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 if a push mower will work for you.
The Benefits of a Hand Push Mower
For small and medium-sized lawns, a hand push 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 lawnmowers, nor the fussing-with-extension-leads of their electric cousins. Push mowers 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 a push mower will be a much more environmentally-friendly option compared to either petrol or electric models. Furthermore, using a push mower if also good for the heart – you’ll get a light workout when you use one (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 fuelled up their petrol lawnmower.
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 lawn 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 using a narrow push mower.
That said, a lawn mower with 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 push mower. However, wider hand push mowers weigh a bit more. For example, the model with a 38 cm cutting width weighs 9.3 kg.
Number of Blades is Important
Manual lawn mowers have between 4 and 8 blades. The more blades the push mower has, the thicker the grass it will cope with.
Of course, on the other hand, more blades will make the cylinder mower 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 do an initial cut on a longer setting, then recut it at a lower height afterwards.
The more range the better, so it’s a good idea to look for a lawn mower that offers a variety of cutting heights. 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 Push Mowers vs. Petrol/Electric
To give a rounded summary, let’s have a look at the main pros and cons of each type of lawn mower:
Pros of Push Mowers
- Extremely lightweight
- Costs nothing to use
- No negative impact on environment when using
- Cuts short- to mid-length grass extremely well
Cons of Push Mowers
- Harder work on long, thick grass/weeds
- May need a couple of passes on long grass
Electric Lawn Mowers
Pros of Electric Lawn Mowers
- Can be quite powerful
- Makes light work of most grass lengths
- Has power-assisted movement
Cons of Electric Lawn Mowers
- Often needs to be used with extension cord
- Battery-powered versions run out of charge
- Danger of cutting through cord
Pros of Petrol Lawnmowers
- Extremely powerful – can tackle nearly all terrain
- Easy to re-fill (don’t need to wait to charge like battery-powered mower)
Cons of Petrol Lawnmowers
- Emit fumes
- Very noisy
- Heaviest option
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