Top Rated Lawn Mower

It's just a question of knowing what to look for.

April 29, 2021household
Top Rated Lawn Mower

Lawn mowers are one of the essential tools for home care and maintenance, but it can be challenging to choose the right one for your needs.

There are so many different kinds of lawnmowers, in every possible price range, with various features and capabilities, and strong opinions on all sides.

The truth is, this wide variety that makes it so difficult to make the right choice, also means that there is a perfect lawn mower for everyone's needs, preferences, and budget.

It's just a question of knowing what to look for.

We've taken a close look at all the best and most popular lawn mowers on the marketplace today and broken them down by what they are good at, and who they are good for.

And we've also created a lawn mower buying guide so that you don't have to just take our word for it – you can read and judge for yourself.

Buying a lawnmower doesn't have to be a hassle or a headache when you have the right information and the proper assessment.

These are the best lawnmowers available today, and why they stand out.

Best Lawn Mower for Garden

EGO Power+ Cordless Lawn Mower

EGO Power+ Cordless Lawn Mower
EGO Power+ Cordless Lawn Mower

For years, conventional wisdom has been that electric lawn mowers don't have the power and durability of gas lawn mowers.

The EGO Power+ is putting that reputation in the past, with the most powerful battery-powered lawn mower yet. It has the performance of a gas engine, without the noise, fumes, and time-consuming maintenance.

The powerful lithium-ion batteries provide a long, 90-minute operation time, while the generous 20-inch deck of the EGO Power+ cordless lawn mower reduces the number of passes you need to maintain your lawn, saving time and ensuring that you'll never run out of batteries before the job is finished.

The Built-in LED headlights allow you to mow the lawn any time of day, even in fall and winter when the sun sets early, and this lawn mower starts with the simple push of a button.

Because it's battery operated, this lawn mower is quieter in operation, emits no smells, and easier to clean and maintain than a gas engine.

But the EGO Power+ lawn mower still has all the functionality you're looking for in a lawn mower; it allows you to mulch, bag, or side-discharge your clippings.

In the offseason, the IPx4 material is weather resistant and durable, and the whole machine folds flat for compact, secure storage.

It has a 5-year warranty, and fantastic reviews and ratings from experts and consumers alike, making it our top pick for this year.

The EGO is mostly assembled by the time you get it and very easy to use and setup.

You will however first need to charge the battery, set up the mulching guard, or install the bag. There is a side chute that comes with the lawn mower, but the attachment is not included.

You can ask EGO to send you one, and they usually don't charge you for it. The majority of people either mulch or bag which is why the side chute attachment is usually not included.

Once the attachments are installed, and the battery is fully charged, you all set to start lawn mowing.

There is no dealing with oil, gas or stabilizers. You also don't have to fuss about coping with spark plugs and pull strings either.

All you need to do is activate the green button and pull the handle back to get started. As a side note, you should either start the mower on a sidewalk or driveway.

If you are starting it on grass, push the mower up slightly, so there is no resistance against the blade when starting it.

Bottom line

EGO Power+ has made a lithium-ion rechargeable cordless lawn mower with all the cutting power and ruggedness of a gas mower.

Battery power makes it easier to start, quieter to operate, and simpler to maintain than a gas mower, but the long battery life, powerful engine, and wide cutting deck never compromise performance.

It's a true 3-in-1 mower that folds flat for easy storage.

LEGO Power Cordless Lawn Mower
LEGO Power Cordless Lawn Mower


  • Quiet operation with no gas fumes
  • Large cutting deck
  • Easy start
  • Long battery life
  • Rugged materials
  • Better for the environment than gas mowers
  • True 3-in-1 functionality


  • Battery kit not included

BLACK+DECKER BEMW482BH Electric Lawn Mower

BLACK+DECKER BEMW482BH Electric Lawn Mower
BLACK+DECKER BEMW482BH Electric Lawn Mower

Electric mowers are easier to start, easier to maintain, and better for the environment than gas mowers.

However, cordless mowers generally require expensive, proprietary battery kits, and often "lock you in" to using all the products from that brand that are compatible with those batteries.

BLACK+DECKER is a fantastic brand with a reputation for power and quality in tools, and this mower delivers everything you need without paying for an expensive battery system.

The BLACK+DECKER BEMW482BH has all the advantages of an electric mower: quiet operation, push-button start, easy cleaning and maintenance, and no fumes.

And the powerful 12-amp motor delivers all the cutting power you need to manage your lawn quickly and efficiently, making it an easy upgrade from a gas mower.

The BEMW482BH also has some nice design features that add to the ease of use and functionality of this mower.

It has rugged wheel treads for excellent control in thick, wet grass. It has an ergonomic grip for excellent maneuverability and comfort. And it conveniently folds flat for off-season storage.

In terms of mowing power, it has an excellent 17-inch deck for efficient mowing and a unique winged blade design with 30% better clipping collection.

6 levels of height adjustments give you the right grass height all year long, and a smooth underside makes it easy to clean.

Bottom line

BLACK+DECKER is an excellent brand, and the BEMW482BH delivers all the power, performance, and ease of use you could ask for in a corded mower.

Thoughtful design features in the handle and the blade make it efficient, and maneuverable, and this lawn mower is simple to maintain and store. It's our favorite corded mower this year.

BLACK+DECKER BEMW482BH Electric Lawn Mower
BLACK+DECKER BEMW482BH Electric Lawn Mower


  • No expensive batteries
  • 2-year warranty
  • Good size 17-inch deck
  • 6 blade height adjustments


  • Has to be bagged to operate

Sun Joe MJ403E Mow Joe

Sun Joe MJ403E Mow Joe
Sun Joe MJ403E Mow Joe

The Snow Joe Sun Joe Mow Joe MJ403E doesn't look like an ordinary, average lawn mower. Its distinctive shape represents a new level of attention to design and ergonomics in electric lawn mowers.

This corded electric mower has an impressive 13-amp engine and 17-inch wide cutting path, making it more powerful and more time-efficient than other electric lawn mowers.

It starts with the push of a button, operates with less noise than gas engines, and emits no unpleasant fumes.

It doesn't require fuel or oil for operation. The smooth undercarriage is easy to clean and maintain, by just brushing or hosing it off.

In operation, it easily converts from collecting clippings in a bag with a generous 12-gallon capacity to bagless, mulching mowing.

It has a 7-position height adjustment, allowing you to trim grass from just below an inch high, to nearly three inches in height, all with a simple adjustment.

This feature is great for year-round lawn maintenance, as healthy lawns need different heights in different seasons.

The Snow Joe Sun Joe Mow Joe MJ403E has large rear wheels and is a surprisingly lightweight mower, coming in at less than 32 pounds.

This makes it an excellent choice for young people or the elderly, as the lightweight and right wheel size make it easily maneuverable.

The safety switch makes it safer to use in a family setting, preventing unwanted starts or continued operation.

Bottom line

The Snow Joe Sun Joe Mow Joe MJ403E has an ergonomic, low-maintenance, easy-to-clean, streamlined design.

It's super lightweight and maneuverable, making it faster and easier than ever to keep your lawn in peak condition.

And the 7 position height adjustment allows you to have your lawn precisely the way you like it. We love how fast and easy it is to use, clean, and maintain the Sun Joe Mow Joe.

Sun Joe MJ403E Mow Joe
Sun Joe MJ403E Mow Joe


  • Very lightweight
  • Maneuverable
  • Easy to clean
  • Powerful 13-amp motor
  • Wide 17-inch cutting deck
  • 2-in-1 for bagging or mulching
  • Quiet, no fumes operation
  • Full 2-year warranty


  • Can be too back-heavy when the bag is full
  • Not designed for rugged use in rougher terrain; undercarriage has plastic parts that can break easily when it encounters rocks

DuroStar 16" 5-Blade Height Adjustable Push Reel Mower

DuroStar 16 inches 5-Blade Height Adjustable Push Reel Mower
DuroStar 16 inches 5-Blade Height Adjustable Push Reel Mower

Reel mowers may seem old-fashioned, but they are actually the best way to mow a lawn.

Power mowers have blades that tend to hack and tear at grass, even when the blade is very sharp.

This tearing action damages the plant fibers, leaving ragged edges that lose moisture and are more prone to disease and decay.

On the other hand, reel mowers have blades that shear the tips of the grass cleanly, like scissors, leaving a neat edge.

The grass is trimmed more efficiently and remains more healthy, retaining moisture and health.

Speaking of health, using a reel mower is an excellent exercise for a person as well. Using a reel lawn mower for 20 minutes burns 150 calories, and most of us need all the extra exercise we can get.

The DuroStar 16" reel mower is a fantastic way to take care of your grass and yourself at the same time.

The 16" wide cutting path and 5 blades provide clean, precise cutting in a wide path that saves time and reduces passes.

The whopping 10-inch high rugged wheels can comfortably manage all kinds of terrain, and lawn trimmings can easily be caught in the attached bag, or allowed to mulch naturally.

A reel mower requires no setup, little cleaning, and maintenance, making it fast and simple just to step out and mow the lawn.

The height can be adjusted from just half an inch in grass height to 2 inches, for optimal grass health and good looks.

No cords, no fumes, no starting, and no wasted time makes the DuroStar 16" reel mower an excellent choice for simple, straightforward, excellent care and maintenance of your lawn.

Bottom line

Reel mowers are best for those who care about the health and look of their grass, and the DuroStar is an excellent choice. 5 heat-treated, pre-sharpened rotary blades cut grass quickly and cleanly.

The 16" wide path saves time, and the attachable grass catcher makes cleanup a breeze.

Although it has big, rugged wheels, the overall size of this lawn mower is incredibly small and lightweight, making it easy to set up and easy to store between uses.

DuroStar 5-Blade Height Adjustable Push Reel Mower
DuroStar 5-Blade Height Adjustable Push Reel Mower


  • Little maintenance
  • Easy cleanup
  • No setup or starting – just grab it and go
  • Healthier Lawn
  • Good exercise
  • Easy height adjustment
  • Good for the environment
  • Big wheels and light weight make it easy to handle
  • 5 blades and 16" wide path for fast, efficient cutting


  • Not suitable for taming big, wild, weedy terrain
  • Requires more physical effort than a powered lawn mower

American Lawn Mower 5-Blade Reel Mower

American Lawn Mower 5-Blade Reel Mower
American Lawn Mower 5-Blade Reel Mower

There's no question that a reel lawn mower is better for the environment than any other kind.

They consume no fuel, emit no pollution, and trim the lawn without impacting any other part of the environment. The American Lawn Mower 5-blade reel mower is the most eco-friendly of all mowers.

Steel reel and steel side plates have a lighter environmental impact during manufacture than plastic, provide greater durability and a longer life for this lawn mower while you own it, and make it easier and more valuable to recycle than plastic, should you ever need to replace it.

The American Lawn Mower 5-blade reel mower has a broad, 16-inch cutting path and 5 blades for fast, efficient, scissor-like trimming of your grass.

It is lightweight and easy to use, with generous 10-inch wheels for excellent maneuverability.

This reel mower requires very little maintenance.

The blades will need periodic sharpening, and bearings should be checked and lubricated once a year or so.

The simplicity of design and high-quality materials mean that this lawn mower will last for decades with the proper care and maintenance, and won't end up in a landfill within a couple years, unlike many electric lawn mowers that are mostly made of plastics.

Bottom line

Pushing a reel mower is healthy for your body, has zero emissions, and grass trimmings are distributed along your lawn for natural decomposition, returning their nutrients to the soil.

The American Lawn Mower 5 Blade Reel Mower keeps your grass trimmed and healthy and is the most environmentally responsible way to maintain your lawn.

American Lawn Mower 5-Blade Reel Mower
American Lawn Mower 5-Blade Reel Mower


  • Little maintenance
  • Easy cleanup
  • No setup or starting – just grab it and go
  • Healthier Lawn
  • Good exercise
  • Steel ball bearing reel and steel side plate
  • Good for the environment, and creates natural mulch
  • Big wheels and light weight make it easy to handle
  • 5 blades and 16" wide path for fast, efficient cutting


  • The highest blade setting is 1.75 inches, which is still fairly short for most grasses
  • Will bind and halt on twigs and thick leaves

Greenworks 16-Inch Corded Lawn Mower 25142

Greenworks 16-Inch Corded Lawn Mower 25142
Greenworks 16-Inch Corded Lawn Mower 25142

The Greenworks 25142 is a corded mower that delivers the power and maneuverability you need to mow a small lawn easily and in comfort.

Although it is small in size, the 10-amp motor has plenty of power to deal with grass and weeds, and the compact 16-inch deck makes this lawn mower more agile than others.

It is a 2-in-1 lawn mower, with mulching or bagging, depending on your needs.

The excellent design of the grass catcher creates a smooth airflow from the blades to the back of the bag, meaning there's no need to rake or sweep after you mow, and you can get your lawn maintenance finished more quickly.

The smooth undercarriage helps to prevent buildup beneath the mower from slowing or stopping the blades, making it easy to operate and fast to clean.

Because the Greenworks 25142 is electric, it starts quickly, operates dependably, and is easier to clean and maintain than a gas mower.

Even better, it works more quietly and without the fumes of a gas mower.

It doesn't require expensive, proprietary batteries, and can cover a small lawn with just the length of an extension cord.

It's the perfect size to fit between flower beds, and the folding handles can even help you mow beneath low-hanging branches.

It has a 5-level height adjustment, and adjusts easily with a gear on top of the deck, to trim grass from 5/8 inch to 2-5/8 inch.

The folding handles make it easy to store in the offseason, and it weighs just 37.5 pounds.

Many people would have probably preferred a stainless steel cutting deck.

But because of its lightweight design, the 15-inch cutting deck is constructed from high-grade plastic.

Regardless, it still offers an excellent quality cut. The trick is to go with the highest setting and then just adjust the height adjustment lever as you go along.

Bottom line

Consumers and experts consistently rank the Greenworks 25142 as being the best mower for a small yard, and it's easy to see why.

This compact, lightweight lawn mower delivers significant power and efficiency with smooth operation, excellent maneuverability, and simple maintenance.

It's an excellent choice for a corded lawn mower for a small space.

Greenworks 16-Inch Corded Lawn Mower
Greenworks 16-Inch Corded Lawn Mower


  • Lightweight
  • Easy to operate
  • Simple to maintain
  • Excellent grass catching design
  • Narrow deck and maneuverable wheels


  • None

Worx WG779 Cordless Lawn Mower

Worx WG779 Cordless Lawn Mower
Worx WG779 Cordless Lawn Mower

Cold climates have special needs for lawn care and maintenance.

Grass (and weeds) seem to explode and thrive in springtime, requiring tough, durable lawn equipment and a lot of work for a few months a year.

But then long winters mean prolonged storage in unheated sheds and garages, which are difficult for gas engines.

For a beautiful lawn in a cold climate, you need a lawn mower that is easy to set up and use quickly when the weather is right, but also able to survive prolonged storage.

The Worx WG779 is a fantastic solution for the special demands of a cold climate.

This battery-powered lawn mower can operate for up to an hour or 5,000 square feet on a single charge, with plenty of power for hard use in the spring and summer.

But the batteries can be easily removed when not in use, without the regular fall and springtime maintenance that a gas mower requires.

The compact 14-inch deck and folding handles are ideal for long winter storage when it folds into a tiny size.

This lawn mower weighs just 33 pounds, and can simply be folded up and put on a shelf in cold weather, along with your other summer lawn gear.

The Worx WG779 10-amp motor provides excellent base power, while Worx Intellicut technology delivers extra power on demand, saving battery power for when it's needed, saving it when it isn't.

The foam-padded handle provides extra comfort when in operation, shielding you from excess vibration and reducing fatigue. It is a 2-in-1 lawn mower with a grass catching bag or mulching capabilities and has three adjustable blade heights.

Unlike many battery operated lawn mowers and lawn equipment, the Worx WG779 comes with batteries and a dual charging station, making this model more affordable than many battery-operated lawn mowers that require the purchase of additional battery kits.

Real-time indicators on the lawn mower deck show how much battery life remains on both batteries.

Bottom line

If you need a lawnmower with the power and durability to work hard in the spring and summer, then last for long winter storage and come out the following spring and start like a dream, the Worx WG779 is an excellent choice.

It delivers the power and performance you need when you need it, backed by the Intellicut technology, and folds down into a tiny size for storage when not in use.

It's a versatile, powerful, compact lawn mower.

Worx WG779 Cordless Lawn Mower
Worx WG779 Cordless Lawn Mower


  • Lightweight
  • Foam handles dampen vibrations
  • Long battery life
  • Easy cleaning and storage
  • Simple and quiet operation
  • Batteries and charger included with the purchase price


  • 14" deck requires more passes per square foot when mowing
  • Batteries take up to 4 hours to recharge between uses

Fiskars StaySharp Plus Reel Mower

Fiskars StaySharp Plus Reel Mower
Fiskars StaySharp Plus Reel Mower

The worst thing about a gas lawnmower is the maintenance: maintaining the correct fuel mixture; replacing air filters; adding oil and gas.

Not only is this maintenance time consuming and expensive, but storing these things takes up space in your shed or garage, and may pose an environmental hazard if spilled.

Lawn mower maintenance is also frustrating because for many people, mowing the lawn is a task that requires some spontaneity.

It's not a chore you can do at any time; it needs to be done when the grass is high, and you have time, and the weather is cooperating.

If those factors come together, it's best to seize the moment and mow the lawn right then, not pull out the lawn mower and discover that it needs maintenance work, won't start, or the batteries aren't charged.

If you are a "seize the moment" homeowner with little time for extra bother and maintenance, the Fiskars StaySharp Plus reel mower is an excellent choice for your lawn mowing.

A reel mower is fast, lightweight, and can go from storage to mowing in less than a minute.

Reel mowers cut grass more cleanly than powered mowers, helping your lawn stay healthier and more attractive with every mow.

Fiskars is a brand with a history of making the very best garden and lawn tools, and the StaySharp Plus reel mower is no exception.

But the Fiskars StaySharp Plus has some exceptional features that set it apart from other reel mowers.

The unique design of the Fiskars StaySharp plus has large front wheels and a cover that naturally throws grass clippings forward, ahead of the mower, rather than backward to land on your feet.

The Inertia Drive system in the reel delivers 75% more cutting power than other reel mowers, making quick work of weeds and twigs that may bind other reel mowers.

And the StaySharp cutting system has blades that never need sharpening, cutting your grass with care and precision year after year.

These advanced features and ergonomic design make the StaySharp Plus 40% easier to push than other reel mowers, making this reel mower exceptionally easy to use, even in overgrown lawns.

The 17-inch cut width is an excellent size for saving time and mowing efficiently, and the steel blades cut even tough grasses like Bermuda and St. Augustine.

Bottom line

The Fiskars StaySharp Plus is the perfect zero-maintenance lawn mower.

With blades that never need sharpening, no need for gas, batteries, or any other inputs, you can just grab it and go. 17-inch wide cutting paths help make your lawn mowing chore more efficient, and Fiskar's exceptional blades both cut and care for your grass.

The unique design of the StaySharp Plus tosses grass clippings forward, ahead of the mower, to mulch naturally, instead of backward to land on your feet and legs, requiring extra cleanup.

Fiskars StaySharp Plus Reel Mower
Fiskars StaySharp Plus Reel Mower


  • Grass trimmings are tossed forward for less mess and more efficient mulching
  • Environment-friendly
  • Never needs to have the blades sharpened
  • Ergonomic design is comfortable to push
  • Three-year warranty
  • Powerful and durable


  • Steel construction makes this reel mower heavier than even some electric lawn mowers, at 41 pounds
  • Reel mowers don't work very well on steep, weedy terrain

Great States 204-14 Push Lawn Mower

Great States 204-14 Push Lawn Mower
Great States 204-14 Push Lawn Mower

If you don't have a huge lawn and don't have a lot of money to spend, you may feel like it's not worth paying a few hundred dollars for a lawnmower.

But of course you have to do something; the neighbors or HOA will complain if you don't tend your lawn, and over time the cost of paying someone to mow your lawn for you quickly adds up to more than you would spend on purchasing your own mower.

For those looking for a reliable, inexpensive lawn mower, the Great States 204-14 is a perfect solution.

This is a simple push mower.

Compact, easy to store, easy to use. It's quiet and doesn't require fuel or batteries or maintenance.

It has only a 14-inch cutting path and only 3 height adjustments, but it has sturdy, razor-sharp steel blades and steel side plates that add strength.

The 8-1/2 inch wheels are made of high-impact polymer for extra durability, and the integral molded wheel tread provides additional traction on damp grass or rough terrain.

Reel mowers cut grass cleanly rather than tearing it, making your grass more healthy and disease-resistant. And pushing a reel mower is good exercise, making you more healthy as well.

Pushing a reel mower is more pleasant than a power motor, with no noise, fumes, or vibrations that are unpleasant for you or your neighbors.

There is no cord to watch out for or battery to monitor, meaning you can focus on the task at hand.

If you are genuinely price shopping, yes, there are more inexpensive lawn mowers on the market.

But the Great States 204-14 is made of high-quality materials, is well-designed, and works well. A cheap mower costs less money, but won't last as long.

Bottom line

If you need a durable, reliable lawn mower for a small space at a great price, the Great States 204-14 is highly recommended. Steel construction, sound design, compact footprint, and easy maintenance make this reel mower an excellent choice for those on a budget.

Great States 204-14 Push Lawn Mower
Great States 204-14 Push Lawn Mower


  • Little maintenance
  • Easy cleanup
  • No setup or starting – just grab it and go
  • Healthier Lawn
  • Good exercise
  • Steel reel and steel side plate
  • Good for the environment, and creates natural mulch
  • Less than 20 pounds makes it incredibly easy to handle


  • Only 4 blades reduce the efficiency of each pass
  • 14-inch cutting width requires more passes
  • Reel mowers don't work very well on steep, weedy terrain

DeWalt DCST920B Brushless String Trimmer

DeWalt DCST920B Brushless String Trimmer
DeWalt DCST920B Brushless String Trimmer

Even the best designed, most efficient lawn mower has a gap between the blade and the wheels, where it simply cannot cut grass. And many lawn mowers are designed to cut grass, not stiff weeds and other lawn debris.

For that job, and for edges and tight spots, it's best to have a string trimmer.

A string trimmer can trim brush and weeds, as well as edge and take care of narrow areas where a lawn mower won't fit.

The DeWalt DCST920B is an exceptional string trimmer, from the trusted DeWalt line of lawn and garden tools.

This battery-powered string trimmer is lightweight and easy to use, without the tough start of a gas engine or the limitations of managing an extension cord.

The brushless motor has the power to handle tough weeds and small twigs as well as grass, with a patented gear drive that maintains torque and speed even when working hard.

The DeWalt DCST920B has a 13-inch cutting swath, and the 0.080" line is bump fed to keep you working efficiently.

At just 8.5 pounds, you can trim, edge, and weed a large lawn without breaking a sweat.

Backed by the DeWalt brand, this trimmer has a 3-year warranty, 1-year free service, and a 90-day money-back guarantee.

Bottom line

For the best looking lawn, most efficient brush clearing, and sharpest edging, a string trimmer is the right tool for the job.

DeWalt is recognized for tools with power and durability, and this compact, lightweight, battery-powered string trimmer is our favorite.

The brushless motor and patented gear drive have all the power you need for any job, while the lightweight and long battery life see the job all the way through to the end.

DeWalt DCST920B Brushless String Trimmer
DeWalt DCST920B Brushless String Trimmer


  • Lightweight
  • Battery power means easy to start, low maintenance, easy cleaning, no cord to manage
  • Long battery life
  • Trims and edges over an acre on a single charge


  • Battery sold separately

Lawn Mower Buyer's Guide

A lawn mower can be a significant investment in your home maintenance, and you want to make the right choice to get a lawnmower that meets your needs and will last for a long time.

Of course, online reviews and user experiences can tell you a lot, but how do you know what lawn mower is right for you?

Here are some important things to consider that will help you make the right decision.

What Kind of Lawn Care Do You Need?

Before you start shopping for lawn mowers, it's a good idea to walk around and take a careful look at your lawn itself.

The features of your property, plants, and landscaping play a dominant role in determining what kind of lawn mower is right for you.

If you've already been mowing your lawn for years, you are probably intimately familiar with its quirks, but even if you know it well, consider the following:

How big is your lawn?

When thinking about how big your lawn is, it's easy to just equate it to how large your property is.

But remember that your entire property is probably not lawn suitable for mowing; take into account trees, flower and vegetable beds, rough terrain, and so forth.

The more lawn you have to mow, the bigger, more powerful, and more durable your mower need to be.

Generally speaking, if you need to mow an acre or more, it's a good idea to consider a riding mower. If you are mowing an acre or less, a walk-behind mower will do.

Put differently, if you use a walk-behind mower and it takes more than an hour to mow your lawn, you may want to consider a riding mower instead.

How level is your lawn?

If you have a lot of steep hills or deep dips in your lawn, most mowers will struggle to do a good job, and the bigger they are, the more difficult it will be.

Consider things like how difficult it will be for you to push a mower uphill or drag it back up from a dip, or whether a large, flat mower is likely to high-center on a rise or hillock.

Generally speaking, if you are managing a single hill or gentle incline, a small mower may be adequate for the job. For very uneven, rough terrain, a string trimmer is usually the preferred tool.

What kind of grass do you have?

Any mower will do an excellent job with soft, tender, golf-course grass.

But if you have tough, southern grasses like Bermuda, Bahia, Bluegrass, or St. Augustine, or even just have a weedy lawn and trees that drop twigs and tough leaves, you will need a more robust lawn mower, with blades that can manage tougher plant fibers.

Generally speaking, reel mowers don't do an excellent job with weeds and tough grasses; the scissor action of the blades easily binds on tough plant fibers, although the best, highest-quality reel mowers are sometimes up to the job.

But if you have tougher plants and grasses in our lawn, an electric or gas lawn mower is better.

What level of maneuverability do you need?

Will you need to maneuver around scattered trees, flower and vegetable beds, lawn furniture or play equipment, you will need a more maneuverable lawn mower than if you have a broad, straight area to mow.

Generally speaking, a lawn mower with a smaller deck or blade length and wheels that are closer to the blades will be more maneuverable than a broader, flat mower with wheels placed at the outside corners.

The overall weight of a lawnmower also influences maneuverability.

How should your lawn mower be powered?

Once you have determined the essential features of your lawn or property, the next most important consideration is how you will power your lawnmower.

There are pros and cons for each kind of power source, and they are a significant factor in your lawn mower decision.

  • Gas engines

Gas engine lawn mowers are, obviously, powered by a gasoline engine.

Like the engine in a car, they need gasoline for fuel, and, also like a car, they need oil to lubricate the engine, and airflow to combust properly.

Gas-powered lawn mowers need appropriate refueling and oil changes, and will periodically need new air filters and new spark plugs. These types of lawn mowers are most famous for having a pull-start that is challenging and frustrating for many people.

Gas Engine Pros

  • Very powerful lawn mowers
  • Most riding mowers are gas powered
  • No need to manage a cord
  • No worry about running out of battery power or waiting for a battery to charge
  • Easy to maintain and repair yourself, if you are familiar with engines

Gas Engine Cons

  • They can be difficult to start
  • They are noisy to run
  • They emit gas engine smells
  • Require a lot of regular maintenance
  • Bad for the environment
  • Require a lot of storage area for gas, oil, spare filters and spark plugs, tools, etc.
  • Require a lot of seasonal maintenance before putting it into storage for the winter, and after taking it out of storage for the winter

Generally speaking, gas engines are best if you have a huge lawn, have a lot of tough grass and weeds, and are comfortable troubleshooting and maintaining the engine yourself.

  • Corded electric engines

Electric motors are easier to start, more comfortable to operate, easier to clean, and easier to maintain than gas engines. They are also quieter and more environment-friendly than gas engines.

The most common electric powered lawn mowers are powered with a cord.

The extension cord becomes an important accessory, since it needs to be rated for outside use, easy to see, and is a common failure point in these lawn mowers.

Like gas engines, they need periodic maintenance, but it is generally confined to regular cleaning and sharpening of the blade (which have to be done for gas engines as well).

However, if/when they break down, they are more difficult to troubleshoot and repair, and usually require a professional.

Corded Electric Mower Pros

  • Quieter operation
  • Better for the environment
  • Easy to start
  • Lighter in weight than gas engines
  • Less vibration during use
  • Less maintenance
  • Easier to just plug-in-and-go, without worrying about storing over winter

Corded Electric Mower Cons

  • Can only travel as far as the length of your extension cord
  • Must be constantly aware of extension cord to keep from running over it
  • Less powerful than gas engines
  • More difficult to repair

Generally speaking, electric lawn mowers are preferred for their lighter weight, ease of operation, and low maintenance.

However, if you have a lawn larger than your extension cord, or need a very powerful mower, a corded lawn mower may not be right for you.

  • Battery powered electric lawn mowers

As with cars, manufacturers are turning away from gas engines and toward battery power.

Battery power gives you the freedom to not be hampered by a cord, while still enjoying all the advantages of an electric lawn mower.

For most people, the biggest drawback of battery-powered lawn mowers is that many manufacturers sell the batteries and chargers separately from the mower, and they are expensive and are usually proprietary to that brand.

So you have to commit to purchasing expensive batteries from that manufacturer forever, and it tends to also commit you to that manufacturer's entire product line for lawn care.

You don't want to buy one expensive battery system for your string trimmer, and another for your mower, and another for your hedge trimmer, for example.

This proprietary battery situation makes it essential to do a lot of research before buying a battery operated lawn mower.

In addition to comparing the features of lawn mowers, you need to compare the features of the batteries: how long do they last? How quickly do they charge?

If you will go on to buy other lawn equipment that is compatible with that battery system, then it's also important to buy from the best, most reliable brands, with great warranties and exceptional service.

Battery powered lawn mowers have a lot to offer for convenience, but they can also open the door to a significant commitment.

Battery Powered Pros

  • Good for the environment
  • No need to be tethered by a cord
  • No need to monitor a cord
  • Quiet operation
  • No unpleasant odor
  • Low maintenance
  • Grab-and-go convenience
  • Less vibration reduces fatigue
  • Easy to start
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to store

Battery Powered Cons

  • Battery powered lawn mower cons:
  • Less power than either gas or corded lawn mowers
  • Battery systems can be expensive
  • Battery life may not last long enough to mow a large lawn
  • Battery may take a long time to charge
  • Less reliable and durable than other kinds of lawn mowers

Ultimately, battery power is the best for convenience, but they are the least powerful for tough jobs, and least reliable over the long term, because either the battery or the charger or the lawn mower itself can have problems.

It is also difficult to estimate ahead of time whether a single charge of a battery will last long enough for a big job: manufacturers tend to estimate battery life much longer than actual users experience.

If your lawn takes more than a half hour to mow, you may need to pause and recharge or swap batteries mid-task. However, we can only expect these technologies to improve in the coming years.

  • Human-powered lawn mowers

They may seem old-fashioned, but push mowers or reel mowers are still an excellent solution for many lawns. Push mowers are, of course, the most environment-friendly way of maintaining your lawn, requiring no external energy or fuel other than what you provide.

They are also the quietest and emit no odor but the scent of fresh-cut grass.

The blades of reel mowers are also the best way to cut your grass; they cut cleanly, with a sharp, scissor-like action that cuts the grass without damaging it. Other mowers tear at the tips of grass, damaging the fibers, causing them to lose moisture and leaving them vulnerable to disease.

This scissor action works best on tender blades of grass, and reel mowers frequently pause and bind when they encounter tough plant fibers or twigs. These obstacles are quickly removed, but on a lawn with a lot of weeds and debris, they can be a challenge.

Reel mowers also don't work well when grass is longer than 6 inches, and people have the best success with reel mowers when they do frequent, easy cutting than when they let the lawn grow for more extended periods.

Finally, it may seem obvious, but reel mowers are the healthiest option for a person as well, giving an excellent form of regular exercise.

Reel Mower Pros

  • No energy consumption
  • Natural mulching
  • No excess noise or fumes
  • Easiest mowers to maintain and repair
  • Most reliable
  • Easy to grab-and-go
  • Best for healthy grass
  • Best for healthy people

Reel Mower Cons

  • Can bind on tough grasses, twigs, and weeds
  • Don't effectively cut very tall grass
  • Require more physical strength and effort

Overall, reel mowers are an excellent choice for a small lawn with tender greens, because they are inexpensive, easy to use, easy to maintain, and require little effort. If it takes you less than 15 minutes to mow your lawn, a reel mower might be the best choice for you.

Which Lawn Mower Features Matter Most?

Walk-behind mowers can have some features that may be important to you, depending on your needs and situation. Here are some of the most important features to be aware of.

Blade width

Lawn mowers are generally categorized by the width of the blade, which indicates how wide a cutting path that lawnmower will create.

A long blade cuts more grass with each pass, reducing the overall time it takes to mow your lawn. A short blade is more maneuverable, giving you easier access to tighter areas and smaller spaces.

A long blade is more efficient and mows faster, but these machines are often heavier, more cumbersome, and more prone to struggle on uneven terrain.

On the other hand, a short blade is less efficient, but more lightweight and maneuverable, and often less expensive.

Height adjustment

Almost all lawn mowers allow you to adjust the height of the blade(s) to cut your grass to different lengths.

For most people, grass height is simply a matter of preference, and some prefer it shorter while others prefer it longer.

However, there are actually good reasons to adjust the blade height depending on the kind of grass you have, and the time of year.

Mowing to the right height helps to keep your grass strong and healthy, which in turns looks better, more water efficient, and reduces weeds.

As a rule of thumb, you should never cut more than 1/3 of the length of your grass in a single mow.

If your grass has gotten long between mowings, mow the lawn at the highest height possible, then mow it again with a lower blade 4-5 days later.

The best practice is to think of mowing your lawn like trimming your hair, rather than cutting your hair. Frequent trims of the tips of the blades keep the grass and lawn healthy and thriving and allow the cuttings to easily mulch themselves naturally without needing to be bagged and removed.

Mulching, bagging, and blowing

Speak of mulching, most lawnmowers come with an optional bag attachment to collect the clippings, or you can mow without a bag for mulching.

Mulching is the process of allowing your grass trimmings to fall naturally onto the soil, where they are broken down and act as compost, returning their nutrients to the ground of your lawn.

It's the simplest and most effective way to feed your garden while mowing it at the same time.

However, grass that is too long and/or too wet can form clumps that stay on top of the lawn and dry out, looking unattractive.

Many people prefer to collect grass trimmings into a bag, where they can be easily composted or disposed of without leaving clumps on the lawn.

Finally, some mowers have a side disposal feature, where clippings are blown out to the side of the mower.

This can be convenient because it keeps grass clippings from collecting on your shoes, where they tend to fall in a walk-behind mower.

In many of these mowers, this air flow also helps to create a vacuum effect, where blades of grass are sucked up higher to help them reach the blades of the mower, helping you mow more efficiently.

However, when mowing near a sidewalk or driveway, this method can also create a spray of messy grass trimmings that need to be cleaned up later.

If you follow the best practices and keep your grass 1-1/2 to 2 inches high, never take off more than 1/3 of the grass length, and trim your grass frequently, mulching is the best way to manage grass clippings.

It's easy, natural, and promotes the health of your lawn. But you may need other options depending on your schedule, lawn, and climate.

Number of blades

We generally see the number of blades in relation to reel mowers, where more is better, in terms of efficiency and speed of cutting grass.

Reel lawn mowers with fewer blades are generally less expensive, but also less efficient.

Engine power/battery power

Engine power or battery power in modern lawnmowers tend to come within industry standard ranges, and honestly doesn't make a huge difference in the performance of a lawn mower, unless you have very tough grass, weeds, or lots of tree and leaf litter.

Remember that, while we tend to talk about engines in terms of amps, amps are simply a measure of current, and watts are a measure of power.

Amps multiplied by volts equals watts, and 746 watts equals 1 horsepower.

Which is a long way of saying that a reel mower, pushed by a person, operates at 3-4 horsepower, which is often the same or more horsepower than most electric- or gas-powered lawn mowers generate.

Most people won't notice a significant performance difference between a 10-14 amp engine in a lawn mower and will need to nearly double battery power to see a performance change.

For most people, if they have a particularly tough area of their lawn, full of tall, strong grasses, weeds, and tree litter, the best solution isn't to buy a more powerful lawnmower.

The best solution is to use a string trimmer, which is designed for that kind of job.


The larger your lawn and the more frequently you mow, the more important ergonomics becomes. Many lawnmowers have foam or rubber hand grips designed to absorb and reduce vibration.

This is important because engine vibrations can cause fatigue and be unhealthy over long periods.

Lawn mowers are designed with a wide array of handles, grips, and safety switch placements that can significantly influence your comfort.

It may sound strange, but it's an excellent idea to "try on" a lawn mower before you buy it, making sure that the handle is adjustable to your height, and can be held comfortably for extended periods.

Make sure that your back is straight and comfortable, and your arms are at a natural angle.


The more money you are investing in a lawn mower, the more important the brand name becomes.

If you only expect your lawn mower to last a couple of years, then it doesn't matter as much.

But when you are making a long-term investment, you want a brand with a great reputation, excellent support, and a reliable warranty.

And even when the warranty expires, a lawn mower from a good, well-known brand will be easy for any service center to repair or find parts for, ensuring you get the most long-term value from your lawn mower.

In fact, taking a trip to your local service center and asking for brand recommendations in lawn mowers can give you valuable information about the durability, reliability, service record, and ease of repair of the most popular lawn mower brands.


As important as the features of a lawn mower are while you are using it, remember that, in reality, your lawn mower will spend 99% of the time in storage.

No matter what kind of lawn mower you have, it should always be kept indoors, in a shed or garage, and should never be kept out in rain or weather.

Water will damage a gas engine, rust steel bolts, and blades, and hamper the performance of your lawn mower.

It may seem faster and more efficient to get a large lawnmower, but make sure that you have ample indoor space to store it when it isn't in use.

Many lawn mowers have features designed for compact storage, including handles that fold down.

Keeping all these factors in mind will help you know which lawn mower features are the most valuable and useful for your needs, your lawn, and your preferences.

You will find that some features are important to you and worth paying extra for, and some features won't make a practical difference in how you use or enjoy your lawn mower.

Mowing wet grass

Even though you may prefer to mow the lawn when the air is cool, you should not mow grass when its wet.

Fibers in leaves usually get tougher when they are wet, so cutting takes extra work and it also wears the blades down more frequently.

Also, if you're mulching your clippings, your lawn is not going to look good with wet mulch everywhere, plus damp mulch usually gets moldy and clumpy.


A lawn mower can be a significant investment and not just of your money.

It's a tool you will use over and over again and can make a huge difference in your quality of life, and in the appearance, health, and your enjoyment of your lawn.

The right lawn mower can be a pleasure to use, and keep your lawn in peak condition.

And now you have all the information you need to make the best choice for your garden and your needs.

These are the best, most useful, most reliable lawn mowers available this year, and you can enjoy yours for years to come.