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Troy-Bilt TB-280ES 12AGA26G gas mower

This Troy-Bilt 21-inch, self-propelled mower has multiple speeds and front-wheel drive. It has electric start.

About

The Troy-Bilt TB-280ES 12AGA26G is part of the Lawn mower & tractor test program at Consumer Reports. In our lab tests, Lawn mower & tractor models like the TB-280ES 12AGA26G are rated on multiple criteria, such as those listed below.

Side discharging: How far and evenly clippings were dispersed from the discharge chute.

Mulching: Reflects how fine the clippings are and how completely the mower distributed its clippings over the lawn's surface.

Bagging: Denotes how much clippings the bag held before it filled or the chute clogged.

Features

Blade brake clutch Blade brake clutch This safety feature automatically stops the blade when you release the handle, without shutting off the engine, so you don't have to restart the mower every time you clear debris or empty a grass bag.
No
Deck height adjustment Deck height adjustment Most convenient is a single lever that moves the entire deck up and down. Some models have one lever for the front axle and another for the rear. Least convenient is a lever at each wheel.
Single front/single rear
Washout port Washout port Accepts a hose for cleaning the underside of the deck more easily than from above. Be sure to allow the underside to air-dry before stowing the machine.
Yes
Swing-up handle bar Swing-up handle bar Ability to easily fold the handle bar forward to aid in storage.
Upright storage Upright storage Allows the user to store the lawnmower vertically reducing the storage footprint.
High wheels High wheels Large rear wheels marketed to handle bumpy terrain better than standard size wheels.
Optional discharge chute Optional discharge chute The rear-mounted side-discharge chute does not come standard with the product and must be obtained separately if you want the side-discharge cutting mode. Some will be provided free when you return the product's warranty card, while others range in price from $15 to $30.
No

Specs

Deck size (in.) Deck size Most models have a deck size, or cutting swath, of 20 to 22 inches. There is no significant advantage from one size to another. A larger deck can cut more grass in a single pass, but in this size range the difference is negligible.
21
Engine manufacturer Engine manufacturer Stated manufacturer of a gasoline engine. For some mowers the engine manufacturer is not documented and is listed as "self branded."
Briggs & Stratton
Engine size (cc) Engine size Engine size in cubic centimeters (cc) provides a rough indication of the engine's power.
190
Engine torque Engine torque Manufacturer claimed torque (ft.-lb.)
Drive wheels Drive wheels Location of powered wheels for self-propelled mowers
front
Mower warranty Mower warranty The length of time in years the lawn mower is covered by its manufacturer for defects or repairs.
2 years
Can mulch Can mulch Indicates whether the mower can cut in the mulching mode. In this mode, the discharge port is closed off, and the mower re-cuts clippings until they're small enough to settle and decompose in the lawn. Cutting in this mode reduces the need to fertilize the lawn because some of the nutrients from the clippings are returned to the soil. It is also more convenient because there is no need to empty a catcher or dispose of any clippings. Certain conditions are required for successful mulching, and if these conditions are not met, many visible clippings can be left behind on the lawn. For successful mulching, one should avoid cutting more than one third of the grass's length, cutting wet grass, or cutting at too fast a pace.
Can side discharge Can side discharge Indicates whether the mower can cut in the side-discharge mode. In this mode, the mower simply discharges the clippings off to the side of the mower. Depending on the length of the grass cut, this method tends to leave many visible clippings behind. This mode is preferable when cutting tall grass because the mower is less likely to clog, since the clippings are quickly removed from the deck.
Can bag Can bag Indicates whether the mower can cut in the bagging mode. In this mode, the clippings are gathered in a removable catcher. Lawns tend to have the best appearance after cutting in this mode because the mower essentially vacuums the lawn clean and leaves very little debris behind. This advantage is offset by the need to periodically empty the catcher and dispose of the grass clippings.