Choosing the right gas lawn mower for your needs and budget can be a daunting task, especially if you have a larger lawn to tackle. To help you make an informed decision, we have compiled a list of the best gas mowers on the market, along with their top features and specifications.
While electric and robotic lawn mowers have gained popularity in recent years, gas power remains the preferred choice for mowing in challenging conditions and for maximum power. Gas mowers are capable of providing a precise cut to your lawn, but there are a few factors to consider when shopping.
Firstly, consider the size of your yard and storage space for the mower, as this will affect the mower’s size. Secondly, think about whether you require a self-propelled mower, which is easier to maneuver and push. Lastly, consider your budget and which features can enhance the mowing experience, such as twin cutting blades and various cutting heights.
If you are still uncertain about purchasing a push-along mower, we also recommend checking out the best riding lawn mowers for a more comfortable mowing experience. Discover the top-rated options and find the perfect gas mower for your needs by reading on.
The Honda HRX217HZA has been selected as one of the top gas lawn mowers due to its robust 200cc Honda engine, outstanding performance, and build quality. It is recommended for plots ranging from 1/2 to 1 acre since its 21-inch cutting deck isn’t the widest available. The mower features twin blades and a 4-in-1 Versamow System that allows for easy switching between mulching, bagging, discharging, and leaf-shredding.
Compared to the Honda HRX217VKA model in our buying guide below, this model includes Roto Stop technology that enables the blades to stop without stopping the engine. It also has Hydrostatic Cruise control for more precise mower speed, and an electric key start that eliminates the need for an awkward cord. Simply turn the key, and the mower starts instantly.
The mower also offers seven cutting height positions ranging from 0.75 to 4 inches, enabling you to customize the cut to your lawn. The large 9-inch ball-bearing wheels on the mower make it easier to maneuver and add to its durability.
Users have given the Honda HRX217HZA high marks, appreciating how quiet and fast it is. While not the priciest mower on our list, it comes with a 5-year warranty, offering additional peace of mind if it is the right choice for you.
Toro Recycler 21″ Self Propelled
If you’re seeking an excellent self-propelled mower but don’t want to spend as much as you would on a Honda, consider this model from Toro. It is offered at half the cost of the Honda models mentioned earlier and is still a self-propelled lawn mower from a well-known premium brand in the industry.
The Toro model employs the Briggs & Stratton 140cc engine, which provides 18% less torque than our second pick and 28% less torque than our top pick. However, this reduced power is reflected in the significant savings you can enjoy by choosing this model. Perhaps you don’t require the extra strength and power, and this more affordable option is just what you need.
Ego Power+ Select Cut Mower LM2135SP
The Ego Power+ Select Cut Mower LM2135SP is a self-propelled mower that is powered by a battery, providing a run time of around an hour on a single charge. It has a longer battery life than most other cordless mowers and a faster charging time. Compared to gas mowers, the LM2135SP is much easier to use with no need for trips to the gas station, checking oil levels, spilling fuel, or dealing with emissions. The LM2135SP model surpasses previous Ego mowers with a more user-friendly speed control and two blades, a feature typically only found on high-end mowers, ensuring efficient mulching and an even cut. When not in use, the handle can be folded in and the mower stored upright.
At around $700, the LM2135SP may seem expensive; in fact, it is priced similarly to premium gas models. However, having reviewed mowers for nine years and tested a range of gas and cordless models with various features and abilities, we are convinced that the LM2135SP is a highly satisfactory choice.
Cub Cadet New Enduro Series XT1 LT46, 13AQA9TTA10
The Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro is a heavy-duty riding mower with a powerful 22-horsepower engine and a broad 46-inch deck, making it suitable for maintaining large lawns. With its responsive steering system and hydrostatic speed control, this mower provides easy maneuverability with a small 16-inch turning radius. Its 12 deck-height positions offer precise control over lawn height, and it also features LED lights for nighttime mowing and a quick-connect deck-washing system for easy maintenance. However, this model comes with a high price tag and the bagging kit is sold separately. Nevertheless, it remains a top choice for those in need of a powerful, reliable riding mower. Product Specs:
- Engine: 22 horsepower
- Deck width: 46 inches
- Functions: Mulch, side discharge (bagging kit sold separately) Pros:
- Powerful engine for efficient mowing
- Wide cutting deck with 3 blades
- Responsive steering and hydrostatic speed control
- LED lights for nighttime mowing and deck-washing system for easy maintenance Cons:
- High price point
- Bagging kit sold separately
The Ryobi RY401150 is a 21-inch, 40-volt brushless mower that is easy to set up and use. Its double blades provide a clean and precise cut. However, it only runs on one battery at a time, and the need to switch batteries after 30 minutes of use can be inconvenient. While Ryobi claims the batteries will last for 70 minutes, this means stopping to change batteries, which is counterproductive. The mower is easy to maneuver around obstacles and has a one-lever height adjustment. It also has ample power and can handle hills with ease. Nevertheless, the self-propel controls are disappointing, with a vague and unresponsive lever located under the bar that is awkward to use. Despite being environmentally friendly and powerful, the battery design and propel controls are inefficient.
What to look for when shopping for the best lawn mowers
After selecting the type of mower or tractor that best suits your needs, there are several other factors to consider:
✔️ Wheel size: Mowers with uniform front and rear wheel sizes offer the best maneuverability on even lawns and allow for U-turns at the end of each row. For rough terrain, slightly larger rear wheels are ideal.
✔️ Cutting options: Mowers can mulch, side discharge, or bag clippings. Some mowers only support one type of cutting option, while others support two or all three. Your goals and mowing frequency will determine which option is best for you.
Mulching is efficient and environmentally friendly, returning natural nutrients to the soil and reducing the need for fertilizer. Side discharging is faster, but can leave clippings on sidewalks and flower beds. Bagging produces the neatest looking lawn, but is time-intensive and less beneficial to the health of the turf and soil.
✔️ Features: Riding mowers may offer extras like ergonomic seats and cup holders, cruise control, and automatic drive for speed adjustment. Some tractors can switch mowing modes without a manual blade change, and cordless electric walk-behind models may have removable batteries for easy storage and charging.
✔️ Warranty: Look for a robust warranty to ensure coverage if something goes wrong, especially with expensive riding mowers and tractors. The industry standard is two to three years, but some models offer warranties of five years or more.
✔️ Storage space: Most electric push models can be stored vertically, but only specific gas models have special engine seals to prevent gas leakage.
✔️ Budget: Lawn mower prices can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. Consider performance, comfort, and durability when weighing the cost.
What’s the difference between a push mower and a self-propelled lawn mower?
A push mower’s engine or motor merely powers the cutting blade; it is not connected to the mower wheels. That means you are required to supply the pushing power yourself to keep the mower moving across your lawn.
A self-propelled mower, however, uses its engine or motor to power the blade and the wheels, meaning that the mower moves forward on its own power, leaving you to basically just steer. Self-propelled mowers are easier to use, especially when mowing up hills, but you’ll pay much more for these mowers. Still, it might be worth it if you have a very large or very hilly yard.
How long do most push mowers last?
If properly cared for, a good push mower can last you a decade or longer. However, to achieve that goal, you need to carry out regular maintenance, which can include oil changes and filter changes on gas mowers, periodic blade sharpening, removal of caked-on grass and mud from the mower’s deck, and storage of the mower in a spot where it isn’t subjected to weather extremes. You should also take care not to mow over rocks or large sticks, which can damage the mower’s blades, deck, or motor.
As a rule of thumb, gas mowers tend to last longer than battery mowers.
What time of year are lawn mowers the cheapest?
Like other seasonal outdoor products, lawnmowers go on sale at big home improvement centers at various times of the year. Often, you’ll find mowers on sale in the early spring as home improvement centers try to tempt buyers who are just starting to get back into their lawn care routines. But you’ll often also find sales during the late fall, when lawns are starting to go dormant in many parts of the country, and stores look to reduce inventory so as not to have to store it over the off-season.
The big summer holidays of Independence Day, Father’s Day, and Memorial Day are also good times to purchase a mower, as most home improvement centers will have them on sale at those times.
What is the difference between rotary and reel mowers?
A rotary mower has a motor or engine that is powered by gas, a battery, or by an electric cord. These powered mowers usually have a single blade that spins very rapidly on a horizontal plane inside the mower’s cutting deck. The spinning of the blade creates a slight lift in the grass, which is then cut by the blade.
Reel mowers, also called manual mowers, do not have a motor or engine. Their only source of power is your own exertions in pushing them across your lawn. Reel mowers usually have three or more blades that spin vertically around a central axis. They cut the grass in a scissoring motion as they are pushed, which gives a very clean cut to the lawn.
When choosing between a rotary and a reel mower, you’ll want to consider the size of your lawn, your own physical strength, and endurance, the amount of time you have to devote to lawn care, your budget, and your desire to be more or less “green” in your lifestyle. Rotary mowers are more expensive than reel mowers, require less effort to use, and get the mowing accomplished faster. Reel mowers are best for small lawns only and can be tiring to use, but they are relatively inexpensive and are the most environmentally friendly option.