Lawn Mowers – Rotary v Cylinder

Lawn Mowers – Rotary v Cylinder

Picture of Written by: WILL DUNGER

Written by: WILL DUNGER


The growing season is almost upon us which can only mean one thing… your lawn mower will be back in action on a regular basis very soon.

We’re often asked the question – Which is the best type of mower for my lawn?

There are numerous different kinds of mowers for cutting grass, however there are only two main types for mowing a domestic lawn. These being a rotary lawn mower and a cylinder lawn mower. We’re going to take a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages of both rotary’s and cylinders to help you decide which is most suitable for you and your lawn.

Advantages of Rotary Lawn Mowers

Price and Maintenance – Rotary lawn mowers are considerably cheaper to purchase and maintain in comparison to cylinder mowers. They are simpler in construction and cost less to manufacture leading to a lower price.

Long Grass – Most rotary mowers can be set to cut at a height of between 20-60mm. Therefore, if your grass is a little on the long side, rotary mowers can deal with this comfortably.

Debris – Due to the chopping action of the blade on a rotary mower, they have the capability to deal with debris such as leaves and twigs that could be on the surface of a lawn. In some cases, they can be used on a high setting to collect the debris in a hoover fashion.

Ease of Use – These mowers tend to be very simple to operate, with straightforward adjustments and levers for your height of cut, forward speed and drive.

Disadvantages of Rotary Lawn Mowers

Blunt Blades – If the blades of a rotary mower aren’t sharpened regularly, they can become blunt very quickly. Blunt blades will tear the tips of the grass, leading to disease and discoloration.

Grass Box Location – The grass box is almost always located on the back of the mower, and in many cases, you’re unable to see how full it is. You could constantly be emptying the box before its necessary, leading to more stop/starting, or leaving it too long and clogging up the mower.

Advantages of Cylinder Lawn Mowers

Strong Stripes – Cylinder mowers are much heavier than rotary’s and often have a front and rear roller. This means the chances of leaving prominent stripes in your lawn following mowing is very high.

Clean Cut – The scissor style cutting action allows for a much better quality of cut than a rotary. The grass is cut between the rotating blades and the bed-knife. A clean cut will lead to a healthier grass sward and better appearance.

Height of Cut – These mowers are more often used on fine turf surfaces like bowling or golf greens, this is due to their ability to mow grass very short. So you can achieve a mighty fine cut without damaging the grass.

Cassette Replacement – Many modern cylinder mowers can be purchased with interchangeable cassettes or cartridges. You’re able to remove the cutting cassette and replace with a scarifier, verti-cutter or brush. A 4 in 1 machine – great versatility.

Disadvantages of Cylinder Lawn Mowers

Price and Maintenance – Unlike a rotary mower, cylinders are quite expensive and require regular maintenance to keep them in their best condition.

Debris – Cylinder mowers are designed more for mowing fine turf and cutting at a lower height of cut. Debris laying on the surface whilst mowing is taking place can very quickly lead to a damaged mower.