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The best gas-powered push mower, the Troy-Bilt TB110 2-in-1 Gas Push Lawn Mower, has a powerful motor, is easy to use, and delivers a clean cut. The best electric push mower, the RYOBI RY401110-Y Cordless Push Lawn Mower, has a long runtime, load-sensing technology, and vertical storage ability.
Here are the best push lawn mowers.
Best Overall, Gas: Troy-Bilt 21 in. 140cc 2-in-1 Gas Push Lawn Mower
Delivers a clean, even cut
Arrives fully assembled
Easy to start
Large rear wheels offer improved handling
No side discharge
If you prefer the power of a gas mower, the Troy-Bilt 21-Inch 2-in-1 Gas Push Lawn Mower is a top choice. This heavy-duty machine is powered by a 140cc Briggs and Stratton engine, and it starts up easily without any priming or choking. The push mower has a 21-inch steel deck with six height options, and it comes fully assembled in the box—all you have to do is unfold the handle, and you’re ready to go.
The Troy-Bilt Mower stands out thanks to the brand’s TriAction cutting system, which uses a rake bumper, specialized blade, and symmetrical deck to deliver a clean, even cut, and finely mulched clippings. It comes with a 1.9-bushel grass collection bag, as well, but keep in mind that there’s no side discharge option.
Best Overall, Electric: RYOBI 20 in. 40-Volt Brushless Lithium-Ion Cordless Battery Push Lawn Mower
Load-sensing technology adjusts to task
Storage compartment for extra battery
Easy to store
Side-discharge accessory sold separately
For an electric push mower, one of the best picks is the RYOBI 40V 20-Inch Push Lawn Mower. This popular model has a 20-inch deck, and its 40-volt battery offers up to 48 minutes of operation per charge. The mower has a brushless motor that delivers nearly as much power as a gas mower, and it even features load-sensing technology that maximizes power to tackle tough patches of grass.
This electric push mower can mulch or bag grass clippings—it can be used to side-discharge clippings, but the accessory to do so is sold separately. There are seven cutting heights to choose from, as well as an onboard storage compartment where you can stash an extra battery, and the unit has a telescoping handle and vertical storage ability to save space in your garage.
Best Budget: Sun Joe MJ401E 14 Inch 12 Amp Home Electric Corded Push Behind Lawn Mower
Ideal for small lawns
Only three cutting heights
This budget-friendly push power is a great option for anyone with a small yard. The Sun Joe 14-Inch Corded Push Mower is compact and basic, but it’s extremely lightweight and easy to operate. It has a 14-inch deck made from rust-resistant material, and you can choose between bagging or side-discharging clippings as you cut.
One of the downsides of this mower is that it only has three cutting heights, ranging from 1.18 to 2.52 inches, so it’s not ideal for cutting overgrown grass. You’ll also need to navigate around a 14-gauge extension cord (not included) as you mow, but the benefit here is that you have unlimited runtime and very little maintenance is required.
Best Corded: BLACK+DECKER MM2000 20 in.13-Amp Corded Electric Push Lawn Mower
Winged blades for better grass collection
Easy to store
Most components are plastic
For a corded mower that’s larger and more powerful, this model from BLACK+DECKER is a top contender. It’s powered by a 13-amp motor that can handle tall grass, and it has a 20-inch mower deck that lets you cut wider paths on each pass. Plus, it has a six-setting height adjustment that’s controlled by a single lever.
This corded mower can side-discharge, mulch, or bag grass clippings, and its unique winged blades are designed for optimal grass collection. The BLACK+DECKER mower is easy to push around your yard thanks to its large rear wheels, and its handle folds down for more compact storage.
Best Cordless: Greenworks PRO 21 in. 60V Battery Cordless Push Lawn Mower
4-in-1 design allows leaf pickup
Battery charge indicator
Reviewers note the battery lifespan isn't great
If you have a larger yard or just a lot of obstacles, a cordless mower like the Greenworks PRO 21-Inch Push Lawn Mower gives you more freedom while still minimizing maintenance requirements. This battery-powered mower can run for up to an hour per charge, and its 4-in-1 design allows you to bag, mulch, or side-discharge grass clippings as well as pick up leaves.
The Greenworks PRO Push Mower has a 21-inch deck with seven cutting heights, and its high-efficiency brushless motor provides plenty of power and torque to tackle any task. An onboard battery charge indicator lets you know exactly how much power you have left, and if you invest in an additional battery, the mower has dual ports and can switch over automatically, doubling your runtime.
Best Reel Mower: American Lawn Mower Company Push Reel Lawn Mower
Cuts grass up to 4 inches
Adjustable blade height
Gets jammed on sticks
Requires more manpower
The American Lawn Mower Company 14-Inch Reel Lawn Mower is extremely affordable and simple to use. This motorless motor is designed to be pushed around your yard, and as the wheels turn, it spins four sharp steel blades that cut your grass. This style of mower obviously requires more manual effort than others, but it’s environmentally friendly and a great option for those with very small yards.
This reel mower is 14 inches wide, and it can cut through grass up to 4 inches tall. It even offers an adjustable blade height between 0.5 and 1.75 inches. It has a cushioned handle to give you a comfortable grip, and you can even outfit it with a grass catcher (sold separately).
Best Heavy Duty: CRAFTSMAN M110 140-cc 21-in Gas Push Lawn Mower with Briggs & Stratton Engine
One-step start, no priming required
Includes grass collection bag and mulch kit
No markings for height adjustments
Not great for hills
For a powerful mower that can tackle tough, overgrown grass, the Craftsman M110 Push Lawn Mower is up to the task. It features a 140cc engine with one-step starting, meaning there’s no priming needed, and the 21-inch deck gives you the option to side discharge, mulch, or bag clippings.
This mower has a dual-lever, six-position height adjustment, but one of the downsides is that there are no markings to indicate which setting you’re on. The loop handle is adjustable for operator comfort, but the wheels are all the same size, providing less traction on sloped terrain.
Best for Hills: WORX WG779 POWER SHARE 40-Volt 14 in. Cordless Walk Behind Mower
Battery charge indicator
Easy to see when collection bag is full
Batteries compatible with other Worx tools
No side discharge
Self-propelled mowers are typically preferred for hilly terrain since they basically drive themselves up the slope. If you’re planning to use a push mower on a hill, you’re going to want something like the WORX 14-Inch Electric Lawn Mower, which weighs around 25 pounds, making it easier to maneuver up a slope. This mower has a fairly narrow 14-inch cutting deck, and its 40-volt battery can cut up to 0.12-acre per charge.
This 2-in-1 mower gives you the option to bag or mulch clippings, and there are six cutting heights to choose from. A battery charge indicator lets you know just how much power is left, and the grass collection bag has a plastic top that lets you see when it’s full.
For a gas-powered product, we recommend the Troy-Bilt 21 in. 140cc 2-in-1 Gas Push Lawn Mower, which has a powerful engine and delivers a more even cut thanks to the brand’s TriAction cutting system. Our top pick for an electric model is the RYOBI 40V Brushless 20 in. Cordless Battery Push Lawn Mower, which delivers up to 48 minutes of runtime per charge and load-sensing technology that adjusts power to the task at hand. Or, for a more budget-friendly pick, you can’t go wrong with the Sun Joe MJ401E 14 inch Electric Corded Push Lawn Mower, which is lightweight and easy to operate.
What to Look for in a Push Lawn Mower
The most common types of lawn mowers are gas-powered, electric, and manual reels. Gas-powered mowers are often preferred for their convenience and power, but they tend to be noisy and not as environmentally friendly. Electric models, which can be corded or cordless, are quieter, have low emissions, and are just as reliable. However, they require charging and have limited run times. Reel models require a lot of physical effort but are suitable for tiny yards.
Push vs. Self-Propelled
Push lawn mowers are the standard, but you’ll need to exert more physical effort—especially if your lawn is hilly or uneven. If this is the case, a self-propelled model will be easier to maneuver. Single-speed, self-propelled lawn mowers move at a single pace, between 1 and 3 miles per hour. Variable-speed lawn mowers can be operated at more than one pace, depending on your preference.
The width of the cutting deck will determine the amount of time you actually spend mowing. The wider the deck, the fewer passes you will need to make when cutting your lawn. A smaller deck, though, can work better for a small yard with tight spaces because it will allow for easier maneuvering.
Grass clippings can be expelled in three different ways: side discharge, bags, and mulching. Side-discharge models send grass clippings right back onto the grass, which is convenient but messy. Bags collect clippings, but emptying them is labor-intensive. Mulching models cut grass clippings into small pieces before spitting them back onto the grass. Some models are multifunctional.
What’s the difference between a push mower and a self-propelled lawn mower?
Push mowers and self-propelled lawn mowers are both styles of walk-behind mowers, but they have one key difference. Self-propelled lawn mowers use power from the motor to turn the wheels, moving the machine forward on its own. Push mowers, on the other hand, lack this feature, which means you have to manually push the machine to turn its wheels.
What type of lawn is best suited for a push mower?
Given that they require more manual effort to operate, push mowers are best suited for smaller yards—typically less than 0.25-acre in size—with mostly flat terrain. They’re generally not recommended for hilly yards, as it’s quite physically demanding to push a 50+ pound machine up a steep hill.
How do you maintain a push mower?
The maintenance requirements of your push mower will vary depending on if it’s a gas or electric model, but all mowers need regular blade-sharpening and deck cleaning. Additionally, gas lawn mower maintenance includes changing the oil, spark plugs, and air filter.
Are push mowers worth it?
Whether or not push mowers are worth the money depends largely on the size and terrain of your yard, how much physical effort you're willing and able to exert, and your budget. From simple and very affordable reel models to gas-powered options with all the bells and whistles, there is a vast range of choices with a range of price points to match.
Do push lawn mowers have batteries?
Electric push mowers can be either corded or cordless. Cordless models use batteries to power the motor.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was written by Camryn Rabideau, a freelance contributor and product tester for The Spruce. As someone who grew up on a 70-acre farm and owns a 5-acre parcel herself, she’s no stranger to lawn mowers, and she’s written extensively on them. She’s also personally tested the RYOBI 38 in. 75 Ah Battery Electric Rear Engine Riding Lawn Mower.
While selecting lawn mowers for this list, she looked at factors such as their deck size, power source, weight, and any special features that make them easier to operate. She also spoke with Brent Gurney, co-founder and VP of operations at Stratton & Brätt Landscaping, for tips on choosing a lawn mower and maintaining it properly.