Taking care of a lawn is no small task – it forces you to get your hands dirty, and it often involves heavy machinery that can be difficult to maneuver. And before you can even get into the deep work of lawn care, you need to first gather all of your supplies, including a garden hose, durable shoes, and other essential maintenance tools. One of the most important – and perhaps the most frustrating – purchases for any owner is a lawn mower, as there are countless models on the market that differ in everything from fuel type to cutting width. . Whether you’re new to mowing or want to upgrade your machine to something more automated, we’ve chatted with experts on how to buy a lawn mower, and put together some of the best options based on their needs. advice.
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The best lawn mowers
To identify what makes a great lawn mower for different use cases, we consulted with experts on what features you want (depending on the yard you want), and we’ve rounded up a few top rated lawn mowers. for every lawn size and experience level.
Best battery lawn mower: Greenworks
According to Aqsa Tabassam, gardener and landscaper with over 10 years of experience, this battery powered push mower is one of the best on the market. “It features four-in-one turbo technology which is great for picking leaves and delivers maximum power,” she said. This model has a 20 inch cutting width making it ideal for medium to large lawns. If you prefer, you can also buy it as a self-propelled mower.
Best gas powered push lawn mower: Craftsman
This gas powered push mower is a popular choice on Amazon with an average rating of 4.4 stars from over 1,300 reviews. Tabassam is also a fan of the push mower, and she has highlighted notable features such as “durable wheels” and a “21 inch mower deck”. This model has a bagger to catch the clippings – or, if you prefer, the mower deck can unload them or use them as mulch.
Best Electric Lawn Mower for Large Lawns: Greenworks
This corded lawn mower has a 20-inch cutting width and unlimited runtime thanks to its corded power, making it ideal for larger lawns, according to Michael Hill, a garden and landscape expert at Garden signpost. It comes with a rear bag to collect the clippings, but you can also choose to use the side discharge or mulch functions.
Best Electric Lawn Mower for Small Lawns: BLACK + DECKER
Hill recommended this corded lawn mower for small lawns. “[It] uses a 10 amp motor to power a metal blade that clears a 15 inch path in one pass, ”he said. “Even if it doesn’t straw, it uses a winged blade and thus promises 30% more efficiency in delivering the clippings to a rear collector. Hill also said this mower can handle taller grass, noting that it is “easy to adjust the height of cut.”
Best self-propelled lawn mower: Honda
This rear-wheel drive self-propelled lawn mower from Honda uses a Smart Drive system, which means you can control its speed up to 4 mph via levers on the handle. It has a 21-inch cutting width, which the brand claims is ideal for jobsites up to 1 acre. The mower has two blades, which allows for a finer cut, specifies the brand. In addition to mulching, the mower also offers bagging and discharge.
Best Riding Mower: RYOBI
With an average rating of 4.5 stars out of over 1,700 Home Depot reviews, this riding mower is a popular choice. It has a 38-inch cutting width with two blades to handle larger lawns, as well as 12 deck settings so you can comfortably place your feet and legs while you mow. Depending on the brand, the battery mower has up to 2.5 hours of runtime on a single charge, and you can use the cruise control feature to simplify your mowing experience.
Best robot lawn mower: Gardena
A relatively affordable option when it comes to robotic lawn mowers, this battery-powered Gardena robotic lawn mower can be programmed to mow gardens up to 2,700 square feet, depending on the brand. (Gardena sells a similar model which can handle gardens up to 5,400 square feet.) The mower can be controlled via Bluetooth with the Gardena app, and any grass clippings left by the machine are designed to be used as mulch in your garden. The robotic lawnmower has an average rating of 4.6 stars out of over 500 reviews on Amazon.
How to buy a lawn mower
Your lawn and how it looks will determine the best lawn mower, experts told us – we asked them what the most important features to look for are.
Most lawn mowers are powered by one of three types of fuel: electricity, gas, or batteries.
- Electric lawn mowers must be plugged into a power outlet to operate and are generally “suitable for small lawns,” according to Tabassam. They also tend to be more reliable, Hill noted.
- Gasoline Lawn Mowers need gasoline to operate. Tabassam said these are best suited for large lawns, although Hill warned they tend to be noisier and are “not environmentally friendly” as they emit fumes.
- Battery Lawn Mowers Run on rechargeable batteries and can work for large and small lawns, depending on the size of the battery. Hill noted that “if you want long range and mobility, battery-powered lawn mowers are the way to go.”
Lawn mower type
There are different types of lawn mowers on the market: push lawn mowers, manually propelled lawn mowers, riding lawn mowers, and robotic lawn mowers. All of these mowers are categorized based on how they are moved around the lawn.
- Push lawn mowers need to be physically pushed. Tabassam noted that they “generally make little or no noise”, but she also cautioned that they are “not as powerful” as some of the other types of mowers, which is particularly relevant for blades of grass. long.
- Manual lawn mowers, a.k.a self-propelled lawn mowers, do not need to be physically pushed to move – they just need guidance. Self-propelled mowers are typically either front-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive (more details below).
- Lawn mowers, as the name suggests, are designed so you can roll over them while you mow the lawn. These mowers, which resemble a tractor, are best suited for large lawns.
- Robotic lawn mowers are exactly what they look like: all you have to do is set them up and they’ll mow the lawn for you. This type of lawn mower is best for a small yard that is no larger than 0.5 acres.
- Zero turn mowers work like lawn mowers, but the mower deck is located at the front of the machine for easy maneuvering. This type of lawn mower is best for large lawns and commercial properties.
Lawn mowers can also be classified based on how they handle clippings. Some models equip lawn sweepers pick up the cut grass to get rid of it later while mulching mowers, for example, will break them down and distribute them around the lawn as a kind of fertilizer.
Front-wheel drive vs rear-wheel drive
Like cars, self-propelled lawn mowers differ in the way the engines distribute power to the tires. Typically, this is either front-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive, although sometimes you’ll find all-wheel drive as well.
- Front-wheel drive lawn mowers are ideal for flat lawns with lots of turns, according to Hill. “Their movement dynamics are easier, allowing more movement as the drive wheels are in the front,” Tabassam added.
- Propulsion lawn mowers are better for hilly terrain and ‘provide more traction in the center, which helps mow difficult, uneven terrain [areas] with great ease, ”according to Tabassam.
- All-wheel drive lawn mowers work well on rough terrain, although rear-drive mowers usually do the trick.
Type of blade or cutter
Lawn mowers are either powered by reel mowers or rotary mowers, and which one you choose depends on how you want your lawn to look.
- Cylinder mowers have a cylinder of horizontal blades in the front. This type of cutter offers a more precise cut, but according to Tabassam, they cannot handle more difficult or overgrown terrain.
- Rotary mowers use only one blade that rotates horizontally. According to Hill, this type of mower is better for taller species, although it “cannot cut as close as cylinder mowers.”
The cutting width of a lawn mower measures the size of the strip the lawn mower can cut. According to Hill, you can determine the ideal cutting width for your lawn mower based on the size of your lawn:
- For a smaller lawn, the ideal cutting width is 28 to 35 centimeters (up to 14 inches)
- For a medium-sized lawn, the ideal cutting width is 35 to 40 centimeters (14 inches to 16 inches)
- For a larger lawn, the ideal cutting width is 40 centimeters and more (16 inches and more)
Keep in mind that this advice doesn’t always apply, especially when it comes to larger mowers like lawn mowers. Make sure you pay attention to what each brand recommends for their lawn mowers in order to make the most informed decision – many listings will include the recommended square footage or square footage intended for a lawn mower. Some retailers, like Home Depot, also offer practical guides that you can use to purchase specific mowers.
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