If you're in the market for a new lawn mower, you might wonder what type of mower fits your lifestyle and budget. From deck size to power source and price, there’s a lot to consider if you plan on buying a new lawn mower – so let’s stack up the options and compare.
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 mow over hilly, uneven ground, or do you have a flat yard? Run time can be affected by available power, type of motor, speed and grass 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. [Looking for more information on the difference between these two mowers? Check out our self-propelled vs. push mower comparison].
- Zero-turn mowers: The steering occurs in the rear wheels, providing maximum maneuverability, tight turns and a large cutting deck.
- Riding lawn mowers: Tractor-style mower with steering wheel and larger cutting decks.
- Manual mowers: Always self-powered.
Purchasing the biggest mower on the market can be tempting – 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 Mower Categories
You’re probably most familiar with gas-powered lawn mowers -- the traditional 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:
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.
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 unnecessarily?
MANUAL PUSH-BEHIND MOWERSManual 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.
Lawn Mower Features that Make a Difference
When shopping for a new lawn mower, evaluate what key features are most important to you – and your lifestyle. If price is no object, you might be eyeing up the Cadillac of lawn mowers. Or if you’re looking for a mower that can cut your lawn the fastest, cutting speed might be at the top of your wish list. If making green and sustainable choices is your primary focus, you’ll want to opt for an eco-friendly lawn mower. The options are endless!
No matter why you’re in the market for a new lawn mower, there are a few universal factors to consider when choosing the best lawn mower.
Lawn Mower Deck Size
A bigger deck size means you can cover more ground faster, but they take up more space to store. Stay tidy with a smaller deck size if you want something small and compact, stay tidy with a smaller deck size.
Walk-behind mower decks range between 14 and 36 inches – and can get 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 Lawn Clippings
Everyone has a strong opinion about mulching vs. bagging. Most mowers have the grass-mulching option, while some mowers also offer side discharge – which blows the cut grass to the side and allows you 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 yard 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, as you’ll need to stop to empty the bag when it’s full. However, bagging gives your yard a clean, polished look – plus it’s quicker than raking up all the grass clumps.
Give yourself maximum versatility by choosing a lawn mower that can do all three.
Lawn Mower Cut Height
If you just returned from vacation and your lawn is 16 inches longer than expected, 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 only need to tackle a few unwieldy patches, you can simply lower your cut setting to customize your lawn care.
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. No matter which route you go, it’s a significant investment – so make sure you do your homework and determine 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 buying the best lawn mower includes our intelligent and sustainable line of lawn mowers, riding mowers and zero-turn mowers. Factors to consider include:
- Fast and consistent cut – our brushless motors keep a constant blade speed, ensuring a crisp and mohawk-free mow.
- Charge time matters – how long will it take to charge your batteries?
- Easy push-button start – say goodbye to the pull-cord hassle forever.
- Durability – built to last heavy-duty steel deck.
- Versatility – embrace the ability to bag, mulch or side discharge.
- Quiet – a smoother and less noisy mowing experience – no earplugs required.
- No maintenance – forget spark plug replacements, costly tune-ups and mid-mow gas stops.
Greenworks taps into 20+ years of battery power expertise with our Intelligent Power™ mower line – 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 powerhouse lawn mower platform that also gives you zero wasted time. Shop now!