A fine looking lawn can be a source of great pride. However, as we move into spring, the turf can look a bit unkempt and lack luster. Therefore, during early spring we want to be thinking about our first cut of the season. You should try to mow as often as you can. It is better to have a regular trim rather than waiting until it is overgrown and then having to hack your way through.
Most Popular Lawn Mowers Comparison Table
The four main types of lawn mowers:
Lawn Mower Categories
- Manual Reel Mowers
- Walk-behind Mowers (Push walk or Self propelled – Electric or Gas powered)
- Ride-on Mowers (Lawn tractors or Zero-turn-radius mowers or Rear engine riders)
- Robotic Mowers
Manual Reel Mowers
The reel mower offers a touch of nostalgia! When you use this mower, it turns a series of curved blades that cut your grass. Generally, reel mowers run from 70 to 200 dollars and have a cutting width of 14 to 18 inches. Reel mowers are best for small plots of land, about an eighth of an acre. They are quiet, inexpensive, relatively safe to operate, easy to maintain and good for the environment, as there is no gas engine. Reel mowers tend to bounce over bumpy terrain. If your yard surface is uneven, consider a different style of mower or look for a model without small front wheels.
These types of mowers are most popular in America. They are best for small to medium sized lawns of about half an acre. They use a spinning rotary blade to slice through grass and usually have a cutting width of 15 to 22 inches. You can choose between models that run on gasoline engines, battery powered or an electric powered motor. You also need to decide whether to opt for a push walk-behind mower or a self-propelled one.
Push mowers are less expensive. A basic one costs less than 200 dollars. They can tackle about a quarter of an acre or less and most mulch, bag and discharge grass. While walk-behind push mowers supply power to the blades, keep in mind that you will have to do all the pushing. You should look for a push mower with little or no flex on the handle. That way you can keep a sturdy grip.
Self-propelled mowers can do everything that push mowers can. They can handle bigger yards than push mowers. They are a great place to start if you do not want to do all the pushing, because the engine also drives the wheels. They typically come with a cutting width of about 21 to 22 inches and range from 250 to 1000 dollars depending on the features you choose. You will find side valve and overhead valve gas engines. Overhead valve engines are a premium option and only cost about 20 dollars more and they start easier, are quieter and tend to last longer. Look for the letters “OHV” on the engine. Single speed self-propelled mowers tend to cost less but variable speed mowers let you move faster when the job is easier or slow down for thick grass. Variable speeds are available in front, rear or all wheel drive modes. If you have a relatively flat lawn, a front wheel drive mower maybe all you need. Most single speed mowers have front wheel drive. If you have a sloping lawn, you should consider purchasing a rear wheel-drive mower, as it delivers better traction on the slopes. All wheel drive mowers are best suited for a hilly terrain, but they come at a premium.
Gasoline powered mowers perform significantly better than corded or battery powered mowers. Battery powered walk behind mowers typically use a 24 to 80 volt battery to power the electric motor. They are generally quieter and require less maintenance than gas engines. However, they have smaller cutting widths than gas-powered mowers. You also need to remember that batteries require some maintenance and they need recharging, even in winters.
Corded electric mowers are economical and cost anywhere between 160 to 250 dollars. The cord makes maneuvering difficult and can be dangerous if you run over it.
If you have an acre of land or more, you may consider a riding lawn mower. Gas engines power almost all ride-ons. Ride-on mowers are a lot more hi tech nowadays with advanced features such as hydraulic power steering, cruise control, satellite radio, Smartphone connectors, etc. There are three types of ride-on mowers: Lawn tractors, Zero-turn-radius mowers and Rear engine riders.
Lawn tractors generally cost around 1000 to 4000 dollars and have 42 to 54 inch cutting width. They can bag, mulch or side discharge clippings. For more money, a few tractors have four-wheel steering, where the front and back wheels turn together for a tighter turning. Many tractors offer additional attachments like snow throwers, plows and rototillers.
Zero turn radius (ZTR) mowers are the most expensive mowers with a price range from 2300 to 4000 dollars and offer cutting widths from 42 to 60 inches. These are similar to the ones used by landscapers with a rear engine and rear wheel steering. Most ZTR’s are driven using a set of levers that accelerate, steer and brake. That can be tricky if you are not accustomed to the design, which is why more manufacturers are offering ZTR’s with steering wheels. They can turn circles in one place and are the fastest way to cut grass.
Rear engine riders are less expensive than ZTR’s or tractors. Since the engine is at the back, there is more trimming visibility than with a lawn tractor.
Robotic mowers can automatically mow your lawn without any intervention, but you will need to set a perimeter wire to keep the machine in your yard. Prices typically start at 1400 dollars and go up to more than 2000 dollars. The cut quality is not as good as conventional mowers, but they are likely to improve in the future.
Features and user opinions for the best selling top rated lawn mowers
Best selling top rated lawn mowers for the Walk-Behind – Electric Corded mowers category:
GreenWorks 25022 12 Amp Corded 20-Inch Lawn Mower
GreenWorks 25022 features a 12 Amp motor and is lightweight as compared to the gas engine mowers. A plastic top covers the motor and the bottom deck part is made of powder-coated metal. The large plastic wheels also make it lightweight and easy to push. You can make height adjustments with the help of a single lever. This GreenWorks electric mower can be set to mulch with the rear cover down or if you want to bag your grass, you can simply attach the bag at the back of the mower. You also have the option of side discharge with the included attachment. Before using this mower, it is recommended that you have a 13 Amp extension cord. There is also a cord hanger halfway down the handle that you can use to clip on your extension cord. Since this is a corded mower, it may take some time to get used to having a cord attached to your mower. It is recommended to have the slack as close to the outlet as you can and then mow away from your outlet, so the slack always stays on the side that you are moving away from.
Specs, tips, pros, cons, features and usage for GreenWorks 25022 12 Amp Corded 20-Inch Lawn Mower:
- The mower does not run on battery. It needs an electrical outlet nearby.
- To start, plug the unit into the extension cord, push and hold the lockout button (located on the right hand side box on the handle) and pull up on the bale lever (metal wire). After the motor has started, you can release the lockout button. The mower will run as long as you keep the bale lever squeezed towards the handle. To stop, you just need to release the bale lever.
- This mower does not come with a cord. Therefore, you will need to purchase a separate extension cord with a rating of 12-gauge or 14-gauge and long enough for your requirements. If your electrical plug or extension cord has a power rating below 15 Amps, it can damage the motor and cause overheating of the cord. US Wire 65100 12/3 100-Foot SJTW Orange Heavy Duty Extension Cord
- It is not a self-propelled lawn mower but extremely lightweight to be able to push and control with ease.
- The cutting diameter is around 20 inches.
- Running this mower on wet grass is not recommended. You should wait for the grass to dry out or mow in the evenings after a sunny day.
- The mower comes with a 4 year limited warranty covering manufacturing defects in materials, parts and workmanship.
- Since it is electric, you need not worry about purchasing or storing gas or oil, cleaning filters or pulling cords to start the engine.
- Users found it cheaper to run compared to gas based mowers in the longer run. In addition, users did not notice any big spikes in their electric bills. Power consumption is around 1440 watts at 110V.
- You should be careful and avoid running over the cord while mowing.
- Bag attachment is included (around 50L).
- It is very easy to change the trim height with a single lever to adjust all four wheels.
- The unit consists of one rotating blade.
- It does not have variable speed and always runs on full power.
- You can use it to mulch grass or surface leaves.
- The unit weighs around 56 pounds.
Sun Joe MJ401E Mow Joe 14-Inch 12 Amp Electric Lawn Mower With Grass Catcher
Get your small lawn in tiptop shape with Mow Joe MJ401E, an easy to use electric lawn mower from Sun Joe. Compact and lightweight, MJ401E quickly gets the job done with zero carbon emissions for cleaner air. Starting the Moe Joe is easy. Simply press and hold the safety button while pulling back the bar lever and its powerful 12 Amp motor starts instantly. Equipped with a durable steel blade, Moe Joe has a 14-inch wide swath with each pass. Set your Moe Joe for short, medium and tall grass blades by turning the mower on its side and adjusting the four wheels according to its corresponding setting. Moe Joe’s 10.6-gallon rear bag with a hard top, collects grass clippings and can be easily removed for faster disposal. In addition, its rugged all terrain wheels make it easy to maneuver in and out of tight spaces. When you are done with your mowing, the handles on the Moe Joe can be collapsed so you can easily store it without taking up much space in your garage or shed.
Specs, tips, pros, cons, features and usage for Sun Joe MJ401E Mow Joe 14-Inch 12 Amp Electric Lawn Mower:
- This mower is not a battery-operated mower and needs an external power source.
- It is a light duty lawn mower and should be used only on small lawns that are mowed on a regular basis. If you have tall knee length grass, you will need to first hire a more powerful gas mower and cut the grass to a medium height first. Use this electric mower after that and continue to mow at regular intervals, so that the grass does not grow too tall.
- Remove any stones, small rocks, etc. before mowing.
- Make sure to purchase a good quality extension cord rated 12-gauge or 14-gauge, as that will help prevent any overheating or motor burnouts.
- The cutting height needs to be adjusted for each wheel individually. It has three cutting heights.
- The unit weighs around 28 pounds.
- Power consumption is 110V, 12Amps, 1440W.
- This mower does not mulch and does not have a side discharge for clippings. It is not to be used without a bag.
- The body is made-up of hard plastic to reduce overall weight of the unit.
- It comes with a 2-year manufacturer warranty.
Best selling top rated lawn mowers for the Walk-Behind – Battery operated cordless mowers category:
Black & Decker SPCM1936 19-Inch 36-Volt Cordless Electric Self-Propelled Lawn Mower With Removable Battery
Black & Decker SPCM1936 is a battery operated variable speed self-propelled rechargeable lawn mower. Set the base speed that is most comfortable to you and the variable speed self propelled system moves the mower for you. So mowing your lawn is as easy as going for a walk! It also lets you switch cutting modes with just a turn of a dial. Catch clippings in the rear bag. The 36-volt lift in lift out battery combined with Black & Decker’s powerful motor gives this mower the cutting power to tackle tough lawns. The battery delivers enough run time to cut up to a one third acre site. The durable and lightweight high impact polymer deck will not rust and is easy to clean. The conveniently folding handle makes it easy to fold for compact storage.
Specs, tips, pros, cons, features and usage for Black & Decker SPCM1936 19-Inch 36-Volt Cordless Electric Self-Propelled Lawn Mower:
- Starting the mower is easy and has a similar starting mechanism as the corded mowers. It requires a safety key to be inserted before starting.
- The lithium battery is included with the unit along with the charger.
- You should fully charge the battery before first time use and leave it in the charging mode when the mower is not in use for a long period of time, e.g., during winter months. This will improve battery life considerably.
- The battery also has a meter display to show the remaining charge.
- The lithium battery takes around 8 to 12 hours to fully charge, after which the charger stops charging and prevents overcharging.
- The LED light indicators on the charging adaptor show the charging status, i.e. red light while charging and green light when fully charged.
- You can charge the battery by plugging the unit with the power outlet while in storage. The power cord extension is included in the package. You can also remove the battery easily and replace it with another spare battery. Black & Decker RB-3612 Battery and Charger for Mowers and Tillers, 36-Volt
- According to users, the battery lasts for about 45 minutes of mowing. Therefore, you should purchase a spare battery in case you have a bigger yard.
- The mower is rear wheel drive and is easier to move on inclines. The self propel feature helps if you have steep inclines in your yard.
- You can adjust height for all four wheels simultaneously. The height settings range from 1.5 to 3 inches.
- You can also move the mower without cutting by engaging the clutch.
- You can mulch, bag or rear discharge the clippings.
- The unit weighs around 106 pounds and has a cutting width of 19 inches.
- You can also mow backwards by disengaging the self propel bar.
- To mulch small leaves, you can lower the height to a minimum and propel slowly. Make sure the leaves are dry. If the leaves are big, then it is better to use a lawn vacuum. Black & Decker BV5600 High Performance Blower/Vac/Mulcher
- This mower comes with a two-year manufacturer warranty.
- The variable speeds range from 3.5 to 5 miles per hour.
GreenWorks 25322 G-MAX 40V Li-Ion 16-Inch Cordless Lawn Mower
The GreenWorks 25322 16-inch 40-volt mower has the power and performance to make mowing your lawn easy and more efficient without the fumes, maintenance and expensive gas. GreenWorks combines innovative lithium-ion battery technology with high efficiency motors to create a 16-inch lawn mower that delivers up to 40 minutes of runtime on a single charge. The Energy Star rated diagnostic smart charger senses when the removable battery is fully charged and ready to use. The battery has 75% faster charge time than traditional lead acid batteries. The one-handed single lever height adjustment makes it easy to choose between five cutting height positions. With this 2-in-1 mower, you can choose to bag or mulch the grass clippings and when you are finished mowing, the easy fold system is great for storage and compact transportation.
Specs, tips, pros, cons, features and usage for GreenWorks 25322 G-MAX 40V Li-Ion 16-Inch Cordless Lawn Mower:
- Starting the mower is as easy. Just insert the battery, hold down the start button and pull back the bar on the handle.
- The package includes a lithium-ion battery and charger, grass catcher, and mulching plug.
- The same 40-volt battery used in this mower will power the entire family of GreenWorks 40-volt tools.
- One battery charge lasts for 30 to 45 minutes depending on the length and thickness of the grass.
- The battery has a 4-point indicator display to show the level of charge remaining.
- The battery takes around two hours to charge.
- This mower is not self-propelling, but small and light enough to push with ease.
- The mower is not suitable for very tall grass (above six inches) and works great when the grass is dry. It is best suited for small to medium lawns, which have regular maintenance.
- The maximum cutting height for this mower is 2.75 inches.
- The unit weighs around 38 pounds without batteries.
- It uses a metallic cutting blade to cut grass.
- It comes with a 4-year manufacturer warranty on the unit and 2 years on the battery and charger.
- You can also purchase additional batteries. GreenWorks 29472 G-MAX 4 AH Li-Ion, 40V 4amp G-MAX Battery
- You can also use the 40V battery with other 40 Volt G-MAX Series products from GreenWorks such as cordless vacuum/blower. GreenWorks 24322 DigiPro G-MAX 40V Cordless 185MPH Blower/Vac with 4ah battery and charger
Best selling top rated lawn mowers for the Walk-Behind – Gas powered category:
Husqvarna 7021P 21-Inch 160cc Honda GCV160 Gas Powered 3-N-1 Push Lawn Mower With High Rear Wheels
The mower deck is made of tough steel, which is very sturdy, lightweight and is a very good foundation for this mower. The wheels have double ball bearings with a very low rolling resistance. This combination makes it very easy to push and maneuver around the yard. To top it all it has the trusted Honda GVC 160 4-stroke engine with auto choke system with a quick easy start. The engine is quieter, smoother and fuel-efficient with a fuel shut off valve. It has enough power to cut through thick long and wet grass with ease.
Specs, tips, pros, cons, features and usage for Husqvarna 7021P 21-Inch 160cc Honda GCV160 Gas Powered 3-N-1 Push Lawn Mower:
- This mower is not self-propelled and needs manual pushing.
- The cutting width for this mower is 21 inches and there are six cutting height levels ranging from 1.5 to 3.5 inches. While adjusting cutting height, you should ensure that all four wheels are at the same level, for an even cut.
- It has the capability to mulch, side discharge or collect clippings in the rear bag.
- It has separate tanks for gas and oil. No additional fuel additives required. The oil tank capacity is 18.5 ounces. The recommended oil is for this mower is SAE 10W-30. A bottle of oil is provided with the unit.
- Pull start with an automatic choke.
- It weighs around 102 pounds.
- It comes with the foldable handle for easy storage. The height of the handle is fixed.
- Before storing for long periods without usage especially during winter season, ensure you empty the fuel tank and carburetor bowl. In the next season clean the air filter, pour fresh gas and replace oil. This will eliminate starting problems in the new season.
- Contact the manufacturer or the seller for warranty information before purchasing this mower, as some users have reported double warranty system (separate warranty from Honda for the engine) and were not satisfied with the warranty service.
Lawn-Boy 10732 Kohler Rear Wheel Drive Self Propelled Gas Walk Behind Mower
The rear wheel drive self-propelled Lawn-Boy 10732 with Kohler XT6 OHV Engine, takes a lot of work out of mowing by providing plenty of traction for going up slopes or hills. The two-point height of cut system adjusts two wheels at the same time. That makes setting your cutting height fast and easy. The durable 21-inch steel deck and Lawn-Boy’s exclusive tri-cut cutting system make this a great mower for mulching. When you want to bag your clippings, Lawn-Boy’s large bag fills easily, holds more and lets you empty the clippings faster and less often.
Specs, tips, pros, cons, features and usage for Lawn-Boy 10732 Kohler Walk Behind Mower:
- The mower comes with a 4-stroke 149cc engine with a gross torque of 6.5 ft.-lbs.
- The mower is self-propelled with a constant speed.
- To get started, just attach handle, fill oil, add gas and pull to start. No primer required. It usually starts with one or two pulls. If it does not, then the company will fix it free of coast, as it comes with 3-year Tru-Start commitment.
- 3-in-1 mulch, bag or side discharge options.
- The unit weighs around 66 pounds.
- The unit comes with 20 oz. bottle of oil.
- The front wheel and axle assembly is made of hard plastic material. Some users complained about loosening and misalignment of the front wheels, axle and the height adjustment lever, while the unit was in operation.
- There is an option of electric start at an additional price.
- The product comes with a 2-year full warranty.
Best selling top rated lawn mowers for the Manual Push Reel mowers category:
Scotts 2000-20 20-Inch Classic Push Reel Lawn Mower
Scotts 2000-20 is the perfect solution for the environmentally minded individuals who want to save on fuel costs and protect the environment from CO2 emissions. Powered one hundred percent by the user, this mower cuts easily and assembles with no tools required. It offers a wider cutting width to help reduce cutting time and quick snap adjusters to maintain cutting control. There are nine different height slots and once moved, it stays locked into place. Created from heavy-duty steel, it is a durable device that will enrich the lives of owners.
Specs, tips, pros, cons, features and usage for Scotts 2000-20 20-Inch Classic Push Reel Lawn Mower:
- It has 10-inch dual tracking wheels.
- Rugged composite radial tires for easy traction.
- Cutting height adjustable from 1 to 3 inches.
- Super sharp heat-treated steel blades.
- There is no need for maintenance and there are very fewer parts to replace.
- Compared to a gas-powered mower, it is quieter, efficient and stores easily in the shed or garage.
- You may purchase a sharpening kit to sharpen the blades each season. American Lawn Mower SK-1 Reel Mower Sharpening Kit
- The grass clippings fall backwards towards the operator. You may use a catcher to collect the clippings. The grass catcher is not included in the package.
- Just like any other basic mower, it is difficult to cut tall grass (thick stalk with seed).
- The handle height is not adjustable.
- It is recommended that you grease/lubricate all the moving parts every season.
- The cutting width is around 20 inches.
- The unit weighs around 34 pounds (shipping weight).
- The unit comes with a 2-year warranty.
Fiskars Staysharp Max Reel Mower
Fiskars Staysharp is the most advanced reel mower, is sixty percent easier to push and delivers twice the cutting energy to power through tough spots. An innovative cutting system stays sharp longer and cuts all grass types easily. It includes closer side edging, mess free forward grass discharge, an 18-inch cutting width and 1 to 4 inch cut height range.
Specs, tips, pros, cons, features and usage for Fiskars Staysharp Max Reel Mower:
- To get started, attach the handle and the height adjustment knob into the pre-drilled hole, adjust the blades and you are ready to mow.
- The mower mulches partially by discharging the clippings in the front, which are then re-cut.
- It does the job of a string trimmer since the blades extend along the entire width of the mower and you can get closer to borders, fences, etc.
- The angle of the handle is adjustable.
- It’s better to remove large twigs, tall thick weeds, stones, etc. from your lawn before mowing as they could damage the blades.
- If you compost the clippings, then it is worth to purchase a catcher. Fiskars 18 Inch StaySharp Max Grass Catcher
- The unit weighs around 52 pounds. It is easier to push on slopes, as this mower is lighter than most gas based mowers.
- The product comes with a limited 3-year warranty.
Best selling top rated lawn mowers for the Ride-on Mowers category:
Troy-Bilt 420cc OHV 30-Inch Premium Riding Lawnmower
Enjoy riding around and cutting grass, while navigating around your big yard! Great maneuverability and easy to start, Troy-Bilt 420cc riding lawnmower comes with a rear engine and a small turning radius.
Specs, tips, pros, cons, features and usage for Troy-Bilt 420cc OHV 30-Inch Premium Riding Lawnmower:
- The Troy Bilt engine is 420 cc with a rated horsepower of 15 hp. It comes with an easy key start and a dual circuit alternator for fast battery charging.
- You can push this mower in neutral mode with the engine off, for easy storage.
- You will need to assemble the seat, steering wheel and a rear cover before using it for the first time.
- Some users felt that the reverse safety feature makes it difficult to mow in reverse. You will need to disengage the mower, change to neutral, turn the ignition key to over-ride and re-engage mower.
- The mower cutting width is 30 inches and comes with a decent turning radius of 18 inches.
- It features five adjustable height settings.
- The mower comes with a six-speed transmission and an adjustable seat, which fits small to XL people. Make sure you run on a lower gear while edging. The seat is spring loaded and the mower will not run if you are not seated.
- The forward, reverse, neutral lever is located at an awkward position, between your legs while seating.
- The clutch is extremely sensitive and requires practice to release slowly.
- Rear bagging attachment and mulching kit available separately.
- The unit weighs 340 pounds.
- It comes with a two year limited warranty.
Poulan Pro 960420164 PB145G42 Briggs 14.5 HP 6-Speed Transmission Lever Cutting Deck Riding Mower
With durable product design, high capacity cutting deck, powerful engine, intuitive controls and a comfortable ride, you can now conquer your lawn in less time and with great results.
Specs, tips, pros, cons, features and usage for Poulan Pro 960420164 PB145G42 Briggs 14.5 HP 6-Speed Transmission Lever Cutting Deck Riding Mower:
- It comes with a 14.5 hp Briggs and Stratton single cylinder front engine and does not require an oil filter.
- The mower is pre assembled with prefilled oil and battery installed. You just need to install the seat and the steering wheel, fill in the gas and you are ready to go.
- The lawn tractor features a six-speed variable transmission and a 16-inch turning radius.
- The cutting width is 42 inches.
- You can mow in reverse with a key override.
- With parking brake set, you can get off the seat without stopping the engine.
- The seat is adjustable and has built-in holes in case you want to add a canopy.
- It has variable cutting heights from 1.5 to 4 inches.
- A wide range of accessories are separately available depending on individual needs.
- The unit weighs around 495 pounds and a 2-year limited warranty.
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