Troy-Bilt TB115 test | Best Basic Lawn Mowers 2021

Troy Bilt’s TB115 is a rare lawn mower in this era of over-design: a simple machine designed to do one thing and one, and that is cut the grass.

  • Simple, with few parts that could break
  • It also facilitates maintenance and repair.
  • Cheap and profitable
  • Surprisingly good build quality for the price
  • But it’s still not durable enough to necessarily be a “10 year” mower.

    Buy now

    Our gadgets and household appliances are becoming more and more complex. Consider the typical telephone. It’s got to the point where you can’t touch the thing or pick it up without something happening. What about the cars? Every year they get closer and closer to the ease of use of airplanes.

    That’s why the Troy-Bilt TB115 Lawn Mower is a breath of fresh air. In our experience, this is one of America’s most economical lawn mowers, yet one of the least glamorous, in a design that has been around in one form or another for decades. The push mower, powered by a 159cc engine (an improvement over the 140cc engine that powered the previous generation), is sufficient for the needs of many suburban homeowners without adding another device to sync to your internet of things. objects.

    What you get (and what you don’t get)

    The 21 inch mower mulching, bags and side discharge. In our tests, its bagging ability was quite good, as was its cut quality. Inspecting the top of the trimmed grass after making a pass, we found a well-cut surface with no jagged tips. And the TB115 is basically five things: a motor, a bridge, a blade, a handle and wheels. It’s powered by you, which means there are no drive axles to wear out, pulleys to slip, or belts to break. The lack of transmission also contributes to the lightness of the mower: 68 pounds. Another contributor is that the bridge is not all steel; it is a hybrid consisting of a steel center with a plastic nose and tail. The main deck body is stamped from 16 gauge steel, which is anti-corrosive and powder coated. Assuming you keep the scraped deck clean during the cutting season and store it that way during the winter, the deck shouldn’t rust until the sum of the other failures requires the mower to be replaced.

    In its simplicity and build quality, it packs a lot of features into a mower that sells for just under $ 240. At that price, it should pay off in a season or two, compared to a lawn service or even a local kid cutting the grass. It is designed to provide at least 240 hours of solid mowing. Under typical weekly use, this represents a minimum lifespan of four to five years. Troy-Bilt makes this estimate based on the 14,000 hours of lab and field testing she says she did to design the machine. This assumes that you are performing routine maintenance. But he doesn’t need a baby.

    Case in point: The mower engine is not the familiar Briggs & Stratton but a Troy-Bilt brand powerhouse where you never change the oil. You read correctly. Add the oil that came with the mower, then purchase a quart of replacement oil. Each time you mow, check the level. If the dipstick calls for more oil, add a little, maybe a tablespoon or two, of fresh lubricant. That’s all you do. The design checks out what engine and power pack makers have always known anyway, and that is, most owners never replace engine oil. This is obviously a problem unless you design the engine accordingly, because as the oil gets dirtier, engine parts wear out and break quickly. If you are a Briggs & Stratton fan (and many people are) we suggest the Troy-Bilt TB110. It’s almost identical to the TB115 but it’s a dual function mower (mulching and bagging) and powered by an American made 140cc engine. Another small difference on this mower is that its rear wheel diameter is 11 inches (three larger than the TB115). This allows the TB110 to better handle slightly rougher terrain.

    Other features that helped the TB115 mower perform well in our tests are its dual lever deck height adjustment – one lever controls the front wheels, the other the rear to vary the cutting height from 1 1⁄4 inches to 3 3⁄4 inches. Spring steel levers are easy to pivot. Pull them out, move the lever forwards or backwards to increase or decrease the height of the table top. You say, “This is bad, all mowers do that. But we mow the grass from March to November (sometimes even until December, some years) and test a wide variety of machines. This user-friendly simplicity is not always a given.

    The mower’s eight-inch rear wheels are molded plastic. They are not particularly impressive, on the other hand the mower rolled quite easily over ruts, and a sturdy 1.9-bushel grass bag captures clippings while filtering dust fairly well. To check this, we detonate the bag with a leaf blower to get a better idea of ​​how much dust is stuck. The TB115 doesn’t have the best bag we’ve ever seen, but it’s surprisingly good at this price. Most inexpensive mowers make you feel like you’re cutting through a dust storm.

    Fine points

    One of the best features of the TB-115, in our opinion, is that the manufacturer has found a good compromise by pairing a simple donut-shaped bridge with a versatile blade that allows for efficient shredding and bagging while producing good chopped off. The bridge-blade combination produces substantial air movement below the bridge. This pushes the grass up for a clean cut, and the particles are crushed as they fly inside the deck, then into the bag or to the side, depending on whether the mower is set up for bagging, the mulching or side discharge. And we mentioned cleaning earlier: It’s easy here. We didn’t need anything more than a putty knife to get the mower ready for the next session.

    The blade made in the USA is also commendable. It is made of a tough material: 10B38 steel, an alloy containing boron – boron means the metal can be hardened without becoming brittle. After undergoing heat treatment (the manufacturing step that defines the hardness and toughness of steel), the blade can withstand the rigors of cutting grass and the variety of things people hit when cutting. mowing (sticks, stones, beer cans). It is a good, hard and safe steel that is easily resharpened with a file.

    For the homeowner on a budget, the kid who wants to start mowing lawns as a business, or the person with a small yard but still has conditions demanding enough that they are well served by a mower petrol engine, the TB115 will fit the bill. Yes, it lacks the bells and whistles associated with today’s lawn mowers. If you push this thing up a steep hill with a full sack of grass on a hot summer day, you’ll instantly be aware of its cost-benefit tradeoffs. On the other hand, if you don’t need things like a drive axle, then you don’t. The Troy-Bilt TB115. It might be small and rather simple, but the TB115 is well designed, good value for money and a refreshing lawn mower if there is one.


    TB115 21-In. Push lawn mower


    $ 239.99

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