The Best Lawn Mowers That Make Tackling Your Yard A Walk In The Park
The best lawn mowers are ones that will do the job well in as little time as possible. After all, mowing grass is a literal chore. But deciding to invest in your own mower vs. hiring a lawn service is a big deal, and it makes sense that you’d want to select a tool that checks off all your lawn care boxes. Our top pick is the Honda NeXite Self Propelled Mower that’s dent-proof, rust-proof and backed by a lifetime warranty, while making mowing your grass an easy task.
The Ego Power lawn mower’s multi-blade system gives a professional, clean cut to your lawn that a.  single-blade mower can’t achieve.
Figuring out just what your needs are can take some time. Dale Vogelsanger, senior product expert for lawn and garden at outdoor power equipment site Power Equipment Direct, points out that there’s a huge variety of lawn mowers on the market. He recommends breaking down your needs based on how big your lawn is, how comfortable you feel walking vs. riding and the type of terrain you’re planning to mow. This can help determine whether you need a gas mower, electric mower, riding mower, push mower or even robotic mower, he says.
It doesn’t hurt to think about bells and whistles, too. “Do you need special attachments like a mulcher or a catch bag? Would you prefer the convenience of an electric push-button start or a traditional cord pull? How about variable speed capability and other features that improve maneuverability around obstacles?” says Noah James, owner of Liberty Lawn Maintenance. Naturally, there’s also your budget to consider as well.
With that in mind, these are the best lawn mowers out there that can suit a range of needs. (While you’re at it, consider out list of the best weed whackers.)
Best Overall Lawn Mower
Honda 21-Inch NeXite Variable Speed 4-In-1 Gas Walk Behind Self Propelled Mower
Power source: Gas | Type: Self-propelled | Cutting width: 21 inches | Cutting height: 0.75 inches | Yard size: 1 acre
The Honda 21-Inch NeXite is a natural choice for the best gas engine self-propelled lawn mower, but because this category is generally the smartest choice for the average homeowner, it also becomes the all-around best mower. This is the mower that hits all the right notes at a reasonably affordable price. The GCV200 Honda engine starts easily and has plenty of power for driving the rear wheels. Honda places its Select Drive control at your fingertips so you can dial in the mower’s precise speed to match your walking pace—not with a lever but with an actual dial. And it’s particularly safe; the flywheel brake rapidly stops the engine if you release the brake lever.
Deck damage is one of the most common reasons people need to replace their mower, but Honda’s NeXite has one of the best deck materials in the industry. It’s dent-proof, rust-proof and backed by a lifetime warranty. And underneath, it uses air pressure to keep grass circulating longer for better clipping and mulching. From there, the business end of the mower relies on twin blades you can set between 0.75 inches and 4 inches off the ground. In operation, it creates great mulch. Speaking of mulch, a single lever lets you switch rapidly between bagging (the bag has a generous 2.5-bushel capacity), mulching and discharge.
Best Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
Ego Power 21-Inch Self-Propelled Cordless Electric Lawn Mower
Power source: Electric | Type: Self-propelled | Cutting width: 21 inches | Cutting height: 1.5 inches | Yard size: 1/2 acre
The Ego Power is one of the best overall electric walk-behind mowers available on the market right now. It’s powered by a 56-volt, 7.5 Ah Lithium-ion battery. That makes it about as powerful as an average gas mower, and it should run for about an hour on a charge. Another advantage: The battery is compatible with all Ego power tools, so you can swap batteries around and always have a spare ready to hot-swap if needed.
The drive is controlled using a typical lever control, and delivers excellent fine-speed control over the range of the mower’s performance. The mower’s multi-blade system gives a professional, clean cut to your lawn that a single-blade mower can’t achieve. Need to mow late in the day? No problem: There are LED headlights to illuminate your path.
The Ego lets you quickly switch between mulching, bagging and discharge with a single lever, and the collection bag holds 2 bushels of clippings. You can vary the deck height from 1.25 inches to 4 inches using a single handy lever—you don’t need to adjust each wheel or front and rear individually.
Best Push Lawn Mower
Toro Recycler 21-Inch Briggs Stratton High Wheel Gas Walk Behind Push Lawn Mower With Bagger
Power source: Gas| Type: Push | Cutting width: 21 inches | Cutting height: 1.25 inches | Yard size: 1/2 acre
Toro’s 21-inch push mower is built around a reliable 140cc Briggs Stratton motor. It’s a budget-Smart mower that gives you a lot of power, but dispenses with luxuries (like being self-powered) for smaller yards.
The motor is easy to start: There’s no need for a manual choke adjustment, priming or pumping before trying to turn it over, which is a welcome convenience. And since you’ll be pushing this mower, you’ll appreciate the enormous 11-inch rear wheels that helps you get traction on rougher terrain and inclines. The deck can be adjusted from 1.25 inches to 3.75 inches in six different positions, but you’ll need to set height levers separately in the front and rear.
The Toro has a few key conveniences. For starters, you can quickly switch among mulching, bagging and discharge. It also includes a bag for clippings. The handle can be set between two different heights with no tools required, and the motor doesn’t require any oil changes over the life of the mower—just check the level and add oil as needed.
Best Electric Lawn Mower
American Lawn Mower Company 50514 14-Inch Corded Electric Lawn Mower
Power source: Cord | Type: Push | Cutting width: 14 inches | Cutting height: 1 inches | Yard size: 1/4 acre
Though much less common than they once were, corded electric lawn mowers are still an option if you have a small yard and want to avoid a gas-powered mower. The American Lawn Mower Company’s 50514 14-Inch Corded Electric Mower is hard to beat on price and is a powerful option that’s easy to use.
Perhaps the largest disadvantage of the 50514 is its modest deck size—you get just 14 inches of cutting width, so it’s clearly intended for smaller yards. In exchange though, it’s among the lightest of the recommended walk-behind mowers at just under 26 pounds.
American Lawn Mower has built this around an 11-amp motor and gives you the choice of mulching or bagging your clippings (it is fitted with a 1.7-bushel bag)—but no discharge option. The bag has a grass level indicator so you can tell when it needs to be emptied. Another convenience: The deck height is controlled with a single lever, though it has a somewhat limited height range from 1-inch to 2.5 inches.
Best Gas Lawn Mower
John Deere S100 Side By Side Hydrostatic 42-Inch Riding Lawn Mower
Power source: Gas | Type: Riding | Cutting width: 42 inches | Cutting height: 1 inch | Yard size: 1 acre
John Deere’s S100 ride-on mower is a classic as far as gas mowers go. It features a 42-inch cutting deck, helping it to cover a decent amount of ground in one pass. Side-by-side foot pedals and hydrostatic transmission allow you to easily cruise around up to an acre of lawn at a time. Enjoy a wide range of cutting heights—1 to 4 inches—that can be adjusted in 0.25-inch increments. An adjustable 11-inch seat and ergonomic handles ensure you’ll be as comfortable as possible while you mow. Worth noting: This mower comes with a slew of add-on attachments, including a cart and lawn blade, in case you want to use it for more than cutting grass.
Best Lawn Mower For Large Yards
Power source: Gas| Type: Zero-turn | Cutting width: 60 inches | Cutting height: 1.5 inches | Yard size: 7 acres
Toro’s 60-inch zero turn mower is one of the most powerful commercial mowers on the market. While it’s admittedly a splurge, you get a lot with this machine. For your investment, you get a machine that can cover up to 7 acres in one go. The generous 60-inch cutting deck is one of the main reasons you’ll want to consider this Toro. It’s wide enough to simplify your cutting pattern, saving you time in the process. The mower also features 23-inch tires to help you get a grip, even on uneven terrain, and a blade speed of 18,908 FPM to get that perfectly manicured cut. Want to get the job done quickly? You’re in luck—this mower can clock speeds of up to 9 miles per hour.
Best Zero-Turn Mower
Ryobi 54-Inch Electric Riding Zero Turn Mower
Power source: Battery | Type: Zero-turn | Cutting width: 54 inches | Cutting height: 1.4 inches | Yard size: 3.5 acres
Not everyone needs a zero-turn mower, but if you need to landscape a yard with lots of obstacles like trees and flower beds, there’s nothing better than being able to pivot inside your mower’s own footprint. The Ryobi 54-Inch Electric Riding Zero Turn Mower is a superb example of this type, and because it comes from Ryobi it uses batteries and an electric motor instead of gas.
That’s a huge advantage for this mower, which runs quietly and has no noxious emissions. Even so, it can level up to 3.5 acres on a single charge. That electric system drives five motors and spins three blades for precise and professional cuts. You can manually adjust the deck across 12 positions, from 1.4 to 4.5 inches.
The control panel includes a digital battery level display, LED headlight operation, reverse mowing and a USB charging port to keep your phone juiced up while you’re mowing.
Best lawn mowers to buy in 2023
Our round up of the best lawn mowers, as tested by our experts.
Choosing the best lawn mower can be a tricky task, with so many models on the market and such a wide range of brands. There are five main types of mower available at hugely varying and all with different features that need to be considered.
To make things easier, we FOCUS on some of the key points to look for when choosing a lawn mower and explain some of the benefits and drawbacks of the different types.
We’ve also listed our best lawn mowers across the board, as tested by our experts. There are a range of styles on the list including corded, cordless, robotic, and push mowers, all of which offer various functions and additional features.
All the models on our list have been awarded Best Buy status after being thoroughly put through their paces. Every one of them has scored a minimum of 4.5 out of 5 overall, so you can be assured that you’re looking at one of the best machines in its category. To make things as clear as possible, we’ve included a list of pros and cons for each model, so you can make an informed choice on the best lawn mower for you. For more detail, take a look at our full list of individual lawn mower reviews.
Best lawn mowers at a glance
There are a number of factors to take into consideration when choosing the right lawn mower for you. Firstly, you need to decide whether you want a corded electric, petrol, battery-powered cordless or push mower.
Green Machine 62V Lawn Mowers Performance
We tested both the Green Machine 62V push lawn mower and the self-propelled model. Aside from the drive system, both lawnmowers perform almost identically.
Green Machine uses a 62-volt brushless motor to power the 22-inch blade on each mower. 22-inches beats most standard battery-powered lawn mowers we’ve reviewed. We immediately noticed the Green Machine mower capably spun that longer blade and kept up the speed without any noticeable issues. Even in thick St. Augustine and tough patches of Bahia grass it kept up the speed.
Green Machine says to expect up to 45 minutes of runtime per 4.0Ah battery. Two batteries should get you up to 90 minutes and let you mow up to 1/2 acre. If you have extra thick grass or tend to wait too long between cuts, expect that time to drop.
Editor’s Note: The Green Machine 62V push mower comes with one battery while the self-propelled version includes two.
Both mowers let you mulch grass. You can also bag or do a true side discharge using an included attachment. For overgrown grass, the side discharge gives better distribution than many battery-powered models we’ve tested to-date.
Green Machine 62V Lawn Mowers Pricing
Green Machine’s entire cordless lineup is available exclusively at The Home Depot online. The self-propelled lawn mower runs 449 as a kit with two 4.0Ah batteries and a charger. The push mower is 329 with one 4.0Ah battery and a charger. When you order, they’ll ship it to your home or your local Home Depot for free.
Green Machine warranties their lawnmowers for 5 years while the batteries carry a 3-year warranty.
Considering what other brands charge for similar designs, Green Machine’s price makes for a compelling value.
The Bottom Line
For the price, Green Machine’s lawn mower options are worth taking a close look at. If you’re looking for a push mower, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better bang for the buck. It’s worth holding off on the self-propelled mower until they deal with the drive control, though. Once they do, Green Machine will be in a great position to earn the top value picks for both styles.
Green Machine 62V Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Specifications
Professional landscapers are reluctant to plug into electric mowers due to cost
Austin Acocella, co-owner of Acocella Landscaping in Westchester County, N.Y., is holding onto his gas-powered mowers. He says electric ride-ons are too expensive for him to switch right now. Matthew Schuerman hide caption
Austin Acocella, co-owner of Acocella Landscaping in Westchester County, N.Y., is holding onto his gas-powered mowers. He says electric ride-ons are too expensive for him to switch right now.
SCARSDALE, N.Y. — Electric lawn mowers have taken the U.S. consumer market by storm over the past few years. And they’ve done so quietly — about 20 decibels more quietly in some cases.
Once restricted to lawns no larger than the length of an extension cord, mowers on the market today run on lithium ion batteries that can last 45 minutes or more without charging and cost about as much as gas-powered versions. And in 2021, according to market research company FactMR, electric lawn mowers made up 37% of all sales.
But professional landscapers, who have to run their machines all day, day after day, have yet to join the trend in large numbers. Electric heavy-duty ride-on mowers make up just 11% of the total market for all heavy-duty ride-on mowers.
“For homeowners, I feel like it’s great,” said Austin Acocella, co-owner of Acocella Landscaping in Scarsdale, N.Y. “The battery just doesn’t last long, especially for the stuff that I do.”
He has checked out commercial-grade mowers with batteries that can last six or more hours, but hasn’t wanted to pay the upfront costs. A 52-inch-wide ride-on model, the Rival from Mean Green Mowers, starts at nearly 30,000. That is more than three times a comparable gas-powered machine – though the manufacturer says the customer will break even given significantly lower operation and maintenance costs.
“In the future I would love to buy them, but right at this second, I just can’t because of inflation and just everything that’s going on,” Acocella says. “I just can’t swing it yet.”
Acocella and his employees began using hand-held electric devices – leaf blowers, weed whackers and hedge trimmers – last year when one of his clients, the town of Larchmont, required it. He’s begun to use them on other properties as well because they are lighter, much quieter, and don’t emit pollutants. But with the exception of the hedge trimmer, he says, they need frequent battery changes and are not as powerful.
“I need something that’s going to last long or something that’s easy,” Austin says. “Like I have a gas can, it’s on a truck that I just fuel up and I go. How many batteries do I need to have in order to get through the day?”
Mean Green Mowers, a 10-year-old electric lawn mower company based in Ohio, sells commercial-grade ride-on lawn mowers with long-lasting batteries. Jen Stroker (left), regional development manager for the company, and Raymond Rocco, co-owner of C.R. Power, which sells the products, demonstrated the Rival model in a Port Chester, N.Y., park recently. Matthew Schuerman hide caption
Mean Green Mowers, a 10-year-old electric lawn mower company based in Ohio, sells commercial-grade ride-on lawn mowers with long-lasting batteries. Jen Stroker (left), regional development manager for the company, and Raymond Rocco, co-owner of C.R. Power, which sells the products, demonstrated the Rival model in a Port Chester, N.Y., park recently.
Bans on gas-powered gear
Yet landscapers are being pressured to change – sometimes by clients and sometimes by governments. Last fall, the California Legislature passed a law requiring that all new landscaping equipment sold in the state be emissions-free beginning Jan. 1, 2024.
The state and national landscaping associations objected, arguing that electric equipment wasn’t advanced enough to operate for long periods of time, and in some cases, did not work as well as gas equipment. As proof, they cited a study from the California State University at Fullerton to show that zero emissions equipment hadn’t caught on among professionals. The study found that less than 6% of equipment used by landscapers were zero-emissions, compared to more than 50% of the gear used by homeowners.
But Assemblymember Marc Berman, the bill’s author, disputes the industry’s characterization of zero-emissions equipment.
After that bill was passed, New York State Sen. Pete Harckham introduced a similar bill in Albany. Though it did not pass in the regular session, Harckham told NPR he plans to re-introduce it but has not decided on when the mandate would take effect.
Both the California legislation and the New York proposal only address the sale of new equipment, meaning landscapers and homeowners can continue using their existing gas-powered tools.
Numerous cities and towns across the country have gone further and restricted the use – as opposed to just the purchase – of gas-powered leaf blowers. And this month, two municipalities in Marin County, Calif., – Fairfax and Sausalito – banned the use of other gas-powered equipment as well, including mowers, to be phased in over the next 18 months.
Mixed environmental impact
Electric lawn mowers won’t help much in terms of climate-changing emissions – people just don’t mow their lawns nearly as much as they drive. The California Air Resources Board, for example, estimates that phasing out gasoline-powered lawn equipment will save an average of 0.66 million metric tons of CO2 a year, while the state produced 418 million tons in 2019 – the last year data was available.
But the agency found that gasoline-powered engines produce substantial amounts of other pollutants, such as nitrogen oxide, which can lead to respiratory difficulties and smog. In addition, researchers have raised concerns about the impact of the equipment’s noise and vibrations on operators’ health.
Large, commercial-grade equipment is used on a significant proportion of green spaces around the country – not only public properties and office parks. The California State University survey found, for example, that half of the state’s residents with lawns hired landscapers to take care of them, either partially or fully.
Drawbacks of mandates
Still, even some supporters of green landscaping oppose mandating electric equipment, arguing that it may cause small landscapers – an important employer of immigrants and limited-skill workers – to go out of business.
“If you just ban the use of equipment, you’re really putting the entire onus on the landscapers to come up with the money that they need to purchase the equipment,” said Jamie Banks, the founder and CEO of the non-profit Quiet Communities, Inc. “It’s not just purchasing the tool but also purchasing enough batteries and enough chargers that they can meet their work production needs.”
And some of those batteries are expensive – as much as 450,500 for a backpack-style one to power a leaf blower. California lawmakers have so far allocated 30 million for subsidies to offset the higher landscapers will have to pay for new electric equipment. But the National Association of Landscape Professionals said the amount breaks down to just 15 for each piece of gas-powered equipment that landscapers in the state need to replace.
Berman, the state legislator, said that he is hoping to get more subsidies in the budget for the coming year.
Quiet Communities and another nonprofit, the American Green Zone Alliance, have been working with towns, school districts, and other entities to adopt zero-emissions equipment for their own properties, but to do so voluntarily. So far, they say they have recruited about 20 locales and institutions across the country to take part in their program.
“I think the writing is on the wall,” Banks said. “It’s just, how do we get there in a way that’s, you know, fair, most efficient and so forth.”
Best electric mower for small yards: Sun Joe MJ401E-PRO Electric Lawn Mower
Pros: Lightweight, 10.6-gallon collection bag, low price
Cons: Too small for larger yards, only three height settings
The Sun Joe MJ401E-PRO electric lawn mower may not have the portability or width to be a practical option for larger yards, but its compact design and easy-to-use operation make it ideal for small or medium-sized ones. The relatively narrow width also makes it convenient to maneuver around tight landscaping elements like rocks or other obstacles that require more precision than a larger mower offers.
One reason I chose the Sun Joe for this list is that I appreciate anything that improves operation safety, especially involving lawn mowers. This model requires you to press the safety lock button and simultaneously pull the “on” trigger to power it up. It reduces the chance of you starting the mower unintentionally.
Because of the 14-inch cutting width, this compact mower is also well-suited for those who have limited storage space. It’s also incredibly lightweight. At just 29 pounds, it’s comfortable to use and makes its lack of self-propelling mechanism less of an issue.
I’ve used Sun Joe products in the past and have found them to be straightforward to operate. The user manual provides a clear diagram of how to effectively mow with a corded model and prevent running over your extension cord.
The Sun Joe MJ401E-PRO features three height settings, which is less than our other options. But if you are just looking for a hassle-free mower, this mower could be the perfect fit.
How we rate electric lawn mowers
After extensive online research from expert sources like Thriving Yard, we assembled this list of the best electric mowers you can buy. We also used our experience with large power tools to help evaluate battery life, runtimes, and power output.
Although we did not test all the options we chose, we reviewed owner and operation manuals, watched online tutorials, and consulted with lawn care equipment experts. We then used this information to create our five categories and choose the best option for each one.
We also used a set of specific criteria to help us evaluate and compare potential options.
What else we considered
Ego Power LM2101 56-V 20-Inch Cordless Lawn Mower: This was our previous top pick. Although it is a great option, we ultimately decided that its replacement, the EGO LM2102SP 21-inch Self-Propelled Lawn Mower and its self-propelled design, was a better fit. If a self-propelled option isn’t important to you, this Ego mower would be a great choice for anyone with a relatively high budget who is looking for a high-quality battery-powered mower.
Worx WR165 Landroid: The high price of this robotic lawnmower kept it off our list. But if the 950 price tag isn’t an issue, it could be a good fit for anyone looking to explore a unique mower option. Similar to a Roomba, this mower navigates entirely on its own and automatically adjusts the height of the blade to account for uneven terrain. It wouldn’t be practical for anything larger than 1/8-acre, though, so keep that in mind.
Electric lawn mower FAQs
How long do electric lawn mowers last?
Battery-powered mowers themselves can last up to 10 years, but their batteries will only last about 4 years before they’re unable to hold an effective charge. To ensure your batteries will last as long as possible, try to completely deplete the battery before recharging it. This will reduce the overall number of charging cycles placed on the battery, increasing its lifespan. You should also do your best to remove the battery from the charger once it’s fully charged.
Corded mowers have a similar lifespan as long as they’re cared for properly. There are no batteries to worry about, but their extension cords are just as important to pay attention to. This means using the correct gauge for the job, which indicates how thick the cord is. The thicker the cord, the more voltage will reach the mower and the less unnecessary work the motor has to do. Your mower’s operating manual should tell you the best gauge for the job.
How expensive are electric lawn mowers?
Electric lawn mowers are available at a wide range of prices, although corded models tend to be cheaper than battery-powered options. Corded mowers also won’t require any additional battery purchases over time. Size also plays a part. Large riding mowers can cost thousands of dollars, while smaller, compact machines, like the Sun Joe MJ401E-PRO, our recommendation for small yards, can be found for about 140.
Neither requires the fuel or oil that gas-powered models do, which should cut down on the overall expense of the mower. However, the long-term cost of replacement batteries — which can cost hundreds of dollars — should be considered as well.
Is it safe to cut wet grass with an electric mower?
According to the Ego mower manual, you should avoid cutting wet grass with your electric mower for two reasons. First, the moisture can affect the electrical components of the mower and cause serious damage not covered by the warranty. Secondly, using your mower on wet grass is a potential safety hazard and can cause you to slip or fall and potentially injure yourself.
Wet grass can also present maintenance and cleaning challenges. It can become stuck on the deck and other components, and unlike gas-powered mowers, you can’t just spray it off with a hose. As long as you stick to cutting dry grass, you’ll have a much easier time cleaning up.
Can you leave an electric lawn mower outside?
Due to the electrical components and vulnerable batteries, we don’t recommend leaving your mower outdoors when it’s not in use. Both Ego and Greenworks recommend keeping their electric mowers indoors in a cool, dry space. They also state that you should never cover them with a plastic tarp, which can trap moisture that can damage the internal components. If you need to keep your mower outside, keep it elevated and off the ground. This will allow air to flow around it and prevent unnecessary moisture damage.