Best Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Reviews 2023
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Top 5 Best Gas Lawn Mowers 2023
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.
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.
Manual mowers: Quiet, pollution/greenhouse gas free, safer, better for your lawn
Did you know that gas-powered lawn mowers are a major source of air pollution? In fact, one hour of running a two-stroke-engine gas mower can emit more smog-forming pollution than driving your car from Sault Ste. Marie to Sudbury! The stinky fumes from gas mowers can make it hard for people with lung and heart issues to breathe, and they are very noisy. Some are loud enough to pose a risk to your hearing and traumatize wild birds into abandoning their nests.
Electric mowers are less noisy, but the cord can be a pain to work with, and they still have a significant carbon footprint.
So why not consider a manual mower? Today’s manual mowers are not the beasts of our grandparents’ time! They are much improved and easier to use.
Six reasons to switch to a manual mower
- Aesthetic/environmental benefits: Can we all agree that gas-powered mowers are horrible to listen to and smell awful? With a manual reel mower, you have no annoying noise pollution, no noxious fumes, no greenhouse gas emissions. And again, while electric mowers are a bit greener, they still come with issues.
- Healthier lawn: Manual mowers work like scissors — they cut rather than rip or tear the blades of grass. This scissoring action leaves your grass less prone to diseases and pests. And reel mowers disperse clippings more evenly than motorized mowers do — no ugly clumps!
- Safety: Manual mowers do not fling rocks or debris and stop when you stop. They rarely cause injury. Each year in Canada, a lot of people, including children, are injured by power mowers.
- Cost: Manual mowers cost less and are much cheaper to maintain. No gas or oil to buy, no electricity used! They are very simple machines.
- No start needed: No rope to pull, no key to find, no gas or oil to top up, no cord to untangle and plug in, no recharging needed. Easy to get out, push, move, and store.
- Great exercise! It’s a nice way to burn some calories while walking around your yard.
We recommend you read up on reel mowers on product review sites before buying.
FYI: Reel mowers work best in yards with healthy lawns. If your yard is very weedy, depending on the types of weeds you have, a reel mower may have more difficulty. Buy quality for the best result.
How about your other power tools?
So once you’ve made the switch from gas or electric to manual mower, consider if you can switch out other gas-powered or electric lawn/yard tools as well. Gas and electric leaf blowers, string trimmers, and hedge clippers all pose the same issues as gas mowers.
We understand that in some cases manual is not an option. For example, some people have joint issues may find it difficult to use some manual tools.
But if we all switched to manual tools for at least some of our yard and garden tasks, it could make a huge difference in the levels of air and noise pollution in our community, and help reduce fight climate change.
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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
- 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.
What are the Best Reel Mowers? Reviews Buyer’s Guide
Maybe you have a small yard or patch of grass and don’t need a more powerful mower. Or maybe you want to help protect our environment and don’t mind a little elbow grease when cutting your grass.
You may want to consider a manual reel mower.
The 5 Best Petrol Lawn Mowers For 2023 UK
Push reel mowers are fairly inexp ensive, don’t require any gas to buy or store, require very little maintenance and no batteries to charge.
Reel Mower Reviews
1) American Lawn Mower 1204-14 Push Reel Mower
- Just push to start – No cords, keys, or buttons to remember
- Easy storage – Just hang it on the wall
- Quiet, engineless, and won’t ever disturb the neighbors
- Large weeds and small twigs get caught up in the blades, and you’ll need to stop mowing and remove them
- Non-adjustable handle
The American Lawn Mower 1204-14 features 8 1/2″ tall impact wheels, a 14″ cutting width, and alloy steel construction.
This very economical machine weighs only 19 pounds, is excellent for cutting very narrow turf strips alongside sidewalks, and cuts each blade precisely (like using scissors).
My pick for the best reel mower!
2) Great States 304-14 Reel Lawn Mower
- Wheel height adjusts to 3 positions
- Five heat-treated blades stay sharp longer
- Quiet and environmentally friendly
- Needs lubrication before each use
- Narrow model, so the number of passes across the yard is increased
The Great States 304-14 features a steel unbreakable side plate, a tempered alloy bed knife blade, and steel reel, cushioned handle grips, a 1/2″ to 1 3/4″ adjustable cutting height, and easy, lightweight maneuverability.
Simple to assemble and use. One of the highest rated by consumers researched.
3) Fiskars StaySharp Max Reel Mower
- Stationary reel and precision-ground blades never make contact
- Eco-friendly mower eliminates the need for electricity or gas
- Special InertiaDrive reel glides through the toughest spots with double the cutting power
- Does not corner well
- Stops if anything other than grass gets in the blades (heavy dead leaves, twigs, etc.)
The Fiskars StaySharp Max Reel Mower boasts twice as much cutting power and is 60% easier-to-push than other standard reel mowers.
It has inset wheels that facilitate super-close edging, an adjustable cut height of 1″ to 4″, a 1-touch handle height-adjustment, and a reversible grass chute.
4) Scotts 2000-20 Classic Push Reel Lawn Mower
- Wide 20″ cutting path reduces time needed to mow
- Smooth ball bearings help blades to spin efficiently
- Foam grip loop-style handle
- Lawn will need to be mowed at least twice a week
- Won’t mow tall weeds or any other kind of debris
The Scotts 2000-20 has a cutting height of 1″ to 3″, 5 blades, and a QuickSnap height adjuster with 9 positions.
It features a unique rear-wheel design that improves maneuverability and reduces drag. Add to that easy assembly, a welded reel hood, and strong heat-treated blades.
5) Earthwise 1819-18EW Reel Mower
- No tools required for assembly
- Sports a comfortable cushioned ergonomic handle
- Economical and eco-friendly mower
- Hard to use if grass is too high
- After mowing, you’ll need to either use a blower or rake up all the grass
The Earthwise 1819-18EW has an 18″ cutting width, tempered steel bed knife blade and reel, 6″ rear tracking wheels, durable 10″ composite front wheels, and 5 blade ball-bearings.
It’s lightweight, practically maintenance free, is ready to work anytime you need it, and doesn’t leave behind any residue.
How I Rated The Mowers
In order to provide you with the best information, I left no stone and grass blade unturned to provide you with a great list of choices for reel lawn mowers.
I read hundreds of reviews from all over the Internet – from Amazon, eBay, Home Depot, Lowes, etc. – plus the manufacturer’s pages for Fiskars, Great States, American Lawn Mower, Earthwise, and Scotts.
After thoroughly reading both the positive and the negative reviews, I chose 5 push reel mowers that among the best in the field.
Once the reel mowers were selected, I considered each model individually.
- What are its pros and cons?
- What are its average ratings from customers?
- How reliable is this mower?
- Does it come with a warranty?
- Are there any unique features displayed by this mower?
- How much does it cost, and does its special features and performance rate a higher price tag?
It’s important to buy a product with a warranty. All of the mowers I choose have at least a 1 year warranty, some even longer.
A necessary feature of any good mower – the mowers I picked have adjustments ranging from.5″ to 4″.
Reel lawn mowers are available in different widths which range from 14″ to 20″. The wider your reel mower is, the faster it will mow. A 14″ mower will cut your lawn about 30 times slower than a 20″ mower.
Quality of Cut
Several factors may affect the quality of cut, including sponginess of the turf, excessive thatch, or if the user tries to cut off an inordinate amount of grass height at one time.
The lower the cut height, the more probable that you might experience some of the following factors that might affect the quality of cut:
- Reel or traction speed or cutting unit drop-speed
- Tire pressure or engine governed speed
- Reel sharpness and bed knife angle and sharpness
- Cutting unit down-pressure setting or counterbalance
- Height of the cut
Ease of Use
A reel mower does not only have superior cutting ability; it is very easy to use.
It starts up whenever you do – no rope to pull, no cord to plug in, no oil or gas to worry about, and no idle to adjust.
A reel mower is lightweight (usually weighing between 19-35 pounds) and is a snap to push or store.
Why Buy a Reel Lawn Mower?
Reel lawn mowers have many fans – eco-friendly environmentalists, those people who love exercise, economical shoppers, and those people who hate noise and/or the smell of gasoline.
There are many reasons to purchase a real lawn mower:
- Economic – You can buy a high quality reel mower for around 60-150 – depending on the features you want.
- Superior cutting ability – A reel mower provides an even, clean cut which seals grass blades to keep out any disease organisms and holds in moisture at the same time.
- Yields natural mulch – A reel mower disperses clippings via a fine spray that decomposes quickly (no clumping is involved). The clippings can be left safely on the lawn, and provide natural fertilizer.
- Safety – Reel mowers don’t throw out debris or rocks. They start when you start and stop when you stop.
- Appeals to many types of users – female, male, suburban, urban, old, young, all income levels, exercise enthusiasts and anyone who is environmentally aware.
- Nostalgia – Reel mowers bring back memories of times that were simpler.
- Fitness – A reel mower burns the same amount of calories per hour as downhill skiing, tennis, or low impact aerobics (approximately 400-450 calories)
- Low-cost, dependable mowers with very few maintenance costs.
- Pollution-free – No gas, no engine, no tune-ups, so it won’t be degrading the air quality.
- Quiet and safe – You don’t need to worry about waking up the neighbors early in the morning.
- Low maintenance – No spark plugs to replace, no filter that needs cleaning, no oil that needs to be checked or replaced.
- Lightweight alloys and plastics have decreased the weight of these mowers considerably.
- Reel mowers start up every single time!
- A reel mower is better for the health of the grass, unlike rotary mowers which rip off the tips of grass blades and makes them more exposed to diseases. Your reel mower will snip the grass tips and leave healthy trimmings to turn into mulch in the yard.
- Reel mowers cut shorter and don’t disturb the surface of the soil, and your lawn will be much less welcoming for weeds to grow.
- Reel lawn mowers are more maneuverable than power lawnmowers.
- It’s more aesthetically pleasing to use a reel lawn mower. The smell of fresh cut grass (without oil fumes and gas smells mixed in) can be pleasantly intoxicating. It’s so quiet that you will still be able to hear the kids playing or the birds singing.
- If you have a lot of trees and twigs in your yard, this mower might not be for you. You’ll have to rake and pick up twigs before mowing.
- Although many of the newer models are more lightweight, they will still give you and your muscles a good workout.
- This machine is human-powered, and not the best choice for people with energy or strength deficits or other disabilities.
- Most reel lawn mowers will need to have their blades sharpened about once a season – but that is true of any mower.
- Rocks can frequently chip mower blades.
- Uneven ground can be difficult for a reel mower.
- You’ll need to trim around sidewalks more if you have a reel mower since they’re set lower to the ground and won’t go over stone paths or sidewalk edges like power mowers can.
Difference Between Cheap and Expensive Models
As with most products, the more you spend, the more features you will get. The same holds true with reel mowers. Less expensive models generally have cheaper components.
Although my top choice is also one of the cheapest on the market. It is a GREAT product but doesn’t have many extra features.
In my opinion, owners of reel mowers, just want something simple that works well with little maintaince. If you need more features, you may want to step up to a self propelled mower.
How Much Should I Expect To Pay?
The mowers below are normally priced between 50 and 200. It’s hard to get a better cut to price value than with a reel mower.
After extensive research and reading hundreds of reviews, I choose the American Lawn Mower 1204-14 as the best reel lawn mower for most people.
- 4-blade reel mower with a cutting width of 14” and durable 8.5” polymer wheels for maximum.
- This push lawn mower has an adjustable blade height of 0.5”-1.75”. Capable of cutting grass up.
- Manual grass cutter is environment-friendly alternative to other lawn mowers. This push mower is.
- A reel mower uses a cutting action that does not bruise or damage the blades of grass. For best.
It is priced very competitively, very easy to use and maintain and has thousands of
It’s powerful, fast, and maneuverable, and perhaps best of all – its blades will only require sharpening every five to ten years!
Last update on 2023-07-21 / Affiliate links / Somes Images and Data from Amazon Product Advertising API