How to choose the right Lawnmower
A Buyers Checklist for Quality Lawnmower Engineering
A simple rule of buying – cheap generally goes with nasty. You can only ever expect to own the durability and quality you pay for.
Handles should pivot-fold low down for ease of transportation and storage. Handles folding high up at the halfway point or don’t fold at all will require unbolting to load into a car boot or fit under a bench. Choose low pivot, folding handles for better convenience.
Steel Construction – Steel must be of superior 14swg or 2mm steel plate for long-term durability. Low quality steel chassis use 1.5mm plate which will rust out relatively quickly in our salt laden sea air. The edges of the steel will be bent out at right angles or folded in a lip to add strength to the thinner steel construction. Avoid this style of manufacture.
Aluminium (Alloy) – A high pressure Cast Alloy chassis will always give the best long-term results. Check the thickness of the aluminium. Good high pressure Casting should be at least 3.0mm thick with an extra thick ‘wear’ strip on the lower edge. Be wary of unknown manufacturers as the alloy casting mixed with other metals and compounds may well look good, but may cause the alloy to corrode rapidly in NZ's high salt air. Price will generally dictate the quality.
Wheels must be made from a good quality polymer. Two industrial quality ball-bearing races per wheel is the best. Plain bush or no ball-bearing race wheels should be avoided at all times.
Wheel diameter of 175mm (7”) should be the minimum. Wheels of 200mm (8”) are the most desirable for easy pushing.
In New Zealand we prefer a disc with two or four flail blades. Why is this? Our grasses are very strong and we tend to cut very low compared to other countries. The disc with flail system allows the Lawnmower to cut better in tough grass and with four blades gives a far better finish. Because the blade will be cutting low, the engine will be less likely to suffer damage when the blade hits a solid object. Avoid single bar blades.
Height Adjustment and Linkages
Check all the linkages for heavy duty steel. Check the height adjust lever – it must be made from strong tough steel. The height locating quadrant must be substantial, be it plastic or steel. These items will fail first if the material is under engineered. New Zealand inspired and designed Lawnmowers are especially strong in this area.
There are two main engineering styles of Lawnmower petrol engines – standard Side-Valve/Flat head configuration, and OHV/OHC (Over Head Valve/Over Head Cam) cross-flow head configuration.
Side-valve flat-head technology – was invented in the early 1920’s and is now old, and has environmentally inefficient design. It is simple and cheap to produce with dependable reliability. Most have a soft aluminium cylinder bore. Fitted to most low priced Lawnmowers where long life is not important.
OHV or OHC Cross-Flow Head technology – This is the best environmentally friendly choice. Built with similar technology to the modern motorcar engine. The OHV/OHC design uses up to 35% less fuel, it is quieter and most come standard with a steel lined cylinder for long dependable life. This configuration is the most desirable choice.
Warranty and Back-Up
Buying a Lawnmower from a non-servicing outlet can cause huge frustration when it comes to warranty claims. No matter the warranty time length. There will be no one to take care of the hands-on responsibility. At Wright’s we believe our customers deserve great service. To back this up, we issue at no charge an extended Five Year Warranty, plus a 30-day at-home trial. Mechanical machinery can often break-down when you least expect it, however in the unlikely chance of a genuine warranty claim Wright’s prides itself in "putting it Wright”. We have the staff and infrastructure to hands-on “put it right” first time. Please note: all suspected warranty claim requests must be advised to Wright’s at the earliest possible time. All warranty claims will be on a return-to-store basis unless advised otherwise by Wright’s in writing. Our warranty terms and conditions are outlined on the Wright’s warranty card issued with every new Lawnmower.