Types of Lawn Mowers
With hundreds of lawn mowers on the market, some miles ahead of others in value and class, it is well worth taking the time to come to an informed decision.
Variety brings us obvious benefits, and now it is possible to pick from a huge range of different lawn mowers, each serving their own function, and each boasting their own set of benefits and drawbacks. The only downside to this variety is that it can be difficult to find, or even to know, exactly what it is you are looking for.
Luckily, ToolsAroundTheHouse.com has done all of the hard work for you.
We have brought together and reviewed the highest quality and best value lawn mowers for each category, and we have presented them to you with everything you need to make your decision about which lawn mower to buy.
What Type of Mower Is Right For You?
You might be thinking, “I just want a lawn mower,” and we concur; we are here to make this as easy as possible for you. But the truth is there are many types of mower, and gaining a quick understanding of what is on the market will help you to make the right decision.
Size Of Your Lawn
The size of your lawn is the first consideration to make. If you have a small garden then a push lawn mower may be ideal for you. If you have acres of land to tend to, on the other hand, you may require a riding lawn mower; otherwise you will be mowing all day.
Certain lawn mowers are also suited to certain types of terrain. If you have a flat suburban lawn then all of the options are fine for you, but if your lawn contains dramatic slopes and obstacles, a self-propelled mower may be more fitting.
Level Of Noise
There are other factors to consider too. For example, if you are averse to noise then you may want to avoid the gas powered lawn mower, which gives out quite a racket. You could opt for an electric mower instead, or the even more discreet reel mower. For those of you that can't stand power chords there are even battery powered lawn mowers on the market.
Reel mowers are also the most environmentally friendly, while gas causes the most pollution. There are some top quality ecological models on the market, so you don't have to sacrifice your ethical values to buy a lawnmower that is perfect for you.
The final consideration, as with any purchase, is whether to spend a lot of money on the highest quality product available, or make a humble purchase on a nice cheap lawn mower. This depends on your own preference. Some people prefer to make a one-off purchase and own a stunning bit of kit that will likely out live them. Others would rather buy a lawnmower that just gets the job done.
Be aware that cheaper lawnmowers may need replacing sooner, and that they may be more liable to break. It is up to you how much money you choose to spend, and it is possible to get high quality lawn mowers at bargain prices.
Here are some quick questions to run by yourself as you learn more about the types of lawn mower available to you, and move closer to your purchase:
- How big is your lawn?
- What is your terrain like?
- Do you prefer gas, electric, battery, or reel?
- Is noise and pollution an issue (for you or your neighbors)?
- Do you want to push it, drive it, or should it be self-propelled?
- What is your budget?
Hopefully we have got you thinking a bit.
Maybe you are already closer to knowing what you are looking for? If not then no need to worry. In the sections below we cover each type of lawn mower individually, so you can see which one is right for you. Each section below also includes a link to the reviews for that type of mower, so when you have made your decision about what type you need, you can move on to finding a specific model.
Technology fans may wince at this thought, but the original classic reel lawn mower may still be a very sturdy option.
Simple And Efficient
Reel mowers feature a number of blades connected to the wheels. As you push them forward the blades rotate and cut the grass. What could be simpler? Indeed this is the mower for the minimalist. They feature less parts than other types of lawn mower, and so they tend to break less and require next to no maintenance.
The manual reel mower emits zero noise and zero pollution, making for an eco-friendly purchase, and one that won't break your bank balance. Even the best reel mowers come cheap, and once bought they are free to run, because they are powered by you. Reel mowers cut lawns like scissors, rather than chopping the top off the grass like other types, making for a very neat finish. However, you wouldn't want to push these things around a huge garden, and they are terrible on rough terrain, and tough grass. Additionally, some models do not include a grass catcher.
Not Suitable For Every Type Of Grass
The main concern if you are purchasing a reel mower, is what type of grass you will be cutting. Reel mowers are not great for cutting tough grass like St Augustine, Zoysia, or Bermuda. They are better for light grass and smooth surfaces. If you are a bit of a tech-head, but still appreciate the finesse of a reel mower, then you could consider a gas reel mower, an electric reel mower, or even a riding reel mower. If you appreciate traditional approaches and the quality that comes with it, then a classic push reel mower might be for you.
We have the best reel mower reviews right here.
- High quality finish.
- Cheap to buy, and free to run.
- No pollution of any kind; the best lawn mower for the environment.
- Not all models have grass catchers
- Slow to use.
- Only tackles certain grass and terrains; may not be suitable for tougher grass.
- Unsuitable for large areas
Self Propelled Lawn Mowers
Self propelled lawn mowers differ from push mowers in that they effectively drive themselves, taking a lot of the workload away from you.
Ready, Set, Go!
They feature a gearbox and clutch, so all you have to do is bang it in gear and walk behind it, guiding it across your lawn. They feature rotary blades which chop the lawn and can power through even tough grass. Self propelled lawn mowers are ideal for tackling large areas, and make a great choice for anyone who would rather not have to push a bulky mower around manually.
Heavier And More Expensive
The added components do make the lawn mower heavier, more costly to buy and run, and more likely to break or need repair. When you are looking at our self propelled lawn mower reviews you should therefore be seeking quality, to avoid these expensive repairs later on. If you have a large garden, and a fair budget, the extra cost can be well worth it.
There are many different types of these mowers available, including the electric self propelled lawn mower, with or without a power cord, and gas mowers. Be sure to check out our reviews to find out which type is the best self propelled lawn mower for you.
- Requires less effort from you and mows with ease.
- Can tackle most types of grass, including tough grass.
- Suitable for small and medium lawns.
- Costly to buy and run.
- Requires fuel or electricity.
- Heavier than push mowers.
- Extra parts make it more susceptible to breaking.
Push Lawn Mowers
Push mowers come in a variety of different shapes, sizes, and types. The underpinning factor is that you push them around as they cut your lawn.
Types Of Push Mowers
The reel mower mentioned above is a type of manual push mower. The other types are the gas push lawn mower, and the electric powered mower, which can come with either a cord or a battery, or both.
Gas powered push mowers were once the most popular choice for suburban gardeners, but new advances and improvements mean the electric push mower is now number one. They are cheaper to run and better for the environment, and make for a great buy so long as you can cope with the chords or short battery life.
Small To Medium Lawns
Push mowers are generally suitable for small to medium lawns, and as long as you are physically fit to do so, the best push lawn mowers are not too difficult to maneuver. However, if you have a very large or steep lawn, or prefer not to have to put the work in, the self propelled or riding lawn mowers might make for better options.
The push lawn mower is perhaps the most common and suitable choice for most requirements.
- Standard choice, suitable for most small to medium lawns.
- Can deal with most grasses.
- Cheaper to run, and less likely to break than the self propelled mower.
- Comes in gas, electricity, cordless, and reel.
- Can be physically demanding to push around.
- May be difficult to use on very steep or rough terrain.
Riding Lawn Mowers
Are you looking for the ultimate grass cutting machine for large areas? Then the riding lawnmowers are just the piece of kit for you. These are not your typical suburban push mowers.
Riding lawn mowers are like little tractors, and some even come with attachments which allow them to double up as snowploughs, or which allow you to attach a trailer. Just sit on them, rev the engine, and drive around your lawn until the job is done.
Of course, these lawn mowers are going to set you back a few dollars, and sometimes the prices can stretch into the thousands. It is possible to buy relatively cheap riding lawn mowers, but generally they are not the first choice for the casual gardener. They are expensive to buy, expensive to run, and completely unnecessary for a small lawn.
However, if you do have large amounts of lawn to cut, and you are willing to fork out for what is easily the most time efficient (and fun!) way to get the job done, then a riding lawn mower or lawn tractor might be for you.
Lawn Tractor Or Zero Turn Mower
Our site features extensive lawn tractor reviews to help you find the best lawn tractor for you. At the top of the range of riding lawn mowers, falling into a category of their own, is the zero turn mowers. They do not often feature extra attachments like the lawn tractor, but they are far more effective and efficient, and they can turn at zero degrees, making them highly maneuverable.
In short, the best zero turn mowers are the ultimate lawn cutting machine.
Our zero turn mower reviews will help you make the right choice. If you are going to buy one of these beasties then you are going to want the best zero turn mower for the money.
- Great for very large lawns, and for commercial lawns.
- Lawn tractors come with many attachment, making them very versatile.
- Zero turn mowers provide the ultimate cut for large areas.
- You ride around on them; easily the most fun you can have mowing the lawn!
- Most expensive
- Not suitable for small lawns.
- Expensive to run and can be noisy and bad for the environment
Commercial Lawn Equipment
If you are looking for lawn mowing equipment suitable for commercial use, then you will mostly be looking at walk behind lawn mowers, and riding lawn mowers. Considering that most commercial projects will be larger than a small garden lawn, reel lawn mowers and push lawn mowers are probably out of the question, unless of course you run a business that specializes in lawn care, in which case you will need a variety of mowers to match the situation.
Commercial lawn mowers should be of an exceptionally high quality. Professional standards require professional equipment, and so you should be looking to invest in reputable brands, and top of the range products. Often it is gas lawn mowers that will be most useful for commercial lawn equipment; gas provides a reliable fuel source that is not dependent on being able to plug in, or recharge a battery.
Zero Turn Mowers Rule Again
For large scale commercial lawn projects the zero turn lawn mowers are probably your best bet. They are after all, the most efficient, and are able to cut large areas, to a high standard, in not a lot of time. The initial investment will pay for itself many times over from a commercial perspective. Check out our product reviews for more information on commercial zero turn mowers, commercial walk behind mowers, the stand up mower, and much more.