The Best Affordable Lawn Mowers
Lawn mowers are an essential tool for many homeowners, but they can be expensive. Here's a roundup of affordable lawn mowers for any yard.
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Buying an Affordable Lawn Mower
If you’re searching for affordable lawn care that doesn’t sacrifice quality or safety, we’ve assembled a list of great lawn mowers that cost less than $250. If you’re looking for something a little larger or something beyond that price range, see our lists of the best riding lawn mowers and best push mowers.
Here are some of the factors to consider when choosing the right affordable lawn mower for you.
- Cutting deck width: The cutting deck contains the mower’s blades. A wider cutting deck means fewer passes to finish the job. If you have particularly narrow spaces to mow or gates to pass through, consider the full width of the mower, including the wheelbase.
- Power source: Our list includes electric, gas and manual options. Gas mowers generally have the most power, especially at a low price, but require more maintenance. Plan on doing annual DIY maintenance or paying a service center $75 to $100 per year. (If you have a particularly small yard, around 1/3 of an acre or less, you might only need a tune-up every two to three years.)
- Features: Affordable mowers aren’t feature-heavy, so look for the ones that matter most to you. Examples are a self-propelled drive, one-touch start and easy-access cleaning.
- Accessories: The primary accessories for push mowers are bagging or mulching kits. We’ve indicated whether these are included with the purchase price.
- Price: Manual reel mowers are generally the least expensive, followed by corded electric models. But there’s actually more overlap in prices than you might expect.
Best Budget Manual Reel Lawn Mower
The Sun Joe 14-inch Reel Lawn Mower is a budget entry from a lawn mower brand known for affordable lawn care products. Its four-wheel base provides extra stability so it can stand upright on its own, something most two-wheel reel mowers can’t do. This mower cuts down to 1.1 inches, which is a little high for a reel mower. It’s nice and light, weighing in at only 24 pounds.
Best Budget Gas-Powered Push Lawn Mower
If low price is your priority, consider the PowerSmart DB8621C Lawn Mower. Equipped with a 21-inch cutting deck, it’s suitable for small to mid-size yards.
Full disclosure: We’re not fans of push mowers with four wheels of the same size. Most push mowers have larger rear wheels to make turns and uneven terrain easier to navigate. And this mower is heavier than most push mowers, at 54 pounds. However, it does have a side discharge and a mulching option, though not bagging.
Still, it’s priced aggressively for a gas mower, and the accompanying three-year warranty is a plus.
Best Value Manual Reel Lawn Mower
Scotts has a good reputation for reliability, and their 16-in. model 415-16S Reel Lawn mower is no exception. This well-built mower can cut as low as 1/2-inch.
Reel mowers do best at low cutting heights, so they’re great for homeowners who like precise, clean yards. Reel mowers can be easily jammed by small sticks and twigs and require diligent debris clearing before you mow.
Best Value Gas Powered Push Lawn Mower
Coming in just under our budget limit is the Yard Force YF22-2N1 Lawn Mower. This 21-in. gas mower costs more than our Best Budget entry but delivers a sizeable step up in quality and features. It’s powered by a Briggs and Stratton e450 engine, and comes with a side chute and mulching option. There’s no bagging option, but it does have larger rear wheels for easier turns.
Best Value Corded Lawn Mower
The Greenworks MO10B00 Lawn Mower offers a 17-in. cutting deck. Greenworks has long been a leading manufacturer of environmentally-friendly electric mowers, and this 10-amp corded version is ideal for mid-sized yards and reasonable budgets.
No need for gas cans or battery chargers — find a standard 120-volt outlet and you’re ready to start cutting. Use it as a mulcher or collect the clippings with the included bagging kit; there’s no side discharge option. We’d prefer larger rear wheels to aid mobility, but we do like the three-year warranty.
Best Value Cordless Electric Lawn Mower
Sitting in the sweet spot between affordable and powerful, the Ryobi 13-in. Cordless Lawn Mower does the job without expensive, unneeded bells and whistles.
The 18-volt battery and 13-in. cutting base makes it a strong choice for smaller yards. We like that the battery can be swapped with other tools in Ryobi’s One+ system. So if you already own a One+ battery and charger, you can but the mower on its own as a bare tool and save even more.
Lightweight and portable, this mower can tackle up to a quarter acre of mowing, then fold flat for vertical storage. Our one caveat: It lacks a side discharge option. You can only bag or mulch, so it’s not great for tall grass.
Best Premium Manual Reel Lawn Mower
The Fiskars 18-inch manual mower is a premium model that still falls within our budget limit. We love the inset wheels that facilitate much easier trimming. In some yards, this feature may practically eliminate the need for touching up with a string trimmer.
Friskars also touts their inertia glide system, claiming it’s up to 60 percent easier to push and offers twice the cutting power of a traditional manual reel lawn mower. That ease of use means this mower can tackle relatively larger yards with essentially no carbon footprint.
Best String Trimmer Mower
Those of us with small yards know that sometimes a simple string trimmer is all that’s needed to keep the grass in check. But using a string trimmer to mow a whole yard presents a unique challenge: making a uniform, level cut.
The Black+Decker MTC220 Three-In-One Trimmer, Edger and Mower is a convertible string trimmer with a four-wheeled cutting deck that provides a stable base when mowing lawns.
The MTC220’s 20-volt batteries can be swapped out with any tools in Black+Decker’s Power Connect line. It makes quick work of small lawns without the hassle of buying gas or running an extension cord. When you’re done, disconnect the trimmer for touch-up edging, then store the whole kit by hanging it on the wall.
If you don’t mind dancing around an extension cord, the corded version of this tool is even more affordable. Check out the Besta512CM for details.
All prices and links were current as of publication.