Hand lawn mower: the perfect tool for taking care of a small garden

Guide to mechanical lawn mowers. Is it worth buying? And how to choose? On the site of Nelo

The main criterion determining the choice of lawn mower is the size of the lawn. Depending on the size of the lawn, it is fundamentally important whether it is worth buying a large, expensive and powerful device, or it is better to choose an easier and cheaper mower.

What are we talking about? The manual lawn mower is suitable for small areas. It doesn’t need electricity, diesel fuel or gasoline – all you need is just to roll it across the lawn…

How does a manual lawnmower work?

The main element of mechanical lawn mowers is the cutting mechanism, which rotates in the movement of the device. It can be drum or cylindrical. Structurally, they practically do not differ from each other. And in terms of usability they are about the same.

Manual lawnmower consists of several blades (knives), which are sharpened in a special way so that they do not come into contact during work. Due to this design, the lawn is dealt with very precisely and certainly very accurately.

The cutting drum is driven by massive knives, which are usually made of durable plastic. The blades themselves are usually made of hardened steel that is coated with an anti-coating, which means that the lawnmower cilia are resistant to external factors (water, dirt, etc.). If you want to buy a mechanical lawn mower with a long lifespan, we recommend choosing models with stainless steel blades – they do not rust and last much longer than conventional ones.

Is it convenient to mow the grass with a manual lawnmower?

Due to the lack of a motor in these devices, many people believe that hand lawn mowers will mow the lawn worse compared to electric and gasoline models. In fact, this is not the case. Yes, of course, too large thickets and dense grass is better mowed by the more powerful engine powered models to provide grass in areas with low height and small area – this is the most economical and optimal solution.

In addition, hand-held reel mowers have a number of other advantages:

  1. They are simple and easy to operate. People of any physical condition, even children and pensioners can handle them;
  2. They are very quiet devices. They don’t make loud noise, which means they don’t disturb other residents of the house or neighbors. If you live out of town, we’re sure you’ve experienced a lot of noise from neighbors when neighbors were using gasoline or electric lawn mowers. Mechanical lawn mowers work quietly and do not conduct any noise – who knows that this is a reason to buy such a device for yourself and your neighbors and live in harmony?
  3. It is an inexpensive device to operate. When you buy a manual mechanical lawn mower, unlike electric or gasoline models, you don’t have to spend money on maintenance. You no longer have to pay for electricity or buy fuel. All you will have to pay is the cost of the mower and the fee for regular sharpening of the blades (although there are self-sharpening models on the market);
  4. These are the most precise lawn mowers. Due to the special shape and design of the drum or roller, manual lawn mowers cut the lawn much more accurately than electric and gasoline-powered machines. Furthermore, the grass can be cut on several levels – the effect is comparable to cutting with a secateurs. If you go over the lawn with such a mower, the grass on it becomes even and neat;
  5. This is the most compact type of mowers. Mechanical models are usually small and therefore take up much less space in storage than gas or electric mowers.
  6. They are environmentally friendly devices. Mechanical lawn mowers are environmentally friendly devices. This is especially important if you care about the clean air in your neighborhood, village and support a healthy lifestyle. These lawn mowers do not produce any exhaust and do not consume any energy other than our own.
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Is a manual lawn mower suitable for small gardens?

Because of all the above advantages, mechanical lawn mowers are best suited for prudent and frugal homeowners who need to regularly mow a small lawn or plot (up to 2-3 acres).

For the care of such a small area, the use of massive motor lawn mowers is inefficient and too expensive. All because of the high operating costs. Therefore, if you have a small lawn in front of the house, pay attention to manual lawn mowers.

What’s the best hand lawn mower?

Despite the limited capabilities of hand lawn mowers, there are many models and manufacturers of such devices on the market today. Of course, when buying such a device, the traditional parameters of engine power and torque are not important for us. So what should you pay attention to when choosing a hand lawn mower? Of course, the quality of the blade and its width.

It is better to choose models with a blade width of 30 to 40 cm. Hand lawnmowers with a smaller width of the drum cost less, but keep in mind that they create more noise. These devices are effective if you have a narrow and small lawn, but mowing large lawns with narrow mowers is inconvenient. For lawns with a large area, it is better to choose mechanical lawn mowers with a diameter of 40 centimeters – with them it is much easier to mow the lawn and all the green space on the site.

When choosing a lawn mower, pay attention to how the adjustment of the cutting height is arranged. Usually it is regulated by special screws in the place where the blades are installed. The best lawn mower models allow you to adjust the height from 12 to 44 mm. With this solution, you will be able to cut the grass on your plot as accurately and evenly as possible.

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There are also so-called self-sharpening hand lawn mowers. They differ from traditional lawnmowers in that they do not require sharpening the cutting deck. The machine does everything itself. This solution significantly extends the life of the blades and the device itself.

When choosing a lawn mower, pay attention to the capacity of the container. In most models, the grass shears are attached to the back of the mower. This solution is more convenient, because you do not need to collect the cut grass – just remove the container and throw it away. The optimum capacity of the grass container is 25 liters. Such a basket is enough for mowing small lawns.

The larger the wheels of the lawnmower, the better. It is recommended to choose models with a wheel diameter of at least 200 mm. And be sure to check their durability, they must be durable and have small treads.

Manual mechanical lawnmower. manufacturers and prices

The cheapest manual lawnmowers can be found in stores today at a price of 2 000 to 3 000 rubles. This is roughly comparable to the price of trimmers, but keep in mind that these two types of machines mow lawns quite differently (trimmers – roughly, lawnmowers – exactly). Good and durable models of lawn mowers from reputable manufacturers are somewhat more expensive: 5-7 thousand rubles.

Speaking of manufacturers. We recommend buying lawn mowers from companies with a reputation for quality lawn care products, such as Gardena, Bosch and Fiskars.

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Lawn mowers: types, construction and working principles

Photo 1

Mechanical lawnmowers – this is a whole class of special devices for cutting grass, which do not have their own engine, and work from any external source of energy.

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Among the owners of homestead plots there are their own supporters of this type of devices.

And it is not only because of the affordable price. They are easy to use, environmentally friendly and reliably protect the lawn.

There are 3 types of mechanical lawn mowers:

  • Manual;
  • mounted;
  • mounted.

Manual mechanical devices are the most in demand, as they combine the advantages of small lawn mowers, but do not have the limitations of other types of manual lawn mowers, ie..:

Next, let’s talk about the working principle of mechanical lawn mowers and their types.

principle of operation

Each implement of this type is equipped with a drum cutting tool, while rotary cutting tools are equipped only with mounted and trailed implements.

Photo 2

The drum cutting tool consists of:

  • drum knife;
  • counter-blade;
  • drive mechanism.

The knife drum consists of:

  • shaft (spindle);
  • hard discs;
  • cutting knife.

Let us describe how mechanisms of this type work.

The spindle is connected to one of the discs through a transmission gear, due to which the rotation speed is several times higher than the disc speed. The discs are rigidly attached to the shaft, which makes them rotate with it.

The knives are mounted almost perpendicular to the discs and almost parallel to the shaft, with a slight deviation they pass the counter knife like shears, with the point of contact moving from one edge to the other as the drum rotates.

The knives of the drum and the veal knife are sharpened at a 90 degree angle, which reinforces their resemblance to shears. With this spindle design, the grass is mowed at all times over a small area, reducing the stress on the shaft, which means less force is needed to rotate it. The opposite metre is rigidly attached to the mower frame, so it is always in the same place in relation to the reel.

By turning the mower housing relative to the floor, you can change the cutting height, with the opposite gauge always in the same position relative to the reel, which means that the mechanism cuts the grass regardless of the cutting height with the same efficiency.

Most often, the gearbox is made of plastic, with a large gear on the bike and a small one attached to the spindle, which means the spindle speed is many times the speed of the wheel. The disadvantage of such a drive is a very low performance, so the lawnmower is good at mowing only low and sparse grass.

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Types of manual lawnmowers

Photo 3

Every owner of a private plot sooner or later thinks about the purchase of a lawn mower. And at this point the question arises, how to choose a suitable model?

All devices of this type can be divided into types according to the following characteristics:

  • the choice of forward or backward;
  • The presence or absence of a bag for collecting grass;
  • The presence or absence of additional bikes;
  • Contact or non-contact cutting mechanism.


Most machines throw the grass clippings backwards so they can be left at the construction site or collected in the grass box. Some models are equipped with a front loop, the advantage of which is that the cuttings do not fly under the operator’s feet and do not interfere with his movements.

The disadvantage of this design is that the mower is forced not only to cut vegetation, but also to shred it, as the cutted green mass lies in the way of the machine and is crushed.

With or without a grass basket

Models without a basket throw the grass to the rear, which not only remains on the surface, but also interferes with the mower’s forward movement.

Devices with grass baskets can work in both modes, that is, collecting or throwing grass back into the container, so they are more versatile.

A grass collection basket makes the mower a little more expensive, but if you value it, you’re willing to overpay.

Extra bikes.

The front (large) wheels absorb the weight of the machine and transfer rotational energy to the spindle, which spins the drum. However, in order to ensure a consistent cutting height, the mower must be properly aligned with the floor.

This task is taken over by the rear of the mower and consists of a bracket in most models and rubber or plastic rollers on it.

Photo 4

This implementation has two significant disadvantages:

  • High resistance to movement along the construction site;
  • Changing the height of the cut when hitting a bump.

Lawnmowers that have full-fledged wheels rather than rollers at the rear are devoid of these disadvantages.

In the case of models with a front contour, front-mounted casters greatly increase floating ability because they are easier to traverse bumps than plastic casters.


Although all cutters are made in the same pattern, they are divided into two types:

  • Contact;
  • Non-contact.
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The difference between the two is that the drum and the opposite meter are in contact with the contact blade, which increases the noise level of the mower, but makes the cut cleaner.

In the case of non-contact devices, the distance between the drum knife and the opposite metre is 0.05 mm, this slightly reduces the sharpness of the cut, but such devices emit noticeably less noise.

Rotary models

Devices with rotation are never made by hand, because they require much more energy than can be obtained from a rotating wheel to mow the grass properly. Therefore, such mowers are only produced as cultivators or attachments for various agricultural machines.

Machines for tall grass

Unlike plants that are regularly mowed, tall grass has thick stems and leaves, so a hand-held lawn mower cannot cut it.

If the grass is 5-10 cm higher than the cutting height of the hand-held mower, it can be mowed in several passes and then cut.

For taller vegetation, use other tools instead of a mower, such as: B. mechanical lawn trimmer or a heavy attachment.

Brands and Reviews

Photo 5

Despite the fact that all manual mechanical lawn mowers are arranged and function on the same principle, the quality of mowing the grass and reliability of the device depends largely on the brand under which the model is produced.

In addition, when choosing a particular lawn mower, it is necessary to consider not only its technical characteristics and descriptions, which are available on the page of the model in the store, but also its position in the rating of the most popular devices.

You can find a lot of useful information on these topics here: Evaluating mechanical lawn mowers.

How to do it yourself?

On the Internet there are often recommendations for making lawn mowers with their own hands, which for some reason are described as mechanical, but they are all equipped with electric or gasoline engines.

Those who have decided to build a really mechanical, rather than motor lawnmower, must make a cutting mechanism that meets three conditions:

  • Minimum mass required for rapid drum rotation;
  • Perfect balance, without runout;
  • The highest precision in manufacturing – a tolerance of 0.005 mm.

It is extremely difficult to meet these requirements in self-made conditions, and the cost of designing and assembling such a self-made machine will many times exceed the cost of the purchase itself.

Related videos

Here is a video with reviews of some models of manual mechanical lawnmowers and demonstration of work:

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