Types of Lawn Mowers

A lawn mower is a hand operated or motor driven machine that is used to cut grass to a uniform height usually determined by the operator. It achieves this cutting action through use of rotating knives or blades at high rotational speeds.

Table of Contents

Classification of Lawn Mowers

Lawn mowers are classified based on the following:

  • Power type
  • Drive type
  • Their moving style

Lawn Mowers By Power Type

Classification is based on the type of power that is used to achieve the cutting action.

1. Manual lawn mowers

Manual lawn mowers relies on human energy as the source of power for both equipment motion and cutting action. They come with blades fitted for grass cutting action which derive their action from manual pushing by the operator. An example of this type of lawn mower is the reel mower.

Principle of Operation

The machine operator applies force on handlebars and thus pushes the machine. This causes the forward movement of the wheels and rotational motion of the wheel axles. As the axle turns, its rotary motion is transferred to the mower blades through gear coupling. The gear ratios is such that driver gear has more teeth than the driven gear thereby allowing the driven or pinion gear directly coupled to the mower blades to move more turns per each single turn of the driver gear. This gives the blades a faster turning speed as compared to the wheels.

These kind of mowers has got some advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages of Manual lawn mowers 

  • Manual lawn mowers are easy to operate with simple structure and hence cost less as compared to other types.
  • Their simple structure and energy source makes them safe for use as compared to other lawn mower types.
  • In terms of service and maintenance, they are less complex requiring minimal maintenance.
  • No fuel is required to power the equipment hence no emissions into the atmosphere (environmentally friendly).

Disadvantages of Manual lawn mowers 

Major drawback experienced with this type of lawn mower is the high level of force required to push the machine and cut large sized areas. This makes the equipment less ergonomically friendly and limited only to small sized areas with short travelling distances.

2. Electric Powered Lawn Mowers

These are powered by electricity which provides the power for equipment motion and cutting action of the blades.

The advantage of using this type of lawn mower is its ability to work for long hours since its electric powered, human fatigue is less as compared to the manual types. Additionally, the machine is easy to operate and very compact making it easy to maneuver.

Major disadvantage of the machine is the limitation of power source accessibility. It can only cut to a radius determined by length of power supply cord.

3. Battery powered Lawn Mowers

Battery powered as coined by their name relies on chemical energy stored in batteries. During operation, the chemical energy is converted into electrical energy which provides the torque to the blades to initiate the cutting process.

These do not have power supply cord length limitations and can be used at any area. However, their major drawback is they are limited to battery supply capacity hence it is critical to check the batteries for power. Some would not last more than one hour of operation implying increased recharge cycles.

4. Fuel Powered Lawn Mowers

This lawn mower type use either diesel or petrol engine to provide the energy to the cutting blades. In terms of cutting area coverage these are only limited by the fuel availability otherwise they have no other limitation.

Some fuel powered lawn mowers are very fuel economic hence use of these is cheap.

Lawn Mowers by Drive Type

This classification technique focuses on the drive mechanism, either forward, reverse or both.

1. Rear Wheel type

These are driven or moved forward by the propulsion force from the back wheels and are suitable for working on open and large areas. These type of lawn mowers have an advantage of maneuvering through uneven terrain. Their major limitation is on directional control either turning around or reversing.

2. Front Wheel

This lawn mower type relies on power being supplied to the front wheels and transferred to cutting blades. They are propelled by the power of the front wheel making them easy to maneuver in uneven terrain.

3. All Wheel

These are moved by both wheels as the name implies. They have the advantage of speed as compared to other types due to power supply to all wheels.

Lawn Mowers By Moving style

Mowers are defined by their style of movement categorized into ride on mowers and walk mowers.

1. Ride On Mowers

For ride on mowers, the operator rides on the mower executing the lawn cutting process. A seat is provided for the operator to sit while controlling the machine.

2. Zero Turn Mowers

The major advantage of using these type of lawn mowers is their ability to make sharp turns, maneuver very close to obstructions and their capability to cut large amounts of grass. They come with two lap bars for steering thus providing best mowing experience. Their engines have the ability to produce 20 to 25 horsepower. However, all these benefits come at a cost in comparison with other types which makes them a bit expensive.

3. Rear Engine Lawn Mower

These are single cylinder powered engines suitable for lawns of moderate size. The engine is located in the back of the mower and the deck seats beneath the driver’s seat.

Transmission is provided by the operation of the provided lever delivering around 11 horsepower.

4. Lawn Tractor

Various modifications have been made for these type of lawn mowers. They range from simple mowers which come with gears operated by levers to modern designs of automated transmission with the cutting deck situated in the middle of the front and rear axles of the machine.

Lawn tractors are suitable for large lawns and come in engine sizes ranging from 18 to 25 horsepower. The disadvantage with this lawn mower type is restricted maneuver ability.

5. Walk mowers

For walk mowers, the operator walks while controlling the machine during operation.

Mowers can be manual requiring operator to push the mower for movement and lawn cutting process. Self-propelled walk mowers only requires operator to control the direction of motion of the equipment while the engines provides the power for self-propulsion. These mowers can move alone in one direction unless operator changes the direction.