Lawn Mowers that make the cut

Consumer Reports' Peter Sawchuk tests all kinds of lawn mowers. His lab? Acres and acres of grassy fields in Fort Meyers, Florida. He says there's a mower for every lawn.

"Most important is to consider the size of your property. If you have a larger property, that is it takes you more than a half an hour to mow your lawn, then you should consider a self-propelled mower."

Consumer Reports says opt for a self-propelled mower with rear-wheel drive.

Mowers with front-wheel drive have more trouble with hills. The wheels spin out.

Some manufacturers are touting all-wheel-drive mowers. While they do handle hills without glitches, there are drawbacks.

"First, you're paying a little bit more for it. Secondly, it's a little bit more complicated, so there's more than can go wrong with it."

Mower speeds are another consideration. A single speed like this recommended Lawn-Boy costs $330 and is great for smaller yards. Its electric start makes it easier to start.

But, mowers with two or more speeds let you adjust to conditions - faster to cover more ground in larger areas and slower for better cutting in thicker grass.

Some good choices - this rear-wheel-drive Troy-Bilt for $370 from Lowe's and this $400 Honda from Home Depot, also with rear-wheel drive.

While self-propelled mowers are easier to handle, a gas push mower can save you money. Just remember you'll be doing the pushing!

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