Best Gas Lawn Mowers | Push and Self Propelled
When I think about outdoor power equipment, nothing gets me more animated than the prospect of testing a new batch of gas lawnmowers. Good quality modern mowers are built around exceptional engines and have a raft of features to make easy work of mowing a pristine finished lawn. So running a new test is always a lot of fun.
The moment you realize if the you mower your using is up to the job is when you’re trudging uphill, adjusting your speed, and notice that the bag is full of grass and needs a quick change. Suddenly, you realize that the self-propel system, easy bag release, and sturdy handles are must-have features!
If you’re nodding your head, this guide is for you.
Best Gas-Powered Lawn Mowers
If you’re short on time then check out the 3 best gas-powered lawnmowers. I have selected my top-rated products based on their 3-in-1 function and outstanding reliability. I have included a 30-inch Toro mower for very large lawns. I have also included a great option for under 350 that still has a fantastic array of features for the money.
Honda 21-in Nexite Deck Gas 4-in-1 Versamow
If you want a perfectly level flat-top lawn with or without mulch, rely on Honda’s custom 190cc GCV200 engine powering Versamow.
Toro TimeMaster 30 in. 223cc Gas Mower
223cc Briggs Stratton engine powering twin blades on a 30-inch deck. Easy to go up hills and mow large properties.
Craftsman M125 21-in 163cc Gas Mower
Does everything pricier mowers do, just without the bells and whistles? A quality 3-in-1 mower under 350.
Choosing A Gas-Powered Mower
Many factors go into the selection process. Don’t get overwhelmed by the number of lawnmowers on the market. You just need to give some consideration to what features or functions will work best for you and your lawn work. Remember, at the end of the day, you’re just cutting grass.
So your lawn size matters, as this will determine the deck size of your mower and will have a bearing on whether or not you choose a self-propelled model. Engine power matters, but only to the extent of how hard you plan to work your lawn mower. Cranking it up hills cutting long wet grass, then yes you will need serious torque. But outside of that, all of the mowers on my list below will be perfect for general use. Finally, do you need a mulching option…if, so look out for the 3-in-1 type mowers that can mulch, bag, and side discharge?
All that said, let’s get into some detail and unravel each of these topics that will shape your final decision on the best gas mower for your personal requirements.
Lawn Size and Terrain
Whether you believe mowing grass can be technical or not, let me tell you that choosing a mower based on lawn size and terrain can get pretty detailed.
For simplicity, I like to divide the factors that lead to my purchase into five categories—lawn size, terrain, push mower, riding mower, and zero-turn mower.
Even though the topic here is push and self-propelled mowers, I’m including the whole list because there are so many different terrains, regardless of lawn size.
The next thing I like to do is think of my area as a quarter, half, three-quarters, or full football field. A football field is a pretty large area to mow equalling 1.32 acres. Most people don’t have such big lawns.
The next factor is, regardless of size, which type of terrain do you have?
What is the best gas lawn mower?
Excellent petrol mowers are offered by Troy-Bilt, Bosch, Einhell, Honda, and Husqvarna, among others. However, which model is the best for you depends mainly on the size and condition of your yard. Therefore, choose a machine that best suits your lawn and offers the extra functions you need.
In our extensive filter comparison, you can quickly and easily find the best models in an overview. Please use the headings in order to browse related categories such as the best battery lawn mowers and best electric mowers.
What type of gas for lawn mower?
Most older 4-stroke petrol lawnmowers use unleaded super gasoline, also known as E5. Other fuels, such as E10 petrol, should only be used if expressly permitted for your machine in the owner’s manual. E10 has a higher proportion of biofuel or bioethanol and is therefore not suitable for all petrol engines.
Similar to any other motor vehicle, a gasoline-powered lawn mower too needs regular oil checks and refills.
Just like a car, a petrol lawnmower needs an oil change every now and then. For 4-strokes, there is special lawnmower oil available, which is usually classified as SAE 30. In the technical manual of your lawn mower you will find more detailed information about the required oil type. Please note that the oil filter must be changed along with the oil.
Do I really need a gas lawn mower?
Honestly, I’d recommend buying a gas lawn mower if you’re only managing a slightly large yard or need it for commercial purposes. Up to around 500m² yards of electric and battery-powered lawn mowers will work better for you. You could even go beyond that if you don’t mind investing in an extra pack of batteries or extending the cord that powers your engine during mowing.
If there are a lot of big objects such as furniture, big rocks, or trees in your yard, gas mowers could be a better option since you don’t always have to worry about getting your cord stuck between objects or cutting. In these cases, a gas mower gives you more freedom and flexibility in handling.
Depending on the height and nature of the lawn that needs to be mowed, gas lawn mowers also offer a much more powerful engine and usually also a larger grass bag, as they are usually designed for larger areas.
If you own a vast area of land, you might also want to look at the best ride-on tractor mowers.
Consumer reports and reviews
Why do consumers loves gas mowers? It’s simple. These machines offer the advantages other electric and battery mowers can’t hope to match. To put it in other words, these mowers are rivaled only by riding lawnmowers. Leaving problems individual models and makes might have, the only general issue consumers have with these types of mowers is, well, they aren’t known to be very environmentally friendly due to their gas-powered motors.
Disadvantages of gas lawn mower
There many different mowing technologies available out there.
- Sickle mower: These mowers deploy blades arranged horizontally. Blades here rotate on a vertical shaft.
- Cylinder mower: These models cut the grass using the scissor principle against a fixed lower blade.
Sickle and cylinder mowers are mainly used in large areas thanks to the wide cutting surface they have, which saves you from pushing or driving the mower right and left continuously.
of the Best Gas Lawn Mowers of 2022 According to Bob Vila
Like so many things which are propelled by a motor, Honda comes out on top once again. It’s ranked as Best Overall by Bob Vila, with good reason.
The Honda 21 in. 3-in-1 Variable speed gas propelled lawn mower comes equipped with a 170cc engine. It also has two offset blades, as opposed to the usual one, which helps chop your grass into much smaller pieces.
For those who have terrain that can be a pain to cut, like steep hills, the rear-wheel drive setup helps make dealing with this more manageable.
One of the most attractive features of this mower is that you can switch between side discharge, mulching, or bagging. The current price is 549.00, which is one of the two things that Bob Vila was disappointed about because it’s more expensive than other models. The other was that it is rather heavy to push at 80 lbs.
Cub Cadet X1 Enduro LT
There are mowers for small yards, and then there are mowers for large yards. If you have over three acres, then just any mower isn’t going to do. The Cub Cadet X1 Enduro LT Gas Riding Lawn Mower is the perfect lawn mower for the job, however.
It comes equipped with a 22-HP engine, which sits on a 46-inch broad deck. Bob Vila was very impressed with the 16-inch turning radius, as well as the excellent steering system.
For those who prefer to mow when the sun isn’t beating down on your head, there is a nighttime mowing option, as well as LED lights. You can also use the 12 deck-height positions to change up the lawn height, depending on the current needs of your yard.
You can either use the side discharge or mulch. If you want to bag, you’ll have to buy a separate kit. A quick deck-washing system makes up for this.
Bob Vila enjoyed the engine, which is one of the most powerful you can get in a lawn mower, as well as the hydrostatic automatic transmission. The cons include the lack of bagging, as well as the high price for Cub Cadet mowers in general. In this case, the X1 Enduro LT costs 6500,399.99.
Troy-Bilt 21 in. Gas Walk Behind Push Lawn Mower
If you’re looking for a mower that is cheap but offers plenty of options, Bob Vila has named the Troy-Bilt 21 inch the Best Bang for the Buck. With a price of 329.00, it’s hard to argue with that.
The Troy-Bilt 21-inch mower comes equipped with a Briggs and Stratton 140cc engine. It doesn’t require oil changes, and you don’t have to flip it over to clean the deck thanks to a wash port. If that’s not cool enough, for this price you get functions like bagging, mulching, and side discharge.
The 11-inch rear wheels are perfect for those who have that awkward terrain that leaves you pushing the mower up steep hills and over terrain so rough you consider having it leveled.
Bob Vila only had one complaint about this mower. The engine isn’t quite as large as those placed in other 21-inch mowers. With that being said, for the price, it’s definitely not a dealbreaker.
Gas Lawn Mower vs. Electric Lawn Mower: Which Has Better Energy Efficiency?
You will likely be spending more money on your energy in the summer, both due to increased cooling costs as well as landscaping costs, including lawn maintenance. With this in mind, it is important to trim your energy costs wherever possible to make these increases less painful.
But what is the most energy efficient way to mow your lawn? Should you get an electric lawn mower, or should you get a conventional gas-powered lawn mower?
Electric mowers are good for the environment because they don’t create greenhouse gas emissions, like their gas-guzzling counterparts. In the long-term, you will likely find that an electric lawn mower is actually cheaper than a gas lawn mower. This is because many of the little costs that will make a gas mower expensive over time (such as purchasing gasoline, spark plugs, fuel filters, oil, etc.) are eliminated or greatly reduced. Even though electric mowers are more expensive initially, you will save money over time with an electric mower, making them a solid investment.
However, they do have their drawbacks. There are two main varieties of electric mower—corded and battery-powered, each of which raise a different obstacle. Corded models have a limited range, which makes them impractical if you have a large lawn. Battery-powered mowers, on the other hand, generally don’t have a long battery life, usually requiring a recharge after roughly an hour. This, too, can make mowing a large lawn troublesome.
Finally, electric mowers simply aren’t as powerful as gas mowers. So, if you expect to cut especially thick grass, opt for a gas mower.
Gas mowers are known as the reliable, go-to option for many families’ lawn care needs. The main advantages of choosing a gas lawn mower are their familiarity, the availability of parts and trained maintenance professionals, and their cheap initial price. As mentioned above, the little costs can make gas mowers more expensive in the long-run; fuel costs, while ultimately not that high, as well as spark plugs and other maintenance do add up over time, though you’ll experience it in a less painful way, since it will be spread out over a long period of time.
So in the end, which kind of mower should you go with?
It depends on your financial situation and lawn care needs, but here’s a good rule of thumb to follow: if you have an incredibly small or incredibly large yard, stick with a gas mower. However, most sizes in between could benefit long-term from an electric mower. The rationale is: with a small yard, it will take a long time to notice the actual savings of having an electric mower, while a larger yard will be a hassle with an electric lawn mower.
Looking to learn more about the subject? Find out more about the pros and cons of electric and gas lawn mowers here.
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The 8 Best Self-propelled Lawn Mowers From Gas to Electric to Robotic
The grass is greener when you have a self-propelled lawn mower.
If you dropped your keys in the grass and you’re having trouble locating them, it’s probably time to give the lawn a trim. Whether you’re new to lawn maintenance or you’re looking to get a new lawn mower, a self-propelled lawn mower could be the right pick for you. Rather than the lawn mowers you sit on — aptly called a riding lawn mower — self-propelled lawn mowers push themselves, and you just guide the mower to wherever you want it to go.
Self-propelled lawn mowers are easier to use than push mowers, which are powered by your own movement, and they’re apt for most residential lawns. They’re good for going over bumpy and hilly areas, but you’ll probably pass out if you try to use it on your multi-acre property, as they do require a decent amount of effort to use. We found a self-propelled lawn mower for every kind of person at every budget — these are the seven best self-propelled lawn mowers.
Things to Consider When Shopping for a Lawn Mower
“When shopping for any lawn mower, the first thing customers should consider is the size of their lawn,” says Lacy Williams, Vice President of Product Development for Cordless Walk Behind Lawn Mowers at Ryobi. “A smaller lawn means a smaller deck size can be acceptable, whereas a larger lawn may require a larger deck or higher voltage battery platform when it comes to cordless products.” In short: for small lawns, a small deck and short runtime are ok, but for bigger yards a wider deck and longer runtimes — potentially those provided by gas engines rather than electric motors — will save you a lot of heartache.
Of course, if your lawn is too big, then you’re not going to want a self-propelled lawn mower at all, as it will take too long to mow your lawn and be too physically demanding (unless you’re into that sort of thing). “Shoppers who have a yard that is one acre or less will find that a walk-behind self-propelled lawn mower will meet their needs, whereas those with a yard larger than one acre may want to investigate a riding lawn mower for their lawn maintenance.”
Do you have steep hills that you need to mow? In that case, a self-propelled mower is likely what you’ll want. They’re easier to push up those hills than a standard push mower, and they’re also safer than a riding mower, as there’s less danger of it rolling on top of you while mowing along a steep incline. “Self-propelled lawn mowers are a great option for those who would like the propulsion system to move the lawn mower forward,” Williams says. “Systems like Ryobi Smart Trek adaptive variable speed self-propelled technology allows users to easily adapt the mower’s speed to their pace, helping them finish the job quickly and with less fatigue.”
Gas Mowers vs. Electric Mowers
Gas mowers tend to trend lower in price than their electric counterparts, though they do require you to get a little messy considering you have to refill the gas and change the oil. They also run longer and don’t require long charge times in between trimmings. Gas mowers tend to be louder (think motorcycle revving), but they do work exceptionally well when going through overgrowth.
Electric mowers used to be tethered by cables, but the advent of rechargeable batteries has really pushed cordless electric mowers to popularity. “Cordless lawn mowers have several advantages over gas mowers,” Williams says. “Cordless mowers are quieter, require less maintenance, and have zero emissions compared to their gas counterparts. They also are lighter weight and provide easier operation for users. Cordless mowers can accomplish this while being just as powerful — if not providing more power — than gas-powered lawn mowers. An added benefit of cordless mowers is the use of brushless motors that can increase performance when encountering heavy grass, as opposed to gas mowers that can be bogged down in those situations.” Of course, no mower is without its drawbacks, as cordless mowers tend to not last as long as gas mowers, so they’re better suited for smaller yards.
What to Look for in a Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
Two-Function vs. Three-Function
Mowers will either be two-function, which bag or mulch, or three-function, which allows you to bag, mulch or discharge (either from the side or the rear). expensive models will offer three functions, though some cheaper models may have the three-in-one function. Not everyone will need the choice for mulching and discharging, so don’t think a three-function mower is always better — it depends on whether or not you need those functions.
While all electric mowers have an electric ignition, gas mowers are available with either an electric starter (usually in the form of a button) or a pull cord. Most agree that pull cords are a pain to use — they’re rough on your shoulder, which can be torturous if you have an injury or arthritis, and are far less convenient than pushing a button. However, a pull cord does have some advantages. They’re less complex and don’t require a battery to operate, meaning they’re easier to maintain in the long run and you’re less likely to run into problems.
You don’t necessarily want your mower to have “big deck energy.” While riding mowers have mowing decks that are anywhere from 42 to 60 inches wide, they’re meant to be used for massive lawns. Since you’re likely only mowing a yard that’s an acre or smaller with your self-propelled lawn mower, a deck between 18 and 25 inches is likely where you’ll end up. A wider deck will allow you to get the job done quicker, because it’s covering more ground, but it’s also going to be harder to maneuver and won’t be able to reach into narrow areas like a smaller deck would.
Not all lawns are completely flat, and that’s when it’s time to consider drives: front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive.
Front-wheel drive mowers are ideal for flat terrain, and they’re also a little cheaper than other mowers. They’re easier to maneuver and steer like a charm.
Rear-wheel drive mowers put the power into the back wheels, which makes it easier to go over hills.
All-wheel drive mowers give you some of the best control over bumpy terrain but you will have to shell out a bit more money.
What About Robot Lawn Mowers?
Robot lawn mowers are the newest style to emerge in the marketplace, and they’re really their own segment. But since they do propel themselves, and since you can’t ride them, we’re going to include them here. Robot lawn mowers work much in the same way as robot vacuums — they map your lawn, usually with the help of you setting up some sort of boundary, and then mow automatically, either on a schedule that you set or on demand. They offer more convenience since you don’t actually have to go out and mow the lawn yourself, but they suffer from the same drawbacks as robot vacuums: they’re small and not very powerful, they can sometimes map erratically and miss spots and they may get stuck and require your intervention. They’re certainly getting better, but it will likely be a few years before robot mowers become ubiquitous.
Find the Right Walk Behind Lawn Mower for You
You know you’re ready for a new lawn mower, but how do you know which one is right for you, your yard, and your budget? We’re here to help.
Let’s take a closer look at what to look for when choosing your next lawn mower.
To Mulch, or Not to Mulch?
How much work do you want to do? A mower with a mulching blade, like a Recycler, cuts grass into tiny pieces that break down and decompose easily — putting important nutrients back to your yard. For supercharged mulching performance, look for a model with an intake system that fuels the cutting chamber with additional airflow.
Bagging your grass clippings could make your yard look cleaner, but takes more effort to bag or rake up and dispose. You’ll want to see if your city even picks up yard waste, or if you’ll need to bring it to a compost center.
We know what we’d do, but hey, it’s your yard.
Mower Model Options: 3-in-1. 2-in-1. What-in-the-What?
Mowing isn’t really a numbers game, it just thinks it is. A 3-in-1 mower lets you mow, mulch, and bag in one machine. 2-in-1 mowers either mulch and bag, or mulch and side discharge.
Most mowers let you quickly and easily switch between ways. If you want to bag your grass clippings, look at a rear-bagging model. It holds more than those with side-discharge bags.
Wheel Size: Do Low or High Wheels Matter?
Low-wheel lawn mowers have the same size wheels in the front and back. These are fine for your typical flat yard.
High wheels are best for bumpy or difficult terrain. With large wheels in the back, you can go over any terrain with ease. A high-wheeled model might cost a little more, but it’s worth it if needed. Typically, the cost difference is very minimal anyway.
Engine Options: What’s the Difference Between a 2-Cycle and 4-Cycle Engine?
Two cycles, of course. But seriously, two-cycle engines require mixing oil and gas. This is probably that old beast you have hidden in your garden shed. It’s loud, dirty, and outdated. If this is your lawn mower, it’s time to move on. Four-cycle engines are more powerful, quieter, and efficient.
What About Electric Lawn Mowers?
Instead of gas engines, electric lawn mowers feature powerful lithium-ion batteries. They’re just as powerful as gas lawn mowers, but you do gain the benefit of less sound. You’ll never worry about buying gas, replacing oil, or making your neighbors angry during their family barbecue. Like gas-powered models, some are even self-propelled.
If you buy a Toro electric mower, you get the benefit of the 60V Flex-Force Power System in which the lithium-ion lawn mowers use interchangeable batteries that you can use with the other tools like snow blowers, leaf blowers, and other yard tools, too!
When it comes to purchasing your next walk behind lawn mower, there are a lot of options for you to choose — from gas-powered to battery powered, push to self-propelled. When you know what to look for, and understand what’s needed for your yard, you’ll soon know how to pick a lawn mower that works for you. For an even more detailed description of this process, check out the full article on our Yardcare blog.