Another Lawn Mower Advice Question

jon.ward32jon.ward32 Posts: 4
edited 10 August in Tools and techniques
I need to replace a 15 year old 18" Mountfield 4 wheel rotary mower, which will no longer free wheel.

I have three areas of lawn which only amount to approx 120 square metres in total, so thinking of going down in size to a 16" or 17" mower.

As the lawns are small, this means I have a lot of edges to mow and I seem to manage to scalp the lawn edges on a fairly regular basis, so thinking of getting a roller machine this time.

I am buying on the basis of ease of use and longevity, with cost being a secondary factor and think I have got down to a shortlist of three machines:
  • Hayter Harrier 41 Autodrive
  • Honda HRX 426 QX
  • Stihl RM 454 VR
This is only for home use so the grass will never be more than 4-5cm long (first cut of the year) and usually much shorter.  I never intend to mow in the rain, but can't rule out having to mow when the grass is damp, so need a machine that won't clog up with damp grass.

Does anybody have any experience of the above mowers or care to give me a recommendation of which machine is likely to give the best longevity?
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  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 22,286
    The Honda is very similar to the machines I always used when doing contract grass cutting. I never had any complaints with any of them I ever owned. 
    I love Hondas and would always go for another one.

    Devon.
  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 3,949
    I have a Honda Izzystart. Great machine and very easy to manoeuvre. Not sure a roller will help with the scalped edges. may be better investing in putting a paver edge round all your lawns? 
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • PerkiPerki Rossendale - LancashirePosts: 1,625
    I would go with the honda as well with the hayter a close second ,the honda has a plastic deck which can be problem if you are unlucky enough to put a stone through it. Engine will be top notch and should outlast the other two which probably have briggs on ?  I am not sure but I think the rollers are one piece instead of split , its deos make a difference turning the mower with a split roller. 

    I don't have any experience with stihl lawnmowers but read and spoke to others about viking mowers owned by stihl which are now stihl mowers, more a less what is said they are really good for a while and then they start falling to bits  :/ . very good with wet grass though. 

    Hayter harriers are well know and supposed to have a really good cut if not the best, not sure on the build quality these days. 

    If you are running the mower over the edges it would be easier to use a larger machine it be more stable and unlikely to top over the edge, I am sure you could mange taking it easy though.  I would have a look at the hayter and honda in person and then make your mind up , but I would of thought the honda will outlast the other two. 
     
  • KT53KT53 Posts: 3,602
    hogweed said:
    I have a Honda Izzystart. Great machine and very easy to manoeuvre. Not sure a roller will help with the scalped edges. may be better investing in putting a paver edge round all your lawns? 
    Roller will help because it stop both wheels on one side dropping off the edge, which is certainly the cause of most of my lawn scalping.
  • lily6lily6 Posts: 14
    I would certainly consider the Hayter. I'm a jobbing gardener and have favoured the Hayter Pro range for some 30years.However I've just retired my ancient Harrier 41,used it exclusively for a couple of terraced lawns over the years but its now too heavy for me to carry up steps. Ive taken a leap of faith and purchased a Stihl battery operated mower for this purpose , I've been using their pro range of strimmers and hedgetrimmers and chainsaw for about 5 years. I haven't fallen in love with this new lawnmower yet! It was pricey even though I already have the batteries and charger. I have no experience of Honda mowers, guessing if they are anything like their car range pretty top notch and worthy of the investment. I would be very interested to hear which choice you make! 
  • ColinAColinA Posts: 222
    You definitely need a rear roller model to stop scalping when mowing over lawn edges
  • KT53KT53 Posts: 3,602
    I read a review recently which wasn't too complimentary about Hayter since they were bought out and are now just a badge from another manufacturer.
  • Thanks every one for your comments. 

    @KT43, I know the Hayter brand was bought out by Toro, but as far as I am aware they are a separate line of mowers unlike some others such as Mountfield and Atco which are very much brand names for Stiga.

    @Perki, I did try the Harrier 41 and the Honda at a local lawn mower suppliers.  I was very impressed by the smoothness and the manoeuvrability of the Harrier.  In comparison the Honda was running as rough as a dog and was difficullt to start and hunting.  Very un-Honda like and I can't help thinking that it needed a good service and they shouldn't have let me demo it.  The general consensus does seem that the Honda should prove the most reliable, so may be worth the £100 premium over the others.

    @lily6, I will let you know what choice I make.  I have asked the same question elsewhere and been recommended to look at battery mowers, which is an option I hadn't considered.  So this thread and/or my decision making process may run a little while yet!

  • nicktennickten Posts: 57
    If you go down the battery route you'll probably be buying again in 5 years because the battery will need replacing but the manufacturer will have changed the fit. Happens with drills.
  • nickten said:
    If you go down the battery route you'll probably be buying again in 5 years because the battery will need replacing but the manufacturer will have changed the fit. Happens with drills.
    I had a look at the cost of the battery mower and the only significant saving would be on the lack of servicing costs.  The cost of a battery mower plus battery pack isn't significantly cheaper than the higher end petrol mowers I have been looking at..

    I guess the battery pack can always be replaced when it degrades, which is the equivalent of the petrol mower servicing costs.
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