Buying a lawn mower is easy. Isn't it? Just pick a brand from the hundreds around, pick a blade style, cylinder or rotary, pick a push or self-propelled, choose electric or petrol, choose a working width, then work out if… Yeah OK. Enough. Buying a lawn mower isn’t easy at all. There is a great deal to think about, a maze of choices and you need to make sure you pick the right machine for your lawn. In order to help with this decision, we have come up with a list of seven common mistakes that people make when buying a lawn mower. Read on…
1.Size Matters Buying The Wrong Size Lawn Mower For Your Lawn
Whether you own a lawn large enough to play polo on or one you can step over, buying the right size lawn mower is very important. People often forget this and end up with the wrong size. You don’t want a 62cm working width ride-on if your lawn is the size of a subbuteo pitch and you don’t want to be pushing a 28cm wide cylinder mower around the gardens of Chatsworth House. Larger width mowers will have the ability to mow quicker but, if they are manual propelled, will be harder to push. Think about the size of your lawn. Think about how fast you want to get the job done. Measure your lawn if necessary. As a very, very general rule, for smaller lawns: 28-35cm cutting width, for a medium lawn: 35-40cm and for medium to larger lawns 40cm upwards, with widths of up to 105cm for ride-on mowers designed to cut very large lawns.
2. Cheap As Chips The Cheapest Mower Is Not Always The Best Option
This seems like common sense, but it is amazing how many people see a lawn mower as a commodity they need to buy as cheap as possible. Like buying any mechanical or electric device, buying quality nearly always pays dividends in the long run and if you judge your mower purely on price, you could be in for a very short and frustrating ownership period. Look at features, build, and guarantees and, while no one is suggesting you spend money for the sake of it, do spend as much as you can afford on your mower and it will serve you well.
3. It’s A Non-Starter Don’t Buy A Mower You Can’t Start
Again, you would expect that any one with basic common sense would realise that a recoil start takes a certain amount of basic puff and pull to operate. But people don’t always make the connection between recoil and pull. A common reason for distraught calls to manufacturers and retailers is “I can’t start it”. It’s not that petrol machines are extremely hard to start but some people just don’t get on with recoil chords and therefore, it might be worth looking at an electric start machine if you are perhaps older, infirm, or lacking in strength.
4. Push It Real Good Don’t Buy A Push Mower If Your Lawn Is On An Incline
This seems a little extreme but people do often make the mistake of buying a manually propelled lawn mower that just isn’t up to the slopes in their garden. If your lawn resembles the lower slopes of the Himalayas, or is halfway up Machu Pichu a self-propelled machine is probably the best option, unless you are in training for climbing K2 at some stage. Self-propelled mowers have a wide range of drives fitted, some with a simple one-speed and some with several gears including reverse, so look for the one that is right for you.
5. In A Spin Don’t Buy A Cylinder if You Need A Rotary (And Vice Versa)
Rather like the push mower versus self-propelled mower issue, think carefully about the type of grass you have in your garden and the type of terrain you have when you consider buying a lawn mower. Cylinder mowers are not ideal for lumpy gardens so if you can mogul ski on your lawn when it snows, a manual cylinder mower is just not suitable. If you have varying grass types a rotary mower is more suitable for your needs. However, if you have a fairly formal lawn and you are after those smart football pitch, croquet lawn, bowling-green, cricket field type stripes to impress your neighbours then a cylinder mower is absolutely right for you.
6. I Got The Power Don’t Buy A Mower That Is Not Powerful Enough
It may be tempting to try to save money by buying a mower with a less powerful engine. However, don’t forget that those few kilowatts or horsepower or whatever, could be the difference between a neat lawn and a burned out pile of metal in your garden. If you have grass that is thick or you intend to cut wet grass, you need a certain amount of power and you can seriously overburden your mower by trying to cut too much with too little juice.
7. Electric V Petrol Choose The Right One For You
Choosing the right power source, electric or petrol, is one of the most fundamental choices, but one that people frequently get wrong.
Mains Electric Lawn Mowers are clean, lightweight, maintenance free and easy to use, but they are really designed for smaller gardens and lawns, due to the restrictions and hazards of the power cable.
Petrol Lawn Mowers are generally more powerful, pretty much ‘go-anywhere’, robust and built for more regular use. They do require a fair amount of maintenance and regular topping up with fresh unleaded fuel.
Cordless Battery Lawn Mowers have the advantages of both and now with the developments in lithium-Ion batteries, they are becoming as powerful as petrol mowers. Watch this space!
Automatic Robot Lawn Mowers these are ideal if you have no time to mow, or don't want to, and you want to keep the grass short. A certain time is required to set them up and then they pretty much look after themselves, charging themselves when they need it and cutting the grass according to how you programme them.
As they sound, these are cylinder mowers with no means of propulsion or power other than being pushed along. They are, of course, quiet, simple to use and can give you a good workout as well as you garden, but are probably more suited to smaller lawns than an estate sized expanse of grass unless you have a lot of time and energy on your hands.
So that’s it. The Seven Deadly Sins of buying a lawnmower. We hope this is useful. If you can think of any other common mistakes or hazards to look out for when purchasing a mower, why not pop it on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/mowdirect
And if you need further advice, please give us a call on 0345 4588 905 and our friendly and knowledgable product advisors will be delighted to help you.
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