Confused by the difference between cylinder and rotary mowers? Read on to find if you should choose a rotary or cylinder mower.
A cylinder mower uses a completely different cutting action to a rotary mower. With cylinder mowers, the blades spin around and use a shearing action to cut the grass between two blades. The scissoring action of a cylinder mower helps ensure a clean cut, and is generally healthier for the lawn.
There are various different types of cylinder mower – push mowers, also referred to as reel mowers, self-propelled petrol cylinder mowers, and the pulled mowers towed by a tractor that are often used for golf courses.
An advantage of cylinder mowers is the ability to cut very short without loss of cut quality. A quality cylinder lawnmower can cut as low as 3/16”, without deterioration of cut quality. Cylinder mowers generally offer a more sensitive height adjustment, either through a screw thread, or a level action with set positions.
This is why the precision cut of a cylinder mower is used for the frequent mowing of bowling and golf greens in summer.
The main advantage of cylinder mowers is the cut quality. Cylinder mowers are used by lawn care professionals for whom the health and appearance of the lawn is of utmost concern.
Unlike the scissoring action of the cylinder mower, the rotary mower cuts with an action similar to a scythe or a flail – i.e. one blade is pushed against the grass with such force that it is cut.
This is the more common of cutting methods and found on most domestic lawnmowers. The mechanism is very simple; one blade spins inside the mower and tears the tops off the grass.
As the rotary design is so simple, it is easily adapted to small engines and electric motors. This simplicity also means that rotary mowers can cut a wide variety of grass conditions.
Rotary mowers also have the advantage of collecting debris from the lawn. Whereas a cylinder mower might get thwarted by a twig, a rotary will snap it up and hopefully thrust it into your grass collection. Same goes for tall weeds.
Which type of Mower is for me?
Both of these mowers have their place in different applications, and you will find both rotary and cylinder mowers in the toolkit of any respectable landscaper.
Some will use a rotary mower for the first cut of spring to vacuum up twigs and winter weeds, and then a cylinder mower to maintain a clean and manicured appearance through the season.
Cylinder mowers are far more sensitive machines designed to get the best out of the lawn – and as such need to be setup correctly and used with care.When properly maintained and operated, they provide superior cut quality,
As most of people aren’t seeking a cut shorter than an inch, and probably have an imperfect lawn with roots, undulations, boggy patches and more – a rotary mower is a better choice. Leave the cylinder mowers for the amateur gardeners and the professional greenkeepers.