Roller Mower - my shortlist, please help!


I want to buy a roller mower and as I work in small to medium sized gardens I'm going with 18/19"

After some thrilling bedtime reading, going through lots of old and very old posts on here and chatting to a few of you individually I think I have narrowed my choices down to four.

Hayter Harrier 48 Pro - not necessarily amazing at picking up in the wet, but reasonable if blades kept sharp and generally good workhorses

Cobra RM48SPS - more expensive but has roto stop. Doesn't mention if it has one central height lever or not. I don't know this brand very well

Honda HRX476QX - 6kg lighter than the Hayter. Seems similar

Mountfield SP505R-V - 3kg lighter than even the Honda and with variable speed. From what I can see this is also the only one to have a wash port. 

This will for now be my only mower for now but I'll probably end up getting a 4 wheel mower, potentially a 3 in 1 at a later date, when I've got some money in the bank from my hopefully substantial increase in spring customers.

I only started gardening in July 16 and up until now I've just been using a very cheap £150 mountfield domestic mower (!?), but they last one season and then get chucked. I have a bit of life left in my current one to be a back up and for very awkward access tiny lawns.

I've decided to stick at this gardening thing, rebranded and I'm going for a more premium service from now on, hence investing in a new mower

Can anyone help narrow the choice further, or potentially add something that I've missed (hopefully narrow down)

Lastly, I've read that it's better to go through a dealer to buy, to build a relationship. As of yet I've never been to a dealer, is anyone around Halesowen/Birmingham and if so can you recommend a dealer?

Thank you in advance

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  • PRO

    Just sold an HRX.

    Good mower, not bad in the wet, bit slow even with a tweaked engine. DIY maintenance a bit of a pain - the roller unit is not easy to remove and refit, nowhere as easy as the HRD's.

    Going over to the dark side this season - Viking 6 series roller!

    • PRO

      that mower does actually look pretty good. also added to my short list, uh oh - it's growing not shrinking

      What's your reason for the switch?

      • PRO

        Weight, speed and wet weather pickup.

        I have a HRD 536, quite a heavy machine, don't like using it in the wet as the roller tends to dig in to soft grass. It picks up ok, but if it is raining and I'm cutting I wouldn't take it out.

        Haven't even looked closely at the Vikings, views are polarised, I do my own maintenance so I'm thinking I'll sort the issues out as and when.

        Maybe rose tinted specs, will tell you at the end of the year!

  • PRO
    I’ve tried all the mowers on your list and wouldn’t buy any of them again, only mower I can recommend highly at a 48cm size is the Weibang 48 pro, all the rest of the mowers in this category are like toys compared to it. The only problem is the weight. From the list you have above if I had to choose one i’d Go with the mountfield /atco version . Good luck with your decision though.
    • PRO

      yes the weight could well be an issue - 64.5kg, 16kg heavier than the Hayter.

      What issues did you have with the others?

      • PRO
        Hi Shell, starting at the top,

        Hayter 48 pro, although reasonably built is the worst on you list for damp/wet cut collection, I believe if a mower is a pro machine then it should work in all conditions, if it doesn’t then there isn’t a lot of point in owning it.

        The Cobra is just as pointless in wet conditions and added to that it’s a long machine compared to the others too, the handles are far too long, the blades are a rubbish design also with very little lift, constantly had broken cables with my machine and drive issues.

        The Honda also had persistent issues with its drive and was fixed twice under warranty, bare in mind the warranty is only 3 months for pro work so twice in 3 months is bad, awful on wet grass collection, carb issues, new carb replaced under warranty, and ended up giving to a mate for spares as he had issues with his own mower of the same model.

        Lastly the Mountfield , my one was actually the Atco version but all the running parts are the same, cheap cables, twin clip blade sounds like a great idea but in practice makes no real difference to the cut or collection, flimsy wheels, both replaced under warranty, handle snapped on one side, slightly better than the other 3 but that is more due to the slightly wider grass chute.

        All in all the longest lasting of the machines before they broke was the Hayter, however I’ve had my Weibang around a year ish now and no problems at all, I turn up to a job fully confident I can complete any task in hand no matter the weather.

        Hope this has helped a little, many thanks Harry
        • PRO

          In regards to the twinclip. It's kinda strange they put it on t he roller mowers. The twinclip does a fantastic job of mulching, but as you said doesnt make a difference to collection or finish. And seeing as they dont suppy the roller mowers with mulching plugs I dont see the point in them.

        • PRO
          Hi harry
          Could you answer my query
          Is there any difference in the speed between a Honda and weibang I wanted to commit to weibang two years ago but feared they might stop importing due to few dealers taking to stocking but they get no end of good reviews so reconsidering again 21 inch Honda v weibang equivalent or bigger
  • PRO

    Hi Shell,

    Would try the Weibang 48 Pro. Last spring, we used Oak Garden Machinery in Thame. We had a 48 pro and 56 pro on demo from them and bought the 56 pro as we have several larger lawns. Very impressive machines compared to Hayter 56's, Kaaz, Toro's etc, which are good, but weibang better.

    Perhaps get a 48 pro on demo from your local Weibang dealer and see how it goes.

    • PRO

      my nearest dealer is 35 miles away hmmm.

      How does demo work? will they let me try for free for a set period of time? 
      What if I don't want to buy it after? What if it got stolen?

      Turns out I have a Hayter/Mountfield dealer 3.5 miles away and a Honda dealer 12.5 miles


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