The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Perfect Lawnmower: Key Features, Power Options, and Expert Tips

02 August 2023. 10.03 AM

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A Comprehensive Guide to Buying the Best Lawnmower for Your Lawn

A great mower is supposed to make your life easier. In most gardens, the lawn is the centrepiece, and requires plenty of TLC from its owner. 

However, finding the right mower for you can be a challenge. With so much information and so many different models available on the market, it can be difficult to make an informed decision. 

Our Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Perfect Lawnmower is here to change that. Get to know the different types of lawnmowers available on the market today, which size cutting deck is suited to your garden, and which features could be helpful to you.

Types of lawnmowers

Understanding the ‘mower jargon’ can be difficult if you’re new to lawncare. There are a few different types of commonly used residential mowers, each of which has their own associated benefits, drawbacks and unique features. 

Rotary mowers 

A rotary mower is a type of lawnmower which utilises a single, horizontally rotating blade to cut the grass.

A rotary mower’s reliance on a single, robust blade means it’s well-suited to tackle various grass heights and conditions. They’re also capable of managing uneven, angled or rough terrains. 

The strong airflow generated by a rotary mower’s blade lifts the individual blades of grass before cutting them. This makes it easier for the mower to slice through large areas of grass, increasing efficiency and reducing wear and tear on the blade. 
Mulching capabilities: Most rotary mowers are capable of mulching, which disperses grass clippings back atop the grass to act as a natural fertiliser. 

Ease of use
Rotary mowers tend to be easy to use, and require less maintenance than other, more complicated mowers. Thanks to these mowers’ wide width-of-cut, mowing efficiently is a simple task. 

Cylinder mowers

A cylinder mower is another form of mower, which uses rotating cylindrical blades to cut the grass. 

This type of mower’s cylindrical blade provides a tight, precise cut, and can be used to create an immaculate lawn. They’re therefore well-suited to golf courses and bowling greens, where a tight cut is required. 

The tight cut has been associated with healthier grass, too – since your grass is cut cleanly, it promotes healthy regrowth. 

Cylinder mowers typically have an adjustable height-of-cut, meaning you can customise your lawn cut in line with your personal preferences. 

In many cases, a cylinder mower is a greener alternative to a rotary one. Traditional cylinder mowers are typically manual, with the blades rotating as the operator pushes the mower. Modern iterations are usually electric, so these mowers do not produce emissions as a petrol one would. 

Hover mowers

A hover mower is a type of lawnmower which creates a cushion of air, which it uses to hover above the ground whilst cutting the grass. 

Hover mowers are easy to manoeuvre, meaning they’re perfect for tight gardens, uneven terrain or dealing with obstacles. This is because they’re generally lightweight compared to other types of mowers. 

Easy maintenance
Hover mowers typically have fewer moving parts than their electric or petrol counterparts. 

Lawnmower power options 

Identifying the right power source for your mower poses an entirely new question when it comes to identifying the perfect mower. Different power options each have their own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Electric mower

An electric mower is powered by electricity, whether in the form of a rechargeable battery or a corded connection. Electric mowers offer a whole host of user benefits, including: 

Ease of use
An electric mower typically starts with the push of a button. This eliminates the need for a pull cord to start the mower or any priming – simply plug in your battery or mains cord and push the button to get moving! 

Lower maintenance
Compared to a petrol mower, an electric mower has less moving and mechanical parts, making maintenance easier.

Electric mowers create zero engine exhaust emissions, making them the more environmentally aware choice compared to a petrol mower. 

If you live in a residential area, an electric mower could help keep the neighbours happy – they generate much less noise than a petrol mower. 

Cordless mowers

A cordless mower is a type of electric mower powered by a rechargeable battery, providing increased freedom as well as all the benefits that come with owning an electric mower. 


With a cordless mower, there are no limitations when it comes to your cord. You can enjoy greater mobility and mow anywhere. 

Cordless mowers, like the Hawk® 36, offer increased portability compared to cumbersome corded mowers. They’re ideal for smaller lawns, or patches of grass that may be difficult to access. 

The batteries used in today’s cordless mowers last much longer and can charge much faster than their predecessors – you won’t be sacrificing runtime or convenience with a modern cordless mower. 

There’s no cord to worry about – which means zero risk of accidentally tripping over or slicing the cord with your mower blade.

Petrol mowers

Popular with professionals, petrol mowers are powered by gasoline or petrol. The robust and reliable performance of a petrol mower means they’re well-suited to handle tough terrains and heavy use.


Ever-reliable, a petrol mower provides all the power required for tackling thick or overgrown grass, making light work of long, tufty grass.

Many petrol mowers boast wide cutting decks, allowing for quick coverage of large areas. This makes them perfect for commercial use. 

With a petrol mower, there’s no electric cord to get in the way – you can go wherever you’d like. 

The strong engine and sturdy construction of a petrol mower means it’s well equipped to handle difficult terrain – and can stand up to heavy daily use. 

Robotic mowers

The mower of the future? Robotic mowers are autonomous mowing machines which operate without the need for human operation. A robotic mower usually follows pre-programmed patterns or uses a sensor to detect lawn boundaries. 

A robotic mower saves you precious time, eliminating the need for manual mowing. You can even schedule robotic mowers to mow continuously, ensuring your lawn is well-maintained at all times. 

Ease of use
A robotic mower might be the easiest type of mower to use – they handle mowing and charging themselves and may even be able to return to the docking station without your help. 

Many robotic mowers come with built-in mulching capabilities and can actually fertilise your lawn as they mow. 

Push mowers

The traditional manual mower. Also known as a reel mower, a push mower is powered solely by your movement. As you push the mower forwards, you spin a cylinder of rotating blades, cutting the grass. 


A push mower doesn’t require petrol or electricity to operate, making it a sustainable choice for smaller gardens. This also means they operate silently and could be perfect for residential use. 

Low maintenance
Since there are no complex power systems or engines in a push mower, maintenance is simple. 

A push mower is a more cost-effective choice than a petrol or electric mower, thanks to the lack of complex machinery. 

Exercise benefits
Since you have to generate the grass-cutting power of a push mower yourself, getting out in the garden for a mow can be a great way to get active and stay fit.

Choosing the right lawnmower for your garden

So, you’ve decided which type of lawnmower is right for you. But, regardless of whether you’re opting for a petrol or electric mower, there’s still a wide range of models to choose from. 

There are a few factors to take into account when it comes to choosing which model is correct for your garden – these include the size and terrain of your garden, the regularity of use and any obstacles. 

Lawn size

The size of your lawn is the most important consideration when it comes to choosing your lawnmower. If you have a smaller lawn, mowers with wide cutting decks can be cumbersome and difficult to manoeuvre. Likewise, if you have a lot of lawn to cover, a larger-scale mower might be better-suited to the task at hand. 

The Hawk® 36 has our smallest cutting width at 36cm, and is the perfect mower for residential gardens up to 200m2. 

The Harrier® 41 range has a cutting width of 41cm, and is well-suited to gardens up to 300m2.

Our large-scale models like the Harrier® 56 PRO can handle gardens up to 1000m2, making them perfect for public realm projects or sprawling grounds. 

Larger mowers offer the ability to mow large lawns quickly, and their larger grass collectors can contain more grass before needing to be emptied. Large cordless mowers usually boast extended battery lives, whilst the powerful engines in large petrol mowers allow them to tackle almost any terrain. 

Think about any potential obstacles in your garden before choosing your mower. Take tree stumps, flower beds or garden structures into account – if you can’t turn your mower in the space you’ve got, you’ll end up with a patchy lawn. 

Grass type
Your grass type is also worth thinking about when choosing your lawnmower. Certain types of grass have varied growth patterns and cutting preferences depending on the season. Find out if you’ve got cool-season or warm-season grass – a mower with adjustable height-of-cut could be helpful to you. 

Be sure to consider what type of mower you can reasonably handle – a large, wide mower can be heavy and difficult to handle. Be safe and don’t over-exert yourself!  

Other lawnmower features to consider

Cutting width

A wider cutting width means that one trip up and down the garden will cover a greater amount of ground. Choosing the right cutting width for your garden will dictate how quickly you can complete your mow. 

Cutting height adjustments
A mower with adjustable height-of-cut offers increased versatility and allows you to accommodate your grass’s seasonal growth patterns to keep it healthy. With an adjustable cutting height, you can enjoy a customised and precise cut. 

Mulching, bagging and side discharge options
The way in which your mower collects grass and clippings can vary. Choosing a mower with a large grass collection bag can make your life a little more convenient. 

Mulching – putting grass clippings back on top of your grass and soil to encourage healthy growth – is another consideration to take into account. Some mowers will have mulching capabilities, dispersing the clippings back onto the grass as you go. 

The way in which your mower handles is another factor which should be taken into consideration. The Hayter range of mowers includes auto-drive mowers, which propel themselves as you steer, and push mowers. 

Self-propelled mowers make it easier to navigate the lawn, whilst push mowers can provide a little extra manoeuvrability. All Hayter mowers are built with an ergonomic handle design to make your life as comfortable as possible whilst mowing. 

Rear roller
If you’re wanting to get the classic striped look for your lawn, you’ll want a rear roller mower. Rather than having four wheels, these mowers have two front wheels and a rear roller, which allows you to flatten the grass for that perfect striped look. All modern Hayter mowers are fitted with a rear roller, for stunning stripes every time. 

Additional features
On top of all these features, there are plenty of other minor features which could be relevant to you. For example, if you’re particularly time-poor, a robotic mower could be the right choice. If you need to cross a path or gravel on the way to your lawn, a mower with our Blade Brake Clutch (BBC) system could be helpful.  

Buying the perfect mower

When it comes to choosing your mower, it’s crucial to ensure that you have all the information available to make an informed decision. The wrong mower can make your life difficult and even result in injury due to over-exertion. 

Choosing the right size mower for your garden – and the right features for your needs – can make all the difference, however. As well as being able to handle your garden with ease, you’re doing everything right to ensure the long-term health and look of your garden’s grass.  

Still unsure about which mower is right for you? Our brochure contains all the extra information you might need, and is packed with plenty of technical specifications and detail. 

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