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Lawn Mower Buying Guide
If you want a backyard that's neat enough to show the in-laws, a quality lawn mower is key.
And while most push lawn mowers are enough to handle your standard Australian lawn, it'd be foolish to splash cash on the first one that catches your eye in the Bunnings lawn mower aisle.
Lawn mowers should be viewed as a long-term investment, like a vehicle or a large-scale appliance, and a bit of research to find the best lawn mower for your backyard can save you time and money.
So you don't have to waste hours sorting through the mulch of gardening equipment online, we've provided a handy guide to push or self-propelled lawn mowers. Take a quick look and next time you're looking for a lawn mower it'll be easy to see which is a cut above the rest.
Why should I buy a push lawn mower?
This is a good question, and the answer largely depends on the size of your lawn.
Push lawn mowers are designed to give the user control and precision, so they can tackle small to medium sized lawns with a minimum of fuss.
If you've got a standard patch of grass that needs regular maintenance or even just a touch up every now and then a push lawn mower will do the job just fine. That said, while they're good for tight corners and tricky edges, push lawn mowers tend to come unstuck for backyards with uneven terrain. Keep in mind with your standard push lawn mower you're the one that will be providing the propulsion, so if you've got a yard with a few inclines this might be a problem.
As a rule of thumb, if your lawn is less than 1,000 square metres and flattish, a push lawn mower is your best option. For a larger area, you may want to look at a Ride-On Mower.
What lawn mower power supply should I choose?
Most push lawn mowers for sale today are either powered by petrol or electric motors, and there are a few compelling reasons to going with either option.
Petrol push lawn mowers naturally aren't as environmentally friendly as their electric counterparts, but they tend to offer longer running time, a greater mowing range, better reliability and more power. This makes petrol lawn mowers more suitable for bigger jobs with tough grass.
Electric push lawn mowers come in two varieties, battery-powered or corded. They're a greener option, but there are also limitations that come with this. Corded push lawn mowers have a limited range and battery push lawn mowers are always at a risk of running out of juice before you've finished the job. This makes electric lawn mowers better for smaller lawns.
Another thing to consider is cutting diameter, which is related to the size of the blade slicing the grass. Petrol lawn mowers tend to come with wider cutting diameters of 45-50 cm, compared to 30-40 cm which you typically see on electric lawn mowers. While this might not seem like a lot, on larger lawns 10-20 cms can save you an extra couple of laps around the backyard. Our Lawn Mowers category page allows you to select a range of cutting widths from the left-hand panel (or bottom of the page if you're on your phone or tablet) to help narrow down your decision.
Other features to consider
- Type of ignition: Some lawn mowers start with the push of a button while others require pulling a cord. If you have strength and dexterity limitations, you should be aware of this.
- Size of wheels: Lawn mowers with big wheels handle rough ground easier, but smaller wheels on more lightweight models can be easier to manoeuvre and turn.
- Handling: It's also important to make sure your lawn mower is easy to handle. Choosing a push lawn mower gives you precision, but unwieldy controls defeat the purpose. A self-propelled mower can make that weekend slog a much easier job.