The Best Lawn Mowers

Table of Contents

Whether you have a few acres, or just a small patch of green, keeping the grass from growing into an unruly mass of tangled weeds and clover means taming it regularly with a lawn mower. Unless you have a team of gardeners to do the work, it’s down to you to equip yourself with a good lawn mower to get the job done.

The world of lawn mowers is a large one, populated by manual, electric, gas and battery-powered machines. Which one you choose to use will depend on many factors — from the size of your lawn to the thickness of the grass. Battery run and electric models are better for the environment, with few emissions, although they do take energy and batteries eventually die. Gas models work well but spew fumes into the air while a manual lawn mower is the healthiest choice of all.

Below is a list of our recommended best lawn mowers, along with information on how they work and the benefits to each style of lawn mower — manual, electric, and gas.

1. Editor's Pick: Greenworks 25022 12 Amp Corded 20-Inch Lawn Mower

1. Editor's Pick: Greenworks 25022 12 Amp Corded 20-Inch Lawn Mower
  • Lightweight
  • Can be used with an outdoor extension cord
  • Choice of rear bagging, side discharge or mulching feature
  • Best for smaller yards

Key Specs

Power Source: Electric
Item Dimensions: 68.3 x 40.9 x 45.7 cm
Material: Alloy Steel
Cutting Path: 20"

When it comes time to mow the lawn, you’re not going to mind having to roll this 20-inch electric lawn mower from the garage or garden shed to the yard.

This 12-amp electric lawn mower from Greenworks has a 20-inch durable steel cutting deck that will slice through the grass and clip it down to size. It also gives you the option of where you want the grass clippings to go — into the bag from the rear or the side.

With seven position height adjustments you also have some versatility in a range of cutting heights, from 1 ½-inch to 3 ¾-inch-high grass. The 10-inch rear wheels and seven-inch front wheels also contribute to a stable and seamless mowing experience. Other features include: a push-button start and foldable handles.

2. Runner Up: Black + Decker BESTA512CM Electric Mower 12" 3-in-1 Compact Lawn

2. Runner Up: Black + Decker BESTA512CM Electric Mower 12" 3-in-1 Compact Lawn
  • Compact
  • Cord retention system
  • Adjustable length
  • No catch bag
  • For smaller spaces

Key Specs

Power Source: Corded Electric
Item Dimensions: 38.1 x 17.8 x 94 cm
Cutting Path: 12"

You may only have a small patch of green behind your house, but the grass and bushes still need to be maintained. With this compact 12-inch electric lawn mower from Black + Decker, you will make quick work of keeping the grass neat and the edges trimmed.

Equipped with a 6.5 amp motor and power drive transmission, the mower will cut through all manner of weeds, grass and overgrowth. You can mow the lawn and then when that job’s done, detach the mower deck to use it as a string trimmer.

The automatic feed spool and a lightweight design with an adjustable handle makes it easy and comfortable for you to care for and maintain your lawn. It also has a cord retention system prevents the cord from accidentally becoming disconnected while you work.

3. Best Gas: Craftsman M275 159cc 21-Inch 3-in-1 Gas Lawn Mower

3. Best Gas: Craftsman M275 159cc 21-Inch 3-in-1 Gas Lawn Mower
  • Cutting deck has three-in-one capabilities
  • Large back wheels for stability
  • Electric starter
  • Gas has an odour

Key Specs

Power Source: Gas Powered
Item Dimensions: 92.9 x 45.1 x 45.1 cm
Material: Metal
Cutting Path: 21"

This powerful gas lawn mower from Craftsman is packed with features to make quick work of your lawn mowing needs.

With a 159cc gas engine and a front-wheel-drive self-propelled mechanism that is powered by a single lever squeezebox, it will seem as if the mower is moving around the yard itself. Important to note: it has an auto-choke, so there’s no fussing with a pull cord; you can start it with the simple push of a button. And, its electric start battery and charger is included with the mower.

Once started, you can choose a side discharge or a rear discharge from your lawn clippings. There's an attached catch bag for grass and mulch as well. Depending on the discharge option you choose, you can alter its height to adjust to your needs. And since the eight-inch front wheels and 11-inch back wheels are made with zag treading, you’ll have more traction and security when mowing those slight inclines or dips in the lawn. With this mower, you will turn your back and front yard into a neat, beautiful expanse of green.

4. Best Manual: American Lawn Mower 1415-16 Hand Push Reel Mower

4. Best Manual: American Lawn Mower 1415-16 Hand Push Reel Mower
  • No fumes, gas, electrical cord to think about
  • Low noise
  • Easy to carry and store
  • Takes longer to mow a lawn than with an electric, gas or battery run mower

Key Specs

Power Source:
Item Dimensions:
Material:
Cutting Path:

If you have a lawn that’s on the smaller size, or if you consider mowing the lawn to be a good outdoor workout and you want to be a friend to the environment, you may want to consider this manual mower from American Lawn Mower.

This maintenance-free lawn mower has a 16-inch, five blade, hand-pushed reel lawn mower that works well for low-rising grass up to four inches high. What's more, it's more than swift enough to cut weeds and dandelions while also being lightweight enough to maneuver around tight corners and 90-degree angles.

Its adjustable four-section roller and three-position height makes this machine easy for anyone to use. If you want to get your pre-teens in on some outdoor chores, this mower is the perfect and safe way to get them started.

Since there is no motor or gas or even an electrical cord to think about, there is very little maintenance needed on this mower. However, the blades should be sharpened every three to five years and it should not be left out in the rain.

5. Also Consider: Sun Joe MJ401C-XR-RED 14" 28V 5Ah Cordless Lawn Mower

5. Also Consider: Sun Joe MJ401C-XR-RED 14" 28V 5Ah Cordless Lawn Mower
  • Built-in push-button LED battery level indicator
  • Removable safety key to prevent accidental starts
  • Rugged all-terrain wheels
  • No replacement battery available

Key Specs

Power Source: Battery Powered
Item Dimensions: 156.2 x 53.3 x 41.9 cm
Material: Metal
Cutting Path: 14"

If you are looking for a clean alternative to a gas or corded lawn mower, then perhaps it’s time to try this battery-operated model by Sun Joe. This eco-friendly mower will not disappoint when you experience its durable steel blade cutting a crisp 14-inch wide path across your lawn in a single pass. Really easy to use, when you’re ready to tackle the grass, just insert the key, press the safety switch, squeeze the trigger and you’re ready to go.

Before you head out, though, remember to adjust the mower using the three-position manual height control option to make sure it matches the height of the grass. Powered by a long-life 28-volt, five amp-per-hour lithium-ion battery, you can mow over 12,000 sq. ft on a single charge, so you can be confident the yard will be fully mowed without the mower loosing juice.

The mower also has a large 10.6-gallon bag to collect the clippings, and detaches easily when it’s time to dispose of the cuttings. And when you’re done, simply plug in the battery for a recharge so it’s ready for the next time you need it. Key fact: there's a charge included.

What to Look for in a Lawn Mover

As mentioned, there are four major types of lawn mowers on the market: manual, electric (corded), battery-operated and gas. Each one has its pros and cons and which one you choose will depend upon the size of your lawn, the type of grass that you have and of course, your budget.

Manual: These lawn mowers have been around since the beginning of the last century but happily they have been upgraded somewhat to be easier to use and more lightweight. The benefit of using a manual model is that it is environmentally friendly, since it doesn’t emit any fumes or use energy other than muscle power, but that’s the downside for many people who are not strong enough to push a manual lawn mower hard enough to do a good job.

Although they are equipped with sharp blades (that do need to be sharpened every three to five years), it does take a certain amount of physical ability. As well, it sometimes takes more of a vacuum movement to get all the grass cut rather than a smooth one-time pass that you can get with a gas, electric, or battery operated model. On the plus side, a manual lawn mower is less expensive and easier to maintain and you never have to worry about running out of gas, the battery dying or needing an extension cord.

Gas: A gas lawn mower is more powerful than the other options and is often self-propelled. Although you will need to guide and push it, it doesn’t take much effort so you will get the job done faster. The down side to gas is that it is noisy and the fumes are not good for the environment or your health if you are breathing them in. You also have to make sure you have gas on hand so you don’t run out in the middle of cutting the grass.

Electric: Many people like a corded lawn mower. It is easy to maneuver and better for the environment than gas. However, it is not as powerful as a gas-powered lawn mower and if your yard is on the larger side you may need to use an extension cord. This could lead to you having to carry the cord as you mow so that it doesn’t get in the way.

Battery-operated: These lawn mowers are convenient if you don’t have an outdoor outlet to plug in an electric lawn mower or if you want to save on your electrical bill. While they are convenient to use, they are not as powerful as the other options. You also need to remember to keep the battery charged so it doesn’t die in the middle of your mowing job. Also, be aware that in some models the battery is built-in and when it finally dies it cannot be replaced and you will have to get a new lawn mower.

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