What lawn mower is better to buy: choose the type and model
With the advent of summer, owners of homestead plots and cottages are thinking about how to put in order their lawn. an important component of landscape design. And the best solution to the problem will be to buy a lawn mower. However, to make the right choice with all the variety of models and brands is not so easy. In our review, we’ll talk about how to choose a lawn mower based on your individual needs and rank lawn mowers in three different categories of this gardening equipment.
How to choose the right lawn mower? First we need to understand the functional differences between lawn mowers and similar garden and park equipment: trimmers and brushcutters. Often owners of suburban property do not see a significant difference between this equipment, which is fraught with errors when choosing equipment.
- Lawn mower. it is a wheeled gardening equipment of medium size and power for mowing lawn grass on a level landscape.
- a grass trimmer is a low-powered mechanism designed to be carried in your hands, consisting of a cutting element, a boom, and a motor. Grass trimmer is used if it is necessary to cut the grass on an uneven surface, in hard-to-reach places and near plantings. This device is usually used for mowing relatively small areas. Or for mowing up the remaining areas where the lawnmower didn’t pass.
- Lawn mower (lawn mower). a more powerful and structurally more reliable version of grass trimmer. Designed for mowing tall grass and uneven areas. Can be used as a basic tool for maintenance of the area when there is no possibility to use a lawn mower, but as mowing is done manually and unevenly, it is not suitable for use on the lawn.
So we’ve established that a lawn mower is the best option for areas with a flat landscape and simple geometry. However, this is only the beginning of the journey. Next you need to choose what kind of mower you want to buy. For easy perception, the classification of mechanisms, the principles of individual models, as well as their advantages and disadvantages are shown in table 1.
Table 1. Principles of lawn mowers
|Type of motor and power source:|
|Electric motor without battery||Electric lawnmowers|
|Environmentally safe, does not require the purchase of fuel and lubricants, has a low noise level (at 80 dB).||Requires connection to mains electricity, extension cord, risk of cable damage, dangerous to operate during rain and dew, have limited power.|
|Electric motor with rechargeable battery||Cordless and robotic lawnmowers|
|Have the same advantages as listed above, but with greater mobility. Robotic lawnmowers require no operator input.||They have the same disadvantages as mentioned above, but they also weigh more, have limited working time from the battery (15 to 30 minutes) and need to be recharged for a long time.|
|Gasoline engine||Gasoline lawnmowers|
|Highly productive, maneuverable, reliable and designed for intensive use.||Heavy, noisy (over 90dB), require regular service and fuel/gasoline purchases.|
|No engine, power source. muscular effort||Mechanical lawnmowers|
|They are absolutely environmentally friendly, quiet, low in cost, independent of energy sources, can be used in all weather conditions, ideal for areas with short, young grass.||They require a great deal of physical effort for fast movements, time-consuming mowing. Not suitable for dense or tall grass.|
|Type of drive:|
|On front wheels||Self-propelled front-drive lawnmowers|
|Maneuverable on headlands, easy to steer.||Use only on level lawns.|
|Rear-wheel drive||Self-propelled, rear-wheel drive mowers|
|Can handle slopes and rough terrain with larger-diameter rear wheels.||Uncomfortable to turn, sometimes you have to stop or even lift some models.|
|4-wheel drive||Self-propelled four-wheel drive lawnmowers|
|Powerful and productive, versatile for any terrain and all-weather conditions, effortlessly climbing up and down hills.||High cost, high weight (about 50 kg).|
|No drive||Non-motorized models|
|Lightweight (approx. 15 kg), economical.||Necessary to push in front, low power (models with engine without wheel drive).|
|Principle of operation:|
|Cylindrical cutting device (“drum principle”, with spiral cutting blades around the rotating drum)||Lawn mowers with drum cutting unit|
|They include all two-wheel mower models with manual drive and single models with electric motor that determine the advantages of technology. They provide the best quality of mowing (grass cutting).||They have low power and passability, not suitable for neglected areas.|
|The rotary mechanism (“propeller principle”, a disc or 1-2 pairs of cutting blades. spindle blades. are fixed on the vertically rotating shaft)||Lawn mowers with rotary cutting unit|
|Versatile, height-adjustable blades for working on uneven terrain as well as on hilltops. All four-wheel-drive petrol and electric mower models.||The disadvantages are determined by the type of motor, drive, blades, body material installed.|
|Air cushion||Wheelless mowers|
|Maneuverable, highly passable and easy to handle, designed to work on uneven terrain and in places difficult to access.||Rarely available, have a small model range, difficult to guide in a straight line.|
|Electric. up to 1,5 KW ICE. up to 2,5 L. с.||Low power lawn mowers|
|Compact, lightweight, economical, ideal for small flat lawns with flowerbeds.||Small width of mowing strip (up to 40 cm), high consumption of time and efforts for mowing, the ability to cut only young and short grass, poor functionality of the technique.|
|Electric. 1,5-2 kW ICE. 2,5-6 litres. с.||Medium lawn mowers|
|The best option for most areas with small surface slopes and irregularities, are able to cut weeds with thick stems, greatly accelerate the process of mowing lawns.||Have a higher cost, relatively large weight and dimensions.|
|Power engines. more than 6 hp||High power mowers|
|Reliable and productive, there are only gasoline, semi-professional and professional models.||High cost and expensive subsequent maintenance.|
How to choose an electric lawn mower for dacha
Before you buy an electric lawnmower, you will have to study dozens of models, comparing them by technical and operational characteristics. Use the following parameters to evaluate.
Machines for lawn care are divided into three classes depending on the power of the electric motor:
- Low-power models. up to 1.5 kW. compact, easy to maneuver, lightweight. Suitable for small lawns and yards with young vegetation and relatively flat terrain. Max. 40 cm per pass.
- Medium. 1,5-2 kW. mow lawns with small gradients, cut thick and old stems, can mulch. Due to the increased size and weight not every woman can cope with them.
- Powerful. over 2 kW. reliable and powerful machines with cutting widths up to 76 cm. In women can quickly cause fatigue, make a lot of noise and need a reliable power source. a cheap extension cord may not hold the load.
Cutting height and width
Every owner mows the lawn to suit himself. Mowing in the yard, for example, leaves low shoots at 3-4 cm, in the garden. longer up to 7-8 cm, the change of cutting height is useful when working on slopes. Most models change the height of the deck in steps to control the length of the cut stalks:
It is recommended to mow thick and old growth in two passes: to the maximum height, and then. to the desired height.
The width of the gripper determines the speed of landscaping. It is selected on the basis of its size. Manufacturers recommend to be guided by the information in the table.
The more powerful the motor, the more the lawnmower blades grab.
Grass discharge and mulching
The simplest budget models throw the cuttings sideways, for turning into hay and fertilizer or for manual cleaning. Most models are equipped with a grass catcher box. The bulkier it is, the less often you need to empty it, but it makes the device heavier and reduces maneuverability. Containers come in:
- The cloth ones are light and compact but they become clogged with shredded grass, need to be shaken out and thoroughly cleaned, they are not always watertight;
- Plastic. easy to empty and clean, peoria may become clogged with grass;
- combined. plastic frame with fabric backing for grass.
Filling level indicator. a pleasant bonus for the operator.
Mulching. the process of shredding grass and spreading it evenly over the mowed area to fertilize it and cover the ground in drought. Activating the function during dew and cutting long grass is not recommended. it will put a noticeable strain on the motor and mechanical parts.
Wheels, handle and housing
With wide and big wheels it is easier for the device to ride over the dense grass and small obstacles. For areas with many obstacles in the form of beds, trees and buildings, it is desirable to take a three-wheeled model. it is more maneuverable. Wheels on bearings will last many times longer than on hub wheels, especially plastic ones.
Handle must have variable position and height. A soft anti-vibration coating or at least rubber padding is desirable.
The housings are made of plastic and metal (steel, aluminum). Polymer material is easily scratched, fades in the sun. Steel. sturdy, durable, but they can rust if scratched. Aluminum. scratches shine in the sun, they are hardly visible, not subject to corrosion.
Lawn mower design
This technique is designed for mowing grass on the garden plot. With its help you can quickly create beauty in an area with a large area. For cutting, this unit uses blades or scissors that are actuated by the motor or the physical action of the operator. Grass cuttings go either into the grass catcher box or are pushed to the side.
The body of lawn mowers is made of aluminum, steel or plastic. The last option is considered inexpensive, but also it will not have durability and resistance to mechanical impact. Models with an aluminum or steel body are considered durable, but the price will be much higher. Lawn mower engines have a power between 400 and 1500 watts. They can be located at the bottom or part of the tool. Where the motor is located will determine its power. Also the platform of the machine has wheels and a handle for steering. If we talk about wheels, they can be rigid or swivel mounting. With a rigid mounting, the tool will have to be lifted in corners.
The grass catcher box can be made of durable plastic or synthetic cloth. It is located at the rear of the unit and usually has holes for air circulation. Knives for cutting are made of steel, so the unit can easily cope not only with grass, but also with large weeds or small trees. To extend their service life, it is not recommended to mow stony areas, as a stone can easily break the blade. The blades can be replaced or resharpened as they become dull. Machine handles are made of sturdy materials, as this element is designed to control the tool. It has a power button for the engine.
Overview of popular segmented finger mower models
Fighters with overgrown weeds in gardens and plots give preference to reliable equipment and proven brands. Thus, to combat high grass, the most popular are four models of gasoline-powered segmented finger mowers:
The first two models are the brainchild of the world-famous gardening equipment manufacturer. The only difference between the two mowers is the slightly redesigned design and the difference in motor power. Simple design and low cost make these devices ideal for use in private households. For high grass and weeds it’s hard to think of a better mower than AL-KO. Dealing with tall weeds or making hay for your AL-KO machine is no problem. The possibility of using the tool under increased loads is not excluded.
The cutting deck of the AL-KO BM 870 III and BM 875 III is closer to the wheels than earlier models. This design allows for much more accurate pushing of cuttings into high grass or hay. The infinitely variable mowing height adjustment is another convenience for fans of AL-KO technology. Small dimensions allow machines to maneuver even on uneven surfaces, and the increased ground clearance prevents the mower from breaking on bumps. Even in wintertime these mower models are useful for gardeners: if you replace the blades with a “bulldozer” one. In this case the machine will allow clearing the snow.
If you have a large area to mow, MTD BM 87-35 tine mowers are the answer. In essence, it does not differ much from similar models, and is designed for haymaking. However, if necessary, a mower designed for overgrown grass can also deal with weeds or bushes that get in the way. In any case, if the grass or bushes are too big for the machine, you will hear the drive belt slipping. Like the previous two models, the cutting height is adjustable. And to speed up the engine, you can turn the lever on the right handle.
Often, manufacturers of such specific equipment are limited to the release of one or two models, not much different from each other. The company Solo excelled in it too, having created the whole line of segment mowers intended for cutting high grass (Solo 530, 531, 532). The star of this trio is the Solo 531. Specially designed for high volume of work, “heavy” cases, and designed for professional work. High grass, bushes and weeds can be handled well, and even steep slopes can be tidied without problems. Technique is equipped with the ability to adjust the height of cut, levers to control the drive wheels and engine speed.
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Lawn mower features
Among the variety of mower types and models it is not easy to orientate and make the right choice. For this you need to learn some nuances.
A lawn mower for tall grass and uneven areas, depending on the type of work, must meet certain criteria:
- Electric models. These mowers are lightweight, maneuverable, quiet, environmentally friendly. But to work on uneven terrain and with abundant vegetation, only models with powerful motors. up to 1500 watts, located in the upper part of the device are suitable. Low-power mowers simply can not cope with weeds. When using electric models, it is important to monitor the condition of the engine, avoid overheating, make a break every 15-20 minutes. work. Another important nuance. this type of equipment can be used for small areas, as its range is limited by the length of the cord and extension cord.
- Cordless models. This type of garden equipment is developing quite rapidly and is becoming increasingly popular. Cordless equipment stands out for its practicality, quietness and autonomy. Due to good maneuverability and mobility, cordless mowers for uneven terrain have proven themselves. As for the work with high and hard grass, then this type of equipment is ineffective. it does not have enough power. The functionality of the lawnmower depends on the battery charge. If the operating intensity is too high, the battery drains quickly, affecting the mower’s function after only a few minutes.
Interesting. The advantages of electric and battery-powered mowers are ease of operation and greater safety. Recently, the novelties. hybrid lawnmowers (battery electric motor) are popular.
- Gasoline models. These are the most powerful mowers. Compared to previous variants, heavy, noisy and expensive. But gasoline lawn mowers for high grass, large gardens with wild vegetation. the best option. This type of equipment requires more care and certain skills.
In addition to differences in the principle of operation, lawn mowers are distinguished by the type of movement:
- Non-propelled mowers. Propelled by human effort. Operating these models, especially in tough conditions, requires a lot of effort and skill.
- Self-propelled mowers. Moves on its own. All a person needs to do is to operate it competently.
For your information. The self-propelled petrol lawnmower is the champion lawnmower for weeds and hilly terrain.
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Rating of top 10 according to KP
Bosch ARM 37
The budget model of a famous brand opens our rating. This model runs on electricity, which limits its use over long distances from the outlet. But you don’t have to worry about petrol availability or full recharging.Robust plastic body, grass cutting height regulator, 40-liter grass collection container make this lawn mower one of the best options for the care of a small area near the house.
Lightweight and compact lawnmower, perfect for compact spaces. Manoeuvrability is one of its main assets, capable of effectively mowing any lawn shape. This model is equipped with a rechargeable battery, so it doesn’t require a permanent connection to the mains.An additional advantage is the mulching function: the cut grass can be immediately shredded inside the device and distributed on the lawn as a natural fertilizer. Edge combs allow you to catch grass from the edges of the lawn and mow it efficiently.
Gasoline lawnmower with a wide grip from the brand Champion. Powerful and efficient option for medium-sized spaces. Does not require access to power.Thanks to its power, this lawn mower efficiently handles rough grass and uneven surfaces. Can remove an ant hill from its path and will not break when hitting the ground and rocks. Mulching function turns grass into a natural fertiliser and distributes it over the lawn. However, there is no additional container for the grass clippings.
Handy cordless mower for small spaces. May not get enough battery power for very large areas. claimed cutting area is 250 square meters, but in practice it depends on grass length and succulence, and battery status at the time.Very lightweight model with solid grass catcher box, good for small areas. Easy battery replacement and low cost allows you to swap batteries as needed while mowing.
Perfect for uneven terrain. Self-propelled, with a powerful enough motor and wheels, it can climb over any terrain. However, there can be problems with the work on soft ground: because of its weight it can leave traces from the wheels on the grass.
This model is easy to assemble and start, the initial setup takes no more than 20 minutes. However, it is difficult to manoeuvre because of its weight, and therefore it is not suitable for owners of complex shaped plots.
The model of a domestic manufacturer is cheaper than many of its analogs, but it mows the grass well. There can be problems with particularly thick grass or uneven terrain, but on the whole it is an excellent option for small and flat areas.
AC line power means you don’t have to worry about recharging the battery, but you don’t have to travel far from the power source. In addition, the cable must be constantly monitored, so it does not get under the blade of lawnmower.
Stylish looking mains-powered model. The mower is equipped with a capacious rigid tank for the cut grass, it also comes with mulching nozzles.
It is a maneuverable machine that can be handled by anyone, but it is heavy to use on a bumpy surface. If you hit a stone or hard branches, the knife is blunted very quickly, the elements of the plastic body can be cracked.
Another Champion brand ambassador in our selection. It is a self-propelled model with soft grass catcher box. The mower is easy to push and requires little effort to pull it forwards. However, maneuverability is lower than other models, so it is not convenient for complexly shaped lawns.
Handles thick grass and weeds. Two ways to throw grass: to the side or into the grass catcher box. The self-wash function is a special advantage; just attach a hose and switch it on for a few minutes, after which it is clean and ready for storage.
Gasoline lawnmower in a metal housing. It can mow grass on uneven terrain, and its large wheels allow it to climb over almost any uneven surface. Although due to the heavy weight on a bumpy surface it is difficult to push it. The Makita PLM4626N is a good choice for medium-sized lawns. The brand is known for its reliability and rare breakdowns.
The self-propelled lawnmower enables mowing a medium-sized area without any effort. The great weight is paid off by the fact that you do not have to push it yourself, just control the direction of travel. Large wheels allow moving over obstacles and uneven terrain with ease.No mulching mower included, but it can be purchased and installed separately. Several ejection options let you choose the lawn mower of your choice.
How to choose a lawn mower for your garden
Lawns need regular mowing from late April to mid-October. The correct height of the grass surface depends on its type, usually it is 4-6 cm. Proper lawn mower will help to keep your lawn tidy.
From the article you will learn how to choose a lawn mower according to the main characteristics:
- type of motor;
- the type of travel;
- type of drive;
- Height and width of cut;
- the principle of grass discharge and availability of mulching function;
- the material of the body and the container;
- The parameters of the wheels and handle.
Lawn mowers are equipped with two types of engines: gasoline and electric. Electric models are divided into two categories: the first work from the mains, the second. from the battery.
Among the battery-powered models, robotic lawnmowers have recently appeared. They are programmed on the same principle as robotic vacuum cleaners. In the case of mowers, you need to set the coordinates of the area and set the height / width of mowing. The machine will do everything else by itself.
Robot lawn mower from the range of Leroy Merlin:
Advantages and disadvantages of petrol, electric and battery lawnmowers
Sterwins brand three-power lawn mowers:
Note the useful function on some models. It stops the blade when the engine is running. Handy when you’ve got a rough patch, lots of flower beds or paths.
What kind of drive?
Petrol lawnmowers can be self-propelled or non-propelled. Electric mowers are only non-self-propelled.
Non-motor driven machines. Weight of such machines. no more than 20 kg, they are designed for processing plots of up to 5-8 acres. The engine is only responsible for the blade rotation. To make the mower ride, it needs to be pushed forward.
Self-propelled machines. Generally more massive and more expensive than non-self-propelled ones. Allow you to work an area of up to 20-30 acres and save your energy at the same time. The working principle is as follows: the mower drives itself, you only steer. The wheels are equipped with an actuator, the lawnmower moves forward at a set speed.
Examples of lawn mowers from the Leroy Merlin range:
Type of drive
Lawn mowers can be front-, rear- and four-wheel drive.
Front-wheel drive makes the machine very manoeuvrable. It is easy to steer forwards and backwards, and to turn corners. Do not forget to empty the basket on time. if it becomes too heavy, it will put too much pressure on the rear axle, reducing the grip of the front wheels on the surface. Important note: front-wheel-drive mowers can only operate on level ground.
Rear-wheel drive helps provide maximum flotation. But these machines can be difficult to steer. Machines are not very handy when turning: in order to turn, you periodically have to stop and raise one side of the machine. With big rear wheels, these lawnmowers can handle uneven terrain and slopes.
All-wheel drive machines provide maximum flotation. They even mow grass easily on undulating terrain. This is the most powerful and productive type of lawn mower. They cost more than the front- and rear-drive models. Usually have a lot of weight, from 50 kg.
There are three classes of lawn mowers: low-powered, medium and high-powered.
Medium lawn mowers are suitable for mowing the lawn in the countryside.
Four medium lawn mowers from Leroy Merlin:
In addition to power we advise to pay attention to the class of the motor. The two values are interrelated.
Remember: these figures apply to lawns that are mowed about once a week. If you plan to mow grass less often or know that it grows mixed up with weeds, choose a more powerful machine. This is especially important with self-propelled lawnmowers, as their engine performs two tasks at once: moving forwards and cutting the grass.
Height and width of cut
Each type of lawn requires mowing to a certain height. For example, the front (also called parterre) lawn usually shorten to 3-4 cm, and decorative (garden park) is worth mowing to 4-7 cm.
The height adjustment function is also needed on sloping terrain and bumpy ground. The number of levels the mower blade can go down and up depends on the diameter of the machine’s wheels. The larger the diameter, the more levels. Adjustment is done in one of three ways:
- With a lever that repositions the axles of the wheels into additional holes;
- With the lever of the central step adjustment system;
- by a lever at each wheel.
The second option is most convenient. with this system you will spend a minimum of effort to change the height of the cut.
The width of the grip affects the speed at which you will mow the lawn. The wider the deck (so called part of the lawnmower body, under which the blades are located), the faster the machine will cope with the work. Universal rule of thumb: the wider the working width, the more powerful the motor.
By adjusting the width of the deck to the size of the lawn:
Clear table. How long will lawn mowers with different deck widths cope with mowing the lawn on four acres?
Grass discharge and mulching
The simplest lawnmower models throw the cuttings to the side or back. After mowing, it has to be picked up by hand every time.
To save time, most modern lawnmowers are equipped with a grass catcher box. The bigger the tank, the longer you can work without stopping. If you do not have a self-propelled machine, remember: the larger the grass catcher box, the heavier will be the mower during mowing.
Most domestic and semi-professional machines are equipped with 40-60 litre grass catchers. A useful feature that most models have is a tank fill indicator. The machine signals when it runs out of space for mowed grass.
GARDENA 330 Classic
This is not a petrol or even a battery lawnmower. It has no engine at all. The grass is mowed mechanically by rotating blades of grass while driving. Definitely not the most comfortable option, especially if the grass is high, but in our rating this product was included because of the popularity of the brand. Gardena is the most famous gardening equipment manufacturer in the world. Its products are valued for their reliability and quality. Every ergonomic detail has been thought out. The handle is foldable, the knives can be adjusted with just one movement and so on. Working with this mower is a pleasure and thanks to just one set of wheels, you can work on any terrain, even the most intricate ones. The cutting width is 33 centimeters and the height is adjustable in 4 positions from 12 to 42 millimeters. The housing is made entirely of steel. Only the decorative plastic panels are made of durable material that does not break at the first touch.