qualcast cylinder mower - any good?

5 Mar 2006
Reaction score
West Midlands
United Kingdom
Hi folks,

I'm looking into buying a new mower and was wondering if the qualcast cylinder was any good?
a few points:
1) I previously used an electric mower, but now want to switch to petrol because I need to cut the lawn more quickly/regularly. Are petrol, and particularly qualcast cylinder ones, reliable? Nothing much has gone wrong with my previous electric mowers, and I don't know much about engines. Do they need a lot of maintainence/ regular serving?

2) Should I avoid buying a second hand petrol mower? There seem to be lots for sale, and if the qualcast cylinders are good quality, and easy to get parts for, might it be worth it?

3) I was looking to buy an electric lawn raker, but the qualcast cylinder has a scarifying cassette attachment. Are they any good? I was thinking it would be cheaper, and take up less space, if I spent the money on an attachment. Also, it would be petrol powered and so might do a better job.

any guidance would be appreciated, thanks.
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Gardening Which? best buy petrol mower is the Honda Izy. This is a rotary; cylinder mowers can struggle a bit with long grass.

Petrol mowers are so much easier to use, none of that hassle with the flex. Find a proper dealer; more expensive than Diy stores but should give you better advice
I have a subscription to the online which, but that doesn't have mowers in it. The gardening which site has not been updated and does not have a database.
>>cylinder mowers can struggle a bit with long grass.
How long is long? I normally cut the grass when it's a 3inches tall. I would do it more often, but haven't got the energy. Hence, I'm looking at petrol mowers and preferably self driven.

I heard the qualcast cylinder gave the best cut, but was not easy to manouvre about. I've googled the honda izy, but can't find anywhere that has reviews for mowers.

There are loads of used qualcast cylinder mowers available out there, but not sure whether petrol is something which you should buy brand new.
Also, qualcast do a scarfiying attachment which means I don't need to buy a separate scarifier. My lawns regularly has a hefty build up of thatch.

Petrol mowers are so much easier to use, none of that hassle with the flex. Find a proper dealer; more expensive than Diy stores but should give you better advice
ive got a large version of the qualcast cyinder mower with the scarifying cassette as well. I would say the following pros and cons


easy to manouvere once youre used to it

good cut with stripes

scarifier easy to use

easy to start

very reliable, and easy to service


small collection box

struggles in anything but dry grass

needs a decent flat lawn, if its bumpy go for a rotary

quite heavy

Hope it helps!
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thanks for the help folks.

Thermo, you must have the 17" version. My lawn is not that big so the 14" will do me I think.

When you say bumpy, do you mean the lawn needs to be perfectly flat? My lawn is reasonably flat though there are a few uneven patches. imagine a few 1 inch bumps, not rising sharply, but gradually. I thought that the heavy roller on the back of a qualcast could flatten these.

Not so good with wet grass? do you mean soaking or just damp? Another reason I wanted to go for a petrol mower was I'm fed up having to wait for the grass to be dry so that I can use an electric mower. If the qualcast has adjustable cutting heights, couldn't I get away with going for a high setting on wettish grass.

Finally does the scarifier do a good job? and does it collect the stuff that's been raked up. A good electric scarifier will cost around £120. I could get a decent, used qualcast cylinder mower and scarifying cassette for just a bit more. I know there are lots of spares and places that service qualcasts so, so long as it's in reasonable condition to begin with I think I should be ok with second hand.

The honda izy is £250 new, but has no scarifying option.
scarifier is very good, dont do the lawn to death with it!

wet grass- the cylinder mower cuts like a pair of scissors so if it has a heavy morning dew on it then it tends to tear the grass and get clogged up, otherwise its ok.

bumpy lawn- should be fine on yours by the sound of it. youll need a heavier roller than that to flatten them!

make sure you get it reguarly serviced and sharpened, and read the manual well and learn about the adjusting screws. When it comes from the factory the blades arent normally properly set. You just have to screw the sdjusting screws down till the blade just touches the metal plate as you turn it by hand.

good bit of kit though

a rotary will be a bit more forgiving with wetter grass and have a bigger collection on it but then you wont get the scarifier with it.

Have a good look on the websites as many places will sell them cheap at this time of year and quite often throw in the scarifier for free with it.

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