In this article, I’m going to show you my top picks for the best lawn mower.
I’ve already written about;
- The best petrol lawn mowers
- The best electric lawn mowers
- The best cordless mowers
- The best cylinder mowers
- The best robotic lawn mowers
- The best push mowers
- The best hover mowers
What I wanted to do here is to create a list of the best lawn mowers (for most people) from each category.
I also wanted to create a detailed buyers guide to not only help you pick the right type of mower, but also to understand the different features these machines come with.
Now, just because I’ve listed each machine as ‘the best for most people’ doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best for you.
So, once you know which is the best type of lawn mower for you, have a look at the relevant article to make sure you choose the best machine for your specific needs.
The Best Lawn Mowers (For Most People): My Top Picks
If you just want to see what my top picks are, have a look at the table below.
You can click the buttons to buy the products or click the text links to read more in-depth reviews about each one.
Mountfield SP41: Best Petrol Lawn Mower For Most People
– Well Priced
– Reliable Engine
– Leaves an Excellent Finish
Bosch Rotak 40: The Best Electric Lawn Mower For Most People
– 1,700 Watt Motor
– Very Easy to Use
– Excellent Striped Finish
Aerotek: The Best Cordless Lawn Mower For Most People
– Easy to Use
– One Hour Charge Time
– Cuts Well
Allett Liberty 43: The Cordless Cylinder Mower For Most People
– For Lawns Up to 500sq Meters
– Packed With Features
– Cuts Incredibly Well
Flymo 1200R: The Best For Most People
– Easy to Use
– Plenty of Safety Features
– Very Quiet
Webb H18: The Best Hand Push Lawn Mower For Most People
– Lots of Height Adjustment
– Very Well Built
– Creates an Excellent Striped Finish
Flymo Turbolite 330: The Best Hover Mower For Most People
– Very Easy to Use
– Leaves a Nice Finish
Which is the Best Type of Lawn Mower For You and Your Garden?
So now you know my top pick for each category but now I want to help you choose the best lawn mower for you and your lawn.
As you know, there are thousands of lawn mowers on the market so choosing the best one for you can get a bit confusing.
Get it wrong and you’ll waste both time and money and mowing the lawn will be a job you avoid.
Invest in the right machine, however, and cutting the grass becomes easy, therapeutic even.
I’ll list the different types below and explain the pros and cons of each one.
Hand Push Mowers
These mechanical mowers are the most basic type.
They’re also by far the cheapest.
Simply push them along and a bladed cylinder spins and slices the grass in a scissor-like action.
Because they use a cylinder blade which cuts grass in a similar way to scissors, they produce one of the cleanest and healthiest cuts you can get (as long as you keep the blades sharp!).
Hand push mowers are best for small, level, already well-manicured lawns.
They’re also very lightweight when compared to other types of mower which is a good thing if you don’t want to haul a big machine around the garden.
However, because they’re so small and lightweight, they’re not great for larger areas, you’d be mowing all day with one of these.
And they’re terrible on bumpy, uneven lawns with coarse grasses. The blades get jammed, the grass collectors fall off and they’ll make your life a misery.
Electric Lawn Mowers
Electric lawn mowers are the most common type and are good for small to medium-sized lawns.
You can also buy cylinder or rotary versions.
They generally offer good value for money and they come in a range of power outputs. Whether you have bumpy uneven lawns or a nice, cared for utility or family lawn, there’s a model out there for you.
The downside to electric mowers is the fact that they’re limited by a power cord.
They’re generally only 10 meters long, although some models do have longer ones. Still, they’re rarely long enough to mow the lawn without the need for an extension lead.
This also causes problems when mowing around obstacles like garden features and furniture. It’s very easy to get tangled up.
Also, electricity and water don’t mix which means cutting wet grass is out of the question.
Hover mowers are also fairly cheap, which makes them a common choice.
Their big advantage is their manoeuvrability.
Instead of having fix wheels like most lawn mowers, hover mowers work by creating a cushion of air on which it floats, similar to a hovercraft.
This makes steering them incredibly easy.
If you have odd or irregular shaped lawns that a traditional, wheeled mower might struggle with, a hover mower might be a good choice.
They mainly come in electric versions which are suitable for small to medium-sized lawns. However, their limitations caused by their power cords are the same as any other electric mower.
That said, you can also by petrol models if your lawn is on the larger side, although they can be pretty heavy.
For many people, hover mowers have two main issues;
The first one being that they’re not great on bumpy uneven lawns. If they hit a high part or a thick tuft f grass, they can scalp the lawn.
Secondly, their grass collectors are generally quite small, many don’t come with them at all.
This is because the added weight of collected grass means the mower sits lower on its cushion of air. This, in turn, makes them difficult to steer and cause scalping.
Cordless mowers bridge the gap between electric and petrol versions.
They use electric power but have the freedom of petrol mowers because they’re not limited by a power cord.
And similarly to cars, as battery technology improves, they’re becoming more and more popular. Especially as garden sizes get smaller.
Batteries last for around 30-40 minutes on average which only makes them useful for small to medium-sized lawns. If your lawn is on the rugged side, expect the battery to run out of charge much sooner.
That said, you can buy extra batteries.
You also need to remember to charge the batteries before using them, which usually takes a couple of hours. Some can take up to 5 hours.
Petrol Lawn Mowers
Petrol lawn mowers are the most common choice for medium to large lawns, although they can perform well on small lawns too.
They’re not limited by the length of a power cord or by the run time of a battery. If it runs low on fuel, just top it up.
They’re generally much more robust and have far more mower than electric or cordless models too which makes them the obvious choice for more unruly lawns.
That said, if your lawn is overgrown, you should tackle it with a good garden strimmer first.
Petrol lawn mowers can be expensive though and you need to service them before every season. If you can’t do it yourself, get your local lawn mower shop to take care of it for you.
However, this does mean added cost.
Robot Lawn Mowers
When robot mowers first came to market the general opinion was that only people with more money than sense would buy them.
However, robot technology is developing quickly and as a result, these machines are becoming more and more popular.
In fact, there are a few reasons why you might choose a robot mower;
The first one is if you hate mowing the lawn. In this case, a robot mower could be your new best friend.
On average, a person spends 9 hours each summer cutting the grass. If you have large lawns, it could be double, even triple that. A robot could give you that time back.
Set it up once and it’ll come out and mow the lawn automatically on a schedule that you decide.
You can buy them for all size of lawn too, from small lots to massive lawns of up to 5,000sq meters.
Another very good reason for choosing a robot mower is if you’re disabled, or if for whatever reason, you’re not able to push a mower around.
The fact is, robot mowers aren’t as silly as some people might think.
They’re not great with unruly lawns though so if yours resembles more of a paddock, a robot probably isn’t a wise choice.
And they’re expensive, expect to pay around £500 for a basic model. Bigger, more advanced versions will set you back several thousand.
When your lawn is too large for a petrol mower, a ride-on machine is often the only other option.
They tackle really big lawns much more quickly and efficiently than other types of lawn mower.
And as an added bonus, they’re just fun to ride around on.
They come with a whole range of features and higher-end models can tackle paddocks, not just lawns.
That said, they’re expensive so I wouldn’t invest in one unless it makes sense to do so.
Completely impractical on smaller lawns but fantastic for bigger plots.
The Difference Between Rotary and Cylinder Mowers
When it comes to lawn mowers, there are two types of cutting action;
- A rotary blade, or
- A cylinder blade
The type of cutting system you choose will very much depend on the current state of your lawn.
Rotary mowers are the most common type.
They have a single blade which spins at very high speed, chopping the grass on impact.
They’re almost always more practical on a typical family lawn which has imperfections like bumps, divots and features long, coarse, meadow grasses.
Another benefit of a rotary mower is that as the blade spins, it creates suction.
This means it not only hoovers up grass clippings as you mow the lawn but you can also use it as a vacuum in the autumn and winter to remove fallen leaves off the lawn instead of a garden vacuum. This reduces worm activity and the resulting worm casts in the lawn.
The downside to rotary mowers, however, is that because they ‘chop’ instead of ‘slice’, they cause more damage and stress to the grass.
Especially if the blades are blunt.
You’ll sometimes see the tops of the grass leaves are jagged and turn brown. Which, over a large lawn, can ruin the look of it.
If you start to see this, sharpen the blade.
Cylinder mowers have anything from 5 to 12 exposed blades attached to a cylinder which spins at the front of the machine.
These blades trap the grass against a fixed blade at the bottom of the mower, slicing it in a scissor-like action.
The more blades on the cylinder, the better the cut.
Because this cutting action slice through the grass instead of chopping through it, the cut is much cleaner and therefore less stressful on it.
Cylinder mowers aren’t for everyone though.
If you have a family lawn which has imperfections like bumps, divots or lang grass, they’re useless. They jam on the bumps and just won’t cut long long grass, especially stalky meadow grasses.
That said, if you own a flat, very even formal or ornamental lawn, a cylinder mower must be your only choice. It’s the only type of mower that will give you a clean, formal cut.
Features to Consider When Shopping For a Lawn Mower
As you’ll no doubt already know, not all lawn mowers are made equal.
Some come with more features than others.
In fact, there are so many features we could be here all day so I’ll only cover the main ones here.
Cutting Height Adjustment
The cutting height isn’t something that many people consider when they in the market for a new lawn mower.
That said, it is an important consideration and it all comes back to the state of your lawn and how you use it.
If it’s not very even and has bumps and troughs, look for a machine with plenty of height adjustment.
On the other hand, if your lawn is relatively level and you like a closer cut, you might not need so much adjustment on the high side.
The cutting height should also be easy to adjust.
This is where many lawn mowers fail. The manufacturers say it’s easy to adjust but they often feel stiff, get jammed or work poorly.
All of the lawn mowers I recommend are in fact, easy to adjust.
It’s important to choose the right cutting width for your lawn.
The wider the cutting width, the more grass the mower will cut on each pass.
However, if you choose a wide cutting width for a small lawn, you’ll find it hard to manoeuvre in tight spaces or corners.
On the other hand, if you choose a narrow cutting width to mow a large lawn, it’ll take much longer the cut the grass than it should.
So how do you choose the right cutting width?
Here’s a quick guide:
- Up to 50sq meters: 30cm – 34cm
- 50 – 150sq meters: 35cm – 40cm
- Over 150sq meters: 40cm +
Some of the bigger lawn mowers are heavy, especially petrol mowers.
Obviously this makes them difficult to push around, especially if your lawns are on an incline.
Self-propelled mowers have a drive feature which propels them forward so you don’t have to push them. All you have to do is steer.
This reduces the amount of effort you need to put into cutting the grass.
Some lawn mowers have multiple ways of dealing with grass clippings.
One of these ways is mulching.
Mowers that mulch grass clippings ‘mulch’ them into tiny pieces and blow them back into the lawn.
The benefit is that the clippings decompose and keep nutrients in the lawn instead of being taken away and chucked in the green waste bin.
However, if your lawn is full of weeds, mulching isn’t a good idea. You’ll potentially spread weed seeds all over your lawn as the clippings are dropped. Which will make your weed problem even worse.
If you like a striped finish to your lawn, get a mower with a roller.
The roller will flatten the grass as you mow it which creates that striped effect.
Some mowers do a better job than others at mowing the edges of your lawn.
If you have lawn edging or a mowing strip which allows you to mow right over the edges of your lawn, this should matter too much.
If you don’t you might find yourself having to finish off the edges with a grass trimmer or lawn edging tool.
Mowers with a rear roller often do a better job of mowing the edges of your lawn. Wheels can drop off the edge into borders causing you to scalp and damage the edges.
Other mowers have a feature on the front called ‘grass combs’. These guide the grass at the edges of your lawn under the cutting deck and into the path of the blade.
The end result is that you have less to do when finishing off.
Again, this is something most people never even think about.
Most lawn mowers have a fixed handle but others allow you to adjust the height.
If you’re taller or shorter than average, choose a mower with an adjustable handle. A fixed handle might make cutting the grass uncomfortable on your lower back.
This only applies to petrol mowers.
Many models have a pull cord starting mechanism. This requires your to prime the engine, adjust the choke and give the pull cord a sharp tug.
Pulling the cord does take some strength and isn’t easy for everyone.
Not only that, adjusting a choke and priming an engine is enough to scare some people off because they think it’s difficult.
If this sounds like you, look for a model that has a push-button or key start.
As you can see, the term ‘the best lawn mower’ means different things to different people.
As such, don’t take my recommendations as gospel.
Once you’ve figured out which type of mower you want, whether it be electric, cordless, petrol, hover, cylinder, robot or ride-on, go have a look at my recommendations for that category.
Go to a lawn mower shop if you have to and try them out.
The key is to buy exactly what you need.
If you buy a machine which is too small or lacks the features you need, mowing the lawn will be a chore you’d rather avoid doing.
On the other hand, if you overbuy and go too big or invest in too many features, it might be too much for you and your lawn to handle.
Take your time to buy best mower for you and your lawn and cutting the grass will become a job you really don’t mind doing.
Hell, you might even enjoy it!
Over to You
If you’re reading this, I guess you’re in the market for a new mower.
If you have any questions, comments or concerns about choosing a lawn mower, leave a comment and I’ll jump in and answer.
Or maybe you’ve just invested in a new machine, let me know what it is and what you think of it.