Mulcher lawnmowers review 2006

Mulching the grass you cut makes a lot of sense, not just for environmental reasons.
 
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  • Updated:9 Jan 2006
 

03.Product profiles

Profiles – the best

The models in the What to buy list are profiled below in rank order. Prices are recommended or average retail as provided by manufacturers in September 2006.

VICTA Tornado Mulch or Catch TMS484A (four-stroke)

Price: $549

Good points

  • Excellent performance in both catcher and mulching modes.
  • One of the easiest to use.
  • One of the cheapest models in this test.

Bad points

  • Nothing in particular.

HONDA Buffalo Buck Mulch and Catch HRU 19D1 (four-stroke)

Price: $736

Good points

  • Excellent performance in both catcher and mulching modes.
  • Large-capacity catcher.

Bad points

  • Cutting height adjustment is a little difficult to operate.

ROVER Mulch 'N Catch 35M92 (four-stroke)

Price: $689

Good points

  • Excellent performance in mulching mode.
  • The easiest in the test to use.
  • Adjustable handle height.
  • Cutting height is easier to adjust than on others.

Bad points

  • Leaves some grass on the ground when cutting medium-length grass with the catcher fitted, though its overall performance in catcher mode is still excellent.
  • Catcher capacity is smaller than on some other tested models.

VICTA Mustang MCA485A (four-stroke)

Price: $739

Good points

  • Excellent performance in both catcher and mulching modes.
  • One of the quietest mowers in the test.

Bad points

  • Nothing in particular.

Profiles – the rest

The rest of the models are profiled below in rank order. These didn't score as highly for performance and/or ease of use as the recommended models. Prices are recommended or average retail as provided by manufacturers in September 2006.

HONDA Buffalo Classic Mulch and Catch HRU 196D (four-stroke)

Price: $886

Good points

  • Excellent performance in both catcher and mulching modes.
  • Large-capacity catcher.

Bad points

  • Heavy
  • Controls are very stiff and difficult to use.
  • Cutting height is a little difficult to adjust.

VICTA Mustang MCA482A (two-stroke)

Price: $669

Good points

  • Excellent performance in both catcher and mulching modes.

Bad points

  • One of the noisiest in the test.
  • Cutting height is difficult to adjust, as the lever hits the wheel.

YARD-MAN 404X Mulch & Catch (four-stroke)

Price: $599

Good points

  • Excellent performance in both catcher and mulching modes.

Bad points

  • One of the noisiest in the test.
  • Cutting height is a little difficult to adjust.
  • The catcher is difficult to fit to and take off the mower.
  • When carrying the mower, the handle cuts into your hand.

VICTA Tornado Mulch or Catch TMS482A (two-stroke)

Price: $549

Good points

  • Excellent performance in catcher mode.

Bad points

  • Leaves some grass on the ground when mulching.
  • Cutting height is difficult to adjust, as the lever hits the wheel.

ROVER Leader 32H160 (four-stroke)

Price: $599

Good points

  • Adjustable handle height.
  • Adjusting the cutting height is easier than on others.

Bad points

  • Leaves some grass on the ground in both catcher and mulching modes when mowing medium-length grass.
  • Catcher capacity is smaller than on some others.
  • Worst in the test for vibration.

MASPORT Chip Catch 'N Mulch 983843 (four-stroke)

Price: $599

Good points

  • Excellent performance in catcher mode.
  • Has a chipper that works well for mulching a few small, green branches.

Bad points

  • Leaves some grass on the ground in mulching mode.

GMC Mulch & Catch TDL484 (four-stroke)

Price: $449

Good points

  • Excellent performance in catcher mode.
  • Has a 'deadman's handle' - a good safety feature as it stops the motor instantly when the handle is released. However, it can be annoying as you have to restart the motor every time you need to release the handle, for example to move a stick out of the way. And it's uncomfortable to hold down all the time.
  • One of the cheapest models in this test.
  • One of the quietest models in this test.

Bad points

  • Leaves some grass on the ground in mulching mode.
  • Cutting height is difficult to adjust and the height options are limited.
  • The catcher is a little flimsy and fiddly to fit.
  • The mower rattled a lot during our tests.

TALON Eagle Ultimate Mulch or Catch AM3065 (four-stroke)

Price: $499

Good points

  • The handle is very comfortable and is height-adjustable.

Bad points

  • The worst cutting performance in the test, in both catcher and mulching modes.
  • Heavy and tiring to push.
  • The controls are vague and flimsy.
 

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