When it’s time – yet again – to tame the yard, a good lawn mower will prove its worth over and over. But to make the best investment, you’ll need to look at your lawn, and consider your own desire for a little (or a lot) of exercise before buying.
If you’ve got a lot of yard or simply want a more powerful lawn mower, gas engines are the way to go. Just remember that gas mowers are loud, sometimes hard to start, and a little smelly. You’ll also need to stay on top of maintenance – things like oil... changes, fuel filters, properly mixed gas, and new spark plugs. If you’ve got a smaller lawn, a quieter, low-maintenance electric lawnmower can be a wise choice, but it won’t rip through thicker, taller grass as easily.
Beyond gas or electric, you’ll also want to consider whether you want a push mower or a self-propelled model. As its name suggests, a push mower will require you to provide the power to get the mower from Point A to Point B. It’s less strenuous on the wallet, but more strenuous for you. A self-propelled mower only needs you to control the direction, but otherwise rolls ahead under its own power.
Here are our picks for the best lawn mowers you can buy today.
If you’re in the market for a powerful but reasonably priced self-propelled gas mower, the Honda HRR216VKA is worth a look. It has 21-inch twin blades and a 160-cc engine, and it gets stellar expert marks for everything: mulching, bagging, discharging, handling and ease of use.
This Honda is a 3-in-1 model, meaning it can cut, bag and mulch your clippings. Better yet, you can change functions by simply sliding a knob – no tools necessary. The variable speed control means users have complete... control of the mower. The easy-start engine has auto choke, and there is a quick-fold handle that makes the mower easier to stow in the garage or a trunk when it’s needed on the go. Hundreds of happy users say this mower leaves their lawns looking immaculate, with very fine clippings. They also love being able to set the speed where they’re comfortable instead of being “pulled along” by the mower. It’s recommended for yards up to a half-acre and can handle slopes and obstacles. Honda backs it with a three-year warranty.
Push lawn mowers can quickly add up in costs when you pile on extra features and accessories you will rarely use. In order to save some money while still buying a capable mower to push around the yard, a value push mower can be a great choice. Value mowers are not only more affordable, they often are smaller and easier to store in small or packed garaged where space is at a premium.
The Sun Joe Corded Electric Push Mower offers a simple mower setup for the days when you want to get the lawn cut... quickly. Using a 12 amp motor, the mower will effortlessly cut through the average size yard with a constant supply of power. The cutting head is a 14-inch metal blade that keeps the overall weight to a light 29 pounds. For adjustability, the mower also comes with a three-position height control so you can set the desired grass length quickly.
If you don’t want to deal with the maintenance, noise or fumes of a gas-engine mower and have a bit more to spend, reviewers rave about the self-propelled EGO Power+ LM2001, which is powered by a rechargeable 56-volt lithium ion battery. It has 20-inch blades and draws raves from experts for being powerful, lightweight and quiet. Like the Honda above, it can mulch, bag, or discharge clippings. Note that it isn’t self-propelled, but users say it’s quite easy to push.
Though a battery-powered... mower may not work for a very large yard, this one can run up to 90 minutes on a full charge, and charge time is less than that. It has a push-button start, LED headlights, a foldable handle, five-position deck height adjustment and tool-free changes between functions. Owners rave about how quiet it is, though some say it’s still not quite as powerful as a similar-size gas mower. The EGO can handle slopes and obstacles and is backed by an impressive five-year warranty.
If you have a small yard, a small budget, or both, a corded electric lawn mower like the Greenworks 25022 can take care of your yard without stressing your budget or requiring the maintenance that a gas-powered mower needs. It has a 20-inch blade and a 12-amp motor that requires an outdoor extension cord.
Like the other mowers featured here, this Greenworks mower can bag, discharge or mulch clippings. It has seven cutting heights and a push-button start. Though it’s not self-propelled, owners say... it’s fairly lightweight and easy to push, especially compared with gas push mowers. They also like how quiet it is, though most say there is a learning curve when it comes to power-cord management – you’ll need to learn how to mow without running over the cord. It’s also probably not for yards much bigger than a third of an acre. Greenworks backs the mower with a four-year warranty.Continue to 5 of 6 below.
If you’ve got a little more to spend and want a more powerful gas engine and some premium features, the Honda HRX217ZA should be tops on your list, reviewers say. It has a 190-cc engine, 21-inch twin blades, and an impressive lifetime warranty on the rust- and dent-free mowing deck. Like the mowers above, it mulches, bags, and discharges, but this model also adds leaf shredding to the mix.
At this price point, you’ll get a lot of nice features, including a turn-key electric start, a... variable-speed engine with cruise control, seven cutting heights that allow for a very close-cut lawn, and a roto-stop system that means the blades will stop without requiring you to cut the motor power if you need to step away. Reviewers say it leaves a close, smooth cut and very fine clippings, and they love the turn-key start. Some warn that it is on the heavy side, though. The mower is recommended for lawns up to a half-acre, and it can handle some slopes and obstacles. It’s backed by a five-year warranty.
An old-school reel mower like the 18-inch Fiskars StaySharp can be a great choice for homeowners with very small yards who don’t mind cutting the grass a little more often. Experts rave that this one is quite easy to push, and it’s also a good choice for anyone who wants to be as eco-friendly as possible (while getting some good exercise, too).
Testers with The Sweethome praise the Fiskars’ chute design, which can actually push grass clippings forward instead of backward, though that’s still an... option. Other features include single-handed height adjustment, blades that don’t require manual sharpening, and inset wheels that let the blades extend the full width of the mower, helping users avoid small uncut strips common with other reel models. Owners say they also find the Fiskars easy to push, and love that it cuts silently and without fumes. Of course, some caution that it’s not for anyone who lets their grass grow taller, and it isn’t good for larger lawns or lots of slopes. It’s backed by a three-year warranty.
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