How to Choose the Best Petrol Lawn Mower
If you’re thinking about getting a petrol lawn mower, I’m here to help.
A common question I get asked is: “What’s the best mower for the price?” And by the end of this post you will be able to see which is best for you.
There are thousands to choose from, which can seem overwhelming. But most of them will not suit your needs (or budget) so you can easily narrow it down by working through this post.
What you’ll get from this post…
- Cutting through the technical jargon
- The golden questions for mower buying
- The best choice of petrol mowers (reviewed)
Cutting through the jargon
There are a lot of technical terms when looking at mowers. Here I will list out some of them and tell you exactly what they mean so you can make an informed decision.
Cylinder Mower – Also known as a reel mower, has a cylinder shaped set of blades at the front which rotate and cut the grass like a pair of scissors. The blades snip the grass against a metal plate. This is traditional type of petrol mower you’ll see.
The grass collection box is at the front and they can have anywhere from 3 to 12 blades. The more blades, the better the cut.
They are mostly used for shorter cuts of grass and are not suitable for longer grass lengths.
Often these types of mowers are for those who are happy performing regular maintenance tasks and cut their grass often. Newbies need not bother with them unless they’re really enthusiastic and don’t mind getting their hands dirty.
- Ideal for well maintained lawns
- Delivers a professional looking cut
- Perfect if you cut the grass regularly
- Not good on uneven ground
- Require lots of maintenance
- Poor performance in long and wet grass
Rotary Mower – One or more long blades underneath the mower which turn in a circular motion. The body of the mower usually has a circle shape to it between the wheels.
Ride-on and hover mowers are also of this style. Ride on just has a larger blade underneath and a hover mower doesn’t have wheels. They can have grass boxes on the back or no grass box at all.
- Cuts to edges well
- Doesn’t require as much maintenance
- Tackles longer, wetter and rougher grass
- The cut is not as clean and crisp looking
- Can’t go as low with the cutting height
- Chops rather than slices grass
Based on your lawn and your requirements, which type do you think is most suitable for your use?
I’d also recommend reading this article for more information.
Here’s a good video to show you a cylinder mower in action.
The Golden Questions for Mower Buying
There are a number of things you need to consider when looking at all mowers, either petrol, electric or manual. See if you can answer these to narrow down your search.
1. Decide on your budget first
Select a budget range that you are happy to spend. If you don’t, there is a chance that a salesperson will up-sell you because the next model up of the lawn mower has a feature that you can’t live without!
Petrol powered mowers are more expensive than cordless electric ones.
It’s not just about the purchase cost…
They’re also more expensive to maintain and run. Petrol gives you more power but the engine needs servicing and you need petrol to run it.
There’s a reason most people are going for the cordless electric mowers nowadays.
You want a mower that is easy to start, easy to use and cuts the grass well. But that’s not all…
Storage is also a concern for most people. So size, whether it can be compacted down such as with folding handles, etc.
Weight is another factor to think about. Do you need to move it around a lot and carry it over obstacles?
A petrol mower with a roller is heavy.
Question: What are the key features your mower needs to have to serve you best?
3. To stripe or not to stripe
A stripy lawn is a personal thing. Some people love it, some hate it, some don’t even notice, much to the annoyance of those who made a great effort to do it!
If you want stripes down the lawn you will need a lawnmower with a roller to press down the grass. This is more expensive so it’s up to you to decide if it’s worth it. It’s also a lot heavier and harder to move.
Remember that a lawn mower is going to last a long time, many years, so it’s worth spending a little extra to make sure you get what you want and need in order to make your crass cutting duties easier for yourself and not frustrate you whenever you do it.
Note: Although an electric starter is a nice feature it’s really not that necessary unless you absolutely need it. A good machine with a cord starter will work just as nicely and not be hard to pull.
Top Tip: Are you still really serious about getting a petrol mower? If so, read on below. If not, perhaps you could consider a cordless electric one. Here is a post I wrote about the reasons to go electric.
So, with those above points freshly in your mind let’s take a look at the selection of best petrol lawn mowers that we recommend:
The best petrol mowers available to buy right now…
This luxury Hayter mower delivers a great finish for a perfect lawn and has some great features that make it worth the money. Check out the full details.
Advantages: Rear roller, low cut setting, adjustable speed
Disadvantages: Heavier than other mowers, makes maneuvering harder
Reliable, trusted and reputable. This Hayter mower is a perfectly powerful petrol mower that will last a lifetime. The guarantee proves it.
Advantages: Powerful, reliably simple and well designed, roller
Disadvantages: Paint can be removed by petrol spills
Affordable, reliable, fast and powerful are just some of the ways to describe this self propelled lawn mower. We love it and are sure you will too.
Advantages: Self-propelled, Fast, Reliable, Build quality
Disadvantages: Manual start, No roller
This cheap, lightweight, petrol lawn mower ticks a lot of our boxes in terms of what a petrol lawn mower should deliver. It’s efficient, reliable and cheap. Great buy.
Advantages: Lightweight, compact, manoeuverable
Disadvantages: Manual start, you have to push it