How to choose a lawnmower
Need a little help to get started? Try our simple guide.
There are so many different lawnmowers and, if you’re not used to the technology, choosing the right one for you can seem a little tricky. So we’ve
created this simple guide to get you started. What cutter deck size should you choose? What product range should you focus on? What features
should you look for? Just follow the 3 steps below and you will be able to find the right product for you and your garden in no time.
How long do you want to mow for?
Every lawnmower can do the job, big ones or small ones. But the real question is: “How long do you want to mow for?” As you might have already guessed, with basic models, it will take longer: their cutter deck size and their grass bag capacity are generally smaller so you will collect less grass per second and you need to empty thegrass bag more often.
What garden do you have?
Your garden complexity and the level of comfort you wish to get will define the features you might be looking for in a lawnmower.Honda lawnmower models are available in Push, Single speed, SMART Drive® and Variable speed transmissions.The information below will help you decide on the model you need depending on the type of garden you have.
4 Wheel Petrol Lawnmowers - Essential Information
Petrol mowers are ideal for larger gardens. They are more powerful than mains electric models and aren’t restricted by a cable. Four wheel machines like this are highly manoeuvrable and give and excellent finish on all types of lawn. If you want a striped effect finish you’ll need a machine with a rear roller.
The chassis, or cutter deck, as it is commonly known is often made from steel with a powder coated paint finish. Mowers with stainless steel or aluminium cutter decks may cost a little more but you won’t have to worry about corrosion.
The Petrol lawnmower chassis houses a cutter blade and determines the working width of the mower. Walk behind lawn mowers generally have working widths from 41 to 53cm. For gardens of half an acre or more a ride-on mower would be a more appropriate choice.
Modern petrol engines are easy to start. Set the throttle control to the choke position, hold the operator presence control lever against the handlebar to release the engine brake and pull the starter cord. The operator presence control lever is a safety device, release it and the engine stops in seconds. For ultimate ease of use choose a model with electric key start; then you’ll just have to turn a key to start the engine.
Some models have to be pushed to make them move forward, these are known as hand propelled or push mowers; the engine is only used to drive the cutter blade. On power driven or self propelled models the engine also drives a transmission. These mowers require less effort to use; just engage the drive lever and the mower will move forward. Some have a four speed transmission so you can select a forward speed to suit your conditions.
Conventional mowers collect the grass clippings. Large capacity grass collectors reduce the time and effort spent disposing of those clippings. Some mowers can be fitted with a clip-in mulching plug. This device blocks the discharge chute so that clippings are circulated underneath the deck until they have been chopped into small particles which are blown deep into the base of the turf. Recycling clipping in this way saves time and effort without sacrificing the standard of finish. If you never want to collect your clippings again chose a mower with a mulching plug included.
Rear Roller Petrol Lawnmowers - Essential Information
Although 4 wheel mowers give an excellent finish on all types of lawn you may be the owner of a fine lawn and want those classic stripes. If so you’ll need a mower with a rear roller mower.
The chassis, or cutter deck, may be made from steel with a powder coated paint finish or aluminium chassis. The chassis houses the cutter blade and determines the working width of the mower. Genrally rear roller models with working widths up to 53cm.
The full width rear rollers not only leave those fabulous stripes they provide you with additional control when you’re working around beds, paths or up to edges.
Modern petrol engines are easy to start. Set the throttle control to the choke position, hold the operator presence control lever against the handlebar to release the engine brake and pull the starter cord. Releasing the operator presence control lever engages the brake stopping the engine in seconds. An engine with electric key start makes life even easier; simply turn a key to start the engine.
Some models have to be pushed to make them move forward, these are known as hand propelled or push mowers; the engine is only used to drive the cutter blade. On power driven models the engine also drives a transmission; just engage the drive lever and the mower will move forward. Some models have a four speed transmission so you can select an ideal forward speed from a stroll to a brisker pace depending on your conditions. Once you’ve tried power drive you’ll wonder how you managed without it – especially if you have inclines or a large garden.
Fabric grass collectors don’t impede the flow of air generated by the cutter blade ensuring clippings are collected cleanly and efficiently. All roller mowers have large capacity grass collectors to reduce the time and effort expended disposing of your clippings.
Electric Rotary Mowers - Essential Information
Mains electric mowers are quiet, lightweight and easy to use. They are ideal for smaller gardens with a power supply located near the lawn. We recommend using a Residual Current Device that will disconnect the power if the cable is cut accidentally.
Unlike hover mowers, electric mowers collect the grass clippings and leave a clean, neat finish to the lawn.
Four wheel mowers are very easy to manoeuvre but if you want a stripped finish on your lawn you’ll need a machine with a rear roller. The roller flattens the grass as you mow; this is what creates the stripes. A roller also helps balance the mower when you are cutting close to paths or borders.
Electric lawnmowers have simple controls which feature a safety cut out switch. When you let go of the control lever the motor cuts out in seconds.
On some models cutting height is adjusted by changing the wheel position. Simply unscrew each wheel and move it to the desired setting. More commonly, the cutting height is adjusted using a control lever.
Ride On Mowers - Essential Information
Compact Lawn Riders
If you think your garden is too small for a ride-on mower think again! They can be small enough to drive through a standard garden gate, Lawn riders are Ride on Mowers ideal for gardens of around half an acre.
They are Powered by an electric key start engine which runs on unleaded petrol they can have a Varispeed gearbox or manual gear box. With Varispeed there’s no need to change gear simply move the control lever forward or back to adjust your ground speed.
Lawn Riders can come with a offset cutter deck allows you to cut right up to edges. Normally a lever on the console engages or disengages the cutting blade.
Grass is cut and discharged cleanly and efficiently into the rear mounted capacity collector. When the collector is full it can be emptied without having to get off the mower, alternatively you can remove the collector and tip the clippings on a compost heap or into a trailer.
Certain models have an optional mulching kit which can be fitted when conditions are suitable. This allows you to recycle grass clippings instead of collecting them.
To ensure operator safety compact riders have many integral features. Before you can start the engine it would need to be neutral. The blade will not operate without the grass collector in position. A safety cut-out switch under the seat means all controls must be in neutral and the parking brake applied if you want to get off the machine but leave the engine running.
To summarise, these stylish compact lawn riders are highly manoeuvrable and whether you have a number of small areas with borders, trees and garden furniture to negotiate or your lawn is a regular shape of about half an acre you’ll find mowing your grass is easier, quicker and much more fun.
Do you have a large garden with 2 or more acres of grass to cut? Then a lawn tractor is what you need
You find models powered by single or twin cylinder engines, with manual or hydrostatic transmissions and cutting widths from 92cm to 122cm – and if you have areas in your garden where extra traction would be an advantage there are four wheel drive models avialable.
Manual transmissions have 5 forward gears and reverse. There’s no need to change gear on the move, just select the gear which best suits your working conditions before you start mowing and off you go.
A hydrostatic transmission takes your mowing experience to a new level and gives you the same convenience as an automatic car. Press the front section of the foot pedal to move forward, the harder you press it the faster you will move. To reverse simply use the rear section of the pedal. Manoeuvring around obstacles or into tight corners is so simple it’s no wonder owners of hydrostatic tractors don’t want to go back to a manual version.
Lawn tractors can have cutting systems with twin contra-rotating blades which cut outside the wheel width of the tractor so you can mow really close to fences and over edges. Cutting heights and the number of preset positions vary according to model. it’s worth noting that you can change the cutting height while on the move. Electronic cutter blade engagement is can come as a standard feature.
Clippings are discharged into the large capacity rear mounted collector which can be emptied very easily from the driving seat.
You can make life even easier by fitting an optional mulching kit which is available through some brands. This device stops grass being discharged into the collector. Clippings are circulated beneath the cutter deck being cut and re-cut into small particles which are dispersed into the base of the turf to return valuable nutrients to the soil. Recycling clippings in this way saves you time, money and effort – and you won’t have all that grass to dispose of.
Did you know that a half acre lawn can product more the 4 tons of grass clippings in a single season? Do you really want to collect and dispose of all that grass? If not a front cut ride on mower is ideal.
The innovative design of the Multiclip Combi cutter decks fitted to this range of ride-on mowers retains grass within the deck area where it is cut and re-cut into small particles. The particles are then blown down into the turf, out of sight, where micro-organisms speed their decomposition. Valuable nutrients are returned to the soil providing you with free fertiliser.
It’s quicker too! Mowing time is significantly reduced compared to traditional cut and collect systems as there’s no need to stop work in order to dispose of grass clippings.
Raise the deck for easy cleaning or servicing.
With the deck in the transport position select the height using the preset settings, position one will give you the lowest cutting height. Remember not to take more than a third off the length of the grass at any one time; this ensures there is enough space left in the standing grass for efficient distribution of the cut grass particles. Move the deck into the working position and engage the blades to start cutting.
These front mounted cutter decks not only give a superb finish, they let you see exactly where you are cutting, and you don’t drive over the grass before you mow it! Another major advantage is their ability to access places which machines with mid-mounted decks cannot reach, such as into corners and under bushes. Multiclip Combi decks are available in a choice of cutting widths so you can tailor the machine to suit your garden.
Rear wheel drive and genuine articulated steering means that the rear wheels follow precisely in the tracks of the front wheels so you won’t have to worry about the back of your mower bumping into anything the front section has already negotiated. Another great benefit is their tight turning circle – you’ll have no trouble cutting close around trees and other obstacles with these mowers.
There are manual or hydrostatic transmission models to choose . Hydrostatic transmissions so are as easy to drive as an automatic car just press the pedal to regulate your ground speed. There is also a four wheel drive option if you need the additional traction this provides on inclines or damp, slippery grass.
Mountfield Multiclip ride-on mowers take cutting grass to a new level. You’ll get the work done 30% quicker, have no grass clippings to dispose of and reduce the need for artificial fertilisers. But they don’t just cut grass – take a look at the range of accessories we have available and see what else they can do for you.
Why Collect Your Grass ?
Mulching is the way ahead
Save time and Money
No Rotting grass
Recycle grass clippings
Perfect Lawns the easy way
Mulching lawnmowers efficiently cut and re-cut grass clippings into tiny particles which are then blown deep into the turf out of sight. As a result you have no clippings to dispose of – no trips to the tip, no piles of rotting grass in your garden, just a perfect finish that’s 30% quicker.
Thanks to the special design of the blade, the small pieces are pressed down into the lawn.
Unlike conventional mowers which collect grass, mulching lawnmowers utilise a system that recycles the clippings as you mow, there are no more heavy grass collectors to empty, no more stop/start mowing, this saves so much time and effort it really is a pleasure to cut the lawn.
What happens to the clippings
Cutting and re-cutting the blades of grass into tiny particles allows them to wilt and break down much more quickly than when mown with a single cut. A blade of grass contains more than 80% moisture, chopping it into fine particles releases this moisture almost immediately so the recycling process starts as you mow.
Feed Your Lawn
Grass clippings make an excellent slow release fertiliser if mulched correctly; throwing away your grass wastes valuable nutrients.
If your lawn is the size of a tennis court you will collect an amazing 1¼ tons of grass every year and waste 33lbs of nitrogen, 30lbs of potash and 10lbs of phosphate.
Multiclip mowers are among the quietest in the world – not only friendly to the environment but also to you and your neighbours. Typically, a Multiclip has less than half the apparent noise level of a conventional petrol mower due to the technology involved in the blade and deck design.
Feed the natural way
Recycling your grass clippings is the easiest way to maintain healthy soil with no need for artificial fertilisers. Healthy soil is full of micro-organisms, earth worms and beneficial insects, feeding these creatures regularly with organic matter will actually improve the quality of your soil and lawn. Finely chopped grass from a Multiclip mower provides a banquet for these tiny creatures, the smaller the particles of organic matter the quicker they will be broken down and release valuable elements into the soil.
Mulching mowers reduce thatch
Some gardeners may be concerned about a build-up of thatch as a result of mulching their grass. The fact is properly mulching grass will reduce that build up by improving the texture and content of the soil thereby reducing disease and thatch; the result is a fuller and healthier lawn.
Quick guide to better mowing
To obtain the best results from a mulching mower you should leave your grass slightly longer than with a conventional mower. We recommend keeping the height of your grass to around 1½” to 2”. It will be ready to mow again at 2½” to 3” long, aim to take 1/3 off the grass length when mowing.
On average you should mow your grass once a week in the spring then once every two weeks in the summer.