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Which 21" lawnmower?

Hi all, looking for advice on the best/most reliable pedestrian lawnmower with a 21" cut and large grass box, preferably 70+ litres. Searching online there are so many for commercial gardeners. I'm a one man garden maintenance business with a few large lawns to cut so it's not a machine used all day every day. I have a 19" mower at the moment but struggling with damp or wet grass and would like to shave a bit off mowing time. I read to avoid the 3 in 1 mowers but most seem to offer this, the online advice saying mowers which collect or mulch only do a better job. I've looked at Honda but wondered what other gardeners used or recommended through regular use over a period of a few years. Online reviews aren't always great, some reviewing models used a couple of weeks or call me cynical but wonder how many manufacturers write reviews! Would be grateful for some guidance on this so I'm not wasting my money. Thanks.

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  • PRO

    I only do domestic lawns and nothing else nowadays. In my experience it comes down to client demographic as to what you need. Mine (mainly older, retired folk) have never asked for stripes in 5 years i have been doing it and i therefore only use 4wheel mowers, with a rubber strip that leaves a light stripe. I also prefer that 4wheelers tend to be lighter in weight. 

    I decided early on that i dont need professional grade machinery as i am the only one that uses it and prefer to spend less, but change or add more often (i always have back up mowers in case of breakdown). I use and carry a 16" and 21" mowers.

    I have this season gone from Hayter to Honda Izy's .... They have so far been excellent. They both cut the wet grass far better than the Hayter. The 21" (with smart drive) is great on bigger lawns, fast enough drive, collects well and leaves a nice finish. The star though (for me) is the 16". My first season running a smaller mower aswell and its been a revelation. I visited 12 customers today and only used the 21" twice

  • PRO

    Colin, Greenlawns, I'm with you. Have stuck with the 48 Pros for now.

    If mowing is what you're priding yourself on, and you're looking to differentiate from cheap and cheerful, then roller mowers are a non-negotiable. It comes down to business strategy, price point and ROI. We mow, mow well, and treat cheaper than franchises with a personalised service. Best of both markets IMO.  

  • PRO

    If your talking about the new(er) Hayter 56's - I disagree. And, not everyone wants stripes (strangely).

    You give the customer want they want, not necessarily what you want.

    Often the Stars do align and you find a client that wants Stripes, the '56 (or whatever you use) works and you can display your aesthetic skills but don't diss those that don't.....

    • As a matter of interest Gary, why do you not like the new Hayter 56's and where do other mowers trump them?

      • PRO
        Sorry to butt in, my veiw on this is simple, as far as I'm concerned for a machine to be classed as a "Pro" machine it should be able to work in all conditions as well as being built to last, the newer Hayter Pros are piss poor at working in any conditions other than completely dry, and in a country as wet as ours this makes this machine useless. Just my opinion, cheers Harry
      • PRO

        By having been able to use the old style, full width chute Hayter 56 and the new style 1/2 width chute Hayter 56 back to back - the new style does not clear and pack the bag in damp to wet conditions any where near as good as the older model.

        The old style 56 performed better than most other rollers (excepting Vikings which we have never used). Put an older style hi lift blade on it and it performs extremely well.

        The new style 56 is no better than most other Pro roller mowers, so based on that fact we prefer the Danarm's due to Honda engines, BBC and good controls.

  • I am looking at the Masport MS-800ALSP. 22" cut alloy deck. It has got a Brigs engine and I don't mind that, there not that bad if looked after. At £500 here in Guernsey it is a good buy. I like the Honda mowers and also Ariens LM  21's. I worked at the shop that sells all these mowers and are reliable.

    Jes

  • PRO
    We tried out our new etesia yesterday which was bought for rougher lawns and is a mulched, was used for 4 hours and was a beast, nothing seemed to slow it up and chopped long grass down to nothing. Plan to,use this on rough areas and save the hondas gearbox by using this only on nice lawns, if you don't want stripes I'd recommend this mower.
    • PRO

      What model did you go for ?

      • I lost track of who was talking to who! I went with Andrew Watts' suggestion in the end, the gardencare LM56sp. I already have the smaller model and 3 years later it's still doing the job. The wider cut and larger grass box with the new one should do the larger lawns and will last me 3+ years. I don't cut a huge amount of grass so decided to pay less, the larger private gardens have their own Hondas and a Weibang which weighs a tonne. It arrived today and quite happy. I imagine my choice will produce a few groans. Incidentally, I've used a Honda roller, not sure which model, belonging to one of my customers and found it slipped on the slopes with dew on the grass. Thanks for everyone's replies, plenty for others to ponder over looking for a new mower.
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