Saturday, 26 June 2010

Qualcast Suffolk Punch mower - review

I've been thinking for some time that I need a good mower that leave a constant cut height and decent stripes on the lawn. The sit on I have is great for long grass, but is terrible for getting a decent finish.

The recent death (and non-availability of the required spare part) of my scarifier made be think of a cylinder mower with a changeable cassette system so I can also use it as a scarifier

So, with that in mind I decided on a Suffolk Punch 17sk from Qualcast (I think also re-branded by Atco and Bosch - although Qualcast and Atco seem to be owned by Bosch so not surprised).

A search of the net found me a good price on the mower plus the scarifier cartridge from Alton Garden Centre - £50 cheaper than anywhere else with free next day delivery which really was next day - very impressed.

I unpacked the box and was also pleased to find they had thrown in the required engine oil, as it comes dry.

So, unpacked, assembled, and filled with oil in about 15 minutes. The very first pull on the recoil started of the Kawasaki 3hp engine, and it fired and ran instantly - also very impressive. The engine appears very similar to the Honda GX series, so hopefully will be just as reliable. It is very quiet in use, and doesn't appears to be really straining at all when cutting.

Anyway, long story short, the mower does everything it says on the tin - lovely stripped grass and all equal height. I also tried the scarifier cassette - changing this involves undoing a few allen head bolts, sliding the blades out and the scarifier in, and doing the bolts back up - about 5 minutes. Again, the scarifier works really well, although it exhibits the same issue as my previous scarifier - the bucket fills up very quickly as the thatch and moss is so 'fluffy'.

So, in précis - very pleased. Will report back on long term reliability - only had it a day!