How to choose a new lawn mower

John Deere

With the arrival of spring and summer comes the inevitable task of cutting the grass in your yard and that means it is a very good time to have a reliable lawn mower on hand. Perhaps you are planning to purchase your first mower or want to do a major upgrade. Regardless, you have several options to choose from.

In the past few years the decision has been easy. Either you’ve ridden a lawnmower that you can push from behind or one that you can ride comfortably on. Nowadays there is even more to consider – in addition to traditional gas-powered mowers, you can now also choose electric lawnmowers that are powered by either extension cords or batteries.

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Options are good, but they can make choosing a lawnmower difficult. Here are some factors to consider before shopping.

Yard size

Push mowers, whether gas or electric, are great choices when you have a small yard of an acre or less. However, if your garden is ¾ acres or larger, you need something more capable. To tackle larger lawns, choose a ride-on mower or a zero-turn mower. Thanks to wider cutting surfaces and higher rolling speed, these more robust machines cover more ground in less time.

Dealing with clippings

How you choose to dispose of the cut grass will help you narrow down your options. You have three options. Side mowers throw grass clippings back into the yard. Other mowers have bags that allow you to collect and dispose of the clippings separately.

Mulching mowers cut grass into smaller pieces and bring them back to the yard as mulch. Other mowers offer a combination of these capabilities. Mowers that mulch or have bagging systems ensure a cleaner garden, but also cost more than the simple side mowers.

Another factor to consider is time. When packing up your clippings, you will need to stop frequently to empty the grass from the mower bag into a collection bag. You also want to make sure that your local plumbing department picks up this garden waste.

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Lawnmower types

Push the mower

Gas powered lawn mowers

Gas powered lawn mowers have been around for years and they are still a popular choice. While most of these mowers use a pull cord to start their engine, there are some models with an electric starter, which eliminates the need to pull the pull cord to start.

Gas powered lawn mowers that are not self-propelled can vary in price from about $ 170 to $ 730.

Wired electric lawn mowers

The biggest benefit with corded electric lawnmowers is that you don’t have to stop to fill the gas tank or change the battery. They continue to run as long as they are plugged into an electrical outlet. The main challenges are the length of your extension cord, the location of your electrical outlets, and the number of obstacles in your yard.

For example, if you have a lot of trees or bushes, there may be a lot of backtracking to keep your extension cord from getting tangled. It is also important to choose an extension cord that meets the lawnmower’s specifications. The least expensive option, corded electric push mowers can range from $ 75-280.

Ego Power + sells a popular line of electric lawn mowers.

Ego Power +

Cordless electric lawn mowers

The main difference to battery operated mowers is the type of battery and the different voltage values. The higher the voltage, the longer the lawnmower can run on a single charge. If you have a larger yard you may need to either stop to charge the battery before completing the job or buy an extra battery to swap out in the middle of the cut. Typical battery runtimes are between 30 and 60 minutes. The price for cordless lawnmowers is approx. $ 315 to $ 650.

Self-propelled lawn mowers

Although this is a more typical feature of gas powered lawn mowers, there are also battery powered self propelled mowers on the market.

Self-propelled mowers are either front or rear wheel mowers (FWD or RWD, short). FWD mowers work well on flat terrain and are easy to turn around obstacles in your yard. RWD mowers work best when you pack up your cuttings and have the collection bag in the back. They are also good on rough terrain. Gas powered self propelled mowers can range from $ 280 to about $ 2,400 for more powerful modelswhile cordless electric self-propelled lawn mowers drive off around $ 330 to $ 750.

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Riding lawn mower

While most lawnmowers run on gas, there are some electric models on the market right now. In general, lawn mowers cost more than their push mower siblings. That said, they’re great for people with larger characteristics, usually ¾ acres or more. Gas-powered lawnmowers range in price from approx. $ 1,400 to $ 3,900while the electric models are running everywhere $ 2,600 to about $ 3,500. Check out our guide What to Know Before Buying a Lawn Mower.

Zero-turn lawn mower

When it comes to lawn mowers, the zero-turn mowers are the crème de la crème and a common choice for professional landscapers or people with very large yards. They’re much easier to turn than a typical lawn mower, making it easy to cut around trees, bushes, and other obstacles. Zero-turn mowers are the most expensive mowers on our list and can be costly 4,500 up to $ 15,000.

Robot lawnmowers like this one from Robomow cut grass automatically.


Robotic lawn mower

Robotic lawn mowers require the least amount of effort on your part. These battery operated mowers operate on an autopilot and can navigate around the obstacles in your yard. They work well for flat yards that are small, less than an acre, and have a price between $ 1,200 to $ 2,400. Learn more about Robotic lawn mower.

Additional features to consider

Here are some other factors to consider when purchasing a lawn mower:

Width of the cutting deck

For lawnmowers, the width of the cutting deck can be anywhere from 10 to 17 inches or more. The smaller the deck, the more passes you’ll need to complete the yard. However, the smaller size can also be beneficial in small courtyards where there are lots of obstacles to navigate and curves to take. Ride-on mowers typically have mowing deck widths of 30 to 66 inches. The deck width for zero-turn mowers is comparable to 34 to 66 inches.

Cutting height

Depending on the time of year, you may want to cut your grass longer or shorter. It is important to you to look for a mower that allows you to easily adjust the height of the cutting deck.


Push mowers with adjustable handles make it easier for people of all sizes to operate the machine. On ride-on mowers, you want to find one with a comfortable seat. Many riding mowers even come with cup holders to keep you hydrated while you cut.


Beyond the initial purchase price, you should be safe and consider the cost of maintaining the lawnmower. For gas-powered mowers, this includes the running costs of fuel, engine oil, and parts like spark plugs.

Make a purchase

Before you go to the store to buy your new lawnmower, consider all of the things we discussed, from the size of your garden to what you want to do with the clippings for the person who does most of the Cutting will perform. This makes the purchase decision much easier for you. For more advice, see our guide on the Advantages and disadvantages of electric lawn mowers.

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