A Guide to Choosing the Right Mower in Australia
Choosing the Right Mower in Australia
Maintaining a lush and healthy lawn is an essential part of achieving the Australian homeowner’s dream.
However, achieving the perfect lawn requires the right tools, and one of the most critical choices you’ll make is selecting the ideal lawn mower.
With a wide range of options available, it can be overwhelming to decide which mower suits your needs best.
In this guide, we will walk you through the process of choosing the perfect lawn mower for your specific Australian lawn.
After all, different lawns require different mowers.
Our guide takes into consideration factors such as lawn type and mower types to help you make an informed decision.
What to Consider Before Buying a Lawn Mower
The size of your lawn
One of the first factors to consider before purchasing a lawn mower is the size of your lawn. Lawns come in various sizes, ranging from small suburban yards to vast estate gardens.
The size of your lawn will influence the type and size of the lawn mower that is most suitable for your needs. For small to medium-sized lawns (up to 1,000 square meters), a walk-behind lawn mower is typically sufficient.
However, for larger lawns exceeding 1,000 square meters, a ride-on mower is a far more efficient choice.
The Size Of The Mower
The size of the lawn mower itself is another critical consideration. Walk-behind mowers are available in various cutting widths, typically ranging from 16 to 22 inches.
A wider cutting width allows you to cover more ground in each pass, reducing mowing time. For larger lawns, consider a mower with a wider cutting deck to speed up the mowing process.
Ride-on mowers, on the other hand, come in different sizes, ranging from compact models suitable for small properties to heavy-duty machines designed for large acreages.
Ensure that the dimensions of the ride-on mower can comfortably maneuver through gates, narrow passages, and around obstacles in your lawn.
Finally, you’ll need to safely store your mower to keep it dry and out of harm’s way. Considering how much space you have for storage will influence what size mower you can have.
The required speed of your mower
The speed of the lawn mower can significantly impact the efficiency of your whole lawn mowing routine. Walk-behind mowers typically have single-speed or variable-speed options.
Variable speed mowers offer better control, allowing you to adjust the pace according to the terrain or grass height. This feature is particularly useful for hilly or uneven lawns.
Ride-on mowers usually have adjustable speed controls, with some models capable of achieving higher speeds for covering more ground quickly.
When considering a ride-on mower, ensure it has a comfortable and easy-to-use speed control system.
The grass type or variety
Different types of grass have different mowing requirements. Understanding the type of grass in your lawn will help you choose the right mower with the appropriate cutting mechanism.
A Guide to Choosing the Right Lawn Mower in Australia
Different Types of Lawn Mowers & Their Features
Cylinder Mowers (Reel Mowers)
Cylinder mowers are classic walk-behind mowers that use a horizontally positioned cylinder with multiple blades to cut the grass against a fixed bottom blade.
They work like scissors, delivering a precise and clean cut, making them ideal for fine-textured grasses like Bermuda and Couch grass.
Cylinder mowers offer a striped lawn appearance and are suitable for smaller to medium-sized lawns.
- Precise cutting for a manicured look
- Adjustable cutting height
- Suitable for flat and even terrains
Rotary Mower (Walking Mower)
Rotary mowers are the most common type of push mower. They have a single blade that rotates horizontally and cuts the grass by impact.
Rotary mowers are versatile and suitable for a wide range of grass types, making them a popular choice for Australian lawns.
- Versatile and efficient for different grass types
- Suitable for medium-sized lawns
- Ideal for slightly uneven terrains
Rear-engine ride-on mowers
Rear-engine mowers are compact and manoeuvrable, making them suitable for smaller properties.
They have a cutting deck located at the back of the machine, providing better visibility for mowing around obstacles and tight spaces.
- Compact design for easy storage
- Ideal for small to medium-sized lawns
- Smaller cutting width compared to other ride-on mowers
Lawn tractors are popular ride-on mowers designed for larger lawns and properties.
They offer a range of cutting widths and can handle various attachments, such as mulching kits, baggers, and snow blades, making them versatile machines for year-round use.
- Wide cutting decks for efficient mowing
- Suitable for large lawns and multiple acres
- Attachment compatibility for added functionalities
Zero-turn mowers are the most maneuverable ride-on mowers, capable of making tight turns of 180 degrees or even a complete spin on the spot.
They have two levers for steering, allowing for quick and precise control, making them a top choice for large lawns with many obstacles.
- Exceptional maneuverability and speed
- Suitable for large, open lawns with obstacles
- Fast and efficient mowing capabilities
Choosing Between Petrol or Electric Lawn Mowers
Petrol Lawn Mowers
Petrol mowers are powerful and do not rely on a power cord, offering unrestricted movement around the lawn.
They are suitable for large lawns and properties, providing consistent cutting power throughout the mowing session.
However, they do require regular maintenance, including oil changes, air filter replacement, and fuel stabilisers.
- Suitable for large lawns and rough terrains
- High-cutting power for thick and tall grass
- No power cord restrictions
Electric Lawn Mowers
Electric lawn mowers come in corded and cordless mower variants. A corded electric mower will offer a continuous power supply but are limited by the length of the cord.
Cordless electric mowers, or battery-powered mowers, provide mobility without the restriction of a power cord.
They are ideal for a small lawn, or a medium-sized lawn and offer a quieter and eco-friendly mowing experience.
- Environmentally friendly with zero emissions
- Quiet operation for noise-sensitive neighbourhoods
- Suitable for small to medium-sized lawns
Additional features you should look out for
Rear Roller For Striping
If you like to create stripes on your lawn, you’re going to need a rear roller. As the roller moves over the lawn, the grass is flattened in the direction of the mower’s travel.
Grass that’s flattened in opposite directions appear a different shade of green, which creates the striping effect.
Another benefit of a rear roller is the ability to cut closer to lawn edges and bordering flower beds.
The support from the rear roller allows the mower to hang over the edge of the lawn without tipping, preventing the risk of scalping.
Push mowers rely on the user to push the mower around the lawn, whereas a self-propelled lawn mower uses the power of the engine or motor to propel the mower forwards.
While they’re generally more expensive, they’re easier for anyone to use. They come in single-speed and variable-speed options and take a lot of the strain out of mowing.
On a petrol lawnmower, the traditional and most common method of starting the engine is through the recoil start.
This involves pulling a rope to start the engine.
Electric start is a feature which starts the engine at the push of a button or turn of a key instead (similar to starting a car) and takes all the effort out of the starting procedure.
Blade Brake Clutch
It’s a legal requirement for the blades on a lawn mower to stop when the user releases the handles.
If you are using a petrol mower that needs to be started by pulling a recoil starter cord, having to start the mower multiple times during each use is something you might want to avoid.
For this reason, some petrol lawn mowers are fitted with a feature called Blade Brake Clutch (BBC).
When a user releases the handles, the BBC disengages the blades from the engine, which stops the blades from turning whilst allowing the engine to keep running.
When the user is ready to continue mowing, the BBC re-engages the blade with the engine and the blade begins to spin again.
Choosing A Mower For Your Lawn Type
In choosing the right lawn mower understanding your lawn’s unique characteristics is a key consideration.
Different lawn types have distinct requirements, and selecting the wrong mower can lead to inefficient mowing or even damage to your lawn.
Here are some common lawn types found in Australia and the recommended mowers for each:
Couch Grass or Bermuda Grass Lawns
Recommended Mower: Cylinder Mower
Couch grass and Bermuda grass lawns are typically low-growing and fine-textured, demanding precision cutting. Cylinder mowers, with their scissor-like action, provide a clean cut for these types of lawns.
Buffalo Grass Lawns
Recommended Mower: Rotary Mower
Buffalo grass lawns tend to be more robust and benefit from a slightly higher cut. Rotary mowers are ideal for these lawns, offering versatility and easy maneuverability.
Kikuyu Grass Lawns
Recommended Mower: Self-Propelled Mower
Kikuyu grass is a fast-growing and aggressive lawn type. A self-propelled mower allows you to cover larger areas quickly and efficiently, keeping up with Kikuyu’s growth rate.
Zoysia Grass Lawns
Recommended Mower: Reel Mower
Zoysia lawns prefer a low cut and even finish. Reel mowers work well for Zoysia grass, ensuring an attractive appearance.
The cost of a new lawn mower
When considering the purchase of a lawn mower, you’ll encounter a wide range of options across various price points. Lawn mowers can be broadly categorised into premium and budget segments, each offering distinct features and capabilities.
Understanding the differences between these categories will help you make an informed decision based on your specific needs and budget constraints.
Premium Lawn Mowers
Premium lawn mowers are designed to provide superior performance, durability, and additional features to enhance your mowing experience. They are well-suited for larger properties, frequent use, and homeowners who prioritise convenience and cutting-edge technology.
Brands that fit into the premium category:
Honda is renowned for producing high-quality lawn mowers known for their reliability, powerful engines, and advanced engineering.
Husqvarna offers a range of premium lawn mowers known for their ruggedness, versatility, and innovative features.
Features to expect in premium lawn mowers:
- Powerful engines: Premium mowers are equipped with powerful engines that can handle challenging grass types and terrains with ease.
- Enhanced cutting systems: Expect advanced cutting systems that provide a clean and precise cut, resulting in a manicured lawn appearance.
- Durability and build quality: Premium mowers are constructed with high-quality materials, ensuring longevity and resistance to wear and tear.
- Ergonomic design: Comfortable and adjustable handles, padded seats (for ride-on mowers), and intuitive controls contribute to a more enjoyable mowing experience.
- Low vibration and noise levels: Premium mowers often incorporate technologies to reduce vibrations and noise, creating a quieter and smoother mowing operation.
- Advanced features: Some premium models may include features like self-propulsion, electric start, grass collection systems, and mulching capabilities for added convenience.
Budget Lawn Mowers
Budget lawn mowers are more economical options for homeowners seeking a practical and straightforward solution for their lawn care needs.
While they may lack some of the premium features, budget mowers are still capable of providing satisfactory results for smaller lawns and less frequent use.
Brands that fit into the budget category:
Victa offers a range of reliable and affordable lawn mowers that are well-suited for basic mowing tasks.
Ozito is known for producing budget-friendly electric lawn mowers suitable for small to medium-sized lawns.
Features to expect in budget lawn mowers:
- Simple and functional design: Budget mowers typically have straightforward designs without unnecessary frills, focusing on essential mowing functions.
- Basic cutting performance: While not as powerful as premium mowers, budget models can still deliver adequate cutting performance for most lawn types.
- Lightweight and compact: Budget mowers are often designed to be lightweight and compact, making them easy to manoeuvre and store.
- Manual propulsion: Walk-behind budget mowers may require manual pushing, which can be suitable for smaller lawns but might require more effort for larger yards.
- Limited extra features: Budget mowers may have fewer additional features and accessories, but they still offer practicality for basic lawn care.
Lawn Mower FAQs
How do I choose a good lawn mower?
Choosing a good lawn mower involves considering several factors.
1. Lawn Size
For a large lawn, self-propelled or petrol-powered mowers are recommended, while smaller lawns can be efficiently mowed with cordless electric mowers.
2. Lawn Type
Match the mower type to your lawn type, as different grasses have different cutting requirements.
Set a budget that aligns with your needs and choose a mower that balances features and cost-effectively.
4. Durability and Reliability
Read reviews and consider reputable brands known for producing reliable lawnmowers.
Check the maintenance requirements of the mower and ensure you can keep it in good condition easily.
What brand of lawn mower is the most reliable?
Several brands are known for manufacturing reliable lawnmowers. Some of the top brands in Australia include Honda, Victa, Husqvarna, and Rover.
These brands have a track record of producing high-quality mowers with excellent performance and durability.
How powerful of a lawn mower do I need?
For larger or tougher lawns, a higher-powered mower, such as a petrol-powered model, is recommended. Smaller lawns can be efficiently mowed with electric mowers or lower-powered petrol models.
Is it worth it to buy an expensive lawn mower?
Investing in a higher-priced lawn mower can be worth it if it offers features that align with your lawn’s needs and saves you time and effort.
Expensive mowers often come with more powerful engines, better build quality, additional functionalities, and longer warranties.
Consider your budget, lawn size, and maintenance requirements to determine if the extra cost is justified for your specific needs.
Choosing the right lawn mower is essential for maintaining a healthy and beautiful lawn in Australia.
Understanding your lawn type, selecting the appropriate mower, and considering your specific requirements will ensure you make an informed decision.
Additionally, weighing the pros and cons of different mower types, understanding their maintenance needs, and exploring reputable brands will help you find a reliable and efficient lawn mower that suits your budget and enhances your lawn care experience.
The size of turf refers to the dimensions of the individual rolls or pieces of grass that make up your new lawn.
Find out why soft-leaf buffalo grass is such a popular lawn choice in Australia, the number 1 buffalo grass choice and how to look after a new soft-leaf buffalo lawn.
If you are considering buffalo grass for your lawn, two of the top picks for Australians are Palmetto buffalo grass and Sir Walter buffalo grass. We’ll give you a detailed comparison of these two to help you make the right choice.