The cylinder lawnmower is one of the oldest designs in lawn care machines. Most owners and users swear by them, stating these devices cut grass better and create less damage than modern single blade designs. Addressing considerations before purchase will help choose the right mower for the lawn.
The first consideration is the size of the lawn. Small lawns do not require the largest motorized or widest blades available. A hand push lawnmower is perfect for smaller areas. Electric models are better for small to medium sized lawns. Petrol models are best suited for large lawns. Electric and petrol lawnmowers are available in self-propelled models.
The second consideration is mobility. If the owner has a medical condition that prevents pushing the lawnmower for lengths of time, a self-propelled electric or petrol lawnmower is the best option. Again, the size of the lawn dictates the type of power to use.
Tiny lawns could do with an electric mower with the cord plugged into the house. For lawns that would require multiple extension cords, a petrol model is better. Some electric and petrol models have drive shafts that propel the mower for the user, eliminating the need for pushing.
Some gardeners swear by collecting the cut grass for composting while others insist on leaving it to compost directly on the lawn, feeding the grass and soil directly. Only the lawn owner can decide what is best. Of course, not having to carry and empty a heavy grass box makes leaving the cuttings on the lawn much more attractive.
The fourth consideration is adjustability. Some cylinder lawnmowers have only one height for the blades and the handle. These mowers are cheaper, although harder to use for most average height users. For children and small adults, they are particularly difficult.
When used on heavy or overgrown lawns, their practicality is zero. A lawnmower with adjustable height blades and handle allows different people to cut the grass easily. Manage overgrown lawns by using the highest height first, then lowering the blades with each cutting.
The fifth consideration is versatility. Some models have interchangeable cylinders. A four-blade cylinder is wonderful for fine grass while a six-blade cylinder is useful for thicker species. The professional gardener easily changes cylinders for each customer’s needs.
Scarifier cassettes pop in to cut through the built up thatch and overgrown roots so water and air can reach the soil. Versatility means owning one machine able to perform different tasks instead of several machines with one task each. The owner can remove the cylinders and cassettes in order to take them to a sharpening service. This is far easier than transporting the entire lawnmower in a car, taxi or train.
The sixth consideration is storage. A large petrol lawnmower with an auto steer seat needs far more space than a hand push model. Storage of most hand push models is simply accomplished by hanging on hooks or pegs by their handles. This saves space for other items. Larger models may need their own storage shed.
The seventh consideration is comparing the advantages and disadvantages of a cylinder mower. The advantages are that cylinder mowers often cut the grass far better than other mowers. Instead of a metal blade plowing into a blade of grass and shattering it, the cylinders cut each blade as if with scissors. The result is an evenly cut lawn with fewer brown or frayed spots.
Cylinder lawnmowers come with different numbers of blades in each cassette. A four, five, or six blade cylinder is perfect for a lawn mowed once a week. A ten or twelve blade cylinder gives the best cut for ornamental or luxury lawns.
Widths of blade cylinders vary so buyers can match the size to their lawns. Smaller cylinders are perfect for small lawns, while wider blades allow fewer passes to complete the lawn-mowing chore more expediently. The smaller cylinders move around corners easier than the wider cylinders. Hand push models are far easier to maneuver when encountering an obstacle. Simply pick them up and move them out of the way. Of course, this works well with the smaller hand push lawnmowers.
The disadvantages are that most cylinder lawnmowers are best suited to stone free and flat lawns. Pushing a cylinder lawnmower uphill all day is a chore to avoid. If the grass has overgrown, these mowers have a harder time getting through it. This is particularly true for hand push models.
Remove all stones, twigs, and branches before mowing, as they tend to lodge in the cylinder blades. Remove these by hand so mowing can continue. For electric and petrol mowers, unplug or turn off the motor and remove the spark plug cap, then work to dislodge the object. For all models, take care not to damage the blades or sustain injury. Children and pets are wont to leave play objects where they fall.
Lawns with a large number of trees and shrubs are not well suited for cylinder mowers, as raking to remove twigs before mowing is required. For avid gardeners, this is not a deterrent; rather all the raking and lawn preparation is as a joy.
The next consideration is accessories or special attachments. This includes interchangeable cylinders, split rollers allowing for easier turning, front rollers for stability, groomers for lateral grasses and more. Auto steer seats for self-propelled models allow the user to sit and steer the lawnmower like a riding model.
Before purchasing, make certain the desired mower will work with this attachment. A sharpener file keeps the blades in perfect working order throughout the season. This eliminates multiple trips to a service center for professional sharpening.
The last consideration is price. List all considerations on paper, and narrow the choices to a few models. Now compare the prices to fit the budget. Perhaps saving a little each month for the price of the cylinder lawnmower is best. Waiting until winter and taking advantage of an off-season sale is a better financial decision.
Read also: Best Electric Lawn Mower Reviews