Guide to Buying A Petrol Lawn Mower

Petrol Lawn Mower Buyers Guide

Why Should You Purchase A Petrol Lawn Mower

Welcome to my in-depth Petrol Lawn Mower Buyers Guide, where I navigate the intricate world of the best petrol lawnmowers available on the British market to aid you in making a savvy purchase for your garden care. Whether you’re an experienced gardener seeking efficiency and power or a domestic user wishing to maintain a pristine lawn, selecting the right petrol mower is crucial for achieving that perfect cut. With a plethora of options featuring varied engine sizes, cutting widths, and advanced functionalities, the quest to find the ideal mower can seem overwhelming. In this guide, I’ll simplify the complexities by highlighting the essential considerations, from engine efficiency and blade quality to ease of maintenance and cost-effectiveness.

What Makes A Perfect Petrol Mower?

Size Of The Lawn Area – Petrol Mowers

What Makes A Perfect Petrol MowerThere are a number of factors to consider when comparing and evaluating the different petrol options available. The first of these should always be the size of your lawn. You have already decided on a petrol lawn mower, but there a number of other things to think about.

  • Cutting Width – Simply put, the larger the cutting width, the larger the area of lawn you will mow with every pass. For larger gardens, go for a petrol lawn mower with a wider cutting width. While it makes manoeuvrability and cutting around corners / edges a bit more tricky, it will make cutting the lawn much faster. Also, don’t forget about the amount of storage you have in your shed or garage. To give you a guide I have included a table above to show what size deck is suitable for various lawn sizes, as they vary from anything between 39cm to 53cm.
  • Grass Collection Box Size – Again, a larger grass box will let you mow the lawn faster as you have to spend less time emptying it out. The more powerful self-propelled lawn mowers will have no problems with the additional weight of carrying a fully loaded grass box, and there will be fewer trips required to empty it out, making your job that much faster. In general, the grass box size will correspond directly to the size of the mower’s deck. Some grass collection boxes have an indicator flap that will let you know when the box needs emptying, this will remove the guesswork out of the process. There are three main types of grass collection boxes/bags, completely solid plastic, cloth/mesh and the third type, my preference, is a hybrid box, whereby you have a solid top and the rest is cloth. The solid top prevents dust and debris flying up into the user’s face, and the cloth sides allow both for good circulation / collection and reduced storage.
  • Power – With a large lawn, the petrol mower will have to work harder and longer. A petrol mower with a more powerful engine will allow you to mow more quickly at a faster pace, especially when the grass is thick and long. When the grass is longer and you are using an underpowered petrol mower, you will be required to cut on a much higher setting and then mow again on a lower / desired height setting. Larger lawns tend to be cut less often, compared to small lawns, and therefore the demand on the petrol mower will be higher due to the condition of the lawn. If you have a smaller less demanding lawn, then something as low as 79cc may well be sufficient, however for more demanding lawns, something more towards the 200cc may be required.
  • Self-Propulsion – With a smaller patch of lawn this is not a major concern, but pushing a big heavy petrol lawn mower around a large or even medium sized garden, can soon become tiring. Self-propelled petrol mowers will remove the physical hard work out of mowing and all you really have to do is just guide it around the garden. Another time you might want to look at self-propulsion, even with a smaller garden, is if the teens or grandparents want to use the petrol mower. They will find it much easier if they do not have to push the full weight of the lawn mower. If the mower is self-propelled and only a single speed, always check that the speed is not too fast or too slow for your needs. There is nothing worse than a self-propelled petrol mower running away from you or simply being too slow for your normal walking pace.
  • Variable Speed – In addition to self-propulsion, there are some petrol mowers that are provided with variable speeds. This feature is extremely handy as you can adjust the speed of the mower to match your desired pace or the speed at which you want to get the job done. You can also reduce the speed especially when mowing up or down a hill / slopes to increase stability and safety. Some higher end petrol mowers even come with sensors that will adjust the speed automatically according to the pace at which you are mowing. Self-propelled variable speed will add to the cost of the mower, but may be worth considering if this is important to you.

Other Considerations

Guide To Buying The Best Petrol Lawn Mower

Apart from factors related to the size of the lawn, there are a few other factors that need to be considered when choosing a new petrol mower.

  • Noise – If you have neighbours that are close by, you don’t want to upset them every time you mow. Some models are considerably quieter than others, so bear this in mind. A petrol mower with a good quality engine will generate a noise value of around (dB(A)) 94.
  • Fuel Consumption – If you are cutting often a large lawn, the cost of fuel can add up quickly, particularly with the current world situation. Look for a model that is economical to operate. Keeping it well looked after and serviced will also help to keep fuel usage down and ensure the mower starts first time, every time. Using an additive to preserve the fuel will also limit the amount of wasted fuel, particularly when the mower is not used for longer periods of time.
  • Mulching – Mulching is a highly beneficial feature that only some petrol models provide. It has a setting or a separate mulching plug that prevents the grass cuttings being collected. Instead, the grass cuttings are cut into small pieces and pushed down into the soil of your cut lawn. As they rot down they return essential nutrients to the soil and improve the health of the grass. Mulching is economical and environmentally friendly, but not everyone is going to use this feature.
  • Rear Roller – If you are wanting that elegant and professional striped effect on your lawn, you want to look for a petrol model with a dedicated rear roller. A good point to look out for is that the roller is the full width of the mower to prevent you from having to overlap on each pass. Also the heavier the petrol mower, the more defined and longer lasting the stripes will be. Some rollers are in two pieces, being split in the middle. This feature allows them to turn on the spot without damaging the grass.
  • Cut Height Options – Depending on the type of lawn, the time of year, weather conditions and a number of other factors, you will want to adjust the cutting height from time to time. If the grass has been left to grow a bit long, you do not want to send it into shock by cutting it right back in one go (not advisable for the health of your lawn). Look for a petrol mower that gives you a range of cutting height options, and that they are fairly easy to adjust. A single height adjustment lever that adjusts all 4 wheels simultaneously is the quickest and easiest option available. A good range of cutting heights would be at least 5 with height settings from 25mm to 70mm. Naturally if you want anything lower or higher than this, you need to ensure that the petrol mower has this capability. In general, cylinder mowers will offer a lower cut, when compared to a rotary model.

Recoil Or Electric Starter Petrol Lawn Mower

  • Recoil Or Electric Starter – While most modern recoil starters are easier and more reliable than they were some years back, it is still a bit of effort and can put a strain on your wrist. If this is a concern, look for a petrol lawn mower with a convenient electric starter. An electric start petrol mower will simply allow you to press a button in order to start the mower. You will always have the back up of the recoil, should the electric start fail. Remember, an electric start petrol mower has a battery that will need to be charged periodically and does add a little weight to the mower.
  • Hose Wash Port – Keeping your petrol lawn mower clean under the deck is essential, not only for the cutting performance but also for ensuing that the grass collection is efficient. The addition of a hose wash port on your petrol mower will allow you to connect your garden hose to the mower’s deck and clean it quickly and efficiently whilst the mower is running. Using this feature after each mow will ensure that the grass doesn’t dry and stick to the mower’s deck, making it really difficult to remove.
  • Handle Comfort – Some models have soft grip handles that are ergonomically designed in order to limit vibrations. This makes the petrol lawn mower much more comfortable and less tiring to use. You also want the handle height to be adjustable, so that it is comfortable and can be adjusted to suit your posture whilst mowing.
  • Storage – If you have limited storage space, look for a more compact model and one that allows the handles to fold down for easy storage. Some petrol mowers will only fold at the central point of their handle, where others will also fold at the lower deck point, allowing reduced storage. Also consider a hybrid grass collection box, where you have the benefit of a solid top and mesh sides allowing it to be folded flat.
  • Budget – A petrol lawn mower is a fair investment and should last you for many years. Whilst it is true that the premium brands are well built and will serve you well for many years, some budget and mid-range models I have tested are comparable in terms of the materials and build quality. Some manufacturers will provide a warranty up to 5 years, if registered, whilst others are not as generous. Just be aware that some warranties are conditional on the mower being serviced annually by an authorised dealership.

Table Showing the Recommended Engine Power (cc) of a Petrol Mower in Relation to the Size and Condition of the Lawn 

Engine Power (cc)Lawn SizeLawn Condition
up to 100Small lawns (up to 300 square metres)Well-maintained grass
100-150Medium lawns (300-800 square metres)Well-maintained grass
150+Large or overgrown lawns (800-1,500 square metres)Overgrown, thick or wet grass

What To Look For When Selecting A Petrol Lawn Mower?

Why Should You Purchase A Petrol Lawn MowerA petrol lawn mower is a fair investment and a good one will last many years if maintained and well looked after. But with so many makes and models on the market, it can be a real headache trying to choose the one that not only best suits your lawn, but also one that best suits you and your requirements. If you have never owned a petrol mower before, then this choice is going to be even more daunting, as there are so many factors to take into account.

Fear not! I have several resources that are going to help you select a petrol mower that will serve you well, give you all the features you are going to need and give you a beautifully cut lawn with the minimum amount of fuss.

The first resource is to read my guide below so you know what is available on the market, and what you should look out for when making your decision.

And finally you can use my “Lawn Mower Selection Tool” that again will allow you to select your specific requirements until you are left with a few petrol mowers that meet your exact needs and budget.

Leading Petrol Lawnmower Brands in the UK: A Snapshot of Quality and Warranty Assurance

BrandDescriptionWarranty Period
HondaRenowned for reliability and innovative engineering, Honda offers a range of durable, high-quality mowers suited for various lawn sizes and user preferences.5 years
MountfieldA staple in British gardens, Mountfield provides a variety of models that balance performance and affordability, catering to a wide array of lawn care needs.2-5 years
HayterWith a legacy of over 70 years, Hayter is known for producing premium mowers that deliver a fine British stripe to any lawn.2-5 years
Briggs & StrattonA global leader in engine production, their mowers are equipped with powerful and dependable engines, designed for long-lasting performance.2-3 years
McCullochOffering a range of robust and user-friendly mowers, McCulloch’s products are designed with functionality in mind, suitable for various gardening tasks.1-2 years
HusqvarnaA Swedish brand recognized for its high-quality outdoor equipment, Husqvarna’s petrol lawnmowers are built for efficiency and durability.2-3 years
CobraCobra lawnmowers are designed in the UK and offer a balance of innovative features and practicality, with a focus on catering to the UK’s diverse gardening requirements.2 years
WebbWebb stands out with its classic designs and commitment to producing environmentally friendly mowers with low emissions and noise levels.2 years
HyundaiHyundai is known for their cost-effective and versatile range of mowers, designed to tackle both small and large lawns with ease, backed by a strong reputation for customer service.

Please note that warranty periods can vary depending on the model and where the mower is purchased. It’s always recommended to check the specific warranty details at the point of sale or by consulting the manufacturer’s website or customer service.

Conquer Your Lawn: Where to Find the Best Petrol Mower in the UK

With your green thumb ready and raring to go, let’s explore the best places to grab that perfect petrol mower companion in the UK:

For a one-stop shop experience:

  • Established Garden Centres and Lawn Mower Specialists: Places like Homebase, B&Q, and independent lawn mower specialists offer hands-on demos, expert advice, and a good selection of reputable brands. You can get a feel for the mowers, ask questions, and walk away confident in your choice.

For savvy online deals:

  • Amazon: A vast marketplace with competitive prices and quick delivery options. Compare different models, check user reviews, and snag occasional lightning deals. Remember, research well before purchase as quality can vary.
  • Mowers Online: Dedicated online retailers like Mowers Online specialise in mowers, offering a broad range of brands, excellent customer support, and often exclusive deals. They also provide detailed product information and helpful buying guides.
  • eBay: A treasure trove of new and used mowers, potentially offering great bargains. However, exercise caution: do your research, check seller feedback, and ensure the mower is in good working condition before committing.

Don’t forget your handy online resources:

  • Which? and Gardeners’ World: Provide in-depth reviews and comparisons, helping you narrow down your search based on budget, lawn size, and desired features.
  • Your one-stop shop for unbiased reviews, buying guides, and valuable tips on choosing the right mower for your needs. No matter your budget or lawn size, they have you covered.


  • Safety First: Always prioritize a mower with robust safety features like blade brakes and reverse gear.
  • Think Long-Term: Consider factors like ease of maintenance, warranty options, and spare parts availability before making your final decision.
  • Price Smart: Compare prices across different retailers and online deals, but don’t compromise on quality for a quick saving.

With these options and resources at your fingertips, you’re sure to find the perfect petrol mower companion and conquer your lawn like a seasoned green warrior! Happy mowing!


This guide “Best Petrol Lawn Mowers” would have given you some insight into the features and benefits that you need for your specific situation. Give some thought to your garden and your specific requirements as well as your budget. Once you are clear on that, you can make an informed decision and select the best petrol lawn mower for your needs using the resources I have shared above.

If you are still unsure, use the banner at the top of this page that will take you to my lawn mower selection tool. In seconds it will recommend the best petrol mower/s based on your specific requirements. If you are still unsure, feel free to use the comment’s section below to ask any questions you may have, I will be more than happy to assist.

Video Guide To Buying The Best Petrol Lawn Mower

Best Petrol Lawn Mower FAQs

How Long Should A Petrol Lawn Mower Last?

Petrol lawn mowers are durable tools, but they need to be well maintained if they are going to stand the test of time. For the most part, a good petrol lawn mower should last for around ten years. When they’re regularly serviced, they could even exceed this, but if they’re poorly maintained, they might only last 3 to 4 years.

Are Petrol Lawn Mowers Good?

Petrol lawn mowers are elite when it comes to power and many homeowners and commercial users opt for them because of this combined with their freedom of use. This power means that they are far more suitable for larger and more demanding lawns making your workload much lighter. When compared to using a corded or battery mower for this type of work, you’ll find that a petrol mower will save you a lot of time, physical effort and will produce far superior results.

Do Petrol Lawn Mowers Need Oil?

Petrol lawn mowers rely on a combustion engine which has several moving parts. In order for these parts to move smoothly, they need to be lubricated using oil. This is why it is important to include oil checks and top ups as part of your wider mower maintenance schedule. Not only will this help the engine to run more smoothly and efficiently, but it will also ensure that it lasts as long as possible.

Are Petrol Mowers Easy To Use?

Many people are put off the idea of using a petrol mower because they think they will be difficult to use. But unlike many of the older models, newer petrol lawn mowers often come with easy and electric start functions. Moreover, a lot of petrol lawn mowers are self-propelled which makes them much easier to push and manoeuvre around the garden.

How Often Should I Change My Lawn Mower Oil?

It’s important to regularly check the oil level in your petrol mower as not having enough will affect how well the engine performs and starts. However, as a general rule of thumb, you should aim to change the oil completely at the end of every mowing season or for every 50 hours of mowing, whichever comes first.

How Do I Know If My Mower Engine Is 2 or 4 Stroke?

Petrol engines are either two or four stroke and this refers to the number of revolutions the engine goes through to complete a single power stroke. There are pros and cons to each type of engine and you’ll normally find details about your engine on the product listing or packaging. However, if you do not have access to this, you can tell the difference by looking at the fill ports for the engine. If yours has a single port where you can add both oil and petrol, then this is a two-stroke engine. If there are two ports; one for petrol and one for oil then this will be a four stroke engine. It is essential that you NEVER mix oil and petrol in these types of four-stroke engines.

What Happens If You Put The Wrong Oil In Your Lawn Mower?

If you’ve accidentally used the wrong oil in your mower, this could cause a multitude of problems, depending on what oil you have used. For example, using oil that is too heavy for your engine could cause it to become damaged, and using the incorrect viscosity might make the engine run more slowly. In any case, you will typically find that the mower burns through oil much more quickly if it isn’t the correct one. For this reason, it’s important to check with the manufacturer exactly which oil to use.

Why Does My Petrol Lawn Mower Smoke?

There are several reasons that your lawn mower may be blowing out smoke, but one of the most common is that there is not enough air moving through the system compared to the level of fuel. This causes incomplete combustion, and any leftover fuel will turn into smoke which is what you are seeing. The easiest way to correct this problem is to clean or replace the air filters.

Can You Tip A Petrol Lawn Mower On Its Side?

You should avoid tipping your petrol lawn mower onto its side as this may cause fuel or oil to leak into the air filters. If this happens then your mower may begin to smoke or you may find you have difficulty getting it to start up. If you need to tip the mower over to perform maintenance on the blades, for example, you should ensure that it is completely empty of any liquids. Tilting the mower backwards to access the underneath of the deck is also an option, but sometimes doesn’t provide enough clearance.

How Often Should A Petrol Lawn Mower Spark Plug Be Changed?

Your petrol lawn mower will require more maintenance than an electric model, but it’s not so much that it’ll take over your life. Spark plugs should ideally be changed every 25 hours of mowing time or once per mowing season.

Mark Haley Author
Lawnmower Product Expert, Reviewer and Author at | 01284 615144 | | Website

As a seasoned expert in the field of garden power tools, I have dedicated over a decade to working with and reviewing a wide variety of lawn mowers. My extensive experience has allowed me to gain a deep understanding of the benefits and limitations of different types of mowers and garden tools.

Over the years, I have honed my skills in writing informative articles and creating helpful videos for various blogs and publications. This has given me the ability to not only recognise what makes a good lawn mower, but also to help you choose the perfect garden tool for your specific needs and requirements.

With my wealth of knowledge and expertise, I am confident that I can provide you with valuable insights and recommendations when it comes to selecting the right lawn mower for your lawn. So, whether you're looking for a battery cordless, electric, petrol, or robotic mower, you can trust in my expertise to guide you towards the best option for your garden.

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