Best small lawn mower: 5 compact mowers for easy lawn care
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If you only have a small yard, but it is too much to maintain with a weed eater, you need to invest in the best small lawn mower. A heavy-duty mower is overkill – in price, noise and size – but there are plenty of compact mowers designed to maintain smaller spaces.
Some are battery powered so you won’t need to store gas either, others offer mulching options to feed your lawn as you mow. One can even be stored under a workbench. What they all have in common though is that while they lack in size, they match the power of some of our bigger picks for the best lawn mower.
These mowers are also a great option for people who have an ample lawn, but lack the space to store a larger machine. We have deliberately looked for models that pack as much cutting width into that deck as possible, even in a fairly small package.
Reasons to avoid
The Worx POWER SHARE 40-Volt 14-in Mower is small but mighty. At only 29 lbs, this mower is easy to move around, and even lighter when you remove the batteries for storage and transit.
Equipped with patented torque technology, you have the capability to increase the power of this mower to Turbo if you’re cutting thick grass (but remember, this will use up more battery). For regular use, we found Eco mode was competent, especially for regular trims. The cutting base is 14 inches across and there are six height adjustments that range between 2.5-3.5 inches with an easy to use lever for height adjustments. You can either mulch your grass or bag up to.85 bushels before a ‘full bag indicator’ alert notifies you it’s time to empty the bag.
To get started, simply insert the safety button, depress then pull the handle lever and you’re ready to mow. The Worx lawnmower runs on two 20V 4.0 Ah batteries. POWER SHARE advertises that this mower can mow 5,000 square feet with just one charge. However, this wholly depends on various factors like the thickness or height of your grass. Just keep an eye on the battery meter to know when you need to juice up and keep spares on charge. We found it capable of doing a good half hour or more of mowing before it was time to recharge which is plenty for the average yard.
So while we think this is the best small lawn mower, you could find it a good choice for a larger yard too.
Reasons to avoid
If you hate loud, big, smelly lawn mowers, then look no further than the Sun Joe MJ401C Push Lawn Mower.
This battery-powered lawnmower cuts a 14-inch-wide path and collects the grass in a 10.6 detachable gallon bag. Those who choose to upgrade to the Pro version (it’s not much more), will also receive a rear discharge chute. There are only three different cutting heights, designated as ‘short, medium, and tall,’ that range between 1.18-2.52 inches.
This Sun Joe runs on a rechargeable 28-volt lithium-ion battery which can manage about a quarter acre on one charge. Those with small lawns should be able to mow their entire lawn in one go, however, it doesn’t hurt to have a backup battery on hand because it takes up to four hours for one battery to charge.
As well as the long battery charge, the other thing we didn’t rate was how much wider it is than the cutting deck. It just means you can’t get quite as close to edges and from a storage and size point of view, seems like wasted space.
Reasons to avoid
With a 16-inch cutting base (making it the second widest on our list), you’ll be able to get your yard mowed in a quicker amount of time with the Greenworks G-MAX 40V lawnmower. Although it isn’t self-propelled, at only 37.5 lbs, you’ll easily zip around your yard and finish in no time.
Powered by a 40V 4Ah Li-Ion battery, Greenworks advertises that you can get about ½ acre or up to 45 minutes of battery time with one charge. Some users note that the time is more accurately 30 minutes. Keep an eye on the battery life indicator to see if you need an extra charge (or a backup battery) to finish the yard.
A single lever lets you adjust between five different cutting heights in the range of 1.25-3.375 inches high. Last but not least, this lawnmower comes with a rear bag to catch grass clippings. However, we suggest you go with the mulching option. It’s less clean-up and is good for your yard.
Reasons to avoid
Although the Troy Bilt XP lawn mower is 21 inches wide – meaning it’s an average-sized lawn mower – it has a unique SpaceSavr design that makes it perfect for those who don’t have a lot of space. It basically folds into a compact shape so you save up to 70% more space than a traditional lawn mower. It can be stored under a tool bench or upright in a shed, and it won’t leak oil or fuel in the vertical position.
This Troy Bilt XP lawn mower is heavier than others on this list at 78 lbs, but it’s the only one with self-propelling technology, which means it propels forward on its own so you’re basically just guiding it to the right spots. The height of a cut – from 1.25 to 3.75 inches – can be adjusted in six different positions with the fingertip levers on the wheels. This small lawn mower has a TriAction cutting system so it pushes out finely mulched clippings. However, it does come with a 1.9-bushel rear bag. Just remove the discharge chute and clip it to the handle when not in use.
How to choose the best small lawn mower
Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.
If you have opted for a small lawn mower then it is likely your main concerns will be around how much power and ease-of-use you can get into a compact package. At one time, electric lawn mowers, including cordless battery powered models were quite big and heavy to accommodate large battery packs for optimal run time. Luckily, technology has advanced and things like more efficient batteries and brushless motors mean you get greater run time in a smaller package.
Next, consider the cutting width. Our picks range from 12 inches to 21 inches. It might be tempting to go smaller for ease of movement and storage space limitations, but with edge-to-edge cutting, even the largest model on our list is a great choice if you are looking for a particularly compact lawn mower. That said, bigger will tend to mean weightier, so if you are concerned about lifting – perhaps due to a bad back – take the narrower model and be prepared for a couple of extra runs of your yard.
Finally, if storage is your main reason for buying the best small lawn mower, look at foldable options. Many compact lawn mowers have a foldaway handle and don’t forget the grass box. The Greenworks and Worx models on our list have soft material grass boxes that flatten down. Some mulching mowers have no grass box at all.
Tips for getting the most from your small lawn mower
Lawn mowers aren’t as scary as you think. They’re easy-to-use if you know the right tips and tricks. Read below to find out more.
Energy reserve You don’t want to be halfway through mowing your lawn only to discover that you’ve run out of juice. If you purchase a gas-powered lawn mower, make sure you top up before each use and have a gas container with gas stored in your garage or shed in case you need more.
For those who buy a battery-powered lawn mower, you might want to consider buying a backup battery. The harder a battery-powered lawn mower has to work (like a lawn where the grass is higher or thicker), the quicker the battery will die out. If your main battery runs out of charge mid-way through mowing the lawn, just pop in the backup battery.
Never mow a wet lawn If your lawn is wet from morning dew or rain, make sure you wait until it’s dry before you mow the lawn. For one, wet grass is heavier so the lawn mower won’t be able to cut the lawn to the best of its ability. Dry grass stands straight up making it easier to cut. Secondly, wet grass clippings can damage the mower which is an easy way to ruin your day.
Clean the lawn mower deck Every once in a while, turn the lawn mower over and clean under the deck. Grass and grime can build up under there and on the blades, making your lawn mower less effective over time. If you have a gas-powered mower, make sure the gas tank is empty and the spark plug wire is disconnected if you decide to clean the deck with the garden hose. It’s not a bad idea to blow off the lawn mower with your blower after each use.
Be careful what you mow over Before mowing your lawn, try to pick up sticks and other debris that could ruin your lawn mower blades. It’s best to avoid stumps and vines as these can also damage or get wrapped around the blades.
Grass clippings are good for the yard Although some people hate the sight of grass clippings left on a yard, they can actually be beneficial to your yard’s health as they’re a natural fertilizer. A mulching feature on a lawn mower is a good option because it breaks down leaves and grass and helps it to decompose quicker. That said, bagging clippings – especially weeds or grass that’s really high – could be helpful at certain times.
How we test the best small lawn mowers
We have tested some of the mowers on this list in person either for Real Homes or our sister site, Gardeningetc. Where we have not been able to be hands on with the mower itself, we use third party reviews and have experience of the mower brand so that we can vouch for its quality.
Commercial Grade Self-Propelled Push Mowers
There’s no substitute for dependability and durability. That’s why our push mowers are simple to maintain and built to withstand grueling day-in and day-out commercial mowing duties. Self-propelled rear wheel drive, easy to detach rear baggers, heavy-gauge steel decks with reinforced edges, sturdy push bars and solid, dense rubber wheels combine to deliver the strength to stand up to the most demanding commercial use.
Kawasaki FJ180 179cc
21″ or 25″ Deck
When Push Comes To Shove, There’s Just no Better Push Mower
The patented, proprietary two-speed, heavy-duty transmission is built tougher with over-sized gears and with needle and ball bearings throughout. The Blade Spindle assembly is built stronger with a forged spindle shaft for optimum strength and a die cast aluminum housing that dissipates heat faster. The powerful professional-class engine starts quickly and is always up to the task of all day mulching and mowing, and at speeds up to 5 mph.
- Patented, Proprietary Two-Speed Heavy-Duty Transmission features Oversized Gears with Needle and Ball Bearings Throughout
- Blade Spindle with Forged Spindle Shaft and Die-Cast Aluminum Housing for Dissipating Heat Faster
- Professional-Class Engine for All-Day Mowing and Mulching
- Dense Rubber Wheels
- Heavy-Duty, All-Steel 14-Gauge Deck with Reinforced Edges
- Quick-Release Rear Baggers
- Self-Propelled Drive Systems with High and Low Gear
- Adjustable Handles for Any Operator
- Lifting Bars
- Quick Start Operation
- Option to Bag or Mulch
Made To Be Pushed
Heavy-duty, all-steel 14-gauge deck with reinforced edges for longer lasting performance. Our push bars are sturdy and solid and the dense rubber wheels are built for the long haul. The deck slopes upward into the discharge, creating more lift and allowing for a cleaner, sharper cut as clippings are forced into the bagging system. Lifting bars are built-in for easy lifting and transporting, or cleaning the underside of deck. Both models feature large, quick-release rear baggers that simply lift and release for quicker cleanups of clippings.
Without Pushing You
The self-propelled drive system, with its High-Low gear and rear wheel engage, pulls it’s weight around effortlessly. Our handles are adjustable for any size operator and the self-propel engage bar is ergonomically positioned for easy operation. It’s the Bad Boy of push mowers and the choice of lawn professionals.
Push lawn mower with bag
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The Universal Big Leaf Bag attachment for any rear discharge Lawn Mower
GET AN INGENIOUS SOLUTION TO AN OLD PROBLEM!
Are you tired of making multiple trips to the waste dispenser to dispose leafs and grass from your lawnmower? Do you constantly live in fear that your lawn bag will give way anytime soon? Does your grass and leaf collection seem to take all day? Those have been challenging for gardeners and homeowners since the lawnmower was invented.
Well now there’s a great solution to these problems.
Introducing our Newly Universal Big Leaf Bag Version-3 replacing our original Version for the best!
Why waste your precious time doing yard work all morning on a beautiful fall day? You may not have a choice because these leaves need to be picked up, and your old factory-fitted lawn bag only holds that much. So that means you have to do multiple emptying runs to clean up a fair sized lawn. Each trip adds to the time you could easily spend with friends and family, or simply relaxing. Instead, you spend it emptying lawn bags!
But with the Big Leaf Bag you can end all of that right now! Imagine the opportunities you have if you could eliminate as many as two-thirds of those multiple trips just by switching to the Big Leaf Bag And its size is not all that will thrill you:
- Own The Universal Big Leaf Bag convert your lawnmower into a leaf vacuum to cut 70% of your time for leaf clean up in the Fall and Spring every single time!
- This Big Guy is 3 times the size of regular lawn bags, which means 3 times more leaves, grass and other particles are picked up before you have to empty it!
- Produced from ultra-durable polyester, which means it is rugged and tough and lasts longer!
- Built from weather-resistant material, which means it can be easily washed and quickly dried!
- Custom built to be easily fitted on any rear discharge lawnmowers
- Built-in protective features that prevent small particles from blowing back and disturbing the operator
- The funnel shape and zipper opening makes it simple and easy to empty – it’s as quick as 1, 2, 3: Detach from its support. Stand and unzip the Big Leaf Bag insert into yard-waste bag and empty out contents. You’re all done! No fuss. No mess!
With so many reasons to go BIG, why would anyone still want to stick with factory-fitted lawn bags?
Throw away your rake!
The professional design, expert manufacturing and easy installation instructions that come with the Big Leaf Bag will make it an ideal companion for your lawnmower. While other leaf bags will wear off in no time, ours is a completely Made In U.S.A solution that will last you many years.
Get the ingenious solution that will speed up your leaf and grass collection and leave you more time to relax and enjoy your free time.
Push lawn mower with bag
- Robotic lawn mowers
- Robot lawn mowers without boundary wire
- All robot lawn mowers
- Accessories for robotic mowers
- Business solutions
How to choose a push mower
Before you choose a push mower think about the following:
Have you got the right lawn?Cylinder mowers need an even surface for the scissor action of the blades to work well, so your lawn must be fairly bump free and 250m² or below. Simpler shapes are easier, unless you opt for a compact model with a smaller cutting width that can be manoeuvred more easily around trees and island beds and under shrubs.
Do you like mowing the lawn?Hand push mowers take more effort than powered mowers, but they are easier to push if the grass isn’t too long. Cylinder mowers work best on fairly short grass and will struggle or not cut long grass at all. So you need to cut regularly or choose a mower with a high height of cut to let you catch up if you miss a mow now and then.
Can you look after your mower?Cylinder blades need regular checking and adjusting to ensure a precise cut and prevent the mower chewing the grass rather than cutting it. Adjustment isn’t difficult, but it’s worth bearing in mind if you’re not mechanically minded.
Do you need a grass collector?Most mowers come with one, but some are sold separately and nearly all the grass collectors in our test failed to catch clippings well, particularly when windy. Although front collectors work best, they block your view. If you’re happy to mow regularly (twice a week in the growing season), you may not need one at all and can simply let the short clippings fall down onto the grass and act as a mulch.
Do you have storage?These mowers must be kept indoors to prevent the blades rusting, so if storage space is tight, choose a model that’s light enough to hang up or has folding handles.
Cut in long straight lines, walking briskly – the faster you walk, the better the mower will cut.
To create stripes, mow around the edge of the lawn first, then start in one corner, mowing up and down. When you finish a stripe, turn and line up the mower with the completed stripe, as
When adjusting or cleaning the mower, stand it on a flat surface with a block in front of the wheels to prevent ir rolling forwards.
How we tested push mowers
All the mowers in our test are cylinder-type, with blades and a rear roller. Each mower was unpacked, assembled snd tested on a flat, circular lawn and on a sloping, less even, shaped lawn to see how ell they performed. They were assessed according to the following criteria with equal marks attributed to each:
- Setup and Storage. Assessed the ease of assembly and clarity of instructions and how easy the mower is to store.
- Handling. Focused on comfort and ease of use, handle height adjustment and how to change the height of cut, its weight, the effort needed and manoeuvrability.
- Cutting performance. Looked at cutting width, the range of cutting heights, collection capacity and the quality of cut.
- Value for Money. Considered all the above as well as quality and design, warranty and price.
For more information on our testing process see How We Review.
This review was last updated in May 2023. We apologise if anything has changed in price or availability.
The Best Lawn Mowers of 2023
Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases made through the links below may earn us and our publishing partners a commission.
The Hart HLPM061US performed well across terrains and has a simple to use speed control. Read
Until just a few short years ago, gas lawn mowers were king. As more consumers are seeking eco-friendly cars, homes, and, yes, power equipment, advanced battery technology answers the call.
Today, consumers can drive an electric car, thrive in a solar-powered home and maintain their property with battery-powered equipment. But are the new electric push lawn mowers as good as the old internal combustion mowers? We decided to find out.
We tested gasoline, electric-corded, and battery-powered lawn mowers from the leading brands. We were eager to see if the battery-powered mowers could handle a large yard as well as the tried-and-true gasoline models. We weren’t disappointed. The Honda HRX217VKA (available at Amazon) came out on top as Best Overall, edging out its predecessor and our previous winner, the Honda HRN216VKA.
For the non-gasoline mowers, the Ego Power LM2135SP (available at Walmart) is our choice for Best Electric Lawn Mower. This mower set-up was quick, and it handled our testing well. The Ego Power also includes features not found on similar electric models.
The Honda HRX217VKA was a pleasure to use.
Quiet and powerful, the Honda HRX217VKA 21-inch NeXite lawn mower is the one to have for larger spaces. It is not designed for small yards, and you won’t be darting in and out of flower beds and shrubbery.
It is a pleasure to use. We had tested Honda mowers before and were familiar with their operation and overall product quality. The HRX217VKA did not disappoint. Easy to assemble and set up right out of the box, it started on the first pull of the cord.
Right away you can feel the heft of this mower with its innovative NeXite deck and powerful motor. It’s heavier than most mowers, but it feels planted on the lawn and tracks perfectly. It’s a mower for large lawns, and it makes the most difficult cuts a breeze.
With its 200cc motor and Select Drive Control, this mower easily cuts, bags and mulches the heaviest grass with ease. The Select Drive Control is almost intuitive as it lets you adjust the walking speed with a variety of settings.
The controls on the mower are large and easy to use. You can set the mower to bag or mulch or anywhere in between. Its user-friendly platform is clearly marked. You will use this lawn mower for years and years to come.
The Ego Power LM2135SP is the best electric lawn mower we’ve tested.
Until a few years ago, those who preferred not to buy an internal combustion mower had little choice. But advanced battery technology has finally arrived and the benefits can readily be seen in the Ego Power LM2135SP, a 21-inch self-propelled electric mower. This cordless mower with a cutting width of 21 inches utilizes a 56-volt lithium ion battery to power through up to 60 minutes of lawn cutting.
The Ego Power is powerful, comfortable, and a joy to use. Even though the battery only lasted about an hour, the mower performed extremely well mulching and driving itself uphill. It has plenty of torque and is capable of doing anything a gasoline-powered mower can do. It is clean, easy to use, and efficient.
The set-up on this mower was the easiest of the bunch. The handle slides and folds across the mower with ease, making storage a snap. Adjusting it to a personal height takes seconds.
A quick 50-minute charge on the battery and you’re ready to go. The battery charger even has a cooling fan that improves charging times and keeps the battery cool.
Like some of our other mowers, the Ego Power has twin blades that improve mulching and keep the trips to empty the rear bag to a minimum. Cutting height is achieved with one easy-to-access lever.
Operation is straightforward, and the composite deck makes the mower light and easy to maneuver around yard obstacles. Simply depress the power button, pull the green handle and the blades begin to spin. Dual buttons on the handle make engaging the self-propel feature safe and comfortable.
The Ego Power comes with LED headlights for convenience, and it was the only mower we tested that could propel itself when the blades were not spinning. This was a nice feature that eliminated pushing the mower back to the garage.
Other Lawn Mowers We Tested
Previously our pick for best lawn mower, the Honda HRN216VKA is a 21-inch self-propelled gas mower that’s a great choice for any yard. Honda has produced superior power equipment for many years, and this mower, which operates with rear-wheel drive, is no exception. It can handle the toughest lawns with ease and won’t take up much room in the garage.
The set-up was easy and the mower started on the first pull. Its smooth engine is quieter than the other gasoline mowers, and it has more than enough power to cut and mulch the grass even while going uphill.
The Honda has a stacked and offset blade design that produces smaller clippings, which allows for better mulching and bagging. This means more efficient cutting and fewer stops to empty the grass bag. The bagging and mulching options can be easily and safely selected, once the mower is off, by using one lever on the mowing deck.
The innovative self-propel system is comfortable on the hands, provides adequate speed control, and can even be adjusted for those who are taller or shorter. Folding the handle for storage can be done quickly. This Honda lawn mower even has a gas shut-off valve for off-season storage.
The Kobalt 80V 21-inch electric mower is a great choice for anyone that wants an affordable, flexible, compact mower that is easy to maneuver and doesn’t require extension cords or gas cans. The mower is strong enough to chop through thick grass, and offers a highly adjustable cutting height.
At 66 pounds it is very easy to operate, with the ability to go bagged or bagless, and you can fold up the push handle for compact storage.
The main draw here is the 80V battery system, which gives you an hour of runtime in our testing, enough to cut about 7,500 square feet on a full charge. It also works in a variety of other Kobalt tools, and spares will run you right around 150. Charging the battery takes around 45 minutes when it’s dead, and it just pops into the battery slot and the mower can turn on with a press of a button if the safety key is inserted—much easier than having to use a traditional pull start.
Overall if you need a nice, basic mower to get the job done and want to go cordless, this is an excellent choice. It cuts clean lines, it’s easy to use, it can handle most lawns with ease, and the light weight makes it much easier to move up and around slopes and hills.
Especially if you’re planning to invest in a range of electric tools, this is a good system to buy into.
This Hart lawnmower was a pleasant surprise.
After removing it from the box and charging the batteries, we fired it up and took it out to the thick, lush grass.
It performed beautifully; its powerful electric motor cut through the lawn with ease and even increased its revolutions when we cut thicker grass. This mower easily handles a larger lawn.
The Hart mower moved with power and confidence through the lawn, and the simple-to-use speed control was right there at your fingertips. While our winning Honda gas mower has a sophisticated Select Drive System, the Hart’s simple slide bar works as well or better.
This excellent lawnmower has the power and convenience of mowers costing much more.
The Toro is a worthy competitor to the top-ranking mowers on this list.
This Toro lawn mower has the largest cutting area at 22 inches, and it is powerful and comfortable to use, thanks to its Personal Pace self-propel system.
To engage the self-propel, simply push the lever forward a bit and the mower begins to move forward, push it a little more and the mower moves faster. After a couple of rows of cutting, you will see how easy it is to regulate speed. This system is not as intuitive as some of the others, but it still works quite well.
Another great feature: The Toro has Briggs and Stratton’s check-don’t-change oil system that never requires an oil change.
Storage is also a snap as the handle folds down and the mower can be stored vertically.
At just 58 pounds, this mower makes cutting small lawns a lot of fun. The rear discharge chute allows you trim close to trees, beds, and shrubbery. I found myself zipping around obstacles using only one hand.
This is a simple machine with one battery in the center. Charging time is quick, and once the battery is in you’re on your way.
This is not a lawn mower for the back 40. With a 20-inch cut and a small electric motor, it is just not capable of handling larger lawns. But for most mid to small yards, this mower can clean up the area in no time.
Light and easy to store, this is the perfect mower to keep a lawn looking great.
The 21-inch Ryobi RY401150 40-volt brushless mower set up quickly and easily right out of the box. It includes double blades and cuts clean and clear.
This mower comes with two batteries that can be installed in the top of the machine. One notable drawback is that only one battery powers the mower at a time—cut your grass for approximately 30 minutes and when the first battery is depleted, you stop and move a switch to engage the second battery. Ryobi says that the batteries will last for 70 minutes, but stopping to change batteries seems counterproductive.
How We Tested Lawn Mowers
We spent the summer mowing a half-acre New England lawn, over and over again.
Kevin Kavanaugh is a retired public school teacher and a product tester for Reviewed. Kevin has been cutting lawns for just about 50 years. He has always been intrigued by all things mechanical, be it watches, power equipment, vintage bicycles, or classic cars.
Ray Lane is a retired supermarket store manager, avid golfer, and product tester for Reviewed. His lawn is the envy of Cumberland, Rhode Island, and he has used several push mowers over the years. At 83 years of age, his input on the mowers was critical, specifically when evaluating ease of starting, maneuverability, and safety.
We tested lawn mowers on both flat land and hills to test maneuverability and power.
After ordering from retailers like Lowe’s and The Home Depot, we assembled each mower and took note of the ease of the set up and how quickly we could adjust the handle to our preference. We then added gasoline, a battery, or an electrical cord to get the mower ready. We evaluated at the ease of setting the cutting height, first testing a high cutting height and then a lower one.
We took each mower on a few passes of an uncut half-acre lawn, measuring approximately 22,000 square feet, noting how it cut at a high height and a lower height while we monitored both the bagging and mulching features. Then we took each mower up and down a grassy hill to see how they performed. Our final test was testing storage capability.
What You Should Know About Lawn Mowers
Self-propelled lawn mowers can take some of the effort out of walk-behind mowing.
There are two basic types of walk-behind mowers: push and self-propelled.
The push type of mower is usually smaller, lighter, and easier to store. They are used primarily for smaller, level lawns. They are perfect for cleaning up areas that larger riding lawn mowers may miss. They can be run by gasoline, cords, or battery.
Self-propelled lawn mowers usually have a larger cutting diameter and can move on their own through operator controls. These mowers can also be powered by gasoline, cords, or battery. Since they take the brunt of the pushing away, self-propelled mowers are perfect for larger lawns up to a half-acre, and they can easily handle hills and sloped lawns. These self-propelled mowers aren’t fully robotic lawn mowers so you still have to do some work guiding them around your yard.
What Is A Self-propelled Lawn Mower?
The first self-propelled lawn mowers started to appear in the late-1960s. As suburbia grew and lawns got larger, pushing a heavy steel mower around on a summer afternoon wasn’t what most people wanted to be doing.
The first self-propelled mowers had primitive front-wheel drive systems that worked well enough, but the mowers often moved along too slowly. Sure, you weren’t pushing but you were caught in a slow-moving lawn-cutting procession. Early mowers either moved too slowly or too fast to match a natural walking speed.
Today’s mowers offer a much better propulsion system. The Honda NeXite Variable Speed 4-in-1 Gas Walk Behind Self-propelled Mower with Select Drive Control, for example, allows a variety of walking speed settings. Owners can literally dial in their preferred walking speed so that they become one with the mower, not being pulled and not having to push.
The Ego Power Select Cut 56-Volt Brushless 21-in Self-propelled Cordless Electric Lawn Mower even allows the operator to drive out to the lawn without the blades turning. That is a great feature.
Today’s self-propelled mowers reduce operator fatigue and make cutting the grass easier than years ago. Self-propelled mowers make cutting on hills safer and more efficient. And with modern speed options they make a summertime chore a little more enjoyable.
Gasoline, Corded Electric, or Battery—Which Lawn Mower is Right for You?
Battery-powered lawn mowers can be powerful and efficient.
Gasoline-powered lawnmowers have kept lawns manicured for decades. They are powerful, reliable, and affordable, and come with features such as self-propelled movement, mulching features, and self-cleaning availability. They are powerful enough for large lawn care jobs and can tackle any lawn from a quarter- to half-acre acre. Any lawn bigger than that would necessitate a riding mower.
But gas-powered mowers emit dangerous carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons, require yearly maintenance, and require the storage of gasoline and oil. This may not be suitable for some consumers.
Corded electric mowers have been around for years and were historically the choice of consumers who had smaller lawns and didn’t need the more powerful gasoline mower. While powerful enough to get most cutting or trimming jobs done, the one obvious drawback to a corded mower is the electrical cord.
For any yard worthy of mowing, a long electrical extension cord is required to power the mower. This can be a minor annoyance, such as having to keep the cord free from getting tangled in trees and bushes, to a major annoyance when you drive over it and cut it into small pieces.
However, corded electric mowers require no gas, oil, or maintenance and, other than a blade sharpening from time to time, can perform reliably for years.
Battery-powered cars, power equipment, and tools have been around for a long time. The electric motors were strong and reliable enough, but the battery was not. Just a few years ago, an electric car could expect to go only 100 miles on a charge, and power tools and equipment didn’t last long either. In the past few years, battery technology has improved by leaps and bounds.
Electric cars can expect hundreds of miles on a charge and power tools and equipment can last a full day. This lithium battery technology found its way to lawnmowers and it has created a viable option for those consumers who don’t want gas and don’t want a cord. These battery-powered mowers are powerful, efficient, lightweight, and green. Many now use brushless electric motors, which are more efficient, produce more torque, and are longer lasting than the older electric motors with brushes.
How often should I mow my lawn?
Cutting the lawn too often and only cutting it when it gets overgrown are both unhealthy for a lush, beautiful lawn. The rule of thumb in the lawn-care industry is to keep the grass between 3 inches and 3.5 inches in length. This allows the grass to be long enough to thrive in hot, summer weather.
When cutting grass, never take more than a third of the blade at once. In other words, never cut more than an inch or so. Not only does this cause clumping of grass on the lawn or in the mower bag, but it takes too many nutrients and moisture from the grass itself.
After the late winter fertilizer treatments and the often heavy rains, lawns start to come to life. You’ll find that the grass will need cutting every 4 to 5 days in order to remove just enough length. As the summer wanes on and the temperature rises, the grass will grow a bit slower and a once week cutting is adequate.
It is also important to keep the blades of your lawnmower good and sharp. Since the lawnmower blades are often made of steel, they will develop a dull edge after a season of cutting. A dull edge on a blade will tear the grass and not cut it. This may result in browning of the tips of the grass and put more stress on the mower as well.
While you are under the deck checking those blades—and always disconnect the spark plug wire before going under the mower—be sure there is no old clumped up grass clinging to the mower deck.
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TJ is the Director of Content Development at Reviewed. He is a Massachusetts native and has covered electronics, cameras, TVs, smartphones, parenting, and more for Reviewed. He is from the self-styled “Cranberry Capitol of the World,” which is, in fact, a real thing.
Kevin Kavanaugh is a retired public school teacher and a product tester for Reviewed. Kevin has been cutting lawns for just about 50 years. He has always been intrigued by all things mechanical, be it watches, power equipment, vintage bicycles, or classic cars.
Ego Power 56V
Best electric push mower
- Folding design for compact storage
- Two-bushel bagger attachment included
- Self-propelled and variable speed
- Weather-resistant cutting deck
Cutting width: 21 inches | Power source: 56V battery | Self-propelled: Yes | Bagger included: Yes | Variable speed: Yes
The Ego Power 56V was named our number one pick on our list of the best electric mowers, and for good reason. The rechargeable battery gives you up to an hour of run time with full power, which is perfect for yards up to half an acre. A push-button start eliminates frustrating rip cords for near-instant engine turnover, so you can get started mowing your lawn seconds after you set up the mower.
It comes with a bagger attachment to collect grass clippings, but you can also use the mulching feature to create ultra-fine cuttings to re-feed your lawn between professional treatments. The bagger holds up to two bushels of cuttings, so you can spend more time getting yard work done and less time emptying the container.
The 21-inch cutting deck can be set to six different heights with the simple lever, and you can control the self-propelled speed with the intuitive squeeze throttle to go as slow as.9 MPH or as fast as 3.1 MPH. The deck is made of durable molded plastic to resist rust and corrosion that can ruin traditional steel cutting decks. And the entire mower folds down for more compact, vertical storage; which is perfect for garages and tool sheds that are on the smaller side. Dual LED headlights illuminate your cutting row for safer operation if you need to cut your grass in the early morning or late evening.