Lawn Mower Buying Guide

    Here's What You Need To Know 

    You want to keep your grass and garden looking great but don’t want to pay over the odds for doing so? This is why buying a new lawnmower is such a big decision for most people - with so many features and options to consider where do you begin? Our lawnmower buyer’s guide is a great place to start and will help you select the ideal lawnmower for the type, size and shape of the lawn you own.


    Whether you’re a new home owner looking to invest in a lawnmower for your first garden, or simply wishing to upgrade, buying a mower can be a tricky task – electric or battery powered? Rotary or hover? Grass collection box or mulching?


    Fear not, this handy guide will provide enough information to transform even the most novice of gardeners in to a lawnmower expert in no time, meaning making that all-important purchase will be a breeze!


    The Different Types of Lawn Mowers


    There’s a variety of types of lawnmower available for you to choose from, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. When choosing the type of lawnmower to buy, remember to take into account the size and shape of your garden.

    Hover Mowers


    Hover mowers are designed to glide effortlessly across your lawn. They float on a cushion of air making them lightweight and easy to manoeuvre, allowing you to mow your lawn quickly and easily. This unique ‘hover technology’ allows the user to mow in any direction, over flat paths, under bushes, down slight slopes, round trees, and when the lawn is cut, it’s easy to carry and store away. There are two types of hover lawn mowers. Collecting models that collect the grass, and non-collecting models which leave grass clippings on the lawn. Depending on the length of your grass and how often you cut your lawn, these clippings with either mulch back into the lawn and as lawn feed, or alternatively will require raking.


    Suitable lawn types:

    Perfect for most lawn types whether they are uneven or oddly shaped, contain obstacles or have sloped areas. Electric hover lawnmowers are capable of cutting big and small lawns (dependent on the model). 


    Rotary Mowers


    Rotary (wheeled) lawn mowers generally have wheels and collect the grass cuttings in a collection box for users to then dispose of, or preferably add to their compost bin. If you are after a striped finish to your lawn, then you should choose a rotary mower with a roller mounted to the back of the machine. Both electric or battery powered rotary lawn mowers are available.


    Suitable lawn types:

    Perfect for basic/simple shaped lawns, or lawns where a stripe is required. Slopes can be a little bit of a hassle so flatter lawns are more ideal. Many rotary lawnmowers can cut close to edges or walls/fencing meaning less need for a grass trimmer to tidy up the edges later, so are great for lawns that are enclosed by raised edges or borders.



    Robotic Mowers


    Robot lawnmowers are ideal for those of us that want to spend less time mowing their lawn, and more time relaxing doing the things you love. Robotic lawnmowers work by mowing within a boundary wire set by the owner around the edge of the lawn, and once simply programmed it will mow your lawn regularly to keep it well maintained. They are smart enough to navigate around your lawn and will automatically go back to its charging station when it needs to recharge or the mowing schedule is completed. They are designed to permanently be left out on the lawn all day and night, cutting the tips of the grass regularly and often- keeping your lawn manicured with minimal effort for you!


    Suitable lawn types:

    All lawns types are suitable, including narrow corridors and slopes, but be sure to check this against the model specification as some models this varies slightly. The max area capacity of the mower means you should check this againt the size of the lawn.


    The Different Power Sources Available


    The power source of your chosen lawn mower will generally be dependent on the size of the lawn you plan on cutting. Typically the larger the lawn the more power you will require. We wouldn’t recommend battery for a very large garden, as they are more suited to small/medium size. However a robotic lawn mower is ideal for all garden sizes – just be sure to buy the model that is designed and capable of cutting to your gardens square meterage.


    You also need to think about access to a power supply especially when considering an electric lawn mower to ensure you can reach the furthers point on your lawn or at least to the nearest edge of your lawn for the robotic lawn mower’s charging station, which would then roam around the garden cutting the grass before returning to re-charge.

    Electric Lawnmowers


    The power of all electric lawnmowers is measured in watts. A good rule of thumb is the higher the wattage - the more power the machines has, therefore the better its cutting performance in longer or thicker grass. Smaller cutting width lawnmowers do not require as much power and are more economical, so should not be dismissed based on lower wattages.


    Battery Lawnmowers


    Battery lawnmowers are becoming increasingly popular as they provide you with the benefit of cordless freedom (no mains cable), they are quiet and in some cases the battery can be used on a selection of different garden tools. Battery lawnmowers will have a voltage rating (V) that will determine the performance output, and each battery will have a capacity (Ah) that will determine the runtime (e.g. 36V 2.6Ah). The higher the Ah the longer the runtime will usually be, however it can be effected by a number of factors such as motor efficiency, grass conditions or cutting width. First cut of the season you might find the runtime is less than expected as it puts more strain on the motor and battery due to the longer and more dense grass.


    Other Things to Consider:


    There are a number of considerations to make when purchasing a Lawnmower, such as:

    What size is your lawn?

    The lawnmower's cutting width can determine how long it takes you to cut your lawn. The bigger the blade width means you will cut your lawn faster due to the wider cutting width. Whatever lawnmower you choose consider the cutting width as the bigger the blade the less time you will spend walking up and down cutting your lawn. If you have a small lawn then an electric lawnmower is ideal, just make sure the cable can reach every corner of the lawn or you have an extension cable handy. For larger lawns battery lawnmowers offer cordless freedom but make sure the battery is capable of cutting your lawn on one charge. A robotic lawnmower is suitable for larger lawns but can fit in small gardens equally well. Just remember you need access to a power socket for the charging station and they have a max area capacity which varies by model.



    What Shape is your lawn?

    Rotary wheeled lawnmowers are suited for more basic/simple shaped and flatter lawns with less obstructions, but for more irregular shapes you may want to consider a hover lawnmower for greater manoeuvrability, they are also particularly good on slopes. A robotic lawnmower can handle both simple or complex lawn shapes but you need to consider the narrowest part of the lawn and if the model is capable of operating in it.


    Number of lawns

    If you have multiple lawns you might have to consider the weight of the product and how it can be transported between lawns. Most lawnmowers either have transport wheels or a handle that allows you to carry the lawnmower safely to a secondary lawn, shed or garage. If there is a particularly long way between them you should consider a smaller lighter mower.


    Robotic lawn mowers can also cut secondary lawns, as long as the boundary wire can continuously reach and mark out the mowing area.


    Required Lawn Finish

    Typically, there are two common types of lawn finishes, striped or with no stripes. If you would like a striped finish lawn, then you need a lawnmower with a roller. If you don’t require stripes and just want to get the job done then a lawnmower without a roller should be used. If you want a beautiful lush green lawn, consider a robotic lawnmower as they mow the lawn in a way which return the grass clippings back into the lawn, once decomposed they add nutrients into the soil acting like a fertiliser for healthier lawn growth.


    Available Storage Space?

    The dimensions and a lawnmower's ability to fold down need to be taken into account if you have limited space for storage. Some mowers can stand vertically to save floor space if the shed/garage is crowded. A robotic lawnmower is designed to stay out on the lawn throughout the growing season, but needs to come inside during the winter and can be wall mounted. Some hover lawnmowers can fold flat and also be mounted vertically on the wall to save floor space. 


    Obstacles in Garden?

    There are many obstacles on a lawn such as slopes, trees, flowerbeds, kids toys and even ponds just to name a few. Hover lawnmowers are the easiest to manoeuvre around most obstacles including slopes which are more difficult for rotary wheeled lawnmowers. Robotic lawnmowers as long as they are set up correctly can manage most challenges with zero effort.


    Do you have easy accessibility to your lawn?

    Pathways, gates, do you have any stairs to climb? Don’t buy a lawnmower that is wider than the narrowest access point of the lawn e.g. garden gate. A lightweight, easy to carry lawnmower might be a better option if you have steps or a long way to walk to the lawn or split level lawns.


    Features to consider:


    Hopefully you’ll now be at the stage where you have insight into which mower suits your garden – before you make the final decision, it’s worth bearing in mind the various features that come with the mower. We’ve touched upon a few of these above, but here’s a little more detail to make sure you’re fully informed:


    Mulching – this means your grass clippings are cut incredibly fine before being expelled onto the lawn as you mow. The grass then quickly breaks down and acts as natural fertiliser providing nutrients and moisture into your lawn. This is the case for robotic and non collect hover lawn mowers.


    Collection Box (or bag) – if you don’t fancy a mulching mower, a collection box or bag is your next best bet. The bigger the collection box, the more grass clippings it’ll collect, meaning you don’t have to empty as frequently – it’s as simple as that! Some collection boxes compact the grass cuttings down as well, meaning you can collect more grass in a smaller space.


    Central Cutting Height Adjustment – helps you to dictate the height of the grass, meaning you can leave it longer or take it shorter whenever required. It’s usually easy to do via a lever on the side of your lawnmower and advisable to vary the cutting height depending on the season and whether conditions. Never cut more than a third of the grass blade off in one go.


    Cutting Width – technically not an feature, but one worth bearing in mind – this will let you know the width of lawn the mower will cut in one stripe. The wider the cutting width, the faster you’ll mow your lawn, however make sure that you pick a lawnmower that will fit down the smallest passageway of your lawn, otherwise you will need to use a grass trimmer to cut the grass in this area.


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