Masport Rotarola SP18

Masport Rotarola SP18 Self-Propelled Petrol LawnmowerPRO’s: Leaves an exceptional striped finish on any lawn

CON’s: Grass box not as easy to use as some

VERDICT: If you want that classic striped lawn look, this should be on your list

OUR RATING ★★★★☆ 

TODAYS BEST PRICE: £512.00 from Lawn Mowers UK

Hailing from New Zealand, the self-propelled Masport Rotarola SP18 has an 18″ (46 cm) cutting width, a rear roller and is suitable for large sized lawns up to the size of a tennis court. So how does this less well known name stack stack up against the more established brands such as Honda, Mountfield and Hayter ?

Sitting on top of the easy to clean alloy cutting deck (which has a 15 year warranty) is a Briggs and Stratton 190cc 675 Ready Start engine which is easy to start and restart. At the front of the cutting deck are two large wheels whilst at the rear sits a solid steel roller.

As you might expect, being solid steel (most manufacturers using plastic) the roller gives a stunningly good (and long lasting) striped finish but it does make the mower heavier than we’d like. That said, the weight isn’t entirely due to the roller, it’s also due to the fact that this petrol mower is also so well built.

But don’t get us wrong: the overall weight isn’t so great that the mower is difficult to use as it’s a self-propelled mower. Thanks to it’s single speed drive system it pulls itself along quite nicely and even manages to cut quite close to the edge of the lawn as the wheels are mounted slightly further inboard than usual on a mower of this type.

The stunning striped effect is not just down to the roller – the other part of this mowers secret is the range of cutting height adjustment. Most mowers go down as low as around 16 mm but the Masport Rotarola SP18 goes down to a staggering low 10 mm which means that it cuts as well as a cylinder mower despite being a rotary mower.

However, unless your lawn is virtually perfectly flat it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to use the lowest setting but you’ll still get an excellent finish on one of the higher other settings. Adjusting the cutting height between 10 mm and 60 mm is a quick simple, and one handed job, which is just as it should be.

The control handle offers a good range of height adjustment up to 120 cm so it should suit a wide range of gardeners of differing heights and, to aid storage, the handle folds in half.

So what’s it like to use ?

On all but the longest grass the Masport Rotarola SP18 is a delight to use. Once the handle height has been set and, unlike some other manufacturers mowers this is easy to do, all you need to do is start it, squeeze the handles and off you go.

If we were being picky then we’d have to single out the grass bag for criticism. Like many of its competitors, this one is made of a wire frame with a fabric cover but this one is not that easy to remove and refit because of the location of the carrying handle. And the lack of a carrying handle on the back makes it difficult to tip all of the grass out when up ending it to empty it.

In it’s defence, the grass bag does hold 54 litres of grass cuttings and manages to pack them in tightly so you won’t need to empty it all that often but a few simple tweaks to the grass bag would have resulted in us giving it a full five stars.

Overall this grass box doesn’t detract from what the Masport Rotarola SP18 does brilliantly – cut the grass, leaving an amazing striped finish. If you’re after that classic striped lawn look then this is one petrol lawn mower that should be on your list.

Todays Latest Prices for Masport Rotarola SP18

Stockist Catalogue Product Name Price  
Lawn Mowers UK Masport Rotarola 18 inch Push Petrol Rear Roller Lawn mower £512.00 Visit Store
B and Q Not in stock when last checked
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Machine Mart Not in stock when last checked
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Tooled Up Not in stock when last checked
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Wickes Not in stock when last checked
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