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Glossary of Lawn Mower Terms

More information on commonly used lawn mower terms

Chassis (Lawn Mower Chassis, may also be referred to as the ‘cutting deck’):

This is the main ‘body’ of a lawn mower where the blades are housed. Most lawn mowers will have a metal deck (steel or aluminium), but some are now made of robust plastic. Generally, if the deck is made of metal then it will be heavier than a plastic one, this is something worth thinking about when buying. The advantage of a metal deck is that they often seen as more sturdy but they can be prone to corrosion over time. To keep your lawn mower chassis rust-free ensure it is free from damp grass and is fully dry before covering, then make sure it stands on a dry surface when being stored. The main advantage of a plastic (or "poly") deck is they are lighter and have no issue with rust of corrosion. However, some people feel that a plastic deck is not as strong as a metal one, but in our experience this is not the case.

Collection Bag or Collector:

This is the bag/compartment that your grass clippings will go into when mowing the lawn. The bigger the lawn mower collection bag, the more grass clippings can be collected which means it will need to be emptied less frequently which means you’ll get the lawn mowed in less time. Collectors used to be made of solid plastic, but in the interests of weight reduction and lower of manufacturing costs this is starting to change. Don't be surprised if your new lawn mower has a collection bag made of robust fabric. This makes them easy to store and they are more flexible than solid collectors.

Cordless Lawn Mowers (Battery Powered Lawn Mowers):

A cordless lawn mower is a battery powered lawn mower. Consider how long it will take to cut your lawn before buying a battery-powered mower and see if the battery will go for as long as you need. Also consider how long the manufacturer states it takes for a battery to recharge. If you buy a battery powered/cordless lawn mower then consider having two batteries – one for the mower when it’s in use, the other can then be on charge. View our full range of cordless lawn mowers.

Cutting Deck:

See Chassis

Cutting Width:

This is the width of lawn the mower will cut in one stripe. The wider the cutting width is the less times you will have to go up and down and the faster you will mow your lawn. 

Cylinder Lawn Mowers:

Cylinder lawn mowers provide a scissor-like cut to your lawn. Typically these types of lawn mower are suited to lawns which require a fine finish and a short cut. Cylinders mowers are only recommended for use with very flat areas of grass, they will not cope well with uneven lawns.View our full range of cylinder lawn mowers

Electric Lawn Mowers:

Electric lawn mowers come in all shapes and designs including cylinder and hover lawn mowers. The main bugbear of an electric lawn mower is the cable. The distance between the plug and the furthest point away at which the lawn must be mowed needs to considered before buying an electric mower. Typically, electric mowers are cheaper and quieter than petrol their counterparts. View our range of electric lawn mowers

Hand Lawn Mowers:

Many consider hand mowers to be out of date and old fashioned now. A hand lawn mower requires no electric or petrol power. You simply push the lawn mower and it cuts the lawn. These hand mowers are quiet and environmentally friendly and need almost no servicing. View our range of hand lawn mowers

Hover Mowers:

Hover lawn mowers literally hover over the lawn. The rotating blades create a cushion of air over which you cut your lawn. They are typically lightweight and easy to store. They’re suited mostly to smaller gardens when a refined finish is not needed. Often a hover mower not not come with a grass collector and so the cuttings will be left on the lawn. View our range of hover lawn mowers

Key Start Lawn Mowers:

An electric key start lawn mower does not require you to pull on a cord to get your mower going; it makes the mower starting process simple. Typically, they use a battery which needs recharging. Some battery units will need to be removed and charged remotely and some will have a cord attached to the mower which needs to be plugged in to charge. View our range of key start lawn mowers.

Lawn Scarifiers(Lawn Aerators):

Lawn scarifiers and lawn aerators do the job of allowing air and water to reach grass roots. Lawn scarifiers remove moss and thatch build up from lawns. This build up can suffocate your lawn preventing air, nutrients and water reaching its roots. Lawn aerators come in two types, the first and more intensive type works by using hollow spikes which remove very small bits of soil as they leave the ground allowing air and/or moisture to reach the soil. The second type have small blades which score the ground leaving cuts in the surface of the lawn. These are commonly needed and used on well-used parts of the lawn. View our range of lawn scarifiers and aerators.

Mulching Lawn Mowers (Also known as recycling mowers):

These mowers do not collect grass clippings, instead clippings are held in the balde area and cut very fine before being expelled onto the lawn as you mow. The clippings act as compost for your lawn. A mulching/recycling lawn mower’s clippings are specifically designed to be left on the grass. The clippings from a regular lawn mower are bulky and need to be removed from your lawn to avoid any suffocation risks. View our range of mulching lawn mowers.

Push Lawn Mowers:

Push lawn mowers are mowers with no driving force provided by an engine. This is fine if a mower is not too heavy or if you don’t have too big an area to mow. Push lawn mowers can range from quite big, petrol powered mowers right through to hand mowers. These are typically smaller and lighter in weight, they require only man power to power them – no petrol or electric. View our hand mowers and push powered mowers.

Rear Roller Lawn Mowers:

These are lawn mowers that have rear rollers fitted to them. A rear roller creates a striped lawn effect. View our range of rear roller lawn mowers.

Ride On Lawn Mowers (also known as lawn tractors):

Ride on lawn mowers are suited to people with very large areas of lawn to mow. These lawn mowers are driven (much like a car). They are typically expensive and trickier to maintain but these points do not outweigh the benefits of a ride on mower to those with big areas of lawn to maintain. View our range of ride on lawn mowers.

Robotic Lawn Mowers:

Robotic lawn mowers are becoming more and more popular due to their ease of use. Many now have an app so you can control your mower from your mobile phone. Usually, they require the owner to set up a border around the area which needs to be mowed. The robotic mower then cuts the grass within the designated area. They rely on battery power and can take some time to get the job done, but will get round the whole lawn usually in a specified time. Many dock themselves to a battery charging station of their own accord which eliminates much of the need for any human interaction at all. View our robotic lawn mowers.

Rough Grass Cutters:

These are a cross between a lawn mower and a trimmer. They are like wheeled trimmers and are used for tackling large areas of overgrown areas of land. View our rough grass cutters.

Scalping (Lawn Scalping, Scalped Lawn Edges):

Lawn scalping occurs when a lawn is cut much too short. This commonly happens at the edge of the lawn, particularly if your mower falls over the edge of a flower border. It can lead to thinning of the grass as well as grass discolouration – it also allows for easier weed takeovers.

Self-Propelled Lawn Mowers:

A self-propelled lawn mower is one that can ‘drive itself’ in essence. Pushing big, petrol lawn mowers around can be hard work, having a self-propelled lawn mower takes a lot of the need to ‘push’ away from the user. Bear in mnd that the speed is set in the factory and can often be quite a brisk pace. View our range of self-propelled lawn mowers.

Striped Lawn:

You need a lawn mower that presses onto the grass to achieve a striped lawn. You need either a rotary lawn mower or a cylinder lawn mower with a rear roller attached or built in. View our range of petrol rear roller mowers or all rear roller lawn mowers.

Rotary Lawn Mowers:

The super-quick blades on these mowers act like scythes. The blade rotates horizontally and is underneath the deck. Rotary mowers come in all shapes and sizes from small electric, cordless and petrol models to larger ride on mowers and rear roller mowers to give a striped finish. They will suit lawns and even paddocks making them a popular lawn mower choice. View our rotary lawn mowers.

For further lawn care and lawn mower articles why not view: Annual Lawn Care Calendar from Gardenlines, A Useful Guide to Buying Lawn Mowers, Winter Lawn Care Tips Lawn Scarifying Guide View our full range of lawn mowers, lawn mower accessories, lawn mower blades and lawn scarifiers.


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