The size and shape of your garden are probably the most important aspects in determining the correct lawn mower for you to purchase.
Smaller gardens are typically suited for smaller, cheaper lawn mowers. The type of lawn mower is generally down to personal preference as cylinder, rotary and hover mowers are all up to the job.
Generally people will use electric lawn mowers for smaller gardens over petrol mowers because they are typically smaller, cheaper and easier to store.
For medium-large gardens more powerful electric lawn mowers or petrol mowers should be considered. Using cheaper lower powered electric lawn mowers on larger gardens may cause the machines motor to overheat / burnout after prolonged use. Not only will this leave your garden half cut, most manufacturers are unlikely to replace the machine under warranty, if this is deemed the cause.
The shape of your garden should also be taken into account when selecting a lawn mower. If your garden slopes, is uneven, has curved borders etc. it may mean some machines are unsuitable.
Some wheeled lawn mowers may be either too heavy or do not provide the movability required to get into the corners/spaces of your garden. For these types of gardens, hover mowers are considered the best choice as they float on a cushion of air, making them lightweight and extremely easy to manoeuvre.
Type of lawn mower
There are a various types or styles of lawn mower available for you to choose from, each with their own benefits and disadvantages. When choosing the type of lawn mower to buy remember to take into account the size and shape of your garden.
These mowers have blades that rotate vertically on the front the machine. They help to give a fine, short cut. Cylinder lawn mowers are suitable for flat even gardens, and should be used on grass that is cut regularly.
Hover mowers are designed to glide effortlessly across your garden. They float on a cushion of air which makes them lightweight and easy to manoeuvre making them ideal of uneven or oddly shaped gardens. Electric hover mowers are capable of cutting big and small gardens (dependant on the model). There are two types of hover mower. Collecting models that collect the grass and non-collecting models which leave grass clippings on the lawn.
Rotary lawn mowers are suitable for most types of lawn. The lawn mower blades rotate horizontally providing the user the ability to adjust the height of the cut depending on their preferences. Usually rotary lawn mowers collect the grass cuttings in a collection box for users to then dispose of, or add to their compost bin.
If you are after a stripped finish to your lawn, then you should choose a rotary mower with a roller mounted to the back of the machine.
Lawn mowers are powered by either electricity or petrol. The type of mower you purchase depends on when you are likely to cut your grass and how large your garden is.
Electric lawn mowers
When selecting a lawn mower, larger gardens will require machine will more power to cope with the extra demands of cutting your lawn. Electric mowers are designed to cut grass when it is dry and when the grass is reasonably short. Cutting wet, long grass can strain your lawn mowers motor and cause it burn out. It is also not advisable for safety reasons.
The power of all electric lawn mowers is measured in watts. The higher the wattage the more power the machines has, therefore the better its performance.
Petrol lawn mowers
Generally more expensive than electric mowers, petrol lawn mowers should be purchased when you plan on cutting larger gardens or gardens that may have longer grass. The power of petrol mowers is measured in CC’s. The higher the CC rating generally the more power the machine has.
Features to consider
When choosing a lawn mower to buy, you will see most brands advertising a variety of features and benefits of their machines - but what do they really mean? Below explains some of the common added features available on the market today.
Think this is simple? Think again! There are a number of things to consider before purchasing your new lawn mower.
To collect or not to collect – that is the question. Most grass collection boxes are detachable; however some are built in, so you should check before buying. If you buy a lawn mower with a built-in collection box, you will need to take into account how often you will need to stop and empty the box when it is full. This will require additional time if you are cutting large lawns, however it will leave the garden looking better as there will be no cut grass lying on the ground. Boxes with larger capacity will help reduce the number of trips you will be required to make saving you time. However look out for lawnmowers that compact the grass in their collection box, like those in the Flymo hover range.
Alternatively if you do not wish to collect the cut grass, some lawn mowers offer what is called mulching action. This is where the lawn mower cuts the grass into much smaller pieces before it is released back onto the lawn. This allows the grass to compost more quickly ensuring the nutrients enter your lawn faster, helping it stay healthy and green.
Most rotary and hover mowers allow the user to adjust the cutting height of the lawn mower. One key feature to look for is the number of cutting heights available. Lawn mowers that allow you to adjust the height at which the grass is cut makes the machine suitable to use all year round.
During the spring/autumn winter months when it is wetter, you will want to maintain the grass at a much longer length. When it is warmer and dryer during the summer, you will want to cut the grass much shorter. In periods of extreme heat it is recommended that you allow the grass to grow longer to protect the soil from the heat and retain moisture. By having adjustable cutting heights you will be able to maintain your lawn better and ensure the grass remain green all year round.
There are generally two types of blades that rotary and hover mowers come with; metal or plastic. If you are planning on cutting long or wet grass, metal blades should be used as plastic blades make struggle to cut the grass. Plastic blades should be used on shorter dry grass. Metal blades however do provide a much sharper and cleaner cut.
Length of cable
If you have decided to buy an electric mower, you need to think about whether the cable provided will reach from your plug socket to the farthest point in your garden. If not you will need to use an extension cable.