rotary lawn mowersThe introduction of rotary lawn mowers has been welcomed with open arms by both the professional gardener as well as the home gardener.

I’m certain that I’m not alone with the memories of those old push cylinder models and the problems associated with them. The arrival of these rotational bladed machines was like a breath of fresh air, for me at any rate.

They can zip over even a poorly maintained lawn in no time. Brushed down and stored away swiftly, leaving more time for other chores that need to be tended too in the garden. Not to mention the extra relaxation time gained to just enjoyn the garden, which after all it was meant for.

This is not to say that the cylinder type of grass cutting machine doesn’t have its place. It certainly does in specific areas, like bowling greens, golf putting greens and grass tennis courts as well as for the keen gardener who appreciates the lawn finish they provide. The finish they produce is second to none and exactly what is required in the situations mentioned.

Read more about the pros and cons of rotary lawn mowers and cylinder mowers in my post, Which Lawn Mower.

Read more about the pros and cons of rotary lawn mowers and cylinder lawn mowers in my post, Which Lawn Mower.

Types of Rotary Lawn Mowers

If you’re in the market for a rotary grass mower and wondering which type would be best for you, below we have covered the most important features to consider.

These are, the power options electric, petrol and battery.

A further choice is available to us which is how the mower is propelled across the lawn. They can be manualy pushed or self propelled.

Power Choices

The first thing to decide is what power method you will want to use, to power the rotary mower. As we have mentioned above, these are:

  • Electric
  • Petrol
  • Battery

Electric Rotary Mower

electric rotary lawn mowerElectric is a good choice for the smaller garden with good access to a power point to plug the power cable into. These electric rotary mowers have stood the test of time and there are always newer improved versions coming onto the market.

There is a good selection available from the main manufacturers as well as some newer company’s, if electric is the power of choice for you. These come in both push and driven models.

Select the power rating for your particular needs as well as the model with the correct cutting width. Higher power ratings and broader width of cut for larger lawns.

Pictured here is the Bosch Rotak 32R electric rotary lawn mower which is mentioned in my Bosch rotary lawn mower reviews. Check out the list of these mowers here.

Petrol Rotary Lawn Mower

petrol rotary lawn mowerPetrol rotary lawn mowers have become the automatic choice for professionals and for many home gardeners alike. For professionals, the main advantage is that these machines can go anywhere without the need for a power supply close at hand.

For the home gardener with a big garden, again not having the need for a nearby electric socket is a big plus. As is the fact that these lawn mowers can take a lot more punishment than electric models.

Petrol mowers are more often than not 4 stroke machines and can be bought in a range of cc ratings and cutting widths. Some even have Lithium Ion batteries included (Electric Start) to start the mower rather than the more common pull cord.

Whether you choose a push model or a self-propelled version your choices are well catered for. The image is for the McCulloch M46-125WR petrol rotary mower that I have reviewed. Read more about it here.

Cordless Rotary Mower

bosch cordless rotary lawn mowerDue to improvements in battery technology, we are seeing rotary lawnmowers that can do a lot more work before requiring a battery change or need for a re-charge.

Obviously they still have their limitations and some thought of the lawn size needs to be considered before jumping on this option.

Many people love the fact that there are no electric cables attached to these mowers to worry about.

Again a choice of cutting widths are available as are the voltage rating of the batteries. Lithium Ion batteries are the most common type of battery found in cordless rotary lawn mowers today.

The picture here is of the Bosch Rotak 43 li cordless lawn mower which can read more about on my review.

Mower Drive Choices

Basically, it will depend on the amount and type of work the mower will have to do that will determine which type will be required.

Buying a mower that will soon suffer a burned out motor by doing work that it was simply never designed for will be a pure waste of money. Below is a list of some typical types of mowers with their suggested use.

Push Rotary Mowers

Pretty self-explanatory, as these mowers require you to push it forward while cutting the grass. It goes without saying, if you have a huge garden, this will be a tiresome job and would be best avoided.

The same thing applies if the grass has been left to grow too tall. Difficulty will be experienced or even more serious, the lawn mower motor could be burned out.

Some of these push varieties are lightweight and others not so. Take care on which you choose, especially if you intend lifting it around a lot.

Push rotary lawn mower models can be found powered by either: Petrol, Electric or Battery

Self Propelled Rotary Mower

These self propelled versions will drive the mower forward without the need to push. The user will walk behind simply guiding it, using a throttle for speed and a clutch control which drives the machine forward or come to a halt. Variations of these could be, 4 wheeled or, 2 front wheels and a rear roller.

The roller version is designed to give a striped finish to the lawn which can look very attractive. Really a personal choice. These rear rollers can be made of a plastic type material or metal. The metal rollers can make a more pronounced stripe pattern although they can add a lot of weight to these machines. So again choose wisely if you will be lifting them around much.

They make the ideal choice for larger garden lawns and the petrol driven version more so if the lawns are a distance from the house. Self propelled rotary models can be found powered by either: Petrol, electric or battery.

Hover Lawn Mowers

hover mowerBecause of its inexpensive price, the hover lawn mower became very popular. It is a rotary mower with rotating blades. But the difference is that these blades are not mounted on wheels, it rides on a cushion of air generated by the rotating blade. This concept made this kind of lawn mower appropriate for uneven and sloping lawns.

Mention hover mower and immediately you will think of Flymo. They have been the main suppliers of this type of mower ever since they came to the market and are still in that position today.

Nowadays hover mower versions can collect the cuttings or leave them on the lawn if you preferred. They are either mains electric powered or petrol driven such as the Flymo powered with a Honda 160 cc Engine.

Ride On Rotary Lawn Mowers

ride on rotary lawn mower pictureThe Ride On models are meant for the largest gardens with equally large lawns. Could be either for commercial use or for home use. Good time savers and come as a mulching mower or with bag collection.

Ride on mowers as you would imagine are petrol powered only. Variations of these could be, single deck or double. The double deck of course provides a larger diameter of cut.

I used to wonder what condition the lawn would finish up in when using these machines. It was not until I started to use them I discovered how gentle they actually were.

The pumped up tyres are designed to spread the load and they do so remarkably well. The only thing being, in rain sodden areas they can leave some marks on the lawn. That being said, so would any other mower therefore not such a big thing.

Summing Up

As you can see, rotary choices are many. There is a model for every lawn type. Everyone has their own specific needs of course although you should also take into account what your needs will be in the next year or so.

Lawn size, distance from a power point, type of finish you require, transportation of the mower are some points you should consider before buying.

These grass cutters are designed to save you time with your mowing. So once you have chosen your perfect rotary lawn mower and have the lawn looking spick and span, take a break on the garden lounger with a cool drink. You have earned it.

Filed under: Rotary Lawn Mowers