Today my blog post is entitled is it worth buying a strimmer or brush cutter? As you probably know I’m someone who likes to make life as easy as possible and having the right piece of equipment can make so much difference in the garden. I’ve seen far too many people making their life exceptionally hard due to using poor equipment and not having the right type of equipment. So I hope that this article will help you choose the right strimmer or brush cutter and give you a greater understanding of the products available.
What Is A Strimmer Or Brush Cutter?
A strimmer or brush cutter is a machine that for general use has a nylon cord that rotates on a strimmer head. The size of the nylon cord can vary greatly depending on the machine that you’re using and the type of job that you’re doing. For general purpose strimming jobs I find that a 2.4 mm nylon cord works well, it’s heavy enough not to break too easily and strong enough to strim down nettles and tougher grass.
Brush cutters are really heavy duty strimmers that have the option to have a blade attachment, these blades come in all shapes and sizes, from circular saw type blades to hexagonal blades, you can see the various types of brush cutter blade here.
Traditional trimmers and brush cutters have an engine at the top of the machine, this can be a two-stroke petrol engine, electric or cordless type of machine. The engine is attached to a long shaft which then goes down to strimmer head. Most strimmers have straight shafts, but there are a few that have curved shafts. I would go for a strimmer with a straight shaft as the curved shaft models can have a greater tendency to break, I guess being bent over there is a greater strain on the shaft.
There are two types of strimmer and brush cutter handles, some have loop handles and some have the cow horn type handles, these are normally fitted on the heavier strimmer’s or brush cutters and also come with a shoulder strap. Personally, although I have a reasonably high-powered strimmer, I prefer the loop handle for ease of transport and for ease of use. The cow horn handles can become an obstacle depending on what you’re doing, I also prefer not to use a strap to support the strimmer as I feel it gives more freedom in use. However, a lot of the petrol strimmer’s come with a strap if you have loop handle strimmer, it’s optional if you want to use it.
Is A Strimmer Or Brush Cutter For You?
If you have a lawn or even any grassed areas with trees, borders, paths etc, I would say that a strimmer or brush cutter is definitely for you. They really can save hours of time, it doesn’t actually seem that long ago when people were going around the edge of the lawn on their hands and knees with garden shears! I know that there are long handled shears available which make life slightly easier, however, a strimmer or brush cutter can do so much more than a pair of garden shears!
So if you have a lawn and you have areas and edges that you can’t get to a strimmer or brush cutter could make your life much easier!
Which Strimmer Or Brush Cutter Do I Buy?
Strimmer’s and brush cutters are available in all different sizes, from small electric strimmer’s, rechargeable battery strimmer’s and two-stroke petrol strimmers, I believe the Honda also make a four-stroke strimmer.
Now we come onto my preferred type of strimmer which is powered by a two-stroke petrol engine, no cord or batteries to charge, in general, the petrol models have more power. Our cheapest petrol strimmer starts at £124.99 you can find out more about the Cobra BC260C Loop Handle Petrol Brushcutter here.
The other type of strimmer or brush cutter which is available are the heavy duty wheeled type strimmer’s, these are great for rough areas or overgrown areas as there is no blade to break or damage, just a replaceable nylon cord, very simple. These wheeled trimmers are available in push models and powered models.
I have given you the cheapest options above for strimmer’s and brush cutters, but once again I would say try and buy the best you can afford.
I have used strimmer is commercially which have literally had hours and hours of use, some of these have lasted up to around seven years. If you purchase a decent strimmer or brush cutter you could have many many years of trouble-free service.
If you are looking for second hand is always worth taking a look at eBay.
Today we are going to review the Bosch Rotak 36 Push Mower, as you may know, I am someone who likes to have a petrol or diesel engine on a machine! However, I want to give an honest review of this Bosch electric push lawn mower, you may be pleasantly surprised!
Last year I was cutting my elderly mother’s lawn with her Bosch Rotak 36 Push Electric Mower, I have to say that I was looking for every opportunity to run this mower down as the thought of using an electric lawnmower with the cable getting caught up in every unthinkable obstacle definitely didn’t excite me!
The grass was quite long as it had not been cut for several weeks, I really didn’t think that this little electric mower would cope with such long and thick grass. The grass was around 4 inches (10 cm) tall and it was thick lush spring grass.
I have to say I was pleasantly surprised at how well this electric mower coped with the long thick grass, it actually seemed to cope better than some semi-commercial petrol mowers that I have used, and that’s saying something!
I had to empty the grass collection box very frequently because of the length of the grass, the amazing thing is that this little electric lawnmower didn’t clog the grass chute at all. There are some petrol mowers that I have used and they can block very easily especially if the grass is a bit damp, however, this Bosch lawnmower beat all my expectations!
The Bosch Rotak 36 Push Mower is a very lightweight machine, which is ideal for older people who may not have the strength to push a heavier machine and of course there is no fuel or oil to check. Unfortunately, with electric mowers, you have the convenience of low maintenance, but you have that electric cable dragging behind you all the time, something that I have never liked! However, I’m sure this is something that can be overcome!
So How Would I Rate The Bosch Rotak 36 Push Mower?
I would rate this machine very high due to its cutting efficiency and ability to cut long grass and it actually left a reasonable finish. I like to see a machine that is well-engineered something that you can take pride in, however, this type of machine is in a different type of league and for what it is, it performed very well and I know this type of lawnmower would suit people with a postage stamp sized lawn.
If you have a slightly larger garden and like me, you prefer something with a petrol engine on, it may be worth taking a look at the Mountfield HP414 Push Petrol 4 Wheel Lawnmower. This is a machine that costs slightly more money at £149, but it has no electric cables to deal with and has a two-year warranty.
The Bosch Rotak 36R Electric Rotary Lawnmower is powered by an electric 1400 Watt motor which almost produces 2 hp of power. The cutting width is approximately 15 inches (36 cm) and the weight is just 12 kg which makes it extremely easy to push, especially with the easy push handle design.
The grass collector capacity is a generous 40 L which is good for another of this size. There are six cutting heights between 20 and 70 mm, it’s always good to have a range of cutting heights, especially if you’re grass has become a bit long. I always tell people not to cut the grass too short, I see too many people cutting their lawn far too short which is the perfect way to ruin a good lawn.
The machine also has the ability to leave a striped finish.
Here is a review of how a garden chipper shredder can help you in your garden.
Did you know that everything that we take out the garden can literally be put back into your garden? I am very keen on composting garden waste as much as possible, I also compost kitchen waste and use poultry manure when I kept chickens and use horse manure when the opportunity comes along.
Prunings and wood from trees can often be a problem to compost, obviously, anything will rot down in time but obviously, things like tree branches cannot be composted in the normal way. Traditionally people would burn their prunings, but today this can often cause problems with neighbours, especially if the wind changes directions unexpectedly!
This is where a garden chipper shredder can be a great asset.
What is a garden chipper shredder?
Chippers and spreaders come in all different shapes and sizes and different capacities. A chipper works by literally shredding and chipping your waste prunings up to about 4 to 5 inches in width for domestic chippers. However, if you want to talk about commercial chippers, then they can vary between 5 to 12 inches (12 to 30 cm) in normal terms. Or if you want to go even bigger there are even whole tree chippers, although these are probably not suitable for the average garden!
Branches and prunings are made into shreds or chips which can then be composted or even spread on borders as they are created. I must admit I prefer to compost my chippings for a couple of years and mix them in with the rest of the compost. I have seen heavy soils dramatically changed through composting regularly if you want to make your life easier this a great thing to do in the garden.
Petrol Or Electric?
Shredders and chippers are available in petrol and electric models.
The smallest chippers are normally powered by an electric motor, however, if you have any amount of prunings to chip, I would definitely go for a petrol machine, not only because I like machines with an engine on but the petrol models are far more powerful and have a much greater capacity and no electric cable trailing around.
Which Chipper Shredder Do I Go For?
Our cheapest shredder starts at £769.99 which is The Handy Petrol Chipper/Shredder is powered by a well proven Briggs & Stratton IC engine, this machine is ideal for keen gardeners who want make their prunings into compost quickly.
The Apache chipper is slightly dearer at £1099, this machine is powered by a Briggs & Stratton 6.5 hp engine and once again is suitable for the keen gardener who wants to shred and chip garden prunings. This machine will chip prunings up to 2 inches (5 cm) approximately. The weight of the machine is 51 kg.
Now it’s time to go upmarket to the DR Pro XL ES 21.00 Rapid Feed Petrol Chipper / Shredder, this petrol Chipper shredder sells for £4299 and this is DR’s largest machine, suited for the very keen gardener and professional.
This machine DR chipper shredder is again powered by the popular Briggs & Stratton, electric start, 420 cc overhead valve engine. One of the best things about Briggs & Stratton engines is the reliability and because there are so many of these engines around there is a great parts network, should you require any spare parts.
The chipping capacity of this machine is 5.75 inches which is approximately (14 cm) so with this capacity, you can normally chip anything you want and anything larger would normally be logged for firewood.
The DR chipper shredder is a great investment for the keen gardener and is the type of product that although it is not cheap it could give you many years service, so definitely a good investment.
Sometimes it’s worth looking out for a decent second-hand chipper or shredder, depending on what your budget is or maybe you want something a little larger or different from what we offer. It’s worth taking a look at eBay as they have many different types of chippers and shredders.
It’s springtime and the grass is growing, in this blog post, I will bring you a selection of our various lawnmowers for 2019 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!
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.