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Lawn Mower Buying Guide Whether a lawn is a small townhouse sized lot or acres of rolling meadow, it can provide an enjoyable place to relax or play. Once a lawn is fully established, it requires regular mowing to maintain its healthy manicured appearance. The wrong mower can turn a weekend chore into absolute drudgery. Selecting the right mower requires careful analysis. In addition to the size of the lawn, other important considerations include the cutting blades, style of mower, and additional features. Each type of blade and style of lawnmower has its own combination of features, benefits, and performance characteristics. The price of lawn mowers will vary significantly based on the make, model, and available features.

Selecting the Right Size Mower A push mower is usually the best option for small lawns. They are available in a number of different widths. It takes fewer passes and less time to cut grass with a mower that has a wider cutting width. A wider mower is not always the best option. If the grassy area is narrow or a number of tight turns are required, a wide mower may be unwieldy. A push mower is suitable for lawns that are one half acre or less and are relatively flat. A riding mower or lawn tractor may be the best option for a large lawn. It is essential to determine whether there is sufficient space for the mower to maneuver between natural and manmade features, such as trees, flowerbeds, and walkways. As with a push mower, the width of the cutting blade will determine the number of trips that it will take to complete the job. A riding mower is suitable for a lawn that is between one-half acre and two acres. They have cutting blade widths of up to 46 inches. If the lawn is larger than two acres, a lawn tractor is a better option because they are available in cutting widths up to 54 inches. Because of their size, riding mowers and lawn tractors require more storage space than the typical push mower.

Types of Cutting Blades The two basic types of mowers are reel and rotary. A reel mower uses a series of revolving blades that pass over a fixed blade. The most common example of this blade is the classic manual push mower. Some manufacturers also use this design for some electric and gas powered models. Reel mowers can trim grass shorter than a rotary mower. A rotary mower uses a circulating blade that is mounted beneath a plastic, fiberglass, or metal housing. Rotary types are generally less expensive than reel mowers. They are easy to operate and maintain. Rotary mowers are available in both electric and gasoline models.

Discharge or Mulching Mowers Lawnmowers are available in mulching, side, or rear discharge styles. Some lawnmowers can discharge and mulch. Mowers that have discharge chutes are usually equipped with a bag that collects the grass clippings. This option may require the operator of a walk-behind mower to push an additional 20 or 30 pounds of clippings as well as the mower during the process of cutting a lawn. If the bag is not installed, the grass clippings will have to be collected and removed before they can damage the lawn. People who do not have time or the desire to manually remove the clippings use a mulching mower.

These mulching mowers have specially designed blades that chop the grass clippings into small pieces. The finer the cut, the less noticeable the clippings will be when they settle on the lawn. These fine grass particles eventually decompose and supply the lawn with a natural nitrogen fertilizer for future growth. Mulching mowers are more appropriate for dry grass. They cannot trim a lawn as short as a discharge mower. A plug may be required to block the discharge port during mulching operations.

Lawnmower Styles Walk-behind or Push Mower A walk-behind mower provides the performance and flexibility required by the average homeowner. These mowers can be manual, gasoline powered, or electric. The electric models can use an electrical cord or a rechargeable battery. Electric mowers are more environmentally friendly because they produce no exhaust emissions. If a cord is used, it will typically be 100 feet long. For rechargeable models, ensure that the battery charge will last long enough to cut the entire lawn or divide the task in stages. Electric mowers are less powerful than their gasoline powered counterparts. This makes them less effective when cutting tall or thick grass. Gas lawnmowers are noisy and produce pollution that causes harmful emissions. The less efficient two-stroke engine has been phased out for new models. The design may still be available in older lawnmowers. New models use a four-stroke engine that is more fuel efficient and powerful. It is also less noisy than the older model. People who purchase this type of mower usually store a small amount of gasoline to avoid running out of fuel while mowing the lawn. The most environmentally friendly lawnmower is the manual push mower. It receives its power from the person who is pushing it. The mower does not produce fumes.

Ride-on or Riding Lawnmowers These mowers are popular alternatives for large lawns. Ride-on mowers have a seat and a set of controls for the operator. Unlike a walk-behind mower, this mower has space that enables the person who is mowing the grass to ride on the machine. The lawnmower engine drives a transmission, which, in turn, drives the wheels of the lawnmower. It is usually equipped with a manual transmission. The cutting deck is typically mounted horizontally between the two axles. The seat may be located above or behind the cutting deck. A ride-on mower sometimes resembles a small farm tractor. These miniature tractors may be capable of towing a small trailer as well as powering snow blowers, rototillers, and yard vacuums. They have more powerful engines and larger cutting decks.

Robotic and Hover Lawn Mowers Two of the latest innovations in lawn care are robot and hover lawnmowers. A robotic lawnmower is a sophisticated device that can cut a lawn with minimal assistance from a human. A wire is installed around the perimeter of the lawn. The robot cutter uses this wire as a guide to establish the boundaries of the area to be cut. The size and battery charge of these devices will vary. Some of these mowers can cut a five-acre lawn. Sophisticated models have rain sensors and the ability to self-dock in the charging station. A hover mower is a lightweight plastic mower that rides on a cushion of air instead of wheels as it cuts the grass. In addition to turning the cutting blades, the lawnmower motor drives an impeller that generates the air currents that lift the mower off the ground. Like the robotic lawnmower, the hover model is hampered by rough terrain.

Additional Features

When evaluating lawnmowers, consider additional features such as deck leveling, self-propulsion, and tool-free adjustments. Deck leveling is a feature of riding mowers. It enables the operator to adjust the cutting blades so that they are always even with the surface of the ground. Walk-behind lawnmowers are also available in self-propelled models. Whether electric or gas, the motor will drive one or both sets of wheels as well as the cutting blade. This feature enables a person to operate the mower with little effort. The mower may have one or more speeds. Rear-wheel drive models are easier to operate and control than those with front-wheel drive. Tool free adjustments enable the operator to adjust the height of the cutting deck and to switch between discharge and mulch without the need to use hand tools. The adjustments are performed with the use of levers.

Conclusion Ultimately, the decision on which lawnmower to choose depends upon the size of the lawn, the overall lawn care requirements, and the cost of the mower. Other considerations include the weight of the mower, its maneuverability, ease of operation, adjustment, and its environmental impact. Additional factors that may influence the decision include the cost of maintaining the lawnmower, tuning its engine, and sharpening the blades. The right lawnmower will ensure that the grass is properly trimmed and the lawn looks its best.

Best Selling Mower Review

The Bosch Rotak 34 Ergoflex--a Powerful Electric Rotary Lawn Mower Ideal for Small/Medium Sized Lawns

Ergoflex lawn mowers are full of features for comfortable and convenient gardening. The new Bosch Rotak 34 Ergoflex electric rotary lawnmower takes all the great performance of the Rotak 34, and brings it up to date. Introducing the new Ergoflex system for comfortable handling, the lawn mower was carefully designed to make mowing the garden a job you’ll truly love. The Rotak 34 Ergoflex is packed full of incredible features to ensure you get a pristine lawn every time. The mower has a high torque 1400W ‘Powerdrive’ motor that enables it to tackle long grass with ease, so it’s perfect to tackle that startof-season growth. Featuring innovative grass combs, this lawn mower is able to easily cut up to or over the edge of your lawn. It has a full 34 cm cutting width, making it ideal for small/medium sized lawns. For flexibility, there is a wide range of cutting heights, from 20 to 70 mm. There is even a rear roller for creating stripes.

Ergoflex System--for Practical, Comfortable Gardening The new Bosch Ergoflex System is designed to provide effortless control and superior manoeuvrability whilst greatly reducing muscle and joint strain. Bosch Ergoflex Lawnmowers are the first ever garden products to achieve Ergonomic Certification. Until now, you have had to settle for either quality or comfort. The sleek Bosch Ergoflex design, based around the comfort and simplicity of computer console handsets, ensures support and ease of movement. It can be operated left, right, one or two handed, horizontally or vertically, meaning the mower can be steered and controlled from 8 different grip positions to suit you. With an adjustable working height and multi-position handle, optimal power transfer is achieved. Plus, by adjusting to your body, you can improve posture and reduce muscle strain.

Features of the Bosch Rotak 34 Ergoflex

Bosch Powerdrive gives you the power when you really need it.

‘Bosch Powerdrive’: Giving You Maximum Power

Innovative grass combs mean you can mow right to the edge. Running at 3600 rpm, the Rotak 34 is lighter and faster than most other mowers on the market today. The high speed 1400 Watt motor and innovative gear set work together to give torque when needed. When the going gets tough, the torque automatically increases to work more powerfully, even under difficult conditions.

Grass Combs--Mow Right up to the Edge

Change the cutting height with one lever. With inset front wheels, the innovative grass combs on the Rotak 34 enable cutting of grass growing close to or over the edge of the lawn. This ensures that no strips of uncut grass are left behind even when cutting around flower beds, walls or paths.

Get perfect stripes with the rear rollers.

Height of Cut Adjustment

A single lever enables you to quickly and easily change the height of cut from 20 mm to 70 mm to suit different lawn conditions. This gives you the control to get the result you want, with the simple flick of a switch.

Get Stripes with the Rear Roller With the rear roller you can get that stately home look in your own garden, giving you precise stripes all over your lawn. Additionally, and importantly, the rear roller offers stability over lawn edges and prevents scalping.

Lightweight and Easy to Carry and Store--Plus 12 m Cable Lightweight at only 10.5 kg, and with its fold-down handles and an integrated carry handle, the Rotak 34 Ergoflex is easy to carry and store. The Rotak 34 comes complete with 12 m of cable making it ideal for medium- to large-sized lawns.

Large Grassbox--Less Emptying With a large 40 litre grassbox, you won’t have to spend as much time emptying grass cuttings--so more time can be spent gardening.

About Bosch Lawn and Garden Products Bosch develops and manufactures a range of innovative powered garden products, sold around the world. A trusted household name, you know Bosch Rotak products, and their accessories, are of the utmost quality. All products are designed with the user in mind to make gardening tasks easier. The electric and cordless product range includes: • • • • • •

Lawn mowers Hedge cutters Shredders Chain saws Pressure washers Line trimmers

Box Contains • 1 x Lawnmower • 1 x Grassbox • 1 x Instruction Manual