Pros And Cons Of Rotary Lawn Mowers

Rotary mowers are the most commonly used lawn mowers in UK homes.


These mowers have a single blade that spins horizontally, making them different from cylinder mowers, which have multiple vertically-spinning blades.


In this guide, I’ve shared all the important-to-know pros and cons of rotary lawn mowers, so you can decide whether or not a mower with a rotary blade is the right choice for you.

✅ Key Takeaways:

  • The key advantages of rotary lawn mowers are that they’re easy to use, suitable for most lawn types, found in a variety of mower types, affordable, and durable.

  • The disadvantages of rotary mowers are that they’re less precise, they’re worse for grass health, they can’t cut grass very short, and they’re not environmentally friendly.

Table of Contents

✔️ Rotary Lawn Mower Pros

Here are some of the biggest benefits of electric mowers compared to other mower types:


💰 They’re Affordable

Mowers with a rotary blade are more affordable than cylinder mowers due to their more basic, cost-effective design.


A rotary mower has only a single rotating blade, so it’s cheaper to manufacture than cylinder reel mowers with multiple smaller, more intricate blades.

You can expect to spend around £30-£50 less on a mower with a rotary blade than you would on a comparably sized cylinder mower.


So, if your budget is small, you’ll open yourself up to the most options if you opt for mowers with a rotary blade.

🏞 They Can Mow In Most Conditions

Rotary mowers are versatile, too, and are the best choice for mowing in all conditions.


These mowers have a powerful blade that spins at a high speed, making easy work of ripping through even the longest, thickest grass. You can quickly adjust the blade height to suit the mowing situation.


Rotary lawn mowers are a great choice for you if:

  • You sometimes mow the grass when it’s still damp.

  • You’re guilty of leaving your grass to grow long between cuts.

  • You have an uneven lawn.

  • Your lawn is prone to accumulating twigs, leaves, small stones, and other plant and garden debris.

  • You have particularly rough or thick grass.

If you want a mower that won’t let you down, regardless of the complexity or the difficulty of your grass cutting duties, you need a rotary mower.


Bosch Rotak 34R Electric Lawnmower

  • Brand: Bosch

  • Price: ££

  • Power source: Electric corded

  • Cutting width: 34cm

  • Cut height range: 20-70mm

  • Weight: 11.09 kilograms

  • Grass box capacity: 40 litres

  • Dimensions (DxWxH): 61.6 x 37.8 x 40.2cm

  • Power: 1300 W

🦾 They’re Durable

Another great feature of a rotary mower is its durability.


Rotary lawn mowers only have a single blade, and they have powerful engines, so they’re unlikely to get damaged or burned out from cutting long grass or mowing over twigs and rocks.


You can expect a high-quality rotary mower to last at least 8-10 years with proper maintenance and care.

man, cutting, grass, with, lawn, mover, back, yard, male, black, apron, guy, repairs,

👨‍🎓 They’re Adaptable

You can find rotary blades in almost every type of lawn mower that exists today, so you’re guaranteed to come across a rotary mower that’s the right size, power, and design for your particular needs.


You can find affordable electric rotary mowers for smaller lawns, and powerful self-propelled petrol rotary mowers for big gardens.


There are also battery-powered rotary mowers for folks who want a cord-free solution, and rotary-style hover mowers for easy maneuverability in awkwardly-shaped gardens with lots of tight spots.


Rotary mowers are sold in a range of sizes, with cutting decks ranging from 25-42cm (sometimes even wider). These mowers have at least three cut heights to allow for precise adjustment based on your original and intended grass height. Many rotary mowers have five, six, or even seven height adjustment increments.


You can also find rotary lawn mowers with extra features, including mulching functions that eliminate the hassle of emptying the grass box, and rear rollers for creating a beautifully striped lawn.

Regardless of your lawn size, your terrain type, or your additional preferences, you should find a suitable rotary mower for you.

🚶 They’re Easy To Use

Rotary lawn mowers are quick and easy to use, requiring no advanced knowledge or technical know-how.

Even if you’ve never used a lawn mower before, you should be able to get to grips with a rotary mower in no time at all.

Assembly is quick and easy. You don’t have to fiddle about with multiple small blades, and rotary lawn mowers typically come partially pre-assembled for convenience.

Using a rotary mower is as simple as pressing a button and holding onto the safety lever while you mow in straight lines across your lawn.

If you’re looking for your first lawn mower and you don’t want to be daunted by too many specs or features, I recommend choosing a corded electric rotary mower.

people, helping, neighbors, with, grass-lawn,

🛠 They’re Low-Maintenance

If you want to keep mower maintenance to a minimum, a rotary mower is a convenient solution for you.


Rotary lawn mowers have a single blade that, with normal domestic use, only needs sharpening around once a year, if that.


This is far less maintenance than cylinder mowers need – the required frequency of sharpening the blades on these mowers is much higher.


The most popular rotary mower type, the corded electric mower, is virtually maintenance-free. Just sharpen the blades when you notice they’re dull and clean the mower deck and grass catcher after every use.

❌ Rotary Lawn Mower Cons

Here are the setbacks of electric lawn mowers that you should know about:


📍 They’re Less Precise

The biggest disadvantage of a rotary lawn mower is that it doesn’t offer the most precise cut.


Rotary mowers have a single spinning blade that cuts grass blades by ripping off their ends at the pre-determined cut height.


Because these mowers only have a single blade that spins horizontally, not vertically, they can’t cut grass as precisely as cylinder reel mowers with multiple vertically spinning blades that cut grass with a neater scissoring action.


That means you might end up with missed spots or an uneven cut, especially on bumpy terrain or on slopes.

🚑 They’re Worse For Grass Health

Another setback of rotary mowers compared to other mower types is that they’re worse for lawn health.


This is also due to the mower’s horizontally spinning blade, which rips the ends off the grass blades rather than trimming them like a pair of scissors. This causes a degree of injury to the grass leaves on impact, so they’re more likely to develop fungi and other grass diseases.


You can reduce the likelihood of grass diseases by keeping your rotary blade sharp throughout the cutting season, allowing them to cut as cleanly as possible.

multched, lawn, cutting, grass,

📏 They Can’t Cut Grass Very Short

Rotary mowers can’t produce a quality cut any shorter than around 3.5-4cm, so they’re not the best solution for people who want to achieve a closely cropped, manicured lawn appearance.


Cutting grass too short with a rotary mower will stress the leaves and reduce their surface area, so there’s less space for photosynthesis to take place. As a result, you’ll end up with yellow, weakened, dying grass that’s more prone to disease.


You shouldn’t have this problem with a cylinder reel mower, which is better suited to cutting grass shorter without stressing the leaves.

♻️ They’re Not Environmentally-Friendly

You can find rotary blades in corded electric mowers, battery-powered mowers, and petrol mowers. All these mower types use varying amounts of energy, but the reality is that none of them are ideal for the environment because they all contribute to greenhouse gas formation.


Rotary manual mowers don’t exist, so if you’re specifically looking for a human-powered, emissions-free mower that has a rotary blade, you’re out of luck.

fuel, ban, lawn, mower,

📊 Pros And Cons Of Rotary Lawn Mowers Chart

Pros of Rotary Lawn Mowers Cons of Rotary Lawn Mowers
Affordable Less Precise
Can Mow in Most Conditions Worse for Grass Health
Durable Can't Cut Grass Very Short
Adaptable Not Environmentally-Friendly
Easy to Use

Overall Recommendation: For most people, rotary mowers are a great option due to their affordability, versatility, and ease of use. However, if you prioritize a neater cut and have a keen interest in lawn maintenance, a cylinder mower may be a better choice.

🤷‍♂️ Are Rotary Lawn Mowers Worth It?

You should now have plenty of knowledge on the benefits and the setbacks of owning a rotary lawn mower. You’re probably wondering: is this lawn mower type worth your money?

I think that yes, for most people, rotary mowers are the best option. They’re affordable and powerful, and provide a quick and convenient mowing solution for people who just want to do their garden maintenance chores as quickly and effectively as possible.

However, if you’re a lawn enthusiast and you want the best-quality garden with a closely-cropped cut, I recommend considering a cylinder mower instead, which will produce a neater cut and enable you to work with more precision and accuracy.

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