Don’t keep driving around with the fuel light on
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Sale of manual, electric mowers growing as gas prices skyrocket

Have you ever used a lawn mower that doesn’t run on gas?

When I was growing up, we had a manual mower for years. It was heavy and hard to push for a kid.

Lawnmower Manual 4 When my dad bought a nonmanual mower, it was an electric one. I remember you had to be careful not to mow the cord.

I think my dad didn’t want to have a gas can in the car and in the shed. Probably a good safety idea.

Sales of manual and electric lawnmowers are up 60 percent to 70 percent over last year at American Lawn Mower Co., according an Associated Press article in The (Tacoma, Wash.) News Tribune.

Every year, about 300,000 push reel mowers are sold in the United States, with about 300,000 electric mowers also being sold. Americans buy about 6 million gas-powered, walk-behind lawnmowers annually.

Push reel mowers are lighter – 19 to 34 pounds – and they’re easier-to-push. Prices are about $100 to $250.

Nonriding, gas-powered mowers cost $150 to $400, with the nonriding, self-propelled variety costing $200 to $900.

Clean Air Gardening, a Dallas retailer that sells push reel and electric lawn mowers, said sales are up 27 percent this year, while sales of electric mowers made by Towson, Md.-based Black & Decker Corp. have increased more than 20 percent this year, according to the article.

What’s your lawn like? Would a manual or electric mower work for you? Are you likely to buy one to save money on gas?

Reducing polluting exhaust is another reason people are buying manual and electric lawnmowers. Is that a factor for you?

What about exercise? Does mowing your lawn with a manual mower provide good exercise?

Photo: American Lawn Moving Co.'s 1815-18 American Deluxe Reel Mower

Copyright 2008, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist

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