I’m using in the UK, a Hayter Harrier41cm that I bought from my Dad 25 years ago when he downsized and it’s good as gold. Mine has a Tecumseh (made in Italy engine) and it always starts on the first pull but now they fit Briggs & Stratton engines. When my wife worked at Black and Decker as Product Manager she was advised that our Hayter was a Rolls Royce amongst mowers. Not sure I need a Rolls Royce but I do like the fact that i will be writing this down over 50+ years
In France we have a used MacAllister (or similar) this has a Briggs and Stratton motor and always starts first time. It doesn’t have the roller for stripes and the shroud is plastic not alloy but for £20 it’s a cracker.
The things that will impact your mowing time are;
- width of cut
but just as importantly
- having a corresponding collection bag (no point having a wide cut and small bag as you’ll always be emptying)
- The distance to the compost heap (we place a wheelbarrow or tarp in the middle of the lawn so we can empty as we pass and fill that with multiple baskets of mowngs then do one journey to compost which is down the far corner)
- The number of trees, cabines, garden ornaments and funny borders etc that just slow everything down. There’s no point having a super wide mower if most of your time your faffing around dodging fruit trees etc.
It’s a slightly different topic but correlates to mowers - the last service for my petrol chainsaw (re-sharpened chain, new air filter, fuel filter, carb clean etc) cost £90. Yesterday I had an email offering a brand new German electric chainsaw with Oregon blade/chain for £90. It’s a sign of our consumer society that you can throw away a two year old product just to replace a consumable (chain) for the same cost or less if you sell on the used model.
I’m not saying this is a good thing to pursue but it may make economic sense.
You could always check out for the local mower maintenance man - ours has new but many more used items for a sale. You could always but a used Rolls Royce knowing that with regular oil changes and filter changes (regularly every 25+ years) it could outlast all of us