Choosing a Lawn Mower
Choosing the right lawn mower can be the difference between having
a visually stunning lawn and a lawn that appears inadequately maintained.
What factors do we need to look at when choosing a lawn mower? This
article aims to give you the information you need to be able to
make a sensible choice.
Whilst it is easy to simply look at the length the list of features
the lawn mower has on its box (or given on a web page) we should
aim to identify our needs before we start trying to choose a mower.
The most important factors that must be matched to our requirements
are given below.
How large are the lawn(s) that the mower will be used on? Large
lawns may need a ride on mower or else you could be mowing all day
If you have a small lawn and want a high quality lawn with short
grass length then a cylinder mower is a good option to look at.
Hand driven cylinder mowers will give a very good finish and are
suitable for small lawns.
Do you want the lawn mower to collect the grass clippings in a
box / container or are you happy to rake the lawn after mowing?
Do you want a mulching (recycler) mower that will cut the clippings
into tiny pieces and then return them onto the lawn? The result
of the mulching mower is that an organic source of Nitrogen is returned
to the soil as the mulched clippings decompose rapidly. A mulching
lawn mower will also prevent the need for raking the clippings.
Those who are short of time or have reduced mobility or strength
may decide to look at a self propelled automatic lawn mower as there
is no need to push them and they will get on with the job whilst
you are busy doing something else.
What power supply will the mower use? Is your garden to large for
using an extension lead for an electric motor? Do you have power
breakers in case you cut the cable? Are you happy letting children
fill up a petrol mower?
Lawn mowers require maintenance, can you spare the time and costs
that are associated with taking your mower to a service centre?
Rotary mower blades can be sharpened by yourself. Whereas cylinder
mower blades require a more experienced touch.
Do you want your lawn mower to create a striped effect on your
lawn? Some types of mower are better suited to creating stripes
How flat is the lawn? This will affect how easy it is to push walk
behind mowers and also affect the safety of using the mower as ride
on mowers can also overturn and walk behind mowers can roll back
onto the operator. Both these can result in horrific injuries due
to the crushing weight of the mower or contact with the mower blades.
Who will be using the mower?
This is critical in determining a number of factors including how
heavy the lawn mower is. People who aren’t very strong may
have trouble pushing a walk behind mower around the whole lawn.
As well as the physical effort of pushing the lawn mower the ability
to manoeuvre the mower round corners and on slopes must also be
What safety features does the mower feature?
Thousands of hospital treatments are needed every year as a result
of lawn mower accidents and so safety aspects such as protected
blades, risk of upturning and power cut off should be high in your
list of priorities.
How easy is the motor to start? Some petrol models require a strong
arm to pull the cord that starts the motor. Some mowers will start
by simply pulling a lever or pressing a button.
Determine what grass types your lawn is made up of. Certain grasses
such as bluegrass and fescue should not be cut very short and so
a rotary mower will suit for these grass types.
Which mower type
Ride on mower, cylinder mower, rotary mower, electric mower, automatic
mowe or petrol mower… Once you have assessed the points listed
above you should be able to make a fairly informed judgement on which
type of mower will be best suited to your lawn and your needs. You
should also be able to identify the features on the mower specifications
that are necessary for maintaining your lawn.