Is this the world’s cheapest and most compact riding lawn mower?
Weed Eater lawn mowers are generally aimed at specific markets. The Weed Eater One is a prime example. Weed Eater describes it as:
“… the first compact riding mower on the market.”
And that seems to me to be a pretty good way to describe this unique mowing machine.
The Weed Eater One is a simple and easy to use riding lawn mower for those who don’t need a traditional lawn tractor but do need something more than a walk behind machine.
If you are looking for a bargain in the more traditional tractor style, check out our reconditioned and like-new lawn tractor bargains.
Weedeater One Features at a Glance
- 190cc Briggs and Stratton 875 OHV Series engine for reliability and power
- Simple and efficient friction disc drive system
- 3 forward gears and one reverse gear for maximum flexibility
- 26 inch cutting width for far quicker cutting than a walk behind mower
- 5 cutting heights for adjustments to suit all conditions
- Overall width of less than 36 inches for easy storage and access through garden gates
- 2 years manufacturers’ warranty
Who is the Weed Eater One Suitable for?
This Weed Eater lawn mower is designed to be suitable for you if:
- You have no more than an acre or so to mow
- You don’t have much sloping ground and any slopes you do have are not too steep
- The terrain you intend to mow is not particularly rough or bumpy
- The terrain is not prone to bogginess
- You have gates or access points that a large riding lawn mower or lawn tractor won’t fit through
- You need a riding lawn mower that can be stored easily in a relatively small space
- You don’t need your machine to be able to do anything other than cut your lawn. In other words you don’t need a riding lawn mower that takes lots of attachments
- You are looking for a budget machine.
The Weed Eater One won’t suit you if you have a very large yard (1 acre plus), hilly or rough terrain or you need it to tow implements or do more than mow your lawn.
How does it drive?
For a start (and it does have electric start, by the way), the Weed Eater One has a Briggs and Stratton engine. There may be high tech engines that are praised more highly by the mechanically minded than Briggs engines when it comes to performance. But Briggs and Stratton engines don’t power a very high proportion of the outdoor power (and especially lawn mower) market by chance. These are good strong, reliable motors.
That said, the engine in the Weed Eater riding lawn mower is certainly not ultra-powerful (190cc displacement, no more than about 6.5hp). In fact you’ll find it in some walk behind mowers. But, and this is an important point, it is powerful enough if you have the right conditions (see ‘Who is it suitable for?’ above).
There are 3 forward speeds and one reverse speed. The highest forward speed is for when you just need to drive a long without mowing, so it’s best not to try engaging the blades in that gear. The friction disc transmission system is essentially manual – you have to physically change gear each time you want to change speed, so it is not a smooth as some more expensive transmission systems. However, it does have cruise control which means that once you’re in gear and traveling you can take your foot off the pedal and, … er, cruise. In addition, the brake and clutch are pedal controlled too.
Some users report that the Weed Eater doesn’t handle especially smoothly. That is no doubt the case if you compare it to a more expensive lawn tractor or if you use it on bumpy or sloping ground. The key is to adjust your expectations in line with the price you’re paying and also to drive the Weed Eater appropriately for the conditions you face.
How does it cut?
This is where the Weed Eater One riding lawn mower scores highest. The cut that you’ll get from the 26 inch cutting deck is remarkably smooth, which is pretty impressive for a single blade mower.
The deck height adjusts in 5 steps between 1.5 and 4 inches, with the height adjuster mounted on the fender. Some users complain that it can be difficult to adjust the height, so take a bit of time when you first get your machine to get this right.
The fact that the deck height can be adjusted means that you can allow for any slight bumps or tree roots in your yard by raising the cutting height accordingly.
The deck itself is tough and made of 13 gauge steel.
The turning circle is not fantastic – the manufacturer gives 30-40 inches as the turning radius which is much more than some bigger machines. But this will only be a problem for you if you have lots of obstacles or tight turns in your garden that you’ll need to negotiate.
As standard, the Weed eater One comes with a discharge chute and deflector for side discharge of grass clippings. The chute can be lifted by a simple lever so as to narrow the overall width of the machine when maneuvering through gates or narrow gaps or for easier storage. A mulching option is also available.
A twin bin clippings collector bag is available as an optional extra to help leave a tidier lawn behind you when you’ve finished.
How much does it cost?
You’ll need to check for the latest prices but expect to pay around $750 to $850 for the standard model.
How does it compare with similar riding lawn mowers?
As usual, it depends what you are comparing it to. There are riding lawn mowers that are more powerful, there are riding lawn mowers that are quicker and there are riding lawn mowers that will cover more ground or maybe give you a smoother ride.
But what you’ll be hard pressed to find is a riding lawn mower that is cheaper than the Weed Eater One.
As one reviewer on Amazon puts it:
“This is the cheapest way to mow your lawn while sitting down. And that’s pretty much what you get.”
By comparison, the Poulan Pro PB30 is around $1,000 and the Craftsman 28 inch riding lawn mower is around $1400. But, to be fair, these are both much more powerful machines.
Does it need assembly?
It will be delivered in a crate that will need dismantling and disposal. After you’ve done that you’ll need to fit the seat and the steering assembly, but these are straightforward to do.
Fill it with gas and then check everything is adjusted the way how you want it (check the deck height especially) and then off you go.
Are there any accessories I might need?
You can get a 26-Inch Two-Bin Bagger Kit for grass collection. You may also need a siphoning bottle because you’ll need to siphon out the old oil when it is time for an oil change.
What are the good points about the Weed Eater One?
- Economical price
- Easy to use
- Will fit through small access points, like ordinary yard gates
- Small dimensions make it easy to store
- Good quality cut
- Rear engine means no exhaust fumes in your face
- Economical with gas
What are the bad points?
- Adjusting the height of the cutting deck can be tricky
- Won’t cope with big slopes or very bumpy or uneven terrain
- Can vibrate quite a bit
- Seat is not especially comfortable – you might need a cushion
- Some users report mechanical failures, even after only a year’s operation
Anything else I need to know?
Here are some other vital stats that are not mentioned above:
Fuel tank volume: 0.3 gal.
Oil capacity: 20 oz.
Speed forward: 0-3.8 mph
Speed reverse: 1 mph
Tire size, front: 10 x4″
Tire size, rear: 13×5-6″
Width: 31.375 ”
Where can I buy the Weed eater One?
You can buy the Weed Eater One at Amazon, where you’ll get free shipping and reliable customer service
Some of the big box stores stock them too.
I live in California. Can I get a model that complies with California’s emissions laws (a CARB compliant model)?
Yes there is a model available for California. You’ll find it here:
Any Final Thoughts
The point about these Weed Eater lawn mowers is that you need to recognize what it is you are getting.
This is pretty much the cheapest gas powered riding lawn mower around. So don’t expect it to perform like a John Deere X700. Don’t expect it to climb hills well and don’t expect it to cut rough paddock grass very easily. If you’ve got those conditions look for something else.
What you can expect is a machine that is easy to use, economical to run and easy to store.
Above all, in the right situation, the Weed Eater One offers an affordable solution that will cut your grass well and save you bundles of time in doing it. And that is what it’s designed to do.
However, we have had reports of some problems with this mower (see comments below).