Petrol lawnmowers to make trimming larger gardens easy

Our buyer's guide to the best petrol lawnmowers that will help keep your garden looking its best.

Petrol lawnmower mowing grass

by Eleanor Weaver |

If you're lucky enough to have a large, luscious garden in the UK, we have to admit we're envious! When the British weather is behaving and the longer daylight hours give us the chance to spend more time in our outdoor spaces, having a large garden or lawn provides plenty of opportunities for fun and gardening, whether you're a novice or gardening expert.

However, something we don't envy quite so much is the maintenance that comes with having a bigger outdoor space.

Not only do you run the risk of having more unmanageable grass and dozens of weeds, but your regular electric lawnmower might not cut the mustard when it comes to having enough power.

This is where we'd recommend investing in a quality petrol-powered lawnmower that'll provide you with the runtime needed to tackle the whole lawn.

We've listed the best petrol lawnmowers to buy in the UK for medium-sized and large gardens, as well as giving you an easy guide to what you should look out for, answering some questions you might have had on your mind.

How do I choose a petrol lawnmower?

You're ready to kit out your shed with quality gardening equipment, but you might be unsure where to begin searching for the best petrol lawnmower for your garden.

Here are some handy tips on what to look for when choosing a petrol lawnmower:

Self-propelled or push mowers

Push mowers are just what you'd expect from a regular lawnmower - push them as you mow to propel them forward.

Self-propelled mowers will move forward on their own. Simply pull the safety bar to engage the drive, and then let go of the bar to disengage the drive - don't worry, there's no chance they'll run away from you!

Self-propelled mowers are great for making quick and easy work of large open areas, even if you have a hilly garden. However, because of the extra drive components, they are heavier and less manoeuvrable than push mowers which are lighter but require more physical effort in the action of mowing.

Woman pushing lawnmower
©Getty Images

Engines and specs

The engine size and specs of your mower will depend on your budget, but this is what you're paying for. A well-engineered mower will be more powerful and robust and yet have a quieter and more efficient motor. You should consider how important certain features are to you as they may be worth paying that little extra for if it makes your life easier.

Find the right requirements of your garden

Petrol lawnmowers vary, just like our gardens, so you'll need to pick one that ultimately best suits your outdoor space.

If you have a large open garden, choosing a petrol lawnmower with a larger cutting width will help make light work of your grass cutting, but a garden with more intricate spaces or obstacles would be better suited to a more compact, manoeuvrable mower.

To help find the best mower suited to your lawn, we've picked out the best lawnmowers for medium-sized gardens (up to around 500 square metres) and larger gardens beyond this too.

The best petrol lawnmowers for medium-sized gardens

This high-quality 4 stroke push lawnmower has a relatively quiet engine so you won't need to worry too much about annoying any neighbours, and has low fuel consumption. It has a padded soft-grip handle that is foldable and collapsing grass collection bag for minimal storage requirements. It is very compact, making manoeuvrability around awkward spaces so easy. It gives your reliability and performance each time thanks to it being an easy start machine, making it a great user-friendly option.

Specifications

Engine: 79cc 4 stroke | Blade size: 40cm | Cutting height: 25mm to 75mm; six settings

Catch volume: 40 litres | Weight: 19kg

Review: "For over 30 years, I've used an electric mower, and my existing one needed replacing. I took a chance and bought this petrol mower, and I'm so glad I did. The joy of being free to move around the lawn not worrying about electric cable and extension leads! Very powerful mower but as noisy as I had anticipated, pretty much the same noise level as my old electric mower. It also takes a third to a half off the time to cut the grass.

"Yesterday, I drove to a friend's house whose grass was knee-high, really a strimmer should have been used before the cut. Anyway, I took my time, and after the first cut on the highest setting and swept the cuttings up, I cut at a lower setting. Amazed it did this, but now I can keep it cut short.

"Assembly was a wee bit tricky in that positioning the screw that holds the push handle to the base of the mower. So far, very happy!"

If you're looking to keep the upfront costs down, this Challenge petrol lawnmower is a fab option ideal for medium-sized lawns. It's another compact option with a foldable handle that's easy for steering around any garden obstacles. It runs a 4 stroke engine like the Hyundai, but can’t match it for quietness and efficiency. That being said, it has a slightly larger collection bag so you can take fewer trips to the compost bin.

Specifications

Engine: 129cc 4 stroke | Blade size: 40cm | Cutting height: 25mm to 75mm; five settings

Catch volume: 45 litres | Weight: 21kg

Review: "This is the second Challenge lawnmower that I have bought, so hoping it lasts as long as my previous which was 15 years. The only issue was knowing which left or right the instructions were meant to be as for one part, it was on the left, but another part was listed as on the right but had to go with the 1st part. Soon sorted though & working well."

This self-propelled mower will help take the effort out of grass cutting and help you cover rolling ground or rough and tussocky areas. With superb build quality, it has a fuel-efficient and quiet 4 stroke motor, though it is a bit bigger for extra grunt. It has a comfortable padded grip with a fold-down handlebar and is easy to control in drive mode.

Specifications

Engine: 132cc 4 stroke | Blade size: 41cm | Cutting height: 25mm to 75mm; seven settings

Catch volume: 45 litres | Weight: 34kg

The best petrol lawnmowers for large gardens and lawns

Best suited to make quick, comfortable work for gardens more than 500 square metres.

The Murray EQ700X self-propelled lawnmower is packed with features (not gimmicks) that help to make your grass cutting as easy and accurate as possible. It has 4-in-1 functionality including bagging, rear and side discharge, and mulching, and the ReadyStart feature saves you from priming and choking the engine manually before you start it. The self-propel allows a maximum mowing speed of 3.6kmph, meaning you can get a big job done faster than with most other mowers.

Designed for lawns up to 2,000 square metres, the Briggs & Stratton engine is powerful and efficient - packing the power whilst producing less noise. The ergonomic handlebar is comfortable to use and can be adjusted and folded for easy storage. It's easy to maintain and has a durable steel deck for increased protection against damage and corrosion.

We also love that Briggs & Stratton’s E-Series initiative places reduced exhaust emissions at the heart of all their engines.

Specifications

Engine: 161cc 4 stroke | Blade size: 53cm | Cutting height: 28mm to 92mm; six settings

Catch volume: 70 litres | Weight: 37kg

Review: "Great mower! Had a Mountfield that lasted for years but did not like the feedback on the new ones. Took a chance on the Murray - it is really good. Much lighter to use and yet the grass collecting box is bigger. Well worth the extra money. Works well on all types of grass - and I should know, I have five acres of it! Five-star product. Plus good instructions and easy to assemble (or so my husband told me!)"

Designed for lawns up to 1,000 square metres, the Mac Allister runs a powerful and reliable Briggs & Stratton 4 stroke motor. It's compact and easy to manoeuvre, meaning it’ll happily tackle confined spaces as easily as wide-open ones to help keep your lawn neat and tidy. It's push operated and doesn't have as many features as the Murray, but it’s the most cost-effective option for larger garden sizes.

Specifications

Engine: 140cc 4 stroke | Blade size: 46cm | Cutting height: 25mm to 75mm

Catch volume: 60 litres | Weight: 34.7kg

Review: "Bought this as my electric mower wasn’t up to the job! Easy to use and starts the first time every time!! Great value for money."

If you have a particularly large lawn, garden, or semi-rural block, this ride-on mower will make cutting your grass quick, easy, and even enjoyable.

The Mountfield 827M is suitable for gardens or outdoor spaces up to two acres and comes delivered fully assembled so you can jump straight into the driver's seat. It has a six-stage cutting height that can be adjusted from 30 to 76mm and a 66cm wide blade, as well as a 150-litre grassbag.

It has an electric key start engine and the seat features a safety switch that cuts out the engine if the driver dismounts whilst the blades are turning.

Working in tandem with the easy steering is the machine’s impressive hydrostatic transmission for enhanced manoeuvrability and a smooth drive, for helping to cut with precision even on the dullest of days. In addition, you can opt-in for a mulch kit that saves you from emptying the catch and instead deposits the finely cut clippings back onto the lawn to supply valuable nutrients to your soil.

Specifications

Engine: 224cc five-speed manual gearbox (four forward; one reverse) | Blade size: 66cm

Cutting height: 30mm to 76mm; six settings | Catch volume: 150 litres | Weight: 130kg

Our pick for the best petrol lawnmower

From medium-sized gardens, the Hyundai HYM400P takes the top spot. The engine is quiet, efficient and we love its user-friendly design that'll make lawnmowing easy. It's manoeuvrable, lightweight, and compact, great for transporting and storage solutions.

For larger gardens and lawns, the Murray EQ700X wins - it's versatile, has a range of useful features which will help to make cutting the grass a breeze. We also really like the large Murray and Briggs & Stratton service network and its initiative to help reduce exhaust emissions.

Petrol lawnmower FAQs

Are petrol lawnmowers better than electric?

This is really down to preference, and there are pros and cons to each - here are just some of the reasons why petrol lawnmowers make for a better choice:

• Petrol lawn mowers are more powerful and will help cut long, wet grass.

• Good for mowing the lawn where it may otherwise be difficult due to slopes or uneven surfaces.

• In larger gardens, you'll use fuel more efficiently and save money in the long run.

• No power cable means you can move this easily throughout your garden without needing extension leads.

Unlike an electric lawnmower, you'll need to service the engine, they're typically heavier and noisier, but it'll make cutting your large lawn much quicker and easier.

Petrol poured in lawnmower
©Getty Images

What petrol do you use for lawnmowers?

According to garden designer and enthusiast, Lawnmower Larry, "The petrol for your lawnmower must be unleaded, the octane must be a minimum of 87, and if it contains ethanol, this should be no more than 10 per cent. Very important: the petrol must be fresh. Most people don't know that fuel can become stale."

Are you looking for petrol that will last for a long time without going stale? Check out our top pick below.

Are petrol lawnmowers safe?

Petrol lawnmowers are safe to use but, just like any other heavy-duty equipment, there are safety risks. Extra precautions need to be taken and the use of petrol adds an extra hazard that you'll need to be cautious of. Here are some top safety tips to follow when cutting the grass to keep you and others safe.

• Always read the safety instructions outlined with the lawnmower and follow the guidelines exactly.

• Remember to inspect the petrol lawnmower before use. If there are any damages, get this repaired before use.

• Check there is sufficient petrol in the machine before use. Failure to do so may damage your lawnmower's engine and leave you with a costly repair bill.

• Does your lawnmower need re-filling with petrol? Make sure that you fill this up when it is cool and turned off as it could cause a fire when hot or running.

• At all times keep children and pets away at a safe distance.

• Clear debris and any obstructions before mowing, including stones, twigs and toys.

• Never leave the lawn mower on when unattended.

• Shut the engine off immediately if you hit a stone or other object to ensure there has been no damage.

For more lawnmower safety tips, visit Flymo.

Why should I keep my garden well maintained?

According to LoveTheGarden, "Recent findings from the British Journal of Sports Medicine state that gardening is linked to longer life and can provide the perfect replacement for a lack of exercise, avoiding a sedentary lifestyle."

It also claims, "Gardening is also said to increase happiness too, with the activity bringing about a sense of peace and wellbeing. Due to the ever-increasing strain on life, gardening is known to be a great stress reliever, which can only point to gardening being a positive influence."

We'd have to agree, especially as the aroma of freshly cut grass in the summer and the neat sight of aligned lawn stripes is hard to top!

What to read next:

Robot lawnmowers worth investing in to make grass cutting easy

The best electric lawnmowers

Grass seeds for a healthier greener garden

The best stylish gardening gloves

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