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Best Lawn Mowers for Bermuda Grass – Reviews 2021 Buyer Guide

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When mowing a Bermuda grass lawn, you want a precise, clean cut that leaves behind a greener, healthier and very attractive lawn. To get that right, the best lawn mower for Bermuda grass is one that snips the leaf blades instead of hacking, splitting, tearing, and chewing up grass blades.

If you have a Bermuda grass lawn, you should choose a reel mower over a rotary mower – all the time. It will produce the best cut without damaging the leaves of your lawn, causing browning and possible disease attacks.

But since there are quite many of them out there, I’ll recommend the very best (from testing) and tell you why they’re the best.

Top 3 Compared

  • Clean, even cut at 1-4 inches (no hacking grass blades).
  • 60% easier to push than other reel mowers.
  • Won’t scalp your lawn even at low cutting height.
  • Directs clippings downward (but not on your feet)!
  • 5-position height adjustment 1.25 inch to 3.3 inch.
  • Best budget-friendly self-propelled mower.
  • Cuts 400sq. meters on a single charge.
  • Clean, even cut with rear bagging and mulching.
  • Very clean cut at 1″ to 3″ height adjustments.
  • Lightweight (34lbs), easy to push and maneuver.
  • Wide cutting deck. 20-inches.
  • Does not jam even in tall Bermudagrass.
  • Clean, even cut at 1-4 inches (no hacking grass blades).
  • 60% easier to push than other reel mowers.
  • Won’t scalp your lawn even at low cutting height.
  • Directs clippings downward (but not on your feet)!
  • 5-position height adjustment 1.25 inch to 3.3 inch.
  • Best budget-friendly self-propelled mower.
  • Cuts 400sq. meters on a single charge.
  • Clean, even cut with rear bagging and mulching.
  • Very clean cut at 1″ to 3″ height adjustments.
  • Lightweight (34lbs), easy to push and maneuver.
  • Wide cutting deck. 20-inches.
  • Does not jam even in tall Bermudagrass.

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Without a doubt, the best lawn mower for Bermuda grass lawns is a reel mower type as opposed to a rotary one. However, you can still use good rotary mowers if you have and maintain sharp blades (super important for grass health).

Top 6 Reel Lawn Mowers for Bermuda Grass Lawns

If you mow Bermuda grass tall, it will easily go to seed. If you mow it too low, you’ll cause brown patches in your lawn due to scalping. You have to get the mowing height right. That also goes with the lawnmowers. Bermuda grass thrives when cut between 3/4″ – 1.5″, so be sure to set the height setting on your mower in that range.

Here’s a list of the 6 best push reel lawn mowers for Bermuda grass lawns. Be sure to check out user reviews and the best in the links I’ve provided.

Fiskars StaySharp Max Reel Mower – Best For Smaller Lawns

Some Bermuda grass varieties are tough and can be hard to cut, but this lawnmower makes the job lighter.

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  • Quality Yardcare Tools: Designed to help you take back your yard, Fiskars lawn and gardening tools are equipped with Smart technologies and award-winning, ergonomic features that make it easier and more enjoyable to transform your outdoor space.Advanced design is 60% easier to push than other reel mowers
  • Advanced Technology for best-in-class cutting performance: The InertiaDrive Reel boasts twice the cutting power of standard reel mowers, while the StaySharp Cutting System eliminates the cost and inconvenience of manual blade sharpening.
  • Superior Ergonomics: Reversible grass chute can direct clippings away from your feet making it easier to mow tough patches while limiting messiness. One-touch handle height adjustment enhances your comfort and control.

Affiliate links and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on: 2023-06-10

  • New technology makes it cut grass without touching.
  • A lot less friction which is perfect for pushing when mowing Bermuda grass.
  • Has a cutting height of 1-4 inches, which is perfect for Bermuda grass.
  • It does have high-quality blades for long-lasting performance without costly annual blade sharpening.
  • It is easier to push and turn the Fiskars reel push lawn mower – it weighs 52lbs only.
  • This mower is quiet and will cut 99% of your grass perfectly.

First of all, reel mowers are my absolute favorite for mowing Bermuda grass lawns. Why? Because you don’t want to scalp and cause brown patches (reel mowers won’t scalp your lawn). If you have a few dips here and there, a reel mower will simply scalp the areas regardless of the setting you use.

The Fiskars Stay Sharp Max Reel Mower is one of the best for Bermuda lawns. Formerly known as the Fiskars Momentum Lawn Mower, this advanced push-mower is great for cutting Bermuda grass even when it gets really dense during the months of summer.

This mower does a great job mulching your lawn although it does not leave a thick layer of clippings on the grass. I wouldn’t recommend heavy mulching anyway because if you’re using a reel mower to cut your grass, the next time you mow will definitely be a big task of pushing through the mulch.

The only disadvantage of the Fiskars 18’’ lawn mower is that it struggles to cut anything that’s taller than 6 inches. If you want to enjoy its work, ensure you mow your Bermuda lawn frequently enough to prevent it from growing too tall for an easy cut. Check out this interesting article I did on the best mowing frequency and height for Bermuda grass. You’ll find it useful.

Scotts 2000-20 20-Inch Classic Push Reel Lawn Mower

  • Classic Scotts 20 inch push no-motor manual reel rotary lawn mower features 20″ cutting width, 5-blade ball bearing reel, and 10″ dual tracking wheels
  • Quick-snap 1″-3″ cutting height adjustment for a clean, even cut every time with this Scotts classic hand push reel rotary 20 inch lawn mower
  • Blades on the Scotts classic hand push reel rotary 20 inch lawn mower are made of quality, heat-treated alloy steel for staying sharp longer

Affiliate links and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on: 2023-06-10

Here’s a quick rundown of the pros and great features of this mower for Bermuda grass:

  • Has the widest blade width and cutting path: 20 inches
  • It is lightweight and very easy to maneuver, weighing only 34 lbs
  • Allows an adjustable mowing height of 1 and 3 inches, which is recommended for Bermuda grass
  • Produces a clean cut with blades snipping evenly across, leaving no torn blades.
  • Has great maneuverability and stability for a 34-pound lawn mower.
  • This mower is the easiest to adjust thanks to the quick-snap adjusters.

What should interest you most if you own a Bermuda grass lawn is getting a clean and healthy cut when mowing. For one of the healthiest cuts, the Scotts 200-20 push reel lawn mower gave the best in this sense.

The 2018 version of the Scotts manual walk-behind reel mower comes with a sharpening kit as well as a grass catcher, which is definitely a value add in my opinion.

While testing and reviewing this reel lawn mower, it did not jam at all unlike most other mowers on the market today. You’ll notice that there’s a lever for each wheel for adjusting the cutting height. This produces an accurate height setting, which is very important when mowing different varieties of Bermuda turfgrasses.

Mowing Bermuda grass at 1-1.5 inches produces great turf quality in terms of thickness and health. See this guide on ways to make a Bermudagrass lawn thick.

On the downside, like with all other reel mowers with a push-behind feature, you have to keep tabs on your lawn not to allow the grass to overgrow. The Scotts 2000-20 20-Inch Classic Push Reel Lawn Mower did struggle a little bit when I pushed it through an overgrown, dense patch of Bermuda grass. That is expected since it’s intended use is on grass that’s well-manicured and mowed at least twice a week.

Great States Lawn Mower 1815-18 18-Inch Push Reel Mower

  • The Great States motor-less lawnmower with an adjustable cutting height of 0.5″-2.75″ for a clean, even cut
  • 18″ cutting width 5-blade manual push mower with 5-blade ball-bearings, and 10″ composite wheels
  • Push mower blades are made of high-quality alloy steel that stay sharp longer

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  • Fine grass cutting-height adjustments from ½ inch to 2 ¾ inches.
  • The 5 tempered alloy steel blades are very durable.
  • 18-inch blade width means faster mowing of your lawn with fewer passes.
  • 10-inch wheels mean this mower is balanced with very strong traction.
  • Plated loop-type handle with full-length foam grip

In a few words, the Great States mower 1815-18 is one of the most durable reels out here. That’s thanks to its tempered blades that last long without the need to sharpen.

The wide cutting width is also impressive, meaning you’ll cut your lawn faster. But what makes the Great States Lawn Mower 1815-18 18-Inch Push Reel Mower great for Bermuda grass lawns?

This lawn mower comes with a fine cutting height adjustment capability. You can literally adjust from as low as ½ an inch to 2¾ inches height.

Bermuda grass is a tough southern grass species and can pose a great challenge to most push reel lawn mowers. You need a mower with great traction and this Great States Lawn Mower brand is just the one for this job.

Weight is a major concern when choosing a lawn mower, so with this, you get a lightweight reel mower for your Bermuda lawn. Yes, it is light enough and you can easily lift it, push and pull, and move it to store. Needless to say, you should keep your hands away from those sharp blades.

On the cons side, the Great States mower 1815-18 suffers similar shortcomings like other competitors on this list.

One of the major issues is cutting grass that is too long. This lawn mower will struggle to cut grass that’s above 5 inches long. This, however, is not a unique problem to this model since almost all reel mowers struggle with weeds and long grass.

Another issue is that it does not mow anything when pulled back. Again, this is common with most push mowers so it shouldn’t be a big issue.

Greenworks 18-Inch Reel Lawn Mower 25062

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  • 18″ cutting path gets the job done quicker and more efficiently
  • 2-in-1 feature provides mulching and rear bag capabilities
  • 9 position height adjustment offers a range of cutting height from 1 3/4″ to 2 3/4″ for the perfect cut on all grass types

Affiliate links and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on: 2023-06-10

When I tested this one, I didn’t expect much since most push lawn mowers can be a challenge to use in a large area. However, I was impressed with the Greenworks 18-Inch Reel Lawn Mower on the large areas of Bermuda grass I pushed it over.

This mower is great because it allows you to cut down to 1.75 inches, which is good for Bermuda grass lawns. It also comes with a grass catcher bag included in the package, which is something I liked about it. The other lawn mowers we tested did not include it as part of the overall price.

In a nutshell, here are a few good things and features of this Greenworks reel lawn mower for Bermuda grass lawns:

  • It is available in varying deck sizes from 18 inches to 20 inches.
  • The 20’’ version is fast.
  • What I did not like is that the mower gets easily snagged on twigs and sticks.
  • Like most top push lawn mowers for Bermuda lawns, it is very easy to adjust the cutting height.
  • It is VERY lightweight and easy to maneuver around the yard

Overall, this is a great push-behind reel lawn mower for Bermuda grass. However, there are quite a few things I did not like about it.

One of the biggest concerns is the amount of noise it makes. While it is easy to push, I found it makes quite a lot of noise than I like. The blades cut with ease, but the faster you push them, the noisier they become. To me, this is quite a bit of a turn-off because I prefer a quiet lawn mower.

If you’re looking to mow a very small Bermuda lawn, you might want to consider this Greenworks 18-Inch Reel Lawn Mower 25062. For an acre of lawn, this may not be the best for guys who like a quiet mowing time.

Great States 415-16 16-Inch 5-BladeLawn Mower

  • Manual mechanical mower with a quick, adjustable cutting height of 1″-2.5″ for a clean and even
  • Lightweight lawn mower has 16″ cutting width, 5-blade ball bearing reel, and 10″ composite wheels for optimal maneuverability
  • Push blade mower with high-quality heat-treated alloy steel blades that stay sharp longer

Affiliate links and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on: 2023-06-11

Here are the great features you’ll like on this lawn mower:

  • Produces a clean cut on grass blades, leaving no damage on Bermuda grass.
  • Precise cutting height with easy adjustment.
  • Lightweight reel mower – only 27 lbs
  • Easy to maneuver – the highest model of the range has 10’’ composite wheels.

This handy yard tool is an absolute pleasure for anyone looking for a solid performance in cutting tough grass using a push reel lawn mower. It comes in 4 deck sizes – 14-inch 4 blades, 14-inch 5 blades, 16-inch 5 blades, and 18-inch 5 blades.

When shopping for the best reel mower under 100, this has got to feature on your list but not just for the price. It comes with some decent features worth considering.

The most important feature that makes this reel mower suitable for Bermuda grass is the clean snip. The cut is so clean you’ll not notice any brown crowns on your Bermudagrass lawn after mowing.

One of the main problems with this Great States push lawn mower is its inability to cut some tough weeds. It also has an 18-inch cutting deck width, which is quite small compared to some of the best models and brands on this list. You’ll need to do a lot more passes to mow a 2000 sq. ft. Lawn with this as opposed to fewer passes with a 20’’ model.

It also does poorly in lawns with sticks. It will get stuck quite often. If your lawn is under a shade with sticks littering it, you may want to consider a gasoline mower rather than a push reel.

Earthwise 1715-16EW 16-Inch 7-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower

  • Hand-push reel mower with 16″ cutting width, 7-blade ball bearing reel, and 10″ composite wheels; Durable steel side plate design
  • Versatile Earthwise Power Tools by ALM push lawn mower for cutting bent grass- Bermuda, Zoysia, Centipede, St. Augustine, and Seashore Paspalum
  • Alloy steel 7-blade mower stays sharp longer

Affiliate links and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on: 2023-06-10

In my reviews of the top lawn mowers for Bermuda grass lawns, the Earthwise push reel mower comes in second. I highly recommend it for not only Bermuda grass but also paspalum, zoysia grass, St. Augustine grass, and centipede grass.

Here are the great features that make this lawn mower perfect for Bermuda grass:

  • It has an adjustable cutting height between of 0.5″ and 2.5” which is perfect for Bermuda grass turfs.
  • Available in 16-inch 7 blade, 18-inch 5 blade, and 20-inch 5 blade options
  • It is very easy to assemble without the need for any tools.
  • I found the handle well-cushioned for comfort while mowing Bermuda lawns. This lessens hand fatigue.
  • It has heat-treated alloy steel blades that remain sharp for long.
  • The 7 blades make it a lot easier to mow and get a clean cut with just one pass.

The Earthwise push lawn mower is a great recommendation for Bermuda grass lawns because it produces a very precise, clean cut, which is exactly what we want when mowing lawns.

It is a piece of lightweight lawn equipment, weighing just 29.5 lbs, meaning you can easily mow a small to the medium-sized lawn without feeling fatigued. I’ve to remind you, though, that you have to time the mowing properly and cut before your grass grows taller than 6 inches.

One of the major disadvantages I found with the Earthwise 1715-16EW 16-Inch 7-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower is that you can’t adjust the mower without unscrewing the wedges on both sides. This is not the same case as the 5-blade version. This means you’ll take quite a bit of time to adjust the deck. They should’ve made it a lot easier to adjust everything here.

Another issue I noticed with the 7-blade version is the locking up of the rollers when mowing areas with heavy mulch from the last cut. I think this is caused by the rollers on the reel mower. I prefer wheels to rollers, as these hardly lock up while in use even in areas with dense Bermuda grass.

Best Rotary Mower for Bermuda Grass

Rotary mowers are not the best for Bermuda lawns because they tend to hack and chew up grass blades. They simply leave your lawn looking awful after a few days of mowing.

However, if your lawn is too big (as in the case of golf courses), you’ll need to use a rotary, gas-powered or electric lawn mower to cut the grass.

The top-rated rotary mower for Bermuda lawns is the Greenworks 16-Inch 40V Cordless Lawn Mower. You charge this thing, and you’re ready to go out there and mow your lawn.

This one is good if you have a smaller yard, like under 1000 sq feet.

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  • CORDLESS LAWN MOWER – Get more done, faster, with Greenworks electric lawn mowers. This 40v push lawn mower provides the power you need with up to 45 minutes of runtime on a fully charged 4.0Ah battery. The battery completely charges in 120 minutes.Brushless motor : No
  • LIGHTWEIGHT, EASY TO USE – A lightweight 16” cutting deck allows for easy maneuvering through small to medium yards (up to ½ acre) more efficiently. Easy push button start and lighter weight make it a great choice for your lawn.
  • VERSATILE – Battery powered lawn mower has a single lever 5-position height adjustment with a cutting height range from 1-1/4″ to 3-3/8″ for the best cut in all environments. The 2-in-1 feature offers versatile use with mulching and rear bagging options.

Affiliate links and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on: 2023-06-11

If you have over 1000 sq feet to mow then here is something more powerful yet still green. I’m getting more and more impressed each year on electric mowers.

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  • 80V 21” MOWER. Provides up to 60 minutes of run-time with 2 fully charged 80V 2.0Ah batteries (varies based on grass condition and operator technique)
  • TRUBRUSHLESS MOTOR – 2 x more torque, more power, longer runtimes, quiet operation, and extended motor life

Affiliate links and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on: 2023-06-10

Take a look at the review of the Greenworks Pro 80V in this video:

Reel Mower vs Rotary Mower for Bermuda Grass

If you want a lawn that has a soft and inviting appearance, then your best choice is a reel push mower. Rotary mowers that are corded or powered with gas or batteries can give your lawn a “chewed” look at the tip, making it start to brown.

One of the advantages (the one that interests me the most) is the precise cut of the rotating reel along the bed knife at the bottom of the mower. It cuts like a pair of scissors.

The reel cut is beautifully clean and is easier on the grass than a rotary blade, which can tear the grass blade if it is not extremely well-maintained.

Buying Guide: What to Consider

Although reel mowers are the best for Bermuda grass, it doesn’t mean you cannot use a rotary mower at all. Choosing the best lawn mower comes down to your personal preference and most importantly, things to consider.

Here are factors and things to consider when choosing a lawn mower for Bermuda grass:

Cutting height adjustments

Grass cutting height is perhaps the most important feature to look for when choosing a great mower for Bermuda grass lawns.

You want to be able to cut your grass as low as 1-inch. Too low can easily scalp the lawn and cause bare spots.

Pro tip: Choose a mower with the finest cutting height adjustments from 0.5 to 3 inches. This will give you great control in taking care of your Bermuda grass at all stages.

Size of the lawn

Your choice of lawn mower really depends on the size of your lawn. If it is more than 2000 sq. ft., you’ll be so exhausted after each mowing that you’ll not mow often enough.

Bermuda grass requires frequent mowing for the best health and growth.

Is the lawn level enough?

Reel mowers can easily leave swirls in your lawn if it has bumps and uneven ground. To avoid this, you may want to buy a rotary mower for a lawn that’s not level enough. However. For level lawns and yards, a push reel mower is a great choice.

Cutting width (blade width)

The width of the blades on the reel mower, or any other mower for that matter, determines how many passes you’ll need to make to mow the entire yard.

The best push mowers for Bermuda lawns have a blade width between 14’’ and 20’’. For the fastest cut, choose the widest blade width.

However, wider cutting decks might not always be the easiest to push. It can mean more load for you to push and cut, and that may affect maneuverability.

Weight of the mower

Since all of the reel mowers on this list are self-propelled, you want to get a very lightweight mower. This will ensure you get less tired but mow your lawn with ease.

The weight of the mower also affects maneuverability. If your body is well built, you can consider a slightly heavier model in the range of 30 lbs and above. However, most people consider the best reel lawn mower below 28 lbs.


How easy is it to move around, turn and twist the lawn mower. Bermuda grass is quite tough and you want to move the mower around the lawn without too much struggle.

Lightweight mowers are easier to maneuver. However, you need to check factors that affect maneuverability such as the following:

To best determine this, read and watch reviews to see what to expect when you buy the lawn mower.


Needless to say, models that give you a longer lifespan for the buck are the most preferred. Most of the mowers I reviewed above come with great strength, durability, and price.

When checking durability, consider the material that makes up the blades and other important parts such as wheels. Some blades are made of tempered steel alloy, meaning they stay sharp and durable for long.


A 2-year warranty is a great sign the manufacturer has confidence in their product. So, when buying a push reel mower for Bermuda grass, check if there’s a warranty before making the purchase.


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Hi, Alex Kuritz here. Growing up I remember that my family had one of the best lawns in the neighborhood. Richly green and lush. I did a lot as I grew up in terms of caring and tending for not only my family’s lawn but also my neighbors. I can say I have years of experience, and I am here to share it with you.

1 thought on “6 Best Lawn Mowers for Bermuda Grass – Reviews 2021 Buyer Guide”

Depending upon individual likes and preferences, a person can either opt for a traditional gasoline-operated mower or go in for the electric variety. Both kinds of mowers – that is, gas-operated as well as electric mowers – have their own individual features. While selecting a mower for a lawn, the overall area of the lawn is a prime consideration. Thank you for the tips and the list. I love this.

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Types of Lawn Mowers: The Complete Guide

All lawn mowers come fitted with 1 of 2 types of cutting blade: rotary or cylinder.

Rotary Blade

The most common lawn mower blade type is the rotary blade.

It rotates like a helicopter blade underneath a steel deck to chop the grass like a machete.

It is the most common because it is the least expensive with models on offer from lawn mower brands: Honda, Toro, DeWALT, Makita, Ryobi, Troy-Bilt, John Deere, Craftsman and more.

  • Pros: 100s of mowers to choose from at all price ranges. Good enough cut quality for 99% of home owners. Deals with tough, thick, unkept grass with ease.
  • Cons: Can’t cut the grass as low as cylinder blade (lower limit of 3/4″). Chops (instead of scissor cutting) grass leaving the turfgrass less healthy and more likely to suffer.

Cylinder/Reel/Drum Blade

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The most lawn obsessed homeowners and professional groundkeepers use cylinder mowers.

Some use manual-powered (human powered) reel mower styles but the pros use gas or battery powered versions.

Because cylinder blade mowers give the highest quality cut at the lowest possible height. This is perfect for golf green quality lawn.

You may be wondering if the drum style blade mower is the best why isn’t it more popular?

Let’s look at the pros and cons of the 2 different cylinder mower styles:

Human Powered

  • Pros: Silent with no emissions. Safe because blades aren’t moving fast. High cut quality. Affordable machine with few moving parts. Low maintenance because no engine.
  • Cons: Hard manual labor for mowing all but the smallest of lawns. Must keep blades razor sharp to work. Won’t get through high or tough grass.

Engine/Motor Powered

  • Pros: Highest cut quality. Can cut turfgrass below 3/4″. Self propelled so you don’t have to push.
  • Cons: Expensive. All the cons of having an engine: emissions, maintenance, loud. Cylinder blades rotating fast so keep your feet and hands clear.

Walk Behind Mower Types

The majority of homeowners own a walk behind lawn mower.

Within the walk behind mower type, you have: gas powered, battery electric, corded electric, push, self propelled and hydrostatic.

Gas Powered

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At present day gas powered lawn mowers account for 50% of walk behind mower sales. Electric mowers are fast taking over – especially battery powered cordless mowers. It is predicted by 2026 battery powered lawn mowers will be the bestselling lawnmower type.

Small gasoline engine powered lawn mowers have been around for over 100 years.

You have probably used several in your life.

They have a small gasoline engine mounted on a deck that moves around on 4 wheels and a handlebar you push and walk behind.

The most popular brands are Honda and Toro.

  • Pros: Affordable. Many models to choose from. Offer good power to weight and size ratio. Service shops available in all towns (even small towns). Parts available. Handle tough grass with ease. Small and compact for easy storage. Easy to move around your lawn – even if you have hills and garden beds.
  • Cons: Loud. Have emissions. Engine requires maintenance.

Battery Electric

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Battery powered electric mowers were unheard of 20 years ago.

Now they are all you hear about.

With massive battery efficiency improvements and decrease in cost they are fast becoming the most requested lawn mower type at big box stores and online at Amazon and Home Depot.

Brands like EGO, Milwaukee, DeWALT, Ryobi, Greenworks, Makita and many others have cordless battery powered mowers on offer.

Having used all of these brands the two main problems with the battery electric type of mower are:

  • High upfront cost of battery
  • Mowing time on 1 charge is not great (20 – 45 mins depending on battery size used).

Still they have many upside over gas mowers and as we see the world seems to moving towards electric everything – cars, mowers, motorcycles, scooters etc.

Let’s look at the pros and cons:

  • Pros: Cordless. Quiet. No fumes. No maintenance. Compact and easy to store upright in garage. Light.
  • Cons: Mow time on 1 charge (depending on battery size) is 20 – 60 mins (ideal for small lawns of tennis court up to basketball court size, with well kept grass). High upfront cost even compared to premium model gas mowers. Lower power than gas (about 1/2 to 1/4 the horsepower) so it may stall in tall, wet, tough grass.

Corded Electric

Corded electric lawn mowers have long been the most popular option for people with small lawns close to their home. For example, inner city suburb homes with boxing ring size front and back lawns.

These days you can buy corded electric lawn mowers for 120 from brands like Ryobi, Greenworks, American Lawn Mower Company and Makita.

Their main annoyance is the cord getting in the way… But being connected to electricity means no running out of power when mowing the lawn.

If you have a small lawn and don’t care about the cord then this type of mower is for you.

  • Pros: Affordable. Light. No fumes. No maintenance. Small and easy to store in closet or shed. Quiet.
  • Cons: Cord is annoying. Less efficient brushed/universal motor compared to battery electric mower. Less power than gas mower. Low cost often means cheaper plastic components.


The push type lawn mower refers to gas, electric or reel mowers you have to push with your own energy to move forward. They has no drive system to propel it forward for you.

We prefer self propelled mowers because they make mowing easier – even if you have a bad back or sore knee… But push mowers are less expensive and have less parts to maintain (no drive system).

All brands offer a push model and then offer self propel as an upgrade feature.

Here’s some pros and cons compared to self propelled mower types:

  • Pros: affordable. Less components needing maintenance.
  • Cons: effort to push forward.

Self Propelled

Self propelled lawn mower types (gas and electric) use a pulley, belt and gear drive system to turn the drive wheels on the mower and propel it forward.

The drive wheels can be the rear wheels, front wheels or all wheels.

Self propelled mowers can also be push mowers by not engaging the self propel feature. You have the choice. Some mower have the option to change the speed of the self propel feature so you can go from turtle speed to a fast walk behind the mower.

Self propelled mowers are recommended if you have a hilly lawn or nagging back/leg injuries. Self propel will make it easier for you to get out and enjoy mowing the lawn without exerting yourself.

  • Pros: Makes mowing zero effort and more enjoyable – especially on hot, sunny days.
  • Cons: Slightly more expensive than push mowers. Have to maintain the belt in the drive system.

Hydrostatic (Transmission)

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All the most experienced lawn care pros use hydrostatic drive (pump motor) mowers instead of a belt/pulley or gear drive systems like in the homeowner self propelled versions.

  • Instant forward to reverse
  • Infinite speed control (no gears to limit you)
  • Easy steering
  • Cruise control.

Mower types with hydrostatic transmissions have a hydraulic system (hydraulic motor pump) which converts hydraulic fluid pressure and flow into torque for the lawn mower drive wheels to use for moving forward or reverse.

  • Pros: Best-in-class control (response time, speed and sensitivity).
  • Cons: Expensive. You have to maintain a hydraulic system.

Riding Mower Types

It is estimated 2.25 million riding mowers were sold in the U.S. last year.

1/4 of all mowers sold last year were riding mower types.

Riding mowers are the mower of choice for people mowing daily or mowing more than 1 acre a week.

How much lawn do you need to mow per week?

Here’s how long it takes to mow 1 acre with different lawn mower types:

  • Push mower: 101 minutes
  • Rear engine riding mower: 40 minutes
  • Lawn tractor riding mower: 18 minutes
  • Zero turn riding mower: 8.5 minutes

Let’s look at the difference between the different riding mower types: Rear engine, lawn tractor, garden tractor and zero turn.

Rear Engine

The most entry level and most affordable riding mower is the rear engine type.

These come with a small gas engine and cutting width of up to 40″.

The max speed of the top rear engine mower is 5 mp/h (8 km/h) to mow 1 acre in 40 minutes.

An advantage of these mowers is how versatile they are. You can get through fence gates meant for walking and mow your backyard just like a push mower. But they are also great for large 1-2 acre lawns that would take a push mower 4 hours.

  • Pros: Entry level, most affordable riding mower. Much quicker than push mower. Zero effort as you are sitting down enjoying the mow.
  • Cons: Not as quick or powerful as other riding mower types. Much more expensive than a walk behind mower type.

Lawn Tractor

Lawn tractors are the middle ground in riding mowers.

They are bigger and more powerful than rear engine riding mowers but smaller and less powerful compared to garden tractors.

Lawn tractors are tractors and can have attachments for grass bagging, trailer for hauling small loads and different spraying, de-thatching, and aerating attachments.

If you are a homeowner and want a riding mower this is probably your best option. If you own a farm or rural property then 1 of the below mower types may be better suited.

Lawn tractor pros and cons:

  • Pros: Faster and wider cutting width than rear engine type. Can have attachments. affordable than garden tractor type.
  • Cons: Not great on hills compared to below types. Attachments are limited in size and function compared to garden tractors. Will usually come with inferior engine brand (i.e. not a Honda or Kawasaki but instead a Kohler or Briggs).

Garden Tractor

Garden tractors are your premium riding mower for landscape association professionals and farm large rural property owners.

They are bigger, heavier, more powerful and better suited for long working days compared to lawn tractors.

Fitted with diff locks, 4WD a transaxle and a large engine garden tractors are great on hills and will not lose control on uneven or loose ground like mud or sand.

Being the most powerful and capable – of the tractor mowers – they also have the larger cutting width. John Deere make garden tractors with up to 60″ cutting width on their X700 series.

Of course all these advantages over the lawn tractor comes with a hefty price tag.

  • Pros: Bigger grass cutting width. power for hills and speed. attachments available.
  • Cons: expensive. Bigger and harder to find place to store. Can’t get into tight spots.

Zero Turn

Zero turn mower types have the widest range from entry level to commercial duty.

You can get 3,500 zero turns and you can get 35,000 zero turns.

Zero turns have the largest cutting widths and are the fastest and most maneuverable of the riding mower types.

As the name suggests, zero turn mowers can turn on a dime.

  • Large rear wheels. Small front wheels. Zero turns are rear wheel drive so the drive axle needs bigger tires for grip and stability. The small front steering tires allows for 90-degree turning because the wheels aren’t hitting anything at full range.
  • Lap bar steering instead of steering wheel. Because the front wheels need to quickly get to 90-degrees to turn on the dime a lap bar system is much more efficient than turning a steering wheel.

Zero turn mowers are great for speedy mowing around flowerbeds, trees and other landscape features.

  • Pros: Fast for quick mowing. Highly maneuverable. Large cutting deck width.
  • Cons: Generally not great on hills unless you buy a specific made-for-hills model. No attachments available like a tractor.

Stand-on Mower Types

Stand-on mowers are the lesser known mower type that offers many of the same advantages of a walk behind and zero turn mower.

Zero Turn Stand-on

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A stand-on mower is a versatile mower fitting between walk-behind and zero turn mowers in features and benefits.

All stand-on mowers are also zero turn mowers except you are standing at the back on a platform instead of sitting in the middle. It still has lap bar steering. It still has on-a-dime steering. It still has the option for a large cutting width.

Stand-on zero turns are more compact for storage and transporting on a trailer as the entire back end is cut off.

You can also use your body weight to lean into hills and tight bends – improving performance.

People love being able to quickly jump off the mower and move toys or rocks in the mowing path.

Another key aspect is you can use a standy mower as a walk-behind mower if need be.

  • Pros: Higher view of mowing path. Versatile as you can stand or walk-behind. Still operates as a zero turn mower. Compact for storage and transport. Ability to lean bodyweight into hills and turns. agile.
  • Cons: Comparable cost to sit down zero turn mower. You have to stand up when mowing and ride quality is worse.

Tow-behind Mower Types

Tow-behind mowers are the ultimate time saver for mowing large plots of grass because you can mow 10 to 15-ft widths each pass.

Anything above 15 acres and you may want to check out the engine-powered tow-behind mowers.

The 2 types of tow-behinds are gang reel (manual or PTO powered reel/cylinder mowers in series) and engine or tractor-powered rotary mowers in series.

Gang Reel (Manual or Powered)

Tow behind gang reel mowers are reel mowers in series pulled on a trailer hitch.

The forward motion turns the cylinder blade guiding the grass to be cut by the bed knife at the base.

These tow-behind reel mowers (gang meaning multiple) can also be powered by an engine or PTO off a tractor.

Golf courses will use powered versions of these gang reel mowers for the rough and fairway.

  • Pros: All the benefits of the cylinder reel mowing blade: lower cut height ability, higher cut quality.
  • Cons: If not powered may struggle with thicker, longer grasses.

Rotary (Engine or Tractor-powered)

Engine-powered rotary blade tow behind mowers are used to mow large city parks and other 15 acre grass areas with ease.

The tow-behind mower pictured above has 15-feet (4.6 m) of cutting width across 11 rotary blades and cuts our local 100 acre park in 6 – 7 hours (~15 acres/hour). It could cut it even faster if it was all level and there weren’t trees and walkways to avoid…

…But still it is 3x faster than the most hefty zero turns.

Workers usually attach via PTO to a tractor or you can get engine powered ones to tow behind your truck.

  • Pros: Huge cutting width like having 11 people pushing 11 push mowers beside each other. Can tow behind a massive tractor so you never get stuck in the field – even if muddy. Can get PTO or engine powered types. Can detach from tractor and use on other size tractors. Folds side up for easier storage.
  • Cons: Need a powerful tractor to tow and power. High upfront cost. Hard to maneuver around obstacles due to size.

Automatic Mower Types

Automatic robot mowers are battery powered rotary mowers that mow without your input.

They still cost more than a commercial-duty Honda mower so are yet to become popular.

Robot Mower

Robot mowers use a combination of installed guide wires (that you place at barriers of your lawn – garden beds, obstacles etc.) and mapping software to learn your lawn over time.

They essentially go around your lawn until they hit a guide wire or other obstacle and then “remember” it in their software for next time.

  • Pros: You don’t need to do anything except program how often it should mow and at what height. No maintenance.
  • Cons: Expensive.

Other Grass Cutting Tools Not Considered Lawn Mowers

String Trimmer/Weed Wacker

A string trimmer uses nylon line or a blade (called brushcutter) spinning fast to trim grass down to your desired height.

String trimmers can definitely cut your lawn but it will take longer than a lawn mower and be less uniform in height.

Weed wackers are used to trim and edge grass in tight areas and angles close to concrete and other structures the lawn mower can’t reach.

Most lawn lovers own a lawn mower and a string trimmer.

  • Pros: Easy to adjust grass cutting height. Get’s into tight areas and close to edges. Portable tool and easy to take with you anywhere.
  • Cons: Will take longer to mow/cut a large area. Cutting height will be hard to keep the same over the surface area of a lawn.


A scythe is manual tool used to cut grass in places people have no power but their own strength.

It is a sharp blade at the end of a pole that you swing side to side to cut the grass.

The blade needs to be very sharp and the rhythm takes practice.

But if you have the will and no other options it does the job of cutting down grass.

  • Pros: Low upfront cost. No power required. No smoke or noise. No maintenance other than blade sharpening.
  • Cons: High effort. Time consuming.

About your guide: Jamey Kramar is a certified Lawn Care Manager (NALP) and a Mechanical Engineer by trade. He has been writing about outdoor power equipment for 11 years and has been quoted in NYTimes, Popular Mechanics, HowStuffWorks, iFixit, Realtor.com, and more. He spends his spare time disassembling things and also building an off-grid cabin at his 200-acre property.

Best Reel and Battery Lawn Mowers – Reviews Buyer’s Guide

If you want to keep your lawn healthy and beautiful, you must mow it with regularity. Unfortunately, however, traditional lawnmowers that run on gas have enough disadvantages to make most people groan every time it’s time to go outside and cut the grass.

Apart from being loud, they emit plenty of toxic fumes. Even more than that, they require constant maintenance, and the fuel they run on can get very expensive.

Thankfully, though, there is a great alternative to gas-fueled mowers. Electric and reel mowers can be as effective as their gas-fueled counterparts without pollution, noise, and hassle. Interested? Keep on reading to find out what the best non-gas lawn mowers on the market are.

Best Non-Gas Lawn Mowers – Comparison Table

American Lawn Mower Company Push Reel Lawn Mower – Best Walk-Behind Lawn Mower

Featuring a 14-inch, the 4-blade cutting deck that’s shockingly effective, this non-gas lawn mower is a fantastic option for lovers of practicality. Made of high-quality plastic and featuring stainless steel blades, this mower is very durable.

Compact and lightweight, the American Lawn Mower Company Push Reel Lawn Mower is amazingly easy to maneuver. It’s also very user-friendly: Set it up, stand behind it and begin pushing through your lawn.

Material Quality

As I mentioned earlier, the American Lawn Mower Company Push Reel Lawn Mower is made of high-quality materials, including stainless steel blades that only require sharpening once every three to five years.

Meanwhile, the frame is made of tough and durable industrial-quality plastic that perfectly guards its internal mechanism. Speaking of the internal mechanism, this machine requires little to no maintenance.

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No Pollution

Without a doubt, one of the best things about the American Lawn Mower Company Push Reel Lawn Mower is that it produces no fumes at all. That is not all, though: It’s also tranquil. You won’t even need to oil its mechanism for it to run smoothly and quietly at all times. In fact, when you use this product, you will only hear the sound of the grass blades being cut. So if you are a lover of quiet, this may be the best reel mower on the market for you.

  • Easily adjustable cutting height.
  • Requires very little maintenance.
  • Very easy to assemble.
  • Effective with various types of grass.
  • Does not require oil.
  • Rolling backward can cause the mechanism to become stuck.
  • Wheels offer very low friction.

Greenworks 20-Inch Reel Lawn Mower with Grass Catcher – Best Non Gas Lawn Mower with Mulching Bag

Without a doubt, this product will appeal to those looking for a non-gas lawn mower that offers a healthy balance between practicality and efficiency.

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Featuring a 20-inch deck, this walk-behind lawnmower by Greenworks is capable of getting the job done quickly and effectively. In fact, this may be the best reel mower for homeowners with a small or medium-sized lawn.

Expert Construction

Despite being compact and lightweight, the Greenworks 20-Inch Reel Lawn Mower with Grass Catcher is a competent product. Without a doubt, this has a lot to do with its expert construction. Its reel mechanism is flawless, allowing for smooth and uninterrupted cutting action at all times.

This also translates to its adjustment capabilities, allowing you to switch between four different heights quickly and easily.

Manage Grass Clippings

  • Very quick and efficient.
  • 5 cutting blades
  • Offers both a mulching and a rear bag.
  • Do not emit toxic fumes.
  • Offers four height adjustment positions.
  • Very lightweight.
  • Somewhat difficult to clean.
  • The mulching bag is difficult to attach and detach.

Greenworks G-MAX 40V Cordless Lawn Mower – Best Cordless Electric Lawn Mower

If you are looking for a walk-behind mower that doesn’t require you to push it, look no further. Using a powerful and long-lasting lithium-ion battery, the Greenworks G-MAX 40V Cordless Lawn Mower is capable of going through the grass of any type and thickness with barely any effort from you.

Fantastic Durability

The Greenworks G-MAX 40V Cordless Lawn Mower stands out due to its fantastic material quality. The mower’s frame is made of high-quality plastic that’s amazingly tough and durable. In addition, the machine features guards that prevent rocks or other types of debris from reaching its internal mechanism.

Doyle Mathews Lawn Expert

Pro Tip: This said mechanism is also worth noting: Efficient and well-built, it never gets stuck. Meanwhile, the mower’s durable, resistant metal blades can cut through the thickest grass blades with no problems whatsoever.

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Maneuverability and Precision

  • Very tough and durable.
  • Lightweight.
  • Easy to maneuver.
  • Single lever 5-position height adjustment.
  • Requires almost no maintenance.
  • The battery loses power very quickly.
  • A large number of grass clippings tend to fall off the bag.

The Best Non-Gas Lawn Mower – Buyer’s Guide

Types of Non-Gas Lawn Mowers

Before going more in-depth into the different characteristics of electric lawnmowers can help divide them into categories. They are as follows:

Walk-Behind Mowers

The most traditional lawnmower, a walk-behind mower, requires the user to walk behind it and direct it. They can be electric, gas-powered, or reel-based. By and large, walk-behind mowers are the most practical, budget-friendly, and environmentally conscious type of mower out there. They also tend to be very compact and lightweight, particularly compared to the various gas-powered models out there. However, walk-behind lawn mowers are slower and less efficient than other types of mowers.

Riding Mowers

People who have large lawns may not have the time and energy to take care of them using a walk-behind mower. If that’s the case with you, it may be a good idea to get a riding mower. Apart from preventing you from walking from start to finish, this type of mower tends to be larger, faster, and more powerful than walk-behind ones. However, it would help if you kept in mind that, in essence, they are small vehicles. For that reason, you will have to provide regular maintenance to them.

Corded vs. Cordless Lawn Mowers

When you go for an electric lawnmower, two options are immediately presented to you: corded or cordless. Let’s go over each option:

Corded Lawn Mowers

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As the name clearly indicates, corded lawn mowers are powered using an extension cord. That makes them very practical: To use a corded lawn mower, all you have to do is plug the cord into an electrical socket, and you are ready to go. Normally, this type of mower ranges between 14 and 20 inches in deck width. Without a doubt, they are efficient.

However, there is one major inconvenience: Having an extension cord behind you at all times makes it difficult to move through yards with a lot of obstacles. However, if you own a small lawn with few trees or bushes, a corded mower can be a great choice.

Cordless Lawn Mowers

If the idea of an electric mower appeals to you but a cord does not, you can get a cordless device. Cordless mowers use a rechargeable battery and provide the practicality and mobility of a gas-powered mower without noise or fumes. This type of mower comes in a variety of voltages. Typically, the higher the voltage, the greater the torque is. The higher the torque, the cleaner and more precise the cut will be.

There is an obvious disadvantage when it comes to cordless electric lawn mowers: their run-time. Depending on various factors, the lithium-ion batteries of most cordless devices provide around an hour of run-time.

What to Look for in a Non-Gas Lawn Mower

The next time you are in the market for a new non-gas lawn mower, take into account the following aspects:

Deck Size and Cutting Swath

The first thing you should consider before buying a new lawnmower is its deck size. The wider the deck is, the longer the cutting swath of the device will be. Of course, a large cutting swath can do the job faster (in fewer passes) and more efficiently than a short one.

Apart from saving you time, a wider deck reduces the amount of energy consumed to mow your entire lawn. There are also downsides to having a wider deck, though. For one, a mower with a wide deck can be more difficult to maneuver.

Grass Management

When you mow your lawn, a lot of grass clippings are produced. Therefore, it’s important to look for a mower that helps you deal with these clippings in an efficient, clean, and practical manner. It should be noted, though, that some models are better at this than others.

Some lawn mower models shoot the grass clippings from the side. Of course, this means you will have to sweep up the clipping yourself after mowing the lawn. Clearly, this is not the most convenient and practical option. On the other hand, you have mowers that collect the clippings in a mulching bag.

Without a doubt, this is fantastically convenient and practical as it allows you to dump the contents of the bag in the trash or compost pile right after mowing.

Height Adjustment

Another important feature that you should take into account before buying a lawnmower is height adjustment. This feature allows you to easily and quickly control the height that you will cut the grass. At this point, I should note that grass experts say that you should never cut the grass to less than thirty percent of its overall height. Doing this will weaken the grass, causing it to become more susceptible to disease.

Starting Mechanism

One of the greatest advantages of non-gas lawn mowers is that their starting mechanism is quick and simple. Normally, you only need to push a button to get the device going. However, some are started with a key or by pulling a starter handle.

Safety Features

Many electric lawnmowers include safety features that help prevent accidents. For example, some require the user to pull an activation handle while using the device actively. If the handle stops being pulled, the mower automatically stops. Other safety features include shields or guards that prevent rocks from reaching the user or the machine’s internal mechanism.

Tow-Behind Mowers

If you need to mow large grass extensions (like the fairways of a golf course), nothing beats a tow-behind mower. As the name implies, these mowers are towed by an ATV or tractor. They are mighty but require gas, so this option is for large yards.

Do you need a push reel lawnmower?

A great way to improve the appearance of your lawn is through real mowing. It’s also known as cutting short, mowing low, or even cylinder mowing. But whatever the name of it, it involves changing how you cut your lawn. So first, I will cover how you get started, the equipment you need, and the major pitfalls of real moaning that you need to know before starting. And lastly, we’re even going to visit the grass lab to take a closer look at the lawn to see if it actually makes a difference using a real mower and if it’s worth the effort.

Why do we want to use a real mower?

The first reason is if you want to cut your lawn below two inches, a real mower is the only way to get a good cut and deliver one of the cleanest cuts you can get in your lawn, which is actually healthier for your turf. Now more to come on this when we visit the grass lab. If you like lawn striping, reel mowers can deliver much better stripes than most conventional mowers. And that’s because they typically have rollers built in that are going to give very pronounced stripes. And cutting with a real mower can be one of the healthiest things you can do for your lawn by giving it a nice clean cut. And as you’ll see, using a reel mower has a lot more benefits than just cutting your grass short.

What do you need to start?

You are going to need a special lawnmower if you want to get into reel mowing. And that brings us to our first choice. This is a john deere greens mower used on golf courses to cut grass very short. And by that, I mean below one inch. These are very expensive new and most people will buy these on the used market. Now our second choice is made by a company called California trimmer. This is a real mower as well, and it’s much more flexible for a homeowner because this model will allow you to cut from very short heights all the way up to three inches. Take a closer look at using each of these mowers by starting with the john deere greens mower.

Now, this is a cool little kickstand in the back, which is really handy, and you need it because this mower is a little bit different than anything you’ve probably ever used before.It starts with a regular pole start, and this model has a Honda engine. But here, what’s unique is these wheels do not stay on the machine when your mind; they’re called transport wheels, and you have to take them off before you mow the lawn because when it most, it rests on that rear roller. And here’s a close-up of the front of the john deere; it’s got an excellent blade system. It’s also got that front roller to help a balance, and in the middle there, that piece with the stars is used to break up grass thatch or split up the roots to help promote growth and give a better appearance. Now here’s a quick demo of using this machine. My lawn is not caught ultra short. So I’m just using this at the highest one-inch setting. Now here’s our second option. This one is made by a US company called California tremor. It’s a full reel mower, but this is a lot more flexibility. Here is a grass box on the front, and that’s to catch the clippings when your mind. Now I often mow without this box and let a little bit of mulching action happen with the blades.

Please take a closer look at the front of the machine; you can see why it leaves such great stripes. And that’s due to this solid steel roller in the front. And above it is the reel that does all the work. This is also made of steel, it’s got seven blades, and it really does a great job cutting the lawn. And here is a pretty clever design for adjusting the machine’s cutting height from this one spot. All I have to do is move this lever, and the whole machine will adjust to the height I want. I don’t need to turn any screws or anything else. It just lifts that roller up and down to get it to where I want it.What drives this machine is this rubber roller in the back. This is simple, but it does an outstanding job of my lot for getting this more around, and I never lose traction.

Now let’s take a quick look at the California trimmer doing some lawn mowing.

We finish the demos. Now we’re going to go into the grass lab and take a closer look at the actual blades of grass. We’re looking at the blades cut by the real mower, and you don’t need to be a scientist to see that these are very sharply cut. This is better for the grass, making it less susceptible to disease, insects, and other kinds of problems. So this is an excellent result that you want to see when you’re cutting your lawn.

We’re going to look at some grass blades cut with a regular mower or rotary mower. Now what you’re looking at here is very typical. In fact, these aren’t even that bad. My blades are very sharp on my rotary mower, and they’re pretty high quality, but you can still see a huge difference in how they look. The edges are torn, and they’re rough. This is a very average Hyper cut, but it’s still not optimal for the lawn; many people get into real mowing, and then they find out that there are serious problems or expenses they never expected. And the first one, of course, is, in fact, money; the cost of a real mower can be a lot more money than a traditional mower upfront. The other bad news about real mowing is that you’re not going to get away with that one expensive mower.

In fact, you’re going to need a second mower like this because real mowers don’t allow much cleanup. So if you’ve got leaves or twigs, you’re going to need some mower with a bag to get some vacuum ability so that you can clean up your yard. So that adds another expense and a second piece of machinery. So on a regular more, they use blades like this, which you can easily swap out; you can change them every year and resharpen them. But the biggest consideration is if you hit a rock or a big stick that causes damage, the blades and a regular mower can be changed pretty easily. But when we switch over to a real mower, this is very different.

These reels are generally not easily removable, and most people will do what I’m doing here, which is called back lapping. Now, this is nice because you can sharpen these blades pretty easily. But if you hit a rock, you’re going to have a big expense on your hands. And it’s quite a hassle that you don’t have with your rotary mower.

Reel mowing your lawn can set it apart from others. This example here was done with the California trimmer. It was adorable. And you can see the stripes how good they look. And it just gives a great overall appearance. But getting into real mowing is no small feat. And you’ve got to understand what you’re faced with, including the cost of maintenance and things that are just different than a regular mower. And you can see right here that there’s nothing wrong with rotary mowers; this area still looks great. But when you real mall, you can get that extra edge that sets it apart. Or you can cut ultra-low. So whatever your choice is, mowing your lawn, in general, is always a good thing. But you can make your own call that works for you.

In Conclusion

With everything on the table, it’s easy to see how products like those featured in this guide change people’s preconceptions about electric lawnmowers. Using advanced technologies, new products like these can be as effective and useful as gas-powered ones. Yet, amazingly, they can achieve this without making noise or releasing toxic fumes. Hopefully, this buyer’s guide will help you decide whether a non-gas lawnmower is right for you.

Best Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Reviews 2023

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Deciding on the best self-propelled lawn mower isn’t as easy as it used to be. Do you need commercial or residential quality? Do you want to use gas or batteries for power? How much grass do you need to cut? Are you a mulcher or a bagger?

Having tested dozens of the best walk-behind lawn mowers from entry-level residential to the top professional models, we got our Pro team together to choose our top mowers in a range of scenarios.

One of the big things changing in the market is Honda’s announcement that the brand is exiting the lawn mower market. While you can still buy Honda mowers until they run out of stock, 2023 marks the end of production. We still highly recommend them, but due to the news and iffy availability, we’re not considering Honda as part of our choices this year.

Want to see more, including ride-on and robotic recommendations? Read out Best Lawn Mower Reviews main article!

Best Self-Propelled Gas Lawn Mower

Commercial: Exmark Commercial X-Series Self-Propelled Lawn Mower

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As we bid adieu to Honda this year, the HRC series still gets two thumbs up from us while you can get them. From there, we turn to Exnark and its Commercial X line that complements its Lazer Z zero-turn mowers well. Some professionals will certainly turn to the higher-capacity 30-inch model, but we expect the 21-inch model will find its way onto more trailers.

Exmark wisely uses a Honda 163cc GXV engine with a legendary reputation for reliability. It’s fed by a generous 1-gallon fuel tank and turns the blade at tip speeds up to 18,500 fpm. There’s also an option for a Kawasaki FJ180V engine if you’d like to step up to a 179cc engine.

The deck is 1/4-inch aluminum construction that keeps the weight down (112 pounds) while maintaining high durability. The deck is adjustable from 4.5 inches on the high side all the way down to 1 inch while the drive runs at speeds up to 4.2 MPH.

Residential: Toro Super Recycler Series 21-Inch Self-Propelled Lawn Mower

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Toro runs deep in the residential lawn mower sector and our favorite among them is the Super Recycler series. Getting the best of all the technology Toro has to offer, our top recommendation (model 21565) includes the Personal Pace drive system and the Smart Stow design that allows you to vertically store the mower even though it’s a gas model.

It uses a 163cc Briggs Stratton engine that produces 7.25 ft-lbs of torque and just under 17,000 fpm blade tip speed.

Toro touts a commercial-grade construction on this model and includes a lighter aluminum deck rather than steel. In addition to that, you get outstanding cut quality, especially on the mulching side (you better with the name Super Recycler!). Wrapping it up, the Personal Pace drive system adjusts to your walking pace so there are no levers or dials to adjust.

Best Self-Propelled Electric Lawn Mower

Just a few years ago, if you wanted to find the best battery-powered lawn mower, you could only find residential models. Now, there’s an emerging class of professional-grade options and we have picks for both Pros and homeowners.

Professional: Milwaukee M18 Fuel 21-Inch Self-Propelled Lawn Mower

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There aren’t many true commercial self-propelled lawn mowers with lithium-ion power sources. Milwaukee launched their effort in 2022 with a monstrous 10 ft-lbs of torque that tops what you typically see from a 200cc gas engine. It’s more than just muscle, though. Its blade and deck combine to handle mulching and bagging better than most.

As you roll into fall, the mower’s high-lift mode keeps the blades at 3300 RPM to help pull those lightweight leaves and clean up your lawn. Other features include 180° LED lighting, LED battery indicators facing you, variable speed thumb bar (in addition to the speed wheel), a durable build, and much more.

Price: 1099.00 with two 12.0Ah batteries and dual-port Rapid charger

Residential: EGO Select Cut XP 21-Inch Lawn Mower with Speed IQ

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The evolution of EGO’s flagship mower is interesting. It started with the dual-battery Peak Power model that raised the bar of what lithium-ion is capable of. Then, we saw the first stacked-blade SelectCut options that improved cut quality and effectiveness in tall grass. The two technologies combined in the SelectCut XP. Now EGO adds Speed IQ to the mix.

Speed IQ is a self-propelled drive system that automatically adjusts to your pace. However, it’s not a spring-loaded set of handles like Toro uses on its Personal Pace models. Instead, there’s a sensor doing some serious engineering magic… and it works like a charm from our brief time with it at Equip Expo 2022 (formerly GIE).

Price: 599.00 bare, 999.00 with a 12.0Ah battery and Turbo charger

Best Large Walk-Behind Lawn Mower

Commercial: Greenworks Commercial 30-Inch Self-Propelled Lawn Mower

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Can a battery-powered commercial mower really displace gas models? Greenworks Commercial has an 82V 30-inch model that got our attention at the Equip Expo in late 2022, and it’s hard to ignore as a legitimate option. It has the power to replace a 200cc gas engine with blade speeds up to 16,000 FPM. On a full charge, it can cover up to 2 acres.

There are drive system features worth considering as well. Independent hub wheel motors engage what Greenworks calls the Easy Turn System (ETS), making the mower easier to maneuver. Another big deal is that there is a powered reverse function—something that’s incredibly helpful with the weight of mowers in this class. The controls are all up next to your hands and there’s even a display to help you keep track of your battery levels.

Price: 1999.99 bare, 2999.99 with three 8Ah batteries and a dual-port charger

Residential: Toro TimeMaster 30-inch Personal Pace Mower

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With 10 ft-lbs of torque delivered from its Briggs Stratton 223cc engine, the 30-inch Toro TimeMaster is our pick as the best large walk-behind lawn mower. Not only does it deliver big power to turn its time-saving 30-inch blade, but it also features Toro’s Personal Pace self-propelled drive and Spin-Stop that lets you stop the blade without shutting off the mower.

It all adds up to big-time savings on larger lawns. Grab model 21200 if you want an electric start or the 21199 if you don’t mind a recoil start and want to save 100.

Price: 1599.00 (21199), 1499.99 (20200)

Best Self-Propelled Lawn Mower for the Money

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Toro’s 21-inch Recycler (21352) offers an excellent value for budget-minded homeowners. It’s a Made in the USA rear-wheel drive system powered by a Briggs Stratton 140cc engine. It comes ready to mulch, bag, or side discharge and you don’t have to worry about changing the oil. Just check the levels and add more when it’s necessary.

Best Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Brand

No one in the self-propelled lawn mower market dominates like Honda. Their engines enjoy a reputation for quality and durability every other manufacturer is shooting for, and their mowers are simply outstanding.

They typically run at a premium, though. Both Honda mowers and Honda-powered mowers are more expensive than similar designs from other brands. The big kick in the pants is Honda leaving the market, though.

That opens the door for Toro. There are a lot of Toro models we recommend for good reason and hit a wide range from budget-friendly homeowner mowers to commercial zero turns. It’s one of the best-selling brands of walk-behind mowers.

Getting hard sales figures is tough to come by, and it’s always possible we missed the mark. However, we see more Honda and Toro walk-behind mowers on commercial trailers and residential lawns than any other brand.

Best Self-Propelled Lawn Mower for Bagging

You don’t have to ditch your current self-propelled lawn mower and buy a whole new one to improve your bagging efficiency. In most cases, adding a high-lift blade to your current mower will make a significant difference. With the exception of electric mowers, you don’t need to worry too much about matching the brand making the blade, but you do need to match the arbor style and the length. The package should tell you which brands it is compatible with.

If you’re still in the market for a new mower, higher RPMs make for better airflow and bagging. Check mowers with a 160cc or higher engine and compare the top blade speeds. You can always swap blades, but you can’t change the speed.

Pro Tip: If you have a 2-point or 4-point deck height adjustment, set the front wheels of your mower one notch higher than the rear to improve bagging.

Best Self-Propelled Mulching Lawn Mower

Similar to a high-lift blade for bagging, you can improve your mulching efficiency with a mulching-specific blade. These usually have additional cutting edges that cut the clippings more times before they drop back into the grass. Keeping the blade sharp ensures you get the best mulching results every time you mow.

If you’re in the market for a new mower, look for a 160cc or higher engine to give you the torque you need to keep your blade speed high in thicker grass. Remember, you can always add a mulching blade, but you can’t make up for an underpowered engine.

Pro Tip: You get the best mulching results if you’re only taking an inch or two off the top of your grass, so make sure you stay on top of lawn maintenance during the peak cutting season.

Best Self-Propelled Lawn Mower – Priorities

Best Rear-Wheel Drive Self-Propelled Lawn Mower for Hills: YBravo Gen II 25-inch Commercial Mower

After running into issues with other commercial walk-behind mowers, we turned to YBravo 25-inch commercial mower to take care of a 3-acre soggy field that our ZTs only bogged down in. Its Kawasaki 180cc engine kept the blade turning where others simply stalled.

When it’s time to move out of the radio station swamp and you’re going for a more professional look, its cut quality is excellent as well. Available in a 21-inch and the 25-inch model we tested, Ybravo is worth serious consideration.

If you have a Bad Boy dealer closer to you, check out the same model sold under the Bad Boy brand name.

Price: 1299.00 (25-inch model)

Best All-Wheel Drive Self-Propelled Lawn Mower: Toro 22-inch Personal Pace All-Wheel Drive Mower 21472

AWD mowers are what you turn to for work on slopes and uneven terrain where it’s possible to have a wheel or two lose traction. For the best all-wheel drive self-propelled lawn mower, we like the Toro 21472 Personal Pace model.

Its 22-inch deck is on the larger size of standard mowers and the Personal Pace system is easy to work with once you get used to it. If you switch between mulching and bagging, the mower’s lever system is super simple.

Packing plenty of power with its 163cc Briggs Stratton engine, it’s not so much that it destroys the competition. It’s that its performance is excellent and the innovations are genuinely helpful while keeping its price in check.

Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Recommendations

Not every mower earns an award, but there are several other models we recommend that didn’t find a place earlier in the article. Check these options out if one of the others doesn’t fit your needs.

Best Lawn Mower Buying Guide – What We Look For

Gas vs Battery

Gas power still wins the day when you’re highest priorities are keeping your purchase price down and your power level high. With advancements in battery and motor technology, the OPE world is shifting towards battery power, though. It’s cleaner and quieter to run and requires less maintenance.

However, you have to look at premium models to get true gas power, and runtime can be a limiting factor. It’s also less likely you have a service center nearby that can get you back up and running quickly if there’s a problem.

If your lawn is a 1/4-acre or less, there are a lot of battery-powered options available. Once you get beyond that size, you need to consider how many batteries you’ll need and legitimate options really start to thin out once you hit 1/2 an acre. With larger lawns, newer battery-powered zero turn mowers are a legitimate option.

Take a deeper look at the comparison between gas and battery power in this article.

Commercial vs Residential

This might be better titled “professional vs homeowner” considering there are both commercial and residential professional crews. Regardless, commercial mowers are built with better components and commercial engines, creating a machine that is built to last for years of high-hour daily use.

If you’re a homeowner mowing once a week or so, a good residential mower can still last for 5 or 10 years (or more) if you take care of it. It just uses components and engine designs better fit for occasional use.

Engine Size and Cutting Power

If you stay on top of your mowing and cut quality isn’t a high priority, an engine as small as 140cc is likely fine.

Move up to the 160cc–180cc class for better performance when the grass is thicker and taller, or when you want to make sure you get excellent mulching, bagging, and/or clean cuts. The greater power improves lift and is less likely to bog down in thick patches.

When you’re looking at deck sizes beyond 22 inches, you should start looking for engines in the 180cc–200cc range (or higher) to ensure it can keep the RPMs high while it’s cutting such a large swath.

Cut Quality

We look for three major components of cut quality: evenness, mulching size, and bagging efficiency.

Evenness is pretty straightforward. When we’re testing, we look for grass blades that weren’t cut and indications that there wasn’t enough lift to clip all of the blades at the same level.

When mulching, smaller clippings are better since they drop down closer to the base of the remaining grass. We also look to see if a mower is prone to leaving trails and clumps.

For bagging, it’s all about how much grass is collected, if the chute tends to clog while we’re cutting, and how much grass is deposited back to the ground.

Noise Level

One of the major benefits of battery-powered mowers is the lower noise levels compared to gas, but that doesn’t mean gas mowers have to be obnoxious. We expect higher levels than battery-powered models and that is typically the case.

When we test noise levels, we measure from our operator’s ear to get an idea of what the person using the mower should expect. Even though some mowers are quieter than others, we still recommend hearing protection when you’re using a gas model.

Fuel Efficiency

How efficient gas mowers use fuel has a very direct effect on your wallet, especially when you’re mowing every day as a Pro.

Fuel efficiency testing is more than just a runtime calculation. The cutting swath of a mower comes into play, especially on those 25 and 30-inch models. With larger lawns, it’s possible to get more cutting done per gallon of gas with an engine that uses more gas per hour.

Deck Size

21 or 22 inches is pretty standard for most mowers. Jumping up to a 25-inch or 30-inch mower may seem tempting, but it’s not for everyone.

If your lawn is a 1/4-acre or less, the time you gain with a larger deck might not mean a whole lot of time savings. Where you really gain some time is on lawns that are a 1/2-acre or more.

Keep in mind, larger deck-size mowers are heavier. When you have to mow wet or soggy areas, the weight can work against you.

Steel vs Plastic (Poly) Deck

The vast majority of gas mowers have steel decks while battery-powered models have a much higher percentage of plastic poly decks.

Those poly plastic decks are tougher than they look, but they probably won’t hold up as well as steel in the long run. It’s still highly unlikely that you’ll wear through one before it’s time to replace the mower, though.

However, there’s a whole lot more design flexibility that comes with poly decks, and engineers can do some amazing things to help with airflow that directly affects cut quality along with bagging and mulching efficiency.

Deck Height

Here in Florida, we have a lot of St. Augustine grass that we cut at 3 1/2 inches, so we prefer a mower that has at least a 4-inch maximum deck height.

Depending on what species of grass you have, you might be able to get away with a lower height, but 4 inches is a good all-around benchmark.

On the low end, most of us aren’t cutting golf course greens (you’d use a reel mower for that, anyway), so the minimum deck height usually isn’t an issue.

However, if you use a blade that dethatches or scalps for maintenance or re-seeding, you might want to make sure the deck height gets low enough—typically 1 1/2 inches or less.

Height Adjustment

Single-point height adjustments are the easiest since you can raise or lower the deck with just one lever. It’s common on battery-powered lawn mowers, but not so much on their heavier gas counterparts.

Part of that is because the single-point mechanisms tend to introduce additional flex into the system and the weight of a gas mower puts more strain on the mechanism. So while we generally prefer single-point, we understand why gas mowers may opt away from them.

Pro Tip: Set the front wheels one notch higher than the rear wheels to improve bagging efficiency on 4-point or 2-point adjustable mowers.

Adjustment Levels

If you’re really OCD, more height adjustments mean more precise cutting. Realistically, most of us are going to find a good height on any mower as long as it hits the maximum and minimum heights we mow at.

Setting the Speed

The type of speed adjustment your self-propelled lawn mower has can make or break your experience. There are pull levers, thumb push levers, full push bars (Toro’s Personal Pace), and iterations on those.

Try it at the dealer before you buy it. If you hate working the mechanism for a couple of minutes, imagine what it’s going to feel like after 30 minutes or an hour.

Front-Wheel Drive, Rear-Wheel Drive, or All-Wheel Drive?

Front-wheel drive lawn mowers are typically the least expensive and work well for even terrain. They also help you turn the easiest since you lift up the drive wheels as you make your turns.

Rear-wheel drive mowers add some cost but create better traction on hills and slopes. They’re particularly good at pushing the mower’s weight uphill where front-wheel drives start to lose traction as they try to pull the weight.

All-wheel drive mowers are the most expensive and generally do the best job on hills, slopes, and uneven terrain. On particularly bumpy areas where it’s likely one or more wheels will lose traction, it’s the best bet.

Wheel Size

Larger wheels tend to handle bumps and uneven terrain better than smaller wheels according to manufacturers. However, it’s a claim that Consumer Reports says isn’t really the case.

Electric Start

If you’ve used a gas engine, there’s a good chance you’ve worn out your arm pulling the cord to start it. There’s no doubt that having an electric start on your mower can take away a lot of the frustration.

It won’t make up for poor maintenance, though. A well-maintained mower starts easily on the first or second pull. That begs the question as to whether the electric start is worth an extra hundred dollars.

It’s totally up to you, but if it’s in the budget, we want it.

Mulch, Bag, or Side/Rear Discharge?

Most quality mowers are 3-in-1, meaning you can bag, mulch, or side/rear discharge. Less expensive models often only provide options for bagging and mulching. Which one you choose depends on what type of grass you have, how fast it grows, and your personal preference.

In central Florida where St. Augustine, Zoysia, and Bahia dominate our landscapes, the summer heat and rains make our grass grow incredibly fast. Most of us mulch out of necessity since we almost need a dumpster for the volume of clippings we create.

Handle Positions

Most lawn mowers have 3 handle positions you can set. For tall guys like me or average-height guys like Clint, it helps you find a more comfortable grip. Some mowers opt for 2, or sometimes just 1 handle position.


Value is more than just price. We take a broad look at the performance and features compared to the price to determine the value of each mower.

Why You Can Trust Pro Tool Reviews

Ever check out a “review” site and you can’t tell if they actually tested the tools or if they’re just “recommending” the Amazon top sellers?

That’s not us. We only recommend what we’d actually use, even if we don’t earn a commission from it. It’s all about giving you a legitimate recommendation and our honest opinion of each product.

We’ve been in business since 2008 covering tools, writing reviews, and reporting on industry news in the construction, automotive, and lawn care industries. Our Pro reviewers work in the trades and have the skills and experience to know whether tools can perform well in the field.

Each year, we bring in and review more than 250 individual products. Our team will put our hands on hundreds of additional tools at media events and trade shows throughout the year.

We consult with innovators in the technology and design of tools to gain a broader grasp of where these products fit and how they work.

We work with more than two dozen professional contractors around the United States who review products for us on real job sites and consult with us on testing methods, categories, and weighting.

We’ll provide more than 500 pieces of new content this year absolutely free for our readers—including objective evaluations of individual tools and products.

The end result is information you can trust because of the editorial, scientific, and real-world professional experience we collectively utilize each and every time we pick up and test a tool.

Definitions : Reel and Rotary

A Reel Mower is a mower in which the blades spin vertically (north to south) and use a scissoring action to cut the blades of grass. A reel mower should have between three and seven blades, depending on the model type.

  • Golf courses are most often cut with reel mowers which are pulled by a tractor.
  • A Reel mower pushed by people does not cut very high grass as well or as easily.
  • However, once the lawn is under control, the scissor-like cut of a reel mower is healthier for the lawn.

A Reel mower snips the grass, cutting each blade like a pair of scissors. It’s a precise, clean cut that makes for a healthier and more attractive lawn.

A Rotary Mower is a mower in which the blade spins horizontally (east to west) and uses a sucking and tearing action to cut the blades of grass. Rotary mowers usually have one blade which rotates very fast. The rotary mower design is simple and adapts very well to small engines. Rotary mowers can cut a wide variety of grass conditions. Rotary mowers are usually powered by gas engines or electric engines.

Over the course of a cutting season, leaving lawn clippings as you mow is equivalent to a free application of fertilizer.

Mulching (“Grasscycling”) means laying a “blanket” of organic matter over the lawn which helps to retain moisture and add nutrients. With the cutting action of a reel mower you can leave reel clippings on the lawn. A reel mower creates a fine spray of clippings that act as a mulch and decompose quickly, releasing nitrogen into the lawn. Over the course of a cutting season, that mulch is equivalent to a free application of fertilizer.

Many states (24 at this writing) and Washington, D.C., have passed laws banning the disposal of yard waste, including grass clippings in landfills. According to the Composting Council, yard trimmings are the second largest component of municipal solid waste (18 percent or 35 million tons).The Professional Lawn Care Association of America is promoting Grasscycling. This term means either composting or mulching the clippings where they are produced.

Reel Mowers

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Earthwise 16″ Bent Reel Mower

165.00 FREE shipping

This reel mower is specifically designed to cut low-growing, creeping grasses.

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Earthwise 18″ Quiet Cut Reel Mower

189.00 35 shipping

The Earthwise 18-inch Quiet Cut Reel Mower features a non-contact quiet reel system for quieter and smoother operation.

Scotts 20″ Classic Reel Mower

169.00 30 shipping

This large reel mower cuts as wide as a traditional gas powered mower but without the harm to the environment and loud noise.

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Hudson Star Classic Cut Mower Reel Mower

2190.00 FREE shipping

Hudson Star Greensmowers have lower cutting heights than most reel mowers and will mow low enough for a putting green.

Rotary Mowers

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Earthwise 20″ Cordless Electric Lawn Mower

139.00 31.99 shipping

The Earthwise 14″ Corded electric mower delivers the performance of a rotary lawn mower without gas, oil or pollution.

Resources ::

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