Wondering what type of lawn mower fits your lifestyle and budget? From deck size to power source and price, there’s a lot to consider if you’re in the market for a new lawn mower – so let’s stack up the options and compare.
Lawn Size And The Types of Mowers
The size of your lawn makes a difference when picking out a new lawn mower – and so does the terrain. Will you be mowing over hilly, uneven terrain or do you have a flat yard? Run time can be affected by available power, type of motor, speed and conditions.
- Self-propelled: The motor powers both the blades and propels the mower forward.
- Push behind mowers: These mowers have engines that move the blades – but you’ll rely on your own power to push it across the lawn.
- Riding lawn mowers: Tractor-style mower with steering wheel and larger cutting decks.
- Zero-turn mowers: The steering occurs in the rear wheels, providing maximum maneuverability, tight turns and a large cutting deck.
- Manual mowers: Always self-powered
It can be tempting to go with the biggest mower on the market – but that might not be the best option for your yard (or your wallet!). Check out the following chart to visualize yard size, mowers and even voltage.
Mower Type Comparisons by Lawn Size
|Lawn Size||Walk Behinds||Riding Mowers||Voltage|
|Small Lawn: Up to ½ acre||
Medium Lawn: Up to ⅔ acre
|Zero Turn Mower Riding Mower||24V/40V|
|Large Lawn: Up to 1 acre||Self Propelled||Zero Turn Mower Riding Mower||60V/80V|
Extra Large Lawn: 1.5 acres or larger
|Zero Turn Mower Riding Mower||60V/80V|
Gas Vs Electric Lawn Mowers
You’re probably most familiar with gas-powered lawn mowers, as they have traditionally been the power story leader. However, with advances in battery technology, the electric power movement has arrived in full force. It’s no secret what we think is the best – electric mowers are the clear (and cleaner) winner.
Check out the following categories for lawn mowers:
- Gas-burning mowers: These mowers have a miniaturized combustion engine under the hood, mixing air and gas to spark a mini-explosion to power the mower. Gas mowers require different fuels – most commonly gasoline, diesel or propane – adding extra cost for each mowing.
- Electric: Like a Tesla car, electric lawn mowers run on rechargeable lithium-ion batteries – without a drop of gas. Electric lawn mowers with brushless motors utilize magnets and electromagnets instead of sparks, gas and mini-explosions. In addition to being efficient and powerful, electric mowers are quiet, safe and environmentally friendly. Corded mowers exist but with battery technology advancements - why tether yourself when you don’t need to.
- Manual Push Behind Mowers: Manual mowers are old school – and they only work as hard as you do. Also known as reel mowers, manual lawn mowers are not efficient, but they do offer a stellar workout. The frustration factor is also apparent with manual mowers, as you can find yourself going over and over the same spot if your blades aren’t sharp enough for a crisp cut.
Let’s take a deep dive and compare our options head-to-head.
Mower Type Comparisons by Benefits
|Motor powered by:||Magnets! Zero sparks or explosions needed||Mini explosions made from combining gas, air, and sparks|
|Fuel||Electricity via batteries (or cord)||Gasoline|
|Motors||Smart brushless motors mean faster and more consistent blade speed – and a more efficient cut.||Inefficient motors put out the same energy, regardless of what you need.|
|Breathable Air||Zero emissions mean zero harmful air breathed; electric motors run on renewable energy.||Gas lawn mowers burn fossil fuel – bad for the environment and bad for your family to breathe in each time you mow. The gas after-effects linger on your clothes and in your garage, too.|
You and your neighbors will love the low decibel levels of electric mowers – it’s a purr instead of a roar.
Gas-burning lawn mowers use mini-explosions to power their engines – loud enough to scare your dog and disrupt your neighbors.
Electric lawn mowers have no maintenance required – woo hoo! That means tune-ups, no mixing fuels and no messy spills.
Gas burning mowers require yearly maintenance – which can be costly. In addition to buying gas each time you mow your yard, you’ll need to change the oil, replace air filters, clean spark plugs and more. Phew!
Ease of start
Get started mowing with just the push of a button – it couldn’t be easier!
Gas mowers use pull cords to start the engine – leaving you with a sore shoulder and a stubborn mower that won’t start.
Lawn Mower Features that Make a Difference
When you’re shopping for a new lawn mower, it’s important to evaluate what key lawn mower features are most important to you – and your lifestyle. Perhaps the price is no object and you want to get the job done with the Cadillac of lawn mowers. Or maybe you’re looking for speed – what can cut your lawn the fastest so you can get back to activities you enjoy. Other lawn mower shoppers care about the environmental impact and opt for an eco-friendly mower.
No matter the reason why you’re browsing lawn mowers, there are a few universal factors to consider when choosing the best lawn mower.
Lawn Mower Deck Size
The bigger deck size means you can cover more ground faster, but they are larger to store. If you are looking for something small and compact, stay tidy with a smaller deck size. Walk-behind mower decks range between 14 and 36 inches – and can go even wider with riding lawn mowers and zero turn lawn mowers. On a typical riding lawn mower, the cutting deck averages 42 inches – meaning you’ll cover about 3.5 feet in a single pass.
Mulching vs. Bagging Your Lawn Clippings
And how about that mulching? Everyone has a strong opinion about mulching vs bagging. Whatever your preferred method, we’ve got options. Most mowers have the grass-mulching option, while some mowers also offer side discharge – which blows the cut grass to the side and gives you the ability to mow at an increased speed when your grass is extra-long or wet. Side discharge helps with speed and efficiency; however, it does make a mess.
Mulching mowers get the most out of your lawn clippings – this type of grasscycling helps to feed your lawn each time you mow. If your lawn is extra-long or wet, you might consider bagging while you cut to keep large clumps of mowed grass off your lawn. It is a bit more time-consuming because you have to stop to empty the bag when it’s full; however, bagging gives your yard a clean, polished look and it’s quicker than raking up all the grass clumps. Give yourself the versatility by picking a lawn mower that has the option to do all three.
Lawn Mower Cut Height
If you just returned from vacation and your lawn is 16 inches longer than normal, you’ll want to mow on the highest setting to avoid getting bogged down with grass clippings. You can mow a second time on a lower cut height setting to tackle any remaining sections of tall grass. Or if your lawn is almost picture perfect and you just need to tackle a few unwieldy patches, you can mow on a lower cut setting to customize your lawn care.
NEW LAWN MOWER PRICING
With almost everything in life, you’ll need to consider the cost when choosing the best lawn mower. The simplest mowers cost a few hundred dollars, while the largest mowers with all the bells and whistles will cost you a few thousand dollars minimum. No matter which route you go, it’s a big investment – so make sure you’ve done your homework, figured out the best fit for your lifestyle and budget before purchasing your new lawn mower.
WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR IN AN ELECTRIC LAWN MOWER?
Here at Greenworks, we’re advocates of electric lawn mowers, so it’s no surprise that choosing the best lawn mower includes our smart and sustainable line of lawn mowers, riding lawn mowers and zero turn lawn mowers. Factors to consider include:
- Battery voltage x Amp hours = Your True Power!
- Brushless motors with microchips give the perfect cut
- Charge time matters, consider how long it takes to charge all your batteries
- Easy push-button start, no yanking please
- Heavy-duty steel deck, built to last
- Ability to bag, mulch or side discharge
- Quiet, instead of roaring, it purrs
- No maintenance, ever
Our intelligent motors are smart enough to sense a change in lawn conditions and auto-adapt the power you need accordingly. Add in zero emissions, zero pull cords, zero maintenance and zero pollution breathed – and you’re looking at a lawn mower that also gives you zero time wasted. Shop now!