The Best Push Mower to Help You Maintain Your Yard

Updated: Feb. 21, 2024

Push mowers are ideal choices for smaller yards or mowing around obstacles. Here are some of our favorites to consider for your lawn care needs.

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The Eight Best Push Mowers Of 2023VIA MERCHANT

Even though push mowers are intended to be used on small to medium-sized lawns, mowing is no easy feat. Selecting a mower that isn’t equipped for your yard makes the task that much harder. Purchasing a new mower to aid with this chore can be exciting but researching the best option for you can feel overwhelming. Luckily, Family Handyman is here to help you find the best push mower for your yard. Feel confident in your decision.

We’ve gathered great options for every scenario. Whether you’re looking for a corded mower, something for your large yard or an eco-friendly reel mower, rest assured you’ll find trustworthy picks. While you’re at it, check out lawn mower sales for great deals on lawn mowers. Whether you’re on a tight budget or want a gas-powered option, there’s something on this list for everyone.

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Best Cordless Push Mower For Value
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Best Push Mower Overall

Ryobi Cordless Push Mower

The Ryobi Push Mower is a high-performing machine with various valuable features. This rear-wheel drive self-propelled mower has a 21-inch cutting deck and runs on a pair of 40-volt batteries, which provides up to 70 minutes of run time. If you have a lawn under an acre, this mower could be the right choice for you.

We’re impressed with the included grass catcher bag and additional mulching functionality. Plus, when you’re done using this mower, it folds up for vertical storage. The Ryobi Mower also comes with a lifetime deck warranty, a five-year tool warranty and a three-year battery warranty.

Power source: Battery | Self-propelled: Yes | Deck width: 21 in.

Pros

  • Self-propelled rear wheel drive
  • Brushless motor
  • Quiet machine
  • Lifetime warranty on deck
  • Low maintenance

Cons

  • Battery drains quickly at high speed

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Best Gas Powered Push Mower For Value
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Best Gas-Powered Push Mower

Toro Recycler Gas Push Lawn Mower

Toro makes great mowers, and their Recycler line is loaded with features at various prices. Most DIYers will find one of the Recycler models hits an ideal balance between price and performance.

A great starting point is the Recycler Gas Push Lawn Mower. This mower has a Briggs and Stratton engine and a 21-inch cutting width. For $30 more, you can get the Recycler High-Wheel Gas Push Lawn Mower, which has a 22-inch cutting width and a Honda engine. Regardless of your chosen Recycler model, they all fold flat for vertical storage and come with a bagger, side discharge and mulching option.

Power source: Gas | Self-propelled: No | Deck width: 21 in.

Pros

  • No oil change ever
  • Durable steel deck
  • Easy to start
  • Adjustable handle heights
  • Simple to maneuver
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Bag releases debris

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Best Corded Push Mower For Small Yards
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Best Corded Push Mower

Sun Joe Electric Lawn Mower

Why mess with gas or batteries if your yard is small enough for an extension cord to reach an outlet? A corded electric lawn mower, like the Sun Joe Electric Lawn Mower, is the ideal choice. This push mower has a 17-inch cutting deck, which is perfect for navigating a smaller yard’s tight turns and narrow spaces. Plus, at just 31.5 pounds, this 13-amp mower is lightweight and easy to store.

Plug it into a standard 120V-volt outlet and you’re ready to start mowing. The Sun Joe Mower also comes with a large clipping collection bag, which is detachable for easier useage.

Power source: Electric (corded) | Self-propelled: No | Deck width: 17 in.

Pros

  • Seven adjustable heights
  • Starts quickly
  • Detachable 12-gallon clipping bag
  • Mulching plug
  • Affordable price
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Replacement blades hard to find

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Best Budget Gas Powered Push Mower
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Best Budget Push Mower

Troy-Bilt Push Lawn Mower

Need a budget-friendly, gas-powered mower? Consider the Troy-Bilt Push Lawn Mower. This gas-powered mower is affordably priced and well-suited for smaller yards.

We love the included mulch kit and side discharge chute, which helps you dispose of grass clippings. This mower also has a two-year limited warranty, so you can feel confident about your purchase. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more affordable gas-powered push mower (that’s actually any good).

Power source: Gas | Self-propelled: No | Deck width: 21 in.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Mulching kit included
  • Lightweight
  • Large 11-inch rear wheels for rough terrain
  • Adjustable cutting height
  • Folds for storage

Cons

  • Difficult to check oil

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Best Manual Reel Push Mower
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Best Manual Reel Push Mower

Scott’s Walk-Behind Push Reel Mower

Looking for a truly green way to mow your lawn?  Check out Scott’s Walk-Behind Reel Push Mower, which is a great option for small yards and homeowners who don’t mind getting a little exercise.

While you can find manual reel mowers for less, some budget models can only cut down to one inch, preventing you from getting that “putting-green perfect” look. That’s not a problem with this model, which offers cutting heights from 2.5 inches all the way down to half an inch. Plus, customers love the no-fuss clean-cut of this manual push reel mower.

Power source: Reel | Self-propelled: No | Deck width: 16 in.

Pros

  • No gas, batteries or cords
  • Quiet, clean and eco-friendly
  • Easy to use
  • Lightweight
  • Space-saving storage
  • Adjustable cutting height
  • 10-inch wheels
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Does not work well for tall grass

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Best Cordless Push Mower For A Large Yard
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Best Cordless Push Mower

Greenworks Brushless Lawn Mower

Need a reliable cordless lawn mower? We have you covered. The self-propelled Greenworks Brushless Lawn Mower is powered by a 40-volt battery, which means you can expect 30 to 50 minutes of runtime on a single charge. If you’ve already invested in other Greenworks tools, you can even swap between machine batteries.

This Greenworks mower has a 21-inch cutting deck, side discharge, mulching options, and a bag to collect clippings. Both the mower and the batteries are covered by three-year warranties.

Power source: Battery | Self-propelled: Yes | Deck width: 21 in.

Pros

  • Quiet
  • Gas free/fume free
  • Self-propelled
  • Steel deck for durability
  • Single lever height adjustment
  • Batteries compatible with other 40v Greenworks tools
  • Three year warranty on battery and mower

Cons

  • Poor battery life

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Best Gas Powered Push Mower For A Large Yard
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Best Push Mower for a Large Yard

Toro TimeMaster Push Mower

For folks with larger yards, the Toro TimeMaster Push Mower is a great option to help shorten mowing time. Its 30-inch deck is almost 40% wider than most self-propelled mowers and boasts a powerful Briggs and Stratton motor.

The self-propelled Toro TimeMaster also features a rear-wheel drive “Personal Pace” system, which adjusts its speed to your walking pace. The convenient safety stop allows you to momentarily step away from the mower and leave it running. Find out the best lawn mower for a small yard.

Power source: Gas | Self-propelled: Yes | Deck width: 30 in.

Pros

  • Extra-wide 30-inch cutting path
  • Self-propelled
  • Powerful motor
  • Safety stop pause without restart
  • Space-saving storage positions
  • Three-year warranty

Cons

  • Deck can clog in mulch mode

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What to Look for When Buying a Push Mower

When selecting the best push mower, keep these factors in mind:

  • Deck width: The deck contains the mower’s blades. The wider the deck, the fewer passes it will take to mow the lawn. However, a mower that’s too wide won’t easily navigate around obstacles like trees or bushes, or get through your gate.
  • Accessories: Push mowers may come with a bagging system, or it may be sold separately. Some mowers can’t accept baggers at all. If you need tow-behind mower attachments such as dethatchers, spreaders or levelers, a rider is your best bet.
  • Blade type: Most push mowers use rotary blades horizontally mounted, so they slice grass with a powerful, machete-like swing. Old-school reel mowers cut cleanly but with less force, making them prone to jamming.
  • Power source: Rotary push mowers may be gas-powered, plugged into an electrical outlet or run cordlessly on a battery.
  • Self-propelled: Most push mowers are exactly that — push-powered. But some are self-propelled, using front-, rear- and all-wheel drive, which makes your job easier.
  • Wheels: A push mower wouldn’t work without wheels, and many people overlook their importance when selecting a mower. Ensure the wheels are made from a durable material that has good traction. This allows more stability and control as you mow. Also, take into account the size of the wheels. Bigger wheels are better for rough terrain and small wheels work best on a flat lawn.
  • Grass Disposal: Push mowers dispose of cut grass through a side discharge chute, into a bag or by finely cutting it up and turning it into mulch. Using a mower with a bag eliminates the need to rake your lawn, but you’ll need to empty the bag when it gets full. If you have a large yard, you may need to empty it a few times.
  • Maintenance: All mowers require some maintenance, even if it’s just blade sharpening or cleaning out grass clippings. Gas mowers require engine maintenance such as oil changes and annual tuneups. Mower maintenance is relatively DIY friendly, so you can do most of the work yourself or take the mower in for service, as needed. Most service centers charge between $75 to $100 for an annual tuneup.

Why You Should Trust Us

Dan Stout is a former residential remodeler, commercial site supervisor and maintenance manager. He’s worked on nearly all aspects of building and DIY, including project planning and permitting, plumbing, basic electric, drywall, carpentry, tiling, painting and more. Stout has covered a variety of lawn mower stories including the best lawn mowers for small yards, self-propelled lawn mowers, gas lawn mowers and electric lawn mowers. His expertise in lawn care products helps him write knowledgeable content about lawn mowers and other yard tools.

Sheri Kaz is a Shopping Editor at Family Handyman with expertise in product reviews, interior design and gardening. She researched and updated this piece.

How We Chose the Best Push Mower

We looked through hundreds of push mowers to find the best for a number of different scenarios that people are faced with when doing yard work. Since there are many different types of mowers, we included at least one of each — gas-powered, battery-powered, corded and reel. To help narrow down our options we considered cost, durability and quality, advice from industry experts and customer reviews to ensure that we’re only recommending the buys that are worth your time and money.

FAQs

What kind of oil does a push mower take?

Knowing when and how to change the oil is essential to your lawn mowers’ longevity and performance. Your owner’s manual will specify your lawn mowers oil type, but as a general rule, most four-stroke engines take 10W30. For reference, electric and battery-powered cordless lawnmowers do not require gas or oil.

Why won’t my push mower start?

A gas-powered lawn mower might have a dirty or disconnected spark plug, the air filter may need to be replaced, or your fuel system might be clogged. Winterizing your lawn mower for a fresh start in the spring pays off. Still need assistance? Here’s a handy guide to help you troubleshoot the reasons why your lawn mower won’t start.

Do push mowers have batteries?

Like any engine, a gas-powered motor has a battery to help spark the engine. Conversely, cordless electric lawn mowers are battery-powered with no need for gas because they don’t have an engine. A cordless push mower is perfect for those who aren’t fond of maintenance because they only need sharp blades.

Can you cut wet grass with a push mower?

Cutting wet grass can be problematic with any mower. Experts agree that cutting wet grass should be avoided for several reasons. Firstly, wet grass clumps and can build up in your mower’s chute, deck and undercarriage. Secondly, wet grass tends to leave large clumps on your lawn, killing the grass underneath and putting stress on your attachment.

What type of lawn is best suited for a push mower?

Push mowers are best for small to medium size yards up to a one-half acre. If you have many obstacles to maneuver, a push mower makes cutting your grass easier, especially since you can move nimbly around tight corners.