About a year ago, I did a review about the Briggs & Stratton Poulan Pro lawnmower. At the time, I was reviewing one I borrowed from my dad and reported that it was a good mower but questioned its durability.
Even though I went on record saying I wouldn’t buy it, I ended up doing just that. Let’s just say I should have listened to my own advice.
Let me start out with a quick recap. I have a pretty decent sized yard that, because of the trees, is usually littered with things ranging from sticks to walnuts that I don’t always get picked up before mowing. Because of this, I need a mower that is durable and can handle a bit of a beating.
When I ultimately gave in to buy my Poulan Pro mower I did so with some doubts about its durability. However, I was also on a limited budget and it was one of maybe two brands I could afford and I absolutely despise the other brand.
Right off the bat, I had issues with the mower. It started but the self-propel feature would stick and the mower would keep going unless I lifted the front tires off the ground. I had some concerns about this so I ended up returning it the same day for a new one (I should mention too that my dad’s mower also had an issue with the self propelling feature and ended up having to take it in to be repaired).
The replacement mower didn’t have this problem and, I will admit, it has lasted me through one mowing season; something I didn’t expect it to do. But, that doesn’t mean I’m happy with my purchase.
First of all, this mower is a pain to start. Typically, it takes me 2-3 minutes to get it running. The primer button instructs you to push it three times. I’ve learned to ignore that because the mower won’t even fire. Instead, I have to go through this routine: push the button five times, let it fire and immediately stall out. Push it five more times, let it fire and stall out. Push it five times again, let the mower fire go a couple feet then stall out, repeat and finally, on the fifth or sixth try, the mower might actually start up and keep running and, if I’m lucky, won’t clunk out again a few seconds later. I should also mention to you that, if for any reason, I have to stop mowing for more than a couple of minutes, I have to go through that process again.
The mower comes with a mulch option. Don’t even bother with this. Unless your lawn is only a couple inches long (in other words, doesn’t need to be mowed), you will find the mower clogging up and stalling out every few feet. In fact, I tried this recently because I had some leaves on my yard from last fall. I gave up after it took me nearly an hour to do a quarter of my yard.
The mower also gets terrible gas mileage. Prior to buying it, I was used to being able to mow my entire lawn on just one tank. Now I have to stop halfway through to add gas. Part of the reason for this is the mower doesn’t use the full tank. Instead, once you get to a quarter of a tank, it stalls out and you can’t re-start it until you add more gas. That’s something I personally have never understood.
With a baby on the way, I can’t afford a new mower right now and will have to suffer through another mowing season with the Poulan Pro. But, don’t be surprised if I spend the money to replace it before next summer.