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The Lawn Guide
Cylinder lawn mower
28" MEY Commercial cylinder mower

Cylinder Lawn Mowers

Cylinder lawn mowers are often called Reel Lawnmowers, named after the multi blade cutting reel, or Roller Lawnmowers, named after the rollers at the front and rear of the machine.

The cylinder lawnmower operates with a spinning reel of six to twelve blades which are welded into a single reel configuration, the spinning reel spins across the top of the grass trapping the leaves between it and the stationary bottom blade - which is also called a sheer blade.

The effect is exactly like that of a pair of scissors whose blades swish past each other to perform the clean cutting action, like that seen on a bowling green. Both reel blades and bottom blades need to be kept sharp to ensure the maximum quality of cut.


Weight and Flat Rollers

Cylinder Mower
The quality finish of a cylinder mower

The flat, wide roller on the back of the mower, combine with the heavy weight of the machine to slowly flatten the soil underneath lawns, when further combined with the flat, wide bottom blade, the machine works to produce and maintain a flat finish to any lawns which are cut using a cylinder mower. This is often called the ‘bowling green effect’. It can take time for a quality flat finish to occur, especially for new lawns.


Can All Lawns Be Cut With A Cylinder Lawn Mower

The short answer is No. So here are the limitations:

  • Long grass cannot be cut with a cylinder lawn mower. Due to its design, cylinder mowers can only be used for frequent lawn mowing. Though having said that, there are now newer models of commercial cylinder mowers which can now cut longer grass - such as those made by Mowmaster in Western Australia.

  • Weedy lawns will always be left with the long stalks of the weeds remaining after lawn mowing, this is due to the restrictions of how long grass can be to be cut with a cylinder mower. However, this is generally not much of a problem as these stalks can quickly be taken down after mowing with a quick whipper snip.

  • Uneven lawns The flat wide blade system will scalp any high spots, and sink into low spots on uneven lawns, as the machine does what it was designed to do, leave the lawn with a flattened finish. Lawn repairs may need to be carried out first, in order to use a cylinder lawn mower on uneven lawns. Such as spending a little time in levelling the lawn - a cylinder mower can keep and maintain this flat lawn finish for us, but first it needs that flat lawn finish to begin with.

  • Sandy lawns should not be cut with a cylinder lawn mower, because the sand goes through the blade system causing it to become blunt. The bearings and other moving parts on this machine are also susceptible to damage from sand. Best to bring the lawn to full health before buying and using a cylinder mower - that way we get that beautiful lawn we want - without damaging our machines.

Which Lawn Types Can Be Mowed With A Cylinder Mower?

All warm season lawn types can be mowed with a cylinder mower and provide a wonderful flat finish to the lawn.

Zoysia, Couch, Queensland Blue, Buffalo grass, and even Kikuyu mow beautifully with these machines.

The only consideration which needs to be given is to adjust the height depending on the grass type, and to ensure the lawn is in generally good condition, and almost every home lawn which is cared for by its owners will perfectly suit being mowed with a Cylinder Mower.


Cylinder Lawn Mower Cutting Heights

Typically, cylinder lawn mowers are used at very low heights on Warm Season grasses, to achieve these safe low cutting heights, it is very important to mow the lawn at the correct frequency so the lawn can train its crowns and runners to live at this lower height.

All modern Cylinder Mowers will also now have height adjusters fitted at manufacture which allows the height to be raised for grasses which typically don't like being cut low. Most notable in this family are the Buffalo grasses which will look beautiful when cut with a Cylinder mower, but need their mowing height raised to around 25 - 40 mm to look their best and remain in the best health possible.

Adjusting heights on modern Cylinder Mowers is a simple process of turning a height adjusting knob located at the front of the machine, or by another similar mechanism. Heights can usually be adjusted up and down in less than 2 seconds!


Nothing Beats The Quality Finish Of A Cylinder Mower

There is no doubt that no lawn ever looks so good than when it is cut with a Cylinder Mower. There is simply no other lawn mowing method which can produce a finish of the high standards of these unique machines.

So if a cylinder mower can be considered and purchased, it will provide many years of satisfaction and pride in the home lawn, of which there is no comparison.





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