Starting a lawn mower (or any pull-start motor, for that matter) can either be really easy, or really hard. Sometimes, you pull the cord and the motor starts right up. Other times, you have to pull and pull tirelessly before the thing finally roars to life.
And the T-handles that come pre-installed on most pull cord-operated mowers don’t help, either. You can only get a good grip on them with two or three fingers. They’re small, tough to grab, and even tougher to use.
At HY-C, we manufacture two lawn mower pull cord replacement handles under our Good Vibrations brand:
- The Start Me Up
- The Get-A-Grip
This guide will take you through the functions and features of both pull cord handles. We’ll cover the pros and the cons from installation to price to help you decide if a new lawn mower pull cord from Good Vibrations is the right choice for you.
Three Pros of the Good Vibrations Lawn Mower Pull Cord Handles
1. They Offer a Full Grip
The T-handle that your mower comes with will get the job done just fine. We’ve all started a lawn mower, and even those of us with big, clumsy hands can manage to grab the T-handle to start the motor. They’re not ideal, though, and at their worst, they can be downright annoying.
Good Vibrations mower pull cords are designed to accommodate your entire hand — not just two fingers. Both the Start Me Up and the Get-A-Grip offer enough room to get all four fingers through so you can pull start your engine with a full grip.
The Get-A-Grip is a more stripped-down, bare-bones handle. It’s made entirely of plastic. The Start Me Up, on the other hand, is made with rubber padding built into the inside of the handle, providing some additional comfort and a much better grip.
2. They’re Universal
So many lawn mower parts are model-specific. Spark plugs, replacement tires, mower blades — oftentimes, you have to know your mower’s exact make and model to find the right part. Sometimes, that information isn’t even enough, and you’ll even need to know the model year of your mower, too.
The Start Me Up and Get-A-Grip, on the other hand, are universal products. It doesn’t matter whether you’re using a Toro mower from 2006 or a brand-new Husqvarna. As long as it has a pull cord on it, you can use a Good Vibrations lawn mower handle.
The secret lies in the included replacement rope. We call these ropes Dura-Tuff Ropes, and they’re 88 inches long — a good length (or longer) for any mower. The best way to find the right length for you is to remove your old rope and cut your Dura-Tuff Rope to match.
3. They Work on More than Just Mowers
Mowers aren’t the only devices that start with a pull cord. Chainsaws, snow blowers, and even ATVs and go-karts often utilize a pull cord to start their motors. If your device comes with a pull cord, you can add a Get-A-Grip or a Start Me Up to make starting the motor easier.
The only caveat to consider is the size of your handle. The Start Me Up is quite a bit bigger than the Get A Grip, and it can look a bit awkward on a smaller device like a chainsaw. It’s mostly an aesthetic issue, though — as long as your motor starts easier, the handle is working how it’s supposed to work.
Two Cons of the Good Vibrations Lawn Mower Pull Cord Handles
1. Installation Can be Difficult
Ideally, installing a Start Me Up or a Get-A-Grip should be as simple as slipping your old handle out and sliding the new handle on. You have to be careful not to let go of the handle-less rope so it doesn’t spin back into the pull cord assembly, but other than that, installing a Good Vibrations handle can be a smooth process.
On the other hand, it can also be a difficult process. Depending on your mower and how its pull cord assembly is constructed, you may have to remove the entire system to install a new rope and handle. If this is the case for you, be sure to consult your mower’s instruction manual.
For both handles, you’ll need to slide your Dura-Tuff Rope replacement through and tie a knot on the end to install the handle properly. This is a little easier on the Start Me Up as it features a slit on the side to slide the rope through.
The Get-A-Grip, on the other hand, requires sliding the rope in from the side and down through the handle, which can prove a little more challenging. Patience is key.
2. They Cost More Than a Standard T-Handle
If the stock T-handle on your lawn mower breaks, you can buy a new one for just $6 to $8. That’s not that much money. It should come as no surprise that both Good Vibrations lawn mower pull cord replacements are a bit more expensive than that:
- Get-A-Grip costs about $11 at retail
- Start Me Up costs about $15 at retail
Both handles cost more than a stock mower handle, but not by too much. Obviously, spending preferences differ from person to person, and if you don’t feel like breaking a $20 for a new lawn mower starter handle, we can’t say we blame you.
But other shoppers may believe that for double (or even nearly triple) the price of a stock handle, a Get-A-Grip or Start Me Up is worth the convenience for the extra cost. We’ll leave that determination up to you.
Should You Get a Good Vibrations Lawn Mower Pull Cord Handle?
Perhaps you’ve never had any problems with the T-handle on your mower. Maybe it has mildly annoyed you, but you only have to deal with it for a few seconds, so you don’t think too much about it. Or, maybe you really don’t like your lawn mower starter handle and have been searching for a better way.
Wherever you fall on this spectrum, you now know all about both of the Good Vibrations options that we offer: the “economy model” Get-A-Grip, and the premium, rubber-padded Start Me Up. You know that they’re universal, that they’re a little more costly than a standard handle, and that they work on other machines, too.
So — should you get one for yourself?
A lawn mower replacement handle isn’t a huge, high-pressure purchase. These are checkout items — upgrades that are supposed to add a bit of usefulness to your regular routine. If you don’t feel like spending $10 or $20 on something like that, in truth, you probably don’t need one.
But if you’d like a nice, full-grip handle you can use on your mower that will work season after season and provide a bit more convenience for a price that won’t break the bank, give one a try.
And take a look at the rest of our Good Vibrations product offering while you’re at it. The entire selection consists of outdoor power equipment upgrades just like Get-A-Grip and Start Me Up that will add a bit of efficiency and charm to your lawn care routine.