A petrol lawnmower is a type of garden lawnmower powered by an internal combustion engine, similar in some respects to a gasoline-powered motor vehicle, the major difference being that it runs on gasoline instead.

A quick guide to petrol lawnmowers, Zazzy Home

Gasoline lawnmowers come in much different power and operational abilities. The smallest and most inexpensive can be carried by one person and usually used in small to medium-sized gardens; the largest requires four people or more for operation and both massive storage space and regular maintenance duties.

Compared with their electric or manual counterparts, they offer great amounts of freedom – working at any time, rather than having to wait around at their charging station – but also require far more attention when using than other options.

One area which is overlooked with regards to petrol lawnmowers is the environmental impact they have. Many people do not realize that these machines are powered by fossil fuels, which might be a valuable resource in some parts of the world, but also means that their carbon dioxide emissions contribute to global warming and climate change.

These lawnmowers, also simply referred to as ‘petrol’ or ‘gas’ mowers due to their power source, were first introduced in the 1800s and came into widespread popularity in the 1940s. Since then they have advanced considerably; whereas an early petrol lawnmower used a petrol (gasoline) engine and produced choking fumes which required two people to operate – one person on each handle – modern petrol engines are far cleaner and more efficient than ever before.

The uniqueness of these machines is that they are powered by a small internal combustion engine, mostly four-stroke ones. And because of this, they are often more powerful than electric or battery-powered mowers.

There are several types of petrol lawnmowers, and they’re divided by how their engine is fuelled: petrol/gasoline (2-stroke) and petrol/gasoline (4-stroke). The former ones have a 2-stroke engine that runs on a mixture of gas and oil, which is rather toxic for the environment. For this reason, petrol lawnmowers with a 4-stroke engine are considered more environmentally friendly because they run on pure gasoline. They are also called 4-stroke that the engine operates in four phases, whereas the 2-stroke one has only two strokes.

A quick guide to petrol lawnmowers, Zazzy Home

What to expect from petrol lawnmowers?

Petrol lawnmowers are considered to be more powerful than electric or battery-operated ones. This means that you’ll get better performance when cutting thicker grass or tall weeds. They’re also perfect if you want to cut relatively big areas of land, mainly because they are faster and therefore make fewer passes over the same area. Even though some people often think that these machines produce an annoying noise while working, others consider them rather comfortable to use without having to bother other people around. Depending on your personal preferences, you can choose between petrol/gasoline (2-stroke) or petrol/gasoline (4-stroke). The major downside of a petrol lawnmower is that they require you to mix gasoline with oil before starting it. And if you fail to do so, the engine might get damaged.

Petrol lawnmowers vs. electric mowers

The main difference between petrol and electric machines is noticed when cutting thick grass or tall weeds. In this case, it’s evident that the former ones are more powerful because they’re faster and make fewer passes over the same area. Another difference is that petrol lawnmowers often have a bigger engine than their battery-operated counterparts, which means they can work on larger land areas. Their performance is also influenced by how well you maintain them, meaning that you have to clean or change the air filter regularly.

Many people also believe that petrol lawnmowers are noising, although this depends on your personal preferences. The problem is often noticed when they’re fuelled by 2-stroke engines, which burn a mixture of gas and oil. On the other hand, four-stroke petrol lawnmowers are considered more comfortable to use since they have a cleaner burning engine.

A quick guide to petrol lawnmowers, Zazzy Home

Petrol vs. battery lawnmowers

If you want to cut thick grass or tall weeds without any problems, choosing between an electric mower and a petrol/gasoline (2-stroke) machine is inevitable. As you probably already know, the main advantage of electric machines is that they don’t make any noise, which makes them perfect for mowing in the early hours of the morning. There are also battery-powered lawnmowers that have a bigger cutting deck, but they’re generally heavier and more expensive than their corded counterparts.

One of the downsides of electric machines is that you need to recharge them every time you want to use them. This might not be a problem when you cut small areas of land, but it can become an issue when you have to work on larger pieces of land since recharging often takes around 3-4 hours before finishing. Another downside is that they don’t provide as much power as other types, so if your grass tends to get thick or overgrown during hot days, it’s worth investing in a petrol mower.

Petrol lawnmowers vs. walk-behind trimmers

Walk-behind petrol lawnmowers are often compared with grass trimmers that have a shaft and can be handled by hand. The main difference is that the latter ones don’t cut the grass but only trim it along the edges of your garden. So if you want to save some money on cutting your lawn, investing in a low-cost trimmer might be the right choice for you. In this case, it’s worth knowing that cordless models are considered as most comfortable because there’s no cable involved. But, on the other hand, they’re not as powerful as petrol or battery lawnmowers, which implies that they won’t work properly if your grass tends to get thicker during hot days.

Pros and cons of a petrol lawnmower

There are many advantages of using a petrol-powered lawnmower over alternatives such as electric or manual machines:

Freedom – many owners like this type of machine because they can use it regardless of whether or not there is sunshine, whether or not they are at home to charge their batteries, and whether or not the lawnmower is full.

– Reliability – since petrol engines rely on internal combustion, there is less that can go wrong than in an electric machine.

– Performance – whether it’s cutting large areas of grass quickly or tackling difficult shapes in the garden, petrol lawnmowers tend to perform better than other options.

– Availability – these machines are very common and easy to find second-hand; particularly good if you only need a machine for light tasks around your garden.

However, there are also some disadvantages when using this type of machine compared with others:

– The planet – many people simply prefer working with non-fossil fuel machines because they’re a better choice for the environment.

– Noise – petrol lawnmowers are usually noisier than other types of lawnmower, which can be uncomfortable for some people if used early in the morning or late at night.

– Maintenance – while you don’t have to do much work when maintaining an electric machine, you usually have to add oil and fuel to a petrol mower every so often. In addition, many owners complain that it’s difficult to get hold of parts when they need them.

Poor mulching ability – although some models can easily turn grass clippings into fine material, most petrol machines tend to only finish the job when used with a separate bag.


Petrol lawnmowers are one of the best choices if you need a machine with excellent performance and reliability for your garden. However, electric machines might be more suitable in case you want to save some money on fuel costs or reduce noise pollution if mowing early in the morning or late at night.

With this in mind, it’s worth mentioning that many gardening professionals agree that these types of equipment tend to last longer compared with manual machines, especially when they’re used by people who don’t know how to properly maintain them. Therefore, if you take the time to read the user manual and learn how to keep your petrol lawnmower well maintained, there’s no reason why it won’t perform like new for many years!

It’s now worth mentioning that some models are more eco-friendly than others, especially those designed to cut very thick areas of grass. This is because they tend to mulch or bag clippings, which implies that less waste ends up in landfill sites. Therefore, if you’re not planning on buying a second-hand machine, make sure you choose one with special features that turn grass into fine material. Otherwise, consider investing in an electric or manual mower instead.

Before finishing this post, we’d like to remind you that even though lawnmowers are very useful machines, many people forget about their safety features. For example, you should never clean them using a high-pressure washer or leave them running unattended if there are children around. If this isn’t enough to convince you how important they are, let us tell you that they also come with some cool accessories such as whipper snippers and luxury seats!


Gardening doesn't have to be hard. Even if you don't have a lot of space, there are ways to make the most of it. My name is Brian and I'm a garden design and maintenance blogger. I've been gardening for years, and I'm an expert at getting the most out of a garden of any size. If you're just starting out, the first thing you need to do is figure out what kind of gardener you are. Are you the type who likes to get their hands dirty? Or do you prefer to sit back and let things grow on their own? Once you know that, it's easier to decide what kind of garden to create.

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