Gasoline push lawn mowers. The Best Gas Lawn Mowers of 2023

The Best Gas-Powered Push Lawn Mowers – Comparisons Reviews

​Like brushing teeth or showering, mowing the lawn is a necessary evil we’d sooner avoid even though we know we’ll be better off for it, nobody else is going to do it for us, and we’ll pay for it later if we skip it.

Mowing means you have to go outside where the mosquitoes and gnats will harass you, where it’s probably hot and humid, and spend a decent amount of time pacing back and forth. By the time you’re finished, you’ll be sweaty and itchy with grass clippings sticking to you.

Nobody can take all the uncomfortable elements out but with the right lawn mower you might find yourself looking forward to mowing instead of dreading it.

Quick Picks – Top Gas-Powered Push Lawn Mowers

Why choose to push when you could have self-propelled?

The main difference between a self-propelled lawn mower and a push lawn mower is pretty straightforward, a self-propelled lawn mower moves itself forward by turning either the front or back wheels when you squeeze a lever of some kind as you walk behind it. A push lawn mower means you push it to move it forward. No push, no go.

But why would you choose a push lawn mower and do all that extra work when the mower could do it for you? There are a few reasons. For one, a push lawn mower is going to be significantly cheaper to purchase right from the get-go. All that extra convenience can add up to a lot of extra cost.

A push lawn mower is going to be lighter than a self-propelled equivalent because of the additional hardware required to propel the lawn mower. This makes a push lawn mower easier for you to, well, push and makes it easier to maneuver around turns and obstacles.

Finally, a push lawn mower has fewer components that could possibly break down or which require regular maintenance, such as a belt or transmission on a self-propelled mower.

A push lawn mower is best suited to a lot that is mostly flat and a half acre at the most. That doesn’t mean it can’t handle a larger lawn with a load of hills, you’ll just burn that many extra calories using it.

Mulching vs. Bagging vs. Side Discharge

Grass clippings are an inevitable side-effect of mowing your lawn and one you have to find some way or another to deal with. There are three ways to manage your clippings: you can mulch them, you can bag them, or you can discharge them.

Mulching is where your lawn mower sucks up the clippings after cutting them off a shoot of grass and continuously tosses them under the deck. As the clippings are tossed, the mower blade chops them into finer bits and eventually scatters them across the lawn where they will break down into a natural fertilizer.

Sounds perfect, right? Mulching is great if you are sure to mow frequently and stick to the 1/3rd rule (never cut off more than 1/3rd the length of your grass). Because the mower has this extra work to do, the clippings need to be smaller to begin with or you’ll just start dropping large clumps of grass that need to be raked when the mower can’t handle the workkload.

Also, if you have a lot of weeds your mower will struggle to break up the sturdier material and you may end up spreading the weeds around your lawn in the process.

Bagging is very clean as the mower not only cuts the grass but also acts as a vacuum sucking up the clippings and anything else laying around your lawn. This is a great way to prevent spreading weeds or diseases throughout your lawn.

The downside of bagging is you won’t get the fertilization boost from your clippings and you still have to find somewhere to dump all the clippings you bag. If you need a special yard waste container, that’s an extra cost to consider.

Side discharge or rear discharge is similar to mulching in that the clippings are scattered over your yard after being cut and so carries some of the same drawbacks. However, instead of being repeatedly chopped into smaller pieces the clippings are shot out at the size they are cut.

This means if the clippings aren’t coming out quite small enough, you’ll probably end up needing to rake them up to prevent them from laying on top of your grass and damaging it.

Discharging clippings allows your lawn mower to handle taller grass without bogging down than mulching can but if you’ve let the lawn grow for too long bagging is probably the best choice. If you are meticulous about mowing every few days then any method will work well.

The Top Four Gas Powered Mowers

Honda HRR216PKA

This Honda lawn mower offers exceptional power and versatility. At its heart is the tough and reliable 160cc Honda GCV160 engine which fires up with a single pull and runs quieter than you might expect.

The engine is responsible for spinning the only twin blade setup on our list. Not to be outshined by the power plant, the MicroCut system trims beautifully and pulverizes clippings. The HRR speaks softly and carries a big stick.

The HRR216PKA is a 3-in-1 system with an ample 1.9-bushel bag stretched even further with how well the HRR breaks down clippings. With the bag attached you can easily switch from bagging to mulching using the Clip Director, then just remove the bag for rear discharging. The downside with rear discharge is you are likely to find your shoes and shins caked in plant matter.

Mowing height can be set to one of six positions ranging from 1 1/8” to 4” via a separate adjustment on each of the four wheels. While this is adequate, it feels cumbersome and seems unpolished when compared to the other Smart designs on the HRR.

Aside from the clippings on your shoes and the clunky height adjustments, the only real complaints on the HRR216PKA were that it occasionally left an uncut strip when mowing through thick grass.

The Honda is somewhat pricey as push lawn mowers go but the Honda brand is well known for excellence and durability making the HRR216PKA a worthy investment.

Cub Cadet SC100

The Cub Cadet SC100 is hard not to fall in love with because it packs serious punch but won’t K.O. your budget.

For starters, the SC100 runs the dependable Cub Cadet 159cc OHV engine which is a dream to start and more than powerful enough to handle any reasonable (or unreasonable) job placed before it. A single blade engages the CycloCut system to provide consistent, professional quality cuts.

The SC100 is another 3-in-1 system with a 1.9-bushel bag but requires the attachment of a chute to perform side discharge duty. This particular lawn mower is known as an excellent mulcher but has had some minor complaints about clogging or struggling to suck up damp clippings when bagging. But that is the extent of any gripes.

One of the main highpoints of the Cub Cadet is the single-point, height adjustment lever which makes changing your cut height a walk in the park. The range on the SC100 is from 1 1/4” to 3 3/4” over six settings.

At 63lbs, it is one of the lightest gas-powered push lawn mowers on this list, which makes it nimble and easy to push. The SC100 was also the only mower on this list which included a washout port on the deck to make routine deck cleaning less of a hassle.


Ariens Razor 911173

This mower definitely boasts the fiercest name and with good reason.

A single blade whips on the shank of an Ariens 159cc OHV engine at a grass-decimating blade-tip speed of 17,000 feet per minute. This creates a massive vacuum which inhales clippings into the 2.0-bushel bag.

The Razor is renowned for its superior bagging ability but it’s also a capable mulcher and side discharger when the chute is attached.

Like the Cub Cadet, the height is adjusted through an easy to use single-point lever made even easier with a spring assist and by having each increment clearly marked. The Razor also has the broadest range of height options with seven of them from 1” to 4”.

Constructed of almost entirely metal materials, the Razor is built like a tank. You could push it tumbling into a ravine and probably still get it to fire up and cut.

Its exceptional durability is to blame for the Razor’s main source of complaints, it’s heavy. This is likely why many have stated the Razor seems to resist being pushed. Being built like a tank comes with a hefty toll and at 94lbs the Razor is a full 26lbs heavier than the next heaviest in this group, the Honda.

When we’re discussing specifically push lawn mowers that amount of mass must be taken heavily into consideration.

All that rugged power comes at a steep price as the Razor was the most expensive push lawn mower of the four.

Poulan Pro PR550N21R3

The Poulan Pro PR550N21R3 is the most affordable gas-powered push lawn mower in the group and doesn’t offer much in the way of bells and whistles. It’s a purpose driven model focused on remaining inexpensive, while still providing a great cut for your lawn.

The PR550N21R3 comes equipped with a 140cc Briggs and Stratton 550E engine running a single blade. Briggs and Stratton carries a reputation for producing stout engines that hold up well over time.

Leaving bells and whistles out of the design means this mower is by far the lightest at 50lbs making it much less demanding to maneuver around obstacles or up a hill.

This model does have the smallest bag at 1.6 bushels but it is still capable of performing mulching, bagging, and side discharge tasks with exceptional results. The deck height is adjusted on each wheel separately with five positions ranging from 1 1/4” to 3 1/2″.

Some have complained the 140cc engine can feel underpowered at times or that it creates a weak vacuum for bagging. Others have questioned the build quality of such a light lawn mower. Still, it remains at the top of the list for performance in its price range while offering plenty of mowing choices and the capability to fulfill them.

Final Thoughts

If you’ve got a small to medium sized lot that’s relatively flat there’s no reason a gas-powered push lawn mower can’t handle that sort of job. Sure, you’ll want to be realistic about your wants, needs, and budget but this is not a purchase most people will make often so make sure you’re getting a lawn mower that will match your mowing habits and is one you enjoy using.

All the bells and whistles are meaningless if you won’t or don’t use them, especially if you break the budget to get them. Conversely, you’ll never be happy with a lawn mower that fails to meet your expectations and becomes a chore to use within a chore.

About Russ Thompson

Hey I’m Russ and I have been a contractor for over 20 years. I know what the cost of having the right tools and materials for the job. My passion for woodworking and helping others by workshops in my wood shop. I have beginner classes all the way up expert trade classes. Check out my bio for more.

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Choose the right walk-behind, self-propelled, or riding mower to manage your yard.

By Tony Carrick | Updated Jul 13, 2023 10:46 AM

We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs.

Many homeowners hope to have a verdant, well-manicured lawn that makes them the envy of the neighborhood. While proper fertilization and watering are essential to growing gorgeous green turf, the right mower is critical for proper lawn maintenance. Choosing the best machine can be a rather difficult task, however. Gas-powered lawn mowers come in many shapes and sizes, ranging from small push-behind models with 20-inch decks to monster lawn tractors capable of cutting a 46-inch-wide swath.

Choosing the best gas-powered lawn mower from among the many options and brands on the market depends on several factors: yard size, type of terrain, even the physical strength of the operator.

In selecting our list of the top gas-powered lawn mowers, we looked at factors like engine power related to deck size and cutting versatility. We also scoured customer reviews to choose the most reliable models. Use this guide to explore these machines and the factors and features crucial to consider when searching for the best gas lawn mower.

  • BEST OVERALL:Honda HRN216VKA 21″ Variable Speed Walk-Behind Mower
  • BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK:Craftsman M220 150cc 21″ Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
  • BEST MANUAL LAWN MOWER:Honda HRN216PKC 21″ Walk-Behind Push Mower
  • BEST SELF-PROPELLED:Toro 21″ Recycler Self-Propelled Gas Lawn Mower
  • BEST RIDING MOWER:Cub Cadet XT1 LT46 Enduro Series Riding Mower
  • BEST FOR SMALL YARD:Yard Machines 02B 20″ Gas Push Mower
  • BEST FOR LARGE YARDS:Toro 30″ TimeMaster Personal Pace Gas Lawn Mower
  • BEST FOR THICK GRASS:John Deere S130 42″ Lawn Tractor

Before You Buy a Gas Mower

Before purchasing a gas lawn mower, it’s a good idea to first consider electric mowers. Those with small yards can often get away with an affordably priced corded electric mower. For those with larger yards, advancements in battery technology have made battery-powered lawn mowers a great alternative to gas mowers.

Battery-powered mowers, which include both walk-behind and ride-on models, require less maintenance than gas mowers, are easier to start, and are a greener alternative to gas-powered models. While larger residential lawns and yards with steeper or uneven terrain may still demand the power that only comes with a gas mower, a battery-powered mower may be suitable for small to medium yards.

How We Chose the Best Gas Lawn Mowers

We researched some of the best-selling gas lawn mowers from major retailers like The Home Depot, Amazon, and Tractor Supply Co. to produce our list of the top gas-powered lawn mowers. Our research focused on three major attributes: deck size, engine size, and cutting functions. Gas lawn mowers are a rather broad classification, so we broke the mowers down into smaller, manual push-behind models suitable for smaller yards; self-propelled lawn mowers for medium-size yards; and riding lawn mowers for large yards.

Engine size was also crucial to our selection process. While a 125cc engine is capable of powering a gas mower, most mowers with these smaller engines struggle to power wider cutting decks through thicker grass. The best gas lawn mowers have engines large enough to power their respective mowing decks. We selected mowers with at least 140cc engines for mowers with 21-inch decks. Having the options to mulch and bag are also crucial. When possible, we leaned toward models that offer at least two out of the three cutting options (side discharge, mulching, and bagging).

Our rankings also took into account the reputation of the brand. We selected well-regarded brands that have been in the business for decades, such as Toro, Honda, and Cub Cadet. All the brands on our list have well-established reputations for producing quality gas lawn mowers.

Tested gas lawn mowers from this guide:

Our Top Picks

The products described below narrow the field of gas lawn mowers to some of the best on the market in different categories. There are models suited to small yards as well as large lawn tractors capable of cutting up to 3 acres. All these lawn mowers feature powerful engines, multiple cutting options, and ample deck sizes.

Honda HRN216VKA 21 Variable Speed Walk-Behind Mower

Whether it’s generators, automobiles, or lawn mowers, Honda has a reputation for producing durable, high-performing engines—like the one in this 21-inch gas-powered and self-propelled lawn mower. The powerful 170cc engine sits atop an ample 21-inch deck, and unlike walk-behind models that have a single blade, this Honda’s deck boasts two offset blades that produce smaller clippings than other blade styles.

A simple clip system makes it easy to switch between mulching, bagging, and side discharge of grass clippings without needing to add or remove attachments. This Honda mower uses a rear-wheel drive for its propulsion system, which gives it superior ability to manage tough and uneven terrain and climb slopes. Handlebar controls make it a breeze to switch between the mower’s variable speeds.

Product Specs

  • Engine: 170cc
  • Deck width: 21 inches
  • Functions: Mulching, bagging, side discharge
  • Dual blades produce smaller clippings for less cleanup after use
  • Clip system makes it simple to toggle between operating functions
  • Smart drive allows for easy speed control; safe and easy to use
  • Rear-wheel drive provides excellent traction for precise cutting and added safety

Get the Honda HRN216VKA gas mower at Acme Tools, The Home Depot or Northern Tool Equipment.

Craftsman M220 150cc 21 Self-Propelled Lawn Mower

Introducing the self-propelled gas mower from Craftsman, a well-established and highly regarded brand in the world of lawn mowers. This exceptional mower showcases a powerful 150cc engine paired with a spacious 21-inch mowing deck that’s specifically designed to cater to yards up to ¾ acre in size. Its large 8-inch rear wheels, featuring heavy tread, effortlessly propel the mower forward, while the six cutting heights provide remarkable versatility. With mulch, side discharge, and bag disposal settings, this mower adapts to the user’s preferred method.

Although lacking power assist, its significantly affordable price makes it an attractive choice for those with level yards who have no need for a self-propelled mower. Kickstarting the mower is a breeze, requiring just one pull after adding oil and gas. It showcases commendable power for handling average lawn grass and conquering uphill terrain, albeit experiencing a slight reduction in performance when dealing with tall, overgrown grass. Its front-wheel-drive feature enables seamless maneuverability and turns.

While a fully loaded bagger may potentially impact rear traction, we did not encounter such an issue. With an adequately sized fuel tank, this mower ensures half-acre coverage per fill-up. For budget-conscious shoppers seeking durability and a self-propelled solution, this Craftsman mower stands as an exceptional value proposition.

What Our Tester Says: Bob Vila writer and product tester Mark Wolfe says about this lawn mower: “We liked the Craftsman mower’s affordability and simplicity. It only required about 20 minutes of easy assembly. The completed handle configuration was a bit less refined in appearance, the grip area is unpadded metal, and the blade and drive control cables are retained on the handle by heavy-duty cable ties.”

Product Specs

  • Power source: 150cc Briggs Stratton gas engine
  • Deck size: 21 inches
  • Type: Walk-behind
  • Front-wheel drive assists the user while mowing; prevents strain while in use
  • Easy to start, no priming or choke required
  • Side-discharge, mulch, or bag for ease of cleanup after mowing
  • Self-propelled feature is not adjustable; may not be suitable for some users’ preferences
  • Unpadded grip could lead to hand fatigue with extended use

Get the Craftsman lawn mower at Lowe’s or Ace Hardware.

The Best Lawn Mowers of 2023

Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases made through the links below may earn us and our publishing partners a commission. were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

Honda HRX217VKA

The Honda HRX217VKA is powerful, heavy and ideal for larger lawns. Read

Ego Power LM2135SP

This mower is powerful, comfortable, and a joy to use. It performed extremely well mulching and driving itself uphill. Read

Honda HRN216VKA

Honda has produced superior power equipment for many years and this mower, which operates with rear-wheel drive, is no exception. Read

Kobalt KM 5080-06

The electric Kobalt KM 5080-06 was flexible and easy to operate, and can run bagged or bagless. Read

Hart HLPM061US

The Hart HLPM061US performed well across terrains and has a simple to use speed control. Read


Until just a few short years ago, gas lawn mowers were king. As more consumers are seeking eco-friendly cars, homes, and, yes, power equipment, advanced battery technology answers the call.

Today, consumers can drive an electric car, thrive in a solar-powered home and maintain their property with battery-powered equipment. But are the new electric push lawn mowers as good as the old internal combustion mowers? We decided to find out.

We tested gasoline, electric-corded, and battery-powered lawn mowers from the leading brands. We were eager to see if the battery-powered mowers could handle a large yard as well as the tried-and-true gasoline models. We weren’t disappointed. The Honda HRX217VKA (available at Amazon) came out on top as Best Overall, edging out its predecessor and our previous winner, the Honda HRN216VKA.

For the non-gasoline mowers, the Ego Power LM2135SP (available at Walmart) is our choice for Best Electric Lawn Mower. This mower set-up was quick, and it handled our testing well. The Ego Power also includes features not found on similar electric models.

The Honda HRX217VKA was a pleasure to use.

  • Power source: Gas
  • Self-propelled: Yes
  • Cutting options: Bag, Mulch, Rear discharge or shred leaves
  • Drive: Rear-wheel
  • Weight: 113 lbs

Quiet and powerful, the Honda HRX217VKA 21-inch NeXite lawn mower is the one to have for larger spaces. It is not designed for small yards, and you won’t be darting in and out of flower beds and shrubbery.

It is a pleasure to use. We had tested Honda mowers before and were familiar with their operation and overall product quality. The HRX217VKA did not disappoint. Easy to assemble and set up right out of the box, it started on the first pull of the cord.

Right away you can feel the heft of this mower with its innovative NeXite deck and powerful motor. It’s heavier than most mowers, but it feels planted on the lawn and tracks perfectly. It’s a mower for large lawns, and it makes the most difficult cuts a breeze.

With its 200cc motor and Select Drive Control, this mower easily cuts, bags and mulches the heaviest grass with ease. The Select Drive Control is almost intuitive as it lets you adjust the walking speed with a variety of settings.

The controls on the mower are large and easy to use. You can set the mower to bag or mulch or anywhere in between. Its user-friendly platform is clearly marked. You will use this lawn mower for years and years to come.


The Ego Power LM2135SP is the best electric lawn mower we’ve tested.

  • Power source: Electric/battery
  • Self-propelled: Yes
  • Cutting options: Bag, Mulch, Side discharge
  • Drive: Rear-wheel
  • Weight: 88 lbs

Until a few years ago, those who preferred not to buy an internal combustion mower had little choice. But advanced battery technology has finally arrived and the benefits can readily be seen in the Ego Power LM2135SP, a 21-inch self-propelled electric mower. This cordless mower with a cutting width of 21 inches utilizes a 56-volt lithium ion battery to power through up to 60 minutes of lawn cutting.

The Ego Power is powerful, comfortable, and a joy to use. Even though the battery only lasted about an hour, the mower performed extremely well mulching and driving itself uphill. It has plenty of torque and is capable of doing anything a gasoline-powered mower can do. It is clean, easy to use, and efficient.

The set-up on this mower was the easiest of the bunch. The handle slides and folds across the mower with ease, making storage a snap. Adjusting it to a personal height takes seconds.

A quick 50-minute charge on the battery and you’re ready to go. The battery charger even has a cooling fan that improves charging times and keeps the battery cool.

Like some of our other mowers, the Ego Power has twin blades that improve mulching and keep the trips to empty the rear bag to a minimum. Cutting height is achieved with one easy-to-access lever.

Operation is straightforward, and the composite deck makes the mower light and easy to maneuver around yard obstacles. Simply depress the power button, pull the green handle and the blades begin to spin. Dual buttons on the handle make engaging the self-propel feature safe and comfortable.

The Ego Power comes with LED headlights for convenience, and it was the only mower we tested that could propel itself when the blades were not spinning. This was a nice feature that eliminated pushing the mower back to the garage.

Other Lawn Mowers We Tested

Previously our pick for best lawn mower, the Honda HRN216VKA is a 21-inch self-propelled gas mower that’s a great choice for any yard. Honda has produced superior power equipment for many years, and this mower, which operates with rear-wheel drive, is no exception. It can handle the toughest lawns with ease and won’t take up much room in the garage.

The set-up was easy and the mower started on the first pull. Its smooth engine is quieter than the other gasoline mowers, and it has more than enough power to cut and mulch the grass even while going uphill.

The Honda has a stacked and offset blade design that produces smaller clippings, which allows for better mulching and bagging. This means more efficient cutting and fewer stops to empty the grass bag. The bagging and mulching options can be easily and safely selected, once the mower is off, by using one lever on the mowing deck.

The innovative self-propel system is comfortable on the hands, provides adequate speed control, and can even be adjusted for those who are taller or shorter. Folding the handle for storage can be done quickly. This Honda lawn mower even has a gas shut-off valve for off-season storage.


  • Power source: Electric/battery
  • Self-propelled: No
  • Cutting options: Bag, Mulch, Side discharge
  • Drive: Rear-wheel
  • Weight: 66 lbs

The Kobalt 80V 21-inch electric mower is a great choice for anyone that wants an affordable, flexible, compact mower that is easy to maneuver and doesn’t require extension cords or gas cans. The mower is strong enough to chop through thick grass, and offers a highly adjustable cutting height.

At 66 pounds it is very easy to operate, with the ability to go bagged or bagless, and you can fold up the push handle for compact storage.

The main draw here is the 80V battery system, which gives you an hour of runtime in our testing, enough to cut about 7,500 square feet on a full charge. It also works in a variety of other Kobalt tools, and spares will run you right around 150. Charging the battery takes around 45 minutes when it’s dead, and it just pops into the battery slot and the mower can turn on with a press of a button if the safety key is inserted—much easier than having to use a traditional pull start.

Overall if you need a nice, basic mower to get the job done and want to go cordless, this is an excellent choice. It cuts clean lines, it’s easy to use, it can handle most lawns with ease, and the light weight makes it much easier to move up and around slopes and hills.

Especially if you’re planning to invest in a range of electric tools, this is a good system to buy into.


  • Power source: Electric/battery
  • Self-propelled: Yes
  • Cutting options: Bag, Mulch, Side discharge
  • Drive: All-wheel
  • Weight: 89.5 lbs

This Hart lawnmower was a pleasant surprise.

After removing it from the box and charging the batteries, we fired it up and took it out to the thick, lush grass.

It performed beautifully; its powerful electric motor cut through the lawn with ease and even increased its revolutions when we cut thicker grass. This mower easily handles a larger lawn.

The Hart mower moved with power and confidence through the lawn, and the simple-to-use speed control was right there at your fingertips. While our winning Honda gas mower has a sophisticated Select Drive System, the Hart’s simple slide bar works as well or better.

This excellent lawnmower has the power and convenience of mowers costing much more.


The Toro is a worthy competitor to the top-ranking mowers on this list.

This Toro lawn mower has the largest cutting area at 22 inches, and it is powerful and comfortable to use, thanks to its Personal Pace self-propel system.

To engage the self-propel, simply push the lever forward a bit and the mower begins to move forward, push it a little more and the mower moves faster. After a couple of rows of cutting, you will see how easy it is to regulate speed. This system is not as intuitive as some of the others, but it still works quite well.

Another great feature: The Toro has Briggs and Stratton’s check-don’t-change oil system that never requires an oil change.

Storage is also a snap as the handle folds down and the mower can be stored vertically.


  • Power source: Electric/battery
  • Self-propelled: No
  • Cutting options: Bag, Mulch, Rear discharge
  • Drive: Rear-wheel
  • Weight: 58 lbs

At just 58 pounds, this mower makes cutting small lawns a lot of fun. The rear discharge chute allows you trim close to trees, beds, and shrubbery. I found myself zipping around obstacles using only one hand.

This is a simple machine with one battery in the center. Charging time is quick, and once the battery is in you’re on your way.

This is not a lawn mower for the back 40. With a 20-inch cut and a small electric motor, it is just not capable of handling larger lawns. But for most mid to small yards, this mower can clean up the area in no time.

Light and easy to store, this is the perfect mower to keep a lawn looking great.


  • Power source: Electric/battery
  • Self-propelled: Yes
  • Cutting options: Bag, Mulch, Side discharge
  • Drive: Rear-wheel
  • Weight: 78 lbs

The 21-inch Ryobi RY401150 40-volt brushless mower set up quickly and easily right out of the box. It includes double blades and cuts clean and clear.

This mower comes with two batteries that can be installed in the top of the machine. One notable drawback is that only one battery powers the mower at a time—cut your grass for approximately 30 minutes and when the first battery is depleted, you stop and move a switch to engage the second battery. Ryobi says that the batteries will last for 70 minutes, but stopping to change batteries seems counterproductive.

Otherwise, the mower performed well and completed all of the tests. It has a one-lever height adjustment and is light enough to maneuver around obstacles. It has plenty of power and handled the hill with little strain.

While both the Ego Power and Ryobi were solid performers on the electric front, the Ryobi was let down by its self-propel controls. The controls are located under the bar, but the lever is vague and unresponsive. Because the lever is designed for thumbs only, you need to push the lever in an awkward manner to get the mower up to speed.


  • Power source: Electric/corded
  • Self-propelled: No
  • Cutting options: Bag, Mulch, Side discharge
  • Drive: Rear-wheel
  • Weight: 65 lbs

For a corded mower, the Greenworks 25022 lawn mower performed quite well. The set-up was easy, and once it was plugged in, it started right up.

Of course, before you use the mower there is the time-consuming task of unearthing your extension cord, unraveling it, and finding a suitable outdoor plug. Once plugged in, the mower embraces its purpose with ease.

It has a powerful 12-amp electric motor that may not conquer larger lawns, but is perfect for smaller yards and trimming duties. Not to mention it offers clean and even mowing.

Not being self-propelled, it takes some effort to push the lawn mower and cord uphill and then navigate a path back so as to not cut your cord.

Its small size makes storage a breeze.


The 14-inch Sun Joe MJ401E lawn mower is the easiest to store. Its diminutive size makes it the perfect lawn mower for small yards and trimming duties. It’s light enough to pick up and move, and it comes with an easy-to-use bagging system.

Still, this is not a lawn mower for cutting the typical suburban lawn, as its lightweight, short wheel base and small wheels make it a little unstable over roots and ruts.

Of all of the lawnmowers tested, the Sun Joe provided the most difficulty when it came time to adjust the height of the blades. The mower utilizes solid axles, front and rear, and the axles are located in a three-notch system under the mower. To change the height of the cut, you need to pull the spring-loaded axles from their positions and move them up or down. It’s a challenging exercise.

The Sun Joe is corded, so cutting area is limited. To its credit, it’s powerful enough when running, but the limited scope means you will have a hard time tackling an entire yard.


The Craftsman M220 is one of the more cumbersome mowers we’ve tested. Set up was more involved—to adjust it to my height I had to first kneel on the floor and remove two fasteners from the bottom of the handle and then pull the handle out of the body. Another two fasteners at the base of the handle allowed me to set the handle angle. The better mowers have release buttons and adjusting levers that allow the operator to make these adjustments quickly and safely while standing.

The mower started on the first pull and seemed to have enough power to tackle any lawn. However, the two levers on top of the handle—one to start and one for speed of self-propulsion—are difficult to operate. Both are difficult to grab if your hands are small to medium, and the levers are too far from the handle for comfortable operation. They’re also not intuitively placed; you have to look each time you make a pass.

The biggest disadvantage of this mower is that it is equipped with front-wheel drive. When self-propelled mowers first came out many years ago, a front-drive system was easy for manufacturers to design and implement and the homeowner didn’t have to push dead weight. The design worked for many years because there was nothing else. But over the years rear-drive systems were developed and it produced a more balanced, more comfortable cutting experience.

When cutting a lawn, the operator naturally has some weight on the handle. Add to this the weight of the grass in the bag off the back of the mower and you have a very light front end. Because the weight of the mower is not over the wheels, the front wheels tend to spin and grasp through each pass. This results in uneven lines, a hard to control mower (especially on a bumpy terrain), premature wearing out of the plastic front wheels, and difficulty trying to trim around obstacles. This antiquated front drive system really lets this mower down.


  • Controls are cumbersome
  • Front Drive System limits control and comfort
  • Not nimble around obstacles

How We Tested Lawn Mowers

The Testers

We spent the summer mowing a half-acre New England lawn, over and over again.

Kevin Kavanaugh is a retired public school teacher and a product tester for Reviewed. Kevin has been cutting lawns for just about 50 years. He has always been intrigued by all things mechanical, be it watches, power equipment, vintage bicycles, or classic cars.

Ray Lane is a retired supermarket store manager, avid golfer, and product tester for Reviewed. His lawn is the envy of Cumberland, Rhode Island, and he has used several push mowers over the years. At 83 years of age, his input on the mowers was critical, specifically when evaluating ease of starting, maneuverability, and safety.

The Tests

We tested lawn mowers on both flat land and hills to test maneuverability and power.

After ordering from retailers like Lowe’s and The Home Depot, we assembled each mower and took note of the ease of the set up and how quickly we could adjust the handle to our preference. We then added gasoline, a battery, or an electrical cord to get the mower ready. We evaluated at the ease of setting the cutting height, first testing a high cutting height and then a lower one.

We took each mower on a few passes of an uncut half-acre lawn, measuring approximately 22,000 square feet, noting how it cut at a high height and a lower height while we monitored both the bagging and mulching features. Then we took each mower up and down a grassy hill to see how they performed. Our final test was testing storage capability.

What You Should Know About Lawn Mowers

Self-propelled lawn mowers can take some of the effort out of walk-behind mowing.

There are two basic types of walk-behind mowers: push and self-propelled.

The push type of mower is usually smaller, lighter, and easier to store. They are used primarily for smaller, level lawns. They are perfect for cleaning up areas that larger riding lawn mowers may miss. They can be run by gasoline, cords, or battery.

Self-propelled lawn mowers usually have a larger cutting diameter and can move on their own through operator controls. These mowers can also be powered by gasoline, cords, or battery. Since they take the brunt of the pushing away, self-propelled mowers are perfect for larger lawns up to a half-acre, and they can easily handle hills and sloped lawns. These self-propelled mowers aren’t fully robotic lawn mowers so you still have to do some work guiding them around your yard.

What Is A Self-propelled Lawn Mower?

The first self-propelled lawn mowers started to appear in the late-1960s. As suburbia grew and lawns got larger, pushing a heavy steel mower around on a summer afternoon wasn’t what most people wanted to be doing.

The first self-propelled mowers had primitive front-wheel drive systems that worked well enough, but the mowers often moved along too slowly. Sure, you weren’t pushing but you were caught in a slow-moving lawn-cutting procession. Early mowers either moved too slowly or too fast to match a natural walking speed.

Today’s mowers offer a much better propulsion system. The Honda NeXite Variable Speed 4-in-1 Gas Walk Behind Self-propelled Mower with Select Drive Control, for example, allows a variety of walking speed settings. Owners can literally dial in their preferred walking speed so that they become one with the mower, not being pulled and not having to push.

The Ego Power Select Cut 56-Volt Brushless 21-in Self-propelled Cordless Electric Lawn Mower even allows the operator to drive out to the lawn without the blades turning. That is a great feature.

Today’s self-propelled mowers reduce operator fatigue and make cutting the grass easier than years ago. Self-propelled mowers make cutting on hills safer and more efficient. And with modern speed options they make a summertime chore a little more enjoyable.

Gasoline, Corded Electric, or Battery—Which Lawn Mower is Right for You?

Battery-powered lawn mowers can be powerful and efficient.


Gasoline-powered lawnmowers have kept lawns manicured for decades. They are powerful, reliable, and affordable, and come with features such as self-propelled movement, mulching features, and self-cleaning availability. They are powerful enough for large lawn care jobs and can tackle any lawn from a quarter- to half-acre acre. Any lawn bigger than that would necessitate a riding mower.

But gas-powered mowers emit dangerous carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons, require yearly maintenance, and require the storage of gasoline and oil. This may not be suitable for some consumers.

Corded Electric

Corded electric mowers have been around for years and were historically the choice of consumers who had smaller lawns and didn’t need the more powerful gasoline mower. While powerful enough to get most cutting or trimming jobs done, the one obvious drawback to a corded mower is the electrical cord.

For any yard worthy of mowing, a long electrical extension cord is required to power the mower. This can be a minor annoyance, such as having to keep the cord free from getting tangled in trees and bushes, to a major annoyance when you drive over it and cut it into small pieces.

However, corded electric mowers require no gas, oil, or maintenance and, other than a blade sharpening from time to time, can perform reliably for years.


Battery-powered cars, power equipment, and tools have been around for a long time. The electric motors were strong and reliable enough, but the battery was not. Just a few years ago, an electric car could expect to go only 100 miles on a charge, and power tools and equipment didn’t last long either. In the past few years, battery technology has improved by leaps and bounds.

Best Gas Lawn Mowers 2023 | Top 5 Gas Lawn Mowers on Amazon

Electric cars can expect hundreds of miles on a charge and power tools and equipment can last a full day. This lithium battery technology found its way to lawnmowers and it has created a viable option for those consumers who don’t want gas and don’t want a cord. These battery-powered mowers are powerful, efficient, lightweight, and green. Many now use brushless electric motors, which are more efficient, produce more torque, and are longer lasting than the older electric motors with brushes.

How often should I mow my lawn?

Cutting the lawn too often and only cutting it when it gets overgrown are both unhealthy for a lush, beautiful lawn. The rule of thumb in the lawn-care industry is to keep the grass between 3 inches and 3.5 inches in length. This allows the grass to be long enough to thrive in hot, summer weather.

When cutting grass, never take more than a third of the blade at once. In other words, never cut more than an inch or so. Not only does this cause clumping of grass on the lawn or in the mower bag, but it takes too many nutrients and moisture from the grass itself.

After the late winter fertilizer treatments and the often heavy rains, lawns start to come to life. You’ll find that the grass will need cutting every 4 to 5 days in order to remove just enough length. As the summer wanes on and the temperature rises, the grass will grow a bit slower and a once week cutting is adequate.

It is also important to keep the blades of your lawnmower good and sharp. Since the lawnmower blades are often made of steel, they will develop a dull edge after a season of cutting. A dull edge on a blade will tear the grass and not cut it. This may result in browning of the tips of the grass and put more stress on the mower as well.

gasoline, push, lawn, mowers

While you are under the deck checking those blades—and always disconnect the spark plug wire before going under the mower—be sure there is no old clumped up grass clinging to the mower deck.

Meet the testers

Director, Content Development

TJ is the Director of Content Development at Reviewed. He is a Massachusetts native and has covered electronics, cameras, TVs, smartphones, parenting, and more for Reviewed. He is from the self-styled Cranberry Capitol of the World, which is, in fact, a real thing.

Kevin Kavanaugh is a retired public school teacher and a product tester for Reviewed. Kevin has been cutting lawns for just about 50 years. He has always been intrigued by all things mechanical, be it watches, power equipment, vintage bicycles, or classic cars.

Checking our work.

Our team is here for one purpose: to help you buy the best stuff and love what you own. Our writers, editors, and lab technicians obsess over the products we cover to make sure you’re confident and satisfied. Have a different opinion about something we recommend? Email us and we’ll compare notes.

These are the top gas, electric, and manual push mowers

Push mowers are great options for anyone with a yard on the smaller side. ZDNET chose the Honda HRN 166cc as our top pick, but we also reviewed battery-powered and manual reel push mowers for anyone looking for a more eco-friendly option.

Taylor Clemons is a tech writer and reviewer based near Cleveland, OH. After graduating from Tiffin University in 2011, they spent several years in lawn and garden manufacturing before working on their own (now defunct) game review site, Steam Shovel.

Taylor Clemons is a tech writer and reviewer based near Cleveland, OH. After graduating from Tiffin University in 2011, they spent several years in lawn and garden manufacturing before working on their own (now defunct) game review site, Steam Shovel.

Push mowers are ideal for smaller yards since they have more narrow cutting decks and are more stripped-back than their ride-on tractor cousins. Along with traditional gas-powered models, you can find a wide variety of electric and manual reel mowers if you’re in the market for a more eco-friendly way to care for your lawn.

Electric mowers use rechargeable batteries to power the blades and any self-propelled transmissions, and they have comparable power to their gas-using counterparts. The downside is that they have relatively short run times.- often just up to an hour.- so you’ll have to keep a back-up battery charged and ready to go if your yard is on the larger side or has a lot of obstacles to mow around.

Manual reel mowers have seen an uptick in popularity with homeowners who have very small lots, often under.25 acres. With smaller cutting decks and no need to keep fuel or batteries on-hand, they’re perfect for more compact storage when not in use and during the off season. They also can help you reduce your carbon footprint since they don’t expel any sort of exhaust or require any electricity, just some good, old-fashioned elbow grease.

To help you find the best push mower for your yard, I’ve rounded up five of the best you can buy. I broke down their features, power sources, and price points so you can choose the one that best fits both your budget and your lawn care needs.

Honda HRN 166cc

Best push mower overall

  • Self-propelled
  • Twin cutting blades
  • Variable speed throttle
  • Bagger attachment included
  • Rip-cord start may be frustrating for some users
  • Requires an oil/fuel mix
  • Does not fold for storage

Cutting width: 21 inches | Power source: gasoline | Self-propelled: Yes | Bagger included: Yes | Variable speed: Yes

The Honda HRN 166cc push mower snagged a spot in our list of the best lawn mowers you can buy, and it takes the crown as the best push mower available. The 166cc engine uses a mix of two-cycle oil and gasoline for power, while the 21-inch cutting deck works has two blades for ultra-fine clippings that either go into the included bagger attachment or re-feed your lawn with the side discharge chute. You can also adjust the cutting height to seven different positions with the easy-to-use levers for the perfect lawn every time.

The rear wheels work with the mower’s self-propelling drive train for an easier mowing experience, and you can control the speed with the intuitive push throttle to match your natural walking speed. You’ll also get peace of mind with the three-year warranty to replace damaged and worn out parts from regular use, so your Honda HRN push mower will last season after season.

Ego Power 56V

Best electric push mower

  • Folding design for compact storage
  • Two-bushel bagger attachment included
  • Self-propelled and variable speed
  • Weather-resistant cutting deck

Cutting width: 21 inches | Power source: 56V battery | Self-propelled: Yes | Bagger included: Yes | Variable speed: Yes

The Ego Power 56V was named our number one pick on our list of the best electric mowers, and for good reason. The rechargeable battery gives you up to an hour of run time with full power, which is perfect for yards up to half an acre. A push-button start eliminates frustrating rip cords for near-instant engine turnover, so you can get started mowing your lawn seconds after you set up the mower.

It comes with a bagger attachment to collect grass clippings, but you can also use the mulching feature to create ultra-fine cuttings to re-feed your lawn between professional treatments. The bagger holds up to two bushels of cuttings, so you can spend more time getting yard work done and less time emptying the container.

The 21-inch cutting deck can be set to six different heights with the simple lever, and you can control the self-propelled speed with the intuitive squeeze throttle to go as slow as.9 MPH or as fast as 3.1 MPH. The deck is made of durable molded plastic to resist rust and corrosion that can ruin traditional steel cutting decks. And the entire mower folds down for more compact, vertical storage; which is perfect for garages and tool sheds that are on the smaller side. Dual LED headlights illuminate your cutting row for safer operation if you need to cut your grass in the early morning or late evening.

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