Thread Number: 40079
Mastercut Collection?
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Post# 593253   4/30/2012 at 22:38 (1,908 days old) by Northwesty (Renton, WA)        

Well, I picked up this vintage 80s Mastercut lawn mower last fall at the Ballard Goodwill for a whole .99 cents. It was in really bad looking condition and I wish I had taken a before picture, but it cleaned up nicely and works fine. I really like the yellow color.

Post# 593254 , Reply# 1   4/30/2012 at 22:41 (1,908 days old) by Northwesty (Renton, WA)        
another one

So I spot this a few days ago outside the local Goodwill and couldn't help picking it up. They were asking $20 but since there was no way to test it I got it for $10. I could have still taken in back so what was there to loose? Anyway it is all plastic and not as cool as my other one, but I do like the simplicity of design and again it works fine.

Post# 593256 , Reply# 2   4/30/2012 at 22:49 (1,908 days old) by Northwesty (Renton, WA)        
spa treatment

So here it is after I cleaned it up. The plastic had really yellowed, and I started with some soft scrub and car compound, but it was too far gone. I ended up wet sanding the white with 150 grit, and then used a palm sander with 320 grit to cut down to the white. I don't think it had a glossy surface originally anyway. Then I did go over it with car compound and vinyl restorer.

For some reason the newer electric mowers seem to be overly complicated, when this simple design works and the machine is still going strong. I've been on the lookout for cheap electric mowers since my son burned out one and my father in law burned out another one. (they didn't work too well anyway - I didn't like them) Unfortunately neither one of them is allowed to touch my vintage Mastercut machines so it looks like I will be mowing the lawn, but its kinda fun using the vintage stuff. I'm on the lookout for a really old Sunbeam mower or one of those dual bladed Sears ones...

Thanks for looking (don't suppose anyone else has something like these?, please post)

Post# 593263 , Reply# 3   5/1/2012 at 00:03 (1,908 days old) by wiskybill (Canton, Ohio)        

I have a 18" Wizard electic mower that I bought for $5 at a sale a couple years ago. I bought it purely for nostalgia.
My yard is almost an acre and when I was big enough to push the mower I was allowed to mow some of it. We had a 18" Huffy electric mower then, late 50's, and about 250' of extension cord. No other power mower at that time until the early 60's.

If I have time tomorrow I'll get the Wizard out of the shed and snap a pic. It's in pretty good shape for its' age.

I do have this manual tho, but not the mower...

Post# 593274 , Reply# 4   5/1/2012 at 00:54 (1,908 days old) by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        

In the late 60's - early 70's we had a Sunbeam electric mower like the one in Wiskybill's post. We used it for several years, and I think the motor eventually burned out.

About 15 years ago I bought a Black & Decker cordless mower. I liked it, but it didn't have enough power to do the entire yard in one day. It's battery finally went bad, and was going to be very expensive to replace. It's still sitting out in the shed. I replaced it with a John Deere push mower, which is tops. Doubt I'd ever go back to any type of electric mower as long as I have a big yard.

Post# 593282 , Reply# 5   5/1/2012 at 01:18 (1,908 days old) by whirlykenmore78 (Prior Lake MN (GMT-0700 CDT.))        
I had a Mastercut

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Mower by Aircap Industries. 20in. deck and 3.5Hp. Tecumseh engine. Replaced a 1983 Aircap-20 push mower of the same design. Tough little mowers, The Tecumseh engines were reliable torque monsters but the deck design was poor. No air baffles or height adjustment levers. I use Toro machines now.
Nick WK78

Post# 593288 , Reply# 6   5/1/2012 at 03:18 (1,907 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

Currently I have a B&D cordless mower I use in the backyard and for trimming after my JD LA145 tractor.I used to have a JD walk mower-but HATED the thing.I got its after hitting a stump--the shear pin is INSIDE the B&S motor.Had to go to a repair place-didn't want to bother-I can so remember the OLDER B&S motors that had the shear pin on the blade holder on the motors shaft-took only 10 min to replace and didn't have to go to the shop.I like the cordless B&D BETTER than the JD mower it replaced.I would rather replace the batteries in the BD mower-batteries plus has replacements than deal with another gas mower-If I had $14,000 I would go for the rechargeable "Whisper-Mow" tractor.

Post# 593324 , Reply# 7   5/1/2012 at 08:22 (1,907 days old) by Westie2 ()        

10 years ago I bought a 19' Black and Decker from Sears that was a return and got it for $59.00 Bought it  to keep at my mothers house that has a small yeard instead of hauling our mower across town.  It mulches and has the flip back and forth handle.  Sure does a good job so quite.  Just bring the electric edger to use.  Have a sma;; battery weed eater there so no gas.



Post# 593330 , Reply# 8   5/1/2012 at 09:06 (1,907 days old) by wiskybill (Canton, Ohio)        

The Wizard

Post# 593388 , Reply# 9   5/1/2012 at 12:05 (1,907 days old) by polkanut (Wausau, WI )        

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Saw a really nice vintage Sunbeam mower at the estate sale I stopped at over the weekend.  I think the asking price was in the $15 range.  Don't know if it had the dual discharge like the ad posted above.

Post# 593545 , Reply# 10   5/2/2012 at 01:53 (1,907 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

the twin discharge in the ad above-looks SCARY-the mower throws debris into your legs!The front one--good-the blade can mulch what it cut earlier.That Wizard mower looks like one my Stepmom had-Dad tried to use it to cut an overgown grassy area-blew the motor-so he bought a cheap Sears gas mower to replace the electric one.Hated that cheap mower-you had to pull and pull and beg it to start-honestly you spent more time trying to start it than using it.Then that horrible hard starter was replaced with a Gambles mower-that one was MUCH better-started on the first pull!You could do some mowing rather than yanking the start cord!The Gambles had a mulch plate-mulched grass and leaves rather well.It died after I went to college-it was replaced with a BETTER Sears mower than the one before.

Post# 593581 , Reply# 11   5/2/2012 at 07:17 (1,906 days old) by Northwesty (Renton, WA)        

That wizard is pretty cool, wow.

I too tried the battery electric mowers but boy was I dissappointed. It only really worked well for about a year, and likewise at that time I could not find a replacement battery. I was trying to do the right environmental thing but I think that was just a rip-off. I prefer these electric ones since I can store the mower anywhere and not worry about the gas.

That estate sale price is pretty good, the ebay prices can be a joke but some folks are asking quite a bit.

These Mastercut mowers are pretty loud, though quieter than a gas on of course.

Post# 593812 , Reply# 12   5/3/2012 at 02:47 (1,905 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

i like the battery mowers better than the plug in models-the battery ones are more powerful--but will run down the battery faster.The extension cord used with AC powered mowers limits their power-the cord is a series limiting resistor!For the battery mower-no cord between the battery and motor-only a short peice of heavy guage cable.If you have a "Batteries +" store in your area-they carry batteries that would fit your cordless mower.I have found for cordless mowers the batteries last anywhere from 3-5 years.I have had good luck with them.and of course-no worries of running over a cord or hastling with it.

Post# 593866 , Reply# 13   5/3/2012 at 09:44 (1,905 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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I remember reading an article talking about things like plug in electric mowers that commented about the problems of the extension cord limiting power. The article basically said that in addition to the mower, one also needs to get the right extension cord--and that won't be dirt cheap, due to power handling ability and length.

Post# 593874 , Reply# 14   5/3/2012 at 10:07 (1,905 days old) by firedome (Binghamton NY & Lake Champlain VT)        
The Neuton battery mower

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from DR is awesome! A neighbors had one for 3 years, no probs, and new battery is only $95 or so. We're waiting for the gas one to die so we can get one!

Post# 594080 , Reply# 15   5/4/2012 at 01:45 (1,905 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

A good thing on the Neuton mowers-their removable battery packs-you could keep mowing with these-no waiting to charge the battery if you have two or more battery packs.Just charge the depleted one-and get a fresh pack in the mower-keep going until the battery runs out-the other then may be charged enough to finish the lawn.Would like other cordless mower builders to go to this design.I haven't used a Neuton mower-do hear they are nice.But one problem-you have to use seperate blade styles for mulching or if you want to use the grass catcher.The plug in trimmer for the Neuton mower sounds interesting.No having to lug around the "weed eater" wether gas or electric.And--would be nice if mower builders could go to other battery technologies than lead acid that is used now.Lithium and Nickel Metal Hydride would be more efficient,lighter,and faster charging.

Post# 817288 , Reply# 16   4/3/2015 at 14:44 (840 days old) by ClassicTVMan81X (Milwaukie, Oregon, USA)        

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Is there any chance that you could make videos of your two Mastercut electrics in action?

I know they would both sound either like this old '60s Sunbeam:

Or this '70s Sunbeam:

Or even this '80s Mastercut re-branded for Rickel Home Centers:


Post# 817311 , Reply# 17   4/3/2015 at 17:08 (840 days old) by warmsecondrinse (Fort Lee, NJ)        

My grandfather had a 22" (?) Jacobsen reel mower that was bright orange. I found it buried in storage the first summer I was deemed old enough to mow his 2+ acres of grass. I got it running and persuaded him to take me to get the blades sharpened. It was the best mower I ever used! It always started on the first pull, the gas motor was much quieter than any other gas powered mower I'd used. The best part of all was that it would slice through all sorts of tall grass and weeds that a reel mower supposedly couldn't handle. I was apparently the only one who liked it because it weighed a ton and the self-propel/power drive had one speed: ridiculously fast

One day I was visiting and noticed it had disappeared. Nobody seemed to know what had happened to it. I suspect my cousin who'd taken over caring for my grandparents' lawn took it for his own landscaping business.

I miss that mower....


Post# 817387 , Reply# 18   4/4/2015 at 01:49 (840 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

Jacobsen reel mower!Cool find-too bad it got away.Reel mowers are more precise instruments than rotaries.Rotaries rely on a high speed gas or electric motor to spin the blade cutting the grass by impact.Reel mowers use a lower speed and a shearing action-like a pair of scissors.Reel mowers don't have to run at high speed-so the gas motor can run just above idle speed-thus quieter and longer motor life.My latest mowers are two Greenworks ones I bought from Lowes.A twin blade-twin motor 20"and a single motor 19"-these run from Lithium battires-about time-so the mowing time is longer and the machine is lighter.The Lithium battery pack can give the same run time as the heavier,bulkier lead acid battery.And the Lithium charges faster!

Post# 820031 , Reply# 19   4/19/2015 at 13:43 (824 days old) by Northwesty (Renton, WA)        
Mastercut collection!!!

Well it was nice seeing this thread again. Benjamin,, I don't know how to do that video upload thing but yes that is exactly how these sound as well. They all sound about the same, maybe one is a little more tired than the other two. The grass catcher on the big plastic one is really practical so that is actually the one that is used. I would probably part out this one below to keep it going, but I am thinking that some day that plastic body is going to break and it will be the one parted out.

I just mentioned it but here is another one I picked up for a reasonable price, I should part one out but since they all work I just keep them around

Post# 820032 , Reply# 20   4/19/2015 at 13:47 (824 days old) by Northwesty (Renton, WA)        

Yes now I have too many electric mowers. But that doesn't even tell the story of the three or so really cool ones I had to pass up that I saw at estate sales. I can't remember the names but they were old, high-end neat ones but I just have too many. Somehow this one followed me home. They all seem to work fine. Thanks for looking.

Post# 820065 , Reply# 21   4/19/2015 at 17:34 (824 days old) by warmsecondrinse (Fort Lee, NJ)        

Yes, it was a great find. Although my grandfather had no problem with me trying to tackle all the brush and uneven ground with that Jacobsen, EVERYONE ELSE told me how reel mowers were 'not suited' (some such drivel) for the yard as it was hardly a golf course. Strangely, the ONLY time *I* had a problem was when I used it to cut back the blackberry canes more than 1/4" or so. Go figure. I don't know the Jacobsen's size. but I can tell you it was larger than anything I've seen in a store since.

If I ever have to buy a mower with my own money, I'll definitely look at a reel before I consider a rotary. It's unlikely though. I mowed entirely too many lawns in my younger years. Although I've inherited my grandfather's love of gardening, I've no desire to mow another lawn ever again, lol.


Post# 873927 , Reply# 22   3/22/2016 at 18:24 (486 days old) by ClassicTVMan81X (Milwaukie, Oregon, USA)        

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I only have one electric mower and that is a 1983 Sears Craftsman deluxe twin blade model which, like three of yours, was made by Aircap Industries.


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Post# 873935 , Reply# 23   3/22/2016 at 19:14 (486 days old) by ClassicTVMan81X (Milwaukie, Oregon, USA)        

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I forgot to add that both your Mastercut E127 (1982?) and your Black & Decker 8000 are pre-compliance models, which obviously makes these mowers rarer than those that do comply, like your two yellow Mastercuts.


Post# 873945 , Reply# 24   3/22/2016 at 20:20 (486 days old) by warmsecondrinse (Fort Lee, NJ)        

Please excuse my attention to a possibly irrelevant detail of the pic in Reply #22.

There are electric mowers loud enough to warrant noise protection?


Post# 873980 , Reply# 25   3/23/2016 at 00:45 (486 days old) by ClassicTVMan81X (Milwaukie, Oregon, USA)        

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The loudness of it used to bother me, just like with my Kirby Classic III vacuum cleaner. That was why I wore hearing protection at the time.


Post# 932238 , Reply# 26   4/13/2017 at 18:19 by ClassicTVMan81X (Milwaukie, Oregon, USA)        

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That Wizard (MTD) 18" electric mower you have (or had)... that Westinghouse motor seemed ancient by the time this particular model was last made in 1974 (model 184-830A). With only 1725 RPM, you'd have to use a pulley just large enough to bring blade tip speed up to 16,000 FPM.

The motor switch was not on the handle, but rather on the motor unit itself... the Sunbeam cord-reel single-blade electrics shared that same distinction.


This post was last edited 04/13/2017 at 18:37
Post# 932342 , Reply# 27   4/14/2017 at 08:11 by wiskybill (Canton, Ohio)        
Good eye, Ben

Yes, I still have it, hanging on the wall in the garage.

Can't read the model number, that part of the tag is missing.

The switch is indeed on the side of the motor at the top, original
as far as I can tell.

The "blade" has a center bar with a moveable tip at each end.

When I was young, I think the electric mower we had then was a Huffy. It had
a large circular disk with six smaller moveable blades attached to it. I know it went
thru several motors. Each time it would die, Dad went to a washing machine
repairman and got a used wringer machine motor to keep it going.


Post# 932345 , Reply# 28   4/14/2017 at 09:02 by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
I use an electric lawnmower for one reason.

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It drives our fossil-fuel nut of a neighbour apeshit. By the time he's bought gasoline, cleaned the fouled plug, gotten it started in a cloud of blue haze and stink, I'm done.
But its electric, so it can't be strong enough.I use a 1984 Sears, want my old,1967 Sunbeam back. That was a great mower.

Post# 932362 , Reply# 29   4/14/2017 at 11:07 by ClassicTVMan81X (Milwaukie, Oregon, USA)        

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I did find another Wizard/MTD similar to yours on eBay, but the deck is aqua green. The cord on this model is fed through the center of the handlebar, but this one appears to have it disconnected from there.


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Post# 932485 , Reply# 30   4/15/2017 at 00:50 by tolivac (greenville nc)        

Gas,fumes,NOISE,HASSLEt,hat is why I went to cordless electrics-and they have more TORQUE than gas mowers.But the runtime is much less.Now-if someone builds a cordless AFFORDABLE rider-I would be interested.Bring back the Elect-Trac?

Post# 932807 , Reply# 31   4/16/2017 at 19:38 by ClassicTVMan81X (Milwaukie, Oregon, USA)        

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For those of you interested in this old Wizard mower I mentioned here earlier, here is the eBay link:

Steal it for $60 or make your best offer (local pickup preferred, if not in area then please send seller a reply to work out a possible shipping fee and arrangement to your destination).


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