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Roller or no-roller?

Started by njh, March 27, 2021, 09:26:41 PM

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Hi! This is my first post on TGMF.

I have had a Cobra M40B petrol mower for a number of years now and it is still in reasonable condition but I've had enough of breathing in the petrol fumes. I am now looking at getting a cordless electric mower.

My lawns are probably a bit less than 300m2. The main lawn is split in half by a curved garden path, so is a bit irregular. The garden is reasonably level.

I can't decide if I should get a mower with a rear roller or not. I like the idea of being able to go closer to the edges, but I'm not sure about the stripes.

Do mowers with rollers make sense for smaller/irregular lawns? Does it look a mess if they aren't very straight?  :o what if you need to go back over areas?

Very interested in what people think!




Hi njh, and welcome to TGMF.

Did you have a particular battery powered machine in mind? Or are you just weighing up the pro's and cons atm. 

Roller machines tend to cut lower than wheeled machines, this is normally because they are designed for flat or very even lawns.  And of course you'll get that nice striped finish.

Wheeled machines tend to cut at slightly higher because they can be used on uneven grass areas. 

There's not that many battery machines out there with rollers at the moment as far as I'm aware.  Cobra do a push version battery powered machine, but to be honest I'd be worried about reliability, based on some of the ones I've seen over the years. 



Thanks Mick!

That is really useful to know. My garden is certainly not a level as I would like it to be! Maybe a topic for another thread.

It was indeed the Cobra RM4140V cordless roller mower that I was looking at. But it sounds like a roller might not be well suited to my garden.

My budget is in the £300-£400 region.

The non-roller models I was looking at are:

I have been pretty happy with the reliability of my petrol Cobra M40B. I haven't given a lot of love but it has only been used in dry conditions and always put away in the shed. It suffered its most damage this winter when a mouse nibbled through the fabric grass collector to build a nest 🐭. Do their cordless models not have a very good reputation then? I kind of like that they are a British company.

I was first attracted to cordless mowers when I saw the gardeners outside my work office using EGO mowers to cut the grass. At that point I thought it must be mainstream if the professions are using them.

I was a bit put off by the Stihl "mono-handle". Worried that it is a bit of a gimmick - but if it works... Saw someone complaining that Stihl cordless mowers are made in China. Not everything from China is cheap rubbish these days - but not sure if they are as good as the rest of the Stihl product range.

Are there any other makes/models that I should be considering?


I don't think you'll go far wrong with the EGO you mentioned, especially if it has the 5AH battery which it sounds like it has from the run time in the description (Up to 40mins. Those batteries are nearly £200 on their own. Seems it's out of stock there though, so you might have to look elsewhere for a similar deal.

As for other makes. I think just about every mower manufacturer out there has a cordless range now.  EGO are big players in this field.


Hi njh,

This may sound a bit nonsensical but the type of subsoil could make a difference to your choice of wheels or rear roller. My lawn is on clay and slopes in two directions (side to side and top to bottom). During the wetter months the clay swells and expands, then in the summer it dries and contacts. This is a round about way of saying that it has lumps and bumps.

A few years ago I bought a push Hayter Harrier with a roller and I found that this machine would ride over the bumps and miss cutting the grass in that area. I went back to a wheeled mower which is an Einhell GE-CM 33 Li battery mower which has four wheels and comes with two batteries and two chargers (both batteries have to power the machine at the same time). This machine will run for about 40 minutes on one charge which is enough to cut my rear lawn. The reason I bought the Einhell mower was because the batteries can be used in the other Einhell power tools that I have.

I hope this is useful.



Thanks for the feedback!

After a lot of deliberation and spending a bit more than I planned to, I have ordered a Stihl RMA 339 C, with a AK20 battery (144 Wh) from Lawn Mowers Direct. It is perhaps a bit overkill for the size of my garden but I am looking forward to giving it a go  :)

Not sure when I will get it - they are waiting for stock to arrive.

Our lawn is pretty lumpy, so glad I didn't order one with a roller.

Will report back on how I find it, once it arrives!