The Best Cylinder Lawn Mowers

These days most people opt for a rotary lawn mower over a cylinder model purely out of convenience, but there remains a steady demand for traditional cylinder lawn mowers particularly among those who take their lawn care very seriously. If lawn care is your passion, and you want something resembling a bowls green for a lawn, then a cylinder lawn mower is without doubt the way to go.

What is a Cylinder Lawn Mower?

Qualcast Elan 32 ReviewUnlike a rotary mower which uses a spinning propeller like blade to slice the tips of the grass from above, cylinder lawn mowers use a rotating array or blades (almost like a roller with blades arranged around it) that cut the grass head on, rotating and cutting the grass when the blades pass by a corresponding fixed blade, trapping and cutting the grass. In this respect, cylinder lawn mowers operate more like a large pair of scissors than the brute force and slicing action of a rotary mower, the theory is that this gives far neater and cleaner results. This is certainly true if the cylinder mower is well maintained. With properly sharpened blades a cylinder mower will cut through grass effortlessly, giving uniform results that a rotary mower will struggle to match.

One reason we describe cylinder mowers as best suited to die-hard lawn enthusiasts is that many people will struggle to tell the difference between the cut of a well sharpened rotary mower and a cylinder mower. Of course if this is your area then you almost certainly will know the difference, but it’s important to note that we really are into the realms of seemingly intangible difference.

An area where cylinder mowers come in to their own in a way that’s plain for all to see is in the range of cutting heights they offer, and more specifically how short they enable you to cut the grass. Whereas a typical rotary mower can’t be set to cut any lower than about 2.5cm, you’ll find some cylinder mowers are able to cut as low as 0.5cm! Of course you won’t be able to achieve this straight off the bat, your lawn will need a great deal of work before you can afford to cut it as short as this. You’ll need to make gradual adjustments to the cutting height whilst mowing regularly, perhaps 2 or 3 times per week, but if you do choose this approach a cylinder mower is the correct tool for the job.

Like rotary mowers, cylinder lawn mowers are available in both petrol and electric variants, and uniquely of course, as manually powered models as well. Check out our reviews of roller mowers for sale currently to see if they suit your needs.

Cylinder Lawn Mower Maintenance

As touched on above, for a cylinder lawn mower to function effectively you must be confident that you’ll make sure to keep it well maintained, if you don’t then you could soon have a seized up piece of junk sat in the corner of your garage that’s of no use to man or beast, or if you’re slightly luckier, a poorly performing cylinder mower that can barely compete with a cheap rotary model.

Periodic blade adjustment and sharpening is therefore imperative to maintaining a properly functioning cylinder mower, but of course should you feel that some of these tasks are beyond your skill and ability, there are many good agricultural equipment specialists around who are able to help. What is important however is paying close attention to the manufacturers recommendations so that you are aware of when your mower next requires maintaining.

Electric Cylinder Lawn Mower Reviews

Webb Premier 12in Electric Push Cylinder Lawnmower Review

Cylinder lawn mowers typically aren’t cheap to buy, and whilst this model is no exception, it still falls somewhere in the middle ground in terms of cost compared to other cylinder mowers, particularly petrol models.

In terms of functionality this mower is pretty much a back to basics affair, there are no fancy bells and whistles besides what you’re paying for, which is of course the cylinder blade action. At 12 inches, the blade is the smallest in Webb’s range, and about the smallest on the market, so for a small intensely manicured lawn, this is ideal.

Like other cylinder mowers this has a relatively small grass collection box capacity, at just 32.5 litres, unlike rotary mowers which are typically 4o litres or more. However this isn’t typically a problem, as the ‘little and often’ approach cylinder mowers are designed for means you’ll seldom fill the box in a single session anyway.

The dual front and rear rollers, coupled with the weight of this machine (24.5kg), means that you stand a decent chance of producing professional looking lawn stripes, although of course, not being self-propelled you will need to be prepared to do all the pushing yourself – hopefully not too much of an issue on a flat lawn anyway.


A solid electric cylinder mower that for the most part performs exactly as intended. Some users have complained about the height adjustment mechanism slipping, causing unwitting lawn scalping. How common this is we don’t know, but we would like to think such issues would be covered by the product warranty.

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Webb Premier 14in Self Propelled Electric Cylinder Lawnmower Review

A direct evolution of the Webb Premier 12 inch cylinder mower, this 14 inch model offers a larger cutting width, and most importantly, self propulsion to help take some of the strain away from pushing it around. This is particularly important, as at 28kg it’s above the limit of what is considered a reasonable load for a single person to carry, if not push. None the less, should you wish to push the mower under your own steam for any reason, perhaps to achieve greater control over a specific area, then the mower has a ‘non drive’ setting too.

Although designed for larger lawns, some aspects of this mower are very similar to its smaller counterpart, ie it has 32 litre grass box, 22.5 metre electric cable, plus the same range of cutting height adjustment (10-35mm). In some ways this seems slightly odd as you would think the greater cutting capacity and power would warrant increased overall specifications. For the most part though this won’t be a problem, but it might not be a bad idea to invest in an extension lead.

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Allett Kensington 35 cm Self-Propelled Electric Lawnmower Review

Sat in the cream of the crop as far as cylinder mowers go, the Allett Kensington 17K is a quality piece of engineering in almost every regard, and it must be said the price tag does reflect this. However you do get both professional quality performance and results for your money, so if you’re really looking to up your game, especially if you have a flat garden that demands the best, then this mower will deliver. Likewise if you run a professional grounds keeping operation, or are responsible for the procurement of equipment used by local authorities or other organisations that carry out professional level agricultural work, such as that carried out on sports grounds and private parks, then this is also an ideal mowing solution.

Despite the price tag this mower is still only really designed for relatively small gardens, but what sets it apart from other models is that it can cut to a minimum height of just 6mm, so if you’re looking for grass to compete with a bowls green, you’ll need a machine of this standard.

To be honest the other specs on this mower are very similar to other electric cylinder mowers, with a 32 litre grass box and 22.5 metre cable, superficially at least this is very similar to cheaper models.

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Petrol Cylinder Lawn Mower Reviews

Webb 17in Petrol Cylinder Lawnmower Review

A bigger, beefier option to the electric models, sitting at the lower end of the petrol cylinder mower market is this 43cm model from Webb. At around £100 or so more expensive than the electric models this is actually fairly modest in price, but what it gives you is the level of freedom you’ll need if you are tending to a large area, such as a bowls green, or the greens on a golf course. So as an entry-level machine for the professional user, this is ideal…

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Webb Premier 20in Petrol Cylinder Lawnmower Review

For comparison, here’s the Webb 20 inch Petrol Cylinder Mower. Right at the top of cylinder mower spectrum, this is as good as it gets with cylinder mowers. Featuring a 1 litre Kawasaki engine, you can certainly trust that this will deliver when it comes to cutting power, but what other features does it boast?

Well unlike other cylinder mowers this actually comes with a fair-sized grass collection box, at 70 litres, this is more than you’ll probably ever need for a cylinder mower.

Like all the best cylinder mowers this is able to cut a wide range of grass heights, from the 35mm all the way down to the industry standard minimum of 6mm.

Like other high-end cylinder mowers, this model has 3 modes of operation: cut, drive, or cut and drive. At 50+kg in weight, you’ll almost certainly need to use the self propulsion mode much of the time or risk serious fatigue, especially given that this is designed for the largest spaces of all.


This one is for real professionals only in our opinion. Unless you happen to own a private estate with exquisite gardens to compete with some of the worlds finest, then you probably won’t be able to justify the rather hefty outlay that this petrol cylinder mower commands.

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