Lawn mower bags fit ride-behind and walk-behind lawn mowers and collect grass clippings as they come out of the mowing deck. While some are designed to empty automatically, others require you to empty the grass clippings manually. This manual emptying is done by removing and replacing a single-use, disposable bag or dumping out the collection receptacle.
Removing a Lawn Mower Bag
Although manufacturers may have different directions for removing their lawn mower bags, the primary method is pretty much the same across all of the brands. Park your mower on a flat surface and shut it off. The bag may be on the back or the side. For a Toro walk-behind push mower, lift the machine's rear shield with one hand and remove the bag and shield with the other. Unclip the bag retainers around the frame and then you can slide the bag right off the frame.
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To install a new lawn mower bag, open it and slide the frame into it. Clip the frame's bag retainers onto the bag and open the rear shield again. Slide the frame and bag into the opening. The bottom part of the frame should rest into notches on both sides. You can remove lawn mower bags from riding mowers in much the same way.
Bagged Lawn Mower Buying Guide
Battery-powered, bagged lawn mowers are energy-efficient and eco-friendly since they run on electricity. They can perform as well as gas models but can only mow half an acre or less on one charge; they're also not as noisy. Walk-behind and riding lawn mowers range in price from $170 for a gas push model up to more than $5,000 for zero-turn mowers. You can find ones with bags, side and rear discharges or mulching features. Ones that do all three will be in the upper price range.
Gas engine sizes range from 140 to 190 cc, and larger ones are better for handling tall grass; they also move better when going uphill. Ball-bearing wheels are another excellent feature that makes the mowers easier to push. The transmission type also makes a difference; hydrostatic is the smoothest and costliest. Front- and rear-drive push mowers use belt-and-pulley systems, and these also work very well. If the rear wheels on a push mower are larger than the front, it will do better on rough ground.
Are Bag Lawn Mowers Better Than Mulching?
Mulching mowers have blades and mowing decks that chop up the grass into smaller pieces before sending it back onto the lawn. This grass exits the machine from the side or back instead of being stored in a lawn mower bag. The spewed-out, chopped grass acts as mulch and quickly decomposes into the soil. They release moisture and act as a natural fertilizer. Clippings also block the sun from reaching the roots and prevent lawns from drying out.
Although this sounds like the optimum way to keep a lawn healthy, you should sometimes bag the clippings instead. It's best to use a bag when the grass is wet or has grown too high. Clippings will start bunching together and can turn into large, thick clumps that could smother otherwise healthy grass. Also, be sure to bag clippings if the lawn has weeds, diseased grass, mold or fungus.
- Wise Geek: What Are the Different Types of Lawn Mower Baggers?
- Consumer Reports: Lawn Mower & Tractor Buying Guide
- Popular Mechanics: The Lawn Mower Buyer's Guides: Everything You Need to Know to Buy the Right Mower
- StandAlone Lawn Care: Mulching vs. Bagging - Which Is Best For Your Lawn
- Lawn Love: What Is a Mulching Lawn Mower and How Does It Work?