The Bosch Rotak 34 has been one of the most popular electric mowers on the market in Europe since its release in 2006 and continues to be a bestseller. But the question is “why”? Why is this model so popular? What features does it have? How does it perform?These are the kinds of questions that we aim to answer for you in the next few minutes. Below we have put together our comprehensive review of this model and why it should definitely be a contender if you are looking for a new lawn mower.
Bosch Rotak 34 Review - Specifications
|Deck Size||34 cm|
|Cutting Modes||Rear Bagging System|
|Cutting Heights||20 - 70 mm|
|Number of Cutting Heights||10|
|Grass Box Capacity||40 litres|
|Cable Included?||Yes, 12 m|
|Warranty||2 Years Parts & Labour|
Bosch Rotak 34 Review – Key Features
- Build Quality – Pretty much all the electric mowers are predominately made up of plastic these days, mainly to keep them light and agile. So it’s no surprise that this model is made of high quality plastic. Plastic is never going to be or feel completely “solid” like steel does, but the plastic used on this model is of good quality. It doesn’t feel cheap and tacky – so it’s fairly solid as far as plastic construction goes!
- Powerdrive Motor – I have to say that I am really impressed with the powerdrive motors that Bosch use in the Rotak range. They really are as advertised; they don’t bog down anywhere near as much as other motors I have used in the past.This doesn’t mean it’s won’t have to work harder in longer grass, but it does deal with those situations very nicely and you can hear that the motor has plenty of capacity to spare. A real powerhouse at the heart of this mower!
- Easy Starts – As is standard these days, in order to start this mower up you need to push the button and then pull the lever towards the handle. This kind of mechanism is really handy for safety purposes because when you release that lever the blade will stop after a couple of seconds – very handy if something unexpected happens.
- Cutting Deck – The deck is 34 cm wide, so the cutting width is fairly small, meaning you definitely don’t want to use this mower on anything more than a small-medium sized domestic garden – otherwise you’ll be in for a long afternoon!
- Grass Combs – The front wheels are inset and are designed to allow you to get closer to borders, fences and walls. Just behind these wheels, on each side of the deck, you’ll find some streamlined “grass combs” which are designed to “comb” grass towards the cutting area to ensure you get a better cut at the edges of your lawn.I’m sure you are familiar with that scenario – the one where you get to the edge of the lawn, try and cut as close as possible, but the wheels are going over the edge of the lawn so that you can try and get the blade right to the edge, buts it’s difficult to balance the mower so that you get an even cut.I’m certainly familiar with this situation (and it’s a dam site harder with my heavy gas mower let me tell you!). Well these combs and the inset front wheels are Bosch’s solution – Again full marks to Bosch here for their innovation.
- Carry Handle – On the top of the mower deck you’ve got an integrated carry handle. This feature, combined with the lightness which the plastic offers (which we touched on earlier) is definitely a plus in terms of transport.
- Height Adjustment – Whatever conditions you find yourself in, the height adjustment options on this baby should pretty much cover them all. There is 10, yes TEN different height settings to chose from, ranging from 20mm to 70mm. That is a massive selection.We found the height super easy to change too, as you’ve got just the one lever which does it all. Not only is it easy to change, it’s really quick too. There’s nothing worse than going out to mow, wanting to get on with it and then having to spend 5 minutes fiddling around to change the height!Bosch cutting heights = massive 20mm-70mm range + super easy adjustment. That’s pretty much a perfect combo in my book!
- Rear Roller – The design also features a rear roller which is a nice feature at this price, especially if you are looking for football pitch stripes on your lawn.
- Grass Box – The grass box is a very decent size – 40 litres to be precise, which is more than enough for a small garden. When you unpack your Bosch Rotak 34 the grass box will be in two parts, and will require you to assemble it (see the assembly section below for advice).One thing we did notice is the inside of this box contains a lot of grooves which grass clippings will get stuck in, so it will need a good cleaning out from time to time.
- Handle – The handle is a two piece handle and if you loosen the two bright red fasteners then you will be able to fold the handle over which is brilliant for storage. It’ll take up less space so you’ve got more room for all that other shed/garage clutter!The handle also gives some consideration for different heights. There are two settings and this should help you achieve a better posture when mowing, which will reduce the stress on your back.
- Power Cable – You get a built in power cable with the Bosch Rotak 34 which is 12 metres in length. This should definitely be adequate for a small-medium sized lawn.If you do require more cable you can either buy an extension cable or look at one of the larger models in the Rotak range which offer a longer cable and also a larger cutting width.
Bosch Rotak 34 Review – Assembly
You won’t need to be some kind of DIY expert to fit this one together. It should take a few minutes at most. As is custom these days, the majority of the mower comes pre-assembled so all you really need to do is attach the handle and clip together the grass box.The grass box comes in 2 halves, so you are required to clip this together yourself. It’s probably the “hardest” part of the assembly as the plastic is quite flexible (as most plastics are) and it can tend to move whilst you are trying to assemble it.The best way to do it is this: Get the first clip snapped into place at the rear and this will help to align all the others. Then move around the box, pushing each clip in individually whilst pressing down on the roof of the box with the palm of your hand. Jobs a good‘un!
Bosch Rotak 34 Review – Performance
- Cutting Ability – The Bosch Rotak 34 leaves a nice even, clean cut finish. I would actually go as far as to say that the finish this mower gives is worthy of a mower at least double the price. It does a good job on longer grass.If you are one of those people who tend to put off cutting the grass then this is a nice little bonus as the fact it deals well with longer grass means you get a bit of extra leeway.It’s also pretty good in damp conditions. Now Bosch do advise you to try and not use it on wet grass, but obviously it’s not always possible to avoid that situation.
- Grass Collection – In terms of grass collection, this one’s a belter! All of the clippings are collected and compacted really well, you don’t get lines of clippings sprayed everywhere that you have to clean up.
- Maneuverability – There’s no self propel feature on this model so you will have to push it up and down your lawn, but to be totally honest this isn’t a big deal at all because at 11kg it’s not like you will be pushing a car or something. This thing is light.The low weight combined with the compact design means this model is nice and maneuverable. The inset front wheels are also a real bonus when going around tight corners. It’s easy to push up slopes too. Tops marks for Bosch on maneuverability!
- Lawn Stripes – The rear roller produces a nice striped finish, which just makes your lawn look that bit more professional and well finished.
Bosch Rotak 34 Review – Pros
- Great motor
- Large grass box (for a small garden)
- Great value for money
- Stores well
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Cuts close to edges
- Great cutting height selection
- Easy to change cutting height
- Leaves stripes
Bosch Rotak 34 Review – Cons
- Power cable is fixed in – you can’t remove this for storage or remove it in order to use a longer cable.
- Assembly of the grass box can require a bit of patience to complete successfully.
Bosch Rotak 34 Review – Conclusion
The Bosch Rotak 34 combines a good solid build from high quality plastic with innovative new features such as their patented “grass combs” to provide a superb, easy to use lawn mower. On top of that it’s available at a bargain price and comes with absolutely everything you need in order to maintain your garden for a number of years.We don’t want to sound pushy but….. Buy it! You seriously won’t regret it. If you have a small sized garden then this is a perfect fit. It looks the part, but not only talks the talk – it definitely walks the walk too!Check Out the New Version of This Lawn Mower