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The best mowers for your Florida lawn

Consumer Reports's tests done here in the sunshine state

Consumer Reports spent weeks in South Florida testing 116 tractors, mowers and riders to help you find the best mower for you your money.

They did find that paying a little more buys a lot more machine, but overall, you can get a great, reliable product without emptying your pockets. Testers not only mowed acres and acres of grass, they even got on their hands and knees to closely examine the results.

While Nikki Kimbleton was behind the scenes at the Consumer Reports headquarters in Connecticut, she had a chance to talk with Peter Sawchuck, the man in charge of many of these tests. He gave Nikki a little insight into how they made their choices for top mowers.

Sawchuk said, "We start growing the grass in October so when we are there in January, we have prime grass, with an irrigation system. It's really perfect grass that represents a real challenge to any lawn mower."

One of the tests the conduct, how much grass and clippings the collection bags are capable of holding.

"Before we finish," said Sawchuck, "Because we redo some of them a couple of times, we're looking at a thousand, and sometimes two thousand pounds of grass clippings. We have big pile of grass clippings from the time that we are there."

So who earned the testers top ratings?

Gas, Self Propelled, Multi Speed Mowers:

  • Honda HRX217VKA $600
  • Toro 20381 20382 $550
  • Honda HRR216VYA $500
  • Gas Push Mowers:

  • Cub Cadet 11A-18MC 11A-18M9 and Yard-Man 11A-18M9 $260
  • Husqvarna 6021P 5521P, 7021P $250
  • Troy-Bilt TB-110 11A-A23N $200 (Even though the Troy-Bilt came in third place in this category, it was named a Consumer Reports Best.)