Picture the scene: a cricket pitch on a summer’s afternoon, with the faint sound of a mower floating through the air.
The bucolic image will be familiar to many, but the mower you pictured is probably not an average plastic hover mower, but a royal racing green cylinder mower.
There is a reason why these cylinder mowers are associated with greenkeeping, pitch cutting and professional care. But what exactly is a cylinder mower, and why do professionals prefer to use them?
What is a Cylinder Mower?
Cylinder mowers are attractive to professionals because of the superior cutting mechanism.
The blade of a rotary mower acts like a scythe—just like the grim reaper’s— slashing through the grass with a single blade.
But a cylinder mower acts like a pair of scissors, gently shearing the grass between two blades with a rotating cutting cylinder.
This mechanism makes all the difference when precision and quality of cut means everything.
Why Professionals Choose Cylinder Mowers
Clean cutting: The cut of a cylinder mower is gentler, and doesn’t ‘chop’ or ‘tear’ at the grass like a rotary mower. This means on each individual blade of grass there is no brown rough torn edge after cutting, but instead a clean smooth sharp finish.
Rollers: All quality cylinder mowers also have solid front and rear rollers. This makes cylinder mowers the best lawn mower for stripes because they leave clear stripes on the grass, which tend to last longer than the stripes left by mowers fitting only with a single roller.
Precision: Football, cricket and rugby pitches, bowling greens, tennis courts, racecourses and golf courses all need to be cut to a specified height without the possibility of scalping the lawn. Professional cylinder mowers provide the precision needed to cut the lawn to within a millimetre accuracy.
Cricket pitch maintenance involves cutting the lawn at varying different heights during the season from 10 mm to around 15mm.
The precise adjustment of cylinder mowers allows greenkeepers to take off just one millimetre with each cut, which helps avoid damaging the turf sward.
By protecting the grass– from the roots to the blades—cylinder mowers help ensure the pitch remains springy for optimal bounce.
That classic bowling green look relies on a very close cut of grass. Attempt it with a rotary mower and you are likely to damage the roots, or even scalp the earth.
Football pitches are typically cut to 25 – 30mm during the playing season. Any higher than this and the ball will slow down or move erratically, reducing the quality of the game and making running more difficult, with more risk of injury for players.
Cylinder mowers provide the precision cut needed to maintain this desired height to help ensure the optimal playing surface.