When it comes to a lawn mower, you might be surprised that they do more than just cut your grass. With the right mower, you might possibly have a better experience mowing your lawn and in turn ensuring that it looks prim and proper.
Walk-behind lawn mowers come in three types:
a) Manual lawn mowers: are the traditional ones where you are the one pouring in all your energy basically doing all the work without any assistance from the motor or engine.
b) Push lawn mowers with an engine or motor basically power the blades.
c) Self-propelled lawn mowers are the ones where an engine or motor powers the wheels and the blades.
In order to make this process a little easier for you, we have curated a list of our best walk behind lawn mowers and tips on what to look out for when buying one.
1. Greenworks 40V21″ Brushless Self-Propelled Lawn Mower - Best Overall
- Your purchase includes: GreenWorks MO40L03 Self-propelled Lawn mower (push button start & single blade)
- Dual battery ports with automatic switch-over for longer, uninterrupted run-times: when 1 battery depletes,...
- The Smart Pace self-propelled system automatically and smoothly adjusts to your walking speed
- Item's weight is 85.3 lbs. Includes 10in. rear wheels and 8in. front wheels for easy maneuver. Use the lever...
- Innovative Smart Cut technology adjust for power or runtime based on the thickness of your grass. Hard top...
The Greenworks 40V, tops our list as the best self propelled lawn mower. It uses pace keeping technology to increase or decrease the speed of the mower so that it can to the user’s pace. It weighs 70Lb and uses a squeeze bar. The 8 inch front wheels and 10 inch rear wheel allow the self-propelled mower to handle most yards.
It comes equipped with 3 in 1 cutting options that can mulch, bag or side-discharge the cut grass. The deck of the mower a cutting height with upto seven different height positions of your choice and it uses Greenworks Smart Cut technology to adjust the power output of the mower to enhance power or increase battery run time, depending on the thickness of the grass.
- It uses pace keeping technology
- It has a cutting height of upto seven different height positions
- It's super quiet
- The batteries charge quite fast
- Some users have complained about the string trimmer
2. PowerSmart Lawn Mower, 22-inch & 200CC, Gas Powered Self-propelled Lawn Mower
This self-propelled lawn mower is powered by a potent single-cylinder gas engine and has an expansive cutting deck that can mow a wide patch of grass in one pass. It comes equipped with a forced-air cooling system that can keep running for an extended period of time.
It offers a 3-in-1 bag with side discharge and mulching. The 11.5-inch rear-wheel drive makes it easy to move forward even when running on hilly terrain and it has tires that can maneuver swift turns. The cutting height offers five adjustable options depending on the users' preference. The gas lawn mower can be quickly folded without tools due to the foldable handle design. So once you’re done using it, simply fold away its handle design for tidy storage.
- Gas lawnmower
- Easy to use
- The foldable handle design is great for tidy storage
- The cutting height has five adjustable options
- Some users have complained of the wheels falling off once in a while
3. Snapper XD 82V MAX Cordless Electric 21-Inch
Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Kit
- Self propelled transmission with variable speed
- Up to 45 minutes run time with the Briggs & Stratton 82V Lithium ion 2.0Ah battery kit comes with (2) 2Ah...
- 21 inches steel mowing deck with 3 in 1 design mulch, bag or side discharge grass clippings easily
- Smart, efficient load sensing technology power adjusts to meet the demands of the cutting blades
- Push button start and a single lever, 7 position height of cut adjustment; Rear wheel size: 10 inch
The Snapper SD 82V is a self propelled mower that packs a punch with its powerful 82 volt engine to move through thick grass without stopping or slowing. It weighs 72lb and has 8 inch front wheels and 10 inch rear wheels which support movement on bumpy terrain. It uses a squeeze bar and pace keeping technology to automatically move forward at a pace that matches its user. The package includes two batteries and a rapid charger.
The battery usually lasts for about a 45 minute cut and the batteries take between 30 and 60 minutes to charge completely.
The brushless motor keeps your mower as quiet as possible. It is a 3 in 1 design hence you can mulch, bag or side discharge grass clippings easily. The cutting height has seven different options and it you can store up to 2 cubic feet of clippings in the included bag which means that you can take a few breaks while mowing.
- Runs on a powerful 82 Volt engine
- Can move on bumpy terrain
- Package includes two batteries and a rapid charger
- The bag can store up to 2 cubic feet of clippings
- Cutting height has seven different options
- Some users have complained of the length of the battery power
4. Greenworks 21-Inch 40V Self-Propelled Cordless Lawn Mower
- Self- Propelled Drive System
- Product dimensions – 65.35” L x 21.65” W x 33.07” H | Product weight – 21.65 lbs. | Height...
- Durable 21" steel deck allows you to handle large areas of grass quickly and easily. Brushless motor provides...
- Self-propelled drive system with variable speed rear wheel drive lets you easily maneuver and tackle any...
- Dual battery port design enables one battery to be stored while the other fuels the mower, saving you a trip...
The self propelled mower is battery powered and cuts the lawn in almost near silence. It has a squeeze bar and has the 3-In-1 design that allows you to mulch, rear bag, or side discharge your grass clippings. The lawn mower has 8 inch front wheels and 10 inch rear wheels makes it easier to run the uneven or bumpy terrain. It is lightweight and easy to use.
- Easy to use
- Relatively quiet while mowing
- Ideal for uneven or bumpy terrain
- Battery life isn't great
5. Troy Bilt TB130 21 Inch 159cc Gas Mulching Push Walk Behind Lawn Mower
- 21-inch diameter steel cutting deck with TriAction Cutting System and side discharge, mulch, or rear bag...
- 11-inch rear wheels provide improved mobility on hills, inclines and in rougher terrain
- 1.9-bushel rear bag collects grass clippings for easy clean up or composting
- Side discharge chute comes with built-in clip to attach to handle when not in use
- Mulch kit included to help put nutrients back into soil for a healthier lawn
This walk behind mower is powered by a 159 cubic centimeter engine and its 21 inch deck has the brand's TriAction cutting system which allows you to better groom your lawn by creating mulched clippings.
The push mower has 11 inch rear wheels that can handle rough and bumpy terrains and hills. It has fingertip height adjustment which makes it easy to adjust the cutting height between 1-1/4 and 3-3/4 inches. The Troy- Bilt push mower comes with a rear collection bag, mulch kit, and a “Check, Don't Change Engine,” which eliminates the need for oil changes and makes maintenance significantly less time-consuming.
It is one of the best walk behind lawn mowers.
- Easy to use and maneuver
- Ideal for rough and bumpy terrains
- Troy Bilt TriAction Cutting System
- Not self propelled
What to Consider When Buying a Walk Behind Lawn Mower
A) Engine Power and Size
The power of a gasoline engine is measured in cubic centimeters. Small engines tend to be around 125 cubic centimeters (cc) and are ideal for small yards with moderate yearly lawn growth.
Medium- Average sized engines range from around 140 cubic centimeters to 180 centimeters and are suitable for small to medium yards. They can handle moderate to heavy yearly lawn growth. If you pay attention to deck height and you don’t let your lawn get out of control, an engine within this range has more than enough power to get the job done.
Large engines that exceed 180 cubic centimeters are ideal for bigger yards with heavy yearly lawn growth. Large engines are great for powering through tall, lush grass or in extreme conditions such as with a side discharge chute in place. The extra torque comes in handy as it improves bagging.
Battery powered mowers measure their engine power in volts. Small engines start from 18volts but the majority run between 40 and 80 volts and can handle the same tasks as 140cc to 180cc engine.
The cut capacity which is also known as the actual size of the mower is going to determine how long it will take to cut your lawn. The wider the lawn mower, the more of your lawn you can cut at once.
B) Speed Control and Systems
There are a variety of ways that you can control a self-propelled lawn mower. This includes a squeeze handle, drive bar, dial and a pace keeping system that automatically adjusts to your pace. Some lawn mowers operate at only one speed while others can include several speed settings of up to 4mph.
The speed controls and option will differ depending on the brand. When selecting, it is best to take a look at the mower speed control that works with your mowing style. The squeeze bar is a great choice for self-propelled lawn mower that will be used by one person. It moves the mower faster as the user squeezes the bar toward the handle making it easier for the left or right-handed user to mow easily.
C) Battery vs. Gas
Most walk behind lawn mowers run on battery systems which are usually lithium-ion. The batteries tend to range from 20 volts to around 80 volts. When you are done mowing the lawn, you can hook you lawn mower battery up to a rapid charger which usually can charge fully in a span of 30 to 60 minutes depending on the type of battery.
When buying the batteries of self-propelled lawn mowers, what you need to look out for is the run time. It doesn’t make sense to but a mower that supports up to 45 minutes of run time if your lawn normally takes 1 and a half hours to cut. It is also important to note that not all self propelled lawn mowers come with the battery or charger so when selecting one, take that into consideration before purchasing one.
Gas lawn mowers are ideal for larger yards since all you need to is fill the tank and you don’t need to take any break to charge the battery.
D) Drive System
Walk Behind lawn mowers run on drive systems and they all have their benefits and deliver a different mowing experience.
Front-wheel drive (FWD) are the types of mowers that are ideal for your lawn if it is generally flat. What tends to happen is that, the mower will suddenly stop moving if the front wheels are lifted off the ground and this usually happens when navigating hills. However, they are much easier to tip and turn when it is time to turn around and reverse the course.
Rear-wheel drive are the types of mowers that are ideal for mowing lawns with hills because they are much more powerful. This is because they contain an incredible amount of traction and require less intervention.
All wheel drive systems are ideal maximum control and mowing consistency.
E) Height Adjustment
The height adjustment of a lawn mower refers to how high above the ground your lawn mower will cut. The higher the height is set, the longer the grass will be after it is cut. When it comes to adjusting the height, all you need to do is pull the height adjustment level and set it to your preferred height.
One thing to note is that not all walk behind mowers have the same height adjustment options. Some only come with two options while others offer seven. While others offer a range from 1.25 to 4 inches.
F) Cutting Options
Walk behind mowers offer different cutting options depending on the brand
There are single- option mowers which tend to be simple and straightforward. They don’t offer the versatility to adapt to various lawn conditions and this is why most mowers now tend to prefer lawn mowers that offer two or more cutting options.
2 in 1 mowers offer two of the three available cutting options and this includes bagging, mulching or side discharging. They tend to be a lot more versatile than single option single mowers but are not as powerful as the 3 in 1 mower.
3 in 1 mowers allow users to choose from bagging, mulching or side discharging with a single machine hence allowing more cutting versatility.
G) Rear Wheel Diameter
The rear wheel diameter can vary depending on the size of the of self propelled lawn mower and the terrain that it is designed to handle. Some mowers can have all four wheels that are equal in size and have often measure between 7 and 8 inches in diameter.
Mowers that are better for bumpy ground and thick grass will have larger rear wheels than front wheels and the rear wheels will have diameters ranging from 8 inches to 12 inches. These types of wheels also work best if your yard has heavy lawn grown or very uneven ground.
In terms of maintenance, there’s very little difference between the maintenance of a gas-powered mower and that of a battery-powered one except that one requires a gas tank refill and the other requires its battery charged.
Some of the common maintenance requirements for self-propelled lawn mowers you do have to keep an eye for include regular oil changes, washing to clean out the dirt and debris, inspecting the mower blades so as to ensure they remain sharp and do not have nicks or cracks, refilling gas tanks, storing the batteries and regularly charging them.
I) Deck height
The deck height can be controlled with one, two or four levers. The single lever height adjustment is the east to use but it requires more linkage and this tends to add more weight and complexity. If you do find yourself varying your deck heights often, the single lever would be a good option but if not, the two or four levers work well too.
J) Deck Material
Mowers generally have a steel deck and only a few manufacturers like Toro offer a corrosion-resistant aluminium deck. Aluminium decks won’t rot like steel deck do but you still need to keep it clean. There are some lawn mowers that have plastic decks and only Honda makes a gas engine mower with a high impact plastic deck.
A good lawn mower warranty should be easy to reference and will give clear information about the length of time it covers the mower, the activities that the owner can under the warranty and the restrictions that can nullify that warranty.
If you’re in the process of purchasing a walk behind mower and you notice that it doesn’t have a warranty, this should be a cause for concern. It’s always good to have a warranty, just in case something happens for example it suddenly breaks or stops working.