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What Lawnmower's best for you

Also to use on someone else's lawn and get paid for it !

Go into any DIY Store or Garden Centre, especially in Spring, and you will be mind boggled by the selection of lawnmowers available - with of course a wide selection of price as well.

Over the past few years, because of my diversity in 'career opportunities' !!, I've used a few lawnmowers and got through a few as well. So although this page may be based on my own experiences, it is a good guideline of what's about and the best choice.

Firstly I would say that regardless of the work it's intended for, it is best to purchase a well known brand and better pay the extra few coins for the better model ensuring that you are not going down the false economy route.

This is especially the case if you intend using it for earning money cutting other peoples lawns as well. You will have to cut quite a few lawns to break even on your outlay.

The main types of lawnmower available for home use are pictured on the left.

Hand Push Mowers

These are really just for the very small garden. They are though very useful for the little areas you want cut very short, the disadvantage being they are obviously harder work.

Electric Mowers

These mowers in my opinion are only good for doing your own lawn. If using a mower for other peoples gardens, often they are out so you wouldn't be able to plug the lead in anywhere and in both instances you are working around cable. Not only is there the safety angle (you should have a breaker plug to ensure the electrical supply cuts if the cable is accidentially cut) but if it's damp, the cable gets messy and it's a bother having to clean it etc.
If you have a long garden, you will certainly have to buy an extension lead, which means extra cost and storage.
The advantages are that there is normally less service / maintenance required and modern design makes them easier to clean than a lot of other lawnmower types.

They come in both hover and rotary systems, with or without grass collection boxes.

Call me square, but I believe there's nothing to beat petrol mowers. They are usually strong, therefore not prone to external breakage like electric plastic mowers and as long as they are serviced regulary, will last you a long time. There are Cylinder (Tennis Courts and Cricket wickets !) and Rotary.

Petrol Rotary Mowers come in various sizes from 18" (45cms) upwards and are either 'push' or 'self propelled'.
Basically the self-propelled ones have a gear and upon releasing the clutch, do all the pushing for you. Because petrol mowers are obviously heavier than electric, it pays to have a self-propelled model, especially if you have a few hills to climb !

Petrol Mowers

For using your mower to do other peoples grass, the petrol mower wins in all categories. As long as you have a van or estate car, it's simply putting the mower and grass box in the back and away you go.
The only disadvantage is the weight (good to have a plank to wheel it up into your car or van) and the fact that, like any mechanical utensil, it needs looking after with the occasional service.

Ride On Mowers

    

If you have a very large garden, then the ride on isn't a luxury, it's a must !
You will find that you'll probably need a smaller mower as well due to the fact that the ride-on, because of size, won't quite get to all the little nooks
and crannies.The other thing you need is a low compost heap where you can just reverse up to it, pull up the grass box from behind and easily empty the cuttings.

Servicing and general care is the same as a petrol rotary mower.

I would wrap up by repeating the false economy message. I brought a cheap self propelled petrol mower and it lasted one year until the metal protection shield broke and other mechanical things went wrong. For the next model I paid an extra £100 which has a cast protection shield, better brand name, easy to get parts etc., and this is still going strong after 4 years of cutting not only my grass but 4 other peoples as well.

A couple of things to point out if you are using it 'professionally'. Usually people want their grass taken away and taking the strimmer and hedge cutter as well is an advantage - not only will you need to trim the borders, but more than likely get a few hours extra work by doing the hedge at the same time !


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