Lawn mower no wheels. How to Use an Electric Lawn Mower

How to Use an Electric Lawn Mower

Now that your dream mower is in front of you (or in your shopping cart), it’s time to rev your electric engine. You’ll want to review your manual for all the details on your specific mower model, but let’s start with a step-by-step guide on using your electric lawn mower. And don’t forget to check out our safety tips below – because safety is always a priority here at Greenworks.

Why Choose an Electric Lawn Mower?

If you want a smoother and more consistent mowing experience, an electric lawn mower takes the top prize. Cordless electric lawn mowers are hassle-free – charge the battery, click into place and you’re ready to mow. With an easy push-button start, no required maintenance and easy-to-store maneuverability, you can say goodbye forever to the hassle of gas mower pull cords and mid-mow refueling. Bonus: you can use your electric mower batteries on an arsenal of additional yard tools – your garage is a one-stop shop for anything you need!

How Do I Mow with a Battery-Powered Lawn Mower?

Great news: while electric mower models can vary, the basic mower anatomy is similar. Although mowers from other manufacturers may vary, c heck out our best practice guide to start mowing with a battery-powered mower. 1. Celebrate your sustainable and efficient electric lawn mower purchase.

Getting started with your new battery-powered lawn mower couldn’t be easier. No pull cords that hurt your shoulder and no dumping gas all over your driveway or yourself. Mowing your lawn has never been this easy – or enjoyable! 2. Charge your batteries.

Whether this is your first or fiftieth time using your electric lawn mower, you’ll need to make sure your batteries are charged and ready for mow time. Securely place your batteries into the designated charger and you’ll be powered up in no time. While your batteries are charging, you can get organized on the other fun parts of having an electric mower. 3. Decide if you want to mulch, bag or side discharge.

  • If you’re in the mood to bag your lawn, ensure your side discharge flap is flush with the mower. Take out the bagging plug before you clip in your bagger. Easy peasy!
  • If you’d like to mulch your lawn, check that the side discharge flap is flush and the mulching plug is in place. You’re good to go!
  • If you’re side discharging, unhook your lawn bag and stick in the plug. Next, attach the side discharge vent – ensure your grass clippings will discharge to the side, not in your face.

Set your cutting height.

You can easily adjust the grass-cutting height for all four wheels with the lever located near the back wheels. And with up to seven height options, you’ll love the versatility and customization of simply moving the wheels up and down.

Insert charged batteries.

Open the lid to the battery compartment and gently slide the fully-charged battery – or batteries, depending on your model – into place. You should hear the batteries click securely into place.

Great news – you can’t do this wrong because the batteries only can slide in one way. Insert the safety key into the correct spot next to the batteries (if applicable) and you’re ready to rev.

Start up your electric mower.

Batteries? Check. Mulch/side discharge/bag in place? Check. You’re ready to turn on your mower. Simply push and hold the start button, pull the start handle– and voila! Your battery-powered lawn mower will purr into action.

Explore your mower’s features.

It’s time. You’ve finally made it to the lawn! While you are basking in the joy of mowing with your new battery-powered lawn mower, take a moment to test drive some of the fun features that your model may have, like the self-propel and turbo options.

While you mow, you can glance at your battery indicator to check how much power you have left. Most models have a battery indicator next to the start button, so keeping tabs on your mower’s available power is easy.

Close it down.

Once your lawn is looking crisp and pristine, you are ready to power down your mower. Spoiler alert: you just need to push the on/off button. It’s that easy! Find a cozy spot in your garage or shed for storage and you’re good to go. If it strikes your fancy, you can even fold it in half and hang it.

Safety Tips for Your Cordless Electric Mower

Safety first, friends. We know you – and your new electric mower – are powered up and ready to start mowing. But before you do, we need to touch on a few critical lawn mower safety tips:

  • Protective eye gear: In a perfect world, we’d all have safety goggles at the ready – but if you don’t have a pair handy, make sure to put on protective eye gear like sunglasses or goggles. Add a baseball cap to help deflect any wayward pebbles or sticks that can launch your way – plus a hat will protect your face from the telltale “I just mowed my lawn” sunburn.
  • Take a look at your shoes: Yes, your shoes. Most of us don’t think twice about wearing flip-flops during warm weather – but that’s a big hazard for mowing your lawn. Closed-toed shoes are a must, whether they’re gardening clogs, Nikes or anything in between.
  • Check your batteries: We’re talking about the battery compartments in the front of your electric lawn mower. Before you lock and load your batteries, look closely at the battery bays to ensure there isn’t any moisture, standing water or leftover lawn debris hanging out in there.
  • Pay attention to the weather: We have all been there – rushing to get in a quick lawn mowing before rains. But don’t head out with your lawn mower into potentially dangerous weather – it’s not worth the risk! Thunder and lightning can begin much earlier than rain – so keep an eye on the sky and if it’s too close of a call, hold off on mowing until better weather has arrived.
  • Be a responsible mower: We know you will be – but it’s worth the reminder. Avoid mowing through standing water or close to where the kids or family pets are playing. And as tempting as it might be to elevate your mow time into a workout, keep a steady walking pace instead of running behind your mower. You’ve already nailed it on being environmentally responsible with your electric lawn mower – now just keep an eye on your surroundings.

Looking for more details on how to choose an electric lawn mower ? Check out the Greenworks mower buying guide and learn more about zero turn vs riding mowers and push mower vs. self-propelled.

Lawn Mower Wheel Won’t Turn? – Top 3 causes

Pushing a mower isn’t fun, especially a self-drive model, they’re even heavier. But help is at hand and you are in the correct place for self-drive repair. I’m a mechanic for over twenty years and I’ve repaired a ton of these types of issues.

A mower wheel won’t turn for three common reasons:

In this post, you’ll learn how to diagnose why your mower wheels won’t turn and you’ll learn how to fix them right now.

Mower Drive Belt Worn

Mower drive systems are driven by a belt and two pulleys. The belt is fitted to the engine’s crankshaft pulley which drives a second pulley on the transaxle. The drive belt works really hard, despite this they tend to last years without issue. Belts of course wear out over time, no big surprise there.

A worn belt commonly results in the belt:

Common symptoms of a worn-out drive belt include:

Checking The Belt

To check the belt, the mower will need to be turned on its side. But before we do that we’ll need to make it safe to work on and to that, we’ll remove the spark plug wire and turn the gas off (to prevent accidental starting).

Gas tap – If your mower has a fuel tap, turn it off. You can read all about finding and using your fuel tap here “Mower fuel shut off valve”.

A mower may only be turned over with the carburetor side facing upwards. Turning a mower incorrectly will cause the engine to flood with gas and oil, possibly preventing the mower starts.

Turn over – Mower carburetor side up, need help finding carburetor side? I wrote a post about turning your mower over correctly and you can read about it here, “Which way to tilt your mower”.

Is Belt On Both Pulleys, Loose or Worn Out?

Most mowers are rear-wheel drive and so the transaxle is located at the rear wheels. All mowers employ a shield on the underside of the deck, it protects the belt, pulleys, and transmission from flying debris. You usually don’t need to remove the shield in order to verify if the belt is on the pulleys, your view is obscured but you should see enough. However to replace a belt the cover will need removing. Have your WD40 to hand as old grass eats the shield bolts.

The belt on Pulley’s – With the mower turned over, air filter side up, check the belt is fitted around the transaxle pulley and crankshaft pulley.

Tight – If the belt is around both pulleys, go ahead and check it’s tight. A loose belt won’t transfer power. It may be loose because it’s worn or there may be a missing component such as a tension spring or perhaps the transmission itself employs an adjuster to remove belt slack by pivoting the transmission.

Many basic drive systems are adjusted by removing slack from the drive cable (see below).

Worn Out – A worn belt is the root cause of many a self-drive problem.

If the belt is in place, tight, and in good condition, then move on to the next section, the belt isn’t the reason your mower wheels aren’t moving.

If on the other hand your belt is loose, broken, or has jumped off, you’ll need to replace it. It’s possible to refit a jumped-off belt, but you’ll soon be refitting again. Belts usually jump off because they are worn out.

New Belt – Fitting a new belt is a job you can take care of, however, some mowers are challenging to work on. Many will require blade removal and some may require partial removal of the rear axle.

You may find this video helpful “Self drive troubleshooting”, which includes fitting a drive belt.

Mower Drive Cable Needs Adjustment

Mowers use a belt and pulleys to get power from the engine to the axle, but all that power is useless without control. Power is controlled by way of a transaxle lever, attached cable, and bail lever at the handlebars. Cables are just like bicycle brake or gear cables, they are a two-part component – black outer casing with a steel braided inner cable, and like a bicycle brake cable, they stretch out and break over time and need adjusting and eventually replacing.

All good drive cables will have a user-friendly adjuster that allows for easy drive cable adjustment.

How To Check If Your Mower Drive System Needs Adjustment?

Test – To check if your drive cable needs adjustment, apply the drive bail lever at the handlebars and drag the mower backways.

If the cable is adjusted correctly, the drive wheels will lock, if they slip, we’ll need to adjust. This whole process is covered below or checks out “Self drive troubleshooting video”.

How To Adjust The Mower Drive System?

Locate – First locate the drive cable, follow the cable from the transaxle to the bail lever to confirm you have identified it correctly.

Now look for an adjuster screw, commonly it’s at the handlebar anchor where the cable fixes to the handlebars, otherwise an inline adjuster may be fitted.

Open – All adjusters incorporate a lock nut. Open the lock nut and adjust the outer cable to remove slack from the inner braided cable.

Adjust – Lengthen outer to remove inner braided cable slack.

Test 1 – Before tightening up the lock nut, check by applying the bail lever and pulling the mower backways (as before). Wheels should lock, readjust until they do.

lawn, mower, wheels, electric

Test 2 – When it’s adjusted, pull the mower backways again, this time without the bail lever applied.

The wheels should turn freely. If they don’t, back off the adjuster until they do. Now your drive cable is in the sweet spot, go ahead and tighten the locknut.

Check out this post, “Honda self propelled slow” it covers a Honda drive adjustment in greater detail, but all mowers run similar setups. If you need video help check out the “Self drive troubleshooting” which covers many of the common problems.

Mower Wheels Worn

Most mower wheels are made from plastic and many use plastic gear inside the wheel. The axle drive gear which is metal, wears away the plastic wheel drive gear and the mower drive slips at first, before eventually losing drive altogether. The only fix is to replace the wheels, most wheels are inexpensive but some Honda wheels can be spendy.

To check the drive wheel we’ll need to remove them. A single fastener in the center of the wheel removes them. However, a plastic wheel cap will likely conceal the fastener. A flat screwdriver will pry loose the cap. Loosen and remove the fastener and the wheel pulls off.

Check – Check the gears inside the wheel, if they’re worn you’ll need to replace them. Best to replace both axle wheels. This is a Honda wheel and the gear is metal, they last longer than the plastic teeth but will wear out too. Check out “Fitting a wheel video”.

Drive Gear and Pin Wear

Drive Gear – While the wheel is off go ahead and check the drive gear and axle pins. They wear out on older mowers, learn more in this post “Honda mower slow”. or, if you need video help, check out “Self drive troubleshooting”, which covers wheel and drive pin replacing from start to finish.

Axle Pins – Axle pins transfer power from the axle to drive gear and are under constant stress, and are a common drive fault. Replacing is all covered in “Self drive troubleshooting”.

If you need new wheels, check out the Amazon link below.

Hey, I’m John, and I’m a Red Seal Qualified Service Technician with over twenty-five years experience.

I’ve worked on all types of mechanical equipment, from cars to grass machinery, and this site is where I share fluff-free hacks, tips, and insider know-how.

And the best part. it’s free!

The Best Hover Mower: 4 Reviews and Complete Buying Guide

The Swedes have brought the world many a great thing over the years — the Vikings, Abba, IKEA, and oat milk are just a few. One other invention that merits its place on any list of Swedish success stories is the hover mower, which was first introduced to the world by Stockholm-based brand Flymo in 1964.

These days, the number of hover lawn mower models out there runs into the hundreds, and this once very European turf-trimming tool is now finally starting to take off in North America, too. In this article, we take a look at why you might want to consider buying a hover mower and introduce you to our selection of the best hover mower out there.

Top 4 Hover Mower

California Trimmer RC190 Hover Mower: Our Top Choice

  • Gas-powered motor
  • Two engine models available: Honda GCV160 OHC Briggs Stratton 550EX OHC
  • 19-inch cutting width
  • Hard-wearing, tough, ABS injection-molded plastic deck
  • Wide-ranging 52″ adjustable handles provide extra reach
  • Durable steel blades
  • 2-year warranty for residential use

Buyers in the market for a petrol hover mower that offers the perfect combination of power and maneuverability might not need to look any further than California Trimmer’s RC190.

This petrol mower isn’t ever going to find itself on any featherweight podium, granted, but for those willing to handle a few extra pounds in return for oodles of power and a machine that offers Ferrari-like performance with a tank-like build and durability, the RC190 is well worth serious consideration.

What we like most about the RC190 is that, in spite of its ponderous weight, when it gets moving it offers incredibly smooth and easy handling.

We found it easy to work with in tighter areas around features on the lawn and a vast improvement on wheeled mowers on slopes. On uneven patches of lawn where a regular mower would be leaving alternately bald and barely trimmed patches, moreover, the RC190 left a pleasingly level, uniform cut.

Other attributes that win this machine our vote are its cordless design, 19-inch cutting width, and its ability to mulch as it cuts.

The bottom line? This isn’t the cheapest hover mower out there, nor the lightest, but for those with larger yards, sloping terrain, or who simply prioritize power and precision over price and weight, this machine merits its place somewhere very near the top of your shortlist.

  • Very maneuverable despite the heavyweight
  • Mulches as it cuts
  • Works very well on slopes up to 45 degrees
  • Tough, ABS injection-molded plastic deck
  • Adjustable cutting height (0.75” to 3”)
  • Reasonably priced
  • The weight — at a whopping 43 lbs with the Honda engine, this machine is considerably heavier than most of its competitors

BlueBird 20″ Hover Mower HM200

  • Gas-powered motor
  • 20-inch cutting width
  • Powerful Honda GCV160 engine
  • 3-year warranty
  • Durable High-Density Polyethylene (HPDE) deck
  • 5 to 3-inch cutting range
  • 3 choices of blade

An ever-more popular choice with greenkeeping teams on golf courses nationwide, this exceptionally well-made mower is one that packs every feature and design characteristic required for the perfect cut.

The HM 200 uses a beefy Honda GCV160, gas-powered, 4.4 HP motor that is capable of powering through even the most unkempt of lawns. It comes with three choices of the blade and boasts a 0.5”-3” cutting range that together allows you to dial in the mower’s configurations to your needs.

While weighty (36.5 lbs), the HM 200 retains good handling, with the potent Honda engine allowing the decking and blades to glide freely even in sub-optimal cutting conditions (damp, on clumpy or long grass, in bumpy terrain).

Barring its heavyweight, the HM200 is essentially a flaw-free machine, but the price tag is hard to justify given the similar performance offered by much cheaper models from other brands (see above and below). That said, this is a heavy-duty machine and if you envision putting it to pretty heavy use, then it may well be worth every penny.

The bottom line? This is a machine that ranks among the finest we’ve ever come across in terms of build and final cut quality, but its rather exorbitant price will rule it out for all but the most scrupulous yard owners.

To see the HM 200 in action, check out the following clip from BlueBird:

What We Like:

  • 20-inch cutting width
  • 3-year warranty for residential use
  • 3 choices of blades: reversible stainless steel, reversible nylon, or triple-edged co-polymer string
  • High-Density Polyethylene (HPDE) cutting deck with a steel handle
  • Extensive cutting range
  • The price…!
  • The weight — at 36.5 pounds before adding gas, this one’s likely to be a little too heavy to handle for some users

Toro HoverPro 550 Hover Mower

  • Exceptional cutting width (21 inches)
  • Very strong ABS injection-molded deck
  • 14” (35.5 cm) impeller for maximum lift and smoother mowing
  • Powerful 4-stroke, 160cc Honda GCV E-spec engine
  • Great handling in spite of heavy weight

With a 90-year history of producing mowers that have become the go-to turf trimmers of championship golf courses the world over, Minnesota-based brand Toro knows a thing or two about making extremely efficient and high-quality grass-cutting gizmos.

The HoverPro 550 continues Toro’s long tradition of almost peerless craftsmanship and makes our shortlist on account of a number of factors, but most notably bang for our buck. This model costs around half the price of the HM200 (above) but packs very similar features and comparable construction quality, power, and cutting capacity.

It is powered by the Honda GCV E-spec engine, which has been specially developed for continuous use on inclines and hilly terrain, packing a 4-stroke motor and cam belt oil transport system that maintains lubrication on even the most serious slopes.

The only downsides to this machine are its hefty weight and limited cutting range, both of which are easily forgiven for anyone keen to have a pro-quality cut without paying through the nose.

The bottom line? A nicely priced beast of a machine that’s a little on the heavy side but built to blitz inclines, overgrown grass, and take on bigger lawns.

See the HoverPro Series in action here:

  • Very reasonably priced
  • Excellent performance on sloping turf
  • Easy handling
  • Excellent power-to-weight ratio
  • 2-year warranty
  • Sturdy, durable steel blade

Flymo TurboLite 400 Hover Mower

  • [POWERFUL]: Blade hub spins at up to 7000 RPM To create a cushion of air to skim across the lawn
  • [CUTTING BLADES]: 3 rotating cutting blades provide a crisp, 11-inch wide, wheel-free cutting path – in any direction
  • [VERSATILE]: Ideal for sloped lawns, and small yards
  • [REPLACEMENT BLADES]: Quick easy cutting blade replacement – includes 3 replacement blades
  • [WE’VE GOT YOU COVERED!]: Your new lawn mower is backed by the snow Joe Sun Joe customer promise. We will warrant New, powered products for two years from the date of purchase. No questions asked. Contact snow Joe Sun Joe customer Support at 1-866-766-9563 for further assistance.

Last update on 2023-06-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

  • Weighs just 14.3 lbs
  • 30-foot cable
  • 13-inch cutting width
  • 1150-watt motor
  • 4 cutting heights

This Flymo turbo lite mower has essentially the same design that Flymo hover has used on its top-selling product for the best part of fifty years. And there are plenty of reasons why this design has withstood the test of time…

First up, the TurboLite 400 ticks the four biggest boxes that need ticking for your average domestic lawnmower: it’s lightweight, affordable, easy to use, and wonderfully efficient.

One of the greatest benefits of any hover mower is maneuverability, and the TurboLite offers this quality in spades. Weighing in at just 14.3 lbs and with a narrow, 13-inch cutting width, this mower can negotiate tight spaces like almost no other and is an absolute cinch to use on slopes.

On the downside, the Flymo hover mower TurboLite has a few limitations that will make it a less attractive option to some prospective buyers, particularly those with larger lawns. These include the short (30ft) cable length, its narrow cutting width, and the lack of a collection grass box.

The bottom line? Ideal for owners of smaller lawns and those looking for an efficient, fuss-free cutter that’s cheap, light, and superbly easy to use; not so ideal for owners of larger lawns or those in need of a powerful machine that can get the job done quickly.

  • Very easy to maintain
  • Great value for money
  • Easy handling
  • Lightweight
  • Ideal for smaller lawns
  • Limited cutting power
  • Relatively narrow cutting width
  • Short cable length
  • No collection box

Things to Look for in a Hover Mover

In the next few sections, we’ll be providing you with everything you need to know about a hover lawnmower to equip you with the knowledge to make the best decision for you.

The Advantages of a Hover Mower

The main benefit of choosing a hover mower over a wheeled mower is maneuverability. While with wheeled mowers you are restricted in terms of movement to the direction in which the wheels are facing and mowing in straight lines, hover mowers can be steered in any direction (backward, forwards, and sideways) with ease.

This is especially important if your lawn happens to be of an irregular shape and/or has features (walls, ponds, rockeries, flowerbeds, etc.) that make turning tricky and require a little better handling and agility.

Hover mowers are also generally a better bet on sloped or undulating lawns, mainly because the ‘air cushion’ created by the mower gives it a lighter feel when negotiating ups and downs in your lawn and allows for a smooth cut where wheeled models might bite into the turf.

Last but not least, hover mowers are, for the most part, simplicity defined. While most other types of mower require assembly and prep before use, with a hover mower you’re good to go as soon as you get the thing out of the box and plugged into a power source (if electric hover) or filled with gas.

The Disadvantages of a Hover Mower

On the downside, the majority of hover mowers are electric and mains powered, meaning your cutting will be limited to the length of your power lead, or need to fork out extra for an extension. While this might not be a problem with a small lawn, if your yard’s packing over 50 square yards of grass, then that means a lot of cables and a lot of extra handling when setting up and putting the mower away again — not to mention the potentially fatal danger of cutting the cord!

‘Domestic’ hover mowers are also typically designed to mow grass that’s reasonably well maintained and no more than 10-12cm long, with more powerful models maybe stretching to 15cm. If you tend to be a bit lax on the mowing front, therefore, and let your grass grow long between cuts, then a gas-powered mower might be a better bet as these tend to pack more power and are better equipped to deal with more unkempt, overgrown lawns.

Finally, one significant difference between hover mowers and other types of push mower is the former’s lack of features.

Many wheeled mowers allow you to stripe your lawn (a biggie for the aesthetically inclined) so it looks like the courts at Wimbledon, collect grass in a box as you cut, self-propel (ideal for the lazy gardener), mulch grass for on-the-go composting, and adjust the cutting height with the flick of a switch (with hover mowers, the task typically entails a lot of fiddling around that’s sure to see many a quarter go the way of the cuss-jar).


Another of the greatest benefits of opting for a hover mower over a gas-powered or rotary/wheeled mower is cost. On average, hover mowers cost a small handful of less than other types of mowers, leaving you with plenty of cash for that aforementioned cuss-jar.

Within the hover mower category, there are also significant price differentials and this is where it’s wise to be a more discerning buyer. If you happen to find what appears to be a bargain, be sure to read the specs carefully. Some common flags of poorly performing mowers are lower voltage/power, limited mowing width, non-adjustable blades, or just shoddy workmanship —something you can gauge by reading user reviews, preferably from buyers who have a few months of experience with the mower under their belt.

Again, how much you need to spend will ultimately come down to your yard and your cutting habits. If you have a large yard or tend to be a once-a-month kinda mower, then we’d recommend a more powerful (and expensive), gas-powered machine with a wide mowing width (in the 18-inch range). If you have a smaller lawn that you treat to trim at least once a week, then a cheaper mower with less power and a sub-15-inch mowing width will serve your purposes nicely.

Blade Material

Two materials are used in hover mower blades: plastic or metals.

The choice between the two is fairly simple: plastic blades cut less effectively and need frequent replacing but plenty of spares are usually supplied with the mower; metallic blades cut effectively and don’t need replacing (unless you get a touch clumsy around slabbing or don’t de-stone your lawn prior to cutting) but may require occasional sharpening, depending on how often you cut your lawn.

Grass Collection

To have or not to have, that is the question? Many a buyer is apt to think that the extra outlay of for a grass collection box on a mower isn’t worth it, usually when sat on their couch surveying the options. Fast forward a few days to when they’ve just finished their first cut and are staring down a slough of unsightly cuttings spread across the lawn and the first pangs of regret usually kick in quite quickly.

While hover mowers with collectors still tend to leave a little mess behind, in most cases this is negligible and will only be worth a second thought for hardcore perfectionists.

The bottom line? Raking up grass clippings after a cut can be time-consuming and an almighty pain in the posterior, and whether or not you choose a mower with a collector or without will come down to how much patience you have, how much time you have on your hands, and how averse you are to doing a job another model of mower could have done for you for just a few more bucks.

Lawn Size

The size of your lawn will all but dictate the best type of hover mower for your needs.

If your lawn happens to be around the size of half a tennis court or smaller, then a cable-powered model is probably the way to go—these machines are lighter, easier to maintain, and usually cheaper than gas-powered models, and an extension cord that lengthens your cutting reach shouldn’t cost more than a six-pack of beer.

If your lawn is approaching the size of a full tennis court, however, we recommend going down the gas-powered route. This will allow you to get your mow on without fear of cutting any cables and, in most cases, save lots of time.

Cutting Width

The cutting width on hover mowers ranges from around 12” to 21” and models at both ends of the size scale have their pros and cons.

Smaller (or narrower) models can only cut small amounts at a time but are, generally speaking, lighter and much easier to handle and maneuver than larger models. In practice, this essentially means it will take you more time to mow your lawn but you’ll have a better time doing it(!).

Motor Power

A direct correlation exists between the motor power your hover mower is packing and its cutting ability. As you might have guessed, the higher the wattage (in electric models) and horsepower (in gas models), the more juice the machine will be able to put into cutting through longer and thicker grass.

Having a hover mower with more power will allow you to trim your turf in only one pass and is particularly important for infrequent cutters or those whose lawns have problems with stubborn gatecrashers like rats’ tails or horsetail, which are tougher to cut and might come out of a once-over with a low-power machine unscathed.

As a ballpark guide to required motor power, we’d recommend anything in the 1100-1300-watt range for frequent cutters and anything in the 1400-1800 watt range, or any gas-powered model, for those with less time on their hands or rogue strains of weed in their lawn.

How to Use an Electric Lawn Mower. Electric Corded Lawn Mower

Tips for Making the Most of Your Hover Mower

  • Remove any stones or pebbles from your lawn before cutting as these can damage the blade on your machine.
  • When you start up your mower, tilt it a fraction backward or to the side. Doing so lets the blade clean off any remnant debris from the last cut and allows the airflow required for the machine to hover.
  • If your mower has a collector, try to walk in as straight a line as possible. This way, the grass clippings are deposited in the collector box and not to the side, which can happen with some models if your steering is less than perfectly straight.
  • Don’t mow over hard surfaces—if you’re approaching slabs, a path, or patio, save your blades and get the strimmer or weed eater out to finish off the job.
  • Watch that cable!

Best Hover Mower Brands

Flymo: This Swedish-based brand has had something of a monopoly over the market for decades. And with good reason…their products are affordable, well made, easy to use and maintain, and superbly efficient.

Black and Decker: This Maryland-based brand has a long reputation for producing high-quality home improvement products and boasts a small selection of functional but, truth be told, unexceptional hover mowers.

BlueBird: This US-based brand’s motto is “Tough. Rugged. Dependable.”, and their products are true to their word. The gas-powered HM160 and HM 200 models cost a pretty penny but are made to last, using HDPE materials and stainless steel throughout their construction.

80V HP Brushless Zero Turn Riding Lawn Mower

California Trimmer: This Washington-based brand was founded in 1935 and offers two very heavy-duty hover mower models, one of which is powered by a Honda gas motor and the other by a Briggs Stratton gas motor.

Toro: This Minnesota-based brand has been on the go for over a century and its HoverPro Series includes a trio of incredibly powerful, gas-powered hover mowers with 16-21″ cutting widths, making them a good choice for anyone with a lawn that’s on the large side.

Hover Mower FAQs

Q: Can I sharpen the blade on a hover mower?

A: If the blades on your machine are plastic, then the chances are you’ll be supplied with several replacement blades at the point of purchase. If they’re metallic, however, there are two ways you can go about restoring your blade’s edge if need be:

Place the blade in a clamp and use a file or grindstone to hone the edge, keeping the blade as close as possible to a 45-degree angle, as seen in the following video:

Get your protective goggles on and sharpen the blade by applying pressure to the angle of the cutting edge against the grinder.

In both cases, the objective of sharpening is to restore your blade to factor-degree sharpness, which is, perhaps surprisingly, not razor-sharp but closer to bread-knife sharp.

For more detailed instructions on sharpening your mower’s blade, check out this page from Family Handyman.

Q: How can I adjust the height of the blades?

A: This can vary from mower to mower, but with most models, you can alter the cutting height by adding or removing the spacers located between the blade and the deck or, in more advanced models, with a height adjustment lever.

Q: Why isn’t my hover mower hovering?

A: Hover mowers work by using air pressure from a fan above the blades to let the mower’s deck glide above the terrain. If anything restricts that flow of air then the mower will hover poorly or not at all. Some common culprits include grass buildup, wet conditions, overly tall grass on your lawn, and clumps of moss or thatch.

The solution? Wait for the grass to dry out if wet, clean out the area around the blades after cuts, de-thatch your lawn with a scarifier or rake, and/or mow your grass more frequently to prevent it from growing too tall (if this isn’t an option, give it a quick once-over with a strimmer before mowing).

Q: How should I store my hover mower?

A: One of the advantages of hover mowers is that they can be folded up or hung on walls and take up very little space. Ideally, they should be stored in a cool, dry location. For more ideas on tool and appliance storage, check out our guide here.

Conclusion: What’s the Best Hover Mower for 2019?

Our review found the best hover mower out there for treating your lawn to a professional-looking trim to be the California Trimmer RC190 Hover Mower. Whether you’re just looking for a highly efficient mower that lets you tick the garden chore box as quickly as possible or grooming your lawn for a backyard wedding, this mower is one that gets the job done with the minimum of fuss and to an exceptionally high standard.

Not only does it pack all the attributes we’d look for in a hover mower for larger lawns — powerful engine, robust design, adjustable cutting heights, and wide cutting width — but also comes in at a reasonable price compared to similar products from competitor brands.

If this one’s a little pricey for your tastes or budget, or you have a smaller yard, then both of the Flymo electric-powered mowers are excellent alternatives.

The Best Zero-Turn Mowers of 2023

These achieve the rare feat of making lawn mowing fun.

By Roy Berendsohn Published: Mar 1, 2023

When it comes to yard work, zero turn mowers do the impossible. They make lawn mowing fun. They accomplish this by putting unprecedented speed, control and maneuverability at the disposal of the person mowing the lawn. The so-called “zero turn” feature of these mowers converts a grass cutting machine into something akin to an amusement park ride. You steer the machine with two levers—the left lever controls the left wheel, the right lever the right wheel. With that steering setup, you can zoom over the landscape cutting straight lines, curves, or pivot the mower into and out of a corner. What’s not to like?

Read on to understand how these agile grass cutters work, how we go about testing them, and see some candidates that we’ve recently tested as well as some that we haven’t but that we think look particularly promising.

How Zero-Turn Mowers Work

A zero-turn riding mower consists of an operator platform, a frame and wheels, an engine (or battery bank), transmissions (or motors), and a pair of control levers commonly known as lap bars. In gas mowers, the engine powers a pulley system. One group of pulleys drives the blades, another group powers a pair of transmissions–one at each rear wheel. When you move the lap bar forward or back, you are directing the transmission to go faster, slower, or even turn the opposite way. When one drive wheel turns clockwise and the other counter clockwise, the mower pivots. When the wheels rotate at different rates, the mower turns in an arc-shaped path. When the lap bars are in the neutral position, the mower stops. Aside from a parking brake, there’s no other braking mechanism. Battery-powered zero-turn mowers work the same way, but have separate motors to drive the rear wheels and one for each blade inside the mower deck.

When it comes to transmission, most mowers have a Hydrogear EZT—a well-known and cost-effective residential-grade transaxle with a reputation for durability.

Some mowers use a deck stamped from one piece of steel, others use a deck fabricated from multiple pieces and welded together. A fabricated deck can be built from thicker steel at a lower cost than it would be able to be built otherwise. Once you’re talking about stamping metal as thick as 10 gauge (about 1⁄8 inch thick), the cost of stamping such a deck would push up the mower’s price beyond what most people are willing to pay. The decks in the mowers below range from 42 to 52 inches, a typical size in this class of product. When powered by these engines and the Hydrogear, these mowers will deliver a decent cut quality at their rated top speed of 7 mph. Note, however, that cut quality declines steeply if you maintain that speed in very thick grass or on uneven terrain.

As to the electric mowers, they represent the leading edge of the technology in this category. These are remarkable and expensive mowers powered by large-voltage lithium-ion batteries. If you’re interested in reducing mowing noise and simplifying your maintenance routine by eliminating gas and oil, they’re worth a look.

Selecting a Zero-Turn Mower

Everyone would like to select the biggest possible zero-turn mower with the hope of whittling a big grass cutting job down to size as quickly as possible. Reality usually intercedes because these machines are expensive and the wide range of options available today quickly drive up the cost. Roughly speaking, you start somewhere in the range of a mower with a 42-inch deck costing in the vicinity of 3200 to 3500 and move up in increments of 1000 to 1500 until you reach entry-level commercial-grade equipment that costs 7000 to 8000.

Again, speaking in terms of approximation, a mower with a 42-inch deck will cut a two-acre lot (that takes into account that the house, driveway, outbuildings and various landscape features are taking up some of that space). Use a mower with a larger deck to cut anything over two acres. But here’s the caveat. That entry-level ZTR mower (3200, say) with a 42-inch deck will wear out faster and need more maintenance than a mower with a 50-inch deck, a heavier frame, larger engine and higher quality transmissions, and thicker deck with more robust blade spindles, costing 4500.

In the simplest possible terms, you can cut a smaller area with a larger mower and expect more longevity out of the machine (not to mention a nicer mowing experience) or you can cut a larger area with a smaller machine and encounter more maintenance and a mowing experience that will be, we might say, a bit more rugged.

But there are still other factors to consider, in selecting a mower other than deck size and your budget. Larger mowers take more space in a garage or outbuilding. And a mower with a 50-inch or even 60-inch deck, as useful as it might be in getting the job done more quickly, may not fit through a fence’s gate, and it might be more difficult to maneuver in tight spots without creating scalp marks on the lawn from a lot of close-quarter pivoting.

Carefully consider all these factors when shopping for a mower: your budget, maintenance and whether you will perform that work yourself, mowing speed and time, maneuverability and trimming in tight areas, the importance that you place on your comfort while mowing, cut quality, longevity, storage, and access to the landscape.

How We Select and Test

There’s only one way to test a mower, and that’s to cut grass with it. But we also do more than mow.

We raise and lower the deck and adjust the seat. We look at service point access (the air filter, the spark plug, and the oil filter) and how easy it is to remove the deck. We mow approximately an acre with each mower, considering cut and mulching quality while running uphill, downhill, across washboard, and along sidehills. (On sidehills, we’ll mow surfaces pitched up to approximately 20 degrees; manufacturers generally recommend not going steeper than 10 degrees, but we like to be thorough.) We evaluate power and speed relative to cut quality—we investigate whether the mower delivers a decent cut mowing at full speed. When mowing in damp conditions, we look at whether the mower’s tires accumulate grass and how effectively it discharges moist clippings. Finally, we test maneuverability (these machines are, generally, very nimble) and how readily they come to a stop when you back off the lap bar control levers.