A Fit-for-Purpose Mower... that works!
I have a 550 square metre front yard that needs mowing, lest it be deemed a fire hazard by the local council.
Given the size and nature of the activity, I preferred the side-throw action, in contrast to the more common grass catcher attachment.
After a widespread online search of reviews, I selected the Masport 460-625 Utility Mower and ordered it online from Bunnings, since they were more responsive to my enquiries than the local mower marts and service centres.
They subsequently informed me by email when it was available to be picked up from my local Bunnings outlet.
The model has a four-stroke engine, so I purchased a litre bottle of 10W30 oil when I collected the mower, since Bunnings does not pre-assemble and test their products before supplying them.
The Packing List showed I had all the parts and manuals.
However, googling Briggs and Stratton directed me to their website and I could download .PDF manuals that were more relevant to my particular engine model.
When I assembled the parts, I noticed that the screws fitted to the fold-up handle had been purpose-fitted with chunky knobs suitable for easy use by people with arthritis.
The side-throw vent and flap had to be fitted and they utilised plasticated locknuts to minimise loosening by vibration.
The engine required 440 ml of oil.
I pre-loaded the sponge fitting of the air filter with some of the unused engine oil.
I was surprised to find there was no 'primer' button/pump for the fuel.
I was surprised to find an adjustable throttle 'dial' fitted on the handle, so the engine speed could be adjusted.
I was surprised to see that there was no expectation to change the oil, just keep it topped-up as indicated.
The fuel tank held about 1 litre, I think.
I set the mower for maximum height clearance.
I adjusted the dial for full throttle.
The mower started at the first pull.
The grass varied from lush clover to waist-high dry weeds.
The mower completed it entirely without any apparent load on the engine.
Another 50 square metres of fiddly bits was included thereafter, without stopping the engine.
The whole job was done and there was still fuel to burn.
Before each use: check the fuel; check the oil; and check the air filter: remove the build-up of grass cuttings.
The next time I used the mower, it took three tugs to start it.
I also adjusted the height clearance back to the normal level.
The only time the engine revs faltered was when I mowed a pile of dirt disguised by overgrown weeds.
This mower has delivered more than I ever expected. It's a bewdy!!
An OK mower for rougher grass cutting
This is a basic side throw utility mower with a pressed steel cutting deck, bar type cutter and the lower end domestic Briggs & Stratton engine. Cuts quite clean and well for lawns but struggles in longer wet grass and the side throw will leave messy clumps of grass in a line next to the mower but this is not you what will buy this for. It is light weight, easy to start, although only has one speed - flat out (actually seems to over-rev). Best suited for rougher areas where all you want is to chop down the length. Less dense bush grass, small twigs, etc. get chopped down to size. Given the high engine speed and how hard the engine works in longer wet grass I would have doubts on how long the engine will last over time. I think there would be better value mowers around than this. A more powerful engine would have been better. I would not recommend this for mowing your lawn. Better suited for a shack or small areas of rougher grass where the finish doesn't matter. Fuel tank is way too small on this motor, max of 1 hour before refilling. Bigger wheels would also help.
Light weight, easy to start, reasonable build quality.
Litle control over engine speed, noisy and vibrates, handle screws vibrate loose, poor performance in long wet grass.