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Would I be a mad fool to buy this kind of lawnmower?

(22 Posts)
Beanbeany Mon 20-Jun-11 10:55:08

Hi. Soon to own a garden for the first time ever! The lawn is not very large (about 30ftx40ft) and flat and seems reasonably bump free. For some reason, probably a major nostalgia trip, I have it in my head to buy a ye olde second-hand push mower, a Qualcast type thing, green metal with rust and a heavy steel roller at the back. My FIL (not a gardener himself) thinks I am insane and should buy an electric hover mower like his! Has anyone got something similar? I really wanted to know:

Can it cut long and also wet grass?

How often does the blade need sharpening and how much might it cost?

I'm thinking blade sharpening, keeping clean and WD40 is all the maintenance required - right or wrong?

I'm happy to put my back into it but, realistically, am I going to be cheesed off with that by the end of the summer? DP says I definintely am!

Would I be better off with a more modern push mower? I can't really afford much so I'd be looking at a Qualcast Panther 30 £40 job (mixed reviews) as opposed to a Brill Razorcut £100+ job (good reviews)

Feel free to be honest - I can take it!


CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 20-Jun-11 15:01:50

Compromise with an electric cylinder mower, perhaps like this Bosch? £84 allegedly. That way you get nice stripes on the lawn but you don't give yourself a hernia heaving the thing around. I have a petrol cylinder mower (Hayter Harrier make). No good on wet grass. For maintenance, including blade sharpening, I have it properly serviced once a year but I can't remember what that costs.

If you can't afford a powered cylinder mower, a cheap hover will do the job really well.

Beanbeany Mon 20-Jun-11 15:22:34

Didn't think of an electric cylinder. Still a bit out of my price range really. Although it doesn't have that "pretend you're mowing at Lords feel"!

Will a cheap hover really be OK? I thought they had a reputation for being a bit rubbish. My FIL will gloat forever if I get one but maybe that'll be my best bet especially financially. Thanks.

BoulevardOfBrokenSleep Mon 20-Jun-11 16:34:36

Have you actually had a go with a push mower?

DH had to use FIL's once, he was knackered and his hands covered in blisters before the lawn was even half done...

Beanbeany Mon 20-Jun-11 17:00:17

Never had a go with one. Been trying to find someone who owns one so I can ask to borrow it but to no avail. Blisters, you say? I was hoping for toned biceps and no more bingo wings. Thanks. I think I'm rapidly going off the idea!

PaisleyLeaf Mon 20-Jun-11 23:16:13

We've got the Qualcast panther. Best thing ever! It's great to be free from electric and wire etc and easier to get it out and get going straight away.
I'm not doing an area quite as large as you, but it's not really much harder work than the electric one we had.
Ours is quite new though - only used it about 6 times so far. But I know someone with a similar, much older mower - he's never had it sharpened.
Our grass area is quite flat - it doesn't do bumpy very well at all. Long grass is hard work. I've not tried it on wet.
But overall I'd recommend it.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 21-Jun-11 09:01:11

There's nothing wrong with hovers. They're light and easy to use. They don't give you that bowling green stripe effect, true enough, but if all you want is to get the grass from 'long' to 'short' fairly quickly, they're perfectly adequate. I had one for a while when a petrol mower was kidnapped by a repairer - very long story - and, apart from having to remember to keep flicking the cable out of the way, it wasn't bad at all.

JumpJockey Tue 21-Jun-11 09:04:49

We've got a Qualcast Panther but the lawn is about 12x20' so not that big. Main problem is that it's not very good at 'hard' grass, is the stalks with seeds on the end. We have to go round with secateurs trimming! It's definitely good exercise, you really know you've used it smile We've used it every week over the summer for the last 5 years or so, never sharpened it and still going fine.

oldenoughtowearpurple Tue 21-Jun-11 09:19:13

I have a tiny lawn and what I really want is for my corded electric Bosch to break down so I can buy one with a rechargable battery. like this

But expensive.

Try asking on Freecycle for a push mower. If you get loads of offers you will know they are rubbish.

tiredandgrumpy Tue 21-Jun-11 09:25:29

We have a fab push mower - a novacut something or other. Nice and light and makes lovely stripes. Dh researched it on Which. Only issue I have is the basket for collecting the grass cuttings isn't great. Not much point making beautiful stripes if you leave the cuttings on the lawn.

Mumswang Tue 21-Jun-11 10:09:36

We've got an ancient pushy pully mower, inherited from a 92 year old I daresay he carefully maintained it, but we've not done anything to it fir the two years we've owned it

I guess we should sharpen in or something, but where the he'll would you get that done???

Anyway, it's fab and no trailing extension leads up the garden

PaisleyLeaf Tue 21-Jun-11 16:05:53

Oh and I forgot to tell you the best thing..... DD loves to push it around. In fact she nags to! And with there being no electric cable/motorised bits she's pretty safe with it if I'm around too.

Lilymaid Tue 21-Jun-11 16:25:30

Our garden is a similar size. Get an electric rotary mower. Do not consider a push mower ... unless you think it will be a gym substitute.

Beanbeany Thu 23-Jun-11 18:21:12

Ah, now, a real mixture of opinion. I've just been offered a Qualcast Panther 30s for £30 (apparently in quite good nick although I've not seen it yet) and now I'm not sure what to do. But I've phoned a local lawn mower repairer who says it can cost as much as £70 to sharpen the whole cylinder shock although it may not be necessary.

Thanks, everyone, for your advice/opinions. If anyone else wants to comment, please feel free!

PaisleyLeaf Thu 23-Jun-11 21:29:47

It should be good nick - that's about what they cost new!

HerRoyalNotness Thu 23-Jun-11 21:37:13

We have a push mower where we are renting. It belongs to the landlady and we are doing the mowing. I Love it. We only have a small grass area though. Take me about 10minutes. I'd contemplate it if we moved back to our house, which has more grass, but I really just like the no noise, no fuel to fill, no cable aspect. Nothing better on a sunny day to just whip it out and get the lawn mown. It doesn't have a catcher on it, but the grass cuttings strangely are gone after a few days. I wonder if the squirrels make off with it.

pigpog Wed 06-Jul-11 20:38:31

We have a push mower, after we got sick to death of lugging out the electric one left at our house by previous tenants, finding an extension wire etc. Our garden is tiny and so not worth the effort!

Anyway we're both pleased with it, as HerRoyalNotness said, it's very easy to just get it out and mow the lawn, a 10 minute job in our garden too.

Grumpla Thu 07-Jul-11 10:48:40

I've got a Qualcast push mower and a massive lawn.

It is absolutely fine as long as you keep on top of it. I let my lawn get a bit out of hand and go to seed, the Qualcast just goes straight over the top of the long seed stalks and they bounce back up! So a bit of trimming with the shears is needed on top.

As long as you do it regularly though, it is no harder than an electric one, plus no worries about cables etc (big terrifying fear of mine)

I don't bother with the grass catcher usually. If you are only clipping a few cms off the top they just rot back down into the lawn fairly quickly. I do rake it every now and then though.

Mspontipine Thu 07-Jul-11 12:24:43

I've got a Panther and I love it smile
Smallish lawns but so safe - no leads etc so don't have to worry around children, a doddle to push - ds (8) able to do mine too. Mine's nearly 5 and I've not had to sharpen blades yet.
I've got an electric trim and edge so whip off the long 'ns with that if neccessary.

echt Fri 08-Jul-11 02:21:39

I have just, this very morning as is, put together a push reel mower as they call it in Oz. We've just moved into a house with very neglected piece of grass out back, but we want to keep it reasonable while we decide what to do with the garden.

Back to the mower: it works a treat. As for sharpening, it's all done at home here, with a file and automotive valve-grinding compound.

And thick leather gloves.grin

ThatVikRinA22 Fri 08-Jul-11 02:29:28

we used to have a push did an excellent job, cut the grass really short - a better job than any electric mower. but they are quite hard work, as for sharpening ive no idea!

i sort of yearn for another if i ever have a lawn nice enough....

ragged Fri 08-Jul-11 07:07:14

My (teen) brothers used a push mower thru my childhood; it was no great hardship. Electric mowers need maintenance, too (just had ours serviced for about 80 quid).

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