Lawnmowers buying guide

A lawnmower is the best way to keep your garden’s grass looking fresh, clean, and trim - but there are so many different types out there, it can be difficult to decide which is right for you and your lawn. Do you need a hefty high-powered petrol mower, or a small and light electric model? Should you go with cylinder or rotary blades? And how much should you spend? Well, our buying guide will help to answer these questions and more.

Types of mower

Before we tackle the question of price, let’s clear up any misconceptions and look at the four main types of lawnmower: cylinder, hover, robotic, and rotary mowers.


Cylinder lawnmowers are the classic, traditional type of mower. They utilise a series of angled blades, affixed to a cylinder, with large wheels on either side. Cylinder lawnmowers are light and easy-to-use, and allow for a high level of cutting precision. Some models don’t need a power source, and simply require you to push them by hand - but there are many electric and petrol powered versions too.

There are a couple of drawbacks to cylinder mowers. First, they’re not particularly efficient, and it can take a long time to cut your entire lawn with one. Second, they don’t perform particularly well over bumpy areas, or through thick weeds. So, if you’ve got an uneven and unruly garden, you should consider the most common type of mower instead - a rotary lawnmower.


The rotary mower utilises rotating horizontal blades, encased beneath a plastic covering, which can be set at a variety of heights for different grass lengths. Rotary mowers are electric or petrol powered, and are most often hand-pushed. Their horizontal rotation, interchangeable blade height, and manual manoeuvrability make rotary mowers great for sloped lawns covered with thick grass.


The one downside of the rotary mower is the wheel-restriction - the heavy and often awkward-sized wheels can get stuck in lawn-edges or flowerbeds. If you think this will be a problem with your lawn, then you should look into hover mowers. Like the rotary, the hover mower utilises adjustable horizontal blades - but the mower base hovers slightly above the ground, without clunky front wheels. This makes them ultra lightweight and perfect for gardens with lots of borders, tricky edges, and flowerbeds. Flymo’s dedicated range of hover mowers are a great place to start looking.


The final type to consider are robotic mowers - these cordless, battery-powered, and small machines use sensor technology to operate entirely on their own. You simply set up a border-wire around your lawn - or lawns, depending on whether your robotic mower has multizone capability - and the mower will go to work. Many models, such as those produced by Robomow, offer precise programming features, allowing you to set exact mowing times and dates. Because robotic mowers are so small and relatively low-powered, they’re best used on more manageable lawns.

Self-propelling mower?

Cylinder, rotary, and hover mowers can either be hand-pushed or self-propelled. Hand-pushed models tend to be cheaper, and are usually easier to use on very small or awkwardly-shaped lawns. Self-propelling mowers, meanwhile, are ideal for larger, spacious lawns - they don’t require you to struggle and heave with the mower, but seamlessly glide along the grass at your chosen speed instead.

Petrol-powered or electric?

Electric mowers tend to be lighter, cheaper, and easier to maintain than petrol-powered mowers. They do, however, require the mower to be constantly tethered to a cable and power source. This likely won’t be a problem for smaller or midsize lawns, but if you have a particularly large garden, it can be a pain to deal with extension cord after extension cord. If this is the case, a petrol mower is for you, and is the machine of choice for professionals working on sprawling grounds.

How much to spend

Basic electric rotary and cylinder mowers - from reliable brands like Black & Decker and Cobra - will put you in the £100 to £200 price range. You’ll also find some standard hover mower models in this price bracket, too.

But if you intend to mow across tough grass with frequency, and not just in the summer months, you might want to invest in a higher-end model for long-life and durability. Hard-wearing electric rotary mowers - like the kind produced by Bosch - will fall in the £200+ price bracket. For similar petrol-powered models, you should look to spend around £350.

The futuristic and hassle-free robotic mowers, meanwhile, come at a much higher cost. Models from Robomow, for example, can take you into the four digit price bracket – though that can be a small price to pay for having your lawn taken care of automatically.

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