Which is better for my garden lawn, a cylinder or rotary mower?Posted on June 12th, 2013
Most gardeners just think a lawn mower is a lawn mower. It’s a machine that cuts the grass and usually collects the clippings. However like with a range of other types of machinery there are many different variants and mechanisms. This article will take you through two of the most common lawn mower types (cylinder and rotary). In doing so the benefits of each can be compared and contrasted to allow you to decide which is best for your gardening needs.
First off we need to discuss what each type of lawn mower actually is, and how they are constructed for more information on lawn mowers and their uses you can check out the following articles.
Rotary mowers are single bladed machines that work by using a horizontal rotating blade. It is controlled by a motor which rotates at the centre of the blade. This blade hits the grass at speed, cutting through the grass from a combination of force and blade sharpness. The rotating blade creates a vacuum which lifts the grass upright, meaning a low and neat cut is achieved. There is however a downside to a rotary cut in that it is harder to get a fine finish, and it can leave the grass more open to damage/disease. Because the grass is essentially cut from the blade ripping the grass at high speed the finish can be ragged. This might not be on a visible level, but it is always present to some degree. This ragged open cut can leave the grass more susceptible to disease, infection and sun damage.
Cylinder mowers are multi bladed machines that work by using a vertically rotating cartridge (cylinder). These blades work in conjunction with one another to create a much cleaner cut. It is achieved by blades creating a sort of scissor action as the cylinder rotates. This gives a much cleaner finish and the grass is cut neatly (not with a ragged finish like what occurs when using a rotary mower). Therefore cylinder mowers are much better for your lawn’s health and allow you to get a cleaner finish. The downside however is that cylinder mowers are more expensive, require more upkeep and need to be used regularly. They can only cut the grass when it is already very short, so regular mowing is a must, or the machine will clog/jam.
When considering both types of machine, the rotary mower will be satisfactory for most gardeners. They give a satisfactory cut and unless you’re keeping an ornamental lawn the results should be acceptable. However if you want a prize winning lawn then you’ll never achieve it without the help of a high quality cylinder mower. These are used on golf greens, tennis courts, bowling greens, cricket squares and presentation (ornamental) lawns everywhere. You just have to factor in the upkeep and regular cutting schedules or else the effect of the cylinder cut will be cancelled out.