Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Pretty Spiffy Lawnmower: Troy-Bilt Product Review

My neighbor has life all figured out. Between his zebra, baby buffalo and the mini mule he may never need to mow. Life's a tad more complicated for the rest of us...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I had to giggle a bit when Troy-Bilt offered to give me one of their lawnmowers to review. Obviously, they'd confused me with Suburban Kate. The gal with the well-tamed lawn. Not little old me, resident gardener of Hell's Half Acre.

But, I happily agreed because I consider myself a lawnmower expert. I have, after all, blown up quite a few of them in my illustrious gardening career.
  1. I've found they spontaneously combust if you run them for long periods of time without oil in the engine. 
  2. And, the blades get all wacky when you mow over large rocks and garden tools lost in the overgrown grass. (Clearly a design flaw.)
First thing I did was procrastinate on opening the box for two long weeks. I absolutely hate putting things together since I end up with tons of leftover parts. Have you ever wondered if company engineers include extra parts just to mess with our minds?

To my surprise, when I finally did open my care package the dang thing was pretty much good to go.

And, I do mean GO. I saw no compelling reason to read the how-to booklet so I didn't realize this was a self-propelled do-hickey. I snapped the handles in place. Added oil. (See? I can mend my evil ways.) Gave it some gas and started 'er up. Zoom. It lunged forward and scared the pants off Bad Dog.

So, my beloved pup thinks this is a hellish device. But, what does he know? I'm pretty enamored with it.

I've never used a self-propelled lawnmower before. It happily gobbles two foot tall grass, no problemo, dragging me behind without expending much effort at all. (Adjusting the speed is a piece of cake, though it's awfully fun to terrorize the pets.)

I thought this was kinda nifty: you can adjust the mower height while you're clipping along. You know how with some mowers you have turn it off, get down on your knees and adjust the height of each wheel? This one has a little switch on the handle bar to make the wheels go higher or lower.

Troy-Bilt TB325 XP 21" Variable-Speed Self-Propelled Mower
Like: 
I'm actually motivated to mow my lawn since it's no longer a back-breaking chore.
Really Like:
Great mulching system. My cheapo lawnmower (the last one I set on fire) claimed it mulched but mostly it collected grass clippings underneath the mower until it clogged up, died and expected me to clean that junk out with my hands.

Dislike:
No remote control! How awesome would that be? I could sit in my lawn chair and send it scurrying all over the backyard with the flip of a button. "Dear Troy-Bilt: Please work hard to invent that..."

Fine Print:
* Troy-Bilt gave me this mower for testing and blog review and I get to keep it.
** Part of my sheer bliss could be that I've never owned a quality lawnmower before. But, I really was impressed with the performance of this one. I feel it could take a good long time before the lack of oil and constant misuse will send it to the promised land.

16 comments:

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Man, I wish companies would send me things to review, lol. And I didn't realize your dog wore pants in the first place! I do love my Sears mower, it mulches kickass (even leaves). I purposefully bought a non-self-propelled one because I need exercise wherever I can find it. Glad yours is working out for you. I think Red Green would be all over a remote-controlled lawnmower. If Troy-Bilt doesn't send this idea straight through to research and development, maybe Red will jury-rig it up for you! P.S. You neighbor really has a zebra? Really?

Susan in the Pink Hat said...

The Roomba lawnmower? It's here. Check it out:

Husquvarna mower

Titanium said...

Right on! Now THAT's a useful thing to give up for review. Good for Troy-Bilt... they picked the perfect person to review this lawn mower.

Gotta love the neighbor's take on it, though. That's priceless!

Kate said...

Oh, yes, Monica, my neighbor really and truly owns a zebra. And, now we all want one...

Kate said...

Hi, Susan!
Good to know. But, if it works on it's own would it mow the pets if they get in the way? :D

Kate said...

Hi, Titanium;
Well if they wanted to put it to the supreme test then I guess they picked the right person. I procrastinate on mowing until that stuff is so tall it's like a jungle back there.

Amy said...

Ooh, I love the idea of being able to adjust the height without stopping and kneeling. But not as much as I love the exotic herd of grazers you have next door!

Liz said...

I love the adjustable height feature. I now have a strange desire to mow a lawn even though I don't have one to mow...

caite said...

Dear Troy- Bilt,

You don't know me, but I have a charming little blog and a big yard....

Kate said...

Hi, Amy;
Yeah that zebra is a real traffic stopper but she just ignores us and keeps on eating.

Kate said...

Hi, Liz;
Well, lawns are a pain but I can't live without one. Wherever would we play croquet???

Kate said...

Dear Caite... I'll bet you get loads of goodies in the form of new books to review. I, for one, won't read it until after I hear from you.

Melanie said...

Great product review Kate. If I had a lawn instead of a clover meadow I'd be zooming out the door to buy one. :)

Andrea said...

Kate, i have not been here often, thanks for dropping by mine, i was able to come back. I really enjoyed your style of writing, and i certainly had a strong laugh with your description of the chickens. It's very easy reading and full of fun. I love also the 3 animal photos in one enclosure, i hope they will not bit each other sometime when the pasture gets dry! Hahaha, i love your posts.

Rose said...

A remote control lawnmower--I think you should start working on this idea immediately, Kate:) My kids got me a Roomba vacuum for Christmas--Sophie, who rarely barks, follows the darned thing around barking her head off.

Sounds like a great lawnmower, and you're one lucky lady to get to keep it. I bet you'll even make sure it never runs out of oil:)

Grace Peterson said...

Looks like a great mower, Kate.