Last updated on May 19th, 2022
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Do you long for a well-groomed striped lawn that looks as lush and eye-catching as a bowling green or do you have a bowling green? A mower that’s specially designed for bowling green lawns can give you that Wimbledon look to your lawn. This type of mower is also useful if you have an actual bowing green or grass tennis court to care for.
In this review, we look at lawnmowers that give your lawn/green/pitch a smooth even texture throughout the year. Stripes look their best within a close cut background. We review the best mowers and discuss their features. We then give a recommendation as to why we like the mower and who we recommend it for. Our Buyer’s Guide presents the features to look out for when buying a mower that cuts and makes stripes.
Our Best Pick is the Allett Kensington 17K Self Propelled Petrol Cylinder Mower. This is not just a lawnmower – its cassette system lets you change out the mowing cassette for others to perform other lawn care functions such as scarifying, aerating, de-thatching and grooming. It’s ideal for domestic use and is one of the more affordable options when compared to professional models that are 4 times the price.
Our Runner-up is the Allett Buckingham 30H Semi-Pro Petrol Cylinder Mower. This mower is for the serious home gardener and the semi-professional lawn specialist. It handles bowling greens, grass tennis courts and park lawns, so your large home lawn is not a problem for it.
This is not just a cut-and-roll lawn mower, it does much more. The Allett Kensington 17K Self Propelled Petrol Cylinder Mower is a self-propelled petrol mower (as its name says) that does a great job of putting stripes in lawns up to 280m2. with its two steel rollers. A cassette system lets you take out the mowing cassette and insert a different one that handles another function. You can scarify your lawn, aerate it, verticut it and much more which makes this model do much useful. This lawn mower is a good choice of lawn mower if you keep your lawn pristine by tending to it in many ways. For the home user, this has got to be one of the best models currently available.
The Allett Buckingham 30H Semi-Pro Petrol Cylinder Mower is powered by a reliable Honda 196cc to give enough power for the serious lawn care person, whether a home gardener or a semi-professional one taking care of a bowling green. The large 3.1L petrol tank enables you to mow for extended periods without having to stop and re-fuel. This self-propelled lawn mower handles large areas of grass such as formal lawns, cricket pitches and bowling greens. The head-turning stripes are made by the rear roller. This mower is a good choice if you are responsible for large lawns but you don’t want all the power and features of a professional mower for bowling green stripes.
Best Cylinder Lawnmower Reviews
1. Allett Kensington 17K Self-Propelled Petrol Cylinder Mower
The Allett Kensington 17K Self-Propelled Petrol Cylinder Mower doesn’t just mow your lawn, it performs other lawn care functions as well. This walk-behind, self-propelled petrol mower is mainly for domestic use for lawns up to 280m2 which makes it a great choice for the home gardener.
The Allett Kensington 17K mower runs on a 98cc Kawasaki four-stroke engine that is very reliable. The recoil/manual starter is easy to pull to start your mowing session. The fuel tank holds 1.6L of petrol so you can undertake longer mowing sessions before you need to refill it.
To make the stripes on your lawn, this mower has steel rollers at its front and rear. Steel rollers are durable and don’t rust, even if you cut the lawn when it’s wet. A static turf rake sits behind the front roller which is a great feature. This rake lifts out debris and moss from your lawn before the blades cut it. It also lifts the blades of grass upright so they’ll be cut cleanly. The height of the turf rake from the grass is adjustable so you won’t dig it right down into the grass roots, so you can basically set the perfect height.
The cutting system has six blades on the cylinder and makes 79 cuts per metre of lawn, which by cylinder lawnmower standards is fairly good.
The 62 litre collection bag attached to the front of the mower collects the finely cut grass clippings. The grass is cut cleanly and you don’t have to rake the clippings off the soon-to-be-pristine lawn.
The cutting system for the Allett Kensington 17K is well suited to small and medium-sized lawns, which again, makes it a good choice for most gardeners unless you have an exceptionally large lawn.
Its cutting width is 43cm (17inch) and gives stripes that are wide enough for your neighbours to envy. Cutting heights range from 6mm to 32mm. You smoothly adjust the height using a dial. The micro-adjustment on the dial allows you to choose whatever cutting height you want within the range – there are no pre-set heights and this ensures you get the best finish and closest cut.
This multi-functional mower operates through the use of (optional) cassettes. By changing the cassette in the mower you change its function which is a feature we really like because it means you don’t need to purchase a separate scarifier or aerator, both saving money and storage space. As well as mowing, the Allett Kensington 17K can aerate, scarify, de-thatch, groom your lawn and verticut. You can also buy a 43cm, 10-blade cylinder cassette for an even finer and closer cut. Whatever you need for your lawn care routine, the Allett Kensington 17K mower can do it. Buy as many, or as few, cassettes as you need.
For your comfort, the handlebar is adjustable to three heights to suit how tall you are. The handle also folds down for easy transportation and fits into a small storage space.
The warranty is for two years, parts and labour, and the mower comes with a free bottle of engine oil when purchased from Mowers Online who specialise in professional garden machinery.
The Allett Kensington 17K Self Propelled Petrol Cylinder Mower cuts your lawn and the two steel rollers create the longed-for striped pattern. The cutting width and range of cutting heights suit a small to medium-sized formal lawn. This mower is multi-functional using cassettes that provide other lawn care functions such as aerating and scarifying which is a feature most will appreciate, especially if you don’t already have these separate garden tools.
We like the Allett Kensington 17K Cylinder Mower for its versatility and its two steel rollers (front and rear) that easily create the striped effect. If you perform several tasks on your lawn, this is a worthwhile mower for you to care for small to medium-sized areas of grass.
We’ve made the Allett Kensington 17K Self Propelled Petrol Cylinder Mower the Best Pick of our Best Mower for Bowling Green Lawns review as it is probably the best choice for most people. For those with a larger lawn or who plan to use one in a more commercial setting our next mower would be a better option.
2. Allett Buckingham 30H Semi-Pro Petrol Cylinder Mower
The Allett Buckingham 30H Semi-Pro Petrol Cylinder Mower is for the serious home gardener and the semi-professional gardener who mows lawns frequently. This mower is appropriate for use on greens, parks and formal lawns, and of course, bowling greens.
The Allett Buckingham 30H mower is powered by a reliable and trusted Honda 196cc GX200 engine. The engine is easy to start and runs on unleaded petrol. You won’t have to frequently stop and refuel the mower as its petrol tank holds an impressive 3.1 litres of fuel. The mower is self-propelled so you just walk behind it comfortably and steer it. There is an option to buy a separate seat and roller that attaches to the back too which is a nice albeit expensive touch. The roller at the rear of the mower makes the stripes as you mow.
The cutting credentials for this mower reflect its semi-pro use. The cutting system has six blades on the cylinder which make 73 cuts per metre. Each model within the Allett Buckingham range of mowers has a different cutting width; choose from 51cm, 61cm or 76cm. The larger your lawn is, the wider your stripes can be. Choose from infinitely adjustable cutting heights in the range from 5mm to 35mm. You choose exactly the height you want your grass cut – the mower doesn’t offer you a limited selection which is why you’re above to get that perfect cut right down to the mm.
If walking behind your lawnmower just doesn’t appeal to you, consider the optional trailing seat with Autosteer as previously mentioned. This seat system is designed to closely follow the movements of the mower as you turn. This lets you cut accurately up to the edge of obstacles such as fences and walls.
The Allett Buckingham 30H Semi-Pro Petrol Cylinder Mower is designed with the semi-professional in mind. If your work involves mowing greens of some kind – bowling, cricket, tennis – this could be the heavy-duty mower for you. While it is the most expensive bowling green lawnmower in our review, its functionality and durability make it a worthwhile investment even for home gardeners who have large lawns and a budget to match.
Take a serious look at this lawnmower if much of your time (professional or personal) is spent cutting your lawn and hoping for bowling green stripes.
We’ve made the Allett Buckingham 30H Semi-Pro Petrol Cylinder Mower the Runner-up in this best mower for bowling green lawns review but it does take a rather large investment.
3. Masport Golf 10 Bladed Petrol Cylinder Lawn Mower
The Masport Golf 10 Bladed Petrol Cylinder Lawnmower is ideal for those looking for a professional model but one that is more affordable in petrol cylinder lawnmowers terms. Its large engine size, number of blades and cuts per metre make it the best mower for cricket pitch lawns, golf courses and other large areas of grass.
A Briggs and Stratton 163cc IC750 series engine provides 4hp of power for this sturdy petrol mower. The Masport Golf mower is not self-propelled, however, so you will have to push it around the grass yourself which is why it’s more affordable. But the top-quality gearbox and the split rear roller with differential take the effort out of using it.
This mower’s cutting width is an impressive 50cm (20 inches) for the wide strips that you need to cut a large area of grass efficiently. The range of cutting heights runs from 4mm to 30mm. Using the 4mm setting gives an extremely close cut to the lawn; the 30mm at the top of the range is perfect for late autumn when you’re closing down the bowling green, cricket pitch or your large lawn for the winter season. Not only is the cutting height range wider than those on the other mowers in this review, but you also choose exactly the height that you want the blades of grass to be. The infinitely adjustable dial lets you pick, in micro-adjustments, whatever height is best for the grass; there are no pre-set heights within the range.
This Masport Golf mower has 10 cutting blades – at least four more than the other mowers for bowling green lawns that we review. Having the extra blades enables the mower to make 186 cuts per metre. This cuts your lawn finely and blades of grass are not left out. The grass clippings go directly into a large 70L plastic collection box. For your comfort when mowing, the handle is upturned where you grasp it. This gives a more ergonomic position to hold your hands and arms in.
The two steel rollers, at the front and rear of the mower, provide heavy compaction of the grass to create highly visible stripes. The rear roller is split and the two halves operate independently. This gives a gentler cut to your lawn and also helps in turning the mower. In addition, the low-cut shaver blade at 4mm takes the grass down to a very low level. The Masport Golf’s twin drive system let you control the cutting cylinder and the rear roller independently from each other. If you’ve finished your mowing task and think that the stripes are not visible enough, you can run the rollers over them again.
The Masport Golf mower comes with a two-year warranty for domestic use and a 90-day warranty for commercial use.
The Masport Golf 10 Bladed Petrol Cylinder Lawnmower is a very serious mower if you have large areas of grass to cut and want eye-catching stripes left in the grass. Its professional level features include a powerful 4hp engine from Briggs and Stratton, 10 cutting blades plus an extra one that cuts grass to a 4mm height and two steel rollers.
This mower is a close contender to our Runner-up Pick. We feel it does have its limitations, for example, that it isn’t self-propelled. However, it’s an impressive mower if you do need something designed for professional use at a more affordable price.
This Masport Golf is a mower for bowling green lawns for those who, professionally or otherwise, need a powerful mower with scaled-up features to mow and create stripes on large lawns, greens or pitches.
4. Allett Liberty 35 Self-Propelled Cordless Cylinder Mower
The Allett Liberty 35 Self-Propelled Cordless Cylinder Mower is the only cordless (battery-driven) mower for bowling green lawns in our review and it will appeal to those who prefer the low maintenance of a cordless model. This is a self-propelled mower that has all the features you need for a small to medium-sized domestic lawn up to 150m2. Mow your grass without worrying about trailing electric cords or petrol fumes.
A 4Ah, 40V rechargeable battery drives this mower. The Lithium-ion battery lasts for a mowing session of up to 40 minutes and around 600m2 of lawn which should be enough for most home lawns, front and back.
Recharging the battery takes just under two hours so you need to plan for your lawn care tasks. Start the mower easily by pushing a button. The Allett Liberty 35 can move at six set speeds from 2.6kph to 3.9kph. Find the one that suits your walking speed on the day.
The cutting credentials of the Allett Liberty 35 mower are suited to the proportions of a medium sized lawn. The cutting width is 35cm so you won’t have to make many passes across the lawn and the stripes won’t be too wide. Choose your cutting height from one of five steps within the 6mm to 32mm range which is perhaps not quite as close as some petrol alternatives but a close enough cut for most people. A control dial lets you do this. The five cutting blades are of carbon steel for durability and a clean cut. As you mow, the grass clippings go into a 32 litre collection box on the front of the mower.
The Wimbledon stripes on your lawn are made by the front and rear rollers. The front roller is made from polypropylene rather than steel but the rear roller has steel edges. Both rollers compress the grass into the stripes you’re looking forward to seeing. A cassette is available to put into the mower if you want to scarify your lawn to remove moss and organic debris which is a nice added extra. Set the cutting height dial to S and attach the scarifier cassette if you want to use this feature. Remember the scarifier cassette has to be purchased separately.
You receive a manufacturer’s two-year warranty on parts and labour with this mower for full peace of mind.
The Allett Liberty 35 Self-Propelled Cordless Cylinder Mower lets you give your small to medium-sized lawn a formal look with striking stripes. And you do this in an environmentally friendly way with this cordless mower. Choose from six speeds depending on whether you’re full of energy or feeling a bit tired. Walking behind this self-propelled mower is comfortable however you feel. The optional scarifier cassette lets you care for you lawn beyond mowing it.
The Allett Liberty 35 Self-Propelled Cordless Cylinder Mower could be your best choice if you don’t have too much grass to cut and you want a mower where you just push a button and start.
Experts claim that mowing is the most important operation to create a smooth surface on your lawn. And you need a smooth surface to display the Wimbledon stripes that give your lawn that professional and formal look.
In this Buyer’s Guide, we discuss what you should look for in the best mowers for bowling green lawns. As you’ll see it’s not just a matter of using your regular lawnmower and then running a manual mower over the grass, it does, in fact, take a specific type of mower to create those stripes.
The number of blades is key to how finely and closely your lawn is cut. In general but not always, the more blades, the closer the cut. Cutting cylinders with 10 blades or more are preferable, though mowers with five or so blades will also do the job and often fairly well. Most blades are made of some type of steel. This gives them a sharp edge, protects them from rust if you’re cutting damp grass and makes them last longer.
Along with the number of blades you often find a measurement called the number of cuts per metre. As its name suggests, this number represents how many times a blade on the cylinder comes above the fixed bottom blade and cuts the grass. For mowing sessions that don’t miss many blades of grass look for a high number of cuts per metre. The Masport Golf 10 Bladed Petrol Cylinder Lawnmower in our review has an impressive 186 cuts per metre. This gives the smoothest finish to your lawn.
A lawnmower with two rollers, one at the front and one at the rear, produces the most defined stripes on your lawn. Those with only one roller still do the task but don’t compress the grass as much. The stripes they create may not be as obvious.
Most of the rollers of the mowers in this article are made of steel. The Allett Liberty 35 Self-Propelled Cordless Cylinder Mower has two rollers made of polypropylene with the rear roller edged in steel but this has been done to save weight and increase running time. Steel rollers are heavier than their plastic counterparts and have a longer durability. One mower on our list, the Masport Golf 10 Bladed Petrol Cylinder Lawnmower, has a spilt rear roller and the two halves operate independently from each other. This feature enables the mower to treat your grass in a gentler way.
You have a choice of power for a cricket pitch lawnmower. Petrol is the most popular choice but these mowers are generally more expensive than mowers powered by other means. Look for petrol mowers in which it’s easy to pour in the fuel and oil. A see-through fuel tank or one with an indicator lets you see at a glance how much fuel you have left.
With an electric mower, you have to be careful to always know where the electric cord is and not cut across it. We haven’t reviewed any of these mowers in this article because they aren’t really good enough for any bowling green type lawn.
Cordless mowers (powered by battery) are the answer if you don’t want to inhale petrol fumes or potentially injure yourself by cutting through an electric cable with a steel blade. The length of your mowing session is limited by how long the battery lasts and you do need to remember to charge it after every use. But these mowers give you the freedom to lightly move wherever you want to on your lawn and it’s easy (by pushing a button) to start them. We only really have one model that we recommend in this category and it’s more for home use and not professional use.
Stripes are more visible on a close-cut lawn and you need a low cutting height to accomplish this. On the other hand, at the end of the season, you want to leave the grass longer to withstand the winter season.
The best bowling green lawnmowers have a wide cutting range. Experts say that the correct grass height in June, the lowest that you ever cut, is between 4mm and 6mm. All the mowers in our list have their lowest height in this range. They also all have the ability to cut at a longer length (sometimes up to 35mm) in the late autumn. Some mowers have pre-defined cutting heights that you step through; others have an infinitely adjustable height so you set whatever height you want within the range also known as micro-adjustment.
The cutting width of lawnmowers is fixed. The width should be in proportion to the size of the grass area. If your lawn/green is large, look for a mower with a wider width, perhaps 50cm or more. Suitable cutting width for a medium or smaller-sized lawn is 30-45cm
Also of importance is the size and position of the grass collection bag or box. The bags/boxes usually range in size from about 35 litres to an impressive 70 litres. It’s important to have one of the larger sizes if you mow a large area so you won’t have to frequently stop the lawnmower to empty the bag at the compost heap. See-through collection bags or those with an indicator quickly show you how full the bag is are useful. The collection bag is generally on the front or the rear of the mower. Choose the positioning that doesn’t get in your way.
You would think that mowing and rolling is enough for a lawnmower to do. However, many of the Allett line of lawnmowers give you the option of performing other grass-care tasks with the same mower. They accomplish this through the cassette system. The function of the mower is determined by whatever cassette you put in it which is a nice added feature and one that many people take advantage of.
Depending on the model of the lawnmower, your cassette choices are mowing and rolling, aerating, scarifying, grooming, verticutting and de-thatching. Your lawn will look absolutely pampered.
You too can having an envy-inducing well-groomed lawn with the stripes that you find in the best bowling greens, cricket pitches and grass tennis courts. You just need a lawnmower that’s more than a regular mower; one that’s an efficient mowing and rolling combination, maybe with a few more functions as well. Whether you mow the stripes horizontally, vertically, diagonally or even randomly, your lawn reflects how much care, time and attention you put into it.
Our Best Pick of bowling green mowers is the Allett Kensington 17K Self Propelled Petrol Cylinder Mower. This is an all-in-one mower that, with a change of optional cassettes, lets you care for your lawn with many more functions. This self-propelled mower is best for large areas of grass.
Our Runner-up comes a close second. The Allett Buckingham 30H Semi-Pro Petrol Cylinder is a mower for those that have really large gardens because it handles cricket pitches and bowling greens very well. Its single steel roller produces those Wimbledon stripes and you also have an option to add a seat which may be handy for some.
If a mower that cuts and rolls are more than you want today, we offer reviews and recommendations for all kinds of other lawnmowers. Check out these reviews on our website.