The Bosch Rotak range has long been one of the most popular ranges of electric mowers in the UK and the Rotak 34R is more or less the same mower as its predecessor, the Rotak 34. There are a few minor tweaks, as is to be expected (otherwise it’d be the same mower, right?). The most noticeable of which is the change in the shape of the handle. In this Bosch Rotak 34 R review we’ll let you know whether this one lives up to the reputation that the previous model built, and we’ll try to help you determine whether it’d be a good fit for your lawn maintenance needs.
Bosch Rotak 34 R Review - Specifications
|Model||Rotak 34 R|
|Deck Size||34 cm|
|Cutting Modes||Rear Bagging System|
|Cutting Heights||20 - 70 mm|
|Number of Cutting Heights||5|
|Grass Box Capacity||40 litres|
|Cable Included?||Yes, 10 m|
Bosch Rotak 34 R Pros: What People Like About this Mower
First things first, we’re going to start off by pointing out the things that consumers feel the Bosch Rotak 34 electric mower does well.
- Relatively Easy Assembly – It’s not as easy as pulling it out of the box and you’re ready to go; there is a little bit of work required on your part. But it shouldn’t be too difficult for you either, especially if you’ve assembled a few garden tools in the past. You’ll need to connect the handle and put together the grass basket. The latter task is the one that most people seems to struggle with, as the basket does feel a bit flimsy (on the plus side that does mean the mower overall is lighter) and might take you a few attempts to clip together.
- Lightweight and Easy – If you’re not capable of fighting to push a heavy mower or simply don’t want to, you’ll like the Bosch Rotak 34R as it’s just over 10 kg and rolls along nice and easily. This also makes transporting the mower to and from the shed an easy task rather than an ordeal. A lot of consumers also point out that the weight distribution on this mower is a lot more centralised than on its predecessor too.
- Really Cuts – This is why you’re really here, reading this Bosch Rotak 34R Review; you want to know whether it really cuts, right? Well you’ll be glad to learn that most consumers are more than happy with the performance of this mower. It’s a mower that makes grass cutting easy and accessible for anyone given its attributes (lightweight, easy to carry etc), and it’s really more than capable of dealing with regular lawn maintenance, and is a worthy ally for those occasions when you miss a few weeks and the grass grows a little longer than the norm. As long as you don’t push it and expect it to deal with an overgrown mess, you should be fine. Many consumers mention good result on wet grass too.
- 5 Easy to Adjust Cutting Heights – One thing that the Rotak range has always done well is height adjustment. Too many lawn mowers require you to fiddle about and dig out tools from the shed just to change the cutting height, but Bosch has got it spot on here. It’s as easy as pulling out a lever, and moving it up or down the desired number of notches. And it locks into these notches nice and securely, so no need to worry about the cut height lowering on its own when you’re out on the lawn.
- Easy to Fire Up – You probably still have nightmares about that second hand petrol mower you bought off your grandad’s neighbour a few years ago. About the fact that you practically dislocated your shoulder every time your wife said “I think it’s about time you cut the grass” because it was just so hard to start. Well you’ll think you’re in heaven when you take this one out for a spin on the green stuff. It’s so, so simple. You just push in the red button and pull the trigger towards you and you’re done.
Bosch Rotak 34 R Cons: What People Complain About
Now we’re going to discuss the potential deal breakers; the most common cons cited when it comes to this mower. You’ll need to figure out whether you can learn to live with them.
- Storage Less Efficient than it Should Be – The handles on the Bosch Rotak 34 R are supposed to fold down to reduce the size of the storage footprint of this mower, which in theory is a handy feature. Especially if you only have a small shed or garage that you keep your garden tools in. However, a lot of consumers complain about the ease of doing this, mainly due to the lower grade screws that are used to fasten the handle in place. As a result quite a few people just end up leaving the handles extended. Also, the 10 metre cable cannot be disconnected from the main body of the unit, and there’s no cable storage feature on the mower. So storage is definitely something Bosch could improve on with the Rotak 34 R.
- Grass Catcher Flimsy – When you assemble and pick up the grass box for the first time, chances are your first thoughts will be “this is a little flimsy.” On the one hand this isn’t great, as it’s generally better for things to be build solidly, but on the flip side, it does keep the Bosch 34R lightweight and easy to manoeuvre. But just go steady with it, as you don’t want it falling apart mid-mow (we found at least a couple of consumers that this happened to).
- Jury is Out on Those Red Combs – One of the other innovative features of the Rotak mowers are those bright red “combs” that you see either side of the mower. They are supposed to help you achieve a cleaner, tidier cut around the edges of your lawn by guiding the grass into blade’s path. But it doesn’t appear that consumers are entirely convinced; some say they help, some say they are a bit gimmicky and don’t really do all that much. So you’ll probably still need either a set of manual edging shears or a string trimmer to tidy up the sides, just to be safe.
The Bottom Line
Here's our thoughts on who should buy this mower, and who might be better to keep looking for something more suitable.
Leave It on the Shelf
It’s really only the cable length that restricts this lawn mower to maintaining smaller gardens. Perhaps you’d be alright in medium sized gardens at a push, but anything too big and you’ll be messing around with extension cables and all sorts. For anyone with fairly standard lawn maintenance requirements that doesn’t want to be messing around with petrol and oil, the Bosch Rotak 34 R is a great option and represents decent value for money.