Petrol lawn mowers are louder than electronic ones. And they’re powered by fossil fuel so that may niggle at your environmental sensibilities. But their engines are more powerful so they can battle tougher strains of grass. And they can cut larger stretches in a single mow.
Electric lawn mowers are restricted by the radius of their power cable. And rechargeable digital mowers can barely last thirty minutes per charge. So if you’re convinced of the advantages of petrol trimmers, let’s make a list together and find the best petrol lawn mower.
The Best Petrol Lawn Mower
The Best Petrol Lawn Mower on UK Market 2023
1. Mountfield Self-Propelled Petrol Lawn Mower (53cm)
Honda engines are trusted across the world. And this Mountfield lawn mower is fitted with a large, powerful one. It’s only a one-speed engine, but its tank is well over 150cc. This is a self-propelled lawn mower. Meaning if you get distracted and release the handle, it’ll roll a few steps away. It won’t go far though, because your hand will lose contact with on the throttle.
This is a device where you can’t change gears. So it only ‘propels itself’ while there’s fuel reaching the engine. Letting go of the handle breaks the supply chain and your mower will rattle a bit then halt. But it may have veered into flower beds by then, so maintain control over the mower. The machine has a pull-start but it doesn’t take too many tries so that’s fine.
While this is a self-propelled lawn mower, it’s solidly built with ball bearings in its wheels. So even if the rotors are off, you can use muscle power to nudge it forward. It doesn’t have a brake though – letting go of the handlebars is a shortcut but not the safest option. The back wheels are 28cm while the front wheels are 20cm so it’s good for slopes and bumps.
To ignite the mower, pull the starter and engage the ‘drive’ lever. When you disengage the lever, the lawn mower stops. You can still push it with the ‘driver’ off but that takes a lot of energy. You can choose from five cutting heights between 26mm and 87mm. The cutting width is over half a metre. The mower itself weighs around 30kg and has a 70-litre grass collector.
This lawn mower reaches a top speed of 3.8kph. Its auto-choke works well with its single-speed motor. It’s easy to clean the mower because it has a wash link on its steel blade. It also has anti-scalping features so you won’t accidentally bald your lawn. The lawn mower has an optional mulching function. It works through a mulching plug for ‘direct deposit trimming’.
This one-speed mower has a massive cutting width of 53cm and a 167cc Honda engine. Its larger rear wheels offer enhanced manoeuvrability and its padded handle is quite comfy.
- The motor spins at 2900 rpm.
- It can cut from 26mm to 87mm.
- The steel chassis has an extended lifespan.
- It’s self-propelled but you have to keep your hand on the throttle.
2. Hyundai Self-Propelled Petrol Lawn Mower (46cm)
Hyundai is known for its cars and motorbikes so you know your lawn mower motor is solid. This one has a 139cc capacity so it’s a mid-range mower. You get two ignition options – you can pull the starter cord or use the electronic starter button. It also has two user modes. You can press the self-propulsion bar and it will drive itself … or you can push it in manual mode.
This 39kg lawn mower has a 46cm cutting width. Its back wheels are bigger so you can work around tricky terrain. The self-propelled feature activates these back wheels, but in manual mode, you can still tip the smaller front wheels to trim around rocks and awkward angles. The lawn mower comes with a 600ml bottle of engine oil to keep it running smoothly.
The 3.5hp engine emits 2.6kW and fuel-efficient mechanics. You can trim to six grass heights between 25mm and 75mm. Other features include the mulcher. It deposits cut grass directly onto the lawn, and you can discharge clippings from the back or side of the mower. You can also choose ‘regular’ mode, catching the grass in a 70l bag. The indicator shows when it’s full.
If you’ve worked with wet grass, you know how quickly it gums up. And once it sets, it can be as tough as concrete. The litter bag lets air circulate effectively, keeping the grass well-ventilated and avoiding machine jams. This is a bulky lawn mower with tonnes of features. But if your garage or shed is overfilled, the mower will fold into a fraction of itself to fit.
To adjust your cutting height, use the large, ergonomic lever positioned near the back wheel. It fits your entire knuckle so you can easily slide the lever forward or back into 6 positions. And because the lever shifts the whole wheel and carriage, you can visually gauge the best height. The OPC (Operator Presence Control) ensures the mower won’t drive off accidentally.
This Hyundai mower has plenty of buttons, levers, and features. Watch a video (or read the manual) to get familiar. It comes with a sealed battery for the main starter button.
- It has an optional electronic starter.
- The handles fold for small storage spaces.
- The mower has six cutting heights.
- This Hyundai has a lot of cool features but it can’t do stripes.
3. Frisky Fox Self-Propelled Petrol Lawn Mower (51cm)
How do you feel about recoil starters? Lots of us hate them. Some of us didn’t know there was an alternative! But many modern mowers come with both a pull start and a push start. The ignition button is the primary ignition unit and the recoil serves as a backup. This Frisky Fox only has the standard recoil. But it may puzzle you since the recoil is looped in place.
Turns out that’s just a ‘mnemonic’. When you first unbox the machine, the starter cord is held by a clip. But after you start the machine, the cord will spring back into position. You can choose to loop it when you put the machine away – this makes it easier to start the next time because you’ll begin from a stretched position. But watch your knuckles as you start.
Why? The handle is fastened with Allen nuts, and these can cause nasty cuts when paired with a forceful starter tug. This mower is versatile though. It has four settings – cut only, cut + collect, cut + drop on the side (to mulch), or cut + rear drop (to mulch). The lawn mower also has a roller so you can form lawn stripes and patterns if you like. The bin is 50 litres.
The engine on this lawn mower is a dynamic 4-stroke wolf model. Its capacity is 173cm and you can cut to 7 heights ranging from 25mm to 75mm. The mower weighs 35g so it helps that it’s self-propelled. It has a throttle so you can control the speed and power of your trimming without expending too much effort. This bulky mower might not squeeze into small yards.
The bright red shade and seemingly endless levers will delight gadget lovers. But while this mower boasts 4-in-1 functionality, its biggest benefit is its adjustable pace of mowing.
- The mower carries a 2-year warranty.
- It has 4-in-1 functionality.
- Its 4-stroke engine has 5.5hp.
- The hex screws can hurt your hands as you use the mower – wear padded gloves.
4. Einhell Self-Propelled Petrol Lawn Mower (46cm) (Our Top Pick)
Shopping for mechanics is different when you’re a guy. Or when you’re looking at machines from a male perspective. And this applies even if you lack the necessary … anatomy to define your gender. Here’s what I mean. We are all attracted to bright red objects like this Einhell (even if we may not necessarily buy them). But it takes testosterone to hone into horsepower.
For the record, women have testosterone too, so yes ma’am, you can check the cc’s. And if that’s a priority for you, you will adore the Briggs & Stratton engine on this lawn mower. It’s a good fit for lawns up to 1,400m2 and has a 125cc capacity. The cutting width is 46cm and you can adjust grass length between 30mm and 80mm, an unusual but helpful height range.
The grass bag is on the smaller side at 50 litres. But the 450E engine offers superior (and long-lasting) cutting power. And you get nine steps between that 30 and 80 mark. The lawn mower has optional 4WD with larger rear wheels. Self-propulsion engages said back wheels but if you prefer manual mode, you can push the mower with your own muscle power.
The wheels are well ridged and treaded so you get good traction, even on wet, slippery grass or rough ground. This mower works well for large gardens because of its self-propelling setting and its adjustable handle. You can tweak the height and angle of the angle to maximise comfort and minimise fatigue, letting you work longer hours in bigger yards.
As you shop, pay attention to the specs rather than the model number. Changing a single number or letter in your order can get you a different machine entirely. For example, there’s a 65l model and a 50l model. Or a 6-step cutting lever and a 9-step cutting lever. Or a 450E (1.65kW) vs a 500E (1.95kW) engine. So double-check to be sure you made the right call.
Einhell lawn mowers are impressive for their horsepower, range, and features. But the models in this series have only the slightest shifts in specs, so look carefully before you buy.
- It has nine levels for cutting height.
- You can change the handle to suit your own height (and weight).
- The bin indicator tells you when to empty it.
- It needs age verification so you can’t send your apprentice to make the order.
5. ParkerBrand Self-Propelled Petrol Lawn Mower (53cm)
Visually, this lawn mower is a stunner. Those red and black accents will have you revved up to show it off. So the front yard will get a lot of attention! But what else do we like about it? If your garden is notoriously stony (or you have a mole problem), the larger back wheels will make trimming easier. They’re the force behind your mower’s 4WD self-propulsion.
And the wide 53cm cutting width means you’ll finish large yards faster. Though with this beauty, you’ll probably work deliberately slow. It attracts more neighbourly whistles for your lovely red toy. This baby doesn’t play though. At 42.7kg, you need to maintain focus – it can do a lot of damage if it rolls away from you (or rears back over your feet – ouch!).
You can cut for longer stretches though, thanks to the 173cc fuel tank and 70l grass bin. It’s a hard-top bin with a bright red handle for easy access. And the colour-coded accent helps with functionality as well. The mower’s handle has two foldable wires that control the brake and the throttle. To activate them, pull the red brake (or black throttle) towards the handlebar.
The lawn mower also has a throttle lever rather than a recoil. Yank it back like a gear to start the machine. And it has a few bits and bobs to sweeten the deal. Like an onboard drink holder for your preferred lawn mowing refreshment. Its motor spins at 2800rpm and has a built-in mulcher that ditches clippings on the side for even distribution and full coverage.
This ParkerBrand lawn mower has a lot going for it. It’s a dense, self-propelled trimming machine and it looks good too. But order oil separately – it doesn’t come with a primer pack.
- It has a powerful 173 cc engine to go with its 53cm blade.
- The 70l grass box is a generous size.
- Its steel deck is tough and durable.
- At over 40kg, it’s on the heavier side so snack before your hack (the grass).
6. Cobra 4-Speed Petrol Lawn Mower (48cm)
Are you the type that reads instructions and warranties? If you are, you’ll know commercial equipment isn’t always intended for commercial use. Think of it more like a baby grand, a Squier/Epiphone guitar or a kids’ quad bike – they’re big boy toys in kiddie-sized packages and consumer-friendly pricing. This product niche packs power that matches your pocket.
So you’re essentially getting (some of) the high-end specs from commercial landscaping equipment. But it’s dumbed down for domestic use, so some of its components are less … industrial. Use this mower in a business setting and you’ll void the warranty. Plus, it won’t work as well because it may have a plantation-style engine but it’s built for home use.
Let’s get into the specifics. This Cobra can adjust its speed from 2.5kph to 3.9kph. You can trim grass at 6 heights and the electronic start means you don’t have to fight with recoil cords. It comes with a standard 19inch steel blade but you can order an optional swing blade separately. And as long as you use it domestically, the warranty will cover 2 years.
The grass bag is an unusual 65 litres (50s and 70s and even 30s are more common). The grass bin has a hard-top with a convenient handle. The perforation close to the top keeps the air circulating and the sides of the bag are fabric. If you prefer to protect the yard, you can use the side discharge mulching function to deposit cut grass straight back to the lawn.
This pretty cobra is on the heavier side – over 40kg. But it’s self-propelled by a 4-stroke engine and it comes with its first bottle of oil. Get the swing tip – it’s worth the extra cash.
- It has a 4-speed engine.
- The local warranty is 2 years.
- Its grass bag is 65 litres.
- The warranty only covers domestic use – read the fine print …
7. McCulloch Manual Petrol Lawn Mower (40cm)
A lot of the mowers we’ve looked at are self-propelled but can be run manually. All you have to do is disengage the 4WD. But what is your prefer your tools more … Spartan? Well, if you want a fully manual mower, this is the best petrol lawn mower for you. Don’t let its playful bumblebee colour scheme full you. This lawn mower is built from solid powder-coated steel.
It’s fitted with a 450E Briggs & Stratton engine that has a 125cc capacity. And it cuts using a 40cm blade and five cutting heights slotted between 20mm and 75mm. Your cut grass gathers in a collection bin that has a hard-body lid and solid sides. The sides are vented to allow sufficient circulation. The vents also show you when the bin needs to be emptied.
You’ll need to keep checking though because once the bin is about ¾ full, it starts ‘leaking’ grass on the lawn. This McCulloch mower has 1.6kW and weighs a bit over 20kg. Which is good because it’s an analogue mower that you need to actively push. It doesn’t have a mulching feature or a roller – this is an old school no frills lawn mower. It just cuts grass.
Being a manual mower, you may not get as much power as you’d like. If you try cutting buzz-cutting tall grass, the engine may sputter (though it never fully cuts out). And while its engine is top-in-class, it only has one speed so it may struggle on stony terrain or sloping gardens. Its shortest settings aren’t as effective but it’s fine in the mid ranges (3 to 4cm).
This is a good mower for first-time garden chores. It’s manual so you can only do light tasks. You have to push harder for super-short or super-tall grass. But it works in small city yards.
- The sunny black and yellow will make you smile.
- Its body is powder-coated steel.
- The hard-case bin box is 50 litres.
- You’re just getting the basics here. No stripes, rollers, mulchers, none of that.
Obviously, you’ll think about your budget when you’re hunting down the best petrol lawn mower. But slashed prices aside, what other factors should you consider while you shop?
Manual vs Automated
These aren’t strictly accurate terms. When we say manual, we mean you have to actively push the lawn mower. As opposed to ‘automated’ self-propelled lawn mowers. The latter has motors connected to the mower’s wheels. Meaning you’re not using much energy to push it. If you let go of the handle, the mower will continue moving on its own momentum.
So you’re not rolling the mower. You’re guiding it gently, which takes far less energy. Some of these self-propelled mowers will auto-adjust their speed and gear when they reach steeper slopes or stronger grass. So you can work on larger gardens with far less fatigue. But self-propelled mowers cost a lot more, so you’d have to decide if the ease is worth the expense.
Some lawn mowers have two standard wheels. Others have four identical wheels. But on some models, the back wheels are larger, offering more control and leverage. This can be useful for hilly or rocky gardens. The bigger back wheels let you tip the front ones to get past barriers. They also offer a kind of ‘4WD’ effect that makes it easier to mow bumpy lawns.
Alternatively, you can opt for a mower with a roller. This will often be a two-wheeled model. The roller lets you cut stripes and other decorative patterns into the grass. But whether you go for two wheels or four, consider your storage space. Some lawn mowers have foldable, retractable, or removable wheels. They let the mower fit into tiny shelves and compact spots.
The capacity of petrol lawn mowers is driven by two main things – fuel tank size and grass bin size. The bigger your fuel tank, the longer you can mow without refilling. Bigger tanks also have more cutting power. Smaller gardens (below 500m2) are fine for electric mowers or rechargeable ones. You can even opt for a strimmer, especially for tiny asymmetric yards.
Larger gardens (over 1,500m2) work best with high-capacity petrol lawn mowers. In both cases, a large grass bin means you can work longer without stopping to empty the bin. Get a grass bin that’s 30 litres or more. Hard-case bins are best, but you still want vents, slits, or fabric sides for sufficient circulation. Or get a mulching mower that offloads onto the lawn.
Mow Mow Mow Your Lawn!
After looking at all these petrol lawn mowers, we recommend the Einhell. Here’s why:
- It’s fitted with a Briggs & Stratton engine.
- It has nine cutting heights from 30mm to 80mm.
- The 50l grass bag has a fullness indicator.
- The larger rear wheels offer extra power and control.
- Its cutting width is 46cm.
- You can mow up to 1,400m2.
- This 450E engine holds 125cc of fuel.
- You can adjust the height/angle of the handle.
- You can cut it in manual mode or self-propelled mode.
Which lawn mower do you currently use? Show us some photos in the comments!