Top 10 Rated Push/Walk-Behind Lawn Mowers 2023
While most lawn mowers can handle flat, even terrains, the trick is to find a high-powered lawn mower that still works well when the lawn is large and hilly and containing trees, rocks, and roots. We looked at a number of lawn mowers to see how well they mulch, bag, or discharge grass clippings, leaves, and other lawn debris. Other factors we considered:
1. Versatility of functions
3. Ease of start-up and maintenance
4. Power to get over hills and obstacles
5. Bag capacity
6. Noise and emissions
7. Height adjustment
You’ll find an assortment of high quality lawn mowers, be they gas, electric, or cordless. The choice between the three styles depends on your yard and mowing needs.
Kohler 6.5 ft. lb. cross torque 149cc OHV engine
Lawn-Boy’s 21 in. high wheel push mower is lightweight at 61pds and maneuverable. The Kohler 6.5 gross torque over head valve engine provides plenty of power to cut through tough grass… read more
140cc Briggs and Stratton Engine
With durable 12-inch rear wheels, this Husqvarna gas-powered push mower, available for $249.95, is easy to maneuver over all kinds of terrain. It’s durable and that’s the main trait we are looking for. The engine runs smooth and… read more
6.9 torque, 160cc engine
With durable 12-inch rear wheels, this Husqvarna gas-powered push mower, available for $299.95, is easy to maneuver over all kinds of terrain. Fairly lightweight at 55 pounds, it conveniently folds up … read more
Kohler 6.5 ft. lb. cross torque 149cc OHV engine
The only difference in the 10732 is that it’s a self propelled or walk behind mower. But if you prefer you can push it as well. If you’re like me I use push faster than the mower’s self propelled speed, so I like that option. Then on hills… read more
450E 125cc Briggs & Stratton primer engine
For people with smaller yards that cut their yards frequently this can be a great little mower. The side discharge is perfect for worry free cutting. Grass clippings are actually good for your yard and re-introduce fertilizer… read more
190 cc engine
A sturdy self-propelled gas mower from Craftsman, this machine effectively mulches, bags, or discharges clippings. The rear wheel drive provides better traction than front … read more
Push Mower Buying Guide
A Guide to Buying a Lawn Mower
Take a look at your yard. Is it flat, hilly, or rocky? Does the grass regularly grow high? You know your yard better than anyone, so you can make informed decisions when selecting a new lawn mower.
The first thing you should ask: Do I need a mower I can ride or push? The answer lies in the size of your property. A lawn less than half an acre is sufficiently small for a push or self-propelled mower. If it’s bigger than half an acre, then you can save yourself a lot of time and energy by using a ride mower.
Understanding the engine
Gas mowers and electric or cordless mowers specify the motor’s power in different ways. For gas, it’s typically:
- Horsepower, which refers to the power the engine produces.
- Torque, which measures how much horsepower reaches the blades.
- CC, or cubic centimeters, which determines the motor’s power by the cylinder’s displacement volume.
While manufacturers will boast of a mower’s high horsepower, that doesn’t always mean the mower will have the greatest cutting performance. A high torque or cc are better indicators.
Electric and cordless mowers measure their power in amps, watts, or volts. To compare an electric motor’s power to a gas motor’s, you can divide the wattage by 746 to get the equivalent horsepower. Not sure how to get the wattage? Just multiply the volts by the amps.
Gas mowers are also broken down into two-cycle and four-cycle engines (also called two- or four-stroke). Two-cycle engines, which require a mixture of gas and oil, are typically more powerful and start better in cold temperatures, but they also emit more pollution. Four-cycle engines are large, run cleaner, and are ideal for large properties.
Bagging vs. Mulching
Is it better to bag or mulch the grass? It depends on the climate and the condition of your lawn. Fertile, wet lawns can get clogged and clumpy if you leave mulch behind. In this situation, it’s better to bag the grass clippings. However, if your soil is dry it could benefit from the nutrient-rich mulch.
Some lawn mowers also discharge clippings from the side. Honestly, this is not the most ideal mower function unless you don’t mind raking up grass after you mow the yard.
As far as design goes, mowers with rear bags are preferable to side bags. The rear bags will generally hold more clippings and won’t make the mower wider and bulky.
Wheel size and strength
The wheels on the lawn mower get the most wear and tear because they’ll be running over rocks and roots. A large wheel size improves the mower’s durability and makes it easier to maneuver over rough terrain.
How much exercise do you want? Push vs. self-propelled mowers
Unless you have a small, flat lawn, self-propelled mowers are generally more convenient, if more expensive. Push mowers are lighter, but that’s before the bag fills up with clippings.
While electric starts are supposed to save you the hassle of pulling a start cord, modern recoil start mowers have improved the start-up process and don’t cost extra.
You can find quality mowers with steel, plastic, or aluminum decks, or housings for the motor. All are acceptable. Plastic is generally durable enough and doesn’t rust like metal. However, steel is usually thinner, meaning you can get up close to fence edges and not need the trimmer afterward.
With proper maintenance and care, your lawn mower can last for years. Still, look for a model with a decent warranty of at least two years. Some manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty on the deck.
|Steve Holdgren is an engineer by trade and has worked for some of the largest energy related engineering firms in the world with his latest stint in Switzerland. He holds a degree is mechanical engineering… See more about Steve|
Featured Push Mower Articles
Operating a lawn mower shouldn’t be a dangerous task if you know what you’re doing and if the mower is equipped with basic safety features. Handle Lever: Some new models are designed with safety in mind and come equipped with a lever or bar on the handle that you must hold down to keep … [more]
Mowing the yard can be hot, grueling work, but a well-maintained machine can make the job a bit easier. Keeping the lawn mown and tended also gives you healthier, thicker, prettier grass. 1. Blades: Mowers with sharp blades perform better all around. The average mower needs to have its … [more]
Lawn mowers of all varieties have certain inherent risks. You have to know how to operate it properly and keep it well maintained to avoid accidents. Above all, children should not operate lawn mowers and should understand that they are dangerous yard tools. General Mower Safety: Don’t let … [more]
While gas mowers have been around the longest and are praised for their power, you’ll find that electric and cordless mowers are gaining popularity for being better for the environment. Of course, you never want to sacrifice cutting performance. There are advantages and disadvantages … [more]
More Top 10 Lists
With riding lawn mowers, you want the same performance you get from a walk-behind mower but in a much larger package. Riding lawn mowers are the ideal choice if you have a lot of property to cover. Here are some of the most important factors we looked for when we selected the top 10 ride … [more]
People tend to think of mowing the lawn as backbreaking, sweat-inducing work, but self-propelled lawnmowers can make the task a lot more bearable, particularly if you have hilly or uneven terrain to maintain…[more]
Lawn trimmers are invaluable tools for keeping your yard looking tidy and professional. Trimmers can reach tight areas that lawn mowers can’t, such as beneath bushes and around trees. Many trimmers also function as edgers… [more]
The best leaf blowers, be they gas, electric, or cordless, must be effective at blasting away leaves, twigs, and other lawn debris. We looked for a number of factors when selecting the top 10 leaf blowers… [more]
Pressure washers are an essential tool for keeping the outside of your home clean. Made for blasting through grime on cars, boats, driveways, grills, and house sidings, a pressure washer carries exponentially more power than a regular garden hose…[more]
Sometimes you have big messes that a regular broom, mop, or vacuum cleaner just can’t handle. Shop Vacs, or wet/dry vacuums, are invaluable tools when it comes to cleaning up tough wet or dry spills and messes around the house…[more]