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Having owned two Flymo Hover 330s for 3-4 years apiece, when the second went "pop" I decided to invest in a Power Trak 34 after reading good reviews about it in Which. After over a year's trouble free mowing, I'm happy to report that it has been a very solid buy. The "34" relates to the cutting width of the mower which I chose as my garden is small/medium in size and it was at my price point of around £100.
40 litre Grass collector
Single lever height adjuster
The mower is quite light and manoeuvrable though with the grass box in place it is quite long. To start it you push the button and hold in the lever on the handle. If you release the lever the motor cuts out which is a good safety feature, standard on most mowers these days. The handle is full width so good for right or left handers.
The best feature of the mower is the height adjustment. This is done instantly by a single lever and adjusts the cutting height from 20-70mm - no tools required, unlike the Flymo which required removal of blade and spacer nuts for a paltry 3 different heights. I generally cut on notch 2, occasionally level 1 if my grass is dry and looking very healthy. I use notch 3 for a higher cut during dry spells.
The main drawback is the handle which may come adrift of the body once or twice per session but is easily pushed back in place. The handle is permanently connected to the main body via the cable which makes carrying awkward, if like me you live in a terrace and have to take it through the house to cut your front lawn. I got around this by cutting the cable and putting an orange Perma-plug in the break (approx £2 from B&Q) so I can disconnect it for carrying and storing. It's an easy job but best for somebody qualified to carry out.
The cable is a decent length and the 40 litre grass box is easy enough to empty.
Helped by the rear roller, the mower delivers excellent results with a slight striping visible if you're good at walking in straight lines. It cuts well in the wet without tearing up your lawn provided you raise the cutting height appropriately. It cuts almost up to the edge well.
Thanks to this mower, I can now call my grass a lawn :o)
TO HOVER OR NOT TO HOVER
I would recommend a wheeled mower if you have a flat-tish lawn with not too many nooks and crannies. The Hover mower is slightly easier to move around trees etc and store but the finish is not as good
Easy to adjust height
Not easy to carry with handle attached (see "IN USE")
Quite tricky to store
A similar option which is easier to find is the Bosch Rotak 34 currently on sale at amazon for a competitive £79.99. Replacement blades for the Qualcast are £21.79 on amazon but I've seen these cheaper in DIY stores.
The Qualcast Power Trak 34 is a very good lawn mower. Previously I had had a hover mower and it took me ages to cut the grass but with this it has halved the time. It was easy to assemble and cuts through long grass with no problems even wet grass is not a problem. One of the best features is the adjustable height lever which lets you change the cutting height in just a few seconds. It also has a rear roller if you want the striped effect. The only one slight disadvantage is that the on lever is only on the right hand side of the main handle, it would be a lot easier if it was both sides but its nothing major. It comes with a good guarantee for parts but being Bosch I don't expect too many problems. Don't think I could go back to a hover after using this!
I had just had a LOT of Bovver with an 1600w Orange beastie (No names mentioned). Despite it being the latest thing, it couldn't suck up for peanuts (or grass clippings too). Back to my DIY store the following day to see what else they had. If I had known about Dooyoo.co.uk I would not have been in that position, as it has rubbish reviews. I was interested in any other machine that wasn't orange, which meant the choice was limited to the DIY chain's own brand, or a Qualcast, after I got my refund. I wanted a machine that would cut very low, would not clog, and above all, would have lots of suction. I was not disappointed with the Powertrak 34. It had plenty of power to cut long grass found after my return from holiday, It cuts to 20mm which is the lowest anyone should really need - only a cylinder mower could get lower anyway, and it sucks everything found in the grass, ants included. Sucks wet leaves from concrete too, if you want to use it as a vacuum cleaner (vacuum facility not recommended indoors though). I have never been able to clog this machine unless the grassbox gets full, and it unclogs itself after you have emptied it. It doesn't stall. Wet grass no problem. I am still impressed every time I use it, I get wonderful stripes, and also, as a complete contrast to the orange machine, the blade doesn't blunt easily when large stones are inadvertently struck. Must be good metal. It has easy one-lever height adjustment so I can quickly change to leave longer grass where required. No real downsides, an even longer cable would be nice, and proper clips to secure it to the handle instead of a cable-tie would be better finishing. Is it possible for someone to invent a one-piece grassbox? Two piece designs feel flimsy but have no detrimental effect on functionality. I feel the machine could be redesigned slightly to cut closer to walls or edges, but as it stands it is no worse than any others I have seen.
Regularly discounted to about £100, I don't think anyone could ever be unhappy with this machine - buy it now.
Compact, powerful and manoeuvrable electric rotary mower. 1200watt Powerdrive system, with a Hi-Torque motor for outstanding performance even in long grass. 34cm blade, with single-lever height control. Lightweight with integrated easi-carry handles.