When it comes to buying a lawn mower, the engine is a very important factor. However, ‘Which lawn mower engine is best?’ is a tough question. Ask 100 owners and you will probably get 100 different opinions.
It is probably more helpful to ask "which engine is best for me?"
For example, if you have a small ‘pocket handkerchief’ size lawn, it is probably foolish to fork out for a mower with a massive engine that could grace the armoury of Norwich City FC’s groundsman.
So here are 5 handy tips on choosing an engine.
- Cost - always buy the best you can afford. Scrimping now may mean costs later.
- Garden size - is there enough/too much power for your needs.
- Garden shape – too many hills and that low-power mower might struggle
- Starting system - don’t buy a recoil if you don’t have the strength to pull it.
- Maintenance – all petrol engines require a certain amount of maintenance. If you are not happy with that, prepare to pay a professional to do it or think about a cordless or electric mower as an alternative.
Here is some more general information on lawn mower engines which may help.
All lawn mower engines are 4-stroke and air cooled. Most are OHV (overhead valve) for increased efficiency, fuel economy and fewer emissions.
The two top name engine manufacturers are Briggs & Stratton and Honda. Both are featured on high-end machines by many manufacturers, including their own models.
Honda lawn mower engines use overhead cams in their engines, which are of course, to their own design. These have a number of advantages, including increasing efficiency and power output for a given torque.
Loncin is a very good Chinese engine manufacturer that is gaining a growing reputation for quality and reliability as well as value all round.
As well as this, many manufacturers are now fitting their own brand engines. These are often a cheaper, but perfectly adequate and workable, alternative to big brand names and often have great features like easy-starting and low engine noise.
If you would like to see a range of mowers and compare by engine size or power, just click here - Mower comparison by engine size