For homeowners with a sizable yard, mowing the lawn is a significant task that requires the right equipment. A good lawn mower should make the job easy and efficient without leaving you exhausted and unable to enjoy the fruits of your labor. When choosing a mower, you need to take into account the size and terrain of your yard, among other factors.
Maintaining a lawn mower is not difficult, but it is essential to keep it in good condition. Electric mowers powered by batteries require less maintenance than gas mowers, but the batteries may wear out over time and need replacement, which can add to the overall cost of ownership. If your battery runs out of power, you’ll need a charged spare or wait for it to recharge.
Gas mowers require regular oil changes and air filter replacements, but these tasks are not complicated. With proper care and maintenance, a gas mower can be more reliable in the long run. Gas mowers are also better at handling tough mowing tasks, such as picking up leaves in the fall or cutting through dense grass. And if your gas tank runs low, you can quickly refill it and get back to mowing.
Murray MNA152703 Gas-Engine Lawn Mower
– High-quality construction
– Large rear wheels for smooth rolling over rough terrain
– Limited deck adjustment with only two points
– Not self-propelled
The Murray mower, powered by a Briggs & Stratton engine, is an excellent choice for those on a budget. Its well-crafted parts and sturdy build make it a reliable option for lawn care. The 11-inch rear wheels provide excellent traction and stability, making it easy to maneuver over uneven surfaces. Despite weighing a mere 52 pounds, it is not self-propelled, making it slightly more challenging to operate. This mower is available in various models and sold under different brands, depending on your location.
– Cutting Width: 21 inches
– Drive Type: Push
– Power: 140 cc gas
Toro SmartStow Personal Pace Auto-Drive 21465
When we tested both the Honda and Toro lawn mowers, we couldn’t decide on a clear favorite gas-powered model. The two mowers performed equally well in our tests, but the Honda ultimately won out due to its superior handling during operation.
While the Toro boasts the largest cutting area at 22 inches and a powerful, comfortable design with its Personal Pace self-propel system, the Honda’s handling and intuitive design gave it the edge. The Toro’s self-propel system is still effective, though not as user-friendly as the Honda’s.
One standout feature of the Toro is its Briggs and Stratton check-don’t-change oil system, which eliminates the need for oil changes. Additionally, the mower’s handle can be easily folded down for convenient vertical storage.
Honda HRN216VKA 21-Inch Gas Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
– Automatically matches walking speed
– Powerful engine
– Easy to start
– Cuts grass cleanly
– Plastic wheels
– Requires oil changes
– Somewhat heavy
The Honda HRN216VKA Self-Propelled Gas Lawn Mower is a highly rated option for those with larger yards who want to maintain their lawn with minimal effort. Its GCV 170-cc engine uses auto-choke technology, making it easy to start with just a pull of the cord. With a four-stroke engine, there is no need to mix gas and oil, simplifying maintenance. The mower automatically matches your walking speed, up to 4 mph, making it effortless to use. The handle is adjustable to two different height positions, accommodating users of varying heights.
Its 21-inch cutting deck and rear-wheel drive make it easy to maneuver over hills and uneven terrain, while its seven cutting height settings make it customizable to your lawn’s needs. The MicroCut Twin Blades System provides clean cuts and reduces clippings to fine pieces that can be mulched, bagged, or side-discharged. The mower comes with a 1.9-bushel clipping bag that can be easily adjusted without tools.
On the downside, the mower has plastic wheels and needs periodic oil changes. Honda recommends changing the oil after the first month of use and then every six months after that, using SAE 10W-30, API SJ or later. Despite these drawbacks, the Honda HRN216VKA Self-Propelled Gas Lawn Mower is a great option for those who want to maintain their lawn with ease.
Craftsman M220 150-cc 21-Inch Self-Propelled Lawn Mow
Craftsman is a reputable brand in the lawn mower industry, and this gas-powered model is no exception. It boasts a powerful 140-cc engine and a 21-inch mowing deck, making it perfect for yards up to ¾ of an acre. Its large 8-inch rear wheels with heavy tread make it easy to push, while six cutting heights offer versatility. The mower also offers three disposal settings: mulch, side discharge, and bag. Although it lacks 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 appreciated the Craftsman mower’s affordability and simplicity. Assembly was easy, taking only about 20 minutes. The completed handle configuration wasn’t as 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
Greenworks 40V Cordless Lawn Mower
Lightweight and quiet operation
Packed with features at an affordable price
Narrower cutting width
According to our experts, the Greenworks mower boasts 10-inch rear wheels and 7-inch front wheels, making it effortless to maneuver on small to mid-size lawns up to 1/3 acre. Although it has a smaller cutting width than other mowers, this cordless electric model has a sturdy steel deck design and offers three functions in one: mulching, side discharge, and rear bagging.
The mower features a simple push-button start and a spring-loaded lift mechanism that offers seven cutting height positions. Additionally, the mower includes both 2Ah and 4Ah batteries with battery life indicators and a three-year warranty.
This walk-behind push mower is powered by a corded electric source and is ideal for yards ranging from 1/4 to 1/2 acre. The cutting width is 19 inches, and it can cut up to a maximum height of 3 inches. The 10-inch rear wheels and 7-inch front wheels make it easy to control and maneuver.
What to Consider When Buying a Lawn Mower
When purchasing a lawn mower, it’s important to consider several factors to ensure you invest in a machine that’s easy to operate, performs well, and has a long-lasting engine. After all, this is a home investment you’ll be using frequently. The type of lawn mower you choose should also align with your needs and preferences. Riding mowers, including lawn tractors, zero-turn, and rear-engine styles, offer a comfortable sitting position and steering wheel for a more enjoyable mowing experience. Walking mowers, such as rotary, cylinder, push, and self-propelled mowers, require physical exertion but are ideal for smaller yards. Manual-powered mowers, which rely on the user to guide the mower over the grass, are typically seen with push mowers. Battery-powered mowers, which do not require a cord, can run for at least an hour when charged overnight. Electric-powered mowers are ideal for smaller yards and are constantly plugged into a power source. Finally, gas-powered mowers are the most versatile and can handle medium to large yards with ease. As shopping experts, we conduct thorough research and reporting to ensure we recommend only the best lawn mowers that are worth your time and money. We rely on industry insiders and subject matter experts to identify smart values and worthy splurges. We also comb through user reviews to see how real people interact with the product and if it stands up to the test.
1. What is the best ride-on mower to buy?
Our research shows that the best riding lawn mower is the Husqvarna YTH18542. We chose this as our top riding mower for its reliability and utility relative to price. Other standouts: We also found that the best zero-turn mower is the Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 and the best rear-engine mower is the electric Ryobi RY48111.
2. What is a hydrostatic transmission?
Hydrostatic drivetrains rely on hydraulic fluid to transfer power from the engine to the blade or wheels. Because there are no gearboxes involved, power can smoothly increase and decrease along the drivetrain without the need for manual shifting.
This increases engine efficiency and allows power to flow differently to each part of the machine. Zero-turn mowers use this method to supply power to both wheels independently.
3. How much should I spend on a riding mower?
Riding lawn mowers are a big investment. Although some budget riding lawn mowers will cost under $2,000, the majority of residential-use models are priced between $2,000 and $4,000. Plan to spend around $3,000 on a new ride-on mower, or shop around local dealers for discounted prices on pre-owned machines.