Things to Know Before Buying a Hand Push Manual Lawn Mower
A manual lawn mower might not seem like the immediate choice for cutting your lawn. But wait! Before you run for the hills (or to the safety of a power-assisted mower!), let’s consider their benefits.
I’ve compiled the following advice to help you make an informed decision when considering a manual lawn mower.
The Benefits of a Hand Push Manual Lawn Mower
If you have a small- to medium-size lawn, a hand push lawn mower could really come in handy.
They’re light, easy to push and cost nothing to run. Not sold yet? Ok, well, they also require none of the fuel-related hassle of petrol mowers, nor the fussing-with-extension-leads of their electric cousins. They are also better for the environment and help keep our air cleaner.
What’s more, hand push mowers are very quiet to use – you’ll never be in danger of disturbing the neighbours on a Sunday morning.
For a moderately sized lawn, you can be done within an hour, and they’re also a much more environmentally friendly option than either petrol or electric models. Furthermore, they’re good for the heart – giving you a light workout when you use them (it’s a positive, trust me!).
Hand push lawn mowers are much easier to use than most people think. Think about it – you could finish cutting the lawn before your neighbours have even managed to lug their heavy mower out of the shed, set up the extension lead, or fuel up their petrol lawn mower.
Choosing the Best Cutting Width
Hand push mowers come in a range of cutting widths.
For example, I reviewed the Bosch AHM 38 G Manual Hand Push Lawn Mower with a larger cutting width of 38 cm, and the Einhell GC-HM 30 Manual Hand Push Lawn Mower which has a cutting with of 30 cm.
But what do these numbers mean in real life?
A smaller cutting width will give you a lighter, more manoeuvrable mower. From my reviews, the 30 cm cutting-width mowers tended to weigh around 6.5 kg. It’ll be easy to use these smaller mowers to navigate around smaller nooks in the garden. This is especially helpful if you have a lot of flower beds/garden ornaments to content with. You can neatly and easily whizz right round them.
That said, a larger cutting width will get the job done more quickly. If you have a larger lawn with few obstacles, it’s worth considering a wider machine. For contrast, the wider machines weigh a bit more. For example, the model with a 38 cm cutting width weighs 9.3 kg.
Number of Blades is Important
Manual lawnmowers have between 4 and 8 blades. The more blades the mower has, the thicker the grass it will cope with.
Of course, on the other hand, more blades will make the machine heavier. For the perfect balance between a good cut and a lightweight machine, 5 or 6 blades seems about right.
It’s something to bear in mind when purchasing a hand push lawn mower, and a good question to ask to customers who have already bought the model you’re looking into.
A Good Range of Cutting Heights
The best manual lawn mower will have a range of cutting heights. It should also be easy to adjust between heights, giving you flexibility to change the way you cut your lawn.
A longer cutting height is good if you have to tackle overgrown grass. It’s easier to an initial cut on a longer setting, then recut it at a lower height afterwards.
The more range the better, in general, to make sure you have all the options you need in the moment. However if you only have very short grass, you can probably get away with less height options, like the 3 cm range offered by the WEBB H30 Manual Hand Push Lawn Mower.
Manual Lawn Mowers vs. Petrol/Electric
To give a rounded summary, let’s have a look at the main pros and cons of each model type:
Manual hand push lawn mower
- Extremely lightweight
- Costs nothing to use
- No negative impact on environment when using
- Cuts short- to mid-length grass extremely well
- Harder work on long, thick grass/weeds
- May need a couple of passes on longer grass
Electric lawn mower
- Can be quite powerful
- Makes light work of most grass lengths
- Has power-assisted movement
- Often needs to be used with extension cord
- Battery-powered versions run out of charge
- Danger of cutting through cord
Petrol lawn mower
- Extremely powerful – can tackle nearly all terrain
- Easy to re-fill (don’t need to wait to charge like battery-powered mower)
- Emits fumes
- Very noisy
- Heaviest option
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Hand Push Manual Lawn Mower FAQs
How do I maintain my hand push lawnmower?
The best hand push manual lawn mowers will last for years if properly maintained. Luckily this is very easy to do:
- After each use, wipe away dirt, grass and any other debris
- Store your mower in a dry place
- A little oil on the blades every now and then will also help prevent rust and keep the mower moving smoothly
- Consider oiling the blades before putting your mower away for its winter rest
Can I sharpen the blades of my hand push mower?
A hand push mower is unlikely to require sharpening for many years. Especially if you are careful not to run the blades over stones or other hard objects. However, if your blades have become a little blunt it is possible to sharpen them.
You can buy a kit with everything you to sharpen them. This will include a grinding stone and grinding paste. It’s fairly easy to do this yourself and there are some great videos online that will help you sharpen the blades. It should take around 45 minutes..
Alternatively, you can take your mower to a lawn mower service shop and let them do the job for you. It’s not that expensive and won’t need doing very often. However, it is something that will extend the life of your mower for many years to come.
How often should I mow my lawn?
During peak growing season, Spring/Summer, you can cut your lawn up to once a week. This is if you’re trying to maintain a very neatly cut lawn.
Make sure grass is over 6 cm tall before mowing it for the first time. This is to ensure it has built up a strong root base. It’s also best to leave grass over Autumn and Winter. Giving it a break from mowing will allow it to take root more securely.
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