There’s nothing like the joy of sipping hot coffee while reading the newspaper on a Sunday morning in a lush green lawn.
Plus, haven’t you heard, the first impression is the last impression? And with the lawn being the first thing your guests will come across, I am sure you’d want to put your best foot forward, right?
But maintaining a lawn can be hard UNLESS you have the right lawn mower. In this guide, we review the best lawn mowers so you can find one that fits your budget and needs in a matter of minutes.
Types of Lawn Mowers
One of the very first hurdles that new homeowners face when purchasing a lawn mower is learning of the different kinds of mowers and their pros and cons. Do not be surprised to find out that there are actually five different types available in the market. Here is a brief introduction to each type with the pros and cons laid out to help you choose better.
1. Reel Lawn Mowers
The most traditional design of a lawn mower, its pollution free, noise free and does not need a power source. It derives power from the force exerted upon it by pushing it forward. This drives the curved blades and helps it churn through grass. It’s also safe and easy to maintain as there are no mechanical or electrical components.
- Best For – Small lawns with flat plains and grass no more than 3 inches in height.
- Pros – Silent, eco-friendly, easy to maintain and long lasting.
- Cons – Inefficient with taller grass, takes too long, can’t be used on large yards and is tiring to use.
2. Electric Lawn Mowers
This kind of a mower operates on an electric motor that drives the blade coupling or attachment at high speeds. Some electric variants also provide power to the wheels. Cordless mowers derive power from a battery while corded versions depend on a power socket. They are silent and great at mulching too.
- Best For – Lawns of 3/4th acre or less and grass of height 6 inches of less.
- Pros – Easy to maneuver requires less energy, high efficiency, silent operations, relatively pollution free.
- Cons – Limited by battery power or plug points, not great with slopes and large lawns, expensive to maintain.
3. Gas-powered Lawn Mowers
They can either be self-propelled or push types. Most operate with a four stroke engine and have the ability to cut through 6 inch high grass cover in a single pass. They provide higher torque and better power. And they are highly portable too.
- Best For – Less than 1 acre of lawn area with grass growth no more than 6 inches high.
- Pros – High power and torque output, effective against tough grass blades, quick operations and portable.
- Cons – Makes a lot of noise, pollutes the environment, needs a lot of maintenance and is limited by the amount of gasoline left in the tank.
4. Garden or Tractor Mowers
These lawn mowers are also called ride-on mowers and they are designed like a mini-tractor. You basically sit on the top, drive it around and let it chop through grass. These small riding machines are designed to move over hills and sloping land with ease while covering lot of ground rather quickly.
- Best For – Lawns of 1 to 2 acres in size and limited trees or flowers.
- Pros – Quick, efficient, zero effort, covers large grounds, great with slopes, cuts through wild grass of more than 6 inches height, can take on additional attachments such as a snow blower and mulching blades.
- Cons – Poor maneuverability, wide turning radius, inefficient, highly polluting, too noisy, high maintenance costs.
5. Zero Turn Lawn Mowers
Similar to ride-on mowers except they depend on rear wheel and rear engine drive with a turning radius of zero degrees. They can move between trees with ease and have the power to drive across large tracts of land quickly regardless of the slope or distance. They usually have a 42 to 48 inch mowing reach.
- Best For – Wide expansive lands with obstacles such as trees, shrubs, flowers and boulders.
- Pros – Easy to handle, high coverage, quick and efficient.
- Cons – Cannot take on multiple attachments, expensive to maintain and requires regular repairs.
Before buying a lawn mower, consider these factors:
1. Yard Size
What is the size of your yard? This is an important consideration because the larger the size of your yard, the larger the lawn mower must be. Otherwise you may end up requiring more than two passes to cut grass. Usually for ¾ of an acre it is best to go with walk behind mowers. For more than ¾ of an acre, it is best to go for a rear engine lawn mower or a garden tractor. Zero turn radius mowers are a good alternative for those with lots of trees and flowers around or a yard size of 2 or 3 acres.
Is it a flat and small yard? If so then a walk behind mower will suffice. But for hilly yards pushing the mower around can be difficult so think of a self-propelled mower. If its big slopes that you have to tackle you need a larger engine and a ride-on mower. It all depends on how much gradient there really is. The best way to find out what kind of terrain you have in your yard is to walk up and down the terrain. If it’s easy to walk then you have a flat yard. If it’s too difficult to climb slopes then you have a hilly yard.
3. Special Features
Today lawn mowers come with plenty of optional add-on features. Not all will be needed so decide beforehand what features you really want to have and the ones that will give you zero benefit. Do you need a mulching blade? Get one with an optional mulch attachment if you want to mulch for natural fertilizers. Similarly, do you need auto choke feature? Or maybe a battery operated mower? These are questions that only you can answer. Think carefully as special features tend to elevate the price.
What kind of engine your mower has determines whether it can cut through long grass blades. Furthermore, the engine also decides how quickly you can mow the lawn. Based on the power output and blade attachment, you can get a large powerful mower that can cut through 6 inches or more of grass height or a small compact one capable of dealing with a maximum grass height of 3 inches. Usually, Briggs & Stratton make the best engines for lawn mowers. Also remember that the sturdier the engine design and the more reputed the company, the longer the engine will last and so shall your mower.
5. Maintenance & Warranty
No one wants to have an expensive piece of hardware that breaks down intermittently. In fact, your mower is only as good as its warranty. Once the warranty expires you are on your own. So, get something with a long warranty period and read user reviews on specific models to find out which ones require the least maintenance. At least, when the warranty cover runs out you won’t have to spend too much in keeping the machine going. Usually, cheap models tend to carry a limited 1 year warranty while expensive models from reputed companies carry longer warranties. However, spare parts of big brands tend to cost more than those made in China. Choose wisely.
Best Lawn Mower Reviews
1. Troy-Bilt TB330 163cc 21-inch 3-in-1 Self-Propelled Lawnmower Review – (Best Self Propelled Lawn Mower)
If you prefer power over other features, a gas lawn mower is often the go-to choice and it doesn’t get any more powerful and convenient than the Troy-Bilt TB330. Here’s why.
Unlike most other gasoline lawn mowers, starting 163cc OHV 725ex Briggs & Stratton engine takes no more than a few seconds with the ReadyStart technology.
Now you won’t be wasting time (nor your strength) pulling the cord a 100 times before it gets started. And because of that, your mower will offer better fuel efficiency and durability as well.
The 21” cutting deck comes with 6 cutting heights which allows you to alter the aesthetic of your yard (whether you like the grass small or slightly bigger, the TB330 delivers). Also, allowing you to get these cuts accurately in just a single pass in the TriAction Cutting technology.
Plus, with the 3-in1 dispersal design, you can either have the grass dispersed through the side or have it mulched or bagged so you can make better use of the grass or dispose it at your convenience.
And if that wasn’t enough, making pushing the mower comfortable and ensuring utmost control is the adjustable ergo handlebar.
Rear Wheel Drive System
With the rear wheel drive system, you get excellent maneuverability even on slightly uneven terrains while the 8×8 wheels are durable and add to the overall control.
The engine too is highly reliable and with a strong body, this baby is built to last.
On the downsides, since it’s a gas lawn mower it has a negative impact on the environment as it can be noisy and consumes fuel.
But all in all, if you’re looking to make quick work of your lawn, the TB330 is best lawn mower for you and worth every penny.
2. Troy-Bilt 382cc 30-inch Riding Lawn Mower Review – (Best Riding Lawn Mower)
Do you have a huge yard and don’t want to tire yourself out pushing a mower the entirety of it? A Troy-Bilt 382 CC riding lawn mower is everything you could have wished you for.
While most riding lawn mower will cost you in the region of $2-3K, this neighborhood mower will cost you less than $1500.
So you can enjoy all the comfort and cutting ability of a riding lawn mower without burning a hole in your pocket.
Comfort all around
The 18-inch turning radius of the steering makes maneuvering the mower a breeze even for first-time riders. This is in tandem with its compact built makes the mower suited for smaller to mid-range yards.
The soft grip steering keeps away blisters when riding for long hours. Plus, with the adjustable seat and steering wheel height, it’s user comfort Troy-Bilt has paid special attention to.
To give you the utmost control over the cutting, the 30-inch cutting deck comes with 5 adjustable height settings. And with the manual power take-off, you can have the blade engaged within a matter of seconds.
Other handy Features
The Mower comes with a 382cc Auto Choke OHV engine that not only churns out plenty of power for a quick easy cut but will also last you for years without fail.
The fuel tank is about 1.3 gallons so there’s plenty of gas of to run the mower more than once and to ensure you never run out fuel at the wrong time, there’s also an accurate sight window.
Lastly, with the 6-speed transmission, you have the power over the speed at which you want to ride the mower.
Being a gas-powered mower, there’s obviously the issue of it not being eco-friendly.
Also, installation can take slightly longer if you’re new to riding lawn mowers but if comfort is a priority, it’s just the mower you need.
3. Ego Power+ 20-inch 56-volt Cordless Lawn Mower Review – (Best Electric Lawn Mower)
The Ego Power+ gives you the chance to get on the eco-friendly bandwagon and do your bit without compromising on the look of your yard. But how?
Well, its Battery Powered
The 4.0Ah 56V Battery comes with an excellent 45-minute runtime. But if you run out charge, you can have up and running in just a mere 30-minutes (now that’s rapid).
Convenience at its best
The 12-amp electric motor generates plenty of power so you not only get the power almost as good as a gas mower but it’s with 30% less noise too.
Plus, cords are out of the window as well. This bad boy starts with just the push of a button.
And once you are done mowing, it can fit into the smallest of spaces as it is foldable and stores upright (storing a mower doesn’t get any easier).
The 3-1 mulching option allows you to make the most of the grass clippings as they can be used later for other plants (saving you a few bucks). But if not, you also have the option of discharging it from the sides or bagging it.
The 20-inch cutting deck is not the only adjustable feature. To ensure you handlebars are a custom fit to your height, they can be adjusted as well.
With the all-weather construction of the mower, it can withstand rain without breaking down making it a worthwhile investment.
While a tough challenger to gas mowers, it does lack the power a gas mower’s motor can deliver. Plus, for many charging can be a real headache (I’d suggest keeping spare batteries).
However, if you’re looking for an eco-friendly option that gets the job done efficiently and is long-lasting, the Ego Power+ is the best lawn mower for small yards (or even medium-sized ones).
Best Cheap Lawn Mower Reviews
In this section we have provided lawn mower reviews of top 4 cheap machines. You can compare features and benefits of each of these in order to make your purchase decision.
1. GreenWorks 25142 16-inch Corded Lawn Mower Review
The GreenWorks 25142 lawn mower is a corded 10 Amp electric lawn mower which is powerful enough to mow your land efficiently. This machine includes a 16 inches cutting deck that gives you high cutting performance. The deck is made up of high quality steel and is quite durable.
The mower is capable of offering 2 features in 1 which includes rear bagging and mulching. The front and rear wheels are of 7 inches that makes maneuvering easier and smoother even around obstacles. It gives you 5 different cutting height adjustment levels ranging from 5/8 inches to 2 5/8 inches.
This one is a perfect starting unit for you and you can cut all types of grass.It is a light weight machine that weighs only 37.5 pounds and the product is backed by an industry beating warranty of 4 years.
2. GreenWorks 27022 14″ Corded Dethatcher Review
The GreenWorks 27022 is a 10 Amp powered corded lawn mower that gives you excellent cutting performance. It enables faster mowing of land with its 14 inches dethatching path capability.
The product is really reliable and highly durable with the use of high quality steel and thus the GreenWorks offer their industry beating warranty of 4 years for this machine as well. The tines are made of stainless steel and are really sharp. The mower also gives a 3 position adjustment of tine depth for improved control for a healthier looking lawn. It includes a full set of 18 replacement tines for ease of users.
This cheap lawn mower is user-friendly with ergonomic padded adjustable handle. The machine weighs only 25.9 pounds.
3. Scotts 2000-20 20-inch Push Reel Lawn Mower Review
The Scotts 2000-20 Reel Lawn Mower is a light and affordable lawn mower that gives you quiet and pollution free mowing operation for your lawn. It includes radial tires, 6 inches rear tracking wheels and 10 inches dual tracking wheels that give you improved maneuvering of lawn. This classic reel lawn mower has no complicated engines to be take care of.
The product includes mower, composite wheels and a handle and thus is easy to assemble. It has 5 heat treated blades made of durable quality steel. The cutting deck is 20 inches wide meaning fewer efforts and less time consumption. It offers 9 different height adjustment slots from 1 inch to 3 inches. The mower is backed by a warranty of 2 years and weight of the machine is only 34 pounds.
With this mower, you need not to mess yourself and lawn with oil or gasoline fueling and no noise to disturb your neighbors. The loop style padded handle makes operating this mower more user-friendly.
4. Sun Joe MJ401E Mow Joe 14-inch Electric Lawn Mower with Grass Bag Review
The Sun Joe MJ401E Mow Joe is powered by a 12 Amp electrical motor that mows you lawn effectively. This lawn mower is suitable for small lawns and the machine is easy to use.
It has a durable blade with cutting width of 14 inches. The machine easily begins with the push of a button. It offers 3 cutting height adjustments till 2 2/5 inches. The design is compact and is thus easy to store. It has a grass catcher that is easy to detach for disposal of clippings. This grass collection bag is rear mounted and has a capacity of 10.6 gallons. As opposed to gas lawn mowers, this machine is easy to operate and handle without hassle of fueling it up with gasoline or oil.
This mower is only 28 pounds in weight and is backed by a warranty of 2 years. The cord length gives you a mowing till 100 feet of your electric outlets and this lawn mower is specifically designed for mowing small lawns.
Your dream lawn isn’t too far away. With the right lawn mower, you can turn a monotonous weekend chore into a fun and quick activity.
Know your lawn size, know the type of mower you’d prefer and work a budget to get the best bang for your buck.