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Aldi has a cheap petrol lawn mower – but is it a cut above the rest?

Aldi’s new petrol-powered lawn mower hits UK stores on 1 March. We tried it out to see if it’s worth buying

Aldi has a cheap petrol lawn mower – but is it a cut above the rest?

It’s self-propelled, has seven cutting heights and even comes with a mulching plug included. As springtime approaches, could Aldi’s new Ferrex Self Propelled Petrol Lawnmower FPMXSZ4 be the mower you need to spruce up your lawn?

It’s certainly at the cheaper end of the scale (£179.99) and has the look and features of mowers far more expensive. We got our hands on one early to get some first impressions and see if it’s a bargain mower that can compete with the best.

Read our full review of our first impressions of the Aldi Ferrex Self Propelled Petrol Lawnmower FPMXSZ46D, or keep scrolling to find out more about how it shapes up against the premium brands.


Or head straight to our lawn mower reviews


Aldi’s new Ferrex petrol lawn mower: what you get

You’d be forgiven for thinking it was from a premium brand rather than an inexpensive Aldi Special Buy. Many cheap mowers are made of plastic, mostly – but the handlebars, deck and 46cm rotary blade on the Ferrex are all made of metal.

The engine isn’t cheap quality, either. It’s made by American engineers Briggs & Stratton, which builds engines for many of the top lawn mower brands. The engine has a self-propelling function, which moves the mower at around 3.5km/h. We found this to be a comfortable walking pace – not too slow, and not too fast.

It has seven cutting heights, ranging from 25-75mm, which you can adjust easily using the well-designed metal gear stick at its rear. You can also fold the handles down to half way, which is useful for storage, but you’ll need to unscrew the bolts to fold it down fully.

It comes with a mulching plug, too, which is handy for cutting grass clippings very finely and redistributing them in a thin layer on to your lawn. This helps keen the lawn healthy and means you don’t need to dispose of the clippings.

There’s no roller at the back, though, so you won’t be able to get the professional striped finish you see on the pitches at Wimbledon and football stadiums.

See what you get with the very best mowers by checking out our top five lawn mowers for 2020.

What are some of the pros and cons?

There are almost always some trade-offs when buying a lawn mower – we’ve listed some pros and cons below to help you make up your mind.

Pros

  • Impressive cutting ability Some of the most expensive mowers can struggle to deliver on this most important function, but not Aldi’s Ferrex. We tried it out in wet conditions, and tasked it with cutting grass of varying size and at different heights – and it rose to each task with apparent ease. It hasn’t been put through our full battery of tests, so we’re not sure how it performs on rough or especially long grass, but we couldn’t fault its cutting ability when we tried it out.
  • Easy to use Sometimes simplicity is what you need in your garden, and the Ferrex can’t be criticised in that department. It’s comfortable to use, adjust and control, so you shouldn’t need to get the instruction booklet out too often. It doesn’t turn all that easily, though, which is something to be aware of.

Cons

  • Poor grass collection Our full tests find this is an all-too-common problem with lawn mowers. When we tried the Ferrex out, it collected plenty of grass and filled the bag up to about half capacity, but wouldn’t fill much more than then. Regular emptying will be required if you buy it.
  • Untidy finish It may cut grass efficiently, but it’s not the most graceful. We found the cut to be a little rough and uneven, so if you’re particular about your grass being perfectly shaved to an even, precise height, you might be disappointed with Aldi’s mower.

Should you buy it?

At £179.99 it’s certainly tempting – we’ve tested mowers that cost more than three times as much as the Aldi Ferrex.

But is the price an indication of how good it is?

The below graph shows the average Which? test score of lawn mowers at different price points.

The graph indicates that paying more for a lawn mower gives you a better chance of getting a good one, so could Aldi’s be an exception to the rule?

We haven’t tested the Aldi mower yet, so can’t be certain it delivers, but based on our first impressions we think it’s definitely worth considering.

Make sure to get a top-quality lawn mower by checking out our Best Buy lawn mowers.

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