Lawn Mower Buying Guide and Top Rated Models Review

Keeping a lawn in order is rather a fancy than a necessity, but who wants to have an untidy lawn when it’s the main exterior decoration? Mowing experience tends to vary from user to user. The major difference lies in the mower used.

The choice of a lawn mower is determined by the ease and convenience of use, your yard type and some personal preferences. One thing is certain – there is always a perfect mower for everyone. However, in-depth analysis of the types of mowers is inevitable to make a choice you are going to be satisfied with. We’ve made the major part ourselves and sharing our observation here in this detailed step-by-step review.

Comparison of the Best Lawn Mowers Around

There are hundreds or even thousands of lawn mowers out there but you can limit your choice to just a few chosen models. Here are 10 top lawn mowers that are going to be the most widely-used in 2017.

Honda HRX217VKA
Ego LM2102SP
Toro Recycler 20340
Snapper 12AVC3BD707
Honda HRR 216K9VKA
Kobalt 40-Volt KM2040X-06
Craftsman 37441
Husqvarna HU725AWD
Cub Cadet RZT S 46
WORX Landroid WG794
Type
Gas
Electric
Gas
Gas
Gas
Electric
Gas
Gas
Hydro-Gear EZT
Robotic
Engine/battery
Honda GCV190
Ego Power+
Briggs & Stratton
Briggs & Stratton
Honda GCV160
40-volt battery
Briggs & Stratton
Briggs & Stratton
Kohler
28-volt battery
Cutting Height, in
0.75 – 4
1.5 – 4
1 – 4
1.25 – 3.75
1 – 4
1.38 – 3.38
1.25 – 3.75
1.5 – 4
1.5 – 4
1.6 – 4
Cutting Width, in
21
21
22
22
21
20
21
22
46
7
Rating (out of 5)
4.7
4.1
4.3
4.0
4.8
4.5
4.6
4.7
4.9
3.8
Price
$$$
$$$
$$
$
$
$
$
$$
$$$$
$$$$
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Our Top Picks for the Best Lawn Mower of 2017

1. Honda HRX217VKA Review

Honda machines have always been about strong engines. This lawn mower does not lag behind, when it comes to engine quality. Thanks to it and other benefits, like large-capacity discharge bag and intuitive self-propulsion, this mower is seen among the best lawn mowers on the marketplace. This walk-behind lawn mower is perfectly suitable for medium and large gardens.

It uses a MicroCut blade system with four cutting surfaces instead of usual two. It enables you to cut your clippings into smaller pieces, has less grass waste and stores more grass into a discharge bag. In addition, its bag is 2.5 bushel sized which is 0.5 more than standard bags. Be ready it will be quite heavy when you want to remove the waste.

There are seven cutting levels – it enables you to mow your lawn at various cutting heights. However, you will need to set the wheel height to each level as the mower has four-lever wheel adjustment.

Unlike the majority of other self-propelled mowers, you will control Honda HRX 217VKA with a thumb lever instead of a bar. You will be able to choose the preferred propulsion level.

Another feature worth taking into account is mulching. There is a lever that enables you to choose the amounts of clippings you want to leave on the grass. Traditional mowers let you choose either to leave everything or nothing at all.

Unlike standard 3-year warranty that other manufacturers give, Honda is generous to extend it to 5.

yes

Pros:

  • Powerful engine
  • Runs smoothly and quickly
  • Self-propulsion available
  • Bigger than standard discharge bag
  • Good price
no

Cons:

  • All the wheels have to be adjusted manually
  • Customizing options take time to get used to

2. Ego LM2102SP Review

This is a self-propelled electric lawn mower that has been showing excellent results on gardens of different types. Its 56-volt li-ion battery charging process takes just 1 hour and then enables you to use the mower for a full hour non-stop. It’s perfectly suitable for small yards.

As it doesn’t need gas or oil, it is an eco-friendly option. No harmful fumes and no pollution damage made. Quite a large cutting deck enables you to mow your lawn faster. The discharge bag goes with a wide mouth and is extremely easy to empty.

Ego LM2102SP is really easy to customize and handle, even for the first time users. It starts with just one press of a button. Its self-propelling feature can be customized depending on the mowing speed you need. It is also possible to adjust the cutting height to six different levels. All four wheels are adjusted automatically with one single lever.

The mower is extremely quiet and produces practically no noise at all. You can even use it at night if you wish. It is easy to maneuver as it weighs just 58 pounds. Its 9-inch wheels enable you to go through the obstacles and tight edges.

The manufacturer offers a 5-year warranty on this product, which gives its users an added layer of confidence and safety.

yes

Pros:

  • Energy efficient
  • Easy use and handling
  • Extremely quiet
  • Quick charging
  • 5-year warranty
no

Cons:

  • Limited mowing area per charge – only 0.25 to 0.35 acre

3. Toro Recycler 20340 Review

This is a self-propelled gas mower that works at various speeds and has high rear wheels. Despite its lower price, the mower has such features as intuitive self-propulsion and good mulching, which you will probably not find in the models of the same price category. However, you cannot adjust mulching options – which means you either bag all the clippings or do full mulching. Due to its front-wheel-drive feature, it is quite maneuverable and easy to handle. It is also equipped with a wash-out port that allows users to conveniently clean the mower. Users really enjoy a speed control option that lets them adjust mowing to their own comfortable pace.

The engine is quite powerful and reliable but the manufacturer gives only a 2-year warranty on the product. Nevertheless, it’s suitable for the yards of different sizes and various grass types, which makes it one of the most popular choices among homeowners.

yes

Pros:

  • Speed adjustment
  • Price
  • Intuitive self-propulsion
  • Suitable for uneven terrains
  • Wash-out port available
no

Cons:

  • Not user-friendly

4. Snapper 12AVC3BD707 Review

This is a gas lawn mower that can easily cope with hours of mowing on large lawns. It is really convenient in its use and handling. Even though it is powerful enough, it is still a lightweight mower.

Users are usually satisfied with its overall performance. Its low noise level makes it work quiet, even at night. The mower has six cutting levels, which enables you to adjust the blade position to the area you are mowing.

However, some users notice certain jolting movements of the mower, for example when it starts. Sometimes these motor tendencies are a bit distracting and make the handling a bit uncomfortable, but you can actually get used to it soon. Moreover, they do not affect the mowing quality at all. And the handle is covered with a foam that reduces the vibrations when you mow.

This model’s system is quite user-friendly. It has one-lever wheel adjustment. It helps users to save time and efforts. The mower has a self-propulsion feature that the majority of gas lawn mowers possess. Another remarkable feature is a cleaning tool that works without turning off the mower.

Just like the majority of high-level mowers, Snapper has a mulching feature and thus can chop your grass clippings inside. However, it still has one significant drawback – there is no a chance to start it electrically. Pull string is used to switch it on and some strength is needed to do it.

The mower is suitable for all the body types as it’s lighter and smaller than the majority of other models of this type. Even a teenager can effortlessly use it. Yet, its engine is much larger than standard. This lightweight mower is packed with enough power to do its job well. The model is perfect for tough and thick grass.

yes

Pros:

  • Single lever to adjust all 4 wheels
  • Larger and more powerful engine than in standard models
  • Convenient cleaning tool
  • 3-year warranty from the manufacturer
  • Quiet mowing
no

Cons:

  • Shows erratic movements at certain situations
  • No electric start button

5. Honda HRR216K9VKA Review

A solid choice for homeowners who need a reliable gas lawn mower to keep their yard in order. Another Honda product in this list that offers uninterrupted performance and the engine power. What is remarkable about this model is a bigger bag capacity than other models in this row have – 2.4 bushels. It facilitates its maintenance a lot.

However, one of the characteristics that users are not much happy about is the noise level – 98.5 dB is enough to disturb the neighbors. Also, sometimes it requires more than one attempt to start the mower. You also need to be really careful about cleaning this mower. It doesn’t have a quick-wash tool. Please also be informed that the wheel height is adjustable but is done via 4-lever setup, which means you will have to adjust each wheel separately. A bit time-consuming and uncomfortable for users.

Despite it lacks a row of significant features, Honda HRR is still among the best lawn mowers on the marketplace. Unlike the majority of other models in the same category and price range, it offers 6 different cutting levels and lets you easily adjust the mower to any grass height you prefer.

The handle is very maneuverable and comfortable to use. It is well-protected whenever any jolts occur. The model is light-weight and quite low. Even if you are not very tall or strong, you will have no difficulty using it. The engine is quite small but powerful enough.

yes

Pros:

  • Comfortable handling
  • Lightweight and compact mower
  • Bigger bag capacity than standard
  • Affordable price
no

Cons:

  • High noise level
  • 4-lever adjustment
  • No quick-wash port

6. Kobalt 40-Volt Cordless Mower KM2040X-06 Review

This is an electric lawn mower that is perfectly suitable for flat areas sized up to the third on an acre.

Even though it is powerful, it does not need any significant efforts to handle it and maneuver. It is a good eco-friendly option for those who need to take a good care of their lawns. The manufacturer sells this product with a generous 5-year warranty.

There are two batteries that can either work separately or simultaneously. These are 2-and 4-amp batteries that offer up to 30-min mowing and up to 50-min mowing accordingly. Another remarkable peculiarity is an automatic switch over option that switches between batteries without stopping the engine. The mower even recognizes when it requires more power to cut thicker grass and when it can reduce the power supply to a minimum. You will need 2 hours to charge the 4-amp battery and only 1 hour for a 2-amp one.

There are seven different cutting levels. You can choose any height from 1.375 inches to 3.375 inches. It is also equipped with a mulching feature. The grass is cut into smaller pieces and then thrown back onto the lawn. But if you prefer to keep all the grass in a bag, you can do it too and then empty it with ease.

However, this model is not self-propelled, which means you will have to push it yourself. Luckily, its weight is only 44 pounds with 2 batteries included. Kobalt is a good option for small yards and environmentally-aware homeowners.

yes

Pros:

  • Automatic switchover function
  • 5-year warranty
  • 2 batteries that work either together or separately
  • 7 cutting levels
  • Light-weight mower
  • Eco-friendly
no

Cons:

  • Not self-propelled

7. Craftsman 37441 Review

Craftsman 37441 lawn mower has a superior design and some advanced features that will help you mow your lawn without any significant efforts. This is a gas-powered self-propelled lawn mower that adjusts easily to the changes in direction and speed. However, the model does not have an electric start button, which is a drawback for the majority of homeowners. The size of a blade is 21 inches – usual size for the mowers of this type. It has 6 cutting levels that help you adjust the desirable height of the grass – ranging between 1.25 and 3.75 inches.

One of the strongest sides of this mower is the ease of handling. The mowing quality is not affected when you change the speed or make a turn. Equipped with the front-wheel drive, it has outstanding maneuverability. In addition, with the 85dB noise level, it is very quiet compared to the majority of other gas models. Also, it does not vibrate excessively when you handle it. The mower is equipped with a convenient wash-out port that facilitates the cleaning process a lot.

It has quite a small grass bag that you will have to empty quite often – only 1.9 bushels. The testing stage has shown that a lot of clippings escape the bag when you mow. Or you can use a mulching feature instead.

The mower is sold with a 2-year warranty that is less than usual 3. However, the model has shown itself as a reliable mower that deals with the lawns of different sizes and different terrains.

yes

Pros:

  • Wash-out port available
  • Self-propelled model
  • 6 cutting levels
  • Not heavy and not noisy
  • Electric start button available
  • Remarkably easy handling and maneuverability
no

Cons:

  • Not eco-friendly
  • Small grass bag
  • Handle does not have a protective cushion
  • Only 2-year warranty

8. Husqvarna HU725AWD Review

This is a reliable self-propelled gas lawn mower that performs quite well on hilly terrains thanks to its all-wheel-drive feature. The model is good for big-size lawns, even if it will not let you mow smoothly. It can effectively cope even with steep slopes.

The mower is equipped with a large grass bag, which means you don’t need to empty it too often. Or you can choose mulching instead. The model has a 4-lever wheel adjustment that is a drawback compared to single-lever models.

It’s cutting deck is 22-inch wide and thus allows you to mow faster. It is sold with a 3-year warranty, that is actually usual for gas mowers. All in all, this lawn mower is one of the best options for large hilly yards that need to be mowed quickly.

yes

Pros:

  • Large grass bag
  • Mows well on hills and slopes
  • All-wheel-drive functionality
no

Cons:

  • 4-lever wheel adjustment
  • Not very smooth mowing
  • Not user-friendly
  • Grass bag is right above the ground

9. Zero Turn Ride-on Lawn Mower Cub Cadet RZT S 46 Review

This is a zero-turn mower that is probably not perfectly suitable for residential use, especially when you have a lot of slopes on it, but still a very powerful mower worth considering. Even though the mower is quite agile, it’s better suitable for flat yards, even if it handles sloppy terrains too. Cub Cadet RTZ S 46 also goes in 42- and 50-inch decks. It has a convenient steering wheel and 2 hydro transmissions that are synchronized all together. Due to this, it is possible to easily cut nearly one or two acres of grass. This model is much different from other zero-turn mowers and it has shown excellent performance for a few good years.

Unlike traditional zero-turn mowers, this model utilizes a Synchro Steer system. It consists of a wheel and pedals. One will love its easy feel and handling.

yes

Pros:

  • It slows down itself when you take a turn
  • Very comfortable and adjustable seat
  • Foot control transmission available
  • 4-wheel steering
  • Goes with a 3-year warranty
no

Cons:

  • Is capable to carry up to 250Lbs
  • Not recommended for areas with lots of slops
  • Very high price

10. WORX Landroid WG794 Robotic Lawn Mower Review

Technology has made life easier. The same is about lawn mowing. When you cannot find the most suitable time to get your lawn in order, you won’t mind some help. This robotic mower can work every day to keep it cut. It is possible to customize the schedule and make sure you won’t find your lawn unkept at the end of the week.

Traditional lawn mowers usually cut huge amounts of grass at once, which can actually reduce their life. Landroid cuts small pieces of grass without letting it grow to enormous heights. What you get is a well-kept garden 24/7. This robotic lawn mower produces practically no noise, which means it is possible to take care of your lawn even at night.

Technically, the model has quite a powerful battery that allows cutting up to 1 thousand square meters per charge. Due to the slicing system used, the mower brings less damage to the lawn and fertilizes it. In terms of design, the machine is extremely compact and light. It can easily go through narrow passages found in a yard.

yes

Pros:

  • Mows a lawn without external control
  • Easily customizable
  • Lightweight and well-visible
  • Low maintenance cost
  • Good safety measures
  • Moves easily through narrow passages
  • Eco-friendly
no

Cons:

  • Even though shock sensor is available, the mower finds it hard to go through obstacles, even small ones
  • Everything needs setup
  • Poor mowing of the edges
  • Not suitable for all the gardens

Choosing a Lawn Mower

When you decide it’s time to buy a new lawn mower, you first of all need to understand what you need it for. Yards are never identical. Depending on yard peculiarities and your physical condition, the choice of a lawn mower is going to vary. There are a few things you need to learn and understand before you look through available models.

Know Your Yard

Know Your Yard

1. Your Yard’s Size

There is no a lawn mower that works perfectly well on the yards of all sizes. The size of your yard will help you decide which mower would be the best for you.

Let’s say, if your yard hardly reaches a half of an acre, but you wish to give it a good look, consider manual reel mowers. They operate with a few blades and work without any oil or gasoline. However, be ready that such mowers need some strength. Look for models with nearly 18-19-inch cutting width.

You might also like gas-powered or electric push lawn mowers. Gasoline or battery will power the blades while you will have to push the mower.

If your yard is nearly ¾ of an acre, you should consider a walk-behind lawn mower. In this case, you’d better choose the mowers with smaller mower decks. It’s recommended to choose approximately 20-inch cutting width. Small yards tend to have some narrow passages, and this cutting width should be fine there.

Corded electric mowers will be suitable for this yard size too. You will not need any gas or oil to use it. However, such mowers are not very good when you have a lot of obstacles on your way and have to maneuver a lot. In this case, you might consider cordless electric mowers instead.

Or you might prefer gas-powered walk-behind push mowers or walk-behind self-propelled mowers. They tend to be more powerful than electric mowers.

If your yard is bigger than ¾ of an acre, a rear-engine riding mower is the first thing to recommend. They offer excellent visibility and maneuverability among the trees, bushes and flowerbeds. Their mowing decks usually range from 28 to 42 inches and mow large areas at a single pass. Look for models with 12-20 hp engines.

If you have a really huge yard sized from 1 to 3 acres, consider a zero-turn lawn mower with the 38-inch mowing deck minimum. Such mowers are the most suitable for large areas having many trees and bushes. They deal with all the edges effortlessly. This will let you mow all your yard area quickly enough. For such yards, the mowers with 14-16 hp engines should do fine.

Have even larger yard? You will probably need a larger zero-turn mower. You will need to consider options that have approximately 44-54-inch cutting width and minimum 18hp engines.

2. Your Yard’s Terrain

Your Yard's Terrain

If your yard is flat enough, a walk-behind lawn mower should be a good choice for you. Mowing flat yards is much easier than those with slopes and uneven surfaces. No significant efforts will be required from you, even though you will have to push a mower yourself. Walk-behind mowers are affordable and convenient options to consider.

However, if your yard has lots of hills and slopes, experts recommend you to choose one of self-propelled walk-behind mowers. Pay attention to those models which have big wheels, especially back ones. With such mowers, it will be easier to maneuver across a sloppy terrain. Each mower is given a rate that determines its ability to mow steep slopes. It’s usually rated from 1 to 15 degrees. Choose those with a higher number.

You may also consider riding mowers for such terrains. Usually, they can cope with any terrain, but some models still manage to do it better. Just be ready to pay more for any of the riding mowers.

What needs to be remembered, though, is that mowing on a rough terrain can be dangerous. It is recommended to mow the hills up and down when you are using a riding mower.

Another important thing when you choose a mower for a rough terrain is deck width. If your garden is open and does not have trees or narrow passages, 42-54-inches will make you feel safe when mowing and maneuvering. If your yard still has tight passages, you’d better choose 30-32 inches. All in all, rough terrains require mowers with good traction and stability.

3. Your Physical Condition

Your Physical Condition

The choice of a mower should also depend on the person who is going to use it. Such factors as age and gender will determine how strong you are to use a mower. For example, if you are not physically strong enough, you will need to consider only self-propelled models. Even if your yard is small, it might be too difficult for you to push a mower and power the blades yourself.

Or let’s say, if you find it difficult to walk but would gladly mow your lawn, the best option for you is a riding mower. In this case, even if your yard is really small, you will not be able to use a walk-behind mower. There might also be a different scenario – your yard is sized more than one acre but you find mowing as a perfect workout. Then feel free to purchase a walk-behind mower, preferably the one that allows you to adjust the speed and get some regular training when mowing.

In the same way, there are certain models that are really huge and heavy. For teenagers and someone who is not tall enough, it will be extremely inconvenient to use them. There are a lot of compact models out there.

None of these criteria is a must to follow. The final decision should be made only after considering all the factors together, not separately.

Types of Push Mowers for Different Landscapes

Manual reel mowers

Manual reel mowers

Having a well-kept yard is something manual reel mowers can help you with. In fact, one of the reasons why homeowners choose this type of mowers among the others is the price. But in fact, it’s not the only thing that is good about it.

Manual reel mowers are also known as the first lawn mowers. Even though lots of new machines appeared in the 20th century, these models are still available for sale.

They require your physical strength to push the mower and make the blades work. The required strength will depend on the terrain flatness and how tall the grass is. But the truth is that they require practically the same strength as heavier mowers with motors.

In terms of their construction, reel mowers are really simple and consist of several moving parts. They resemble a cart connected to a long handle. The majority of models have two main wheels attached to rollers or some smaller supportive wheels. The first set of large wheels gives the necessary motion force, while the supportive wheels or rollers bring the balance. Such a construction allows moving the blades mush faster than wheels.

yes

Pros:

  • Low price due to their simple structure.
  • Lightweight compared to more complex mowers, powered by gas or electricity.
  • They are quiet as they don’t produce any noise.
  • Environmentally friendly, as they don’t use gas or oil.
  • Cut the grass gently as though you are using scissors. Such mowers are better for your grass.
  • Don’t require costly maintenance.
  • No grass is blown into your face when you are using it.
  • Are safer to use than more powerful machines. You can thus avoid a row of mowing related injuries among children and adults.
  • Mowing serves as a good regular workout. Perfect way to keep your body in a good shape.
  • Can work for decades.
no

Cons:

  • Need to be used on a regular basis, as they are practically impossible to use on overgrown lawns.
  • It takes you longer to mow a lawn compared to other more powerful mowers.
  • Require good traction. If your yard has sandy areas, you will find it difficult to use reel mowers.
  • Find it difficult to cope with twigs and rocks.
  • Very unfriendly to certain types of grass.
  • Impossible to bag grass clippings.

Upkeep

There is nothing difficult about taking care of these mowers. You don’t have to tune them up or change oils. Yet, there are a few things you will need to do to make them last for long:

  • Remove the remaining grass clippings.
  • Clean the blades.
  • Keep it away from water or rain. Otherwise, water can cause rusting.
  • Sharpening the blades with the help of a grinding paste and grinding stone. Sharpen the edges and file out any burrs. Use the newspaper to test how sharp the blades are.

Best for

Manual reel mowers are not intended for large yards. If your yard is sized up to half of an acre, this mower will suit your needs well. In addition, it will be of use only if you are ready to mow your lawn on a regular basis, because if the grass gets too tall, it will be difficult or even impossible to mow it. If you have frequent and long-term journeys, a reel mower is not for you too.

All in all, manual reel mowers are the most suitable for small flat yards that have practically no hills, slopes, sand, and rocks. Such mowers work the best with mild grass that is not overgrown.

Electric mowers

Electric mowers

The electric lawn mower is a good eco-friendly alternative to gas-powered machines. You neither need to smell any gas when you run it, nor pollute the environment. In addition, you will not have to spend extra money on oil, gasoline and expensive maintenance.

Electric mowers can deal with long and thick grass well enough. There are corded and cordless models. Corded models work with the help of an electric outlet. Cordless models work with the help of the power batteries that you need to recharge before you plan to mow again. It usually takes an hour or two to charge one, depending on its power capacity. A standard cordless electric mower can work up to one hour before it needs to be recharged. But this time is usually enough to mow a small or medium-sized yard.

The batteries are used to power the blades that cut the grass. But manpower is required to push the mower forward. If you don’t want to take any significant efforts, you might want to consider a self-propelled electric mower.

Unlike a reel mower, these models usually have a bag for collecting grass clippings. You can either leave the cut grass on the lawn or collect it into the bag.

yes

Pros:

  • Eco-friendly mowing;
  • No need to change oil or fuel filters;
  • Extremely quiet;
  • Affordable price and low maintenance cost;
  • Handles different types of grass;
  • Clipping bag available;
  • Easy to maneuver and mow the slopes.
no

Cons:

  • Your mobility is limited if you choose a corded mower.
  • Limited mowing time in case you choose a cordless mower.
  • They’re usually afraid of water, even if some models are claimed to be well-protected.
  • Less powerful that gas mowers.

Upkeep

Recharge the batteries as much time as necessary. After each time you use the mower, inspect the blades, remove the grass and look for any damaged parts. Sharpen it from time to time for better mowing and an extended life of your mower. Clear the vents as they are susceptible to clogging. Check if all the bolts and fasteners are tight. You’d also better keep your electric mower away from the rain, despite water-resistance of some models.

If you are using a cordless mower, learn your battery specifications in detail. Some batteries can be left uncharged for a few months, while others need to be charged every month or two. Try not to discharge your battery completely.

Best for

Manual electric mowers are the most suitable for small yards, sized up to half of an acre. Experts suggest that they do well on the yards with cold-climate grasses that grow slow. All in all, these mowers are perfect for environmentally-aware homeowners who have a small, not very hilly yard and want to reduce the mowing noise to minimum.

Walk-behind mowers

Walk-behind mowers

Walk-behind lawn mowers tend to perform quite well when the yard is not very large, especially if it’s not a self-propelled mower.

Walk-behind mowers use gasoline, electricity or no power source at all. If gasoline or electricity are used, you push the mower while the engine moves the blades. When no power source is used, you need to rely only on your own strength and such models are called reel mowers (already described earlier).

The majority of walk-behind mowers use a rotary cutting system to cut the grass. Gasoline-driven mowers tend to be more powerful than electric ones and deal with sloppy terrains better.

Walk-behind push mowers tend to mow the lawn gently by means of a scissor-like blade. That is healthier to grass compared to the use of more powerful models. Unlike self-propelled machines, walk-behind push mowers are more light-weight and thus easier to maneuver across uneven terrains. However, users frequently find walk-behind mowers not user-friendly. Especially first-time users tend to fight with its handling.

Usually, walk-behind mowers, except for reel models, have bagging and mulching options that can let you either collect your grass clippings or throw them across the lawn.

yes

Pros:

  • Gives your body a good workout.
  • Easily maneuverable and lightweight.
  • Works pretty well on hilly terrains.
  • Lower costs compared to more powerful models.
  • A wide variety of models available, including gas and electricity powered.
  • Mulching and bagging options available in gas and electric models.
no

Cons:

  • Not suitable for yards, larger than one acre.
  • Mowing can take longer than with the self-propelled models.
  • You should always be on the go while mowing.
  • Gas-powered models are loud enough.
  • Do not go with many attachments.
  • Confusing handle for the beginners.

Upkeep

Electric walk-behind mowers require you to sharpen the blades on a regular basis and replace the battery every two years. In fact, they need practically no maintenance compared to gas-powered models. Speaking of gas mowers, they require you to change gas and oil regularly, as well as replace blades occasionally. These models also require winterization.

Best for

Reel walk-behind mowers might become a good choice for the owners of the yards sized maximum 1/3 of an acre. Such models don’t behave quite well on sloppy terrains with lots of rocks, sand and thick overgrown grass. Meanwhile, electric walk-behind mowers might be suitable for the lawns sized up to one acre. They can handle thicker and taller grass as well as not very steep slopes on their way. Gas-powered mowers are the best for the same yard size as electric ones, but they are more powerful and thus handle sloppy and rocky areas more effectively. Speaking in general, all walk-behind mowers will be the best for those who don’t mind exercising a bit while mowing and those who don’t have any physical disabilities preventing them from walking.

Self-propelled mowers

Self-propelled mowers

When homeowners decide to save a bit of physical effort when mowing their lawns, they opt for self-propelled mowers. The engine powers the blades and the drive wheels, while you just handle the mower in a necessary direction. The engine can be powered by gasoline, batteries, electricity or solar power.

Self-propelled mowers can have either one-speed level or several. In addition, they are divided into front-(FWD), rear-(RWD) and all-(AWD) wheel drive mowers. FWD machines are very easy to maneuver as you can make a turn just by raising the front wheels above the ground. They are usually recommended for flat terrains. RWD mowers enable mowing with better traction, especially when you mow the slopes back and forth. It is much safer to mow the sloppy terrains this way, especially if you are fond of bagging. AWD options give even more traction on rough mowing terrains.

The majority of self-propelled mowers have a bagging and mulching option that enables you to either collect the grass clippings or throw them across the lawn. Such models are very easy to start and are quite user-friendly.

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Pros:

  • No manpower required to push the mower.
  • Easy to start and handle.
  • A wide variety of models available allowing you to choose powerful gas mowers or eco-friendly electric models.
  • Different speed levels enabled in some models.
  • Bagging and mulching options available in the majority of models that allows turning grass into natural fertilizers.
  • Solar-powered models available.
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Cons:

  • Gas-powered mowers are very loud and not eco-friendly.
  • Battery-driven mowers have limited power and operational time.
  • Higher costs compared to simple push models.
  • Time-consuming and costly maintenance.

Upkeep

Self-propelled mowers require regular step-by-step maintenance. First of all, make sure you disconnect the spark plugs prior to doing something. Check all the bolts and make sure no parts are damaged. Just like every mower, self-propelled machine needs a bit of cleaning. Remove the excessive grass, dirt and leaves from the blades and other parts. But never do it with your hands.

Replace the air filter and spark plugs occasionally – let’s say, before every new mowing season. As a result, your mower will start more easily and save more fuel. Just like any other mower, self-propelled models need to have sharp blades. You will need to sharpen them nearly two times a season. And of course, don’t forget to change the oil.

Best for

As minimum physical efforts are required to mow a lawn with the help of self-propelled mowers, they would be the best options for large yards sizing from 1 to 3 acres. Hilly yards can also be handled with this type of mowers. You just need to choose among a wide variety of options. Let’s say, rear-wheel drive mowers would be better here.

The mower can be the best option for an elderly person or someone with insufficient physical strength.

Ride-on Mowers

Ride-on Mowers

Ride-on mower can do more mowing job faster, and much easier. It is a type of a mower you can sit on. They are divided into lawn tractors and zero-turn mowers. In case of lawn tractors, the cutting deck is located underneath, and the engine – on the front. When the cutting deck is located on the front, it is a zero-turn ride-on mower. Due to 4-wheel steering, such mowers can take sharp turns and can maneuver with ease. They are very convenient when you have lots of trees and other obstacles in your garden. You will be able to control them with the help of foot pedals and levers, and lawn tractors use pedals and a steering wheel.

A ride-on mower can potentially be dangerous so you need to be really careful when using it. Choose models that have an automatic switch that turns off the motor when you leave the seat.

Ride-on mowers go in different sizes. If you consider a small ride-on mower with a 14hp engine, it will cost you at least $1,000. If you have a large yard, you should think of a lawn tractor. It’s jokingly called a ride-on mower on steroids. They are powerful enough to carry lots of attachments as they have nearly 18-24hp engines. Small tractors usually go with the price tag ranging from $2,500 to $4,500. Larger options can cost you even $9,000.

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Pros:

  • High speed.
  • Higher mowing quality and healthier grass.
  • Extremely maneuverable.
  • Suitable for commercial use.
  • Wide cutting deck that enables to do more mowing faster.
  • Increased stability.
  • Can carry lots of necessary attachments for mowing.
  • It’s easy to find replacement details for them.
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Cons:

  • Cannot easily handle steep hills over 10-15 degrees.
  • High fuel consumption.
  • Lighter models don’t have enough traction on wet grass and slopes.
  • The majority of models are gas-powered and thus are not eco-friendly.
  • Electric models are far more expensive than gas-powered.
  • Lawn tractors have smaller maneuverability.

Upkeep

Regular maintenance is vital for prolonging the life of your ride-on mower. You will need to remove any grass from the blades and sharpen them. Check all the bolts for tightness and check for any damaged parts. Check air filters occasionally. Change oil while the engine is still hot. Do not use gas, that is over 3 weeks old.

Best for

Ride-on mowers are perfect for lawns sized over an acre. People, who find it difficult to walk and cannot handle walk-behind mowers, should consider ride-on mowers instead.

They can be used for both residential and commercial purposes.

Robotic Mowers

Robotic Mowers

Automatic robotic mowers are capable of effectively mowing lawns of small, medium and large sizes. They consist of numerous mechanical components and programmed systems. Advanced robotic mowers are capable of avoiding any obstacles on their way and taking care of the grass in a preferred by you way.

As such mowers do not have a bagging option, they effectively mulch the grass clippings across the lawn, which is considered a healthier way of mowing. They use batteries and a power source, which is why they do not pollute the environment, unlike gas-powered machines. The majority of models can recharge themselves. It takes them nearly 2 hours to do it.

No human intervention is required. You can even program your robot to mow your lawn twice a week and make sure it always looks well-kept even if you have too much work to do. There is a control panel where you can choose the days and times of mowing. Some advanced models have a rain sensor that will send your robot back inside when it’s raining heavily.

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Pros:

  • Lightweight and compact.
  • Practically no human intervention is required.
  • Eco-friendly.
  • No oil changing and gas expenses.
  • Sticks to a mowing schedule you choose.
  • Self-recharging at the charging station.
  • It is easy to set the routes and mowing schedules.
  • Much quieter than any other mower.
  • Theft protection available.
  • Automatic height adjustment.
  • Handles hills and slopes.
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Cons:

  • Short working time, sometimes up to an hour or even half an hour.
  • High price.
  • If certain issues occur with your robotic mower, it is extremely hard to repair it.
  • May be dangerous for small kids or pets when they are curious to play with it.
  • It’s difficult and quite tricky to install the perimeter guide wire.
  • New batteries are costly to replace.

Upkeep

The battery requires practically no maintenance at all, but its life is limited to 2-4 years. It depends on a number of hours the mower works each week and month. Blades need replacement every 1 to 3 months depending on the lawn size, grass thickness, stones. They can be replaced on your own with the help of a screwdriver. It is recommended to store your robotic mower inside in dry conditions when winter comes.

Try not to keep your mower outside when it’s raining. Even though it’s not going to break down because of rain, but it’s still not recommended.

Best for

The robotic mower is the best option for busy homeowners who want to keep their lawns nice and cut all the time. It is also good for elderly people who cannot push heavy walk-behind mowers as well as cannot use ride-on mowers. Robotic mowers are suitable for the lawns of all sizes. However, if you have a large lawn, you’d better divide it into separate sections and let the mower do them in turn as its battery life will not let it cover it all at once.

Push vs. Self-Propelled Walk-behind Lawn Mowers

Walk-behind lawn mowers are divided into manual and self-propelled models. Manual are those that require you to rely on your own power to push the mower. However, they can use gas or electricity to power the blades. Those that do not use any power supply, are called reel lawn mowers and are suitable for the yards sized under half an acre. Gas or electricity-powered models are used for the yards up to 1 acre. These mowers are often chosen by budget-minded users who do not plan to collect grass clippings. They are much lighter than self-propelled mowers and much cheaper too. They will cost you just up to $200. Such mowers are known to cut the grass gently, like scissors. However, the majority of models don’t have custom height adjustments. With their own pros and cons, manual lawn mowers are still a good and popular option among homeowners, even if they require a lot of physical strength from the operator.

Self-propelled mowers run on gas, electricity or solar power to move the blades and the mower itself. An operator just needs to indicate the direction. The majority of self-propelled mowers provide a variety of handy bagging options, as well as have different cutting decks. They can be a perfect way for homeowners to get some workout, as some models give you a chance to set different mowing speeds. Some self-propelled models are a bit difficult to maneuver as they are much heavier than manual mowers with lighter engines. To make them lighter, consider removing clipping bags and some other applications. All in all, self-propelled lawn mowers are the most popular choice among homeowners. As they go in different sizes and weights, they can be suitable for both physically strong people or teenagers and women. Their price is much smaller compared to ride-on mowers, lawn tractors or robotic mowers. There is a wide range of options that vary from model to model, which lets the homeowners make a better decision.

While self-propelled mowers have a big list of advantages over manual ones, it still remains to be the question of lawn size, price tag and construction simplicity. While some homeowners prefer extremely simple things, others would rather have technically advanced models with lots of automatic features.

Types of Mowers by Rotation: Cylinder or Reel Mowers and Rotary Mowers

Reel mower

The cutting system used in a lawn mower is responsible for the overall mowing quality. Reel mowers use a system of vertical blades spinning. They cut the grass is a way scissors do. Such models usually have 3-12 blades. The highest mowing quality is achieved with 12 blades. However, manual reel mowers don’t do very good job with cutting overgrown grass. It means you have to mow nearly 2 times a week. Otherwise, the grass gets too high and your reel mower is helpless. Nevertheless, this type of mowing is much healthier for the grass and even makes the lawn more attractive. Reel mowers also make mulching easier and more effective. With its help, you put a layer of healthy nutrients on your lawn.

However, reel models offer excellent performance only with sharp blades. You thus have to sharpen them often. They require neither gas nor electricity to mow your lawn, which makes them more environmentally-friendly than rotary mowers.

Rotary mower

A rotary mower uses horizontal blades slipping system that tear the grass instead of cutting it gently. Such mowers tend to have only one fast-rotating blade that reminds a helicopter. This way of mowing often damages the grass and creates brown tips on it. They run on either gas or electricity and handle different grass types. Such mowers are the most suitable for medium and long grass. They do not need such a frequent sharpening. Even though they constantly need a power supply (electricity of gas), their maintenance requires little efforts. When you have a large lawn, rotary mowers are more suitable for them. All in all, they are more powerful than reel mowers, but require constant energy supply to keep working. The choice between these two options is never obvious – lawn size, environmental awareness and mowing quality are the major factors that are going to determine it.

What to Consider Before You Buy a Lawn Mower

Lawnmowers

A properly chosen mower will be doing a good job for your lawn for years. Even if you are sure about the yard size and your physical condition, you need to know what parts and features they consist of and which of them are better for your needs. Consider a few things that you might want your lawn mower to possess:

Removable battery

Electric mowers are recognized as eco-friendly mowers that work quietly and offer a good mowing quality. They are divided into corded and cordless models. Corded mowers operate through a traditional electric outlet that limits your mowing distance to up to 100 feet, while cordless ones through a rechargeable battery. While corded machines can run non-stop, there are still a few factors that speak in favor of cordless options. First of all, cordless models are not limited in distance and can mow your lawn wherever you need it to. The second factor that is often considered as a drawback is only 60-90-min operational time of the battery. But in reality, this time is usually enough to mow the lawn or at least its separate section. Cordless mowers do not presuppose any voltage drops or overheating. You just need to be sure your batteries are fully charged before you start mowing. You also need to remember that the batteries need to be replaced from time to time. But after all, removable battery is a more attractive energy source to consider when you are thinking of purchasing an electric mower.

Electric Starter

A lot of homeowners find no-electric starter as one of the drawbacks of their mowers. And it’s understandable why. Mowers with electric starters tend to be extremely easy to start, on the contrary to models that require you to pull a string manually to turn on the engine. In addition, your mower is really quiet when you start it. Another good news is that electric starters are well-waterproofed. Design and layout of electric start mowers also speak a lot in their favor. Generally speaking, it facilitates the experience of using a lawn mower, especially for first-time users.

Variable Speed

Adjusting mowing speed is a good option to have in your mower. Let’s say, you walking speed is quite slow because your age of other factors. Or you might get some good portion of exercising when you set a fast mowing speed and try to keep up with it. You might also want to mow a large yard really fast. Ad this is why you should consider a lawn mower with speed adjustments.

A blade-brake clutch system

This is a safety system that the majority of push mowers use. When the clutch is pulled, the blades start spinning. Once it’s released, the blades no longer operate, even though the engine keeps working. It allows you to collect any obstacles on your way, like trash, toys, sticks without switching off your engine. You can just stop the blades without stopping the engine.

Uniform Wheel Sizes

There are mowers that have bigger rear wheels than the front ones. But it is extremely inconvenient to handle them. Push mowers with the same-size wheels are easier to handle and they are more suitable for the majority of terrains. You will be able to do U-turn with ease.

Wash-Out Ports

Practically all the mowers need to be cleaned in a proper way. Some models have a wash-out port that is used for washing your deck. The best way to do it is to attach a hose to your mower and clean. Do it is just after mowing while the mower is still wet a bit.

One-Lever Height Adjustment

It makes blade height adjustments much easier. You will find it extremely helpful when you need to make your grass really short. Instead of adjusting all four wheels separately, you might use just one lever to do it. This lever will lower or raise the deck to the preferred height. It will save you time and efforts.

Best brands

A few brands have won their places as the leaders in the marketplace. Lawn mowers from such brands as Honda, Craftsman, Husqvarna and Toro have shown reliable mowing service that homeowners tend to trust. Consider any of these brands when planning a purchase of your new mower.

Lawn Mower Care and Maintenance Tips

Lawnmowers care and maintenance

By regularly repairing any damage and cleaning any dirt accumulated, you will not only make your lawn mower work with better efficiency but also prolong its life. Don’t wait till your mower behaves strangely – take a good care of it all the time.

Maintaining your mower is not a difficult job to do, but it’s still necessary to do it right. Do the following steps to take a good care of your lawn mower.

  1. Change Oil – Do this right when every new season arrives, even if you think it’s not necessary yet. If oil contains too much dirt, it can have devastating effects for the engine.
  2. Clean or replace spark plug – The majority of manufacturers make it very easy for the users to install a new plug after removing the old one. It is recommended to replace the spark plug every cutting season. If you see it still looks good, you can just clean it and use again.
  3. Clean or replace air filter – There are two types of filters – a paper filter and a foam filter. If you have a paper type, just remove the cover and blow out the dirt with the air hose. If it’s too clogged, install another one. If you have a foam type, clean it with the help of water and any detergent, wait till it dries out and add a bit of oil. Sometimes, it’s necessary to replace the filter, but in the majority of cases, simple cleaning is enough.

Mower blades upkeep

Lawnmowers care and maintenance

It might be a bit hard to remove the blades from your mower. But anyway, this should be done before the beginning of the season. You will have to clean your blades and sharpen them carefully. Only sharp blades will be able to do a good grass cutting job. Otherwise, they will just tear off your grass that will affect the look and health of your lawn.

Before you do anything with the blades, make sure you disconnect the spark plug to ensure mower won’t start. You can sharpen your blade with the help of a sharpening stone or metal file. Whatever you use, pass it over the blade in one direction.

Inspection

After cleaning your mower properly, inspect your mower for any issues. Pay attention to the following:

  • Make sure all the bolts and nuts are tight.
  • Make sure all the available wiring connections don’t have any disorders.
  • Run your mower for at least a few minutes every 2-3 weeks during winter. This will eliminate a lot of problems when spring comes. Keep the gas tank empty to avoid moisture and sediments. Get rid of the aged oil to prevent the engine from dying.

Warnings

  • Be careful when removing and storing blades. Their edges may be sharp enough, even if they need sharpening.
  • Don’t do anything to your mower until you spark plug.
  • Be careful when you loosen or tighten a blade bolt.
  • Do not touch the engine while it’s warm. Some components can reach very high temperatures.

It’s important to remember that each mower type requires different maintenance. More detailed upkeep tips are provided after each mower type description.

Conclusion

What would you choose in your lawn mower – reliability or design? Speed or weight? You cannot rely only on your own preferences. Your budget, lawn type and size, physical condition should be the major factors to analyse and help you decide. Hopefully, our in-depth review of all these factors will be a good start for you in your choice of the most suitable for your lawn mower. But if you still have doubts or cannot find a model that suits your requirements, feel free to drop us a line and let us help you with your choice.

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