Mulching mowers bring out the best of both worlds for your lawn. They cut your grass and mulch the clippings simultaneously, saving you the hassle of bagging the grass trimmings, and at the same time, fertilizing your lawn as you mow. The best mulching mower helps you keep your yard lush and polished.
So, why a mulching lawn mower? A good lawn mulching lawn mower can make all the difference to your yard. Here's why:
- The fine mulch deposited on your lawn as you mow breaks down and decomposes quite fast, forming a natural fertilizer that boosts the grass' health.
- The layer of mulch can help to retain moisture by minimizing evaporation, further improving grass health.
- Mulching lawn mowers are lighter and easier to push since they don't retain the grass clippings.
But what makes the best mulching lawn mower? There's plenty that goes to it, as we'll see in a later section. But with a wide variety of options on the market, let's first look at 5 of the best mulching mowers to consider for your lawn.
1. Craftsman M105
- 140CC OHV GAS POWERED ENGINE: Engine comes equipped with recoil and auto choke. No more fussing with a primer...
- 3-IN-1 CAPABILITIES: Unit has side discharge, rear discharge, and mulching capabilities.
- 21-INCH CUTTING DECK: Efficient cutting deck helps trim grass in one quick pass for an easier yard job.
- DUAL-LEVER ADJUSTABLE CUTTING HEIGHT: Choose from 6 different height settings to suit user’s needs.
- DURABLE WHEELS: Zag Treaded tires measure 7 inches in the front and 8 inches in the back.
The Craftsman M105 is certainly the current best mulching mower for small- to mid-sized lawns. It's a 3-in-1 lawn mower (mulching, side charging and bagging) ) that comes with a solid 21-inch cutting width. Additionally, it's quite reasonably priced for an all-round top performer, making it a great buy for all kinds of lawns.
It's a gas-powered lawn mower equipped with a powerful 140 cc Briggs and Stratton engine. It also comes with a dual-level height adjustment so that you can adjust the cutting height to 6 different levels with a 3.75-inch maximum. Weighing just 65 lbs, the Craftsman M105 is fairly easy to move around. Plus, it's also foldable to take up less storage room.
The only significant drawback is perhaps the size limitation. Therefore, this mulching mower might not be the best choice for large yards.
2. Pulsar PTG1221
- 173cc 4-stroke engine
- Recoil start
- 21 in. Cutting width
- 3-In-1 cutting ( mulch, rear bag, side discharge)
- 7 position single lever height adjustment
The Pulsar PTG1221 is a close top contender for the best mulching mower as the Craftsman M105. This one combines power, efficiency and affordability in a 3-in-1 lawn mower with a 21-inch cutting deck. Its versatility includes mulching, side charging and rear discharge bagging to ensure you're always covered.
This lawn mower is powered by gas, running on an equally powerful 173 cc engine. It also has seven single-level adjustable heights, with a maximum of 3.75 inches. As a result, the machine is well suited to cutting any grass, partly thanks to the 10-inch rear wheels that increase maneuverability. And since it only weighs 77 lbs, it's quick easy to push around.
3. Greenworks M013B00
- 13 Amp Electric Motor delivers enough power to cut through the toughest grass
- Durable steel 21-Inch cutting deck gets the job done quicker and more efficiently
- 3-in-1 feature provides multiple options for grass clippings from rear bagging, side discharge and mulching...
- 7 position height adjustment offers a range of cutting height from 1 1/2-Inch to 3 3/4-Inch for the perfect...
- Wide 10-Inch rear wheels and 7-Inch front wheels. Please lift the rear discharge cover to find the mulching...
Electric lawn mowers are touted as the future, and the Greenworks M013B00 is a good reason to believe so. This unit packs virtually everything you would need to mulch your lawn quickly, effectively and quietly. For starters, you don't have to worry about environmental hazards since you won't be dealing with the hassle of oil, gas and their harmful emissions.
The lawn mower comes with a 13 A battery power, which gives you at least an hour of run time. It also features 7 adjustable height positions to help you find the ideal cutting height, bolstered by the 21-inch cutting width. Weighing just 56 lbs, moving this corded lawn mower around is quite a breeze.
4. EGO Power+ LM2100SP
- Up to 60 minutes run time on a single charge when used with the recommended EGO 56V 7.5 Ah ARC Lithium
- Adjustable self-propel speed .9 MPH – 3.1 MPH
- 7-position cutting height adjustments: 1.5"- 4"
- 3-in-1 function: mulching, bagging, side discharge
- Quick and easy push-button start
If you're looking for a battery-powered lawn mower that has plenty going on, then the EGO Power+ LM2100SP is definitely worth your consideration. For starters, it's a versatile mulching lawn mower that can handle different terrains with relative ease. More so, it comes with a robust 56V battery that gives a decent run time of up to 60 minutes.
The LM2100SP features a 21-inch cutting width, meaning you can go about mowing your yard quite efficiently. It also includes a single-level height adjustment with 7 different positions. This is further boosted by the 4-inch maximum cutting height, allowing you to get the desired trim on your lawn. This
It's a self-propelled lawn mower, so you'll rarely have any need to push it around. In addition, its front-wheel-drive system allows you to change the speed according to specific circumstances. On top of that, this lawn mower also features a couple of nifty features, most notably the LED lights that help you work even in dark conditions.
5. POWERWORKS M060L513PW
- 21" steel cutting deck features a 3-in-1 design, allowing you to mulch, rear bag, or side discharge grass...
- High-efficiency 60V brushless motor with push-button start provides more power, torque, and longer life...
- Stores vertically, taking up less space in your garage or shed for added convenience
- 7-position, single-lever height adjustment allows you to achieve the perfect cut on all grass types
- 60V 5Ah Lithium-Ion Battery provides up to 70 minutes run-time
The POWERWORKS M060L513PW is another outstanding battery-powered mulching lawn mower. It comes with a brushless electric motor that gives you just as much power as a gas mower but with no noise or toxic emissions. Additionally, the powerful 60V lithium-ion battery gives you a sufficient run time of up to 70 minutes to ensure you leave your yard well-manicured in just one go.
It comes with a 21-inch cutting width to make a breeze of mulching. This lawn mower also features a single-level height adjustment system that allows you to move the deck in up to 7 positions. It weighs a fair 78 pounds, which is arguably a bit heavier than other lawn mowers on this list. However, it can be folded for convenient vertical storage.
Factors to Consider in the Best Mulching Mower
How does a mulching lawn mower work? First, the machine lifts the cut grass clippings into the cutting deck's bell, cuts them, then spills them back to the ground to be absorbed into the soil. Therefore, a mulching lawn mower comes with a blade with several cutting edges and enough space in the cutting deck for the clippings to move around.
With this in mind, let's look at the factors that make up the best mulching lawn mower for you:
1. Power Source
The power source is pretty important for mulching mowers, mostly because they require more power to chop the grass in the cutting deck continuously. One vital thing to keep in mind is a mower's power determines how efficiently it can cut grass without dropping performance.
There are three main options to consider:
a). Gas-Powered Mowers
Traditionally, gas-powered mowers are deemed as the most powerful option, but at a trade-off. They tend to be much louder, can be hard to start, release pollutants to the environment and require more maintenance. However, if sheer raw power is your biggest priority, then gas mowers will always get the job done.
b). Battery-Powered Mowers
Battery-powered mowers come with the convenience of simply inserting the battery and getting started with the job. Unfortunately, battery power means a limited run time and the need to recharge them. You might even find yourself using two or more batteries, depending on the size of your lawn.
You'll also have to consider that some batteries take a long time to charge fully, meaning you might need to plan. Furthermore, batteries don't particularly come cheap.
c). Corded-Electric Mowers
Corded-electric mowers are as smooth as plug-and-play, which brings a whole of convenience to mulching your lawn. However, this also means you might be limited to the cord length, especially if you don't have an outdoor power outlet or an extension.
2. Type of Mulching Lawn Mower
How your mower moves is a significant factor in the overall mowing experience. There are three options to consider:
a). Push Mowers
These are possibly the simplest and easiest mowers to maneuver. You simply push or pull the mower around freely without fretting about changing speeds or accelerators. That said, some push mowers can be quite heavy, meaning pushing them over large lawns or hills can be quite strenuous.
b). Self-Propelled Mowers
These are often called "walk-behind" mowers since they move around on their own as you follow behind. Therefore, they require a lot less muscle power to mow, but that also takes away a level of maneuverability. On top of that, a self-propelled mower is more expensive than a push mower.
c). Riding Mowers
Riding mowers are arguably the cream of the crop; you just sit back and take in the ride. This makes them ideal for mowing large tracts of land, especially because they also come with much larger cutting widths. However, riding mowers are quite expensive, bulky, challenging to maneuver in tight spaces and require more storage room.
3. Blade Width
A mulching mower's blade width determines how wide the machine can cut. As such, we recommend going for a mower with wide blades that are more suitable for mulching than cutting. The best mulching mowers normally have two cutting blades on either side, ranging between 18 to 21 inches.
4. Cutting Height
Cutting height is important for your lawn's health. This means getting a mulching lawn mower with an adjustable range, between 1-2.5 inches or 0,5-1.5 inches being the ideal cutting height.
5. Size & Weight
You'll definitely also need to consider the weight of the machine, particularly for a push mower. Otherwise, mulching can become quite exhausting, especially if you have a large lawn. More so, you'll also have to think about the lawn mower's size to account for its storage.
In most cases, the power source determines the levels of noise to expect from mulching lawn mowers. For instance, gas-powered mowers can be as loud as 100 decibels, while electric mowers emit just about half of that.
As with any other potentially long-term buy, it's just as important to look out for a warranty from your ideal mulching lawn mower. The industry standard is usually 2-3 years, but you can also find solid 5-year warranties from some brands. The trick is to go for a well-known and trusted brand that'll first sell you a well-engineered, durable machine that's also backed by a decent warranty.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Mulching Lawn Mowers
1. Is the mulching option better than bagging grass?
Yes, especially if you are aiming for a thick, healthy lawn. As mentioned earlier, mulched grass clippings decompose on the ground, returning their nutrients to the soil to nourish your grass. More so, using a mulching mower or a mulching kit ensures that you avoid thick clumps of grass on your yard, which can lead to unhealthy thatches.
2. What is the difference between a dedicated mulching mower and a lawnmower that mulches?
Mulching mowers are specifically built to keep the grass clippings in the bell of the cutting deck. Generally, their blades also sit lower in the bell, with multiple cutting edges to repeatedly cut the trimmings as they tumble around the bells.
On the other hand, regular lawn mowers don't come with such features, often spilling the clippings outside the bell or inside a rear bag after the first cut.
3. Can a mulching mower mulch leaves?
Yes. Mulching lawn mowers are just as effective on leaves as they are on grass clippings. In fact, it could be an added advantage to mulch grass and leaves since they decompose faster together than each on their own.