Robotic Lawn Mower Market by End-user, Distribution Channel, and Geography. Forecast and Analysis 2023-2027
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Robotic Lawn Mower Market Analysis Report 2023-2027:
The robotic lawn mower market is estimated to grow by USD 1069.21 million between 2022 and 2027 accelerating at a CAGR of 15.73%. The growth of the market depends on several factors, including the increasing demand from the commercial segment, continuous product developments, and the growing aging population.
This report extensively covers market segmentation by end-user (residential and commercial), distributional channel (offline and online), and geography (APAC, North America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, and South America). It also includes an in-depth analysis of drivers, trends, and challenges. Furthermore, the report includes historic market data from 2017 to 2021.
What will the Size of the Robotic Lawn Mower Market Be During the Forecast Period?
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Robotic Lawn Mower Market: Key Drivers, Trends, Challenges, and Customer Landscape
The increasing demand from the commercial segment is notably driving the robotic lawn mower market growth, although factors such as the availability of alternatives may impede the robotic lawn mower market growth. Our researchers studied the data for years, with 2022 as the base year and 2023 as the estimated year, and presented the key drivers, trends, and challenges for the market. Although there has been a decrease in demand for the market during the COVID-19 pandemic, a holistic analysis of drivers will help companies refine marketing strategies to gain a competitive advantage.
Key Robotic Lawn Mower Market Driver
The increasing demand from the commercial segment is notably driving the robotic lawn mower market growth. In the residential sector, robotic lawnmowers have emerged as an optimal solution for lawn mowing. However, the use of these machines in the commercial sector was limited until now. Over the years, technological innovations in robotic lawn mower products have mitigated earlier challenges such as low productivity, limited battery life, and frequent maintenance of robotic lawnmowers and increased the popularity of these machines in the commercial sector. Robotic lawn mowers have adjustable shock absorber components to adjust according to the incline and on uneven garden areas. All these features have enabled them to overcome the challenges faced by traditional lawn mowers and have increased the popularity of robotic lawn mowers in commercial areas such as golf courses, hotels, sports fields, and parks.
Numerous commercial end-users are opting for robotic lawn mowers over manual cutting machines for garden and lawn care. For instance, in May 2022, The Toro Company announced its new robotic lawn mower product with battery-powered mowers and Smart, connected technology. The mower can maneuver through narrow spaces and around obstacles such as trees and landscaping thanks to the product’s patented vision technology, which uses numerous cameras to map and locate obstacles in the yard or space. Such developments in the commercial end-user segment are expected to drive market growth during the forecast period.
Key Robotic Lawn Mower Market Trends
The development of Smart cities is the primary trend driving the robotic lawn mower market growth. A Smart city integrates information and communication technology (ICT) with IoT to manage a city. Globally, governments are embracing technologies such as connected devices, IoT, Big data, analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), and robots to fulfill Smart city initiatives. Smart cities will drive the demand for robotic lawnmowers, as the need for effective gardening equipment will increase with infrastructural development.
Gardening equipment ensures effective lawn care and reduces overall energy consumption. The elevated risk of pollution and the use of gas-powered equipment that directly contributes to pollution are the major challenges faced by cities across the globe. Robotic lawnmowers are battery-powered and emission-free, which can aid in fulfilling the standards for energy efficiency and pollution in Smart cities. In addition, robotic lawn mower providers must regularly update their functionalities and features in terms of technology and increase the capabilities of their lawnmowers to adapt to the changing needs of end-users, especially in the commercial segment.
Key Robotic Lawn Mower Market Challenge
The availability of alternatives may impede the robotic lawn mower market growth. The availability of conventional lawn mowing equipment is a major challenge adversely affecting the adoption of robotic lawn mowers. Conventional lawn mowing equipment includes push reel mowers, electric lawn mowers, and hover mowers. Compared with robotic lawnmowers, these machines are less expensive. Most vendors that offer robotic lawnmowers also provide conventional gardening equipment. Most of the revenue generated by these vendors is from the sales of conventional gardening equipment. Therefore, they FOCUS on improving the features of such lawn mowing equipment. Vendors are improving the battery life and efficiency of mechanical lawn mowing equipment.
For instance, in February 2022, Makita U.S.A., Inc. announced two new models in its cordless lawn mower lineup, namely XML10CT1 and XML11CT1. This cordless lawn mowing equipment is powered by a battery, and the power equipment eliminates the hassles of dealing with gas besides involving zero emissions, less noise, and reduced maintenance of the lawn. These products are placed as battery-powered alternatives to gas equipment and robotic lawnmowers. Such developments in conventional gardening equipment will reduce the demand for robotic lawnmowers during the forecast period.
Key Robotic Lawn Mower Market Customer Landscape
Our analysis of the Life Cycle of the market indicates a movement from the innovator’s stage to the laggard’s stage. The report illustrates the lifecycle of the market, focusing on the adoption rates of the major countries including the US, China, Sweden, Germany, and the UK. Technavio has included key purchase criteria, adoption rates, adoption lifecycles, and drivers of price sensitivity to help companies evaluate and develop growth strategies from 2022 to 2027.
Global Robotic Lawn Mower Market Customer Landscape
Who are the Major Robotic Lawn Mower Market Vendors?
Vendors are implementing various strategies, such as strategic alliances, partnerships, mergers and acquisitions, geographical expansion, and product/service launches, to enhance their presence in the market
Zucchetti Centro Sistemi Spa. The company operates under multiple segments including healthcare, robotics, automation, green innovation, and others, with a high FOCUS on innovation. The company’s key offerings include robotic lawn mowers such as Ambrogio automatic lawn mowers.
We also have detailed analyses of the market’s competitive landscape and offer information on 20 market vendors, including :
- AL-KO SE
- ANDREAS STIHL AG Co. KG
- Echo Inc.
- Globgro AB
- Hangzhou Favor Robot Tech Co. Ltd.
- Honda Motor Co. Ltd
- Husqvarna AB
- Irobot Corp.
- LG Electronics Inc.
- LINEA TIELLE srl
- Mamibot Manufacturing USA Inc.
- MTD Products Inc.
- Ningbo Ngp Industry Co.
- Robert Bosch GmbH
- STIGA Spa
- The Kobi Co.
- The Toro Co.
- YAMABIKO Corp.
Qualitative and quantitative analysis of vendors has been conducted to help clients understand the wider business environment as well as the strengths and weaknesses of key market players. Data is qualitatively analyzed to categorize vendors as pure play, category-focused, industry-focused, and diversified; it is quantitatively analyzed to categorize vendors as dominant, leading, strong, tentative, and weak.
What is the Fastest-Growing Segment in the Robotic Lawn Mower Market?
The market share growth by the residential segment will be significant during the forecast period. The residential segment comprises robotic lawn mowers used by homeowners. Grass lawns are preferred by various residential users to cemented exteriors and bare soil, as they provide better aesthetics and finish to the exterior of homes and ensure the circulation of fresh air in the surroundings. Some vendors that offer garden and lawn tools are focusing on expanding their product offerings in the residential segment. The increasing FOCUS of vendors on expanding their product offerings in the residential segment may, therefore, accelerate the growth of the global robotic lawn mower market during the forecast period.
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The residential segment showed a gradual increase in market share from USD 325.27 million in 2017 and continued to grow by 2021. In June 2022, MAMMOTION announced the launch of the Luba Robotic Lawn Mower, a robotic lawn mower that can be controlled through the company’s Mammotion app. This robotic lawn mower is targeted at homeowners with large properties and helps reduce the user’s dependence on conventional mechanical grass-cutting equipment or the associated cost of hiring professionals to perform lawn care services. Furthermore, our report provides a brief analysis of the historical and forecast market share and their segment along with their reasons for growth from 2017 to 2027.
The growth of this segment is primarily attributed to the increasing adoption of robotic lawn mowers by residential consumers, which is driven by an increase in the global demand for the robotic lawn mower industry.
Which are the Key Regions for Robotic Lawn Mower Market?
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Europe is projected to contribute 52% by 2027. Technavio’s analysts have elaborately explained the regional trends and drivers that shape the market during the forecast period.
Factors such as the expanding residential communities in the UK, Germany, and France and the thriving tourism industry encourage governments to spend more on recreational areas and parks. High disposable income in Western European countries also influences the lifestyle of the affluent middle-class population and draws them toward creative hobbies such as gardening. In addition, the improving economic conditions in Eastern and Central Europe and the growing interest in the adoption of green technology for gardening are expected to create growth opportunities for robotic lawn mower manufacturers during the forecast period. Another major factor driving the demand for robotic lawnmowers in Europe is the growing trend of DIY gardening activities. Homeowners in European countries are likely to engage in gardening and landscaping activities, which will fuel the need for garden improvement tools, thus driving the demand for robotic lawnmowers.
The COVID-19 pandemic led to the shutdown of production plants in 2020 and 2021 in several countries in Europe. over, due to the shutdown of offline distribution channels, such as dealers and retail channels, the sales of robotic lawnmowers declined in 2020 and 2021. However, in 2021, owing to the large-scale vaccination drives and the governments of several countries lifted lockdown restrictions, which led to the resumption of manufacturing operations of robotic lawn mower manufacturers and related business partners and distributors. However, China’s COVID-19-related lockdowns aggravated supply chain problems related to robotic lawnmowers and their components. The supply chain constraints have affected the residential segment of the regional robotic lawn mower market. Such challenges are expected to remain during the forecast period.
Our report forecasts revenue growth at global, regional country levels and provides an analysis of the latest trends and growth opportunities from 2017 to 2027. The market has been segmented by end-user, distribution channel, and region.
- End-user Outlook (USD Million, 2017. 2027)
- Distribution Channel Outlook (USD Million, 2017. 2027)
- Region Outlook (USD Million, 2017. 2027)
- The U.K.
- Rest of Europe
- The U.S.
- Saudi Arabia
- South Africa
- Rest of the Middle East Africa
Robotic Lawn Mower Market Scope
Robotic Lawn Mower Market Size Share Analysis. Growth Trends Forecasts (2023. 2028)
The Robotic Lawn Mower Market is segmented by Range (Low Range, Medium Range, and High Range), End User (Commercial and Residential), and Geography (North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Rest of the World). The report offers market size and forecasts for the Robotic Lawn Market in value (USD Billion) for all the above segments.
Robotic Lawn Mower Market Size
Disclaimer: Major Players sorted in no particular order
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Robotic Lawn Mower Market Analysis
The robotic lawn mower market size was valued at USD 1.5 billion in 2021, and it is expected to reach USD 3.9 billion by 2027. The robotic lawn mower market is anticipated to register a CAGR of about 12% during the forecast period (2022. 2027).
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many industries to a halt due to supply chain disruptions, as many countries have been in lockdowns. However, on the contrary, the pandemic has had little impact on the robotic lawn mower market. The market is expected to be optimistic in the post-pandemic scenario, as markets such as the United States are witnessing stable demand for garden machinery despite the pandemic.
Over the long term, increasing technological advancements in artificial intelligence and robotics have led to the creation of more efficient household appliances and reduced human intervention. With an increase in the income level of people living worldwide, there is an increase in sales of these appliances that enhance the aesthetics and user experience. Features like low-noise operation, sensors, self-charging, and durability are expected to drive this market growth.
However, The high installation cost required for the initial setup of a robotic lawn mower is expected to limit target market growth.
Europe is expected to have a significant share of the global market and to grow at a Rapid pace due to the region’s high demand for professional lawn mowers, professional landscaping devices, and automated tools. Furthermore, the shift of customers away from traditional gasoline-powered manual lawn mowers and toward newer, silent, efficient, Smart, and battery-powered robotic mowers are broadening Europe’s growth prospects.
Furthermore, the usage of autonomous machines in household applications such as cleaning, and cutting grass has witnessed a significant increase, which is also expected to help the market grow during the forecast period. The inclusion of technologies such as the internet of things (IoT) and machine learning (ML) so that lawn mowers learn about the obstacles and sensors work on the acceleration and orientation for improving performance and better results. For instance, Bosch uses both AI and ML in its lawn mowers for obstacle identification.
Robotic Lawn Mower Industry Segmentation
A robotic lawn mower is an autonomous machine that operates autonomously within a defined area. The system is designed to include a mobile base, a docking station, sensory feedback control programmed to mow the ground, and other accessories that aid in the system’s operation. The inclusion of innovative features in a robotic lawn mower is expected to assist key vendors in attracting more customers and increasing their market share.
The robotic lawn mower market is segmented by range, end user, and geography.
The robotic lawn mower market is segmented by Range into Low Range, Medium Range, and High Range. By End User, the market is segmented into Commercial and Residential. By Geography, the market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and the Rest of the World. The report covers the market size and forecast in value (USD Billion) for all the above segments.
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Robotic Lawn Mower Market Trends
This section covers the major market trends shaping the Robotic Lawn Mower Market according to our research experts:
Residential Segment is Expected to be the Largest Segment
The increasing fast and busy lifestyle of people over the world due to urbanization has increased the demand for autonomous machinery/systems to help people in everyday work. Additionally, increased spending on backyard beautification, backyard cookouts, and garden parties, as well as the desire to save time spent on lawn maintenance activities, are driving demand for a variety of gardening tools, which is driving the target market. The market is also influenced by factors such as the expanding construction and tourism industries across the globe. Furthermore, shifting consumer preference for efficient lawnmowers, as well as the growing popularity of autonomous equipment that requires minimal user intervention, is expected to boost global demand for robotic lawnmowers.
Major players are investing heavily in research and development for enhancing the features of the robotic lawnmower as key players are integrating ledge sensors and additional features such as laser vision, lawn mapping, Smart navigation, and self-emptying into their products to improve their performance and efficiency. The market will benefit from the increased availability of more efficient robotic lawnmowers in the near future.
Recent advances in the development of both lithium-Ion batteries and robot technology are certainly responsible for this increase in the sales of robot mowers. Husqvarna’s Automower 435X AWD Smart home robotic lawnmowers are equipped with exclusive all-wheel-drive technology, including inclines up to 35° and advanced GPS-assisted navigation.
Honda’s Miimo is equipped with advanced sensors and a floating cover that detect obstacles. Miimo is protected by an anti-theft technology that prevents unauthorized access and usage.
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Europe is Expected to be the Market Leader
Robotic lawn mowers are used for a variety of gardening and lawn-maintenance applications in both the residential and commercial sectors in Europe.
One of the major factors driving growth in the region is the popularity of lawns in the region to provide aesthetic and pleasing lawns and gardens. The increased adoption of robotic lawn mowers in countries such as the United Kingdom and the Netherlands is expected to drive market growth.
Furthermore, a large proportion of the European population owns independent residential spaces, which typically include private lawns and gardens, boosting demand for robotic lawn mowers. Aside from that, the rising demand for automation in the commercial sector, as well as increased awareness of the benefits of robotic lawn mowers, such as noise-free operations, time management, and energy conservation, has boosted the market growth in the region. The inclusion of intelligent sensory controls in robotic lawnmowers, which enable automated mowing of a given landscape, is also expected to have a significant impact on market demand during the forecast period.
- In June 2022, Husqvarna soft-launches Ceora, its new self-propelled lawnmower. The battery-powered mower connects to Husqvarna’s Automower Connect app. Ceora navigates by sending a triangulated communication signal to its reference station.
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Robotic Lawn Mower Industry Overview
The robotic lawn mower market is fragmented, with several players competing for a considerable share in the market. Some of the prominent companies in the robotic lawn mower market are John Deere, Robert Bosch, Honda, and Husqvarna. The companies are spending heavily on RD to innovate and develop new and technologically advanced products.
For instance, many companies are trying to bring the latest technologies like GPS mapping, all-wheel drive, AI, machine learning, and solar power into robotic mowers.
- In September 2021, Segway-Ninebot has entered the autonomous lawn mower market with a robotic gardening solution that goes a step further than most, using GPS to navigate gardens with pinpoint accuracy. Low noise levels and ease of cleaning are also notable features of the newly introduced Navimow, which will be available in a variety of variants to accommodate lawns of varying sizes
- In 2020, Husqvarna announced a new robotic mower (EPOS) that can navigate completely without boundary wire, allowing location accuracy of 2-3 centimeters by using satellite navigation on a reference station.
- In September 2020, The startup company Graze unveiled a new solar-powered autonomous commercial lawn mower with new sensor capabilities to increase safety, improved GPS-based mapping, and computer vision while optimizing intelligent and applicable insights through advanced machine learning capabilities.
Robotic Lawn Mower Market Leaders
Disclaimer: Major Players sorted in no particular order
Robotic Lawn Mower Market Report. Table of Contents
- 1.1 Study Assumptions
- 1.2 Scope of the Study
- 4.1 Market Drivers
- 4.2 Market Restraints
- 4.3 Industry Attractiveness. Porter’s Five Forces Analysis
- 4.3.1 Threat of New Entrants
- 4.3.2 Bargaining Power of Buyers/Consumers
- 4.3.3 Bargaining Power of Suppliers
- 4.3.4 Threat of Substitute Products
- 4.3.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry
- 5.1 Range
- 5.1.1 Low
- 5.1.2 Medium
- 5.1.3 High
- 5.2.1 Commercial
- 5.2.2 Residential
- 5.3.1 North America
- 22.214.171.124 United States
- 126.96.36.199 Canada
- 188.8.131.52 Rest of North America
- 184.108.40.206 Germany
- 220.127.116.11 Italy
- 18.104.22.168 Spain
- 22.214.171.124 Rest of Europe
- 126.96.36.199 India
- 188.8.131.52 China
- 184.108.40.206 Japan
- 220.127.116.11 South Korea
- 18.104.22.168 Rest of Asia-Pacific
- 22.214.171.124 South America
- 126.96.36.199 Middle-East and Africa
- 6.1 Vendor Market Share
- 6.2 Company Profiles
- 6.2.1 Deere Company
- 6.2.2 Robert Bosch GmbH
- 6.2.3 Honda Motor Company
- 6.2.4 Echo Robotics
- 6.2.5 MTD Products Inc
- 6.2.6 Husqvarna Group
- 6.2.7 The Kobi Company
- 6.2.8 Zucchetti Centro Sistemi SpA
- 6.2.9 Volta (Volta Robots)
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Make your yard the envy of your neighbors with one of these top lawn mowers.
By Tony Carrick and Mark Wolfe and Glenda Taylor | Updated May 18, 2023 4:59 AM
We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs.
A good lawn mower is crucial for maintaining a lush, well-manicured lawn. With so many options and brands to choose from, selecting a mower that is appropriate for your yard can be challenging. To this task easier for you, we got our hands on some of the most popular options and put them to the test on our own lawns.
Whether you’re replacing an old mower for your current lawn or buying one to maintain a new property, it’s important to choose one that fits the size and terrain of the property. This guide explores the features and factors that are important to consider when shopping for the best lawn mower while reviewing some of the top models on the market.
We tested the following lawn mowers to find out how they would perform in terms of cutting ability, finish quality, and operator comfort. Read on to learn more about the criteria we used to select our picks. Then check out our lawn mower reviews to learn why we consider these models to be some of the best lawn mowers available.
- BEST OVERALL:Honda 21-Inch Walk Behind Mower
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK:Craftsman M220 150-cc 21-Inch Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
- BEST3-IN-1:DeWALT 2X20V MAX 21.5-Inch Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
- BEST BATTERY-POWERED:Ego Power 21-Inch Mower
- BEST RIDING LAWN MOWER:John Deere S130 42-Inch Lawn Tractor
- BEST CORDED LAWN MOWER:American Lawn Mower 14-Inch 120V Corded Mower
- BEST FOR LARGE YARDS:Toro 50-Inch TimeCutter Zero Turn Mower
- BEST ROBOTIC:Worx Landroid M 20V Robotic Lawn Mower
- BEST ECO-FRIENDLY:Makita 36V XML03 Electric Lawn Mower
How We Chose the Best Lawn Mowers
All of the mowers included in our list exceeded quality standards established in our shopping criteria and proved worthy through testing. We selected each of the above mowers based on our previously mentioned shopping considerations. After sourcing the mowers and assembling the mowers according to the manufacturer’s instructions, we tested them in an average yard in order to gauge capabilities in several key areas. The most critical aspects we observed included general quality and durability, mowing power and cut quality, and operator comfort and convenience.
We also tested each according to its claimed abilities. Riding mowers were used for larger and sometimes rougher areas and were assessed for power, speed, and comfort. Walk-behind and push mowers were mostly restricted to testing on well-established and well-maintained lawn spaces and closely monitored for cut quality and user convenience. We actually pre-mowed the grass ahead of testing the robot mower since it is intended to maintain rather than reduce grass height.
Our Top Picks
We tested mowers that range from corded lawn mowers for small yards to powerful self-propelled gas lawn mowers for medium-size yards to riding mowers that can handle 3 acres or more. Read on to learn more about these mowers, how they performed during our grass tests, and why we think they are some of the best.
Honda 21-Inch Walk Behind Mower
Whether it’s a car, generator, or lawn mower, it’s tough to beat the reliability and durability of Honda engines—and such is the case with this self-propelled gas lawn mower. Its powerful GCV170 engine powers not just one but two blades, giving it a cleaner, more precise cut over most other gas-powered lawn mowers that have just a single blade.
With its rear-wheel drive, this mower is ideal to contend with yards that have slopes and more-rugged terrain. Its engine is formidable, and so are its features. An easy-to-use clip system makes it simple to switch between its three grass-clipping options—mulching, side discharge, and bagging—and the well-designed speed controls add to the quality of this premium self-propelled walk-behind mower.
In our tests, this Honda walk-behind mower’s high-quality components and thoughtful design really stood out. The engine layout and oversize gas gap made fueling up and adding oil easy and can simplify oil and filter changes. After a quick 5-minute assembly of the handle and bagger and adding fuel and oil, the mower started on the first pull. The engine ran smoothly and surprisingly quietly.
The variable-speed controller at first felt awkward until we realized that we could adjust the angle to any of five positions. The mower had plenty of power for mowing and driving the wheels, even in dense, tall grass, and on steep slopes. If the goal is to find a top-quality walk-behind mower that is easy to use and leaves a great-looking finish, this would make an excellent choice.
- Power source: Honda GCV170 gas engine
- Deck size: 21 inches
- Type: Self-propelled walk-behind
- Twin-blade mowing system for finer mulching
- Auto choke for fast, easy starting
- Variable speed, 0 to 4 miles per hour
- Clip system makes changing cutting modes easy
Get the Honda lawn mower at Amazon or Lowe’s.
Craftsman M220 150-cc 21-Inch Self-Propelled Lawn Mow
Craftsman is a well-established, well-respected brand in the world of lawn mowers, and this gas-powered model is no exception. It boasts a powerful 140-cc engine and an ample 21-inch mowing deck, making it ideal for yards up to ¾ of an acre.
Large 8-inch rear wheels with heavy tread make it easy to push this mower, while six cutting heights offer versatility. The mower also offers three disposal settings: mulch, side discharge, and bag. And while this mower may lack the power assist of other walk-behind mowers, it is significantly cheaper, making it a good choice for those with level yards who may not need a self-propelled 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.
After adding oil and gas, the mower started easily on the first pull. It had good power for cutting average lawn grass and pulling uphill, but it bogged down ever so slightly in tall, overgrown grass. The front-wheel-drive feature made turning easy, but a fully loaded bagger could weigh down the rear and cause it to lose traction (we did not experience this). The fuel tank size is adequate to mow about a half acre per fill-up. This could be an excellent value pick for a budget-minded shopper looking for a durable self-propelled mower.
- Power source: 150 cc 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
- Non-padded grip could lead to hand fatigue with extended use
Get the Craftsman lawn mower at Ace Hardware, Lowe’s, or Blain’s Farm Fleet.
DeWALT 2X20V MAX 21.5-Inch Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
With mulching, bagging, and side-discharge capabilities, the DeWALT 2X20V MAX self-propelled cordless lawn mower has a better-than-average build quality and thoughtful design. Its heavy-duty 21.5-inch, 15-gauge stamped-steel deck adjusts to six different cutting heights from 1.5 to 4 inches. Running on two batteries and offering up to 60 minutes of runtime per charge, this mower is ideal for small to medium yards up to a half acre.
We set up a test area for the DeWALT mower in our yard, with about 10,000 square feet of lawn that included some short but steep slopes, weedy spots, and dense grass. We mowed the test plot three times, requiring just over two full battery charges each time. The DeWALT covered about 5,000 square feet per charge when adjusted to 2.5 inches high with the grass catcher in place. At 3.5 inches, that extended to about 8,000 square feet and 40 minutes of runtime. The controls were well laid out for easy operation, and the cushioned handle felt comfortable while we mowed. Also, this mower is a space saver. With its fold-flat handle and vertical storage capability, it only needs about 2.5 square feet of storage floor space.
The DeWALT 3-in-1 lawn mower features a security-key-enabled push-button start. Its adjustable font-wheel-drive self-propulsion eliminates half the work of mowing, lets you choose your own pace, and works on all kinds of terrain. The motor is equipped with auto-sensing technology that seamlessly increases torque when encountering tougher mowing conditions. In our tests, it was easier to turn than rear-wheel drive mowers. A removable discharge chute, grass catcher, and integrated mulch plug allow for quick conversion to your preferred method of grass-clipping disposal. Overall, the quality of the DeWALT 3-in-1 mower is better than most and is a solid choice for quarter- to half-acre lots.
- Power source: Two 20-volt, 10-Ah lithium-ion rechargeable batteries
- Deck size: 21.5 inches
- Type: Self-propelled walk-behind
- Heavy-duty steel mower deck with 3-way grass-clipping management
- Front-wheel drive self-propel system supports safe operation and smooth turns
- Powered by 2 rechargeable DeWALT XR 20-volt (V) lithium-ion batteries
- 2-stage brushless motor preserves battery life and automatically increases power for tougher mowing conditions
- Ergonomic cushioned hand grip are comfortable to use and reduce operator fatigue
- Heavy and cumbersome to maneuver manually without the self-propel feature engaged
- Takes a long time to recharge the batteries with the included DCB107 battery chargers
- The mower’s battery compartment has an awkward design
Get the DeWALT cordless lawn mower at Ace Hardware, The Home Depot (with 3 batteries), Tractor Supply Co., or Acme Tools.
Ego Power 21-Inch Mower
The Ego Power comes ready to mow, including a battery and Rapid charger. The advancements Ego has made with its battery-powered mower sets it atop the cordless models. It boasts 45 minutes of runtime, thanks to its brushless motor and large 56-volt, 5-Ah battery. With its 21-inch deck, the Ego is suitable for yards up to half an acre. The Ego Power also includes other features that make it an attractive buy, including speed controls that the user operates with an intuitive dial and bagging, mulching, or side-discharge capability.
Overall, the Ego Power cordless mower was easy and comfortable to operate in our tests. The preset self-propelled pace felt comfortably moderate but not leisurely. The mower had no difficulty cutting normal grass and did not bog down noticeably in thick, tall grass. Finish quality was good to excellent.
We did notice that mowing in “push” mode (without the self-propelled motor running) extended battery life by about 20 minutes to as much as 65 minutes per charge. Buying a second battery for extended runtime, or as backup for tougher mowing, may be a wise investment. This mower would be a good choice for small and midsize lawns up to about a half acre and for owners who want to reduce noise, exhaust, and fuel handling.
- Power source: 56-volt, 5-Ah lithium-ion rechargeable battery
- Deck size: 21 inches
- Type: Self-propelled walk-behind
- 45 minutes of runtime per charge; suitable for small- to large-sized yards
- Battery charges in less than an hour; suitable for multiple uses or yards
- Battery works with many other Ego Power tools
- Emits power similar to a gasoline mower
- Higher cost than gas mower with similar power
- Poor traction on slopes; may not be ideal for hilly yards
- Noisy drive system; may not be ideal for nighttime mowing
Get the Ego lawn mower at Amazon, Ace Hardware, or Lowe’s.
John Deere S130 42-Inch Lawn Tractor
Larger yards from ½ to 2 acres call for a bigger machine for mowing. The John Deere S130, with its 22-horsepower V-twin engine and 42-inch deck, offers excellent mowing ability plus performance and comfort features that extend its range of use. The 20 by 10-8 rear tires and wide stance provide excellent stability and help to cushion the ride. It features hydrostatic operation, single-lever throttle with spring-return choke, ergonomic deck-height adjustment lever, dash-mounted digital fuel gauge, LED headlights, and John Deere’s Easy Change 30-second oil change system. The included drop-pin towing hitch and PTO make it compatible with a wide range of John Deere branded and non-branded yard implements such as utility carts, spreaders, sweepers, snow blowers, and more.
In our extensive test, the S130 lawn tractor proved to be a comfortable, capable riding mower with good maneuverability in a wide range of conditions. It easily handled grassy slopes up to 13 degrees (4.5 vertical feet per 20 linear feet), which is the limit recommended by the manufacturer. Measured against leading competitors, it offered a tighter real-life turning radius thanks to superior weight balance, and a seat base that is 3 inches higher to provide a better operator vantage point.
The high, open-back seat was well cushioned and supportive while allowing excellent ventilation. The deck height, blade engagement, and throttle controls were well positioned for convenience and safe operation. Even with the slightly elevated price tag, this mower offers tons of value, making it an excellent choice for most larger yards.
- Power source: 22-horsepower V-twin gas engine
- Deck size: 42 inches
- Type: Lawn tractor
- High vantage point for optimal viewing of the yard and machine while mowing
- Tight turning radius allows for clean and even cutting paths
- Comfortable seat and controls make it easy for the user to mow the lawn
- Should not require much maintenance to keep running for years
Get the John Deere riding lawn mower at Lowe’s or a local John Deere dealer.
American Lawn Mower 14-Inch 120V Corded Mower
Corded lawn mowers make an easy, affordable choice for smaller yards where a gas-powered mower would be a hassle. This mower from American Lawn Mower Company can keep the yard looking great at a low price point, without worrying about the mess or expense of gasoline or batteries.
Its 14-inch deck suits smaller yards and smaller storage areas. At about 20 pounds, this mower is easy to maneuver for those who might struggle with a heavier model. It also has a surprising range of options, allowing one to bag or mulch clippings (though it oddly has no side-discharge option). It also offers a convenient single lever for height control, eliminating the need to make height adjustments for each wheel individually.
In our tests, this model delivered a rock-solid performance. Assembly, which entailed installation of the handle and cord retainers, took about 10 minutes to complete. It mowed well, even in dense, weedy grass, and the bagger worked well. The small size and lightweight build limit this mower’s practicality more than its corded motor does.
By starting close to the electrical outlet and mowing progressively farther away, we easily minimized the risk of cord damage or entanglement. As an affordable mower for small yards, with arguably the least environmental impact, this quiet, capable corded electric model could be the best choice.
- Durable, maintenance-free electric motor; eco-friendly compared to similar options
- Lightweight and easy to use; offers excellent maneuverability
- Offers bagging and mulching options for easy clean-up after mowing
- Not ideal for large-sized yards; suitable for only the smallest yards
- No side-discharge option; may not be ideal for some users’ needs
Get the American Lawn Mower electric lawn mower at Amazon, Lowe’s, or Walmart.
Toro 50-Inch TimeCutter Zero Turn Mower
If spending an entire afternoon mowing the lawn isn’t a problem, those with yards that could house a couple of football fields require a mowing deck that can level large swaths of green in a single pass. With its massive 50-inch deck, the aptly named TimeCutter from Toro is ready for a big job. This large mower, which boasts a 24.5-horsepower engine, can reach speeds of up to 7 miles per hour, making it capable of handling yards of 3 acres or more.
Toro also makes sure the operator will be comfortable while covering all that ground with its adjustable MyRIDE suspension system that absorbs bumps in the lawn as well as vibrations from the engine. Plush seating provides support and comfort for longer mowing sessions. Toro also includes other useful features, including a foot-lever-assisted deck-height adjustment, toolless oil-change system, and a cupholder.
When we tested the 50-inch Toro TimeCutter, we timed its performance on a 1-acre area of an old field converted to lawn. The MyRIDE suspension system smoothed out the ruts and bumps for a comfortable ride at near top speed. It mowed the acre in 20 minutes, a blistering 3-acres-per-hour pace. The finish quality was excellent, and it used less than 3 quarts of gasoline. As a point of comparison, a 22-HP, 46-inch lawn tractor that has been used to mow the same area takes nearly an hour and uses more than 1.25 gallons of gas.
Even before factoring in the amazingly comfortable ride, we appreciated the prospect of mowing in one-third the time and reducing fuel and maintenance expenses by half on this large lot. For large grassy areas, it’s hard to beat the efficiency of a zero turn mower, and the TimeCutter makes an excellent pick.
- Huge mowing deck makes this model ideal for medium- to large-sized yards
- Shock-absorbing suspension system integrated; can tackle tough jobs without causing strain to the user
- Large engine is capable of cutting thicker grass varieties
Get the Toro TimeCutter lawn mower at The Home Depot or a local Toro dealer.
Worx Landroid M 20V Robotic Lawn Mower
Pushing the edge of lawn mower technology further is this robotic lawn mower from Worx. It functions similarly to a robot vacuum cleaner by mowing a preset area of up to a quarter acre on its own. The operator sets up wire barriers that the lawn mower won’t cross, ensuring it only mows in a set area. It has a laser eye that guides it around any obstacles that might be in the yard. A single front caster and two large rear-drive wheels carry it through the yard while allowing it to turn on a dime.
The Worx Landroid M can also connect to a Smart device, through which the user can program daily schedules or direct the mower to stop or start. It runs off the same 20-volt Worx battery that powers the company’s other yard tools and will automatically return to its charging station when the battery gets low.
Testing the Landroid M required a detailed setup process, but then the operation was almost completely hands-off. After installing the Landroid mobile app, the base station, boundary wire, and establishing the mower’s Wi-Fi connection, we programmed the robot for a daily mowing schedule. Setup and programming were straightforward with easy-to-follow instructions and tutorial videos on the Landroid app. The whole process took about 2.5 hours, including time taken to watch videos. The covered area included a sloped section, a narrow corridor, a broad contiguous area, and an off-limits landscape bed.
Landroid mowed on time every time and stayed inbounds without a problem. On an evening when rain moved in during the mowing cycle, Landroid’s rain sensor picked it up and sent the unit back to its base station to wait it out. The only challenge we encountered was that the mower initially did not dock properly after mowing because the base station was not sitting level. After fixing that issue, it simply worked.
A week after we installed the Landroid, the grass it cut still looked freshly mowed with the exception of the edges, while the adjacent lawn outside Landroid’s coverage needed to be cut. Those looking to infuse the time-, fuel-, and labor-saving benefits of robotics into their lawn care routine would do well to consider Landroid.
- Mows up to ¼ of an acre with ease
- Can be controlled via an app through Wi-Fi or Bluetooth
- Brushless motor extends battery life; suitable for small to large yards
- Onboard rain sensor protects the mower from potential damage
Get the Worx robotic lawn mower at Amazon.
Makita 36V XML03 Electric Lawn Mower
The Makita XML03, an 18-inch, battery-powered lawn mower, comes with four included batteries, and the claim that it will mow up to 1/3 acre on a single charge, so we tested that claim. We marked out a 1/3-acre area on our lawn and mowed with the Makita XML03 six times over three weeks.
During testing, the Makita mower completed all but one mowing session without battery depletion—with a small battery charge remaining. However, when we tested the mower on damp grass, we depleted all four batteries before we could finish the session. Keep in mind that the Makita mower is not self-propelled, so ultimately, the mowing area will depend on user speed and grass thickness.
Operating at 3,300 rpm, its single blade matches the speed of gas-powered mowers, but dense grass resistance can hinder spinning speed. The trick to overcoming this issue is to mow more frequently—while the grass height is low enough, you’re not removing any more than 1/3 of the grass leaf.
The height adjustment (a single lever on the back right wheel) is convenient; the mower’s deck height range of 13/16 inch to 3 inches could have been improved. This limitation may impact those with specific grass types or desired cutting heights. Although a typical range of 2-1/2 to 3 inches covers many grass varieties, species such as tall fescue are often mowed at 3-1/2 inches high.
The Makita’s detachable grass-catching bag holds 1.7 bushels (16 gallons), which is on the small side, and we had to empty the clippings frequently. But overall, the Makita XML03 meets its mowing claims with reliable battery performance. It starts at the press of a button and is much quieter than gas-powered mowers, so you won’t upset the neighbors if you mow early on a Saturday morning.
- Power source: Two 18-volt, 4-Ah lithium-ion rechargeable batteries
- Deck size: 18 inches
- Type: Walk-behind
- Environmentally friendly battery power eliminates the necessity for carbon-emitting gas and oil
- Produces less noise than gas-powered mowers, ensuring peaceful early morning mowing without disturbing neighbors
- Comes with 4 batteries upon purchase, allowing for convenient swapping of charged sets when 1 set runs out
- Simple push-button start eliminates the need for tugging cords or priming pumps
- The relatively narrow 18-inch swath width may result in time-consuming mowing for larger yards
- The Makita XML03 lacks self-propulsion, making it challenging to push on inclines
- The grass-clipping bag has a small capacity, so frequent emptying may be necessary
Get the Makita Lawn Mower at Amazon, Ace Hardware, The Home Depot, or Acme Tools.
What to Consider When Choosing a Lawn Mower
In addition to mower type, it’s vital to consider other factors like deck size and fuel requirements when shopping for a lawn mower. Ahead, learn more about these and other important characteristics of lawn mowers.
Types of Lawn Mowers
The first step to selecting the right mower is to decide which type of mower best suits the yard.
Walk-behind mowers consist of two different kinds of mower: push and self-propelled. Self-propelled mowers have power wheels that pull the mower forward. Some self-propelled mowers have an adjustment feature to increase or decrease the travel speed for improved operator comfort and convenience. Manual mowers have no power-assisted wheels and must be pushed manually by the user.
Riding mowers include zero-turn mowers, lawn tractors, and rear-engine riding mowers. Zero-turn mowers, the most expensive lawn mowers on the market, have a motor that sits behind the operator and are controlled using two levers. The mowers get their name from their ability to pivot 360 degrees in place. Zero-turn mowers also have very broad mowing decks. Their size and maneuverability make them ideal for cutting large lawns with obstacles the user must drive around.
A lawn tractor looks similar to a farm tractor with its motor in the front of the mower. The user operates the tractor from a driver’s seat using a steering wheel. Lawn tractors have broad mowing decks but do not have the small turning radius of a zero-turn tractor. Because of their balance and traction, lawn tractors are well suited for mowing hilly terrain and may be used for other property management tasks like towing a utility cart or plowing snow.
Rear-engine lawn mowers are similar to lawn tractors but have their engines in the rear. Rear-engine lawn tractors typically have smaller decks, though they allow for greater visibility and nimbler handling for the operator.
The newest type of lawn mower, robotic mowers look similar to robotic vacuum cleaners, only they are larger and have bigger wheels that enable them to move through grass. Robotic lawn mowers can mow a yard automatically while being controlled via a Smart device.
These lawn mowers are powered by a rechargeable battery and can be programmed to mow the lawn at programmed times and intervals. Robotic mowers require the user to set up wires in the yard that create boundaries for the mower so it doesn’t wander away. They also use laser-eye technology that spots obstacles in the yard so the mower can evade them.
Self-propelled mowers come in different drive wheel options including front-wheel, rear-wheel, and all-wheel drive.
- Front-wheel drive mowers are easier to turn by allowing the operator to raise the front wheels and use the back wheels to pivot.
- Rear-wheel drive mowers place the bulk of the mower’s weight over the drive wheels, creating better traction for climbing inclines and slopes.
- All-wheel drive mowers are well suited for yards with more extreme slopes and rougher terrain.
Cutting Width and Yard Size
A mower’s deck size determines the width of the swath of grass it can cut with each pass and hence how quickly it can mow the lawn. A wider deck also makes a mower less nimble, which can make it awkward to mow small lawns with flower beds, trees, and gardens to navigate.
A walk-behind mower with a deck up to 22 inches is usually a good size for a smaller yard of up to about half an acre. Riding mowers with decks that range between 30 and 46 inches are a good choice for lawns up to 1 acre. Zero turn mowers and lawn tractors with 48- to 60-inch decks can be efficient choices for larger properties.
Lawn mowers can use three types of fuel sources: corded electricity, gas, and rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.
Electric mowers supply a constant source of power; however, they are limited by a cord that connects to a standard wall outlet. This makes corded lawn mowers somewhat awkward to use. However, they are extremely durable, have no batteries to recharge or replace, and are almost entirely maintenance free.
Gas-powered lawn mowers provide the greatest amount of power, run a long time on a single tank, and have no recharge time to worry about. However, gas mowers are loud, require more maintenance to keep in top condition than electric mowers, and produce exhaust fumes.
Battery-powered mowers run on lithium-ion batteries. They are easier to start than gas-powered lawn mowers and create no exhaust fumes; however, they are less powerful and are limited to about 45 minutes of runtime per charge. Battery-powered mowers are also significantly more expensive to purchase than gas mowers, and the batteries typically need to be replaced every 5 years.
Mowers come in two blade types: the more common rotary and the cylinder blade. Rotary blades are the type of blade found on most residential lawn mowers. They consist of a blade or blades that spin on a horizontal plane, cross-cutting the tops of grass blades to trim them to the desired height.
Cylinder blades, which can cut grass to a very low height without damaging it, have historically been confined to use on sports fields and golf courses. They consist of a rotating cylinder that is equipped with blades that wrap around the cylinder in a spiral pattern. The blades cut the grass using a shearing action that creates a cleaner cut than rotary blades, which can tear grass and leave a ragged edge.
While cylinder mowers (also known as reel mowers) make more precise cuts, they are not capable of cutting through taller grass. In fact, their cutting ability ranges from a height of about 1/16 of an inch to 1 inch. This limits this type of mower to varieties of grass that can survive being cut to a low height, such as Bermuda grass.
Mowers offer different grass-disposal options including side discharge, mulching, and bagging. Side discharge ejects the grass clippings out of the side of the mower onto the lawn. Mulching keeps the grass clippings under the deck, allowing the blade to cut them multiple times to produce a fine mulch that quickly incorporates into the soil. Mowers that support baggers collect the clippings in a bag at the rear of the mower.
Mowers come with additional features that make them easier to operate and maintain. Deck height adjustment allows the user to increase or decrease the mowing height for optimal lawn health. These useful add-ons include mowing decks with built-in wash-out ports that make them easier to clean, switches that make it easy to change between cutting options, and easy-to-operate variable-speed controls for self-propelled mowers.
Many riding mowers have LED headlights for nighttime mowing, drink holders, adjustable plush ergonomic seating, and many other convenient features.
For those who have concerns about maintaining a lawn mower or are wondering how big an engine the mower needs, read on for answers to these and other common questions.
Q. How long should a lawn mower last?
Most mowers can last about 10 years, depending on how often it is used and how well it is maintained.
Q. How powerful of a lawn mower do I need?
Engine sizes for walk-behind mowers range from 140 cc to 190 cc. For tough terrain with thick grass, a larger engine is usually a better choice.
Q. Can I replace the pull cord on a lawn mower?
Yes. In fact, replacing the pull cord on a mower is a fairly simple repair, requiring just a screwdriver and wrench.
Q. How long does a lawn mower’s battery last?
As a general rule of thumb, a riding lawn mower’s battery can last about 4 years. The rechargeable battery on an electric mower can last about 5 years.
Q. How do I clean my lawn mower?
To clean a mower, tip the mower over to access the deck. Remove any grass clippings or debris that may be wrapped around the blade or stuck to the bottom of the deck. Wet the deck with a garden hose, then spray the underside with an all-purpose cleaner. Scrub the deck with a brush, then rinse thoroughly. Turn the mower back upright and use a damp rag or paper towel to wipe down the housing.
Q. How often do I need to change spark plugs in my lawn mower?
Change the spark plugs in the spring at the beginning of the mowing season or after 100 hours of use.
Why Trust Bob Vila
Bob Vila has been America’s Handyman since 1979. As the host of beloved and groundbreaking TV series including “This Old House” and “Bob Vila’s Home Again,” he popularized and became synonymous with “do-it-yourself” home improvement.
Over the course of his decades-long career, Bob Vila has helped millions of people build, renovate, repair, and live better each day—a tradition that continues today with expert yet accessible home advice. The Bob Vila team distills need-to-know information into project tutorials, maintenance guides, tool 101s, and more. These home and garden experts then thoroughly research, vet, and recommend products that support homeowners, renters, DIYers, and professionals in their to-do lists.
Meet the Tester
Mark Wolfe is a writer and product tester with a background in the nursery and landscaping industry. For more than 20 years he mowed, edged, planted, pruned, cultivated, irrigated, and renovated beautiful landscapes. Now he tests and writes reviews about the latest outdoor power equipment, hand tools, lawn-care products, and other outdoor-living goods.
Additional research provided by Tony Carrick and Glenda Taylor.
Toro. 22″ (56cm) Personal Pace Auto-Drive Electric Start Mower (21464)
Introducing a mower that adjusts to you, with no knobs, no levers, no messing around. Grab the easy-to-steer handle, engage, and go. with Personal Pace Auto-Drive Supercharge your mowing with an amped airflow that requires less energy to cut more grass into teeny-tiny, clumpless clippings. That’s our Vortex Technology
Introducing a mower that adjusts to you, with no knobs, no levers, no messing around. Grab the easy-to-steer handle, engage, and go. with Personal Pace Auto-Drive Supercharge your mowing with an amped airflow that requires less energy to cut more grass into teeny-tiny, clumpless clippings. That’s our Vortex Technology giving you Lawn Vitamins for free. Throw on the grass bag and start your lawn vacuum that holds more so you empty less. In total, it’s a boatload of features that easily make you and your lawn look great in less time. This machine starts the first time, every time, and is built to last with a 22″ steel deck. Powered by a 7.25 ft-lb Gross Torque Briggs Stratton EXi 150cc w/Ready Start. no need to prime or choke. Includes added feature. no oil changes for the life of the engine, just top it off.
- A Mower That Adjusts to You. No knobs, no levers, no messing around. Grab the easy-to-steer handle and go with Personal Pace Auto-Drive.
- Supercharged Cutting Machine. We’ve supercharged the Recycler Cutting System creating a performance boosting machine through Vortex Technology.
- Super Bagger. Get the job done more easily than ever with our new Super Bagger, shaped for easier lifting, no-shake pouring and zero-hassle cleanup.
- Feed Your Lawn. The ultra-fine clippings created by our Recycler Cutting System are Lawn Vitamins nourishing your grass.
You may return most new, unopened items within 30 days of delivery for a full refund. We’ll also pay the return shipping costs if the return is a result of our error (you received an incorrect or defective item, etc.).
You should expect to receive your refund within four weeks of giving your package to the return shipper, however, in many cases you will receive a refund more quickly. This time period includes the transit time for us to receive your return from the shipper (5 to 10 business days), the time it takes us to process your return once we receive it (3 to 5 business days), and the time it takes your bank to process our refund request (5 to 10 business days).
If you need to return an item, simply login to your account, view the order using the ‘Complete Orders’ link under the My Account menu and click the Return Item(s) button. We’ll notify you via e-mail of your refund once we’ve received and processed the returned item.
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Please also note that the shipping rates for many items we sell are weight-based. The weight of any such item can be found on its detail page. To reflect the policies of the shipping companies we use, all weights will be rounded up to the next full pound.
Toro Lawn Mower Won’t Start – Free simple fix!
Toro builds excellent machines; I know because I inherited an old Toro push mower that still runs like you wouldn’t believe.
So, your Toro lawn mower won’t start? A dirty carburetor is the most common cause of a Toro lawn mower won’t start. Other possible reasons include the following:
This guide will help you quickly diagnose why your Toro lawn mower won’t start, restart, or stops when hot. Toro uses several different engine manufacturers – Briggs Stratton, Kawasaki, Honda, and Toro engines.
This guide won’t cover each of these engine types, and so your engine may look different from the ones used here. The diagnostic and repair procedures will be very similar regardless of your machine.
If you have a pull cord problem, I wrote a complete guide to repair all the most common issues – “Pull cord troubleshooting.”
Diagnosing a no-start Toro is pretty straightforward; carry out a few basic tests to eliminate ignition, fueling, and mechanical faults. Tests are not complex, but you must execute them correctly to avoid burning time or replacing parts needlessly.
This guide covers all the common causes of a no-start Toro pretty well. However, if you need more help, check out “Mower won’t start video.” It walks you through all the tests you’ll meet here in this post and includes a step-by-step guide to nailing your repair successfully.
There may be many other reasons why your Toro lawn mower won’t start. In this guide, we will cover all the most common faults.
Check the Basics
Before we go any further, let’s check all the basics. Sometimes the easy answer is the solution or checks out the “Common causes of no start video.”
The basics include:
- Check for low oil; some mowers have a disabling system. Check out “How to check lawn mower oil”
- Is the gas turned on? Check out “Where is my lawn mower gas tap”
- Is the gas fresh? Gas older than one month is stale. Check out “Gas bowl drain video”
- Is the choke on and working? Check out “How to start a lawn mower”
- If the air filter is clean and dry, a gas-soaked filter will prevent starting. Check out “Mower tune-up guide”
- Is the plug wire on securely?
- Is the bail lever on and working OK? Check out “Hard to Start when hot”
That’s all the easy stuff checked; now we’ll dig a bit deeper.
Things Your Engine Must Have
Toro is a quality outfit, I have customers with 30-year-old Toro mowers still giving excellent service, so I know they can go the distance. The Toro mower engine is simple. It needs three things to run.
Fresh Gas – You must have clean, new gas. Old stale, or dirty gas, is by far the number one cause of all minor engine issues. This doesn’t guarantee that bad gas is your problem, but it’s one of the first things to check.
Spark – A well-gapped spark plug and fired at the right time is as essential as good gas.
Compression – Piston rings, valves, and cylinder head gaskets help create compression; any problem here and the engine won’t run.
Each of these three systems will have many components, any of which could be the problem. Performing the following simple test will point us in the right direction.
You might find this page useful, “Small engine tools.” These are the tools I use; some of these will make your life a ton easier.
Try The Gas Shot Test
To quickly test if we have: (1) Fueling, (2) Spark, or (3) Compression fault, we will bypass the fuel system, and we do this by pouring some fresh gas directly into the carburetor. This is the fastest way to diagnose which of the three systems has failed; it’s an elimination round.
For this test to be successful, you’ll need clean, fresh gas. If you are unsure of the quality, stop now, get fresh, and always in a clean empty can. Fuel older than one month is likely stale.
In my workshop, fueling causes the most issues – stale or dirty gas, dirty carburetors, blocked filters, and the list goes on. When you identify which system has failed, you will be directed to the relevant repair guide, he said confidently.
Gas shot is covered here in the “Mower won’t start video.”
Remove – Remove the air filter cover and air filter; some will be fixed on with screws or wing nuts, and others will just pull off.
Shot – Pour some fresh fuel into the carburetor, about a cap full.
You’ll have to tilt your mower on its side to get the gas to flow in.
Pull – Now, attempt to start the mower in the normal way.
Two possible outcomes –
(1) Mower attempted to start or started – tells us we have a fueling fault, go ahead and test the choke system. (see below)
(2) Mower made no attempt to start – then we’ve likely eliminated a fueling fault, and the fault will probably be a lack of spark. Check out the “Spark test video” here or check out this post, “Mower won’t start no spark.”
Self-Propelled Mower. 159cc Cub Cadet Engine with IntelliPowerª Technology 
If both fuel and spark have checked out, then our problem is likely in the compression area of your engine.
Compression issues are usually related to wear and tear of the engine piston and rings; while replacing the rings is possible, it rarely makes economic sense to do so; more often, at this point, it makes more sense to go shopping for a new mower.
Try The Choke Test
In this guide, we will check that the choke systems are working correctly. As you know, the correct starting procedure for a cold engine will require giving it extra gas to enrich the fuel/air mixture, which a cold engine needs for a smooth start. Toro mowers are fitted with Briggs Stratton, Honda, and Kawasaki engines. They use two different choke system types to achieve the enriched cold start mix.
If your Toro is pretty new, you’ll have an auto choke, and so you won’t have a lever to control choke. The choke test is covered in the “Mower won’t start video.”
Three types of choke are common, manual, auto, and primer bulb. Go ahead and identify which choke system is fitted to your Toro and check it’s working correctly. If all checks out ok, remove and clean the gas bowl.
To view the choke plate (if fitted), remove the air filter. When choke on the choke is on, the choke plate should be fully closed. If not, check for cable adjustment.
Choke Plate – The first is the choke plate type – The manual version will have a lever to control the choke. There’s an auto choke version, and it won’t have a choke lever, but it operates similarly.
As the engine heats, the choke plate should be open (Choke off). Some auto choke carburetors give hot start flooding issues. Both versions of the choke plate type create a fuel-rich condition by reducing the amount of air and increasing the amount of fuel supplied to the engine.
Manual Choke On – If you have a manual choke control, move the throttle lever to the full choke position to start a cold engine. All current models are auto choke and so won’t have a choke lever.
Manual Choke Off – Move the choke to the fast/run position as the engine warms a little. The choke should be off at this point. Check that it’s moving to the off position.
Auto Choke On – The auto choke system is controlled by a lever connected to a thermostat which is positioned close to the muffler or on the cylinder head. Check that it’s moving to the off position.
As the muffler warms up, the choke plate should open. Check its function. On some auto choke models, customers complain about hot start flooding issues.
The Fix – Drill a hole in the choke plate. Check for binding of the control links also.
Primer Bulb – The second type is the primer bulb – This is very simple and easy to use. It creates a fuel-rich condition by squirting extra fuel into the engine. You do this by pressing a rubber primer bulb mounted at the carburetor.
Check the bulb for damage; mice like to eat them. Replacement kits are available.
If all checks out OK, go ahead, remove and clean the gas bowl.
Clean The Carburetor Bowl
Cleaning the carburetor and fresh fuel will solve the problem of bad gas or a dirty carburetor. But removing the carburetor can take time and effort. So, before we go down that road, we will try a quick fix. Removing and cleaning the fuel bowl fuel feed bolt (Not all mowers have the fuel feed bolt) is something we can do with a minimum amount of effort and tools.
This may well solve your problem. I covered it below in pictures, or check out the “Mower won’t start” video for additional help. You won’t need any special tools for this job, but a carburetor cleaner can make life a lot easier. I use Gumout carb cleaner in the workshop; you can check it out here on the “Small engine tools page.”
I’ve listed a few other tools on this page, “Carburetor cleaning tools.” Cleaning the carb thoroughly is important. Nobody wants to visit the same job twice. These tools will help you nail it the first time out.
You can find your fuel bowl behind the air filter. I’ll show this process for the most common types of carburetors. Remember, if your gas is older than three months, it’s stale. So cleaning the bowl won’t make it go. You need to drain the tank and carburetor bowl and fill them with fresh gas.
Suppose this works out for you. Great! If not, I wrote this guide. It’ll walk you through the whole process – “Remove clean carburetor.” Alternatively, it’s all covered in the “Mower won’t start video.”
If you’re not into cleaning the carburetor, I understand. Why not just change it? Carburetors aren’t expensive or difficult to replace. I’ve listed the most popular carburetors on the page, where you can check the price and availability of “New mower carburetors” or check out the Amazon link below.
Pull – When working on your mower’ remove the plug wire and turn off the gas. If you don’t have a fuel tap, use grips to gently squeeze the fuel line. This prevents a spill.
Briggs Gas Bowl – This is an older model Briggs and Stratton engine. The fuel bowl lives behind the air filter.
Your carburetor may look different; other examples are shown below. Remove the bowl using a 1/2″ socket and ratchet. Turn on the fuel to check that fuel flows from the carburetor. If not, move on to the fuel flow test.
Clean the gas bowl. This model has a fuel feed bolt; it’s a hollowed-out bolt that feeds gas to the carburetor jet. Be careful with the bolt gasket. The bolt must be clean; use a wire brush strand to clean it. Spray some carb cleaner up into the jet.
Check the large o-ring seal, which usually stays on the carburetor, and if so, that’s OK. Leave it there. If however, it came off with the bowl, apply a small amount of oil to help it seat on the carburetor side.
When refitting, don’t over-tighten the bowl; this will cause the feed bolt gasket or the large o-ring to deform and leak.
If, after cleaning the bowl, the mower is still running rough, Check out “Remove and clean carburetor”
Briggs Plastic Gas Bowl – This plastic carburetor is the latest generation from Briggs Stratton.I use grips to gently squeeze the fuel line to prevent fuel spills.
The bowl drain plug is in the bottom of the fuel bowl. Remove it; some can be tricky as clearance is poor. If your struggling to gain access to the drain plug, (Black hex head) go ahead and remove the two bowl retaining bolts.
Use a flat screwdriver to pry off the bowl.
Now pry out the fuel jets. Use a fine wire to clean them. Be careful with compressed air, as the little brass jets will fly and be lost forever. With the bowl removed, remove the grips from the fuel line and check fuel flows from the carburetor; if not, move on to the fuel flow test.
Rebuild in reverse order after cleaning.
If cleaning isn’t successful, order a new jet pack. Few different types, so have your engine number handy.
Honda Gas Bowl – This type of bowl is fitted to the Toro and Honda engines. Honda has fitted a drain bolt that allows you to drain the fuel from the bowl. Nice! This is great if the bowl has some bad gas in it.
However, if the bowl has some grit, it won’t drain out completely. So best to remove the bowl and clean it thoroughly. Turn on the fuel and check that you have fuel flow from the carburetor; if not, move on to the fuel flow test.
If the mowers are still running rough after cleaning the bowl, Check out “Remove and clean carburetor” or check out the “Carburetor cleaning video” here.
If none of this helped, go to the “Mower won’t start video” page and start at the beginning, the solution is there.
Tune-up Your Toro
To get the best from your Toro, you should service at least once per season, ideally in the spring. The tune-up kit includes oil; plug; air filter; fuel filter (if fitted); new blade (optional). Doing a tune-up is simple. This guide will have your mower tuned up in under an hour – “How to Tune-up your mower.”
You will need your engine model code. It’s stamped on the body of the mower or on the engine. Briggs and Stratton stamp their codes into the metal valve cover at the front of the engine. Kohler has a tag, and Honda has a sticker on the engine.
After you find these numbers, buying the tune-up kit online is easy. Suppose you can’t find the code – no problem. Remove the air filter and match it against a tune-up kit listed online, most mower engines are very common, and so you won’t have a problem getting a tune-up kit to match.
A full tune-up, including blade balancing and sharpening, is covered in the “Mower tune-up video.” Tune up once per season at the start of the season. If your mower is new, change the oil after the first 5 hours of use.
The Problem With Gas
Most manufacturers are OK with e10. This has a 10% ethanol blend. E15, on the other hand, is not OK. Ethanol is an alcohol fuel made from sugar, corn, and other plant materials. The alcohol is then blended with gas to make ethanol.
What Manufacturers Say
Some manufacturers claim that the alcohol content of the ethanol will damage the carburetor’s plastic and rubber components. E15 and E85 burn hotter than regular gas. Your mower is not designed to run at these temperatures. Using these types of fuels will damage your engine and void your manufacturer’s warranty.
What Toro Say
Toro advises using ethanol-free gas with an 87-octane rating. The max ethanol blend advised is E10, and methanol is a no, no. They also advise the use of a fuel stabilizer.
A stabilizer will keep your gas fresh for up to 2 years. You can mix it with your gas and use it all the time, but I only use it towards the end of the season and when winterizing all my gas-powered kit, including two stroke. A few drops in the gas tank are all it takes.
I use a product called Sta-bil gas,1 ounce treats up to 2.5 gallons; it prevents gumming and cleans the fuel system. Using a gas stabilizer is covered in the gas stabilizing video here, and you’ll find a link to the stabilizer I use here.
The Problem With Ethanol
It absorbs moisture from the atmosphere. If the fuel is left in the mower over the winter, the moisture collects in the carburetor. The water will often corrode and leave a varnish-type deposit that blocks up the ports. This is what causes the poor running/no start.
Gumming – It’s a carburetor killer. Using a gas stabilizer will prevent a lot of problems.
How do you start a Toro lawn mower? All new Toro mowers today are auto-choke, which means all you need to do is pull and hold the handlebar bail lever and yank on the pull cord. That’s it.
Lawnmower won’t start after tilting? Remove the air filter and attempt to start your mower. If the air filter is wet with fuel, replace it. A lawnmower should always be tilted carburetor side up; this prevents fuel and oil from spilling into the air filter.
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