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Lawnmower Buying Guide: How to Choose

Whether you’re maintaining a small urban garden or taming an enormous estate, choosing the perfect lawnmower can seem a little daunting.

This is why it’s essential that you take the time to research the different types and understand what your needs are, as then you can match your needs against what’s available and make an informed decision.

And lucky for you, we have created this guide to help! In this blog, we explain exactly what a lawnmower is, the many different types available, and how to determine which one is right for your individual requirements.

What Is a Lawnmower?

A lawnmower is a machine specially designed to cut grass to an even height. It is commonly used for maintaining lawns, gardens, parks, and other grassy areas, and can vary significantly in design and operation.

The Different Types of Lawnmowers

Lawnmowers come in a whole range of different types, each suited to different lawn sizes, terrains, and user preference – manual, electric, recoil & riding lawnmowers.

1.Manual Lawnmowers

This type of mower, also known as ‘reel’ mowers, are operated solely by human power. They are named “reel mowers” because they use a set of rotating blades arranged in a cylindrical fashion to cut grass.

The blades cut the grass in a manner similar to scissors, providing a clean, precise cut that can be healthier for the grass compared to the tearing action of rotary mowers.

As manual lawnmowers don’t have engines, they don’t emit pollutants. They’re also virtually noiseless, so a great choice if you’re looking for a non-disruptive eco-friendly option.

2. Electric Lawnmower

Electric lawnmowers are a type of mower run on electric motors, and they come in two main varieties: corded and cordless (battery-powered).

Corded electric lawnmowers must be plugged into an electrical outlet via an extension cord to allow a continuous power supply.

Cordless (battery-powered) electric lawnmowers on the other hand are solely powered by rechargeable batteries, which provide mobility without the restriction of a cord. The only downside is the battery life – like all things electric, they will stop once the battery dies.

Shop our range of electric lawnmowers here.

3. Petrol Lawnmower

Petrol lawnmowers are lawnmowers that use petrol as fuel to power their engines. Petrol lawnmowers come in various types, but they are mainly categorised based on their starting mechanisms – recoil lawnmowers and electric start lawnmowers.

Recoil Lawnmowers

Recoil lawnmowers, also commonly referred to as “recoil start lawnmowers,” are a type of petrol-powered lawnmower that uses a recoil starter mechanism to start the engine.

The primary feature of this type of mower is the pull cord, which is attached to a recoil spring and pulley system. When the cord is pulled, it engages the engine and starts the mower.

Recoil lawnmowers are a popular choice as they’re not restricted by cords or battery life, allowing for unrestricted movement over large areas. Their petrol engines also provide more power than most electric mowers, making them suitable for large lawns and thick grass.

At Generators Direct we have a wide range of quality recoil lawnmowers that you can find here.

Electric Start Petrol Lawnmowers

These mowers are equipped with an electric starter motor and a battery.

Electric start petrol lawnmowers are easy and convenient to start, as the user simply presses a button or turns a key, making them user-friendly, especially for individuals who might find pulling a cord challenging.

5. Self Propelled Lawnmower

In comparison to the above, propelled lawnmowers, also known as self-propelled mowers, have a transmission that drives the wheels, making it easier for the user to manoeuvre the mower with less physical effort.

Unlike a traditional hand-pushed lawnmower, which requires the user to manually push it across the lawn, a self-propelled mower moves forward on its own, requiring the user to simply guide it.

6. Riding Lawnmower

Lastly, a riding lawnmower is a special type of lawnmower designed for cutting large areas of grass with ease and efficiency. It is equipped with a seat for the operator and is driven like a small tractor.

Most riding lawnmowers are powered by petrol engines, providing the power needed for large areas and tough mowing conditions. Some also use batteries, offering quieter operation and lower emissions but often have limited runtime compared to petrol models.

What Type of Lawnmower Do I Need?

In short – choosing the right type of lawnmower for you depends on a number of different factors, such as the size of your lawn, terrain, your physical ability and personal preferences.

Here are some questions you need to ask yourself to help you decide:

What Size Lawn Do I Have?

The larger your lawn, the larger mower you will need in order to cut your grass in a reasonable time, so it’s probably best to look at recoil or riding lawnmowers.

That said, if your lawn has intricate designs and obstacles such as decking, flower beds or patios that you need to work around, it’s worth noting that large mowers are trickier to manoeuvre. So, in some cases, you might be better off getting a smaller, more manageable lawnmower in a bigger but more intricate space.

If you have a small lawn, manual mowers are ideal as not only are they easy to manoeuvre, but they’re eco-friendly, quiet, and offer a good workout. An electric lawnmower is also suitable for small-medium gardens, whether it be corded or cordless.

If you’re unsure which type of lawnmower best suits your garden size, please get in touch with a member of our team on +441639849847 and we’d be happy to help.

What Cutting Width Do I Need?

The cutting width of a lawnmower, which refers to the width of the strip of grass it cuts in a single pass, is another important consideration.

A lawnmower with a larger cutting width means that it can cover more surface area in a single pass, meaning there will be fewer passes needed to mow the entire lawn, significantly reducing the overall time required to complete the task. For large lawns, this time saving can be substantial.

For large lawns, a larger cutting width can also help achieve a more uniform cut across the lawn as it reduces the chances of leaving uncut patches between passes, ensuring a more even cut.

While a larger cutting width is most beneficial for large, open lawns, they might be less suitable for smaller or intricately shaped lawns with many obstacles (e.g., flower beds, trees, and pathways). In this case, a narrower cutting width would typically be more suitable for better manoeuvrability and precision.

At Generators direct, we stock lawnmowers with a range of cutting widths, from 320mm550mm.

This brings us nicely onto…

How Much Grass Can It Collect?

Another thing many people consider is the lawnmowers collection capacity, i.e., how much grass it can collect in the basket. Here at Generators Direct, our lawnmowers are available in capacities of 25L all the way up to 70L.

A larger collection capacity means you can mow for a longer period without needing to stop and empty the grass bag frequently. This is particularly beneficial for larger lawns, as it reduces interruptions and saves the user time from stopping and starting.

What is the Terrain Like?

Considering terrain is also an important factor when choosing the right lawnmower.

If your garden has a flat and even terrain, a manual lawnmower or hand-pushed lawnmower will do the job, as they’re easy to push on flat surfaces if the terrain is even and smooth.

On the other hand, self-propelled or ride-on mowers can handle slopes and uneven ground much better, as they have good traction and stability.

What Is My Physical Ability Like?

If you don’t have a lot of physical power, then a self-propelled or riding mower would be ideal as it requires little to no physical strain while mowing the lawn, compared to that of a manual mower.

Personal Circumstances & Preferences

As with anything, budget plays an important part. The good thing about the range of lawnmowers out there is that they range in price, and even with a low budget you should be able to find a quality mower.

Manual lawnmowers are generally the least expensive option as they have minimal ongoing costs, due to their lack of engine and petrol. Hand-pushed electric mowers are also affordable, especially the corded models.

Ride-on mowers typically have the highest initial cost and maintenance expenses, however, as mentioned above, they have the most convenience and efficiency for large lawns.

When choosing the right lawnmower you should also consider the environmental factors. As manual lawnmowers don’t use electric or petrol, they produce zero emissions. The next best lawnmower in terms of environmental impact are electric mowers (corded or cordless).

Ride-on mowers, particularly those powered by petrol, tend to have a larger environmental footprint compared to other types of lawnmowers, so if the environment is something you care about, perhaps looking at other types might be the best avenue.

And there we have it! We hope this blog has equipped you with the knowledge needed to choose the perfect lawnmower for you.

If you’re looking for a premium lawnmower, whatever the type, we at Generators Direct can help! We offer a range of petrol, electric and battery lawnmowers from a range of top-rated brands.

All of our products are manufactured, tested and certified to industry standards, and come with a price promise – you won’t find prices cheaper anywhere on the web, but if you do, we’ll match them. In addition to this, all orders come with free mainland UK shipping and after sales support from our experts.

If you require additional advice or have a question for our team, don’t hesitate to get in contact with us using this form or via phone at +441639849847.

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