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 (and some).
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 than others.
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 considered.
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.