Lawnmowers Buying guide
March 2015 Don't get confused when it comes to lawn care. This handy guide will help you to pick the right lawnmower so you can enjoy a beautiful lawn all year round.
There are many features to think about when choosing a lawnmower, but start by thinking about size. A general rule of thumb is that the bigger your lawn, the bigger your mower should be.
Think of a tennis court. If your lawn's about that size, it's considered a medium-sized lawn. If it's about half that size, it's considered to be a small lawn. Any larger and it's a large lawn. Once you've got an idea of size, you can start to consider what type to choose.
Different types of lawnmower
There are many different types of lawnmower, but fundamentally, almost all lawnmowers fit into two categories - rotary mowers and cylinder mowers.
Rotary lawnmowers work quite simply by rapidly spinning a blade to cut grass. They're heavier, but provide more power. They're generally a better choice for large lawns, as well as long, overgrown and unruly grass.
They're the most common type and there's a greater variety of rotary models to choose from. Most have wheels, but there are also hover lawnmowers available which float on air to make mowing lawns with slopes and uneven areas easier.
Rotary lawnmower blades are usually easy to remove so that they can be sharpened or replaced without hassle.
Cylinder lawnmowers use a barrel of rotating blades with a fixed blade at the base. The barrel turns as you move forward, trapping blades of grass and cutting them against the fixed blade.
They offer a finer, more precise cut, and are a good choice for neat, frequently mowed lawns, rather than long grass. Traditional models have no motor, which makes them much quieter and cheaper to run. But faster, motorised models are also available.
Cylinder mowers are great for creating beautiful lawn stripes. Rotary lawnmowers can also create stripes - look for a model with an attached roller.
Electric or petrol
The biggest choice you have to make is whether to choose electric or petrol, and each type has their advantages and disadvantages...
Electric lawnmowers are lighter than petrol mowers and cheaper to run. They're not as powerful, making them suitable for small to medium lawns.
Many models plug into your mains, so you'll probably need an extension cord to run the wire across your garden. Some have an inbuilt battery, so no need for cables, but make sure they can carry enough charge to last the whole job.
All lawnmowers require servicing, but petrol mowers require more regular maintenance than electric models.
Petrol lawnmowers provide you with more power and endurance. They're designed for tackling large lawns as well as grass that's thick or overgrown.
They are heavier, so while they'll cut more at once, they require more effort to manoeuvre. There are self-propelling models available that can reduce the effort required.
And if your lawn's really huge, then you can always opt for a ride on model.
Petrol mowers are heavier so you may be more likely to push the mower rather than carry the mower to and from the lawn. Look for a mower with easy height adjustment so you can lift the deck clear of the ground while transporting. Also, look for large robust wheels that make pushing easier and can manage steps.
5 steps to servicing your petrol lawnmower
It's really easy to carry out basic maintenance on your lawnmower, carrying out just a few basic tasks will give you a mower that lasts for years.
- Clean your mower before you store it for winter.
- Check the filters are clear of debris (most lawnmowers have an air filter, oil filter, fuel filter and a transmission filter). Replace if necessary.
- Change the oil.
- Sharpen the blades once or twice a year, depending on the type of grass and amount of use your mower gets.
- Remove and clean the spark plugs, or replace if necessary.
It's important to think about where the grass goes once it's cut and how much work it's going to be disposing of that waste.
Side discharge mowers
Side discharge lawnmowers deposit grass clippings straight out of the sides and back on to your lawn.
This is fine if you're making a short cut, but if your grass is longer, it will leave grass deposits across your lawn, which may need clearing away.
Most lawnmowers come with a grass clippings bag, which catches clippings while you mow.
You can easily empty and dispose of the waste, or turn it into compost. But the size of the bag is important, so you can avoid having to empty it frequently.
Mulching lawnmowers grind grass clippings down into mulch. They then deposit it back on to your lawn to fertilise it.
This removes the need to empty a bag or to clean up afterwards. But they work better on regularly cut lawns. If the grass is long, you run the risk of saturating it with mulch.
Looking at the specs
These are the important nitty-gritty stats you'll need to consider before making your final choice.
The bigger the mower, the more grass it can cut. But think about storage too. Will your mower fit in your shed or garage?
Once again, it's the size of your lawn that determines what you'll need. Electric lawnmowers measure power in watts, petrol lawnmowers measure power in CCs. If you have a small lawn, with fine grass, you won't need much power, but if you have a large lawn with thick, untamed grass, then you'll need to consider a more powerful model.
The wider the blades, the more grass it cuts with each pass.
If your mower has a power cord, make sure it's long enough to run across your garden.
If choosing a battery-powered model, make sure it can last the distance before needing a recharge.
So you can cut you lawn to the height you require, check whether your choice has adjustable height settings and what range of settings it offers.
An adjustable handle helps you to get a comfortable position for your height. It also makes your lawnmower easier to store, as handles take up a lot of space.
To avoid emptying over and over, make sure you choose a mower with a large enough clipping bag.
Lastly, you'll want to consider some of the extra innovations that can help make mowing a lot easier.
Some lawnmowers have a rear roller that helps even out your lawn and create beautiful stripes.
These are perfect for lawns with an uneven surface or with slopes. They hover on a cushion of air, making them easier to manoeuvre.
Self-propelling mowers take the hard work out of mowing. They move themselves forward when you press the handle, reducing the hard work.
If the thought of mowing your lawn is starting to feel like a lot of effort, let a robot do it. Robotic lawnmowers use sensors to move instinctively across your lawn, so you don't have to lift a finger.
A lawn rake uses spring tines to scratch into the surface of the lawn, lift grass prior to cutting, as well as remove thatch and moss. Regular lawn raking improves surface drainage, allowing water to reach the grass roots. It aerates the soil allowing more sunlight and air around the grass blades. Lawn rakes can also be used to collect leaves and light debris from the lawn.
The big brother of the lawn rake. A scarifier uses blades to aerate deeper into the lawn and remove more debris, whilst also cutting horizontal grass growth. A scarifier should only be used seasonally at depth because a recovery period may be required. They can be used more frequently as a lawn rake if the height can be adjusted to the lawn surface level.
Making your choice and getting it delivered
If you're ready to make your choice, then it's time to shop.
But before you buy, you should consider our range of delivery options, so you can collect your lawnmower at a place and time that's convenient.
You can reserve many of our items online and collect them in store. Subject to availability.
Receive your order within 3 - 5 days for as little as £3.95 P&P.
Have your order delivered within 2 days and at a time that suits you for £19.99. Selected items only.
Buy now, pay later
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Argos after sales service number
01904 727 500
Argos has a dedicated after sales service number to help you get the best performance out of your lawnmower, from the very first use.