How to Choose a Lawn Mower, Trimmer
Highlights when choosing a lawn mower.
- The brand. A reliable lawn mower cannot be cheap. Well-known manufacturers offer innovative solutions, quality knives and materials. Of course, all this increases the price of a lawn mower.
- Grass features. For regular lawn processing, a sufficiently low-power device is sufficient. If we are talking about combating shrubs and field grass, then in this case a much more powerful unit will be needed.
- Terrain features. The wheeled model is good for working on a flat area, but not suitable for steep slopes. This is where the trimmer comes in handy.
- Own physical condition. A trimmer and a manual lawnmower require stamina and strength from the operator. It is not advisable to use such a technique for people suffering from diseases of the musculoskeletal system (including radiculitis and other diseases of the spine).
- Self Propelled Lawn Mower
- Non-self-propelled lawn mower
Lawn mower. Lawn mowing tool. It is carried out in the form of a cart with 2 or 4 wheels. A lawn mower usually does not require serious physical effort. The device is equipped with a grass catcher, it often provides for the function of mulching.
- Mowing machine. A type of lawn mower that is designed to treat neglected areas, meadows, overgrown lawns, and a boundary. It is used for processing large areas (500-1000 m 2).
Robotic lawnmower. An improved type of lawn mower that performs work automatically: the user just needs to set the route and time of work. If there is an obstacle or a living creature in the way of a “smart” robot, the robot will go round it.
Some models are able to return to base to recharge batteries. Sometimes the robot is equipped with a rain sensor and an alarm, which is triggered by an attempt to “hijack” it. There are products powered by solar panels. In general, the robotic lawnmower is characterized by relatively low productivity and is suitable for caring for a “cultivated” lawn.
Trimmer. A manual lawn-mowing tool resembling a scythe. It consists of a rod, motor, handle, knife and reel. The trimmer is used for processing small areas and inaccessible places (near trees, roads, houses).
In the process, the trimmer is held on weight: when using the device, the use of physical force is required, but the user can independently determine the cutting height. This trimmer compares favorably with a lawn mower, in which the adjustment of the cutting height is limited to several positions of the knife.
Mini tractor (rider). A universal machine, which is designed for a wide range of landscape gardening works (including mowing grass and snow removal).
Combisystem. A trimmer with numerous nozzles (including a cultivator, a nozzle for mowing snow, cutting knots). Such a machine is good for processing small, but “complex” areas.
Type of displacement
Self propelled. Driven by a gasoline, diesel electric engine. Motor power is expended on the rotation of the cutting tool and wheels. Such a lawn mower is much more convenient than a non-self-propelled analogue, since the user does not need to push it. Self-propelled model. The best solution for processing large areas.
Non-self-propelled. Driven by the user’s muscular strength. Such a lawn mower is cheaper, more compact, maneuverable and better processes complex vegetation, but less convenient to use. In particular, considerable effort is required to overcome obstacles while driving.
Manual (mechanical). Cheap, environmentally friendly, independent of energy sources, low noise. Manual lawn mower does not require special care: refueling, cleaning filters and other similar measures. The mechanical model is good for working on uneven areas where a lawn mower with a motor can break.
Disadvantages of a manual lawn mower: relatively low speed and quality of lawn processing, the need for physical effort. In addition, manual models are always non-self-propelled. These disadvantages do not allow the use of a mechanical model for processing large areas. Yes, and tall grass (more than 10 cm) is beyond the power of such an instrument.
Engine. Does not require physical effort and provides high-quality lawn processing. Cons: higher price, dependence on the availability of fuel or electricity, increased noise.
The motor lawnmower needs to be serviced regularly: including maintaining the power cable (electric motor) in good condition, changing air filters, cleaning candles (gasoline). Lawn mowers are self-propelled and non-self-propelled. A model with an engine is an excellent option for mowing spacious lawns, mowing dense and high vegetation.
Electric (from a network). It is characterized by low cost, compactness, environmental friendliness, low noise and ease of use, since it is not necessary to fill in oil and fuel and control their level.
A lawn mower with an electric motor loses to its gasoline counterpart in power and mobility. The disadvantage is the dependence on weather conditions: the device must not be used after rain or mowing wet grass in order to avoid electric shock. Work with the device requires care that the blade does not cut the power cable, and the cord itself is not tangled between the trees.
Electric lawn mower. The optimal solution for processing a flat area of up to 500 m 2 with the presence of the mains. A thick and tall grass is too much for such a model.
Important: An extension cord is required to increase the range of the electric model.
To avoid cutting the cable while working with the electric lawnmower, put it on your shoulder. It is allowed to use the electric mower only in dry weather and in rubber boots.
Electric battery. Has the advantages of the previous option, but is not limited in range, since it does not depend on the mains. This plus turns into a short battery life and power, and the battery itself is quite heavy and requires considerable time to charge. The battery model is suitable for processing an area of 300-600 m 2.
Petrol. Powerful, independent of the mains and cable length. A gas mower can handle large tracts and the thickest grass.
A gasoline engine is heavier, more expensive and more difficult to maintain (it needs fuel, periodic oil changes) than the electric model. The disadvantages include a high level of noise during work and the toxicity of exhaust gases, which cause nausea in some people.
Diesel. Compares favorably with gasoline low cost of use (low-cost fuel, economical fuel consumption). Otherwise, the advantages and disadvantages are the same as the gasoline unit.
A gasoline and diesel lawn mower is used to process plots from 700 m 2.
The internal combustion engine is presented in two forms.
- 2-stroke (gasoline only). Powerful at a relatively low price, but makes a lot of noise. A 2-stroke engine requires refueling a mixture of gasoline and oil in a precisely defined proportion (deviation from them will lead to premature engine wear). A machine with a 2-stroke engine will do an excellent job on a steep slope (more than 25-30 °).
- 4-stroke (gasoline and diesel). Economical, less noisy and convenient to refuel, since gasoline and oil are refueled separately. With the same volume, such a motor is inferior in power to a 2-stroke one. A model with a 4-stroke engine is not suitable for mowing grass on a steep slope.
Volume. The larger this parameter, the higher the engine power and the performance of the lawn mower. With an increase in the volume of the engine, fuel consumption increases and the total weight of the machine increases.
Fuel tank capacity. The higher this parameter, the longer the gasoline or diesel lawn mower will work without refueling.
Full charge time. Depends on the battery capacity. A larger battery provides longer uptime. Naturally, such a battery takes longer to charge.
Fuel consumption. Directly depends on the power of the motor. The more powerful the mower, the more “gluttonous” it is.
Revs. This parameter indicates the resource of the motor. The more revolutions, the longer the mower will work.
Power. Measured in horsepower (hp) or watts (watts). According to this parameter, the mower is selected depending on the area of the lawn. The larger the area, the more powerful the unit should be:
- 200-400 m 2. 600-800 W;
- Over 400 m 2. 1000-1600 W.
A more powerful lawn mower will show better results when processing thick and thick grass, but it will cost more and require more fuel. By weight, such models are heavier than low-power counterparts.
The power of the mower depends on the type of engine:
- Electric. 300-2200 W;
- Gasoline. 2.5-6.7 hp
Important: to convert horsepower to kilowatts, you should know that 1 l. S. = 735 watts.
Launch type. Represented by two options.
- Manual (cable pulling). Models with a similar launch are light and cheap, but inconvenient, since they require the application of physical effort to start.
- Electric starter. Lawn mowers with a similar start are more convenient, but heavier and more expensive.
Location (trimmers). Indicates the power of the tool. Trimmers with a lower engine are characterized by low power (300-600 W) and a weight of 2-3 kg, but the continuous operation time of such devices is limited to 10-15 minutes. For more powerful (600-1000 W) and heavy models, the engine is located on top, which makes it possible to work with hard and dense vegetation.
Modes of operation of a lawn mower with mowed grass:
- Side throw. Convenient when mowing grass on the sidelines (models with lateral ejection are most common);
- Bag picking (grass catcher). Eliminates the need to collect mowed grass from the site, but requires periodic work stops to empty the bag;
- Mulching. Grinding the grass, followed by scattering it on the lawn. Advantages of mulching: fertilizing the soil, reducing the evaporation of moisture in the heat, the problem of utilizing mowed grass is solved. However, when mowing a wet lawn, mulch interferes with grass growth. Therefore, it is better to mulch the lawn in dry, warm weather.
Cutting Width. The larger this parameter, the faster the machine will process a specific area. At the same time, with an increase in the working width, the dimensions and weight of the device increase. A lawn mower with a small working width is best suited for working in hard-to-reach places. In most lawn mowers, the mowing width varies between 33-60 cm.
Cutting width depends on the type of drive:
- Manual drive mower. Up to 30 cm;
- A lawn mower with an electric motor. 34-36 cm;
- Gas mower. Over 36 cm.
Recommended cutting widths:
- 32 cm. For processing a plot of 200 m 2;
- 40 cm. For processing a plot of 350 m 2;
- 40-45 cm. For processing a plot of 500 m 2;
- 45-53 cm. For processing a plot of 1000 m 2;
- 53-56 cm. For processing a plot of 2000 m 2.
Cutting height. Allows you to evaluate the height of the grass remaining after the passage of the mower. The higher the mowing height, the higher the lawn grass after processing with a machine.
Mowing area. Depends on the power of the mower. Low-power devices with a limited time of continuous operation will cope with the processing of a small area, but powerful units can mow spacious lawns.
Mowing speed (productivity). Is determined by the power of the motor and the cutting width. The higher the productivity, the faster the machine will solve the task in a unit of time.
Blade rotation speed. Determines how suitable the mower is to work with thick and dense vegetation. The higher the speed of rotation of the knife, the more efficient the processing of such lawns.
The cutting system. Is represented by two types.
- Rotary. 2/4-blade knife or reel with fishing line mounted on a shaft that rotates around a vertical axis. Thanks to this solution, the knife causes a strong air flow, sucking the cut grass into a bag or throwing it to the ground. Rotary lawn mowers are most common.
- Spindle. One knife is rigidly fixed, and the rest are placed on the shaft, which rotates around a horizontal axis. Spindle models are inferior in performance to rotary counterparts, but they cut vegetation better: the treated lawn does not turn yellow, does not need watering, the grass retains its “velvetiness”.
In mowing machines, a scissor cutting system with two serrated blades is used: one knife is as rigidly fixed as in the spindle version, and the second moves horizontally from side to side.
Barbell (trimmers). There are two types:
- Straight. It is found in powerful trimmers and models of medium power, but it loses bent for convenience;
- Curved. It is used in low-power equipment, however, it is more comfortable in operation than a straight bar.
Bag (grass catcher). Performed in several forms:
- Hard (plastic). Durable and easy to use, but makes the car heavier;
- Soft (mesh). Light and compact, makes it possible to monitor the level of filling, but working with it is not as convenient as with plastic;
- Combined. Combines the advantages of previous options. This grass catcher is easier to unloading, and if necessary, folds compactly.
Important: When mowing a wet lawn, a hard bag is more practical, since wet grass easily sticks to the net and clogs it. As a result, the soft bag will have to be washed or vacuumed.
A bagless lawnmower does not collect grass, but toss it to the side.
Pay attention to the volume of the bag. The larger the grass catcher, the less often it is necessary to empty it. True, a bulk container is always heavier (this is true even for an empty bag).
Housing. Made of the following materials:
- Plastic. Inexpensive, lightweight, not prone to corrosion from grass juice, but quickly fails;
- Metal. Beats plastic in strength and durability, but will cost more. At the same time, the steel case is quite heavy and susceptible to corrosion from grass juice. A good choice would be an aluminum case, which is lighter than steel and is not afraid of corrosion, but you will have to fork out for it.
Deck. Part of the body of the mower in which the knives are located. It is made of plastic and metal (steel, aluminum). The selection criteria for the material are the same as for the case. Deck devices with a deep deck provide more “clean” work, since the mowed grass falls into the bag without loss, that is, it does not wake up on the treated lawn.
Noise level. The smaller this parameter, the quieter the mower works.
Uptime. The duration of the mower from refueling it or charging the battery. So, for electric battery machines this parameter is 30 minutes, for gasoline. 45-60 minutes.
Wheel drive. According to this parameter, lawn mowers are divided into three categories:
- Front wheel drive. Differ in the best maneuverability;
- Rear wheel drive. Have good cross;
- All wheel drive. The optimal solution for working on “difficult” terrain.
Important: Get a lawn mower with wheels on bearings. In contrast to the wheels on the hubs, this option is more durable and reliable. In addition, the wheels on the bearings rotate easily.
Pay attention to the diameter of the wheels. A lawn mower with large wheels is easier to move around the lawn than its “brothers” having small wheels.
Weight. The lighter the unit, the more convenient it is to work with it. A heavy gas mower is not suitable for teens and seniors. Such users are advised to choose an electric model.
Cutting height adjustment. Determines the height of the grass, which will remain after treatment with a lawn mower (range 20-100 mm). Adjustment is useful if the operator processes different areas. In addition, this option allows you to avoid grazing the land with knives on hilly terrain, which prevents damage to the machine.
Adjustment is carried out by changing the level of the knife above the ground manually or synchronously. In the first case, you need to turn off the machine, but in some models with synchronous adjustment, this operation is performed directly in the process.
Important: in modern technology, the number of mowing height levels ranges from 3-14. The more such levels are provided in the lawn mower, the more accurately the position of the knife is adjusted to obtain the desired grass height of the lawn.
Practice shows that in one pass you should mow no more than 1/3 of the height of the grass. In this case, the lawn will be healthy and beautiful.
Speed adjustment (self-propelled models). Allows the operator to change the speed of the lawn mower. So, on a treated lawn, a car can move faster than on a long-uncut area.
Height adjustment knob. Allows you to adjust the pens to the user’s height. This feature provides added comfort when working with the mower.
Overheat protection. Automatically turns off the motor in case of exceeding the maximum permissible temperature. Prevents mower failure.
Bag full indication. Reports the fill level of the grass catcher. As a result, you don’t need to stop the mower to find out how full the bag is with grass.
Charge indication. Displays the battery level of the unit. This feature allows the operator to monitor the status of the battery and recharge it in a timely manner.
Catalytic converter. Reduces the level of emission of toxic substances into the air.
Anti-vibration system. Special gaskets made of polymeric materials that reduce the vibration that occurs during the operation of the lawn mower.
Nozzles. Expand the functionality of the lawn mower. There are several types of nozzles:
- Blade knife. Well suited for processing dense vegetation, but when collided with a solid obstacle it can break, it is used in rotor systems;
- Reel with fishing line. Not afraid of collisions with solid objects, but ineffective in combating thick grass, usually used in trimmers;
- Spindle knife. Often found in manual models;
- Cultivator. Used for loosening the soil;
- Milling knife (brush cutter). Designed for cutting bushes, tree branches and other hard vegetation;
- Trimmer. Nozzle, which is used in mowing machines;
- Mulching nozzle. It is used for grinding mowed plants, which are then scattered on the ground.
Engine brake. Instantly shuts off the engine, which is necessary when the lawnmower collides with a solid obstacle. Prevents engine damage.
Safety clutch. Also protects the engine from damage in a collision with a solid object.
Air bag. Involves the movement of the lawn mower using an air stream that raises it above the ground. This method makes it possible to use the lawn mower on difficult terrain (hills, slopes), and also facilitates its movement due to the lack of friction. At the same time, the mowing height is not set in such a device, and the mowed grass is simply scattered on the lawn.
Shoulder strap. Serves for comfortable work with a manual trimmer.
Folding handle / bar. Reduces the size of the mower / trimmer for transportation or storage.
Piano wheels. Freely turn around in the direction of movement, which increases the maneuverability of the lawn mower. Most often petrol models are equipped with these wheels.