Since the success of Tiger Lawnmowers 16” hand propelled mower back in 2014, the company have produced a larger, Briggs & Stratton powered and self-propelled 20” lawnmower to accommodate those with larger gardens yet still want the same great quality and value for money that Tiger have come to be known for. With a rich feature set and a price that definitely will (metaphorically) rattle the cage of the petrol lawnmower market, we can’t imagine the Tiger name will be staying off the UK gardener’s radar for very much longer.
With three sizes in the range- 16”, 18” and 20”- Tiger offer a model for many different gardeners needs dependent on self-drive or push, cutting & collection method and power output. We decided to put the largest in the family the TM5120SP to test as a candidate for best lawnmower in the UK for 2016.
The first striking thing about the TM5120SP is its looks- The orange & silver combination definitely stands out from the standard red we see in most lawnmowers these days. However, looks alone don’t make for a good mower so let’s talk about the spec of the machine. The Tiger is powered by a Briggs & Stratton 625E engine with an impressive 190cc output; We found this to be more than enough power to operate the self-propelled drive system and give an adjustable cutting output on both long and short areas of the lawn with a good uplift to collect the clippings. The adjustable engine power was a nice addition to this mower, however we found we mainly kept the engine power at around maximum output to allow for a pretty decent drive speed and to prevent any grass from not being collected adequately.
The Tiger TM5120SP Lawnmower comes as standard with a ‘4in1’ Collection system allowing you to Bag collect, Mulch, Side discharge and Rear discharge (if you ever wanted to). As mentioned previously, the Tiger collects grass well and combined with the generous 65 litre grass bag, we were able to mow for long periods without having to visit the compost heap. When we did have to, the bag emptied easily with a gentle tip- no hands inside the grass bag to get the awkward bits. By simply attaching the side shoot, the mower is capable of side discharge, which when tested, seemed to work pretty well giving a nice even cut without leaving any noticeable underdeck residue. The Included mulch plug can also be simply inserted allowing the machine to fine-cut the grass inside the deck and deposit it back into the lawn- again, a feature that is expected of any premium lawnmower in 2016. The mower also features a rear discharge setting for those with longer areas of grass…or don’t fancy using the collection bag.
Looking at the build of the machine it appears to be purpose built to last. The entire deck is composed of steel and covered by a protective plastic top. With a full steel deck, the mower felt solid cutting areas of fallen debris on the lawn with no issues. A query which is often associated with steel deck machines is extra weight, which plastic decked competitors wont experience, however on the Tiger TM5120SP the Briggs engine seemed more than capable of pulling the mowers weight and the self-drive felt smooth, not sluggish like some self-propelled mowers can do; We also felt the steel deck would help add longevity to years of use and abuse in the lawn and would stand up against corrosion and decomposing grass much better than plastic decked machines.
The wheels feature a dual bearing system to allow easy movement, which is a nice feature especially when not using the self-drive system e.g. pushing to and from the lawn. The wheels are also larger at the back than the front to help increase stability and ease of manoeuver, especially over un-level ground or stone paths etc. The handle bars on the TM5120SP feel sturdy, even when deliberately shaken and allow good control of the lawn mower when using the self-drive system, controlled from a separate handle lever. The ability to fold the handles completely down allows for convenient storage after use which again was a useful benefit. Another feature of the Tiger is the 10-stage deck height adjustment. We’ve seen competitors offer 7 stage height adjustments, which are a step above what’s expected from a lawnmower at a lower price point, but 10-stages of height adjustment is definitely a much lesser seen feature, especially from a mower at this price. With the variety of heights available, we felt this made the Tiger a very capable mower for lawns of any length.
To sum it up, the Tiger TM5120SP provides a great feature set for its value. You get a Briggs & Stratton powerhouse engine, a steel cutting deck, 4in1 collection system AND no less than 10 selections of cutting heights- not bad value in our opinion. In terms of cutting standard, the TM5120SP performed well, giving a nice even cut and left no residue when using the bag collection system (our preferred method of collection). A consideration often associated with steel deck lawnmowers, tends to be increased weight, however with the excellent self-propelled drive system on the TM5120SP, the mower easily carries its own weight and moves at a good walking pace which can be adjusted using the built in throttle adjustment. We think that for the gardener looking for a great quality machine with plenty of bells and whistles, the Tiger TM5120SP should definitely be strongly considered as the mower for you.