Bunton gear-drive rotary mower

With so much going for it, we are surprised we don't hear of the Bunton mower more often. Yes the controls are different from anything you are likely to have come across before, but this powerful mid-size machine has cutting ability and gives a quality of cut that makes it well worth a closer inspection. What's more, for such a big beast, it's surprisingly quiet.

The machine we borrow is “straight out of import” and arrives at our test site without battery acid. But UK importer Charterhouse moves swiftly to rectify the situation and it’s only a short time before the Bunton is up and running. It’s worth the wait. This machine makes light work of grass that is well over our ankles and we couldn’t have wanted for a better finish.
“It’s doing a fantastic job — it’s really shredding the grass,” says one tester.
A hydrostatic version is available but we test the gear drive machine. This has five forward and a reverse speed. Power, and there’s plenty of it, comes from a Kawasaki 15hp petrol engine. Flat out this mower goes at a pace that might be difficult to match.
Under the deck there are two blades. There are no swinging tips — this mower relies on belt slippage if the blades hit a hard object. But there is no doubt that overall the construction of the Bunton is up to the job.
At first glance the controls on the gear-drive Bunton are scary. They are unusual and look complex. Added to this there are a lot of pre-start checks and safety devices; the mower won’t start without the parking brake being engaged or if the machine is in gear.
Our testers joke they are going to need a PhD to operate this machine. But like so many machines in this industry, it’s just a matter of getting used to them. “When you get used to using the controls, operating this mower easy,” says one.
Our reviewers take the machine through its paces in an open area of grass in order to familiarise themselves with the controls. But within minutes one of the testers is turning the mower tightly round tree trunks and other obstacles.
Two of the testers agree you have to let the machine do the work. “Steering is great and turning is superb once you stop fighting against the machine,” one says. “It’s a heavy machine but you don’t have to haul this mower around — you use the power of the engine to make it turn itself.”
This mower is in its element when it comes to long, thick grass. Its ability to turn tightly around obstacles also makes it good for mowing along the post-lined roadways that run through the park as well as for cutting footpaths through meadow areas. All-in-all, it represents value for money.

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