Weibang Virtue 53 SV pedestrian mower

Weibang Virtue 53 SV pedestrian mower - image: HW
Weibang Virtue 53 SV pedestrian mower - image: HW

Yes, it has got a steel deck, but we reckon that for anyone wanting a decent mower for less than £620 (including VAT), this machine could make it onto the shortlist. This is a quality, value-for-money mower that delivers versatility.

Need to cut and collect? This one will do it. Want to discharge to the side? Simply insert the chute. It is also supplied with a plug, quickly turning the mower into a mulcher.

The engine is easy to start with a gentle tug. Being Briggs & Stratton, it should be reliable. Convenience is offered through a central cutting height adjustment from 80mm down to 25mm in eight stages and a variable-speed gearbox is provided to match pace to conditions.

"I like the price," says Baldwin. "This is real value for money, especially when you experience the power. It's a sturdy mower and I can see it being of interest to professional gardeners and those just setting up in garden maintenance business. Being a three-in-one model, it will suit lots of different jobs."

A little vibration is noticed through the handlebar, but we are pleased with the finish. This mower may be a three-in-one but it cannot be accused of being a "Jack of all trades, master of none". It collects well, gives good side-discharge and is an impressive mulch mower - providing, as with all mulchers, you do not try to cut grass that is too long.

Cutter deck: Powder-coated steel
Engine: Briggs & Stratton 750 Series DOV
Cutting width: 53cm
Power drive: Variable speed, 0.94-1.22m/s
Collection box: 70 litres
Cutting height adjustment: Central, eight positions, 25-80mm
Cutting system: Cut and collect, side discharge and mulch
Wheel size: 204mm/229mm
Weight: 48.5kg
Price: £619 including VAT
Tel: Rochford Garden Machinery - 01963 828000

Tested This Issue
- Weibang Virtue 53 Pro
- Weibang Legacy 48 Pro BBC
- Weibang Virtue 53 SV
- Lawnflite 448S JW
- Makita and Cobra cordless models
- EGO Power+ cordless lawnmower

Review Panel

Mike Baldwin, director of horticulture, Broomfield Campus, Derby College

Mark Ekin, lecturer, Broomfield Campus, Derby College

Walk-behind rotary mowers are used by contractors, groundsmen and professional gardeners. The huge variety makes them indispensable. Most are wheeled, but there are models with rear rollers. Most provide rear collection, but there are ones that give side discharge or will mulch. With models available that can handle the rough, present stripes on a lawn, nip in and out of obstacles or clip off young growth on an establishing sward, this is one of the most versatile mowers.

We wanted to look at a broad range. Rochford Garden Machinery, Henton & Chattell, EP Barrus, Toro, Hayter and Makita provided us with 14 mowers. In this, the first of two reports looking at pedestrian mowers, we test the Weibang, Lawnflite, Cobra, EGO and Makita brands, covering a range of styles including roller, three-in-one and even battery models.

The testers were joined by horticulture students charged with an assignment looking at mower specifications for different tasks. Test conditions were less than perfect. Heavy rain on day one was followed by more rain on days two and three. A brief lull provided difficult conditions on day four so it was necessary to look at some mowers several weeks later in drier but much colder conditions.

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