You’ll find two types of mower available from Ariens: walk behind models and zero turn models. Within each category are a many additional options, ranging from self-propelled to push mowers and from petite zero turn models to larger and more powerful options. When you’re buying a lawn mower, you want to think first about the type of lawn you have. Your lawn’s features and needs will determine the features you need to look for in a mower. The Ariens Classic 21-inch SW can be a good starter mower, but it’s not your only option.
Types of Ariens Mowers
You can divide the types of mowers Wisconsin-based manufacturing company Ariens produces into two broad categories: walk-behind and zero turn. Ariens walk behind mowers are ideal for smaller yards of less than half an acre. Its zero turn models can accommodate much larger lawns.
The company currently produces two types of walk behind mower, the Classic and the Razor. Both types are available in either push or self-propelled models.
Meanwhile, the company has a number of zero turn models, including the Ariens Zoom and the Ariens Apex. The zero turn models range in size from 34 inches up to 60 inches, making them ideal for a range of lawn sizes.
Features to Look for in a Mower
What you should look for in a mower depends in large part on what type of mower you’re buying. A push mower will offer a homeowner a different set of features than a zero turn mower. Additionally, a push mower is a better option for certain types of lawns than a zero turn mower.
If your lawn is smaller than a half an acre or so, there’s no real need to invest in a ride-on or zero turn mower. You’ll be able to get the work done easily using a walk behind mower.
The big question you might have when choosing a walk behind mower is should you go with self-propelled or push? The features of your lawn can help you decide.
A push mower can be perfect if your lawn is tiny and most flat. You won’t have to struggle to push the mower up any hills or inclines, so it’s not worth the extra cost to go for a self-propelled model.
Here’s the Ariens model in action.
If you’ve ever tried to push a mower up a hill on a hot summer’s day, you can see the advantage of having a self-propelled model for hillier lawns. Self-propelled mowers can be powered by all wheel drive, rear wheel drive and front wheel drive.
Usually, all wheel drive provides the most grip and control on uneven lawns, but mowers with all wheel drive can be tough to move when they aren’t turned on. Front wheel drive self-propelled motors struggle a bit more on uneven or hilly lawns. Rear wheel drive mowers offer the best of both worlds.
The discharge feature is another thing to consider when looking at a walk behind mower. Many models now offer what’s called a 3-in-1 system. That means you are able to choose to bag the grass clippings, catching them in a sac behind the mower, mulch the clipping as you mow, or simply have them sprayed out the side of the mower. A 3-in-1 system offers you the most versatility when it comes to grass clippings.
You also want to look at the cutting width of the mower. Walk behind mowers typically have much smaller cutting decks than zero turn or ride on machines. That’s usually OK, since they are designed for smaller lawns.
That said, you don’t want to go too small when choosing your mower. It might not seem like it, but there’s a big difference between an 18-inch mower and a 21-inch mower. If you can, go for the bigger cutting width. You’ll save time and energy when you mow.
Cutting widths for zero turn mowers usually start at 34 inches, at least in mowers designed for residential use. Commercial mowers often have much larger cutting decks, since they are designed to cut large areas such as school fields or football yards.
Going for the biggest cutting deck possible when picking out a residential zero turn mower might seem like a good idea, but there are some drawbacks of doing so. Bigger cutting decks, over 50 inches or so, might be too large to actually fit in your yard or to fit through the doorway of a storage shed.
Models with 34-inch cutting decks are often specially designed to fit through the average size opening in a gate or to fit in the doorway of a shed.
Buying Your First Lawn Mower
There are a few things you need to know before you purchase your first Ariens lawn mower. First, all lawn mowers require some amount of maintenance. This is especially true for gas powered mowers.
Along with keeping the mower full of gasoline during the spring and summer, when you’re using it on a regular basis, you’ll also want to make sure to empty the gas tank before storing the mower for the winter. Leaving gasoline in the engine over several months without use can cause the mower to clog and affect its function.
You also want to think carefully about the type of grass you’re growing, the size of your lawn and the conditions of your lawn before you buy a mower. The more difficult your lawn is to mow, the more heavy duty you’ll need your mower to be. On the other hand, buying a zero turn mower for a postage-stamp sized, flat lawn is going overboard.
Ease of use is another thing to think about. While it does help to read the manual before using a mower for the first time, you shouldn’t have to spend hours poring over directions to figure out how to use it. The ideal mower will start easily and be easy to operate, even if you’re a complete newbie.
Our Take on the Ariens Classic 21-inch Self Propelled Mower
Sometimes, you can’t go wrong with a classic. If you’re looking for a starter mower that will make it easy to mow a small yard, the Ariens Classic 21-inch SW model is a highly rated option. The mower features a 21 inch cutting deck, which is a decent size for most yards under half an acre.
It also has six cutting heights, meaning it can handle a variety of different types of grasses. If you’ve let your lawn go for some time between cuttings, having a range of cutting heights helps you get the job down without damaging the grass.
Since it is a self-propelled mower with Infi-Speed® Variable Speed Drive, it is ideal for lawns that have some uneven terrain. If your lawn is completely flat, you might be able to take advantage of the Classic Push mower. It has the same basic features as the self-propelled model, minus the variable speed drive.
A walk behind mower isn’t the right option for every homeowner, though. If your lawn is larger or if you’re looking for a more comfortable mowing situation, a zero turn mower, such as the Ariens Zoom, can be a better option for you.
Zoom models range in size from 34 inches to 50 inches. They also offer seven cutting height positions, giving you even more flexibility when it comes to trimming the lawn.
Ariens Zoom mowers are controlled by two handles, which are connected to the back wheel. Although it might seem more difficult to control a mower using handles, many people find that zero turn mowers are easier to maneuver than traditional tractors.
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