Sometimes, you don’t want too many extra features. If you’re looking to get the job done, you don’t need the bells and whistles that come with a deluxe model. If you just need a reliable lawn mower, maybe you need a Bolens push mower. After all, you just want to get to the task at hand without worry or fuss.
In the case of a Bolens push mower, what you see is what you get. There won’t be any self-propelling mowing with this device. But that’s OK, if you know what you’re buying. We’re looking at the Bolens 140cc 21-inch push mower today, and we’ll figure out if the lack of presentation is made up for with raw power.
Why You Should Purchase a Bolens Lawn mower
When you think of a push mower, Bolens might not be the first name that comes to mind. Quality mowers come from bigger, more popular brand names. You may be thinking about a John Deere, Honda, or Murray. So, Bolens has been left out in the cold for several years, despite continuously manufacturing quality push mowers.
It’s understandable why the Bolens push mower family keeps getting overlooked. When you see one in the store or displayed online, it reminds you of the runt of a litter. Why bother with the inferior Bolens mower when you can get a shiny new Honda instead?
The fact is, you won’t be paying very much for a Bolens model. The 140cc might lack some of the fancy new features that come from other brands. But, that also means you aren’t shelling out hundreds more. However, if you want a mower that, well, mows, then Bolens is the name you’ve been looking for.
Where You Can Purchase a Bolens Mower
The 140cc Bolens push mower is available through third-party sellers on Amazon, assuming you know to watch out for profiles with questionable feedback. Check the product description before you commit to a purchase from a vendor.
Depending on a store’s inventory, you might be able to find a Bolens lawn mower in Lowe’s. You can often find them in the store or on their website. The Home Depot sells a push mower under the MTD label, the parent company of Bolens. However, they don’t stock any push mowers specifically under the Bolens name.
If you go to a hardware store, whether it’s big-box or a small retailer, you might have to ask for a Bolens push mower by name. Odds are that they won’t be prominently displayed. For the most part, store managers tend to favor the shinier and classier look and feel of other names like Honda or John Deere.
But, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t plenty available. In fact, the Lowe’s website revealed a big chunk of inventory within a 20-mile search of our location. So, keep your eyes open for a bigger search radius and see what you might find around you.
How Much Will You Pay for a Bolens Mower?
Remember when we said there aren’t many features that come with a Bolens push mower? That’s directly reflected in the price you’ll pay for this mower. You won’t be shelling out very much for a brand-new Bolens mower. And that's a bargain compared to the hundreds more you would expect to pay for another name.
If you search eBay, you might be able to find a used model with the right search conditions. Most likely, however, you’ll just start finding various parts for a Bolens mower. This could work well for you if you find a used model that needs some repairs to tune up.
How Well Does a Bolens Push Mower Perform?
OK, let’s dive into the nitty gritty of why we’re here. How does a Bolens lawn mower stack up against the competition? Is it worth saving the money you won’t be spending on a bigger brand name for a mower? The answer depends on what exactly you want out of a push mower. Let’s break down the Bolens push mower and see what kind of performance you’ll get for your money.
The Bolens 140-cc is your basic, everyday gas-powered push mower. While this mower doesn’t offer you much directly out of the package, you will be fine if you don’t need a tractor. Not everyone needs to use a heavy-duty, zero-turn machine each time they’re taking care of their lawn.
The Bolens mower is a perfect tool if you’re simply looking to tend to your grass on a regular basis. Ideally, you’ll be working with a smaller lawn of less than an acre. And this is important to remember when considering the Bolens mower, as it won’t stand up well to larger properties.
You’ll have access to three different cutting heights with the Bolens 140cc model. In general, you'll find other brands among the competition that promise as many as eight cutting heights. But, do you really need that many? If you’re simply looking to keep your lawn at a uniform height, we think you’ll be happy with the three choices given by this Bolens lawn mower.
There are certain types of grass that do better in warmer weather when kept at a certain height. The same can be said when the temperature begins to drop. Worst of all, you'll run the risk of damaging your lawn if you keep it at the wrong height. The Bolens mower is up to this task, thankfully. The three heights have you covered for seasonally appropriate grass.
By using a mulching mower, you’ll be chopping your grass into tiny pieces before scattering them across the lawn. This is great if you can actually collect them in a bag before you have to sweep it all up yourself.
With a mulching mower, you’ll want to know where the mulch discharge is located. If you have your mulched grass spitting out the side, you need to be sure you are OK with a yard full of clippings. The Bolens mower does exactly that, which is a nice feature on a bare-bones model.
This mower is not a particularly large one, so you won’t be collecting too many clippings at once before it spreads them out with a side discharge. Tall people might need to adjust the handle to accommodate their stature, as the Bolens rests a little low to the ground.
Evenly distributing your clippings won’t be a problem with the Bolens push mower. For it's price, it does have a pretty wide build on this model. It has a 21-inch cut width. This is plenty broad enough to guarantee you won’t have to make too many passes in the same area.
Noise and Emissions
Any time you’re using a gas-powered push mower, you’re going to generate some noise. While the Bolens model is capable of waking up some neighbors who would have wanted to sleep in, it’s not going to get any complaints in the middle of the day. And compared to some of the higher-end Honda mowers we have looked at, the Bolens lawn mower is practically silent.
The gas tank capacity is reasonable, and you’ll get plenty of mowing sessions for a small lawn on a full tank of gas. Because this is gas-powered, however, the Bolens push will be spitting emissions into the atmosphere. It’s a necessary evil if you plan to use any lawn mower that works on fossil fuel.
Routine maintenance on the Bolens 140cc will ensure that you get the most out of the lifespan of the mower. Changing the oil and the filter inside can extend the life if you do this on a regular basis.
Pushing the Bolens Mower
During our tests with the Bolens push mower, we were reminded of a time when we first learned to use a push mower. As a child, you may remember the sound of the engine and the vibration of the motor pulsing through your fingers. You also remember struggling to keep up with the momentum of the entire mower.
That nostalgia came rushing back while we took the Bolens lawn mower for a spin. The effort needed to press it forward and handle the slightest of hills is going to be refreshing or aggravating, depending on your preference for self-propelled lawn mowers. Self-propulsion mowers are becoming more common, and the Bolens push mower doesn’t even pretend to offer this.
Turning with the Bolens 140cc feels like it should with a mower of its size. So, you’ll probably need to put some effort into it if you’re going uphill. And you'll have to hang on for dear life if you have a decline in your yard. If you have any history of shoulder problems or back issues, we don’t recommend using this model. At any point, you might lose control of the mower. So, be ware that you could further injury if you aren’t careful.
Final Score for the Bolens Mower
There’s something admirable about a company who sticks to basics. While larger and more reputable companies continue to push more deluxe mowers on the market, MTD insists that there is still a place for a Bolens mower in your shed. And after using the 140cc mower, we don’t have as much of an argument as we thought we would.
We were shocked at the amount of physical resistance the mower put up without the use of a self-propulsion system. The larger wheels on the back of the mower helped to keep the necessary momentum once we got it going, but we’re probably spoiled from using other mowers.
So, if you’re looking for a push mower that makes no promises other than cutting your grass with a blade, it’s hard to go wrong with the Bolens 140cc. You’re getting the “Old Reliable” of push mowers if you purchase this model.
Nobody who looks in your garage is going to mistake this for the newest product on the market. And that’s OK if you don’t care about perception. The Bolens push mower does exactly what it promises, and for less than $200, you can’t beat it.
What Other Options Exist for a Bolens Push Mower?
This review focused on the 140cc engine. There is one other Bolens lawn mower currently in production with a slightly smaller build.
The Bolens 125cc model contains downgrades across the board. The blade is 1 inch shorter, measuring at 20 inches total, and the wheels in the back are now the same size as the front.
Visually, these two look almost identical when stacked next to each other. The 125cc Bolens mower only contains a one-year warranty, a steep decline compared to the two years you get with the 140cc.
All of these downgrades result in a mower that costs a bit less than its bigger cousin. But, we don’t think the price difference is worth the drop in engine power. And the equal tire size makes pushing the 125cc model even more of a chore. We think you’ll be happy if you need a no-frills mower and choose the 140cc engine over its inferior relative.
Conclusion on the Bolens Mower
We know you might be tempted by the prettier and more powerful push mowers out there. After all, we were too. But we really admire the effort of Bolens to make a spot on the market for a no-frills, less-expensive lawn mower. The fact is, fewer features on the Bolens lawn mower also means there is less potential for defects and failure.
If you need a new lawn mower right this second and don’t feel like spending a massive amount, we think you’ll be pleased with the Bolens 140cc push mower. With a lack of options, there’s a better chance for this one to last you a while until you splurge on a nicer, newer model. Then again, you might decide that this mower is the only one you need.