Best Lawn Mower For A Bad Back

Discussion in 'The Barber Shop' started by IronJohn, Mar 30, 2011.

  1. After living in a condo, where the grass is mowed by the HOA, I am moving to Oregon where I will have a small, landscaped yard (about .20 acres).

    A few years ago I ruptured two discs in my back and had surgery that's left me with a bad back.

    I like some suggestions in mowers that will be easiest on my back. For instance a lightweight reel mower? A self-propelled maybe, I do remember having one as a teenager and I remember it pulled sometimes and that seems like it would tweak my back, but that was 25 years ago so they might be better now. An electric? I'm not sure what they weigh.

    Any suggestions will be appreciated.
  2. I think you'd be best off with a self-propelled, adjustable speed mower. Combines not having to push it around with your preference of speed, what's not to like.
  3. I'm not being flip about this at all, but given your bad back have you considered hiring a local lawn service? I had a local fellow do mine last year, but hard times have me back behind the mower. Maybe think about a riding mower. I know they are noisy and a pain to maintain and store, but you can at least ride instead of walk. Perhaps a self-propelled walk behind. I hope you can find a solution, I know what it is like living with pain. Others don't know what it is like. How many times have I heard, 'just take an aspirin'.
  4. With a lawn that size, see if you can find a neighborhood kid to cut it for you. A fifth of an acre will take significantly less than 30 minutes. A high school kid may be willing to do it for $10/week.

    If you decide to do it yourself, the suggestion of a self-propelled adjustable speed mower is good. See if you can find one with an electric rather than a pull start. I believe Honda makes one like that, but it won't be cheap.

    You don't mention if the yard is flat or sloped. If it's not flat, I'd go the high school kid route.
  5. The robotic mowers do work well once you have everything set up for them. As far as a rechargable electric mower goes, they can be a little heavier than a gasoline mower and are generally not self propelled. For .2 acres the charge should last long enough to finish the job. One advantage to an electric is that running it takes only the push on the switch. No puling a cord like you have to do with a gasoline mower. Dad likes his electric and he also has a permanent back injury.
  6. To the OP:

    Man, I'm there with you. Had spinal surgery over a decade okay and while it cured the huge problem my back has never been the same.

    I've always used self-propelled gas mowers. Never got one with a push-starter, but that's a good idea. The worst thing is moving it from the garage to the starting point, because I lift the front end up a bit to keep the wheels from moving unpowered on the belt.

    One thing about any powered mower is that it does take some strength to keep the "throttle bar" pressed against the upper handle, and the vibrations can go straight into your back. It doesn't bother me that much, but if my back was much worse than it is it would be a real problem.

    I also never use the rear bag. One, it gets too heavy to maneuver once it's filled, and two, I follow what the experts say in that grass clippings should be left on the lawn since they return nutrients. So what if the lawn ends up looking like it's covered in leftover razor stubble?

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  8. On a small yard, if it's self-propelled, you are going to have to fight it to turn it a lot, and there will be a lot of turns on a small yard. Unless you put it in nuetral a lot.

    I think I'd just hire someone locally to do it. My parents get theirs done twice a month for like $50. Not worth hurting your back over. Maybe a self-propelled electric lawnmower might be light enough to use, though.
  9. A lawn service..why take the chance?
  10. I bought a Toro personal pace a couple years ago and it is the best lawnmower I have ever owned. I didn't need the electric start , but my neighbor got it and it always starts on the first time.
    It really lives up to the claim that is made about the pace control. It mulches very well compared to other mowers, just make sure to keep the blade sharp.
  11. Get that lazyassed kid from down the street to do it. His back ain't hurtin.
    He can make any mower self-propelled.
  12. I have a bad back and a self-propelled mower and when I'm done cutting the lawn my back always feels better. Walking is great exercise for your back.
  13. Get a high horse power self propelled model with big wheels in the back . And make sure that the handle is up high so do not have to stoop over when you push it . Also buy it from a dealer and not a big box store . The mowers at the big box stores are not the same quality and do not use the same parts .
  14. dpm802

    dpm802 Contributor

    If the climate will support it, plant a Zoysia lawn. This is a rhyzome grass that is planted in plugs about 6~12 inches apart, and over the course of the next 2~3 years will fill in your lawn and choke out any weeds or other grasses, leaving you with a lush, soft lawn that will be the envy of all your neighbors.

    You'll probably want to hire a landscaper to install the plugs for you ... its a lot of work, and with your bad back, you don't want to be bending if you don't have to.

    Be sure they put edging around your yard so that the Zoysia will not spread into your neighbors' yards.

    The best part of Zoysia is that it is low maintenance. It only needs to be mowed about 3 times a year, and the beginning, middle and end of warm weather.

    The only down side to Zoysia is that it will turn brown in winter ... but that tells you that it is healthy.
  15. +1 here. I've had a Toro for 8 years now, its great. :thumbup1:
  16. Dad has Zoysia in his front yard. It needs mowing about as often as any other grass.
  17. I would suggest you hire someone else to mow your yard.

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