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How To Buy a Used Lawn Mower: A Complete Guide

How To Buy a Used Lawn Mower: A Complete Guide

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Paul Brown

It can be challenging to know what to look for when shopping for used hardware if you have never done it before. This post will show you how to purchase a second-hand lawnmower while avoiding frequent problems. 

Here’s a complete guide on how to buy a used lawnmower:

  1. Determine the type of mower for your needs.
  2. Look for a good brand with potential for long engine hours.
  3. Find a reputable seller and avoid shopping online.
  4. Consider the asking price and if you should negotiate.
  5. Take the lawn mower for a test run.
  6. Examine any parts that may need repairing or replacing.
  7. Ask questions about maintenance and general history.

Keep on reading to learn everything there is to know about buying a used lawnmower. 

1. Determine the Type of Mower for Your Needs

You should first decide if you want an electric or gasoline-powered lawn mower before purchasing a used lawn mower. Each type has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. In general, you should adhere to the guidelines outlined below. 

  • Make your decision based on the area that has to be mowed. The larger the area, the larger the mower you may wish to get.
  • If your yard is small, an electric lawn mower is a good option.
  • Ride-on types powered by diesel or gas engines with controls on both hands are ideal for large yards or golf courses.
  • A Hover model is great for sloped little lawns. They’re light and simple to use; all you have to do is carry them to the lawn and get started. Both diesel and electric versions are available.

You should also ask yourself these questions to determine the type of mower you need:

  • Do you have a small or huge lawn? 
  • Does your lawn have a level, uneven, or steep terrain? 
  • Is your lawn open or densely forested, with sprinklers, trees, gardens, and playground equipment? 
  • Do you want to mow for a workout or just to get the job done? 
  • How loud can you tolerate? 
  • Do you want a basic mower or one with all the bells and whistles?


2. Look for a Good Brand With Potential For Long Engine Hours

It’s recommended only to buy lawnmowers from well-known brands. Toro, John Deere, Husqvarna, Ryobi, and Craftsman are just a few of the most well-known manufacturers. You won’t be able to use any manufacturer warranties because you’re buying used. As a result, you must purchase high-quality, long-lasting brands. 

Riding lawn mowers are designed to last a long time. If purchased new, you can expect a mower to work for anywhere from 500 to 1000 engine hours, which equates to a life of more than ten years of regular use. Many riding mowers can endure 15 to 20 years with proper care and maintenance

Most manufacturers recommend a 10-year life span, similar to push mowers. This pertains to the engine’s life and most other components. Used models don’t necessarily have a poor lifespan and can last just as long if properly maintained. 

Here are some of the best-known brands and their expected lifespans: 

Briggs and Stratton

They specialize in small-scale riding lawn mowers for light-duty applications. 

The mower has a 500-hour life expectancy, according to the company. You may easily double it to 1000 hours or more with reasonable care and maintenance

John Deere

These machines are substantially more durable. I own one myself and it’s been a rock-solid mower.

The smaller ones can easily last 500-1000 hours on a single charge. Larger engines with two or four cylinders may even endure 1500-2000 hours. The number of hours is determined by the intensity of use. They can live for 15 years or more with proper care and maintenance


Husqvarna is a company that makes lawnmowers for small yards. 

They function effectively in low-load situations and last between 400 and 800 hours, depending on how they’re used. 

Cub Cadet

In terms of functionality and life expectancy, Cub Cadet lawnmowers are very similar to Husqvarna. 

As a result, 500 to 1000 hours are required. Like all mowers, proper care and maintenance can extend their life.

3. Find a Reputable Seller and Avoid Shopping Online 

A second-hand lawnmower can be purchased via a licensed dealer or hardware shop or from an individual seller. If you buy from a dealer, inquire about the vehicle’s maintenance history and whether or not it’s covered by a warranty or service guarantee. Most used lawn mower vendors will provide at least a 30-day warranty on your purchase.

If you’re buying from a private seller, investigate if they have a track record of successful sales. You can look up a seller’s rating and previous transactions if you buy from a site like eBay or Amazon. Make sure you only buy from those who have received great feedback. This implies they’re a trustworthy supplier who won’t attempt to defraud you.

Shopping online isn’t always a wise idea. Used lawn mowers are exactly what they sound like: they’re previously used devices. This is why, in order to perceive the specifics, it’s necessary to examine them up close and in person. Descriptions on the internet aren’t always as clear, detailed, or accurate as they should be. 

4. Consider the Asking Price and if You Should Negotiate

Obviously, price is an important factor to consider when buying a used lawnmower. When you’ve found a lawnmower you like, look online for any comparable offers to see whether you’re getting a good deal. If you’re being overcharged, you might be able to negotiate a cheaper price using these alternative listings. You shouldn’t pay more than 60-70% of the retail value for a 2 or 3-year-old lawnmower. 

The price of a second-hand lawnmower is determined by the make and model. A self-propelled push-behind used lawn mower can cost as much as $1,000 in general. Riding mowers typically cost more than $1,000, though you may usually find versions for less. You can typically barter with the owner to receive a little cheaper price, just like you can with other used things. You should avoid buying overpriced models. 

Each year, the market value of lawnmowers less than seven years old drops in value by 11 percent to 14 percent. Determine the year the mower was manufactured and use this formula to determine the estimated fair market value of a second-hand lawnmower. You can also check up comparable sales in your area to get a decent idea of pricing ranges for lawnmowers less than seven years old.

5. Take the Lawn Mower for a Test Run

When you find a used lawnmower and go to buy it in person, you can test drive it, listen to how it operates, and see how it cuts the grass. Does it cut the lawn well if it does start? The grass should be chopped on the first try if the blades are sharp enough.

6. Examine Any Parts That May Need Repairing or Replacing

Examine the lawn mower’s body, engine, and blade for damage. The fact that the lawnmower sounds well and looks to cut the grass properly doesn’t imply it’s in good working order. Do the components appear to be worn, brittle, or in good working order? Look for any oil leaks. Ensure the spark plugs are in good condition. 

If you’re considering an electric lawnmower, the battery should be able to run for at least 75% of the time (Electric Lawn Mower).

7. Ask Questions About Maintenance and General History

Regardless of the type of lawnmower you want to buy (push, electric, gas, or riding), you should ask the seller plenty of questions about it. What’s the age of the lawnmower? Why is it being sold by the seller? Is there any paperwork (warranties, guarantees, instructions) on the lawnmower the vendor has?

Try to get the answer down on paper, especially if you’re spending a lot of money on the lawnmower, 

Lawnmowers need to be maintained and cared for on a regular basis or they’ll break down. You don’t want to acquire a used lawnmower just to discover it hasn’t been properly maintained and is in terrible shape. When you find a seller, make sure you ask about maintenance and service history. This should include history about: 

  • Oil changes 
  • Air filters 
  • Spark plugs that have been replaced 
  • Sharpening of blades 
  • Tires

Ensure you obtain information on any hardware maintenance that might affect the lawnmower’s performance. Tires, handlebars, and other components are crucial to the effective operation of your lawnmower. If you purchase from an official dealer, they should be able to provide you with a record of any previous maintenance. 

If you buy from an individual seller, see if you can inspect the lawnmower in person before making a purchase. This can assist you in figuring out whether any repairs are required before you decide to purchase the mower. We wouldn’t advocate purchasing a used lawnmower from a private seller unless you inspect it first.

How To Make a Lawn Mower Last Longer

As previously said, adequate care and maintenance can extend a mower’s life considerably beyond what’s expected. Keep in mind, it’ll be easier to find spare parts for older mowers if you own a more well-known brand. The dealer may also offer spare parts or repairs.  

Here are some tips to help make your lawn mower last longer:

  • Inspect and change the oil on a regular basis. After around fifty hours of use or once a year, the oil should be changed. In the meanwhile, look at the color to determine the oil’s amount and quality. 
  • Clean your air filter on a regular basis. The air filter should be checked on a regular basis, at least twice a season. Expect to have to replace it every time the oil is changed. When you get your lawnmower out once the season is over, give it a good cleaning. 
  • Use on a regular basis. Regular lawn mower use, like any machinery, keeps the cylinders and fluids going. It also ensures the carburetor’s gas doesn’t go stale. This is required for a longer, rust-free life.
  • Sharpen the blades. Before each mowing session, inspect the blades. Sharpen the blades at least once a season and after every 30-40 hours of mowing. 
  • Maintain the belts. To keep the engine running smoothly, make sure the belts are tight and properly oiled at regular intervals. Examine them for signs of wear and deterioration. When necessary, replace the item. 
  • Check the spark plug. A malfunctioning spark plug can cost you a lot of money in the form of unburned fuel, cylinder damage, and engine life reduction. You should check it on a regular basis and replace it if necessary.
  • Look after the battery. Proper battery maintenance is important for keeping the lawnmower in good working order. During the winter, remove it and use a battery charger with maintenance mode to keep it in good working order. If you have a battery that allows it, check the water level every 10 hours of use. 

Pros and Cons of Purchasing a Used Lawnmower 

Before deciding to buy used, consider the pros and cons that come with such a purchase to determine if it’s the right choice for you.

Pros of a Used Lawnmower 

  • You can find a powerful brand-name mower for a far cheaper price than if you bought it new.
  • The prior user can provide you with first-hand information beyond the product descriptions about how the lawnmower works. 
  • If you’re looking for a specific model, an older used mower of the same type can usually be found for a considerably lesser price.

Cons of a Used Lawnmower

  • It’s possible the seller damaged the mower before selling it and didn’t notify you.
  • Used mowers may appear to work but have worn-out parts on the verge of breaking.
  • Most used lawn mowers don’t come with hardware guarantees or warranties like a new model would.


Lawnmowers are costly tools, so purchasing a second-hand mower might be a fantastic way to get a solid machine at a reasonable price. Of course, if you’re buying a used lawnmower, you’ll need to be thorough and do your homework to get the greatest value.

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