lawnmower advice

Hello,
I bought a Bosch electric lawnmower around 2001-2002. It has an induction motor, so it's fairly quiet. I have only had to change the capacitor once. I have two grumbles with it: if the grass is slightly wet, it doesn't go into the collection basket very well. Perhaps this is a problem with all mowers? My other grumble is no matter which direction I go in, I always seem to get the cable in the way.
Tonight I got the wire caught on something and the mower has stopped working. I think the switch may have been pulled out of position. I will have a proper look when I have more time, but it has made me wonder whether it is time to look to upgrade.
My lawn is roughly 12m by 5.5m because at the moment it is all grass. I hope in time, there will be a smaller lawn, a greenhouse, raised beds, etc. but it is finding the time and the weather to do all that.
What do you think I should go with? No doubt electric is the cheapest to buy but what about that cable getting in he way! What is the trick with that? Could I consider a petrol model or isn't the lawn big enough for one of those? I'm thinking there would be no pesky cable then. I know there are rechargeable electric ones but I'm guessing they are expensive and presumably the batteries do not last forever?#
Thanks, Stephen.
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On 04/05/2016 20:18, Stephen wrote:

In a similar situation, I bought a second-hand petrol mower for about £30 at a car boot sale. Works a treat.
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Try this: http://www.wolfgarten-tools.co.uk/30cm-wpcm-hand-push-cylinder-mower
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On 04/05/2016 21:30, Robert Harvey wrote:

In my previous house I had a petrol which I bought so I could use in the rain (fear of electrics) I did have an electric prior to that and found a pattern of cutting that eliminated getting the cable caught.
new house with small wall so had to lift the petrol mower over it, so back to electric, cheap lighweight with plastic blades , fekcin useless, metal blades I should have got.
My preference would be a cylinder push mower but it only takes a stone or two and the setting can be ruined. Only downside is if the grass gets too long but with regular cutting I enjoy using them.
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Robert Harvey wrote:

I got a hand push mower a few years ago, and it is easily the best mower I've had. Much easier than I thought it would be, and it's dead easy to get out and put away afterwards. Have to keep the blades oiled, though, otherwise it screeches a bit, which I find embarassing :-)
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If you really want to use electric, put the cable over your shoulder and work away from the side where its layer down.
However as has been ssaid, uch like corded hedge trimmers the cable ends up getting shorter and shorter after every accident! Brian
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On 04/05/16 20:18, Stephen wrote:

I've got a Bosch battery mower and it is pretty excellent (with 2 batteries, one charging, the other in the mower). Powerful, grass does pick up pretty well into the box even when damp and light and no cables.
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A more powerful petrol machine will do better at that, but there are limits. Don't forget that, thanks to cell phones and hybrid autos, batteries have gotten vastly better, so you may well find a cordless electric machine (make sure it has li-ion or something like it) that will suit your needs. If you're moderately handy, a used petrol one may serve, though they do need more care.
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The big issue i have had with electric lawn mowers apart from mowing cables, is torque. These induction motors do not have a lot and hence when grass is wet they slow down and the grass then gums up the wrks big time.
I now employ a gardener with a petrol mower and strimmer and everything is fine. Brian
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[...]

OK, you asked! Here's a bird's eye view of a hypothetical rectangular lawn which takes 6 swathes with the electric mower to cut, as indicated by the dashed rows. The mains socket or source of power is at the top left of the diagram.
Start mowing by the socket (*) and head down the first swathe dragging the cable behind you. At the end of the swathe, turn the mower anticlockwise by 180 degrees, and return up the lawn down the second swathe. You will be pushing the mower parallel to the cable which you've left lying down swathe 1, and which you're now also dragging directly behind you up swathe 2.
When you get to the top of swathe 2, you then turn CLOCKWISE by 180 degrees, and set off down swathe 3, etc etc.
The key to not tangling with the cable is always to cut *away* from the plug socket, and always to turn the mower in the correct direction!
Mains Socket [X] __________________________________ | (*)| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |__________________________________|
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Lobster wrote:

Exactly how I do mine and it works flawlessly.
In addition I loop the cable over my shoulder from the front, behind my neck, over the other shoulder and down to the mower. Machine is a second hand 1970s flymo in blue and white livery with a direct drive brush motor. It has needed a little TLC over the years but on the odd occasions I purchase spares, the dealer says hang on to that machine, they don't make them like that any more and they are right.
I start in the corner furthest away from the shed in which it lives and end up with it outside the shed and the cable diagonally across the cut grass ready to unplug and coil up.
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On Wed, 4 May 2016 23:00:36 +0000 (UTC), Lobster

Sorry for the late reply but I wanted everyone to know I had read their replies. Thanks.
I managed to fix the switch, the plastic innards of the dead man's handle had fallen out of alignment, so I am back mowing for now.
I will look to replace it in the near future. I was thinking of a Honda petrol mower but I notice that the cheaper models have a steel deck that reviewers say rusts. I have been encouraged by the posts here about Lithium powered mowers, so I will look into those when the time comes.
At previous houses, I have not had the problem with the cable. I think the problem is the position of the socket. In the diagram above, the socket is in a corner. That's the best position for it but here my socket is in the middle (of the edge). I guess the only way would be for me to cut from the middle of the lawn out.
Thanks again, Stephen.
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I bought one of the cheaper Honda petrol mowers a few (at least five) years ago, and must say I am delighted with it. Easy to start, and does exactly what it should do. No signs of rust yet. The only minus is the size of the collection bag which is not terribly large.
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On 04/05/2016 20:18, Stephen wrote:

For my lawn (20m x 4m) I went with cheap petrol model a dozen years ago - I wish I had done it a lot sooner.
Cuts long wet grass with ease. No more trailing cables. About 3x faster than with a previous hover mower
I do the edges with a rechargeable strimmer which does around 25m of edges in my garden after which the strimmer gets slower as the battery discharges and becomes less efficient. I suspect a battery in a lawnmower would be the same so maybe OK if the grass is kept short and dry but possibly not to good on longer damp grass.
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On Wednesday, 4 May 2016 20:21:23 UTC+1, Stephen wrote:

Electric is cheap & light and requires little & simple servicing, but performance is invariably crappy, and there's always the damn cable. One noticeable upside is that their lightness means they can be used like giant strimmers on overgrown areas.
Never get one with plastic blades. Utterly useless. From only brief experience with them: 1) their main value is comedy 2) some brands of replacement blade fall off every minute, some don't 3) it's possible to make metal blades to fit

that's life

of course.
Whatever you get it may as well be used. A new mower has little advantage generally.
NT
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On 05/05/16 13:35, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

..apart from not being utterly knackered.
Old petrol mowers may be hard to start, require significant maintenance and considerable sums spent to bring them up to the mark. Or may not.
YMMV
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On 05/05/2016 13:43, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

I bought a S/H Honda mower about 18 years ago - but it was from a dealer, so was in decent nick, and was one of their decent models (plastic deck, stronger than their cheaper metal ones). The 300 quid price tag even S/H would probably put a lot of people off though. Still going strong - it's been a good investment.
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+1 for plastic deck.
Bought a Qualcast rotary petrol mower about 25 years ago. One new air filter (as a special treat) and maybe 4 oil changes since then. Still running perfectly.
Don't be tempted by a four wheeled rotary mower though. A nightmare to handle at the lawn edges. Get one with a rear roller.
Tim
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On 05/05/2016 15:38, Tim+ wrote:

<looks shifty> Ours is four wheeled rotary..
But then I'm not going for specially neat cut edges - and I've got a lot more middle than edges. I don't find the handling too hard - maybe if there was a sharp drop then it might be more interesting.
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On Thursday, 5 May 2016 13:43:57 UTC+1, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

ie don't buy one that's knackered. Thanks for stating the obvious, we never would have worked it out.
NT
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