Bolens 4.5 HP 22 Cut Mulching mower
After years and years of renting we finally bought our first house. It was a beautiful home on a great street, but it was also on a corner lot - that meant that I had twice the lawn to maintain and trim as everyone else on the block. Coming from apartment living for about a decade, I had no idea of what to buy.
Armed with a Lowes credit card and absolutely no knowledge of my own (I had never even heard of Briggs and Stratton apart from the occasional reference on King of the Hill) I set out get a machine to trim my already unsightly lawn. I decided on this Bolens model primarily because it was cheap and self propelled. I knew nothing about maintenance and of course the store employees knew nothing of interest about any of the various models that they sold.
Overall it turned out to be a good purchase for the money, although I would do a few things differently this time around. It is a good serviceable machine that is very appropriate for small lawns. The 22" blade was unfortunately too small to make mowing easy, but at least it is never a truly unpleasant task.
The self-propelled motor is excellent and makes mowing so much easier when compared with a push unit. It is advertised as a 2 in 1 mower, but I only tried to bag the clippings once - the process of dumping the unit was remarkably unwieldy for such a small mower and I don't recommend this model if you intend to bag.
Since then, I have used it exclusively with the mulching attachment and have had no major issues with it. My biggest complaint about the unit would be that due, I assume, to the small cutting surface, it gets clogged quite easily. During the fast growing season in Spring, I need to mow twice a week to keep it from clogging frequently.
When it does clog, it's not a big deal for me to get it unstuck (although having to stop, turn it over, and such is annoying) but my wife is not able to do it, so having her mow is not a good option. Overall a good product for the money, but if I had to do it over again, I'd absolutely get a model with a bigger cutting surface.