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
    Hi David. We would need to know what budget you have in mind.
    Also if you want a roller or not.
    • I'm thinking of up to £800 at the moment which hopefully gives some scope. No roller required as customers don't seem to want the stripes.
  • PRO

    David, have you also taken a look through LJN using the search function for independent (re)views on various makes and types of mowers ? Click the Orange Magnifying glass, top right of main forum screen for the Search button.

    With such a large membership and so many machines in use there is a wealth of useful threads which will help.

    • Thanks for that, I either missed it or hasn't come up with my search. Will have a look.
  • PRO

    Anything with a honda or kawasaki engine over a B&S.

    The Honda Kaas / Lawnflite etc are ver solid, but around £1000. Ditto a toro 22293. We've had the Kaas and Toro for the last 3 years with no probs. The Weibangs are getting good write-ups, but again, I think you'll need £1000 for a 53 with a good engine.

    Viking good for wet pickup would probably be in budget.

  • PRO

    Having said avoid B&S, I would say true if spending £800+. However, we've had a Gardencare LM56sp 3 in 1 in our fleet, great cheap machine, sub £400, leaves a good finish, lightweight (relative), and does a basic mulch when you need. We use our machines hard every day, though have many of them, but the gardencare is a favourite of the guys and is out most days.

    I think in some ways £800 budget is a grey area, 21"+ full commercials are more money £1000+. I'd spend more and have long term, or less, say £400 and expect to change in 2-3 years time.

    • Thanks, that has given me something to go on, will have a look at your suggestions. I've got a gardencare LM46 which I've had for 3 years and has been quite good to start with, just need a wider cut and good pick up on wet grass. Maybe I should consider spending just a little more.
  • PRO

    For a one man operation, the machines tend to be less abused. You having the LM46 for 3 years being a good example. We go through cheaper machines in 18-24 months. Not generally the engine, all the ancillaries - cables, handles, controls, wheels etc take the abuse.

    I can't say the Toro or Etesia we have give a better finish than the LM56. They are just tougher and the Etesia is better in the wet. Why not spend less and be careful with it?

    Good wet pickup is generally Viking or Etesia, or now Weibang as well

    • Good point, well worth considering as I'm probably over the top with cleaning and servicing my machinery after spending so much on everything. Plus your suggestion has the bigger grass box and it won't be used every day. Thanks for your help!
  • PRO

    I've got a couple of Hayter Harrier 48 Pros. ~£900 new. Mad they don't want stripes - I couldn't use anything without a roller. 

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