AL-KO is a German company founded in 1931 that prides itself in producing quality, long-lasting products. They make everything from car parts to air conditioning units and, of course, gardening equipment as well. With such an expansive manufacturing heritage behind them, it is easy to imagine that they could make a mower that can make short work of garden maintenance.
To find out if this is the case, we will look at the pros, cons and many features of the highline 527 VS to see if it is worth your money.
The “VS” in 527 VS stands for variable speed. This refers to the fact that the wheels of the lawn mower can be driven to any speed between 2.5 and 4.5km/h, meaning that the mower can propel itself along at these speeds without requiring you to actively push it (although you still need to hold the handles to guide it).
The range of speeds available makes sure that you can always mow at a pace which is comfortable for you in given conditions, this is particularly useful if you are cutting on an incline.
In order to maximise space usage and prevent blockages, the mower was designed with a tall steel plate deck and widened discharge channel that improves airflow by 42% compared to conventional designs.
This means that unlike with most lawn mowers, grass always flies to the very back of the grass catcher, ensuring that it is only filled from the rear without getting stuck compacting near the discharge channel.
Additionally, there is a removable service flap for easy maintenance.
A lightweight and efficient Briggs and Stratton engine is included to give you more power for less fuel. The 163cc engine is easy to start and provides an excellent 2.6kW of power with its overhead valves.
To improve convenience, ReadyStart technology is included meaning that you can quickly start the engine with the recoil pull cord without needing to prime the engine first.
Quietness is also a priority with a super lo-tone muffler allowing the motor to be quieter than others in its class.
An optional mulch plug is included which blocks the discharge chute and dices the clippings further underneath the lawn mower. The guided deflector then spreads the chopped clippings out the side away from the mower for use as a completely natural fertiliser.
This plug was designed to be mounted without tools and its usage means that there is no need to collect and dispose of grass or leaves after mowing, raking will be a thing of the past.
It couldn’t be easier to attach the grass collector to the lawn mower with EasyClick technology. The guide rail quickly allows you to securely attach the collector and stops the risk of trapped fingers during usage.
If that wasn’t enough, the grass catcher itself is designed to be aerodynamic, compact and simple to empty, greatly reducing the hassle of its usage. In order to allow you to monitor the fill level of the collector while you mow, a useful indicator has been integrated into the collector.
Adjusting the cutting height has never been easier with a large, spring assisted handle being built in an easy to reach position in the central portion of the mower deck. With this handle you can easily adjust the cutting height across 7 stages between 30 and 80mm, so you can always achieve the optimal height to keep your glass healthy each season.
Every control of the mower is easy to access with the EasyDrive cockpit, the ergonomic handlebar provides access to all the important functions of the mower including the variable speed and power.
The handle is also soft grip and fully height adjustable to help you stay comfortable with extended usage. Pushing the Highline 527 VS is also guaranteed to be smooth on every surface with XXL wheels containing double ball bearings.
1 x Highline 527 VS Lawn Mower
1 x Mulching Plug
1 x 70L EasyClick Collector
1 x Instruction Manual
It goes without saying that if you want a beautiful looking lawn then you need to get a great lawn mower. Overgrown grass, or even grass that is cut badly, is the fastest way to make your garden turn from a serene paradise into a frustrating green mess.
While it may be tempting to get a cheap electric mower to stave off your garden nightmares, petrol power really is the way to go if you want a long lasting mower that can tackle anything you can throw at it (and as an added benefit, you won’t need to worry about running out of juice or faffing around with lengthy power cords).
The highline 527 VS sits near the top of the stack of traditional petrol-powered lawn mowers and, not to oversell it but this mower combines the best of German engineering with plenty of features to produce the best petrol mower you can get for under £500.
This is especially evident if you have a large garden (the manufacturer suggests gardens up to 1800m2), in this situation this lawn mower is a no brainer. It’s large 51cm cutting width makes short work of lawns and the lawn mower allows you to mow, collect, mulch and discharge grass with ease.
The mulching feature especially is rare in this price range and we definitely don’t need to tell you about the potential benefits of mulching!
If you are after a lawn mower that is effective and easy to use (and let’s be honest, we all want this) then the highline 527 VS should stand at the top of your list.
The mower has everything you need to maintain a clean and healthy garden and the variable speed movement means that you can adjust the movement speed if you don’t feel like pushing.
The only major omission we can this of is the lack of electric start but, considering the price, it is hard to feel too disappointed. If this feature is important to you then AL-KO still has you covered as you can move up to the Highline 528 VSI instead.