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We moved into a new home in November and it had a much larger garder that we had previously owned before. The house had been unocupied for more than 8 months prior to us moving in and as such the lawn was hugely overgrown. I began by setting out with the trusty old flymo but after an hour and a half I gave in to the idea that it wasn't anywhere near up to the job. As such I set out to B&Q with the plan that I was going to buy a petrol mower to deal with it.
After getting to B&Q i realised I really didn't want to be getting involved with the maintenance of a petrol mower and decided to look at the more powerful electric's. I came across the Bosch Rotak 40 and it sounded like it should be powerful enough to handle the lawn as it claimed it could cut grass upto 30cm in length and it was a brand name I trust from other power tools I have owned over the years.
It was on sale at £120 but B&Q had the 20% off when spending more than £40 so got it for just under £100 in the end.
The first thing I found when putting it together is that its really light for its size meaning it would be easier to handle around the garden, this was proved to be true in practice but more on that later. Assembling the mower was relatively easy and just involved a few screws to fit the handle and a few plastic clips to wind the cable around.
The mower is a pretty simple design but it works really well, In the garden where the flymo failed the Bosch was excellent considering the conditions. Setting the height to maximum (there are 6 settings) I found that it still wasn't tall enough to get through the grass, which was well over the 30cm that the bosch was meant to be able to handle. A quick flick though the manual though says that you can get through longer grass by lifting the handle at the back to lift the back wheels of the floor, you can then push the mower on the front wheels. The design of the Bosch is such that when lifting the back the wheels at the front increase the ground clearance of the mower at the front so it can get over the top of the grass which in my view is a really clever design feature and with the low weight of the mower this proved to work really well.
The grass collection bin is 50 litres in size and hold a fair amount of grass (although it seemed to fill up in no time on the first cut) even though it doesn't do any special compressing like some other models do. It is very easy to remove and empty but does have a slightly anoying shape that leads to some of the cuttings being dropped when removing full. As such I've tended to find myself emptying it when its about 75% which helps alot.
The cable is a really good length (12m) and long enough to reach all around my garden with a short extension lead from the shed, in comparison my flymo strimmer only makes it about about half way up my garden. It easily wraps around the supplied handle clips and is kept in place with a small plastic clip that keeps it neat and tidy when stored.
This mower also features plastic combs on each side which helps grab grass when cutting close to walls and fences allowing it to cut much closer than other mowers, this works well and leaves very little work to do for the strimmer compared to the results of my old flymo.
It also has a roller on the back so if you are so inclined you can mow the lawn and leave the stripes that you see on some of those manicured lawns in the fancy places. I haven't tried for the stripes but have created some funny paterns which can be seen from the bedroom window.
The motor is pretty quiet whilst still being powerful enough to handle the lawn in what ever state it is in. It also has some safety features builtin such as a safety cut off incase the motor gets jammed and is at risk of over heating. It also has a braking system which stops the motor within 1-2 seconds of it being turned off. The first time i used it I thought I'd broke it though as it makes a burning smell the first few time you use it. This is normal though and is the motor brake just breaking in.
In conclusion I am very impressed with this mower, its nice and simple to use but has shed loads of power allowing it to cut even the most overgrown lawn. It has features that reduce the time taken to tidily cut the lawn such as the grass comb,roller, and large collection bin. Finally it makes cutting the lawn an easier task and reduces the posibility of me wanting to gravel the whole thing for convenience.
1700 Watt Hi-torque PowerDrive motor offers superb cutting and collection. 10 Heights of cut (20-70mm).