The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Bosch Rotak 40 electric rotary lawn mower: a review


Long grass going to seed

Photo: Long grass going to seed

I want to let you into a secret.

I left mowing the lawn until Friday May 26th this year. The grass was so long that it was actually going to seed. John Coe would not have approved and even Danny was a bit shocked.
“You’re going to have to strim before you cut.”
“Not necessarily. Just wait and see.”

I hate our old lawn mower. It’s a petrol one that John Coe bought second hand for £25 a couple of years ago. Danny has to start it for me and it’s like pushing a stubborn wildebeest through a herd of equally recalcitrant relations. It bucks and kicks and can only manage a wrenched five point turn. It loathes being exercised on the small paths in the kitchen garden. It’s heavy and smelly and that is why I let the grass grow and left the mower snoozing in the shed.

The gardening shed is small – just 6’x4’. The wildebeest mower is large. So if I needed to get things from the shelves at the back of the shed I had to mountaineer over the lawn mower. Taking down tools from their places was awkward as they would often get tangled in the mower’s sturdy handles.

Letting the grass grow long wasn’t as foolhardy as Danny imagined as I was planning to gain lawn mower independence and invest in a new compact electric one. I’d already snooped at the selection in Homebase and spotted the Bosch Rotak range. Light and easy to manoeuvre and claiming to be happy cutting long grass. Perfect. We have a fifty meter electric reel that I used when I was decorating so I knew that I could easily access all the grass in our back garden. We are trying to invest in better tools for me to use so as not to have to employ anyone to help in the garden. As shekels are low at the moment it had to be economically priced and good value.

I’d read the reviews for the mower which generally were excellent and found the cheapest place to buy a Bosch Rotak 40 is on Amazon. When it arrived I put it together and took it for a test drive. Starting off with some shorter tufts and gradually building up to the longer grass. Clearly if you are going to tackle long grass the mower needs to be given a bit more time to chomp through the dense herbiage so as not to put a strain on the motor. Danny was stunned at the Rotak’s cutting power and even I was surprised how good it was when put to the test of cutting the shaggy lawn.

I’m delighted with my new grass cutting companion. Having got used to swinging the cable out of the way, the Bosch Rotak 40 is a pleasure to use. Unlike the old wildebeest, the 50 litre grass box compacts the grass so well that I didn’t need to empty the box until I’d finished mowing. And it takes up so little space in the shed that I can actually access the shelves and all my tools with ease.

I also invested in a nifty cable winder that stores the cable neatly and out of the way on the handle.

Thumbs up to Bosch for an excellent machine.

  Leave a reply


  1. Steelkitten

    I switched to electric from petrol last year and never looked back. Hateful things petrol mowers. I went out and bought myself a lovely lightweight and easy to use electric much to hubby’s disgust because he thinks anything with a petrol motor has to be superior to an electric.

    Next thing on the list: replacing the petrol strimmer with an electric. Another petrol garden tool I can’t start.

  2. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Toffeeapple

    Our entire house is protected by a special board! But if it hadn’t been I’d have bought a circuit breaker 🙂

    Hi Paula

    That’s interesting. I bought a battery powered strimmer last year and it’s great as I don’t have to worry about the cord but as you say the battery doesn’t last long. I did think of buying a battery powered mower but it was twice the price.

    Hi Barbara

    Like you I’m delighted with this dinky mower. It will pay for itself in no time as it costs about £15 per hour around here for lawn cutting.

    Hi Cookie Girl

    Ditto – I’m so pleased that so many other people have a problem starting petrol lawnmowers (I thought it might be just me).

    Hi Joey

    Yes I’m always on the look out for frogs!

    Hello Cathy

    I’ve never let the lawn go to seed before so it will be interesting to see what happens this summer. That electric weed wacker sounds fun!

    Hi Joanna

    Danny (unfortunately) is too busy to mow the lawn. The new mower makes it a doddle for me which is good news.

    Hi Louise

    That’s good news. I’m all for independence and your mum has cracked it.

    Hi Jo

    I had to smile at your comment – mower chosen by hubby and impractical for the one left at home!

    Sometimes it’s worth getting people in to help. You have a big place and there’s only so much that you can do. When I was decorating six days a week we had help in the garden and in the house – which was cheaper than me employing a decorator’s mate.

    Good to hear that your gelato production is moving back to the farm. Totally agree that the farm needs to look sparkling – when I’ve finished laying out the new garden I need to tart up the cottage – thank goodness I can do it myself!

    Hi Chick Pea

    I seriously considered getting a state of the art push lawnmower but D gave it the thumbs down as we have quite a bit of grass. I’d be really interested to hear how you get on with yours.

  3. ChickPea

    Hi Fiona – having been disappointed with last flymo, and only having a fairly small lawn, we decided to regress to a push along version – takes up less space, lifts in and out of our small shed easily, and is much quicker to both set up and clear up. We’ll know if this was a good choice when we get around to looking back over the season……. Good to hear about your Bosch experience. x

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