Last updated on September 5th, 2023
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Maybe you’ve spent hours lovingly caring for your lawn and it still doesn’t look like the sweeping lawn of an English manor house. Perhaps you’re simply using the wrong type of lawnmower. If you’d like your lawn to look like you’ve painstakingly cut it with shears, consider using a cylinder lawnmower.
The cylinder mowers of today have come a long way from your parent’s heavy manual mower that you reluctantly had to push around the garden on hot summer days when you were a kid. Today’s cutting technology allows your lawn to look pristine and perfectly manicured. Current cylinder mowers take less effort to use than before and are often overlooked because of the new cordless lawnmowers now available, however, they still have their place. If you have a small or medium-sized garden, using them could be quicker than setting up petrol or electric mowers, and you are often rewarded with a striped lawn.
Our Best Cylinder Lawnmower review presents cylinder mowers that we would recommend. All the mowers turned out to be push mowers, although you can buy electric and petrol versions. We give details of each mower, including a list of pros and cons, and then a recommendation. We follow the reviews with a Buyer’s Guide that discusses the features of cylinder mowers and what to look out for when you buy one.
Our Best Pick is the Gardena Comfort 400 C Cylinder Mower, a fairly lightweight mower that’s best for small to medium-sized gardens. Our Runner-up, the Murray HM400 Hand Push Cylinder Mower is easy to assemble and comes with a grass catcher and is the more affordable of the two.
If you want close-cut stripes on an immaculate lawn to complement the rest of your garden, then a cylinder lawnmower is a great choice.
Top 5 Cylinder Lawnmower Reviews
1. Gardena Comfort 400 C Cylinder Mower
The Gardena Comfort Cylinder Mower 400 C is a well-reviewed cylinder mower that’s best for small to medium-sized gardens up to 250m2. It’s made of plastic, which makes it weather and rust-resistant as well as relatively lightweight (at only 9.4kg) but still heavy enough to do a decent job.
This cylinder mower uses touchless cutting technology and this is one of the reasons it does such a good job. With this, the blade cylinder and the lower blade don’t make contact, so the mower is easy to push and is quiet. The blade cylinder has a non-stick coating so you won’t have to keep stopping and wiping off damp grass. The blades themselves are made of quality hardened steel to ensure a long working life.
The cutting height range is from 12mm to 42mm and is adjustable in four stages. You select the cutting height through the central control and you can read the relevant setting from a scale on the side of the mower. This means you can get a really close cut or leave it slightly longer if that’s what you prefer.
Two features make this Gardena Comfort Cylinder Mower easy and comfortable to push. The large wheels with special treads ensure that the mower flows easily across the grass, whatever its length; the ergonomic handle has padding that gives you a soft grip for less strain on your hands, wrists and arms.
- Made of plastic so it’s rust and weather resistant.
- Touchless cutting technology makes the mower easy to push.
- Best for small to medium-sized gardens with up to 250m2 of lawn to cut.
- Cutting details: the height range is 12mm-42mm adjustable in four stages to get the perfect cut.
- The wheels are large and with special treads to make it easy to guide the mower.
- The blades are made of hardened high-quality steel for durability and long working life.
- The blade cylinder has a non-stick coating so it’s quick and easy to clean.
- The padded ergonomic handle makes it easy for you to lift the mower.
- The frame can be folded down for storing in a small space.
- 2 years warranty for full peace of mind.
- Leaves and twigs on the lawn can jam up the blades so it will need to be raked clear before mowing.
- Doesn’t cut as well on wet grass.
- A grass catcher is extra if you want to use one, we recommend mowing regularly and leaving the clippings on the lawn to add nutrients back to the lawn.
The Gardena Comfort Cylinder Mower 400 C is easy to push, is quiet and is perfect for use in a small to medium-sized garden. There’s no friction, and hence little wear and tear, between the blade cylinder and the steel blades because they don’t touch. The selection of cutting heights covers the range from short grass through to a more wilderness look so you can give a close cut if that’s your thing.
This Gardena model doesn’t come with a grass catcher so, unless you buy one, the grass clippings are ejected onto your lawn which we recommend as long as you mow regularly. It’s best to rake up the leaves and other debris on your lawn before cutting with this mower because they can jam up the blades, but this is common with nearly all cylinder lawnmowers. In addition, this model works best on dry grass and struggles somewhat on wet grass but again an issue common with most mowers, not just cylinder mowers.
If you have a small or medium-sized garden and it’s important that your mowing experience is simple and quiet, take a look at the Gardena Comfort Cylinder Mower 400 C. We’ve made it our Best Pick thanks to all its features, plus it’s been manufactured to a very high standard, far superior to most alternatives.
2. Murray HM400 Hand Push Cylinder Mower
The Murray HM400 Hand Push Cylinder Mower has many of the features of the other cylinder mowers we have reviewed but it costs less than those do. Weighing 11kg, this model is easy to assemble and you don’t need to use any screwdrivers.
You select the cutting height of the grass using a single lever which is a nice feature because changing the heights on cylinder lawnmowers is not always that easy. The range is from 13mm to 38mm and you have a choice of four heights within this. The mower cuts in strips of 40mm to give fairly wide stripes on your lawn. The five cutting blades are made of steel for a sharp cut.
This mower’s handle is ergonomically padded to be softer on your hands and to avoid blisters in your longer cutting sessions.
The Murray HM400 comes with a grass catcher, which is one of the reasons it differs from our best pick. This is a soft mesh bag that attaches to the rear of the mower and holds 20 litres of grass cuttings, so not huge but large enough for smaller gardens.
- Easy to assemble – and you don’t need a screwdriver.
- Cutting details: heights from 13mm to 38 mm in four steps.
- Cuts strips in 40cm widths for a smart-looking lawn.
- The cylinder blades are made of steel for long-lasting use.
- The handle is ergonomically padded with foam so you won’t easily get blisters.
- The grass catcher is included and holds 20 litres of grass clippings.
- Weight 11 kg.
- Two-year limited warranty for extra peace of mind.
The Murray HM400 Hand Push Cylinder Mower is an easily assembled push mower that is the cheapest out of all the mowers in this review. It works most successfully in a small or medium-sized garden, or even a larger one if you have the energy to cut more grass. It’s one of the mowers that comes with a grass catcher so that’s a plus but whether you use it is up to you.
The Murray HM400 has the usual problems associated with rear discharge mowers. If you don’t use the grass catcher bag, it ejects the grass cuttings all over you as you are pushing the mower.
The Murray HM400 Hand Push Cylinder Mower is a good choice for those with smaller gardens who are looking for a relatively inexpensive cylinder mower but one that is good quality. It’s the Runner-up in this review and is well worth considering.
3. Fiskars StaySharp Plus Reel Mower
The Fiskars StaySharp Plus Reel Mower has some proprietary features that make your mowing chores easier. Cutting power and blade sharpening are the two areas in which Fiskars seems to have put a lot of thought but this does not come cheap.
The first proprietary feature is the InertiaDrive™ reel. This feature gives you 75% more cutting power than you find with other cylinder mowers. This also contributes to the ease of pushing the mower which is 40% easier than other mowers. This lets you push through twigs, weeds and other vegetation that other cylinder mowers will stop at.
The second proprietary feature is the StaySharp™ Cutting System. This is composed of ground and hardened steel blades that don’t need sharpening. This saves you the cost and effort of doing that task yearly. The mower has a cutting height range different to the other mowers in this review. Both Fiskars’ website and the user manual for this model state that the range is 40mm to 100mm. This lets you keep your grass much longer compared to the other mowers. The cutting width is a wide 43mm for tidy and prominent stripes.
Another welcome feature is that the Fiskars StaySharp Plus discharges grass clippings from the front of the mower. You don’t become covered by flying grass cuttings though you will walk through them but dispatching them forward is an excellent idea.
- The cutting width is a wide 43cm to create eye-catching stripes on your lawn.
- Cutting details: the range is from 40mm to 100mm for longer grass.
- The InertiaDrive™ reel provides 75% more cutting power than other cylinder mowers.
- The StaySharp™ Cutting System uses precisely ground hardened steel blades that don’t need sharpening.
- Grass clippings are ejected from the front of the mower, keeping you and your shoes clean.
- The ergonomic handle has a rubber coating that’s non-slip so your hand position will stay optimal.
- Handle separates from the unit so you can pack down the mower easily.
- Limited two-year warranty.
- Some people report that a lot of assembly is required while others say it is easy. The tools required are not supplied.
- Doesn’t come with a grass catcher so dispatching onto the lawn is your only option.
- Not so easy to turn corners at the end of a row.
Reviewers online have mixed feelings about the ease of putting together the Fiskars StaySharp Plus Reel Mower. Some say that assembly is difficult and that it required tools that are not supplied; others claim that it’s not so bad to put it all together. Videos on the Fiskars website for checking and adjusting, and care and maintenance may prove useful. In reality, it really depends on how good you are when it comes to DIY. It’s like Ikea furniture, some people find to easy to build, and others don’t.
The Fiskars StaySharp doesn’t come with a grass catcher so that’s an additional expense, again is a personal choice. It’s also a little heavier than other cylinder mowers too.
If you would like to keep your grass longer than average and are concerned with your ability to push a manual mower, then the Fiskars StaySharp Plus Reel Mower is worth taking a look at.
4. Einhell GC-HM 40 Manual Hand Push Lawnmower
The Einhell GC-HM 40 Manual Hand Push Lawnmower is a lightweight mower (7.24kg) that’s best for lawns up to 250m2.
It comes with a grass collector that holds an impressive 27 litres of grass clippings. The collector simply clips to the rear of this mower and is easily removed.
The cutting height with this model ranges from 15mm for a super close cut to 35mm for longer grass that is adjustable in four steps. You change the height by loosening or tightening two wing nuts. The cutting width is a solid 40cm for mid-range stripes across your lawn. Five high-grade steel blades ensure a crisp and clean cut to your lawn. The handle unclips for convenient storage but doesn’t fold down.
- Cutting details: cutting heights from 15mm to 35mm adjusted in four steps.
- The cutting width is 40cm for medium-sized stripes.
- Best for lawns up to 250m2.
- Five high-grade steel blades give a crisp cut to the grass.
- The roller is made from long-lasting plastic and is easily cleanable.
- Handle unclips easily for storage and transportation.
- A grass collector is included and holds 27 litres of grass cuttings.
- Lightweight at only 7.24 kg.
- Two-year guarantee for peace of mind.
- Problems with bolts and screws not fitting and coming loose.
- Difficult to assemble and instructions are inadequate.
- No rubber hand grips on the handle.
The Einhell GC-HM 40 Manual Hand Push Lawnmower is a basic cylinder lawnmower and its price reflects this. It’s one of the cheapest mowers in this review. It has all the features that you need to efficiently and cleanly cut your lawn and it comes with a two-year guarantee.
However, online reviews report that this mower is difficult to assemble and that the instructions are inadequate. The handle doesn’t have handgrips so you’re holding the metal all the time so this is worth bearing in mind. This could increase any discomfort in using the mower. In addition, not all the grass clippings find their way into the collector.
If you have a small garden that needs only a basic mower, the Einhell GC-HM 40 Manual Hand Push Lawnmower might be enough for you.
5. Webb 12 inch Push Rear Roller Lawnmower
The Webb 12 in Push Rear Roller Lawnmower is a cylinder lawnmower that works best when your lawn is in reasonably good shape. If you cut your lawn regularly, you’ll be fine with this mower.
Relatively heavy at 11kg, the Webb 12in Push Rear Roller has just that, a large plastic rear roller. This is what gives you the well-defined stripes on your lawn that are 30cm in width. The cutting cylinder has five blades of hardened steel that cut closely and cleanly. You can adjust the cutting height from 13mm to 23.5mm without the use of any tools.
The Webb 12in Push Rear Roller comes with a grass bag that holds up to 18L of clippings. The two-year warranty is conditional; that’s standard for cylinder mowers.
- The cylinder has five blades made of hardened steel for close cutting and low maintenance.
- The cutting width is 30cm to give fairly narrow stripes.
- Cutting detail: from 13mm to 23.5mm and adjusts without tools.
- The grass bag holds up to 18 litres of grass cuttings.
- A large plastic rear roller tamps down the grass well.
- Best performance when your lawn is reasonably well maintained.
- Weighs 11.1 kg.
- Two-year conditional warranty.
- The grass collection bag can rip because it’s flimsy.
- Fixed handle.
The Webb 12in Push Rear Roller Lawnmower is a cylinder mower that has the features you need to keep your lawn in great shape. It comes with an 18L cutting collection bag and its rear roller tamps down the grass to form clear stripes.
One comment from online reviewers is that the grass collection bag is flimsy and rips easily, so take care when using it that you don’t catch it on anything.
The Webb 12in Push Rear Roller Lawnmower suits those with small, well looked after gardens who want exciting stripes on their lawn. This mower also has a fixed handle that doesn’t fold down. You need a fairly large storage space to hold this assembled mower.
This mower could be for you if you mow your lawn frequently and want to keep it in shape.
When people think of cylinder lawnmowers, they often remember the old heavy push mowers of their youth. Garden technology has come a long way since then. Today’s mowers are lightweight and have a selection of useful features including adjustable cutting height, ease of assembly and compact storage requirements.
Our Buyer’s Guide explains how a cylinder mower works and then identifies and discusses the features found on these mowers. All the cylinder mowers we cover in this review are hand/push mowers. Petrol, electric and battery mowers are also available but didn’t end up in this article and most are rotary mowers.
Cylinder lawnmowers create an effect on a lawn that looks similar to if you had cut it with scissors. This close-cut manicured finish is created thanks to a cutting cylinder of (usually) five blades that mow the grass. The bladed cylinder moves past a fixed lower blade as you push and guide the mower. Your grass looks greener, especially with the stripes cut into it, and these are actually formed mostly by the roller most cylinder mowers have incorporated into them.
All the cylinder lawnmowers in this article are powered by you. How much lawn you can cut depends on your energy level, stamina and time. Most of the cylinder mowers reviewed here suggest that the maximum area of lawn suitable for that mower is around 250m2. The limited size of the grass catchers (if included) reflects the size of the lawn it is suitable for.
Each mower has a set width at which it cuts your lawn. The stripes produced, if any, will be that width. Most of these are around 40cm, with some as narrow as 30cm or as wide as 43cm. Cylinder mowers also give you a choice of cutting height, usually a range in which you have four or so adjustment steps. Ranges vary but most are around 15mm – 35mm, with some variation at either end of the scale. However, the Fiskars mower in our review has a range of cutting heights of 40mm to 100mm, which gives a different and longer look to your lawn.
Ease of use
Several factors contribute to how easy it is to use the cylinder mower.
- Large tyres with special treads help the mower to move over uneven spots in your lawn without causing tracks on the lawn itself.
- Contact-free cutting in which the cylinder of blades and the lower blade don’t touch reducing friction and dulling of the blades,
- An ergonomic handle with soft hand grips doesn’t put undue pressure on your hands and arms.
- Handles that fold down or detach allow you to store your mower in a smaller space or even transport it in your car.
- Grass boxes or bags to catch the grass clippings so you don’t have to rake them from the lawn or if you don’t want to disperse them back onto the lawn.
This review of the Best Cylinder Lawnmowers shows that garden technology has come a long way with lawnmower innovation. These push cylinder mowers do a better job than petrol or electric mowers in giving your lawn a striped, close-cut and bright green finish. Yes, push cylinder mowers take your time, energy and effort to use. However, they are very quiet and environmentally friendly. Your neighbours won’t be annoyed with the sound of you cutting the grass and the planet benefits too.
Our Best Pick is the Gardena Comfort Cylinder Mower 400 C with ergonomic features to make your mowing chore as comfortable as possible. The Murray HM400 Hand Push Cylinder Mower, our Runner-up selection is a budget mower with many of the same features as the more expensive ones.
If, after reading this review, you feel that you and your garden are really better suited to a non-human powered lawnmower, check out our other lawnmower reviews. You’ll find our Best Cordless Lawnmowers, our Best Electric Lawnmowers and our Best Petrol Lawnmowers full of reviews and information.
Last update on 2023-11-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API