View Full Version : Lawnmowers

13th Aug 2012, 13:50
After 16 years of solid service my Mountfield lawnmower has packed up. I'm in mourning. My grandmother bought it for me when I bought my first house.:{

I'm looking for a replacement - petrol, motor driven and suitable for a medium sized garden.

I've been recommended a Honda, but beejesus - those guys know how to charge for an engine strapped to a steel deck! Anyone else have any reccomendations, or good experiances with a Honda mower? Mountfield don't seem to put Briggs & Stratton engines on their kit anymore. My old dad swore by B&S engines and told me to buy nothing else on a lawnmower.

13th Aug 2012, 13:58
I've got a Mountfield but it is about 6 years old and has a B&S engine in it. Very happy with it.

Have a look at what Which Magazine says about them

Mountfield lawn mowers - Best lawn mower brands - Garden - Which? Home & garden (http://www.which.co.uk/home-and-garden/garden/reviews-ns/best-lawn-mower-brands/mountfield-lawn-mowers/)

13th Aug 2012, 14:01
Sheep, sheep work very well, keeping the grass short, fertilising it etc. They also produce their own replacement mowers. Not only that you can sell their wool and either eat or sell them at a profit when it's time for a new one.

Plus there's the bonus that they can provide a...ahem certain comfort on those days when the missus isn't in the mood. Gives a whole new meaning when you say you're out to the shed to 'Fill up the mower'.:ok:

There's hardly a downside to sheep.

13th Aug 2012, 14:08
I have a Mountfield with a Techumshi engine which is over 23 years old ....

It performs without fault despite the fact that it has never even had an oil change ... it uses a bit of oil and on very rare occasions I top it up .... on that basis it has probably had a couple of oil changes in its life ...

Honda mowers look fantastic, if my Mountfield gives up I may look at buying a Honda ... but based on my experience to date it will be a while before I buy a Honda ....

I'll also mention the Daewoo car we ran for my wife ... went over 7 years without an oil change ...just to prove a point ...

13th Aug 2012, 14:22
went over 7 years without an oil change

but its engine-life will have been shortened by several years.

Dan Dare
13th Aug 2012, 14:25
and don't forgt to consider an ATCO (http://www.atco.co.uk/) - although it may not compare with the Ovines

13th Aug 2012, 14:38
I've just bought a Mountfield self propelled petrol mower from a well known DIY store with a lot of orange as its corporate colour. :rolleyes: The engine is made in China but for what I paid for it I'm very impressed and would recommend it.

13th Aug 2012, 14:57
I have heard that B&S engines are made in China now, so you could well end up buying a chinese engine at B&S price.


13th Aug 2012, 14:59
Mountfield also do mowers with Honda engines. Happy medium price wise- I'm happy after 2 years.


13th Aug 2012, 15:04
My Hayter Harrier 41 is about 23 years old, and has a B&S engine. Still going strong - I would/will buy another if/when it gives up.

13th Aug 2012, 15:04
but its engine-life will have been shortened by several years.

possibly that is true ... but 7 years in the life of car these days ... because of the electronic complexities many cars are scrapped as early as 10-12 years of age ...

The car in question was 5 years when bought and we ran it for 7 years, it was p/x'd into a mainline dealer .... I would be very surprised if was sold on as a running motor ... there was absolutely nothing wrong with the car bodily or mechanically (passed it's MOT every year without even a single advisory) but a 12 year old Daewoo just isn't a desirable car ... the timing of its last oil change was the least of its problems ...

13th Aug 2012, 15:10
This has been my trade for the last 30 years. agree with most of what has been said. Briggs and tecumseh engines are fine ( european tecumseh not in business now ) Don't touch the chinese powered Mountfield or Stiga for that matter lots of problems including launching magnets off flywheels leaving a gaping hole in top cowls never to be seen again !! . Hondas are ok but entry level izzy models overpriced and top range with plastic abs decks are not what they used to be for the money. One of my favourite for Quality and price are the German/ Austrian built AL-KO ( yes they also build caravan chassis's ) which can be purchased with Briggs or Honda engines, have sold thousands of these and I would recommend them. Rochford is the uk importer with dealers all over the uk.Also as for oil changes most engines only hold .6 ltr and I would change it ESPECIALLY after the first 5-8 hours of use, this is the most important one.

Alloa Akbar
13th Aug 2012, 15:20
A flock of cows is your answer matey :ok:

13th Aug 2012, 15:24
My Mountfield gave up about 4 years ago, although I suspect it's only the carb which was modified with a mixture screw at the base of the float chamber (apparently an 'approved' mod). I can't bend over for long periods to do the necessary investigations so purchased a (chinese) Power Devil.

Just given that its first oil change (used 20/50 http://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/src:www.pprune.org/get/images/smilies/eek.gif) and tightened the drive belt. Aleays starts instantly.

13th Aug 2012, 15:27
From my experience the 'Briggs and Stratton Easystart', is a contradiction in terms.

13th Aug 2012, 15:29
Can't rate anything with a Tecumseh engine highly enough. I use a mower with one to get to the areas the lawn tractor cannot manage and it starts first time, every time, even after the winter lay off. It is nine years old and has never missed a beat, but I do change the oil, plug and filters annually.

B Fraser
13th Aug 2012, 15:46
Another vote for ATCO ! The Royale 30" is an awesome beast however they do smaller versions. Spares are easy to purchase online, about 17 for a new clutch lining.

What's wrong with the Mountfield ? A decent vet would have it back on its feet in no time.

13th Aug 2012, 16:04
One of my favourite for Quality and price are the German/ Austrian built AL-KO

I bought one of those about three years ago with the B&S engine and...

From my experience the 'Briggs and Stratton Easystart', is a contradiction in terms.

... I don't know if mine's meant to be an Easystart but it aint - no way!:* It always takes me several minutes to get the thing to burst into life - always has done.:ugh: Once you get it going it's OK, though.


13th Aug 2012, 16:16
OK I start here by saying I am a total Honda fan, have had Honda cars ever sinsce I started driving 35 years ago..and love all their products. I would say go for a Honda, but I would also suggest, any engine car or lawnmower or whatever needs an oil change.

Edit to say, I only but Honda stuff that is actually made in Japan.

Lon More
13th Aug 2012, 16:21
Did someone call me? :uhoh:

I'm a big fan of Countax / Westfield. UK made, they sweep up the cuttings and antthing else lying in the grass.
Lots of extras available, snow plow, seeder and a chipper (it has a belt PTO)

I've got a Tecumseh powered snow blower. It didn't like the cold weather starts so will be fitted with an electric starter this autumn, only problem is it's 110volts so will have to buy a transformer.

13th Aug 2012, 16:33
Honda Izy for the last 8 years.does the job and normally starts first pull.would have another if the current one dies.

13th Aug 2012, 23:09
There is usually no shortage of mowers with rotted out decks (possibly due to the use of weedkiller or fertilizer on the lawn) and good engines at the council tip. If you are fortunate enough to have one near you that will sell you one of these, its not difficult to swap the engines over, as they all fit to an industry standard three bolt mounting. Make sure you get the control cables to, as these can vary in length.

If you have a 3.5hp Briggs & Stratton engine with the tank on the side of the engine feeding up into the carburettor and its hard to start, won't run smoothly or is very smoky, suspect the diaghragm between the tank and carburettor. Its under 4 for a replacement and takes about 10 minutes to change.


james ozzie
13th Aug 2012, 23:40
Heres one from left field:

If your lawn is not too huge, consider a lightweight electric mower. I bought an ultra crappy Black & Decker 6 years ago and it is still going.

Reasons I like the electric mower:

1. So light it hangs on a hook on the garage wall
2. Can be carried with one hand over pebble filled areas
3. I can wash it with a hose (!really!) as long as you let it dry out for a week before next using it.

Reasons I dislike it:

Not so powerful - need to cut a bit narrow if the grass has got tall or is wet. But I only cut about 200 sqm which it can do in about an hour, including set up and put away time.

The cord - just takes a bit of common sense to avoid it.

13th Aug 2012, 23:50
It depends on the size of your lawn!

For many years, we used a Mountfield Princess electric. It worked perfectly. Spares were readily available (allegedly - we never needed any). After 20 years, it finally wore out. The local expert told us that the equivalent is a Hayter - which we duly bought. She-who-uses-it is very happy with it. It's light and easy to use. I made up a very long extension lead for it. She tried the petrol equivalent and thought it too heavy and unwieldy.

Our expert warned us off cheap Chinese ones: spares are difficult or impossible to get, and are likely to be needed. (We scrapped a Chinese strimmer with one cheap small part broken and irreplaceable).

Meanwhile, I have an MTD ride-on with a Briggs & Stratton engine which starts first time every time and does a superb job on the big lawn at the back.

14th Aug 2012, 00:22
Reasons I dislike it:

Not so powerful - need to cut a bit narrow if the grass has got tall or is wet.

James, Have you checked the blade is as sharp as it possibly can be? A blunt blade can take a lot more power to cut the grass as it tears it rather than slicing it. It also doesn't do the grass any good.

Don't be tempted to grind anything off the lower side of the blade. Doing this reduces the blade's angle of attack and the vacuuming effect of the blade as well as giving a much blunter cutting edge.

Pugilistic Animus
14th Aug 2012, 00:46
are lawn mowers still two-stroke add-oil-to-the-gas-types?..excuse my ignorance but I haven't touched a mower in 15 years:uhoh:

14th Aug 2012, 00:47
I've not seen any that are for some years. I think emission regulations may have done for the 2-stroke concept.

DX Wombat
14th Aug 2012, 00:49
You need one of these:


B Fraser
14th Aug 2012, 07:53
You can still buy 2-stroke gardening equipment for the time being. Banning them seems as much point as outlawing pissing in the ocean to combat rising sea levels. The nice chap who sold me my latest Husqvarna toy advised that 2-stroke engines would be withdrawn at some point. I guess the upside is that 4-stroke engines sound much better.

(for the record, sea levels are falling at many points across the globe too, I don't subscribe to all the huggy fluffy, knit your own trousers propaganda)

Captain Dart
14th Aug 2012, 09:02
I bought a Husqvarna 'Rider' articulated design. B&S engine, and it turns in almost its own length.

BUT it is the most unreliable implement I have ever owned, a multitude of 'lawyer' interlock switches made of cheap crap and cheap and nasty plastic covers and seat. So unreliable and complicated the dealer had to call in an auto electrician to bypass the idiot switches, and I still have problems starting it.

A shame, as when it works it does the job well.

B Fraser
14th Aug 2012, 10:21
The only minor niggle is that the engine suffers from rich-cutting at full throttle. Once the engine has warmed up and the contents of the crank case have stabilised, it goes like the clappers.

Ancient Observer
14th Aug 2012, 12:31
I think that "evil" is a very strong word.

I believe that Honda is an evil Company.

Their employment practices for UK staff in the UK would be illegal in most European countries.

They use temp agencies who are instructed to use "zero hours" contracts. These are like the Ryanair agency contracts, but worse. As in Ryanair, Hondo keep the staff in a permanent state of fear.

They should be sent back to Japan.

14th Aug 2012, 12:50
I'm glad this thread was started as I didn't realise you had to change the oil after 5 hours operation from new. I'm a bloke and don't read the 'destructions'. Anyway oil changed now. :ok:

14th Aug 2012, 13:42
Thanks for all your help. Decided on the Honda HRG465 SDX which has a 7 year guarentee and mulches the grass as well. Got trade price for it, from a very helpful on-line dealer.

Mountfield has many issues. It needs a new throttle mechanism, a new drive gear box and control cable, new blade and a new piston ring to sort out poor compression. Cost to fix was only 100 less than I paid for the new Honda!

It will arrive today and I'll give it a run up tonight. I've been told to put in some semi-synthetic 10w/40 oil and it'll run forever. I'll heed the advice to change the oil after a few hours use as well.

Parting company with the Mountfield will be an emotional time for me:{

Ancient Observer
14th Aug 2012, 17:46
Such partings are very tough.

My father gave me an ancient ATCO that was very old when he got it.
My ancient ATCO was still going well, but we moved house and the grass here is too lumpy/bumpy for an ATCO.
Fortunately, our local repair shop wanted it and promised to tart it up and find it a good home.

14th Aug 2012, 17:57
When I bought my first house many years ago, I inherited my late grandparents Mountfield lawn mower with a B&S engine. When I got given it, it must have been 15 years old, roll on another 10+ years and it's still going strong.

The only special treatment it gets is a blade sharpening and oil change before grass cutting season begins.

My parents have an Al-ko tractor lawn mowers, and that thing is a beast.

Lon More
14th Aug 2012, 18:21
My ancient ATCO was still going well, but we moved house and the grass here is too lumpy/bumpy for an ATCO.

This ancient ATCO is still going well and dug his lawn up and put it to concrete

14th Aug 2012, 20:10
When I bought my first house many years ago, I inherited my late grandparents Mountfield lawn mower with a B&S engine. When I got given it, it must have been 15 years old

To me that reads as if you must have bought your first house at 15 . Precocious or what ? :ooh:

14th Aug 2012, 21:09
DX I want one :)

Ancient Observer take your point, have the same argument with my self whenever I buy "factory" farmed eggs.

Anyway, for what it's worth, here's old faithful which had it's last mow down the lane to the tip a couple of years ago.


I'd still be using it now if it wasn't for the fact I nearly lost an eye whilst using it to strim the gravel path. Engine was spot on, but the trim went eventually.

Bit skint at the time so bought a cheap replacement from B&Q for about 80. Bag of shyte, which needs the odd bit of gaffer tape and self tapper but does the job:)

14th Aug 2012, 23:23
There's a part ether product on sale in Oz which is claimed to have good results with starting engines that haven't been turned over for a while :

15th Aug 2012, 00:25
I have an Australian "Rover Scott Bonner" aluminium bodied lawnmower that still works well after over 20 years. I did retire it for a while when the wheels wore out and I couldn't find spares for it, but having found some alternatives, it's occasionally back in service for rougher patches of grass.

Strange thing is, the words on that can is exactly what my wife used to say when she tried to start it. I used to give her encouragement like: "Hurry up dear, you've got the tea to make in half an hour".

15th Aug 2012, 02:44

Alloa Akbar
24th Aug 2012, 09:22

got a problem with my B&S powered lawn mower. All of a sudden it has started to run slowly, even on choke. I have changed the fuel and the air filter to no avail.. anyone got any ideas? It's not "hunting" or mis-firing, just running slow.


B Fraser
24th Aug 2012, 11:08
Sounds like it's running rich or the timing is out. My mower runs slow with the choke out so you could have a stuck choke. Have you put a 2 stroke fuel /oil mix into a 4 stroke engine ? Other possibilities are that the spark timing has moved (dunno if it's a vacuum advance system or is that too sophisticated for lawn mowers ?) Knowing you, there's probably a twin choke webber and sidewinder exhausts. ;)

Takan Inchovit
24th Aug 2012, 11:18
Let me google that for you (http://lmgtfy.com/?q=briggs+and+stratton+troubleshooting)

24th Aug 2012, 11:59
Mr AA - you've probably managed to hit the throttle mechanism by the Carb / Petrol tank. I damaged mine when I rammed the mower against the climbing frame. Stick a screwdriver down the mechanism and wiggle it until you get the required RPM. Remove screwdriver when you've finished mowing. :D

Alloa Akbar
24th Aug 2012, 12:01

cheers, I had downloaded the manual anyway, just wondered if anyone had anything else in case I am missing something so obvious it would be under the "Lawn mower maintenance for dipshits" category.. i.e. Me.

Cherokee - Thats my level fella.. ta!

Beef - With Alloys and a bangin' stereo for "me choons" mate.

Update - G/f of AA has just text me to say she used the mower this morning and it has now stopped completely.. bloody dopey blonde bint :ugh:

B Fraser
24th Aug 2012, 12:46
There may be shyte in the carb, on no account whatsoever stick anything in the jet to unclog it, blow it through.

Brake cleaner is pretty volatile stuff so squirt some in the air filter. (WD-40 is almost as good). If she won't start on that then she won't start on anything.

Does anyone know the best weedkiller for driveways ? I dosed the drive a week ago and the weeds are only now just starting to turn a bit yellow. I'm looking for something that will nuke them immediately. I dropped a handful of "weed and feed" on a patch of grass by accident and it burned a hole in the lawn within a day so maybe I should feed the weeds to death ?

24th Aug 2012, 12:51
Fuel starvation - remove the carburettor jets and blow through (don't poke wire through them).
Remove the float-chamber and clean and examine the diaphragm for 'wrinkling' and deterioration. Replace if necessary.
Make sure fuel-lines are clear (check for swollen rubber hoses). You should be able to blow through fuel-delivery pipes.

Alloa Akbar
24th Aug 2012, 12:52
Weed and Feed is the weapon of choice at Akbar Towers..:ok:

24th Aug 2012, 12:56
I've never used it, Mr Fraser, but I've heard Pathclear works well, although takes some time to get started.

B Fraser
24th Aug 2012, 13:42
I'll see if Homebase sell Agent Orange.


24th Aug 2012, 13:45
'Weedol' works for me Mr. F, weeds look a bit wonky after about 24 hours and then go yellow and die as it's a systemic type meaning it works right down to the roots.

24th Aug 2012, 15:02
Slight thread drift, but I love using a Flymo or the Black & Decker equivalent. So easy to use and I don't have too large an area of grass to cut. However, I've often wondered why none of my friends in America have them. When I've visited and talked about hover-mowers they all look at me blankly as if I'm describing the weirdest machine.

Does anyone know why these type of mowers have not caught on in America?

Low Flier
24th Aug 2012, 15:28
At the risk of introducing a little bit of aviation to JB:

Flying Lawnmower - YouTube

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