Sales on grills and mowers blossom at the big box stores

Consumer Reports News: March 29, 2012 04:48 PM

Home Depot is calling its spring sale "Black Friday is back" and at Sears they're offering "slam dunk deals" in honor of this weekend's college basketball championship. Lowe's, for its part, is trumpeting its "everyday low prices." We took a look at some of the offerings and found a few good deals on models that Consumer Reports recommends in its new tests of grills, mowers and string trimmers.

At Home Depot, the Weber Genesis E-320, which is similar to the Weber Genesis E-330 we recommend in our latest gas grill tests, is marked down to $649 from $749. In our tests, the Genesis E-330 was excellent at both high temperature evenness and low temperature performance although not as good at indirect cooking.

Over in the lawn care section, we saw the Echo SRM-225 string trimmer, which we recommend in our latest string trimmer tests, selling for $199. This gas trimmer was excellent at edging and trimming and at dispatching tall grass and weeds.

At Sears, deals abound on Kenmore grills and Craftsman mowers, which are marked down 20 percent. The Kenmore 16134 gas grill, which is similar to the Kenmore 16641 that we recommend in our latest gas grill tests, is selling for $280, marked down from $350. The 16641 grill was very good at high temperature evenness, low temperature performance and indirect cooking.

Over in mowers, the Craftsman 37108 and 37044 self-propelled gas mowers that we recommend in our new mower Ratings have been reduced. Both were very good at mulching, bagging and side discharging although the 37108 handles a bit better. We haven't recommended the Black & Decker CM1836 electric push mower but at $314, marked down from $349, it could be a good buy for those who prefer electric over gas. Just don't expect great performance--in our tests it was a middling on all mower tasks.

Lowe's is offering free delivery on mowers and grills that costs $249 or more. We didn't find discounts on any of our recommended mowers or grills, but at $600, the Master Forge 3218LTN grill is already a bargain and a CR Best Buy. In our gas grill tests it was very good at high temperature evenness, low temperature performance and indirect cooking.

Mary H.J. Farrell


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