Lawns are some of the most common garden features in American homes, but are time-consuming and tiring to maintain. Beautiful, manicured lawns need a lot of work and regular mowing. If you still use an outdated push mower, you probably dread mowing day at your home.
Instead of making your life more complicated than it has to be, why not check out our list of best lawn mowers from a wide variety of categories? Most modern mowers are much easier to operate than old models, and you'll find mowing the lawn a breeze.
If the names Cub Cadet, Snapper, and Husqvarna are a mystery to you, read on to learn everything there is to know about mowing equipment.
Table Of Contents
- 1 Best Self-Propelled Lawn Mowers
- 2 Best Electric Lawn Mowers
- 3 Best Zero-Turn Lawn Mowers
- 4 Best Riding Lawn Mowers/Lawn Tractors
Best Self-Propelled Lawn Mowers
A self-propelled lawn mower may look similar to a push mower but is far simpler to operate. Instead of relying on your muscle to push the mower along, self-propelled lawn mowers use a drive system to move forward.
When you engage the bail on a self-propelled mower, it activates the drive system and the cutting blades. All you need to do is control the direction of travel. Once you let go of the bail, both the rotary blade motor and the drive motor stop, ensuring that the mower stops moving and the blades stop spinning.
Self-propelled lawn mowers are a popular addition to any gardening toolkit. Finding the right one can be tricky since many models appear similar at first glance. Here is a shortlist of our best self-propelled lawn mowers that you can buy.
Honda HRN216VKA Self-Propelled Mower
Honda is a well-known name in the lawn mowing industry, producing reliable, powerful mowers for every type of need. The HRN216 line of lawn mowers is the replacement of the classic HRR216. The VKA is the most basic of this line, but still offers several advantages over the HRR216.
The most notable aspect of this mower is its GCV170 engine. Honda has completely rebuilt the engine, reducing the number of parts from 106 to 39. Not only does this make servicing the mower easier, but the gas mower engine also has significantly more power and torque, and is more fuel-efficient.
The Honda HRN216 comes with a twin-blade motor design, aimed explicitly at effective mulching. An increased chute diameter also reduces the chance of blockages, which leads to reduced cutting efficiency.
Honda has taken care of every aspect of the HRN216. The two-point height adjustment system uses a solid rod that creates a rigid construction that feels stable while working. There are seven different height adjustment levels that you can clearly see on the high contrast white on black height marker.
The SmartDrive system allows you to adjust your speed on the fly anywhere between zero to four miles per hour. The entire system is ergonomic and can reduce thumb fatigue, which can become an issue with larger yards and lawns.
- Easy-to-start motor
- Variable speed ergonomic Smart Drive system
- Gas-powered, rear-wheel drive for extra power and torque
- Adjustable height ensures you get the perfect mowing position, no matter your height
- The Smart Drive system can feel a bit UN-intuitive
Honda HRX217K5 VKA
The Honda HRX217K5VKA is a powerhouse of a machine, boasting a 187cc gas engine that can handle anything you throw at it. It's a high-end lawn mower that comes with plenty of features for both commercial and residential use alike. If you've got an unruly lawn that's prone to overgrowth, it is probably one of the best walk-behind mowers for your buck.
Thanks to the GCV200 engine, the Honda HRX217K5VKA works just as well in wet conditions as in the dry. The mower can handle any type of grass, including densely overgrown areas that may present a problem to lawn mowers.
The Honda features Honda's proprietary 4-in-1 Versamow system that allows you to much, bag, discharge, or leaf shred, all with the press of a single button. You can even choose a combination of mulching and bagging, controlling the amount of grass clippings that get mulched or bagged with a simple Clip Director knob.
One of the biggest problems facing lawn mowers is corrosion and rust, especially if you're cutting wet grass. The HRX217K5VKA has a NeXite mowing deck that is rust- and dent-free and comes with a lifetime warranty.
As with all other Honda lawn mowers, the HRX217K5VKA comes with an adjustable handle, seven-position cutting height adjustment, flywheel brake safety system, and Smart Drive system for ultimate control. This gas mower does more than cut the grass; it gives you the power to tackle the toughest gardening task with ease and precision. Your yard won't know what hit it.
- The powerful engine can handle any terrain and type of grass
- The rear discharge door improves maneuverability without the need of an extra chute attachment
- Excellent build quality with high-end rust and corrosion-proof materials
- Five-year warranty for extra peace of mind
Snapper XD 82V
The Snapper XD 82V is an electric walk-behind mower with impressive run time and some very appealing features. As more areas ban gas mowers, electric mowers are starting to become more popular.
The Snapper XD 82V comes with two lithium-ion batteries that can charge within 30 minutes and have around 45 minutes of charge. It's enough time to cut grass in a small yard, but may not be enough for larger tracts of land. Luckily, the Snapper allows you to replace batteries on the fly, so you can keep on going while your second pair of batteries recharge. It's a great solution to a common electric power equipment problem.
The main concern for many fans of gas mowers is the performance of their electric counterparts. The Snapper XD uses load-sensing technology to determine how much power a particular area needs. With an 82V engine that can spin blades at up to 2800 RPM, the Snapper can handle even the thickest grass.
Like many walk-behind mowers, the Snapper has an auto-drive system that makes it easier to use than traditional push mowers. It comes with rear-wheel drive for extra power and has several different speed settings.
One of the features many reviews appreciated was the fact that the motor could keep up with your mowing speed. Often with electric mowers, the engine can't keep up if you decide to speed up. Luckily, with its load-sensing technology, you'll get excellent performance, no matter how fast or slow you go.
- Quick-charging batteries with a relatively long run time
- 21" mowing deck ensures you can get through a lot of grass
- Side discharge for easy mulching
- Replaceable batteries ensure very little mowing downtime
- Powerful motor delivers high-performance cutting action
- Still not as powerful as many gas mowers
Best Electric Lawn Mowers
Gas lawn mowers are notorious for producing more pollution than a diesel car, emitting hundreds of toxic chemicals every time you mow the lawn. While electric lawn mowers may not be the best option for everyone, they're becoming more popular. Many reviews appreciate the fact that electric mowers are quieter and much cheaper to run than gas mowers.
Electric mowers come in a wide variety of models, from push mowers to riding mowers, and everything in between. Different models have different power outputs, so it's vital to find the right one for your needs.
EGO Power+ LM2020SP
EGO is a brand that specializes in electric power equipment, notably lawn mowers. The company's 40 years of experience shows, and all of their hardware comes with a powerful 56V volt ARC battery. This battery forms the cornerstone of the brand, offering an exceptional lifespan with relatively short recharge time.
The EGO Power+ LM2020SP is a walk-behind mower that uses a self-propelled drive system to move the mower. It's cordless and relies on batteries to run. The batteries have a run time of around 60 minutes, with recharge taking approximately 40 minutes for a full recharge. The batteries are replaceable, so you can keep mowing while charging your second set.
One of our favorite features is the LED headlights, which allow you to find your way in the dark, giving you no excuse not to mow your lawn. EGO place customer experience in the first place, offering plenty of adjustments and accessories, allowing you to tailor the mower how you see fit.
The lawn mower comes with three functions, including mulching, bagging, or side discharge. Unfortunately, you'll have to buy the discharge chute separately. However, we did find that the grass bag mulch was big enough to handle a reasonably sizable lawn.
- No fumes
- Quiet operation means significantly fewer annoyed neighbors
- Corrosion-resistant construction and headlamps mean you can cut the grass in any weather and at any time
- Long-lived batteries that you can replace
- Smart construction allows for easy folding up and storage
- Short battery lifespan compared to charging time
- Several reviews complain about dull blades
Greenworks 80v Mower
The Greenworks 80V mower offers significantly more power than many other electric mowers on the market. As a general rule, the type of battery determines the cost of an electric mower. In the case of the Greenworks 80V motor, you get an excellent battery and high-quality mower at an affordable price.
There are several models of the Greenworks mower, each at a different price range. There are three 80V batteries: the 2 AH, 4 AH, and 5 AH. All of these mowers do an excellent job of mowing a yard, and which one you get will depend on your precise needs. Batteries with more ampere-hours tend to have longer run times, but will also take longer to charge and will be more expensive.
The Greenworks 80V mower has a run time of up to 60 minutes. The brushless motor, combined with Smart Cut Load technology, ensures you get the right amount of power for your needs. Brushless motors have changed the electric mower landscape, offering better torque and strength and making electric models comparable to gas mowers.
The Greenworks is a relatively light and maneuverable motor. It only weighs 62 pounds, and the large front and rear wheels make it easy to move around the yard.
As with many mowers at the higher-end of the spectrum, the Greenworks model comes with a 3-in-1 feature so that you can choose between mulching, bagging, or using the side discharge chute. Unlike many other mowers, the process of switching between the options is simple and easy to understand. You can even change settings while mowing the lawn.
- Affordable and economical to use
- The mower comes with two batteries for infinite use - charge one while using the other
- Smart Cut Load technology delivers power only when you need it, extending battery life whenever possible
- Has the same amount of output equivalent to a 160cc gas mower
- Handles fold down, allowing for easy vertical storage
- The grass bag is difficult to empty
Greenworks 25022 Electric Lawn Mower
Some people dislike having to charge batteries to run their mower. A good alternative to consider is a corded lawn mower model, like the Greenworks 25022.
The main draw of the 25022 is its streamlined design. It's a slightly smaller model, with a 20" deck, 7" front wheels and 10" rear wheels. The handlebar is adjustable, with three set positions. You can also adjust the grass cutting position, which makes this an excellent choice for people who prefer slightly longer grass in their yard.
The corded motor delivers 12 amp of power, which is more than enough to handle most grass types and densities. It's even powerful enough to chew through wet grass with ease.
The lawn mower comes with several accessories, including a mulch plug, grass bag, side discharge chute, and owner's manual. It doesn't come with an extension cord, so make sure you have one suitable for the size of your yard.
If you're willing to work around an electrical cord, the Greenworks 25022 is one of the best lawn mowers in its price range. Not only does it have a powerful electric engine, but it's also compact and easy to store. Unlike many other models, you also get the side discharge chute included in the price of the mower.
- The sleek and compact design makes navigating tight corners a breeze
- The powerful motor can handle any type of grass
- Easy to maintain and clean
- Comes with a four-year warranty
- Some people may not like working around the cable
Best Zero-Turn Lawn Mowers
Zero-turn lawn mowers differ from traditional riding mowers or push mowers in that their mowing deck is in front, rather than underneath the mower. The mower has two swiveling wheels in front, and two large rear wheels for stability. Two levers, each attached to one front wheel, control the steering and direction of the mower, allowing it to turn on a dime.
The main reason to get a zero-turn mower is if you have a narrow or awkwardly shaped yard. They're better at navigating obstacles and mowing narrow patches of grass that other mowers can't reach.
The largest disadvantage of a zero-turn lawn mower is that it doesn't work well on wet turf, due to a lack of torque and gripping capacity. They are also more difficult to operate, and you may need to get certified to operate one effectively.
If you're determined to get the best lawn mower for a narrow and difficult-to-navigate yard, you're spoiled for choice with several high-quality zero-turn mowers available.
Husqvarna Z254F 26HP Z-Turn Mower
The Husqvarna Z254F is a great mid-level lawn mower, specifically designed to handle larger lawns and hilly terrain. The main selling point is the 26 horsepower Kohler 7000 Series V-Twin engine. Not only does it put out an impressive amount of horsepower, but it's also reliable, quiet, and fuel-efficient. The engine can start under any conditions, including sub-zero temperatures, making it the best lawn mower for all seasons.
Operating a zero-turn lawn mower can be difficult for novices. Husqvarna has put in a lot of effort to make the Z254F easy to drive and operate. It has an automatic parking brake system that handles the brakes. All you need to worry about is steering.
While some front-end lawn mowers tend to offer poor grass performance, the Z254F has Air Induction Mowing Technology that improves airflow through the deck. The moving air pulls grass blades upwards, which leads to a high-quality cut that's even and smooth.
The only negative about this mower is that it doesn't come with a mulching kit or bagger. If you want to mulch or bag your grass, you'll need to buy these accessories separately.
- Easy to operate riding mower with zero-turn capability
- Air induction mowing technology guarantees a high-quality cut
- An excellent engine that provides plenty of push and reliability when you need it the most
- Lifetime warranty on most parts
- No accessories such as a mulching bag or grass bagger
Husqvarna MZ61 61 in. 24 HP Kawasaki Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower
If you’re looking for one the best high-end zero turn riding mower models, look no further than the MZ61 from Husqvarna. The standout feature of this model is the Briggs Stratton engine that outputs a powerful 27 horsepower. Combine this raw strength with a heavy-duty steel frame and commercially-rated hydraulic system, and you have an impressive piece of power equipment that can handle anything you throw at it.
Despite having many commercial-grade features, the Husqvarna MZ61 still offers comfort and ease-of-use. The mower has padded dual levels to dampen vibrations. Considering how fast this device can go, that's a good thing. The mower also comes with a high-back seat, armrests, and even a cupholder to help you get through a tough day of work.
One appealing aspect of the MZ61 is the dedication to safety. Many zero-turn mowers are unstable and prone to tipping over on rough terrain. This mower has large rear wheels that offer stability, as well as a roll-over protection system to keep you safe in all conditions.
If you've never used a zero-turn mower before, it's best to take the time to get to know the mower before kicking it into high speed. The Briggs Stratton engine delivers a ton of horsepower and speed, so going slowly ensures you don't rip up your entire lawn in the mowing process.
- Powerful Briggs Stratton motor delivers plenty of strength, torque and mowing capability
- Comfortable seat allows you to mow for hours on end without discomfort
- Commercial-grade features include a ROPS and robust hydraulic system
- Excellent cut quality no matter how thick or dense the grass
- Some people may find it difficult to use at first
Best Riding Lawn Mowers/Lawn Tractors
If you're tired of your old push mower models, you may be in the market for something a bit more relaxing. One of the best pieces of high-power equipment you can buy to manage your lawn is a riding lawn mower.
While you may expect that all riding lawn mowers are giant beasts, suitable for the largest yards, the truth is that they come in a wide array of sizes and models. You can use a small craftsman riding mower with 14 hp for an acres' worth of land, or get a larger lawn tractor that can cut enough grass for a farm.
The main disadvantage of buying a riding lawn mower is the cost. These models are significantly more expensive than push mowers and form their own class of power equipment. They're also difficult to store, so make sure you need one before committing to buying such high power equipment.
Once you start looking at various models and reviews to find the best riding lawn mower, you may quickly get intimidated by both the prices and the sheer amount of choice. Our pick takes into account the price, reliability, and effectiveness of the machine we review.
Husqvarna LTH1738, 38 in. 17 HP Loncin Hydrostatic Gas Riding Lawn Mower
The Husqvarna LTH1738 is a great little mower designed for smaller yards. Despite its small size, it still a powerful enough engine to handle hills and obstacles with ease. The Husqvarna is one of the best riding mower models for beginners since it's relatively light, compact, and easy to use.
The mower engine has a chokeless start, which makes starting the machine simple. Chokeless starts are especially important in very cold or hot conditions, where reliability is essential.
The LTH1738 comes with several features that are rare on lower-end riding mower models. It has a reverse cutting operation system that disengages the blades when the motor is in reverse. This feature dramatically increases the safety of the mower and is a great addition to a lower-end model. The engine will also shut off when the seat sensor detects a change in weight, preventing the motor from running without someone in the driver's seat.
If you do most of your mowing in the morning or evening, you'll appreciate the built-in headlights that provide more than enough light to see by when you mow.
- Several safety features usually found on high-end models
- The best option for beginners due to a relatively small engine and compact size
- Air induction technology ensures you get a great cut every time
- Ergonomic seating and steering wheel for extra comfort
- Only suitable for yards that are an acre or smaller.
Troy-Bilt 382cc 30-Inch Premium Neighborhood Riding Lawn Mower
The Troy-Bilt 382cc works best on large, flat areas where you can take advantage of its zippy 4.5 mph top speed. While it can handle tight corners, it struggles on hills or slopes and can feel a bit unstable.
The main area where the Troy-Bilt 382cc shines is in user-friendliness. Since it's such a compact model, it's great for smaller areas. There is a distinct emphasis on comfort, with a padded mid-back seat, ergonomic steering wheel, and extremely fun drive experience.
The Troy-Bilt is one of the best low-end models you can buy, but it does make some sacrifices to remain affordable. The mower doesn't have any automatic safety features or attachments, and you'll have to engage and disengage the blade manually. However, because you have to disengage the blade manually, you can also mow in reverse, which can be convenient for tight, narrow spaces.
- Extremely affordable price
- A reliable engine that puts out a decent amount of cutting capability
- Variable height setting for grass cutting
- Easy to use and maintain
- Several reviews have complained about poor build quality
Finding the best mower can be a challenge. The best way to really find the right one for your needs is to do your research. Think about which type of product you need, and read up on reviews to discover any major problems for the model. Try to find a mower that is the right size for your yard; having too much power is just as bad as having too little.
We've listed what we consider to be some of the best mowers on the market today. They represent a good compromise between price and performance, and you should be able to find one that works for you.
Disclaimer: As an Amazon affiliate, we may earn a small commission on the models we've listed here. However, we don't let these potential earnings influence our decision on what we say regarding the best possible mower brands. These are products we believe in, and that may earn us enough money to keep the site running.