The Mountfield SP53 petrol lawn mower is powered by a Mountfield 166cc 4-stroke engine – ST170 Autochoke OHV. This single speed self-propelled petrol mower has a large 51cm cutting width, 60 L grass collection bag and will cut grass of a large-sized lawn up to 2,500m2. The 34 kg mower offers 5 cutting heights from 27mm to 90mm and is operated by a single lever.
It was long overdue for me to carry out a review of the Mountfield SP53 self-propelled petrol lawn mower. After testing the smaller brother of this mower (Mountfield SP41) about a month ago, I wanted to experience and clearly see the difference in power, size and compare the performance and features of both, so you know what mower is the best option for you and your garden.
Let me start by talking about Mountfield. We all know that they have a strong brand and good reputation for designing and producing great quality garden tools and lawn mowers over many years. This is another reason I was looking forward to testing one of their largest petrol lawn mowers currently available, the Mountfield SP53. If you have a large lawn you will for sure want to know that this mower is built to last and will be able to deal with slopes, uneven lawns and challenging areas in your garden efficiently and with minimum effort on your part.
As you can see from my video below, the components are of a high quality, the unboxing and assembly took about 10 minutes (you will need a second person to help you take the mower out of of the box as 34 kilos will be heavy for most). Mountfield have opted for a STEEL deck on this Mountfield SP53 mower to be able to deal with tough conditions. The handles fold flat at the middle point and at the base of the mower for easy storage, but I can’t see that you will be using the base fold as it can be little fiddly as two wing nuts need to be removed. Even the large 60 L grass collection box is of a much higher quality than many others I have tested previously. The plastic top and base with high quality mesh cloth on the sides will ensure good airflow and clippings collection.
First impressions were very good, but what is the performance of the Mountfield SP53? Does it continue to impress whilst in action?
In this review, we will look at all of the features and functions of this self-propelled petrol lawn mower. By the end of this review you will know if this mower is the right option for you and your lawn. You can also refer to my video review below for visual representation and to see this mower in action.
- Weight: 34 Kg
- Engine: Mountfield 166cc 4 stroke
- Starting Method: Recoil
- Self-Propelled Drive
- Speed: single at 3.7km/h
- Grass Collection Box: 60 L
- Colour: Grey and Black
- Blade Length: 51 Centimetres
- Material: Steel deck
- Fuel Tank: 1.0 litre
- Vibration Level: 8.09
- dB(A) Rating: 98
The Mountfield SP53 is powered by a Mountfield 166cc 4 stroke engine, providing sufficient amount of power for larger lawns.
Mountfield SP53 Engine
|Engine Type||ST170 OHV Autochoke|
|Net Power Output||2.60kW @ 2900rpm|
The Mountfield engine is 4 stroke and runs on regular 95 unleaded petrol and separate standard SAE30 engine oil, so no need to mix. I always recommend that for all petrol mowers a fuel stabiliser is added to prevent corrosion and keep the internals of the engine clean, particularly over a longer period when the mower is not used i.e. winter months.
The engine oil has a separate tank, and SAE30 4-stroke oil for lawn mowers is ideal. The ST170 OHV is a powerful 160cc recoil (or pull cord) start engine, which produces a hefty peak 3.5 horsepower. To put it into perspective, the very first motor car had 3-horsepower.
It was reassuring to see that the engine started first time from new (when taken out of the packaging).
There is no primer button or manual choke on the ST170. I was not expecting it to start on the first pull of the recoil cord, but was pleasantly surprised when it did. Subsequently, throughout my testing the Mountfield SP53 started first time every time. The level of smoke produced from the engine was minimal, as you would expect from a 4 stroke petrol engine.
As you can see from my video below, the power of this engine was more than enough to deal with the most demanding conditions and to propel the mower up steep inclines.
Please note that there is an Elite version of the Mountfield SP53 that comes fitted with a Honda GCVx170 167cc engine. There is no difference to the specification apart from the engine and that the grass collection box comes with a “Fill Indicator Flap”.
Mountfield SP53 Review Video
To give you a visual representation of the Mountfield SP53 watch my video below:
The Mountfield SP53 is a big petrol mower designed for large lawns up to 2,500 metres squared. As the weight of this mower is 34 kg, it is a good decision that this mower is self-propelled – especially when laden with damp grass too. The self-propulsion is a single speed at 3.7km/h – this is what I would call a very comfortable / slow walk speed that will for sure assist you when mowing your grass on a steep hill / incline. See my video above, where I am demonstrating this action by holding the mower easily with one hand only. The grass on the day was damp and as you can see there was some wheel spin, however the mower had no issues gaining traction with some encouragement and ascending the steep incline.
The self-propulsion, driving the blade and the rear wheels, is activated when the user lifts the throttle bar up towards the main bar to engage the clutch.
Over the years many people have asked me how they know if a mower is self-propelled of not. This is a very important question with a simple response. If you see in the title SP, it means that the mower is (self-propelled), this applies to Mountfield range of petrol mowers.
In my opinion, if you have a large-sized garden you will be looking to purchase a large petrol lawn mower that is highly likely to be heavy. Therefore investing little more money in a Self-Propelled model is a decision worth considering seriously as it is a worth-while addition you will not regret.
The Mountfield SP53 petrol mower is a single speed self-propelled mower, but the speed is just about right, not too fast, not too slow, the test of cutting the grass up a steep slope was a breeze, you can see my video for more information. Remember, there is an additional handle on the bar, when released it disengages the self-propulsion – so you have the choice of using the SP or not with this model. You will see from my video that I had no problems mowing down the slope with the clutch disengaged.
The Mountfield SP53 allows you to adjust the cutting height from 27mm to 90mm via a single lever mounted at the rear of the mower. There are 5 cutting positions to choose from, and the change of height using the quick lock mechanism couldn’t be simpler. (see my video above)
The rear wheels with rubber tyres are much larger compared to the front wheels providing better manoeuvrability, grip and stability when mowing your lawn. This will be appreciated especially when the grass collection box is full.
Mountfield SP53 Comparison Table
Last update on 2022-05-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Cutting Diameter and Features
The Mountfield Sp53 petrol mower has a wide cutting diameter of 51 centimetres. The large steel blade is intended for large lawns up to 2,500m2.
This mower has the ability to cut and collect, rear discharge but also mulch your grass cuttings. Mulching is becoming more popular here in the UK not only because you will not need to worry about disposing of all your grass cuttings, but be able to use them as free organic fertiliser, greatly appreciated by your lawn. If you would like to see the benefits of mulching, please click on my article below –
Another feature worth mentioning is the scalping plate located at the front of the mower. Again this is a handy addition that will assist you and prevent accidental damage on uneven lawns.
The large grass collection box of 60 L will mean less trips for emptying.
A larger blade will draw more energy from the engine as it needs to cover a larger area on each rotation, completing the job at hand faster. The steel desk is of a high quality, built to last but there is no hose attachment for cleaning.
This Mountfield SP53 will not make stripes on your lawn, but there are many separate units available that you can pull along your lawn to make the striping effect. Rear rollers and Mulching don’t go together, as they target different audience, this Mountfield SP53 is aimed at the later.
Grass Box Capacity
The large 60 litre grass collection bag consists of plastic top and base and a wire frame over which the high quality mesh fabric bag hangs / attaches to. The grass bag frame needs assembling before it can hung from the back of the mower, but is easy to do and only takes a few minutes.
Once assembled it is very easy to attached the box to the back of the mower. There are 2 plastic clips on each side of the mower that the box firmly sits in position. (see my video)
Not only having a part cloth collection bag reduces the weight, it also assists with the air circulation resulting in a more efficient collection of your grass clippings. The disadvantage of a cloth collection bag is that they are more prone to damage – this is particularly so if you are having to mow close to sharp bushes / shrubs. Having said that, replacement collection bags are readily available here in the UK as are all Mountfield parts. An advantage of the hard top on the grass collection box means less dust and debris being projected into the operators face.
The hybrid box on this Mountfield SP53 will also allow it to fold flat for reduced storage.
Starting the engine on this Mountfield SP53 was simple compared to other recoil petrol engines.
Please note that there is no priming button on the Mountfield ST170 Engine.
The 1.0 litre petrol fuel tank is mounted to the back of the engine with a wide opening to accept regular petrol can spout. Mountfield have conveniently mounted the filling cap above the height of the mower to make it easier to fill. The large 1.0 litre fuel tank and 60 L grass collection bag are ideal for a mower of this size, as it will allow you to mow longer and cover more lawn area before needing to stop.
Petrol mowers are inherently not quiet, but Mountfield has managed to keep the noise rating of this model to a very respectable 98 decibels.
The Mountfield SP53 has folding handles at both the middle and lower level, so you will not have issues with storage.
The fact that this mower has 3 in 1 options is a real benefit in terms of practicalities. (mulch, collect and rear discharge)
There is no ignition key on this Mountfield SP53, so for added safety, Mountfield has gone with a Operator Presence Control (OPC) lever – the operator must have at least one hand griping the safety handle before the machine will start. If the control handle is released, the engine will stop.
As mentioned above this Mountfield SP53 is supplied with both a mulching blade and mulching plug. This is a great feature that is normally an optional extra with other brands, and will provide seasonal flexibility for your grass cuttings. (free organic lawn fertiliser)
Mountfield SP53 Self Propelled Lawnmower User Manual Download
What’s Included in the Box?
- Mountfield SP53 Self-Propelled Petrol Mower
- 60 L Grass Collection Bag and Frame
- Instruction Manual
Mountfield SP53 Pros and Cons
Should You Buy this Mountfield SP53?
If you have a large lawn up to 2,500 metres squared I could find no valid reason, not to highly recommend this petrol mower.
Yes there are a few negatives as you can see above in the Cons section but these are really minor points and do not detract from the fact that this is yet again a quality Mountfield Self-Propelled Petrol Mower.
The mower not only going to perform and last well due to its high quality components and build, but you also have the backing of Mountfield’s Service Link company up and down the UK. They will provide support, service and parts, should you need them.
The full range of Mountfield petrol mowers are good value for money, and this Mountfield SP53 is no exception. You do get what you pay for with a Mountfield mower, and whilst they may be little more expensive than some cheaper brands they offer peace of mind of owning a mower that will get the job done efficiently and will not let you down.
In summary, I was really impressed with this mower from Mountfield. The assembly and starting process was all hassle free, with no issues. The cut quality was what you would expect from a highly regarded manufacturer. Remember this lawn mower is 51cm wide and weights 34 kg, so it is not suitable for smaller gardens. If however you have a large lawn and the room to store this Mountfield SP53 then it comes highly recommended and should definitely be on your shortlist. Especially if you are considering the option to Mulch your grass cuttings.
If you have any questions or have used any Mountfield mower and would like to share your views, please feel free to comment below.
Where Should I Purchase This Mountfield SP53?
Mountfield SP53 51cm Self Propelled Lawnmower – RED
- Self-propelled petrol driven mower with 51 cm cutting width, Robust and reliable, Ideal for gardens up to 650 m²
- Easy to use: Self-propelled by Stiga ST 170 OHV Autochoke petrol engine, Centralised lever to adjust cutting height (6 different positions), Skid plate minimises scalping
- Capacious 60 L canvas grass collector, Alternatively, fit the included mulching plug to redistribute finely cut clippings and add nutrients to your lawn
- Robust steel chassis, Large rear wheels for easy manoeuvring on undulating ground, Skid plate to minimise scalping, Ergonomic soft-grip handlebar that fold downs for easy storage
- Contents: 1x Mountfield SP46 Lawnmower with STIGA ST170 Autochoke petrol engine, 1x grass bag, 1x mulching plug, Dimensions: 1690 x 560 x 1065 mm, Pack weight: 34.5 kg
Last update on 2022-05-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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Want to lean more about what’s involved in maintaining a petrol lawnmower? Check out my guide 10 Simple Steps to Maintaining Your Petrol Lawnmower
Mountfield SP53 FAQs
Is the Mountfield SP53 mower self propelled?
Does the Mountfield SP53 have an electric start?
No, recoil start only.
Does the Mountfield SP53 have a rear roller for striped lawn?
Is the deck steel or polypropylene?
The SP53 has a steel deck.
Can you disengage the self propulsion on the SP53?
How many speeds does the Mountfield SP53 have?
The self-propulsion is a single speed at 3.7km/h.
What is the difference between the red and grey Mountfield SP53?
There is no difference, the mowers are the same apart from the colour of the deck and the red version has a grass box full indicator. The red Elite version has a Honda engine