A Buyers Guide to Lawn Mowers
Some people love gardening, some people hate it, but one is for sure. If you have a garden with a lawn, you are going to need a mower.
It may be obvious to say, but the lawn mower that is best for you depends on the type of lawn you have. If you have a small, flat, square lawn then an entry level, basic electric model with no ‘gizmo’s or gadgets’ would be the perfect choice, but if you have a large, uneven and hilly yard, you’re going to need something with a bit more power.
The main idea behind this guide is to give you the information you will need to make an informed decision on the choice of your next lawn mower.
Walk Behind Mower
Most households will have one of these models. They are usually easy to a manoeuvre and are more than powerful enough to cope with a good sized lawn. They come in various engine and power types, these are two-stroke petrol, four-stroke petrol, corded electric and rechargeable battery.
Petrol powered lawn mowers are more powerful than the electric models but they are heavier and not so easy to move around. They are suited to flat surfaces and can cope with a fair sized area. It is generally down to the physical ability of the user to determine if a push mower is practical, just use common sense.
For larger gardens, it is worth considering a self-propelled model. The engine will power the wheels, as well as the cutting blades, making it very easy for the user to push around.
Electric mowers are obviously more environmentally friendly because they have no exhaust for the fumes. They are generally much quieter in operation. But they are always limited by the length of their cord and tend to be less powerful that petrol models, so are not so good at hacking through thick weeds and tall grass.
Another thing to remember is to ensure the power lead is kept out of the way, no one likes an electric shock!
They are the lightest of any model available and would be perfect for smaller, flatter lawns.
Rechargeable battery-powered machines give you a huge amount of freedom, the same as using a petrol mower. You have to remember that you will always be limited to a certain amount of usage between charging.
They are nowhere near as powerful as a petrol mower, but will cut through a standard lawn with ease.
Ride On Lawn Mowers
These are by far the most expensive option. The user sits on top of the mower, like a small tractor. They can be a fun way to mow the lawn, but really are only suitable for substantial lawns. They not only require almost zero effort, but also have wider cutting paths than walk-behind mowers, vastly cutting down on the time it takes to finish the job.
Most ride on lawn mowers are quite hard to manoeuvre in tight spaces, if your budget can stretch, the ‘zero turn’ models are the best option, they have a very small turning radius, which can get through most obstacles like flowerbeds and garden decorations.
All of These Clippings
Whatever mower you choose, the clippings you create will have to be collected and disposed of. We generally have three ways in which we can deal with this. They are mulching, bagging or letting the mower throw them out of the back or side of the machine.
You will find walk-behind mowers with either side or rear discharge, with or without a collection bucket, or set up as a mulching mower. The best models can convert between all three cutting operations for the greatest flexibility.
Mulching mowers cut the grass into tiny pieces and then recycle it back onto the lawn, where they biodegrade and feed the new growth. If you don’t want to spend an age emptying clippings or tidying up, these are by far the best option for the larger lawn.
Just be wary because mulching mowers work best on dry and regularly maintained lawns. Some of the electric mowers that state they have a mulching option do not work very well. Check some reviews for the best electric lawn mower, that way you can be sure that the mulching option works as well as it states.
Side and rear-discharge mowers throw the cuttings out of a chute into a collection bucket, or with some models straight back onto the lawn. In this case you will have to rake the lawn after mowing.
It is important to note that petrol mowers tend to throw the clippings into the collection bucket in a more efficient way than the electric models.
If you have a small, low maintenance garden, then an electric mower is perfect for you. A larger garden would require a more powerful petrol model and if you have a very big lawn, a ride on mower is the choice for you. Just remember, don’t have too much fun driving around the garden, people will wonder why you are out mowing the lawn three times a week!