If you’re looking for a high quality product at a price that is not bloated beyond belief, you’re going to want to read our American Lawn Mower 1204-14 review. As the name suggests, this is a lawn maintenance tool that’s made in the USA (yes, they still do exist…), which is definitely something that’s nice to see. It’s a manual push mower, so you do have to be prepared to put in a bit more effort than with bigger gas or electric mower. But providing you’re ok with that, keep reading to find out what the pros are and what the cons are with this particular model.
American Lawn Mower 1204-14 Review - Specifications
|Manufacturer||American Lawn Mower|
|Cutting Width||14 inches|
|Cutting Heights||1/2 - 1 3/4 inches|
|No. of Blades||4|
American Lawn Mower 1204-14 Pros: What’s to Like About this Mower?
This might be a fairly bog-standard manual push mower, but there’s plenty to like. Below you can read about the most common advantages of the American Lawn Mower 1204-14 as mentioned by the consumers that have bought and used it.
- Cuts Well Under the Right Conditions – Now don’t get me wrong, this is not a mower that’s going to provide a perfect cut in all manner of conditions. But providing you use it for the conditions it was designed for, more than likely you’ll be very, very satisfied with your purchase. So we had better explain what those conditions are, right?! Well essentially the 1204-14 is designed for general maintenance, meaning you’ll need to mow frequently during growing season in order to ensure optimum performance, as multiple consumers report that it doesn’t do as well if you let the grass grow too long. It is also suitable for most grass types, although might not be as effective on the thickest varieties. Stick to the one third rule, keep your grass to its ideal length, and live by the mantra of “little and often” and this mower will serve you well.
- Straightforward Assembly – There’s not much to do as it mostly comes pre-assembled from the factory. You really just need to put the handle together and attach everything to the base of the mower. There are some bolts and locknuts you need to use to do this. The locknuts have little plastic wings, so no need for any tools to tighten them up. The only thing you may need is a pair of pliers when it comes to squeezing the c-clips into place.
- Affordable Solution – These days you can pay several hundred dollars for a lawn mower. Actually, if you go for a robot mower, you can pay a few thousand. For those of you that prefer to keep spending on yard tools to a minimum and splash the cash on a nice summer vacation instead, the American Lawn Mower 1204-14 is just what you’re looking for, providing you have a fairly small lawn. It’s just a drop in the ocean compared to some of the mowers available for purchase these days.
- Get Up and Go Mowing – Because mowing the lawn is such a straightforward process with this model, it becomes much less of a chore. There’s really nothing to it other than picking it up, setting it down on the lawn and pushing. That’s really it. There’s no grass catcher to ferry to and from the compost pile, there’s no drawn-out start-up process you have to go through, and there are no gas and oil checks to do before you take off (this is a lawn mower, not a 747!). No cable to constantly be dragging out of the way either. This is stress free mowing at its best.
- Takes Almost No Space to Store – This isn’t a particularly big mower, which makes it nice and easy to store. Perfect if you live in a townhouse or garage/shed space is at a premium. You can even hang it on the wall if you don’t have any floor space available.
- Not Quiet Silence, But Quiet Nevertheless – If you’ve ever had the pleasure (joke!) of walking behind a gas powered mower, particularly an older model, you’ll come to really love just how quiet the 1204-14 is. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not silent; it produces a sort of whirring sound, but most people think it’s actually quiet pleasant. And not only will YOU come to appreciate this, but your neighbors probably will too!
American Lawn Mower 1204-14 Cons: What People Complain About
This lawn mower has a lot going for it. That much is clear. But it wouldn’t be a fair review of the American Lawn Mower 1204-14 if we didn’t reveal and talk a little bit about the things it doesn’t do all that well.
- Gets Jammed Quite Easily – If sticks or bark get lodged in the blades, don’t expect it to slice straight through. Most consumers say you’ll likely be stopped dead in your tracks when this happens. Thicker weeds and long grass are also likely to cause problems. That’s why, as mentioned earlier, it’s essential to stay on top of your lawn maintenance if you do opt for this lawn mower. Another thing that we’d recommend doing is having a quick scan of your lawn before you start and pick up any stray twigs that you can see. It’s easier to get rid of these beforehand than to be stopped mid-mow.
- Gap Between Wheels and Cutting Area – There’s a fairly big gap between the wheels and where the blades start – about 3 inches or so. Why is this an issue? Well when mowing the majority of your lawn, it won’t be. But when it comes to the edges, that’s where you’ll notice why we’re saying this is a “con.” Many lawns have a border that is not level with the lawn, and to get a cut right up to the edges with this mower you’d have to have the outer wheel a few inches out onto that border. But as I say, often that border is not level, so the best thing to do is to use some manual lawn shears or a string trimmer to finish up the edges.
- Cut Height Harder to Adjust than Other Models – There are some mowers on the market today that make it super easy to change the cutting high – some literally have a single lever system that you alter in just a couple of seconds. No such luck with the American Lawn Mower 1204-14 though. You will need a wrench and to remove some locknuts and bolts in order to move between the 3 height settings (1”, 1.6” and 2.25”). It’s a fairly simple process, but it takes a little bit of time compared to other models, so we’ve got to mark it down for this.
The Bottom Line
Here's a few final thoughts on this mower and what we consider to be the "nuts and bolts" when it comes to deciding if this mower is for you.
Leave It on the Shelf
A decent blade and a simple design – that really sums up the design of this mower. There’s not really a lot more that I can add. For small city lots, it’s the perfect tool; it does what it’s supposed to and doesn’t require a lot of space when not in use either.