We test two lawnmowers: the Hayter Harrier 41 Autodrive and the Toro Smartstow

We test two lawnmowers: the Hayter Harrier 41 Autodrive and the Toro Smartstow

Petrol-powered motors are worth the hype!

Yours Verdict

Product: Hayter and Toro, www.hayter.co.uk, www.toro.co.uk
Price: £599.00
Rating: ★★★★☆ (4/5)

What they say they do

Hayter: Small and powerful, this lawnmower is a joy to use in small or medium sized gardens. Includes variable forward speed and a fabric grassbag, which can easily be lifted away through the handlebars. Lifetime guarantee against crankshaft bending. Made in Britain. RRP £689
01279 723444, www.hayter.co.uk 

Toro: Designed to take up 70 per cent less space in storage, the Smartstow folds and locks vertically. Makes light work of mowing medium to large gardens. Clippings can be collected in the grassbag or forced back into the turf in tiny pieces, feeding the lawn as part of the mower’s Recycler Cutting System. RRP £599
01279 603020, www.toro.co.uk

What our tester said

I tried the Hayter and my mother-in-law tested the Toro Smartstow.

My Harrier 41 was easy to start, once you had the knack of pulling the engine cord at the right angle. It wasn’t difficult to manoeuvre and made quick work of my small lawn – so would be perfect for a larger patch of grass. And it can do stripes!

It was heaven to not worry about running over or pulling an electric cord behind me, and the engine-driven mower meant I didn’t have to heave and huff and puff the whole time. You have to keep the petrol and oil topped up but I used it many times within the month I had it, and still had plenty left.

Similarly, my mother-in-law almost shed a tear when she had to hand back her Smartstow. Mowing the lawn has been her job for more than 30 years, and for the first time in forever she didn’t struggle with her old electric model, up and down their fair-sized lawn. Instead she was delighted with the self-driving mechanism and barely felt the weight of the machine while using it.

A bonus to owning the Smartstow is that it also folds neatly when stored, provided the petrol tank isn’t full-to-bursting. However it is extremely heavy, as you would perhaps expect for an all-singing all-dancing, top-of-the range model – so we would recommend wheeling it into storage before folding it up.

After trying these mowers we would both consider a petrol-driven machine in future, especially if one of these mowers was on offer - that would be the icing on the cake!

Both mowers score 5/5 for performance; it’s just the price tag that takes it down to four stars overall. And if you’re a keen gardener who’s come into some dosh recently, then these little (big) beauties will change your life.