We have tested different types of lawn mowers and name the Klippo Excellent as the best lawn mower to buy in 2020. This is a battery-powered lawn mower with several clever functions which makes it incredibly user-friendly, all while having the power to cut even long grass over large surfaces. We also found the best lawn mower under 300 pounds - which you can discover below!
Just as excellent as the name implies!
Price class: Premium Power source: Petrol Motor power: 2.8 kW (at 2,800 rpm) Tank volume: 1 L Cutting height: 30-60 mm Cutting width: 48 cm Motor: Briggs & Stratton 650EXI Weight: 29 kg Noise level: Low | Measured mean value: 66.1 dB Control vibrations: Low Self-propelling: No Adjustable handle: Yes Multi-cut: Yes Collector: No
The Klippo Excellent is a really good lawn mower. On paper, it doesn’t make a major impression. In fact, it almost looks old-fashioned and rather dull. For example, it's not self-propelling, which in this price class is rather unusual. Once it’s running, however, you can quickly see how well-designed and effective this lawn mower is. It rolls extremely easily over the lawn and is almost as easy to operate as a self-propelled lawn mower.
However, if your garden includes steep banks there will of course be a difference. But on relatively flat or lawns without much gradient, you won’t notice any difference at all.
At the same time, the performance is great. Tall, damp grass, light brushwood etc. are no problem at all. Of course, the majority of modern petrol lawn mowers can cope with these. But you notice a big difference when you increase the speed. Usually, many models leave tufts on the lawn because they simply can’t cope. But the Klippo Excellent doesn’t have such problems. We even tested using the lawn mower while running - and it still managed to mulch.
The Klippo Excellent also has a useful function that lets you angle the handle sideways. This means that you can cut close to hedges and bushes without having to climb into them yourself. You always have good control of this mower.
The build quality is solid and stable. For example, there’s a welded eye for the pull cord. The wheels aren’t made from hard plastic, but from tough rubber. Rubberised wheels sometimes pick up a lot of grass, but these ones have a device that helps to keep them clean.
The Excellent doesn’t have many weaknesses, but one is that the height setting is a bit stiff. You adjust it with a lever, which is straightforward, but because the machine is quite heavy, you have to put some effort in. You almost have to lift the lawn mower with the other hand at the same time. The weight also makes it tougher to lift into storage. But the mower is easy to fold up and store in this regard.
The Excellent has no collector or side discharge, but you really don’t need these as it’s so incredibly effective at mulching. The Klippo Excellent is suitable for anyone looking for a well-designed, reliable lawn mower for larger areas where a battery lawn mower can’t currently cope. It’s time-efficient and provides an excellent cut quality regardless of how fast you operate it. If you have very steep slopes or hills you should choose another model, but otherwise this is indeed an excellent buy.
The best battery lawn mower with user-friendly cutting height functions for large gardens!
Price class: Medium Motor: Electric Power source: Battery Cutting width: 41 cm Cutting height: 25-75 mm (6 step) Weight: 21 kg Control vibrations: Low Adjustable handle: Yes Battery: Type: Lithium ion Charge indicator: Yes Cutting capacity: 420 m² Self-propelled: No Multi-cut: Yes Collector: 55 l
With its combination of good cutting capacity and clever cordless design for a decent price, the battery powered Stihl RMA 443 C is our choice as the best battery lawn mower, especially for medium sized gardens. It's also lightweight and easy to store as it can be folded to a height of just 40-50 cm.
Equally, the cutting height is easy to adjust, unlike the above model. You simply push in a handle with one hand and move the lawn mower body up or down. The RMA 443 C battery operated lawn mower is suitable for both tall and short users, as you can also adjust the height of the handle.
The actual handle is hard plastic, and the safety lever is set into the plastic, which gives a comfortable grip when you're using the lawn mower. It's easy to control, largely because it's very light. The RMA 443 C also has low control vibrations and handles undulating terrain very well.
The housing is high-quality hard plastic and copes with both undergrowth and normal grass without being affected noticeably. The cutting width is average. But of course, it is still a battery lawn mower, which implies a slightly smaller cutting width. The major advantage of a battery lawn mower is that they are effective on smaller, more winding lawns, while petrol lawn mowers - with a more generous cutting width - are better for large open spaces. Yet, this is still a decent option for large gardens.
The cordless Stihl RMA 443 C is special in that it lacks the lower horizontal bar normally found on the majority of lawn mowers. We like this as it gives a better view of the immediate area around the lawn mower. So, if you're cutting around a bush you can clearly see if you're getting close to a stone or another obstacle – just another reason why this beast is the best battery lawn mower around.
You also get a better overview of the lawn mower itself. It can cope with cutting the stated and even then some: 1000 m2 - even when it's relatively high and coarse grass.
It can also cope with very coarse grass and remains easy to push. Although this affects the battery life somewhat, it's still reduced less than average. So, the run time is still good despite tough resistance.
Overall, this is a real powerhouse with both a good run time and intelligent user-friendly solutions. This is a really great buy for anyone with a medium-sized lawn with tough areas like undulating terrain and lots of obstacles. It delivers all the advantages of a battery lawn mower without compromising on performance or accessibility. This is undoubtedly the best lawn mower for the money savvy buyers in 2020 – and might just be the best buy for years to come!
A cheap lawn mower that is user-friendly and compact for smaller areas!
Price class: Medium Power source: Battery Battery: Type: Lithium ion Capacity: 4 Ah/40 V Measured battery life: 8.75 min/Ah Charging indicator: Yes Cutting capacity: 250 m² Cutting height: 25-75 mm (6 step) Cutting width: 40 cm (measured) Weight: 17 kg Noise level: Very low (measured 59.6 dB) Control vibrations: Low Adjustable handle: Yes Multiclip: No Collector: Yes (45 l)
The inexpensive AL-KO EnergyFlex Moweo 3.85 Li is a very light and relatively strong battery lawn mower. The handle is coated with foam rubber for the best possible grip, which is not always found on these cheap mowers. The chassis is economical and made of plastic, but contributes to the low product weight. The lawn mower also has adjustable handles with two different positions, which means it’s suitable for both tall and short users.
Combined with the low weight, this means that the Moweo 3.85 Li is a user-friendly and ergonomic small lawn mower for a broad target group.
At the same time, the performance is good for such an inexpensive cheap lawn mower. If you cut the grass once a week during the high season, the Moweo 3.85 Li has no problems coping. However, if you’re a bit lazy and allow the grass to grow a bit longer, it can leave heaps of grass that you have to go over twice.
Because there’s no mulching function, the collector is particularly important. This is made of plastic from top to bottom with fabric in between, which means it’s easy to store but also rather difficult to get clean. Another disadvantage is the wheels, which – despite very minimal patterning – collect quite a lot of grass. This means you have to clean the wheels off at regular intervals. In other words, it requires some on-the-job maintenance.
The AL-KO EnergyFlex Moweo 3.85 Li is constructed out of relatively thin plastic which doesn’t feel very solid, but understandable considering it is one of many cheap mowers out there. Nor does the battery holder feel very sturdy. The battery has a charging indicator, but you have to bend down and look in a hatch to see it.
The cutting height adjustment is extremely straightforward. You alter it with a single lever which moves easily between the various alternatives. Unfortunately, the scale is rather unclear. You can see the figures, but it’s difficult to tell which setting the lever is on. You can see the top and bottom positions, but between these it’s all a bit vague.
The AL-KO EnergyFlex Moweo 3.85 Li is a flexible and economical battery lawn mower that’s best on small areas. It doesn’t matter if the lawn is scrubby or has lots of obstacles because the compact small lawn mower is so easy to steer. And the handle is very easy to adjust and nice to hold because of the foam rubber grip.
A neat petrol lawn mower for complicated lawns
Price class: Premium Motor: Briggs & Stratton Power source: Petrol Motor power: 2700 W (at 2900 rpm) Tank volume: 1 L Cutting height: 25-75 mm (5 step) Cutting width: 46 cm Weight: 27 kg Noise level: 83 dB Control vibrations: Moderate (3-5 m/s²) Speed: 3.5 km/h Adjustable handle: Yes Multi-cut: No (can be bought as an option) Collector: 55 L
The Stihl RM 448 TC is an innovative and easily-to-manoeuvre premium lawn mower. It’s actually our best premium choice.
For a petrol lawn mower, the RM 448 TC is remarkably lightweight, which together with its self-propulsion means you won’t have to put in too much effort to manoeuvre it. The lightweight aspect has partially been achieved by using a chassis in high-quality hard plastic instead of steel. Viking gives a ten-year guarantee on the plastic chassis, so the quality should be very good. But just like all lawn mowers, you shouldn’t store the RM 448 TC in direct sunlight.
A cutting width that’s below average also contributes to its lighter weight. The neatness of the lawn mower means that it's easier to cut around bushes, trees and garden furniture. Together with rear-wheel drive, this provides fantastic accessibility in undulating terrain. Of course, it also means that it takes a little longer to cut large areas.
Adjusting the mono-comfort handle and cutting height are both straightforward, but there's also a risk that you may pinch yourself with the accelerator handle.
The self-propulsion is single geared, but the speed is well-judged, and the lawn mower can cope with coarse, fairly long grass without struggling. The collector is easy to access because of the mono-comfort handle, and a quantity indicator tells you when it's full. The RM 448 TC has no mulching function and the idea is that you always use the collector. Provided you do this, you get a nice even cutting result every time. The RM 448 TC is most at home on medium-to-large lawns with uneven edges, undulating terrain and lots of obstacles.
Easily adjusted with interesting battery solution that suits most smaller gardens.
Price class: Medium Power source: Battery Battery: Type: Lithium ion Measured battery life: 10 min/Ah (with double 18 V batteries) Cutting height: 20-70 mm (5 step) Cutting width: 40 cm Motor: Electric Weight: 22 kg Noise level: Low (approx. 62.2 dB) Control vibrations: Low Self-propelling: No Adjustable handle: Yes Multi-cut: Yes Collector: Yes (50 l)
The Ryobi OLM1841H is an interesting lawn mower because it has double 18V batteries. The batteries are series-connected, providing with 36V. The advantage of this design is that if you have 18V Ryobi machines at home, you can use the batteries for the lawn mower too. This is a really useful solution because the range of 18V tools is so large. Because the batteries are expensive, you can save a lot of money if you stick to Ryobi.
A disadvantage of this solution is it requires a certain amount of advance planning if both batteries are going to share the same charger; this is because the lawn mower doesn’t work unless both batteries have power.
Unfortunately, the OLM1841H isn’t self-propelling and therefore isn’t suitable if your garden is on a steep slope. But because the lawn mower is quite light, it’s easy to use on flat or slightly sloping ground.
The Ryobi OLM1841H is slightly plasticky in construction because it feels thinner and less stable than many other battery lawn mowers with plastic chassis. But during the test we didn’t experience any problems regarding damage. The fact that it isn’t self-propelling also means there are fewer parts to break. The lawn mower has a comfortable grip on the handle and is easy to adjust. You can store it for winter easily by folding the handle.
The cutting height adjustment is extremely straightforward. It’s well-positioned, and you only have to adjust it at a single point, which you do with a large lever. You have five positions to choose from.
The lawn mower includes a collector, and also has a mulching function. This means that the lawn mower has a number of use areas because you can collect the grass clippings when the grass has grown taller than the mulching function can cope with. The OLM1841H's performance is what we’d expect for the price tag. As long as you cut the grass once a week during the high season, it can mulch at a reasonable speed. But if you allow the grass to grow too tall, the lawn mower will leave heaps of grass in its trail when in mulching mode. Thus, the collector is a better choice in this case.
The Ryobi OLM1841H is best suited for those with a small to medium – and relatively flat – lawn who already own a number of 18V Ryobi products. If that describes you, this is a really good buy, particularly as the price is very low if you already have batteries and a charger ready.
High-performance all-round mower at an affordable price!
Price class: Premium Motor: Pro 160 Quick Start Power source: Petrol motor power output: 2300 W (at 2800 rpm) Tank volume: 1.2 L Cutting height: 30-80 mm (7 stage) Cutting width: 51 cm Weight: 38.5 kg Sound level: Measured average value approx. 82 dB (High) Control vibrations: Moderate Self-propelled: Yes Adjustable handle: Yes Mulching: Yes Grass catcher: 70 L
The Silver 524 SP-A Premium from the German company AL-KO is robustly constructed with a powerful motor, which is also felt when you operate the mower. It effectively cuts high and coarse grass without the need to crawl forward since the motor can cope with high loads. Additionally, petrol fumes are kept to a minimum. Unsurprisingly and unfortunately, this means that the powerful motor produces a noise level that is above average. The handle is padded and this gives good grip and reduces the control vibrations and chances of experiencing HAVS. The cutting height is easily adjustable centrally and has many levels. The rear-wheel drive in combination with the large rear wheels allows for good terrain-handling abilities and increased gradients. The grass catcher is a little plastic-like, but we really like the fact that it is included without extra cost. Similar to other petrol lawn mowers, the Silver 524 SP-A sig performs best on uncomplicated and slightly larger lawns as it can easily be seen as being unwieldy in small gardens with a lot of turns and borders, such as trees, bushes and garden walls.
A powerhouse with impressive drive
Price class: Premium (inc. battery and charger) Power source: Battery Cutting height: 31-75 mm (5 step, centralised) Cutting width: 48 cm Recommended area: 850 m2 Measured noise level: 74.5 dB Weight: 33 kg Adjustable handle: Yes Multi-cut: Yes Speed: 2.5-5 km/h Miscellaneous: OLED display, mulching, double 4 Ah batteries
The Stiga Multiclip 50 SX DAE is a powerful and relatively user-friendly lawn mower with a lot of electronic components. It starts easily at the touch of a rubberised button, and the display lights up to show you where to put your hands to start or stop it. When you put your hands in position, you can see how much battery you have left.
There's a scroll button to adjust the speed, and you can also see this on the display.
The Multiclip 50 SX DAE comes with twin 48 V batteries. These have handles so you can easily remove them and carry them away, which is a simple but user-friendly detail. The batteries also fit other 48 V machines from Stiga.
The cutting width of 48 cm is very reasonable. What's impressive about this lawn mower is the cutting width and strength despite it being battery powered. We allowed the grass to grow for 2-3 weeks so that it was just over 20 cm tall, but still couldn’t tell it was working hard from the motor noise. The lawn mower simply chugged away as if everything was normal. The cutting result is also very good.
However, over time problems develop with the drive mechanism. We were given a replacement machine, but the same problem occurred with this too – it began to struggle when mowing, the motor brake didn't react immediately and the entire lawn mower became more difficult to start. It seems like there's something wrong with the electronics. The fact that two test machines developed problems after just a few months’ use raises questions about the build quality.
The battery life on the Multiclip 50 SX DAE is really good. If you mow the lawn once a week, you can use it for about 45 minutes on one battery. We also tried it with twin batteries on 15 cm high grass – in other words quite tough conditions – and got a cutting time of 60 minutes. This is really good.
The batteries charge up to full again in about 80 minutes, which is also a plus.
While the drive worked on our test machines, it did work very well. It even managed without complaining in a ditch with tough 50 cm high grass. One advantage is that you can operate the lawn mower on drive without the cutting motor running, for example when you want to take it indoors for winter storage or simply move from one part of the lawn to another.
Without drive, the 50 SX DAE is quite heavy to move. It’s also heavy when you need to reverse it.
The cutting height has five positions and is quite easy to adjust. Another plus is that the lawn mower has a carrying handle so you can easily lift it into the shed for storage. It also has both eco-mode and a solution that means it keeps the rear wheels free of cut grass.
Overall, the Stiga Multiclip 50 SX DAE is a very competent lawn mower, particularly on flat, open areas where you don’t need to go in and out of narrow corridors. The main problem with it is that our two test machines both developed problems after just a few months. So we'd question the build quality. If it hadn't been for this, and the weight without drive, this model would have been in the running as our test winner.
Strong, innovative and user-friendly
Price class: Premium Power source: Petrol Motor power: 2700 W (at 2800 rpm) Tank volume: 0.93 L Cutting height: 25-79 mm (7 step) Cutting width: 47 cm Motor: GCV160 Weight: 39 kg Noise level: Low | Measured mean value: 63.9 dB Control vibrations: Moderate Self-propelling: Yes Adjustable handle: Yes Multi-cut: Yes Collector: Yes
The Honda HRX 476 C1 VYEH is a relatively compact premium mower with a lot of power and a user-friendly design with a lot of excellent functions. The self-propelling function is stepless. You set the speed using paddles that you can easily reach with both left and right hands. You can also adjust the position of them. And you can raise and lower the entire handle to three different heights using a wingnut. The system is a model of user-friendliness.
Another interesting function is that you can have the motor going without the cutting unit running. This makes it easier when you’re moving the lawn mower from one place to another and don’t want to damage the blades – or damage the lawn.
Without the self-propelling function running, the HRX 476 is extremely heavy despite that it has a plastic chassis. It also makes it difficult to set the cutting height. But the solution for setting the cutting height is quite straightforward. You press a button in and then pull up or push down depending on the height you want. The steps are clearly marked.
As we’ve mentioned above, the Honda HRX 476 C1 VYEH is a very strong lawn mower. Of course, it can cope with normal conditions, but it can also mulch at high speed in tall grass without leaving heaps of grass clippings behind. Underneath, you will find double blades, which are probably why it can cope with cutting so much. However, they aren’t arranged in a cross. Instead, one of them is a little offset from the other. It’s not clear why Honda chose this design, but the cutting result is undeniably very good.
You choose between mulching and collection using a built-in knob. This is a much more straightforward solution than the plugs that many manufacturers include, because they're so easy to lose. The collector is partly made of mesh and partly of hard plastic. Unfortunately, this makes it a bit hard to clean.
The HRX 476 C1 VYEH has rear-wheel drive. Given the weight, this is good because it’s still easy to steer around obstacles and so on. The tyres have a good pattern and get a decent grip without damaging the lawn.
Overall, the Honda HRX 476 C1 VYEH is a straightforward, user-friendly and strong premium mower. If you can afford it, it's a great buy, particularly if you have a larger garden and don't want to have to cut the grass too often.
A battery class powerhouse!
Price class: Premium Power source: Battery Battery: Type: Lithium ion Capacity: 7.5 Ah/42 V Measured battery life: 6 min/Ah Charging indicator: Yes Cutting capacity: 700 m² Cutting height: 30-80 mm (6 step) Cutting width: 46 cm Motor: Electric Weight: 34.3 kg Noise level: Very low (approx. 58.4 dB) Control vibrations: Low Self-propelling: Yes Adjustable handle: Yes Multi-cut: Yes Collector: Yes (70 l)
The AL-KO Solo 4757 Li SP is a very strong battery lawn mower for medium-sized lawns. It copes with most things we tested it on – everything from tall damp grass to fallen fruit and heaps of leaves
Unfortunately, the battery life is relatively short – particularly given the price. We would have liked a larger battery capacity to cope with the high power, or at least an eco-mode that gave an improved battery life through lower power. This would have given it a broader target group and a higher score.
The 4757 Li has lots of functions. It comes with a collector, side discharge and mulching functions, but on the other hand, we expect these given the price tag. The collector is large and suitable for this size of machine.
The AL-KO Solo 4757 Li SP has a clear charging indicator that is visible when you’re using it. Overall, the design is well thought through. It has good rubberised handles. One nice function is that the lawn lights up when you touch it – a kind of response telling you that it still has battery life left and is ready to start cutting. The pattern on the wheels is deep enough and gives a good grip on the lawn without damaging it, despite the weight of the lawn mower. The design is very similar to that of AL-KO’s petrol models. The collector is the same, and the chassis is also very similar. One difference is, of course, the battery. This is easily accessible at the front but isn’t particularly well protected.
You adjust the cutting height easily with a single lever, which is a straightforward feature. However, the scale is not very accessible; it’s hidden behind the lever and very dark so it’s hard to see what setting you’ve chosen.
As we’ve already said, the lawn mower is very heavy. As long as you’re not lifting it indoors for winter storage, this isn’t a problem because it has rear-wheel drive that makes it easy to steer. But at the end of the season, it’s a good idea to have someone help lift it. Another disadvantage of its size is that it takes up a lot of space in the garage, even if you fold the handle down. But of course, the advantage is that you get quite a broad cutting width.
The AL-KO Solo 4757 Li SP is very good on large, open and straightforward areas. On smaller areas, or areas with lots of bushes and other obstacles, it's clumsy because of its size. If you have a medium-sized, relatively open lawn that you want to cut more rarely during the high season, the Solo 4757 Li SP is a good choice, particularly if you already own a compatible battery, because this reduces the price of the lawn mower.
Lively, time-efficient and user-friendly.
Price class: Medium Power source: Petrol Motor power: 2100 W (at 2900 rpm) Tank volume: 0.8 L Cutting height: 25-75 mm (7 step) Cutting width: 46 cm Motor: Briggs & Stratton 550EX OHVRS Weight: 27 kg Noise level: Low | Measured mean value: 68.4 dB Control vibrations: Moderate Self-propelling: Yes Adjustable handle: Yes Multi-cut: No Collector: Yes (55 litre)
The Stihl RM 248 T is an easy to use and robust lawn mower with a fast self-propelling speed. Despite its sheet metal chassis, it's very light, and the self-propelling speed is high. This provides time-efficient cutting, but because you can’t reduce the speed, the target group is a bit limited because not everyone can keep this tempo up.
The low weight is an advantage as you can switch off the self-propelling function and still be able to cut the grass with it, provided your lawn doesn’t slope too much. The weight also gives advantages when you’re turning the lawn mower or lifting it into storage, but it can be a disadvantage if you aren’t paying attention while you’re using it, as the chassis has a tendency to be back-heavy and lift at the front when the collector is full. So, you need to keep a good hold of the handle all the time you're using the lawn mower.
The collector can’t hold a great deal but has an innovative design where you can see directly on the quantity indicator that it needs emptying.
The Stihl RM 248 T has very high-performance levels and produces a really great cutting result. It doesn't matter whether the grass has grown since the last time; the mower can still cope despite the high speed. Given the price, this is a real powerhouse of a lawn mower. It's also easy to start, even after it's been standing for a while.
The build quality is decent, although we would have liked rubberised details on the handle and a self-propelling function. The height adjustment is very smooth and is handled with a single lever.
The RM 248 T is suitable for anyone with an average sized garden of about 1,000 square metres – and anyone who needs an easily-to-operate petrol mower that delivers a great cutting result in a short time.
Super compact small lawn mower and well-designed for smaller areas
Price class: Medium Power source: Battery Battery: Type: Lithium ion compact Capacity: 4 Ah/36 V Measured battery life: 58 min Charging indicator: Yes Cutting capacity: 250 m² Cutting height: 25-65 mm (5 step) Cutting width: 33 cm Motor: Electric Weight: 14 kg Noise level: Low (approx. 56.8 dB) Control vibrations: Low Self-propelling: No Adjustable handle: Yes Multi-cut: No Collector: Yes (30 l)
Stihl RMA 235 is a very small and compact battery lawn mower perfect for small yards, gardens and allotments. It’s very light, extremely quiet and can get in everywhere – for example, even under low bushes.
Despite its light weight, it doesn’t feel rickety or wobbly in terms of build quality. The plastic chassis is made of relatively strong plastic with neat access to the battery and a clear battery indicator. When the lawn mower is to be put in winter storage, you can quickly fold it up by screwing on a knob and folding the handle. Overall, the design is well thought out and stable.
Unfortunately, the lawn mower isn’t self-propelling, so it’s really not suitable if you have a steep slope on your garden. But on the other hand, the low weight means it’s easy to push in front of yourself, both on a flat lawn and on a moderate gradient.
The cutting height adjustment is central and is handled smoothly with a single button for all four wheels.
The Stihl RMA 235 is interesting in that its battery works with a wide range of other Stihl products, such as chainsaws or heavier strimmers. Many battery lawn mowers have batteries with higher voltages, which means that the range of appliances they work with is limited. But there are many Stihl machines in the 36V class, and that increases the range of compatible tools.
The RMA 235 has plenty of oomph. True, it isn’t able to cut tall grass evenly if you’re walking too quickly, but because it isn’t self-propelling it’s easy to adjust your speed to how regularly you've maintained the lawn. For normal height grass, it can cope with an area of around 250 square metres before you have to recharge the battery.
The grass is fed to the included collector, which has an indicator showing when it needs to be emptied.
However, the RMA 235 has no mulching function. This is one of its biggest shortcomings, as mulching feeds the lawn without leaving piles of grass on it that are likely to suffocate the grass beneath. Instead, you have to use it with a collector, or run over the cut grass several times. We think the price of the RMA 235 means it should have a few more intelligent functions, and also a rubberised grip for comfort. But other than limited functions and slightly boring material choices on the parts you interact with, this is a really good lawn mower.
The Stihl RMA 235 is suitable for anyone looking for a light, quiet and compact small lawn mower for a small and relatively flat area.
A self-propelled petrol lawn mower at an affordable price but offering high performance.
Price class: Between Motor: AL-KO Pro 140 Quick Start Tank volume: 1.0 L Cutting width: 46 cm Cutting height: 30-85 mm (4 stage) Weight: 31 kg Motor type: Petrol motor Power output: 2100 W Sound level: Measured average value: approx. 77 dB (Above average) Self-propelled: Yes Multi-cut: Yes Grass collector: No
AL-KO Silver 460 BR-A Bio is a petrol lawn mower from the German-Austrian company AL-KO. The lawn mower features wheel drive that makes mowing quicker and less strenuous. However, it only has one speed. On the other hand, this is balanced by the fact that the motor can also cope with taller grass without overworking and causing the motor to stall. Where the grass is very tall, i.e. more than 10 cm, you should creep forward, even if the openable side discharge can reduce the resistance. Forward progress is controlled by the use of an operating bar, which unfortunately does not have a rubber handle to reduce the risk of crushing your fingers. A moderate weight combined with front-wheel drive and large wheels gives the Silver 460 BR-A good terrain-handling abilities. The cutting height is easily adjustable with a lever, which saves time and protects your back.
Many functions in a powerful lawn mower!
Price class: Medium Motor: B&S Series 625 E Power source: Petrol Motor power: 2300 W Tank volume: 0.8 l Cutting width: 51 cm Cutting height: 30-80 mm (central, 6 steps) Weight: 33.4 kg Noise level: Very high (approx. 87.2 dB*1) Control vibrations: Moderate Adjustable handle: Yes Self-propelled: Yes Multi-cut: Yes Collector: 65 l
In general, the AL-KO Classic 5.16 VS-B Plus 625 Series E is a very competent lawn mower, which feels well-designed and user-friendly. For example, the cutting height adjustment is extremely straightforward to use. You adjust the entire machine body with a single lever, instead of having to adjust each wheel separately. Another handy function is the stepless speed adjustment. You set the speed with a control like a small throttle lever. This means that you can reduce the speed when you're working in tricky corners and increase it for longer straights. However, the ergonomics of the lawn mower handle itself could have been better. The safety bar is not integrated, so it's not as comfortable to use as it could have been. Another ergonomic negative is seen in the height adjustment of the handle, where both positions are too high for short users. We would have also liked not to have to unscrew the entire screw to carry out height adjustments.
The Classic 625 Series E does a good job of cutting the grass. It produces an excellent cutting result, even if you have the odd twig, fallen apple or other things lying on the lawn. The lawn mower has a four-in-one function, which means that you can cut traditionally with a collector, but also chop the grass shorter using a mulching function. If you don't insert the mulching plug, there's a relatively large gap at the back. This means that it shoots out quite a lot of bits of grass and twigs on your feet as you're cutting. So, we recommend that you always keep it in. When we used the collector, we found it extremely easy to keep clean between uses as a result of the design and material choice. This lawn mower also gets credit for being very easy to reverse. If it hadn't been for the slightly poor ergonomics, particularly for short users, it would have had an even higher score. Overall however, it's still a really good lawn mower for 2020 buyers with small or big yards.
Light, with lots of functions, for a reasonable price
Price class: Medium Power source: Battery Battery: Type: Lithium ion Capacity: 5 Ah/36 V Battery life: 12 min/Ah (measured) Charging indicator: Yes Cutting height: 20-70 mm (5 step) Cutting width: 46 cm Weight: 19.9 kg Noise level: Low | Measured mean value: 59 dB Control vibrations: Low Self-propelling: Yes Adjustable handle: Yes Multi-cut: Yes Collector: Yes (55 l)
The Ryobi RLM36X46H5P is a battery lawn mower with a plastic chassis that, despite its low machine weight, is self-propelled. The drive mechanism is also separate, which means you don't need to have the cutting deck switched on at the same time. This means you can easily move the mower into the shed etc. without problems.
The mower is particularly easy to store as it folds up quite flat. There's a large handle on the chassis, so it's even easy to pick up the RLM36X46H5P and put it on a shelf.
The drive mechanism is useful if you've got a sloping lawn. On flat areas, the lawn mower is so light that you could have managed without. We have a bit of a problem with it jumping out of drive occasionally. It also only has one powered wheel, which doesn't feel entirely reliable. In terms of performance, the lawn mower copes with mowing the lawn under normal conditions. But if the grass has grown a bit much, the mower runs too fast to cut it properly, particularly when it's mulching.
For a 36-volt machine, the RLM36X46H5P has good power in the motor and therefore copes well with wet, slightly taller grass. You can share the battery with other 36-volt machines from Ryobi, which saves a good chunk of money. We also like the fact that it includes both a collector and a mulching kit.
The Ryobi RLM36X46H5P has rather patchy build quality and in addition to the problems with the drive sometimes jumping, the collector box is a bit fiddly to get into place.
Quite a lot of grass gets stuck in the wheels too. These have a more rubbery surface than many competitors’ wheels, which probably also helps with this effect. Otherwise, everything works as it should, and the transparent plastic chassis gives you a good view of the battery.
The mower has an adjustable handle, which is good because it can be adapted to people of different heights. It's also easy to reduce or increase the cutting height. The adjustment system for this is very clear, with notches so you can't mistake the setting, and it's controlled with a straightforward lever.
The RLM36X46H5P is suitable for anyone with a medium-large garden, ideally with some slope, because that's where it comes into its own. It’s also very easy to store between sessions. Partly because you can run it without drive, but also because it folds down so small, given its size.
Powerful premium lawn mower with high comfort levels
Price class: Premium Power source: Petrol Motor power: 2700 W (at 2900 rpm) Tank volume: 1 L Cutting height: 25-75 mm (5 step) Cutting width: 53 cm Motor: Briggs & Stratton Weight: 42 kg Noise level: 82 dB (measured max. value) Control vibrations: 5.3 m/s² Self-propelling: Yes Adjustable handle: Yes Multi-cut:No Collector: 60 L
The Husqvarna LC 353VI is a premium lawn mower that performs best on large, relatively open areas. It’s driven by a powerful Briggs & Stratton motor that easily chews its way through really tall grass.
The LC 353VI has several unique and practical functions. The battery start means that you only need to press the control handle down to start the mower. The handle has a really comfortable grip and can easily be adjusted between two height settings for better ergonomics. You can also easily vary the wheel speed to adjust the speed of the mower. This means that you can creep around flower beds and travel quickly over open spaces.
The cutting height is adjusted easily from a central point.
The LC 353VI has a uniquely designed collector with a pipe that goes out on the right-hand side. This very effectively collects cut grass and signals clearly when it’s full by making a noise. It produces a very good cutting result and leaves the lawn free of cut grass.
The disadvantage of the design is that the pipe sticks out from the mower and gets in the way when you're mowing close to things like trees and walls. So when you're doing this you have to make sure you come in from the right side so the edge is to the left of the mower.
The LC 353VI is designed to always be used with the collector, and consequently doesn't have a multi-cut function. As this is a large mower, it easily feels too clumsy in small or narrow areas.
Reliable machine that cuts for years with minimal maintenance
Price class: Medium Power source: Petrol Motor power: 2700 W (at 2900 rpm) Cutting height: 30-60 mm Cutting width: 48 cm Motor: Briggs & Stratton 625e Weight: 29 kg Noise level: High | Measured average value: 77 dB Control vibrations: Control vibrations Self-propelling: No Adjustable handle: Yes Multi-cut: Yes Collector: No
Klippo's lawn mowers are known for their durability, and our Klippo Champion has now lasted for 7 seasons without having to be repaired. The Champion is in Klippo's distinct red colour and gives a robust impression.
The motor is reliable and performs well under normal cutting conditions. But if the grass is damp or more than 10 cm long, the lawn mower begins to struggle quite a bit and it comes to a halt completely if you don't move very slowly over the lawn. As long as the grass isn’t too tall, however, the decent cutting width means that it makes pretty short work of your lawn.
It has good cutting height flexibility, with a number of possible height settings that it's easy to shift between. The control vibrations are quite strong and the noise level is above average, even for a petrol lawn mower. Because you should always wear hearing protection when you're using a petrol lawn mower, however, this isn't so important.
For anyone who's primarily looking for a long-lived machine that will perform year after year, the Klippo Champion is an interesting option.
A blockbusting battery operated lawn mower offering impressive performance!
Price class: Premium Motor: Electricity Power source: Battery type: Lithium-ion Capacity: 2.6 Ah/36 V Cutting width: 43 cm Cutting height: 20-70 mm (10 stage) Weight: 14 kg Adjustable handle: Yes Battery type: Lithium-ion Capacity: 2.6 Ah/36 V Charge time: approx. 60 mins. (80 % charged after approx. 30 mins.) Charge indicator: Yes Cutting capacity: 600 m² Sound level: Measured average value: approx. 86 dB (Below average) Vibration levels: Below average Self-propelled: No Mulching: Yes Grass catcher: 50 L
Battery lawn mowers are hotter than ever and the cordless battery powered Bosch Rotak 43 Li is more than any other the model that is behind their success. The cutting width is very wide for an electric lawn mower, but what impressed us the most was the powerful motor. The Rotak 43 Li is the mower that is raising the bar for what you can expect from a battery lawn mower as it eats its way through everything you could want and much more. This includes but is not limited to damp, coarse and long grass, also mature weeds such as ground elder and dogwood. Both the sound level and weight are low, and the mower is easily carried by anyone with average strength. This helps to make the Rotak 43 Li really useful at edges and under bushes and also makes wheel drive redundant. The control frame is also foldable, which makes winter storage a simple task. The cordless Rotak 43 Li is available in different packages that include different amounts of batteries with different capacities. Fewer accompanying batteries or lower battery capacities often mean a lower price, but always lower performance. The most common package includes two batteries of 4Ah each and a fast charger. Something that almost triples the operating time compared with only one battery. This makes the Rotak 43 Li an excellent lawn mower for small and medium-sized lawns.
However, if you have a larger lawn with open spaces, a petrol lawn mower with its wider cutting width, its unlimited operating time and its often low price would probably be a better option. All in all, the Rotak 43 Li is both an affordable and formidable cordless powerhouse and has therefore been selected as the best battery operated lawn mower from our test.
Easily adjusted and ideal for medium-sized gardens and medium yards!
Price class: Medium Power source: Petrol Motor power: 2100 W (at 2850 rpm) Cutting height: 30-80 mm (7 step) Cutting width: 51 cm Motor: AL-KO Pro Motor Weight: 35 kg Noise level: Low | Measured mean value: 69.9 dB Control vibrations: Substantial Self-propelling: Yes Adjustable handle: Yes Multi-cut: Yes Collector: Yes
The AL-KO Highline 51.8 SP-A is a user-friendly and quite efficient petrol lawn mower. For example, the cutting height adjustment is extremely easy to operate. It has seven different settings that you can effortlessly adjust with a single lever. Unfortunately, you have to bend down to see which setting you’ve chosen because the figures are rather awkwardly positioned. Another welcome function is the hook for the start cord, which you can attach a little way up so that you don’t have to bend down when you start it.
The Highline 51.8 SP-A petrol mower has mulching, side discharge and collector functions so that you can choose whichever suits your lawn best. The collector is made of hard plastic so it’s easy to clean with a pressure washer. The lawn mower is very strong given its price class and copes with both long and wet grass. In really tall grass, we hear that the motor has to work harder, but it still manages to get the job done.
However, it produces quite a lot of vibration and moves rather slowly. We would have liked it to be possible to choose from a number of different speeds, and ideally, a faster speed.
In some respects, the AL-KO Highline 51.8 SP-A has quite a well thought out design offering a wide cut, but the build quality is rather patchy. After just a couple of weeks’ use, the mower developed a fault that meant the petrol starts to leak if you don’t use it up immediately.
The powerful vibrations also mean that wing nuts and the hook for the start cord get loose and fall off after a while. You have to tighten them up at regular intervals. The fact that the drive belt is also visible underneath the machine beside the blades seems a poor choice, because over time, it will get quite a lot of wear. However, we didn’t spot any rust or other faulty functions after a season.
The rear-wheel drive makes it easy to operate the petrol mower even in gardens with lots of obstacles. You also get a good grip with the tyres. Despite the fact that the Highline 51.8 SP-A is quite heavy, it’s easy to turn even in small areas. However, we feel it’s unnecessarily long, and the wheels add to this. And of course, this is a negative point when it comes to winter storage. On the other hand, it’s easy to fold up and relocate.
The AL-KO Highline 51.8 SP-A is suitable petrol lawn mower for those with large yards and gardens of around 2000m² who want to cut the lawn at a moderate speed with a broad cutting width.
Very tenacious and strong mower for large gardens!
Price class: Premium Power source: Battery Battery: Type: Lithium ion Capacity: 5 Ah/80 V Charge indicator: Yes Cutting capacity: 700 m² Cutting height: 31-75 mm (5 step) Cutting width: 48 cm Motor: Electric Weight: 30 kg Noise level: Very low (approx. 55.8 dB) Control vibrations: Low Self-propelling: Yes Adjustable handle: Yes Multi-cut: Yes Collector: No
The Stiga Multiclip 50 S AE is a very tenacious battery lawn mower that is ideal for large gardens and lawns. It can easily mow a much bigger area than the promised 700m2. It coped with our test lawn of 2000m2 on a single charge without problems, even on medium-difficult terrain and without self-propelling mode activated.
If you have it in self-propelling mode and are mowing gentle slopes on the same type of terrain, it can cope with about 1500m2 instead. But this is still a respectable surface area for a battery lawn mower.
In terms of strength - it's very good. It has no problems at all with damp and/or tall grass. It’s a multiclip machine, so no collector is included. Instead it shreds up the cut grass – and does so with panache too.
Unfortunately, the 50 S AE is a bit sluggish in reverse for a battery model. This is to do with its weight in combination with the resistance. But the patterns on the tyres are good and give a decent grip without causing damage to the lawn.
The Stiga Multiclip 50 S AE has a relatively simple but heavy construction. Unfortunately, the cutting height has to be adjusted at two different places, which we think isn’t good given that this is a premium lawn mower. But once you've found a suitable cutting height setting, it works very well.
It’s very quiet – in fact one of the quietest lawn mowers we’ve tested.
Unfortunately, the paint on the 50 S AE doesn’t last very long over a number of seasons – both the red handle and the yellow sheet metal chassis fade over time. But the lawn mower shows no signs of rust.
It’s quite clear in a number of ways that this is a premium lawn mower – even if there’s room for improvement on various aspects. Its strength is the combination of high performance and durability.
The Stiga Multiclip 50 S AE is ideal for anybody with a large garden who doesn’t want to have to mow it more than once a week during high season. It can cope with tough terrains despite being battery-powered, and has a generous cutting width. If you have a flat, very large lawn you can turn off the self-propelling function to extend the battery life.
Very high performance and great build quality!
Price class: Premium Power source: Petrol Motor power: 3200 W (at 2 800 rpm) Tank volume: 1 L Cutting height: 30-85 mm (7 step) Cutting width: 51 cm Motor: Briggs & Stratton 875 EXi Weight: 42.6 kg Noise level: Low | Measured mean value: 69.7 dB Control vibrations: Moderate Self-propelling: Yes (stepless speed regulation) Adjustable handle: Yes Multi-cut: Yes Collector: Yes (70 litre)
The AL-KO Solo 5278 VS is a relatively user-friendly lawn mower with high performance levels. It could mulch the grass even at the highest speed under difficult conditions after we let the grass grow for 1-2 weeks during the high season. The rear-wheel drive makes it easy to steer despite its heavy weight.
You can steplessly set the speed at which the lawn mower runs using a lever. The lever can be a bit stiff, but it’s a good function because you can adapt it to your walking speed.
The height setting works well. It’s controlled by a single lever that folds out, but the pin that you then have to insert into the different holes is a bit fiddly to get into place. And the figures that show the setting selected are black on a black background, so it’s hard to see them. This seems rather poorly designed, given that this is a premium class lawn mower.
But it gets plus points for the fact that there’s a “string” on the tank cap that holds it while you’re topping up. This is a simple detail but it makes for a convenient practical difference.
The AL-KO Solo 5278 VS has high build quality throughout. It has stable, thick handles and all the functions you’re likely to interact with are covered in rubber to give you the best possible grip – even the handles for the starter cord and the self-propelling system use rubber.
Unfortunately, the drive belt is visible alongside the blades, which means that there’s a risk of damaging it if you have a lot of debris on your lawn – we’d have expected a better solution given the price tag.
The collector is made of hard plastic but combined with fabric on the sides between the top and bottom sections. This means that it takes up less space, while still collecting a lot of grass and being easy to clean. There’s also an indicator that tells you when it’s full. In addition to the collector, the mower has side discharge and mulching functions. Unfortunately, for some reason a lot of grass gets stuck in the side discharge.
The Solo 5278 VS is very heavy. The handle on the chassis makes it easier to carry indoors for winter storage, but you still need two people to lift it. It’s easy to fold up and relatively quiet during operation given how strong it is.
The AL-KO Solo 5278 VS is best suited to someone who wants to be able to vary the cutting speed without significantly affecting the performance and who has a fairly large lawn that they want to be able to cut efficiently.
User-friendly workhorse for tough environments!
Motor: GCV160 Power source: Petrol Tank volume: 0.93 L Cutting width: 47 cm Cutting height: 25-79 mm (7 stage) Weight: 42 kg Adjustable handle: Yes Motor power output: 2700 W (at 2800 rpm) Sound level: Measured average value: approx. 82 dB (Above average) Self-propelled: Yes Mulching: Yes Grass catcher: 69 L Warranty: 5 year
The premium model HRX 476 VY from the Japanese company Honda is a solid workhorse with a very powerful motor. The price for this is a heavier machine that makes it relatively difficult to manoeuvre. The powerful motor also provides excellent drive, and as long as the wheel drive can be used, its terrain-handling abilities are exemplary. Rear-wheel drive and adjustable speed mean that the HRX 476 copes with hilly terrain, uneven surfaces and steep inclines with ease. The comfort level is top-notch and both the cutting height and the handle height are easy to adjust. In addition, the cutting unit can be turned off without turning off the motor. The fabric grass catcher is foldable, making it easier to store. However, it is some bother to clean and the air permeability could have been better. This has an adverse effect on the output, which in itself means that the mover does not cut as well when the grass catcher is detached. However, if you use the mower without the grass catcher, it copes with stern resistance, including on coarse, high and damp grass. All in all, the HRX 476 performs best on large and slightly wilder lawns where the grass grows longer between mowing.
Strong and easy to control but not very innovative…
Price class: Premium Power source: Petrol Motor power: 2700 W (at 2800 rpm) Tank volume: 0.91 L Cutting height: 20-74 mm (6 step) Cutting width: 46 cm Motor: GCV160 Weight: 32 kg Noise level: Low | Measured mean value: 68.2 dB Control vibrations: Moderate Self-propelling: Yes Adjustable handle: Yes Multi-cut: Yes Collector: Yes (55 l)
The Honda HRG 466 SKEP is a strong lawn mower with double blades underneath which produce a good cutting result even on tough terrain. You control the mulching function with a setting instead of the normal plug, which is easier to use and also means you don’t risk losing it.
The lawn mower has rear-wheel drive and is easy to steer across winding lawns and around obstacles. Yet, if you don’t have the power going, it's quite hard to move the lawn mower.
The HRG 466 SKEP has a reasonable cutting height setting even if there are some weaknesses here. Partly this is because it’s hard to read the setting as there are no figures, and partly because the front lever is a bit stiff. Given the price tag, we’d rather have seen a central cutting height setting that was controlled via a single point. But the two-point solution for adjustment still works fine.
The Honda HRG 466 SKEP has high build quality. It doesn’t have unpleasant vibrations, and despite the sheet metal chassis it’s not really heavy – although it’s far from a lightweight machine. We’d have liked to have seen rubberised grips on the handle, but the drive function gives reasonable resistance when you operate it.
The collector is a fabric basket, which is practical for winter storage but less useful in terms of maintenance because it’s difficult to keep clean. Nor does it hold much.
The HRG 466 SKEP is easy to start even when it’s been standing for a while, but the starter cord is a bit stiff compared to many other models. Overall, we’d have expected more innovation and well-designed solutions for a premium class model. This is a competent lawn mower with lots of power, but it doesn’t achieve complete user-friendliness in all aspects.
The HRG 466 SKEP is therefore best for people looking for a lot of power and drive.
Shreds the grass well under normal conditions.
Price class: Medium Power source: Petrol Motor power: 2400 W (at 2850 rpm) Cutting height: 30-85 mm (4 step) Cutting width: 46 cm Motor: Pro Weight: 26.9 kg Noise level: Low | Measured mean value: 64.8 dB Control vibrations: Moderate Self-propelling: Yes Adjustable handle: Yes Multi-cut: Yes Collector: No
The AL-KO Silver 468 SP-A Bio is a bio lawn mower that mulches very well provided the grass hasn’t grown too long. However, if you’ve left it to grow to around 10 to 15 cm, which can easily happen during the high season, it struggles to cope and produces heaps of grass despite the mulching function. But under normal conditions, it copes without problems and is also quite strong.
The cutting height setting is a bit fiddly. The lever at the front is rather stiff and at the back you have to adjust it by pressing with your whole hand. There are more straightforward solutions where you only need to adjust it at one point, which we think a lawn mower with this price tag should have.
The Silver 468 SP-A Bio has front-wheel drive. This is meant to give improved energy-saving during mulching. And it works well as long as you don’t have a complicated garden with lots of obstacles. Otherwise, the front-wheel drive is a disadvantage because it doesn’t run as well when you put weight on the handle, and because you lose power when you’re turning. Unfortunately, the wheel pattern isn’t good, which also contributes to the slightly negative experience of using this mower.
As we mentioned above, the AL-KO Silver 468 SP-A Bio mulches very well – provided you haven’t let the grass grow too long during the high season – but you can also connect a side discharge unit. If your grass has gotten too long, it can be sensible to use this as an intermediate step and then go over the grass again with the mulching function switched on. Unfortunately, a collector is not included.
The Silver 468 SP-A Bio rolls easily across the lawn at a reasonable speed. It isn’t particularly heavy. It’s also easy to understand and easy to dismantle for winter storage.
The build quality isn’t bad, but it could be better. The lawn mower has held up well, but after only one season, it became sun-bleached and we found a little rust on wing nuts and controls. The drive belt is also visible underneath near the cutting unit, which means it can easily get damaged if you run over stones, thick branches and so on.
The Silver 468 SP-A Bio is suitable for someone with a lawn of around 1000-1500 m2 without too many obstacles. It runs quite easily and has reasonable performance under normal conditions.
Easily adjusted and strong lawn mower - but with quite a lot of vibration!
Price class: Medium Motor: Briggs & Stratton Power source: Petrol Motor power: 1900 W (at 2800 rpm) Tank volume: 0.8 l Cutting width: 46 cm Cutting height: 28-92 mm (6 step) Weight: 33 kg Noise level: High (approx. 78 dB) Control vibrations: Significant Speed: 0-3.6 km/h Adjustable handle: Yes Multi-cut: Yes Collector: 60 l
The MTD Optima 46 SPB HW is a lively self-propelling petrol lawn mower with large rear wheels and rear-wheel drive, a combination that means it moves smoothly even over an undulating lawn. It's also easy to manoeuvre around obstacles. Despite good tread on the wheels, however, it tends to slip somewhat on medium-high thick grass. It also has problems getting the lawn perfectly mowed on straight sections as it tends to miss a good amount of grass as it simply bends over beneath it. The lawn mower maintains a reasonable walking speed, however. Overall, the mowing result is good, particularly given how well it grinds up any fallen twigs and branches that happen to get in the way. The Optima 46 SPB HW has a three-in-one function which means that it comes with a collector, mulching function and side discharge. In other words, you can choose either to collect the grass cuttings, or spread them out over the lawn - either whole or ground up into tiny pieces.
In terms of ergonomics and build quality, the handle for the drive function isn't great. However, we like the nozzle on the chassis that you can connect to a garden hose for cleaning the cutting head. Unfortunately, this is a lawn mower that produces significant levels of vibration, and we could feel it in our wrists even after we'd only cut about 500 m2 of lawn. At one point the petrol tank cap even vibrated itself loose. On the positive side, however, the lawn mower is light and easy to manoeuvre - at least for a petrol machine. We were impressed by its strength, particularly given its neat size. It's also very easy to adjust the cutting height on the Optima 46 SPB HW thanks to the central height adjustment feature. Overall, this is a useful purchase that's good value for money for an average garden with a number of obstacles. It feels like MTD has made intelligent choices to reduce the price, as you get a lot of power and a manoeuvrable lawn mower, although with slightly underwhelming ergonomics.
Eco-mode and double battery compartments!
Price class: Premium Power source: Battery Battery: Type: Lithium ion Measured battery life: 10 min/Ah (normal mode), 13 min/Ah (eco mode) Charge indicator: Yes Cutting capacity: 500 m² Cutting height: 28-85 mm (4 step) Cutting width: 46 cm Motor: Electric Weight: 23 kg Noise level: Low (approx. 59.7 dB) Control vibrations: Low Self-propelling: Yes Adjustable handle: Yes Multi-cut: Yes Collector: No
The Stihl RMA 2 RT is a bio lawn mower with an eco-mode that means it lasts a long time on a regularly trimmed lawn, while also demonstrating a lot of strength if you’ve neglected the lawn and let it grow. This lawn mower boasts double battery compartments. If the battery runs out, you can quickly change to a new one – assuming that you’ve bought an extra battery and charged it. Because it uses 36V batteries, you can share the batteries with a number of other products from the same manufacturer.
The front-wheel drive combined with a relatively low weight make it easy to upset the balance just with your own weight, which means the lawn mower risks skidding over the lawn rather than moving forwards. It also makes it more difficult to turn because you lose the self-propelling function. The alternative is to lift it up at the back.
The self-propelling function is otherwise very good for a front-wheel-drive lawn mower. It grips well on the lawn without damaging it as long as you don’t lean on the handle too much. Nor do the wheels collect too much grass.
The performance is good. It copes with the stated 500m2 on a single charge in the case of normal length grass and with the self-propelling function switched on, despite a very generous cutting width. If the grass is taller it can struggle to mulch and you may need to go over the lawn twice. On the other hand, the cutting width is good.
As we’ve mentioned above, the Stihl RMA 2 RT is quite a light lawn mower. It’s well-designed and the build quality is high. The sheet metal chassis shows no sign of rust after a season. It’s very easy to fold up the lawn mower for winter storage because it has a toolless folding handle.
However, the cutting height adjustment is absolutely terrible given the price tag. At the front you adjust it with a single lever, but at the back you have to press down the entire axle to be able to adjust the level and then it has to go into one of four positions. What’s fiddly about this process is that you have to press the axle up or down - click by click - on each side. This is unnecessarily awkward, particularly given how easy it usually is to adjust the cutting height on a Stihl lawn mower.
We’d also have liked to see a collector included, given the cost of this mower. If the user could choose to mulch or use a collector, the lawn mower would be much more versatile and suitable for a wider market.
The Stihl RMA 2 RT is innovative in that it has double battery compartments, an eco-mode and a neat solution for winter storage. But at the same time, it appears outdated in terms of cutting height adjustment and rather stingy not to include a collector. Overall, it feels like a standard lawn mower and not as premium as the price would indicate. But it mows almost twice as much grass as promised if you switch off the self-propelling function, which is definitely a major benefit. So, if you have a large flat lawn and you’re looking for a lawn mower with eco-mode, this is a pretty good buy overall.
Ideal for keeping simple lawns in good shape!
Price class: Premium Motor: Electric Power source: Battery Cutting width: 46 cm Cutting height: 25-75 mm (6 steps) Weight: 30 kg Noise level: 82.7 Control vibrations: Low Adjustable handle: No Battery: Type: Lithium ion Capacity: 4 Ah/36 V Charge time: 90 min Charge indicator: Yes Cutting capacity: 500 m² Self-propelled: No Multi-cut: Yes Mulching: 70 l
The AL-KO Moweo 46.5 Li is a slightly different battery-operated lawn mower. Because of their relatively weak motor power, battery-operated lawn mowers normally have a minimal cutting width and a plastic chassis to reduce the load on the motor. But the Moweo 46.5 Li has a normal cutting width and a sheet metal chassis. In combination with the big back wheels, this means that the lawn mower feels substantial, but also rather clumsy, particularly for a battery-operated lawn mower. This clumsiness is primarily obvious when you have to make a tight turn, for example around flower beds, trees etc. This is a shame because battery-operated lawn mowers are usually particularly good at navigating small spaces compared to large open areas where petrol lawn mowers are often at their best. However, it's relatively easy to cut straight sections and the large back wheels make it easy to push. As long as the grass isn't particularly long, it does a perfectly good job at cutting. It chops up the grass finely and cuts 500m2 without problems. However, if the grass is allowed to grow to around 10cm long, the Moweo 46.5 Li struggles, and the battery runs out relatively quickly. You can see the battery status on the clear battery indicator.
The collector function is perfectly acceptable. It will pick up leaves and so on well, but if you're trying to do heavier jobs such as collecting damp leaves you have to slow down for it to work properly. A big positive when it comes to collection is that the container is made of hard plastic. This means that it's a stable form and a smooth material so it's easy to rinse clean with a pressure washer. It also has lots of holes in it so it doesn't get blocked. However, one disadvantage is that you need to use both hands to remove it. From an ergonomic and practical point of view, the Moweo 46.5 Li is just barely acceptable. Partly because you have to adjust the cutting height at three separate places, which also requires quite a lot of force as the lever is very stiff, and partly because there's no easy way to adjust the height of the handle. Either the lawn mower is the right height for you, or you have to move your hands to either side when you use it. The height seems to be suited for people of average height. The Moweo 46.5 Li doesn't vibrate much, and it gets credit for that. One advantage with battery-operated lawn mowers is that you avoid exhaust emissions and there isn't usually much vibration. What primarily reduces the score for this one is that it's hard to control on irregular lawns. So, the Moweo 46.5 Li is best for those with a medium-sized and uncomplicated lawn and who rarely change the cutting height.
Cuts a lot in one go but has a fiddly cutting height adjustment.
Motor: Briggs & Stratton Quantum 675 Cutting width: 55 cm Cutting height: 25-102 mm (5 step) Weight: 36.3 kg Noise level: Very high (approx. 86.3 dB*1) Cutting system: 3 in 1 (Recycler on Demand, collection, side discharge) Power: 6.5 hp Material: Steel Transmission: Automatic Drive Height adjustment: Individual, 4 point Collector: 60 litre, textile Quick cleaning: Yes Start system: Manual start Folding handlebars: Yes
The Toro Recycler 55 AD has an extremely substantial cutting width, which means it can cut your lawn in less time than a normal lawn mower. It comes with mulch, collection and side discharge functions, so in other words, you can collect leaves to grind up the grass as soon as it's cut. This makes it a very versatile lawn mower. Nor do you need a separate attachment for the mulching. You simply select the function using a control. It also has a safety function that means it doesn't eject stones or other hard objects towards you. However, the drive on the Toro Recycler 55 AD is a little unusual. Instead of the normal solution with a safety bar that you pull against the handle, you have to push the handle forwards to make it go. In a large open area this is very convenient. But in areas with lots of obstacles it's more of a problem. Normally you lift the lawn mower a little when you want to turn or go around obstacles on the lawn. But if you do that with this lawn mower, you end up applying more throttle because you inevitably push the handle forwards. It's also very sluggish at going backwards. This means that complicated gardens immediately become much more difficult to mow than they would normally be. But on large open areas, it's both comfortable and convenient.
The Recycler 55 AD has a function called Quickwash, which you'll appreciate if you're a fan of keeping your garden machinery clean. In practice this means that you can attach a hose when it's time to clean the lawn mower. The nozzle then sprays water out underneath the machine. And this works okay, although you still need to help out with the cleaning yourself. Unfortunately, the collector isn't as easy to clean as it's made of fabric, although it does save space when not in use as it folds down flat. From underneath, the Recycler 55 AD doesn't look like a normal lawn mower. The underneath isn't fully cast; instead it's equipped with a plate between the blades and the front. Branches and other items tend to get stuck in this. At one point, we damaged the plate when a branch got stuck around it, and we had to remove it and knock it back into shape. Another weakness is the cutting height setting, which requires you to adjust it using a control on each wheel. There are more user-friendly solutions available today. On the positive side, it's easy to start and delivers a really good result. It copes well with wet and tall grass, provided you reduce the speed a little. If it had been a bit more user-friendly, it would have received a considerably higher score.
A lawn mower is one of the most important tools you can have for your garden. Lawn mowers have been used to keep grass short since they were first invented in the 1830s. Since then, they have developed significantly, and new variants such as cylinder lawn mowers, robotic lawn mowers and ride-on lawn mowers taking on 3 acres or more have been introduced from different brands. Traditional lawn mowers are often now called a walk behind lawn mower to distinguish them from these other types.
In addition to a motor, walk-behind lawn mowers have either a rotor or a cylinder. Some lawn mowers have fixed, angled blades, while others have mobile ones attached to a central hub. Two-stroke motors were once common, but since the 1960s, four-stroke motors have dominated. Today, four-stroke Briggs & Stratton are the most common. But a new historical shift is underway. Battery lawn mowers are becoming increasingly common as batteries are improving, making it possible for motors to be more powerful. Today there are battery lawn mowers on the market that are more than sufficient to cope with cutting a medium sized garden a couple of times on a single charge - although they are also more expensive than the equivalent petrol model.
Battery lawn mowers are taking over because they have a number of advantages. They don't produce exhaust gases, which is good for the environment, for you and for your garden. They're also quieter, and you don't have to buy petrol and oil. But of course, you do have to remember to charge the batteries on a regular basis. It's also important that lithium-ion batteries aren't allowed to completely discharge, or to get cold over the winter, as this can damage them.
The variations between the different types of lawn mowers are primarily reflected in how well they cut tall, coarse or damp grass. There are significant differences in how long it takes to cut a given area of grass, how much it costs per cut (petrol and oil costs, or charging cost vs run time), the quality of the cutting result and not least, how user-friendly the lawn mower is. For example, some models navigate easily around flowerbeds, fences and trees, while others are less agile. How you set the cutting height and how manoeuvrable the lawn mower is also varies between models, as does how well they cope with uneven and sloping surfaces. Lawns often grow a lot during the short time you're away on holiday. With some models, you have to cut long grass several times, or cut very slowly so that they don't get overloaded. In fact, you shouldn't cut grass by more than 2-3 cm per day, but not many people want to cut their lawns that often.
There are also major differences in the functions on offer. Some lawn mowers grind the grass up - this is called mulching. Others lack this function and instead throw out large pieces of grass. You can either collect the cut grass in a collector, if one is included, or have it deposited on the lawn via a side discharge. If the pieces of grass are large, you may need to run over the grass again to get it down to a better size - in terms of breaking down and appearance. Other functions that often vary are whether the lawn mower is front or rear drive, and whether it has a number of speeds.
Consumers also have different budgets. To provide buying advice to as many consumers as possible, we have divided the test candidates into three different price classes from the best lawn mower under 300 GBP to high-end machines - and named the winner in each price class as follows:
Budget: up to £300 Medium: approx. £300-£450 Premium: more than £450
If you base your choice on your needs and budget, you'll find a suitable, modern lawn mower in the range below.
Pros and cons:
+ Very low energy costs
+ Economical and inexpensive maintenance due to the electric motor
+ Relatively low noise levels
+ No exhaust fumes
+ Good for the environment and health
+ Often low weight
- Generally a less powerful motor than a petrol lawn mower
- The power lead can be seen as being a nuisance and “in the way” during mowing
- The power led restricts the distance than you can move from the power outlet
- Electric lawn mowers often have a narrower cutting width than petrol mowers
Pros and cons:
+ Relatively low noise levels
+ Often easy to manoeuvre
+ No exhaust fumes
+ Often relatively low energy costs
+ Good for the environment and health
+ Often low weight
- Less powerful motor than on a petrol lawn mower
- Operating time is often limited
- Charging time can be long
- Often have a narrower cutting width than a petrol lawn mower
- Battery can be expensive to replace when at the end of its life
Robot lawn mowers
Pros and cons:
+ You don’t have to mow the lawn yourself
+ Very low energy costs
+ Generally charge themselves in the charging station when the battery starts to run low
+ The lawn is usually very well -maintained and attractive when it is mowed little and often
+ Can usually be programmed to self-start
+ Can often be programmed to remain under a roof when it rains
+ Low noise levels
- Relatively high purchase price
- Do not cope with grass that is too long or high
- The lawn needs to be fairly even and not slope too much
- Each mow usually takes longer than a traditional lawn mower
- Long and frequent mowing can irritate neighbours who are sensitive to noise and who are disturbed by low-level but long-term noise
The petrol lawn mower is the traditional type of lawn mower and is still the most common type of lawn mower. Even though the petrol lawn mower has essentially not changed that much since the 1960s – aside from more horsepower - it is still the best choice in many situations. For example, if the lawn is large with tall grass or a hilly terrain and there are a lot of roots and stones, the petrol lawn mower is generally the preference. This is because petrol lawn mowers with their powerful internal combustion engines are still superior to electric lawn mowers in regard to power, speed and durability. However, the price that is paid for this level of power is exhaust fumes, vibrations and noise. Petrol lawn mowers are of course the type of mower that make the most noise. Furthermore, an internal combustion engine generally requires more maintenance than an electric motor due to the large number of moving parts of an internal combustion engine, including top-ups of engine oil.
Pros and cons:
+ Have the most powerful motors that cope with the toughest resistance
+ Can mow longer on a tank of fuel
- High level of noise
- Relatively a lot of maintenance
- Relatively expensive fuel
- Unhealthy and harmful exhaust fumes
- Greater vibration levels
- Heavier machine weight
- Can be seen as awkward on small areas with lots of obstacles
The majority of battery lawn mowers are today powered by so-called “lithium batteries” (often termed Li-Ion or Lithium-Ion batteries), which are the same type of batteries that are used in laptops and mobile phones, for example. Lithium batteries are able to store a lot of energy compared with traditional batteries, and this is why we can now operate such energy-hungry machinery like lawn mowers using batteries. Unfortunately, lithium batteries are not free from maintenance issues, expensive and only hold a limited number of discharges. Then the large number of cells within the battery die off one by one and the battery capacity gradually deteriorates, i.e. the mower’s battery gradually loses power while cutting. The lithium battery of a battery grass mower therefore needs to be replaced after several years, and so may the battery charger, which costs a good deal of money. You should also have an extra battery for reliability.
If you spend several thousand on a lawn mower you also want it to be durable and to be usable for several years. A lawn mower is often subjected to considerable forces during mowing that result in major stresses. It is therefore important that it is designed in order to cope with long-term and extensive wear and tear if it is to have a sufficiently long service life. Depending on the type of grass mower you have, the maintenance requirement will vary considerably. Petrol lawn mowers generally require the most maintenance. Partly because an internal combustion engine and its large number of moving parts will break down more than an electric motor, and partly because an internal combustion engine is able to develop greater power, and with the development of greater power comes greater stresses on the equipment.
Lawn mowers must have stable and durable wheels that are easy to remove. Also, it is preferable for the rear wheels to be large as this makes the mower easier to manoeuvre. Front-wheel drive is preferable to rear-wheel drive since lawn mowers with front-wheel drive are easier to manoeuvre.
The cutting width varies considerably between different lawn mowers and is generally between 30-55cm depending on the model. Less expensive lawn mowers generally have a smaller cutting width, whilst the more expensive ones have larger cutting widths. The greater the cutting width, the faster the lawn mower mows since its blades reach further and therefore cover a larger surface area. However, the greater the cutting width, the more powerful the lawn mower’s motor needs to be. This is because the more grass that it needs to mow in a single session, the more resistance it will have to endure.
The cutting height of grass mowers vary but is usually above a minimum height of 20mm and below a maximum height of 80mm. For most people’s needs, a minimum height of 40mm is sufficient since a lawn should not be cut any shorter than this. This is because such a closely cropped lawn is more sensitive to wear and drying out and is therefore not suitable for the majority of lawn owners. Restrictions on the cutting height are therefore generally not a problem for a lawn mower. The only lawns that should be cut shorter than 40mm are so-called “ornamental lawns”, which are not to be walked on and only exist for their aesthetic value. These lawns must, in contrast to normal lawns (which are in technical terms called “functional lawns”), are maintained very carefully and are watered regularly and abundantly. A very short cutting height will also cause more wear to the cutting unit and increase the risk of the blade being damaged by stones, roots, etc., especially if the lawn is not sufficiently even.
The noise level of a lawn mower is often perceived as being more or less of a problem by both the person carrying out the mowing and those in the vicinity. Besides being a nuisance, the noise from a lawn mower can be immediately harmful. The risk of hearing damage depends on how loud the sound level is and how long a person has been exposed to the noise. The Swedish Work Environment Authority (Arbetsmiljöverket) therefore uses the benchmark “Total daily noise exposure level” for its guidelines value. However, in general it can be said that the risk of hearing damage occurs at 85dB(A) (decibel, A weight) for most people. Sensitivity does, however, vary from person to person, and if you are unlucky you can sustain hearing damage at a figure of 75-80 dB(A). This means that you should be wearing hearing protection, such as a quiet muffler, when mowing the lawn. The only exception is when using robot lawn mowers since the noise that they generate lies far below the limit values of the Swedish Work Environment Authority.
The sound level differs considerably between the different types of lawn mowers. Unsurprisingly, petrol lawn mowers with their internal combustion engines generate the highest values with sound levels of up to 100dB(A). Electric lawn mowers with their electric motors usually generate significantly less noise with levels down to 90dB(A). The quietest are robot lawn mowers with noise levels of around 60dB(A), not least due to the fact that they mow the lawn so often that the grass does not have time to become long. What is important to observe is that the decibel scale is logarithmic, which for example means that a noise level of 100dB(A) is 10-times as intense as a noise level of 90dB(A).
The manoeuvrability of a lawn mower determines how easy it is to control. The different types of lawn mowers have fairly large differences regarding manoeuvrability. The smallest and lightest lawn mowers tend to have the best manoeuvrability, which in practice almost always means electric lawn mowers. There are also electric lawn mowers that run on grid electricity connected to a power outlet with a power cord, just like a vacuum cleaner. This unavoidably involves some issues as the power cord has to be constantly moved in order not to get in the way of the mower. Something that naturally has an adverse effect on manoeuvrability. On the other hand, petrol lawn mowers are relatively heavy and awkward, which makes them less manoeuvrable. This means that generally petrol lawn mowers are more suitable for larger lawns since manoeuvrability is less important for this type of mowing.
Mulching means that the blades of the lawn mower cut the blade of grass several times at different levels so that it becomes very short and therefore easier to decompose. Mulching often makes the collection of grass after mowing superfluous – and many mowers will also mulch leaves too. It also returns water and nutrients from the cut grass to the lawn. Remember that when employing the mulching technique that no more than approximately 30 % of the length of the blade of grass should be cut. In addition, the grass should not be too long as the lawn mower will have difficulty in grinding down all of the blades of grass. Remember, not every mower is classed as a mulcher mower.
A side discharge (also called a “side exhaust”) means that the lawn mower has an exhaust on the side where the cut grass can be discharged. A side discharge is of principal use when the grass is very long and the lawn mower does not manage to grind down the grass, so-called “mulching”.
A lawn mower with its sharp blades and powerful motor would pose a real threat to life if it had not been safely designed. Luckily, modern lawn mowers are safe, sometimes even so safe that overactive safety features can cause irritation. All of the lawn mowers in our test satisfy European standards for mechanical safety.
Perhaps the most important safety feature is the so-called “dead man’s handle”, which means that a control on the handle is held in during the whole of the mowing process. When the handle is released the control is also released and the lawn mower stops automatically. The equivalent to this found on the robot lawn mower is a safety feature that turns the robot lawn mower off automatically should anybody lift it.
You of course want a reliable lawn mower that always delivers and never goes wrong. At the same time, a lawn mower is subject to very strong forces and is often pushed to the very limit of what it can deal with. It is therefore not strange that it is relatively common for the motor to stall during mowing. However, the bar will have been set high for a good lawn mower and if the instructions for its use are followed it should be reliable. A lawn mower should also be easy to start and anybody who has had experience of a traditional petrol lawn mower will certainly remember how irritating this can be. In order to reduce the risk of this, many petrol lawn mowers today have an electronic start function.
A grass catcher is a container that is fitted to the lawn mower in order to collect the cut grass. The grass catcher is then removed and then emptied into a compost heap where it produces excellent humus.
A spacious grass catcher has the advantage of not needing to be emptied as often. A practical feature is a window at the top of the grass catcher or a light indicator so that you know when it is almost time to empty it.
Vibrating equipment and tools such as lawn mowers can cause injuries to the hands and arms, which is due to the nerves in the hands and arms being damaged by the vibrations. The risk of injury depends on how strong the vibrations are and how long a person is exposed to the vibrations.
There are a number of symptoms, but it is usually tingling, pins and needles and impaired or loss of feeling in the fingers, hands and/or arms. The damage is most often temporary for those who only expose themselves to vibrations sporadically, for example, when mowing the lawn for a few hours a week. However, some people are more sensitive than others and if unlucky, even moderate vibrations for relatively short periods of time can give rise to permanent damage. Because of this, it is of course desirable for the vibrations caused by lawn mowers to be as weak as possible. The vibrations from a lawn mower are usually measured at the control handles are stated in m/s². In order to ascertain when damage can arise, the Swedish Work Environment Authority has specified limit values depending on how long you should be exposed to vibrations, depending on the strength of the vibrations. For the lowest risk class, these are eight hours at vibrations of 2.0m/s², 5 hours at 2.5m/s² and 1 hour at 5.0m/s². Generally, petrol lawn mowers with their powerful internal combustion engines vibrate the most, while electric lawn mowers vibrate less. A robot lawn mower is of course the best choice for anybody who wishes to avoid vibrations completely.
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