
What Kind Of A Mower Do You Have?
Mowers range in type from the ageless push-reel mower to the riding or stand-on commercial mower. The type of mower you use may give a clue to its longevity.
These eco-friendly mowers feature a spinning cylinder consisting of five to seven blades and rely entirely on human power to propel them.
You will need to perform regular maintenance and adjustments to keep one working properly. The blades will need sharpening within three years, or they won’t cut well. You can count on three to five years with this mower.
Push-reel mowers are making a come-back, so you can count on a few more years with some newer models. Then again, I still have the push-reel mower my grandparents owned when I mowed their yard as a kid. It must be 60 years old, but it still works.
Corded or battery-powered electric mowers require little maintenance and last around ten years. One downside of a battery-powered mower is that you will need to replace the battery after about five years. Another downside is the average charge on a battery will only last for 45-60 minutes.
Gasoline-Powered Push Mowers
You can expect this type of mower to last eight to ten years with proper maintenance. You may be able to extend its life with excellent care and the replacement of a few parts like a belt, pulley, or carburetor. While I ruined a mower like this in three years, my neighbor has one which he swears has been cutting grass for 20 years.
Non-Commercial Riding Mowers
You have to change how you measure the life of these mowers. You can no longer think of their service life in terms of years; you have to think in terms of hours. The average non-commercial riding mower will provide 1,000-1,500 hours of service. Let’s do the math. Say it takes two hours to cut your lawn, and you mow once a week. That is 104 hours of use a year. So, this type of mower will last you from just under ten years to over 14 years.
Commercial Riding or Stand-On Mowers
We are at the top of the list now, where size does matter. You have the best money can buy if you have one of these monster mowers. They are not immortal, but they last. You can expect around 16,500 hours of service from one of these beasts.
That means you can mow your yard, your parents’ yard, the lawn of the old, disabled widow down the road, your boss’s lawn…all of that, and more, every week, for about the next forty years. I guess that books your Saturdays for a while.
Push-reel and electric mowers require little maintenance. Gasoline-powered mowers require the most maintenance. The bigger they are, the more you will want to protect your investment with a visit to a mechanic for a tune-up or proactive repairs.
All mowers must have sharp blades. A sharp blade means easy cutting which produces less wear and tear. See your owner’s manual for how frequently your blade needs sharpening.
Maintenance may be the most important variable in calculating the life of your mower, other than the will of the landscaping gods. Proper care can add years to the life of your mower.
What Are The Demographics Of The Yard You Mow?
You need to consider some characteristics of the yard you mow in combination with the kind of mower you use to get a more accurate idea of how long your mower will be around. Geography, terrain, and vegetation types make a significant contribution to the result when you calculate the possible life of your mower.
Your lawnmower will last longer if you live in Wisconsin than if you live in Florida. Cheeseheads put the lawnmowers away and break out the snowblower in the winter, while Floridians continue to bake in the sun on green lawns, still using their mowers. Less use equals more life. It doesn’t surprise me to hear lawnmowers are nearly immortal in the Mojave Desert.
Terrain And Size
If you mow a flat, smooth lawn, your lawnmower will probably last longer than the one that mows a bumpy, rocky lawn with tree roots and stumps hidden by the grass in holes. When the spinning blades of a mower hit an obstruction, not only does the edge of the blade suffer, but the strain it creates in the engine will take its toll in time.
Then, what is the size of the area you mow? A mower cutting a ¼ acre lawn may last twice as long as one cutting a ½ acre lawn. It’s the same idea as above: less use equals more life.
This idea leads to another question. Is the type of mower you use appropriate to the size of your lawn? A commercial mower cutting a ¼ acre lawn is going to last for decades. However, a small electric mower will soon be overwhelmed by the same task.
Type Of Vegetation
There are two reasons why the type of vegetation in your yard will affect the life of your mower.
The first reason is the amount of strain your mower encounters when it cuts different types of vegetation. Grass is tender and puts only a minimal amount of stress on a mower. However, weeds can sometimes cause a mower to stall with the cutting effort required by their tough, sometimes wiry shoots.
The second reason involves the kind of grass you cut. Buffalo grass is a much slower-growing grass than Bermuda grass. Fast-growing grass requires more frequent cutting, and that increased use reduces the life of your mower.