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Collection, Preservation and Display of Old Lawn Mowers

Hayn hand mower

I've just picked up a 12" push mower on the much maligned famous internet auction site. It is a 12" cut, has an aluminium roller and is mostly steel construction. It has small metal front rollers (like the Lloyds Pennsylvania roller mower) rather than wooden but other than that it's origins are suprisingly obscure. The chain cover and the transfer on the grassbox both show "Hayn" as the main name and then refer to the" Nutt Engineering Co. Cambridge England" below. Initially I thought that "Hayn" was the model & Nutt Engineering the manufacturer until I recalled the Hayn electric mower in the auction at Milton Keynes. This confused me further as if Hayn are the makers, where do Nutts enter into the equation?

Any information on identifying this thing or concerning dates of manufacture gratefully received.




hillsider Sun, 12/06/2011


Like you I have a 12" Hayn in my collection although mine has a wooden front roller and does not have its grass box as it was rescued from a skip.

I have tried to find out who Nutt Engineering were and when they closed their doors etc but to no avail, so if you have any luck please let me know.


stonethemows Sun, 12/06/2011


May I quote you from the ever informative Old Lawnmower Club ' Lawnmower Directory ' :

Nutt Engineering Ltd. - A Cambridge engineering firm making mowers post World War 2, manufacturers of the Hayn range of mowers in the 1950's/60's.

Another entry for Hayn states that both powered cylinder and rotary mowers were being made in 1966. Manual mowers came in two models ' Gem ' and ' Super ' having a 10 and 12 inch cut respectively.

Not much I know but it's a start perhaps.



hillsider Sun, 12/06/2011

Oops I forgot to mention the OLC directory, also having found a photo of my mower I see that it to has single rollers on each end of the front roll.

Thank you for your input Colin good job someone is on the ball, here is my mower shown minus its handles that are removed for storage. The info that I have tried and failed to find is what happen to the company, all that I have discovered is that there was a patent registered by Nutt Engineering for a rear roller drive motor arrangement for an electric mower.


brummy_joe Sun, 12/06/2011


thank you for the help so far. Ray's picture is of the same mower that I have. So, what kind of grips should be on the handles? I may need to chat with my friendly local bicycle repair man...

I've had a go at it today with the GT85 & the cylinder now spins very nicely indeed. If time permits during the week I'll have a go at sharpening the blades & report back.




hillsider Mon, 13/06/2011

Hi, as far as I can remember the hand grips are plastic but I'll dig the handles out the back of the workshop later in the week and take a picture for you and post it here, probably over next weekend if that is ok.


hillsider Sun, 03/07/2011


Apologies for the delay but re handle bar grips for your Hayn mower  I mananaged to retrieve my set of handles from the depths of my workshop today only to find that the grips are missing! so like you I could do with seeing the type of grips fitted,  so if someone out there has a 12" Hayn hand mower a picture would be appreciated.



brummy_joe Sat, 30/07/2011


thanks for trying. I have now repainted the mower after freeing up the cylinder a bit & it actually works very well despite being uncomfortable due to the lack of grips. I have tried cannibalising a pair of old Qualcast (I think) rubber grips salvaged from behind a mate's shed, but the handles of the Hayn are too wide for the grips to accomadate them. This is going to take a bit more thought......



C2itKen Fri, 13/07/2012

  Hello Ray

Hope you are still about?

I am new to this site and I have an old 12" Hayn mower, it has sat in my cellar since I bought my cottage in 2007 so it was in a bit of a mess but I decided to get it out and see if it works? after a little oiling and freeing up I managed to cut my small lawn and a reasonable job done as well! The mower has two "rubber" hand grips and I think they may be original as one is good and the other has been bound up with electrical tape as it is split, I have taken a photograph and I have tried to put it onto the site but I am having problems :o) I am going to post this text and then try with the photo again.



C2itKen Fri, 13/07/2012

Phew that was harder that getting the mower going  :o)

Someone said that they were going to sharpen there mower? is this a simple job? mine is a little rusty round the cutting area.!

I have other bigger pictures if you are interested?


redfernmowers Sat, 14/07/2012

for older lawnmowers like this, the way I do it is to have in some lapping compound. I highly recommend Chemico cylinder grinding pastes from coarse to fine which help to give a great finish on your cylinder without the tremendous expense to remove a cylinder, sharpen and in some cases recoat the cylinder to prevent rust. 

cylinder lapping is a safer, less harmful approach to cylinder sharpening. you simply brush on to each blade the compound, run the cylinder for a while and then  tighten the bed knife a touch so that if the cylinder is out of balance or the cylinder sounds uneven, the applied tension with the grinding compound will resolve it. after course grinding, move to medium grit, then a fine grit. wipe off each time. this is amazing stuff and it's saved me a lot of time and money sending blades out.

a good tip if you're doing this on other machines, if the cylinder is held with a nut to the gear or sprocket, get a socket to suit and a socket adaptor for a cordless drill and run the cylinder at a reasonable speed. not too fast or you will subject the cylinder to heat and the bearing may be sensitive to extraneous pressure. if you have a side wheel mower where the cylinder is held in with clutch followers to the gears, a drive belt long enough and your drill with an old pulley will help speed up the process, just remember to park the mower on it's back with a support under the bed knife to stop it shifting. Works a treat.

a useful tip. after you've sharpened your cylinder, lightly coat each blade with something like 3 in 1 oil, run the blade for a minute or so, then lightly wipe off including the bed knife. this just gives an extra finish and protects the blade against corrosion.



C2itKen Mon, 13/08/2012

Thank you Ed.

​I will get some lapping compound and then I'll have to get my mower set up on the bench some how and see if I can get some sort of power to it ? I don't think spinning by hand will work ?

As it seems to be cutting quite well at the moment I think this may be a winter job.

​Once again thank you for the information.


redfernmowers Mon, 13/08/2012

ken, you're very welcome.

here's a good tip to help sharpen your blades. remove the chain or gear cover and see if there's a bolt or nut on the cylinder. if so, check the size. what you're going to need is either a cordless drill or electric variable speed drill. you'll also need both 3/8 and 1/2" socket adaptors, a product like this will help you...

this is a set of 3 hex to socket adaptors. I use makita ones similar to these and these are a life saver. if the drive chain sase is right side of the blade facing you, run the drill in reverse at about 800 to 1000rpm. the trick is not to be forceful. first off, apply the compound to each blade knife, then spin the blade with the drill (ensure the roller doesn't engage even if it means disconnecting the chain or if it's gear driven, remove the middle gear). so the blade spindle is free to run. if the blade still sounds uneven, slowly adjust both height adjusters to the bed knife equally so it's a little closer (1/4 to 1/8th turn per go. when the cylinder sounds more even, wipe off the  coarse lapper. I'd recommend 2 coatings if it's a heavy job if you don't want to strip the unit down and send the blade to be sharpened at expense and delay.

next is to go medium grit 1 application and run the cylinder again. this shouldn't need to be fine adjusted but if so 1/8th turn per screw would be enough.. on each operation, run for about 3 to 5 mins and this should do the trick. then clean the blade and apply the fine grit as a last cut. this last cut will benefit from both forward and reverse grinding  from my testing so it gives both the blade and bed knife a polished edge.

clean the blade and bed knife thoroughly with a damp cloth and dry. run the cylinder once more dry to check it is sounding right, it should be an even sound. then it's the paper test, a thin strip of paper will do. let the blade cut the paper, if it bends it, the clearances need bringing in, so again 1/4 turn to let the bed knife touch. if it's stiff, back it off 1/8th turn and then should be clear.

NOTE: if your mower does not have adjust screws like certain webb models including the wasp as I've encountered just recently, a different approach is in order.

hope this helps. there's other methods but this is what I do. I take a good hour to fine hone my blades and believe me, I get amazing cutting results.


further note. if you're using a petrol mower and sharpening, use the engine as the drive source, when adjusting the  bed knife spacing  shut the engine down and restart when ready. never leave the engine on tick in case the clutch feet touch the drive and advance the blade. Safety first.

GOGGLES MUST BE WORN AT ALL TIMES when doing this work as debris will fly.