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Lawn mower

To maintain your lawn and give your garden a welcoming and clean appearance, the lawn mower is the gardener's main weapon. The lawnmowers are distinguished by their cutting system, the energy they use to operate, the type of propulsion that drives them and the width of their cut, which must correspond to the surface of the ground.

Cutting systems of a mower

The mowers are distinguished primarily by their cutting system:

  • helical blades nested in the form of a cylinder or roller (called "cutting"), driven by a return force usually from the wheels of the machine, motorized or not,
  • with rotating blade (s) horizontal helical rotating in a housing in the extension of a vertical axis driven by a motor, electric or thermal.

Helical blades cut the blades of grass as with a razor. Rotating blades snap them off much less sharply. The former are therefore intended for the maintenance of high quality lawns, the latter for more rustic lawns. In France, rotary mowers are the most numerous. It is the opposite in the Anglo-Saxon world and more particularly in Great Britain.

Lawn mowers

This type of mower is suitable for mowing up to 200 m² with a manual lawn mower. Its principle is simple: the wheels drive a cylinder with helicoidal blades that cut the turf. For its use is not too demanding physically, it is necessary to maintain regularly its lawn. This machine has the advantage of a high quality cut and the absence of noise. Few have the benefit of a pick-up tank, cutting residues can be left on site if the cuts are close together.

Electric lawn mowers

When the garden area to be mowed is less than 600 m², the electric mowers are quite appropriate. They are powered by a wired connection directly, on an electrical outlet or by batteries (2 batteries with fast charge ensuring the autonomy for a garden of 600 m2).
The main advantages of electric mowers are its lightness and the little noise they emit. They are therefore ideal in the city when you only have a small garden and you do not want to disturb your neighborhood or the rest of your family.
There are electric mowers on air cushion (therefore without wheels) which have a specific housing that allows the lift of the machine under the effect of the rotation of the blade.
Also note the autonomous mowing robots. They are suitable for small gardens, with flat and level ground, without too many obstacles, planted with a fine turf, perfectly maintained.

Operation of the electric mower

The motor of the wired electric mower is supplied with mains 220/230 V. It is therefore necessary to provide an extension in relation to the furthest point of the socket. The cutting width (or width of the housing) is related to the surface to be treated. For a 30 to 45 cm crankcase with a 220 V power supply, the motor power will vary between 1 to 2 kW, for a crankcase of 45 to 55 cm, it must be at least 1.8 kW.
The motor of the battery electric mower is powered by a lithium battery (18 to 36 V, 2.5 to 4 Ah). This type of machine is usually delivered with 2 fast charging batteries.
The least powerful models will be pushed (this is the strength of the gardener who moves the mower forward), the top models will be Self-propelled (that is, driven forward by the engine).
Very environmentally friendly and economical, electric mowers must nevertheless be carefully stored in dry conditions. Battery models tend to supplant wired models.

Thermal lawn mowers

If the mowing area exceeds 600 m², the lawn mower thermal motor is recommended. The 4-stroke engine has supplanted the 2-stroke (operating with a mixture of oil and gasoline) although the latter is essential if the terrain is steep. This is the most prevalent mower model in France, although it is very noisy and polluting and more expensive in usenot. Its use is regulated in cities and residences to limit noise pollution: it can not be used during certain daily and hourly ranges depending on local regulations. On the other hand, it allows to mow independently and allows a fast and efficient mowing.
A 4-stroke engine works like a car and will require the same type of maintenance.

Choice of a mower depending on the surface of the ground to be mowed

A model of a thermal engine mower is chosen according to the surface of the ground. Its autonomy makes it particularly suitable for large-sized terrain, and one will therefore choose preferably self-towed models, less physically demanding than the models pushed on large surfaces.
The engine must be powered atclassic "super unleaded" gasoline. Its consumption will depend on its engine capacity.

The power of the mower also depends on its capacity. We choose the engine power according to the terrain:

  • a self-propelled thermal mower must have a cylinder capacity of 150 to 190 cm3 for a power of 4 to 6 hp (3.3 to 4.5 kW). It will be adapted to a flat or slightly sloping ground and its crankcase may be 40 to 55 cm wide,
  • a thermal mower pushed must have a cylinder capacity of 130 to 170 cm3 for a power of 3.5 to 5 hp (2.6 to 4 kW). It will be more suitable for pitches between 600 and 1100 m² and its casing will be 40 to 50 cm wide.

The self-driving thermal mower

For very large sites (more than 2000 m²), it will be necessary to turn towards a self-driving thermal mower. This type of mower behaves like a small tractor (we sit on it). More expensive and more energy-consuming than pushed or self-towed models, it rejects the grass behind it (left on the spot or collected in a large bin behind the driver's seat). Comfortable (and fun) to drive, little harsh for the gardener, it is however very heavy and bulky to store because of its volume. Its recommended power ranges from 10 to 15 hp (it consumes between 3 and 5 l of fuel per hour). There are self-propelled mowers with diesel engines (more than 20 hp). There are even now self-powered electric lawn mowers. Most machines are rotary blades, but there are self-mounted machines with cylinders (s) with helical blades.

The clipper thermal brushcutter

Sometimes also called "mower-grinder" it is a model of mower with self-driven or self-supported thermal engine. It is specially designed to overcome scrub. It has several forward speeds and can run in reverse. Its cutting height is adjustable and it has only one front wheel (2 on self-mounted models) to penetrate bushes more effectively (like the blade of an icebreaker). Its casing is round and it can be opened so that the vegetation is mowed more easily at the passage of the machine. Very powerful, it must be handled with care and vigilance, making sure to secure the environment beforehand. There are front cutter bar models.

Pickup or not

Depending on the quality of the lawn and the desired result, the question of collecting cut grass arises.
Three solutions are possible:
- evacuate the grass on the side crankcase and pick it up manually or with a bin on wheels,
- collect the grass at the rear of the housing in a flexible or rigid container which is emptied regularly,
- leave the herb finely chopped on the spot (Mulching). The casing of the machine is then closed laterally and shaped so as to chop the grass under the effect of the rotation of the blade, the mowing residue then acting as green manure.

On the same topic

  • DIY tips
    • Mowing techniques
    • Mowers
    • Lawn mower: maintenance, precautions for use
    • Lawn mower: wheels, bearings
    • Lawn mower: ejection, pickup
    • Lawn mower: helical cutting system
    • Lawn mower: rotary cutting system
    • Lawn mower: differential
    • Lawn mower: gearbox, mowing tractor
    • Lawn mower: clutch
    • Lawn mower: propulsion or traction
    • Compost bin

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