Lawn Mower Buying Guide
Our ratings are based on the feedback of adults who own any of these types of mowers, with brands generally providing most of them for customers to choose from. So let’s work out which type of lawn mower is best for your garden.
- Earthwise 60420 20-Inch 40-Volt Lithium Ion Cordless Electric Lawn Mower
- Great States 415-16 16-Inch Reel Mower Standard Full Feature Lawn Mower With T-Style Handle And Heat Treated Blades
- Earthwise 50518 18-Inch Corded Electric Lawn Mower
- Great States 815-18 18-Inch 5-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower
- American Lawn Mower 1204-14 14-Inch 4-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower
- Earthwise 60617 17-Inch 24-Volt Cordless Electric Lawn Mower
- Earthwise 50214 14-Inch 8-Amp Side Discharge/Mulching Corded Electric Lawn Mower
- Earthwise 1715-16EW 16 Inch 7-Blade Push Reel Mower
- Scotts 2000-20 20-Inch Classic Push Reel Lawn Mower
- Great States 304-14 14-Inch 5-Blade Push Reel Lawnmower
- American Lawn Mower 1304-14 14-Inch 5-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower
Other Lawnmower Factors to Consider
Some electric and petrol lawnmowers are self-propelled. This means that you don’t need to push them – simply steer them in the right direction!
It makes mowing much easier, especially with large lawns and heavy machines. Some models come with adjustable speeds, so you can set it to a comfortable walking pace.
It is generally advised to collect grass clippings rather than leaving them on the lawn. Most lawnmowers collect the clippings in a box at the back. This is better than mowers that leave you to rake them up afterwards!
If you have a medium or large lawn, look for a high-capacity grass box. This will cut down how often you need to stop mowing and empty the box.
You can also get lawn mowers that chop up the grass clippings very finely and push them back into the lawn as mulch. These are sometimes called recycling mowers. The mulch adds nutrients back into the lawn.
The fine shredding helps the clippings break down quickly so they don’t smother the rest of the grass. Mulching mowers are expensive but a good choice if you don’t have anywhere to dispose of grass clippings.
A lawn mower’s cutting width refers to how wide a stripe the lawnmower can cut. A larger cutting width will reduce how much time you spend mowing the lawn.
Here’s a handy guide using the lawn sizes from above.
- Small lawn: 300mm cutting width.
- Medium lawn: 350-400mm cutting width.
- Large lawn: 400mm+ cutting width.
Cutting height refers to how high the grass will be when you have cut it. Most lawnmowers have adjustable cutting heights – you simply move the blades up or down.
This helps you dictate the height of the grass, and leave it longer in autumn or during dry periods. Cutting height ranges are usually 20mm to 60mm – see my section on proper mowing technique below for advice.
If you want the striped lawn finish you see on football pitches, you need a lawnmower with a rear roller. The heavier the mower and its roller, the longer your stripes will last.
Rear rollers also allow you to mow right up to the edge of the lawn.
If you have lots of lawn edges, it is worth looking for a model that can cut right up to the edge. Generally cylinder blades or versions with rear rollers are better at this.
Any mower with inset front wheels or a grass collection comb is also great for mowing edges – no need to go back round with a strimmer.
Robot lawn mowers
Robot lawn mowers are becoming more commonplace these days. The technology is getting better all the time and they can now recognise obstacles and lawn edges. And they are a lot more affordable, though still not cheap.
Robot lawnmowers are for you if you really, really hate mowing the lawn. There is some set-up involved as you have to lay a perimeter wire. Then just leave the mower to get on with cutting. Some models even ‘self-park’ into a charging station after mowing.