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What first mower

Hi all

I'm just contemplating adding garden maintenance to the current property maintenance I already do(roofing, decorating fencing amongst  others)

With a budget of £1500 to get equipment, I now it's not nowhere near enough to get everything 

So what would you guys recommend I prioritise 

ie: mower should I go for roller or not? One that can also mulch?

was thinking of adding a battery strimmer and hedge cutter  

thanks for any input






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  • I think, as you have already said, your budget it a bit low.

    But to give an idea of cost of equipment -

    A week before the initial lock down I bought a new battery strimmer and backpack battery [Stihl]. Including Stihl’s own generous current offer on the AR3000 battery [backpack] and the HSA 130 strimmer [plus line head and strimmer harness attachment for the backpack] and the dealer discount, I paid £1100.

    For any serious amount of battery strimmer use you will need a backpack battery. The small AP batteries last really well in the hedge cutters but strimmers devour battery run time.

    I use ride on machines and so am out of touch with what hand mowers you might get, but someone will be along soon.

    But yes, get one that also mulches.

  • PRO

    Honda izy made a good first mower for me and I still use it, mulching is very good and can be had for around the £350 mark.

    • Hi Dave

      thanks for your quick reply

      would you recommend just getting a standard mower first of all then get a separate mulch mower later. Also should I be looking at a rear roller for my first mower, how important are stripes 

      • PRO

        I dont see the sense in having a separate mulcher as the izy is quite a good one, just move the lever for bag or mulch it takes 2 seconds no faffing with a mulch plug. The bigger Honda machines hrx etc have a variable mulch-bag lever that can be set over about 9 settings so it part bags and part mulchers.

      • Hi Dave

        what is the Honda model for £350 the collects and mulch


  • Hi Vic

    thanks for your quick reply

     I know the Stihl battery strimmers with battery pack are expensive initially but I can then interchange batteries on hedge cutters and blower etc when I can afford them.

    i aim to concentrate on domestic gardens so would be looking at the fsa 65 or 85 which are a little bit cheaper

    im trying to gauge the order others would purchase the equipment, mower,strimmer, hedge cutter .....


    • hi Liam Stihl FSA85 strimmer the best lightweight one to have, the 65 is in my opinion nowhere near as good and not that much cheaper. Battery run time is not too bad at all on the FSA85, as it's not one of the bigger brush cutter type power hungry models, you need ap200 or ap300 battery for it, i find weight of the ap200 gives best balance in that tool. Stihl HSA86 hedgetrimmer is good and hedge trimming season starts around now but always shrubs etc need shaping up. As for mowers personally i use battery models which work well for me but can require significant investment in power packs if doing a lot. stripes aren't really a requirement around here but depends on client really and size/shape/quality of lawn

    • As Dave alludes to above, a good rule of thumb is to buy a hand mower with a Honda engine. My Efco mulching/collection hand mower is 15 years old and although it’s now only used 20 minutes a fortnight, it still starts first pull. I paid £296 in 2005 as it was on an Efco offer reduced from £500. It was used a lot at first and has just had its first replacement drive belt, so has been remarkable.

      The FSA 130 is a far better machine than the cheaper ones. It’s only about £100 more than the 90, list price. The lads on the local Council have told me that they had some FSA 90’s and they gave trouble because the electric motor is down at the head and if you suddenly jam the head, then the motor breaks. Whereas the 130 has the motor where the engine would be and a clutch, drive shaft and a gearbox down at the head end as normal. They are much more robust and designed for commercial work.

      There are Stihl package deals on the hedge cutters and batteries and charger.I have the HSA 86 which is really good machine.

      • hello again Vic hows the Hilux going yes i have a fsa 90 which seems to vibrate a bit excessively, maybe something wrong with it but i do use it occasionally, if really hammered it over heats and needs to cool for a bit, i like that it holds the battery in the top and dont really need a shoulder strap [its the r model]. i have the fsa130 as well but only break that one out if serious amounts of strimming to do. But for doing the regular domestic garden round the FSA85 is still my fave. Similarly I have the top end Stihl HSA94T and R  hedge trimmer models but still tend to use the HSA86 more as it takes less setting up and can be picked up and put down more easily

        • Hi Billybop,

          The Hilux is going superbly, but then the Invincible badge is not there just for decoration. As you well know you can’t break them.

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