Lawn Mowers – a guide to buying.
The lawn mower is without doubt the most important tool for caring for your lawn. There’s a huge range of lawn mowers on the market and our handy guide should help you go about choosing the right one. One of the main factors that will affect your choice of mower will be the size of your garden. As a general rule small to medium sized gardens are better suited to manual or electric mowers whilst larger areas of lawn may require a petrol mower.
The type of lawn or garden you have, or want, will also affect your choice. Large flat areas of lawn may warrant a cylinder mower which gives the cleanest cut. Awkward gardens with tight corners will benefit from a mower that is easy to manoeuvre and a hover mower is a popular choice in this regard. Britain’s favourite lawn mower is the rotary mower which is a good general purpose machine.
So let’s look in detail at the three main types of mower : rotary, hover and cylinder.
Rotary lawn mowers
Rotary mowers cut through the grass using a horizontal rotating blade. The blade is supported above the lawn by wheels which can usually be adjusted to a given height. The blade, or blades, spin at high speed to cut through the grass. Rotary mowers are relatively inexpensive to buy making them the most popular lawn mowers amongst gardeners in the UK . You can, of course, spend a lot on a good quality mower.
Why Buy a Rotary Mower ?
- Good for all round lawn care
- Coping better with rough turf or longer grass than the equivalent cylinder mowers. If you go away alot this could be the mower for you.
- Deal well with bumby, uneven ground conditions
- Provide a tidy finish and with the addition of a rear roller it is possible to get a striped lawn affect.
There are two main types of rotary lawn mowers on the market :
- Electric rotary mowers – suitable for smaller gardens.
- Petrol rotary mowers – more power and simple to operate these have the advantage over electric that you don’t have an electric cable to avoid whilst mowing.
It’s a lot less bother with a hover ! You may recognise that advertising slogan.The hover mower was invented in 1964 after seeing a hovercraft for the first time. A single horizontal blade rotates at high speed to lift the mower on a cushion of air. The blade also serves the purpose of cutting the grass.
Why Buy a Hover Mower ?
- Since they float hover movers are very easy to manoeuvre and are popular for difficult lawns that might be uneven, sloping or have awkward corners.
- They cope well with both long and wet grass although most have no means of collecting the clippings.
- Perhaps the most famous brand of hover mower is Flymo (pictured left) although there are other makes available. If you are interested in a striped lawn then consider a cylinder mower as hover mowers cannot provide this affect.
There are two types of Hover Mower :
- Electric hover mowers
- Petrol hover mowers
Cylinder Lawn Mowers
The first lawn mower invented was a cylinder mower. It, like many today, was hand driven. Cylinder lawn mowers have a series of blades fixed around a horizontal shaft that rotates at high speed to cut through the grass. As a general rule the more blades around the shaft the better the cut. Most lawn mowers of this type have 5 or 6 blades.
With a cylinder lawn mower it is possible to set the blades very low to the ground to achieve a fine cut.
Why Buy a Cylinder Mower ?
- Cylinder mowers are widely recognised as giving the cleanest cut and for this reason are often used on bowling greens or by lawn enthusiasts.
- If you’re looking for a striped lawn affect opt for a cylinder mower with a rear roller. Cylinder mowers are generally quite expensive although the Qualcast petrol cylinder lawnmower is priced well to compete in the medium sized lawn market.
- It is generally accepted that cylinder mowers achieve the best cut.
Why not ?
Cylinder mowers generally do not cope well with grass that is long so if opting for this type of lawn mower you’ll need to keep your lawn in good order by cutting regularly.
There are three main types of cylinder mowers available on the market:
- Hand propelled cylinder mowers
- Electric cylinder lawn mowers
- Petrol cylinder lawn mowers
Ride on Mowers
If you have a large garden then serious thought should be given to buying a ride on mower. What may be a considerable sum to invest could easily be saved in man hours over the lifetime of the ride on mower. Seriously large lawns may warrant a purchasing a garden tractor which have larger cutting widths than ride on mowers.
These space age mowers can be plugged in and programmed to mow your lawn without you even being there. There’s a little preparation involved in setting them up but once this is done you can sit back and enjoy a cold beer whilst the mower goes to work.