Types of Lawnmowers

Water Conservation for Lawn and Landscape September 22, 2015 Print Friendly and PDF
 
 

Robot lawn mowers. Photo credit: HOON Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0
 

 
 

Typical riding mower with grass clipping bag attachment. Photo credit: tyle_r Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0

A variety of mowing system choices are widely available for maintaining turf areas. Below is a brief synopsis of different types of the mowers with their pros and cons.  Costs vary depending on size and power of mower. 

Type of Lawnmowers:

Sheep

PROS

  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Multi-use (wool, milk, meat)
  • Potential for profit                         

CONS

  • Expense
  • Winter housing and feed
  • High level of knowledge, skill, and management
  • Manure management
  • Municipal codes may prevent use           

Reel Mowers

PROS

  • No emissions
  • Quiet
  • Does not need much storage space

CONS

  • Uneven cutting
  • Clippings need to be raked
  • Blade sharpening

Electric Push Mowers

(cord or cordless)

PROS

  • Quiet
  • Longer charge on cordless mowers than previous models

CONS

  • Power cords can be run over
  • Need to be recharged
  • Difficult to use in tall grass

Walk behind gas power mowers -

mulch, bag, side chute (throw)
(push, self propelled)

PROS

  • Powerful - can cut long or thick  grass
  • Does not  need much storage space

CONS

  • Exhaust emissions
  • Noisy
  • Self propelled models may not work effectively

Riding Gas Mowers

Zero turning radius mowers

PROS

  • Get into tight spots
  • Mow large swath

CONS

  • hard to control on hills
  • controls require practice
  • needs more storage space

Lawn tractors

PROS

  • Mow large swath
  • Can use add on equipment such as snow throwers

CONS

  • needs more storage space
  • maintenance - may need trailer or truck with ramps to take to service center

Rotary cutters

Brush hog (pull behind)

PROS

  • Can mow large areas quickly
  • Can mow thick and tall brush

CONS

  • Debris can be thrown from the machine creating a serious safety hazard
  • Large sharp blade
  • Objects can get tangled in the PTO (power take off attachment to tractor)

Robot Mowers

PROS

  • No emissions

CONS

  • Variable performance
  • Needs supervision
  • Needs to be kept away from pets and children
     

Additional Resources:

West

California - Healthy Lawns - Mowing

Southeast

Florida - Selecting a Lawn Mower (contains links to other sites)

Louisiana - Lawnmowers - Equipment 


 

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.