Selecting the right type of a lawnmower can save a lot of frustration later on. Knowing one’s lawn size and deciding the type of finish one prefers will help to limit the choice of lawnmowers. Once the basic decision on the most suitable type of a mower is made, one can then move on to decide about optional extras like a rear roller for a striped lawn or a collection box.
There are essentially three types of lawnmowers available in the market – cylinder, rotary and the hover. Each has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. The cylinder mower has blades that rotate vertically along a cylinder, hence the name. The design provides a scissor-like cut for a perfectly manicured lawn. These mowers are ideal for level lawns that require a fine, short cut. They are available in a range of cutting widths.
The rotary mowers have blades that rotate like a fan and they spin parallel to the lawn they mow. They cut grass that is longer than a cylinder mower can and are available in wider widths than cylinder mowers. This extra size makes them better suited to medium-sized lawns. They also tend to be heavier than a cylinder mower due to the larger size. For a striped lawn look, one can always add the rear rollers.
Rotary mowers are very versatile and well suited to most lawn types. Whether it is a rough grassy area or banks with difficult slopes, a rotary mower is fit for the job. The blades of a rotary mower rotate horizontally, and at preselected cutting heights, the grass is pushed into a collection bag. The bag is detachable, so if one does not want to collect the clippings, they can simply remove the bag.
Hover mowers are essentially rotary mowers that literally float over the grass surface. They use an impeller located over the blades to drive air downwards and push the mower above the ground; the floating mower is then easy to manoeuvre. They are designed to be lightweight so air cushion can be created to make them float.
They come without wheels, because they hover over the grass and none are really needed. The lack of wheels means they have to be carried from the place of storage to the grass requires cutting, which could be tiresome. Some models do have rear wheels, making moving them around easier.
The handles of the mowers fold, thus making it easier to hang in a shed or garage. If one is limited on space, the hover mowers are space efficient. Their efficiency falls short, however, when it comes to using them on rough terrain or on lawn edges. This is because the air-cushion is lost in wide gaps between the chassis and the field being mowed.
Hover mowers are good for use on steep slopes, waterfronts and high-weeded areas; that is why they are frequently employed on golf courses and commercial landscaping. Grass collecting bags are available in certain models, but work better in some of the models than others.
The overall quality of the cut with a hover can be inferior if the grass is pushed away from the blade due to the air cushion. The hover mowers are perfect for small to medium-sized lawns. The lack of wheels and air cushion makes moving the mowers from side to side and forward and backward easier. Their compact design makes them ideally suited for navigating lawns with complex shapes.
Hover mowers are available in two main power types – electric and petrol. The petrol models have more power and are free from cumbersome electric wires. The electric variety is better suited for small lawns where dealing with wires is not much of an issue. Also, the electric model may not be practical if it is going to be used in an area that receives a lot of rainfall, because then one will have to wait for the lawn to dry up before using the electric mower.
One of the most important factors to look out for when in the market to buy a hover lawn mower is that it should be simple to operate and move around. Ease of mobility is one of the essential elements, especially when there are steps involved. Also, check the height of the handle and make sure it is comfortable to work with; this becomes especially important if the handle is not adjustable.
Make sure the hand grip and switch feel natural to handle. A single-handed switch may feel awkward. While hover mowers are compact overall, some petrol models can be heavy, so make sure they are easy to carry. If the striped lawn effect is your thing, then make sure to get one with the rollers.