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Tools for mowing and lawn maintenance

Maintaining a lawn is one of the most time consuming and expensive tasks for gardeners. This section looks at easier ways to mow your lawn. 

Information on edging the lawn and the equipment and tools are in a separate section. Find out more about lawn edging 

Information about aerating, scarifying and feeding your lawn is also is a separate section. Find out more about lawn maintenance

Always fit a residual circuit breaker when using electrical equipment and consider safety glasses when using trimming or strimming tools. Use a cable tidy or harness for safety and convenience.


Here are a few general points you might want to consider:

  • Strong gardeners with larger lawns will probably find a self-propelled mower easier to use. They are available as electric or petrol powered models, and cylinder or rotary cutting action. The best versions have a speed control, or cut out switch, to prevent the mower running away from you.
  • Safety regulations require all new electric mowers to have elaborate safety switches that usually require two handed use and a constant grip.
  • Hover mowers have to be carried to the lawn and it might be difficult to control them on sloped lawns, but they are lighter and it is easy to adjust the cutting height.
  • Ride on mowers may be suitable depending on your disability and if you have a large lawn and depending on your disability, but check you can operate the controls easily. 

Here is some information about the different types of mowers and things you might want to consider before choosing and buying:

Cylinder mowers

These produce the best finish but are not so good on long or damp grass. They require more maintenance and sharpening, and stones and debris may cause serious and costly damage to the blade. Wear gloves and take care when cleaning the cylinder. Some models can be adapted and used to rake the lawn.

Rotary mowers

These mowers cope better with long, wet and rough grass and if fitted with a roller give a stripped effect. For older, slightly disabled or hobby gardeners with small to medium size lawns, wheeled electric rotary mowers are ideal because they can cope with a variety of conditions, are easier to push and manoeuvre, and require little maintenance. Cordless versions are even easier to use but cost more and may require replacement batteries. Mulching rotary mowers do not collect the cut grass but cut it finely and put the clippings back on the lawn
to be absorbed and give nourishment.

Hover mowers

Hover mowers are a form of rotary mower without wheels. Once started, they are easy to move when mowing but they have to be carried to the lawn and then carried back afterwards. When using a hover mower avoid swinging them from side to side as this is an inefficient way to mow, and may lead to back strain. To adjust the cutting height you will probably need to tip the mower upside down and be able to use a spanner.

Petrol mowers

Petrol mowers are more suitable for larger lawns and are best purchased from a specialist. You will need a safe place to store petrol and be able to purchase it regularly. Pull starting a petrol mower can cause back, neck and shoulder strain electric start models are available but they cost considerably more. You also need to be aware that some petrol-powered mowers keep running and can move without an operator. Choose a model with a safety cut-off.

Cordless models

The price of cordless models, including battery powered mowers, trimmers and hedge cutters is falling and these easy-to-use products are becoming more common. However, try these products before you buy as the battery packs can be quite heavy and make them unwieldy and difficult to control.  

Automatic and robotic mowers 

Robotic lawn mower
Automatic mowers are driven or placed on your lawn and they start to cut the lawn at the push of a button. The machine will cut your lawn, then stop and turn itself off when finished. Automatic mowers require some human intervention to recharge but complete the grass cutting on their own.

Robotic lawnmowers go one step further - they are kept on the side of your lawn, in a battery charging station, and come out at pre-set times to cut the lawn, and then return to the charging station to prepare for the next cut.

Both automatic and robotic mowers are battery powered and require some setting-up including pegging down a perimeter wire to define the area of lawn to be cut.

You can look at equipment and tools for mowing in two ways. 

The full list of products is shown below, or you can use the Equipment and tool finder to look at products which might be useful if you: are gardening after a stroke or with heart disease; garden sitting down or from a wheelchair; have sight loss; have with a weak grip; use one hand; can't bend easily.

Equipment and tool finder
To search for equipment and tools, select the gardening job you want to do. Then select the disability which best describes your needs. If you would like to see a full list of products for each gardening job, simply choose 'All equipment and tools'.
Tool finder help

Cylinder mower

Self-propelled electric cylinder mower

Although this electric powered cylinder mower is heavy, it is self propelled and does not require pushing.

Find out more about self-propelled electric cylinder mower

Lightweight electric rotary mower

Lightweight electric rotary mower

This mower has been specially designed with extra cutting power and is light enough to be carried easily to the lawn.

Find out more about lightweight electric rotary mower

Cordless mower

Cordless battery powered rotary mower

This mower incorporates the latest battery technology to give a cordless rechargeable mower that is light and easy to use.

Find out more about cordless battery powered rotary mower

Microlite hover mower

Light hover mower

This is the lightest hover mower currently available. It has swing-back plastic safety blades and two cutting heights.

Find out more about light hover mower

Hover mower with grass box

Hover mower with grass box

For larger lawns,this model has a 33cm cutting width and an integral grass collection box. It cuts with a metal blade.

Find out more about hover mower with grass box

Automatic lawnmower

Automatic lawnmower

This battery-powered rotary mower works on its own, cutting your lawn and mulching the cuttings. The set-up on the lawn includes pegging a thin wire around the perimeter to guide the mower.

Find out more about automatic lawnmower

Robot lawnmower

Robot lawnmower

This product's lightweight construction, advanced battery design and electronics means that this small mower can cut large lawns automatically. It even has a rain sensor to delay mowing if the lawn is too wet.

Find out more about robot lawnmower