Lawn mower types & features
A Guide to choosing and buying a new lawn mower
|This guide should help you consider the various options available when choosing a lawn mower. Prices start at less than £50 and can reach in excess of £2,000 for one you can sit on!
There are many types of lawn mowers using different means of propulsion designed for differing lawn types, sizes and the fitness of the operator.
This guide should help you consider the features that will be important to you when buying. Rollers give good stripes, different cutter types determine the cut quality (the minimum cutter height determines how short the grass can be cut). You
also need to consider features of your garden; are there lots of tricky borders or obstacles to cut around? Will wheels get stuck in borders? Will the cable reach and where can I safely store petrol -
these and other aspects need to be considered. Each fuel and mower type below contains a link to Amazon where the price and online reviews may be of assistance.
Fuel / propulsion method
- Petrol - Avoids a cable. Needs filling and potentially storing petrol. Can be powerful and provide power for moving larger models (rather than the operator pushing).
- Hand mower - No power source, no hassle with cables and no need to store fuel. Keeps you fit. Hard work though with a larger garden. With or without roller.
- Mains electric - cheap to run but cable can be annoying and even potentially be damaged by mower. Electric power usually powers the cutter only and operator needs to push.
- Cordless / Battery electric - standard mains models have been adapted to run from a Lithium Ion battery. No cables to snag or petrol to store but typically double the cost. Limited to the charge
held by battery so not suitable for larger gardens without either buying additional batteries or re-charging between mowing parts of the garden!
- Roller mowers; rollers give the stripes to a lawn which can be visually very attractive. Many rotary/hover type mowers do not have rollers.
- Cylinder mowers; often a roller mower, the cylinder cutter has a scissor-like action and gives the cleanest, closest cut but tend to be more expensive than rotary mowers.
- Rotary mowers; the cutting blades rotate horizontally at high speed.
- Hover mower; the cutting blades rotate horizontally at high speed. These can be difficult to keep in straight lines and the quality of the cut is not the best. Potentially dangerous if not used carefully.
- Sit-on mowers; usually roller / cylinder, these are ideal for larger gardens and are usually powered by petrol.
Mowers come in a variety of widths. The width is important to the extent that a narrow grass cutting width will take much longer to cut a lawn with. Conversely, smaller lawns and trickier areas may benefit from a smaller cutting width.
A rule-of-thumb guide to choosing the most appropriate width is as follows; note for some reason very small and large mowers tend to use inches (") while the majority of mowers are in centimetres (cm):
| ||size of lawn
|Cutter width||<500 m2||650 m2||800 m2||1000 m2||1200 m2||1500 m2||0.5 acre+
|12"||30 cm|| || || || || ||
| ||32 cm|| || || || ||
| ||33 cm|| || || || ||
| ||34 cm|| || || ||
| ||36 cm|| || || || ||
| ||38 cm|| || || || ||
| ||40 cm|| || || || ||
| ||43 cm|| || || ||
|17"|| || || || || ||
|18"|| || || || || ||
|20"|| || || || || ||
|22"|| || || || || ||
|30"+|| || || || || || || ||
There have been visitors to this page
© 2013, Dave Parker