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How much do you really need to spend on a lawn mower?

Find out why you don't need to spend big bucks on a new mower

How much do you really need to spend on a lawn mower?

Buying a new lawn mower can sometimes feel like a significant extra expense, but it doesn’t always have to be.

While our tests have identified plenty of excellent high-end mowers, they’ve also unearthed lots of bargain models that rival the bigger brands at a fraction of the cost.

If you’re on the hunt for a new mower but don’t want to break the bank, it’s still possible to get your hands on a reliable machine that will give great results.

Unsure on what to look for when buying a new mower? Head to our guide on how to buy the best lawn mower



The difference between cheap and expensive mowers

As is the case with most large purchases for your home or garden, you can spend as much or as little as you’d like on a lawn mower.

While we’ve seen own-brand supermarket models selling for as little as £50, you can also easily spend thousands of pounds on all-singing, all-dancing ride-on mowers.

There are no stark differences between cheaper and pricier mowers on the whole, but cheaper models tend to be on the smaller side. You’ll also normally get a longer warranty with more expensive mowers, but this isn’t a hard-and-fast rule.

If you’re looking to spend less than £100 on a lawn mower, you’ll almost definitely end up with a corded electric model. There are a handful of cordless models at this price too, but if you’re after petrol it will cost a little more.

Read our reviews of all lawn mowers that cost £150 or less.

What extra features will I get if I spend more?

If you’re willing to spend a little more on a lawn mower, it won’t necessarily guarantee better results, but you could end up with some of the bells and whistles not regularly seen on cheaper models.

For example, pricier petrol lawn mowers are often self propelled. This means that you don’t have to do all the hard work yourself, as the extra drive in the mower will help to push it along with less effort. Most have a single speed, but some higher-end models have a selection of drive speeds too.

You’re more likely to end up with a newer cordless model if you spend a little extra, too. These tend to be very lightweight with longer runtimes (often more than 30 minutes) and quicker charging times, helping you get the job done faster.

Extra features don’t always mean your lawn will come out looking perfect, though, so no matter how much you’re looking to spend you should always check our reviews first.

Head to our Best Buy lawn mowers to see which models we recommend.

Can cheap lawn mowers tackle large gardens?

Whether or not a lawn mower can tackle a large garden efficiently depends on a few aspects: cutting width, grass-catcher capacity and battery runtime (if applicable).

For each lawn mower we test, we recommend the lawn size it’s most suitable for. We classify small lawns as less than 50sq m, medium-sized lawns as 50 to 150sq m, and large lawns as 150sq m or more.

As mentioned above, cheaper lawn mowers tend to have smaller cutting widths, and for the most part won’t be ideal for bigger lawns, as they’ll take longer to cut the whole area. However, there are definitely exceptions to the rule, and we’ve encountered some budget models that are capable of tackling a 150sq m garden without any issues.

If your garden is on the large side, you’ll want to be on the lookout for a cutting width of at least 40cm.

Did you know you can filter our reviews by lawn size? Here are the mowers best-suited to large gardens

Budget lawn mowers we’ve tested

We make sure we’re testing lawn mowers across a wide range of prices so our members always have a few models to choose from, no matter what their budget. Here are a few cheaper lawn mowers we’ve tested and what you can expect:

B&Q FPLM1000-4 34cm Corded Rotary, £45

This small, corded electric mower has a 1,000W motor and weighs just over 10kg. It has a cutting width of 34cm, which is one of the narrowest we’ve seen, so it probably won’t be up to the job if you have a very large lawn.

The cable is 10 metres long, meaning you may need to use an extension cable if you don’t have an outside plug. There are three cutting heights ranging from 20 to 60mm – but most mowers have five height settings.

You can collect up to 27 litres of grass in the tiny collection bag before it will need to be emptied.

The budget price of this mower certainly looks appealing, but how well did it perform in our rigorous lab tests? Read our full B&Q FPLM1000-4 34cm corded rotary lawn mower review to find out.

Flymo Turbo Lite 250, £70

A slightly more expensive option than the B&Q model, this lightweight electric hover mower weighs just 5.1kg. The cutting width of just 25cm is one of the smallest we’ve ever seen, though, so it could take you a while to get the job done, depending on the size of your garden.

The three cutting heights range from 10 to 30mm, and you adjust it by adding or removing spacers under the mower deck. You can also adjust the floating handle from 75cm to a maximum of 100cm to best suit your height.

It doesn’t have any sort of grass catcher, so you’ll need to rake up the clippings when you’re done to avoid bringing them into your home on your shoes.

Wondering if this cheap hover mower could be the right choice for you? Read our full Flymo Turbo Lite 250 review to find out how well it cuts various types of grass.

Husqvarna HiCut 64, £110

This manual mower has a very generous cutting width of 41cm, meaning it can cover more ground in less time. Sure, it will require more effort to push around your lawn than an electric or petrol mower, but it does weigh less than 10kg.

It has a variable cutting height, ranging from 12 to 60mm, and there’s a roller to leave a striped finish on your lawn. You’ll have to buy the grass catcher separately if you don’t fancy raking up the clippings once you’re done, but you can pick one up for less than £30.

It’s a great solution if you’re trying to reduce your carbon footprint, as it doesn’t emit any harmful fumes or require electrical power .

Tempted to take an eco-friendly approach with this hand-push mower? Read our full Husqvarna HiCut 64 review before you make your final decision.

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