15 Different Types of Lawn Mowers Explained. Width of lawn mower

Lawn Mower Cutting Widths 101: Everything You Must Know

Cutting width refers to the width of grass that a lawn mower can cut in a single pass. It is typically measured in inches or centimeters and is determined by the size of the mower deck, which is the part of the mower that contains the blade(s) and makes contact with the grass.

For example, if a lawn mower has a cutting width of 20 inches, it means that the mower deck is 20 inches wide and can cut a strip of grass that is 20 inches wide in a single pass. The cutting width of a lawn mower can vary depending on the type and model of the mower, with push mowers typically having narrower cutting widths than riding mowers.

Measuring the Cutting Width

Measuring the cutting width of a lawn mower is relatively simple. You can measure it by taking a tape measure and measuring the distance between the left and right edges of the mower deck, which will give you the cutting width in inches or centimeters. It’s important to note that the actual cutting width of a mower can be slightly different from the advertised cutting width due to factors such as the angle of the blade and the height of the grass being mowed.

impact of cutting width on mowing time

The cutting width of a lawn mower can have a significant impact on the amount of time it takes to mow a lawn. Generally, a mower with a wider cutting width will be able to cover more ground in less time than a mower with a narrower cutting width.

For example, if you have a large lawn and a mower with a cutting width of 20 inches, you will be able to mow more grass with each pass than if you were using a mower with a cutting width of only 16 inches. This means that you will be able to complete the job faster and with fewer passes, reducing the overall time and effort required for mowing.

On the other hand, a mower with a narrower cutting width can be advantageous in certain situations. For instance, if you have a small lawn with lots of obstacles such as trees, bushes or garden beds, a mower with a narrow cutting width will be easier to maneuver around these obstacles and ensure that you don’t miss any patches of grass.

It’s worth noting that cutting width is just one factor that can impact mowing time. Other factors such as the speed of the mower, the height of the grass, and the terrain can also play a role. However, the cutting width is an important consideration to keep in mind when choosing a lawn mower and planning your mowing schedule.

Narrow vs. wide cutting widths

When it comes to lawn mowers, the cutting width can vary widely from model to model. Narrow cutting widths typically range from 14-18 inches, while wide cutting widths can range from 20-30 inches or more. Both narrow and wide cutting widths have their own unique benefits and drawbacks, which we will explore below.

Benefits of Narrow Cutting Widths

  • Maneuverability: A narrow cutting width is ideal for small lawns or areas with tight corners, trees, or flower beds. It is easier to maneuver around obstacles with a narrower deck, allowing you to cut the grass more efficiently and accurately.
  • Lightweight: Mowers with narrow cutting widths are generally lighter in weight than those with wider cutting widths, making them easier to push around.
  • Cost: Narrow cutting width mowers tend to be less expensive than those with wider cutting widths, making them a good choice for those on a budget.

Drawbacks of Narrow Cutting Widths

  • Slower mowing: A narrow cutting width means that you will need to make more passes over the lawn to mow it completely, which can be time-consuming and tedious.
  • Limited coverage: Mowers with narrow cutting widths cover less ground with each pass, so they are not ideal for larger lawns or commercial properties.

Benefits of Wide Cutting Widths

  • Faster mowing: A wider cutting width means that you can cover more ground with each pass, which translates into faster mowing times.
  • Efficient: Mowers with wider cutting widths are more efficient for larger lawns, as they require fewer passes to get the job done.
  • Comfort: A wider cutting width can make mowing more comfortable, as it reduces the amount of time you spend pushing the mower.

Drawbacks of Wide Cutting Widths

  • Heavy: Lawn mowers with wide cutting widths are generally heavier than those with narrow cutting widths, making them more difficult to push around.
  • Maneuverability: Mowers with wider cutting widths are not as easy to maneuver around obstacles or tight corners as those with narrower cutting widths.
  • Expensive: Lawn mowers with wider cutting widths tend to be more expensive than those with narrow cutting widths, which can be a drawback for budget-conscious buyers.

In summary, choosing between a narrow and wide cutting width depends on the size of your lawn, the type of terrain, and the presence of obstacles. If you have a small lawn with tight corners and obstacles, a narrow cutting width is likely the best choice. If you have a larger lawn with relatively flat terrain, a wide cutting width may be the more efficient option.

Factors that affect cutting width

The cutting width of a lawn mower is affected by several factors, such as the size and shape of the lawn, the terrain, and the type of mower being used. Understanding these factors is important to determine the ideal cutting width for your specific needs.

  • Lawn Size and Shape: The size and shape of your lawn play a significant role in determining the ideal cutting width. If you have a small, irregularly shaped lawn, a narrow cutting width may be the most efficient option. Conversely, a large, open lawn with few obstacles may benefit from a wider cutting width.
  • Terrain: The terrain of your lawn also affects the ideal cutting width. For instance, if you have a lawn with uneven terrain, a narrower cutting width may be more effective as it allows for greater precision in areas with bumps and slopes. A wider cutting width may be better suited for flat terrain, as it allows for more efficient mowing.
  • Type of Mower: Different types of mowers have different ideal cutting widths. For example, a push reel mower typically has a narrower cutting width than a gas-powered riding mower. Electric mowers also tend to have narrower cutting widths than gas-powered mowers.
  • Grass Type and Density: The type and density of your grass can also impact the ideal cutting width. Some types of grass are more easily damaged than others, and require a narrower cutting width to avoid harming the roots. Additionally, thick or dense grass may require a narrower cutting width to ensure that all areas are mowed evenly.
  • Desired Cutting Height: Finally, the desired cutting height of your lawn can also impact the ideal cutting width. If you prefer to keep your lawn at a longer length, a narrower cutting width may be more appropriate to avoid damaging the grass. Conversely, if you prefer a shorter cut, a wider cutting width may be better suited to ensure that all areas of the lawn are evenly trimmed.

In summary, the ideal cutting width for your lawn depends on a variety of factors including lawn size and shape, terrain, mower type, grass type and density, and desired cutting height. Considering these factors can help you determine the most efficient and effective cutting width for your specific needs.

Choosing the right cutting width for your lawn

Choosing the right cutting width for your lawn is important to ensure efficient and effective mowing. Here are some tips to help you determine the best cutting width for your lawn:

  • Measure your lawn: The first step in determining the ideal cutting width is to measure your lawn. Use a measuring tape to determine the length and width of your lawn. This will give you an idea of the total area that needs to be mowed.
  • Consider lawn size and shape: As discussed earlier, the size and shape of your lawn can impact the ideal cutting width. If you have a small, irregularly shaped lawn, a narrower cutting width may be the most efficient option. If you have a large, open lawn with few obstacles, a wider cutting width may be more appropriate.
  • Evaluate terrain: The terrain of your lawn also affects the ideal cutting width. If you have a lawn with uneven terrain, a narrower cutting width may be more effective as it allows for greater precision in areas with bumps and slopes. A wider cutting width may be better suited for flat terrain, as it allows for more efficient mowing.
  • Consider mower type: Different types of mowers have different ideal cutting widths. Consider the type of mower you have or plan to purchase, and choose a cutting width that is appropriate for that type of mower.
  • Evaluate grass type and density: The type and density of your grass can also impact the ideal cutting width. If you have a dense or thick lawn, a narrower cutting width may be necessary to ensure that all areas are mowed evenly.
  • Determine desired cutting height: Finally, the desired cutting height of your lawn can also impact the ideal cutting width. If you prefer a longer cut, a narrower cutting width may be necessary to avoid damaging the grass. If you prefer a shorter cut, a wider cutting width may be necessary to ensure that all areas of the lawn are evenly trimmed.

In summary, determining the ideal cutting width for your lawn depends on several factors including lawn size and shape, terrain, mower type, grass type and density, and desired cutting height. Consider these factors when choosing a cutting width to ensure efficient and effective mowing.

Adjusting the cutting width on all types of mower

The process for adjusting cutting width on a mower may vary depending on the type of mower you have. Here are some general guidelines for adjusting cutting width on push mowers and riding mowers:

Push Mowers

  • Locate the height adjustment lever: Most push mowers have a lever located on each wheel that adjusts the cutting height. To adjust the cutting width, you will need to adjust the height of the wheels on one side of the mower.
  • Adjust the wheels: To widen the cutting width, adjust the height of the wheels on one side of the mower to be higher than the other side. This will angle the blade and increase the cutting width. To narrow the cutting width, adjust the height of the wheels on one side of the mower to be lower than the other side.
  • Test the cutting width: After adjusting the wheel height, test the cutting width by mowing a small section of your lawn. Make additional adjustments if necessary until you achieve the desired cutting width.

Self-Propelled Mowers

  • Locate the adjustment lever: The cutting width adjustment lever on self-propelled mowers is usually located near the rear wheels.
  • Adjust the lever: To widen the cutting width, move the adjustment lever to a higher setting. To narrow the cutting width, move the adjustment lever to a lower setting.
  • Test the cutting width: After making the adjustment, test the cutting width by mowing a small section of your lawn. Make additional adjustments if necessary until you achieve the desired cutting width.

Riding Mowers

  • Locate the adjustment lever: The cutting width adjustment lever is typically located near the operator’s seat on a riding mower.
  • Adjust the lever: To widen the cutting width, move the adjustment lever to a higher setting. To narrow the cutting width, move the adjustment lever to a lower setting.
  • Test the cutting width: After making the adjustment, test the cutting width by mowing a small section of your lawn. Make additional adjustments if necessary until you achieve the desired cutting width.

Zero Turn Mowers

  • Locate the adjustment dial: The cutting width adjustment dial on zero turn mowers is usually located near the operator’s seat.
  • Adjust the dial: To widen the cutting width, turn the adjustment dial to a higher setting. To narrow the cutting width, turn the adjustment dial to a lower setting.
  • Test the cutting width: After making the adjustment, test the cutting width by mowing a small section of your lawn. Make additional adjustments if necessary until you achieve the desired cutting width.

It’s important to note that some mowers may not have adjustable cutting widths, particularly older models. In these cases, you may need to manually adjust the mowing pattern to achieve the desired width. Always refer to your mower’s user manual for specific instructions on adjusting cutting width.

Benefits of using a mower with adjustable cutting width

Maintaining a healthy, attractive lawn requires regular mowing, and having the right tools for the job can make all the difference. One such tool is a lawn mower with an adjustable cutting width. These mowers offer a range of benefits that can help you to mow your lawn more efficiently, effectively, and with less effort. In this article, we’ll explore the advantages of using a mower with an adjustable cutting width, and why it’s a worthwhile investment for any homeowner looking to achieve a beautiful, healthy lawn.

Here are some benefits of using a mower with an adjustable cutting width:

  • Customizable to Your Lawn Size and Shape: An adjustable cutting width allows you to customize your mower’s cutting width to the size and shape of your lawn. This means that you can mow your lawn more efficiently and effectively, reducing the amount of time and effort needed to achieve the desired results.
  • Increased Mowing Efficiency: With an adjustable cutting width, you can cover more ground with each pass, which means you can mow your lawn faster. This can be especially helpful if you have a large lawn or if you’re short on time.
  • Reduced Fuel Consumption: Mowers with adjustable cutting widths typically consume less fuel than those with fixed cutting widths. This is because they require less time and energy to mow your lawn, which means you can save money on fuel costs over time.
  • Better Lawn Health: Mowing your lawn with a mower that has an adjustable cutting width can also help to improve the health of your lawn. By using a wider cutting width, you can reduce the stress on your grass blades and prevent them from becoming damaged or torn during mowing. This can result in healthier, greener grass that is more resistant to pests and disease.
  • Greater Flexibility: Having an adjustable cutting width gives you greater flexibility in your mowing routine. You can adjust the cutting width to suit different mowing conditions, such as changing weather or the growth rate of your lawn. This can help you to maintain your lawn more effectively and keep it looking its best throughout the year.

Overall, a mower with an adjustable cutting width can help you to maintain a healthy and attractive lawn with less effort and greater efficiency. It’s a worthwhile investment for any homeowner who wants to save time, money, and energy while keeping their lawn in top condition.

Impact of cutting width on lawn health

The cutting width of your lawn mower can have a significant impact on the health of your lawn. While it may be tempting to mow your lawn as short as possible to reduce the frequency of mowing, this can actually cause more harm than good.

When grass is cut too short, it can become stressed and damaged, leaving it vulnerable to disease, pests, and environmental factors. Short grass blades also have a reduced ability to photosynthesize, which is essential for healthy growth and development.

In addition, mowing your lawn with a narrow cutting width can cause more stress and damage to the grass blades, as they are more likely to be cut unevenly or torn. This can create an uneven appearance and may even result in brown spots or dead patches in your lawn.

On the other hand, using a wider cutting width can be beneficial for the health of your lawn. By leaving more grass blades intact, you can help to reduce stress on the grass and promote healthy growth. This can lead to a more attractive, lush lawn that is less susceptible to disease and pests.

To maintain the health of your lawn, it’s important to choose the right cutting width for your mower based on the size and shape of your lawn, as well as the type of grass you have. It’s also important to avoid cutting your grass too short and to mow your lawn regularly to promote healthy growth and development. By taking these steps, you can help to ensure that your lawn looks its best and remains healthy throughout the year.

Lawn mower accessories to enhance cutting width

Lawn mower accessories can be a great way to enhance cutting width and improve the appearance of your lawn. Two popular accessories that can help achieve these goals are double blades and striping kits.

Double blades, as the name suggests, are two blades that are mounted on the lawn mower in a parallel arrangement. This design allows for a wider cutting width and can help to reduce the amount of time it takes to mow your lawn. Double blades also tend to produce a cleaner cut, which can lead to a healthier lawn.

Striping kits are another popular lawn mower accessory that can improve the appearance of your lawn. These kits typically include a roller or similar device that attaches to the back of your mower and helps to create attractive stripes or patterns in your lawn as you mow. By adding more definition and visual interest to your lawn, striping kits can make your lawn look more professional and well-manicured.

Other accessories that can help to enhance cutting width and improve the appearance of your lawn include high-lift blades, mulching kits, and bagging systems. High-lift blades are designed to lift grass clippings and debris off the ground and into the mower’s collection bag or chute. Mulching kits, on the other hand, allow for the grass clippings to be finely chopped and distributed back onto the lawn as a natural fertilizer. Bagging systems simply collect the grass clippings in a bag for easy disposal.

Ultimately, the right lawn mower accessories for enhancing cutting width will depend on your specific needs and preferences. Whether you’re looking to save time, achieve a more professional appearance, or promote a healthier lawn, there are a variety of accessories available that can help you achieve your goals.

Recommended Cutting Widths based on Lawn Sizes

The recommended cutting width for a lawn depends on various factors, such as lawn size, terrain, and mower type. However, here are some general recommendations for different types of lawns:

  • Small lawns: For lawns up to 1/4 acre in size, a cutting width of 16-20 inches is ideal. This size will allow you to maneuver easily in tight spaces.
  • Medium lawns: For lawns between 1/4 and 1/2 acre, a cutting width of 20-22 inches is recommended. This size will help you cover more ground with each pass while still maintaining maneuverability.
  • Large lawns: For lawns over 1/2 acre, a cutting width of 22-30 inches is recommended. A wider cutting width will help you cover more ground quickly, but it may be less maneuverable in tight spaces.
  • Hilly lawns: For lawns with hills or uneven terrain, a smaller cutting width is recommended. This size will allow you to easily navigate the slopes without damaging the grass.

It’s important to note that these are general recommendations and may vary based on the specific characteristics of your lawn. It’s always best to consult your mower’s manual for specific guidance on the appropriate cutting width for your mower model.


In conclusion, cutting width is an essential factor to consider when mowing your lawn. It determines the time it takes to complete the job, the health of your grass, and the overall appearance of your lawn. Narrow and wide cutting widths have their benefits and drawbacks, and it is crucial to choose the right one for your lawn based on various factors such as lawn size and shape, terrain, and mowing preferences. Adjusting the cutting width on your mower and using a mower with an adjustable cutting width can enhance performance and offer several benefits, including improved lawn health and reduced mowing time. Remember to maintain your lawn mower’s adjustable cutting width for optimal performance and consider using accessories such as double blades or striping kits to enhance cutting width and improve the appearance of your lawn. Keep these factors in mind to ensure a healthy and beautiful lawn.

Mark Brooks

My father was a lawn nerd, growing up I used to help him out in managing our lawn. Sooner then later, I developed a passion for lawn care myself. About 10 years I have been working with lawn, honestly I know quite a bit about them and happy to share my experiences with you.

Different Types of Lawn Mowers Explained

Lawnmowers are an essential piece of kit for yard maintenance and lawn care, and whether you merely want to keep your lawn from becoming an overgrown wild meadow or you want a neat and manicured lawn, the neighbors will envy, there are several things you will need to consider before making a purchase. To learn all about the different types of lawnmowers and which type will be best suited to your yard, your budget, and your specifications, read our comprehensive list of all of the types of lawnmowers available.

Ride-On Mowers

If you have a large lawn to cut, you might want to treat yourself to a ride-on mower. These make light work of mowing lawns, significantly cutting down the time it takes you to cut your grass, and usually making it an easier and more enjoyable experience. In terms of efficiency, ride-on mowers are far superior to walk-along mowers, but they have a price tag to match. There are also many different types to choose from, but most of these can be broken down into three categories. These are:

1.1. Lawn Tractor

Lawn tractors will be familiar to most people, and these front-mounted engines will be what many of us visualize when we think about ride-on mowers. They are a good choice of mower for large lawns, with deck widths typically ranging from between 42 and 54 inches. A good way to work out which size lawn tractor you need is to divide its deck width by 12, and the answer will be the maximum size of lawn it can handle. For example, a 42-inch deck width will be suitable for lawns of up to 4 acres.

When it comes to engine size, lawn tractors range from 18 to 25 horsepower, with entry-level models having a single cylinder and some pricier models benefitting from twin cylinders. Basic lawn tractors will have lever-operated gear transmissions, while upgraded models may have continuously variable transmission, which is a pulley drive powered automatic transmission managed by a shift-on-the-go hand lever.

If you want to really push your budget boundaries, you could choose a lawn tractor with a hydrostatic pedal transmission. Lawn tractors generally range in price from around 1000 to 3000, making them quite reasonably priced compared to other types of ride-on mowers. They are good all-rounders for large lawns, though their main drawback is limited maneuverability. They struggle to turn easily and can not tackle obstacles well, which often results in patches of grass that remain uncut when a lawn tractor has been unable to get tight enough to an edge or an obstacle.

1.2. Zero Turn Mower

Zero-turn mowers, over the last few decades, have become the Ferrari’s of the lawn mowing world. They are controlled by lap bars in the front seat, which operate the dual hydrostatic transmissions at the rear wheels. Their design means that unlike other ride-on mowers, they offer unsurpassed maneuverability. They can pivot, make sharp turns, and give an excellent all-round cutting performance. Zero-turn mowers can get much closer to obstacles than other ride-on mowers, being able to cut tightly against landscaped edges, which will result in a better finish on most lawns. Their steering ability makes for a more efficient mowing experience, especially on lawns of irregular shapes. They typically offer the easiest mowing of all lawnmowers, with the capacity to cut the most grass in the shortest space of time.

Deck widths of zero-turn mowers generally range from 32 inches to 60 inches. They have estimated horsepower of between 12 and 25, from engine sizes ranging between 452 to 700 cc. The cost of a zero-turn mower varies depending on model and specification, with a price range of between 1000 and 6000.

1.3. Rear Engine Riding Mower

These ride-on mowers are a good choice for moderately sized lawns, which may be too small to warrant a lawn tractor, but too big to comfortably use a walk mower. These mowers, as the name suggests, hold the engine at the rear of the machine, underneath the driving seat, and the deck is under the driver’s position. They are typically controlled with a shift-on-the-go hand lever, which operates the continuously variable transmission, and has single-cylinder engines, which can range from 344 to 38 cc, with horsepower estimated to be between 10 and 11.

Deck sizes of rear engine riding mowers tend to range from 30 to 33 inches, making them most suitable for lawns, which are less than 2.5 acres in total. A lawn of this size would cause a fair amount of wear and tear to the mower over a season, so a good maintenance regime would be important, but the rear engine riding mower would be able to handle it. For a lawn much larger than 3 acres, you would need to be looking at a lawn tractor or zero turn mower.

Walk Mowers

Walk mowers encompass a range of lawnmowers that the user walks along behind. They are best suited to smaller lawns, generally anything up to half an acre in size (although a half-acre lawn might take you a good few hours to mow with a walk mower and you’d be forgiven for choosing a ride-on to tackle a lawn of this size.)Walk mowers offer the greatest variety and versatility when it comes to lawnmowers. They can vary wildly in price, quality, and offer numerous different features. Most walk mowers can be broken down into the following categories.

2.1. Cylinder Mower

Cylinder mowers, also known as reel mowers, have vertically rotating cylindrical blades at the front of the mower, which slices against a fixed blade. They trap the grass between the blades and slice it off, with action not dissimilar to scissors. The vertical blades on a cylinder mower can range in number from three to twelve, with a higher number of blades usually signaling a more precise cut. They are designed for use on flat lawns and don’t cope particularly well with uneven or rough surfaces. They give a neat cut, which works especially well for creating defined stripes on a lawn if this is a look you would like to achieve. They are best suited to soft grass types, as they don’t handle coarse grass well. They also struggle to cut long grass, so if you opt for a cylinder mower, you will need to keep on top of your mowing and cut your grass regularly, as the mower won’t perform well on grass that has become overgrown.

During the growing season, this will mean mowing your lawn at least once a week, ideally twice a week. These types of mowers have blades that are less accessible, making them more difficult to sharpen than a rotary mower, which is unfortunate because they do tend to require the most maintenance. If a cylinder mower is not serviced regularly, it’s blades will start to chew the grass, giving a very poor cut. For this reason, cylinder mowers are best suited to those who are mechanically skilled. They also tend to be less adjustable than other mowers, giving you fewer options when it comes to grass cutting height. They are also generally less common, so if they go wrong, you might struggle to find replacement parts. That being said, these mowers can be affordable and efficient when paired up with the right type of lawn and are enormously popular among those gardeners who take pride in a neat and short lawn cut. They also often come equipped with a roller on the back, offering the user a two-in-one tool. The grass box on a cylinder mower is usually at the front.

2.2. Rotary Mower

These are the most common types of walk-along mower you will find. They have a single blade that rotates at very high speed in a horizontal motion, cutting grass as it comes into contact with it, a lot like a food processor or blender. These mowers work best on medium to long grass, meaning you can leave longer in between mowing sessions without any negative impact. The cut you get from a rotary mower is less precise than a cylinder mower. It tends to bash and thrash the blades of grass around, slicing them on impact due to the high speed of rotation, which results in a less accurate and more uneven cut than you would get from a good cylinder mower. The difference of cut, however, probably wouldn’t be that noticeable to most people, especially on an average lawn with its slopes, bumps, and color and thickness variations. A more manicured lawn, however, may be able to tell the difference between the two cuts, with the cylinder mower offering the more superior cut of the two.

2.3. Push Mower

Push mowers, as the name suggests, requires the user to manually force the machine across the lawn. The motor turns the blades, but the wheel action is all you. These mowers are popular because they are usually the most inexpensive, and they are also lightweight and easy to handle. A push mower offers good maneuverability, allowing the user to direct exactly where it goes, steering around obstacles and corners, and even reversing. The fact that it is lightweight may be useful if you need to lift the mower into a trailer or truck bed, or if you need to carry it up and down steps.

These mowers take some physical exertion, which is great if you’re keen to add some extra exercise into your schedule, but may not be good for people with health complaints or anyone who doesn’t want to get a sweat on. It should be noted that push mowers work best for level lawns because having to push it up a hill can be very labor-intensive, as can chasing it down a hill! They are best suited to small yards due to their strenuous nature and are probably the most simple type of lawnmower you can get. For anyone concerned about the environmental impact of mowing their lawn, push mowers are the best option as they produce no emissions. They also don’t make noise pollution like powered lawnmowers.

2.4. Self Propelled Mower

Self-propelled lawnmowers have a transmission that propels the machine forward, so the user does not need to push it, and instead guides it. These mowers are generally simple to operate and make mowing a lawn a much easier and quicker job, even in small yards. The main advantage of a self-propelled mower is the fact that it doesn’t require any manpower, but there are other advantages too. These mowers tend to give a more consistent lawn cut compared to push mowers, as they are able to maintain a constant speed. Self-propelled mowers are more mechanically technical than push mowers, so they require more maintenance and can be more difficult to fix when things go wrong. These mowers are typically more expensive to buy than push mowers, but many people find that the extra expenditure is worth it to avoid having to manually propel a push mower.

2.5. Hover Mower

These lawnmowers hover a few inches above the ground, sitting on a cushion of air. Due to their reduced contact with the ground, and therefore reduced friction, they are very easy to guide around the lawn. They are able to move in any direction, including sideways, which makes them particularly useful for yards, which are awkward shapes, or for maneuvering around obstacles such as planters, trees, and garden features. They also give the user more control when it comes to edges of the lawn. Hover mowers tend to be fairly inexpensive, which is another factor that makes them quite popular. Though these types of mowers do have their advantages, they also have drawbacks. The main problem with hover mowers is that they lack power, presenting an issue for anyone with a larger sized lawn. They are most often electric-powered, and they are best suited to small lawns.

Power Types

The type of power source most appropriate for your mower will depend on the size of your lawn, your strength, and your own personal preferences. The options to choose from when it comes to lawnmower power types are:

3.1. Manual Powered Mower

Manual powered mowers essentially push mowers. Though they may have an engine, this only operates the blades and doesn’t provide any momentum. The user is the source of momentum with muscle power, as opposed to an electric, battery, or gas-powered mower, where the momentum is supplied by the engine, and the user just provides directional guidance. These mowers are the quietest, most environmentally friendly, and the most inexpensive. They are also the hardest to use, requiring a good amount of strength and energy to operate. They are best suited to small lawns.

3.2. Electric Powered Mower

These corded mowers are powered by electricity through a cable attached to the mower. They are enormously popular and account for the majority of lawnmowers purchased each year, being especially common in small to medium-sized yards. Their popularity is due to their many advantages. They are lightweight, therefore easy to handle and maneuver. They are smaller than gas-powered mowers, making them easier to store when not in use. They never have to be charged like battery-powered mowers, and they won’t run out of gas. This means that so long as you have electric power, you can run these mowers whenever you like, giving the user ultimate convenience. Electric mowers are simple to use and give good, consistent results. They are also very affordable, typically ranging from around 100 to 250.

The biggest disadvantage of electric mowers is the fact that they are tethered to an electrical outlet. This presents a few problems. The main problem is that if you have a yard that is longer than your cable, then the furthest part of your lawn is not going to cut. It’s vital you measure your lawn and compare it with the cable length of a mower before you buy it to avoid this issue. The second problem, which can be worked around, is having a cable trailing behind you everywhere you mow. You’ll need to be careful not to bring your mower blades into contact with the cable, and take care not to get tangled along the way. This is a minor inconvenience that can be worked around with a bit of practice, but many people find corded mowers too restrictive.

3.3. Gas-Powered Mower

Gas-powered lawnmowers have engines that run on petrol. They aren’t restricted by a cable and therefore are great for mowing large areas where corded mowers can’t reach. They are more powerful than electric mowers and will cut grass faster, resulting in shorter mowing time. Their power means they are suitable for cutting even dense, thick, or tall grass with ease. Gas-powered mowers are easy to steer and maneuver reasonably well around obstacles. In terms of use, one of the biggest differences you will notice when operating a gas mower is that it is much heavier and larger in size.

There are a few drawbacks of gas-powered mowers. Firstly, they have engines which, much like vehicle engines, are a cause of pollution. They also need to be regularly maintained and serviced to prevent them from going wrong. You will also need to keep on top of oil and fuel levels. Gas mowers are also very noisy and are typically the most expensive type of walk mower you can get. They generally range in price between 200 and 800.

3.4. Battery-Powered Mower

Battery-powered mowers run off a battery, usually, a lithium-ion battery, which is lightweight and long-lasting. These mowers give the user all the benefits of an electric mower, without the restriction of cable length. As these mowers are not tied down to a power source, they are well suited to gardens of any size. They tend to be slightly heavier than an electric mower, but much lighter than a gas-powered mower. These mowers offer excellent convenience, but this comes at a cost. They are more expensive than electric mowers, usually costing in excess of 500 for a good quality model.

The main drawback of a battery-powered mower is its run time. Many of these mowers will run for about an hour before they need to be re-charged, which could prove quite frustrating if you’re only halfway through mowing your lawn when the battery runs out. Batteries also do not last forever and will need to be replaced every few years.

Drive Types

The drive of your mower is an important consideration that can impact performance, depending on your terrain. Mowers will either be rear-wheel drive (RWD), front-wheel drive (FWD), or all-wheel drive (AWD), with each having pros and cons.

4.1. Rear Wheel Drive

These mowers are pushed forwards by the motion of the back wheels. They work well for wide-open spaces as they can be difficult to maneuver, and therefore you may struggle in small or awkwardly shaped gardens. They can be difficult to turn in order to change direction, and particularly struggle to reverse. However, they are excellent on rough or unsteady terrain, as they will push forward across any bumps or steep inclines.

4.2. Front-Wheel Drive

FWD mowers are propelled by the front wheels, which pull the mower along with their turning motion. These types of mowers work best for level lawns that don’t feature slopes or hills, as they don’t perform well on inclines. Front-wheel drive mowers are easy to steer, and they can be maneuvered well around obstacles or irregularly shaped lawns.

4.3. All Wheel Drive

These mowers have all four wheels connected to their source of power and are all propelled equally, moving together in unison. The main benefits of an all-wheel-drive mover are its speed and power, though it does lack the maneuverability of front-wheel drive mowers.

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.

If you’re worried about the maintenance of a gas-powered lawnmower, Troy Bilt has tried to make it as easy as possible. Check the oil and fuel before each use and top it off if necessary. When you’re done mowing, connect your garden hose to the deck wash adaptor to rinse clippings from the underside of the mower.

Reasons to avoid

Some homes – like condos – have such a small lawn that it seems ridiculous to buy a traditional lawn mower. That’s why we’ve included the BLACK DECKER BESTA512CM lawn mower which is the smallest mower on our list.

This compact three-in-one product is a mower, trimmer, and edger in one. When set in the lawn mower position, it has a 12-inch cutting base that can be adjusted to two different cutting heights – 1.5 inches or 2.3 inches. After you’ve mowed the lawn, simply adjust this BLACK DECKER so that it becomes a trimmer or an edger. Note that instead of a blade this mower has a spool of cable, much like a weed eater. It is perfect for small, low demand spaces, but hardier grasses might see you getting through a lot of cable.

One drawback of this small lawn mower is that it requires an electric cord for power. You’ll need an outdoor outlet and a long extension cord to easily maneuver around the yard. At only 9.9 lbs, it shouldn’t be too heavy to hold when you trim or edge.

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.

Learn about Lawn Mowers | Learn WIth Blippi | Trains for Children | Train Song | Moonbug for Kids

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.

We are working our way through hands on testing as many products as we can. See more about our testing process.

The 9 Best Push Lawn Mowers of 2023

Michelle Ullman is a home decor expert and product reviewer for home and garden products. She has been writing about home decor for over 10 years for publications like BobVila.com and Better Homes Gardens, among others.

Barbara Gillette is a Master Gardener, herbalist, beekeeper, and journalist. She has 30 years of experience propagating and growing fruits, vegetables, herbs, and ornamentals.

Rich Scherr is a seasoned technology and financial journalist who spent nearly two decades as the editor of Potomac and Bay Area Tech Wire. The Baltimore native also covered the technology scene for LocalBusiness.com and has been a regular contributor to the sports pages of The Baltimore Sun and The Washington Post.

A push lawn mower, whether powered by gas, a battery, or an electric cord, lets you keep your lawn under control and looking its best. The best push lawn mowers are powerful enough to handle even thick grass while making clean cuts, are easy to push, and let you choose how to dispose of the grass clippings.

Noah James, a professional landscaper, and owner of Liberty Lawn Maintenance, says, “Powerful performance, ease of use, and environmental friendliness are all key considerations when it comes to selecting the right push lawnmower. For dependable results, find a mower with a well-balanced cutting blade made from heavy steel or aluminum. A good push mower should also have durable construction and advanced features such as ergonomic handlebars, thoughtfully placed switches, and convenient storage options.”

He adds, “Depending on the size of your yard, you may want to look for a mower that offers different speed settings. And you should be able to adjust the blades for different lengths of grass. The wheels should have a good grip that won’t leave small divots in the grass, while quieter motors will help you avoid disturbing neighbors by cutting noise to an absolute minimum.”

We researched and tested numerous push mowers, evaluating maneuverability, durability, safety features, and noise level.

Best Overall

Greenworks 12 Amp 20-Inch 3-in-1 Corded Lawn Mower

If you want a reliable lawn mower, look no further than the Greenworks 3-in-1 Electric Corded model. Based on our testing, the Greenworks lawn mower proved to be both efficient and effective, earning the top spot on this list. Despite the patchy condition of the grass, it cut down long, spindly weeds. And with seven easy-to-use cutting heights available, ranging from 1.5 inches to 3.75 inches, finding the perfect setting for the grass was a breeze. The mulching, side discharge, and bagging worked well, with only a few clippings escaping during the bag removal process.

Using the mower felt secure and reliable. To start the lawnmower, you’ll need to press a button. This feature gave us peace of mind as it minimizes the risk of children accidentally starting it. The mower felt sturdy and was easy to operate, even over divots. While the lawn mower is pretty small, it was a little bulky to turn. Yet, we only needed one hand to push it, freeing up our other hand to hold the cord. We appreciate the cord retainer feature that keeps it from getting unplugged while mowing. However, we think that placing it at the top of the handle would have been more convenient as we still had to flip the cord to move it out of the way. We did appreciate how the handle conveniently folds for easy storage in a garage or small shed.

While a corded push mower might not be a convenient option for all users, with this model, you won’t have to worry about a dead battery in the middle of mowing, and there won’t be any unpleasant gas fumes or the need to change the oil. Plus, considering this mower’s features and power, we think it’s a great value. We also found this lawn mower to be incredibly simple to set up, with only 10 minutes of assembly time, and a few screws needed. It comes with a three-year warranty.

Price at time of publish: 217

Cutting Width: 20 inches | Weight: 52 pounds | Power Source: Corded | Clippings Options: Bag, mulch, side discharge

Best Overall, Cordless

RYOBI RY401110-Y 20-Inch 40-Volt Cordless Push Lawn Mower

You’ll get nearly the power of a gas mower but no smelly fumes with this Ryobi push mower that comes with a 40-volt, 6.0-Ah battery that runs for up to 48 minutes on a single charge. The cutting deck is 20 inches wide, and there are seven cutting levels ranging from 1.5 inches to 4 inches, so you can quickly and cleanly mow lawns up to 1/2 acre in size, whatever your type of lawn grass. The mower senses the thickness of the grass and automatically increases the power to handle dense patches, then dials it back a bit once you’re in the clear, which helps extend the battery runtime. With 10-inch rear wheels and 8-inch front wheels, it’s fairly easy to push the mower over slight slopes and uneven terrain.

This push mower comes with a bag for catching clippings, but you’ll have to purchase a side-discharge chute separately if desired. You can also let the clippings mulch back into the lawn. The mower has an LED headlight, which is very helpful when mowing in the evening or early in the morning. The telescoping handle can be set to the height most comfortable for you while you mow and then folded down completely for convenient storage of the mower in your garage or shed.

Along with the battery, the mower comes with a charger that takes around four hours to recharge the battery fully. If you purchase a second battery or have other Ryobi batteries on hand, then you can take advantage of the mower’s onboard battery storage compartment and swap out batteries when needed. The mower is covered by a five-year limited warranty and the battery by a three-year limited warranty.

Price at time of publish: 399

Cutting Width: 20 inches | Weight: 56 pounds | Power Source: Battery | Clippings Options: Bag, mulch

Best Budget

Sun Joe MJ401E-P2 Electric Lawn Mower

If you only have a small lawn to tend and don’t want to spend a lot on a mower, then this reasonably priced electric mower we tested from Sun Joe is a great option. Assembly was a breeze, with only four main components to put together. We swiftly put together the mower in just 10 minutes before proceeding to test it out. Upon turning on the mower, we were pleasantly surprised by how quiet it was. Compared to gasoline-powered alternatives, this one can be started with the push of a button and produces no harmful emissions. Keep in mind that you will need an appropriate outdoor-rated extension cord—either a 50-foot 14-gauge or 100-foot 12-gauge. Those with large lawns may need to invest in a longer cord.

We were impressed by the mower’s performance, as it was easy to turn and trimmed the grass evenly. The mower has a 14-inch cutting deck and three height adjustments ranging from 1.18 to 2.52 inches. The bagging feature worked well, although it didn’t hold much (10.6 gallons), so it filled up quickly. If grass gets stuck in the mower, it automatically shuts off, which is a great safety feature. Restarting the mower was a breeze after removing the grass from under it.

The Sun Joe Electric Mower is an excellent choice for those on a tighter budget due to its low price and high quality. It’s a safe, efficient, and simple lawn mower that anyone with a smaller yard can confidently use. To make storage convenient, the mower’s handle can be folded down. Additionally, the mower is backed by a two-year warranty.

Price at time of publish: 99

Cutting Width: 14 inches | Weight: 34 pounds | Power Source: Corded | Clippings Options: Bag

Best Gas

Troy-Bilt TB110 21-Inch 2-in-1 Gas Push Lawn Mower

Unlike many gas mowers, which require seemingly endless cord pulls to power up the machine, this one starts right up, thanks to Troy-Bilt’s ReadyStart technology. And once started, the 140cc Briggs Stratton engine has plenty of power to slice through even thick grass, leaving your lawn neatly groomed. This sturdy mower has a 21-inch cutting deck and six easily-adjusted cutting levels ranging from 1.25 inches to 3.75 inches, so whatever your type of lawn grass, you can cut it to the appropriate height. However, one downside is that, like many gas mowers, you need to change the oil periodically—use 10w-30 oil—and to do so, you’ll need to tip the mower onto its side to let the old oil drain out before adding the new oil. There is no need to mix oil with gasoline, though.

Thanks to Troy-Bilt’s TriAction cutting system, the mower gives an exceptionally clean cut to the grass and produces very fine clippings, which can either be mulched back into the lawn or collected in the included 1.9-bushel bag. There is no side-discharge option on this mower. Its 11-inch rear wheels allow the mower to move easily over even rough terrain and up or down gentle slopes on lawns up to 1/4 acre or so in size. It comes fully assembled and has a two-year limited warranty.

Price at time of publish: 399

Cutting Width: 21 inches | Weight: 66 pounds | Power Source: Gas | Clippings Options: Bag, mulch

Best Reel Mower

American Lawn Mower Company 14-Inch Manual Reel Mower

There’s no motor or battery in this mower; it’s entirely powered by your own exertion in pushing it across your lawn. But if you have a small, flat lawn and want the ultimate in environmentally friendly lawn care, then it’s hard to beat this reel mower. Unlike powered mowers, which have a single blade that spins on a horizontal axis, this reel mower has four blades that spin vertically, neatly snipping your grass with a scissor-like action that creates a very even cut. And there’s almost no maintenance required; every few years, you’ll need to sharpen the blades. That’s it. It can occasionally get jammed on large sticks or other lawn debris, though, so it’s best to be sure there aren’t obstructions in your path while mowing.

The mower cuts a 14-inch swath of grass in a single pass. You can adjust the cutting height between 1 inch and 1.75 inches, but the mower won’t perform well on grass that is taller than four inches. The polymer wheels are 8.5 inches in diameter and roll smoothly. The clippings will mulch into your lawn, but American Lawn Mower Company does sell a separate bag for this mower if you prefer to bag your clippings. While you’ll get a bit of a workout using this mower, it does create a very fine cut, doesn’t make much noise, and won’t take up a lot of room in your garage or garden shed. It’s very reasonably priced, as well.

Price at time of publish: 82

Cutting Width: 14 inches | Power Type: Manual | Weight: 19 pounds | Clippings Options: Mulch

Best for Thick Grass

Craftsman M110 140cc 21-inch Gas Push Lawn Mower

With a 140cc Briggs Stratton engine, this gas push mower from Craftsman is best for smaller lawns that are no more than 1/4 acre in size, but it easily handles even thick or tall grass. Unlike many other gas mowers, this one starts up easily, so you won’t be yanking on the cord in frustration. The 21-inch cutting deck is wide enough to get the mowing down quickly, and there are six cutting height levels ranging from 1.25 inches to 3.75 inches. The sturdy wheels maneuver easily over rough terrain or slight slopes. You can set the mower to side discharge clippings, collect them in the included rear bag, or mulch them back into the lawn.

At 65 pounds, this isn’t a light lawn mower, but it does handle easily. On the downside, this mower does require periodic oil changes, and you’ll need to tip the mower onto its side to drain the old oil before adding fresh 10w-30 oil. As a general rule, the oil should be changed at least once each year. However, there is no need to mix oil with gas as the mower has a 4-stroke engine. A two-year warranty covers the mower.

Price at time of publish: 369

Cutting Width: 21 inches | Weight: 65 pounds | Power Source: Gas | Clippings Options: Bag, mulch, side-discharge

Best for Small Yards

Worx WG779 Power Share 40-Volt 14-Inch Cordless Walk Behind Mower

This excellent mower from WORX comes with two 20-volt, 4.0-Ah batteries, both of which power the mower simultaneously for a total of 40 volts. That lets you mow up to 5,000 square feet on a single charge of the two batteries. The cutting deck is only 14 inches wide, so this mower is best for smaller yards, but you’ll be able to easily maneuver the mower around tree trunks, flowerbeds, and other obstacles. There are six height adjustments ranging from 2.5 inches to 3.5 inches. And the mower has WORX’s IntelliCut feature, which lets you up the power when tackling tough or thick grass, and then dial it back down again to conserve battery life.

At only 29 pounds, it’s not tough to push this mower, even on slight slopes. You can mulch the grass clippings or collect them in the included 0.85-bushel bag, which has an indicator that lets you know when the bag is full. There is no side-discharge option, however. The mower’s handle folds down for easy storage. Along with the two batteries, you get a dual-battery charger to charge both batteries together. The batteries can be used with any other WORX products. The mower is covered by a three-year warranty, and the batteries by a one-year warranty.

Price at time of publish: 300

Cutting Width: 14 inches | Weight: 29 pounds | Power Source: Battery | Clippings Options: Bag, mulch

Best Battery Powered

EGO Power LM2021 20-Inch 56-Volt Push Lawn Mower

It’s not inexpensive, but at up to a 60-minute runtime and a blazing 40-minute recharging time, this cordless mower from EGO has one of the best runtimes of any battery mower. Nor is it lacking in power; the included 56-volt, 5-Ah battery and high-efficiency brushless motor give this lawn mower plenty of oomph for handling tall or thick grass. It occasionally struggles a bit with wet grass, however. The cutting deck is 20 inches wide, and there are six height adjustments ranging from 1.2 inches to 4 inches. You’ll also appreciate the bright LED headlights, which make it easier to mow at dusk or in the morning.

You can bag your clippings in the included grass catcher, which is very easy to lift for emptying, let them discharge to the side, or mulch them into the lawn. And when you are finished mowing, the mower’s handle folds down so you can store it easily. The mower comes with a battery and charger. Like all EGO tools, the battery is compatible with any other EGO product. The warranty is good for five years.

Price at time of publish: 499

Cutting Width: 20 inches | Weight: 57.5 pounds | Power Source: Battery | Clippings Options: Bag, mulch, side discharge

Best Mulching

Toro 21311 Recycler Gas 21-Inch Push Mower

Unlike many other gas mowers, you never need to do an oil change on this one; just check the oil level and top it off when necessary. And you’ll love the power of this mower, which has a 140cc Briggs Stratton engine that easily handles thick or tall grass, even if wet. The mowing deck is 21 inches wide. There are nine cutting levels ranging from 1.25 inches to 3.75 inches; that’s one of the widest cutting height ranges available and lets you closely adjust the cut to suit your lawn grass. Nor is it difficult to start; generally, it will roar to life with just one or two pulls of the cord.

Where this mower really shines is in its ability to reduce grass clippings into the finest mulch, which Toro calls “lawn vitamins.” But if you prefer not to leave the clippings on your lawn, then you’ll appreciate the included two-bushel bag. The mower can also side-discharge clippings, but to get the free side-discharge chute, you’ll need to first register your mower with Toro, who will then mail you the chute. Thanks to the tractioned 10-inch rear wheels and 8-inch front wheels, the mower handles even rough terrain easily, and it’s not difficult to push or maneuver. The mower comes with a three-year warranty.

Price at time of publish: 369

Cutting Width: 21 inches | Weight: 62 pounds | Power Source: Gas | Clippings Options: Bag, mulch, side discharge

We love Greenworks’ 16-Inch Corded Electric Lawn Mower. With its powerful 12-amp motor, this corded electric lawn mower eliminates the need for gas, oil, and the hassle of a dead battery in the middle of mowing. If you’re on a tighter budget but still want a high-quality mower, we recommend the Sun Joe Electric Mower. You can keep your lawn looking great without disturbing the neighbors thanks to its small size, light weight, and quiet operation.

What to Look for in a Push Lawn Mower


There are four basic types of push mowers based on their power sources.

Gas mowers are fueled by gasoline. These are generally the most powerful push mowers, and as long as the tank has fuel, the mower will keep running without concern for losing power. On the downside, these mowers are noisy, they emit smelly fumes and pollutants, and they can be hard to start. The Craftsman M110 21-Inch Push Mower is an excellent gas mower.

Corded electric mowers are not as popular as they once were, but are still a good option for buyers who have small lawns and are looking for a bargain. These mowers must be plugged into an electrical outlet, meaning that you will need a long, outdoor-rated extension cord for power. Along with low cost, the pros of these mowers include that they do not emit any fumes, you don’t need to keep track of battery life, and they are relatively low maintenance. However, you’ll need to take care not to run over the extension cord while you mow. We recommend Greenwork’s 20-Inch Corded Push Mower.

Battery or cordless push mowers are powered by a battery. That means you don’t have to worry about an extension cord, and you won’t be bothered by fumes. However, even though battery technology is ever-improving, you can still expect only 30 minutes or so runtime on a single charge, although some more powerful mowers can run close to an hour before the battery runs down. While there are cordless mowers powered by an 18-volt battery, most use 40 volts or more. Our top pick, the Ryobi 20-Inch Push Mower, runs on a 40-volt battery.

Manual, or reel mowers, rely on your own muscle power to push the mower. These old-fashioned, environmentally friendly mowers have no motor or engine. However, they can do an exceptional job of neatly clipping lawn grass, as long as the grass isn’t too high or thick. These are generally very inexpensive but are suited only to small lawns, and they can be tiring to use. The 14-inch reel mower from American Lawn Mower Company is a great choice.


Some mowers, especially older models, have four wheels that are all the same size, generally between 6 and 8 inches in diameter. However, many mowers today, especially higher-end models, have typical 7- or 8-inch wheels in front but higher wheels in back. Often labeled as “high wheel” mowers, the rear wheels on these models are typically 10 to 12 inches in diameter.

The Troy-Bilt TB110 21-Inch Push Mower has 11-inch rear wheels, so it easily rolls over just about any lawn. Having the higher rear wheels lets the mower move more easily over rough terrain and makes pushing the mower uphill easier. Note that higher wheels do not mean that the mower’s deck is higher; the mower deck should still sit just a few inches above the lawn.

different, types, lawn, mowers, explained

The tread of your mower’s wheels is also a consideration. The more grooved and patterned the tread, the easier it will be to push the mower over wet grass, soft grass, or dirt.

Cutting Deck

The cutting deck of a lawn mower is the base that houses the spinning blade that cuts the grass, and the size of the cutting deck determines the width of the cutting path achieved by one pass of the mower. The most common cutting deck size for a push mower is between 20 and 21 inches, but you’ll find mowers with smaller decks and some larger ones. Keep in mind that the larger the cutting deck, the more energy you’ll need to exert to push the mower, and the more difficult it will be to maneuver around tree trunks and other obstacles.

Smaller mowers with decks that are less than 18 inches are good for small lawns or lawns that require considerable maneuvering between trees, flowerbeds, or other obstacles. The Sun Joe Electric Lawn Mower is a corded push mower with a 14-inch deck that is perfect for small yards.

Grass Disposal Options

There are three basic options for handling the grass clippings that accumulate as you mow. Some mowers have all three options, while others only have one or two of them.

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Side discharge means the mower simply shoots the clippings out of a chute on the mower’s side and back onto the lawn. You can then either rake up the clippings or leave them in place. Keep in mind that leaving large clippings on the lawn can smother the grass, however.

different, types, lawn, mowers, explained

Mulching the clippings means the mower blades chop the clippings into very fine pieces before dropping them back onto the lawn from underneath the mower’s deck. These finely-cut clippings decompose much faster than unmulched clippings, so they won’t smother your lawn and provide valuable nutrients to the grass as they decompose.

Bagged mowers have a rear bag that catches the clippings as they are cut. You then lift the bag off the mower and empty it once you’re finished working.

The EGO Power LM2021 20-inch push mower includes all three clippings options.

A push mower’s engine or motor merely powers the cutting blade; it is not connected to the mower wheels. That means you are required to supply the pushing power yourself to keep the mower moving across your lawn. A self-propelled mower, however, uses its engine or motor to power the blade and the wheels, meaning that the mower moves forward on its own power, leaving you to basically just steer. Self-propelled mowers are easier to use, especially when mowing up hills, but you’ll pay much more for these mowers. Still, it might be worth it if you have a very large or very hilly yard.

If properly cared for, a good push mower can last you a decade or longer. However, to achieve that goal, you need to carry out regular maintenance, which can include oil changes and filter changes on gas mowers, periodic blade sharpening, removal of caked-on grass and mud from the mower’s deck, and storage of the mower in a spot where it isn’t subjected to weather extremes. You should also take care not to mow over rocks or large sticks, which can damage the mower’s blades, deck, or motor. As a rule of thumb, gas mowers tend to last longer than battery mowers.

Like other seasonal outdoor products, lawnmowers go on sale at big home improvement centers at various times of the year. Often, you’ll find mowers on sale in the early spring as home improvement centers try to tempt buyers who are just starting to get back into their lawn care routines. But you’ll often also find sales during the late fall, when lawns are starting to go dormant in many parts of the country, and stores look to reduce inventory so as not to have to store it over the off-season. The big summer holidays of Independence Day, Father’s Day, and Memorial Day are also good times to purchase a mower, as most home improvement centers will have them on sale at those times.

A rotary mower has a motor or engine that is powered by gas, a battery, or by an electric cord. These powered mowers usually have a single blade that spins very rapidly on a horizontal plane inside the mower’s cutting deck. The spinning of the blade creates a slight lift in the grass, which is then cut by the blade. Reel mowers, also called manual mowers, do not have a motor or engine. Their only source of power is your own exertions in pushing them across your lawn. Reel mowers usually have three or more blades that spin vertically around a central axis. They cut the grass in a scissoring motion as they are pushed, which gives a very clean cut to the lawn. When choosing between a rotary and a reel mower, you’ll want to consider the size of your lawn, your own physical strength, and endurance, the amount of time you have to devote to lawn care, your budget, and your desire to be more or less “green” in your lifestyle. Rotary mowers are more expensive than reel mowers, require less effort to use, and get the mowing accomplished faster. Reel mowers are best for small lawns only and can be tiring to use, but they are relatively inexpensive and are the most environmentally friendly option.

Why Trust The Spruce?

This article was researched and written by Michelle Ullman, who is a writer specializing in home and garden products. She has been a commerce writer for The Spruce since 2020, covering a wide range of home improvement products, including power and hand tools, painting supplies, landscaping tools, and tool organizers.

To choose the best push lawn mowers for this article, she evaluated dozens of mowers based on power, range of cutting heights, ability to mow over uneven terrain or handle thick grass, options for disposing of grass clippings, and overall value. She also considered feedback from customers, both positive and negative, as well as product reviews on home improvement and lawn care websites.

She also received extensive, helpful input from Noah James, a professional landscaper and owner of Liberty Lawn Maintenance.

This article was updated by Daniela Galvez, a Senior Commerce Editor for The Spruce specializing in home improvement, gardening, and lifestyle. For this roundup, she reviewed testing results to select the best push models that performed best.

What is The Spruce Approved?

Here at The Spruce, we want to ensure that we fully stand behind every product we recommend and that when we say something is the best, we mean it. You might have noticed The Spruce Approved badge next to the products on this list. Every product with this badge has been rigorously tested in person and carefully selected by our expert team of lab testers and editors. In most cases, we buy all of these products ourselves, though occasionally, we get samples provided to us directly by companies. No matter how we procure products, they all go through the same tests and must meet the same strict criteria to make the best-of cut.

What Size of Yard Makes a Ride-on Lawnmower Worth It?

A riding lawn mower will take a lot of work to keep your lawn tidy. However, do you really need one? There are many sizes of riding lawnmowers, and some are gas-powered, while you power others with rechargeable batteries.

Professionals recommend having three-quarters of an acre before considering a ride-on lawnmower. Even then, if you have a heavily landscaped and bordered yard, the smallest riding mower may not be the best tool for the job. But, on the other hand, don’t let a small yard deter you from considering one of the smaller ride-on mowers available.

Is My Yard Too Small for a Riding Lawnmower?

A riding lawn mower requires enough space to turn around. Unless the riding mower is a zero-turn, a ride-on mower may damage your yard, and even real tight spaces may be too small for either style of a ride-on lawnmower. Your yard and the width of its pathways are one thing you must consider when thinking about purchasing a new mower.

Although much better than ever, old-style riders still need room to run, or you are wasting money on a tool that you don’t need. In addition, there are better alternatives, such as self-propelled and robotic mowers that can do the job as efficiently for less than the cost of a ride-on mower.

You can purchase a good-quality self-propelled mower for about 400, which is about a third of the cost of any riding mower. However, that cost is up to you, and some of the smaller rider mowers can help you knock that one chore out in a hurry.

I mowed an acre with a self-propelled mower that made a 22-inch cut. It took about two hours to do the job. I now cut about two acres, with a 42-inch wide Toro-Timecutter42 zero-turn; it takes me about two and a half hours if I don’t dilly-dally. If I had a zero-turn with a 60-inch cut, I could cut the time down even further. So, the time savings of a ride-on lawnmower is obvious.

What Types of Riding Lawnmowers are There?

Riding lawnmowers range in size from 30 inches in width to 60 inches (five feet), so as you can see, the width alone is a determining factor as to where you can use a riding mower. Professionals recommend a riding mower for a yard that is more than three-quarters of an acre. However, how that half-acre is laid out may make a small riding mower feasible.

Three Types of Ride-on Lawnmowers

Ride-on lawnmowers are available in three types.

Sit-on Lawn Tractors

This type of ride-on mower looks like a small tractor, thus the name. The engine is mounted in the front, and the mower deck is mounted under the belly.

Larger lawn tractors may be fitted with mounts for attachments, and most of them can pull a wagon, roto-tiller, scrape-blade, or mowing deck. These features make them suitable for mowing, lawn maintenance, and gardening.

The of all mowers depend on the width of their cut and the size of their engine. The bigger the engine or cut width, the higher the cost of the mower, just like a car. So, sizing a mower to your yard is essential because you want enough mowers, but not so much that its cost is a burden.

If you are using a gas power mower, the bigger it is, the more fuel it will use. This type of ride-on lawnmower ranges from 1000 to 4000 or more.

Rear-engine Ride-on Mowers

Mowers with their motor mounted behind the seat often have a narrow footprint and can navigate in small places. Snapper makes such a mower, and they have been for years, and their current models are available with a very narrow 28-inch width and a 33-inch width.

Although it is a ride-on lawnmower, its smaller size makes it suitable for smaller lawns. The price range of a rear-engine rider mower is between 1200 and 3000. The price depends on the size of the machine and options such as baggers and such.

ZTR – (Zero-Turn Riding Mowers)

Designed to get in close and cut down on the amount of trimming necessary, ZTRs come in sizes from 32-inches wide up to an impressive 12 feet for commercial models or homeowners with a lot of acreages to maintain. The smallest zero-turns are fine for smaller yards. However, as I said, if mine were larger, I could cut my mowing time in half.

Zero turns are fun, too. They’re not a toy, but they’re the closest thing I’ve ridden to a tilt-a-wheel outside of a carnival. With a zero-turn riding mower, you can trim a yard with a high level of precision, even a small yard, if you have a suitable machine. The engine is behind the seat, which gives you a clear view of where the front wheels are.

Snapper makes a zero-turn mower priced under 3000, which is about as low as you will find one. There are also battery-powered zero turns in that price range, which gives you another option. From the starting point of 3000, they continue up, and like the other mowers, they are based on the mowing width, the size of the engine, and the brand.

Is the Cost of a Riding Lawn Mower Worth it for Smaller Yards?

A riding lawnmower can be too big for a yard, but it can also be too small. However, suppose you have a yard of less than an acre, with large areas of grass that need to be mowed.

Why Honda Lawn Mowers Are The Best. HRN216. #Shorts

In that case, a riding lawnmower will save you time that you can spend on more pleasurable pursuits than mowing. Only you know the layout of your yard. Not the professionals, nor the person selling you’re the mower, so you will need to decide what will work for you.

You Can Use a Ride-on Lawnmower on a Yard of Half an Acre, or Larger

Whether you buy a push mower, self-propelled mower, or ride-on lawnmower depends on the size yard, your needs, and the depth of your Any riding mower will cost a minimum of a thousand dollars and more to operate than a push mower.

The main thing when considering the purchase of a new mower is whether will it fits in your yard without tearing it up, do you have a place to store it, and whether will it make your job easier.