May 9, 1899 African-American inventor John Albert Burr patented a rotary blade lawnmower. Burr improved the wheels and designed a rotary blade that was not easily clogged with lawn clippings. John Albert Burr also improved the design, making it easier to mow close to buildings and wall edges. He might not have known it then, but his innovations revolutionized lawnmowers and launched a new wave of competitiveness among dads everywhere, to see who was packing the most…horsepower.
There are men who seek the holy grail of lawn care, a lawn that looks as perfect as a baseball stadium. They spend hours researching just the perfect grass seed. They dig out weeds by hand and invest thousands in the perfect sprinkler system. They fertilize in the spring and rake leaves in the fall. If one of those guys happens to be a dad in your life, consider one of these lawnmowers to splurge on for the perfect Father’s Day gift.
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1. Honda Model HRR2168VKA ($479): Rated best overall walk-behind lawn mower for 2014 by Popular Mechanics, this Honda model will cut grass as fast as you can walk, with consistent results. It hugs the side hills and charges up inclines. Dad will feel like an Ironman champ.
2. Husqvarna HD 800BBC ($519.99): This walk-behind gas mower that moves at your pace. Simply squeeze the handle to set the speed. Clean up is easy; just tip the mower over to expose the blades and hose off the grass clippings. No more excuses, Dad.
3. Toro Recycler 20032 ($379): This mower converts from a recycler model (the grass clippings are spun through the blades a second time and returned to your lawn as nutrient rich particles), or attach a bag and dispose of the clippings or add them to your compost pile. For easy clean up, there’s a special hose port so you won’t have to tip the mower over to clean it. Sounds like you could even clean it with one hand and hold a beer in the other.
4. Ego Power+ ($499): With a long battery life, this rechargeable mower will have plenty of power to cut a large lawn. After a 30 minute charge it’s ready to go again. That’s just about the right amount of time for a beer break.
5. Black & Decker MM875 ($319): Lower your carbon emissions with this mower. Quick starting, oil and tune up free, it will trim the grass without noise pollution or trips to the gas station. The only sound in the backyard will be that of another beer can cracking open.
6. Earthwise 60120 ($450): Another zero emission mower, you’ll be able to cut for 50 minutes before you need to charge the battery. A quick 30 minute charge and you’re back in business. (See beer break, item #4.)
7. Husqvarna YTH2042 ($1499.95): This riding mower is top rated, not only for it’s cutting power but for the ergonomically designed seat. With an easily adjustable mowing deck and sharp turning radius, Dad might just want to drive it to work!
8. Poulan Pro PB15742LT ($1460): For a large yard, this riding mower can’t be beat. It has a cutting radius of 42 inches more than twice that of a walk behind mower. It’s easy to maneuver, easy to clean and a wide variety of garden implements can be attached to it. Yes, basically, it’s the MacGyver of lawnmowers.