Champion CH4Q20RA

by Jim

This is a petrol driven lawnmower, powered by a Briggs and Stratton Quattro engine. The blades are 20in wide, and the cutting height is adjustable. The front wheels can be driven by the engine -- this is helpful as it is quite a heavy lawnmower to push. One obvious advantage of a petrol mower over an electric one is that there are no wires to run over by accident.

However, this must be balanced against the fact that you do have a petrol engine to maintain, and that you'll need to keep petrol in the garage.

All in all, this lawnmower has been a good workhorse. I've had it for about 5-6 years now, having picked it up 2nd hand. In all this time there have been no hassles with the engine or the drive, despite using it fairly regularly, even on wet grass. The only servicing I've had to do is to refill the engine oil, and to sharpen the blades. I've also wiped the blades and any exposed metal parts down with an oily rag fairly regularly when it's been in use, and before putting it away for the winter. I've also kept it in a fairly dry garage that doesn't get too warm or cold. I'm not sure how this machine would do if it were kept in harsher conditions.

There have been problems with the height adjustment -- setting it too low leads to the back of the lawnmower digging into the ground -- but overall there haven't been that many problems. The engine is solid, if a bit difficult to start sometimes. The specs say that this is an 4.0hp engine. Certainly I've never found it to be desperately underpowered. There is a tendency for the engine to slow a little if the grass is particularly long or there are lots of leaves about, but this can be avoided by using a slightly higher length setting for the first pass. Petrol consumption is fairly reasonable; I can cut my lawn 3 times before I have to refill the tank.

One further point is that the bag is a bit small; this means that if you have a larger garden, you'd better be prepared to stop to empty it pretty often. In addition, there isn't a roller on this mower, so if you want cricket-ground stripes, you'll have to have another go over. I think that if you have a fairly large garden, with a reasonable amount of lawn, this could be the mower for you. It's a bit unwieldy for smaller spaces, though, and the size of the bag means that it's not really suited to very large gardens..

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