What type of lawn mower should I buy?

Tools

The first mechanical lawn mower was invented in 1830 by Edwin Beard Budding and was designed to maintain sporting grounds and expansive gardens.

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Which lawn mower is best for your yard

As spring ushers in warmer temperatures and blooming gardens, it also brings the return of luscious green lawns everywhere. Some people can afford to spend money on professional landscaping services, while others prefer to manicure their natural turf. Whether you have to manage a small patch or several acres of grass, the right lawn mower can make maintaining your grounds easier and keep your lawn looking beautiful. 

Before you can start landscaping your grass, it’s crucial to find the right mower for your situation at the best value. 

How to choose a lawn mower

Before throwing away money on the wrong product, it’s essential to determine what type of lawn mower best suits your property. If you’re a homeowner with a modest quarter-acre of land, you’ll require a smaller solution than those with large yards, farms or expansive property. 

The most conventional lawn mower, the push mower, can keep your yard nicely trimmed, but there are quite a few different models and options within the category. Riding mowers are best for maintaining more significant properties and come in various sizes and models. Mowers also differ in their power source: gas, electricity or manual. The type of power used should take into consideration fuel efficiency and availability. 

Things to consider when choosing a lawn mower

  • Power source: gas, electric or manual.
  • Operation type: push, self-propelled or riding.
  • Energy efficiency: rechargeable battery vs. corded electric.
  • Budget: cheap lawn mowers vs. expensive lawn mowers.
  • Special features: mulching, collection, brake clutch, zero-turn.

Types of lawn mowers

  • Manual push: best for smaller yards and flatter terrain, require an able body to operate.
  • Self-propelled push: available in front-wheel and rear-wheel drive, better for hills and uneven terrain, easier to operate.
  • Riding: fully self-propelled and operated by a trained driver, best for large yards or extensive property.

Best gas push lawn mower

Overall best gas push lawn mower

Troy-Bilt 21-inch 160cc 3-in-1 Gas Push Mower

Troy-Bilt 21-inch 160cc 3-in-1 Gas Push Mower

What you need to know: This lightweight mower is powered by a Honda motor but costs $100 less than the Japanese automaker’s competing model.

What you’ll love: Large rear wheels for hills and rough patches. Easily adjustable six-position blade deck. Auto-choke engine.

What you should consider: Requires fuel stabilizer to prevent engine issues.

Where to buy: available at Amazon

Best gas push mower for the money

PowerSmart 21-inch 170CC Gas Push Mower

PowerSmart 21-inch 170CC Gas Push Mower

What you need to know: Lightweight and agile, PowerSmart offers a relatively cheap alternative with a five-position blade deck.

What you’ll love: It’s foldable for vertical storage, includes durable blades and has highly rated customer service.

What you should consider: The addition of expert assembly costs extra.

Where to buy: available at Amazon

Best battery-powered push lawn mower

Best overall battery-powered push lawn mower

RYOBI ONE+ 16-inch 18-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Push Lawn Mower

RYOBI ONE+ 16-inch 18-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Push Lawn Mower

What you need to know: Ryobi’s ONE+ battery powers over 175 other tools, making this mower compatible with more lawn care products.

What you’ll love: This model is lightweight and compact, easy to use and has a good operation and charging time.

What you should consider: Not recommended for thicker grass.

Where to buy: available at Home Depot

Best value battery-powered push lawn mower

Greenworks G-MAX 40V 16'-inch Cordless Lawn Mower 

Greenworks G-MAX 40V 16′-inch Cordless Lawn Mower 

What you need to know: This model features a 40-volt battery that is interchangeable with other Greenworks lawn care tools, making it versatile as well as reliable.

What you’ll love: It includes rear bagging and mulching, long-lasting battery and quiet operation.

What you should consider: Requires a backup battery for larger yards.

Where to buy: available at Amazon

Best electric corded push mower

Best overall electric corded push mower

Greenworks 21-Inch 13 Amp Corded Electric Lawn Mower

Greenworks 21-Inch 13 Amp Corded Electric Lawn Mower

What you need to know: This mower is lightweight and straightforward while still powerful enough to cut thicker lawns while saving energy.

What you’ll love: It is quiet, has a seven-position blade deck and is portable and easy to store.

What you should consider: The addition of expert assembly costs extra, and this unit requires an extension cord.

Where to buy: available at Amazon

Best value electric corded push mower

RYOBI 13-inch 11 Amp Corded Push Lawn Mower

RYOBI 13-inch 11 Amp Corded Push Lawn Mower

What you need to know: Easy to use and affordable, this electric mower makes going green easy.

What you’ll love: This push mower is lightweight, easy to use and includes mulching and bagging features.

What you should consider: It’s not as powerful as other mowers

Where to buy: available at Amazon

Best self-propelled lawn mower

Overall best self-propelled lawn mower

Honda 21-inch 3-in-1 Variable Speed Gas Self-Propelled Lawn Mower

Honda 21-inch 3-in-1 Variable Speed Gas Self-Propelled Lawn Mower

What you need to know: One of the most versatile and customizable mowers, this model makes lawn care easier by being more adaptable.

What you’ll love: Includes enhanced mulching, seven-position blade deck and adjustable speed and positioning.

What you should consider: This unit is heavier than other mowers.

Where to buy: available at Home Depot

Best self-propelled lawn mower for the money

PowerSmart 21-inch 170CC Gas Self-Propelled Mower

PowerSmart 21-inch 170CC Gas Self-Propelled Mower

What you need to know: This mower is straightforward and easy to use without breaking the bank.

What you’ll love: This self-propelled mower is easy to store, strong and durable.

What you should consider: There are some reports of propulsion issues.

Where to buy: available at Amazon

Best riding lawn mower

Best riding lawn mower for the money

RYOBI Electric Battery Rear Engine Riding Lawn Mower

RYOBI Electric Battery Rear Engine Riding Lawn Mower

What you need to know: Not only is this riding mower robust and high-performing, its electric battery power produces zero emissions.

What you’ll love: This riding lawn mower has a two-hour runtime, is quieter than most riding mowers and has cruise control.

What you should consider: There are reported battery issues.

Where to buy: available at Home Depot

Matt Fleming is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

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