The 6 Best Lawn Mower Picks to Keep Your Grass Gorgeous, Tested and Reviewed

Updated: May 02, 2024

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Best Lawn Mower Picks to Keep Your Grass GorgeousALEX KRONK FOR FAMILY HANDYMAN

Whether you need to upgrade your mower to prep your backyard for spring, keep grass looking healthy come summer, or prepare your lawn for fall—it’s always the perfect time to find the best lawn mower for your needs.

Perhaps you want to trade in your push mower for a riding mower, or go completely hands-free with a robot lawn mower (that’s right, hands-free!). Here are our top picks for the best lawn mowers on the market. Browse these top-rated lawn mowers for all types of jobs, so you’re always ready to trim your lawn when the time calls.

Husqvarna Ts 242xd Riding Lawn Mower
TYLER O'ROURKE FOR FAMILY HANDYMAN TYLER O'ROURKE FOR FAMILY HANDYMAN

Best Overall Lawn Mower

Husqvarna TS 242XD

Pros:

  • Durable and powerful Kawasaki motor
  • 42-inch cutting deck
  • Easy to turn in tight spaces
  • Can cut a lot of grass and overgrowth
  • LED lights
  • Comfortable seat
  • Great customer service

Cons:

  • Premium price point

The Husqvarna TS 242XD is a riding mower with a massive cutting deck that provides a powerful, comfortable cut in your backyard. We got our hands on the Husqvarna TS 242XD for a test ride that blew our minds.

Tyler O’Rourke tested this mower and said that “what used to be a 2-3-hour mow was done in a mere 30 minutes”. That type of power is the result of Husqvarna putting in a 21.5 horsepower Kawasaki engine that absolutely shreds grass and other lawn debris. This engine also powers the TS 242XD to mow up to 5.5 miles per hour, which is pretty fast for a lawn tractor.

The 42-inch cutting deck on this lawn tractor is on the high end of cutting widths for a riding mower and as large as many popular zero-turn mowers. The 42-inch cutting deck allows you to make fewer passes in your yard and efficiently cut your grass in less time.

A few bells and whistles were put into this mower by the thoughtful crew at Husqvarna. Small upgrades like a padded seat make long mowing sessions a much more comfortable experience. The LED headlights also allow you to stay out a bit later and safely finish up the job at the end of a long summer day.

You can grab yours from Tractor Supply for $3700 or Amazon for $3990.

Power source: Gasoline | Weight: 567 lbs. | Dimensions: 42 x 70 x 51 in. | Cutting width: 42 in. | Lawn capacity: 1-2 acres | Engine displacement: 726 cc

Fiskars 18 Inch Reel Lawn Mower
ALEX K. FOR FAMILY HANDYMAN ALEX K. FOR FAMILY HANDYMAN

Best Reel Lawn Mower

Fiskars 18-inch Reel Mower

Pros:

  • InertiaDrive technology makes it easy to push
  • Ergonomic handles provide a comfortable experience
  • 18-inch width makes large passes

Cons:

  • More expensive for a reel mower

The top reel lawn mower of the year is the Fiskars 18-inch reel mower. Manual reel mowers get a hard time because they have a reputation of being old school and cheap. The fact of the matter is that the best reel mowers still have a place in the lawn care space. Reel mowers are inexpensive, easy to use, emission and power-free and provide a clean cut.

I was not much of a reel mower fan until I tried out the Fiskars’ 18-inch reel mower. Not only is this mower extremely fun to use, but it also provides an amazingly smooth cut. It has an ergonomic handle, wheels on the front and the back, and a guard that prevents grass clippings from shooting up and covering your shoes and legs.

The Fiskars 18-inch reel mower also comes with InertiaDrive technology, which keeps the mower moving forward even if you apply slightly less pressure. It pulls you forward a bit and makes the best use of force, a great feature given the usual difficulty of using reel mowers.

Purchase the Fiskars 18-inch reel mower for under $300 at Walmart or Amazon.

Power source: None | Weight: 52 lbs. | Dimensions: 24 x 23.5 x 14.25 in.| Cutting width: 18 in. | Lawn capacity: Infinite | Discharge location: Rear | Height adjustment: Single

Husqvarna
ALEX KRONK FOR FAMILY HANDYMAN ALEX KRONK FOR FAMILY HANDYMAN

Best Robot Mower

Husqvarna Automower 430XH

Pros:

  • Amazon Alexa or Google Home smart integration
  • Sleek design
  • Trustworthy brand
  • Operates faster than other robot mowers
  • Large range of cutting heights
  • Fast charge time
  • GPS theft protection

Cons:

  • Can be challenging to set up

When it comes to robot mowers, the Husqvarna Automower 430XH is head and shoulders above the rest. I personally tested three robot mowers in my backyard for two weeks and felt the Husqvarna Automower was the most durable and efficient robot mower.

The first thing I enjoyed about the Husqvarna Automower is its sleek, unassuming design. If you have never used a robot mower before, they run almost all of the time, cutting small sections of your yard at a time so that it never gets so long that it becomes difficult to manage. The last thing you want in your yard is a super bright mower that clutters up your lawn and sticks out like a sore thumb. The Automower is a dark grey, nearly black, color and does not come with any gimmicky designs to maintain a low profile.

The neat thing about this robot mower is how well it handled bumps and hills in my lawn. In spots where other robot mowers got stuck or majorly slowed down, the Automower was able to power through and overcome. It is also a surprisingly fast mower, moving quickly and efficiently to cover my entire lawn.

Senior shopping editor Caroline Lubinsky also let this one rip in her backyard and mentioned that the Automower “results in an uber-quiet mower that ambles around the yard, constantly keeping your grass in check.”

This robot mower is available on Amazon for $2400 or Tractor Supply Co for $100 more.

Power source: Battery powered | Weight: 32 lbs. | Dimensions: 30 x 25 x 13 in. | Cutting width: 9 in. | Lawn capacity: 0.8 acres | Operation mode: Automatic

Stihl Rma510v
Alex K. for Family Handyman ALEX K. FOR FAMILY HANDYMAN

Best Battery Push Mower

Stihl RMA 510 V

Pros:

  • 21-inch steel metal cutting deck for durability
  • Self-propelled function
  • Variable speed on the self-propelled function
  • Wide range of cutting heights

Cons:

  • Fewer options in the battery line when compared with other brands
  • No headlights

The Stihl RMA 510 V is the first battery push mower from the highly trusted brand Stihl, which is known for its powerful chainsaws and leaf blowers. Stihl has a reputation for being an extremely high-quality brand, like the BMW of lawn tools.

When I got my hands on their all-new RMA 510 V electric mower, I wasn’t surprised to see that it was flawless. The brushless motor and the metal cutting deck take this electric mower to the next level of durability and toughness. These brushless motors give the mower more torque and longer run times than their brushed motor counterparts.

Another amazing feature of the Stihl RMA 510 V is the easy-to-use self-propelled function. Self-propelled mowers allow you to simply walk behind the mower while it crawls itself forward. For those of us who have difficulty (or low desire) with pushing lawn mowers, self-propelled functions are a life-saver.

I’m super excited to see what else Stihl comes out with in their new battery lineup. I grabbed mine from Acme Tools for $500. It’s also for sale on Ace Hardware for $730.

Power source: Battery powered | Weight: 64 lbs. | Cutting capacity: 1-4 inch cutting height | Cutting width: 21 in. | Lawn capacity: 3,078 sq. ft. | Discharge location: Rear

Craftsman Turntight Electric Riding Mower
Caroline Lubinsky/Family Handyman CAROLINE LUBINSKY/FAMILY HANDYMAN

Best Battery Riding Mower

Craftsman Battery Powered Riding Mower

Pros:

  • 12 cutting positions
  • Charges quickly
  • 5-inch turning radius
  • Doesn’t require gas or oil
  • Quieter than conventional riding mowers
  • Cruise control
  • Built-in LED headlights
  • Made in the USA

Cons:

  • Pricier than other models
  • Leaf bag isn’t included
  • Acceleration can seem abrupt

The Craftsman battery-powered riding mower was one of the biggest surprises on this list. Senior Editor Caroline Lubinsky tested the battery-powered Craftsman mower and said that it was “love at first sight” and that she got “the feeling that you can mow any yard with this tractor.” She’s not wrong.

The Craftsman Lithium Ion mower has amazing features including a display and control panel, no removable battery, easy-to-use deck height adjustment and a tight turn radius.

Outside of the massive 42-inch cutting deck, which is unusually high for a lawn tractor, the most striking feature is the lack of a removable battery. This feature makes the Craftsman electric mower closer to a Tesla than it is to most other electric mowers. Personally, I like that this mower requires you to plug it directly into a wall outlet instead of having to remove and charge several heavy batteries. This is a much more intuitive charging system than other mowers. The only immediate downside with this mower is it doesn’t come with its own leaf bag, so you’ll have to invest in a lawn mower attachment.

I first saw this mower outside of Lowe’s and had to do a double-take; it is a nice-looking, sleek mower with a unique design. The mower (including a charger) is available online at Lowe’s for $4,900.

Power source: Battery powered | Weight: 420 lbs. | Cut Height adjustment: 12-position | Cutting width: 42 in. | Lawn capacity: 3-5 acres | Discharge location: Side

Toro Timecutter Ss4225 Mower
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Best Gas Mower

Toro TimeCutter SS4225

Pros:

  • MyRide suspension system adjusts the “bounciness” of the mower
  • Armrests with cup holder
  • Thick steel and quality construction
  • Easy speed adjustment
  • Many modifications available
  • Safety mechanism deploys when you leave the seat
  • Deck height adjustment is extremely easy

Cons:

  • Doesn’t have headlights
  • No storage compartment
  • Mine pulls to the left

The Toro TimeCutter SS4225 is a classic zero-turn lawn mower that ages like a fine wine. Each year, Toro releases a new version of the TimeCutter and this year I got a first look at the beautiful new features of this iteration. As I expected, the mower was an absolute beast. As I didn’t expect, the TimeCutter was extremely comfortable and fun to use, rising to the top of my rankings as the best zero-turn mower of the year.

The TimeCutter is the most comfortable zero-turn mower on the market. Toro’s new MyRide suspension system is an absolute game-changer. MyRide is a shock system connected to both the seat and the footplate of this mower. It works by absorbing the bumps and vibrations along your ride in the seat of the mower and the footplate. MyRide provides a superior experience because your entire body is unaffected by the jostling of a normal zero-turn.

Additionally, the Toro TimeCutter has nice armrests, cup holders and an easy-to-use interface that allows you to adjust the height, choke and power of the mower. Not only was this comfortable to use, but the cutting experience was exactly what you would expect from a Toro TimeCutter–flawless. It truly is the best gas lawn mower.

The new Toro TimeCutter will run you about $3450 over at Home Depot.

Power source: Gasoline | Weight: 504 lbs. | Deck Type: Stamped | Cutting width: 42 in. | Lawn capacity: 1-2 acres | Discharge location: Side | Horsepower: 15.5 hp

What to Look for When Buying a Lawn Mower

There are a lot of things to consider when buying a lawn mower so it suits your needs. In addition to easy operation, how well the machine performs over time and longevity of the engine is important. You want a mower that doesn’t require constant repairs, too. After using hundreds of mowers, these are the main considerations that I keep in mind for any mower purchase:

  • Metal cutting deck: Metal cutting decks are the dominant material used on lawn mowers. Every gas-powered mower I have seen and used (including riding mowers, zero-turn mowers and push mowers) includes a metal deck. Some of the battery-powered and electric mowers I have used have plastic cutting decks. Plastic cutting decks tend to be more frail and able to crack or break over time.
  • Self-propelled: This one only applies to push lawn mowers. This feature will help push your lawn mower forward for you. It can be a major benefit and makes the lawn mowing experience much easier. Many push lawn mowers these days come with a self-propelled function.
  • Yard size: From push mowers to zero-turn mowers, there is a massive range in the price and type of mower you should be using based on the size of your lawn. For lawns with under a half of an acre, I recommend using a self-propelled push mower. For lawns between a half and one acre, lawn tractors are great. Anything above an acre should be cut with a zero-turn mower.
  • Power source: Just like the car industry, lawn mowers are becoming more electric-focused. The great debate is between gas and electric these days. Both have pros and cons, but if you have a large yard or are cutting multiple lawns in one day, gas still reigns supreme. For most homeowners battery powered mowers are the best choice.

Why You Should Trust Us

We have personally tested dozens, if not hundreds, of lawn mowers. From multiple robot mowers, push mowers, lawn tractors and zero-turn mowers, we have put just about every mower on the market to the test.

As a former landscaper, I developed a unique love for lawn mowers after using them every day for years. With my deep love for lawn mowers, I became an absolute lawn mowers snob. I recently completed an extensive test that includes some of the mowers from this article where I walked battery-powered lawn mowers with the self-propelled function on until they died. I also tested the smoothness and evenness of their cut quality, ran them in tall brush until they cut out, and tested out their charge times. In other words: I put the mowers through the absolute ringer.

How We Found the Best Lawn Mower

We found the best lawn mower in each of the categories above by simply trying them and testing them. We’ve also spoken with other folks just like you and me who have used them. Additionally, we went straight to the manufacturer for some of the mowers to hear why they think their mowers are the best and what makes them stand out.

In addition to using just about every lawn mower on the market, I researched some of the new up-and-coming lawn mower releases for 2024 and read reviews for mowers that I have never seen before. After looking through dozens of mowers for each category, I was able to narrow the list down to the best mower.

FAQ

What is the most reliable brand of lawn mower?

One of the most reliable brands of lawn mower is Toro. They have created gas-powered mowers with extreme reliability and affordability. I like to refer to them as the Honda of lawn mowers.

What’s better Briggs and Stratton or Kohler?

Briggs and Stratton and Kohler both make small engines. I think Briggs and Stratton makes better engines for smaller lawn mowers, like push mowers, whereas Kohler makes better engines for zero-turn mowers.

Is gas or electric lawn mower better?

Electric lawn mowers are better for smaller yards whereas gas mowers are better for large yards and commercial use.

When’s the best time to buy a lawn mower?

The best time to buy your next lawn mower depends on one of two factors: availability and cost. Early spring is the ideal season to purchase top-rated lawn mowers that are pushing newer models, or for selecting a mower you’ve had your eye on but was sold out during the last season.

Early fall is the best time of year to shop for lawn mowers at a discounted price since it’s no longer mowing season, meaning the demand is low, and stores are looking to reduce their spring and summer inventory to get ready for fall and winter.

Ashlyn Needham, freelance writer and home decor expert, contributed to this piece. 

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