At first, we may think that buying a new lawnmower is an easy task; jumping into the car and popping down to the garden centre may be your first choice if you like to see something in person, or you may prefer to browse and purchase at your leisure online. However, it soon becomes apparent that the choice of machinery on offer nowadays is quite overwhelming and may leave you wondering which way to turn: rear-roller, four-wheel rotary, cylinder mower, electric or petrol, to mulch or not to mulch and so on…and then, of course you would like to get the best lawnmower for your money. As a result, it’s not always easy deciding on the best mower for your garden.
In the articles in this section we’ll attempt to shed some light on which lawnmower will best suit your needs with regards to your budget, the grass conditions at your property and your overall gardening aspirations.
Many people like the idea of having a formal, striped finish to their lawn or grass area, keen to replicate the look of a top quality tennis court or bowling green; this being the case, we will start our series of advice notes by looking at rear roller rotary lawnmowers. The ultra short grass finishes we see at top sporting events are achieved with petrol cylinder mowers that literally shave the grass with a scissor-like action. These machines will be covered in a later article as they are not suitable for all lawn types.
The cutting blade on rotary lawnmowers is usually a rotating metal bar which is positioned horizontally to the grass surface and chops the growing grass to a desired height. It is this cutting style that makes a rotary lawnmower suitable for less than perfect lawns.
If your grassed area has a reasonably even top surface a rear roller rotary machine will be fine. The surface needs to be even to prevent the rear-roller wobbling from side to side so endeavour to check for tree roots or drain covers that may be hidden away; gentle undulations and slopes will not cause a problem. Generally speaking, the smaller the lawn, the smaller the lawnmower needed to maintain it, remembering that tight corners and awkward landscaping will call for extra manoeuvrability.
A flat, even lawn of no more than a tennis court in size is the ideal territory for a small 16” petrol rear-roller machine such as the entry level Hayter Spirit 41 Push Rear Roller Mower, aimed at first time buyers or for those on a tight budget. A tough ABS polymer external cover and under deck in combination with an aluminium chassis keeps both the weight and price down.
If quality is paramount the more expensive but also more durable 16” Hayter Harrier 41 Push Lawnmower will be your first choice; a powerful Briggs and Stratton Series 650 engine guarantees reliable performance and a full aluminium deck provides corrosion resistant longevity.
The excellent 17” Honda HRX 426 QX Self-Propelled Roller Lawnmower has the added benefit of a single speed drive system, useful if your garden contains the odd undulation or gentle slope. Supplied as standard with Honda’s industry leading 7 year domestic use warranty and the Honda 160cc OHC Easy Start petrol engine, ease of use and peace of mind are never far away.
Continuing the theme of small rear-roller rotary mowers with self-drive systems, Hayter also offer the economically priced Hayter Spirit 41 Autodrive Petrol Rear Roller Mower and the Hayter Harrier 41 Autodrive Variable Speed Lawnmower that allows the operator to adjust their groundspeed between 1.5 mph to 3 mph to suit mowing conditions or a particular part of their garden.
The highest specification machine in the Harrier 41 stable is the Hayter Harrier 41 Autodrive Electric Start Variable Speed Lawnmower. The key start mechanism works in the same way as that fitted to your car with a small battery mounted onto the mower deck providing an electrical charge, particularly useful if you have a shoulder problem or are perhaps a more mature gardener.
If you’re keen not to use petrol machinery due to the noise or emissions produced, those of you with particularly small grass areas may prefer the 14” Hayter Envoy 36 Electric Push Lawnmower or the slightly larger Hayter Spirit 41 Electric Push Lawnmower, both equipped with top quality induction motors offering quiet yet reliable performance.
At this point we must stress one great advantage that rear-roller lawnmowers have over standard 4-wheel rotary machines and that is their ability to mow right up to the edges of flowerbeds and borders. The front wheels are inset from the outer deck and rear roller, allowing the roller to support the lawnmower when the front wheels are in line with the border edge, however large the machine may be.
If you own a medium to large sized garden, maybe up to a tennis court in size, a lawnmower with a 19” cutting width will be a fine choice, however, if your garden is small, this may not be the best lawnmower for you. Honda produces the fantastic Honda HRX 476 QX Roller Rotary Mower; features to benefit any garden are the extremely durable polymer cutting deck and Roto-stop blade break that lets the operator empty the grass collector without the need to stop the engine.
The Hayter Harrier 48 BBC Autodrive Variable Speed Lawnmower also has the blade-break-clutch system as standard, which, alongside the variable speed gearing makes it very easy to transport this lawnmower from different areas of your garden and not have to stop and start the engine. Also in the award-winning Hayter Harrier 48 range are the standard Hayter Harrier 48 Autodrive Variable Speed Lawnmower and the effortlessly easy to start Hayter Harrier 48 Autodrive Electric Start Variable Speed Lawnmower, both supplied with Briggs and Stratton Series 650 petrol engines.
Lawn Lawns and Commercial Use
For the commercial user or owner of particularly large areas of grass where a formal finish is desired, both Hayter and Honda offer up some impressive machinery. Powered by the extremely fuel efficient and emission friendly Briggs and Stratton Series 825 petrol engines, the Hayter Harrier 48 Pro and Hayter Harrier 56 rear roller lawnmowers come as standard with a full one year commercial warranty, offering professional gardeners and landscapers complete peace of mind with their purchase. The Hayter Harrier 48 Pro also has the benefit of support struts on the handlebars and a front bumper guard. The Hayter Harrier 56 Autodrive Variable Speed Lawnmower, Hayter Harrier 56 Autodrive Electric Start Variable Speed Lawnmower and Hayter Harrier 56 BBC Autodrive Lawnmower also have the advantage of a 3-year domestic use warranty. As with all mowers in the Harrier range, excluding those with the blade break clutch facility, these machines have a lifetime guarantee against the engine crankshaft bending thanks to the unique Hayter Friction Disc.
A guide to large rear-roller lawnmowers wouldn’t be complete without including the near bomb-proof Honda HRH 536 QX Roller Rotary Mower, fully shaft-driven and complete with 1-year commercial warranty and heavy duty gearbox, it has proven itself in the harshest environments for years. Also from Honda and slightly less heavy duty is the Honda HRD 536 QX Rear Roller Rotary Lawnmower, supplied with the unsurpassed Honda 163cc OHV four-stroke petrol engine and 7 year domestic use warranty.
Hopefully this lawnmower guide will give you a little more confidence in making the right choice when looking at rear-roller lawnmowers and buying the best lawnmower for your garden. Our next entry will look at 4-wheel rotary lawnmowers in more detail. In the meantime please call us on 01603 255 825 if you have any queries regarding your lawn care needs; we’ll be delighted to help.
More and more people are looking at cordless battery machines as an alternative to electric or petrol lawnmowers. We often have customers phoning up or coming into the store to ask ‘what is the best cordless mower?’ The simple answer is that currently machines from the Bosch Rotak LI range are our best sellers, and we have had some great feedback about them. There are also a number of other excellent battery powered machines available though, so it’s a difficult question to answer. This convinient alternative to the corded electric mower has come on leaps and bounds since they first began appearing on the market. Have a look through our article on electric and cordless lawnmowers for more information.