Buyers Guide to Sit On Lawn Mowers

If you have a big lawn or large property to maintain, a sit on lawn mower can be a lifesaver.

Not only does it cut your lawn quickly, but they often come with a range of attachments and accessories that allow you to perform a number of maintenance tasks with ease. They are your all-year-round garden workhorses that take the strain out of maintaining your property.

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Types of sit on mowers

There are typically 3 main types of sit on lawn mower available.

Cross mowers

Cross mowers are generally the cheapest sit-on lawn mower available. They offer a similar performance to a garden tractor, but without all the frills. They are the smallest type of sit on mower you can purchase, which makes them ideal for people who have gardens with tight passageways or limited storage space.

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Garden tractors

Similar to cross mowers but designed with comfort in mind. A good garden tractor should have a range of additional attachments available, therefore allowing you to use your sit on lawn mower for a variety of lawn maintenance tasks. Lawn tractors typically come as collecting models or side discharge models.

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Front Mowers

Front mowers, or riders as they are sometimes referred to, offer superior manoeuvrability when compared to a cross mower or lawn tractor. Their rear wheel drive allows them to turn tightly, leaving a much reduced uncut grass area, making them superb for tight, and hard to reach areas of your lawn. A front mower also offers the operator a superior view of where they are cutting, as the cutting blades are directly in front of them, unlike a cross mower or garden tractor where the cutting blades are located in the middle of the machine and underneath the operators seat.

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Things to consider when buying a sit on lawn mower

Transmission Type
A sit on mower with an automatic transmission (often referred to as hydrostatic or CVT transmission) can offer a smoother, more comfortable ride, especially if you have lots of flower beds or intricate areas to mow. If you have a complex lawn and use a sit on mower with a manual gearbox, then it may take much longer to cut the grass than an automatic.

Engine Type
Like a car, the engine will make or break a sit on lawn mower. A good engine manufacturer is always recommended. Briggs and Stratton is one of the biggest and most reliable sit on lawn mower engine manufacturers in the world. Others, such as Honda and Kawasaki are good also. When looking at the engine of your mower, consider the power rating. A high cylinder displacement (cc) indicates more power, while a twin cylinder engine offers more power than a single. Typically, most sit on lawn mowers are petrol or diesel fuelled. Diesel is more fuel efficient, however the cost savings may be limited unless you use your mower a lot.

Cutting Deck
A sit on lawn mower with a large cutting width will allow you to cut more grass in a single pass with your lawn mower. When considering which cutting deck to purchase, remember to take into account the narrowest area of your lawn. A good cutting deck will be reinforced to help limit damage if you drive into any hidden tree stumps or objects when cutting the grass.

Mower Maintenance
By their very nature, front mowers and their cutting blades are easier to maintain and clean, than cross mowers and garden tractors. Because the deck is at the front, they can be easily released and viewed. Tractors and cross mowers are harder to maintain. Look for features like quick release cutting blades and hose piper inlets on cutting decks so that you wash off dirt and debris that may harm your mowers performance.

Attachments
If you plan on making your sit on lawn mower your helper for a variety of tasks, first check which attachments are available. Does your chosen mower have a broom to help clear leaves from your driveway, or a scarifier to help remove moss and thatch from your lawn, or even a trailer to help you carry useful tools from one area of the garden to the other?