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5 Best Petrol Lawn Mowers (2021 Review)

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The team at DIY Garden have spent hours putting the UK’s best petrol lawn mowers to the test across a variety of locations. Flat gardens, uneven ground, damp grass, manicured lawns and sharp corners; you name it, we’ve tested it! So if you’re looking to find the best petrol mower for your garden, read on to find out what we recommend…

What is the Best Petrol Lawn Mower For Your Garden?

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Comparing The Best Petrol Lawn Mowers

Use the dropdown to sort the table by the feature that's most important to you.

  • Best For
  • Lawn Size
  • Engine
  • Cutting Width
  • Cutting Height Range
  • Collection Bag
  • Weight
  • Drive System
  • Cost
  • Our score
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In-Depth Reviews of Our Recommended Petrol Lawn Mowers

Hyundai HYM510SP 4-Stroke Petrol Lawn MowerHyundai HYM510SP 4-Stroke Petrol Lawn Mower

Best petrol lawn mower for large gardens

Assembly Ease
Design
Power
Performance
Manoeuvrability
Features
Safety
Value for Money
Overall
4.875
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Hyundai HYM510SP 4-Stroke Petrol Lawn Mower Review

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Specifications

  • Lawn Size: Large
  • Engine: 173cc
  • Cutting Width: 51cm
  • Cutting Height Range: 25-75mm
  • Collection Bag: 70 L
  • Weight: 38.7kg
  • Drive System: Self Propelled

Hyundai-HYM510SP-4-Stroke-Petrol-Lawn-Mower

Although primarily known for their reliable and well-designed cars, Hyundai has also been making a name for itself in the gardening world. The brand produces a wide range of garden machinery, and their petrol mowers are revered for being the cream of the crop. Among the many models on offer, there’s the HYM510SP Petrol Mower a self-propelled mower with an abundance of features. 

After testing it out, I really only have good things to say about it, but I’m keen to share my experience in a bit more detail:

The unboxing and assembly process for the Hyundai HYM510SP was fast and simple – it literally only took minutes to get the mower ready to go. This is largely due to the fact that it’s such a well-designed machine – everything seems to work harmoniously together. 

Its powerful 196 cc engine handles everything that Hyundai claims it will, plus more. Whether you use it to collect your cut grass cuttings or to mulch your lawn, the top-of-the-line features deliver great results. It’s also wider and faster than many of the other petrol mowers out there, and the self propulsion makes things easier, so it could really save you time.

If you have a large lawn, or if you’re a professional who cuts multiple gardens with different types of grass, the Hyundai HYM510SP is one of the best petrol lawn mowers to buy. It’s a high-quality machine that won’t let you down.

It genuinely surprises me that I don’t have a single negative comment about how this lawn mower works, but it truly runs like a dream.

After just one use I was convinced by the power and versatility of this machine, and now that I’ve used it several times it has become one of the petrol mowers that I rely on the most. The wide 51 cm cutting width, and decent range of cutting heights (from 25 – 75 mm), means it quickly copes with large areas and different grasses.

Pros

  • Copes well when cutting different types of grass because of the power and adjustable cutting heights
  • Self-propelled feature is optional which makes it easier to navigate around small obstacles and tight corners
  • Can be used to mulch dead leaves as well as grass which can be collected and used as compost
  • Comes with engine oil included so you only need to provide the fuel yourself
  • The grass box doesn't miss any grass when collecting

Cons

  • There's no back roller so it won't create a clear striped lawn effect
  • Only one self-propelled speed so the options for self propulsion are 'off' or 'on'
  • May be heavy to manoeuvre for those with less upper body strength when the self-propel isn't activated
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Webb Classic WER410SP Self Propelled Petrol MowerWebb Classic WER410SP Self Propelled Petrol Mower

Best all-rounder

Assembly Ease
Design
Power
Performance
Manoeuvrability
Features
Safety
Value for Money
Overall
4.625
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Webb Classic WER410SP Self Propelled Petrol Mower Review

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Specifications

  • Lawn Size: Small to Medium
  • Engine: 132cc
  • Cutting Width: 41cm
  • Cutting Height Range: 25-75mm
  • Collection Bag: 45 L
  • Weight: 28kg
  • Drive System: Self Propelled

Webb-Classic-WER410SP-Self-Propelled-Petrol-Lawn-Mower

If you’re looking for a petrol mower from a respected British brand, ‘Webb’ is well worth considering. Famous for their classic yet modern designs, along with their dedication to quality and value, their WER410SP Self-Propelled Mower is a popular choice among home gardeners in the UK.

As soon as I opened the box, I could tell that the Webb WER410SP was going to impress. It’s beautifully designed, not only in terms of aesthetics but also functionality. 

It copes well with heavy, long-term use, always leaving behind clean and evenly-cut strips, even on rough ground with long grass. It’s happy to cut wet grass too, which is always a bonus! My only gripe would be that it sometimes chokes and struggles when the 45 L bag is only half full. 

In terms of features, it doesn’t disappoint. It offers seven cutting heights between 25 – 75 mm, a 41 cm cutting width, and a faster-than-average self-propulsion speed – you’ll get the job done in half the time. 

While Webb states that the WER410SP is the best petrol lawn mower for small to medium gardens, I would say that they’re underestimating its power and capabilities.

Yes, its size, weight, and cutting width wouldn’t usually be enough for a large lawn, but its speed more than makes up for this. It could even be used professionally – something that I’m now doing with it, cutting the lawns for some of my clients.

I would recommend this machine to anyone looking for something lightweight, powerful, and reliable – even if you have a larger garden. It’s one of the best petrol lawn mowers if you’re looking for a good all-rounder. It’s not too expensive either, considering its high-end finish, so you feel like you’re getting a good deal too.

Pros

  • Good for all size lawns as offers a good compromise between size and weight/manoeuvrability
  • Self-propulsion can be deactivated to make it easier to get into smaller areas or around obstacles
  • Ball bearings in the wheels help them move easily even when the self-propulsion isn't on
  • Can dramatically reduce mowing time, cutting lawns in 1/3 of the time of standard lawn mowers

Cons

  • The wheels stick out which means that it is more like 44 cm wide even though the cutting width is 41 cm
  • Due to the design of the collection box, you may spill some clippings as you disconnect it from the mower
  • A funnel is required to fill up the oil tank as it is in a position that is difficult to reach
  • Hot starts can be difficult and require several pulls, although cold starts are very reliable
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Murray EQ200 Petrol Lawn MowerMurray EQ200 Petrol Lawn Mower

Best designed petrol mower

Assembly Ease
Design
Power
Performance
Manoeuvrability
Features
Safety
Value for Money
Overall
4.25
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Murray EQ200 Petrol Lawn Mower Review

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Specifications

  • Lawn Size: Small to Medium
  • Engine: 125cc
  • Cutting Width: 41cm
  • Cutting Height Range: 28-92mm
  • Collection Bag: 60 L
  • Weight: 22.2kg
  • Drive System: Push

Murray-EQ200-Petrol-Lawn-Mower

Manufactured in the USA, Murray lawn mowers are known for being hardy, durable, and cost-effective. The EQ200 Petrol Lawn Mower is the brand’s budget option, yet holds up well when compared with some of the pricier alternatives out there. 

As soon as I opened the box and started to assemble the Murray EQ200, I could tell that this would be a strong and capable machine. Assembly took a little longer than other mowers, but it wasn’t complicated in any way and no tools were required. It just needed a patient, methodical approach.

The lawn mower’s thoughtful design was appreciated, particularly in terms of the handles (they are wide, foldable, and height adjustable) and the large size of the grass collector bag. When I turned the machine on it continued to impress.

Granted, it was quite loud, but it coped well with every type of grass that I threw at it. Whether it was short, long, thick or wet grass, the six cutting heights combined with the powerful engine meant that it could cut them all without any problems. 

The only stumbling point (literally) was on bumpy and uneven ground – it didn’t manage such an even cut over lumpy terrain. Flat lawns are definitely where this machine really shines. Inclines could be an issue too, simply because this mower isn’t self-propelled. That said, it’s light enough to push uphill for short periods of time. 

The Murray EQ200 keeps its promises with the features that it offers, except when it comes to the rear-discharge function (which is pretty much useless). It gets blocked easily and doesn’t work as well as you might expect from an otherwise well-designed machine.

If this is important to you, then you’d be better off looking for a lawn mower that prioritises this feature. However, if you’re happy to always use the grass collector bag, then this mower performs well in other respects.

It’s most appropriate for small-to-medium-sized gardens, but this is purely because it’s hand-propelled. It’s one of the best designed petrol mowers because its power, cutting width, and bag size mean that it could easily handle larger lawns too.

Compared to other similar hand-propelled models, the Murray EQ200 sits at the higher end of the scale, making it worth paying that little bit more for.

Pros

  • Cuts all types of grass whether it's short, long, thick or wet
  • Good value for the price paid and machine received
  • Sufficiently lightweight to make it easy to carry in and out of storage
  • The handles are height adjustable so it is comfortable for people of different heights

Cons

  • Struggles to give such an even cut on bumpy, uneven ground
  • May take a lot of effort to cut gardens with a lot of inclines as there's no self propulsion
  • The rear-discharge function gets blocked easily so it's best to use the mower with the grass collection box attached
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Mountfield HP41 Petrol MowerMountfield HP41 Petrol Mower

Best petrol mower for small gardens

Assembly Ease
Design
Power
Performance
Manoeuvrability
Features
Safety
Value for Money
Overall
4.125
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Mountfield HP41 Petrol Mower Review

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Specifications

  • Lawn Size: Small
  • Engine: 123cc
  • Cutting Width: 39cm
  • Cutting Height Range: 25-70mm
  • Collection Bag: 40 L
  • Weight: 19kg
  • Drive System: Push

Mountfield-HP41-Petrol-Lawnmower

A popular UK garden equipment brand, Mountfield produces lawn mowers for both domestic and professional use. Their HP41 Petrol Mower is one of their domestic offerings – it’s a mid-range hand-propelled mower designed for small gardens.

I wasn’t too impressed with the Mountfield HP41 lawn mower to start with. Assembly was a little time-consuming and its design was lacking. There weren’t any major design flaws, but there were so many ways in which Mountfield could have made the design of this machine so much better, without much extra cost involved on their part. 

Like I say, nothing major, but the instructions could have been clearer, the handles were difficult to put together, and the place to put the oil is quite difficult to access. So these were my initial gripes.

However, upon turning on the machine, I saw this lawn mower in a different way.

It’s powerful but extremely lightweight – to the point where you can easily run while using it and it’ll cut as cleanly as though you were walking slowly. That in itself tells you a lot about engine power. 

Its ability to cope with longer grass also impressed me. However, it did fail when it came to damp grass. Granted, you’re not really meant to cut wet grass anyway, but most of the other mowers that I tested still could. 

Manoeuvring this machine was extremely easy, thanks to the fact that it’s so lightweight.

However, it’s rather ‘light’ when it comes to features as well (in that there aren’t many). It doesn’t really do anything other than cut and collect grass cuttings. Again, if this is all you need, then it’s a good machine as paying more for extra features would be a waste anyway. 

It’s one of the best petrol lawn mowers if you’re looking for a simple and lightweight hand-propelled model for a small garden.

It’s not good for cutting wet grass, but it’ll handle both long and short grass with ease, as well as tackling inclines and rough ground. It may seem a little basic in terms of design and features, but it’s sturdy, powerful, and reliable.

Pros

  • Lightweight enough to be manageable on inclines
  • A good option for small gardens as the lightweight, small body is easy to manoeuvre
  • Powerful enough to cut through long grass
  • Can be pushed quickly and still produces an even cut when doing so

Cons

  • Struggles to cut through damp grass
  • The assembly process is not as straight forward as with other mowers because the instructions are confusing, but there are videos online that can help
  • Oil doesn't come included so both oil and fuel need to be purchased separately
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Cobra M41C Petrol Lawn MowerCobra M41C Petrol Lawn Mower

Best budget petrol lawn mower

Assembly Ease
Design
Power
Performance
Manoeuvrability
Features
Safety
Value for Money
Overall
4
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Cobra M41C Petrol Lawn Mower Review

Specifications

  • Lawn Size: Small to Medium
  • Engine: 98.5cc
  • Cutting Width: 41cm
  • Cutting Height Range: 25-75mm
  • Collection Bag: 50 L
  • Weight: 19.6kg
  • Drive System: Push

Cobra-M41C-Petrol-Lawn-Mower

A relatively new garden machinery brand, Cobra prides itself on offering innovation, quality, and value for money. This is definitely true of their M41C Hand-Propelled Petrol Lawn Mower it’s the lowest-priced of all of the lawn mowers on this page, yet offers features that some higher-end models lack. 

After opening the box and seeing that the Cobra M41C was almost already fully assembled, I had high hopes – after all, there can’t be many people that actually enjoy assembling lawn mowers, so the minimal assembly was thoughtful on Cobra’s part! Its design is also bright and eye catching – something else that appealed to me. 

My opinion of this lawn mower kept improving after I first started to use it, especially after seeing it work its way through grass littered with pine cones. I was also impressed with how it seamlessly cut through damp grass too. 

This cutting power is its main selling point, given that these jobs would cause some mowers to struggle. The 41 cm cutting width and 10 different height settings (between 25 – 75 mm) make it adaptable for most garden sizes and grass types.

However, its inability to go over even small bumps in the ground is a let down. This makes it much harder to use in uneven gardens, and really it needs a totally level area to work well. 

The overall conclusion with the Cobra M41C is that it’s a mixed bag. If your lawn is bumpy in any way, then this isn’t the mower for you. However, if you have a flat and even lawn, whether it’s small, medium, or even on the small side of large, this mower will get the job done just as well as more expensive machines.

Pros

  • Very little assembly required, arrives almost ready to go
  • Powerful enough to cut through damp grass
  • More height settings included than the majority of petrol mowers at this price
  • Motor oil comes included so you only need to supply the fuel
  • Low price whilst still offering sufficient quality

Cons

  • Not capable of moving over uneven surfaces and bumpy lawns
  • Too small to be worthwhile in large gardens
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Things to Know Before Buying a Petrol Lawn Mower

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Petrol lawn mowers are a popular choice because they are more powerful than electric mowers and cordless mowers and offer a clean, efficient cut.

If you’re thinking about buying one of our recommended petrol mowers, take a look at the following tips to help you make an informed purchase.

Self-Propelled vs Manual Push Petrol Lawn Mowers

A self-propelled lawn mower uses engine power to achieve forward motion – the alternative is you having to push it manually. Self-propelled mowers are great if you have a large area to mow or uneven lawns and slopes. They also tend to work well on long grass, bumpy lawns and damp grass. This type of mower requires a larger engine and will be more expensive. They also tend to be heavier and larger.

A push mower will be sufficient if you have a flat, even lawn and rarely need to cut long, overgrown areas. The blades are powered by the petrol engine but the mower is pushed by hand with no help from the motor. These petrol mowers are usually smaller and lighter than self-propelled ones. They offer excellent manoeuvrability in small- to medium-sized gardens; especially useful when cutting around flower beds and features.

Sizing Up Your New Mower

The Cutting Deck

When it comes to petrol lawn mowers, the size of the cutting deck affects how much grass gets cut at a time.

Most lawn mowers will have a cutting deck of between 40 – 53 cm.

A smaller deck will be suitable for smaller gardens, especially if there are a lot of obstacles to mow around. For large gardens, a larger deck will get the job done quicker.

The Grass Collector

Having to keep stopping to empty the clippings bag or box can be a nuisance. If you plan on collecting clippings, choose a mower with a larger collector to cut down on the time spent emptying it.

Grass collectors can range in size, generally having a capacity between 40 L to 70 L. Depending on the size of your lawn, a smaller capacity might be sufficient; however, if you have a larger space you may have to empty the collector too often if it’s on the small side.

An extra thing to bear in mind: if the lawn mower has a ‘mulching’ feature, you can eject mulched grass onto the lawn instead of collecting it. If you’re happy to use mulched clipping on the ground as fertiliser, it won’t matter what size the grass collector is as you won’t need to use it.

The Mower Itself

It’s worth considering where you’re planning to store your mower whilst choosing which model to buy. Some may be much larger than others and you don’t want any unexpected surprises on the day you introduce your beautiful new mower to your shed or garage.

Some mowers (but not all) have foldable handles. This reduces the space they take up in storage. It can make them a lot easier to store, so take note of whether or not the mower you’re looking at has collapsible handles.

Other than that, your best bet is to check the specifications of the mower you’re looking to buy, and physically measure out how much space it will take up in the shed. This helps visualise the situation, as some mowers may be much larger than you think!

Choosing the Right Starting Mechanism For You

Some of the best petrol mowers have an electric start to ensure they start reliably every time. Mowers with an electric start have a rechargeable battery to support this mechanism, so you will have to remember to charge this. Most also have a standard pull-start as well, in case the battery isn’t charged.

Other petrol lawnmowers can have an automatic choke, which makes sure the engine receives the right balance of fuel and air, for reliable starting.

Finally, there is the more ‘traditional’ way of starting a petrol engine: priming and pulling. Generally, you will need to press the priming bulb slowly around three times to deliver fuel to the carburettor, then pull the starting cord to get the engine going.

Choosing a Model with the Right Cutting Settings

Mowers have a variety of cutting heights usually measured in millimetres. These vary between models and some petrol mowers cut lower than others.

You may wish to check how close a shave your mower can give, especially if you want a bowling-green finish to your lawn. Most of the time it’s easy to change the cutting height setting using a simple lever. Although, very occasionally, mowers have a more complicated mechanism so it’s a good idea to check.

Equally, if you’re not as worried about having a lot of height choices, you can find a mower with less height-cutting range and it may work out cheaper.

How to Fuel Your Petrol Lawn Mower

Always use the fuel recommended by the manufacturer and ensure it is fresh. Unleaded petrol goes stale after three months and your mower will be more difficult to start with old fuel.

If your mower has a two-stroke engine, the motor oil will need to be mixed in with the fuel. If it has a four-stroke engine, there will be a separate compartment for the oil.

Again, you must follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific machine. With two-stroke engines the ratio of fuel to oil tends to be 40:1.

If using a four-stroke mower, check the oil level before every use and top it up if necessary.

Cleaning and Mulching Accessories You May Want

Some mowers include additional features such as mulching and/or cleaning accessories.

A mulching accessory will shred the clippings into tiny pieces before discharging them onto your lawn. This helps to fertilise your lawn and maintain moisture. This is an especially good feature if you often cut long grass which would go sodden and brown if left on the lawn without mulching.

If a mower has a hose attachment then cleaning the underside deck becomes much easier. This makes it possible to simply hook up a hose in order to flush out and clean the cutting deck.

It’s essential to regularly clean your mower if you are going to get many years of use out of your machine. As a result, a mower with a hose attachment makes the process of cleaning much simpler.

How to Maintain & Look After Your New Petrol Mower

Despite lasting for many years, most petrol lawn mowers require occasional repairs. Check that the brand you choose has spare parts available. Take note of the following suggestions to keep your mower in good shape after each use:

  • Check all bolts and screws regularly to make sure they are not loose or missing. Check the wheels to make sure they are not loose or wobbly.
  • Clean the underside of the mower after each use with water; grass cuttings left on the metal parts may damage them. When cleaning and checking the machine deck, always lift the mower up from the front. Turning the mower on its side can allow fuel to flow into the air filter. This will cause difficulty in starting and excessive smoke.
  • Clean the cutting blades of your machine regularly and have them sharpened or replace them as necessary.
  • Clean the grass bag or box. If this becomes clogged it may block air flow or cause poor collection.
  • If your mower is self-propelled check the drive belt regularly. Take off the belt cover, remove grass and debris and check that the drive belt is in good order and properly adjusted.
  • Check the air filter and spark plugs and clean or replace if necessary.
  • Check the oil regularly and fill it up if it’s running low.

A Word About Routine Servicing

Petrol lawnmowers need regular servicing, much like a car, to keep them working well for years. You can do this yourself or have someone do it for you. Many lawnmowers offer a 3-year guarantee, so this is worth looking out for.

Storage Advice

Firstly, as mentioned above, you don’t want to spend hours choosing the best petrol lawn mower ever only for it not to fit in your shed.

Folding handles help with storage, and measuring out a space for the lawn mower before you buy it can be invaluable.

When winter comes, and it’s time to store your mower, drain the fuel from the tank or run the engine to burn off any remaining fuel.

Always store the mower on a level surface. Do no lean it against a wall or hang it from a hook – this may cause oil to seep into unwanted parts of the engine.

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Petrol Lawn Mower FAQs

What petrol should I use in my mower?

You should use clean, fresh, unleaded petrol in your lawn mower (unless the manufacturer recommends otherwise).

If the fuel is more than three months old it will likely have gone stale. Stale fuel doesn’t easily combust, and the machine will not work as well.

Check the ethanol content of the fuel. Fuel with an ethanol content of up to 10% is ok to use, but some fuels contain 15% ethanol which should be avoided.

How much petrol does a petrol mower use?

Most standard models have a fuel capacity of 1 L.

How quickly this is used up will depend on several factors: how often you use the mower, how powerful it is, and what settings you have it on.

Once you have used your mower a few times, you should have a good idea about how quickly it uses fuel. It may be a good idea to fill it with only as much fuel as necessary (and a little extra), instead of fully filling the tank each time, to avoid leaving fuel in the tank that could go stale.

How do I use and maintain my petrol lawn mower to make sure it gives me many years of use?

There are several steps to using and maintaining your lawnmower.

You can routinely service your mower yourself, or take it to a professional to do it for you. Routine servicing includes things like filter and oil changes. If you choose to take your machine to a professional, book your service at the end of the season is a good idea as dealers can be very busy in spring.

You should clean your petrol lawnmower after every use to avoid damage from grass clippings built-up. In particular, make sure that the deck of the mower is clear of debris.

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Sources

  1. “How does a small engine governor work? | Briggs & Stratton”www.briggsandstratton.com
  2.  “Mower History”oldlawnmowerclub.co.uk

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