As the largest distributor of garden/grounds machinery and arborist equipment in Derby, you might need some help choosing the right product.
Luckily, we know our stuff!
Check out some of our most commonly asked questions.
Petrol/Diesel or Electric?
There are not that many diesel garden/ground machinery on todays market so we mostly refer to petrol across this site. In the past, diesel engines were more economical but provide little to no advantage over modern petrol engines.
Between petrol and electric, petrol motors produce the most power, are built more robustly and are generally better performing. Favoured by businesses and gardening enthusiasts, perfectionists or people that just want to make their life easier.
Garden/grounds machinery with petrol engines are either 2-stroke or 4-stroke.
2-stroke engines are not as complex as 4-stroke. They are compact and light so mostly found in smaller pieces of equipment like strimmers and brushcutters or chainsaws.
For fuel, you have to use a special oil and petrol mix. Each manufacturer has a different ratio that you need to follow to ensure the product works as intended.
4-stroke engines are more complex, bigger and are heavier. They are found in lawnmowers and other larger pieces of equipment. Unlike 2-stroke, you do not need a special oil and petrol mix.
If you would like a more in-depth explanation on each type of engine, read this helpful article.
Engine capacity is measured in cubic centimetres (CC) and output is measured in horsepower (HP) or kilowatt (kW). Typically, the higher each of these numbers are, the more power it provides.
Petrol engines require annual maintenance, are slightly noisier and have some emissions.
Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI)
Early petrol engines were fitted with carburettors – which produced a lot of harmful emissions. In the 1970s/80s, with demand for petrol cars on the rise, the UK government had to find a way to limit this growing source of pollution. They outlined a commitment to reducing total emissions by 80% by the year 2050.
To achieve this, carbon budgets were put in place that restrict the amount of greenhouse gas produced over a five year period, which resulted in strict regulations for car manufacturers.
EFI was proposed as an alternative as it uses less fuel, has lower emissions and provides a much cleaner burn than that of a carburettor. By the 1990s, the majority of production cars had adopted EFI.
Despite the switch, petrol garden/grounds machinery continued to use carburettors… until only recently.
There are now a range of lawnmowers, ride-on lawnmowers, strimmers and brushcutters, chainsaws and some other equipment that are EFI.
Benefits of EFI:
Better fuel efficiency/less fuel required (reduces fuel consumption by up to 25% in some cases).
Exhaust emissions are cleaner. Lower emissions as a whole.
Electric models (cord or cordless) are only really suitable for domestic use. Electric motors are measured in watts; the higher the wattage, the more power it provides.
Electric cordless models use powerful lithium-ion batteries. Measured in amp-hours (Ah), the higher this figure, the longer a single charge lasts.
Typically, electric models are easier to look after, are quieter, have zero emissions but are not as powerful or robustly built.
Cutting Tool Type and Cutting Width
A lawnmower has either a rotary or cylindrical cutting blade (see images provided).
Cylinder blades have a scissor-like cutting action and provide the best cut possible. They are mainly used by businesses such as tennis or football clubs or domestically, for stately homes.
Rotary blades have a ripping/tearing action. They are less effective, but are more readily available and much cheaper.
If you want to achieve a striped finish – the blade does not affect this. You will need a lawnmower with a rear roller.
In terms of width, generally: the wider the blade, the faster the cut will be.
- Rotary blades range from 28cm – 56cm (11” – 22”).
- Cylinder blades range from 36cm – 71cm (14”- 28”).
- Ride-on lawnmowers can go up to 125cm (50”).
- Bespoke/custom sizes are available at additional cost.
Strimmers and brushcutters
There are three types of cutting tool for strimmers and brushcutters:
- Nylon line.
- Steel blade.
- Plastic blade.
It’s worth noting that some strimmers and brushcutters allow for more than one type.
Nylon line is good at cutting through light undergrowth or tall grass. Line thickness ranges from 2mm – 5mm. The thicker the line, the better the cut.
Brushcutters are fitted with either steel or plastic blades for tough vegetation, bushes and thin trees. Some have 2, 3 or 4 “teeth”, while others have 40 or more and look similar to a circular saw blade.
“Bar length” refers to the size of the cutting area. The bigger the bar, the bigger the size of log you can cut in a single pass.
- Chainsaw bars range from 25cm – 90cm (10” – 36”).
A “saw chain” wraps around the bar and cuts with various “teeth”. The type of chain (and what it will be used for) depends on these teeth and how they are arranged.
Examples of cutting teeth:
Standard profile – The stock chain on many larger, professional chainsaws. This is a good all-round chain but lacks the cutting intensity for tougher jobs.
Low profile – Popular chain for home users or beginners and the stock chain on many smaller, less powerful chainsaws such as electric ones.
Full chisel – Cuts through wood fast and aggressively, but requires regular sharpening because of it. Can be difficult to control due to high kickback (recoil).
Semi chisel – Cuts slower than full chisel, but stays sharp for longer, even in rough sawing conditions.
Ripper – Used for industrial purposes. These speciality chains cut along the grain giving the smoothest cut.
Once the teeth have been selected, they are arranged on the chain in a certain sequence:
Full comp – Has the most cutting teeth. Better for short bar lengths and for shorter cuts.
Semi skip – In the middle of the two. Half of the teeth are positioned like full comp and the other, full skip. Suited to medium bar lengths.
Full skip – Has the least amount of cutting teeth allowing wood chips to be carried for longer before being expelled. This chain is better for long bars lengths and when used for long cuts.
Grass Clipping Collection
Most of our lawnmowers have a basket or compartment that collects grass clippings. Capacity is measured in litres – the larger the capacity, the less frequent you have to empty it.
Using a lawnmower without a basket will result in clumps of grass being left behind.
Mulching/recycling lawnmowers are fitted with a special blade that re-circulate grass clippings back under the lawnmower producing a fine “mulch” which is scattered over the grass.
You can adopt this functionality on a non-mulching lawnmower by swapping the rear basket with a special plug, although these are not available for every brand.
As mulch decomposes it releases nutrients back into the soil, keeping your lawn healthy.
Just like your car, garden/grounds machinery needs regular TLC to stay in good working order.
We recommend doing the following after each use (in accordance with the user manual and only when disconnected from a power source):
- Clean off grass/mud thoroughly.
- Check nuts and bolts for tightness.
- Check the blade for sharpness and signs of rust or damage.
- Top-up fuel (if applicable).
- Store in a secure, dry and sheltered place.
If at any point, your equipment starts acting up or the blade becomes blunt/shows signs of rust or damage, stop using it. Rather than attempting a bit of machinery magic, let us worry about it. Our specialist mechanics offer the full servicing & repairs treatment.
Regular servicing maximises performance, extends the product’s lifespan, minimises overall downtime and crucially, keeps the manufacturer’s warranty in place.
Our Pre-Delivery Inspection (PDI ) Promise
As an authorised dealer of a number of top brands, the products we sell are of the highest quality.
Prior to customer dispatch, petrol powered garden/ground machinery will be thoroughly checked by our team of specialist mechanics.
This will include:
- Checking for signs of damage.
- Ensuring that any accessories (such as grass collection basket) are included.
- Filling with oil to the correct levels.
- Checking operating controls.
- Testing safety features.