In our last entry we looked at the merits of buying a rear roller rotary lawn mower and clarified its role within the grass cutting landscape. This time around we’ll examine a selection of the vast range of 4 wheel rotary lawn mowers available today and guide you to making the right choice for your particular lawn care needs.
4-wheel rotary mowers are a more flexible machine than a rear-roller or cylinder mower; having four wheels can open up a greater range of grass-care applications.
The flexibility offered from using a 4-wheeled mower means that a variety of grass conditions can be maintained with one machine. Orchards, verges, underneath hedgerows and other less formal areas can be mown with the same machine that will create a pleasingly finished manicured lawn. The size of your garden, the grass conditions and style that you wish to mow your grass in will dictate which mower you ultimately choose to buy.
Small urban and town gardens may well benefit from a compact, quiet lawn mower such as the Bosch Rotak 320, which, with its 1000 watt electric motor and 28-litre grass catcher it is is ideal if you need to keep the noise down for the neighbours. Slightly larger and more powerful is the Hayter Spirit 41; designed for small lawns and gardens where value for money is a priority, it offers excellent performance with a 3-year warranty to match.
It is worth thinking about whether a push or self-propelled lawn mower is best for your garden, or, more importantly, your own physical abilities. Push lawn mowers require physical effort to move along and are normally available in 16” or 18” cutting widths.
If your grass is rough and undulating, spread over a large area or you are no longer in peak physical condition, you may prefer a self-propelled lawn mower that drives itself. However, sometimes less is more; a push machine is lighter, it will keep you in shape and is more manoeuvrable than its self-propelled cousin.
The Honda Izy range of 4-wheel rotary mowers has an attractive modern look that will appeal to all and comprises five machines in total. The 16” Honda Izy HRG415PD lawn mower is an excellent, easy starting lawn mower with Honda’s renowned build quality, also available in a self-propelled version, the Honda Izy HRG415SD. Both machines provide exceptional performance with specially designed cutter decks that offer superior grass collection capabilities and easy to empty, 50-litre mesh grass bags.
Hertfordshire based Hayter offer two excellent 18” lawn mowers, one push (the Hayter Motif 48 Push Lawn Mower) and the other self-propelled (the Hayter Motif 48 Autodrive). Each model is supplied with a Briggs and Stratton Series 650 Readystart petrol engine and benefits from single lever height of cut adjustment (providing eight cutting heights between 25mm – 55mm). Another excellent feature is the lifetime crankshaft warranty, made possible due to Hayter’s unique cutter blade friction disc.
A smaller 16” push version is also available, the Hayter Motif 41. As a rule of thumb, a 16” push lawn mower is ideal for flat lawns of a compact nature whereas 18” push lawn mowers are good for lawns no more than half a tennis court in size. Once the going gets tough or the lawn area increases, opt for an 18” self-propelled mower.
Honda offers two 18” machines from the excellent Izy range that will suit the needs of the vast majority of homeowners. The Honda Izy HRG465PD is an 18” push lawn mower with a high quality steel mowing deck, 55 litre mesh grass collector and six cutting heights; its self-propelled twin, the Honda Izy HRG465SD offers the same specification with the addition of drive mechanism.
Also from Honda and manufactured with a 17” polystrong cutting deck is the Honda HRX426SX. Part of Honda’s top of the range domestic series of machines, the HRX426SX provides an excellent mowing experience with one-touch folding handlebars, Roto-Stop blade-break technology and a large 60-litre mesh grass bag for extra convenience.
The HRX range of lawn mowers also includes the Honda HRX476VY and Honda HRX476HY; both machines have a 19” polymer cutting deck, Roto-Stop blade break technology (for super-safe emptying of the 73-litre grass collector) and central height of cut adjustment. The HRX476HY has the added advantage of hydrostatic drive, allowing you to adjust your mowing pace without slowing the engine down, thereby achieving an excellent, consistent finish to your lawn.
If you prefer a more traditionally built lawn mower, the robust Atco Quattro 19SA is manufactured with a 19″ aluminium cutting deck and powered by a Briggs and Stratton 675 Series petrol engine. Autodrive is standard on this machine, enabling well-sized lawns and mixed areas of grass (up to a tennis court in size) to be easily maintained.
The biggest gardens need the largest 4-wheel rotary lawn mowers, usually measuring 21” in width. At the lower end of the price range – although not lacking in quality by any means – are the steel deck lawn mowers from Hayter and Honda.
The Hayter Motif 53 Autodrive and Honda HRG536SD IZY offer very similar performance levels. Both are supplied with 3-year warranties, the Hayter Motif 53 having the advantage of single point height of cut adjustment and a friction disc providing a full lifetime guarantee from engine crankshaft damage. Plus sides for the Honda Izy 53 include a slightly larger grass collector at 61-litres and lowest cutting height of 20mm (compared to the 25mm of the Hayter machine).
Robust, hard-wearing lawn mowers that are designed for commercial and professional operators are often a good choice for homeowners possessing a varied garden landscape that may include areas of mixed grass, large orchards, small meadows, arboretums and gentle banking. Capable of enormous amounts of work, professional 4 wheel rotary lawn mowers are often expensive but can prove to be a worthwhile, long-term investment; commercial grade engines far outlast their domestic counterparts and heavy duty deck materials are capable of taking endless abuse.
The Efco MR55 TBI is a very reasonably priced commercial grade lawn mower with several heavy duty features including a Briggs and Stratton Series 850 OHV petrol engine, front bumper bar, handlebar support struts and 3-speed transmission.
On a larger scale is the Weibang WB8514SB. An especially wide, heavy-duty 33″ steel cutting deck and pneumatic rear tires promotes fast work over large areas, whilst the powerful Briggs & Stratton 13.5hp INTEK petrol engine provides unbeatable performance.
Hydrostatic shaft-drive, heavy duty alloy deck, heavy gauge handlebar tubing with support brackets and a front bumper bar are a few of the features that make the Honda HRH536HX Petrol Lawn Mower the only choice for many professional landscapers; equipped with a Honda GXV 163cc OHV petrol engine and Roto-Stop blade break technology, it is tried and tested over many years of hard commercial use.
By choosing the appropriate machine for your gardening needs you can be sure that mowing your grass will become less of a chore; nothing will please you more than looking back at a neat and tidy finish to your lawn, achieved with minimal effort on your part. If you are at all unsure of which lawn mower is best for you, please call us at LawnMowers Direct on tel. 01603 255825 for plenty of free advice.
Next time we’ll be looking at the subject of mulching and whether a dedicated mulching mower is better than a hybrid alternative.