A couple of weeks ago, I ran over a piece of metal fence (square cross section construction) at the edge of my lawn. The engine stopped, and the blade was severely damaged.
The engine shaft was bent in the accident. So the Honda petrol mower was deemed uneconomic to mend (Age vs cost, vs cost of a new machine and guarantee, plus problems of actually getting back to 100% normal function).
I need to buy another mower. I could buy 2nd hand, but the past history concerns me with this idea.
I will probably buy new. I do not cut my grass that often ( probably every 2-3 weeks), so a mower needs to cope with longer grass. I have borrowed my son's mains electric mower, and it has less torque and takes longer to do the same job. Yet I am considering electric mowers, as well as new petrol ones.
I would like to purchase in a slightly better way environmentally, and am interested in whether battery mowers have enough power and torque. What is your opinion? Are battery mowers worth looking at yet? Is re-charging, and efficiency of battery as good as we might assume it to be?
Your thoughts will be gratefully received. (Of course I know that a push mower is best environmentally, but I have very very little free time for this in practical terms).
You want this one
If you've got money, a robot is really good. They mow until they are running out of power then return to base to recharge.
It sounds sci fi, but a neighbour has one and swears by it.
Crikey, that's more of a motorcycle than a mower!
I've got the older version of this:
and I think it's fine. It cuts the grass reasonably effectively and collects it all in the box, though I don't have a huge lawn. Had it 12 years, never had to do anything to it other than wheel it in and out of the garage, plug it in, mow and empty the grassbox.
And old (circa 1960s) Suffolk Punch would fit the bill if you are in any way minded to tinker with it. Change the oil once a year and once they run they're sweet as a nut.
Damned dangerous compared to modern mowers, but wonderfully efficient
I've got a big petrol beast from back when we had a big meadow and it was easier than strumming but this will happily mow down 50cm long grass.
We now live somewhere with lots of small, separate areas of grass and many are on steep gradients or up on terraces so hauling that heavy beast up them was a liability and a robot machine wouldn't cope so I got the Ryobi push battery mower last year. You can plug it in with electric cable or put 2x 18v One+ batteries in there (I've bought into the One+ system so have 4 batteries which made this a good move). It will last about 30 minutes on two batteries.
You have to go a bit slower with the battery machine but it's much quieter and simpler a lot of the time.
I went through all the options a couple of years ago when my mower collapsed into a pile of rust. I ended up going for another second hand petrol one for £50. A gallon of petrol lasts me a year, so I think it's almost irrelevant in terms of emissions. I couldn't be doing with a mains electric mower as I always end up mowing the cable. Battery ones seemed like a good idea at first, but a half decent one was a lot of money and I was concerned over the battery lifetime. My experience with cordless power tools is that the battery fails after 5 to 10 years, and then it's cheaper to buy a new tool than a new battery. It seems very wasteful compared to keeping a 20 year old petrol mower going with an occasional oil change.
How many square metres is the lawn? Since you had petrol I assume it's not 5mx5m
Do you have lots of fiddly edges, flower beds, gnomes, birdbaths or stuff to mow around/avoid
Do you already own a bunch of tool batteries (like 18v Makita or DeWalt or whatever)
Do you want to earn green credentials, like Colin Furze wood powered mower youtube.com/watch?v=FK2qK-NCQH8&
> Crikey, that's more of a motorcycle than a mower!
Absolutely fabulous though. No faff with cables. No having to pull start the bloody thing. No batteries running out. No being knackered pushing the bloody thing all over the lawn. And shaves my mowing time down from an hour to 45 minutes.
I hate gardening so anything which makes it easier gets my vote.
This is very opportune post.
I will soon be moving into a house that has a lawn 30metres x 10 metres. It looks huge almost like a paddock Am I correct in thinking my Bosch mains electric mower will struggle? I'm in my 70's so I'm looking for something that will be reasonably effortless to use.
Your mower will struggle neither more nor less than on an equally maintained smaller lawn - assuming you have the necessary extension cable.
... will need to ensure it only takes the time and effort you're prepared use. Chances are your existing mower will not be sufficient.
I inherited a Bosche (sp?) battery lawn mower. Where we used to live was a ridiculously long and steep garden and it wasn't even worth getting it out of the shed. But the lawn at our new house is much smaller (and flat!), probably 7x10m and its perfect for it. It really dosent like long grass though and if it gets too long I often have to do a cut on the highest setting then on the lower setting. Battery is a bit meh, it will cut the lawn once and a bit on a charge (it is probably 5 or 6 years old at least now though which wont help) but it charges up so fast, probably 20 mins for a full charge so it dosent really bother me if it runs out.
> And old (circa 1960s) Suffolk Punch would fit the bill if you are in any way minded to tinker with it. Change the oil once a year and once they run they're sweet as a nut.
> Damned dangerous compared to modern mowers, but wonderfully efficient
We used to have one of those, great fun.
I say we, but it was actually my parents, but that meant me and my brother were the ones who mostly used it.
Environmentally a second hand one of these is not incurring the "cost" of manufacture.
We replaced our old bosch electric mower with a cordless makita. Experience in similar to Andrew, so for your use it might struggle a bit with long grass. That hasn't been an issue for me as Mrs J actually enjoys using it so I now get the grass cut regularly for me 😊. For us it takes less than half the time the corded mower took. Like Yorkshireman went for 4 batteries, can easily do the front (50m^2) with one pair that are then fully charged by the time she's finished the back (100m^2). I've had the batteries for 3 years now and they still seem good as new. They get quite a bit of use as they are also used in my chainsaw, strimmer, hedge trimmer, drills etc.
> We bought a push along mower for our lawn about 5 x 25 m.
> A joy to use but better used frequently. It will cope with 6 inch or so grass but that's not its strength.
I'm with you on this. I bought mine 40 years ago. I used it yesterday and enjoyed the experience, Just me and the mower - a whirring of the blades, the emptying of the grass-box, the sound of the birds around, blah-blah. The Webbs Wonders are out-of-stock at the moment - I'm not surprised. Don't you just cringe at the sound of noisy garden-gadgetry
I'm secretly hoping that someone will come along and say "you need a sit on" so I could justify the expense to the wife
Realistically that one recommended by Graeme G looks like it will do the job nicely.
48Kg wt. That's almost a Leonberger in weight. Certainly a chunky Rottweiler. I think it is probably a little bigger than I need, as there are some narrow areas that are easier to get into w a narrower cutting machine. Nevertheless thank you.
Don't know why you got a dislike, but it takes all types.
So maybe a new battery will do alright, if I accept some limitations, but more environmentally friendly than another petrol, unless I get a second hand in good condition, as above, and zoom round.
A normal electric one is a nuisance as front and back lawns are not connected around the side, and I have to go through a garage via a side and front door, and change position of the plug from garage to inside the house. So battery or petrol is more appealing.
> I'm secretly hoping that someone will come along and say "you need a sit on" so I could justify the expense to the wife
> Realistically that one recommended by Graeme G looks like it will do the job nicely.
Happy to oblige, mine's got a 650cc V-twin, 22hp, hydraulic drive, 1m cut through head-high nettles, 12km/hr top speed, lights, snowplough and will tow a ton in a trailor. It's red as well!
Your wife will love it, think of the energy left over for marital duties.
> So maybe a new battery will do alright,
Ours are only 3Ah and last 20+ minutes, looks like 9Ah are now available.
>if I accept some limitations, but more environmentally friendly than another petrol, unless I get a second hand in good condition, as above, and zoom round.
Struggling with long grass would be my concern, I'll be going down the second hand petrol route when mum's needs replacing.
> A normal electric one is a nuisance
I was really surprised how much difference the cordless made, for us it was not having the cable catch on raised beds, flower beds, trees etc.
Letting the grass grow also leaves more time for climbing on summer days.
It's also better ecologically.
But I don't use those excuses, I don't do the grass very often because I'm lazy 😁
> Is One + a universal battery interchangeable system for different companies?
No they're Ryobi specific as far as I know (would be amazing if the vendors could all settle on a standard). I've got the leaf blower, strimmer, sander, circular saw, buffer (not sure what they're called in English) and chainsaw which all use the same batteries but there's a ton of stuff in the range and I ended up buying into that system which I guess is their logic in not having a shared standard with other manufacturers.
> How much is the battery mower? (It asked for location...., so did not get a price)
I think it was about 400€ (I bought it the old fashioned way by walking into a Leroy Merlin. I know, weird) so definitely not cheap. It's a bit Fisher Price but because of the tight awkward spots I needed it for its actually ideal.
> It's also better ecologically.
> But I don't use those excuses, I don't do the grass very often because I'm lazy 😁
I am absolutely in favor of this. Both the laziness and the ecology argument.
We've got a problem tho' where we get deer in the garden. Loved it at first. Then we got loads of deer ticks. I assume it's related?
Keeping the grass short keeps the tick numbers down. Since we have toddlers it's a necessary evil. Lymes disease is a bit of a risk in the South East.
> > If you've got money, a robot is really good.
> I'm with you. It leaves more time for climbing on summer days. Although I suspect my lawn is too wibbly wobbly for it to work.
Not at all. You just have to bury a guide wire around the wibbly wobbly perimeter of your lawn and the mower works to that, it even learns the most efficient route. Fit and forget
My lawn is a rectangle 5m x 6m so unfortunately I can’t justify a robot
I have a Makita battery powered one. It's easily strong enough to do a medium-large lawn of lengthy ish grass, before it runs out of battery. You then charge it up to full again before next time you want to cut. It's very well made.
I used to have a Flymo equivalent but it only lasted 6 months as the batteries were cheapo rubbish, broke and were irreplaceable, which left the mower unusable
They can do stupid steep hills, and you can lay perimeter wire round quite complex shapes.
I'm surprised/disappointed that people here haven't taken more note. I'd have bought one if I hadn't just spent £350 on a Mountfield 53" rotary SP (which is in fact the business.)
> They can do stupid steep hills, and you can lay perimeter wire round quite complex shapes.
I know I looked into it in quite a bit of detail. I think my issue would be that I have a lot of moss which created undulations so I think it would get beached pretty easily. Unless they make a 4x4 version with larger wheel of course.
I'm not trying to get rid of the moss again, I tried lawn sand, scarifying, raking all the moss away, making drain holes etc and it just came back worse. Never again. I just mow it, it look fine. Nice and squishy on bare feet.
Bit late to this but as someone who used a mower for work over a lot of years buy another Honda. I wouldn't have changed mine for something else and I find the engines much better and easier to maintain than the other makes.
Edit: Battery tools have come a long way but the 2 things I never changed over from petrol were the mower and leaf blower. Can't get through long wet grass with a battery mower and the leaf blowers were just as powerful but did the battery in about 15 minutes.
The one I saw was a 4x4! On another tack: a friend pointed out that in japan the put their effort into removing grass from moss, it's all a question of definition... (Not sure I believe her though)
I've got a lesser version of the Hyundai. It replaced a mains electric one - I toyed with the idea of a battery one, but decided against for a variety of reasons.
It works, it's a lot faster than electric and it start first go by hand . Seems happy enough on standard unleaded. Gets an oil change and a teaspoon of oil into the cylinder bore before it goes to bed for the winter
It's not really designed for long grass, but it copes -
After posting a similar question on here, I opted for a Honda engined Mountfield, the Honda mowers were too rich for me. I am very happy with it, a huge reduction in mowing time over my previous cheapo petrol which was in turn a huge reduction over my electric mower.
If you want a sit on and your garden can take it, get a sit on. You will enjoy it more. Mowing isn't the worst of jobs, nor is it the best. Reducing time/increasing enjoyment is a valid aim.
I live on the Isle of Mull - wild red deer helpfully keep my lawn nicely trimmed in winter, but now we're in 'growing' season I'm back to cutting it myself. I have over 200m2 and have a Makita 460Z cordless - takes 2x18V batteries - will easily do it twice on a single charge. The mower is the smallest of the metal bodied mowers. I looked at a few cordless ones in DIY stores and they were too light and flimsy whereas the Makita will happily deal with long grass - way better than the mains Flymo we had at our old place. I have other Makita cordless tools so the batteries and chargers get well-used.
I use a one of these:
It does a half acre+ with trees, paths etc in half an hour, and is actually fun to use. I tried the cup holder option, and discovered if you try drinking tea while using the mower, you run a good chance of losing most of your teeth.
As an ex full time gardener I would swear by Mountfield. We used many different makes over the years but always came back to these. I haven't much experience with battery power but my current home based mower lasts a year on five litres of petrol which is pretty ecconomic (When working 10 litres a day was around the norm but that's probably the equivalent of mowing two football pitches).
Generally as well it depends on how long and thick your grass gets. 3.5 litre engine will tackle all but the thickest grass. 5 litres will cut through just about anything but are heavier.
Anotheer thing to consider it the grass collection box. Something easy to click on and off with a wide chute that will not block
don't know how big a vets garden gets but a manual mower does me fine- exercise and that- and you don't have to mow all the lawn if you want to encourage wildlife..
I've got one of these and like it.
Einhell battery mower. 36v as uses two 18V 4ah cells together. Cuts long stuff well. I think the critcism people have of it is that it doesn't cut really short (only down to 25mm). Probably last about 40mins on a charge with 2 cells (double with 4 cells)
Other thing is that it's pretty heavy, so not something you'd want to be lifting over fences or between terraces.
> As an ex full time gardener I would swear by Mountfield.
Yes mine is 20 years old and has been very good. It is on it's last legs though, the (pressed) steel deck has cracked near one of the wheel mounts so when that fails that will be it. The Honda engine has been impressive, still going strong apart from a bit of smoke on start up. They don't seem to come with Honda engines these days though.
I got a self propelled petrol mower from Aldi 3 years ago when we moved. Very impressed and certainly cut down on mowing time. One of my neighbours has a battery powered mower, he seems to struggle when the grass is even remotely long, not a lot of torque at all.
>Another thing to consider it the grass collection box. Something easy to click on and off with a wide chute that will not block.
Whenever I visit my very aged mum in France I mow her lawn. Typically the grass is long when I get there and It is 2.5 hours of hard labour to do the lot if the grass is dry. Longer if it isn't.
I think it would take all day if I bothered to actually collect the grass. Thankfully the chute is wide and only blocks maybe once.
I like the idea of leaving part of the lawn. The areas of grass near our house that the council now doesn't mow are very pretty at the moment with oxeye daisies and tall blue flowers that look like some kind of scabious.
I now cut a swath round the edge of our lawn leaving the middle to grow. The outer edge has a low cut but not too low in order to encourage daisies and low growing flowers while the middle is for the taller plants. I cut it down at the end of the season, let the seeds fall then rake it off so that it is short in early spring for the anenomes. Ideally I would have some native orchids in it if I could source them responisbly
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