Gardeners choice lawn mower. Best Lawn Mowers, Landscaping Tools, and Gardening…
Best Lawn Mowers, Landscaping Tools, and Gardening Accessories for a Perfect Backyard
The best lawn mower, landscaping tools and gardening accessories will help you turn your yard into an oasis of nature and beauty.
By Clay Bell | Published Jul 7, 2021 2:30 PM EDT
Want a gas mower or an electric push mower? We found two great ones, plus some tools and equipment that will help you make your yard look great. Pexels
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There are basically two ways to look at lawn mowing, landscaping, and gardening around your home. One is the do the very least work possible, just getting by and counting every moment as drudgery. Or, you can embrace it for what it is—an opportunity to make your yard and your landscaping beautiful and improve the look and feel of your neighborhood.
To make the second choice a reality, you’re going to need some specialized tools for the variety of different jobs out there. Purchasing decisions aren’t easy–there are a half dozen different types of lawn mowers to choose from, and hundreds of models! To get you started off on the right foot, consider our selections for the best lawn mowers, landscaping tools, and gardening accessories for a perfect backyard.
- Best Gas Push Lawn Mower:Yardmax 21-Inch 3-in-1 Gas Mower
- Best Battery Powered Lawn Mower:Hart 40-Volt Cordless Self-Propelled Mower
- Best Riding Lawn Mower:Troy Bilt 42-inch Bronco Riding Lawn Tractor
- Best Zero Turn Lawn Mower:Craftsman 50-Inch Gas Zero Turn Mower
- Best Reel Mower:Remington 16-Inch Reel Push Mower
- Best Limb Loppers:Fiskars 25-Inch Power-Lever Lopper
- Best Pruning Shears:Fiskars Traditional Steel Pruners
- Best String Trimmer:Hart 20-Volt Electric Trimmer
- Best Sidewalk Edger:Hart 20-Volt Electric Edger
- Best Hedge Trimmer:Greenworks Cordless Hedge Trimmer
- Best Garden Spade:Fiskars D-Handle Spade
- Best Hand Trowel:Bond Stainless Steel Hand Trowel
- Best Garden Sprayer:Chapin 2-Gallon Handheld Sprayer
- Best Garden Hoe:Emsco Fiberglass Handle Garden Hoe
- Best Wheelbarrow:Garden Star Dual Wheel Wheelbarrow
What’s With All The Different Mowers?
Keeping your lawn groomed nicely is one of the most important aspects of having a beautiful yard. And in some parts of the country, mowing is necessary a couple of times a week. Selecting the right lawn mower for your yard can be made easier when you think about how much grass you have to mow, and how much work you want to put in to get it looking great. Consider these five mowers when making a decision.
Best Gas Push Lawn Mower: Yardmax 21-Inch 3-in-1 Gas Mower
You can mow your yard neatly and quickly with this low-maintenance, top-quality mower from Yardmax. YARDMAX
This mower is perfect for the homeowner with a small to medium size yard and doesn’t mind pushing to get the mowing done. The 170cc OHV Yardmax engine delivers maximum performance in this class of mower and never needs an oil change. The YG1650 features a high-rear-wheel design, which is an advantage when mowing slopes and rough terrain. All wheels are equipped with durable 1.5-inch wide treads and with double ball bearings, which makes for easier pushing and more even cuts. Choose from seven cutting heights ranging from 1.25 to 3.75 inches, which you can change simply by moving one lever.
Best Battery Powered Lawn Mower: Hart 40-Volt Cordless Self-Propelled Mower
No gas, no emissions, no pull cord—just grass cutting power. HART
The 20-inch brushless self-propelled mower makes mowing yards up to 1/2 acre in size an easy task. You start your mower with the push of a button, and brushless technology provides consistent power without bogging down. On-board storage allows for two batteries, so you can continue mowing when one battery runs out of power. The mower is equipped with telescoping and folding handles, which makes for compact and easy storage in a garage or shed.
Best Riding Lawn Mower: Troy Bilt 42-inch Bronco Riding Lawn Tractor
This mower will let you mow faster and with less work, leaving more time for other landscaping chores. TROY BILT
Powerful and easy to use, the Bronco 42 riding mower is powered by a 19 HP Briggs Stratton engine that delivers easy starting and dependable performance. With its AutoDrive transmission, operating this mower is as simple as driving a car. The foot pedal control provides smooth adjustment of speed and direction. The mower’s step-through frame design makes it easy to get on and off and has plenty of legroom. You can quickly adjust the cutting height with a fender-mounted, five-position lever. It’s ideal for large yards.
Best Zero Turn Lawn Mower: Craftsman 50-Inch Gas Zero Turn Mower
This zero-turn mower can pivot on its own footprint—making mowing both efficient and fun. Craftsman
This zero-turn riding mower from Craftsman provides the ultimate mowing experience. Its strong 24 HP twin-cylinder engine has an easy and reliable starting system with no prime and no choke. The 50-inch deck means you’re cutting a giant swath of grass every time around the yard! The mower’s dual-range hydrostatic transmission and high-back seating provide a comfortable ride, and you’ll be able to mow tight spots and corners easily thanks to the unit’s zero-turn radius. You can add a grass bagger for a neater lawn, or a grass mulching kit to put nutrients back into the soil.
Best Reel Mower: Remington 16-Inch Reel Push Mower
Power your mower with your legs, eliminate noisy motors, and save money. Remington
With a classic and familiar design, this reel lawn mower is an excellent choice for those with very small yards or even those who want to leave no carbon footprint to cut the grass. It’s the ultimate green machine, and with nine different height adjustments, you can keep your lawn at the perfect height. Plus, since the only noise is your breathing, you can mow as early or late as you wish without bothering your neighbors!
Best Landscaping Tools
While keeping a lawn mowed is key to its general appearance, landscaping gives it character and beauty. Here are some basic landscaping tools you’ll need to keep your yard well maintained and attractive.
Best Limb Loppers: Fiskars 25-Inch Power-Lever Lopper
These heavy-duty loppers are ideal for cutting tree and bush branches. Fiskars
This Power-Lever lopper from Fiskars features compound lever technology that multiplies your leverage to give you up to twice the cutting power than traditional single-pivot loppers. The fully hardened, precision-ground steel pruning blade is enhanced with an UltraBlade coating that keeps it sharp up to five times longer than untreated blades, and even protects it against rust. The lopper’s durable steel construction even includes handles with Softgrip touchpoints for a secure, comfortable grip.
Best Pruning Shears: Fiskars Traditional Steel Pruners
This high-quality pruner is ideal for trimming back shrubbery–and won’t stick. Fiskars
The fully hardened, precision-ground steel blade of this Fiskars pruner stays sharp longer, and a corrosion-resistant, low-friction coating makes cutting much easier than with uncoated blades. A self-cleaning sap groove keeps the blades from sticking—a frustrating slow-down during big pruning jobs—and a non-slip, comfort-grip handle accommodates both left- and right-handed users.
Best String Trimmer: Hart 20-Volt Electric Trimmer
Keep your yard’s edges cut neatly and evenly. HART
A “weed whacker” is essential to successful landscaping, and Hart’s battery-powered, 13-inch string trimmer provides the precision and power you need for cutting grass in areas that a mower can’t reach. This trimmer has a handy variable speed trigger, which provides more power for cutting thick grass, or less for more precise trimming. Its brushless motor delivers more power and a longer run time than many similar units.
Best Sidewalk Edger: Hart 20-Volt Electric Edger
This battery-powered edger is lightweight and precise, giving you the ability to make a smooth, clean edge every time. HART
Hart’s portable and eco-friendly edger is ideal for creating clean lines around your driveway, walkways, flower beds, and patio without having to worry about tripping over cords or emitting exhaust fumes. It has a four-position depth adjustment for easy cuts and a dual serrated 8.5-inch blade for longer life. Weighing in at only 11 pounds, it is also easy to maneuver and control, and the front and rear wheels provide added stability. Plus, the included quick charger allows you to completely charge the battery in 30 minutes!
Best Hedge Trimmer: Greenworks Cordless Hedge Trimmer
This top-rated hedge trimmer from Greenworks is powerful and easy to use. Greenworks
The Greenworks lithium-ion battery hedge trimmer delivers up to 30 percent more run time on a single charge compared to other batteries. The handle rotates 90 degrees right or left, which makes cutting at an angle quick and easy. A 22-inch polished steel blade gives you plenty of length for an even cut, and the dual-action blades reduce vibration and cut branches evenly from both sides. It comes with a four-year warranty.
Best Gardening Accessories
Whether you have a flower garden for beauty or a vegetable garden that provides fresh produce for you and your family, gardening chores are much easier—and more enjoyable—when you have the proper equipment. These five accessories will make your gardening chores easier and your garden more productive.
Best Garden Spade: Fiskars D-Handle Spade
This garden spade from Fiskars is perfect for digging small, deep holes for planting. Fiskars
A good garden spade is essential for basic gardening and landscaping tasks, and this model is designed for easy, fast digging. The tall, pre-sharpened, curved blade quickly excavates small deep holes for setting out plants or digging up bulbs, and an oversized footstep allows you to use extra power when the ground is hard. The shovel’s blade is welded to the shaft for additional strength, and it is made of powder-coated steel to prevent rust and allow easy cleaning. The spade’s D-shaped handle provides ample space for both hands—allowing you to get more leverage when you need it.
Best Hand Trowel: Bond Stainless Steel Hand Trowel
This Bond hand trowel is made from stainless steel for long use and durability. Bond
The Bond stainless steel hand trowel features a serrated edge, which makes digging easier. It has an ergonomic handle so you can get a comfortable grip and reduce the chance of hand and wrist fatigue.
Best Garden Sprayer: Chapin 2-Gallon Handheld Sprayer
This pump sprayer is ideal for treating plants and flowers for insect and disease control. Chapin
This hand pump sprayer from Chapin has a 2-gallon tank with a 4-inch wide mouth opening for easy filling—and cleaning, which is important when you want to use the sprayer to mist plants with water. The in-tank filter eliminates clogging, and the 16-inch poly wand makes it easy to use on plants large and small.
Best Garden Hoe: Emsco Fiberglass Handle Garden Hoe
This heavy-duty garden hoe has a lightweight but strong handle and a steel head. Emsco Group
This 48-inch garden hoe from Emsco is perfect for making rows, clearing out weeds, aerating soil, edging, and many other basic tasks. The fiberglass handle is extra stiff to prevent snapping, but light enough to not tire you as you work it. The heavy-gauge, powder-coated steel head measures 6.25 inches wide by 4.5 inches long, making for efficient hoeing.
Best Wheelbarrow: Garden Star Dual Wheel Wheelbarrow
A wide handle and big wheels make carrying even a big load easy. Garden Star
Few gardening items are handier than a good wheelbarrow. This Garden Star model has a large, non-corrosive poly basin that can hold up to 300 pounds and a loop handle that allows you to get the best grip for you. It has two large air-filled tires for increased stability, greatly reducing the chance of spills—which happens easily with one-wheel models. Plus, the entire unit weighs only 29 pounds, making it easy to push and store.
A Final Tip on the BestLawn Mowers, Landscaping Tools and Gardening Accessories for a Perfect Backyard
Two words: Don’t skimp. A cheaply made lawn mower will cut poorly. A subpar spade will break. Off-brand shears will stick and dull easily. Invest in good tools and equipment and you’ll get your yard looking just the way you want it without frustration or added cost.
Mowing the lawn: All you need to know plus tips and tricks
Once the gardening season gets going, it’s that time again – a spring clean of the garden lies ahead of you. And there’s lots to do! This is when bushes and hedges need to be supported and trees cut back. You should pay particular attention to the lawn, as it requires a lot of maintenance in spring and in the following months in order to remain green over the entire season. What are the typical questions and focal issues when it comes to mowing the lawn? A guide to the perfect lawn.
Five frequently asked questions on mowing the lawn
Every amateur gardener knows that you’ve barely left the garden for a few days before the lawn starts sprouting like wildfire. But simply mowing straight off without taking note of any tips and regulations would not be Smart. Many circulate half truths when chatting with a neighbour or at a regular group meet-up, but what is really true?
Mowing the lawn in summer: Should you mow the lawn when it’s hot?
That is not advisable. The lawn should not be mown too intensively during hot and dry periods in the summer. The reason is that longer blades of grass protect the ground and grass roots from drying out too much and thus ensure healthy plant growth.
Mowing the lawn and seasons: From when and how often to mow the lawn
The lawn should be mown for the first time when the gardening season starts in spring. From then on, ideally mow the lawn once or twice a week until the autumn. Grasses grow especially quickly between May and June; in this period, you should definitely mow the lawn once a week. In winter, the lawn does not grow due to the cold temperatures, so nor is there any need to mow it.
Is it advisable to mow a wet lawn?
No, you should not mow a damp lawn. This is because the blades of grass are not cut off cleanly when they are damp and consequently stick together. This leads to an uneven cutting result. effort is required as the cutting material clumps instead of spreading or flying completely into the grass catcher bag.
How do you mow a lawn correctly?
For a uniform, streak-free cutting pattern, the lawn mower should protrude the width of approximately one wheel into the mown area. You should also always mow slopes horizontally across the incline. Then there is no risk of injury from the lawn mower if you slip. The edges of the lawn can be left and then trimmed to perfection with manual shears or with a battery lawn trimmer.
Should the mown grass stay there?
A much-discussed issue. There are advantages and disadvantages both when mulching (with Kärcher, a mulching kit is included in the scope of delivery of battery lawn mowers) and when mowing the lawn in the traditional way. The advantages of mulch mowing are less lawn thatch, no disposal of cutting material and less use of fertiliser. But you must mow more frequently, and can also only do so if it is dry. The advantages of mowing the lawn in a traditional manner are a clean lawn area, less frequent mowing and that the lawn cuttings can be used as a fertiliser for flowers. The disadvantages of this method are that more nutrients are lost, a mown lawn must be fertilised and additional work arises when it comes to disposing of cutting material.
Mowing the lawn: The right cutting height for the lawn
The principle for the cutting height of the lawn is not too short but also not too long. That sounds vague, but how short or long the lawn should be mown does indeed depend on a few factors. Cutting it too short damages the lawn and even the grass roots – especially at dry and hot times of the year. The consequence is then brown patches. Or in other words: (Too much) direct sunlight is toxic! If the lawn is too short, it is hit hard by sunlight and loses strength. This can lead to weeds spreading and taking over the lawn little by little. This can in turn also happen if the grass is too long. For the lawn to be at optimal cutting height, lawn mowers can be manually adjusted to various cutting heights.
The one-third rule and what is known as the vegetation point are of significance in this context. This can be found at roughly mid-height of a blade of grass. If you mow down more, it takes quite a long time until the sprouts have recovered from this – healthy grass growth is hardly possible, particularly as the increased sunlight also bothers the mown lawn. What does that mean in concrete terms? A lawn should only ever be shortened to a third of the height to which it has currently grown. This means that two thirds remains, which is perfectly in line with the respectively recommended cutting height. Supposing that you go on holiday and the lawn grows 15 centimetres in this time, then you should trim it by only approximately five centimetres, i.e. not shorter than 10–11 centimetres. The expert tip is as follows: For a healthy lawn, it is better to mow a little less per use, to do so regularly and to take into account the weather and the condition of the blades of grass.
A trick for an even lawn cutting height is not to enter the unmown lawn areas, as otherwise the blades of grass fold over and do not stand up again immediately.
Mower, trimmer, robot? Mowing the lawn depending on requirements
Many amateur gardeners ask themselves which garden tool will make the lawn perfect. Do you use a classic lawn mower with a collection basket, a lawn mower for mulching or a 2-in-1 solution with a mulching kit (with Kärcher, included in the scope of supply)? Or rather a trimmer – and if yes, should this be battery-powered or not? over, there are robotic lawn mowers that take over mowing work completely, while you can sit back in your garden lounger. The old lawn mower with a power cord may still be in the arbour, but mowing the lawn with it isn’t really much fun – too bulky, too heavy and too little power! Many questions and options that can quickly confuse you.
The selection of a device depends on a few quality features in addition to the profile of requirements for your own garden and personal taste. First and foremost, the new device for mowing the lawn should work reliably. If you decide on battery-powered devices, you should be able to work with the battery for as long as possible. So what is known as the area performance (m² per battery charge for lawn mowers; m per battery charge for lawn trimmers as well as grass shrub shears) specifies the runtime of the device. The area performance can vary depending on the quality and profile of the lawn. You should also have the cutting width and height at the back of your mind. Especially when it comes to the cutting height, it depends on what the conditions in the garden are like. Is the lawn flat or are there undulations?
The classic for mowing the lawn: The lawn mower
You essentially have the choice between lawn mowers with a cord, as a petrol-powered model or with a battery. Which is better? Modern battery lawn mowers are in no way inferior to petrol-powered lawn mowers. On the contrary! With regard to volume, setup time and maintenance, more and more amateur gardeners are choosing battery-powered lawn mowers. The fact that these have the advantage over older lawn mower generations with power cords can be quickly explained as follows. They are both lighter and quieter – and are not a tripping hazard due to their lack of cord.
When it comes to the issue of handling, in particular, you should consider precisely which properties you do not want to do without. Should the lawn mower be as light as possible, so that it is easy to push and easy to stow? Should it also be foldable, as well as having a handle for carrying and for convenient cutting height adjustment? Compact 18-volt lawn mowers with cutting widths of up to 36 centimetres are suitable for small lawn areas. If larger areas of lawn need to be mown, 36-volt devices with cutting widths of up to 46 centimetres can be of advantage in order to save time.
Isolated and uneven patches of lawn? A battery lawn trimmer helps.
The secret to perfect lawn edges: For inaccessible areas of the lawn, you can’t get around with a battery lawn trimmer. Equipped with a quickly rotating plastic trimmer line or plastic blade, it reliably trims grass and weeds.
Due to their battery operation, trimmers are very quiet, and the operating noise can be reduced even further through the use of plastic blades. When it comes to handling, a shoulder strap included in the scope of supply as well as rotatable trimmer knobs and height-adjustable handles make work considerably easier.
As the trimmer lines rotate at high speed and parts of the lawn or pebble stones could skid around where possible, it is essential for you to wear safety goggles and strong footwear. Likewise, you should keep a distance from trees and ornamental plants as well as wooden patios in order to avoid damage.
Very practical: You can obtain trimmer lines available by the metre in a DIY store if they become worn, and wind into the trimmer line spool quite easily by yourself in this way.
Small but powerful! Robotic lawn mowers are on trend.
In recent years, robotic lawn mowers have become more and more popular. The motto is clear: The robot does the work, you sit back and enjoy a break. But what does automatic lawn maintenance depend on?
Depending on how large your own lawn area is, it may be worth looking at the precise size and battery runtime of the respective model. If the garden is rather narrow and winding, the ideal selection is a small robotic lawn mower. When it comes to cutting work, a distinction is made between rotary mowers and sickle bar mowers. The latter have larger blades, and are therefore suitable for thick grass, on which fallen fruit or limbs may sometimes lie.
The principle can be quickly explained. There is a charging station from which the robotic lawn mower starts (and where it is automatically charged). Most models mow at random. It’s true that there are also devices that mow along set paths, but sometimes that works well and other times it works less well. One way or another, the grass is mown after a few days – without any effort on your part.
Outdated lawn mowers: why we don’t recommend gas lawn mowers
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A good lawn mower is essential. It keeps grass healthy, tidy and beautiful, making it a safe and and useful part of your yard for kids to play, the dog to run around, or simply for sitting out. However, we’re no longer recommending gas lawn mowers.
Today, when you’re searching for the best lawn mowers to suit your yard there are better choices you can make than opting for a gas-powered mower, and for a variety of reasons, too.
Here, we explain the arguments that have led us to no longer advise that you buy a gas lawn mower and reveal the benefits their electric counterparts can offer with advice from experts.
Why we don’t recommend gas lawn mowers
We’ve weighed up the evidence, and our conclusion is that gas lawn mowers are outdated, and that’s why we’re no longer recommending them. And we’re not alone in reaching this conclusion.
‘Gas-powered lawn mowers have fallen out of favor with with the domestic gardener for a variety of reasons,’ says Steve Bradley, an expert for Amateur Gardening. ‘They are noisy, smoky and usually heavier than other types of mower and need more maintenance. Many have a high proportion of metal parts which can be corroded by close contact with grass sap if not thoroughly cleaned after use. and more gardeners are considering the environmental impact of their actions and see electric power as a cleaner, eco-friendly method of gardening.’
This is what you need to know about your buying options.
Steve has written (or co-written) over 40 practical gardening books. He has been Gardening Correspondent for The Sun newspaper since 2002, answering hundreds of readers’ letters every year. He also has a weekly column in Amateur Gardening magazine.
Lawn mower power
You don’t need to use a gas lawn mower to get great results. ‘There’s no difference in cut,’ says product expert at Homes Gardens Alex David.
‘A good, top-line electric or cordless mower will perform as well – if not better – than a gas mower. Electric and cordless mowers put out the same power output while being much lighter because their motors are smaller. That improves the quality of cut, because they’re easier to handle and lets you be precise along the edges of your lawn. You don’t need an expensive gas mower for a perfectly level lawn when a cheap electric mower can do the same job.’
As Head of eCommerce, Alex makes sure our readers find the right information to help them make the best purchase. After graduating from Cambridge University, Alex got his start in reviewing at the iconic Good Housekeeping Institute, testing a wide range of household products and appliances. He then moved to BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine, assessing gardening tools, machinery, and wildlife products, including dozens of lawn mowers.
The environment is one reason for choosing a mower that doesn’t use gas – although this is a complex issue. ‘Electric and corded mowers are probably more eco-friendly than petrol mowers,’ says outdoor expert at Homes Gardens Alex David.
‘I’m a little skeptical of this one – electric mowers are powered from the grid, and most of that energy is produced by coal and gas anyway. That’s doubly true for cordless mowers, which are marketed as a green alternative but will likely be charged up with electricity produced in fossil-fuel power plants, as well as using lithium cells; lithium mining is also environmentally harmful.
‘I’m yet to anything truly convincing, but given that these batteries produce no greenhouse gases in use, unlike gas mowers, I’d carefully suggest that electric and cordless mowers are a little more environmentally friendly.’
Noise is another reason why we don’t favor gas lawn mowers. ‘Both types of electric mowers (corded and battery powered) are much quieter than gas-powered versions,’ says Steve Bradley.
‘Mechanical engines are loud, particularly if you need to keep revving the machine to cope with long grass, an uneven surface or an incline. With electric mowers, the machine provides a constant low-level hum, and the most noise actually comes from the sound of the blades cutting through longer grass. Even then, the noise is much less intrusive.’
HG’s Alex David agrees. ‘Electric and corded mowers are also much less antisocial than gas mowers,’ he says. ‘Gas mowers are much louder, because not only do they have blades whirring over grass, but they also have the revving sound of the engine. They give off noxious petrol fumes, too – it’s not something your neighbors want to breathe in while they enjoy their yards.’
The issue of electric mower running time might have you thinking that gas lawn mowers aren’t an out-of-date buying choice but – as in issues of lawn mower power – things have moved on, and batteries provide power for longer than they did in the past.
‘Most manufacturers will provide an estimated run time for a battery-powered machine,’ says Steve Bradley. ‘This can only be an estimate, as it will vary depending on the lawn’s condition: length of grass and how wet/dry it is when you mow (we found these average at approximately 50 minutes on a full charge). However, this can easily be extended by purchasing a second battery (or more) and/or a “fast charger”. A corded mower will have few limitations to the run time.’
Bear in mind, too, that most of us use mowers for relatively short periods at a time, and likely only once a week.
Issues of maintenance – both what’s required and the costs – also led us to change our recommendations on mowers.
‘Gas-powered mowers have many moving parts and, to work efficiently, they should have at least one routine overhaul a year (usually in winter), to keep them in good condition,’ says Steve Bradley. ‘This can be done at home, but is most commonly done by the supplier or dealership, which can make it costly.
‘Electric mowers need very little maintenance, other than being cleaned after use. The blades can be sharpened at home and, if they become damaged, are easily replaced. These machines contain a large proportion of plastic-type materials to reduce weight and these do not corrode when exposed to grass sap.
‘In the event that a battery fails (and they do), it can be replaced without affecting the actual lawnmower. Many actually come with their own warranty of around two to three years.’
Law and regulations
Changes to the law also influenced our decision to no longer recommend gas lawn mowers. California is phasing out gas-powered mowers and leaf blowers, for example, while other states are considering similar measures.
It’s also the case that in municipalities where yard noise is regulated, a powerful gas lawn mower can exceed the level that’s acceptable, where a quieter electric mower won’t make your activity out of line.
It’s worth bearing in mind that gas lawn mower choice is reducing. ‘Lots of companies are phasing them out of use,’ explains HG’s Alex David. ‘Honda has already stopped production on their gas mowers. I’ve not seen anything explicit on this, but my hunch is that gas mowers are expensive to manufacture and are necessarily more expensive for consumers.
‘Electric and cordless mowers can cost as little as 100 and therefore open up a whole new mowing market which isn’t served by gas mowers. This means that even if you buy a gas mower before they stop production, it will be hard to find replacement parts or to make claims on warranty.’
Are electric lawn mowers better than gas?
There are a variety of factors than mean electric lawn mowers are better than gas. ‘I stopped reviewing and using gas mowers a few years ago for several reasons,’ says product expert at Homes Gardens Alex David.
‘The first is that electric and cordless mowers are just faster and easier to use. There’s no extra hassle of going to a gas station or hardware store and buying gas and filling up the tank. You don’t need somewhere safe to store your gas, and there’s no risk of spills. You also don’t have a temperamental rope pull start. With electric and cordless mowers, you switch them on. That’s it.’
When will California ban gas mowers?
The state of California will ban small off-road engines on January 1 2024. This includes gas mowers and and gas-powered leaf blowers. There is a 30m rebate budget, but it doesn’t apply to domestic use in every air district; you can check if the rebate applies to you at the California Air Resources Board.
Can cordless mowers cut tall grass?
Yes, they can. Early cordless models would struggle, but more recent, efficient mowers can easily cut tall grass.
Electric mowers are worth choosing because they’ve reached a level that makes them the top option. ‘While the pitfalls of gas-powered machinery are not new, it is only recently that users have been offered a viable alternative,’ explains Steve Bradley, an expert for Amateur Gardening.
‘Until recently electric mowers were simply not a practical alternative – the cords were too short or the batteries too weak. However, new lithium ion battery technology means that modern mowers can offer higher torque, longer run times and, crucially, faster recharge times. Things have improved so much that several manufacturers offer high-voltage battery tools systems aimed entirely towards the professional user.’
The 14 Best Lawn Mower Brands of 2023
Michelle Ullman is a home decor expert and product reviewer for home and garden products. She has been writing about home decor for over 10 years for publications like BobVila.com and Better Homes Gardens, among others.
Andrew Hughes is a certified arborist, member of the International Society of Arborists specializing in tree heal care, and reviews tree content on The Spruce’s Gardening Review Board. He founded and runs Urban Loggers, LLC, a company offering residential tree services in the Midwest and Connecticut.
Shereen Jegtvig is an author, fact-checker, and expert with over two decades of experience in health and wellness in the lifestyle space. In addition, she is a Developmental Editor for Dotdash Meredith where she reviews the work of other fact checkers.
A healthy lawn requires regular mowing, and that means sorting through the many lawn mower brands, along with the various types of mowers, that are available. There are walk-behind mowers, self-propelled mowers, riding mowers, and even robotic lawn mowers. Some lawn mower brands specialize in just one or two types of mowers, while others offer them all.
To sort through the many options, we spoke with three landscaping experts: Alex Tinsman, gardener and founder of How To Houseplant; Brock Ingham, gardener, landscaper, and founder of website Bigger Garden; and gardener Henry Bravo, founder and editor-in-chief of Smart Garden Home. The three were unanimous in naming Toro, Honda, and Robomow as top brands, and praised many others, including Greenworks, Cub Cadet, and Husqvarna.
We’ve come a long way since the first lawnmower was invented in 1830, Ingham says. It weighed over 100 pounds and had to be hand cranked! Now there are many brands of lawn mowers on the market, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. The best brand of lawn mower depends on the type of mower you are looking for and your specific needs. That’s why it’s important to do your research and read reviews before making a purchase.
We evaluated lawn mower brands based on reputation, quality, durability, range of products and types of mowers offered, and value, as well as input from our three landscaping experts.
- Powerful and reliable
- Manufactures gas push and self-propelled mowers
- Easy to start
- Many innovative features
Founded in Tokyo in the 1940s by Soichiro Honda and Takeo Fujisawa, Honda Motor Company started off as a maker of motorcycles, but today, of course, they are a global powerhouse that manufactures a wide range of automobiles, trucks, and motorcycles, as well as engines used by other brands in their own gas-powered products. Honda first started making lawn mowers in the late 1970s and quickly became one of the top brands for both commercial and residential use. All of the experts we spoke with named Honda as one of the top gas lawn mower brands for push mowers and self-propelled mowers. We especially like the Honda HRN216VKA 21-Inch Self-Propelled Lawn Mower, which like other Honda mowers, is easy to start, powerful, and very effective in making even, clean cuts across the lawn.
Honda mowers, notably the HRX series, are well-regarded for their powerful engines, reliability, and innovative features like the Versamow system, which allows you to easily mulch, bag, discharge, or shred leaves, Bravo notes. Honda’s mowers also have a patented two-blade system, rather than the usual single blade, which further increases the cleanness of their cuts through all types of grass.
Honda mowers have few downsides, other than being somewhat expensive. And the company only offers gas mowers, not electric. Depending on the model, the warranties on Honda’s lawn mowers range from one to five years.
- Powerful and reliable
- Manufactures gas, battery, self-propelled, riding, and zero-turn mowers
Another brand recommended by all of our experts, Toro was founded in 1914 as a maker of engines for farm tractors. The company invented the first golf-course mechanical mower in 1919, and introduced its first power mower in 1924. Thanks to many innovative ideas and features, Toro became a dominant brand of lawn mowers and other landscaping equipment by the 1950s and continues to hold that position today. Toro mowers are known for their durability and ability to handle tough mowing conditions, Ingham says.
While Toro is best-known for gas push mowers, it also manufactures self-propelled mowers, battery-powered mowers, riding mowers, and zero-turn mowers, all of which are considered tops in their categories. We especially love their self-propelled Toro 22-Inch Recycler, which includes the Personal Pace system praised by Bravo, who says, The Personal Pace system, found in Toro’s TimeMaster and Super Recycler series, automatically adjusts to your walking speed, providing a more comfortable mowing experience.
Like Honda, Toro mowers can be expensive, but their quality, power, and great features make them worth the extra cost. Depending on the model, warranties on Toro lawn mowers range from three years to five years.
- Powerful and reliable
- Manufactures gas and electric push mowers, riding mowers, zero-turn mowers, and robotic mowers
Swedish company Husqvarna was founded more than 300 years ago as a maker of rifles (it exited the weapons industry a couple of centuries later), but over the hundreds of years since, the comany expanded its range to include many products for the home and landscape, including top-rated chainsaws. Husqvarna has been making lawn mowers since 1918 that, according to Ingham, are known for their powerful engines and versatility, making them a great choice for large lawns. Along with highly rated gas push-mowers, Husqvarna makes some of the best riding mowers and zero-turn mowers, including our favorite, the Z254F 23-HP 54-Inch Zero-Turn Lawn Mower.
Husqvarna has also entered the robotic mower market with its Automower line. Bravo notes, Husqvarna’s Automower series is known for its cutting-edge technology, GPS-assisted navigation, and weather-resistant design. These mowers can handle complex lawns with various obstacles and slopes, providing a consistently manicured finish with minimal human intervention.
While Husqvarna makes a wide range of powerful, effective mowers, it is also one of the more expensive brands. Husqvarna mowers are covered by a three-year limited warranty.
- Reasonably priced
- Innovative technology
- Offers battery push mowers, self-propelled mowers, riding mowers, and corded electric mowers
Greenworks was established in 2002. Bravo praises the company, saying, Greenworks, a pioneer in battery-powered lawn equipment, offers a comprehensive line of cordless mowers, including their Pro 60V and 80V series. These mowers provide excellent cutting performance, lightweight designs, and superior battery life, making them a top choice for homeowners and professionals alike. Greenworks also offers very reasonably priced corded mowers, including the 25022 3-in-1 20-Inch Mower, although as batteries become ever-more powerful, the popularity of corded electric mowers is fading.
Along with electric push mowers, Greenworks offers several self-propelled mowers. The innovative SmartCut technology lets these mowers sense the thickness of the lawn grass and adjust the speed and power accordingly, thus extending battery runtime. We especially like the 40-volt, 21-inch self-propelled mower, which has the SmartCut feature. Along with push and self-propelled mowers, Greenworks also offers battery-powered riding mowers.
While Greenwork mowers are not the most powerful, Ingham Комментарии и мнения владельцев, Greenworks mowers are known for their affordability and wide range of features, making them a great choice for budget-conscious buyers. Greenworks lawn mowers are covered by a limited three-year warranty.
- Reasonable prices
- Makes corded and cordless push mowers, self-propelled mowers, and some gas mowers
- Good for small lawns
Named for founders S. Duncan Black and Alonzo G. Decker, BLACKDECKER has been around for over a century, during which it has become one of the leading brands of power tools. It patented the first electric drill in 1917, was the first company to offer electric garden tools to homeowners in the 1950s, and was one of the first companies to sell battery-powered tools to DIYers and homeowners when it came out with a cordless drill all the way back in 1961. While BLACKDECKER does also have gas lawn mowers, those are falling by the wayside in favor of electric models.
BLACKDECKER offers a range of affordable and lightweight battery mowers with features like folding handles for easy storage and adjustable cutting heights. Their lithium-ion batteries provide long run times and charge quickly, Tinsman says. Along with reasonably priced push mowers, the company also offers self-propelled electric mowers at budget-conscious and is one of the few brands that still offer corded electric mowers, including the MM2000 20-Inch Push Mower.
Don’t expect the highest power or performance from a BLACKDECKER mower, but if you are looking for a reasonably priced lawn mower to keep a relatively small lawn under control, this is a reliable brand that you can count on. BLACKDECKER lawn mowers have a two-year limited warranty.
- Reasonably priced
- Makes corded and cordless push mowers, self-propelled mowers, and riding mowers
- Good for small lawns
Founded in Japan in the 1940s, today Ryobi in North America is a brand name of Techtronic Industries. The company is a top name for a wide range of power tools, including outdoor products such as edgers, trimmers, snow blowers, and of course, lawn mowers. While Ryobi does not make gas mowers, it does offer corded electric push mowers as well as cordless push mowers, self-propelled mowers, and even battery-powered riding mowers. Ryobi mowers are known for their innovative features, such as adjustable cutting heights and mulching capabilities, Ingham notes.
While Ryobi electric mowers aren’t the most high-powered, they are reliable and reasonably priced, making them excellent options for homeowners who don’t have a very large lawn. We especially like their 40-volt, 20-inch push mower, which has a long battery runtime and is easy to store. Like other Ryobi battery mowers, it’s lightweight and easy to maneuver, making mowing less of a chore. Ryobi offers a three-year limited warranty on lawn mowers.
- Very innovative features
- Can mow large lawns
- Models that are controlled through Amazon Alexa
Israeli company Robomow was founded in 1995 as Friendly Machines. As the name suggests, the company is a top manufacturer of robotic lawn mowers with ever-increasing advanced technology and useful features, such as their RC312 Pro S, which can be controlled through Amazon Alexa. The Robomow RS series can handle lawns almost an acre in size. All Robomow mowers return to their charging docks when necessary, can handle rugged terrain or slopes, are undeterred by tall grass, are easily programmed and controlled, and remain within the perimeters set by you.
All three of our experts listed Robomow as a top brand for robotic mowers. Robomow Robotic Mowers are known for their advanced technology and precise cutting capabilities, Tinsman says. Their models feature weather sensors and a mobile app for remote control and monitoring. Bravo adds, Robomow, a pioneer in robotic mowing, offers a range of models designed for different lawn sizes and complexities. Their RS and RC series features intelligent navigation, customizable mowing schedules, and smartphone app integration, allowing you to monitor and control your mower remotely.
Like all robotic mowers, these are very expensive machines. And they are not always easy to find; few brick-and-mortar stores carry them and you might have to hunt to find them online. Websites Wellbots and Autmow regularly carry current models. Most Robomow products are covered by a three-year warranty.
- Manufactures corded and cordless push and self-propelled mowers, as well as robotic mowers
- Reasonably priced
Chinese company WORX was founded in 2004 and manufactures many electric corded or cordless tools, including chainsaws, string trimmers, hedge trimmers, chainsaws, and of course lawn mowers. While WORX offers some corded electric mowers, its main FOCUS is on battery mowers, including push and self-propelled options. Most WORX mowers include the patented IntelliCut technology, which automatically increases the power when mowing through thick grass and then dials it back to increase battery runtime. WORX mowers are known for their affordability and ease of use, making them a great choice for small to medium-sized lawns, Ingham says.
WORX has recently entered the robotic mower market with Landroid mowers, including our favorite, the WR155 Landroid M. Like other robotic mowers, it depends on you to set its perimeters, but once inside them, it tirelessly follows your orders to keep your lawn looking its best. And while still expensive, the Landroids are generally not quite as pricey as robots from other brands, making them a good choice for an entry-level lawn robot. Most WORX lawn mowers have a three-year warranty.
- Manufactures gas and electric riding mowers, zero-turn mowers, robotic mowers, push mowers, and self-propelled mowers
- Powerful, reliable performance
- Many innovative and premium features
When it comes to riding lawn mowers, all three of our experts are in agreement that Cub Cadet is one of the best in this category, although Cub Cadet does also make push mowers and self-propelled mowers, and has even released a line of robotic mowers. The American company has been making riding mowers since 1961, though it is now owned by Stanley Black Decker. Ingham likes Cub Cadet riding mowers for their excellent performance and easy maneuverability, which makes them especially well-suited to yards with slopes or rough terrain. You can choose from many models, including gas-powered, electric, and zero-turn.
Tinsman especially likes Cub Cadet’s gas riding mowers, praising their powerful engines, self-propulsion feature, rear-wheel drive, and high-performance cutting decks that provide a smooth and even cut. Bravo specifically praises Cub Cadet’s XT Enduro and Ultima series: They provide excellent cutting quality, powerful engines, and a variety of attachments for versatile landscaping tasks. We agree with him—the XT1 Enduro LT is our favorite gas-powered riding mower.
On the downside, you’ll pay more for the premium quality of Cub Cadet mowers. They are covered by a three-year limited warranty.
- Reliable, powerful, and great features
- Makes gas riding mowers, lawn tractors, and zero-turn mowers
Another brand that’s renowned for riding mowers, this company has a history that goes back to 1837, when blacksmith John Deere invented a steel-bladed plow that revolutionized farming. The company continued to expand its agricultural offerings and began manufacturing tractors in the early 1900s. But it wasn’t until 1963 that the company began selling lawn tractors specifically for tending residential lawns. John Deere riding mowers are known for their durability, comfort, and versatility, making them a great choice for large properties, Ingham says.
The company makes powerful, reliable, and innovative riding mowers, lawn tractors, and zero-turn mowers, almost all of which are gas-powered. Bravo particularly likes the company’s X300 and X500 series of gas lawn tractors, saying they deliver exceptional performance, reliability, and comfort. We also recommend the S120 22HP 42-Inch Hydrostatic Riding Lawn Tractor, which is a very sturdy and versatile mower that even has cruise control.
As with other high-end riding mowers, you’ll pay quite a bit for a John Deere, but in return, you’ll get quality you can count on. Depending on the model, the warranty on a John Deere mower can range from two years to five years.
- Excellent power and battery runtime
- Offers cordless push mowers, self-propelled mowers, and riding mowers
- EGO batteries can be interchanged among all EGO products
EGO has established itself as one of the top names for battery-powered outdoor tools, including leaf blowers, weed eaters, chainsaws, and lawn mowers. Thanks to powerful batteries, which Ingham says are known for their long runtimes and quick recharge, an EGO lawn mower—whether push, self-propelled, or even riding—can be almost as powerful as a gas mower.
EGO’s Power series boasts industry-leading battery technology, offering Rapid charging times, impressive runtimes, and compatibility across multiple tools, Bravo says. These mowers are powerful, quiet, and environmentally friendly, with the added convenience of being virtually maintenance-free. We agree—we love the EGO Power LM2102SP self-propelled mower, which matches your walking speed and runs for up to an hour, even on hilly terrain.
While EGO mowers tend to be some of the most expensive battery options, they are also some of the best. Plus, you can use any EGO battery in any of their tools, making the brand highly versatile. The warranty on an EGO lawn mower is five years.
- Reasonably priced
- Makes gas and electric push mowers, self-propelled mowers, riding mowers, and zero-turn mowers
Now owned by Stanley Black Decker, Craftsman was established in 1927 as a brand name for tools sold at Sears department stores. This iconic brand is well-known for its extensive range of basic hand tools, such as hammers and screwdrivers, as well as power tools. The company offers a wide range of lawn mowers, as well, including both gas and electric push mowers, self-propelled mowers, riding mowers, and zero-turn mowers. We like the Craftsman gas-powered M110 21-inch push mower, which is easy to start and powerful.
Craftsman lawn mowers are known for their affordability and reliability, making them a great choice for budget-conscious buyers, Ingham says. While these aren’t top-of-the-line mowers, for the most part, they are more than sufficient for the average homeowner who wants to keep the lawn looking good, yet not spend a fortune on the tools to accomplish that goal. Craftsman mowers come with a three-year limited warranty.
- Reasonable price
- Offers corded and cordless push mowers, self-propelled mowers, and manual reel mowers
Snow Joe started selling snow blowers in 2004, but later added on Sun Joe lines of various outdoor landscaping tools, including chainsaws, leaf blowers, hedge trimmers, and lawn mowers. Sun Joe Battery Mowers are known for their eco-friendly design and easy maneuverability, Tinsman says. They offer a range of models with features like instant start and detachable grass bags for easy disposal of clippings. The brand does not have any gas mowers, but does have a wide range of electric mowers, both corded and cordless, as well as manual reel mowers, an uncommon offering in the lawn mower industry.
Geared toward homeowners, not professional landscapers, Sun Joe mowers are reasonably powerful and have good battery life, but they aren’t heavy-duty tools intended for large lawns or rugged use. They aren’t exceptionally expensive mowers, which adds to their appeal. For a budget-priced model, we like their corded MJ401E-PRO push mower, which performs well for the price and is easy to maneuver and store. The warranty period for a Sun Joe mower is two years.
- Powerful and reliable
- Makes gas push and self-propelled mowers, gas and electric riding mowers, zero-turn mowers, and manual reel mowers
Yet another brand now owned by Stanley Black Decker, Troy-Bilt was originally founded in 1937 with the first residential rototiller. It went on to manufacture a wide range of outdoor landscaping tools, including excellent gas-powered push and self-propelled lawn mowers and even manual reel mowers. But it’s riding mowers, both gas and electric, that the company is best known for. Tinsman especially likes this brand, saying, Troy-Bilt offers a range of versatile riding mowers with features like cruise control and adjustable cutting heights. Their models feature a range of attachments for year-round use.
While Troy-Bilt riding mowers might not be quite at the level of those made by Honda or John Deere—but they also aren’t as expensive as those brands—these are still popular machines that have many innovative features, are comfortable to ride, and handle well even on large lawns or rugged terrain. And Troy-Bilt push mowers are definitely worth a look as well; we recommend the gas-powered TB110 21-inch mower, which starts easily, is very powerful, and gives a clean, even cut to the lawn. Most Troy-Bilt mowers come with a two-year warranty.
What to Look for in a Lawn Mower Brand
Types of Lawn Mowers
There are quite a few types of lawn mowers available to homeowners these days, so along with choosing a brand, you need to choose a type of mower.
One of the biggest considerations is whether you want a gas-powered mower or an electric mower. Gas mowers tend to be more powerful, but are also louder and emit fumes. Electric mowers, which can be corded or cordless, have come a long way; today’s batteries are more powerful, run longer, and charge faster, making battery mowers a very appealing option to the average homeowner looking to tend a small to medium-sized lawn.
There are brands that offer only electric mowers, including Greenworks and WORX, and brands that are known for their gas mowers, such as Honda and John Deere. Many lawn mower brands, however, offer both gas and electric models. EGO takes it a step further by making only battery lawn mowers; they do not have corded electric mowers as do the other all-electric brands.
There are two basic types of walk-behind mowers: push mowers, which require you to use your own power to push the mower across the grass, and self-propelled mowers, which use their own power to keep the mower in motion. Tor is especially acclaimed for its walk-behind mowers. Most companies that make walk-behind mowers, whether gas, electric, or both, offer both push and self-propelled models.
Riding lawn mowers, also called lawn tractors, are ideal for very large lawns. Several companies on our list offer riding lawn mowers, although Cub Cadet and John Deere are especially renowned in this category. Zero-turn mowers are riding mowers that can make 180-degree turns on the spot. Just about all companies that make riding mowers, including Craftsman, also offer zero-turn mowers.
Robotic mowers are the newest additions to the lawn care scene. These battery-powered devices independently work their way around your lawn, mowing as they go, and are controlled by onboard controls or by an app. Robomow specializes in robotic mowers, but a few other companies, including Husqvarna and WORX, also make them.
When choosing a lawn mower, there are various features that can make your mowing experience easier and faster. Just about all mowers allow you to adjust the height of the blades, which lets you tailor the cutting height to your variety of lawn grass. The brands on our list make this adjustment easier by using a single lever or dial to move the blades higher or lower.
Some battery brands, including WORX and Greenworks, have sensors in their mowers that can detect especially thick grass. These mowers then automatically increase the power of the blade’s spin while tackling the tough spot, and then decrease it again once past the difficult patch of grass, thus saving on battery power.
All brands of self-propelled mowers let you adjust the speed of the mower to more comfortably match your own pace, usually by squeezing a lever; the harder you squeeze, the faster the mower moves. Some brands, though, including Ryobi, have mowers with cruise control so you can set a comfortable speed without having to keep a grip on a lever.
Most walk-behind lawn mowers have just one blade, which spins very quickly to lift and slice the grass. But Honda and EGO both offer mowers with twin blades, which give a more precise, clean cut.
Walk-behind mowers usually give you three choices for handling the grass clippings: bag them, mulch them, or discharge them back onto the lawn. Some mowers, however, only let you bag or mulch the clippings. Always read the description carefully before buying a particular mower, because this is a detail that can vary from model to model within the same brand.
Nobody wants a lawn mower that only lasts a season or two before failing. While all of the brands on our list are known for making quality mowers that should stand the test of time, as a rough rule of thumb, gas mowers tend to last longer than electric mowers, and top brands Honda, Toro, John Deere, and Cub Cadet are especially known for the durability of their mowers, all of which are used by professional landscaping companies as well as homeowners.
Where You Can Shop
With the exception of Robomow, which is only carried by a handful of specialized dealers, you can buy all of the other brands on our list at large home improvement centers or through the big home improvement center websites, including The Home Depot and Lowe’s, you can buy them from brick-and-mortar lawn care shops or from tool-and-garden websites, or you can find them on Amazon, Overstock, or similar outlets.
While buying a lawn mower online makes it easier to shop around for the best price, as well as have the mower shipped directly to your home, shopping in person gives you the opportunity to ask questions, touch and handle the lawn mower to get a feel for it, and usually take it home that very day.
The frequency of mower maintenance depends on the type of mower and how often you mow your lawn with it. But as a general rule, you should check the oil and fuel level before each use with a gas mower, and be sure the battery is fully charged before powering up your electric mower. After mowing, once your lawn mower has cooled down completely, remove any clots of grass from the blades and the bottom of the deck. Wipe away mud, wet grass, and other grunge from the deck. You’ll need to sharpen the mower blades at least annually, and more often if you mow very frequently or have tough or thick grass. Gas mowers require more maintenance than electric mowers, generally. At least annually, you should give your gas mower a complete oil change, replace the spark plugs, and replace the air filter.
Gas mowers usually measure their level of power in cubic capacity, which is a measure of the amount of air and fuel that can push through the cylinders. For walk-behind mowers, this generally translates to somewhere between 2 and 6 horsepower. Riding mowers are far more powerful; the engines in these mowers usually have between 12 and 20 horsepower. Battery mowers do not use horsepower or cubic capacity measurements. Instead, the battery voltage indicates the power of these mowers. You’ll find battery mowers ranging from 20 volts to 80 volts, but residential mowers most often use 40-volt batteries.
As lawn mowers are powerful tools with very sharp, rapidly spinning blades, they can cause injury if not used properly. There are some safety features required on all lawn mowers today, including a safety brake that stops the blade from spinning within three seconds if the user releases their grip from the controls and a foot shield that prevents the mower’s foot from being able to slip beneath the cutting deck. Common sense is also an important part of using your mower safely. Never mow barefoot or without full foot coverings. Don’t mow in floppy pants or clothing that could become entangled in the mower blade or wheels. Never put your hands or feet near the deck of the mower when it’s on, and never pull a running lawn mower backward toward your feet. Pick up toys, rocks, or other debris from the lawn before you begin to mow. Never mow when you are feeling unwell, overly tired, or otherwise impaired.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was researched and written by Michelle Ullman, who is a writer specializing in home and garden products. She has been a commerce writer for The Spruce since 2020, covering a wide range of home improvement products including power and hand tools, painting supplies, landscaping tools, and tool organizers. To choose the best brands of lawn mowers for this article, she consulted dozens of customer and third-party reviews, as well as websites specializing in landscaping, lawn care, and lawn mowers.
She also received extensive, helpful input from Alex Tinsman, gardener and founder of How To Houseplant; Brock Ingham, gardener, landscaper, and founder of website Bigger Garden; and gardener Henry Bravo, founder and editor-in-chief of Smart Garden Home.
The 7 Best Lawn Mowers of 2023 to Keep Your Yard Neat and Trim, According to Testing
Tried and tested lawn mowers for every type of garden.
In This Article
It’s understandable if lawn mowing isn’t your favorite chore, but modern lawn mowers have come a long way in making upkeep easier. Thanks to features like self-propelling motors and easily adjustable blades, your lawn will easily be the envy of the block.
“Push mowers are good for lawns up to half an acre. Self-propelled mowers are better for lawns up to one acre, and riding mowers are best for lawns over one acre, says Bryan Clayton, CEO of GreenPal.
To find the best lawn mowers, we researched and tested a variety of models on the market right at home. We tested these lawn mowers on yards of different sizes, and in all types of weather, paying particular attention to their efficiency, power, durability, cutting deck width, height options, ease of use, safety features, and value for money.
In addition to Clayton, we also spoke with Ben McInerney, founder of Home Garden Guides, for advice on what to look out for when shopping for the best lawn mower.
Best Gas Lawn Mower
Honda 21-Inch Self-Propelled Gas Lawn Mower
- It creates a neatly cut lawn and also collects leaves, sticks, and other garden debris. It can also be used to mulch.
For a powerful gas lawn mower that is great for beginners and more advanced users alike, we recommend this model by Honda. It created a neatly cut lawn during testing, and we liked that it could collect leaves, sticks, and other garden debris as well.
We tested this lawn mower on a lawn situated between a sidewalk and the street, which offered a good incline. The lawn had thinner grass in some areas and moss in others, with a lot of small sticks, bark, and other debris that had fallen from trees. Despite having to navigate several different grass types and obstacles, this mower was completely unbothered, trimming and mulching everything in its path with ease.
Setting up the lawn mower took only 10 minutes as all we had to do was pull the handlebars up and secure them in place with the side latches. The leaf bag was also really easy to clip into place. The collection bag is also easy to install as you just place it on top of the collection area, and it just rests right on the mower.
After adding gas and oil, we took it out and immediately found it very intuitive to operate without even having to look at the instructions. We felt that it was practically foolproof and everything is clearly labeled, so it’s also one of the best lawn mowers for beginners or anyone less experienced with using one.
The height adjustment is located by the two front wheels and you’re able to change heights in 0.5-inch increments. The handlebars have the driving functions, so you can adjust the speed.
There is an auto-choke and an easy pull start that started every single time. It’s very easy to move around the yard and navigate as well, even on bumpy and inclined terrain. We appreciated the steering and wheel agility and we were able to switch from mulching to mowing functions with just one arm.
The only area that the mower had difficulty with was close to the base of the mailbox and some of the grass that was close to the curb. However, it wasn’t a dealbreaker to us as these areas usually need the help of a string trimmer anyway.
In terms of safety, you’ll appreciate that the self-propelling feature won’t function unless you are holding the gray handle down on the steering bars. The top of the engine also has a red case that protects you from accidentally touching it. At 106 pounds, it’s also quite a heavy machine that feels sturdy and secure during operation.
There are a lot of speed options to choose from as well and the self-propel is quite fast despite the mower’s weight. Plus, it doesn’t take up too much space for storage as the handles can be folded down when not in use.
Price at time of publish: 999
Product Details: Power: Gas | Ideal Lawn Size: 0.5 to 1 acre | Deck Width: 21 inches | Deck Height: 0.75 to 4 inches (adjustable, seven positions) | Mower Weight: 106 pounds
Best Cordless Electric Push Mower
Ryobi 40V HP Brushless 21-Inch Dual-Blade Self-Propelled Mower
If you’re after a super quiet and efficient lawn mower that gives you as much freedom to roam as a gas model, but without the gas fill-ups, oil checks, and fumes, the best lawn mower is this Ryobi pick. In addition to being a quiet option, it also comes with an additional battery.
This mower was tested on a medium-sized yard that has a few inclines and is lumpy in some areas. We appreciated that the mower self-propels at different speeds that you set, so navigating smaller hills and bumps is a breeze. Plus, maneuvering around obstacles, like tree stumps, and getting close to garden beds and bushes was also easy.
At 75 pounds the mower is quite lightweight, so it wasn’t difficult to maneuver. The 6-inch grass height meant we had to stop a few times to empty the collection bag but after the second and third mows, when the grass was fairly short, we rarely had to empty the collection bag.
On the side of the mower there is a pull handle that can adjust the deck height, which is effortless to do. The garden we tested this on usually takes around 45 minutes to mow, and since each battery lasts 70 minutes, we had plenty of battery life to spare after we were done. If one battery loses power, however, you can always swap it out with the spare that comes with it.
Setting up this mower is an easy one-person job and takes just 20 minutes. We appreciated that the instructions were straightforward and consisted mainly of pictures, a testament to how very simple and intuitive a machine this is. All you have to do is unfold the handle and put together the debris bag, although you can use the mower without it. We also had to charge the batteries, which took under an hour.
The mower almost folds down right in half, which is convenient for storage. When folded, it measures a compact 2 x 3 feet, and not much more with the bag on.
Apart from a few sprays of grass that flew out from the blade due to the wind, and the fact that there’s only one charging port so you can’t charge the batteries at the same time, we had no complaints. This lawn mower performed just as well as a gas mower, and we didn’t notice any missed spots after mowing.
Price at time of publish: 749
Gardeners‘ World 2023Episode 17
Product Details: Power: Battery | Ideal Lawn Size: 0.5 to 1 acre | Deck Width: 21 inches | Deck Height: 1.5 to 4 inches (adjustable, 7 positions) | Mower Weight: 75 pounds
Best Corded Electric Push Mower
Greenworks 12 Amp 20-Inch 3-in-1 Corded Lawn Mower
- The mower is great for small to mid-sized gardens. It also cuts grass neatly and evenly and can go over bumps with ease.
The Greenworks 25022 20-Inch 3-in-1 Electric Corded Lawn Mower is the best lawn mower for a small front or back yard. During testing, we found that it works well, offers a great cut, and has foldable handles that make for easy storage.
We appreciated that it was effortless to set up and is lightweight, allowing you to push it along with just one hand. Setup took just 15 minutes as all you have to do is install the top handle. There’s also deck height adjustment that you can set via a side lever– it’s labeled low to high and has seven options in total.
We tried the mower on a small lawn and it did a great job of cutting down long, spindly weeds as well as the grass. To start the lawnmower, all you have to do is press a button at the top of the handle, then pull the smaller handlebar up. It started up immediately every time we used it.
Though it doesn’t turn perfectly, we felt that the mower gets the job done and noted that it didn’t even flinch when going over bumps or divots. It also worked well with wet grass. Overall, we were able to achieve an even and attractive trimmed lawn with each use.
The mulching, side discharge, and bagging functions all worked well, and it’s completely intuitive to switch between bagging and mulching modes. The collection bag just clips on and off with a metal hook on each side. However, we weren’t able to remove it without spilling some clippings, even when the bag wasn’t all the way full.
This small lawn mower can move through tight spots with ease, although it does feel a little bulky to turn. The cord makes it less maneuverable than a gas mower, but that’s the case for electric mowers in general.
While testing this lawn mower, we felt safer holding the cord with one hand and pushing with the other. We felt that an extra hook for the cord at the top would have been a helpful touch. There is, however, a cool cord retainer that can spin, which ensures the mower doesn’t accidentally unplug while you’re moving along. However, we still had to flip the cord every few yards to keep it out of the way).
Price at time of publish: 230
Product Details: Power: Corded | Ideal Lawn Size: Mid-sized | Deck Width: 20 inches | Deck Height: 1.5 to 3.75 inches (adjustable, seven positions) | Mower Weight: 56 pounds
Best Gas Riding Mower
John Deere S100 42-Inch 17.5 HP Gas Hydrostatic Riding Lawn Tractor
John Deere’s S100 42-inch riding mower is the best lawn mower lawns of up to an acre, and it’s small enough for easy stowing away, too. We tested this machine out on a large and hilly property and found that it performed impeccably.
The mower came fully assembled and the instructions were easy to understand. Starting it up does require a few steps. First, you must push the brake pedal all the way down, then you set the parking brake. Next, advance the throttle forward to the choke position, and lastly, turn the key.
Mowing 0.2 acres of lawn took just 15 minutes. It was able to cut the grass evenly and didn’t seem to have any problems when the grass was damp either. The mower was fast and agile during testing, and it turns corners sharply, so you can get close to obstacles and mow around them.
The lawn mower has great maneuverability and a highly responsive pedal that controls the speed depending on how hard you push it. Puddles are no problem for this solid gas lawn mower, and if you need to pass over anything higher like rocks, you can just raise the blades via the lever.
It has two separate pedals for reverse and forward drive which took some getting used to at first. We loved the side discharge chute that powerfully sends grass far away from the mower. Steering was easy and it rides smoothly, even over gravel. It’s quite a loud mower, but not so much that you need hearing protection.
While it doesn’t have wheel weights or reflectors, we felt safe using it overall. For added safety, however, it features an ignition cutoff switch and headlights for clearer visibility. The adjustable seat has a short back that supports the lower back, and it’s comfortable even with extended use.
Price at time of publish: 2,399
Product Details: Power: Gas | Ideal Lawn Size: Up to one acre | Deck Width: 42 inches | Deck Height: 1 to 4 inches (adjustable, 13 positions) | Mower Weight: 414 pounds
Best Electric Riding Mower
Ryobi 80V HP Brushless 42-Inch Battery Electric Cordless Zero Turn Riding Mower
- The mower beeps when you leave the seat and while reversing, and there’s also an auto shut-off function.
The RYOBI 80V HP 42-inch Electric Riding Lawn Tractor offers a fast and safe riding experience, so it’s one of the best lawn mowers if you’re looking for an electric riding option. It’s a lightweight machine due largely to its mostly plastic construction, and we found that it’s quiet when in operation.
Setup took 1.5 hours, which was a bit longer than some of the other mowers we tried. Luckily the battery was partially full when it arrived, so we were able to take it out and test it immediately once it was assembled. While testing it, we liked that the faux leather seat that was comfortable and adjustable forward and back.
As an electric model, it’s quite easy to start (no choke), and we particularly appreciated the lack of exhaust fumes and excess heat as well. As soon as you hit the accelerator the mower really took off, so keep in mind light footing is needed.
While it certainly has a lot of power if you want to go fast, it’s also able to go slowly around obstacles. If you feel the pedal is too jerky, there’s a convenient speed response setting that you can adjust via the digital display menu.
The mower cut the grass evenly and even chopped up leaves and sticks as it went over them. If you want to reverse the mowing deck will turn off, but you can override this in the display menu if you wish. The deck height is also adjustable with a large manual lever.
For extra safety, the mower beeps (rather loudly) and also automatically beeps when you lift from the seat. LED headlights at the front provide extra visibility on gloomier days, though they’re not bright enough for mowing at night if they’re your only source of light.
The mower is quite compact so takes up minimal storage space. The only downside was that it doesn’t have power steering. While it was fine when going along fast, it was a little tiresome when turning slowly around obstacles.
We liked that the mower featured a handy digital display to let you know how much battery is left. The mower only takes an hour to fully charge up when empty, and mowing a third of an acre only took 20% of its battery life. Charging is simple—simply connect the mower’s charger to the wall socket and the mower, and unplug it when it’s full.
Price at time of publish: 5,999
Product Details: Power: Battery | Ideal Lawn Size: Up to 2 acres | Deck Width: 42 inches | Deck Height: 1.5 to 4.5 inches (adjustable, 12 positions) | Mower Weight: 700 pounds
Best Zero-Turn Mower
Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 42-Inch 22 HP Zero-Turn Mower
Thanks to a large mowing swath, two speed adjustment options (for both forward and reverse), and its nifty ability to turn on a dime around lawn obstacles, the Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 40-inch riding mower was easily our top pick for the best zero-turn lawn mower.
Setting up this mower took half an hour, thanks in part to the straightforward instruction manual. After we got it all set up, we were able to start it immediately and get going.
We took it out for testing on a slightly sloped lawn with several obstacles, and it took 3.5 inches of grass off quickly and evenly. Taller grass was no issue for this machine, and the side discharge chute powerfully ejects clippings far away from the mower, with no lawn chunks in sight.
There’s a knob on the left side that adjusts the deck height, and the machine’s lower overall height gave us clearer visibility ahead, as well as making us feel safe with no fear of toppling. The ride was smooth, even on bumpy terrain, and the mower’s seat is adjustable for both the rider’s comfort requirements, and according to the type of terrain you’re mowing on.
Since zero-turn mowers have levers instead of steering wheels, steering this mower does take some getting used to. It’s also rather loud due to its exposed motor, but it didn’t bother us too much.
Price at time of publish: 3,499
Product Details: Power: Gas | Ideal Lawn Size: 2 to 4 acres | Deck Width: 42 inches | Deck Height: 1 to 4.5 inches (adjustable, 15 positions) | Mower Weight: 580 pounds
Best Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
EGO Power Select Cut 56-Volt 21-Inch Self-Propelled Cordless Lawn Mower
- It’s a breeze to push thanks to its powerful self-propelling technology that basically moved the mower along for you—no effort needed.
We took the EGO POWER Select Cut 56-Volt 21-inch Self-propelled Cordless Lawn Mower out on a small lawn that takes 30 minutes to mow. The garden is mostly flat, with a patio and a couple of trees to mow around which proved problematic for some other mowers. This EGO POWER handled them well and turned easily, handling the small hills well.
There is no assembly required apart from putting on the bag if you want it, but it took a while to figure out the functions and required a thorough read of the instruction manual. Adjusting the deck height was super easy, as was the propelling speed. The handle is also adjustable both in height and angle for user comfort with no back pain.
If you’ve never used a self-propelled mower before, the speed and power in which it pulls you along might seem a little strange at first (as soon as it’s engaged, it literally just takes off), but you always have the option of switching that function off by simply not gripping the clutch that’s right on top of the handle.
By the second mowing session, we got the hang of it, though. The mower performed impeccably, cutting evenly and smoothly. However, it did get stuck on a patch of wet grass when we hit a branch, but the mower blinked its orange power light to let you know that something was wrong. We moved it to a dryer area and it started just fine.
The mower is very light to maneuver with one hand, even when it’s not on. It gives you the option of having the self-propelled function on without the blades running so you can push it back to where you need to store it without messing up your freshly trimmed grass.
The single battery it comes with only takes an hour to charge and lasts up to 75 minutes, more than enough for a small to medium-sized lawn. The mower folds down so compactly we were able to store it in a small space between a shelving rack and a patio couch. This lawn mower is great for anyone with back pain, or even an elderly person, as no effort is required to push it.
Price at time of publish: 709
Product Details: Power: Battery-powered | Ideal Lawn Size: 0.25 to 0.5 acres | Deck Width: 21 inches | Deck Height: 1.5 to 4 inches (adjustable, 6 positions) | Mower Weight: 62.6 pounds
The Bottom Line
The best lawn mower depends on the size of your lawn, your storage capabilities, and your specific needs. If you’re after a great zero-turn mower for a large bit of land and hilly terrain, we recommend the powerful Cub Cadet Ultima Series Zt1 Lawn Mower. For an option that’s great for smaller yards and is less expensive than other options, the EGO POWER Select Cut 56-Volt 21-inch Self-propelled Cordless Lawn Mower is effortless to push and can fold down compactly for storage.
Our Testing Process
To find the best lawn mowers, we tested out 15 riding mowers and walk-behind mowers right at home. We tested each mower on three separate occasions in different types of weather, on dry, damp, and wet grass. Using a predetermined methodology, we evaluated each lawn mower based on its ease of use, power type, run time, performance, safety, value, design, ease of cleaning, portability, and overall value.
To start, we set up each mower and determined ease of use based on how easy or difficult each lawn mower was to assemble and operate. Once the mower was ready for use, we scored performance based on how long the unit ran on either one battery charge or one tank of gas (if relevant), how many inches of grass was cut in one pass, how long the mowers took to cover ground, how easily they maneuvered around obstacles, how easy the deck height and other settings were to adjust, and how comfortable they were to ride.
We also cleaned each lawn mower and made a note of how easy removing lawn and garden debris was. We rated portability based on how easily the mowers could be moved around, carried if need be, and stored away.
What to Know About Lawn Mowers Before Shopping
Lawn Mower Types
There are several types of lawn mowers available, the main ones being push mowers and riding mowers. These can either be gas-powered, or electric battery-powered, and some push mowers also come as corded models, but you will either need an extension cord or a generator to operate them as they typically don’t come with long power cords.
“Push mowers are cheaper, lighter, quieter, and more eco-friendly than riding mowers. They are good for small to medium-sized lawns that are flat and obstacle-free. However, they’re not ideal for people with physical or health issues,” says Clayton. “Riding mowers are faster, more powerful, more comfortable, and more versatile than push mowers. They are good for large lawns that are uneven, sloped or have obstacles, but not great for people with limited space or budget.”
McInerney advises that battery-powered lawn mowers don’t require as much maintenance as gas-powered ones, but you will need to replace the batteries once in a while. “Push battery-powered mowers are a cost-effective option, and the majority of them can last for 60 minutes on a single charge,” he says. “However, gas mowers are good if you have to clean up a large amount of leaves during autumn.”
A self-propelled gas lawn mower is perfect for large and/or hilly yards as it can drive itself, and all you have to do is direct it. “These lawnmowers do require regular maintenance, but they are usually much cheaper to buy and maintain compared to the battery-powered electric options,” McInerney says.
Finally, he explains that riding lawn mowers are best for yards of more than half an acre that don’t have many landscape features to avoid. “These types of lawn mowers come with a mowing deck that is able to trim a large area of grass using multiple blades as you drive over,” he says. “They are able to go through an entire acre in just an hour, which is half the time you would spend using a walk-behind lawn mower to trim the same area.”
A mower’s cutting deck width, also known as the swath or mowing width, relates to how much ground can be covered by the mower in one pass. The deck height, or the cutting height, depicts how short the grass will be cut, and many lawn mowers feature adjustable height settings so you can give your lawn a fresh buzz cut or leave a little bit of length for that just-grown-out look.
Weight and Size
For those who do not have ample storage space, the weight and size of a lawn mower will likely be a deciding purchasing factor. A lawn mower that is light enough to be carried and can easily and compactly fold away for storage would be ideal. A large lawnmower, perhaps even a ride-on mower, will be a better choice if you have plenty of garage space and many acres of lawn to tend to. Keep in mind those models tend to be more expensive, so it’ll be an investment.
The size of your yard and its topography are two of the main criteria that will determine the type of lawn mower you should go for. “The larger the lawn, the larger the mower should be,” Clayton says.
In addition to the size of your yard, Clayton also advises considering the type of terrain you have. “Hills, obstacles, and other preferences may also affect your choice of lawn mower,” he adds.
McInerney suggests opting for a battery-powered electric lawn mower if you have a small yard that is relatively flat. If, however, the topography is generally hilly or if your lawn grass tends to be thick, he recommends going for a gas mower.
Extra perks you might want to spring for in your lawn mower include 3-in-1 capabilities such as mulching, bagging, back/side discharge chute options, and bright lights for mowing from dusk to dawn. Some lawn mowers even have additional extras that are available to purchase separately, such as a snowblower, shovel, and vacuum accessories, which make the tool even more versatile.
An extra battery is always a good idea for a cordless model as you can have a spare readily available just in case you need it.
Other Lawn Mowers We Tested
Greenworks Pro 80-Volt Max 21-inch Self-propelled Cordless Lawn Mower
The Greenworks Pro 80-Volt Max 21-inch Self-propelled Cordless Lawn Mower is great on paper. It has a self-propelling technology meaning you can push it along without any strain, it’s fairly lightweight and folds down compactly for storage. It is powerful with a lot of torque, and its small 21-inch deck size makes it easy to push on narrow paths and through garden gates.
Its battery lasts up to 60 minutes and you can use it in yards up to one acre in size. Set up is also easy. However, when it came to overgrown and denser areas, it got stuck and would power off. It also clogged up a lot, needing rebooting, and was immobile while stuck in certain deep dirt s.
Toro 50-inch 24.5 HP TimeCutter Commercial V-Twin Gas Zero Turn Riding Mower
Though it’s a powerful machine, we found that the Toro 75755 50-inch 24.5 HP TimeCutter IronForged Deck V-Twin Gas Dual Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower wasn’t as easy to operate as some of the other zero-turn mowers we looked at, and it required more of a learning curve than we felt was reasonable.
In addition to its lack of user-friendliness, the mower also slipped a little on a damp slope and also got stuck on a rocky patch. Like many other riding mowers, it does come pre-assembled and ready for use, however.
Your Questions, Answered
Which is best—a gas or electric lawn mower?
Gas lawn mowers are often regarded as the most professional mowers available due to their ability to work non-stop and their high-powered motors that make quick work of chopping through tall and thick grass. This is also why you’ll find that gas lawn mowers are some of the most expensive mowers on the market. Keep in mind that they’re not only more expensive to buy; they’re also costlier to run.
Robotic lawn mowers. Buyer’s Guide
New technology in electric and cordless models has made it so that many non-gas mowers are as durable, reliable, hard-wearing, and efficient as gas models. For the average residence, an electric or cordless battery option is ideal since there are fewer fumes, less noise (the engines on gas mowers tend to make them noisier), and generally much less maintenance.
What maintenance does a lawn mower need?
A gas lawn mower would need regular fuel, oil, and engine checks, as well as the odd spark plug change here and there. Maintenance on a manual, electric, or cordless battery-powered mower could be as simple as charging the battery, storing it in a cool, dry place, and hosing it off once you’ve finished mowing the lawn. You may have to change or replace a broken part once in a while, but hopefully, the warranty will cover it.
How long do lawn mowers last?
Though they don’t come with an expiration date, a lawn mower’s life span depends on its usage. A heavy season of weekly use on a cheap mower might be its first and only season, whereas many mid-range mowers are built to last years and years of regular use. A good indicator of how long you can expect a lawn mower to last is to check the company warranty; some brands offer five years and over—a good indicator of the company’s faith in its product.
Who We Are
This article was written by Kat de Naoum, who has over ten years of commerce writing experience. Kat is also the commerce editor-at-large at Thomas-Xometry, the leading U.S. online platform for supplier discovery and product sourcing. For this article, Kat reviewed and tested multiple mowers, and researched and considered factors such as each lawn mower’s power, cutting deck width, deck height, durability, as well as value for money. She also spoke to Bryan Clayton, the CEO at GreenPal, and Ben McInerney, the founder of Home Garden Guides.
What Is BHG Recommends?
Next to all of the products on this list, you may have noticed our BHG Recommends seal of approval. Products that earn the seal have been put through rigorous testing to make sure they’re worth a spot in your home. We buy most of the products we test ourselves, but occasionally we are provided samples by companies if buying isn’t an option. In these cases, we use the same testing criteria we use to test the purchased products.