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Buy the best and only cry once?

Post in 'The Gear' started by Hills Hoard, Mar 25, 2013.

  1. Adabiviak

    Adabiviak Feeling the Heat

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    I've been using the same 14" Craftsman chainsaw for around 15 years... got it at Orchard for like $75.

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  2. blacktail

    blacktail Minister of Fire

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    My unlce gave me a Wood Shark that he bought for small stuff around his property. He cussed it because it was hard to start. I put fresh gas in it and it's fine. It can be hard to start if it's cold out but once it's fired up it does pretty good for a Walmart saw. Once I bought my house I bought a 290 for a main saw. Night and day difference in quality.

    I try to buy quality items if it's something I'll use on a regular basis. I may not buy the best but I'll at least buy something from a reputable manufacturer. For example, my 290 isn't a pro saw, but it's a Stihl and has a decent reputation. I do the same with other important things like fishing rods, reels, and guns.
    Boog likes this.
  3. mywaynow

    mywaynow Minister of Fire

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    Your need for one saw vs another will depend on your budget and your volume of work. I used a 150 dollar saw for 2 seasons of cutting and was just fine with it. Got into a huge oak that was a bit on the dangerous side and invested >500 on a Husky. Used that a couple times and realized how much time I wasted with the homowner saw. Now I have 2 commercial grade Huskys and should never have to buy another. (unless its a great deal!<>)
  4. Jack Fate

    Jack Fate Feeling the Heat

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    I've noticed quite a few bike geeks here /maybe we all can post pics of our stables in the appropriate place sometime
    OldLumberKid likes this.
  5. Jack Fate

    Jack Fate Feeling the Heat

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  6. OldLumberKid

    OldLumberKid Feeling the Heat

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    Bikes, dogs with some border collie genes, wives with a quick temper, what's not to like? ... only yours seems to prefer beer while mine prefers the aroma of a fine single malt...the nosey dog that is.
  7. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    Just like bikes, you need a backup for the backup's backup to the backup. Then you need your main ride. I even have backup frames and components. Have to be able to ride when I want to.

    Attached Files:

    OldLumberKid likes this.
  8. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    Dex, did you edit out the part about the John Deere 2320? I was initially looking at the 2720, but have come to the conclusion that I need a loader with more lift capacity so it is going to end up being the 3720. Would love the 4000 series, but that would just looked retarded on my 2 acres. My wife is actually alright with the purchase. I had been looking at tractor when we were looking at 6 acre lots so she got over the sticker price pretty quickly. My in-laws about had a heart attack when they found out a tractor can cost as much as a car. The backhoe will have to wait another year though. Don't think I myself can swallow the tractor, loader, and backhoe cost all in one shot. We need to put in french drains and some serious drywells because the backyard is a swamp when it rains. The tractor and attachments should pay for most of themselves just with all that work. Then we are looking at a 40x40 addition to the house that needs to be excavated slightly. More money in the bank.

    Thing is, I already went with a ZTR for mowing. Getting ready to order a bench grinder for the main reason of sharpening the blades on the ZTR. Sharpen the blades a couple of times and the grinder will have paid for itself. I ran the bench grinder and a workbench by my wife this morning and she didn't even ask "How much?".
  9. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest


    Fabs, I used to sell the damn things so I have a couple pointers for ya.

    If you want a backhoe, get it when you purchase the tractor if at all possible. They are not cheap attachments and implements purchased with the machine qualify for the same finance incentives that the rest of the machine does. I know you might be planning to pay cash but John Deere Credit usually has some decent short-term finance plans available that involve very low or no interest. If you plan to purchase your implements over a 1-2 year period anyways, you'll typically save very little by paying cash out-of-pocket vs a 6, 12, or 24 month no interest finance plan.

    Think the backhoe purchase through carefully. Most buy one with 2 or 3 different projects in mind and then the 'hoe rarely gets used if ever. Even though nothing boosts resale value like a backhoe, they are $7-$9K dollar investments. That equates to more than a few weekend rentals of a mini-excavator that will dig circles around (and under!) the 'hoe and you do not have to store it. Think of all the other 3pt hitch/loader gear you could have with that money. (Chipper, log grapples, pallet forks, brush/grapple buckets, etc) Hell, you could go for a cab tractor (Heat, AC, Radio, 'nuff said!), rent the excavator for the weekend to do the back yard, and still come out way ahead. ;)
  10. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, we are planning to pay cash. That is why the damn thing isn't already sitting in the yard. I hate debt. Also want to have a stand alone garage built before I get the tractor so I have somewhere to keep it. Yep, the backhoe is around $8k. Thing is, the project is not going to be a weekend project. I need to put french drains around 3 sides of the house. Then, I need to set up the drywells. Then, I am thinking about putting in a small pond where the storm water drains into the backyard. Then, I am thinking about stepping down a hill with pavers and planting flowers all around it. Then I am going to rip out the 200 foot long driveway and put in a cement pad at the top and in front of the garage with pavers everywhere else. Then I am going to rip out the cement patio out back and put in pavers with a firepit and outdoor kitchen. Then, I am going to buy a farm at some point here. I can see a ton of work for the backhoe over many summers. I'll have to take a look at what an excavator would cost to rent, but from what I have seen at the rental places I would rather buy the backhoe and then sell it if I decide I don't need it anymore. Guessing I would still come out ahead if I did that.

    Also thought about getting a cab on it, but then thought twice about it because it would make it harder to use in the woods. Bad enough getting that size tractor into the woods as it is. It would be even harder with a cab.
    MasterMech likes this.
  11. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Ok, I fold - You got work for that 'hoe to be doin. ;)
  12. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    Just want you to know that I always appreciate people that make me think about stuff, even if I have already thought about it quite a lot. Never know when somebody is going to toss out an angle I have not thought about and nobody knows everything I have already thought about. Always good to hear from others and your advice is much appreciated.
    MasterMech likes this.
  13. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    No. I didnt edit anything. Member Jack Fate above made the comment
    , but the "quote" was messed up and appeared as if I wrote it.

    I was looking at tractors w/ FEL's last Summer but settled on a Dixie Chopper Excalibur 3374 (Worlds Fastest lawn mower ;)

    I could use the FEL, but at the end of the day, I wouldn't be able to bear sitting on it for 5 hrs cuttim grass (I was gonna get a 72" finish deck). The Dixie takes about an hour to cut the 4 acres (have a little over 7). Maybe in a couple more years I will revisit the idea of a SCT.

    (I looked hard at the ZatR, but in the end. The Dixie won my heart :))
  14. Jack Fate

    Jack Fate Feeling the Heat

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    funny you say single malt been looking to try some.$$$$ even more than my fancy beer.Don't know where to start


    and of course

    Cheers
    OldLumberKid likes this.
  15. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    At 6 acres an hour, I too would have gone with the Dixie. Had no idea they even existed. It takes me almost an hour to cut my 2 acres with the ZTR445 Thankfully, I only have 2 acres. Been using the mower to tow stuff too, but am guessing that the Dixie could do that too.
  16. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Its definitely a nice machine.

    I think the brochure said something like 8 acres an hour (flat ground, no obstacles, professional driver ;)) and could do a football field in 5 minutes.

    My last mower was a 54" Cub Cadet Zero Turn w/ 24 HP Kohler. It took about 3 hours to cut the same 4 acres. With a 20" wider deck and double the speed, it takes 66% less time now. The deck has 6 blades on it. 2 on each jackshaft. One is the standard blade, the other is called a Twist Blade. For the price (starts around $12-$13k) they are well worth it. IMO

    2012-07-01_18-29-49_46.jpg 2012-07-01_18-32-40_996.jpg
    mikefrommaine and smokinj like this.
  17. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    OK, since we're talking blades and mowers - I'll throw this in. Not trying to get into a brand discussion here...I've ran them all and they all have their pro's and con's.

    When I bought my house a few years back I had a box store riding "tractor"...and I use that term very loosely. It worked fine at the old house's 3/4 acre yard. New place has 3 acres of yard and I figured, if I really hustled, I could mow the 3 acres in about 4-5 hours. That wasn't going to cut it (bad pun alert). As luck would have it we qualified for the "upgrade home-buyer" credit they had going a few years ago and I dropped all that money on a commercial ZTR. I am now able to mow my yard in just under an hour...so ~4 times as fast. I put about 80 hours on the mower the year before last (last year only 20 because of the wicked drought) so I figure that purchase saved me at least 200 hours of mower seat time in one year. Not a bad investment....especially when I'll be mowing this yard for the next umpteen years. I wasn't willing to give up every Saturday AM into perpetuity mowing grass, nor did I want to give up my yard space for the kids to romp around in.

    I used to mow commercially and probably have upwards of 3,000 hours of seat time on a (not including mowing my own yard and my parent's yard growing up). With all that time I've sharpened a LOT of mower blades. A bench grinder is not my weapon of choice. I prefer to use a heavy duty angle grinder with the mower blade mounted in a vise. This is 100% personal preference but I can put a better edge and angle on a blade free-handing it. Maybe I'm just weird like that, but wanted to throw it out there.

    That being said, every respectable shop should have a bench grinder. I have a WW2 era monster that takes two men and a boy to lift up to the bench. I'm the third generation to use it and I have no doubt I'll hand it down to one of my boys someday.

    Oh, and the acres per hour "metrics" are a complete hoax. Unless you plant grass on an airport runway...you aren't getting 6 acres per hour. Just sayin'. They are pretty good at making comparisons for different speeds and deck sizes though.

    Anyway, to bring it back around to the original topic. Nope, didn't need a high $ commercial mower. Yup, some of the best money I ever spent.
  18. Jack Fate

    Jack Fate Feeling the Heat

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    fine looking piece of equipment you got there, and if it did only half as much as claimed would be remarkable

    5 min football field that sucker must fly ,actually have a friend that has one but I never saw it

    takes me almost 3 hr to do 5-6 wooded acres>takes wife 5-6
  19. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    Too clean...why am I surprised?
    DexterDay likes this.
  20. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    Dex,

    How do you like those Focuses? We have a 2010 SES in red with a manual trans and we really like it. Taught my wife to drive stick on it since it is mainly her car. Boy has this thread drifted. lol
  21. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    Other than a washer and dryer that were not in the house when we bought it (i.e., it was a foreclosure), the next thing that was ordered was the ZTR. I knew before we even bought this house that I did NOT want to mow grass all weekend. Was looking at mowers and tractors years before we even bought this house while we were "just looking".

    Don't have an angle grinder yet, but could probably use my Dremel with the same process. Bought the bench grinder because it is something I have wanted. Going to give the blades a go with the bench grinder and see how it goes. If it is a PITA, I will try the Dremel. If that is a PITA, I will buy an angle grinder and give that a shot.

  22. I've got an exmark lazer z which also dramatically cut my mowing time. Only minor complaint is the lack of traction on the hills when the grass is a little wet. Looks like the tires on yours would give better traction.

    Mine has nice cup holders. But they didn't have an optional beverage cooler!
  23. Jack Fate

    Jack Fate Feeling the Heat

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    I use a metabo with a flap wheel for blade sharping so we're sorta in the same camp.

    before that took them to work & used a very old sharping machine ,That upper management later found to be unsafe,and they couldn't figure how to guard it so they had it thrown in the scrap tank:mad::mad::mad: that was 3yrs ago and I'm still ticked

  24. Get yourself a tormek -- you'll have the sharpest lawnmower blades in town. And it's pretty handy for kitchen knives.
  25. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    That pic was after a fresh wash and it was only a couple months old. I went from my 52" Craftsman rider (5 hrs or so) to the Cub Cadet 54" Zero turn (3 hrs), to the Dixie 74" deck (1 hr). Notice my wifes car is clean (washed it also), while my car stays dirty. :(

    Its "rated" at 6-8 acres an hour. I can do all 4 in an hour and I have numerous obstacles (trees, garden, pond, garage, barn, shed, flower islands, etc). So flat land. It could do.6 all day long, no doubt.... Says it all right on the back "Worlds Fastest lawn mower" ;)

    That said. Any commercial unit is nice and FAST! My buddies Hustler is a bad @ss machine! I almost went with a Grass Hopper, (my next door neighbor has one) but I got a good deal on the Dixie and any parts in the future. Compared to a rider, the time saved is astounding.

    2012-04-04_16-09-17_900.jpg

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