Types of lawn mower

Rotary V Cylinder

You will often find Rotary and Cylinder mowers in the tool kit of quality landscapers and both have a place.


For most gardeners a rotary mower will be a good choice as generally you will not cut your lawn below an inch.  Although suitable for most ornamental lawns a rotary mower will not produce as fine a cut as a cylinder mower.

Rotary mowers cope with undulations and other imperfections in your lawn cutting longer grass and handling uneven surfaces better than a cylinder mower. This mower is Ideal for the first cut in the spring as it will vacuum up twigs and winter weeds. 

A rotary with a rear roller will produce stripes on your lawn.  It is important the blades are very well maintained and sharp if you want to get as clean a cut as possible. 


If you are a lawn enthusiast and have an ornamental lawn that you want to cut short, below an inch, you will get a better finish from a cylinder mower. 

Cylinder mowers are far more sensitive than rotary, but when set up correctly and well maintained they provide a superior quality cut, perfect for professionals and very keen gardeners.  

The blades are arranged to produce a very fine cut and a striped finish and allow very low cutting heights. 

To get the best results from this mower you will need to have a very well-maintained lawn without undulations and imperfections.

Other mowers include: -

Hover mower 

Is a rotary mower but sits on a cushion of air instead of wheels, it can handle long grass and uneven surfaces? 

Mulching mower

Is a type of rotary mower. Most lawn mowers come with a collection box to collect the clippings, but mulching mowers instead chop up the clippings very finely and deposit them back into the turf.  The clippings settle at the bottom of the sward and are barely visible. 

Using a mulching mower will return nutrients lost in the clippings back to the root zone. However, when mulching mowers are used on very lush growth (when the grass is long), the excess clippings may have to be collected and placed on the compost heap. 

Models which give options of mulching or collection are preferred.

Ride-on mower

Usually reserved for very large lawns. These may be cylinder or rotary. This mower will cut down on your mowing time although more expensive than any of the ones listed above.

Choosing a model with a wider cut can make a significant difference to the time taken to mow your lawn, so if you don’t have time or the inclination it may be well worth the modest increase in price.

Pedestrian self-propelled models are a cheaper alternative for large lawns.