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Choosing a Lawnmower

With such a wide range of lawnmowers to choose from, Choosing a Lawnmower to suit both you and your garden can be very difficult. As well as different types of mower, there is also a large range of brands to choose from.

Below we have listed a guide to each type of mower which we hope will make Choosing a Lawnmower a bit easier for you.

Cylinder or Rotary Mower

A cylinder mower can have anything from 5 to 12 blades mounted in a cylindrical shape with a spiral twist. These blades rotate and trap and slice the grass against the fixed bottom plate, cutting the grass like a pair of scissors to produce a nice, clean cut.

A rotary mower, on the other hand, has one or 2 blades that rotate at high speed underneath the deck which 'chops' the grass on impact. It will not produce as clean a cut as the cylinder mower, although the difference is less noticeable if the blades are kept sharp.

A more important difference between rotary and cylinder mowers is the height of cut range.

A cylinder mower can cut as short as 5mm (premium quality mowers as short as 2mm) and have a maximum height of up to about 30mm. This means that they are only suitable for very flat lawns and will need to be used more frequently - golf greens and bowling greens are typically cut every day at the height of the season.

A rotary mower, however, will usually have a minimum height of cut of about 25mm and a maximum of up to 120mm. This will mean cutting the lawn less frequently, but will not give that formal look.

As a general rule, a cylinder mower is for the serious gardener or lawn enthusiast. For most people a rotary mower is the better bet.

Striped Lawns

With both cylinder mowers and a rotary mowers you can get striped lawns. It is not the cutting action that achieves this, it is the rear roller. If you want to have a striped lawn you just need to make sure the lawnmower has a rear roller.

Electric Mowers

Electric mowers are very quiet, lightweight and very easy to use. They are ideal for smaller gardens with a convenient power supply.

These used to come complete with some sort of Residual Current Device to disconnect the power if the cable is accidentally cut, but these are generally no longer necessary as modern domestic electricity supplies have safety trips built in.

If there is no convenient power supply you might want to consider a battery powered lawnmower. These can generally be used for about 40 minutes on one charge. This will depend on how hard you are working it - ie how long the grass is. They can usually be fully charged in about 1 to 2 hours.

Petrol Lawnmowers

Petrol lawnmowers are ideal for larger gardens. As well as being more powerful than electric mowers, they aren’t restricted by a cable.

The cutter deck, or chassis, is usually made from steel with a rust resistant coating, but aluminium and stainless steel models are also available but tend to be more expensive.

Roller or 4 Wheel Mower

Four wheel lawnmowers are very manoeuvrable and give an excellent finish on all types of lawn. However, if you want a striped finish to your lawn look for a mower with a rear roller.

As well as giving your lawn stripes, the rear roller will help to avoid scalping your lawn by going too close to the edge and allowing the wheels to drop into the flower bed.

Self Propelled or Push Mower

A self propelled mower will be more expensive than a push mower, not only because of the drive mechanism but because the engine will need to be a bit bigger to cope with the extra work.

Wheeled rotary mowers are very easy to push for a healthy adult, but if you are of small build or elderly, or if your lawn is on a slope and mowing will involve pushing the mower uphill you will want to consider a self propelled model.

Mulching Lawnmowers

Mulching lawnmowers do not have a grass collector box. Instead of collecting the grass clippings they are designed to keep the grass circulating beneath the cutter deck until they have been cut into tiny pieces. These tiny pieces are then blown down into the base of the turf where they will compost and feed the lawn.

A healthy, one acre lawn can produce 8 tons of grass clippings in a season – the grassed area of Wimbledon Centre Court is nearly ¼ of an acre.

So a mulching lawnmower can save a lot of time by not having to empty the collector box, will avoid unsightly mounds of grass clippings or trips to the tip, and will also feed your lawn.

There are also Combination mowers available, like the Masport 600 SP AL Petrol Lawnmower which can be used as either cut and collect or mulching allowing you to change the type of cut depending on the height of the grass etc.

Ride On Mowers

There are Ride On Mowers (or Riders) and Lawn Tractors, and different manufacturers use different criteria for deciding the difference, so we just call them all Ride On Mowers.

If you are worried about size, modern ride ons can be small enough to drive through a standard garden gate.

If your lawn is about ½  an acre or more, then you should definitely consider purchasing a rider.

Up to about 2 acres the smaller Ride Ons or Riders will probably do, but any bigger and you will need what most manufacturers term a lawn tractor.

Any lawnmower should be regularly serviced, but this applies especially to a ride on mower if only because of the investment. A standard service for a ride-on, assuming nothing has actually gone wrong with the machine will cost about £150 to £200.

A Ride On Mower may seem a bit expensive, but if you look after it you will get many years of service out of it. As well as making mowing the lawn a lot easier, it will save you a lot of time, and if you factor this in they are a very good buy for those with a large lawn.

What Brand Lawnmower

The final choice will be what brand lawnmower to choose. Price is usually the determining factor when people choose which brand to buy, but you need to be very careful!

There are some very cheap lawnmowers on the market, many of them made in China. Before buying on of these, check on their reliability and availability of parts. You don't want to have to throw away your lawnmower after only a year just because you cant get a replacement grass box!

We would always recommend sticking to a well known, established brand and buying from a local dealer. Remember as well that if you buy online this may affect any extended warranty on the machine.

Husqvarna Automower 450X

Automower 450X

 Purchase Price  £3,000
 Deposit  £1,500
 Monthly Payments
 £48.03
 No. of Months
 36
 APR Representative
 9.9%
 Interest Payable
 £229.21
 Total Payable
 £3,229.21
Representative Example