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tom_key

Lawn Mower Design, How can it be improved?

tom_key
October 21, 2006

Hi All,

IÂm currently a student studying industrial design, for my major project I am hoping to redesign the lawn mower to make it easier to use and more manoeuvrable. As far as I know there are no zero degree turning cylinder cutting mowers, one of the main areas I will be looking in to, if anyone knows of one that does exist please can you let me know.

Additionally, any problems that you have with your current lawnmowers, however trivial please let me know. With enough insights from real gardens like yourselves I may be able to revolutionize the modern day lawn mower.

Thanks in advance for any replies.

Tom

Comments (21)

  • mikie_gw

    Make em so the gas doenst get old.

    Make em quiet.

    Make tear offs on the simple to replace air filter.

  • fedexjetinspector

    By cylinder mower I guess you mean a rotary mower of the early 20th century design. There now common at golf courses in gang mower config. Trouble is sharpening is an art or some very expensive tooling, for the single rotor mower I use a metal lathe, chuck up the mower head and back drive the rotor against the cutter bar with lapping compound, nice and sharp, just need a 3,000 dollar lathe. I think a more durable version of the weedwacker cord, and a larger scale would be the way to go. Then with the gas issues and the phase out of most 2 strokes (EPA) start looking for a new scorce of power. My front field is kept mowed by two zero turn grass intake, fertilizer exhaust units 1 horsepower each. But I guess there is a methane gas emission issue with them, I just stay upwind. Any way a hundred years ago engines did not make much power so they compensated by using large flywheels for power (rotating mass) now there are very dense metals which would give you the power without having a large diameter flywheel. Coupled to a small gas or electric motor you might have a 21st cent design. As for manuverability thats tough so many differant terrains out there. Good Luck with your project

  • lbpod

    Start with a deck that won't rot out, (read: High Quality
    Stainless Steel). Then eliminate as many belts as possible, (fluid drive is nice). Oh, and how about some
    easily connected accessories, such as a pressure washer
    or generator, so the same engine can be used for many
    purposes. And make that engine easily removable for
    service or exchange. As long as we're at it, bring back
    the old Zirk grease fittings for lubrication, those
    sealed 'lifetime' bearings don't last anyones' lifetime,
    they were made for people who don't maintain their
    equipment. I've had many more 'wishes' in the past
    but don't remember them all right now, but it's a good
    start.

  • rdaystrom

    Cylinder mowers are called reel mowers in the USA. Rotary mowers are the type with a horizontal spinning (rotating) blade. Cylinder mowers are used for their precise cut. You may be correct in assuming there are no zero turn models. Most mowers of the zero turn configuration swing the decks somewhat sideways as they turn. Cylinder mowers would not cut much when sliding sideways. They must turn and cut in forward motion. Golf course reel type riding mowers are primarily rear wheel steer and turn quite sharp but still allow the reels too pivot and maintain forward motion. Gouging the ground with the rear wheels or the edge of the deck is not uncommon with zero turn mowers either and that's not good on a golf course.
    Designing an improved lawn mower is quite a task. The type of mower has to be considered. Walk behind, riding, or something else as well as the grass cutting mechanism be it a reel type, totary or something else. The target market has to be defined because of price considerations. The cost is the biggest driving force behind mower manufacturing. Making money is everything to the manufacturer. If cost is of no concern you could come up with some cool specifications for the mower of the future.
    Here's my definition of possible future mower designs using existing technologies with all cost considerations excluded.
    The 2 cycle isn't dead. A liquid cooled 2 cycle engine with components made of long lasting advanced materials such as nikasil cylinder plating. Complete computer engine controls with digital fuel injection. An advanced air cleaning system to eliminate the advanced wear caused by dirt. A crankshaft protection system to prevent catastrophic engine failures. A 4 stroke engine could benefit from many of the same features.
    The deck should be strong and light weight, non corrosive and not heavy with an efficient design to mulch, bag, or side discharge well with minimal changeover effort. Wheels should be of a quality that lasts long with good bearings seals that need virtually no maintenance.
    Don't forget remote control with 360 degree video, 2 way audio on the mower and GPS guidance. Proximity alarms and shut off systems for safety.
    That's just a few ideas to get you going. Good luck on your project.

  • tom_p_pa

    That is easy...follow the design of 2 stroke Lawnboys. Simple, lightweight, and durable. You need to make the 2 stroke EPA compliant. Simple is the key.

  • roadbike

    Hi All,
    "IÂm currently a student studying industrial design, for my major project I am hoping to redesign the lawn mower to make it easier to use and more manoeuvrable."

    RB> Are you looking at lawn mowers for home owners, or lawn mowers for commercial uses. I think the design requirements will depend on the end use, which is not clear.

    " As far as I know there are no zero degree turning cylinder cutting mowers, one of the main areas I will be looking in to, if anyone knows of one that does exist please can you let me know."

    RB> I'm not sure what precisely you are describing here. Are you asking about a lawn mower one that pivots about the center of the cutting area?

    "Additionally, any problems that you have with your current lawnmowers, however trivial please let me know. With enough insights from real gardens like yourselves I may be able to revolutionize the modern day lawn mower. "

    RB> Again, the answer depends on whether you are talking about mowers for consumers or commercial lawn mowing companies. For consumer uses the current rotary lawn mower design is a reasonable balance of maneuverability and directional stability. Reel mowers are still available, but they have largely been replaced by the rotary.

  • 1saxman

    'Start with a deck that won't rot out'

    Already done; Honda Xenoy deck.

    'Then eliminate as many belts as possible, (fluid drive is nice).'

    Already done; Hydrostatic drive.

    The 'improved' mower already exists with these and many more insightful features; lightweight overhead cam engine, 9" wheels with ball bearings, dual blades, adjustable simultaneous mulch/bag - the Honda HRX217HXA. $699 at Home Depot. Sorry, Tom Key. You could concentrate on commercial/industrial reel (cylinder) mowers. I think Honda has the homeowner rotary mower all figured out.

  • mowers

    The HRX is anything but maneuverable...much too long. I had one but sold it for that reason. I am much happier with the shorter LB.

  • roadbike

    'Then eliminate as many belts as possible, (fluid drive is nice).'

    "Already done; Hydrostatic drive."

    RB> Honda Hydrostatic always seemed more like the lawnmower version of Buick Dynaflow than Chrysler Fluid Drive. They're all about as efficient as Toro Personal Pace tho....

  • tom_p_pa

    Forgot...all should have a good quality fuel shutoff valve, an in line fuel filter, and a carb bowl drain.

  • mackey

    Yea,
    get rid of the internal combustion part of the mower and we'll all be better off.
    I'm no cook. Don't get me wrong, I love anything that internaly combusts but it's the 120 year old technology and I'm tired of paying $ 3.00 bucks a gallon and things in the middle wouldn't be so bad. Just think, we could tell the middle east to go choke on their oil!
    OK, off my rant.
    But it is old technology. If Microsoft can update it's operating systems every 15 minutes why can't we make a new powerful, efficient and cheap way to power our stuff

    Fix that problem and you'll be the next Henry Ford or Ben Franklin.

  • shahidmkarwar_gmail_com

    i wanted to know that how we can design the blade of reel lawn mower & how much powerful motor & batteries are needed to make it electrically operated.(its for home use).

  • trickyputt

    Sealed bearing that are not prone to failure in the presence of washing water like the retail machines have would be nice, or perhaps simplify the exchange of maintence items so its not such a big project to exchange things like bearings.

  • HU-383741807

    I have a suggestion, can you make it where the discharge is on the left side of the mower? Mowing with you back to oncoming traffic these days is very dangerous, but mowing facing oncoming traffic most of the time results in grass on the roadway which is a hazard in itself for motorcyclists and in some states against the law. For a safety reasons you could lessen the dangers by simply putting the discharge on the left side. Thankyou for listening. Have a good day.

  • ssewalk1

    What the heck have you been smoking ?

  • tomplum

    I dunno ewalk, I like the idea. Has merit from where I sit.

    Or it's like you buy a stick shift one time, an auto the next. A right hand discharge one time, a left the next. Plus have you ever tried look through those rear view mirrors on your walk behind? Too much vibration I say.

  • Mule Meat

    " I have a suggestion, can you make it where the discharge is on the left side of the mower? "


    Already been done sort of.. And I have one..


    Lawn Boy made a push mower that the handles are mounted in the center of the deck. You push it one way and instead of turning the mower around. You just flipped the handle and start mowing in the other direction. When you push it one direction the discharge is on the right. When you go the other direction it is on your left. It is the only Lawn boy I have saw like it. When I found it. It had been shoved under a storage building. The building sank over time and I had to dig the mower out. After a little tinkering I was able to get it running. But it had sat for so long that the carb got destroyed and it could not be saved. Looking for another carb to fit it now.


    I have another one almost like it. Not sure what make or model it is, But it all red and has a 2 stroke Tecumseh engine. That mower also works the same way.

  • ssewalk1

    I think you Southern boys have to quit drinking the Blue Kool-Aid and mowing the freeway meridians , that will clear the blurring in your review mirrors ! lol.

  • Mule Meat

    I prefer Red Kool-Aid..




  • ssewalk1

    Kool Sensation,s ! Rear discharge or front right lol.

  • Robert Dempsey

    Mulch plate. Mow whatever direction you want.

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