Hi, I'm Edoardo.
Lawn care is of fundamental importance for a good gardener. And a good lawn mower, whether electric or petrol or manual, helps you in this.
I chose to do it by reducing costs and above all noise to fully enjoy my face-to-face moments with Mother Nature.
If you follow me in this guide I will give you my advice on how to choose the perfect manual lawn mower for your needs, I will help you choose the mower, I'll explain how it works and how to use it at best to get the best results. We will see the reviews of the best manual mowers on the market and finally the last words will be spent to see some technical features such as blades and maintenance.
Well then, follow me to discover all the secrets of this garden tool. If you want you can click here to scroll directly to REVIEWS OF THE BEST MANUAL CUTTERS.
Why choose the manual lawn mower: my experience
There are so many lawnmowers. And I tried them all. Only the manual one has satisfied my needs from all points of view.
I considered the possibility of buying a petrol mower: it makes an incredible noise. To this add that emits CO2 and makes a noticeable stink. So I said to myself "NO, I want to work in a more peaceful and healthy environment".
So I switched to electric lawn mowers: there are some very beautiful and powerful around, I must admit. Working on a large space with a thread always between the feet was not for me. I find one good solution but uncomfortable. Moreover, they will also be quieter than the petrol engines but still make noise.
In short, on balance, for me it is very important to dedicate myself to gardening work keeping the peace around me and a "natural" condition. That's why I decided to buy the manual lawn mower. And the best there is.
There really is no comparison, let me tell you. The environmental issue is very important, how can you work in a garden with a combustion engine?
I'll be the one who takes gardening in a different way but for me it's a real job and an art that allows me to be really in touch with nature.
I live in a fairly isolated place in the Salento countryside and trust me if I tell you that when you are away from the city you begin to appreciate the true value of manual work.
I have a friend, a great lover of gardening too, who has created his beautiful garden in the city center. When I passed him a couple of books on the life of the country farmer and I described to him in detail what it means according to my personal point of view, he also decided to buy a manual lawn mower. And since then he is much happier because it is as if he had reached a sort of personal nirvana.
How the manual lawn mower works
The main cutting system that the manual lawn mowers mount is that with helical blades, so much so that it is often used simply to call them helical lawn mowers. The blades are connected to the wheels, so pushing the mower automatically activates the entire blade compartment without any particular effort. During the push the grass will come to lie between the helical blades and an external bar that is called counterblade, which cuts net.
The blades are mounted inside a cylinder that operates as I explained to you just now. Sometimes, for this reason, these types of tools are also called cylinder mowers.
Some of you readers might think that this system is not efficient. YOU ARE WRONG! Not only is it VERY EFFECTIVE but it is also BETTER FOR THE LAWN.
The real difference lies between the helical system and the rotating system.
A rotating blade tends to tear off the blades of grass much more easily, especially if it is not very sharp. It is a somewhat more violent way to put it briefly. Do you know what happens when the ends of a grass stem fray? Over time it turns yellow.
So if you want to avoid this problem too, your choice must be a manual lawn mower. Your lawn will always be green.
The helical cutting system cuts in a clearer and more precise way, that is more "gentle". If the stems could talk to you they would ask you to use a manual lawnmower 🙂
Manual lawn mower: advantages and disadvantages
- Cutting quality. The helical system as I wrote to you earlier is softer and does not leave the stems severely shorn to turn yellow with time.
- No to smudges and undulations. This effect is very often achieved with power tools, both with petrol and electric engines, since the cut depends on the rotation frequency. Sometimes the rotating blades are not able to mow all the blades of grass, leaving higher sections and creating what is called "rifling effect" (rifling).
- Completely silent. Whether the mower is petrol or electric, it will have an engine mounted on it, and an engine makes a noise. The push mower completely solves the problem of noise pollution.
- Ecological. A petrol mower pollutes and there is nothing to do. However, the electric grass trimmer is similar to the manual one because it has no CO2 emissions.
- Light and comfortable to use. The petrol engine weighs, the electric motor weighs less but here we are talking about a mower that has absolutely no engine.
- Simple maintenance. Without middle engines it is not particularly complicated to clean a manual lawn mower.
- Difficult to use on tall grass. The effort in pushing a manual lawn mower depends on the height of the grass, the higher it is, the harder it is to push.
- The lawn must be straight and uniform. Yes, because uphill fatigue increases. Furthermore obstacles and differences in level can cause problems, for example a stone can ruin the blades or a slight elevation of the ground can be shaved to zero.
- Not suitable for very large lawns.
Few disadvantages as you can well see, that among other things I have solved, at least in part, in a clever way. So I give you this advice, you can pass on your lawn with a motorized lawnmower for the so-called first pass. So, with the lower grass, you can finish everything with a manual lawn mower. In this way the work is much easier.
By the way, I remind you that here on ProContro you will find two excellent guides, one for petrol mowers and one for electric lawn mowers, which can be very useful for you. And if you want to re-define your work in the garden, you'll also find the guide to the best electric brushcutters.
THE BEST MANUAL CUTTERS – Reviews
AL-KO Soft Touch 380 HM Premium – my favorite manual lawnmower
I start by saying that AL-KO is a high quality brand. In gardening it is a brand leader. And in my opinion the Soft Touch 380 HM Premium is the best there is.
On my lawn it's pretty much perfect and there's really nothing I can do a better job. The cut is error-proof. Assemble 5 blades in its cylinder of the highest quality and very effective. You can clearly see the difference with an electric lawn mower, starting from the precision of the cut.
There is a self-sharpening system for the blades so you don't have to worry too much if not the actual replacement that sooner or later must be done for any lawnmower.
It is silent having no engine of any kind. And it is therefore also very light, it is difficult to work only when the grass is high but I, of course, as I told you before, passing the electric lawn mower first and then leaving the final pass to AL-KO Soft Touch.
The electric one I don't use with great frequency, only when necessary and it is in those days that I notice the real big difference between having a grass cutter with a rotating blade motor and a helical manual grass trimmer. The cut with the latter is more precise and is clearly more beautiful to the eye.
Do you know a soccer field? That's the effect. No burrs, same length of grass at each point.
The handle is very comfortable, considering that it is a push mower and it must be ergonomic and easy to move.
It is only meant for cutting, which is quite common for this type of items, and in fact there is no collection basket. I bought it separately and it is essential for me. I took the 41-liter one because of the size of my lawn but also found different capacities.
If you want to leave the grass on the lawn then the basket is not for you and you won't be forced to a second expense.
This manual mower has a cutting width of 38 centimeters and is ideal for a 250 square meter lawn. I come back to this extent abundantly and confirm that the mower is excellent and allows a fairly fast job.
If you have a smaller lawn and this is too big for you, I suggest you take a look at the SoftTouch 2.8 HM Classic AL-KO which has a cutting width of 28 centimeters. It is also smaller, lighter and being AL-KO brings with it the great quality that distinguishes these products.
If you want the best manual lawnmower then you should rely on the AL-KO Soft Touch.
Bosch AHM 30 – the best for a small lawn
If you still want to make full use of the advantages of a manual lawn mower and spend less you can instead opt for a Bosch, great quality at a very good price.
The AHM 30, with its 30 cm cutting width, is perfect for a small garden. In these cases it guarantees a fairly fast job, considering that it is a push mower that does not have a motor.
Precisely the lack of an engine makes it really very light and it doesn't take much effort when you push it. However, keep in mind that fatigue is directly proportional to the height of the grass.
It has a cylinder with 4 hardened steel blades with an ingenious self-sharpening system that guarantees a clean cut even after various uses. This is great because it allows you to dedicate yourself completely to your work without too many thoughts.
The cutting height is adjustable between 12 mm and 40 mm, perfect for limiting fatigue on long grass. Remember that a beautiful lawn needs attention. If you neglect it, the grass will grow and then it will be impossible to use a manual lawn mower without struggling.
I remind you that the cut grass collection basket is not supplied, as usually happens with manual lawn mowers, it must be purchased separately because they are designed primarily for cutting and releasing grass on the lawn itself.
Einhell GC-HM 40 – large cutting width at a good price
The Einhell GC-HM 40 manual lawnmower is the perfect tool if you are looking for something with a large cutting width but don't want to spend billions.
To tell the truth, I needed something like this and the low price of this Einhell product has tempted me a lot. I chose AL-KO only because I also have other tools of the same brand.
Einhell is a temptation in all respects and this manual lawnmower has everything in place. The breadth of the cut is 40 centimeters, they are many and this means that a single passage covers a large garden area.
There is also the smaller 30 centimeter version and slightly cheaper, the GC-HM 30.
The advantage of the Einhell GC-HM 40 manual lawnmower is that it comes with a grass bag, certainly not very large, of 16 liters, but it's still something, considering that usually these types of tools are sold without. You can also use it without it, the choice is yours. It depends if you want to throw away the freshly cut grass or if you want to let it be redistributed on the lawn.
It can be adjusted to 4 different cutting heights: from 15 mm, the lowest, up to 35 mm, the highest.
The cylinder contains a roller with 5 steel blades that are really sharp and effective.
For the price at which it is sold, the Einhell GC-HM 40 manual lawnmower is perfect for those who want to work quickly.
Fiskars Momentum – a monster but at what price!
- Manual lawn mower for a clean and precise cut in the garden, Mowing near the edges with a height of up to 10 cm, Silent and therefore ideal for mowing on Sundays and holidays
- Adjustable cutting height between 2.5 and 10 cm, Ergonomic handlebar adjustable in height with non-slip rubber coating for great working comfort, Four wheels for effortless use and greater stability even on rough terrain
It's time for the real first place. If there really is the best manual lawn mower in the world, this is definitely the Fiskars Momentum. There is only one small problem: the price. And so you understand why it's not really in the first place.
I am sincerely thinking about it because if it costs a lot on the one hand, on the other it is really a monster.
I start by telling you something I just read and that has left me speechless: Fiskars is one of the oldest companies in the West, it was born in Finland in 1649. Do you understand how many years of experience?
The Fiskars manual lawn mower has a cutting width of -40 drum-46 centimeters. In short, you can use it to cut the grass of the San Siro. Or if one day you finally decide to buy the Royal Palace of Caserta, you already have the lawn mower for gardens.
It has an adjustable cutting height between 2.5 centimeters and 10 centimeters, which are enough even for lawns with a fairly high grass. Stability is guaranteed by a handle bar of excellent adjustable workmanship and four wheels to test any type of terrain.
The helical cutting system is based on the StaySharp Max patent: the blades cut without touching each other and this guarantees a gain in terms of ease of use. The friction is much lower when you use the Fiskars Momentum, the result is less effort in pushing.
Now do you understand why he is a monster? In conclusion I will tell you that at the first opportunity I will take him with my eyes closed.
June 30th: I make this change against the purchase of a Fiskars Momentum. The AL-KO is fantastic but I decided to take the big step. I confirm everything you read on the internet. It is a real investment. I recommend it if you can afford it. I understand the high price and the doubt but once tried it is really impossible to go back.
Stiga SCM 240 R – for those who want a really simple design
The Stiga SCM 240 R manual lawnmower is one of the best on the market. It does not have a low price but is justified by a cutting width of 40 centimeters which makes it a very useful and quick tool to use, not necessarily on small plots.
It has a cylinder with 5 very effective steel helical blades, and the cutting height can be adjusted to 3 sizes ranging from a minimum of 25 millimeters to a maximum of 60 millimeters.
It is not meant for collection. On the back there is a roller that helps the freshly cut grass to redistribute evenly on the ground, ensuring good mulching.
Clearly it can be used in collection mode by purchasing a basket separately, as is almost always the case for manual lawn mowers.
A good manual lawn mower for those who have a decent plot of land, is light and quiet and 40 centimeters of work surface are considerable.
Gardena Elicoidale 400 C – for lovers of made in Italy
Gardena makes excellent products and has a vast family of manual lawn mowers that leave only the embarrassment of choice. Choice that obviously must be made only according to one's needs.
There is something for everyone. What we see together here is the Gardena Elicoidale 400 C lawn mower, a tool that has a cutting width of 40 centimeters.
This mower being manual has no engine, it is a push and is very light. It will be like taking a leisurely stroll on the lawn, Gardena will think about shaving.
It has a cutting height that is adjustable between a minimum of 12 millimeters up to a maximum of 42 millimeters on four different positions.
The helical blades are made of hardened steel and guarantee a clean, precise and silent cut.
The handle is practical to use and can be folded, so that it can be stored in any place thanks to the small space it will take up.
It does not have a collection basket, as almost all manual lawn mowers, but you can buy it separately if you wish.
Vigor VTM-40 – the best economical manual lawn mower
Vigor is surprising because it manages to put on the market items that cost very little but that have an efficiency equal to the more expensive similar models.
The Vigor VTM-40 manual lawnmower is without doubt the best economic product in this category. And it renounces nothing.
It has a cutting width of 40 centimeters and a cutting height adjustable between a minimum of 15 millimeters up to a maximum of 43 millimeters. In the cylinder there are 4 steel helical blades that do their job very well.
It is easily manoeuvrable as it is very light, weighing just over 8 kilograms.
If you have a small garden with regular ground and grass that is not very high, and you also don't want to face a big expense, the Vigor VTM-40 is for you
Grizzly HRM 38
An economical alternative to the Vigor, the Grizzly HRM 38 manual mower is really cheap but at the same time efficient.
It has a cutting width of 38 centimeters and the cutting height is adjustable between a minimum of 14 millimeters and a maximum of 43 millimeters.
It has 5 helical steel blades. It is very light and the handlebar can be folded to take up less space when it is stored when work is completed.
I recommend the Grizzly lawnmower if you don't want to spend much and have a small lawn with regular ground.
How to choose the perfect lawn mower
Let's start with a bit of terminology. There are three different names that indicate the same gardening tool and these are:
- Lawn mowers
With these names the same thing is always indicated, or rather that instrument suitable for mowing the grass of a lawn or a garden.
We also need to be clear about manual lawn mowers. Being all similar for the type of cut, that is to say with cylinder with helical blades, they will be called "helical grass cutters" or "cylinder grass cutters" and will indicate the exact same type of product.
That being said, choosing a lawnmower is not easy, and I know it very well. There are various factors that come into play, let's see the most important ones together.
The first is certainly given by the size and type of your own plot of land. For this reason we often cannot simply make a choice based on personal tastes, but we must take into account what we have in our hands.
For very large and difficult lawns, with unevenness and several irregularities, perhaps a petrol mower is more suitable.
For lawns of medium and small size, easy to maintain, an electric lawn mower is much more recommended, especially if you have easy access to electrical outlets.
A manual lawnmower instead is certainly indicated for a lawn of small or medium size for a matter of speed and fatigue, as it must be pushed and maybe passed more than once on the ground itself.
If you want a solution that takes into account noise pollution, an internal combustion engine makes a lot of noise, an electric motor is quieter while a manual lawn mower completely eliminates this problem. So it's a suitable solution for example if you have neighbors who don't want to be disturbed.
Finally, there would be the "ecology" factor which for many, like me, is very important. In this sense the petrol mower doesn't help you at all. You have to opt for an electric or a manual that guarantees zero CO2 emissions.
In this increasingly virtual world it's easy to forget about nature. If you are here it is because you are like me, you look for your corner of peace, your refuge.
Running away from the everyday world is as difficult as it is very rewarding, because it allows you to be more in touch with yourself.
I like to think that all of us who work in gardening, but also those who do it as a hobby, are connected by a thread that keeps us close and close and feeds each other.
I like to think that we are part of an elite of people who have understood the true meaning of life, who use their energies to try to really do something that is worthwhile: working the land.
If we continue to do so, to work with the earth, we will show ourselves that we are still worthy of this planet and of being children of nature.
If you found this guide useful, you will find many other very interesting ones here on ProContro, a small virtual world made up of people who really put their heart into it.
Hello from Edoardo!
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