The budget-priced 26-inch Weed Eater One riding mower (formerly called the We-One) is just a step up from a walk-behind mower. Professional reviews say it can be a good solution for small, flat and smooth lawns -- especially if handicaps prevent a user from walking behind a self-propelled mower. This miniature riding mower, powered by a 190 cc engine, is just over 31 inches in width, so it fits through garden gates; it's also easy to store and transport. A twin bagger (*Est. $200) and mulching blade (*Est. $45) are available as extra options.
Comparison tests show that the Weed Eater One cuts as evenly as the best lawn tractors, but that it isn't as easy to handle. Steering earns quite mixed reviews from owners, and this riding mower isn't recommended for slopes. Some owners love this riding mower, but we found many complaints about poor quality control and durability and difficulty getting parts and repairs. Note that the manufacturer lists six model numbers for the Weed Eater One; only three are CARB-certified to meet the strictest emissions standards.
We found the best professional review of the Weed Eater One riding mower at ConsumerReports.org where it's ranked and rated in comparison with 53 other lawn tractors and riding mowers based on thorough objective mowing and handling tests. Paul Sikkema's 2010 review and 2011 update at TodaysMower.com provide more detail and highlight the pros and cons well. Owner-written reviews also provide useful detail especially about durability and repair issues. We found the most owner-written reviews at Amazon.com, though HomeDepot.com, Sears.com and WeedEater.com together have just as many.
This review compares the Weed Eater One riding mower with only three other rear-engine riding mowers, but the ratings and overall score compare it with 50 other lawn tractors and riding mowers. Ratings and rankings are based on weeks of objective mowing tests. About two dozen owners also rate and review the Weed Eater One here.
Review: Tractors and Riders, Editors of ConsumerReports.org
This blog article, available even to non-subscribers of ConsumerReports.org, explains why editors don't recommend rear-engine mowers. Information regarding the Weed Eater One is included.
Review: Why Rear-Engine Mowers Aren't Front Runners in Our Tests, Gian Trotta, April 13, 2011
This review by a landscape professional praises the Weed Eater One for its build quality and electric start, concluding that it's a good choice for small, flat and even well-kept lawns -- but not for heavy riders, slopes or grass that gets too tall or tough. Videos demonstrate it in use.
Review: Weedeater 190cc 26" Rear Engine Riding Lawn Mower Review, Paul Sikkema, Feb. 7, 2011
Over 100 owners rate and review the Weed Eater One here giving it quite mixed reviews; some love it, but 1-star reviews are more common than 5-star ones. Some got a real lemon; others report various problems, especially with steering. The main overall complaint is poor build quality and durability.
Review: Weed Eater We-One 26-Inch 190cc Briggs & Stratton 875 Series Gas Powered Riding Lawn Mower with Electric Start, Contributors to Amazon.com
The Weed Eater One earns a low rating based on feedback from about 50 owners here; only about half of the reviewers say they'd recommend it to a friend. Some owners are happy with it, but many report problems with breakdowns and difficulty getting parts at a reasonable cost.
Review: WeedEater 26 in. Briggs & Stratton Rear Engine Gas Riding Mower, Contributors to HomeDepot.com
Around 50 owners review the Weed Eater One at its manufacturer's site, giving it a mediocre average rating. The main complaints are about how hard it is to steer and parts breaking.
Review: Weed Eater One, Contributors to WeedEater.com