Last updated: August 7, 2021

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As soon as spring comes, the hum of the lawn mower starts again. The petrol lawn mower is one of the noisiest but also most powerful types of gardening equipment. In the meantime, it seems a little outdated when you look at the latest generation of autonomously operating robotic mowers. Nevertheless, there are numerous areas of application for petrol lawnmowers, which is why they are still in high demand today.

With our large petrol lawn mower test 2021 we want to provide you with the most important information about this device. In this way, you will be well prepared to buy the right petrol lawnmower with the right functions for you and your lawn. We hope you enjoy reading this article.




Summary

  • There are a number of different lawn mower variants with their own advantages and disadvantages. Among them, the petrol lawn mower is the one with the most powerful engine.
  • There are petrol lawnmowers with different functions and equipment options. Before buying, consider which one best suits your application areas.
  • The petrol lawn mower is particularly suitable for challenging tasks in a large garden. It is ideal for cutting tall and dense grass.

The Best Petrol Lawn Mower: Our Choices

Buying and evaluation criteria for petrol lawnmowers

In the following paragraph you will find out what criteria are important when buying a new petrol lawnmower.

The criteria you can use to compare petrol lawnmowers include:

In the following paragraphs you will learn more about the individual criteria in detail.

Cutting width and cutting height

The width of cut is decisive for how wide your petrol lawnmower cuts. Simply put, with a wider cutting width you can mow your lawn faster and you have to walk less. The cutting height indicates the height at which the lawn mower cuts.

Type Cutting width in centimetres
Small From 30 - 44
Medium 44 - 60
Large From 60 and above

Petrol lawnmowers can be easily compared in terms of size by their cutting width. The smallest lawnmowers have widths of 30 - 42 centimetres, larger ones are in the 44 - 58 centimetre range. From 60 centimetres, the rule of thumb, lawn mowers are usually only suitable for large-area use.

Manufacturers often give recommendations for areas for the cutting widths.

The size of the blades also determines how powerful the engine must be. With a larger cutting width, the motor has to apply more power to move the blades at the right speed.

The cutting height is less important in this context. In most cases, it can be adjusted in a similar way. However, if you have special requirements for the machine or your garden, ask the manufacturer about the machine.

Lawn area

The area you want to cut with your petrol lawnmower should be considered before you buy. The size, vegetation and condition of the lawn are particularly important.

As already mentioned, it is worth choosing a large cutting width for a large area. This way, the petrol lawnmower cuts a larger area and you have to run fewer lanes.

Petrol lawnmowers with large wheels are better suited for uneven terrain.

The vegetation can be decisive when the petrol lawnmower is faced with special tasks. Simple grass and light weeds should not be a problem for most lawnmowers. To clear thick brushwood or protruding roots, the petrol lawnmower must have more power.

Also, not all ground to mow is nice and flat and easy to work on. Pay attention to the condition of the lawn. In particular, you should consider how sloping or uneven it is when making your purchase decision.

Mulching function

Petrol lawnmowers with a mulching function have become increasingly popular in recent years. In addition to the possibility of using a grass catcher box for the cuttings, these lawn mowers have the function of letting the cuttings fall directly back onto the lawn as mulch.

For a long time, one problem with mowing was that valuable nutrients were removed from the grass by cutting it. In agriculture, mulching has been used for a long time because of this. Hobby gardeners are also becoming more aware of the advantages of this approach.

The most obvious advantages of mulching are:

  • Regular natural fertilisation of the lawn
  • Grass colour becomes lush green
  • Growth of weeds is suppressed

In addition, you save on the purchase of expensive fertiliser.

However, for mulching to really benefit the meadow, it should be as dry as possible. So don't start immediately after it has rained. The garden should be mulched about 20 times per season to achieve a noticeable result.

Comfort

The range of petrol lawnmowers has expanded steadily. As a result, you can find mowers with a wide range of comfort functions and conveniences. So think about how and where you might want to make things a little easier for yourself the next time you mow the lawn.

Especially for large lawns, it is worth paying attention to the comfort functions.

A built-in wheel drive allows you to mow the lawn without much effort. Especially large wheels on the lawn mower make it easier to move over areas that are difficult to access.

There are also a number of additional features, such as a quick-start button, which makes the tiresome task of starting the petrol engine much easier. Some mowers also have a self-cleaning function for the cutting blades or do not require regular oil changes.

Loudness

Petrol lawnmowers can be noisy, especially older models are known for this. Nowadays, modern petrol lawnmowers can reach a volume of between 80 and 100 decibels, which is roughly equivalent to the sound of a busy road.

When operating particularly noisy equipment, it is advisable to wear hearing protection.

If you live in a densely populated neighbourhood, it may be worthwhile not to buy the loudest model. Other alternatives that may be quieter are discussed in more detail in the guide section.

Weight

Most petrol lawnmowers weigh between 30 and 40 kilograms. However, this can vary greatly and is mainly related to the general size of the device and the materials used.

If your lawn is easily accessible with the lawn mower, you don't really have to worry about the weight of the device. Only for carrying the mower into the cellar or transporting it on a trailer should it weigh less.

Decision: What types of petrol lawnmowers are there and which is right for you?

Petrol lawnmowers are most easily distinguished by whether they have a wheel drive. Here you will find a compact overview of the most common classifications.

Type Advantages Disadvantages
Petrol lawnmowers with wheel drive Comfortable mowing More expensive to buy
Petrol lawnmowers without wheel drive Inexpensive purchase, Less weight Strenuous use

In the following section we want to help you choose the petrol lawnmower that is right for you. To make your decision easier, we will go into detail about the different lawn mowers.

Benzinrasenmäher mit Radantrieb

Petrol lawn mower with wheel drive

A wheel drive on the lawn mower makes your work much easier. The lawn mower moves ahead of you at a preset speed and you can easily steer it in the desired direction. The drive is particularly recommended for heavy equipment.

Most mowers are a little more expensive to buy if they have a wheel drive. In addition, the drive is less suitable for particularly small meadow areas. Here it can be a nuisance when manoeuvring precisely. Otherwise, the wheel drive offers a lot of comfort when mowing.

Advantages
  • Makes work easier
  • especially recommended for heavy implements
Disadvantages
  • Can be a nuisance on small lawns
  • Somewhat more expensive
Benzinrasenmäher ohne Radantrieb

Petrol lawn mower without wheel drive

Without wheel drive, the lawn mower relies on your muscle power to move. This means that once you start the machine, it is under your control and will not move without you.

If you are looking for an inexpensive and simple machine for your small garden, you can consider buying a simple petrol lawnmower without a wheel drive. Most of these models are also lighter in weight.

Advantages
  • Inexpensive variant
  • Often lighter
Disadvantages
  • More strenuous work

Guide: Frequently asked questions about petrol lawnmowers answered in detail

Who is a petrol lawn mower suitable for?

This type of lawn mower is particularly characterised by the high performance of the engine. This makes it easy to trim even dense grass. In addition, petrol lawn mowers are self-sufficient, which means they do not need an external power source, only enough petrol must be available in the tank.

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Any grass, no matter how tall, can be trimmed with the powerful output of a petrol lawnmower.
(Image source: Daniel Watson / Unsplash)

Therefore, the petrol-powered lawn mower is mainly suitable for rough work in large gardens of about 300 square metres or more. If you mow irregularly or like your lawn to grow taller, you should opt for a more powerful petrol lawnmower. Petrol mowers are also a good choice if there is no power socket within reach or no time to charge a battery.

How does a petrol lawnmower work?

Lawn mowers of this type have a petrol engine as the motive power. Once the tank has been filled with the correct fuel, it can be started. To do this, the petrol pump usually has to be pressed three times.

Modern devices usually have a quick-start button.

Then the throttle is set to start and the starter rope is pulled quickly until resistance is felt.

Many petrol mowers have an additional safety lever that must be pulled to keep the mower running. Familiarise yourself with the intricacies of your machine before starting so that you know how to operate the mower safely at all times.

In what sizes can I buy a petrol lawnmower?

Petrol lawnmowers come in all different sizes. In addition to the cutting width, which determines the actual size of the lawn mower, the collection container or the design of the device can also have an influence.

The larger the lawn mower, the heavier and more unwieldy it is.

Therefore, the size of the device should ideally be based on the intended lawn size.

The largest of the lawn mowers are the mowing tractors, which are almost a vehicle for mowing the lawn.

How much does a petrol lawn mower cost?

Prices for a petrol-powered lawn mower start at 100 euros, which includes the cheapest machines without any significant features. The most popular mid-range models of well-known brands range between 200 and 400. However, there is still plenty of room for improvement. Up to four-digit sums can be spent on high-class petrol lawn mowers.

Price class Price in €
Low 100 - 200
Medium 200 - 400
High From 400

What are the alternatives to a petrol lawnmower?

There are three common alternatives to the classic petrol lawnmower. We will explain the advantages and disadvantages of these in more detail in the next section so that you can get the best possible information before buying.

Type Advantages Disadvantages
Cordless lawnmower Flexible and independent, quiet operation, environmentally friendly Limited range, long battery charging times
Electric lawnmower Quiet and environmentally friendly operation, no charging times Poorly suited for large gardens, cable can interfere with mowing
Reel mower Without motor particularly quiet, environmentally friendly, exact cut and good lawn care possible Better suited for small gardens, higher grass is difficult to cut

Cordless lawn mower

Cordless lawnmowers are characterised by the fact that they are particularly flexible and light. Their battery drive makes them independent of cables and fossil fuels. This makes them much cleaner and more environmentally friendly to use than petrol lawnmowers. In addition, the engine is much quieter.

However, the disadvantages of the device are also due to the battery. These limit the range of the lawnmower and therefore make it unsuitable for larger areas. In addition, there is the long charging time of the batteries, which cannot be avoided.

Electric lawn mower

Electric lawn mowers are characterised by their electric motor, which is usually connected to the mains via a cable.

The range can be increased with the help of a cable reel.

This also leads to the biggest disadvantages. The device is not suitable for large gardens due to the available cable length. In addition, the cable can be particularly annoying when mowing between trees and bushes.

Otherwise, the advantages are similar to those of the cordless lawnmower; operation is quieter and more environmentally friendly than with petrol. There is no annoying petrol smell from the exhaust fumes and the device is generally easier to maintain.

Reel mower

The old classic among lawn mowers is the cylinder mower. These devices are available without and with an engine, whereby both variants are characterised by a spindled cutting surface. When the wheels are set in motion, the spindle starts to rotate and thus cuts the grass.

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Reel mowers quickly attract attention because of their appearance.
(Image source: Ulrike Mai / Pixabay)

This cuts the grass particularly evenly and precisely, which is why such devices are often used on professional sports fields. They are also very quiet in use. However, due to the lack of power, higher grass is difficult to cut and large areas can quickly become exhausting to mow.

How often should I change the oil on a petrol lawnmower?

For a petrol lawnmower that is completely new, the first oil change should be carried out after the first 6 hours of operation. After that, it is sufficient to change the oil once a year, provided the lawn mower is not used excessively.

Here you can see exactly how an oil change works on a petrol lawn mower.

However, if the mowing conditions turn out to be more difficult and the engine is particularly stressed, the oil should be changed more frequently. The rule here is that the oil should be changed after about 25 hours of operation to prevent major damage to the machine.

What fuel can I use for a petrol lawnmower?

This depends particularly on the cycle of the petrol lawnmower. Two-stroke engines require a mixture of petrol and oil, with a mixing ratio of between 1:25 and 1:50. The mixture is easy to make yourself in a suitable mixing vessel.

More common four-stroke engines can be easily operated with fuel from the petrol station. Simple Super95 is quite sufficient and there is no need to resort to special agents.

When can I mow with a petrol lawnmower?

The noise level of the machine is of particular importance. Because of the high decibel level that can occur when mowing with a petrol lawnmower, it makes sense to pay attention to certain times.

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Early in the morning you should let the neighbours sleep in before you start mowing with your petrol lawnmower.
(Image source: Brian Garcia / Unsplash)

As a rule in Germany, particularly noisy machines, including petrol lawnmowers, should be idle at lunchtime from 1 - 3 pm. With this exception, mowing is allowed from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. during the week.

In general, lawn mowing is not allowed at night, of course, but also on Sundays and public holidays it is not allowed to make too much noise, which includes mowing. The quiet times to be observed are laid down in the Equipment and Machinery Noise Protection Ordinance.

Where can I dispose of a petrol lawnmower?

Petrol lawnmowers can be disposed of free of charge in Germany. Similar to other technical equipment, this can be done at the nearest recycling centre. The staff differentiate between electric and petrol-powered lawn mowers.

The petrol lawnmower falls into the category of metal scrap. It is no longer necessary to drain the petrol and oil yourself and take it away before disposal.

To make your next petrol lawnmower last longer, you can take a look at how to properly maintain your machine here.

Image source: Kurhan/ 123rf.com

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