Maybe your lawn mower isn’t waking up from a long winter hibernation, or perhaps it’s finally time for an upgrade from gas to electric. Whatever the case, Consumer Reports experts worked all winter long in Florida, so you’ll have their latest recommendations and reviews when you need them.
Every mower goes through a series of tests, from how evenly the grass is trimmed to how easy the mowers are to operate. Testers use the mowers in all the cutting modes–side discharge, bagging, and mulching–to see how well they work and to make sure you’re getting what you pay for, whether it’s a traditional gas-powered mower or newer battery-powered mower.
“We’re seeing more and more battery-powered mowers coming on the market that are at a lower price point but manage to compete in terms of performance with the better ones,” said Misha Kollontai who leads testing of outdoor power equipment at Consumer Reports.
The Greenworks MO80L421 self-propelled battery mower for $749 earns top scores for evenness, mulching, and handling.
You’ll lose some bagging performance but save hundreds with the Green Machine GMSM6200 self-propelled battery mower for $449, which also offers very good mulching.
If you’ve got a smaller lawn or aren’t as concerned with recharge times, consider the Skil PM4910-10 battery push mower for $249, which delivers excellent cutting performance and mulching.
CONSUMER REPORTS: Best lawn mowers & tractors of 2023
A final tip: Consumer Reports says unless you need to bag your clippings, mulching is actually better for your lawn because the clippings deliver nutrients, which means you can use less fertilizer and save water, too. Plus, you won’t have to dispose of all those clippings.
For larger lawns -- more than half an acre -- a riding mower may be a better option. But if your lawn is too big for a walk-behind but not quite large enough for a tractor, Consumer Reports’ experts say a mower with an extra-wide cutting deck can help trim your grass and the time you spend cutting it.
If you are not sure if a battery-powered mower is right for you, try Consumer Reports’ interactive tool to see if buying and using a new battery-powered mower would cost you less than a gas model – based on your lawn.
Want to make your neighbors jealous? Watch this step-by-step guide below to keeping your grass lush and healthy while keeping your mower in great shape too!