In this review are going to talk about the Mountfield HP414 Push Petrol 4 Wheel Lawnmower, this lawnmower is actually our cheapest petrol lawnmower on our website! It actually sells for just £149 which I find absolutely amazing that they can make a petrol mower for this price!
I have also created a video review on this Mountfield lawnmower, you can see the review below.
I’ve Used It!
I have to say the majority of garden equipment that I have used has been commercial and professional equipment, although having said this I have used a lot of domestic equipment over the years. I recently used the Mountfield HP414 Push Petrol 4 Wheel Lawnmower I have to say that I was really pleasantly surprised!
For a start, for a £149 lawnmower I really didn’t expect much at all, but for the money I was really impressed. Personally, I would much prefer to have a small petrol lawnmower than an electric mower where you have that cable trailing behind you all the time and generally getting in the way, to me this little petrol lawnmower is a great option.
Obviously, this machine is not like using something like a Honda, Hayter or Weibang, however, we have to remember that this machine is a budget lawnmower and it really does do what it says on the box!
The Mountfield HP414 Push Petrol 4 Wheel Lawnmower comes with a 100 cc petrol engine with recoil start. The cutting width is 15 inches (39 cm) which although this is not a massive cut it’s surprising and you can cover the ground, it’s also good for doing those small fiddly areas in your garden. This particular machine is a push model, there are similar machines that drive, like the Mountfield SP414 Self Propelled Petrol 4 Wheel Lawnmower, however, the push model offers simplicity and very little to go wrong.
Believe it or not, this machine has a height adjuster on each wheel which in some ways to me is unnecessary, however, if your grass is slightly long it is useful to be able to lift the back wheels up slightly as this makes for more efficient collecting. The height adjusters offer this five different heights from 25 to 70 mm.
The grass box capacity is a generous 40 L which is quite good for a mower of this size. The handles fold down for storage which is extremely useful or if you happen to be transporting your lawnmower in the back of the car, a very useful feature.
The weight of the machine is 19.5 kg and the deck is constructed of polypropylene. The recommended maximum cutting area for a machine the size is 250 m² or more if you’re feeling particularly energetic!
I am very surprised that the Mountfield HP414 Push Petrol 4 Wheel Lawnmower has a two-year warranty, I wouldn’t normally expect this on a budget machine, however, it does suggest that Mountfield have faith in this particular product and from my experience, this machine is very basic but at the same time very functional.
How Did It Perform?
I have to say that I really was impressed with this lawnmower, I really didn’t expect very much for £149, but it achieved everything that I wanted.
On one particular area, the grass was quite long and thick and although I had to empty the grass box very frequently, I didn’t manage to clog the grass chute up which can potentially easily happen! The good thing is with four-wheel rotary mowers is that the grass is directed straight into the box, whereas with a roller rotary the grass has to be pushed over the roller which makes roller mowers slightly easier to clog the grass chute.
The finish that this lawnmower left was also pretty good, although it doesn’t actually have a roller, I was almost getting a slightly striped finish just due to me going up and down, I guess the deck was just pushing the grass over slightly which help to make a striped finish. However, if you really want to striped finish you need to buy a roller rotary mower.
So would I buy this machine?
In one simple answer, I definitely would! If I had a small garden I would much prefer to have a small petrol mower rather than a hand mower or electric mower. To be fair with a two-year warranty you can’t go far wrong if the machine only lasted two years and it will last longer if you look after it, it would only cost £75 a year!
Obviously, this machine is not the Rolls-Royce of lawnmower’s, but if you want a budget petrol mower that cuts your grass this machine is definitely worth looking at. I always say buy the best machine that you can afford, it pays off in the long run.
It’s springtime and the grass is growing, in this blog post, I will bring you a selection of our various lawnmowers from budget machines to top of the range lawnmowers.
I always say to people, buy the best machine that you can afford, most of us have to set a budget when we are buying a product, so we need to be careful. I can give you an example of the difference between buying a cheap product and a more expensive product. My late father purchased a Ransomes Ajax 12 inch push mower around 60 years ago, he treated this mower with great respect, cleaning and oiling it after every use! This mower is still working today! I have no idea how much he paid for this machine, but he certainly got his money’s worth! This particular machine was a very well engineered product and I know we cannot always afford to buy the best, however, there are many quality machines out there that will last you many years if you look after them.
You can also watch my video on the subject of lawnmowers below
Our cheapest lawnmower, The Webb H12R Hand Push Cylinder Lawnmower costs just £79.99, it’s a basic push lawnmower, but sometimes basic is good! No engine to go wrong, no fuel to buy, no batteries to buy and no cable to annoy you, just a bit of human energy required!
This lawnmower is what we would describe as a traditional lawnmower, it comes with a 12 inch (30 cm) five-bladed cylinder which can give your lawn a great finish, just remember that you need to cut your lawn regularly with a cylinder Lawnmower. In case you don’t understand what a five-bladed cylinder is, the more blades the finer the cut, so for example on a bowling green you may use a 10 bladed cylinder as you are just cutting a fraction of grass off at a time. One thing you need to remember with a cylinder mower is that it is a very precision cutting action and you need to take utmost care to keep your lawn free of any debris like stones and twigs, failure to do this can bring your cylinder out of line and make the cutting efficiency inefficient.
The web cylinder mower has a rear roller and gives a nice striped finish and comes complete with an 18 L grass collection box. This is a simple traditional lawnmower at a great price and is definitely worth thinking about if you have a small lawn.
Another machine worth looking at is The Mountfield HP414 Push Petrol 4 Wheel Lawn mower, this petrol lawnmower costs only £149! To be fair, I don’t know how they can make this machine so cheaply, especially a petrol lawnmower! Having said this, I have used one of these machines and although it’s not a luxury mower, it does actually cut the grass and collect at the same time in a reasonable way.
The Mountfield HP414 Push Petrol 4 Wheel Lawn mower is a 15 inch (39 cm) with a 100 cc petrol engine, complete with a 40 L collecting box. The machine can be used with or without the box, for example, in hot weather sometimes it’s good to leave the grass on the lawn as it almost acts as a fertiliser, or see if the grass is too long you do not want to do this.
To be fair this is a budget petrol mower at a fantastic price and it does the job, it’s not the Rolls-Royce of mowers, but if you want a cheap budget mower, this could be the one for you.
Another budget mower is the Flymo HoverVac 280 Electric Hover Mower, this electric hover mower sells at £79.99 which again is a great price for a budget lawnmower. I have to say that I’m not keen on electric mowers, the biggest things for me is having that electric cable continually being in the way, I much prefer to have something with a proper engine on! However, if you’re looking for a budget mower and like the idea of an electric lawnmower, this could be your answer! Of course, the great thing is with an electric mower, there is no engine to start, no oil to change and no fuel to add, simply plug in and go!
The Flymo HoverVac 280 Electric Hover Mower floats on a cushion of air making it very easy to push. It comes with an 11 inch (28 cm) cut and is designed for a small garden. The mower comes complete with a 20 litre integral box and has four different cutting heights.
If you don’t want to spend too much money on your lawnmower but at the same time want a semi decent lawnmower, here are a few examples to help you choose.
The Hayter Spirit 41 Push Petrol Rear Roller Lawn mower is a small push roller rotary lawnmower that will give your lawn that’s very British striped finish! Hayter have been making lawnmowers for many years so by purchasing a Hayter you have a great spare parts network.
This machine has a 41 cm cut, leaves a striped finish and comes complete with a large 55 L grass collection box. The Hayter Spirit 41 Push Petrol Rear Roller Lawn mower is powered by a well-known and proven Briggs & Stratton engine which has a 1 L fuel tank. This machine costs £313.50 p
Here is another midrange lawnmower, the Snapper NX-40 16 inch Self Propelled Petrol Lawn mower costs £349 and is a self-propelled machine, so minimal effort is required to cut your lawn!
This is a 16 inch (42 cm) for wheeled lawnmower which will cut your grass with ease, it’s small enough to move around obstacles, but at the same time can cover your lawn fairly quickly.
The good thing is with four-wheeled rotary mowers is that they normally have a reasonably efficient grass collection system as the grass is blowing directly into the collection box at the rear of the lawnmower, these type of machines are great for cutting small paddocks around buildings.
Now the sort of machines that I will discuss here are quality lawnmowers that are suitable for the keen gardener and contractors, they will give you many years of service providing that you take care of them.
The Weibang Legacy 56 Pro 3 speed Self-Propelled Rear Roller Lawn mower is a great roller rotary lawnmower that sells at £1349. This is a great machine that I have personally used many times, it comes with a five year domestic warranty and three-year commercial warranty. The only catch is that you have to have this machine dealer serviced to keep the warranty valid, but in my mind, this is well worth it.
The Weibang Legacy 56 Pro 3 speed Self-Propelled Rear Roller Lawn mower has a 22 inch (56 cm) cut and is powered by a Kawasaki engine. The mower drives itself through the rear roller and has a three speed solid gearbox.
This is a machine that I really do recommend, it leaves a great striped finish and is a very solid lawnmower, the fact that this lawnmower has five years warranty suggests something to me.
If you are looking for a quality machine and for that perfect bowling green look then The Allett Buckingham 30H s/p 76cm Cylinder Mower Honda 6.5hp GX200 Engine may be an option for you. This is the most expensive cylinder lawnmower in our range, it sells for £4359, however, this is a professional machine and if it is looked after properly it could literally last you a lifetime. As I always say, it’s cheaper in the long run to buy a quality product!
The Allett Buckingham 30H s/p 76cm Cylinder Mower Honda 6.5hp GX200 Engine comes with a six-bladed cylinder for that perfect fine finish. It is powered by a Honda 6.5 hp petrol engine and has the option to have a roller seat attachment, so no walking!
I am one of those people who like to make life easy, I have seen far too many people struggling in there garden, so in this blog post, we are going to discuss if a tiller, cultivator or rotavator can help you in your garden? If you don’t like digging too much, then a rotavator or tiller could help to make your life much easier.
I have always had an interest in garden and agricultural machinery and I really like to find ways of making life as easy as possible and having the right piece of machinery for your garden can help you big time! Why struggle when you can make your life easy?
You can take a look at my YouTube video or read the blog post below, or both!
What Type Of Tiller?
Most garden rotavators are petrol powered with a four-stroke engine, there are two-stroke engines fitted on the mini tiller’s and the larger wheeled rotavators are powered by mainly diesel engines although some do have petrol engines.
Personally, I would definitely recommend a diesel engine on this type of machine, they are so economical, they can literally run on a tank full of fuel all day, whereas, in my experience, a petrol machine will use a lot more fuel. In my experience, a diesel engine on a rotavator can work well even at low revs whereas the petrol engines need to be revved higher, therefore using more fuel.
There are a few electric machines available, I have to say I’m not a fan of electric cultivators or having to deal with a cable behind me! Some people like the idea of not having an engine to start or maintain, electric power is instant.
One thing to remember is to make sure that spare parts are available, there are lots of cheap machines where it can be difficult to source spare parts, sometimes with a well proven older machine the parts are still readily available, check before you buy!
Over the years I have owned various types of rotavator, most of these have been wheeled driven rotavator’s, in other words, the rotavator has a pair of driving wheels with the rotor blades behind the driving wheels, this type of machine is for the keen gardener and commercial landscaper.
Using the Howard Gem!
With a wheeled driven machine you have much more control, for example, if you are trying to make an onion seedbed, you can use the rotavator in a very low gear and have the giving blades turning quickly which in turn, if the conditions are right, will make you very fine onion type seedbed. A wheeled rotavator also has the ability to reclaim ground. For example, in the video below, from a few years back, I am reclaiming some meadow ground and preparing it for more of a lawn area. This type of machine can dig down to depths of 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 cm) depending on conditions.
Here is an example of a two-wheeled rotavator, the Apache RTT3 Petrol Rear Tine Tiller is an example of a two-wheeled rotavator at a good price.
I would normally refer to cultivators as rotor driven machines, these are great for making a good seedbed in the springtime, they can also help you incorporate compost into your garden by spinning it into the soil and breaking the soil down at the same time. Obviously the conditions have to be right for using a cultivator if the ground is too wet it will just make a sticky mess, however, if the conditions are right you really can save yourself a lot of time and effort.
A rotor driven cultivator drives itself by the rotors, they normally have detachable transport wheels to push the machine to the job, these wheels are then removed before you start digging. The speed of the cultivator is determined on how much pressure you put on the handles, they can jump around a bit depending on ground conditions, but after a few minutes you will get used to how they work.
Two stroke mini tillers have became popular over the last few years, I have seen people using them almost like a garden hoe to run up and down the rows in their vegetable patch, which helps to keep your veg patch nice and clean and reasonably weed free.
The same principal can be applied to flower borders, these machines in most cases are small enough to get between plants. If you have the right upper soil or if you regularly compost your beds then a two-stroke mini tiller can be a great time saver. Obviously this type of machine isn’t going to break rockhard ground, but used sensibly on a regular basis it can be a very useful tool in your garden.
Here is an example of a small two-stroke mini tiller, the Cobra 44cc 2 Stroke Mini Tiller is a very compact tiller that can save you lots of backdating work in your garden, you can see more mini tillers here.
I have purchased new and second-hand rotavator’s over the years, just recently I purchased a second hand Dowdeswell 650 rotavator, these are often known as the Howard Gem. These are great machines but unfortunately, they are getting quite old, if you can find a good one then all well and good. Just a word of warning, these are fairly heavy rotavator’s to use but they also great fun and do a fantastic job, you can see me using a Howard Gem in the video below.
Today we are going to discuss the subject of, “do I really need a ride on mower”? I’m not trying to put you off buying a ride on lawnmower as a ride on lawnmower can be a great time-saving asset, potentially, I just want to help you make the right choice.
We have to remember that in general walk behind machines give a more superior finish to your lawn and that sometimes you’re better putting your money into a quality walk behind machine rather than a cheap ride on lawnmower!
You can have a look at my video below or read the rest of this blog post for more tips or even both!
Do You Really Need A Ride On Lawn Mower?
As you will often hear me mention, it is so important to have the right machine for the right job, I have seen far too many people struggling in their gardens due to having the wrong equipment!
Ride on mower’s can potentially save you a lot of time and make your mowing very pleasurable and quick, but before you buy, do you need a ride on lawnmower?
If your lawn is full of obstacles and paths I would really consider having a good quality walk behind lawnmower as it is often far quicker to use a walk behind machine then it is a large ride on or even a small ride on mower if you have lots of obstacles. I have proved this point many times when a customer has asked me if I want to use their ride on mower, but I know full well that I can get the job done quickly with a decent walk behind mower.
The problem is with many ride on lawnmower’s is that they are very bulky and cumbersome, especially if you have a large collector on the back of your mower and some of the front wheel steer mower’s take quite a bit of manoeuvring to turn them around. With a walk behind mower, you could have probably been up and down a couple of times, whereas with a ride on lawnmower you could still be turning around, I’ve seen it happen and I’ve been there!
The Cost of A Ride On Lawnmower
To buy a decent ride on lawnmower costs a lot of money, a basic ride on mower start at around £1300 and can go up to 5 figures depending on what you’re buying. For £1300 you could potentially buy a very nice professional walk behind mower like the Weibang Legacy 56 Pro 3 speed Self-Propelled Rear Roller Lawn mower for a similar price, this machine comes with a three-year commercial warranty and five-year domestic warranty. This basically means that you will have a machine that will cost you zero pounds for five years, all you have to do is to pay for the regular servicing costs. Whereas, unfortunately, with a cheap ride on lawnmower the maintenance would be much higher.
I have had personal experience with the Weibang range of lawnmowers, these are machines that I really do recommend, the fact that they have a three-year commercial warranty and a five-year domestic warranty says a lot to me.
What Ride On Lawnmower Do I Buy?
With all the various pretty looking ride on mowers on the market, it is always difficult to know what to buy, one option I would definitely look at is an out front cutting deck articulated lawnmower, these ride on lawnmowers are unbelievably manoeuvrable and there is no grass collector required as these mowers mulch.
If you’re looking for a machine with a collector on it’s worth looking at the Honda HF2315 HME Ride On Lawnmower (Hydrostatic Transmission) I have actually used Honda ride on mowers and I have also ways like the compactness and the collection system works very efficiently. This particular machine blows the grass into the collection box through a large central rear hole between the wheels which helps to minimise blockages, it is far more efficient than having long tubes for the grass to go through.
By The Best That You Can Afford
As always, if you want a machine to last, by the best you can afford. It makes a huge difference to the life of your machine if you keep it regularly serviced and do not abuse it!
Today I’m going to talk about Multi-Tools and Kombi Tools and how they can help you. Different manufacturers have different names for there tools, some of the names used are, Multi-Tool, Kombi system, long reach, pole saws etc.
These particular machines consist of a power unit can be in petrol, electric or battery form and the classic attachments are hedge trimmers, (as in Longreach hedge trimmers) Longreach pruning saw, as in a chainsaw, strimmer heads, power brushes, mini cultivators, blowers and more.
You can see my video on Multi-tools below.
The Benefit Of Owning A Multi-Tool And Kombi Tool
I actually own a multitool and I think one of the biggest benefits is that you can have a range of attachments with just one power unit. Obviously, some types of attachments work more efficiently, but for me to have a power unit that I can put a strimmer head-on, a Longreach hedge cutter and a Longreach pruning attachment is a huge benefit. The great thing is these tools take up very little space and it is a far cheaper way to have a range of power tools than to buy them individually.
I appreciate that, for example, using a Longreach hedge cutter is extremely useful, but if you have a considerable amount of hedges to cut it may not be practical to use a Longreach to do everything, it is much easier to get a better cut and close a cut with a traditional hedge cutter. However, I don’t have a huge amount of hedging, so I just use my long reach hedge cutter attachment for everything.
I will probably purchase another power unit soon as I like to have the benefit of having a spare power unit should anything go wrong, this is another benefit of using the Kombi system. I appreciate that this idea may not be practical for everyone, but even having two power units is much cheaper than buying your power tools individually with their own individual power unit.
Another benefit of a long-reach hedge cutter on a kombi system is that I think many of us realise how wide hedges can become, a Longreach hedge cutter is exceptionally useful to reach those wide hedges that we can’t get with the traditional hedge cutter.
The Downside Of A Multi-Tool And Kombi Tool System
First of all, I would definitely say that the benefits outweigh the downside of a kombi tool system. Probably the biggest downside is, for example, using a Longreach hedge cutter to face your hedge is much harder on the arms and body than a traditional hedge cutter, however, as I mentioned earlier, if you haven’t got loads of hedging, then it’s very manageable to use a long-reach hedge cutter.
The other issue is that it’s easier to face a hedge with a traditional hedge cutter as they are lighter and easier to keep straight when cutting a hedge, however, please don’t be put off by this last sentence, as there are many benefits.
Types of Multitool
As I always say, try and buy the best quality Kombi tool that you can afford, there are some very cheap tools on the market, but it pays to buy a quality tool that will last. It’s also important to make sure that you have access to spare parts at short notice, unfortunately, from time to time machinery does break down, so it is of great importance that we have access to spare parts.
Multi-tools and Kombi systems are powered by petrol engines, electric and battery. Personally, I am someone who likes to have something with a real engine on, I have never been one for having electric cables hanging around, to me an electric cable is just something to get tangled up! The battery or rechargeable Kombi units are much improved over the last few years, just remember that batteries are expensive to replace and you also need to have a couple of spare batteries that you can charge up in between. It’s frustrating if you are halfway through the job and you don’t have a spare battery to finish the job.
Buy The Best
I have owned several Kombi tools over the years, something that I always make sure of doing it is to buy a decent sized power unit, in fact, I always go for the most powerful as I would like to have something that’s overpowered rather than underpowered. For example, I have a strimmer head on my Kombi tool as I am often cutting down long grass, so it’s important to have the power there, however, when I use my long reach hedge cutter attachment it only uses a small amount of power. If you buy something with a larger power unit it should last you longer, so long-term it works out cheaper.
It’s always difficult to know what type of Lawnmower to buy, here I want to make a list of the various different types of lawnmowers that are available. Lawnmowers come in all shapes and sizes, it’s very important that you choose the right machine for your garden. I have seen so many people making life difficult through not having the right equipment, it’s actually painful to watch. Take a look below and feel free to comment if you have any questions.
I have embedded YouTube video to this page below, you can either watch the video or read my post or both!
Rotary mowers are probably the most practical lawnmowers for most people, take a look below at the list of different types of rotary mowers.
Rear Roller Rotary Mowers
Rear roller mowers are probably my first choice of Lawnmower, most of these machines are driven through the rear roller via a petrol engine. If you like to see a nice striped traditional lawn then a roller rotary lawnmower is a great choice. Roller rotary mowers also come with a collection bag or box, the grass is simply blown into the rear collection box, it’s also very useful in the autumn when the leaves are falling.
Before you purchase a roller rotary mower, here are a few things to check. Make sure that your lawn is reasonably level as rollers don’t grip very well on rough ground and they are also not designed to work on really rough areas. In general, if the grass is dry roller rotary’s pickup reasonably efficiently, however, they will not collect long grass, you will just clog your machine, so you need to remember that these machines really need to be used on a regular basis, at least once a week in the peak growing season. It is also very important to make sure and keep your grass box clean, if the grass box isn’t kept clean the air cannot flow through and you will struggle to pick up the grass clippings. I normally use an airline or power washer to wash the grass bag, if you do this on a regular basis you will notice a huge difference with your collection efficiency.
Ideally, I would also purchase a machine that drives, is much easier if the mower pulls itself along rather than having to push the machine.
Self-Propelled Rotary Lawnmowers
Self-propelled Rotary lawnmowers can sometimes be referred to as fourwheeled mowers, these lawnmowers can have power drives and push versions. I would definitely go for a version that drives, is far easier than pushing a mower, make sure you purchase a machine that drives on the rear wheels and not the front wheels. I have seen lawnmowers that drive on the front wheels which in my mind very poor way to drive the machine, the problem is that when you turn the Lawnmower, you automatically lift the front wheels off the ground which in turn stops the mower moving forward. Whereas, if the machine was rearwheel drive it would carry on moving forward as you turn, so I would definitely avoid front wheel drive mowers.
Self-propelled Rotary lawnmowers are very straightforward, they have four wheels on some machines you can adjust the wheels individually, personally I don’t think this is particularly necessary, although sometimes it is good to have the machine higher off the ground at the rear as this can sometimes help collection if the grass is a bit long.
The collection process is very simple, there is a box attached to the back of the mower and the grass is blown straight in. These machines generally pick up better than the roller rotary’s as the grass goes directly into the box whereas with a roller rotary the grass has to go over the roller. These mowers also pick up longer grass than a roller rotary, however, it is still much better if you cut your lawn on a regular basis, not only will your lawn look better but you will have less grass to empty!
Mulching lawnmowers can be very useful investment as their is no grass box to empty which is a great bonus! The downside is that for a mulching mower to work efficiently you have to cut your grass on a regular basis and you can sometimes get more moss with a mulching mower, however, this can be cured by treating your lawn on a regular basis, which I would recommend doing anyway.
I have used different mulching mowers and some work better than others, I particularly like the Husqvarna Rider range of mulching mowers, these machines are articulated which makes them extremely manoeuvrable around flower beds and trees etc. There mulching ability is also very good and efficient, but once again, for this to work efficiently you have to cut your grass on a regular basis.
I would seriously consider looking at a mulching mower, it is so easy just to sit on a Lawnmower and not have to empty the box or bag, most of us know how long this can take having to keep stopping. Even a good walk behind mower is well worth looking at. In an ideal world, it’s not a bad idea to have a mower that mulches and a mower that collects, but I do appreciate that this isn’t always possible.
Zero Turn Mowers
Zero turn mowers are great fun to use and a very efficient way to cut your grass, they’re probably my favourite, especially if they have a mulching deck on. A zero turn mower has two hydraulic motors on the rear driving wheels and two caster wheels at the front, normally the machine is steered by two levers which give you instant forward and reverse, these machines are the most manoeuvrable lawnmowers available, their capacity to cut grass very quickly is amazing.
Zero turn mowers are available as walk-behind machines and ride on machines, I have owned both and they are both very efficient machines to use. The downside is that zero turn mowers are not cheap, but if you buy a decent machine it will give you many years of service provided that you look after it.
Cylinder mowers are for that perfect bowling green look that we all love to see, just be aware that most gardens, in my opinion, are not suited to a cylinder mower unless you are very dedicated to your lawn. I believe that the majority of people are better off with a roller rotary mower as the maintenance is much simpler and they give a reasonably good quality striped finish.
If you feel that you do have a nice flat lawn and you really want to maintain it well, then definitely go for a quality cylinder mower. A cylinder mower has a very precision cutting action, so it is very important that you keep your lawn clear of any debris as if you hit anything hard you can reduce the efficiency of the cutting action. I have seen many cylinder mowers when they are not cutting efficiently, they tend to bend the grass over rather than cut it, you really do need to be dedicated to looking after your lawn to use a cylinder mower. I’m not trying to put you off buying a cylinder mower, I just want to make you aware that it is important you know the ins and outs.
Cylinder mowers are available in push versions, electric, petrol and commercial type gang mowers for large gardens, greens and golf courses.
Ride On Rotary Mowers
Ride on Rotary mowers are great if you have a large area of grass, just be aware that to buy a decent machine you do need to spend money and most of these machines are far less manoeuvrable than a walk behind mower. I think most of us really like the idea of sitting down to cut the grass but here are a few things that we have to remember:
Make sure and buy a ride on mower with a hydrostatic drive, gearboxes on lawnmowers today are out of date. A hydrostatic drive consists of a hydraulic motor that gives you variable speeds in forward and reverse, this system is fantastic compared with the old-fashioned painful gearbox.
Don’t buy a cheap ride on lawnmower, you will regret it! Unfortunately, there are a lot of cheap ride on lawnmowers that really are very poor, if you are buying a new machine make sure that you have a demonstration to find out as much as you can about the particular machine you’re thinking of buying. If you can’t afford a decent ride on lawnmower I would look at buying a decent walk behind machine as there’s nothing much more frustrating than having a machine that keeps breaking down or doesn’t do the job properly.
Also, remember that many ride on lawnmowers are nowhere near as manoeuvrable as a walk behind lawnmower, there are exceptions with the articulated and zero turn mowers, but in general ride on mowers and garden tractors are much more cumbersome in gardens. If you have lots of obstacle in your garden, you’re probably better off with a decent walk behind lawnmower.
Gang mowers are normally used on village greens, golf courses and playing fields but they can also be used in large gardens. Gang mowers are commonly self-propelled and come in cylinder form and rotary form, they can also be towed by a tractor.
Robotic lawnmowers are relatively new out, if you are sceptical about robotic mowers, I can tell you from experience that they do work and if you don’t like cutting your grass then this could be the answer for you!
Ideally, robotic mowers are best used in areas that don’t have lots of obstacles, if you have lots of small paths and banks in your garden then a robotic mower may not be for you. However, if you have a lawn with a few trees and flower borders then a robotic mower may be for you.
It is very important when you purchase a robotic mower to make sure you spend time properly installing your mower. Robotic mowers need a perimeter wire all around the lawn which they will follow, the perimeter wire can also be put around flower borders and obstacles. The perimeter wire actually goes on top of the lawn but is tacked down with pegs, you could also bury the perimeter wire but you will find after a few weeks the perimeter wire will not be visible as the grass will have grown over it. Your robotic mower will actually drive over the perimeter wire, the reason for this is so that it gets close to border edges so in this way no grass is left uncut, it is also important to spend time putting your perimeter wire down correctly. There are professionals that will carry out the installation for you if you’re not confident in doing it yourself.
I do find it amazing how robotic mower can be set at various times to cut your lawn and most of them even have rain sensors so that it starts raining when they are cutting they will go back to the base station. A robotic mower mulches your lawn so there is no grass to clear up and the great thing is can set your mower to come out automatically two or three times a week and just keep your grass looking perfectly evenly cut.
One thing is robotic mowers do not do is to leave stripes on your lawn, I guess one day they may have the technology to do this! For some reason they don’t actually cut in a uniform way, they go in all different directions, however, they don’t miss any grass providing you have installed your machine properly!
A heavy duty rotary mower is great for cutting rough areas, these can be self-propelled machines or tractor mounted.
A flail mower is great for cutting down long grass and brambles, these are available as pedestrian machines, I actually used to own a Turner pedestrian flail, it was great for rough areas. Flails are also available for out front ride on’s, tractor mounted and the hydraulic arm mounted files that can cut hedges and grass.
The heavy duty rough-cut nylon cutting mowers are great for overgrown and rough areas, one of the best things is that there is no blade to damage or to become blunt as these types of machines simply rely on heavy duty nylon cord. These models are available as pedestrian machines in push versions and self-propelled versions, personally I would go for a machine that drives itself, far easier than pushing, but obviously, this depends on your budget.
The Hayterette is a great little petrol lawn mower for cutting paddocks and overgrown areas, I like the simplicity of this machine, I purchased my Hayterette in 1983 and it is still running perfectly 36 years later!
I believe that the Hayterette has been made for over 50 years, it is a very simple four-wheeled petrol mower and yet it does the job extremely well, with great cutting efficiency. There is only one downside to this lawnmower and that is the fact that you have to push it, but the great thing is it is so simple there really is very little to go wrong.
The Hayterette has an 18 inch (45 cm) cutting width which will almost tackle any type of grass however long it is. I have literally cut down long grass and stinging nettles, thistles and more that are six-foot high! (Almost 2 m high) The Hayterette will cut through long grass with ease and the easy set height adjuster enables you to cut very low if you are on a flat surface and high if you are in rougher overgrown areas.
The Hayterette is powered by a Briggs & Stratton high-performance 190cc 650-Series four-stroke engine. The engine develops 4.5 hp and is exceptionally quiet. Starting the engine is through a very easy recoil start, there’s no need to choke the engine or prime before starting, very straightforward indeed.
Cutting Height Adjuster
The Hayterette comes with seven different cutting heights, you can actually lower the machine right to its deck to stop it moving about during transport, however, I would still suggest that you strap this mower down before moving it any distance as I know how much things can move around when they’re on a trailer or in a van! Cutting height is from 13 mm to 70 cm which gives enough variation for every situation.
The Hayterette does not have a traditional straight blade that the majority of rotary lawnmowers have, it consists of a round cutting disc, with four small swinging blades attached, this principle works very well and efficiently for cutting overgrown areas and paddocks
It’s Easy To Change The Blades
The four swinging blades are very easy to change, they are simply held on with one lock bolt, the blades are double sided so they can be turned around once the edge has worn off one side. However, if you’re careful and respect your Hayterette, these blades should do many hours work without a change of blade.
Always make sure that the area you are going to cut is clear of debris, I see far too many people running their lawnmower over obstacles like branches twigs and stones that very quickly blunt the blades. Taking a few minutes to clear the area a few minutes before you start cutting will keep blades sharp for a long time.
My Hayterette Is 36 Years Old
I purchased my first and only Hayterette back in 1983 for a landscaping business that I was starting, I still have this machine today as the picture below shows.
The machine is powered by a 5 hp Briggs & Stratton I/C engine, which is the original engine. It still works perfectly and generally fires up on the first pull! You can see my 36-year-old Hayterette cutting down some long grass a few weeks ago.
One thing that I always make sure and do is to make sure and keep the oil clean, Briggs & Stratton recommend an oil change every 25 hours. I use a straightforward SAE 30 oil with no detergents. To me, it is much cheaper to pay for quality oil than to replace an engine.
I think the best thing about the Hayterette is its simplicity, there really is very little to go wrong and providing the blades are sharp you will receive a good and effortless cut. I started using one of these machines before I left school, so I know that they will give you many hours of low maintenance mowing. The only downside is that the machine doesn’t drive, providing you have not got acres of grass, this really is a great little machine to keep your grass under control.