Best Lawn Mowers - Shop for a new lawn mower and you'll soon discover there is no shortage of options. The best lawn mowers are easy to handle, safe to use and can be ready to mow without much hassle. Clean up should be hassle-free as well -- the best mowers handle the clippings by bagging them or mulching them into fine pieces.
Lawn mowers can be powered by gas, electricity (battery or corded) or by you. In general, gas-powered lawn mowers can through tough vegetation better than electric mowers, but electric mowers are becoming increasingly effective for even tough jobs and are popular choices for the environmentally aware. Manual reel mowers are a hit with people who like to get their exercise points in while working in the yard, and for those whose yards (and maybe budgets) are small enough to make a powered mower just plain overkill.
While walk-behind lawn mowers are a great choice for most people (and yards), if you have a larger plot of land, you may be better served by a lawn tractor, also known as a riding mower, which we cover in a separate report. To deal with the clippings left on your sidewalks and driveway, you may want to consider investing in a leaf blower, while a string trimmer will put a beautiful finish on the job -- we have reports on both of those yard tools as well.
Self-propelled mowers require less effort. Typically the most expensive type of lawn mower, self-propelled models have a transmission that powers the drive wheels, so they move forward without effort, you merely walk behind it and guide it where you want it to go -- much like a car. Less expensive models often have set speeds, while pricier models use an automatic transmission and speed levers to accelerate and slow down. The top self-propelled mowers can travel up to 4 mph and have user-friendly controls within easy reach. Self-propelled mowers come in both gas and electric models, and tend to be a bit more expensive than push mowers, but are a good choice if you have a larger lawn to mow.
Push mowers are lighter and less expensive. If you want to spend less on a lawn mower and don't mind putting in a little extra mowing effort, consider a push mower. Other than the transmission, there is very little difference between push mowers and self-propelled mowers. This type is best for medium to small flat yards, if you have a lot of hills you may wear yourself out with a push mower. Some push mowers have larger rear wheels, which manufacturers say make them easier to use on rougher terrain, but many experts and owners say that actually makes them more difficult to maneuver.