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ride on lawn mower

When it comes to mowing your lawn, nothing beats the convenience of a ride on mower. They’re easy to drive, can cover a large area in a short space of time and come with a variety of attachments to help you with other garden tasks such as scarifying and leaf collection. However, as a significant initial investment with prices starting at around PS1,000, it’s important to ensure you buy the right one for your needs and garden. So what do you need to look for?

Key factors include:

Power & performance; how well does the machine handle grass with different heights of cut, and how good is it at dealing with a wet, mossy or long lawn? The bigger the engine size, the more power you’ll get but if your garden is regularly shaped by hedges, beds, bushes and pathways, it’s best to avoid a very powerful machine that can struggle to manoeuvre in tight corners.

Comfort & user-friendliness

The more time you spend in the driver’s seat, the more comfortable the mower needs to be. Entry-level models tend to bounce more than mid-range or high-end models, so it’s worth investing in a soft, cushioned seat that adjusts for height. You should also look for a foot rest, a padded steering wheel and levers that operate smoothly to reduce fatigue.

Size & storage requirements

A large factor in the size of ride on mower you’ll need is how big your garden is. There is a huge difference in machines intended to cope with a couple of thousand square metres, and those designed for acres of land.

If you have a small to medium-sized garden, then you’re probably looking at a mid-priced ride on mower such as those from Honda or Stiga. Both manufacturers have a modest range that includes zero-turn mowers alongside larger garden tractors with front-mounted cutters for trimming around bushes, borders and paving stones.

The other end of the scale are the high-end garden tractors with powerful engines and incredible manoeuvrability. These are a great option for larger gardens and can even be used to haul a load of tools, mulch or potting soil around the garden if you opt for a trailer attachment.

Another factor that’s often overlooked is speed. This is more of a concern for professional mowers who have to move quickly between properties or on campuses, but it’s still an important consideration for those who want to finish their mowing chores faster. Most buyers will need a good top speed of 7 MPH or more to make their mowing more efficient, but for most homeowners, 5 – 6 MPH is sufficient.