Ultimate Petrol Lawnmowers Buyer’s Guide

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Petrol Lawnmowers Buyers Guide

Gone are the days when petrol lawnmowers were reserved for those with acres of land – and a deep pocket! Even the best petrol lawn mowers now come with a reasonable price tag, and they are suitable for all sizes of gardens and ready to work hard.

The main reason that a petrol lawnmower is better than their electric counterparts is that they can go more or less wherever you can go, without being hindered by the need for mains electricity. Obviously there are more benefits than this, such as being more heavy-duty and the amount of time and effort you will save when mowing.

There are so many features to consider when purchasing a petrol mower, such as size, features and safety, so this article has been written to give you all the details you could need to make an informed purchase.

Only Got 5 Minutes?

If you are reading this article, chances are you have already made the decision to purchase a petrol lawnmower, but now the number of options available to you are leaving you feeling rather overwhelmed! Fear not! This section of the article holds all the main bits of information that you need before going purchasing your very own petrol lawnmower.

Best Pick – Hyundai HYM510SP 4-Stroke Petrol Lawn Mower

Hyundai HYM510SP 4-Stroke Petrol Lawn Mower 173CC Self Propelled 51cm/20 inch Cutting Width
  • Large 51cm Cutting Width Ideal for Medium to Large Gardens
  • Self Propelled Rear Wheels to Take the Effort Out of Mowing
  • Single Lever Cutting Height Adjustment for 6 Different Cutting Heights
  • Mulching, Side Discharge, Cut and Collect, Cut and Drop Mowing Options
  • Large 70 Litre Grass Collector so You Spend More Time Mowing and Less Time Emptying

Types of Petrol Lawnmower

There are three main types of petrol lawnmower; petrol cylinder mowers, petrol rotary mowers and petrol hover mowers and the type that is right for you really depends on your garden and what you are going to be using your petrol lawnmower for.

  • Petrol Cylinder Lawnmower – Petrol cylinder lawnmowers will complete a very high-quality cut on your lawn due to the type of blades that they are fitted with. However, this does mean that they are not well suited to long grass so you may end up needing one tool to cut the grass to an acceptable length before you will be able to use your petrol cylinder lawnmower to finish the cut. They also tend to be more expensive than rotary models.
  • Petrol Rotary Lawnmower – Petrol rotary lawnmowers are the most common type of petrol lawnmower and what most homeowners tend to opt for. They are cheaper than cylinder options and will work quickly to cut even thicker grass.
  • Petrol Hover Lawnmower – Petrol Hover Lawnmowers are slightly different than other types of petrol lawnmowers so require a bit more explanation. They have horizontal blades that spin to cut the grass, but they also have a fan and a “skirt” around the outside of the mower that essentially makes the device float about the grass that you are cutting. This means that they are perfect for more uneven surfaces as you are not having to push them over lumps and bumps, or up embankments.

Which Type of Petrol Lawnmower is Right for Me?

We have created this handy table to help you decide which type of petrol lawnmower is right for you. Be careful to consider not just what you would really like but also whether this is actually going to be able to do the job in your garden! This table below should help you to decide what type of petrol lawnmower you need.

Application Petrol Cylinder Mower Petrol Rotary Mower Petrol Hover Mower
Rough / Uneven Ground  No  Yes  Yes
Long Grass  No  Yes  Yes
Best Cut  Yes  No  No
Small Gardens  No  No  No
Medium Gardens  Yes  Yes  Yes
Large Gardens  Yes  Yes  Yes

Hopefully, you will now have an idea of the type of petrol lawnmower that you are looking for. However, there are many more things to consider than just the style of the lawnmower. There are plenty of features to think about that will either make or break your lawnmowing experience, so keep reading to make sure you are investing in the best petrol lawn mower for your money.

Features to Consider

We have outlined the main features for petrol lawnmowers below so that you can compare the different makes and models to find one that has everything that you are looking for.

Best Budget – Einhell GC-PM 40 S-P Self Propelled Petrol Lawnmower

Einhell GC-PM 40 S-P Self Propelled Petrol Lawnmower with 40 cm Cutting Width - Black, Blue
5 Reviews
Einhell GC-PM 40 S-P Self Propelled Petrol Lawnmower with 40 cm Cutting Width - Black, Blue
  • Four stroke Einhell OHV engine with one cylinder
  • Disengage able rear-wheel drive
  • Central cutting height adjustment, five levels
  • Sturdy plastic housing for agile handling
  • Extra-high rear ejector for good catching result

How to Start

Many experts will tell you that as a general rule, the easier your petrol lawnmower is to start, the more expensive it must have been to purchase! Sadly the one issue with many mowers is that they can be difficult to start if they are fitted with a recoil start (where you pull a cord quickly to turn the engine over and start the device). Although not as easy as pressing a button or turning a key, like we are used to with most of our tools and devices nowadays, this is something that can be mastered pretty quickly providing you have the strength.

If the idea of this archaic method to start your petrol lawnmower puts you off then you can always purchase a model with electric start or electric key starts (either a button or a key that you turn). These are considerably easier and more time-efficient, but will cost more in the initial outlay!

Self-propelled

Self-propelled lawnmowers do exactly what they say on the tin – propel themselves forward! This can massively reduce the amount of time and effort that you have to put into mowing your lawn (particularly if you have a larger garden). When pressing on the trigger of the lawnmower, it will slowly start to move forward, so all you have to do is control the direction and possibly help it on the way slightly if going up a considerable-sized hill!

Cutting height and width

The cutting height and width are more down to personal preference than anything else, depending on how fine you want the cut of your grass to be. Where possible, opt for petrol lawnmowers that have a variety of cutting heights so that you can play around with different heights to find the look that is right for your garden.

The cutting width is the amount of grass that can be cut at one time when you push your mower up the garden. The bigger the width the larger the amount of grass that you will cut with each move up or down the garden. However, consider if you have any smaller, tighter corners in your garden. If you do, then a smaller cutting width will probably allow you to get into those spaces easier!

To Collect, To Mulch or To Discharge? That is the Question!

The collector that is fitted to your petrol lawnmower will have a massive impact on how long you can mow for before you need to pause to empty the grass cuttings. This is less important if you have a relatively small garden, as most petrol lawnmowers will come with collectors that are big enough to take one the cuttings each time you mow (unless your grass is very long, obviously!). However, if you have a bigger garden then the size of the collector will be more important to you. They range in size from around 20L to 50L.

Some higher-end models will come with mulching or side/rear discharge options as well, in case you are wanting to use your grass cuttings to fertilise your remaining grass!  

Blade Brake Clutch

Some petrol lawnmowers will offer a blade brake clutch which means that you can leave the mower running but stops the blade from rotating. This might not sound that important, but if you have a recoil starting petrol lawnmower and a number of paths or areas in your garden to move over to cut the lawn then you will find this little feature will help you massively and save a lot of hassle!

How to Maintain a Petrol Lawnmower

Unfortunately, petrol lawnmowers do come with more maintenance demands than electric models – however, this is easily done providing you know-how!

  • Make sure to check and change the oil regularly – we would recommend doing this every month in summer if you are cutting your lawn regularly.
  • Change spark plugs – this is something that does not need to be done nearly as often. It is recommended after every 25 hours but you can usually tell when your spark plugs need replacing as your petrol lawnmower will be harder to start.
  • Remove any grass or debris from the blades or underneath of the lawnmower. This can be done using a small brush to get into tighter places.

SAFETY ADVICE: Make sure to completely switch off your petrol lawnmower before attempting to remove any debris or grass cuttings.

Pros and Cons of Petrol Lawnmowers

Petrol lawnmowers are fantastic things – hard-working and durable, they will greatly reduce the amount of time that it takes you to mow your lawn. They are also capable of mowing longer grass, due to the high-quality engines that are found in them, this means that even if you have been a bit neglectful in your lawn-mowing duties, your petrol mower will help you to get back on top of your garden!

As mentioned already, the main benefit of petrol lawnmowers is the fact that they are free from the ties of their corded cousins. Apart from taking into consideration their size, they really can go wherever you choose to take them. This is handy if you have a large garden that spreads outside the distance of the nearest power source, or if you have grass to cut that is further afield from your house (we all know how shocking local councils are becoming at cutting those once-pristine areas of grass opposite your house!).

However, there are downsides to petrol lawnmowers that need to be considered, such as their noise and size. Petrol lawnmowers are considerably more noisy than electric models, this is easily resolved with some hearing protectors for when you are mowing, although it may mean that you have to put more thought into when you are going to mow your lawn so as not to disturb your neighbours – no more mowing the garden at 7 am on a Sunday!

Equally, many models are considerably larger than the electric models. This isn’t always the case, so there are models that you will find that will fit in smaller areas of your garden if this is what you are looking for. However, as a general rule, they will be larger so it is important to consider whether this is going to be right for your garden. But, there are benefits to a larger mower, such as the fact that they will normally cut up more of the lawn quicker – saving you time again.

Lastly, petrol lawnmowers will need considerably more maintenance than electric lawnmowers. This is something that is unavoidable if you want your lawnmower to last any length of time. But, we must stress that it is well worth this extra work, as you will often find that a well-maintained petrol mower will often long outlive electric models.

Best of the Rest

Sale
Yard Force 41cm Push Petrol Lawnmower with 125CC Briggs and Stratton 300E Engine GMB41
  • Easy manoeuvrable, easy starting, fuel efficient
  • 125cc Briggs & Stratton 300E Series engine with the prime'n pull E-Z starting system
  • robust high-quality steel deck, 400 m² recommended garden size
  • Ergonomic soft grip handle for comfortable use
  • Easily adjustable 5 cutting heights ranging from 25mm-75mm
Einhell GC-PM 46/2 S HW-E Self Propelled Petrol Mower with 46 cm Cutting Width and High Wheels and Electric Start - Red
  • Four stroke engine with one cylinder
  • Electric start function
  • Maintenance-free battery, recharging during mowing
  • Including additional charger for optional grid charging
  • Disengage able rear-wheel drive
Sale
Mountfield 297412048/M17 / SP41 Petrol Rotary Lawnmower, Grey
26 Reviews
Mountfield 297412048/M17 / SP41 Petrol Rotary Lawnmower, Grey
  • 39cm cutting width
  • Self propelled
  • 100cc Mount field Rs100 OHV engine
  • 25-70Mm cutting height/ 5 positions
  • 40 litre grass collector

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do to my petrol lawnmower before packing it away for winter?

The most important thing to do with your petrol lawnmower before winter is draining it of fuel. That’s not to say that the fuel needs to be wasted, as once drained it can be stored elsewhere, but this will just save it from being sat in your lawnmower over a freezing winter period. Then oil the moving parts of your lawnmower so that it will be fresh and ready to go come spring! Lastly, just make sure that you have somewhere dry to store your petrol lawnmower as any damp could damage the internal parts of your device.

What warranty can I expect from my petrol lawnmower?

All manufacturers offer different warranty lengths, but on average they are between 2 and 5 years. We would always recommend choosing a model with a longer warranty where possible as this will offer you more protection. Many manufacturers also now offer an extended warranty if you register your purchase online (well worth doing as it takes around 2 minutes and can add around 2 years onto your warranty). Lastly, make sure to consider what is covered under the warranty, as many will not cover any damage to your lawnmower.

Last update on 2020-01-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

About Mike Jones 155 Articles
I started doing DIY around the house and it soon developed into a hobby. I look for tools and products that are genuinely useful and get the job done. I enjoy writing product reviews, researching my buyers guides and putting tools through their paces. In my downtime, I like to run and I am a bit of a Netflix documentary geek.

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