Lawn Mower Selection

Mowing lawn

Selecting a lawn mower can be a little confusing but if you understand the benefits and drawbacks of the various types hopefully the choice will be easier.


Cylinder Mowers

This classic lawnmower consists of a horizontally mounted, rotating cylinder of 6–12 blades, available in petrol, electric and push formats. Most, if not all models have a rear roller which will provide that classic striped lawn look. If you are looking for the best finish this is the lawnmower for you.


  • Creates a high quality finish on fine lawns
  • Provides striped effect


  • Can be difficult to use on uneven lawns
  • Difficult to mow long or wet grass
  • Sometimes difficult to adjust cut height


Rotary Mowers

Good all round lawn mower, cut the grass with a revolving disc or blade, available in petrol and electric formats. Some models have a rear roller which will provide a striped effect.


  • Copes with long grass but still creates a reasonable finish
  • Good on uneven ground and less likely to scalp high spots
  • Can be used with or without grass collection box
  • Easy height adjustment


  • Sometimes a little cumbersome on small lawns


Hover Mowers

The best selling UK lawnmower, cuts grass with a revolving disc or blade. The rotating blade creates a down draft which enables the lawn mower to float over the lawn. Available in petrol and electric formats.


  • Easy to use especially on sloped banks where sometimes they are the only safe option
  • Ideal for rough unkempt grass
  • Can be used with or without grass collection box


  • Finish is not normally as good as other options
  • No wheels so they have to be carried to the lawn


Ride Ons

Great for the larger lawn and the lazy gardener! Domestic models normally have rotary cutting decks, but cylinder decks are available on some options. Most models with have optional extras such as scarifying attachments.


  • Much less effort, just sit and drive
  • Can be used with or without grass collection box
  • Choice of grass collection systems, although I recommend brush collection every time
  • Copes well with formal and less well kept lawns
  • Easy height adjustment, normally from your seat
  • Electric start for ease of use and less effort


  • Need covered storage space with driveable assess to lawns
  • The cost, new models are normally over £1,000b
  • When buying you lawnmower always consider the second hand market as there are some great bargains to be picked up on web sites such as eBay. If you need further advice please contact your local Lawnscience Office.