When I first bought my house, Mr. Deckbar donated his old Lawn Boy mower to me. It was just like the one we used to have and I used it for several years but each Spring it was harder to get started. Norm turned me on to Starting Fluid which will bring just about any engine to life (it is pure octane, actually ether I think) but even with that it was sluggish. So I checked out Consumer Reports in 2003 and they had a Yard Man mower that they liked and said did a good job of mulching. With the old mower I would bag and compost the clippings sometimes, but mulching is better because it just recycles the clippings into the ground where they help the grass grow.
This week after the floods and a day of sun on Tuesday to dry things out, I was mowing my front yard and got too close to the water meter. The blade hit the meter and, although the engine kept going, it sounded bad. After that row I stopped to take a look and the end of the blade was twisted pretty badly and the mower made a clicking noise as the blade went around even thought he blade wasn’t hitting anything. Also it was leaking oil pretty bad. Time for a new mower, I figure. The Yard Man was only $200 at Walmart and it had lasted me 7 summers. Just replacing the blade probably would have been $25 and if the engine was fixable it would have been more. I kind of doubt the engine is fixable.
So back to Consumer Reports and while Lawn Boy had some rough times in the past, it is now owned by Toro (actually the takeover was in 1989, so that has nothing to do with anything) and CR ranks the Lawn Boy 10640 very highly. It has 6.5 hp Briggs and Stratton engine (Yard Man had a 6.5 hp Tecumsah engine). I went to my Home Depot, but they didn’t have that model (or very many others; most people aren’t buying mowers in September so while I was hoping for an off season sale, instead the selection was just bad). The one out by Mom had one though and so now it is sitting in my car in a box, waiting for it to stop raining.