Outside Grass: How to Choose a Lawn Mower?
A neat lawn is the result of a lot of work. Oddly enough, for the grass to grow well and densely, an eternal struggle must be waged against it. We tell you how to choose a reliable and convenient lawn care tool. a lawn mower.
Wheel mower or trimmer. the choice depends, first of all, on who and what will mow. Immediately make a reservation that in order to maintain a tennis court, soccer field or golf lawn, a professional or at least semi-professional lawn mower is required, and we will talk about household ones. And one more thing: if you want even "English" lawns. choose a wheeled lawn mower, because the trimmer does not allow you to adjust the cutting height of the grass and does not allow to achieve a perfectly flat surface.
Gasoline Wheel Mower
In favor of a trimmer
Trimmers are not for wimps. After all, the user will have to carry a 5-7 kilogram device mounted on belts, or hold a 3 kilogram device in his hands (and actively operate).
Trimmers have an obvious advantage over wheeled lawn mowers: they can mow grass of any height. even to the waist, while wheeled lawn mowers are more suitable for regular maintenance of the site: if the grass has grown a certain height, then the "cart" can not cope. In addition, the trimmer is always maneuverability and the ability to carefully avoid obstacles: bushes, trees, flowers, garden decor. The trimmer. if power permits. cuts off young growth of bushes and weeds, and besides, it does not need to adapt to a difficult relief.
Cons of portable trimmers
The main disadvantage is the weight and vibration, which does not damp completely even with anti-vibration systems. Hence the load on the back and arms.
In addition, the mowed grass remains in place, and after the “haircut” it must be removed with a rake or other garden tool.
Finally, the trimmer height cannot be adjusted with the trimmer.
What to look for when choosing a portable trimmer?
The most important characteristic is power. The higher it is, the better and faster the trimmer mows, but at the same time there will be more noise and vibration. The power of electric trimmers varies from 250 watts to 1700 watts.
Power up to 600–700 W is suitable for caring for small areas that are not running, trimming the edges. Such machines are often used in addition to a more powerful trimmer or wheeled lawnmower. 1000–1200 W is serious power for an electric trimmer. Well, and 1500-1700 watts. it is already so uneconomical that it is more profitable and reliable to buy a gas trimmer. The power of models running on gasoline (from 1 to 7 hp) is usually enough to care for complex and neglected areas, but here the increased power of four-stroke engines is needed not only for mowing directly, but also for moving the unit.
Another important parameter is what the cutting unit consists of. It can only be a fishing line or fishing line and a knife (disk), and rarely only a knife. The fishing line is a consumable item, it can suddenly end, and then the presence of a knife will help out a lot. The knife may become dull or shy. then the fishing line. Although each user with experience understands what is suitable for: someone cuts bushes with a knife, someone likes a thick fishing line more, and uses a knife to trim. In most cases (especially in inexpensive trimmers) a thin fishing line of poor quality is included in the kit. even with trimmers of famous brands. Experienced users immediately change the line to a thicker one. 1.6-2 mm in diameter.
Deck and fishing line
The next property is the mowing width. Usually it ranges from 20 to 50 cm. Most of the models are 35–45 cm. this is the norm for caring for a summer cottage and garden. Up to 25 cm. only for edges, borders, small areas. Combined with power, the mowing width affects productivity. Mowing widths greater than 50–55 cm are found in professional models and mowers. wheel trimmers.
Important and the quality of materials and assembly, no matter how corny. If everything looks thin and flimsy in the off state, then during operation it can completely fly apart. The knife is especially affected. if it is thin and of poor quality, then a replacement will be required very soon.
For an electric trimmer, the length of the wire is important. No, it doesn’t happen very long, you will still need an extension cord. But to estimate where you will have a junction with an extension cord is worth it. If he hangs around his knee. this is terribly inconvenient.
Pay attention to the fastening system on the body: belts, padding under the belts for softening, how everything is fastened and how easy it is to carry the device. this largely depends not only on its weight, but also on how the load on the back is distributed, and you can whether to adjust the length of the rod to the user’s height. Some models have wheels. convenient, but such small trimmers are suitable for trimming lawns and are not suitable for tall grass and complex terrain.
Electric light trimmer
The lawn bar is straight or curved. In the first case, the engine is connected to the cutting unit directly. Curved bar trimmers are more ergonomic and convenient in shape, but the engine is connected to the cutting unit with a cable, which is considered not such a reliable system: there is something to break.
Finally, there are three engine locations. The first is at the top of the bar, and this is preferable: the center of gravity is located more correctly, it is easier to work, and the engine itself becomes less clogged, plus it is safe when working with wet grass. This arrangement occurs in powerful trimmers for 600 watts or more. Another option is at the bottom of the bar, this is common in light models weighing up to 3 kg and has a number of minuses. The main one: the engine pulls down and puts pressure on the arms and back, and also clogs, because it works close to the grass. The third option is a satchel, that is, the engine is located behind the user’s shoulders. It is rare because few people can withstand the vibration massage of the back with heating.
Video: Outside Grass: How to Choose a Lawn Mower?
In favor of the "cart"
Wheel-mounted lawnmowers-carts are non-self-propelled (all electric and gasoline with a two-stroke engine) and self-propelled (gasoline with a four-stroke engine). The main advantage, in addition to an even cut of grass, is the minimal physical effort of the user. A woman, a child, an elderly person can mow, do not drag on yourself, do not carry in your hands, do not feel vibration, belts do not rub, your back does not hurt. In addition, grass in most lightweight household wheeled lawnmowers is collected in a grass catcher, and does not remain on the ground.
Electric Lawn Mower Trolley
What to look for when choosing a "trolley"
There are two main ways to mow grass: rotary and cylindrical. For rotary lawn mowers. and they are characterized by high productivity. the knives rotate at high speed, creating an air flow that helps pull the grass under the knife. The cut off is thrown either to the side or to the grass catcher. The disadvantage of rotary lawn mowers is not a very careful attitude to the lawn: after such a mowing, the grass is difficult to recover, the regrowth does not look as aesthetically pleasing as after mowing with a cylindrical system.
For cylindrical lawn mowers, the blades are located on the shaft: the more they are, the better. The shaft rotates, the grass is cut. slower, but more accurately. If rotary lawn mowers are only electric and gasoline, then cylindrical mowers can even be mechanical, in which the shaft rotates from a drive that works when the trolley moves.
If the lawn mower is gasoline, then it can be self-propelled (the lawn mower only steers, and the trolley rides by itself), or non-self-propelled. the person pushes and steers. Self-propelled designed for large areas and are front-or rear-wheel drive.
The grass catcher can be hard. plastic, and soft, like a bag, and then it must be located quite high above the ground, because with heavy grass inside it will touch the ground. Size matters, but recommending something is difficult: it all depends on the height and density of the grass, as well as the size of the plot. Liters 30–40. a necessary minimum. A small grass catcher means frequent work interruptions to empty it. By the way, it is convenient if there is a fill indicator. as a rule, mechanical.
Hard grass catcher
Electric wheeled lawnmowers have a minimum working power of 1000 W, although in this case, wet or harsh grass can be planted. Better. 1200 and above. If you have a flat lawn lawn that you mow at least once a week, power below 1000 W is suitable, although it should be borne in mind that not all manufacturers are honest when speaking about this characteristic.
A very important point is ease of management. Check if it is possible to adjust the height and position of the handle, how to choose the speed and movement, how to adjust the cutting height of the grass (it can be manual when changing the wheel height or central, automatic. it can be changed right during operation). In addition, it is important to have guides that allow you to cut right up to the curbs and obstacles and easily maneuver.
For gardeners, the presence or absence of the function of mulching will be important. grinding the mowed grass for fertilizer.
Adjusting the height and position of the handle
The cutting width is equal to the diameter of the circular knife, and the cutting height must be set. In domestic lawn mowers, it is installed mechanically, in professional lawn mowers it can automatically be adjusted.
Materials are also important. The plastic case is lightweight, it does not corrode grass juice, it is not afraid of corrosion, and in addition, plastic models are cheaper than others. But plastic is fragile. you need to pay attention to its quality and thickness. Stainless steel is corrosion resistant but heavy and expensive. Aluminum is expensive, but lighter and absolutely resistant to moisture and corrosive grass juice.
If your site has an uneven terrain, then “floating” front wheels or an “air cushion” will be useful, allowing the lawnmower not to soar above the ground, but still slightly rise due to the force of the air flow and slide without encountering strong resistance. Devices with "airbags" are not common among semi-professional and professional models.
Gas or electric mower?
If you have to process a plot of more than 3-4 acres, then take a look at gasoline lawn mowers: in addition to high productivity, they have many other advantages. The main one is the lack of wires: during mowing, the cord will interfere, it limits the radius of work (and if you need to mow in a clean field?), It can be touched, cut, and this is dangerous. In addition, lawn mowers and trimmers with an electrical wired connection are risky to use in the rain.
Cons of gas mowers and trimmers
Two-stroke engines require the use of a mixture of gasoline and oil. everything is just like with a car: there will be low-quality fuel. do not expect stable operation.
Gasoline mowers need periodic maintenance and “conservation” for the winter, according to the instructions.
Finally, gasoline appliances are very noisy. they emit more than 100 dBA, while electric appliances work with an average noise level of 75-90 dBA (also a big difference. like a normal and a very loud vacuum cleaner). They also vibrate strongly. this is important for portable trimmers, because the vibration of the trolley is not critical for the user. Large manufacturers of gasoline lawn mowers produce protective headphones in which it is more comfortable to work. Only here you can’t put on headphones for all households and neighbors!
The gas mower is very noisy
What to look for when choosing a gas mower
Portable gas trimmers and non-self-propelled wheeled lawnmowers have two-stroke engines that are less powerful than four-stroke ones, but believe me, even with a fairly overgrown section their capabilities are enough: power is 1.5-2 hp. This is already very good.
When buying a model with a two-stroke engine, be prepared for the fact that it works on a mixture of gasoline and oil (it is added using a syringe), while four-stroke ones are simply on gasoline, no fuss. Four-stroke engines are equipped mainly with self-propelled lawn mowers, carts, which are already considered semi-professional and professional. They need more powerful engines. not only to mow, but also to go.
What else are lawn mowers
Mechanical cylindrical lawnmowers-carts. for a leisurely process and not for neglected areas. They require effort, but they do not consume either fuel or electricity, and are completely environmentally friendly.
Wheel trimmers are hybrids of carts and trimmers, often called mowers. They are expensive, most often run on gasoline, and mow very wide bands.
Still there are battery-powered lawn mowers. They are still rare in the market, and users are distrustful of them.
Finally, cordless electric lawn mowers. Their advantage is the absence of wires. Cons: must be charged (lithium-ion batteries charge faster than other types); you need to properly store the battery when not in season and the equipment is not used; over time, the battery will require replacement; the charge may end in the midst of work; most often they do not differ in high power.
Little things that are not little things
Among the pleasant and even important details is a set of tools for servicing the lawn mower, which should include some spare parts (spare knife, key for removing the knife, spare bobbins, pins, screws, tools for cleaning and lubricating the engine, etc.). The knife should be sharpened, although even eminent brands sin with the lack of sharpening. Spare fishing reels, replaceable reels for thin and thick fishing lines will come in handy.