Every homeowner wants a lush and healthy lawn, and for that, you need a high-quality lawn mower. Often, the lawn is the largest part of any garden, and as such, having a good mower that fits your mowing needs is vital. However, shopping for a lawnmower can be challenging since there are several types, and identifying the right model is sometimes confusing.
Anyone trying to match a mower to their garden care needs must consider an array of factors, including the type of terrain and garden size. You’ll also need to look into various landscape features that affect mowing, such as bushes, trees, and flowerbeds, since different types of mowers are designed to address specific user needs.
Different types of mowers and their uses
1. Reel mowers
Reel mowers are also referred to as cylinder mowers, and they are usually self-powered or hand-pushed. A reel mower is composed of a horizontal rotating cylinder with helical blades that rotate vertically at the front of the mower to produce a continuous scissor-like cutting action that leaves your lawn looking well-manicured and healthy.
The cylinder should contain several blades, usually three to seven; the more, the better. The cutting bar is generally held at an adjustable position above the ground. The running speed of a reel mower depends on the forward movement of the mower, usually driven by a motor or wheels in hand-pushed applications. The grass may be collected in a grass box located at the front of the mower.
Reel mowers are used to produce consistently short and even grass cuts on lawns sports grounds and parks. Often, reel mowers are ganged into sets of three or more to form a gang mower that is pulled by a tractor to mow large tracks of land. Cylinder lawnmowers are best for short and upright grass, but a well-designed model can be used to cut thick and tall vegetation.
2. Rotary mowers
Rotary mowers are designed with a rapidly rotating blade with sharpened edges that cut the grass. This blade rotates horizontally under the mower in a similar manner to propellers of a plane. Rotary mowers are designed to work on medium to high cut, but often they can work on any type of grass.
The blade is swiveled to withstand blows and obstruction, which make these types of mowers more versatile type, and they are better than reel mower when it comes to cutting rough and tall grass. Most models can be mounted on a tractor in double or triple sets, enabling them to mow up to 6 meters swaths.
3. Hover Mowers
Hover mowers can be described as gravity-defying as they ride on a cushion of air. Generally, they are rotary lawn mowers that use a propeller above the cutting blade to push air downwards, thus lifting the mower above the ground. They are light enough so that they can easily be moved as they hover above the grass. And because of this, most models have a plastic motor and an electric motor.
Hover mowers have rotary blades, and they are usually powered by electricity. In addition to the standard back and forth movement, hover mowers can also move from side to side, making them perfect for mowing in awkward places where other mowers can’t maneuver around. Also, they are generally cheap and the best lawn mower for large and uneven gardens.
These mowers are designed to be used on steep slopes, rough terrains, waterfronts making them popular among commercial landscapers and for mowing golf courses. However, they can result in poor quality cut if the grass is pushed away by the air.
4. Robot mowers
Robot technology is getting better day by day, and robot mowers are now becoming more popular among homeowners. A robot mower will mow your lawn unsupervised; you only need to program it, turn it on, and let it wander around your garden. However, you’ll need to lay a perimeter wire to contain the robot within the area to be mowed.
The robot mower uses the wire to define the boundary of the area it needs to work on and also to locate the recharging station after mowing. Robot mowers are quiet enough, although installation and programming could be challenging at first.
5. Riding Mowers
Riding mowers are in between a regular mower and a tractor. These mowers are more appropriate for flatter landscapes and for mowing extensive gardens. A riding mower is fitted with a seat where the operator can sit and control the mower. Over the past few years, riding mowers manufacturers have introduced numerous advances, including higher speeds, powerful engines, and improved maneuverability and cut quality.
You will have the option of choosing between standard riding mowers and zero-turn riding mowers. A standard riding mower will have steering wheels that allow for maximum maneuverability and added comfort. This mower cut your grass neatly, although it lacks the precision that comes with a zero-turn riding mower.
A zero-turn lawn mower, on the other hand, is engineered to turn tightly and mow grass growing in areas that a standard mower will struggle to reach, such as close to landscaping or near objects. This means there is no chance of leaving a swath of uncut grass on your lawn.
Classification of Mowers based on Power Options
Push mowers are typically small mowers that you can push along by yourself. They do not produce noise or any emissions, and they are best for small gardens. Also, they come with different types of engines, and as you push, the power is directed towards where you need to mow. While the weight varies from one model to the other, they can be tedious when mowing large or sloping gardens.
The biggest advantage of hand-pushed mowers over other types of mowers is that they are quieter and do not depend on another source of power other than the person operating them. They also have less impact on the environment.
Also, push mowers are easy and safe to use. The mower stops to cut when you stop pushing, which means it is also easy to control. However, these mowers have limited mowing capability, and they are not suitable for large applications.
A self-powered mower is one that is designed to propel itself. Of course, you’ll need to guide and steer it, but the mower has a transmission that drives it so that you don’t have to push or pull the machine around. And because of the mechanics involved, these mowers tend to be more costly, and also they require more maintenance than types of mowers.
Most mowers are powers by electricity due to its convenience and availability. Electric mowers are generally small, and they are the best choice for small to medium-sized gardens. When buying an electric mower, ensure that the cable will allow you to maneuver around the yard.
Battery-powered mowers have all the benefits of their electric counterparts, and in addition, they provide a hassle-free mowing, as you don’t have to worry about a cable. Most models use lithium-ion batteries, which tend to be durable and lighter than the traditional nickel battery, but they are more expensive.
Battery-Powered lawn mowers need to be charged before every use, and the length of the charge depends on the usage. Also, you’ll need to replace the battery after some time, but proper maintenance will help to extend its life.
Petrol lawn mowers are the best alternatives in areas where mains cables would not be suitable although they are more expensive to run. They are, however, more powerful and faster and easy to move around large projects. However, petrol mowers require regular servicing, and also you’ll need to check the oil level and top-up as needed.
We believe that now you are well informed on the different types of mowers and their uses. When deciding which one to choose, pay attention to;
Naturally, you will need a bigger and powerful machine for a big lawn and vice versa.
Consider your terrain, is it flat? Sloped? Rough? Or is it even or uneven? Whatever the case, choose a mower that is best suited for the terrain.
Type of your Grass
Not every mower is suitable for every kind of grass. Also, you will need to consider whether you will be mowing all year round or just periodically. Climate and temperature are also going to determine the type of mower you choose. For example, you probably not want to choose a push mower if you are mowing when the climate is consistently hot. These are some of the factors that will help you determine if you need a cylinder, reel, or an electric mower.
Ease of Use
When looking for a mower, you may want to look for one that is easy for you to use and also one that is easy to maintain. Also, you may want one which is suitable for your surroundings and one that is quiet to avoid disturbing your neighbors.
William Phillips was born and raised in Keller, Texas. He is a licensed general contractor, and he has been a home improvement specialist for two decades. His passion for the trade led him to freelance writing to share his life experiences with his readers. Phillips enjoys thoroughly researching DIY tools and writing guides at ToolsHaunt as a way of giving back to the community.