Which Type Of Lawnmower Will Be Best For You?

Looking to buy a new lawnmower but don’t have a clue where to start? Have no fear; our beginner’s guide to the different types of lawnmowers will be all you need to get your head around the different types on the market.


A relatively inexpensive type of mower, these are the most popular type in the UK.

Rotary mowers are good all-rounders. They can be used all year with ease, coping well with long tough grasses better than some other types of mower. If you go away a lot and therefore are unable to cut your grass as often as you would like, rotary mowers are a good option. A horizontal rotating blade is supported by wheels which can be adjusted to change the height of the cut. They are also good for less even ground, coping well with any lumps or bumps. Rotary mowers with a rear roller are capable of achieving a striped effect (although this looks best when the ground is nice and even).

For a smaller garden, you might want to choose a quiet, easy start electric model, while if you need a bit more power you might want to consider petrol machines. The added benefit with petrol mower is that there aren’t any wires trailing behind you which you will have to avoid. A third option is the ever efficient cordless lawnmower – simply charge your battery up and you’re ready to go.


Cylinder lawnmowers consist of several cutting blades positioned around a horizontal shaft. As a general rule, the more cutting blades there are the cleaner the cut will be. Cylinder mowers are often considered to give the best possible cut, so they will often be used by those maintaining bowling greens, or anyone with a well maintained ornamental lawn.

You will need a rear roller to achieve the stripped effect.

These machines work less well on longer grass as generally you will not be able to adjust them as much as you would some other types of lawnmower. Make sure you keep on top of cutting to ensure that you’re removing no more than the maximum one third off the length of the grass.

Choose between hand propelled, electric or petrol models.


Hover mowers were invented in 1964 by Karl Dahlman, after he saw a working hovercraft. A single horizontal cutting blade rotates at high speed causing a cushion of air which lifts the machine. The air cushion makes the mower incredibly easy and light to manoeuvre, so they are particularly popular in gardens with slopes.

They can be used to cut long or short grass, although some more basic models do not have a grass box. They cannot be used to produce stripes as they do not press down on grass in the same way machines with a rear roller will.

Hover mowers are available in both electric and petrol models, with the most well known (but not the only) brand being the distinctive orange Flymo.

Ride on

Larger ride on lawnmowers are perfect for big gardens which are particularly time consuming to maintain. While they are much more expensive than smaller domestic lawnmowers, the time saved can easily make up for the initial outlay. For an even larger space, consider a garden tractor.

Robotic lawnmowers

For the most reluctant gardeners, buy a lawnmower that requires almost no input from you whatsoever. Simply plug in and programme your machine and it will do all the work while you get on with other jobs or simply sit back and relax.

We’ve more advice if you head over to our Free Advice pages where we have buying guides and frequently asked questions to make your decision simpler.