20 Best Lightweight and Electric Lawn Mowers (2023). Easy push lawn mower
Best Lightweight and Electric Lawn Mowers (2023)
Choosing the right home appliance can be tough. Power tools especially are items that take consideration before going through with a purchase, especially when it comes to looking for the best lightweight lawn mower.
When on the hunt for the best lightweight and electric lawn mowers, there are many places to shop.
This guide has a range of new lawn mowers that are available in store at your local Home Depot, Lowe’s, or there are great options online on Amazon.
Sometimes it is hard to know what you are looking for until you see it in front of you. Hopefully, this guide points out a few features you didn’t know you wanted in a lawn mower.
The lawn mower you need depends on the size of your yard or how much storage space you have in your home. Pick the type of mower that includes the special features you’re looking for with this list.
Here’s the scoop on the best lightweight lawn mowers!
Lawn Mower Guide
Greenworks G-Max 40V
This cordless mower is the best option if you want to get the job done fast and with minimal effort. The battery life of this mower allows for enough power to have a run time of 60 minutes on a fully charged AH battery.
One of the extra features of this push lawn mower includes the ability to adjust its single lever into seven positions that make it possible to cut in all environments.
The Greenworks G-Max 40V delivers performance levels that are similar to gas-powered lawn mowers all from the push-button start.
This mower is a great choice thanks to its essential maintenance free operation with no need for gas, oil, or emissions. The Greenworks G-Max 40V is a top pick if you are looking to purchase it for efficiency.
Sun Joe MJ-HVR12E Lawn Mower
The next lightweight mower that is the best choice for someone looking to purchase a powerful lawn mower is the Sun Joe MJ-HVR12E. Its blade hub spins up to 7,000 revolutions per minute.
This is the best electric lawn mower for sloped lawns and smaller yards. The product comes with 30 replacement blades for easy maintenance.
Sun Joe also includes a customer promise as an additional feature to purchasing their product. Their policy is a no questions asked warranty where they will send you a new product at any time within two years of the purchase.
There is no need to worry about whether you will like this purchase or not thanks to their customer service policy. A stress-free purchase is the best purchase.
American Lawn Mower Company 1204-14
Push mowers from the American Lawn Mower Company are an excellent choice when looking for a lightweight mower that does a great job without causing damage to the grass blades. This lawn mower has a capable cutting height of successfully trimming grass up to four inches.
This manual grass cutter is environmentally friendly which is not the same as every other lawn mower on the market.
It is pollution-free, has no noise, has low maintenance, and is easy to use. If you have a small lawn at home this push mower is a good choice for you.
Gas mowers can be difficult to choose, but when the powerful engine doesn’t impact the weight of the machine, they are still products to consider.
The 3-in-1 capabilities of this gas lawn mower are ideal for larger lawns due to its inclusion of both side discharge and rear bag attachments.
over, the mower has six different height adjustments along with a 21-inch cutting deck.
The CC engine on this powerful mower will be sure to get the job done even if your yard has extremely thick grass. This Craftsman M 105 is accountable no matter what your grass looks like. It will get the job done with ease.
WORX WG743 Lawn Mower
This next option is a top pick when looking for one of the best battery-powered mowers. The battery charge indicator on this mower shows you what a single charge will give you when busy at work in the yard.
This mower allows you to get a sharp cut successfully in tight spaces creating less for you to go back and trim later. It has 2-in-1 bagging or mulching functionality.
Use the bag to catch your grass clippings to make your yard look clean and crisp, or you can use the bag to mulch your lawn when it needs to grow back healthier.
Thanks to the powerful motor in the WORX WG 743 this is an appliance you can trust.
SENIX Electric Lawn Mower
This next option is a good lawn mower when you don’t have access to a large amount of storage space. The quick release handles account for easy storage either horizontally or vertically.
It includes lithium-ion batteries and a 13-gallon grass collection bag. The SENIX lawn mower has a volt brushless motor gives off the performance of gas-powered mowers without the hassle of gas or cords.
Customers who purchased this product rave about the battery life of this mower and the benefits of its lightweight structure.
It has helped people get up the hills in their lawns and finish their lawn maintenance feeling confident in how it looks.
EGO Power LM2101 Lawn Mower
Another great option for battery-powered lawn mowers that includes optimal ease of use thanks to the easy push-button start feature is the EGO Power lawn mower.
The foldable handle creates a compact design feature for this mower which is ideal for people looking to find the right mower although they may not have a lot of space for one.
The electric motor of this product lasts up to 45 minutes off a single charge. The 3-in-1 bag functionality is beneficial.
You can decide if you want the bag to serve as a grass catcher on the back or side of your mower. It also holds mulch for when you need to go through your lawn and help with its growth.
Customers who use this mower talk nonstop about its ease of use. Nothing is too heavy or hard to handle when young adults are mowing the lawn for their parents, and it mows through high levels of grass without needing an extra push from the person walking behind it.
With all of the great features including the electric motors, this can make mowing your lawn a breeze!
Craftsman All-Wheel Drive
This powerful engine contributes to why this appliance is a reliable and dependable lawn mower. Some of the additional features include a rear-wheel drive and a bushel dust blocker bag that intakes grass clippings to prevent in-air debris.
These contribute to why the Craftsman All-Wheel Drive is one of the best walk-behind mowers available. The four-wheel drive feature is one of the most beneficial additions that you don’t see on every other mower on the market.
It matches your needs wherever you go. This mower swiftly moves around obstacles, up hills, and down into ditches when you need it to. Invest in a mower you can count on to get the job done successfully.
Litheli Cordless Mower
The next great option for the best cordless lawn mower is this easy to start electric mower. The design includes a grass bag that takes zero hassle to clean.
The 35-minute battery charge is ideal for a small yard, but there is a convenient compartment for AH batteries to be stored right next to the battery port for quick changing if you do run out mid-mow.
It includes five cutting heights which make it reliable for keeping your yard at a healthy height.
Troy-Bilt Riding Mower
Another lightweight mower that is best purchased when you need to mow large lawns is this Troy-Bilt riding mower. It is space-saving with the storage size of a wide-cut walk behind mower. If you feel like yard work is a chore, investing in a riding mower is a great idea.
This mower includes a speed that can be easily adjusted and controlled during your mowing. It is also very simple to switch from side discharging clippings to mulching mode, which helps avoid build up and keeps your lawn healthier.
You will maintain control with easier navigation around landscaped borders and obstacles with 18 inch turn radius.
It will also mow in reverse so the rear wheel drive will allow you to work efficiently. This mower is the one for you if you no longer want mowing to be at the bottom of your to do list.
Makita XML03CM1 36V
The next electric lawn mower has controlled noise levels to ensure you won’t wake up your family members in the house if you are a person that likes knocking out the yard work in the morning.
This mower is made from steel which makes it both durable and reliable. A customer raved about this product’s durability by saying they have owned Makita cordless tools for a decade.
Purchasing an appliance for your home is something you don’t want to do every couple years, it should be an investment. Makita is a product you can count on.
Black Decker Electric Lawn Mower
Another lightweight mower best for smaller lawns is the Black Decker electric lawn mower. One of the additional features you don’t see on every mower is the comfort grip bike handlebar design.
It reduces friction and enhances maneuverability across all of the square feet you need to cover during your mow. This mower includes enhanced clipping collection winged blade yields that account for 30% better clipping collection.
The no-hassle startup is thanks to the easy-to-use push button start. This electric lawn mower also has an adjustable cutting height ranging from 1 to 3 inches which allows you to get the trim you desire.
Customers who have purchased this mower were pleasantly surprised with how well it does cutting lawns that have become out of control for weather reasons. Customers rave about the lightweight functionality and talk about how they’ve owned their Black Decker electric lawn mower for years.
RYOBI Riding Mower
This next mower is clean, quiet, and powerful. The RYOBI riding mower is fully electric and has three high powered brushless motors to provide up to a full hour of runtime off a single charge.
The onboard control panel is a feature that lets you engage the blades, operate the headlights, check your battery level, and turn on cruise control.
The seven-position manual deck adjustment allows you to pick heights between 1.5” and 4.5” to get a clean and level cut on any lawn.
It features two steel blades and a durable 30” cutting deck that fits in fenced areas with ease.
A minor feature that was added to this mower is the rear access charging port that makes charging your ride easy when the job is complete. This mower is a recommended investment with its three-year warranty.
Honda HRN Lawn Mower
Another mower that is lightweight and user-friendly is this self-propelled mower designed by Honda. It includes variable speed control while mowing with five adjustable positions for user comfort.
The helpful front and rear levers conveniently adjust to seven cutting heights. This is the best self-propelled lawn mower and is integrated with a speed control feature that efficiently adapts the mowing speed to match your stride.
A self-propelled model is a lawn mower that will save you time and energy. If you always have things to do but don’t want your lawn to suffer from your busy schedule, this mower is right for you.
Kobalt Lawn Mower
This battery-powered mower provides up to 80 minutes of run time and includes a high efficiency brushless motor that starts with the push of a button.
Without the hassle of pulling cords or fueling the self-propelled rear-wheel drive system, the variable speed control takes the hard work out of mowing the lawn. This mower can handle both flat and sloped yards with ease.
The easy to fold aluminum handles work quickly to save space wherever you need to store your mower. Its auto-sensing technology automatically adjusts performance for greater power based on changing grass conditions.
The Kobalt lawn mower is the best lightweight appliance that has you covered in all areas. This is your mower if you want an appliance you can count on.
LawnMaster MED 114K
Another great electric lawn mower that includes six different cutting positions is the LawnMaster MED 114K. The wheels are 5.5” and 7.75” and only 28 lbs, which makes them easy to rotate and simple to maneuver.
This electric lawn mower includes three different adjustments for handle lengths and has a seven-gallon grass collection bag. The purchase guarantee comes with a priority shipping service to ensure you are receiving your mower efficiently.
Customers who own this mower love it and want to share how well it has done in their yard. People talk about this mower cutting through tall grass or wet grass with ease.
The ApolloSmart electric mower is eco-friendly and doesn’t produce smog, fumes, or emissions. The lightweight balanced design will help you move freely with professional quality and maximum control.
This appliance is designed with an adjustable deck for tailored raking depth with the five-position depth control mechanism.
Customers that own the ApolloSmart feel confident their lawn will be healthier within a year. They say it is easy to use and switching out the rear bag takes no time at all.
PowerSmart Lawn Mower
This next electric lawn mower has a low noise level with minimum assembly acquired. The brushless motor is built to last for a long time.
The foldable handle collapses to assist with easy storage. The five different available positions for cutting height assures to account for tall grass or short grass.
Its 40-minute run time works well when cutting grass in large yards. The functionality of this mower is one of its best features. It includes a bag design that works for mulching, side-discharge, and rear bag discharge.
Customers who have purchased this mower discuss how it gets the job done without a doubt.
Goplus Lawn Mower
Another great choice when looking at walk-behind lawn mowers is this lightweight electric mower. This is the mower you want to go with if your yard or garden has different needs for each portion.
Keep your flower beds tidy thanks to this mower’s three position depth control feature. The large front wheels can turn at will and the lightweight rear wheels are flexible and labor-saving.
Trim your grass exactly how you want it with the Goplus electric lawn mower.
The last option that is a great choice for a battery-powered lawn mower is the MYTOL 40V mower. It includes a brushless mower that cuts smoothly and efficiently.
Its high-performance batteries last a long time. The electric mower eliminates the hassle of dealing with a pull cord or extension cord.
You never have to stress about running out of power mid mow because this power runs for a consistent amount of time.
The cutting width of 16” allows for a crisp wide path. This mower is the one for you if you have any fear about mowing thanks to its triple safety protection features.
The best lightweight lawn mowers share a large number of the same features. Electric mowers that don’t require the hassle of dealing with fuel to run the engine work efficiently.
If you are set on buying lawn mowers that include engine power derived from gas, then make sure you are purchasing one that is lightweight and easy to maneuver.
This list includes the best lawn mowers of every style to ensure every customer looking to purchase can feel confident that they’ll find what they’re looking for.
Hopefully, this guide helped point out the features you want to keep an eye out for when shopping for the best lightweight lawn mower.
So find your favorite option and grab yourself a new lawn mower today!
For more scoop, visit these:
Best small lawn mower: 5 compact mowers for easy lawn care
Get the best home decor ideas, DIY advice and project inspiration straight to your inbox!
Thank you for signing up to Realhomes. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.
If you only have a small yard, but it is too much to maintain with a weed eater, you need to invest in the best small lawn mower. A heavy-duty mower is overkill – in price, noise and size – but there are plenty of compact mowers designed to maintain smaller spaces.
Some are battery powered so you won’t need to store gas either, others offer mulching options to feed your lawn as you mow. One can even be stored under a workbench. What they all have in common though is that while they lack in size, they match the power of some of our bigger picks for the best lawn mower.
These mowers are also a great option for people who have an ample lawn, but lack the space to store a larger machine. We have deliberately looked for models that pack as much cutting width into that deck as possible, even in a fairly small package.
Reasons to avoid
The Worx POWER SHARE 40-Volt 14-in Mower is small but mighty. At only 29 lbs, this mower is easy to move around, and even lighter when you remove the batteries for storage and transit.
Equipped with patented torque technology, you have the capability to increase the power of this mower to Turbo if you’re cutting thick grass (but remember, this will use up more battery). For regular use, we found Eco mode was competent, especially for regular trims. The cutting base is 14 inches across and there are six height adjustments that range between 2.5-3.5 inches with an easy to use lever for height adjustments. You can either mulch your grass or bag up to.85 bushels before a ‘full bag indicator’ alert notifies you it’s time to empty the bag.
To get started, simply insert the safety button, depress then pull the handle lever and you’re ready to mow. The Worx lawnmower runs on two 20V 4.0 Ah batteries. POWER SHARE advertises that this mower can mow 5,000 square feet with just one charge. However, this wholly depends on various factors like the thickness or height of your grass. Just keep an eye on the battery meter to know when you need to juice up and keep spares on charge. We found it capable of doing a good half hour or more of mowing before it was time to recharge which is plenty for the average yard.
So while we think this is the best small lawn mower, you could find it a good choice for a larger yard too.
Reasons to avoid
If you hate loud, big, smelly lawn mowers, then look no further than the Sun Joe MJ401C Push Lawn Mower.
This battery-powered lawnmower cuts a 14-inch-wide path and collects the grass in a 10.6 detachable gallon bag. Those who choose to upgrade to the Pro version (it’s not much more), will also receive a rear discharge chute. There are only three different cutting heights, designated as ‘short, medium, and tall,’ that range between 1.18-2.52 inches.
This Sun Joe runs on a rechargeable 28-volt lithium-ion battery which can manage about a quarter acre on one charge. Those with small lawns should be able to mow their entire lawn in one go, however, it doesn’t hurt to have a backup battery on hand because it takes up to four hours for one battery to charge.
As well as the long battery charge, the other thing we didn’t rate was how much wider it is than the cutting deck. It just means you can’t get quite as close to edges and from a storage and size point of view, seems like wasted space.
Reasons to avoid
With a 16-inch cutting base (making it the second widest on our list), you’ll be able to get your yard mowed in a quicker amount of time with the Greenworks G-MAX 40V lawnmower. Although it isn’t self-propelled, at only 37.5 lbs, you’ll easily zip around your yard and finish in no time.
Powered by a 40V 4Ah Li-Ion battery, Greenworks advertises that you can get about ½ acre or up to 45 minutes of battery time with one charge. Some users note that the time is more accurately 30 minutes. Keep an eye on the battery life indicator to see if you need an extra charge (or a backup battery) to finish the yard.
A single lever lets you adjust between five different cutting heights in the range of 1.25-3.375 inches high. Last but not least, this lawnmower comes with a rear bag to catch grass clippings. However, we suggest you go with the mulching option. It’s less clean-up and is good for your yard.
Reasons to avoid
Although the Troy Bilt XP lawn mower is 21 inches wide – meaning it’s an average-sized lawn mower – it has a unique SpaceSavr design that makes it perfect for those who don’t have a lot of space. It basically folds into a compact shape so you save up to 70% more space than a traditional lawn mower. It can be stored under a tool bench or upright in a shed, and it won’t leak oil or fuel in the vertical position.
This Troy Bilt XP lawn mower is heavier than others on this list at 78 lbs, but it’s the only one with self-propelling technology, which means it propels forward on its own so you’re basically just guiding it to the right spots. The height of a cut – from 1.25 to 3.75 inches – can be adjusted in six different positions with the fingertip levers on the wheels. This small lawn mower has a TriAction cutting system so it pushes out finely mulched clippings. However, it does come with a 1.9-bushel rear bag. Just remove the discharge chute and clip it to the handle when not in use.
If you’re worried about the maintenance of a gas-powered lawnmower, Troy Bilt has tried to make it as easy as possible. Check the oil and fuel before each use and top it off if necessary. When you’re done mowing, connect your garden hose to the deck wash adaptor to rinse clippings from the underside of the mower.
Reasons to avoid
Some homes – like condos – have such a small lawn that it seems ridiculous to buy a traditional lawn mower. That’s why we’ve included the BLACK DECKER BESTA512CM lawn mower which is the smallest mower on our list.
This compact three-in-one product is a mower, trimmer, and edger in one. When set in the lawn mower position, it has a 12-inch cutting base that can be adjusted to two different cutting heights – 1.5 inches or 2.3 inches. After you’ve mowed the lawn, simply adjust this BLACK DECKER so that it becomes a trimmer or an edger. Note that instead of a blade this mower has a spool of cable, much like a weed eater. It is perfect for small, low demand spaces, but hardier grasses might see you getting through a lot of cable.
One drawback of this small lawn mower is that it requires an electric cord for power. You’ll need an outdoor outlet and a long extension cord to easily maneuver around the yard. At only 9.9 lbs, it shouldn’t be too heavy to hold when you trim or edge.
How to choose the best small lawn mower
Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.
If you have opted for a small lawn mower then it is likely your main concerns will be around how much power and ease-of-use you can get into a compact package. At one time, electric lawn mowers, including cordless battery powered models were quite big and heavy to accommodate large battery packs for optimal run time. Luckily, technology has advanced and things like more efficient batteries and brushless motors mean you get greater run time in a smaller package.
Next, consider the cutting width. Our picks range from 12 inches to 21 inches. It might be tempting to go smaller for ease of movement and storage space limitations, but with edge-to-edge cutting, even the largest model on our list is a great choice if you are looking for a particularly compact lawn mower. That said, bigger will tend to mean weightier, so if you are concerned about lifting – perhaps due to a bad back – take the narrower model and be prepared for a couple of extra runs of your yard.
Finally, if storage is your main reason for buying the best small lawn mower, look at foldable options. Many compact lawn mowers have a foldaway handle and don’t forget the grass box. The Greenworks and Worx models on our list have soft material grass boxes that flatten down. Some mulching mowers have no grass box at all.
Tips for getting the most from your small lawn mower
Lawn mowers aren’t as scary as you think. They’re easy-to-use if you know the right tips and tricks. Read below to find out more.
Energy reserve You don’t want to be halfway through mowing your lawn only to discover that you’ve run out of juice. If you purchase a gas-powered lawn mower, make sure you top up before each use and have a gas container with gas stored in your garage or shed in case you need more.
For those who buy a battery-powered lawn mower, you might want to consider buying a backup battery. The harder a battery-powered lawn mower has to work (like a lawn where the grass is higher or thicker), the quicker the battery will die out. If your main battery runs out of charge mid-way through mowing the lawn, just pop in the backup battery.
Never mow a wet lawn If your lawn is wet from morning dew or rain, make sure you wait until it’s dry before you mow the lawn. For one, wet grass is heavier so the lawn mower won’t be able to cut the lawn to the best of its ability. Dry grass stands straight up making it easier to cut. Secondly, wet grass clippings can damage the mower which is an easy way to ruin your day.
Clean the lawn mower deck Every once in a while, turn the lawn mower over and clean under the deck. Grass and grime can build up under there and on the blades, making your lawn mower less effective over time. If you have a gas-powered mower, make sure the gas tank is empty and the spark plug wire is disconnected if you decide to clean the deck with the garden hose. It’s not a bad idea to blow off the lawn mower with your blower after each use.
Be careful what you mow over Before mowing your lawn, try to pick up sticks and other debris that could ruin your lawn mower blades. It’s best to avoid stumps and vines as these can also damage or get wrapped around the blades.
Grass clippings are good for the yard Although some people hate the sight of grass clippings left on a yard, they can actually be beneficial to your yard’s health as they’re a natural fertilizer. A mulching feature on a lawn mower is a good option because it breaks down leaves and grass and helps it to decompose quicker. That said, bagging clippings – especially weeds or grass that’s really high – could be helpful at certain times.
How we test the best small lawn mowers
We have tested some of the mowers on this list in person either for Real Homes or our sister site, Gardeningetc. Where we have not been able to be hands on with the mower itself, we use third party reviews and have experience of the mower brand so that we can vouch for its quality.
We are working our way through hands on testing as many products as we can. See more about our testing process.
Clipper Push Reel Lawn Mowers
Absolutely the Cadillac of Reel Push Mowers. Made in the USA. Extra heavy-duty commercial-grade construction.
An easy-to-push reel mower with a solid handle, adjustable cut heights, six extra hardened blades, hardened bearings, old-fashioned mower wheels, steel roller brackets, and knobs.
Reel mowers are still popular for those who have a small yard and little space to store a gasoline mower.
These are easy-to-push mowers built with a solid handle, adjustable cut heights in 1/4″ increments, “zinc plated” steel roller brackets, and knobs. These mowers can be hung on a wall in a small storage unit or garage
The Clipper USA series provide a high-quality silent-type hand push reel mower that simply can not be matched by any other reel mowers on the market today. In fact, the Clipper USA mowers are built just like the original silent reel mowers were.
Note: The Amish shop sets the mowers with a tight tolerance of just touching the blades against the bed-knife. They have found this setting provides the best cut and keeps the blades sharper longer. You may adjust to your individual preference including the silent mode if you would like.
Cutting widths in 17”, 19”, and 21” The price above reflects the 17” select other sizes below using the drop-down box. The additional sizes will incrementally add to the price of the 17”.
Cutting depth range 1″- 2 1/2″ with 9-5/8″ tires and 3/4″- 2 1/4″ with 9″ tires. It is not recommended to cut uneven lawns at the lowest setting as it will likely scalp over high areas and dull the blades quicker.
The standard wheels are now 9-5/8”. The 9-5/8” wheel provides a balance between the 9” and 10” wheels for both bent and tall grasses. A 9” wheel is available using the drop-down boxes for those who may want the ability to mow at ¼” lower for home golf or croquet courses. An additional upcharge applies for the 9” wheel option to cover the labor cost of switching the wheels prior to shipping.
The original Clipper 9” wheel which some use for bentgrass mowing or a 10” wheel which some may use for tall grass mowing has been combined into a 9-5/8” wheel. The 1” difference in the 10” size would seem to provide an additional 1” mowing height. However, only half of the wheel touches the ground, meaning there was only a ½” height difference using a 10” wheel. The 9-5/8” wheel provides an additional ¼” over the previous 9” wheel.
The mower is shipped with the wheel axles tightened down to secure the wheels in place. The axle nuts will need to be loosened just enough to free up the adjustment levers, and then retightend before mowing. This keeps the gears meshing inside of the wheels at the correct angle. Leaving them loose will cause uneven wear on those gears.
We also receive calls about the T-Handle saying that the bolts are too short to put on the nuts. They are carriage bolts with a square shank next to the head. The purpose of this shank is to pull down inside the smaller hole and seat so that you do not have to use a wrench or screwdriver. The tops of the bolts will need to be tapped in with a hammer into the hole until enough thread is showing for the nut to begin to thread on, then take a wrench and pull them down into the handle until they are flush without splintering. Sending any longer bolts could easily cause hands and sleeves to catch on the extended bolts once they are tightened down.
- Heat-treated bed-knife is made of special materials to give ultimate toughness and long-lasting sharpness.
- The six-reel blades are riveted just like the original Silent Scotts were. Riveting does not distort the reel cage like welding the blades.
- High-tolerance bearings and heat-treated adjustment levers are standard
- Metal wheels with rubber tires
- Heavy Duty Roller
- Ultra-Fine, a one-nut adjustment in 1/4″ increments (One thumb nut on each side)
- Hardened, grade 8 bed-knife bolts
- Convenient kick bar for mowing tight corners
- Powder Coated finish with weather-resistant decals
- Fully Warranted against any defects
- 9” standard rubber tires, 9-5/8” tires available as an upgrade for the higher cutting height
Add the USA-made rolling grass catcher. Click Here for the optional grass catcher. The grass catcher will fit all sizes from 17” to 21” and folds flat for easy storage.
Reel mowers were commonly used for mowing yards before the gasoline engines were invented and sized to fit onto a lawnmower. They are still popular for those who have a small yard and little space to store a gasoline mower and the gas can to fuel it. These mowers can be hung on a wall in a small storage unit or garage.
Reel mowers are also still used in the Amish sustainable living communities where these reel mowers are built and sold for long-term use. Other reel mowers are on the market but do not hold up to the quality that these mowers provide for long-term ownership.
We offer all three Amish-made reel mowers to provide our customers with greater selections, options, and price ranges. Too many selections sometimes create more confusion so let’s break them down for a better understanding of the pricing differences.
All three different Amish reel mower companies offer heavy-duty reel push mower models that are hands down much higher in quality than the average reel mowers being sold in hardware and home improvement stores.
The Clipper Reel Mower is the Cadillac-Mercedes of reel mowers. It is all USA-made by the Amish using USA-made parts. The reel has riveted blades and the bed-knife is higher quality US steel and is extra tempered for the longest cutting sharpness. The Bed-Knife and spiral reels were patterned from the vintage Scotts Silent mowers. It is also the most expensive of all reel mowers. Despite the price, it is also the most popular between the Amish and Non-Amish. Clipper is our best seller.
Mascot Silent Reel Mowers use all imported parts and are assembled overseas. It is strictly quality controlled by an Amish company that personally inspects, sharpens, and tunes each one before it ships to a customer. The Amish company developed it from the vintage Scotts Silent mowers. Many of the parts will interchange with the old Scott mowers. It is a popular mower with high satisfaction for the Amish and Non-Amish who are looking for long-term durability and performance. In fact, we had so many calls about why we did not carry the Mascot Mowers we figured we better check them out and were pleasantly surprised with what we found. We categorize it as a Buick of reel mowers and is priced mid-range of the Amish reel mowers.
Silver Pro Reel Mower was developed by an Amish Company as a more budget-friendly option for Amish families. It uses a combination of imported parts and the US-made parts cousin to the Clipper mowers. It is fully assembled in the US, sharpened, and tuned by the Amish. By some accounts, it would be considered made in the USA since many of the parts are made in the US and it is fully assembled in the US. The reel was just recently improved as shown in the newer pictures to now include riveted spiral blades like the Clipper and Mascot. It also uses imported tempered steel blades. It still features steel wheels and solid rubber tires. We categorize the Silver Pro as the Chevy of reel mowers and it’s priced accordingly. It is still much higher quality than other Non-Amish reel mowers.
Click Here to see all our Amish reel mower options.
A note on returns: Reel mowers are not for everyone as they will give you a good physical workout.
We do provide a 30-day return on our products. Realizing that no one has ever returned a Clipper Reel mower and realizing if one was to be returned, to resell it to another customer, they will be expecting a discount for it being used and returned. Thus a 25% restocking fee would need to be discounted from any refunds for a return.
Watch Demo Video
Push Reel Lawn Mower Maintenance (USA Clipper)
Caution: blades and the bedknife are very sharp. Although we demonstrate in the video taking a bare hand across the blades we are being careful not to run our fingers on the edges of the blades or to place our fingers near the bednife and the reel cage when spinning. Note: The ultimate test of the proper adjustment of the bednife is by using strips of paper. Although the mower may seem stiff out of the box, the bednife may be set properly as shown in the video. This is where many feel that it is too tight and begin adjusting without doing the paper test only to become frustrated with poor performance. New mowers will loosen up over time and the bednife will need to be checked with the strips of paper and adjusted accordingly before each season.
In Praise of the Push Reel Mower
I recently became a homeowner and along with my first house came another first: my very own little piece of land to tend. And since Kate and I had been living in apartments for all our married life, I needed to buy a mower to take care of our lawn. Like most Americans, I grew up using and being surrounded by gas-powered mowers. The sound of two-stroke engines firing up around the neighborhood was the unofficial soundtrack of my boyhood summers.
But despite my immersion in the cult of Lawn Boy, I’ve always been intrigued by old-fashioned manual/push reel mowers. Maybe my curiosity about them came from flipping through old magazines depicting a happy 1950s suburban dad mowing his small patch of green heaven. Or maybe it was from watching groundskeepers use giant reel mowers to mow the infield at baseball stadiums.
Whatever the reason for my lifelong pull towards the manual reel mower, when I was in the market for my own mower, I decided to look into whether the old-fashioned push reel mower was a viable option for my lawn mowing needs. To my great surprise, I discovered that the reel mower isn’t just a viable option, but is in some instances superior to its gas-powered cousins.
How a Push Reel Mower Works
Your typical power rotary mower has a spinning blade that chops off the top of the grass as it rotates like a helicopter, resulting in torn and shredded turf. Instead of tearing and chopping your grass, a reel mower cuts your grass just like a pair of scissors. It’s easier to understand how this works when you can see the mower, rather than just describing it, so check out the video below for a full explanation:
Oh, and it goes without saying, but unlike a power mower that requires gas or electricity to work, you provide the power to your manual reel mower.
Choosing a Push Reel Mower
The basic construction of a reel mower is pretty much the same across brands. They mainly vary in characteristics like:
- Weight. How heavy will it be when you’re pushing it?
- Cutting width. The longer and bigger the mower is, the heavier it will be, but the less passes you’ll have to make back and forth on your lawn, and thus the faster you’ll get the job done.
- Cutting heights. What’s the range of heights you can adjust the blades up and down?
- Direction of grass spray. Does the grass spray behind the mower or out in front? Obviously the latter has an advantage in not covering your feet with clippings.
When I was looking for a reel mower, I did a lot of research and finally brought home the Fiskars Staysharp Max Push Reel Lawn Mower. This thing isn’t your grandpa’s heavy old contraption. The folks at Fiskars have taken the old manual reel mower design and updated it for the 21st century: it’s 60% easier to push than other manual mowers, boasts twice the cutting power of competitors, sprays the grass out in front of you, and the blades only need sharpening every 5-10 years (that’s the “StaySharp” bit). It’s fast, powerful, and maneuverable. Not to mention kind of fun to use. After mowing with my Fiskars for nearly two months, I can confidently say that it’s given me the best mowing experience I’ve ever had. Kate and I even fight over who gets to mow the lawn now (the compromise: I mow the front; she mows the back). I can’t sing the mower’s praises highly enough ( and I don’t have any affiliation with the company whatsoever, by the way–just a very happy customer ).
Look at that beautiful cascade of grass.
If your only experience with a push reel mower was using a heavy clunker in your youth, I highly recommend giving the Fiskars a try. It will change your mind about manual mowers.
The Benefits of a Push Reel Mower
Push reel mowers are better for your grass’ health. This was my biggest motivating factor for purchasing a push reel mower as opposed to a power rotary mower. As mentioned above, power rotary mowers cut the grass by chopping and tearing your grass, while reel mowers cut the grass by snipping it cleanly like a pair of scissors. Torn and shredded grass leaves your lawn vulnerable to disease and insect attacks; grass that is cleanly cut with a reel mower heals faster and is less vulnerable to those maladies.
Push reel mowers make your lawn look nicer. Not only are reel mowers better for your grass’ health, they leave your lawn looking professionally manicured. Again, it all goes back to the scissor-like way the reel mower cuts the grass. Clean and even cuts make for a clean and even-looking lawn. The reel mower’s superior cut is the reason why groundskeepers at professional baseball stadiums and golf courses use large reel mowers pulled by tractors. The reel cut makes the grass look purty.
Push reel mowers are quiet. One of the things I hated the most about the old gas-powered Lawn Boy of my youth was the noise. First, it’s just grating to have to listen to a loud and obnoxious two-stroke engine for extended periods of time. Second, because the thing was so stinking loud, I couldn’t mow the grass too early or too late in the evening, lest I disturb the neighbors. That’s not a problem if you live in, say, Vermont, where summer days are pleasantly warm and idyllic (if it’s not raining). When you live in hot and humid Oklahoma, however, mowing your yard during the day with the sun beating down on you is downright miserable.
The push reel mower solves both of those noise-related problems. The only sound it makes is a satisfyingly quiet “snip-snip-snip” as the mower cuts the grass. I love hearing that sound. It’s actually rather soothing. And because my manual reel mower is so darn quiet, I can mow my lawn early in the morning without waking up the neighbors. Goodbye 107-degrees-with-a-heat-index-of-a-115 lawn mowing sessions!
Push reel mowers don’t emit pollution. Don’t let the smallness of your power lawn mower engine deceive you. That sucker spits out a crap load of air pollution. If you let a typical gas-powered lawn mower run for an hour, it will produce as much air pollution as a sedan running for two hundred miles. Jeez-um!
The amount of pollution a push reel mower produces? Zilch. Unless of course you count the relaxing farts you rip as you cut the grass.
If you’re an environmentally-conscious guy, the choice is clear between power and manual. You gotta go manual.
Push reel mowers are hassle-free. Push reel mowers are simple machines. You push it and blades spin around and cut your grass. That’s it. No pulling starter cords or priming the engine before you can mow. Just start walking and–bam!–you’re cutting the grass. Also, you’ll never have to buy gas, oil, or spark plugs ever again. About the only maintenance you’ll have with your manual reel mower is blade sharpening, and some folks think that’s more of an enjoyable, mind-settling task than a chore. And again, with the Fiskars, you’ll only have to sharpen the blades every half decade or so.
Push reel mowers are cheaper. Even a “top-of-the-line” reel mower like the Fiskars costs less than most power mowers. And if you get one of the smaller, classic models, they can run you less than 100. Plus, there are no maintenance costs. With gas as high as they are, why waste a single drop tooling around your backyard?
Push reel mowers exercise your body. There’s no autodrive on a push reel mower. These bad boys are man-powered. The Fiskars is particularly heavy for a reel mower (52 lbs), but is designed in a way that makes it easier to push, and it gives me a nice bout of exercise; hard enough to work up a satisfying sweat, but not so hard it leaves me feeling exhausted. It’s kind of like pushing a Prowler Sled around your yard, except for that when you’re done, you’re in better shape and your lawn has been mowed.
Push reel mowers are safer than power mowers. In a careless moment a power mower can turn into a rolling death trap, or at least an appendage mauler. than 75,000 Americans, 10,000 of which are children, are injured in lawn mowing accidents annually, and, get this, 75 people die from lawn mowing accidents every year. Mowing over a grass-hidden rock can turn it into a projectile capable of traveling 200 mph and taking out someone’s eye, and the power mower’s fast-whirling blades have eaten up children’s toes and hands. And even if your power mower isn’t running, you’re still at risk for an accident. I burnt my hand on a hot lawn mower engine as a boy and still have the scar to prove it.
While some dangers still exist when using a reel mower, they’re much, much safer than power mowers. Unless I ran the thing right over someone Tom and Jerry-style, there’s little risk of it chewing up a limb. If you run over a rock, instead of shooting it out like a bullet, your mower just jams. Also, no hot engines to burn yourself on.
Push reel mowers make mowing a pleasure. As a young man, I saw lawn mowing as a chore that you had to do every week. I didn’t look forward to it. I just did it because I had to. Since I’ve started mowing with my Fiskars push reel mower, mowing the grass has turned from a chore into a pleasure. I actually look forward to lawn mowing day. Really! I love pushing it in the cool of the early morning as birds chirp at the day’s start. I love listening to the quiet “snip-snip-snip” of grass cutting. I love the physicality of it–how it feels a little like pushing a plow. I love watching tiny blades of cut grass spit out in front of my mower in a green cascade. Most of all, I love the satisfying feeling I get as I look over my cleanly cut lawn.
Is a Push Reel Mower Right For You?
In Gran Torino, Korean War vet Walt Kowalski calms his mind before confronting a violent gang by mowing his yard with a manual reel mower. Manly.
Now before you head to the home improvement store to pick up a push reel mower, you need to know that it’s not for everybody. Sometimes power or riding mowers are actually better, depending on a variety of factors. Below I highlight a few of these factors you should consider before switching to a push reel mower.
Your yard is a half-acre or smaller. Manual reel mowers are suited for small to medium-sized yards. Most experts agree that if you have to mow more than 8,000 square feet, you’re better off using a power push or riding mower. Although I will say that my yard is on the large end of a medium-sized yard, and it only takes me 45 minutes to mow with my manual mower. And if your yard is the size of most yards in suburban developments, there really isn’t any reason you shouldn’t use a push reel mower.
You can’t bag clippings. If you’re one of those folks who prefer to bag your clippings, then a push reel mower probably isn’t for you. While some push reel mowers have a basket that will catch your clippings, they don’t work very well, and many don’t offer any clipping catcher at all.
However, if you’re a devoted-bagger, you might reconsider your stance. Most lawn care experts agree that you shouldn’t bag your clippings and should just leave them in your grass. Grass clippings are fertilizer for your lawn. They provide the same beneficial nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium nutrients that are in commercial fertilizers, except they’re free.
Not great for excessively bumpy and overgrown yards. I’ve noticed that on areas of my lawn that have a lot of bumps, the reel mower doesn’t do a good job of cutting, mainly because the wheels can’t get good traction to move the blade. I’ll usually have to come back and trim that with my weed-wacker. It’s not a problem because there’s only one part in my lawn that gives me trouble.
Also, push reel mowers work best on yards that are already well-maintained. They don’t cut really long grass too well, so if you always let your grass get pretty long before you cut it, you’re better off using a power mower.
What sort of grass do you have? Manual reel mowers work better on some types of grass than others. Most reel mowers have a hard time handling extra thick grasses like Zoysia, St. Augustine, and Bermuda. Never fear. If you have a lawn that’s made completely of one of these grasses, you’re not necessarily relegated to just gas-powered mowers. Heavier, more powerful manual reel mowers like the Fiskars don’t have a problem with these types of grasses. Adjusting the height of the reel mower’s blades can also prevent the mower from getting bogged down in thick grass.
Shave Like Your Grandpa, Mow Like Your Grandpa
After a couple of months of using my push reel mower, I really don’t know why the manual mower isn’t more popular or why most folks get the gas-powered variety. It seems quite analogous to shaving. There are a few things where the classic turns out to do just as good a job (sometimes an even better one), and provides a more enjoyable and satisfying experience to boot. The safety razor is one of those things. And so is the push reel mower. Give it a try!
The 6 Best Walk-Behind Lawn Mowers of 2023, Tested and Reviewed
Camryn Rabideau is a freelance writer and product reviewer specializing in home, kitchen, and pet products. In her 6 years of experience as a product tester, she’s reviewed hundreds of items firsthand, and her work appears in publications such as PEOPLE, The Spruce, Homes Gardens, and more. Camryn is also the proud owner of a small homestead in Rhode Island, where she spends her spare time gardening, tending her many animals, and working through a never-ending list of home improvement projects.
In This Article
Summer is almost upon us, which means it’s time to start thinking about lawn care. There are a wide variety of lawn mowers that you can use keep your backyard looking pristine, but it’s important to find the right option to fit your yard — and your budget. If you have a small- to midsize yard, a walk-behind lawn mower generally provides the right balance of value and efficiency.
Nicole Durden, senior merchant of outdoor power at The Home Depot, says that both gas and electric mowers can make lawn care an easier chore. “Depending on your yard’s size and terrain, a walk-behind mower is ideal for a yard that’s ¾ of an acre or less,” she adds.
Today, you can find walk-behind lawn mowers that are powered by gas, batteries, or even an extension cord, and to help you select the best product for your yard, we tested nine popular models, putting them through the paces over the course of 10 hours of testing. After many hours of mowing, we evaluated each walk-behind mower on its design, performance, useability, safety, and value.
The following are the best walk-behind lawn mowers that People Tested.
Honda HRN216VKA 21-Inch Gas Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
- The mower is able to cut through dense and wet grass on the first pass.
- It starts quickly and reliably with just one pull.
- Thorough mulching abilities can handle wet leaves and grass.
- Good value for a lawn mower of its size and power.
- Bag latch can become clogged with clippings and may need cleanout prior to reinserting the bag.
- Self-propelled speed doesn’t respond well to slight increases.
In terms of all-around performance, our top-recommended walk-behind mower is this model from Honda. The gas mower has a self-propelled design that’s powered by a 4-stroke 166cc engine, yet we found that it was extremely easy to start up, only ever needing one pull to get the motor going. The tool has a 21-inch cutting deck and weighs around 75 pounds, but despite its substantial weight, the self-propelled design made it easy for us to operate and navigate around obstacles in the yard.
This Honda lawn mower did a phenomenal job while cutting, and it was able to cut through dense patches of grass and weeds on a single pass. We even tested it in slightly damp conditions, and it didn’t get bogged down at all. You can choose between rear discharge, bagging, or mulching grass clippings, and we loved that the mulching setting cut debris up into fine pieces that will help feed nutrients back into the lawn. It was even able to mulch wet leaves and grass without any issues.
While we were impressed with this mower’s overall performance, there are a few small caveats worth noting. The area where the collection bag latches to the mower frequently got clogged with grass pieces, and we had to clean it out before reattaching the bag. Additionally, the self-propulsion doesn’t respond well to gradual increases in speed — it tends to go from slow to fast with no options in between.
Price at time of publish: 549
Power Source: Gas | Cutting Width: 21 inches | Weight: 74.75 pounds | Self-Propelled: Yes | Clipping Options: Rear discharge, bag, mulch
Sun Joe MJ401E-P2 Electric Lawn Mower
- This lawn mower is very lightweight, and it’s similar to operating a vacuum.
- Its small form is easy to maneuver and can fit into tight spaces.
- The mower is much quieter than a gas-powered mower.
- Grass collection bag fills up very quickly and may need to be emptied multiple times while mowing.
- Grass can get clogged underneath the mowing deck, which causes the mower to shut off.
If you have a small yard, chances are you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a push mower. Luckily for you, the Sun Joe Electric Lawn Mower is an inexpensive option that’s unbelievably easy to use and maintain. This lawn mower is half the weight of many other walk-behind models we tested, and its corded design makes it easy to mow a small yard without worrying about running out of power. In testing, we found that it requires very little effort to push — we’d compare it to pushing a vacuum cleaner across a carpet — and were impressed by how quiet it is while mowing.
This electric mower can get into tight spaces easily, thanks to its 14-inch cutting deck, but it can get stuck if you’re cutting thick grass — during testing, the mower shut off on us because the blades were clogged up. However, it was easy to clean out the cutting deck and continue mowing. The only major downside of this compact electric mower is that it solely bags grass clippings, and the collection bag is extremely small. We had to empty it two or three times while mowing a 400-square-foot area, which made the process take a little longer than expected.
Price at time of publish: 108
Power Source: Plug-in | Cutting Width: 14 inches | Weight: 29 pounds | Self-Propelled: No | Clipping Options: Bag
Greenworks 12 Amp 20-Inch 3-in-1 Corded Lawn Mower
- Good value for a larger corded mower.
- The mower performs well on both dry and damp grass, as well as tall weeds.
- It has no problem driving over uneven ground.
- The mower is easy to push with one hand, even though it’s not self-propelled.
- It can be a bit bulky to turn or maneuver around obstacles.
- Clippings often fall out when emptying the collection bag, even if it’s not full.
The Greenworks Corded Lawn Mower is a great value if you don’t mind working around an extension cord as you mow. This electric model has a fairly large 20-inch cutting deck, and it offers side discharge, bagging, and mulching abilities, unlike other corded models we tested. We used it on both dry and damp grass, and it had no problems cutting either one, breezing right through tall weeds. It also did a good job capturing grass clippings in the included collection bag, though some do spill out when you remove the bag for emptying.
We tested this mower on a fairly uneven lawn, and thanks to its large rear wheels, it didn’t have any problem driving over divots that have posed a problem for other mowers. We were able to push the mower around with just one hand, holding the power cord with the other, but it does require two hands to turn the mower around, as it’s a bit bulky (and not self-propelled). Bottom line? With its affordable price and reliable performance, this mower is a good option for anyone with a smaller yard who wants a corded lawn mower with features.
Price at time of publish: 229
Power Source: Plug-in | Cutting Width: 20 inches | Weight: 56 pounds | Self-Propelled: No | Clipping Options: Side discharge, bag, mulch
EGO Power Select Cut 56-Volt 21-Inch Self-Propelled Cordless Lawn Mower
- The battery still had power left after 50 minutes of use.
- The handle can be adjusted to different heights and angles for maximum comfort.
- The self-propelled design is easy to maneuver and takes strain off your body.
- The mower did get bogged down on a wet patch of grass and ferns.
- The process to start the mower is a bit complicated and hard to understand based on the directions.
There are several benefits to battery-powered mowers like the EGO Power Self-Propelled Lawn Mower, including its lack of emissions, quiet operation, and minimal maintenance. This 21-inch lawn mower only comes with one 56-volt battery, but it was able to mow for 50 minutes with power to spare, making it a great option even for larger yards. On first use, we struggled to figure out how to start the mower — it’s not as simple as just pushing a single button — but once we conquered that hurdle, it was smooth sailing.
The self-propelled design was easy to maneuver around the yard, and we loved that it requires minimal effort, so it won’t strain your back. The mower delivered a clean, even cut, even when the grass was damp, and it’s easy and intuitive to adjust settings like the cutting height and mower speed. We did find that the mower would occasionally get bogged down in thicker, wet areas (for instance, it had trouble cutting through a patch of ferns), but this is the case with many mowers, so we don’t think it’s a dealbreaker.
Price at time of publish: 549 (orig. 576.45)
Power Source: Battery | Cutting Width: 21 inches | Weight: 54.5 pounds | Self-Propelled: Yes | Clipping Options: Side discharge, bag, mulch
Honda HRX217VKA 21-Inch Self-Propelled Gas Lawn Mower
- The mower is easy to start without priming or worrying about flooding the motor.
- Self-propelled function locks into your desired speed, saving you from having to hold down a lever.
- There’s a setting that allows you to half bag and half mulch the grass clippings.
If you have a lot of ground to cover, we recommend this Honda HRX Lawn Mower. It’s powered by a 201cc engine that easily cuts through thick and dense grass, yet it’s incredibly easy to start up — we were able to get the mower going with a single pull, no priming needed. The Honda mower also has 4-in-1 functionality, meaning you can side discharge, bag, mulch, or shred grass clippings, and we like that there’s even an option to bag half and mulch half. This setting would definitely come in handy if you’re cutting longer grass.
This mower also stood out thanks to its convenient self-propelled design. The control bar has a knob that lets you select the speed you want, essentially locking the mower at that pace so you don’t have to worry about holding the lever down at the right pressure. It can also go quite fast — we found that a medium speed was comfortable for walking, but you could dial it up for faster mowing, if desired.
Overall, we had very few complaints about this self-propelled mower. It did take a little trial and error to find the right deck height and speed setting, but once that was done, the mower delivered a nice even cut every time.
Price at time of publish: 799 (orig. 989.99)
Power Source: Gas | Cutting Width: 21 inches | Weight: 91 pounds | Self-Propelled: Yes | Clipping Options: Side discharge, bag, mulch, leaf shred
Ryobi 40V HP Brushless 21-Inch Dual-Blade Self-Propelled Mower
- Unbelievably quiet during operation — it almost sounds like a white noise machine.
- The battery-powered mower offers comparable power to a gas mower.
- The batteries lasted for more than three mowings (42 minutes total) without needing to be recharged.
- Self-propelled design makes it effortless to mow hilly areas.
The Ryobi Dual-Blade Self-Propelled Lawn Mower is our top pick for anyone with a hilly yard, as its self-propulsion abilities outperformed the competition in our testing. This electric mower has a standard 21-inch deck, and we found that it performs just as well as gas mowers thanks to its two powerful 40-volt batteries. It offers variable speed self-propulsion that lets you match the mower to your pace, and it had no problems tackling hills during testing. In fact, the feature can be too fast on straightaways if you turn it to max speed — we had to jog to keep up with it!
Because this mower is battery-powered, it’s much quieter than a gas mower, almost sounding like a white noise machine. It also impressed us with its runtime — we were able to mow a 2,000-square-foot yard three times without needing to recharge the batteries. While we loved the convenience and easy operation of this mower, it wasn’t totally perfect. The main negatives we discovered were that the grass collection bag is quite small and needed to be emptied frequently while mowing, and the mulching setting left behind quite a few dry leaves on the lawn.
Price at time of publish: 919
Power Source: Battery | Cutting Width: 21 inches | Weight: 75 pounds | Self-Propelled: Yes | Clipping Options: Side discharge, bag, mulch
Things to Consider Before Buying a Walk-Behind Lawn Mower
There are three main styles of walk-behind lawn mowers: gas, battery, and electric, also called corded. Gas mowers are usually the most powerful option, boasting large motors that can power through thick grass and weeds, but they’re also loud and require frequent maintenance, including oil and spark plug changes.
For these reasons, battery-powered models are becoming more popular: “Homeowners have been gravitating to battery power for a few years, and we’ll be seeing even more of that in 2023 with various laws and regulations and even HOA restrictions aiming to limit the use of gas,” explains Durden. “Advancements in technology are making it possible and practical for everyone to make the switch — we have several battery mowers that offer the same (or better) power than gas mowers today.” Battery-powered mowers are also quieter and don’t give off any harmful emissions, but they do have a limited runtime. Our top pick for a battery-powered mower is the EGO Power Lawn Mower.
Finally, there are corded walk-behind mowers, which tend to be the most affordable. These use an extension cord to plug into an electrical outlet, giving them an unlimited runtime, but you have to navigate around the cord as you mow, which is why they’re recommended for small yards.
The size of your yard will dictate which type of walk-behind mower is best for your needs. If you have a small yard that’s less than ¼ acre, a corded push mower will generally meet your needs. These are usually lightweight and have smaller decks, and they’re easy to operate and store.
For larger yards, you may want to upgrade to a self-propelled mower, such as the Ryobi Dual-Blade Mower, which moves forwards on its own using power from the motor. This means you don’t have to physically push the mower to move it around your yard, making the process less strenuous.
In terms of a gas vs. battery powered model, battery mowers do have a limited runtime — typically less than an hour, but it will vary by product — which may not be enough for yards that are an acre or more. However, keep in mind that you can always buy backup batteries, if needed.
The terrain of your yard is another factor to consider as you shop for a lawn mower. “If your yard is flat, a push mower will be the most affordable choice,” recommends Durden. “If your yard has hills, you may want to invest in a self-propelled mower that takes less manual effort.”
Walk-behind mowers with larger rear wheels — like the Greenworks 12 Amp 20-Inch 3-in-1 Corded Lawn Mower — tend to handle better on uneven ground, so you may want to look for this feature if your yard has a lot of divots or ruts.
There are three main options for handling grass clippings while you’re mowing: discharging them out the side or back, bagging them up, or mulching them into fine pieces that will decay back into your lawn. Some lawn mowers, such as the Sun Joe Electric Lawn Mower only offer one option, while other models like the Honda Hrx 21-in Self-Propelled Gas Lawn Mower offer all three.
If you want a bagging mower, pay careful attention to the size of the collection bag in comparison to your yard. If the bag is too small, you may find yourself stopping to empty it frequently — a problem we ran into when testing the Ryobi Dual-Blade Self-Propelled Mower.
How We Tested
We researched today’s most popular walk-behind lawn mowers, and we selected nine top-rated models for testing, including three battery-operated, two corded, and four gas options. We sent each model to the homes of our testers, who are located in seven different cities across three states, and they tested each lawn mower over the period of several days.
We used each lawn mower three times, evaluating them on their ease of use, performance, power, safety features, and more. Each product was then scored on its setup, design, performance, usability, safety, and value, and the highest-scoring products were selected for this round-up.
If you have a larger yard or a lot of hilly terrain, a self-propelled lawn mower will take a lot of the manual effort out of mowing your grass. “Self-propelled mowers are designed to automatically move forward from 1 to 3.5 miles per hour,” explains Durden. “They‘re recommended for yards of more than half an acre, especially those that are hilly or sloped. Some mowers offer variable speeds that come in handy when working near trees and garden beds.”
In general, you can expect to pay between 400 and 1,000 for a self-propelled lawn mower, and the more you’re willing to spend, the more power and features your mower will have. However, some of our top-rated models are only around 500, so don’t feel like you have to splurge to get a great tool.
If your lawn is only a few hundred square feet, you can probably get by with a reel-style lawn mower, but if it’s over ¼ of an acre, a walk-behind mower will make weekly maintenance much easier. The great thing about walk-behind lawn mowers is that there’s an option for every lawn size and budget. If you have a small yard, an inexpensive option like the Sun Joe Electric Lawn Mower will make quick work of your grass without breaking the bank.
Why Trust PEOPLE?
Camryn Rabideau has been a professional product tester for six years, and she’s previously tested ride-on lawn mowers from popular brands like Ryobi and Husqvarna. While writing this article, she relied on firsthand insights from the People Tested team, who used these lawn mowers for a total of 10 hours. She also spoke with Nicole Durden, senior merchant of outdoor power at The Home Depot, for tips on selecting the right lawn mower for your home based on factors like your yard size, terrain, and budget.
What Is People Tested?
We created the PEOPLE Tested seal of approval to help you find the very best products for your life. We use our unique methodology to test products in three labs across the country and with our network of home testers to determine their effectiveness, durability, ease of use, and so much more. Based on the results, we rate and recommend products so you can find the right one for your needs.
But we don’t stop there: We also regularly re-review the categories in which we’ve awarded the PEOPLE Tested seal of approval — because the best product of today might not be the best of tomorrow. And by the way, companies can never buy our recommendation: Their products must earn it, fair and square.
In short, PEOPLE Tested provides recommendations you can trust — every day, every purchase.