The Best Push Mower to Help You Maintain Your Yard
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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A new mower is an exciting purchase. But selecting the right one can be tricky. Luckily, Family Handyman is here to guide you toward finding the best push mower for your yard. Whether you’re on a tight budget or want a gas-powered option, we have recommendations for a mower you’ll love.
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.
- Self-propelled rear wheel drive
- Brushless motor
- Quiet machine
- Lifetime warranty on deck
- Low maintenance
- Battery drains quickly at high speed
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 $60 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.
- No oil change ever
- durable steel deck
- Easy to start
- Adjustable handle heights
- Simple to maneuver
- Bag releases debris
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.
- Seven adjustable heights
- Starts quickly
- Detachable 12-gallon clipping bag
- Mulching plug
- Affordable price
- Replacement blades hard to find
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).
- Mulching kit included
- Large 11-inch rear wheels for rough terrain
- Adjustable cutting height
- Folds for storage
- Difficult to check oil
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.
- No gas, batteries or cords
- Quiet, clean and eco-friendly
- Easy to use
- Space-saving storage
- Adjustable cutting height
- 10-inch wheels
- Does not work well for tall grass
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.
- Gas free/fume free
- Steel deck for durability
- Single lever height adjustment
- Batteries compatible with other 40v Greenworks tools
- Three year warranty on battery and mower
- Poor battery life
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 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.
- Extra-wide 30-inch cutting path
- Powerful motor
- Safety stop pause without restart
- Space-saving storage positions
- Three-year warranty
- Deck can clog in mulch mode
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.
- 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.
How We Chose the Best Push Mower
As shopping experts, our only job is to help you find a winning product. We start with the research and reporting basics—what products are made of, what they look like and how much they cost—to ensure that we’re only recommending the buys that are worth your time and money. Then, we research the features that speak to the product’s quality, taking advice from industry insiders and subject-matter experts on what makes a product a smart value (or worthy of a splurge). Finally, we do the work of combing through user reviews to see how real people interact with the product, and if it stands up to the test.
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.
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