This one gives you oodles of choice. You can cut and collect. You can put a plug in and it will mulch, put a chute on the side and it will discharge to the side or put the rear flap down and it cuts and drops.
Large wheels - 200mm at the front and 280mm at the rear - make it smooth and easy to manoeuvre and the four-speed gearbox means everyone should find one to suit.
"The gears work well," says Phipps. "Speeds one and two are similar and seem quite slow, but three and four give good commercial-rate mowing speeds."
Alcock doesn't mind the slower speeds. "I don't want to feel it is out of control," she says. "The manoeuvrability is the thing that struck me most."
Changing speed has to be on the move to make the most of the centrifugal force, but the gear level snaps into position - it's very positive.
The LR 55 is comfortable to use. The dead man's handle fits exactly into the handlebar so it's nice and comfortable to hold.
Height of cut adjustment is central - a feature appreciated by our testers. "When it is that easy, it encourages you to change height when you should, rather than making do with one height all the time. And it gives a good finish," says one tester.
A small flap on the grass catcher indicates when the box is full. The blade brake clutch makes emptying easy and convenient.
Engine: 190cc B&S
Cutting width: 53cm
Propulsion: Self-propelled, variable 2.5 to 5km/h
Cutting adjustment: Central
Cutting height: 82mm to 25mm
Grass box capacity: 80 litres
List price (ex VAT): From £382.97
Contact: Emak UK, 01543 687660
he test was carried out on the edges of the golf course and along verges at Cannington Campus, Bridgwater College, Somerset. Conditions were cloudy, with a shower or two.
THE REVIEW PANEL
Andre Gardner, grounds manager, Bridgwater College - Cannington Campus
Ian Phipps, grounds mechanic, Bridgwater College - Cannington Campus
Jayne Alcock, gardener, Bridgwater College - Cannington Campus
Faith Ayrey, gardener, Bridgwater College - Cannington Campus
Leah Rossiter, apprentice gardener, Bridgwater College - Cannington Campus