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In the current May issue of Stiftung Warentest, 17 sickle and cylinder mowers were put to the test. Above all, branded devices performed well.
The two test winners: the Sabel 36-EL SA752 (left) and the Gardena 380 reel mowerThe testers took a closer look at 13 rotary mowers and four reel mowers. With cutting widths between 31 and 37 inches, owners of small lawns are likely to be particularly interested in the results. Criteria for the assessment were wet and dry grass mowing properties, handling, durability, safety and environmental and health properties. The safety check turned out surprisingly positive, all mowers reached the rating "good". In the previous test, the testers had complained of some models still flaws.
In the sickle mower, the usual mowing type in German gardens, a rotating knife knocks off the stalks. Best device in the test was the Sabo 36 EL, which convinced by clean cut, easy handling and a sturdy metal housing (grade 1.8). However, he was with 400 euros and the second most expensive mower in the test, with the grade 2.5 rated Al-Ko Classic 3.8, however, only costs 95 euros.
Sharp blades cut the blades off the reel mowers. The cut is cleaner, but the lawn should not be so high, so mowing should be done weekly. Spindle mowers are usually used on small lawns, so they are usually powered by muscle power or recently often by battery. Best Spindle Mower was the Gardena Spindle Mower 380 with manual drive (grade 2.1). The spindle mowers pushed with muscle power scored especially in terms of environmental properties: they do not need electricity and mow unrivaled quiet.
See the mowers with the best ratings in our picture gallery.
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The best mowers in the test (7)
With an overall grade of 1.8, the Sabo 36-EL SA 752 scored best. With a cutting width of 35 cm, it handles effortlessly dry as well as wet and tall grass. The mower has a sturdy metal housing and, despite its weight of about 20 kg amazingly handy (price: about 400 ¬).
For winding gardens, the testers recommend the Gardena 38 E, which reached the second place with a grade of 1.9. The steering requires some practice, but the mower is then very agile with its steerable front wheels. The cutting width is 37 cm (price: about 250 €).
One of the smallest in the test was the Wolf-Garten 2.34 E with a cutting width of 33 cm, which thanks to its clean cut achieved a grade of 2.2 and thus third place among the sickle mowers. The testers praised the easy handling (price: about 160 €).
The Al-KO Classic 3.8 was the fifth best mower in the test (grade: 2.5). With 37 liters of the catcher has a fairly large volume. The device mows on a width of 37 cm and was mainly due to its good price-performance ratio (price: about 95 €).
In the case of reel mowers the Gardena Reel Mower 380 achieved the best rating (grade 2.1). The muscle-powered device is quiet, smooth, mows to a width of 37 cm and handles even slightly taller grass (price: about 110 €). A grass catcher is available as an accessory.
Second place in the reel mowers was again a Gardena mower (grade 2.3). However, a model with lead-acid battery, which this season has been replaced by an improved model with high-quality lithium-ion battery (the tests took place last fall). The picture shows the current Gardena Accu 380 M reel mower, which cuts across a width of 38 cm and can be optionally equipped with a grass catcher (price: approx. 370 €).
In third place in the cylinder mower test came a device of the company Al-Ko (grade 2,6). However, this model series is no longer available, but was replaced by the manufacturer this spring by a new and improved generation. In the picture, we show the successor model Soft Touch 380 HM Premium, which can also be equipped with a grass catcher basket. The reel mower with a cutting width of 38 cm is equipped with non-slip rubber wheels, the handlebar is stabilized by a robust center piece (price: about 90 €).