Types of Lawnmowers; what's the difference?

There are many different types of lawnmower available to purchase, each with their own merits, and you can traditionally break lawnmowers down into four main categories. 

Hover Mowers

Hover Mowers are characterised as being lightweight and easy to manoeuvre. Hover mowers work by creating a cushion of air between the lawn and the mower, which enables it to glide across the lawn with ease.

They are ideal for gardens that have slopes or are irregularly shaped. Hover mowers are typically smaller and more compact than rotary mowers, enabling them to be stored in garages or sheds easily. The first hover mower was invented in 1964 by Flymo founder Karl Dahlman who based his design on a hover craft.


Rotary Lawnmowers

Rotary Mowers can be typically distinguished by having wheels. A rotary mower works by cutting the grass from above using a rotating blade. Unlike the cylinder or hover lawnmowers, rotary mowers can add stripes to your lawn by attaching a rear roller which flattens the grass as it cuts. This flattening of the grass causes the light to reflect from the grass in a different direction which creates the illusion of it being a different colour. Petrol lawnmowers tend to be more rotary in design, enabling them to tackle tougher, more challenging lawns. 

View Flymo's range of corded rotary mowers

View Flymo's range of cordless rotary mowers

rotary lawanmower

Cylinder Lawnmowers

Are the traditional type of lawnmower that you will often see being used by groundsmen in sporting complexes. As the name suggests a cylinder lawnmower has a series of blades built in a cylindrical shape with a wheel on either end.

This type of lawnmower requires the owner to manually push the lawnmower forwards and backwards in order to cut the grass, which can require the user to be quite physically fit. However, this is the most environmentally friendly type of lawn mower as it does not require petrol or electricity to power it.

A cylinder mower cuts the grass very finely allowing the grass clippings to break down and return to the lawn quicker than other types of lawnmower. On some models you can add collection bags if you wish to collect the grass clippings. These lawnmowers provide some of the best finishes to your lawn; however the lawn has to be cut often as they typically struggle to cut longer grass.

robotic lawnmower

Robotic Lawnmowers


In recent years a fourth type of lawnmower has emerged on the market. Robot lawnmowers are now capable of cutting your lawn while you sleep allowing you to enjoy your garden during the day. Robotic mowers work by installing a boundary wire around the perimeter of the garden, which tells the robot lawnmower where to cut the lawn. The robot mower then regularly cuts the lawn, and returns itself to its charging station automatically when it needs more power. Robotic lawn mowers will cut the grass day or night, rain or shine and can typically be programmed to cut the lawn whatever time of day without disturbing the neighbours.

Typically robotic mowers are used for larger residential gardens and are good alternatives to larger petrol or cordless lawnmowers.