From Rotary to Cylinder (Reel) Mower
This video is the first video on my rotary to cylinder mower journey series where we’re going to be looking at all the different things you want to consider if you’re thinking about switching from a rotary mower to a cylinder mower
My current garden is cut at 40 millimeters and for the past three years I’ve been using a rotary Bosch electric mower
I’ve had great results all across the lawn but i thought as my channel started to grow a little bit bigger and my interest in lawn care got stronger I decided to buy a cylinder mower which is the Allett classic 17.
You can see in this video I’m going to be dropping the height from 40millimeters like it is today down to 32 millimeters and down to 25 millimeters.
So here’s the new cylinder mower a cylinder mower works by rotating a cylindrical blade which cuts against this bottom part here a bed knife
This cutting action is going to give you a much higher quality cut and overall improve the visual appearance of the lawn.
It’s also going to mean we’re able to cut the lawn at much lower heights when compared to a rotary type of mower and i’m going to get an overall more professional and quality finish.
Power Source (Engine)
Let’s take a look at the new mower powered by this lonson 85 cc petrol mower on the side we’ve got an adjustable choke moving around the front of the mower
Use the ignition switch for on and off and also the pull cord just on the side of the mower.
These mowers actually also come in a battery powered version but i already had a battery rotary mower so i thought i’d test out a petrol mower just to see how it compares.
On the top of the mower is where the petrol tank is which you can just fill up with that normal petrol definitely don’t fill this up on the lawn though to avoid spillages.
The roller is self-propelled which means when you pull the left-hand lever at the back that actually drives the motor forward
On the side you’ve got a dead man switch which can operate the cylinder blade itself
The good thing is you can actually operate the roller and the blade independently on this model which means if you wanted to use it for rolling or even for example to flatten some seed down during overseed you can.
It’s got a variable speed setting and at the bottom is the turtle shape and at the top is the hair and you can control the speed of the self-propelled action on the mower.
Height of cut
So taking a look at the side of the mower moving around we’ve got an adjustable height of cut
This is controlled by this front roller and dial mechanism and it ranges from the scarifying position (if you want to implement a scarifying cartridge) to nine millimeter, 13 millimeters 18, 25 and 32 millimeters height of cut.
On the front the grass box is really light weight and it just sits almost on that groove
You can see there onto the cradle at the bottom of the mower this cradle is actually pretty useful because you can just lift it up and it helps with storage.
The mower itself whilst it weighs a lot more than my petrol mower it actually stores a lot easier because it folds up like this and takes up less storage space.
On the front of the mower you’ve got the front roller and the back roller this particular mode doesn’t actually sit on wheels it sits on these two rollers and this front roller controls the height of the cut.
You’ll see some grooves in there which is designed not to flatten the grass completely down as the front roller progresses over the lawn on this side you’ve got the access hatch which gets you to the drive mechanism.
You’ll also need to undo that when you want to change the cassettes
There is a handle on the top where you can actually lift out that blade and replace it with another blade or one of the other scarifying or vertical cutting cartridges.
Within the Allet system this is quite handy if you want to build up a bit of a lawn care range which is all in one where you can switch out these cassettes and do multiple tasks that you need to do.
Moving to the side you’ve got these screw handles which have got three adjustable height settings on
If i’m being honest i think this mechanism could be improved a little bit maybe like a quick lock bike handle or something along those lines
In the end it serves its purpose and you probably won’t be adjusting it too much during its use.
This months Lawncare Picks
First Cut Using a Cylinder Mower
Let’s get into making my first cut with the Allett I’m going to cut at 32 millimeters which is setting five and the highest setting on the mower.
This is actually a little bit lower height of cut than I’m used to previously i was cutting somewhere between 40 millimeters with my rotary mower.
You can see even at 30 millimeters i’m still getting great stripes on the lawn and what i found with my rotary mower is i didn’t tend to get very good stripes when i got to the lower settings.
This mower is a lot heavier and it also gives a cleaner stripe because it’s sitting on those two rollers as opposed to sitting on a set of wheels.
I’ve done this pattern in two passes in opposite diagonals and you can see I’ve got a really nice defined edging pass around the edge and the diamonds are still standing out even at 32 millimeters.
We’ve got a really even stripe right the way across the lawn one thing i did notice about the cylinder mower
Cut to 25mm
Next up the cut to 25 mill with all the rain we’ve been having the grass has been growing like absolute crazy it’s only a couple of days since i cut it at 32 mil
Look at all the grass that’s coming off down to 25the lawn is also a little bit wet for mowing and some of the clippings are bunching together a little bit but i really wanted to keep pushing on
So here’s how we’re looking at the 25mil height of cut bearing in mind this is not a sunny day at all so we haven’t got much reflection from the sun and the stripes are still absolutely popping – i did not expect to get this good stripes at 25 mill.
I have never got a good quality cut or this level of pronounced stripes at the low heights so that is one thing i can already tell you about this lawn mower the extra weight and the cutting style of this mower is definitely helping me get really really nice defined stripes.
There’s a couple of things i’m still getting the hang of with this mower you can see on this edging pass here i’ve kind of missed a little bit going around the outside and this is just down to me learning how the pass overlaps work with the mower
I find the visibility is a little bit less than what i used to have so it’s a bit more difficult for me to work it out.
You can see here some fallout from the grass box well, that’s got nothing really to do with the mower itself the box just needed emptying and the grass is probably also a little bit too wet to be mowed but overall first impressions are really good.
Look at those results i’m going to be doing a follow-on video in the series about all the pros and cons of using this mower and comparison to the rotary so if that’s something you’d be interested in please subscribe to my channel and don’t forget to leave me a comment down below on your favorite lawn care tip