Summertime hits and all of your neighbors’ lawns are green and cut perfectly. Would it not be terrific if your lawn magically mowed itself? Of course, the next best thing for you would be to hire a landscaping service to do it. Then again, that requires an absurd amount of money that most of us are not willing to pay. So, you are left with the reality that you need to invest in a lawnmower. There are many different features in each mower to look out for as well as the battery life expectancy and even overall power.
This is an important investment to make as a high-quality model can not only improve the appeal of your yard but it can perform quickly and efficiently. Because of this, it is important to set apart some time to really focus on the key details that make lawnmowers non-expendable machines.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 15 hrs of research
Features a rear-wheel self-propulsion system
Can mulch as good as any mower in the world
Sports a 190cc engine for immense power
Top 10 Picks
1. Honda HRX
Features a rear-wheel self-propulsion system
Can mulch as good as any mower in the world
Sports a 190cc engine for immense power
There is no side discharge
It is quite the loud machine
There is a reason why nearly every major review publication will have this model on the top of their lists. It is universally recognized as one of the greatest mowers in the world because of its power, handling, and straight-up performance.Read more
With a 190cc engine that powers it, the HRX is one of the most powerful machines of its kind. In addition to this, it is designed with a special MicroCut blade that has four cutting surfaces instead of just two.
While this does not have a side discharge option, it is one of the best mulchers in the world. Plus, you can actually control the amount of grass that goes through the rear discharge. Oh yeah, and the bagger is generously sized.
Ease of Use
Everything, including the angled handle with thin foam to reduce vibration and fatigue and the rear-wheel self-propulsion system, works together to ensure that this mower is incredibly easy to operate and control.
Thanks to the automatic choke system, you never need to worry about choking this engine to start it. In addition, the quick-release connection at the base of the handle allows the handle to fold down easily.
Despite the fact that you must adjust each wheel independently, there are an impressive seven cutting heights for this deck. The lowest being ¾-inch and the highest being four inches.
Few lawn mowers can stand up to the specifications and performance of the Honda HRX. But, even the best machines out there do have some slight flaws so be wary of them.
2. EGO Power+
The battery can be recharged in a lightning-quick 40 minutes
Backed by an impressive five-year warranty
Features enhanced battery power to tackle tall grass
There are serious limitations when it comes to finding repairs for this
While Honda has the best gas-operated model on this list, the award-winner for the best battery-operated model has to go to Ego. Their model is expertly designed in nearly every way and manages to outperform several gas-operated models.Read more
While the 56-volt lithium battery that powers this is impressive enough, what is even more impressive is the charging time of the battery. At a lighting fast 40 minutes, the battery will be fully recharged and ready to go.
If you desire a mulching function, this mower can satisfy you as it does so with ease. However, you can also bag your grass clippings if you so choose or simply use the side discharge chute for mowing.
Ease of Use
The combination of the large, nine-inch wheels on the base and the self-propelled nature of this model make it very easy to maneuver around tight corners and over higher lengths of grass.
To ensure you know exactly when the battery is going to run out of juice, there is an integrated battery indicator. Furthermore, this machine can be started with the simple push of a button.
Due to the implementation of the single lever design, you can adjust the height of the deck from 1.5 inches to four inches (with the ability to choose five different heights) with only one hand.
Probably the only reason someone would avoid this is if they refuse to operate a lawn mower that is not run using gasoline. Yet, the convenience of a battery can’t be denied and this model can still perform with the best of them.
Incredibly simple to assemble upon arrival
Produces limited noise and vibration levels
Features a 21-inch deck with dual-blades for optimal cuts
One tester noticed that the bagging method failed a few times
Did you ever think a piece of lawn equipment could offer so much convenient features? Well, if you did not, you need to re-assess your position by checking out this next model.Read more
Powering this machine is a Briggs and Stratton four-stroke, OHV engine with a displacement of 163cc. Plus, in conjunction with the 21-inch deck and dual-blades, it ensures a clean cut.
Even though this can be used as a bagger, mulcher, or with the side discharge, it struggles a bit with bagging. However, what is really noteworthy is the flexible handle that can be adjusted to account for different user heights.
Ease of Use
The fact that this mower is both self-propelled and light in weight makes it easy to maneuver, to begin with. But, when you add the front wheel drive and 11-inch rear wheels, the maneuverability is enhanced especially over uneven terrains.
First off, this is equipped with a deck washout port to aid in the cleaning process. Secondly, with just a few gentle pulls, this engine will start rolling. No need to worry about struggling with this process, as starting is not an issue here.
Although the dual-lever design complicates the operation of adjusting the deck, it can be adjusted to six different positions ranging from 1.25 inches to 3.75 inches.
Fans of bagging while they mow may be a bit disappointed with the results here but as for everyone else, this model delivers the goods when it comes to power and convenience.
4. Sun Joe
It can tackle uneven terrain seamlessly
Features a deck washout port for easy cleaning
This can be stored vertically when not in use
One user noted that the wheels feel cheap
From top to bottom, you would be hard-pressed to find another lawn mower that will open as many eyes as this. While looks can be a bit deceiving, as you will see, this is easily one of the best models in the world.Read more
This has been designed with a Briggs and Stratton 7.25-pound gross torque 163cc engine. As one user did note, though, it may not prevent the 22-inch deck from bogging down a bit in thicker grass.
All that you could ever want in a mowing system can be achieved here. That is, this can handle bagging, side discharge, and mulching for any lawn you desire.
Ease of Use
Outside of the 11-inch rear wheels, the biggest selling point (in terms of the overall handling) would have to be the variable speed front wheel self-propelled drive system.
Some lawn mowers will not offer half the convenient features offered by this model. This includes a deck washout port for cleaning, an auto choke engine and the ability to be stored vertically.
From one-inch to four inches in height, there are a whopping nine different heights to which you can adjust this deck.
While there have been a few complaints from various users, this design is still mightily impressive nonetheless. To be honest, the fact that it can be stored vertically when you are finished is the icing on the cake.
5. Honda 3-in-1
The handlebar height is low to account for smaller users
Equipped with one of the largest bag capacities out there
Sports variable rear wheels for self-propulsion
There is no quick-wash port built-in
Very noisy as compared to other models
This is another Honda model on this list and this time, the HRR is going to enter the spotlight. Even though it is a discreet feature to some people, one of the features that stands out is the immense bag capacity.Read more
There is no doubt about it, this bad boy can perform and do so well. Yet, the 160cc engine is a bit smaller than other models on this list and may not be quite as powerful.
Even though this can act as a bagger, mulcher, or side-discharge, it truly shines as a bagger. Again, this is because of its impressive bag size that is one the largest you will ever find.
Ease of Use
Two of the best features of this model are the handle cushioning and variable rear wheels. When combined, they create a mower that is both comfortable and incredibly mobile.
Unfortunately, this mower will have to be tipped upside down to clean it as there is no quick-wash port. On the plus side, the zone start safety system will kill the engine as soon as you let go of the flywheel lever for added safety.
Given the fact that there are six different deck heights achievable, you should have no problems cutting your grass to the desired length.
The inclusion of a quick-wash port would have been ideal but that can be forgiven. Overall, probably the best aspect of this model is its maneuverability and it should thrill most buyers.
6. Poulan Pro
Offers nine different cutting heights
Can switch from one clipping method to another without tools
Built with a 22-inch deck
It is not designed to handle large areas
The bag does not have the largest capacity
Not all of you will need a mower that can mow New York City. No, sometimes all that is necessary to get the job done is a model that can handle small to mid-size areas with ease. Well, let’s take a look at that model, shall we?Read more
Even though the deck on this machine is 22 inches in width, it sports a 149cc engine which is rather small. Because of this, it is indeed ideal for small to mid-sized lawns.
As this is a 3-in-1 model that can act as a bagger, side-discharger, and mulcher, you can use it however you wish. Of course, be aware that the bagger is quite small as compared to other models.
Ease of Use
Emphasis was placed on comfort and ease of use that much is certain. After all, how else do you explain the four-wheel-drive variable speed system and rubber handle grip?
Despite the lack of a push starter, no flooding or priming is necessary for pull starting. In addition, there is an integrated water hose connector that can attach to your garden hose for cleaning.
If you can’t find a height that meets your desires, the onus is on you. This is simply because there are nine different cutting heights that this deck can be adjusted to.
Granted you do not have an abundance of grass to cut, this lawn mower will be a fantastic addition to your garage. The sheer convenience and ease of use is proof enough for that.
7. Worx WG779
Can cut extremely close to fencing and walls
Very light in weight and very easy to maneuver
The two 20-volt batteries are compatible with other Worx machines
Will take a long time to mow larger areas
Adjusting the deck height can be more difficult than it should be
Worx brings along another electric mower to this list and while this is not as impressive as the previous model that made an appearance, it is cordless and offers several reasons to get excited.Read more
Being equipped with a 34-centimeter metal blade, which does offer performance benefits, this is another entry that will struggle with larger lawns. At its core, though, it is powered by two 20-volt batteries that will recharge in around two hours.
Even though this can function as a mulcher, the most notable aspect of it is arguably its ability to cut close to fences and walls. While it may not eliminate the need for some edging, this machine can get darn close to edges.
Ease of Use
Overall, the freedom of its cordless nature and its overall weight make this model one of the easiest and simplest to maneuver around with on your lawn.
Both batteries can be charged at the same time to save you an extensive amount of time. Also, there is an eco-mode that allows you to conserve battery power by reducing the power output.
You are provided with the ability to alter the deck’s height from 20 millimeters to 70 millimeters. While you can’t choose each amount, there are six heights in total.
Once again, this is an ideal model for those of you who own property without an asinine amount of square footage to mow. Plus, it is powered by its dual batteries so that is always a bonus.
8. Craftsman 37430
It is a very light model
Sports 11-inch rear wheels that improve maneuverability
Delivers an impressive amount of power for a 140cc engine
The levers can slip out of position during mowing
The engineering of the oil fill tube is flawed and very difficult to get to
Admittedly, there are some design flaws that are present with Craftsman’s push mower. Yet, what is rather surprising is that for such a small engine, the torque provided is quite remarkable.Read more
Yes, the engine of this particular model is only 140cc which is rather small. However, the five-pounds-feet torque that is generated is pretty impressive and still delivers sufficient power.
This bad boy can operate as a mulcher, side-discharge, and a bagger. What is even better about the latter, though, is the 1.9-bushel optional dust filter helps people who suffer from allergies.
Ease of Use
While the seven-inch front wheels deliver the nimbleness needing to cut narrow spaces, the rear 11-inch wheels perform the brunt of the load and make maneuvering on uneven terrain that much easier.
According to one reviewer who performed a full evaluation of this product, it can be a nuisance to start at times. They even went as far as to say the cord needs to be pulled at a specific angle to start the engine.
The good news is that there are six different height adjustments to tamper around with. Yet, the bad news is a single lever to raise and lower the wheels would have made life a little easier and that is not integrated.
Is this a perfect lawnmower that is flawless? No, it is not, unfortunately. There are some serious caveats that may prevent you from buying this model but just know that the positives do outweigh the negatives.
9. Earthwise 60420
Acts as a 3-in-1 one unit
Includes a single lever that can adjust the deck to seven heights
Run via the power of a battery
Utilizes steel for the deck which is prone to rust
It is not self-propelled
Undoubtedly, this 40-volt machine is one of the best of its kind. That said it would be remiss to not mention that this is not a self-propelled mower. Fairly enough, this could be a deal breaker for some of you.Read more
Two lithium-ion batteries deliver the power for this engine to run and it will do so for 55 minutes before it needs to be recharged again. Yeah, this is better suited for smaller lawns.
As with most of the other entries on this list, Earthwise designed this to work as a 3-in-1 system. But, as this is not self-propelled, using the bagger can add a ton of unnecessary weight.
Ease of Use
This is where this mower falls short a bit. Because the motor is not assisting you while you push it, the 52-pound weight can be pretty tough to push around.
To guarantee that you are fully aware of the current status of the batteries at all times, there is a battery indicator that is integrated into the body.
One feature that is very impressive is the deck of this model. Not only does it provide a wide cutting path because of its 20-inch width, but it can also be adjusted from 1.5 inches to four inches (in seven different positions with its single lever).
Some of you probably skipped over this one as soon as you realized it was not self-propelled. Again, this is a notable omission but due to its wide range of features, it was only fair to show it off to you.
10. Lawn-Boy 17734
Starts with the simple turn of a key
Backed by a three-year limited warranty
The rear wheel drive self-propelled system improves maneuverability
Improvements are needed for the deck’s adjustments
The side discharge unit has received heavy criticism
Capping off this impressive list of lawn mowers is Lawn-Boy’s model. Outside of the rear wheel drive self-propelled system that enhances the handling, this is also notable for its equipped electric start.Read more
With commercial-grade features and a 21-inch steel deep dome deck, this mower than can get the job done right the first time.
Buyers beware; there have been a number of reviews that have alluded to the issues with the side-discharge system. Thankfully, you can also mulch and bag with this model to make up for it.
Ease of Use
Again, due to the implementation of the rear wheel drive self-propelled system, your control and the overall traction of the mower are vastly improved.
Lawn-Boy clearly designed their model with the intentions of making starting easier. This is clearly obvious thanks to the electric start integration and with a turn of a key, this model will fire up.
Let’s just say that the deck on this model is limited. First off, it only sports two different height adjustments. Secondly, it is adjusted using a metal clip that rests against soft plastic legs and this tends to slip when excess weight is pushed to the front.
To recommend this to a wider demographic, there would need to be some improvements. Still, for the right people, the electric start and excellent handling will be enough to sell this.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
With all machines that are set out to do perform a particular task, their capable power is always going to come to the forefront. And yes, the same applies to lawn mowers. The best area to assess to figure out their power would definitely be the engine. But, there is more than just one simple specification to keep your eye on. For example, first assess the size which for these machines, typically ranges between 140cc to 190cc. Clearly, the larger the engines will be able to tackle tougher cutting conditions. However, engines also come in different types such as an overhead valve and side-valve. The former between the two of these is superior thanks to its larger size, fuel economy, smoothness, and overall power.
But, what about torque in an engine? This indicates the force that will keep the blades spinning and the higher the torque, the better cut you will receive. Then again, if you are in the market for an electric model, look for the voltage and amperage of the battery. Oh yeah, you can also look for dual-battery systems as this will enhance the cutting time.
Would you believe it if you heard that push mowers are actually very versatile machines? Well, they can be but it depends on the specific model that is being alluded to. Their overall versatility comes down to how they handle grass clippings. Overall, there are three primary means in which mowers will accomplish this. For one, they can operate with a simple side-discharge system and this merely directs the grass clippings back into the lawn with a side chute. Then, some will be equipped with a bagging system and this directs the clippings into the attached bagger. While this will add a significant amount of time to the job, it can also create a better-looking lawn. Finally, there are some models that can mulch. As opposed to the last two methods, this contains the clippings and cuts them into smaller sizes. Then, the clippings merely fall back onto the lawn.
So, which method should you choose? Well, why choose one of them when you can all of them? Several lawn mowers will be designed to handle all three and this is what provides them with the versatility that was previously mentioned.
Ease of Use
Not all models are going to maneuver as fluidly and smoothly as others. This is due to a plethora of design features but do not worry, because most of them are pretty straight-forward and easy to look for. First and foremost, if you have ever operated a lawn mower that was not self-propelled and then used one that was you can tell the difference. With the former, the mower is not assisting you in the pushing process and you are expending all the effort to operate it. So, never invest in a self-propelled model if your yard is larger and has uneven terrain.
However, another huge feature is the drive system. Depending on the specific model, it may have one of three drive systems and all offer specific performance advantages. For starters, it may have a front-wheel drive system and this is ideal for level terrain as the drive wheels are in the front. Turning and tipping the mower is made much easier with this system. Then, you have a rear-wheel drive system. This is ideal for hilly lawns as this delivers more traction to the center of the mower. Finally, there is an all-wheel drive and this provides power to all the wheels.
A lawn mower can either be your best friend or your worst enemy, quite frankly. Depending on the type of convenient features that it comes equipped with, or lack thereof can make all the difference in the world. Of course, there are features that are unique to both gas-operated models and battery-operated models. Taking a look at the former, it is nice when they are designed with a no-prime engine or an automatic choke system to prevent the need to worry about this when starting the engine. On the contrary, for a battery-operated model, look for some sort of indicator panel to know how much juice you have left at all times.
What about other small features such as cleaning and storage? Well, with an integrated deck wash port you can connect your garden hose and allow the flow of water to clean out the system. Also, some models will be designed with the ability to be stored vertically which can save a ton of space in your shed or garage.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Cutting the grass too short can expose the grass to disease or an infestation of weeds. Also, cutting the grass too short allows too much sunlight to enter and can burn the roots, resulting in dehydration.
This may be clear to some, but mowing a wet lawn is not desirable. While it doesn't necessarily harm the grass itself, it can clog the deck of the mower. Usually, this won't do too much damage to the mower but it will make a mess to clean afterwards.
Other Factors to Consider
All homeowners will treat their lawns differently. Some will simply scalp the lawn and kill it in the process. Others will want to take a more conservative approach and leave their lawn with a decent grass length (which will make your lawn flourish and healthier, by the way). Well, one way or the other, this is achievable because lawn mowers will come with an adjustable deck. But, the manner in which it is adjusted, how many heights it can be adjusted to, and the maximum and minimum heights will differ for each model.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: How do you store the battery in a mower?
One of the positive aspects of dealing with battery storage is if you have done it in the past, you understand what to avoid and how to store them all. The key thing you want to avoid when you are storing the battery in an electric mower is to leave it in an area that experiences extreme temperatures one way or the other. Instead, store them in a cool and dry environment. In addition, before the end of the mowing season ensure the battery is fully charged before storing.
Now, it is important to note that batteries will self-discharge over time. Ironically, this is the primary reason why you need to avoid storing them in warmer areas as this will speed up the discharging process. On the flipside, a cool and dry location will slow the reaction down. Also, never allow the battery to freeze as that is a big no-no.
q: Are there benefits to cordless lawn mowers?
While the debate between battery-operated mowers and gas-operated versions has not really been addressed, are there benefits to the former (in specific cordless versions)? Well, as compared to their corded counterpart, cordless mowers require much less maintenance as there is not an annoying power cable that you need to worry about. Of course, less maintenance is required as opposed to gas-operated models, as well.
Additionally, there are no restrictions on where a cordless mower can be used as opposed to a corded one. They can only go where they comply with the current power grid and this can become a nuisance. To be honest, though, corded mowers are more of a hassle than they are worth.
q: What if the engine does not start?
One of the most common issues that users will endure with a lawn mower is when the engine refuses to start. There are a plethora of reasons to why this may be happening and if it does happen to you, reference this to see if the following issues are happening. For starters, if you have a gas model and it does not have an automatic choke system or no-prime engine, ensure that you have primed the engine and that the choke is on. For electric models, on the contrary, ensure the battery is charged. Now that the more obvious issues are out of the way, it could be an issue with the spark plug. They do not last forever and it may need to be swapped out with a new plug.
Along the same line, ensure the air filter is cleaned as this can make the machine much easier to start. Lastly, make sure you have fresh fuel inside that is no longer than 30 days old.
q: Can self-propelled mowers mow backwards?
This is a rather intriguing aspect to some self-propelled models in that they can sometimes mow backward. While you can’t expect every model to be able to do this if they do it can assist with the mowing process as this does not limit you. In some instances, it will be much easier to simply back up the mower to cut a specific piece of grass you missed or to cut grass that is an awkward area.
If the engine of the mower does not have a self-drive system, though, this may only be achievable by pulling and releasing the drive lever. Seeing as this would not be something you would most likely be using often, do not fret about it too much.
q: Can you clean an electric mower?
Would it surprise you to be informed that electric mowers can be cleaned in the exact same fashion as their gas counterparts? Well, almost in the same manner as you need to take extra precaution when cleaning an electric model. The concern is water entering the electrical system of the mower as water and electricity never have and never will mix. You may want to avoid water altogether, to be honest, and just settle with wiping and removing the grass clippings from the mower.
If you feel you are comfortable working with electrical systems, you could also oil some of the moving parts but this should only be done if you have prior knowledge as an electrician.
q: How do you clean a mower?
Alright, with that last question out of the way, you may be scratching your head as to how you clean a regular mower in the first place. Do not wonder any longer as you are about to find out how it is done. For starters, and this design integration has been alluded to several times, life is made easier if your model has a washout port. If it does, you just need to spray water into the port as the machine will practically clean itself. But, do so with the engine running and afterward, allow the engine to run for a few minutes to dry the housing.
If you do not have a wash out port, you are most likely going to need to tip the mower on its side to remove the grass clippings on the blades. As this can be a pain, it may only be necessary when there is an excessive build-up of grass which should not be an issue unless the lawn was moist or really thick when you cut it.