Mower features you don’t need: Part II

We are back to addressing why I disagree with some of the points made in a Consumer Report’s article regarding unnecessary features on mowers.  We continue with push mowers.

Washout ports. Manufacturers of walk-behind mowers with washout ports recommend you lower your deck before attaching a hose to the port. If you have to adjust the height of each wheel separately, you’ll likely ignore that part of the instructions—or merely tip the mower on its side (air filter up) to hose it down from beneath. Why pay extra for a mower with that feature?

Perhaps the ports are not a must have, however, if you want your deck to last as long as possible, they are a great idea.  There are several things they did not mention.  Lets look at those things.

  1. The need to wash the under side of the deck (perhaps they think its a given).
  2. The fact lowering the deck is “recommended” but not required (however, it works better if the deck is lowered).
  3. They build off another of their points later in their article where they state that single-lever wheel-height adjustment is an unnecessary feature.  Yet, almost by their own admission, if the mower had both, both would be used and arguably would be necessary features.
  4. The fact that tipping up the mower on its side does not work as well as using a washout port.
  5. The fact that tipping the mower on its side, even if tipped the recommended way, can cause oil to drain into different parts of the engine and eventually cause engine damage.  This obviously varies by engine make and model.

Now, these features are unnecessary, but handy.  If you are looking for a base model, don’t necessarily expect these features on your mower.  If you are looking to buy a good quality mower that is designed to last a long time, these should be some of the features you should expect.

Something I mentioned earlier but did not expound upon is the life saving feature (life saving for the deck) of the deck washout port.  While it is not necessary to have a washout port to enjoy the life saving benefits of cleaning your deck.   If you don’t wash the mower deck, whether push mower or riding mower, the grass will accumulate on the top and on the under side of deck.  If you mow while the grass is damp or wet, the grass will stick to the deck.  This grass needs to be removed from the deck.  It is most easily removed while the grass is still wet.  What better time to do it than when the grass is still wet?

The grass contains moisture and when it is so close to the mower deck, it causes the paint to peel and then eventually, it causes the steel deck to rust.