Buyers Guide to Lawnmowers

You want to keep your grass and garden looking great but don’t want to pay over the odds for doing so? This is why buying a new lawnmower is such a big decision for most people - with so many features and options to consider where do you begin? Our lawnmower buyer’s guide is a great place to start and will help you select the ideal lawnmower for the type, size and shape of the garden you own.
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Different types of lawnmower

There’s a variety of types and styles of lawn mower available for you to choose from, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. When choosing the type of lawn mower to buy, remember to take into account the size and shape of your garden.

Cylinder Mowers

These manual lawnmowers have blades that rotate vertically on the front of the machine. They help to give a fine, short cut, and are suitable for flat, even gardens, and should be used on grass that is cut regularly.

Hover Mowers

Hover mowers are designed to glide effortlessly across your garden. They float on a cushion of air which makes them lightweight and easy to manoeuvre – therefore perfect for uneven or oddly shaped gardens.

Electric hover mowers are capable of cutting big and small gardens (dependent on the model). There are two types of hover mower. Collecting models that collect the grass, and non-collecting models which leave grass clippings on the lawn.

Rotary Mowers

Rotary lawnmowers generally have wheels, and they are suitable for most types of garden. The lawnmower blades rotate horizontally, allowing the user to adjust the height of the cut depending on their preference. Usually, rotary lawnmowers collect the grass cuttings in a collection box for users to then dispose of, or add to their compost bin. If you are after a striped finish to your lawn, then you should choose a rotary mower with a roller mounted to the back of the machine.

Robotic Mowers

Robotic lawnmowers are one of the most popular type of lawnmower in Europe, and their popularity is growing rapidly in the UK too. Robot lawnmowers are suitable for big and small gardens, and are ideal for those of us that want to spend less time in the garden cutting the grass, and more time relaxing doing the things you love. Robotic lawnmowers are cordless and powered by batteries. When the lawnmower needs charging, it automatically goes to its charging station to recharge. Robot mowers work by cutting within a boundary wire set by the owner, and cut the grass little but often which allows the grass clipping to disappear back into the lawn, adding moisture and nutrients back into the soil for healthy growth and a carpet like finish.

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Power Source

The power source of your chosen lawn mower will generally be dependent on the size of the lawn you plan on cutting. Typically the larger the lawn the more power you will require, so petrol or robotic lawnmowers are the preferred option.

Electric Lawnmowers

When selecting a lawnmower, larger gardens will require a machine with more power to cope with the extra demands. Electric mowers are designed to cut grass when it’s dry and when the grass is reasonably short. Cutting wet, long grass can strain your lawnmowers motor and cause it to burn out. It is also not advisable for safety reasons.

The power of all electric lawnmowers is measured in watts. Typically, the higher the wattage - the more power the machines has, therefore the better its performance, however this is not always the case.

Petrol Lawnmowers

Petrol lawnmowers are generally more expensive than electric mowers. Petrol lawnmowers should be purchased when you plan on cutting larger gardens or gardens that may have longer grass. One benefit of a petrol mower is that they are cordless and are not constraint to where any power cables can reach. The downside however, is that you will need to add fuel and oil to your machine which has its own challenges. The power of petrol mowers is measured in CC’s and the higher the CC rating, the more power the machine has.

Battery Lawnmowers

These are becoming increasingly popular in previous years. Battery lawn mowers no only provide your with the benefits of a petrol lawnmower i.e. they are free of cables, but they have the benefit of being quiet like an electric lawn mower too.

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Features to consider

When choosing which lawnmower to buy, you will see most brands advertising a variety of features and benefits of their machines - but what do they really mean? Below explains some of the most common added features, available on the market today.

Grass Collection

Think this is simple? Think again! There are a number of things to consider before purchasing your new lawn mower.

To collect or not to collect – that is the question. Most grass collection boxes are detachable; however some aren’t, so you should check before buying.

If you buy a lawnmower with a built-in collection box, you will need to take into account how often you will need to stop and empty the box when it’s full. This will require additional time if you are cutting large lawns, however it will leave the garden looking better, as there will be no cut grass lying on the ground. Boxes with a larger capacity will help reduce the number of trips you will be required to make to the compost bin, saving you time. However look out for lawnmowers that compact the grass in their collection box, like those in the FLYMO hover range.

Alternatively, if you do not wish to collect the cut grass, some lawn mowers offer what is called mulching action. This is where the lawn mower cuts the grass into much smaller pieces before it’s released back onto the lawn. This allows the grass to break down quicker, ensuring the nutrients enter your lawn faster, helping it stay healthy and green.

Cutting height

Most rotary and hover mowers, allow the user to adjust the cutting height of the lawn mower. One key feature to look for is the number of cutting heights available. Lawn mowers that allow you to adjust the height at which the grass is cut makes the machine suitable to use all year round.

During the spring/autumn and winter months when it’s wetter, you will want to maintain the grass at a longer length. When it’s warmer and dryer during the summer, you will want to cut the grass much shorter. In periods of extreme heat, it’s recommended that you allow the grass to grow longer to protect the soil from the heat and retain moisture. By having adjustable cutting heights you will be able to maintain your lawn better and ensure the grass remains green all year round.

Blade type

There are generally two types of blade that rotary and hover mowers come with; metal or plastic. If you are planning on cutting long or wet grass, metal blades should be used, as plastic blades may struggle to cut through the grass. Metal blades do provide a much sharper and cleaner cut. Plastic blades should be used on shorter dry grass, but always follow the manufacturer’s instructions on which lawn mower blade to use.

Length of cable

If you have decided to buy an electric mower, you need to think about whether the cable provided will reach from your plug socket to the farthest point in your garden. If not you will need to use an extension cable.

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