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The Difference Between Residential and Commercial Lawn Mowers

Feb 20, 2020

There are more differences between commercial mowers and residential mowers than meets the eye. The price difference is significant and for good reason. Commercial mowers are made to last far longer than residential mowers because they cover large amounts of ground for up to 12-hour days so they cannot run the risk of overheating or breaking down in the middle of the day.

Types of Mowers

Deciding on the best lawn mower for your household use or business can be a difficult decision. Here are three common types of mowers used today.

1. Manual Residential Lawn Mowers – The first is the walk behind mower, usually self-propelled and adequate for under 8,000 square feet. These are available in both residential and commercial models. Homeowners can also purchase push mowers and reel mowers, though these tend to be less popular as they aren’t powered by gas.

2. Commercial Lawn Mowers – If you’ve ever witnessed someone continuously pulling a string on a lawnmower, you have most likely encountered a commercial or push mower. They are built for regular use and last longer than residential lawn mowers.

2. Riding Mowers – Riding mowers are the most popular for several options. The zero-turn series is catching up with riders in terms of ownership. These mowers give you the versatility and power that is absent in other models.  The strength and width-cut of a zero-turn mower allow for the ability to make a cleaner and closer cut.

There are other types of mowers on the market, but not as popular. These include hover mower and robotic lawnmower. They work similarly to hover vacuums you may have used in your home.

Tip: Gas powered mowers are superior to electric mowers for power and are hardly ever used in a commercial capacity.

How Mowers are Made

Not all mowers are designed to last a lifetime. Most residential mowers are built with inferior parts as opposed to quality parts as found in commercial equipment. This is due to the fact that longevity is not as crucial in once-a-week mowing as it is in long-hour daily use. Larger engine size and quality parts are expected in commercial mowers for longer life.

2 Cylinder vs. 4 Cylinder

Commercial mowers commonly use a 2-cylinder engine as opposed to a 4-cylinder engine. They are able to carry a larger horsepower and displacement than a residential 4-cylinder. 4-cylinder engines have more parts to break and are more complex in design due to environmental regulations. The commercial 2-cylinder models have no cams, lifters, or valves but will burn more oil and are less efficient. However, when considering durability and longevity, 2-speed commercial units are superior.

Importance of Blade Speed

 Blade tip speed is the contact times per second that your mower blade turns. The faster the revolution, the less clumping and the cleaner the cut. Keeping blades balanced and sharpened is also important if you want to have a professional-looking yard.

Type of Ground

Hilly or rough terrain can wear out a residential mower in less time than a commercial mower. The speed and the ability to adjust to changing slopes and grass length takes a toll on residential mowers that are designed for flat surfaces. A commercial mower has the horsepower to overcome different terrain and grass types.

Investment vs. Routine Maintenance

Using a mower as a part of a business is a significant investment. A homeowner may take the proper steps in changing the oil and keeping blades sharpened on a residential mower. However, heavy-duty commercial mowers are built with higher quality parts for longer wear. For many small lawns, a less expensive mower will last for years unless it is used over rough terrain, hills or tall grass regularly. You will get a more extended use with less maintenance from a commercial unit than a smaller residential mower.

Achieving Professional-Looking Results

 You may not notice an immediate difference in the appearance of your lawn when using a residential mower but wait until your neighbour hires a professional lawn service to care for their lawn. After a few months there will be a noticeable change. Your neighbour’s grass will begin to look healthier, appear manicured, and the more even grass blades.

The Difference in Costs

There is a substantial cost difference between residential and commercial mowers, whether it be walk-behind or riders. Lawnmower costs differ across Australia. Always be sure to compare the options and accessories available on models you research in your area. Here are some examples:

Residential Mowers Cost

·  Self-propelled walk-behind – $200 – $800

·  Riding lawn mowers – $2,000 – $6,500

·  Zero Turn mowers – $4,500 – $6,500

Commercial Mowers Cost

·  Self-propelled walk behind – $2,000 – $9,000

·  Riding lawn mowers (or stand up) – $6,500 – $15,000

·  Zero Turn mowers – $8,000 – $30,000

The price tag is enough to make many homeowners select a residential lawn mower for their property. This can be a wise decision if you only mow weekly for an hour or two. Commercial units are built to sustain heavy and non-stop mowing. To a lawn mowing business, the equipment is an investment that needs to have longevity and dependability. Little maintenance and dependability can make a lawn-mowing business profitable.

However, if you have purchased a property with more than 2,000 square metres and the ground appears to be uneven with many slopes, it may be to your advantage to look at the commercial models to help get your lawn in shape. A commercial mower will also keep its original value much longer than a residential mower. Always keep your mover clean and well-maintained to help curb costs down the road.

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