Lawn Mower Buying Guide

Tidy, neat lawns don't come without a little help -- lawn mower help, that is. But how do you pick the best lawn mower for you and your yard? Sort through the options with this lawn mower buying guide.

Types of Lawn Mowers

Types of Lawn Mowers

The ultimate finishing touch to a landscape is an immaculately mowed lawn. That tidy green surface adds a flourish to your yard, and it can be the spot where you gather with friends, play with kids, or relax on summer evenings. But not every lawn mower is best for every lawn. There are three main types, distinguished by how they're operated and the power inside. Your choices include walk-behind, riding/tractor, and manual/reel. Here's a quick guide to help you.

Walk-Behind

Walk-behind lawn mowers rely on human leg power and direction to complete the task of cutting grass. The mowers may be either electric or gas-powered.

shop Walk-Behind

Riding/Tractor

Riding lawn mowers vary in size and engine power as well as amenities. These are gas-powered and best suited for medium-size or large lawns. The seat, blade width, and start mechanisms vary by model.

shop Riding/Tractor

Manual/Reel

Manual or reel lawn mowers have no engine -- these old-fashioned lawn mower types, which are completely human-powered, are best suited for small lawns and have limited adjustability.

shop Manual/Reel
Fiskars
$199.99 $169.99

Find Lawn Mowers, Trimmers and Accessories at Target.com! The StaySharp Max Reel Mower features advanced technology that delivers ...best-in-class cutting performance – no gas, oil, charging or cords required. This advanced design is 60 percent easier to push than other reel mowers and boasts 2X more cutting power than standard designs. Plus, a StaySharp Cutting System eliminates the cost and inconvenience of manual blade sharpening. The cut height can be easily adjusted from 1"-4", inset wheels enable ultra-close edging and one-touch handle height adjustment improves comfort and control. In addition, a reversible grass chute can be positioned to direct clippings forward, away from your feet, or backward and downward, making it easier to mow tough patches while limiting messiness. The StaySharp Max Reel Mower is ideal for all grass types, even tough southern varieties like St. Augustine, Zoysia, Bahia and Bermuda. Color: Multi-Colored. read more

Gardena
$249.99

Durable steel and aluminum construction. Maintenance-free, ball-bearing hardened blade. Non-friction silent cylinder and holding h...andle. Cutting width of 15 in.. Dimensions: 22L X 16W X 11H in.. You may not be into night-time gardening, but not only is the GARDENA 380C Hand Reel Mower light weight, eco-friendly and super easy to start (just push it), you can also mow your whole lawn in the middle of the night without waking the neighbors. The cutting cylinder features four blades of hardened steel that spin on a ball-bearing mounted cylinder. The lightweight frame features a fold-up design that takes up the fraction of the space that you would've dedicated to a gas-powered mower. read more

GreenWorks
$114.99

Leave behind gas fumes, gas cans, and the jarring noise of traditional gas-powered lawn mowers with this Greenworks Reel Lawn Mowe...r. The mower leaves an 18-inch cutting path so you can get the job done quicker and more efficiently. 10-inch front wheels... read more

GreenWorks
$129.00 $116.10

Find Lawn Mowers, Trimmers and Accessories at Target.com! Overview: Getting the job done has never been easier with GreenWorks Too...ls. Whether you need something economical or with greater performance, the GreenWorks Lawn Tools provide reliable options without the hassle of gas or the high cost of operation and maintenance. Get started within seconds and leave the gas hassle behind using GreenWorks Tools. Choose from trimmers, chainsaws, mowers, snow throwers, dethatchers, pressure washers and more—all GreenWorks Corded Lawn Tools are backed by a 4 Year Warranty. To make your life easier, GreenWorks offer a range of corded and cordless options all with a complete yard work line to get the job done. Check out GreenWorks Compact 20V, G-24V and G-Max 40V Tools. If you are in need for commercial grade tools, check out the GreenWorks Pro 80V Li-Ion Max, currently the highest voltage in the industry of outdoor power equipment. Features: Steel helical designed blades cut with ease 18 cutting path gets the job done quicker and more efficiently 2-in-1 feature provides mulching and rear bag capabilities 9-position height adjustment offers a range of cutting height from 1 3/4" to 2 3/4" for the perfect cut on all grass types 10" front wheels and 4" rear wheels makes it easy to maneuver across your lawn Warranty: 4 Year Tool What's IN THE Box: What's in the Box? 18-Inch Reel Mower : Rear bag : Owner's Manual Color: Exotic Green. read more

Product Features

Product Features

Lawn mowers are fairly intricate pieces of outdoor machinery, with many variables and features that enhance or detract from performance. Those have to be balanced against the type of mower you choose and the expectations you have. As you begin to review the models, take a close look at power source, engine size, attachments, push or self-propelled, mulching features, starting method, adjustable blade height, variable speed, and safety lever. Use these helpful tips to get started.

Power Source

Lawn mowers with an engine are powered by one of three sources: gas, electric, or rechargeable/battery. Electric versions require a cord to provide power but eliminate the need to add fuel.

Engine Size

Engine size determines how much power the lawn mower has; generally the larger the engine size, the more options in terms of speed and variability the lawn mower may have.

Attachments

Various attachments, including lawn and leaf bags, may help with cleanup tasks related to mowing the lawn. Mulching kits, covers, and umbrellas are some of the attachments midsize and larger lawn mowers may utilize.

Push or Self-Propelled

Push-behind mowers are either traditional push or self-propelled. The latter has a built-in mechanism to generate forward movement and lessen the effort needed to mow the lawn.

Mulching Features

Some mowers have additional features that help you turn lawn clippings into mulch. These may be included with the original machine or added after purchase.

Starting Method

Lawn mowers are typically started one of two ways: with a one-touch push-button start (typical of electric mowers) or a more traditional pull rope.

Adjustable Blade Height

Nearly all motorized lawn mowers allow you to adjust the blade height to cut your grass shorter or longer. Some accomplish this through manual mechanisms.

Variable Speed

Larger mowers and more advanced engines typically provide riding lawn mowers with variable speed, allowing them to go faster or slower as the job requires.

Safety Lever

A safety lever, located on the push portion of the handle, cuts the power to the blade; on some lawn mowers, releasing the handle also cuts power to the engine.

Purchase Considerations

Purchase Considerations

As the types of lawn mowers show, size and power vastly change the potential of your machine -- which makes it simpler to find a match that's worth your investment and your time. But still, additional purchase considerations will help you be as happy as you can be with your lawn mower. For example, a machine matched to your yard size makes for less hassle and effort. Reduced noise and lower emissions/pollutants will make your lawn mower less bothersome to run -- for you and the neighbors. And maintenance should be reviewed, too. Here's how to start.

Yard Size

A larger yard may be reason enough for you to purchase a larger lawn mower with more features. But a smaller yard will probably be easy to maintain with a simple manual or walk-behind mower.

Noise

Review the noise level of the lawn mower; electric versions are sometimes quieter than those powered with a gas motor.

Emissions/Pollutants

Electric-powered lawn mowers tend to release fewer emissions and eliminate the possibility of gas spills. Ask about the emissions and possible pollutants released by your preferred mower.

Maintenance

Lawn mowers, like all outdoor machinery, require some yearly maintenance to continue performing at their peak. For avid do-it-yourselfers, these tasks -- such as cleaning and blade-sharpening -- may be easily done at home.

Garden & Outdoor Living on sale

Z-Beast
$2,999.00 $2199.00

The Z-Beast 48 in. Zero-Turn Riding Mower is a must for the large lot owner who wants performance and dependability. A 20 HP Profe...ssional Series Briggs & Stratton engine combined with dual hydrostatic drives provides the power to cut more grass in less... read more

Cub Cadet
$1,699.00 $1599.00

The Cub Cadet XT1 46 in. riding mower features category-leading strength, comfort and versatility. It's loaded with a 22 HP Kohler... V-Twin OHV engine for powerful performance and a hydrostatic transmission drive for smooth and simple operation that... read more

Toro
$2,599.00 $2449.00

The Toro TimeCutter SS4225 is a hydrostatic zero-turn tractor powered by a 22 HP at 3,600 RPMs KOHLER V-Twin engine (725cc) with A...uto choke. It has a 42 in. 2-bladed mowing system under a 4 in. deep top discharge deck with convenient washout ports. The... read more

Cub Cadet
$1,999.00 $1899.00

The Cub Cadet XT1 50 in. riding mower features category leading strength, comfort and versatility. It's loaded with a 24 HP Kohler... V-Twin OHV engine for powerful performance and a hydrostatic transmission drive for smooth and simple operation that... read more

Toro
$2,999.00 $2849.00

The Toro TimeCutter SS5000 is a hydrostatic zero-turn mower powered by a 24.5 HP at 3600 RPMs Toro Commercial engine (708cc). It h...as a 50 in. 3-bladed mowing system under a 4 in. deep top discharge deck with convenient washout ports. The mower boasts... read more

Cub Cadet
$3,199.00 $3099.00

The Cub Cadet RZT L 46 in. FAB is powered by a commercial-grade Honda GXV630 688cc V-Twin OHV engine that gives you the reliable p...ower you need, quiet operation and greater fuel efficiency. Standard features include Bluetooth technology which was... read more

Cub Cadet
$2,699.00 $2599.00

The Cub Cadet XT1 50 in. Riding Garden Tractor features category-leading strength, comfort and versatility. This riding mower is l...oaded with a 25 HP Kohler V-Twin OHV engine for powerful performance and a hydrostatic transmission drive for smooth and... read more

Sun Joe
$99.00 $89.99

Responding to the need for an easy-to-use electric mower for smaller lawns, Sun Joe developed the Mow Joe MJ401E. Compact and ligh...tweight (only 29 lbs.), the Mow Joe MJ401E is a lean, mean, green mowing machine that gets your yard chores done without... read more

Toro
$4,299.00 $4199.00

The Toro TimeCutter SWX4200 is a hydrostatic zero-turn tractor powered by a 24.5 HP at 3600 RPMs Toro engine (708cc). It has a 42 ...in. 2-bladed mowing system under a 4 in. deep, top discharge deck with convenient washout ports. The mower boasts 7... read more

Toro
$3,599.00 $3399.00

The Toro TimeCutter MX4250 is a hydrostatic zero-turn tractor powered by a 24.5 HP at 3600 RPMs Toro Commercial V-Twin engine (708...cc). It has a 42 in. heavy duty fabricated 2-bladed mowing system under a 4 in. deep, top discharge deck with convenient... read more

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