Lawnmowers are broadly divided into two types: larger, heavy-duty ones for professional purposes and public-space or commercial-area lawns, and those for lighter use in private gardens. They are further sub-divided into manual and motorised models.
The manual type is the push reel mower, the old standby. This is the familiar upright mower on two wheels with exposed blades.
Increasingly ubiquitous motorised mowers resemble tiny automobiles with a handle sticking out behind them. These are far easier and more convenient to operate than manual mowers, especially for the elderly or disabled.
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Motorised lawnmowers have electrical cords and need a continuous power supply; however, over the past few years advances in battery technology have given rise to rechargeable cordless lawnmowers.
Compact and durable yet lightweight and adjustable, the Flymo Chevron 32V is also great value for money
The best thing about this Flymo is that – unlike much of the competition – it is a no-hassle fuss-free electrical lawnmower. You will find that this unit is hassle-free from the moment you unpack it, for – except for the grass-collection basket – it is unusually easy to assemble.
It has a wide 32-centimetre metal blade whose cut is adjustable to three heights from 20 to 60 millimetres. However, adjusting the height does pose a little challenge because the mechanism is fidgety and the springs are quite tight. The electric cord is a standard ten metres.
Though we find that other lawnmowers may have superior specs and features, these don’t tell the whole story. Just as the proof of the pudding is in the eating, so is the proof of the mower in the mowing. This Flymo is very manoeuvrable, is lightweight and feels even lighter, and collects and compacts grass better than most other mowers. Indeed, it does a good job on even damp lawns. Best of all, it cuts grass cleanly and evenly and, at the lowest setting, quite short.
This rig has an extra rear roller for lawn striping – and it works a charm. Your lawn can be made to look like a miniature Anfield!
Because it is compact and light, it can easily be stored in small spaces.
This lawnmower is not only our top pick, in view of its performance we feel that it represents real value for money. An easy choice for the small-garden owner who wants nothing but the best.
- Outstrips most of the competition in actual usability and performance, as it is compact, lightweight, easy to use, and is very efficient.
- Gives a nice, even cut in three heights, and also stripes the lawn – a nice touch.
- Assembly – except for grass-collection basket – is a ‘snap’!
- The electric cable could have been a little longer, if only two metres.
- The plastic grass basket’s assembly and attachment is unnecessarily difficult.
- Some users find it rather fidgety and tough to adjust the height because the springs are quite tight.
At about half the price of electrical lawnmowers, this bargain model is lightweight and easy to use yet gives an excellent mow.
This Manual Mower, supplied by Garden Gear, features a 30-centimetre cutting width and has very sharp blades. These go a long way to delivering a smooth and easy manual mow that gets rid of even grass up to two inches and damp grass.
For a manual lawnmower, it has a very light feel. Even so, as you have to use brawn to operate a manual mower, for most people this mower is a good choice only for small lawns, yet for small lawns, we feel that it is more convenient than a powered lawnmower.
Another plus point is its very good height adjustability, with an above-average range from 12 to 45 millimetres. Moreover, changing the height setting is quick and simple.
This lawnmower does not do so well on uneven or bumpy ground where it becomes difficult to push, seizes up, or slices out a clod of earth. Yet on level ground this simple rig is a monster – rather, the Energizer Bunny. Longer grass may require, as with most manual lawnmowers, multiple passes.
This simple model is delivered with only four main parts and assembly is quick and easy.
The grass collection basket’s volume is specified at 17 litres, but it does not catch all the flying clippings on top of which it almost always gets detached from the mower, as do the hubcaps from the wheels.
For physically-fit persons who have a small, flat lawn, Garden Gear’s inexpensive mower is not only a top bargain, it may be their top choice.
- Very simple to put together and equally simple and smooth to use.
- Its lightweight makes it not only easy to operate but also portable.
- Manual design means you will not incur the costs of electricity or petrol.
- Cannot handle uneven or bumpy ground where it struggles and makes you struggle with it.
- The grass collection bag invariably comes loose and falls off.
- The wheels’ plastic hubcaps frequently fall off too!
The ‘plasticky’ build makes for a lightweight, easy-handling lawnmower that cuts to the edge and does well on bumpy ground
The Rotak 32R’s 1200 watt motor and 32-centimetre cutting width represent standard specs – nothing to shout home about. However, the ‘standard specs’ are augmented by a hardened steel blade whose cutting height is adjustable from 20 to 60 millimetres. Be that as it may, here we have a case where the lawnmower and its performance are greater than the sum of its specs.
For example, the Rotak 32R cuts cleanly up to the edge of its frame; thus, it gives a neat mow alongside a wall and flower-bed edges – its special ability. Another pro is the rear striping roller, but actual striping is not a strong suit.
This Rotak model really comes into its own if your lawn is bumpy or uneven; unlike many other mowers, this one does not raise a fuss if the terrain is not to its liking. It performs very well even on long grass but grass that is dense, long and damp might jam the blade.
It is not difficult to put together the mower but assembling and attaching the handle is a real chore, being both tricky and laborious. Ditch the hopeless no-text instruction manual and use a YouTube video if you need assembly guidance.
The grass-collection box is flimsy but grass collection is excellent. Another ‘minus’ is that changing the cutting height is troublesome.
We feel that where this lawnmower really shines is in its light feel, low noise, and easy handling. This may well be the go-to lawnmower for the elderly or enfeebled and for short, light-framed garden-owners.
- Very easy to use and manoeuvre because of its lightweight and easy handling.
- The clean-cut it gives right up to edges alongside structures, etc. is quite excellent.
- Handles uneven and bumpy ground much better than most mowers.
- Dense, long, damp grass can jam in the blade.
- Assembling and attaching the handle is tricky and laborious.
- Changing the cutting height is a bit of a nuisance.
Living up to its ‘Easi Glide’ name, this hover-type mower’s claim to fame is a manoeuvrable and fairly effortless mow.
The Flymo Easi Glide 300 is on the costly side but the price premium lands you slightly above-average specs: a 1300 watt motor, four cutting heights, and a twelve-metre electric cord. The metal cutting blade is a ‘standard’ 30 centimetres. We feel that the motor could have been less noisy.
Thanks to the Easi Glide’s rather flimsy build quality, it is super-lightweight. Add to that the hover action and you get a fairly effortless mow on flat and also sloping surfaces so long as the grass-collection box is not filling up and making the rig heavy.
The major gripe about the Easi Glide has to be that most of the grass clippings are not collected and get blown out of the mower and all over the place. What grass is collected in the box needs frequent re-emptying.
Like most hover-type mowers, this one cannot cut even close to the edges of flower-beds, walls, etc. Taller grass will require multiple passes but so do many small-garden mowers.
Adjusting the height is a tedious business because the blade needs to be taken off and small plastic spacers need to be inserted or removed.
A major advantage is that there are no assembly hassles with this kit; it can be used out of the box. However, it is not a heavy-duty product and may not be long-lasting. It is quite compact, the handle folds well, and it fits into small storage spaces.
A great pick for small-gardeners who do not mind scattered grass clippings and place a premium on quick, convenient and effortless mowing.
- Lightweight and hover action results in an excellent effort-free mowing experience.
- Pre-assembly means no difficulties in putting together this lawnmower.
- Rates highly in the ease-of-use sweepstakes.
- Does not collect grass cuttings, sending most of them flying about hither and thither.
- Cannot cut close to edges and borders.
- Pricier than other electrical small-garden lawnmowers.
Powerful but inexpensive and providing a light, effortless hover-mowing experience, this mower is a solid value buy for small-garden owners.
The Turbo Lite 250 comes with a 1400 watt motor but a comparatively narrower 25-centimetre cutting width on its metal blade.
This slick piece of kit provides light, easy, effort-free mowing in double-quick time, doing very well even on slopes. However, when the grass is over two inches it loses the hover effect and feels ‘heavy.’ If the grass is damp and long, cuttings may stick inside the frame around the blade and in the vents. While you cannot get at bounded edges, this mower does an excellent job hovering over open boundaries. It is equally excellent at handling banks and verges.
You can’t have everything on a mid-price rig and this one lacks a grass-collection system, so you’ll need a rake. And adjusting the cutting height, though not overly difficult, is a task as you have to use a spanner and insert or remove spacer disks.
Although the mower itself does not need assembly, the plastic handles need to be attached and the process is quite troublesome. You need a little strength plus skill with nuts and bolts and pegs. If the handle is not properly attached, it will come loose, as it may after a year’s worth of wear and tear. Compounding matters is an unhelpful set of instructions which can be worked around through YouTube how-tos.
At a shade under six kilos the Turbo Lite 250 is relatively light; moreover, its dimensions and foldable design make it unusually portable and easy to store.
With its attractive price point, the Turbo Lite 250 is a great choice for the cost-conscious small-garden owner.
- A top performer on verges, banks, and slopes where it outdoes the competition.
- Provides an easy, cushioned, hover-mowing experience.
- Delivers serious bang for the buck.
- Attaching or folding the plastic handles and keeping them in the desired position is unduly difficult.
- Clippings of long, damp grass will often get stuck in the underside of the mower.
- The included instructions are not very helpful.
Tips For Looking After A Small Garden
A small garden can be tended by one or two persons without the need for professional assistance. Here are a few very doable tips to keep your plants in the pink and enhance your garden’s beauty.
- In general, water your plants in the morning and avoid watering after 11 a.m. This rule is especially important in tropical climates and during summer as the sun will warm up any pooled water, and warm water causes considerable damage to roots.
- Do not throw away your cuttings; recycle them for your garden itself. Add other organic material such as tea leaves, fruit peels, and such, trying to maintain a 50-50 balance between ‘greens’ and ‘browns.’ Dig a pit and fill it with this material or simply pile it all up. Water it periodically and keep turning it.
- Use fresher (not composted) cuttings of leaves and fallen blooms to thinly mulch larger plants’ and trees’ roots.
- Once every few months add compost to the soil or fertilize your plants, taking care to select the right fertilizer for each plant.
- Be aware that (different parts of) the crown of certain plants are susceptible to mould and rot. Water such plants at soil level only.
- Keep weeding regularly; do not let weeds establish a foothold in your garden.
- If you have a lawn, consider buying a motorised lawnmower. The amount of time, energy, and money that you save, you could expend on your flower beds, plants, and trees. An expensive petrol mower would be overkill for small gardens, so go for an electrical mower (or a newer rechargeable cordless mower if it is within your budget).