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Lawnmower Buying Tips
The lawn mower is arguably the most important member of your garden machinery family. Therefore it's important to choose the mower suitable to your needs.
The key factors you need to consider are lawn size, accessibility and the quality of cut you wish to acheive.
If you’re the type of gardener who wants to get up and down the lawn as quickly as possible a self-propelled 4-wheeled rotary lawn mower will be right up your street. Lighter and cheaper than rear roller mowers, they also deal better with uneven ground. Easy to turn, 4-wheeled mowers produce a neat and tidy finish.
As another rotary style mower, hover lawn mowers also deal well with long coarse grass. Perfect for a city garden, electric hovers are versatile, small and lightweight for easy storage. They cope well on uneven ground and some models are even capable of operating at a 45º angle, ideal for banked gardens. However, some smaller models do not come with a collector and so you will need to rake the lawn afterwards. When the cutting blade is not operating there is no downdraft to lift the mower off the grass surface, this can make it trickier to transfer from storage to lawn. The larger heavier petrol models overcome this problem with the option of attachable back wheels.
If you want the quick and easy finish of a rotary lawn mower but without the fumes and mess of petrol engines or the annoyance of a cable with electric engines then a cordless lawn mower could be the right choice for you. Battery technology has vastly improved in the last 10 years making cordless machines a viable alternative and with charging times less than 1 hour for many models your lawn mower will be ready to use any time. Manufactures have made using all your garden machinery easy by offering a range of items that use the same battery and charger.
Smaller and even cheaper are push lawnmowers are ideal for compact gardens. They are often lighter and can be stored in smaller spaces. In addition, a hand mower is a great way to mow the lawn in an environmentally friendly way and get a gentle workout at the same time.
Although rear wheels ease manoeuvrability they also a pose a problem of their own as they’re likely to slip over border edges scalping the lawn. To get around this problem choose a rear roller mower, which remain level and stable right up to border edges, producing the much sought after striped effect.
Rear roller lawn mowers are best suited to flat lawns as the extra weight of the steel roller can make manoeuvrability cumbersome on uneven ground. Unfortunately, rear rollers aren’t always available on mowers that have mulching systems as the re-cut grass tends to stick to the roller affecting cutting and striping abilities. This means you may have no option but to make several trips to the compost heap.
For a truly healthy lawn, cut with a mulcher (recycling) lawn mower. Grass is cut by the rotary blade then re-cut as it returns to the lawn, restoring essential nutrients, present in the clippings, back into the soil. Mulchers are often seen as time-saving machines as there’s no need for trips to the compost heap to empty the grass collector. On the flip-side you can only cut a third of the length of the grass in one go, otherwise too high a volume of clippings will sit on the lawn blocking sunlight and damaging grass and soil. So although cutting time per session is reduced you’ll have to cut slightly more frequently in the peak growing season. Most of these machines are supplied with a grass collector which can be used if your grass gets too long for recycling. One disadvantage of cutting in mulching mode, and leaving the grass trimmings on the lawn, is if you have children playing on the grass - they can end up trampling grass into the house!
For those with very fine lawns or bowls players, cylinder lawn mowers are capable of producing lawns of the highest quality. The horizontally mounted cylinder rotates with a series of blades, and are only suitable for flat lawns with fine grass. Cylinders create striped lawns and some can be fitted with a scarifier and other accessories to further enhance the quality of your lawn. On the negative side, cylinders can’t cope with long or spiky grass as the front roller keeps it flattened whilst the cutting blades pass over.
Cylinder mowers are available in all shapes and sizes from two-wheeled push models to electric powered and larger petrol driven machines. Operating a larger, heavier cylinder can be tiresome, although the Allett range can be converted into a comfortable ride-on mower. Cylinders are not appropriate for uneven or family gardens as stones will easily bend and chip the blades.
When choosing a lawnmower, consider how bumpy your lawn is, how long your borders are, how strong you are, and whether you want a visually stunning lawn or a practical tidy one.
Have a look at our full range of lawn mowers, rear roller lawn mowers for that classic striped finish, cylinder lawn mowers for the perfect flat lawn, mulching lawn mowers to boost your lawn nutrients and rotary lawn mowers for a quick and easy mow.