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Roller mower

Another mower question!

We are looking for a 19 inch petrol,  not battery roller mower. Currently run Hayter 56 Pro,s which on the whole we are happy with but have some new contracts where these are too cumbersome on smaller areas.

Ideally, ribbed roller, bbc, variable speed. Looked at the Honda 476, too slow even when opened up on demo. Hayter 48 vs bbc which ticks all the boxes but is just a bit heavy at 48 kg dry. The Stihl , our dealer says not to buy due to transmission issues plus it has a smooth roller. 

Are we missing something? Or asking the impossible?

Any thoughts?




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  • PRO

    Stihl don't make a 19" roller so I wouldn't I trust your dealer...

    • Yes, my mistake not theirs it's 17 inch and only weighs 30 kg! So think that's indicative of the build quality!!

      • PRO

        We've had a 17" Stihl RM545 RV for over a year now and no complaints so far. We bought it for the (lack of) weight. No gearbox or any other mechanical issues to date, good B&S engine, dimpled roller, quite quick, big box, always starts (E5 petrol) and it folds up so you can throw it the back of a car - which is quite handy sometimes. Build quality? It is a Stihl product, so plastic but easier to clean because of that and so far just scratches, no dents or breaks. It is not 19" but it cuts well above it's weight. Worth looking at unless the cut width is a deal breaker

        • Tim,

          Thanks,  appreciated.  How do find the variable speed? Do you tend to use it in one fixed position? Do you get much roller spin ?

          • PRO

            Hi Peter, The variable speed works fine. We tend not to use it flat out - as it is a very light mower it has a tendency to drift at high speed on uneven lawns. We do tend to use it in a fixed position depending on grass height and how much we need take off. Roller spin is neglible if used at the right speed for the terrain. It is very different, in almost all respects, to your Hayters and takes a bit of getting used to - you might want try before you buy. For us, it is a good solution to the small area problem and even the wife can lift it into and out of her truck!

  • The 19" Cobra Pro mowers are worth a look at. They don't have a ribbed roller, but the Honda GXV engines are very easy to tune to provide a decent speed!

    • Sean. Thanks,  we've dismissed them as it's only 1kg lighter than the Hayter and on a par price wise. The handle length is an issue. The reviews on Trustpilot are very poor,  appreciate they may not refer to that particular model but are indicative of a general malaise  in regard to warranty and customer service in general and as a dealer said to me some 40 years ago when we were starting out - Anyone can take your money off you, it's what happens after that which is important ! How true that is.

      • PRO

        I have run 3 Kawasaki engined Cobra 19's on fleet across two vans for three-four years and other than a few sets of roller bearings, one drive cable and a grass bag frame had no issues. The Subaru engined one was apparently no good (dealer advised us against buying) but would have a Honda engined one without hesitation!

  • It's difficult to choose, we run 7 hayters ( 5x 48pro & 2x 41 pros), not perfect but easy and cheap to repair yourself  in the event of a breakdown.


    I have had the weibang legacy pro gearbox issues in just over a year, Honda the same, Viking roller mower great cut but forever breaking down, atco 19s no good for pro use, so back to the hayters!


    if it's a weight issue maybe look at the hayter 48 non pro version cheaper and still cuts great but. It as sturdy.


    depends how much abuse you are going to give them I suppose 

    • Dylan, thanks for reply. We ordered a Hayter 48 vs bbc yesterday.  Looked at the 41 and 48 Pro but need variable speed, shame Hayter don't put the 56 Pro gearbox on all the Pro,s. It's only going to be used for 2 to 3 hours a week so hopefully it will stand up to that.

      Interested in your experience with the other makes as we had toyed with the idea of swapping the 56 Pro,s for Wiebangs but had heard varying reports on gearbox issues and as in my original post your experience with Viking bear out the warning our dealer gave as it now badged Stihl and appears unaltered apart from the colour. Unfortunately what we want isn't made so ended up with the Hayter, if it's even half as reliable as the 56 Pro,s I won't complain!

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