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Overview of Lawn Mower Types – Their Advantages and Disadvantages

Cylinder mowers, mulching mowers, cordless mowers: all types of devices have their advantages and disadvantages.

Here you will find the most important information.

image - Overview of Lawn Mower Types - Their Advantages and Disadvantages
Overview of Lawn Mower Types – Their Advantages and Disadvantages

When you hear the term “lawnmower”, a similar model appears to everyone in their mind’s eye. Today, a large number of devices with very different functions are offered.

But what are which types of lawnmowers suitable for? That depends entirely on the wishes of the user and the characteristics of the lawn to be mowed.

We will introduce you to the most common construction methods.

Electric Mower

An electric mower hums through most of the German gardens. Not without reason: The devices are inexpensive and hardly need any maintenance.

Apart from the low electricity costs and the occasional sharpening or replacement of the knife, there are usually no other costs.

Also, they run relatively quietly, do not emit any exhaust gases, and are therefore superior to devices with internal combustion engines in terms of the environmental balance.

The main disadvantage of electric mowers is the cord: It is particularly annoying with large plots of land, trees on the lawn, or angled areas.

Installing more outside sockets can alleviate the problem somewhat.

The selection of electric mowers in the garden centres is large: When buying, make sure that you have an easily removable grass catcher.

With higher quality devices, ball-bearing wheels, fill level indicator on the grass catcher and mulching function are important quality features.

Mulching Mower

Experts are puzzling why most gardeners collect grass clippings in the grass catcher instead of mulching.

Because the principle has many advantages: The cut stalks are chopped up by the rotating knives and fall as small snippets into the sward.

You, therefore, have to mow more often when mulching, about once or twice a week.

On the other hand, you get ahead faster because you don’t have to empty the grass collector.

In addition to mulching mowers, there are now many devices that can do both: If the grass is tall or damp, you can hang up the grass catcher and switch to collecting.

Petrol Mower

The cutting width of petrol lawnmowers starts at 40 centimetres and goes up to around 53 centimetres.

Some of the large size models have a switchable rear-wheel drive. The speed can then be regulated via a gearshift (one or more gears) or a stepless hydrostatic drive.

The advantage of petrol mowers: They work far away from any power supply, for example on lawns outside of built-up areas, and can cope with large areas.

Also, there is no cable in the way. Disadvantage: petrol lawnmowers require maintenance.

If you neglect this, you will shorten the service life of the device, because the conditions in a dusty meadow stress the motors.

You should therefore knock out the air filter regularly and change the oil annually.

Noise and exhaust gases are also unpleasant properties of internal combustion engines, although the devices have improved considerably due to environmental regulations.

Anyone who buys their petrol mower from a specialist dealer can conclude a maintenance contract with them.

He then takes over the annual engine inspection and sharpens the knife.

Air Cushion Mower

At first glance, the air cushion mower looks like a technical gimmick, but it is certainly justified. The principle has been around for a long time, but it has not caught on with us.

The principle: A fan wheel draws in air and presses it under the housing of the mower. That lifts him and he slides on an air cushion.

This makes the device easy to manoeuvre, which is particularly advantageous on steep slopes and embankments.

Occasionally you can find air cushion mowers with an electric motor, the model is shown above with a petrol engine is also used for golf course maintenance.

Roller Mower

Perhaps you have also wondered where the stripes on the grass in the football stadium come from. The effect arises when the stalks lean in different directions.

This is done by the pressure of a roller that rolls across the lawn in opposite tracks.

The pattern can also be created in the home garden with specially equipped mowers that have a roller (“rear roller”) instead of rear wheels. The well-kept lawn is of course too good to play soccer.

Cylinder Mower

Cutting instead of chopping off: a cylinder mower shortens the grass so gently compared to a conventional rotary mower.

The spindles work like scissors, the stalks are neatly cut. This way, there are no fringes at the interfaces that later turn brown (as with blunt sickle knives).

The British swear by this technology, but you rarely see it here.

Gas powered lawn mower are mulching mowers, the clippings remain on the surface – although there are also models on which a grass catcher can be hung.

Frequent mowing is crucial, i.e. at least once, during the main growth phase in spring, preferably twice a week.

Thanks to the short intervals and the gentle cut, the lawn is optimally cared for, which is rewarded with dense growth.

We usually only have cylinder mowers as hand or cordless mowers for small areas. Larger devices with gasoline engines are the exception.

Disadvantage: cylinder mowers are difficult to cope with tall grass and their maintenance is more complex.

The fixed lower blade, in particular, can easily bend if there are stones or other foreign objects on the lawn and then has to be straightened or replaced in the workshop.


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Meadow Mower

A real meadow has little in common with a lawn. And a normal lawnmower is overwhelmed when it is supposed to mow the high, hard grass of an orchard.

There are special devices for this, which are referred to as meadow, high grass, or all-meadow mowers.

They have large, stable wheels, often in a three-wheel construction, and are therefore easy to manoeuvre.

Particular emphasis is placed on safety so that no stone that accidentally gets into the mower does not injure people or damage the machine. A protective plastic loop also keeps dust out.

Cordless Mower

The cordless lawn mower is a convenient and better alternative to the electric mower. This was made possible by the further development of electricity storage technologies.

Lithium-ion batteries, like those found in cell phones and laptops, are now common. They are light, powerful, and quickly charge.

They also have no memory effect, which means that you can use a half-full battery without having to worry about the long-term loss of capacity.

We know Lithium-ion batteries also discharge only minimally if they are not used for a long time.

While cordless mowers used to be considered only for small areas due to limited energy reserves, manufacturers today recommend models with a powerful battery even for areas over 500 square meters.

But the batteries have their price, and that is the main disadvantage of the cordless mower. They cost at least twice as much as a comparable electric mower.


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