Petrol Lawn Mower
Who doesn’t remember it from their childhood; grandfather’s big petrol lawnmower, which powerfully and with a roar eats through the too high lawn. Even back then, the engines of good petrol lawnmowers were solidly built and generated power without end.
A disadvantage was undoubtedly the high dead weight, which often made these mowers clumsy. Only strong men could work longer with them without the effort becoming unacceptable. The noise level also literally made your ears wobble. Without hearing protection, not much was possible, unless you wanted to become hard of hearing. The environment and neighbours not only had to suffer from this aspect, but were also often bothered by a disproportionate amount of exhaust fumes. At that time, of course, environmental regulations had not yet been developed to such an extent and there were hardly any, in fact no, alternatives for mowing the garden quickly and efficiently.
Today they certainly exist, even if the use of electric equipment, especially in large gardens, is rather tedious and slowing. Likewise, the aspect of environmental protection is becoming increasingly important. Whether the bulk of electrical appliances are actually more sustainable is partly doubtful, because ultimately it is the electricity from the socket that determines whether it is of sustainable, alternative origin or comes from a nuclear power plant.
Be that as it may; we advise, also from the results of our petrol lawnmower test, garden owners with lawns between 800-2000 m² to use petrol lawnmowers. If the gardens are winding and littered with obstacles, it makes sense to use them from 500 m².
What are petrol lawnmowers and how do they work?
Hand-held petrol lawnmowers are exclusively rotary mowers that cut with the help of a rotating blade. They are powered by two- or four-stroke engines. Petrol and oil are required as fuels.
In normal two-stroke petrol engines, with crankcase flushing, the moving engine parts are lubricated with a mixture of petrol and oil. Alternatively, there are 2-stroke engines that have a separate oil tank. This is then sucked in by a pump as needed. A two-stroke engine only has combustion air flowing through it, the fuel is added after it has passed through the combustion chamber. Other processes then take place there, e.g. fresh oil lubrication, recirculating lubrication or, if necessary, cylinder lubrication.
Four-stroke engines, on the other hand, burn only petrol, which is why the process is also called separate lubrication. A separate oil tank is also used for lubrication. Even if the oil does not burn, it must be changed from time to time. Most petrol lawnmowers have a cutting width of at least 40 centimetres. Even 50+ cm is not atypical and proves to be extremely practical for mowing large areas. In most petrol lawn mower tests you will find mainly 4-stroke models.
The perfect conditions for a petrol lawn mower
A petrol lawn mower is suitable for you if the lawn area to be mowed is larger than 600 m². Of course, it works just as well on smaller areas. Then, for most amateur gardeners, price is probably more of a deciding factor, because good petrol lawnmowers are nowhere near as cheap as electric lawnmowers. In this case, allotment gardeners can save money with electric lawnmowers.
A petrol lawnmower is also highly recommended when mowing tall grass that is damp or overgrown with debris. In general, the powerful engines do not mind mowing meadow-like areas. The machines are usually very forgiving of contact with branches and bushes. In addition, the heavy models are often equipped with a wheel drive and thus roll almost by themselves on level ground. This is why even the heavy models in the petrol lawn mower test were easy to manoeuvre.
In addition, the wheel drive predestines them to work on slopes and inclines without much trouble.
The range and mobility should also be emphasised, because a lot of distance can be covered with one tank of petrol and even remote corners can be reached flexibly.
Furthermore, the additional functions usually work best with these devices. The powerful combustion engine provides a strong air flow that raises the grass before trimming and reliably blows the clippings into the catcher bag.
Mulching works on petrol lawnmowers by attaching a mulching wedge. This is often done in a few simple steps and is described in the operating instructions. The mulching wedge shreds the grass to such an extent that it is returned to the lawn, barely visible, and henceforth serves it as a source of nutrients. In many petrol lawn mower tests, mulching wedges unfortunately functioned rather inadequately.
Furthermore, some models can also eject the clippings to the side.
Another advantage is the extreme durability of good models. While many electric and cordless lawnmowers do not give the impression of lasting more than 3-5 seasons due to their plastic-rich workmanship, solidly manufactured petrol lawnmowers sometimes run for 25 or more years without any problems. Even today, good machines have a housing made of steel and sheet metal.
All in all, petrol lawnmowers are probably the most flexible lawnmowers for the home garden. Plots of 2000 m² as well as small corners can be maintained quickly and without problems. We therefore recommend them in our petrol lawn mower test for all-round purposes and large gardens.
What makes a good petrol lawn mower?
Petrol lawn mowers are usually the most powerful walk-behind lawn mowers. However, they are only so as long as the engine delivers sufficient power. The power is expressed in KW or HP. A petrol lawn mower that weighs 35 kg or less should have at least 2.5 hp and a mower that weighs between 40 and 50 kg should have at least 3.5 hp. In addition, if the mower weighs a lot, it should have a wheel drive. Petrol lawn mowers should also have a speed of 2000 revolutions or more. A high number of revolutions in synergy with a sharp blade makes it possible to mow even high and wet lawns quickly and efficiently. In our petrol lawn mower test, the devices that did not lose speed even in the most adverse conditions performed particularly well. Especially the engines from Honda and Briggs & Stratton fulfilled this aspect.
The more flexibly the cutting height can be adjusted, the more variable the use of the petrol lawn mower can be. With a petrol lawn mower whose cutting width can be adjusted between 25 and 80 mm, it is possible to keep a football pitch at a low height as well as a private, secluded lawn at 80 mm. If you know in advance exactly what heights you want to mow, you can save money by choosing a model with limited cutting height adjustment. In the petrol lawn mower test we honoured a variable cutting height adjustment.
The cutting width should be at least 40 cm for areas of 700 m² or more. For areas of 1000 m² or more, the width must be 45 cm or more, otherwise the workload will be well over an hour. The upper limit is usually around 60 cm, which makes it possible to maintain areas of up to 2000 m².
At first glance, the high weight of a petrol lawn mower is an indication of its unattractiveness, as it suggests that it is difficult to handle. At second glance, however, it is evidence of far-reaching functionality. In our petrol lawn mower test, the heavy-duty devices performed particularly well, as they work especially powerfully. If an additional wheel drive is available, this criterion is only a secondary aspect in the selection, because with this the handling is quite manageable and cumbersome even on slopes and inclines.
The wheels of a petrol lawnmower should be large and made of solid rubber. Even a weight of more than 50 kg is insignificant if a reasonable wheel drive is available. If it is not, the wheels should run very smoothly. Ball bearings can ensure this.
Which petrol lawn mower to buy?
Ultimately, personal preference and the circumstances in one’s own garden determine which petrol lawn mower should be used. It is not advisable to buy a cheap petrol lawn mower made in China, because it will probably not last much longer than one season.
2-stroke and 4-stroke engines are sometimes prone to maintenance. If a cheap diesel or petrol engine is installed, even an oil change can become a real ordeal. Therefore, as already mentioned, petrol lawn mowers from 300 Pounds should be examined. In our petrol lawn mower test, the manufacturers Bosch, Hecht, Honda, Sabo, WOLF-Garten and Ryobi in particular turned out to be a good choice.