It seems like push mowers are made cheaper every year. The last one I bought was from Sears, a 22' cut with a 5 HP engine. It has what I find aggravating, the safety bail on the handle. I understand the need, but the bail itself had plastic mountings, and the cable that runs down to the kill switch is exposed to dirt and grit while mowing. Another gripe is the starting. Standing behind the mower, by design, the pull cord is routed through the handle about knee high. To start, one hand on the bail, the other pulling the cord, either overhand at an angle such that the cord rubs, or underhand that just feels weird. So, while starting my second season mowing with it, the cable to the safety switch snapped and the pull cord broke. 2 year old lawn mower.
Last week I was discussing with my Dad how I wish I could find an older style mower that was more dependable. He said he had one I could have, but needed work. He thought it had a bad coil, but wasn't sure. It failed to start one day after about 10 years of use, so he rolled it in the shed and used another he had. It had sat for about another 10 years before I brought it home a couple weeks ago. I pulled the cowling off, sanded the rust off the flywheel, rotated the engine and got a spark at the plug. I cleaned the carb out good, put the cowl back on.....no start. I unplugged the off/on switch, pulled the cord and it nearly started.
Turns out the switch,with copper connects inside had glazed over and needed cleaning. Now it runs like a top.!
Very easy to start, much quieter, and more comfortable to mow with. Doesn't have all the safety gadgets, and it does require an oil/gas pre-mix, but I like this one very much. I think Lawn Boy even painted and decaled models for Cub Cadet.