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Hand Lawn Mower
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# 1
Horace
Old 02-04-2012, 2:34 PM
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Default Hand Lawn Mower

I shall soon be in need of a lawnmower as I am moving from a flat into a house that has a garden. I have seen a Qualcast Panther lawnmower which is powered by me and not by petrol or electricity - I spoke to mum about it yesterday and she told me not to buy one as a) they are heavy to push and b) they get clogged. Surely, all lawnmowers get clogged?

I shall get the lawnmower that I want - however, I thought I would ask the question about clogging. Are they heavy to push too?

I am trying to steer clear of a petrol mower partly due to cost of petrol and partly because I am not keen, I don't want an electric mower because I have a fear of cutting the cable plus I don't want to pay any more for my electricity hence the desire to have a decent lawnmower powered by me - it will also keep me fit.

Does anyone have any recommendation/comment about the Qualcast Panther? Please can you let me know if it is easy to use too.
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# 2
cattie
Old 02-04-2012, 5:35 PM
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I've known 2 people who bought push power mowers & regretted it, saying it was too much like hard work.

Get yourself a decent lightweight electric one, I have a Qualcast that I've been more than happy with. If you invest in a circuit breaker for around £7, it will remove the fear of getting fried should you accidentally cut the cable. An electric lawn mower uses very little electricity & the little extra it does use is well worth it for the ease of use.

It's only when you have a garden that you realise how quickly grass can grow & what a slog it can be having to be slaving away in the sun cutting it every few weeks.
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# 3
Yolina
Old 02-04-2012, 9:23 PM
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My grandparents had a couple of metal push-mowers which they acquired in the 1950s when they built their house (and their garden was huge). I was perfectly able to use them when I was something like 10 years old, and so was my grandfather when he was in his 80s (and the mowers still working fine!) It obviously requires *some* effort but frankly nothing too bad as far as I can remember (the worst bit was having to rake afterwards because they didn't come with anything fancy like a container to collect the cut bits as you were going along).
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Last edited by Yolina; 02-04-2012 at 9:27 PM.
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# 4
Philippa36
Old 03-04-2012, 7:17 AM
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If you're wanting a good work out then get one - I had an elderly one that had been well looked after when I lived in Wales on a hill. I spent two summers pushing that thing up and down the hill every other week. I was fitter than I've ever been before or since!
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# 5
mungobella
Old 03-04-2012, 9:58 AM
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I bought a Brill hand mower last summer and I *love* it. I owned a hand mower before that was not quite as nice (though still supposedly high quality and quite expensive) and it didn't work nearly as well for me. The Brill will get caught up on twigs and sticks (like all hand mowers), so if you have a lot of those on your lawn you may want to avoid it. Still, it's easy to use and, unlike the electric mower I used before, I can just pull it out of the shed and go. I hate the noise of a regular mower, so it's pleasant to just putter around with this thing. I have a reasonably big suburban back garden, but not acreage or anything. Oh, and I'm a woman and horribly out of shape, and I find it no trouble to push at all.

I sound like an advertisement, but it really is good! I actually kind of enjoy mowing the lawn now (don't tell my partner, though...)
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# 6
Lotus-eater
Old 03-04-2012, 10:52 AM
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When I was a kid we used to have a heavy metal push mower and it was great, wished I'd never got rid of it.
Push mowers do require a relatively flat and decent lawn to work, the one we had was heavy as I said, so it had some momentum, I'm unsure whether the ones I've seen today (which seem to be alot lighter) would work well or not.

If you possibly could, I would try one before you buy.
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# 7
lily117
Old 03-04-2012, 11:18 AM
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I have a Ginge that I got for a fiver in a charity shop, like new. Much prefer it to my old Flymo that broke last summer. I am in my 50's (female) and don't find it too much effort to push.
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# 8
tanith
Old 03-04-2012, 11:32 AM
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OH bought one two Summers ago he used it once , and I've used it a few times , if it were heavier (maybe the old ones are) I think it would do a good job but its very light and sort of skims across the grass and I find I have to go back over it time and again so I only tend to use it if the grass is already fairly short and very dry.. I wouldn't bother buying one again myself, its nice and peaceful with no motor noise but for use 2 or 3 times a years its a waste of money really..
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# 9
Akom
Old 03-04-2012, 1:05 PM
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I own a Qualcast Panther and love it. When I lived in a flat it had a small garden so it was perfect. I've now moved into a house with a reasonable size garden and I still love it. No leads to untangle or roll up, you just take it out the shed, whip round, quick brush over and back in the shed it goes.

Top tips to make it easier:

Stay on top of your grass cutting. If your grass is too long it is hard work to cut. Stay on top of it and it's easy.

Spend some time setting it up. When I first got mine I thought I'd made a terrible mistake as it was hard work and didn't cut very well. Decided to spend some time on it adjusting the cutting height and making sure the blade is set just right and square. Once that was done it worked a dream.


I find it more satisfying cutting by push mower and it's go to be healthier too.

Hope this helps.
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# 10
Horace
Old 03-04-2012, 3:57 PM
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Thanks for the tips - I am trying to lose weight (mum keeps nagging me) so a push mower makes sense to me. I have heard good things about the Qualcast Panther so I think my mind is pretty much made up because I like my grass to be cut rather than mulched which is what seemed to happen when I had a small flymo back in the day when I had a husband with a house and smaller garden.

I would rather have something that doesnt rely on fossil fuels (electricity included). At least it will keep me fit.

Akom - is the Panther easy to set up? I know that it has a grass collecting box which makes it miles better than those hover things.

I have a small front lawn and I am not sure of the size of the back lawn as I only saw the house twice in the winter. I remember that it has two brick built sheds and some garden borders but I didnt take much notice of the lawn
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# 11
fwor
Old 03-04-2012, 7:03 PM
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I've used a few push-along cylinder mowers in the past, and the one thing to avoid is a lightweight one.

As already mentioned, they tend to ride on top of thick grass tufts, but worse than that, they typically don't have enough strength in the cylinder "frame". This means that the first time you hit a hidden object in the grass such as a part of a fallen branch, one of the blades will be knocked slightly out of alignment and then it becomes impossible to adjust so that all of the blades cut properly.

I'd recommend getting a secondhand, heavily-built one made a few decades ago when they were made to last.
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# 12
Akom
Old 04-04-2012, 8:39 AM
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They are pretty easy to put together out the box. What you need to spend a bit of time on is getting the blade to literally just kiss the the bottom guide, think of the 2 blades on a pair of scissors as thats pretty much how it works, and make sure it's the same across the length of the blade. You'll need to rotate the blade to see this.

Dont worry, I'm making it sound harder than it really is and you'll hopefully only have to do it once a year.

Get this right and it'll work a dream.

Regards to the light weight problem thats been mentioned, I've had no problems with the Panther myself as it's pretty sturdily built.

I hope it works for you as well as it does for me.
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# 13
Ash McCloud
Old 04-04-2012, 1:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horace View Post
Does anyone have any recommendation/comment about the Qualcast Panther? Please can you let me know if it is easy to use too.
Yeah they're easy to use. You need to push them with a bit of a jolt when you set off walking otherwise they tend to just skid along the grass without the blades turning, but once they're in motion it's east enough to push one.

They do clog up if you let the grass get too long between cuts, or try to mow when it's wet, so avoid these situations if possible.

On the plus side, they give a nice clean cut in comparison to a rotary mower, they just pass over the grass and rip it off at speed, whereas a cylinder mower snips the grass neatly between your cylinder blades and the bottom blade. As someone else has said, set it nice and tight to start with, and nip it up regularly so that the cylinder blade meets a little bit of resistance as it turns, but not too much or it'll wear your bottom blade out. They're supposed to make a bit of a clanking noise when you operate them, so don't be alarmed at that

Also, you're not gonna get close to any walls or fences with them, so you might have to dig a small border round your lawn. And buy a decent pair of shears for tidying up the lawn edges and any corners you can't get into when you've done with the mower.
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