The first cut is the deepest
As can be seen from the photos, my lawn was in a bit of a state after just over three weeks without a mower. There was some fairly long grass especially at the edges, thick patches of clover and lots and lots of dandelions. I have seen people say that they’ve used this mower on grass 2 feet long. That’s not something I think I’d risk, certainly not for the first use of the machine, but I think my lawn is a reasonable test of the cutting power and finish. I decided to set the height to 3 1/2 cm, with the intention of leaving it for a few hours to dry further before taking the cut height down to its minimum of 2 cm and giving it another trim. There had been light rain the previous day but the grass was not what I would call wet just slightly damp, probably more dew than anything else but it certainly was not perfect cutting conditions.
Ergoflex is the name given to the innovative design of the handle and I was interested to see how this felt in practice. To run the machine you have to hold down the large red button in the centre of the handle whilst simultaneously pressing one of the other four buttons supplied at different points on the handle. As usual once the motor has started the large button can be released. I decided to use the two upright handles. I found them really comfortable to use. I never really thought of mowers as particularly uncomfortable to use in the past but I think going back to a traditional handle style would feel uncomfortable having used this Ergoflex design.
Another of the features of this machine is it touted ability to cut right up to the edge of lawns. I must say that in practice it copes better than I would’ve thought. It certainly cannot cut right to the edge of a wall, that would be physically impossible, but it left little or no work for a strimmer or edging tool to do as a follow-up in most places. You can see in the photo the results of my very first try. After spending just a few seconds pushing the longer grass over towards the lawn I went over it again and I was very pleased with the results.
Up against the hedge where the grass was at its longest and thickest, and there were even a few striplings growing, the Bosch also did a very good job.
How much does the grass box hold?
The grass box has a stated capacity 50 litres. As I was cutting an area of quite long thick grass I felt that the mower was struggling a little. I thought at first this was because of the length and thickness of the grass but then I realised it did cope with worse very easily just a minute or two earlier.
On taking off the grass box I found that it was pretty full and what was causing the lack of power was a blockage of the passage from the rotors to the grass box. Basically the grass box was full. This brings me to a weakness of the design. There is no indicator to show when the grass box is full. Not a big deal but it would have been nice to have this feature. As soon as I’d emptied the box, the 1800 W motor had no problem with the patch of grass it had previously struggled with.
And when your sward is manicured?
If you’re struggling for storage space, the Rotak 43 Ergomax has a nifty feature to help. The handle can be swiftly and simply folded forward to significantly reduce the room it needs when not in use. This takes literally just a couple of seconds, and when you need to use the mower again it is only a couple more seconds to have the handle back in place. Very useful.
This is a powerful lawnmower and the ergonomic design of its handles combined with its relatively light weight make it a pleasure to use. The 43 cm cut means it swiftly coped with larger areas of grass. The ability to cut very close to the edge of lawns is a very nice bonus but don’t think that you will be able to go right up to a wall or fence, there will still be a little bit of trimming to do after it has been mown.
I have to say that pretty much all the negative comments I’ve seen about the design and build quality I would put down to user error. That said, I have seen a couple of comments about motors burning out within a couple of years. The only way I can personally find out about the longevity of the machine is to use it so I clearly cannot comment on that yet.
Bottom line is I am very pleased with my purchase. I highly recommend this lawnmower to others.