Does it pay to buy on price?

Pedestrian rotary mowers remain a critical tool for contractors, gardeners, local authorities and sports clubs, says Etesia UK’s Managing Director Les Malin.

There are numerous makes and models to choose from, with keen pricing reducing the gap between cheaper models and top-end kit.

Anyone prepared to look through purchase legers and workshop costs relating to pedestrian rotary mowers will no doubt notice a number of changes between operating costs and buying patterns over the past decade.

The first issue will relate to the actual price paid for a given mower. Accepting that those placing multiple mower orders would not have paid full retail price for a given machine, it is still noticeable that the list price is quite likely to be less than it was at the turn of the century.

It is difficult to list like for like examples because specifications change year on year.

But take a look at basic cut and collect rotary mowers that were priced in the £700 to £800 price bracket in say 1998.

Similar models now list with prices starting with perhaps under £600. A key reason has to be more realistic pricing, list prices more accurately reflecting the price paid by end users.

This issue has also had a knock-on effect, with popular top end models on the fringes of the domestic to semi-pro market also benefiting from keener pricing.

Also, top-end ‘professional’ models, with rugged, commercial 5.5hp engines, stronger decks and better vibration control levels have prices starting under £1,000.

So, do these factors make considering genuinely low-priced mowers less relevant?

A straw poll of users suggests price is not a key issue, so this argument does not have much influence anyway.


Reliability, good after sales support and cutting performance top the requirements list. It is only when two models of similar specification and performance are considered that price starts to influence the buying decision. Everyone is of course influenced by price and some mowers do not make it to the demonstration shortlist simply because they are considered too expensive.

But several end users now suggest they now add another requirement to their shopping list; reduced vibration for the operator.

It is in this department where some ‘low cost’ mowers really fall down.

Quick fix mowing

One of our end users chose to purchase five low cost bagging rotaries from a well-known DIY chain to cope with a sudden flush of grass growth at the end of last season.
The mowers performed reasonably well in the two-week period in which they were used, but the operators found their vibration levels totally unacceptable when compared to the machines they would normally have used.

Hiring in extra capacity would have been the usual course of action, but the right machines were not available to the contractor when the grass had to be mown.

This cheap buying experience will not be repeated by the contractor concerned because the mowers not only proved relatively costly once their purchase to working hour ratio was worked out but also because the operators who used them found them noisy and prone to vibration; relatively smooth when new, the blades obviously lost their balance.

Now that the mowing season is well underway, it is the time to sort out some demonstrations to help see if it is worth considering some different machines for next season.

As an example, Greenfingers, based in Scotland has added 14 Etesia Pro 46 PHCS pedestrian mowers to their fleet. The Etesia Pro 46 PHCS offers extreme versatility with the ability to cut, collect and mulch without the need for an accessory. Built upon the DUOCUT concept of combining 100% collection and 100% mulching decks together, the Pro 46 PHCS delivers high performance without compromising the results of either of the functions. By crushing the grass finely, even if it is long and wet, it excels in its collection abilities. Fitted with a powerful 5HP Honda engine, the PHCS offers low vibrations with ‘soft grip’ handle bars which can fold for easy transportation.

Greenfingers proprietor Jason McCran says: “We predominately use the Etesia pedestrian mowers on small grass areas on grounds where we work with property managers, or around sheltered complexes for housing associations. We find that by using the PHCS, we can govern the speed better because you can cut with it as quick as the operator can move”.

“The majority of our work is cut and collect and the Etesia mowers do this in wet weather better than any other mower that we’ve tried. This is what particularly drew us to them because in Scotland we are prone to rain throughout the summer months. We’ve never had any issues with Etesia equipment; they do the job to an extremely high standard and we have no reason at all to change.”

Etesia is a company whose products constantly evolve. We are a company that specialises in building high quality grass cutting machinery for both the professional and domestic market. With full service and spare parts back-up as well as dedicated area managers available to give free demonstrations, we hope that people can see for themselves the benefits of what we have to offer. As mentioned earlier, it’s not just the initial purchase price that has to be considered when choosing which new mower to buy – it’s the overall lifetime cost, which includes, purchase, reliability and servicing costs – which is why we now offer a full three-year commercial warranty on our machines. Now is the time to book some demonstrations to see how well these latest machines measure up.

Monthly Garden Maintenance Tips

Need some advice for your garden? We have a tip which you can start putting to use, right now!

How to Mow Wet or Long Grass

Over the past 25 years, Etesia ride on and pedestrian mowers have become renowned for being able to cut and collect – all ALL weathers. Below you will find some useful tips on how to mow wet or long grass.

Tip one – Mow More Often

If your typical mowing interval is every seven days, reduce that to five days or even less. This prevents the grass from getting too long. Tall grass is more difficult to cut, and tall, wet grass is even worse.

Tip two – Raise the Mower Deck

Mowing height is a compromise between getting the superb looking lawn you want and allowing the grass enough leaf to be healthy. This means you can mow your lawn close but only when optimum conditions prevail; warmth, moderate sunshine, moderate rainfall and adequate fertiliser. This is also when the grass is healthiest and able to recover easily from regular low cutting. When it is wet and you still need to mow, raise the cutting height of the mower to at least two settings above what you would normally have the mower set at.

Make sure that you take your time and reduce your cutting speed to reduce the load on the mower blade and empty the grass box mower often – wet grass weighs more than dry grass after all and you don’t want to be pushing unwanted weight!

Tip three – Sharpen Your Mower Blades

A sharp blade produces a crisp cut, and this keeps the grass healthy. It’s particularly important during damp or wet mowing conditions, when the blade will have a tendency to shred rather than cut.

Tip Four – When All Else Fails, Rear-Discharge

If weather conditions are really bad, don’t forget that the Etesia DuoCut system allows you to cut and collect, mulch and also rear-discharge instead. Set the mower to the highest setting, remove the grass box (and mulching insert if this is in place) in place, and mow. This leaves rows of clippings on the lawn, of course. You can cross-mow (mow at 90 degrees to the first mow) in mulching or collecting mode to take care of the clippings; you can rake them up, or you can let them dry for a couple of days and mow again, this time in mulching or collecting mode.

Tip five – Clean After You Mow

Damp grass clippings cling to the underside of a mower deck and form a soggy layer that quickly turns into a moldy mess. If your mower has a washout port, then by all means use it to clean the deck. But even after you’re done, scrape the deck clean with a putty knife, being particularly careful to clean the lip where the deck edge curls under. Also, clean the mower’s tires / wheels with a wire brush. Finally, wipe down the top of the mower to remove wet clippings, and if required, give a light coating of a lubricant such as WD 40 to avoid and rusting.

Getting your lawn mower ready for the winter

Your lawn mower has been a reliable throughout the cutting season, so at the end of the mowing season, ensure you give it the attention it deserves. Spend just a little time prepping your mower for storage over the winter, and you’ll enjoy a happier reunion in spring. Here are some tips on what you can do now to be sure your mower will start easily next spring. Make sure your operator’s manual is on hand for quick reference when you work on your mower.

Remove the Battery

Whether your lawn mower is battery-powered or a petrol/diesel powered ride-on mower, then it’s a good idea to remove your battery for the winter and store it in a cool, dry place. Be sure to store it away from petrol cans. If you have a fuel powered ride-on mower, disconnect the battery cable from the battery, starting with the negative cable (it will have a minus sign). Remove the battery and wipe it off with a cloth. Clean the battery terminal using a metal brush, or clean it with a battery cleaner product. For added protection, coat all terminals with a product like a spray on white grease product or Terminal Protector.

Clean your Mower

Brush or hose off leaves, grass and mud from your mower. Always remove the spark plug lead wire from the plug before doing this or any other mower maintenance, and tape or tie it out of the way. Gently tip your walk behind mower on its side to spray the underbody. If debris is caught on the blade, use a stick or tool to remove it – never use your hands.

Use Fuel Stabilizer Correctly

You shouldn’t store your lawn equipment with a partially full fuel tank. Either run the equipment out of fuel, or use fuel stabilizer in a full tank of fuel. Add the stabilizer (also called fuel preserver) according to package directions. Then – and this is important – run the mower for a few minutes so that the stabilizer circulates through the carburetor. The stabilizer keeps fuel fresh for up to 6 months. Turn off the engine and completely fill the fuel tank. A full tank will help prevent moisture from condensing in the tank which can form rust that could break away and clog the carburetor.

Store your Mower in a Dry Place

Store your mower in a dry, protected place such as your garage, workshop or a garden shed. Never store it next to a furnace, water heater or appliance with a pilot light!

Autumn Leaf Clearance Advice

For many people, Autumn is a favourite time, the changing of colours and dropping of leaves indicate a slowing down in the year and a time to enjoy the changing seasons. For others, and in particular gardeners and owners of large properties with many trees, the autumn leaf fall can be something close to a nightmare with constant drain blockages and gutters packed full of sodden mulch.

Patios and garages seem to ‘grow’ leaves and pathways become slippery and treacherous after heavy rainfall. So what is the best way to clear fallen leaves in areas where you don’t want them to pile up?

For many years the humble leaf blower has come to the rescue of gardeners and property owners, saving many hours of backbreaking work stuck behind a lawn rake and wheelbarrow. The latest range of Pellenc battery-powered tools include the Airion 2 leaf blower which makes seasonal leaf clearance and also litter clearance a breeze!

One of the quickest and easiest ways to clear leaves off the lawn is to simply run over them with a pedestrian or ride-on lawn mower. The lawn mower must have good suction power and be a collecting model (with a box or bag). Etesia pedestrian and ride-on models are ideal for the task; their impressive suction performance, ordinarily used to lift grass blades upright for a quick and clean cut, makes them efficient leaf collectors in the autumn. For maximum capacity in the grass collection box, raise the height of the lawn mower blade so that it’s not cutting grass, just collecting the leaves. Wait for a dry day when the leaves aren’t soaked, and don’t walk on the lawn if not absolutely necessary in damp, wet or frosty conditions.

Autumn leaf clearance advice:

Blow leaves into a pile before collecting them up with a leaf vacuum or by hand with a pair of rectangular wooden planks for example.

Extend the reach of your Pellenc leaf blower and clear leaves out of low gutters with blower tube. Ask your official Pellenc dealer about the choice of leaf blower nozzles and accessories available for the Airion battery-powered blower. A round-ended nozzle is ideal for blasting large areas of leaves. The smaller diameter of a flat-ended nozzle ensures a high air speed and is ideal for removing stuck-on debris like damp leaves. A flat nozzle with a curved end allows you to target dirt and debris more accurately.

Mulch mowing advice from Etesia

 Put simply, mulch mowing recycles the grass clippings by finely cutting the standing grass without collection which in turns feeds the soil.

By mulch mowing with your Etesia pedestrian or ride-on mower, you may also save time as you will no longer stop to empty the grass box.

You will need a lawn mower specifically designed as a mulching mower to recycle the grass correctly. At Etesia, we have a range or pedestrian or ride-on mowers which can cut and collect, cut and drop, mulch and now with the fitment of a rear roller kit, stripe – all thanks to our DuoCut concept.

Why mulch?

Grass clippings make a great slow release fertiliser if mulched correctly and left in the lawn. Throwing away grass cuttings only adds to the already overloaded landfill sites and of course wastes valuable nutrients and time.

How does the Etesia DuoCut system work?

Our research and development team never gave up on the quest to develop a cutter housing that could be as good at mulching as at collection. In 2006, our engineers created the DuoCut concept. This was a housing designed to give a 100% quality finish regardless of whether you are collecting or mulching, with no compromises on either of the two functions.

The new housing design even enhances collection performance. The kit, supplied as standard with our range of DuoCut pedestrian mowers, is simply a plug for the ejection channel that perfectly follows the bell shape required for mulching and does not require the addition of another blade. The accessory can be fitted without any tools in just a few seconds. Following the success of this new concept, it was adapted for the cutting deck of the Hydro 100 Evolution in 2009. As with the pedestrian lawn mower models it allows for a very high quality of mow whether using the collection or the mulching function.

Why is mulching quicker?

Mulching grass is quicker than collecting because there is no need to stop mowing to empty the grass box. A mulching mower travels at a similar speed to a collecting mower but keeps mowing without regular emptying until the lawn is finished which, depending on grass volume, can be least 30% quicker than cut and collecting.

Environmentally-friendly lawn care

Green spaces can be a valuable asset to any home. During the spring and summer months you will spend much of your quality time enjoying your garden as an extension to the house. Your lawn is the most important area, so it needs to be durable, neat, tidy and above all healthy.

Cut and fertilise at the same time

Using an Etesia mulching lawn mower recycles grass clippings in a way that feeds the soil. As the clippings decompose nutrients and fertilisers are returned to the soil, you will be cutting the grass and fertilising at the same time.

No Waste Disposal

Unlike more conventional mowers which cut and then collect grass clippings, Etesia pedestrian Duo Cut mulching lawn mowers recycles the clippings as you mow. There are no grass boxes to empty and no trips to the compost heap or local council recycling centre. The result is a perfect lawn finish that can be up to 30% quicker.

Save time

By using a purpose built mulching lawnmower you will get a perfect lawn and save time. If you use an Etesia DuoCut mower you will not only finish mowing the lawn quicker but also have a healthier lawn. Not only will you save time and money, you will eliminate the need to dispose of grass clippings along with piles of rotting grass associated with conventional mowers.

Reducing thatch

Thatch is a ‘spongy’ layer of stems, root stolons and partially decomposed organic matter that has accumulated on the surface of the soil. If left untreated, thatch forms a layer preventing healthy grass growth with the lawn dependent on artificial additives to survive. Thatch is however extremely easy to remove with the aid of a garden machine called a scarifier.

Mulch mowing using an Etesia mower actually reduces thatch and contrary to popular belief it does not cause thatch build-up. The micro-organisms that thrive on decomposing mulched clippings also do a good job breaking down thatch.

Etesia has a new range of battery-powered pedestrian mowers offering extreme versatility with the ability to cut, collect and mulch without the need for an accessory. Find out more here

Stock up on new cutting blades for the new season

blades on your Etesia pedestrian and ride-on mowers are sharp is the key to a superior after-cut appearance.

Neal Barker aftersales assistant warns that frequent spring cutting inevitably leads to worn cutting blades; a situation that, if unprepared, can cause serious issues in the midst of grass cutting season.

“Preparation is the key to maintaining a landscape throughout the high-demand periods of spring and summer,” says Neal. “To stay on top of maintenance while mowers are being used more regularly, we always highly recommend users of our pedestrian and ride-on rotary mowers stock up on replacement cutting blades now.”

It is important to visually inspect your blade for signs of wear in order to prevent damage to your machine and ensure operator safety, when signs of wear are identified. The cutting blade must be replaced immediately – making on-hand spares extremely useful. It is also advisable to choose genuine Etesia spare parts.

“Pattern parts including cutting blades are not specifically engineered to meet the exact requirements of Etesia machines, which often lead to twisted or bent blades. Blades that fit incorrectly also require more horsepower to operate, and can damage the grass, create vibration and noise and shorten the spindle bearing life.

Genuine Etesia cutting blades are designed to work harder for longer, reducing the risk of unexpected wear and breakages that other non-genuine parts can suffer. As they will not need replacing as often as pattern parts, mowers will be operational for longer, with less downtime.

Now is the ideal time to stock up before the grass cutting season gets in to full swing.

Visit you nearest Etesia dealer by clicking here