Are you looking for the best hand mower? Here you will find reviews of the most interesting models and a guide to choosing.
The manual lawnmower is a little gardening gem, with many advantages that I would like to anticipate. Meanwhile, compared to petrol or electric models, it is silent and does not produce polluting emissions and therefore harmful to the atmosphere, because it does not have an engine. It is also particularly precise in the cut, although it requires a little strength and patience. Let me state immediately that it is a fantastic tool for English lawns, because it “runs smoothly”, while it struggles on lawns with many bumps.
How a manual lawn mower works
The operation is very simple: all you have to do is push it back and forth on the turf, so as to cut the grass stems of your lawn, garden or field. It is clear that first you will have to assemble it, and study a bit how it is done, since the manual lawnmower arrives disassembled. Again, the situation is easy to understand, because the key components are essentially two.
The handle consists of an upper part, which then represents the handle, and a lower part, with two bars that you will have to connect first to the upper section and then to the cutting head. Assembling the handle is not difficult, as you just need to follow the instructions in the information booklet. Finally, consider that the handles often have a wheel that allows you to adjust the height, so as to adapt it to yours.
2. Cutting head
The cutting head is the beating heart of a push mower, as mowing depends on it. It has a rectangular shape and is equipped with 2 plastic wheels and a rear roller, which has the task of facilitating the sliding of the tool on the grass, improving accuracy. But what matters is the presence of the helical blade and the horizontal counter-blade.
3. Blade and counter blade
There is a reason why they also call it a helical lawnmower, and it is precisely the presence of a blade in the shape of a propeller. The blade is connected to the 2 wheels, so it is activated by the mechanical movement which in turn is activated when you push the tool back and forth. In practice, the stems are lifted and “captured” by the propeller, which then pushes them in the direction of the counter blade at the bottom. This bar has the task of cutting the grass cleanly, in such a way as to guarantee you a truly remarkable precision.
Consider that every now and then the helical blade could get stuck, perhaps when a twig gets stuck or when some debris ends up in the middle of the mechanisms. Don’t worry, because in that case you just need to pull the propeller towards you, applying light pressure with the tip of your foot on one of the fins. Finally, know that you can often adjust the blades to customize the cutting height.
4. Collection container
Some helical lawnmower models are equipped with a container, which obviously serves to collect the grass cut from the bar of the counterblade. How is it made and how is it assembled? Very easy. Meanwhile, you need to know that it has a flat plastic surface, and tightly meshed side edges, which prevent the weed from escaping from the container. To mount it, all you have to do is connect it to the 2 special hinges located on the sides of the cutting head. The strap, on the other hand, is attached to the center of the handle, and is used to hold the net of the bag on.
Not all hand mowers come with a bag, but you can still buy it separately. For me it is a fundamental accessory, because then I dry the cut grass and reuse it for the mulch.
Best manual lawnmowers
1. Einhell GC-HM 40 Manual Lawnmower 40 cm
If you are looking for a quality hand-held lawnmower, affordable from an economic point of view and equipped with a collection bag, then I recommend this model from Einhell. It has a very wide cutting head (40 centimeters in width), with a helical blade with 5 steel knives. In addition, it allows you to adjust the cutting height from a minimum of 15 mm up to a maximum of 35 mm (4 positions in total).
- Pattern with collection bag
- Bag with 27 liters capacity
- Cutting head width: 40 cm
- Cutting height adjustment: from 15 to 35 mm
- Ideal for lawns
Even if it is a cheap product, it is ideal for English lawns and you can use it without getting tired in plots of land up to about 250 square meters. The side wheels, then, have been designed to slide on the grass without damaging it, and also remember that in the package you will also find the collection container, with a capacity of 27 liters. Finally, know that the bag can be easily assembled or disassembled.
If you will use it not on tall grass, I assure you that you will make very little effort when pushing, and that this manual lawnmower will make your life a lot easier. In fact, the helical blades rotate at high speed with minimal thrust, and the compactness and handling of this Einhell tool do the rest. Considering the price, it is really difficult to find a walk-behind mower with a bag of this quality.
Of course, there are compromises to be made. It is in fact a tool to be used not against “savannas”, but on medium-low grass, and on flat surfaces without bumps. In addition, its effectiveness is reduced on wet grass, but this is a defect that belongs to all products of this type. Finally, every now and then the handle tends to detach from the cutting head, but only if you pull it too hard.
- Excellent value for money
- Collection bag supplied
- You can adjust the cutting height
- Good width of the cutting head
- Great blades and fast scrolling
- Compact, lightweight and easy to use
- Not for uncultivated meadows or high scrubs
- Every now and then the blade unit releases
2. Gardena Manual Lawnmower 400 C 40 cm
It has a higher price than the previous model, and does not have the bag supplied, but you can still buy it separately. This hand-held lawnmower from Gardena, however, is undoubtedly one of the best, both in terms of cutting precision and ease of use. In addition, it has a rear-mounted deflector that improves accuracy when ejecting the grass.
- Collection bagless pattern
- Cutting head width: 40 cm
- Cutting height adjustment: from 12 to 42 mm
- Grass deflector
- There is the resealable handle
- Ideal for lawns up to 250 square meters
One of its best features? The quality of the blades, in hardened steel and with non-stick coating: the precision of the shaving is millimeter, and the coating prevents the grass from sticking to the blades, also simplifying the cleaning phase. As for the technical data, it has a width of 40 centimeters and allows you to adjust the cutting height on 4 different levels (minimum 12 and maximum 42 mm).
The handle is foldable, so you can close it when it comes time to store your helical lawnmower, so as to take up less space. Also, consider that this Gardena device has a comfortable ergonomic handle, and is not tiring if used on surfaces up to 250 square meters. Finally, the cutting height adjustment mechanism is very simple to use.
For the rest, the limits are the usual: better to use it on dry grass and avoid the one that is too long (over 7 cm). Secondly, the bumps could be a nuisance, so it is at its best on flat terrain. On the other hand, the quality of the cut is exceptional and the materials are very robust and durable, and it is so practical that it can shave about 70 square meters in 10 minutes.
- Excellent cutting performance
- Very large cutting head
- Cutting adjustment from 12 to 42 mm
- The deflector improves grass ejection
- The handle can be closed
- Top-of-the-range quality materials
- The collection bag is not included
- The price is higher than the averages
3. Fiskars Hand Lawnmower Cutting Width 46 cm
With this push mower we take a decisive step forward, considering that it is a device with some unique features of its kind. First, it has two front wheels that allow you to even raise the cutting head up to 10 centimeters. The minimum adjustment, on the other hand, reaches up to 2.5 centimeters. In addition, the front wheels make it easier to slide even on rough terrain, and has a record width (46 cm).
- Bagless model
- Cutting head width: 46 cm
- Cutting height adjustment: from 2.5 to 10 cm
- 2 extra wheels (front)
- Compatible with tall grass
We are therefore talking about a premium-range manual lawnmower, and you can also understand this from the price, which exceeds 250 euros. However, this is money well spent, especially if you want to tackle tall grass, without resorting to other tools. It is true that it does not include the collection bag, which you can still buy separately, but it offers record quality, with the blades spinning at very high speeds.
The Inertia Drive transmission, in fact, accelerates the rotation of the propeller without forcing you to produce greater effort when pushing. This factor cuts the fatigue you would normally face by 60%, using a mid- or low-range helical mower. Secondly, the adjustment to 7 different positions allows you to mow any lawn, even the wildest one.
The quality of the blades, made of hardened steel, is amazing and the rotation mechanism is so reliable that it never jams. The handlebar is also of excellent level, adjustable in height and with an ergonomic handle, able to ensure total stability during pushing and pulling. Finally, the blades are so wide that they can also mow the grass near the edges (a very rare feature).
- Professional manual lawnmower
- It is able to mow any lawn
- Height adjustment from 2.5 to 10 cm
- Accelerated blade rotation
- Also compatible with tall grass
- It also manages to shave the edges
- The blades cut with extreme precision
- There is no bag supplied
- Little useful against weeds
4. Sprint 2691593 Width 40 cm Bag 20 Liters
This helical lawnmower is in all probability one of the cheapest on the market, but also one of the most affordable, considering that it includes the 20 liter collection bag. The cutting width is excellent (40 cm), and you can adjust the cutting height from a minimum of 13 mm to a maximum of 38 mm (4 positions). Finally, know that it is also one of the lightest and most manageable on the square.
- Pattern with collection bag
- Bag capacity: 20 liters
- Cutting head width: 40 cm
- Cutting height adjustment: from 13 to 38 mm
- Excellent for lawns
In terms of convenience and price, it is clear that the presence of the supplied bag makes the difference, because it will allow you to avoid spreading the freshly cut grass on the lawn. Of course, nothing prevents you from taking it apart if you want the shaving residues to remain on the ground. The quality of the materials and blades is also very good, and there is also the ergonomic handle with foam padding.
The blades are very effective and very easy to clean, and cut cleanly the stems as they are very sharp. They are so bad that they can cut even tall stems, although in that case the mower struggles to maintain balance due to its light weight. In addition, it has a handle with a particular shape, which gives you the possibility of holding it in different positions.
It’s not perfect, but the limits are very few. Specifically, it struggles on rough terrain but runs smoothly on flat terrain, while uphill requires a bit of extra effort. It is clear, then, that it offers the best performance on lawns with low grass, but this is a feature that belongs to almost all hand-held lawnmowers. Considering it has the bag, I struggle to find better on a budget range.
- Very competitive price
- Collection bag included
- Good cutting width
- You can adjust the cutting height
- Sharp blades and very precise work
- You can wield it in several ways
- Struggle against tall grass lawns
- A few stalks of grass come out of the bag
How to choose your manual lawn mower
- Cutting width: the wider the base that houses the blades, the more grass you can mow with a single pass. The 40cm models are great for any garden, while the 30cm models are a good compromise for small lawns.
- Bag capacity: the collection bag has an almost standard capacity, ranging from about 20 to 30 liters. The wider and taller it is, the less grass residues will be able to come out of the net when mowing.
- Cutting height adjustment: Almost all models of manual lawnmowers allow you to adjust the cutting height. It means that you can adapt it to different specific situations, thus customizing the height of the lawn grass.
- Quality of materials: the blades are always in steel, and those in hardened alloy are to be preferred. The body of the cutting body, on the other hand, is almost always made of hard plastic (ABS).
- Comfort and weight: the weight ranges from 9 kilos up to about 18 kilos. And it is good to find a good compromise, because a manual lawnmower that is too light will tend to overbalance, while one that is too heavy will require more effort.
Frequently asked questions and answers
1. Why should I choose a hand mower?
If you hate the fuel stench of the petrol lawn mower, this is the ideal model for you. It is also if you want to save money, as it does not consume gasoline or electricity, and if you love silence, as it produces very little noise. Those who have neighbors know well that silence is a very valuable asset, when, for example, the lawn is mowed in the evening or early in the morning. Finally, these tools are very easy to assemble, use and clean, and obviously do not pollute. If you don’t need to shave a “jungle”, it’s a fantastic product.
2. What is the ultimate effect on lawn grass?
The very sharp blades and the helical system guarantee a precise cut to the millimeter. As a result, you will get an amazing final effect from the point of view of aesthetics and uniformity, with a lawn that is always “even”. In addition, the blades cut the stems cleanly, which prevents the top section from yellowing or drying out. Not surprisingly, the so-called “razor effect” is one of the most obvious advantages of these tools.
3. Can I use it to cut tall grass?
The advice is to avoid it, since the helical lawnmowers are designed above all to equalize the grass in a garden that is often cared for, such as English lawns. Technically they are still able to mow even tall grass, but if they are not professional they tend to slip on the turf. Also, the higher the grass, the harder you will have to push when pushing.
Also know that weeds with stems larger than the diameter of the grass are not cut well, and that wet grass (being heavier) is hardly lifted by the propeller.
4. Can I use it on terrain with many gradients?
Better to leave it alone, because plots of land with many differences in height could put your manual lawnmower in great difficulty. Furthermore, I personally advise you not to use it on very stony ground and with many stones, because in that case you would risk damaging the blades. Unfortunately, the differences in height are a bad enemy for these devices, since they cause the cutting head to lose its grip, which would rise from the ground.