When it comes to lawnmowers, there’s no one size fits all. Here’s what to look for to find the perfect fit.
If your lawn is small, you may want to consider a manual lawnmower, also known as a hand lawnmower. They’re compact, free from emissions and won’t disturb your neighbours.
Also known as a push lawnmower, this is perfect if your garden is under 2,000 square metres. Keep in mind the number of tight turns you have to make, as the larger the mower the more difficult it can be to control. Also consider any trees, flowerbeds and walkways you have.
If your lawn is over 2000 square metres, pushing a walk-behind mower can be hard work, so it may be worth investing in a ride-on mower.
If you’d rather stick pins in your eyes than mow your lawn, let the clever robotic mower do it for you, rain, hail or shine. It can tackle a complex garden with ease and because it’s quiet, it can even work at night, without disturbing anyone.
Front vs rear vs all-wheel drive
Front-wheel drive mowers give you extra traction and strength if your lawn is uneven or rugged. It’s also possible to turn the mower while the motor is running, by lifting the front wheels off the ground. If you’re a stickler for straight lines, a rear-wheel drive mower makes it easier to mow neatly, and if you have a smaller garden, the compact design makes it easy to manoeuvre in tight spaces. If your lawn is hilly and uneven, an all-wheel drive mower is the best option.
Petrol vs battery-powered
Petrol mowers will give you a longer runtime and more grunt and are ideal for a lawn that’s over 50 square metres. Battery-powered mowers are cleaner and quieter, so you don’t have to worry about disturbing your neighbours on a Sunday morning and, with up to 90 minutes run time, can cut your lawn in a single charge.
The larger your lawn the wider the cutting deck should be. Most mowers have a cutting diameter of between 41 to 53 centimetres. Every centimetre makes a difference as a mower with a wide cutting deck means less time mowing the lawn. Look for a mower with a one-piece alloy cutting deck as it will last longer and give you a more stable mowing experience.
Often overlooked, wheels can make a big difference in how easy a mower is to use. Dual ball bearing wheels ensure the mower rolls easily, even after many years of use, while big wheels improve handling on rough ground.
Before you buy your mower, have a feel of the handle. Is it comfortable? Does it have good grip? A good handle bar will help reduce vibration and fatigue. Ideally, the handle should be height-adjustable. Some models have a space-saving foldable handlebar. Are controls (like the engine lever) close at hand and easy to see? These should be on the handlebar so you can work the mower without too much effort.
Several cutting heights
A big factor in creating a perfect lawn is choosing your cutting height. The right height for mowing your lawn depends on your grass type, the season and growing conditions, so your mower should have several cutting height options from 1.25 to 4 inches.
Most mowers deal with grass clippings in one of three ways, while some can handle multiple cutting systems.
Catcher/bagging mowers collect clippings in a bag, which you then throw away with your green waste. Catchers give tidy results and save time because you don’t have to rake clippings after mowing. Catchers are also great if you have a lot of leaves on your lawn and if you want to avoid allergic reactions to grass and reduce the spreading of weed seeds.
Side/rear ejection mowers distribute clippings back onto your lawn and can handle tall, wild and coarse grass types and seldom-cut lawns.
For a lawn that’ll be the envy of your neighbours, mulching is the way to go. Mulching cuts clippings into very fine pieces, which then break down and release nutrients back into the soil, naturally fertilising your lawn. This also makes your lawn more drought-resistant. If you’re forever raking leaves from your lawn, a mulching mower is a great solution.