Best Rated Petrol Lawn Mowers Brand: Honda
The name Honda should not only conjur up images of a car, but of a great petrol lawn mower too. The brand took out this year's category award due to its great performance and cleaning and maintenance scores.
Quick facts about petrol lawn mowers
- Petrol lawn mowers are better than electric mowers for tackling large lawns.
- Prices for petrol lawn mowers designed for home use typically range from $200 up to $1,200.
- When choosing a petrol lawn mower, consider whether you want a self-propelled or push mower.
Compare petrol lawn mowers
What should I know about petrol lawn mowers?
Following the introduction of a new emissions law on July 2018, you can't buy new two-stroke mowers in Australia. This means that for new mower buyers, the annoying and sometimes messy days of mixing petrol and oil are long gone.
New petrol lawn mowers sold in Australia today feature four-stroke engines. Four-stroke mowers produce much less air and noise pollution than two-strokes, and also tend to have a longer lifespan.
What types are available?
There are two main options you'll need to consider when buying a petrol lawn mower:
- Push mowers. If you choose a push mower, you need to be willing to do some hard work yourself. The motor works to spin the cutting blades on these models, but providing the power required to physically move around the yard is up to you. Push mowers are a good choice for flat yards that aren't too large, and for anyone who doesn't mind raising a sweat when mowing.
- Self-propelled mowers. As the name suggests, self-propelled mowers use the engine to send power to the front or rear wheels, or in some cases to all four wheels. To operate the mover, you simply need to squeeze the bail (a bar located on the handle) to engage the mower, and this causes the cutting blades to start spinning and the mower to start moving by itself – your job is to steer it around the yard. Self-propelled mowers make mowing the lawn less strenuous. They're a good choice for larger yards, sloping terrain and anyone looking to take the hard work out of mowing.
If you're searching for a ride-on mower, take a look at our ride-on mower buying guide.
How to compare petrol lawn mowers
There are several important factors to take into account when choosing a petrol lawn mower, so make sure you consider the following:
Most petrol lawn mowers have a cutting width of between 16 and 22 inches. The larger the width, the more you'll be able to mow in a short time. However, wider cutting decks can make a mower difficult to manoeuvre in tight spaces and affect the amount of storage space a mower takes up.
Most petrol lawn mowers designed for home use are generally priced somewhere in the $200–$1,200 range. Above this price point, most products you find will be commercial-grade mowers.
A catcher will ensure that your lawn is neat and tidy when you've finished cutting the grass. Check the capacity of the mower's catcher to get an idea of how often you'll need to empty the grass clippings.
Many petrol lawn mowers come with a mulching attachment or plug, which is designed to mulch your clippings and distribute them as you go. This provides a natural fertiliser for your lawn and can promote future growth.
Ease of use
Head in-store to take a closer look at a mower and how practical it will be to use. For example, is the bail within easy reach? Are the handles at an acceptable height or can they be adjusted to suit you? Are all controls simple to use and understand? Is it simple to adjust the cutting height to suit different areas of your lawn?
Most petrol mowers weigh somewhere in the 30–40kg range. If you suffer from mobility issues or you're simply not as strong as you used to be, check the weight of the mower in the specs sheet. It needs to be light enough for you to comfortably manoeuvre in and out of the shed, and to push around your yard.
Check how many adjustable height settings are available. The more options available, the more you'll be able to cut your lawn to suit your requirements.
Before you buy, check the length of the manufacturer's warranty and read the fine print to find out exactly what it covers.
Check how easy the mower is to start. While some models come with a traditional pull-cord, others offer push-button or key starting.
Petrol lawn mowers vs battery and electric lawn mowers
Before choosing a petrol lawn mower, take some time to consider whether a battery-powered or electric lawn mower may be a better choice.
Electric lawn mowers
Electric lawn mowers are lighter and quieter than petrol mowers, and you don't have to worry about heading to the servo every time you run out of fuel. They also tend to require less maintenance than petrol models.
The downsides are that you'll need to be close to a power point, you'll have to deal with the hassle of dragging around a cord and electric mowers tend to have narrower cutting decks than petrol options.
Electric lawn mowers are best for relatively small yards within easy reach of a power source.
Battery-powered lawn mowers
Also known as cordless lawn mowers, battery-powered mowers remove the hassle of lugging around a power cord. They're lighter and quieter than petrol mowers, and battery running times have increased substantially in recent years. Another benefit is that you can often use the battery from your mower to power other garden tools from the same manufacturer.
However, you may need to deal with the annoyance of the battery running out before you've finished the job, and then (if you don't have a spare) cooling your heels while the battery recharges.
Three things to consider
- Petrol mowers are best for large lawns. If you have a large lawn to mow – we're talking 400 square metres or more – the long running time and heavy-duty cutting power of a petrol lawn mower will typically make it the best choice.
- Cutting width is key. When you're comparing mowers, a difference of a few inches in the cutting widths of two models may not seem like much. But when you're tackling a big lawn on a hot summer's day, you'll definitely appreciate the ability to cover a little extra territory with each run.
- Don't forget about maintenance. Petrol mowers typically require more maintenance than electric and cordless mowers, and staying on top of these routine tasks can help prolong the lifespan of your machine. Things like changing the oil, cleaning the oil filter and cleaning the undercarriage are all important, so check the user manual for details of essential maintenance tasks.
If you're looking for other garden tools to help your home and yard look their best, check out our hedge trimmer buying guide and our guide to the best whipper snippers in Australia.
Best rated petrol lawnmower brand award breakdown
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