Garden & Lawn

The Best Petrol Lawn Mower For Large Gardens – Tested!

Last updated on May 5th, 2022

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Petrol Lawnmowers for Large Gardens – Which is best?

Maybe you’ve found yourself standing at the edge of your large lawn mumbling, “How do I cut all this?” Or perhaps an older lawn mower has been complaining as it less-than-steadily goes up and down your garden. This review looks at an array of the best petrol lawnmowers for large gardens and evaluates them for you.

Filling up petrol tank on petrol lawn mower
Fueling up the Hyundai self-propelled lawn mower

One of the best models has to be this Hyundai HYM51SPE Self Propelled Petrol 4-in-1 Lawnmower as pictured above. This is the model I have been using myself just recently and it has every feature you can think of, electric start, variable speed self propelled and lots more.

MY BEST PICK

Buy direct from Hyundai

Hyundai HYM51SPE Self Propelled Petrol 4-in-1 Rotary Lawn Mower which is my best pick and probably the best petrol lawn mower for large gardens
Hyundai HYM51SPE Self Propelled Petrol Rotary Lawn Mower which I think is the best model for most people, it’s just an amazing piece of kit and a joy to own and work with
Hyundai HYM51SPE Self Propelled Petrol 4-in-1 Rotary Lawn Mower
The Hyundai HYM51SPE is our Best Pick for petrol lawn mowers for large gardens. It stands out in a strong field of contenders for its reliability, affordability and its features. Its wide cutting blade, variable self-propulsion speed and electric start button are well suited to mowing large expanses of grass comfortably. And the large 70-litre grass box means that you don’t have to make the trip to the compost pile to empty it very often. The usual three-year Hyundai warranty will give you peace of mind in making this choice but it also comes with 1 years warranty for professional use too.

Petrol lawnmowers are beyond useful if you have a large expanse of grass to cut. It may be difficult to string together enough cords to use an electric model and there’s the inconvenience of charging the battery in a cordless model. We look at the design, performance and usability of petrol lawnmowers for large gardens. 

Testing petrol lawn mower to see how it handles a large garden
Been using the Hyundai HYM51SPE Self-propelled Lawn Mower for a couple of years now and what a machine

PROFESSIONAL PICK

Hayter Harrier 48 Pro Rear Roller Lawn mower

The Hayter Harrier 48 Pro Rear Roller Lawnmower performs incredibly well in a demanding and professional environment as well as for domestic use on larger lawns. The quality of the materials used to create this mower such as the aluminium deck, two-piece steel ribbed rear rollers and its components are very durable, robust and simply unmatched by other mowers in this review. Landscapers and professional lawn maintenance gardeners will benefit from its wide cutting width and large capacity 70 litre collector as well as the single speed self-propulsion and its many cuttings heights. It’s also covered by a 2 year warranty for commercial use too.


The best petrol lawn mowers for larger gardens are listed below:

  1. Hyundai HYM51SPE Self Propelled Petrol 4-in-1 LawnmowerBEST PICK
  2. Hayter Harrier 48 Pro Rear Roller LawnmowerBEST PROFESSIONAL PICK
  3. Murray EQ500X – 18 Inch/46 cm Self-Propelled Petrol LawnmowerRUNNER-UP
  4. Hayter R53S 21-inch Self Propelled Electric Start Petrol Lawnmower
  5. Honda Izy HRG 466 SK 4-Wheel Self Propelled Petrol Lawnmower

Do you have an uneven lawn? Check my review of the best lawn mowers for uneven sloped lawns

Below you will find our reviews for the top 5 petrol lawnmowers that are perfect for larger lawns, which I recommend.

TOP 5 PETROL LAWN MOWERS FOR LARGE GARDENS REVIEWS

1. Hyundai HYM51SPE Self Propelled Petrol 4-in-1 Lawnmower

BEST PICK

Buy direct from Hyundai

Hyundai HYM51SPE Self Propelled Petrol 4-in-1 Lawnmower which I think after comparing this model with different alternatives to be the best petrol lawn mower for large gardens
My Hyundai HYM51SPE Self Propelled Petrol Lawnmower

As a self-propelled 4-in-1 petrol lawnmower, the Hyundai HYM51SPE can easily handle lawns up to around 190 square metres, making it ideal for both commercial and domestic spaces. The Hyundai HYM51SPE is a new model of the Hyundai HYM51SP which was our previous best petrol lawnmower for large gardens but this takes mowing your lawn to another level. I have been really impressed with this model after using it over the last 12 months. 

Hyundai HYM51SPE Self Propelled Petrol Lawn Mower now has a push start button which uses a rechargeable battery as well as the recoil for backup
Electric start with recoil as backup, gives about 100 starts on a full charge

The first difference between the two models is that the newer Hyundai HYM51SPE now has a push-button start along with the traditional recoil pull of the previous model.

Choosing the self propelled speed I want to use between 1 and 4, 1 slow and 4 is the fasted speed a quick walk
The right lever is used to choose between the 4 different self-propelled speeds

Secondly, while it’s still a self-propelled mower, the Hyundai HYM51SPE now offers variable speed with a selection of four speeds.

A 5hp four-stroke 173cc petrol engine successfully powers this mower and gives you enough power to ensure a long operating period. To start the mower you can use the traditional recoil pull or you can just push the button for an electric start which gives around 100 starts before needing to be charged again.

Battery on mower that can be charged when needed
Battery on mower wit can be recharged and gives about 100 pus button key starts

The self-propelled design of the Hyundai HYM51SPE makes it easy to move around your garden despite its relatively large size.

To start and keep the engine running you need to pull back the back second handle, letting go of this second handle also cuts the engine out to stop the mower

The Hyundai HYM51SPE’s wheel drive is easily engaged with a handlebar lever. This controls the movement of the mower effortlessly across the grass with your guidance as to direction. You can choose from one of four speeds, depending on how fast you want to walk and get the job done.

20 inch cutting width make this mower perfect for large gardens
58cm (20 inch) cutting width is ideal for larger lawns as you have to do fewer passes

The mower has a generous, wide cutting blade of 58 cm (20 inches) that makes it very suitable for mowing larger lawns with ease.

Lever to adjust the 4 different cutting heights from just one lever
The large lever near the rear wheel is used to adjust between the 4 cutting heights

In addition, by adjusting the cutting height, you have the choice of six different lengths for your grass as the cutting heights vary from a smooth 2.2cm to a more shaggy 8.5cm.

The soft grip of the handle along with the self-propulsion enhances your comfort in this sometimes-tedious chore.

Emptying the larger than most models 70 litre collection box
Have been impressed with the large 70 litre collection bag

The Hyundai HYM51SPE’s grass collection box is larger than usual at 70 litres. There’s a fill indicator so you don’t have to keep checking how full it is.

With four cutting modes, this mower can reach into difficult nooks and crevices as well as mow wide, open lawns. The first cutting mode is the one most usually used – cut the grass and collect the clippings in the attached 70-litre grass collector box.

Side chute on lawn mower ejects the grass in a line down the lawn for collecting later, dont use this myself as i always collect the clipping
Side chute to dispatch grass to the side is just one of 4 models

The three remaining cutting modes all return the clippings to the lawn. One mode ejects them spread over the width of the lawnmower; another mode drops them through a chute on the right-hand side of the mower as shown above; the final mode converts the clippings to fine particles as mulch and returns them to your lawn to add nutrients by using the mulching plate as shown below.

Mulching plug that allows the mower to chop the grass clipping into tiny pieces and return them to the lawn as nutrients
A mulching plug is used so I can return clipping back to the lawn but as tiny pieces

Other notable features of the Hyundai HYM51SPE are foldable handles and lightweight design. Both of these help in the ease of use, transportation and storage.

Pros

  • The powerful 5hp 173cc four-stroke petrol engine has ample power for the longest and most demanding lawn cutting tasks.
  • Electric push-button for ease of use; now the recoil pull is your backup starting method.
  • Self-propelled design lets you guide the mower while it goes along effortlessly.
  • Four speeds of self-propulsion so you can mow slower or faster depending on your available time and your energy level.
  • Four cutting functions/modes are: cut and collect, cut and drop, cut and mulch and cut and side discharge, giving seasonal opportunities for lawn care.
  • A six-stage centralised cutting height adjustment gives you a wide range of grass heights from 2.2cm to 8.5cm.
  • A larger-than-usual 70L-litre grass collector is easy to handle and the fill indicator lets you know when you need to empty it. 
  • Large wheels make uneven terrains a snap.
  • Quick folding handles makes easy storage and transportation.
  • Durable treated-steel cutter deck for efficient and effective grass cutting.
  • Ideal for large lawns up to 190 square metres.
  • Reliable, durable and affordable mower.
  • Comes with a three-year Hyundai warranty for worry-less use.

Cons

  • Instructions in the box are lacking in detail and confusing, but there’s a YouTube tutorial.
  • Grass box lid often falls off or out.

My recommendation

The Hyundai HYM51SPE Petrol Self Propelled 4-in-1 Rotary Lawnmower is a very good lawnmower for large gardens where the wide cutting blade will be most appreciated. The four cutting modes add to the mower’s versatility, as does the variable speed self-propulsion. The centralised six-stage height adjustment gives a full range of grass heights.

Lawn half way cut with Hyundai mower, only had to empty the collection box 4 times for the whole lawn
Cutting the large front lawn

Certainly worth considering is the electric start button that starts the mower every time (as long as the battery is charged). The reliable recoil pull cord is now just the backup method. This mower’s 3-year warranty is another element that makes it become one of the best petrol lawnmowers for large gardens currently available.

I came to the conclusion after testing that this Hyundai self propelled lawn mower is the best model for most people
Despite its size, the handle folds down for storage

If you’re looking for affordability and performance and have a large lawn, I recommend this Hyundai HYM51SPE petrol lawnmower. It earns My “Best Pick” from all of the five mowers reviewed here and it’s the model I now use in my own garden.

Lawn after mowing with the Hyundai self propelled lawn mower

2. Hayter Harrier 48 Pro FS BBC Rear Roller Lawnmower

PROFESSIONAL PICK

Buy from Mowers-online.co.uk

Introducing the new and improved Hayter Harrier 48 Pro FS BBC Rear Roller Lawnmower that has been tweaked to make your experience EVEN better and to create a more robust and reliable lawnmower. This model is powered by a 170cc Honda GCVX170 engine that has 11.1Nm torque so it has plenty of power behind it to cut at a high speed for better efficiency. The aluminium cutting deck also offers high strength and durability to weight ratio so that you get a piece of equipment that is designed to last and handle the most demanding mowing days.

The lawnmower is equipped with an easy-start recoil system and a generous cutting width of 48cm. This is 8cm smaller than its big brother the HARRIER 56 PRO, however, it is 8cm larger than its baby brother, the HARRIER 41 PRO. We think this version of the Harrier Pro range is the best because it’s large enough to mow larger lawns up to 522m² whilst at the same time not being too large to tackle smaller lawns of around 261m². The large cutting width allows more surface area to be covered in one go, thus making it perfect for covering large lawns whilst still being nimble enough for smaller lawns.

This model also possesses seven cutting height adjustment settings that range between 13-60mm. You can adjust the cutting height with ease with a single lever to meet your different demands depending on the length of the grass.

This lawnmower is self-propelled meaning that the user will not spend too much of their energy moving the machine around, however, it is single speed so it would be nice to see variable speeds on any future models. The machine weighs around 46kgs so it is certainly a heavy-duty mower and to support this weight it is fitted with quality rubber tyres that can handle the demanding jobs of a professional mower moving from job to job.

To ensure that you are comfortable as you work, the lawnmower has adjustable handles to suit your height, which, we think, is an important feature professional lawnmowers need. You will be able to move freely without having to slouch or tip-toe on your feet and it really is a simple but worthwhile feature to have. The lawnmower is also equipped with a split steel back roller to give the lawn those much-desired stripes but it also provides better traction, manoeuvrability and avoids marking the lawn when turning.

All the grass trimmings are collected in the large capacity 70 litre fabric collection bag. The large capacity collector is great as it saves you from wasting time rushing to the compost bin or van for emptying.

One new feature this mower does have is a hose connection chamber that permits the cutting deck to be cleaned effectively by attaching a hose pipe which is a great feature to have.

Finally, this single-speed lawnmower comes with a 2-year warranty for both commercial and domestic use. These warranties prove that the manufacturer stands behind the quality of their product so you can feel confident it is reliable.

Pros

  • Features a powerful and reliable 170cc Honda GCVX170 engine to power the fixed cutting speed.
  • Comes with a large cutting width to cover a large surface area in one go. It is still small enough for smaller lawns whilst still being wide enough to mow larger lawns with ease.
  • Offers an aluminium cutting deck that is not only light but extremely durable.
  • It has cutting height adjustment between 13-60mm to get the perfect cut.
  • Features durable wheels that permit easy durability.
  • Provides the world’s first crank-safe BBC system.
  • Comes with a hose connector port to easily clean the cutting deck after work.
  • Split roller for creating a striped lawn.
  • Features a large capacity collector that saves time and energy used in frequent emptying.
  • Offers a 2-year warranty for both domestic and professional use for full peace of mind.

Our recommendation

The Hayter Harrier 48 Pro Rear Roller Lawnmower is a good investment simply because of the quality of the features presented and because it’s so reliable and well made. For a professional looking for a quality mower, it’s up there with the very best. The lawnmower has a wider cutting width than most other lawnmowers making it perfect for large lawns in places like golf clubs and estates but it is also smaller enough for mowing private gardens for general lawn maintenance.

If you have a lawn maintenance business, then this self-propelled lawnmower will cut you some slack. You will be able to work without being overly exhausted or uncomfortable. Overall, this is a great product for both professional and domestic settings. It is reliable, powerful, features sharp blades and allows you to cut as close to the lawn edge as you can.


Have you ever considered a robotic lawnmower?

You can now get robot lawnmowers suitable for large gardens for the price of some of these petrol models

Robot lawn mower for large gardens next to petrol lawn mower.
Worx, a good alternative robot lawnmower for large gardens where you traditional use a petrol mower

You can read my review of the best robot lawn mowers for large gardens here.


3. Murray EQ500X – 18 Inch/46 cm Self-Propelled Petrol Lawnmower

RUNNER UP

Buy on Amazon.co.uk

Murray EQ500X - 18 Inch/46 cm Self-Propelled Petrol Lawnmower with Briggs & Stratton 575EX Series Engine Including Mulching Plug

The Murray EQ500X – 18 Inch/46 cm Self-Propelled Petrol Lawnmower is a 4-in-1, self-propelled mower with a powerful engine and a wide cutting blade that makes it suitable for medium and large-sized lawns.

The Murray EQ500X is a powerful 140cc petrol mower whose engine is from the reduced-emission 575EX line from Briggs and Stratton. This means the mower generates fewer smog-producing emissions than usual starting the mower is straightforward with the recoil or ReadyStart (starts the mower with the push of a button) options, ensuring the mower is ready to go when you are.

As a self-propelled lawnmower, the Murray EX500X reduces the amount of effort you need to mow the lawn. In addition, its 3.6 km/hour speed gives you a comfortable walk when cutting the grass. Another effort-saving feature is the soft 60-litre grass catcher bag; you won’t have to stop and empty this large bag constantly, even with a large lawn. And additional comfort comes with the foam-padded handle that works ergonomically with three adjustable positions to reduce the strain on your upper body.

The Murray EX500X is designed to leave your lawn looking amazing. By just moving one lever you have the choice of six different cutting heights. Leave your lawn long at 9.2cm or shave it down to 2.8cm or choose a height in between. You’ll make fewer trips up and down your lawn as the cutting blade is a respectable 46cm (18 inches) wide. And the 4-in-1 capability offers you a choice of where to put the lawn clippings, useful for seasonal variations in lawn care. You have the choice of discharging the clippings from the rear or the side of the mower, or whether you want them bagged or mulched.

Establishing a maintenance routine for the Murray EQ500X is straightforward because it has a wash-out port that attaches to a standard garden hose. Washing down the mower after every use is an important step in regular maintenance.

Murray and Briggs and Stratton help to ease any worries you have about your purchase by offering a limited two-year warranty. You can find support and answers to any questions from anyone in the wide network of Murray and Briggs and Stratton authorised dealers.

Pros

  • Recoil and ReadyStart options ensure the mower will be ready to start when you are.
  • Reduced emission, powerful Briggs and Stratton 140cc petrol engine from the 575EX series makes the mower both reliable and easy-to-start.
  • Self-propelled mower reduces the amount of effort needed for cutting the lawn.
  • Single-speed of 3.6 km/h makes for a comfortable walking pace.
  • Large soft 60-litre grass catcher bag for fewer trips to the compost bin.
  • Ergonomic foam-padded handle with three adjustable positions avoids putting undue stress on your upper body.
  • Six positions of cutting height, adjusted from just one lever, give you a range of grass lengths from 2.8cm to 9.2cm.
  • Wide (46 cm) cutting blade for fewer passes on your medium to large-sized lawn when cutting.
  • Large wheels (28cm in the rear) handle uneven ground easily.
  • Mulching and bagging capabilities, along with side and rear discharge, for seasonal variations in lawn care.
  • Wash-out port with attachment to a standard garden hose connector lets you easily clean the mower.
  • Support from the wide network of Briggs and Stratton and Murray authorised dealers for less worry about finding any help you need.
  • Comes with a two-year limited warranty so you can relax about having any problems.

Cons

  • Assembly instructions are basic and not detailed.
  • The lowest cutting setting is not low enough for a smooth lawn.
  • The grass collector falls off easily because it’s difficult to clip to the frame.

Our recommendation

The Murray EQ500X – 18 Inch/46 cm Self-Propelled Petrol Lawnmower is a good choice for people with large lawns and uneven terrain who want to get the job done. This mower is easy to start and its self-propulsion means that you just walk along behind it and steer it at a comfortable pace. The wide cutting blade gives you the minimum number of trips back-and-forth in your mowing task, while its attention to ergonomic design enables you to work in comfort. The option of six different cutting heights lets you manicure your lawn to seasonal or aesthetic requirements. This is a mower that definitely makes your work easier, and that’s why it’s our Runner-up pick.


4. Hayter R53S 21-inch Self Propelled Electric Start Petrol Lawnmower

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Hayter R53S 21-inch Recycling / Mulching Self Propelled Electric Start Petrol Lawnmower

The Hayter R53S is a powerful lawnmower ideal for domestic and professional use and is often seen as the ‘Rolls Royce’ of lawnmowers and more good reason. The Hayter mower features an electric engine designed by Briggs and Stratton and uses a ‘’ReadyStart’’ system that activates the mower with the touch of a button to ensure it starts effortlessly. Even though it is quite a large mower, the lawnmower has a compact design that ensures both environmental conservation and ease of use.

For the business end, the Hayter R53S model has a 530mm (21-inch) cutting width which is one of the widest cutting widths of any lawnmower in our review for less mowing. It has an adjustable cutting height of 25mm to 114mm which ensures you can set the cutting height to a height that suits your needs. It also comes with a high-quality steel deck which is less likely to get damaged, unlike some models with plastic cutting decks.

The machine offers you the choice of three ways to dispose of your grass clippings. It gives you the option to work with the standard rear collection, to recycle the clippings back onto the lawn or to side discharge. Recycling the clippings help in maintaining a healthy and green lawn. This is achieved through recirculating the grass clippings into the lawn as a very fine mulch.  Thus, as the mulch decomposes and returns to the soil, it gives your grass nutrients.

The machine is also built with a blanking plug that leads from the cutting chamber to the grass box. The cutting chamber has a continuously smooth surface. Thus, the clumps of grass are unable to build up and fall onto the lawn in the wake of the mower.

A unique feature of this machine which we really like is the ‘Sens-a-Speed’ variable speed transmission. It allows the mower to automatically adapt to your walking pace as you mow the lawn so it is self-propelled, but at your own speed. This ensures effective and efficient working using this model.  The machine is also lightweight at 43kg while still being a very robust mower that is able to withstand daily use by professional gardeners.

Pros

  • Features a smooth ‘Sens-a-speed’ system that automatically adjusts to your walking pace so you mow at your own speed.
  • Has a 530mm (21inch) cutting width for quick and effortless operation.
  • Includes mulching and returning to the lawn, rear collection, and side discharge capability for improved versatility.
  • Features a robust high-quality steel deck for efficient grass cutting.
  • Has an electric start engine design for simple start of the mower without having to pull a pull cord.
  • Fitted with an adjustable cutting height (25-114mm) for enhanced comfort during application.
  • Durable and built with the desire for longevity and practically.
  • Easy to use and environmentally friendly.
  • Comes with a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty for full peace of mind which hopefully you will never need to use.

Our recommendation

The Hayter R53S Mower incorporates impressive features designed for the professional gardener in mind. It has been developed with both the environment and the end-user at the forefront. This makes it perfect for those eco-conscientious gardeners concerned for the environment.

The fact that it has a ‘Sens-a-speed’ system that automatically adjusts to your walking speed makes it easy to use and a stand out feature. The reason we like this feature so much is because some self-propelled mowers are either too slow or too fast but this model solves this problem.

We also appreciate its ability to collect, recycle and side discharge grass cuttings. The adjustable cutting height also makes the mower efficient and comfortable during application, however, we do think that Hayter could make selecting the cutting height a little easier.

For this model, the price is expensive but we think it’s worth every penny and will never miss a beat. The difficulty in height adjustment will not be a big deal and most people will not change the height once set anyway. Generally, the machine is efficient, well built and designed for environmentally friendly usage and ease of use. Overall, a must-have for any professional gardener.


5. Honda Izy HRG 466 SK 4-Wheel Self Propelled Petrol Lawnmower

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Honda Izy HRG 466 SK 4-Wheel Self Propelled Petrol Lawn Mower

The Honda Izy HRG 466 is a compact designed petrol-driven lawnmower. The machine is an upgraded version of HRG 465 SD. It offers convenience and ease of use without sacrificing top-quality performance.

This lawnmower features an easy to start 160cc Honda engine that is built to last. It ensures consistent performance and an effortless mowing experience. The engine is as quiet as possible and has a special auto-choke system for easy starting of the mower, which ensures it starts the first time. The machine also has a fairly large 55L capacity grass box. It saves your energy and time by minimising your trips to the compost heap

As you would expect, this model is self-propelled, which makes it ideal for maintaining medium to large-sized gardens, including those that are not perfectly level as well as sloping lawns. Built with high durability in mind, it features a steel cutting deck to ensure it can withstand high workloads and it has a reasonable cutting width of 46cm. The steel deck is specially treated to resist corrosion, rust and UV abrasion for a longer service life to ensure you have it for many years to come, which also makes it a great choice for gardeners.

The Honda Izy HRG 466 SK Self Propelled Petrol Lawnmower is lightweight at 32kg, making it one of the lightest models in our review. A standout feature with this model is the intelligent blade design that is very long-lasting. If the blade hits an obstacle, it will twist rather than break. This saves you money and reduces maintenance requirements, therefore, making the mower reliable and easier to service.

As with most models, it has folding handlebars that allow easier transportation and storage. The handles reduce the mower’s package dimensions and size to ensure it’s easy to store away when not in use.

Pros

  • Features an auto-choke system that guarantees easy starting and consistent performance.
  • Has folding handlebars for easier storage and transportation.
  • Comes with a robust and weather-resistant steel cutting deck.
  • Features an easy to start 160cc engine that ensures quick and effortless mowing.
  • Has a large 55L capacity grass bag for cutting short your trips to the compost bin.
  • Self-propelled machine ideal for medium and large-sized gardens with sloping lawns.
  • Durable and quite affordable when compared to the Hayter model.
  • Very lightweight at only 32kg and easy to transport and store.
  • Comes with 3 years warranty for full peace of mind.

Cons

  • The machine doesn’t have a mulching system.

Our recommendation

The Honda Izy HRG 466 SK Self Propelled Petrol Lawnmower is a very reliable and easy to operate mower perfect for both home use and professional gardeners. With the self-drive feature, homeowners who prefer a little more out of their mower will appreciate this model.

We also like Honda’s intelligent blade design. The fact that when the blade hits an obstacle such as a rock it twists instead of breaking off, makes the mower very durable and reliable. This saves your money and gives you much easier work of servicing your lawnmower.

The lack of the mulching system is a little drawback for this model but not a deal-breaker, especially if you collect all your grass cuttings and compost them. Otherwise with other outstanding features incorporated it’s a great mower to consider. The durability of the machine also guarantees real value for investment and the 3-year warranty only further confirms the reliability and quality of this model. This is a great alternative to our best pick for someone looking for a slightly smaller mower.


The Buyer’s Guide

There are many petrol lawnmowers on the market with all kinds of features. Of course, the more advanced models with top of the range features will be more expensive than standard models.

Keep in mind that almost all petrol lawnmowers are self-propelled, meaning you don’t need to push the machine but rather guide it. In fact, we think that all lawnmowers used on large lawns should be self-propelled for the best user experience so all the mowers that have made it onto our review are self-propelled.

At the very least, you can use the following criteria below in choosing a petrol lawnmower:

Engine

Petrol lawnmowers engines range from 100cc to 190cc. For tough cutting conditions such as tackling tall, thick and wet grass always go for a larger engine. 

The most basic engine type and the least expensive is the side valve, which has the valves on the side of the engine block. This engine is slowly being replaced by overhead valves, where the valves are placed in the head of the cylinder, such as the case of a car engine.

The famous Briggs and Stratton engine manufacturer recently introduced another engine variation – the direct-overhead valve. Overhead-valve engines are more expensive and so are the models that incorporate this engine type. However, they offer the benefits of improved fuel consumption, less vibration, reduced emissions and quieter operation.

Front or rear-wheel drive?

Front-wheel drive models are cheaper than rear-wheel drive mowers for a reason. For a front-wheel model to propel forwards, the wheels must be firmly established on the ground. The problem comes when you need to lift the front to turn or propel forwards through thick grass, debris or other potential obstacles. In such situations, the front-wheel drive becomes useless due to poor traction. Yet, front-wheel drive offers great manoeuvrability on even grounds.

Rear wheel drive petrol lawn mower

Rear-wheel drive models, however, benefit from better traction because of the added weight at the back. They are always grounded, proving unmatched traction control and manoeuvrability. If your lawn is uneven and needs the extra power to climb steep hills, you’ll be better off with a rear-wheel drive lawnmower.

Recoil or electric start options?

Most petrol lawnmowers use the traditional recoil start mechanism to start the engine. You have to manually pull a rope that, in turn, starts the engine manually.

With an electric start, all you need to do is push a button or turn a key to get the engine running. If the idea of pulling a cord to run an engine drives you nuts, pick an electric start option all day long.

Drive control

Drive control used to control petrol lawn mowers

Here you can choose from four different mechanisms:

  • A bail that allows you to squeeze against the handle.
  • A lever that you can push with your thumb.
  • A lever that you squeeze against the handle, which mimics the hand brake on a bike.
  • A telescoping handle that you push forward to increase speed or release pressure to reduce speed.

The drive control affects how you manoeuvre and it’s important for your comfort. If you need to make a lot of manoeuvring with back and forth movement to cut around plants, choose the lever-operated drive. This will allow you to halt the lawnmower’s drive system and push, pull or move under braches. For mowing wide-open areas, go for a bail-drive control.

Fixed or variable speed?

Variable speed or single speed models, I prefer variable speed as you have more control

A petrol lawnmower with a single speed may be too fast to cut tall or thick grass evenly, or even mulch clippings efficiently. With an adjustable speed setting, you can decide to go faster or slower depending on the conditions of the garden, or your physical conditions as well. There are days when you want to take your time to cut the lawn and other days you’ll feel like racing through your lawn. Models with adjustable speeds come with a hydrostatic drive with cruise control to provide the ultimate luxury.

Blade override

Most petrol lawnmowers automatically shut off the engine every moment you let go of the bail. Maybe you want to move an object out of the way or pick a weed, the engine turns off, although they are designed this way for safety reasons.

A model with a blade override system won’t do that, but rather keep the engine running safely without the blade spinning. This means you’ll save some time that you may spend turning on the engine again and again, especially with a recoil start model. This kind of operation also increases the life of your engine because you don’t need to stop and start every five minutes.

Swivel wheels

Your lawn isn’t as straight and flat as a football pitch. You have trees and flowerbeds to mow around. Most self-propelled petrol models are designed to steer straight, yet sometimes you need to make turns. The lifting and turning, again and again, makes the wheels wobbly over time. Then one day the metal bolt sheers and the wheels fall off.

Intelligent manufacturers are now installing swivel front wheels that are designed to offer better manoeuvrability whilst keeping the wheels grounded on the mower.

Functionality

Lawnmowers handle grass cuttings differently. Some can cut, mulch, discharge the clippings out of the deck, or collect the clippings in a bag. Other models can do just two of these functions, either mulch and bag, or mulch and side-discharge. A 3-function mower will at least offer optimal versatility.


FAQ

How do you maintain a petrol lawnmower?

Your petrol lawn mower maintenance plan should include after each use, annually and winter maintenance. Here’s a checklist of what to do:

After each use:

  • Clean the mower after each use.
  • Fill your petrol can.
  • Brush off the mower blades (empty the petrol tank before turning the mower over).
  • Sharpen blades regularly.

Annually:

  • Change the spark plug.
  • Clean or replace your air filter.
  • Change the oil.
  • Thoroughly clean the underside of the mower with the garden hose (some mowers have an attachment to connect to the hose).

Winter:

  • Thoroughly clean the mower and dry it.
  • Empty the petrol tank.
  • Check everything is in working order.
  • Place the mower in a warm, dry place.

How big a lawnmower do I need?

“Big” can mean various things with respect to lawnmowers. We’ll look at three elements – power, cutting blade width and physical size.

Power

The first question is whether you want a petrol, electric or cordless lawnmower. Each type of lawnmower has its own power range. For example, electric – from 20 volts to about 80 volts, petrol from 3bhp to about 5.5bhp and cordless (battery) from 300 watts to 1500 watts.

The power you choose depends in part on the size of your lawn and how fast you want to do the grass cutting chores. 

Cutting blade width

For small lawns less than 50 square metres, a 30-34cm blade is suitable.

For medium lawns of 50-150 square metres, you need a 35-40cm blade.

For large lawns of greater than 150 square metres, the blade should be larger than 40cm. 

Physical size

Generally the larger the lawnmower the heavier it is. However, if you purchase a self-propelling petrol lawnmower, it’ll just move along with you only needing to guide it. This feature reduces the problems of moving a heavy mower. Many lawnmowers also have ergonomic features such as an adjustable handlebar which make operating them, whatever their size, more comfortable. Your personal and lawn circumstances will dictate what size mower is right for you.


Final Conclusion

People with large lawns who want a petrol lawnmower are spoiled for choice with our Best Pick, the Hyundai HYM51SPE, and our Runner-up, the Murray EQ500X – 18 Inch/46 cm Self-Propelled Petrol Lawnmower.

These lawnmowers are a similar size and share many features such as cutting blade size, self-propulsion and the 4-in-1 cutting mode. The Hyundai HYM51SPE edged out Murray EQ500X with the addition of two new features over its previous model: the variable speed self-propulsion and the electric start button.

These new features contribute to the ease of use and comfort of cutting grass with the Hyundai HYM51SPE. However, both our Best Pick and our Runner-up will do an excellent job mowing your large lawn.

BEST PICK

Hyundai HYM51SPE Self Propelled Petrol 4-in-1 Rotary Lawn Mower
The Hyundai HYM51SPE is our Best Pick for petrol lawn mowers for large gardens. It stands out in a strong field of contenders for its reliability, affordability and its features. Its wide cutting blade, variable self-propulsion speed and electric start button are well suited to mowing large expanses of grass comfortably. And the large 70-litre grass box means that you don’t have to make the trip to the compost pile to empty it very often. The usual three-year Hyundai warranty will give you peace of mind in making this choice.

RUNNER UP

Murray EQ500X - 18 Inch/46 cm Self-Propelled Petrol Lawn Mower
The Murray EQ500X - 18 Inch/46 cm Self-Propelled Petrol Lawn mower is a good choice for environmentally conscious people with large lawns. The reduced-emission Briggs and Stratton engine contributes less pollution to the environment. And if those lawns aren’t exactly square (or rectangular), the ability to change where the grass clippings are discharged, from the side to the back of the mower, lets you cut any lawn that goes round flower beds or close to walls. The Murray EQ500X starts reliably and continues at a comfortable self-propelled walking pace. This is a strong runner-up that more than ticks all the boxes required of a hard-working petrol lawn mower.

Other related lawnmower articles:

The best petrol lawnmowers with detailed reviews

The best self-propelled lawnmowers that make mowing easier

The best cordless lawnmowers, some of which can rival petrol models in terms of performance

Some of the best lawnmowers for making stripes on your lawn

Gtech Cordless Lawnmower 2.0 Review


Last update on 2022-03-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Welcome to my site, my name is John and I have been lucky enough to work in horticultural nurseries for over 15 years in the UK. As the founder and editor as well as researcher, I have a City & Guilds Horticultural Qualifications which I proudly display on our About us page. I now work full time on this website where I review the very best gardening products and tools and write reliable gardening guides. Behind this site is an actual real person who has worked and has experience with the types of products we review as well as years of knowledge on the topics we cover from actual experience. You can reach out to me at john@pyracantha.co.uk

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