It goes without saying that the rotary lawn mower is the most popular style of lawn mower in use today. A design that is just about eighty years old, the rotary lawn mower continues to be one of the more simple designs in use today. Most rotary mowers operate with a two-stroke or four-stroke cycle engine, which run primarily on gasoline. Some mowers also run on diesel fuel and even a few models in Europe operate on kerosene. The motors generally produce about five or six horsepower, more than enough to spin the blades that cut the grass. The motor itself is started by the operator pulling a manual crank, though a few models do have electric starters.
Electric lawn mowers are continuing to grow in worldwide popularity as gas prices continue to climb, primarily due to the fact that electric mowers are completely independent of any gasoline consumption. They are also praised by environmental groups for being completely clean. However, the electric mower does have some drawbacks to it. For instance, an electric lawn mower has to be plugged into an outdoor socket at all times. This makes the electric lawn mower practically useless for large lawns. Another common complaint is that the mower presents a hazard to the user in that if the operator runs over the power cord, they risk self-electrocution. This problem is solved by battery powered electric mowers, but the inclusion of a battery also increases the weight of the mower by up to twenty pounds.
Ultimately, deciding what kind of lawn mower is dependent on your lawn size. If you own several acres, you may want to look away from the rotary mower all together and think of buying a riding lawn mower, instead. However, for those of you who live in suburbia, what kind of rotary mower you want is ultimately a personal preference.