- 1 TOP 9 Best Lawn Mower: Comparison Chart
- 2 Choosing a Lawn Mower
- 3 Types of Push Mowers for Different Landscapes
- 3.1 Manual Reel Lawn Mowers
- 3.2 Electric mowers
- 3.3 Walk-behind mowers
- 3.4 Self-propelled mowers
- 3.5 Ride-on Mowers
- 3.6 Robotic Mowers
- 4 Push vs. Self-Propelled Walk-behind Lawn Mowers
- 5 Types of Mowers by Rotation: Cylinder or Reel Mowers and Rotary Mowers
- 6 What to Consider Before You Buy a Lawn Mower
- 7 Lawn Mower Care and Maintenance Tips
- 8 Verdict and our Recommendation for 2020
TOP 9 Best Lawn Mower: Comparison Chart
There are hundreds or even thousands of best lawn mowers out there but you can limit your choice to just a few chosen models. Here are 10 best lawn mowers that are going to be the most widely-used in 2020 as well.
Honda lawn mowers have always been about strong engines. This best lawn mower does not lag behind when it comes to engine quality. Thanks to this and other benefits, like large-capacity discharge bag and intuitive self-propulsion, this lawn mower is seen among the best lawn mowers on the marketplace. This walk-behind lawn mower is perfectly suitable for medium and large gardens.
It uses a MicroCut blade system with four cutting surfaces instead of the usual two. It enables you to cut your clippings into smaller pieces, has less grass waste and stores more grass in a discharge bag. In addition, its bag is 2.5 bushels sized which is 0.5 more than standard bags. Be ready it will be quite heavy when you want to remove the waste.
This Honda lawn mower has seven cutting levels – it enables you to mow your lawn at various cutting heights. However, you will need to set the wheel height for each level as the lawn mower has four-lever wheel adjustment.
Unlike the majority of other best self-propelled lawn mowers, you will control Honda HRX217K6VKA lawn mower with a thumb lever instead of a bar. You will be able to choose the preferred propulsion level.
Another feature worth taking into account when it comes to this lawn mower is mulching. There is a lever that enables you to choose the amounts of clippings you want to leave on the grass. Traditional lawn mowers let you choose either to leave everything or nothing at all.
Why We Like It
- Powerful engine
- Runs smoothly and quickly
- Self-propulsion available
- Bigger than standard discharge bag
- Good price
This self-propelled lawn mower comes with a solid 82V battery voltage. It says durability all over it with a robust build and easy to handle around the lawn. What really comes in hand is the 7 settings for the cutting height of the blades. Based on most of the users' feedback, an average lawn will take somewhere to 45 minutes to clear, which we could safely say that it's pretty fast.
Better than most traditional lawn mowers, after all considerations.
Why We Like It
- 7 cutting height settings
- Easy push button
- Brushless motor technology
Certainly, a reliable mower when it comes to convenient storing, due to its ability to fold in seconds. Its 20-inch deck helps reduce the number of the blade passes you need to cut the grass, so you'll be done faster just in time for the coming football game. Another feature
would be that it's 30% more silent than the average gas lawn mowers. It is designed with an easy-to-use discharge chute on the side and very comfortable for everyday use.
Why We Like It
- Superior mulching
- Rapid charger
- 5-year warranty
- 20” lawn mower blade
Continuing with our reviews, we make a stop at this reliable gas lawn mower that possesses a powerful 140CC engine. To tackle an uneven terrain is an easy job for its 8” rear tires that have zag threading for that extra traction.
It’s perfect if you own a small-to-medium-sized yard is in front of your house, and its ergonomic handle qualifies it for one of the best push mowers on the market and an affordable lawn mower as well.
- Ergonomic handle
- Recoil and ready to start technology
- Side and rear discharge
- 21” deck width
- Some users complain on bag size and quality
A serious candidate for the best electric lawn mowers awards, that comes proudly with 2 removable batteries so it can deliver 40V of power and performance.
The grass bag attached to it has a full indicator to let you know when it’s time to refresh.
This powerful lawn mower is equipped with Intellicut Technology that produces that extra torque
It is 38 pounds light and easy to manipulate on those u-turns, as opposed to some zero-turn mowers on the market.
- Additional torque
- 40V battery
- Intellicut Technology
- It is not self-propelled
This compact mower comes with a nice 16” deck and is able to offer you a full 60 minutes run time with one charge for you to mow your lawn. In case you have difficult and demanding neighbors, this will come in handy because it makes with 50% less noise and vibration than the gas lawn mowers. As it is compact mower, it is also very light and easy to shift to storage room when your parents come all of a sudden.
- Lifetime warranty
- Smooth operation and less noise
- Charger included
- Compact storage
- Requires assembly
The lightweight mower from Black+Decker comes with a nice pivoting handle that allows you to transform it into a trimmer or an edger in a matter of seconds. All you have to do is to use the foot pedal release to quickly insert the edger/trimmer.
A good feature that you won’t find in a regular ride-on lawn mower is the gear drive that can deliver a consistent power in most of the grass types.
- Gear driven transmission for constant speed
- Easily converts from mower to trimmer to edger
- Adjustable height and handle position
- No speed adjustment
We are almost at the end of our best lawn mower hunt, and we must make a stop at this electric lawn mower from Sun Joe, which has incorporated a 12 Amp battery. It weighs only 29 lbs. and can start in a second from the simple button push system.
It is mostly designated to smaller yards, but you can expect a gas-machine power delivered by this electric unit that has zero toxic carbon emissions, so it is eco-friendly model.
- Durable 14” steel blade
- Adjustable deck
- ETL approved with a two-year warranty
- You might not get the same torque like with the self-propelled gas lawn mower
The last but not least comes this great lawn mower from American Lawn Mower company with features like: a cord retention hook for cleanly gather all the cable in one safe place, the ergonomic cushioned grip that’s also equipped with a push start button for your convenience, etc. You might need, from time to time, to use a lawn mower blade sharpener for maintenance
One of the best things about it is that you need no tools for its assembly.
- Cushioned grip
- Adjustable handle length
- Single lever height adjustment
- Clean grass cutting
- It doesn't perform so well over small twigs and you will have to manually remove them from your path
Choosing a Lawn Mower
When you decide it’s time to buy a new lawn mower, you first of all need to understand what you need it for. Yards are never identical. Depending on yard peculiarities and your physical condition, the choice of a lawn mower is going to vary. There are a few things you need to learn and understand before you look through available models, according to our partner website homeexpertreviews.com
Know Your Yard
1. Your Yard’s Size
There is no lawnmower that works perfectly well on the yards of all sizes. The size of your yard will help you decide which lawn mower is the best for you.
Let’s say if your yard hardly reaches a half of an acre, but you wish to give it a good look, consider best reel mowers. They operate with a few blades and work without any oil or gasoline. However, be ready that such mowers need some strength. Look for models with nearly 18-19-inch cutting width.
You might also like gas-powered or electric push lawn mowers. Gasoline or battery will power the blades while you will have to push the mower.
If your yard is nearly ¾ of an acre, you should consider a walk-behind lawn mower. In this case, you’d better choose the mowers with smaller mower decks. It’s recommended to choose approximately 20-inch cutting width. Small yards tend to have some narrow passages, and this cutting width should be fine there.
Corded electric mowers will be suitable for this yard size too. You will not need any gas or oil to use it. However, such mowers are not very good when you have a lot of obstacles on your way and have to maneuver a lot. In this case, you might consider cordless electric mowers instead.
Or you might prefer gas-powered walk-behind push mowers or walk-behind self-propelled mowers. They tend to be more powerful than electric mowers.
If your yard is bigger than ¾ acres, the best rear-engine riding mower is the first thing to recommend. They offer excellent visibility and maneuverability among the trees, bushes, and flowerbeds. Their mowing decks usually range from 28 to 42 inches and mow large areas at a single pass. Look for models with 12-20 hp engines.
If you have a really huge yard sized from 1 to 3 acres, consider a zero-turn lawn mower with the 38-inch mowing deck minimum. Such mowers are the most suitable for large areas having many trees and bushes. They deal with all the edges effortlessly. This will let you mow all your yard area quickly enough. For such yards, the mowers with 14-16 hp engines should do fine.
Have even larger yard? You will probably need a larger zero-turn mower. You will need to consider options that have approximately 44-54-inch cutting width and minimum 18hp engines.
2. Your Yard’s Terrain
If your yard is flat enough, a walk-behind lawn mower should be a good choice for you. Mowing flat yards is much easier than those with slopes and uneven surfaces. No significant efforts will be required from you, even though you will have to push a mower yourself. Walk-behind mowers are affordable and convenient options to consider.
However, if your yard has lots of hills and slopes, experts recommend you to choose one of self-propelled walk-behind mowers. Pay attention to those models which have big wheels, especially back ones. With such mowers, it will be easier to maneuver across a sloppy terrain. Each mower is given a rate that determines its ability to mow steep slopes. It’s usually rated from 1 to 15 degrees. Choose those with a higher number.
You may also consider best riding mowers for such terrains. Usually, they can cope with any terrain, but some models still manage to do it better. Just be ready to pay more for any of the riding mowers.
What needs to be remembered, though, is that mowing on a rough terrain can be dangerous. It is recommended to mow the hills up and down when you are using a riding mower.
Another important thing when you choose a mower for a rough terrain is deck width. If your garden is open and does not have trees or narrow passages, 42-54-inches will make you feel safe when mowing and maneuvering. If your yard still has tight passages, you’d better choose 30-32 inches. All in all, rough terrains require mowers with good traction and stability.
3. Your Physical Condition
The choice of a mower should also depend on the person who is going to use it. Such factors as age and gender will determine how strong you are to use a mower. For example, if you are not physically strong enough, you will need to consider only self-propelled models. Even if your yard is small, it might be too difficult for you to push a mower and power the blades yourself.
Or let’s say if you find it difficult to walk but would gladly mow your lawn, the best option for you is a riding mower. In this case, even if your yard is really small, you will not be able to use a walk-behind mower. There might also be a different scenario – your yard is sized more than one acre but you find mowing as a perfect workout. Then feel free to purchase a walk-behind mower, preferably the one that allows you to adjust the speed and get some regular training when mowing.
In the same way, there are certain models that are really huge and heavy. For teenagers and someone who is not tall enough, it will be extremely inconvenient to use them. There are a lot of compact models out there.
None of these criteria is a must to follow. The final decision should be made only after considering all the factors together, not separately.
Types of Push Mowers for Different Landscapes
Manual Reel Lawn Mowers
Having a well-kept yard is something reel mowers can help you with. In fact, one of the reasons why homeowners choose this type of mowers among others is the price. But in fact, it’s not the only thing that is good about it.
Manual reel mowers are also known as the first lawn mowers. Even though lots of new machines appeared in the 20th century, these models are still available for sale.
They require your physical strength to push the mower and make the blades work. The required strength will depend on the terrain flatness and how tall the grass is. But the truth is that they require practically the same strength as heavier mowers with motors.
In terms of their construction, reel mowers are really simple and consist of several moving parts. They resemble a cart connected to a long handle. The majority of models have two main wheels attached to rollers or some smaller supportive wheels. The first set of large wheels gives the necessary motion force, while the supportive wheels or rollers bring the balance. Such construction allows moving the blades mush faster than wheels.
- Low price due to their simple structure.
- Lightweight compared to more complex mowers, powered by gas or electricity.
- They are quiet as they don’t produce any noise.
- Environmentally friendly, as they don’t use gas or oil.
- Cut the grass gently as though you are using scissors. Such mowers are better for your grass.
- Don’t require costly maintenance.
- No grass is blown into your face when you are using it.
- Are safer to use than more powerful machines. You can thus avoid a row of mowing related injuries among children and adults.
- Mowing serves as a good regular workout. Perfect way to keep your body in a good shape.
- Can work for decades.
- Need to be used on a regular basis, as they are practically impossible to use on overgrown lawns.
- It takes you longer to mow a lawn compared to other more powerful mowers.
- Require good traction. If your yard has sandy areas, you will find it difficult to use reel mowers.
- Find it difficult to cope with twigs and rocks.
- Very unfriendly to certain types of grass.
- Impossible to bag grass clippings.
There is nothing difficult about taking care of these mowers. You don’t have to tune them up or change oils. Yet, there are a few things you will need to do to make them last for long:
- Remove the remaining grass clippings.
- Clean the blades.
- Keep it away from water or rain. Otherwise, water can cause rusting.
- Sharpening the blades with the help of a grinding paste and grinding stone. Sharpen the edges and file out any burrs. Use the newspaper to test how sharp the blades are.
Manual reel mowers are not intended for large yards. If your yard is sized up to half of an acre, this mower will suit your needs well. In addition, it will be of use only if you are ready to mow your lawn on a regular basis, because if the grass gets too tall, it will be difficult or even impossible to mow it. If you have frequent and long-term journeys, a reel mower is not for you too.
All in all, manual reel mowers are the most suitable for small flat yards that have practically no hills, slopes, sand, and rocks. Such mowers work the best with mild grass that is not overgrown.
The electric lawn mower is a good eco-friendly alternative to gas-powered machines. You neither need to smell any gas when you run it, nor pollute the environment. In addition, you will not have to spend extra money on oil, gasoline and expensive maintenance.
Electric mowers can deal with long and thick grass well enough. There are corded and cordless models. Corded models work with the help of an electric outlet. Cordless models work with the help of the power batteries that you need to recharge before you plan to mow again. It usually takes an hour or two to charge one, depending on its power capacity. A standard cordless electric mower can work up to one hour before it needs to be recharged. But this time is usually enough to mow a small or medium-sized yard.
The batteries are used to power the blades that cut the grass. But manpower is required to push the mower forward. If you don’t want to make any significant efforts, you might want to consider a self-propelled electric mower.
Unlike a reel mower, these models usually have a bag for collecting grass clippings. You can either leave the cut grass on the lawn or collect it into the bag.
- Eco-friendly mowing;
- No need to change oil or fuel filters;
- Extremely quiet;
- Affordable price and low maintenance cost;
- Handles different types of grass;
- Clipping bag available;
- Easy to maneuver and mow the slopes.
- Your mobility is limited if you choose a corded mower.
- Limited mowing time in case you choose a cordless mower.
- They’re usually afraid of water, even if some models are claimed to be well-protected.
- Less powerful that gas mowers.
Recharge the batteries as much time as necessary. After each time you use the mower, inspect the blades, remove the grass and look for any damaged parts. Sharpen it from time to time for better mowing and an extended life of your mower. Clear the vents as they are susceptible to clogging. Check if all the bolts and fasteners are tight. You’d also better keep your electric mower away from the rain, despite water-resistance of some models.
If you are using a cordless mower, learn your battery specifications in detail. Some batteries can be left uncharged for a few months, while others need to be charged every month or two. Try not to discharge your battery completely.
Manual electric mowers are the most suitable for small yards, sized up to half of an acre. Experts suggest that they do well on the yards with cold-climate grasses that grow slow. All in all, these mowers are perfect for environmentally-aware homeowners who have a small, not very hilly yard and want to reduce the mowing noise to minimum.
Walk-behind lawn mowers tend to perform quite well when the yard is not very large, especially if it’s not a self-propelled mower.
Walk-behind mowers use gasoline, electricity or no power source at all. If gasoline or electricity are used, you push the mower while the engine moves the blades. When no power source is used, you need to rely only on your own strength and such models are called reel mowers (already described earlier).
The majority of walk-behind mowers use a rotary cutting system to cut the grass. Gasoline-driven mowers tend to be more powerful than electric ones and deal with sloppy terrains better.
Walk-behind push mowers tend to mow the lawn gently by means of a scissor-like blade. That is healthier to grass compared to the use of more powerful models. Unlike self-propelled machines, walk-behind push mowers are more light-weight and thus easier to maneuver across uneven terrains. However, users frequently find walk-behind mowers not user-friendly. Especially first-time users tend to fight with its handling.
Usually, walk-behind mowers, except for reel models, have bagging and mulching options that can let you either collect your grass clippings or throw them across the lawn.
- Gives your body a good workout.
- Easily maneuverable and lightweight.
- Works pretty well on hilly terrains.
- Lower costs compared to more powerful models.
- A wide variety of models available, including gas and electricity powered.
- Mulching and bagging options available in gas and electric models.
- Not suitable for yards, larger than one acre.
- Mowing can take longer than with the self-propelled models.
- You should always be on the go while mowing.
- Gas-powered models are loud enough.
- Do not go with many attachments.
- Confusing handle for the beginners.
Electric walk-behind mowers require you to sharpen the lawn mower blades on a regular basis and replace the battery every two years. In fact, they need practically no maintenance compared to gas-powered models. Speaking of gas mowers, they require you to change gas and oil regularly, as well as replace blades occasionally. These models also require winterization.
Reel walk-behind mowers might become a good choice for the owners of the yards sized maximum 1/3 of an acre. Such models don’t behave quite well on sloppy terrains with lots of rocks, sand and thick overgrown grass. Meanwhile, electric walk-behind mowers might be suitable for the lawns sized up to one acre. They can handle thicker and taller grass as well as not very steep slopes on their way. Gas-powered mowers are the best for the same yard size as electric ones, but they are more powerful and thus handle sloppy and rocky areas more effectively. Speaking in general, all walk-behind mowers will be the best for those who don’t mind exercising a bit while mowing and those who don’t have any physical disabilities preventing them from walking.
When homeowners decide to save a bit of physical effort when mowing their lawns, they opt for self-propelled mowers. The engine powers the blades and the drive wheels, while you just handle the mower in a necessary direction. The engine can be powered by gasoline, batteries, electricity or solar power.
Self-propelled mowers can have either one-speed level or several. In addition, they are divided into front-(FWD), rear-(RWD) and all-(AWD) wheel drive mowers. FWD machines are very easy to maneuver as you can make a turn just by raising the front wheels above the ground. They are usually recommended for flat terrains. RWD mowers enable mowing with better traction, especially when you mow the slopes back and forth. It is much safer to mow the sloppy terrains this way, especially if you are fond of bagging. AWD options give even more traction on rough mowing terrains.
The majority of self-propelled mowers have a bagging and mulching option that enables you to either collect the grass clippings or throw them across the lawn. Such models are very easy to start and are quite user-friendly.
- No manpower required to push the mower.
- Easy to start and handle.
- A wide variety of models available allowing you to choose powerful gas mowers or eco-friendly electric models.
- Different speed levels enabled in some models.
- Bagging and mulching options available in the majority of models that allows turning grass into natural fertilizers.
- Solar-powered models available.
- Gas-powered mowers are very loud and not eco-friendly.
- Battery-driven mowers have limited power and operational time.
- Higher costs compared to simple push models.
- Time-consuming and costly maintenance.
Self-propelled mowers require regular step-by-step maintenance. First of all, make sure you disconnect the spark plugs prior to doing something. Check all the bolts and make sure no parts are damaged. Just like every mower, a self-propelled machine needs a bit of cleaning. Remove the excessive grass, dirt and leaves from the blades and other parts. But never do it with your hands.
Replace the air filter and spark plugs occasionally – let’s say, before every new mowing season. As a result, your mower will start more easily and save more fuel. Just like any other mower, self-propelled models need to have sharp blades. You will need to sharpen them nearly two times a season. And of course, don’t forget to change the oil.
As minimum physical efforts are required to mow a lawn with the help of self-propelled mowers, they would be the best options for large yards sizing from 1 to 3 acres. Hilly yards can also be handled with this type of mowers. You just need to choose among a wide variety of options. Let’s say, rear-wheel-drive mowers would be better here.
The mower can be the best option for an elderly person or someone with insufficient physical strength.
Ride-on mower can do more mowing job faster, and much easier. It is a type of mower you can sit on. They are divided into lawn tractors and zero-turn mowers. In the case of lawn tractors, the cutting deck is located underneath, and the engine – on the front. When the cutting deck is located on the front, it is a zero-turn ride-on mower. Due to 4-wheel steering, such mowers can take sharp turns and can maneuver with ease. They are very convenient when you have lots of trees and other obstacles in your garden. You will be able to control them with the help of foot pedals and levers, and lawn tractors use pedals and a steering wheel.
A ride-on mower can potentially be dangerous so you need to be really careful when using it. Choose models that have an automatic switch that turns off the motor when you leave the seat.
Ride-on mowers go in different sizes. If you consider a small ride-on mower with a 14hp engine, it will cost you at least $1,000. If you have a large yard, you should think of a lawn tractor. It’s jokingly called a ride-on mower on steroids. They are powerful enough to carry lots of attachments as they have nearly 18-24hp engines. Small tractors usually go with the price tag ranging from $2,500 to $4,500. Larger options can cost you even $9,000.
- High speed.
- Higher mowing quality and healthier grass.
- Extremely maneuverable.
- Suitable for commercial use.
- Wide cutting deck that enables to do more mowing faster.
- Increased stability.
- Can carry lots of necessary attachments for mowing.
- It’s easy to find replacement details for them.
- Cannot easily handle steep hills over 10-15 degrees.
- High fuel consumption.
- Lighter models don’t have enough traction on wet grass and slopes.
- The majority of models are gas-powered and thus are not eco-friendly.
- Electric models are far more expensive than gas-powered.
- Lawn tractors have smaller maneuverability.
Regular maintenance is vital for prolonging the life of your ride-on mower. You will need to remove any grass from the blades and sharpen them. Check all the bolts for tightness and check for any damaged parts. Check air filters occasionally. Change oil while the engine is still hot. Do not use gas, that is over 3 weeks old.
Ride-on mowers are perfect for lawns sized over an acre. People, who find it difficult to walk and cannot handle walk-behind mowers, should consider ride-on mowers instead.
They can be used for both residential and commercial purposes.
Automatic robotic mowers are capable of effectively mowing lawns of small, medium and large sizes. They consist of numerous mechanical components and programmed systems. Advanced robotic mowers are capable of avoiding any obstacles on their way and taking care of the grass in a preferred by you way.
As such mowers do not have a bagging option, they effectively mulch the grass clippings across the lawn, which is considered a healthier way of mowing. They use batteries and a power source, which is why they do not pollute the environment, unlike gas-powered machines. The majority of models can recharge themselves. It takes them nearly 2 hours to do it.
No human intervention is required. You can even program your robot to mow your lawn twice a week and make sure it always looks well-kept even if you have too much work to do. There is a control panel where you can choose the days and times of mowing. Some advanced models have a rain sensor that will send your robot back inside when it’s raining heavily.
- Lightweight and compact.
- Practically no human intervention is required.
- No oil changing and gas expenses.
- Sticks to a mowing schedule you choose.
- Self-recharging at the charging station.
- It is easy to set the routes and mowing schedules.
- Much quieter than any other mower.
- Theft protection available.
- Automatic height adjustment.
- Handles hills and slopes.
- Short working time, sometimes up to an hour or even half an hour.
- High price.
- If certain issues occur with your robotic mower, it is extremely hard to repair it.
- May be dangerous for small kids or pets when they are curious to play with it.
- It’s difficult and quite tricky to install the perimeter guide wire.
- New batteries are costly to replace.
The battery requires practically no maintenance at all, but its life is limited to 2-4 years. It depends on a number of hours the mower works each week and month. Blades need replacement every 1 to 3 months depending on the lawn size, grass thickness, stones. They can be replaced on your own with the help of a screwdriver. It is recommended to store your robotic mower inside in dry conditions when winter comes.
Try not to keep your mower outside when it’s raining. Even though it’s not going to break down because of rain, but it’s still not recommended.
The robotic mower is the best option for busy homeowners who want to keep their lawns nice and cut all the time. It is also good for elderly people who cannot push heavy walk-behind mowers as well as cannot use ride-on mowers. Robotic mowers are suitable for the lawns of all sizes. However, if you have a large lawn, you’d better divide it into separate sections and let the mower do them in turn as its battery life will not let it cover it all at once.
Push vs. Self-Propelled Walk-behind Lawn Mowers
Walk-behind lawn mowers are divided into manual and self-propelled models. Manual are those that require you to rely on your own power to push the mower. However, they can use gas or electricity to power the blades. Those that do not use any power supply, are called reel lawn mowers and are suitable for the yards sized under half an acre. Gas or electricity-powered models are used for the yards up to 1 acre. These mowers are often chosen by budget-minded users who do not plan to collect grass clippings. They are much lighter than self-propelled mowers and much cheaper too. They will cost you just up to $200. Such mowers are known to cut the grass gently, like scissors. However, the majority of models don’t have custom height adjustments. With their own pros and cons, manual lawn mowers are still a good and popular option among homeowners, even if they require a lot of physical strength from the operator.
Self-propelled mowers run on gas, electricity or solar power to move the blades and the mower itself. An operator just needs to indicate the direction. The majority of self-propelled mowers provide a variety of handy bagging options, as well as have different cutting decks. They can be a perfect way for homeowners to get some workout, as some models give you a chance to set different mowing speeds. Some self-propelled models are a bit difficult to maneuver as they are much heavier than manual mowers with lighter engines. To make them lighter, consider removing clipping bags and some other applications. All in all, self-propelled lawn mowers are the most popular choice among homeowners. As they go in different sizes and weights, they can be suitable for both physically strong people or teenagers and women. Their price is much smaller compared to ride-on mowers, lawn tractors or robotic mowers. There is a wide range of options that vary from model to model, which lets the homeowners make a better decision.
While self-propelled mowers have a big list of advantages over manual ones, it still remains to be the question of lawn size, price tag and construction simplicity. While some homeowners prefer extremely simple things, others would rather have technically advanced models with lots of automatic features.
Types of Mowers by Rotation: Cylinder or Reel Mowers and Rotary Mowers
The cutting system used in a lawn mower is responsible for the overall mowing quality. Reel mowers use a system of vertical blades spinning. They cut the grass is a way scissors do. Such models usually have 3-12 blades. The highest mowing quality is achieved with 12 blades. However, manual reel mowers don’t do a very good job with cutting overgrown grass. It means you have to mow nearly 2 times a week. Otherwise, the grass gets too high and your reel mower is helpless. Nevertheless, this type of mowing is much healthier for the grass and even makes the lawn more attractive. Reel mowers also make mulching easier and more effective. With its help, you put a layer of healthy nutrients on your lawn.
However, reel models offer excellent performance only with sharp blades. You thus have to sharpen them often. They require neither gas nor electricity to mow your lawn, which makes them more environmentally-friendly than rotary mowers.
A rotary mower uses horizontal blades slipping system that tears the grass instead of cutting it gently. Such mowers tend to have only one fast-rotating blade that reminds a helicopter. This way of mowing often damages the grass and creates brown tips on it. They run on either gas or electricity and handle different grass types. Such mowers are the most suitable for medium and long grass. They do not need such frequent sharpening. Even though they constantly need a power supply (electricity or gas), their maintenance requires little effort. When you have a large lawn, rotary mowers are more suitable for them. All in all, they are more powerful than reel mowers but require constant energy supply to keep working. The choice between these two options is never obvious – lawn size, environmental awareness, and mowing quality are the major factors that are going to determine it.
What to Consider Before You Buy a Lawn Mower
A properly chosen mower will be doing a good job for your lawn for years. Even if you are sure about the yard size and your physical condition, you need to know what parts and features they consist of and which of them are better for your needs. Consider a few things that you might want your lawn mower to possess:
Electric mowers are recognized as eco-friendly mowers that work quietly and offer a good mowing quality. They are divided into corded and cordless models. Corded mowers operate through a traditional electric outlet that limits your mowing distance to up to 100 feet, while cordless ones through a rechargeable battery. While corded machines can run non-stop, there are still a few factors that speak in favor of cordless options. First of all, cordless models are not limited in distance and can mow your lawn wherever you need it to. The second factor that is often considered as a drawback is only 60-90-min operational time of the battery. But in reality, this time is usually enough to mow the lawn or at least its separate section. Cordless mowers do not presuppose any voltage drops or overheating. You just need to be sure your batteries are fully charged before you start mowing. You also need to remember that the batteries need to be replaced from time to time. But after all, the removable battery is a more attractive energy source to consider when you are thinking of purchasing an electric mower.
A lot of homeowners find no-electric starter as one of the drawbacks of their mowers. And it’s understandable why. Mowers with electric starters tend to be extremely easy to start, on the contrary to models that require you to pull a string manually to turn on the engine. In addition, your mower is really quiet when you start it. Another good news is that electric starters are well-waterproofed. The design and layout of electric start mowers also speak a lot in their favor. Generally speaking, it facilitates the experience of using a lawn mower, especially for first-time users.
Adjusting mowing speed is a good option to have in your mower. Let’s say, your walking speed is quite slow because of your age of other factors. Or you might get some good portion of exercising when you set a fast mowing speed and try to keep up with it. You might also want to mow a large yard really fast. Ad this is why you should consider a lawn mower with speed adjustments.
A blade-brake clutch system
This is a safety system that the majority of push mowers use. When the clutch is pulled, the blades start spinning. Once it’s released, the blades no longer operate, even though the engine keeps working. It allows you to collect any obstacles on your way, like trash, toys, sticks without switching off your engine. You can just stop the blades without stopping the engine.
Uniform Wheel Sizes
There are mowers that have bigger rear wheels than the front ones. But it is extremely inconvenient to handle them. Push mowers with the same-size wheels are easier to handle and they are more suitable for the majority of terrains. You will be able to do U-turn with ease.
Practically all the mowers need to be cleaned in a proper way. Some models have a wash-out port that is used for washing your deck. The best way to do it is to attach a hose to your mower and clean it. Do it is just after mowing while the mower is still wet a bit.
One-Lever Height Adjustment
It makes blade height adjustments much easier. You will find it extremely helpful when you need to make your grass really short. Instead of adjusting all four wheels separately, you might use just one lever to do it. This lever will lower or raise the deck to the preferred height. It will save you time and efforts.
A few brands have won their places as the leaders in the marketplace. Lawn mowers from such brands as Honda, Craftsman, Husqvarna, and Toro have shown reliable mowing service that homeowners tend to trust. Consider any of these brands when planning a purchase of your new mower.
Lawn Mower Care and Maintenance Tips
By regularly repairing any damage and cleaning any dirt accumulated, you will not only make your lawn mower work with better efficiency but also prolong its life. Don’t wait till your mower behaves strangely – take good care of it all the time.
Maintaining your mower is not a difficult job to do, but it’s still necessary to do it right. Do the following steps to take good care of your lawn mower.
- Change Oil – Do this right when every new season arrives, even if you think it’s not necessary yet. If the oil contains too much dirt, it can have devastating effects for the engine.
- >Clean or replace spark plug – The majority of manufacturers make it very easy for the users to install a new plug after removing the old one. It is recommended to replace the spark plug every cutting season. If you see it still looks good, you can just clean it and use again.
- Clean or replace air filter – There are two types of filters – a paper filter and a foam filter. If you have a paper type, just remove the cover and blow out the dirt with the air hose. If it’s too clogged, install another one. If you have a foam type, clean it with the help of water and any detergent, wait till it dries out and add a bit of oil. Sometimes, it’s necessary to replace the filter, but in the majority of cases, simple cleaning is enough.
Mower blades upkeep
It might be a bit hard to remove the blades from your mower. But anyway, this should be done before the beginning of the season. You will have to clean your blades and sharpen them carefully. Only sharp blades will be able to do a good grass cutting job. Otherwise, they will just tear off your grass that will affect the look and health of your lawn.
Before you do anything with the blades, make sure you disconnect the spark plug to ensure mower won’t start. You can sharpen your blade with the help of a sharpening stone or metal file. Whatever you use, pass it over the blade in one direction.
After cleaning your mower properly, inspect your mower for any issues. Pay attention to the following:
- Make sure all the bolts and nuts are tight.
- Make sure all the available wiring connections don’t have any disorders.
- Run your mower for at least a few minutes every 2-3 weeks during winter. This will eliminate a lot of problems when spring comes. Keep the gas tank empty to avoid moisture and sediments. Get rid of the aged oil to prevent the engine from dying.
- Be careful when removing and storing blades. Their edges may be sharp enough, even if they need sharpening.
- Don’t do anything to your mower until you spark plug.
- Be careful when you loosen or tighten a blade bolt.
- Do not touch the engine while it’s warm. Some components can reach very high temperatures.
It’s important to remember that each mower type requires different maintenance. More detailed upkeep tips are provided after each mower type description.
What would you choose in your lawn mower – reliability or design? Speed or weight? You cannot rely only on your own preferences. Your budget, lawn type, and size, a physical condition should be the major factors to analyze and help you decide. Hopefully, our in-depth review of all these factors will be a good start for you in your choice of the most suitable for your lawn mower. But if you still have doubts or cannot find a model that suits your requirements, feel free to drop us a line and let us help you with your choice.
Verdict and our Recommendation for 2020
Honda HRX217K6VKA Lawn Mower is our reviewer’s top choice. It offers the best combination of power and easy handling that there is out there. We found it to have one of the best lawn mower blades. If you want to find out what other appliances can improve comfort in your home, maybe the best rear engine riding mower, check out homemakerguide.com and get inspired.