Throughout the warmer parts of the year a consistent mowing regime is a vital component to ensure the healthy verdant lawn which we all want. A good lawnmower then is one of the best garden tools you can invest in. So, you might then be wondering what the best lawn mowers are, and which is the right one for you.
Here we look at the best under £500, and while that might sound like a lot of money, it’s a good marker around which to orientate. Although, sadly, it won’t get you a brand-new ride-on mower, you have a wide choice around petrol, electric, cordless, autonomous and hover mowers. Each of these mower types have their pros and cons and which is right for you will depend on both you and your garden. We’ve therefore broken our list up into five categories so you can select the perfect choice for your requirements.
The best petrol mower
While electrically powered mowers are certainly going to be the future, currently at this price point there is nothing that can match a petrol mower in terms of power and robustness. This makes them the best choice for people with medium or large sized gardens. You just need to top up the tank with 4-stroke and get going, no need to worry about extension leads or the battery dying before you’ve finished the job.
The Hyundai HYM430SPR was listed on easylawnmowing.co.uk’s list of best petrol lawnmowers as the best choice for those looking for a mower with in-built roller, so that you can get those traditionally British lawn stripes that most of us hanker after.
This mower also features a 45L clippings bag, minimising the amount of time you’ll spend dumping grass off to your compost heap, and it is self-propelled – perfect for people who don’t fancy the idea of pushing a heavy mower. On the downside, it’s worth noting that this mower does not come with a mulch plug.
Best corded mower
As the name suggests, corded mowers are powered by plugging their cord into a plug socket in your home. These mowers, (after manual mowers that don’t have an engine at all!), tend to be the best option for those looking to not spend much on their machine. Corded mowers are also a good choice for people with smaller gardens who still want a mower with all the bells and whistles on it — such as mulching capabilities and a roller.
Corded mowers with a high enough wattage can almost contend with petrol machines when it comes to raw cutting power, making chopping your way through lusciously thick grass easy. Their major downfall is of course the cord. While corded lawnmowers usually come with around 10 metres of cabling, this still makes them unsuitable for those with larger gardens. There is also the ever-present risk of the cord becoming tangled around objects in the garden or, worse, sliced by the mower’s blades if you accidentally run it over.
This McGregor 40cm 1900W Corded Rotary was listed on ukgardenreviews.com as the best corded mower money can buy. With 1900W this machine packs enough punch to cut through thick grass with ease and, again, comes with a roller for those looking for a traditional striped lawn. Even better this machine has a mulch plug, which is a less common find on electric machines.
Best cordless mower
Similarly to vacuum cleaners, more and more electric mowers are being developed in the cordless category. These machines rely on internal lithium-ion battery packs to power their electric motors. While this means there’s no pesky cord to worry about, these machines are usually less powerful than their wired counterparts. Plus, if the battery dies halfway through mowing the lawn you can expect a lengthy recharge time before you can finish the job.
At this price point, a cordless mower is only really the best option for those with small gardens.
Gardener’s World lists the Worx WG779E as their best buy cordless mower. Currently available for a steal at just £199.99, this 13in machine is highlighted as being light and highly manoeuvrable, with a ‘close-cut’ design making it ideal for mowing up close to obstacles such as fences. The one major drawback? Charge time, a 2-hour charge completely replenishes the battery, which sounds good on paper until you consider the fact that the mower has a run time of just 35 minutes.
Best hover mower
Hover mowers utilise an impeller which creates an aircushion beneath the machine to lift the mower, making it light and easily moveable. This makes them the perfect option for those who don’t want a workout from cutting the grass or those who have sloping lawns. Their downside is the fact that the majority of these machines do not offer grass collection technology, they also struggle on rocky or uneven portions of the lawn as the aircushion will fail which makes them cumbersome, and they tend to blow the grass cutting all over the place (not good when running down the side of a patio, for example).
Lawnmowerlarry.com lists the Flymo Turbo Lite 250 as the best all round hover mower. This incredibly light and compact machine is perfect for those with postage stamp lawns, but with a 10m cord it could also contend with slightly larger spaces. Its major drawback is the lack of any ability to collect cuttings, meaning you may spend more time raking the lawn than you do mowing it.
The best autonomous mower
Robot mowers, while still in their infancy, are going to be seen more and more in the near-future. Combining a battery powered motor with high-tech sensors and computing power, these machines mow the lawn all by themselves. This makes them the best option for those who don’t want to either mow the lawn themselves or hire a gardener to do so. Their major downfall is that initial set up can be complicated. While the vast majority of these machines range in price between £1000-£2000 there is at least one machine available for less than £500!
Gardeners World lists the Flymo 1200R robotic mower as one of the best robot mowers on the market. It’s also by a fair margin one of the cheapest. This machine requires the user to set up a boundary wire around the periphery of the lawn, which the mower uses to comprehend exactly where your lawn is and where it’s not. You can programme the mower to operate at times that suit you, and it automatically returns to its charge station, giving you the option to have your lawn mown and mulched by tiny amounts every single day.
This machine can mow lawns up to the size of 400 m², however, it does so in a random pattern so don’t expect beautiful stripes. The docking station also requires a large area of free space around it, which may limit exactly where in the garden you are able to place it.
Looking for a new mower?
The prices we have listed are correct at the time of publishing, however, lawnmower prices fluctuate so be sure to shop around to find the best deal. What exactly is it you look for when it comes to a lawnmower – practicality, economy, or something else? And are there any mowers you particularly love which we’ve missed? Please let us know in the comments.