The 8 best lawn mowers of 2024

The 8 best lawn mowers of 2024

Until a few years ago, the best lawn mowers were gas powered. As more consumers seek greener cars, homes and energy equipment, advanced battery technology is answering this call. Today, consumers can drive an electric vehicle, thrive in a solar-powered home, and maintain their belongings with battery-powered equipment. But are the new electric lawn mowers as good as the old internal combustion mowers?

We tested gasoline, corded-electric and battery-powered lawnmowers from leading brands. We were curious to see if the battery-powered mowers could handle a large yard as well as the tried-and-true gasoline models, and we were satisfied. the Ego Power + LM2135SP

(Available on Amazon for $599.00)

It came out on top as the best lawn mower we tested.

For the best gas mower, the Toro Smart Auto Personal Base Auto Drive 21465 (Available at The Home Depot) is our pick because it has a large cutting space and a self-propelling feature. However, there are many great lawn mowers in our guide to meet your needs.

The Ego Power+ electric lawn mower is on the lawn.
Credit: Ego Power+


The Ego Power+ LM2135SP is the best electric lawn mower we've tested.
On the left, a Toro mower in storage.  On the right, a Toro mower cuts grass.
Credit: Toro


The Toro SmartStow Personal Pace Auto-Drive 21465 is the best gas lawn mower of the pack.

Other lawn mowers we tested

How we tested lawn mowers

the exams

Two side by side photos of a man pushing lawnmowers across the yard.
Credit: Reviewed/Kevin Cavanaugh

We tested mowers on flat terrain and hills to test maneuverability and power.

We put together each mower after ordering from retailers like Lowe's and The Home Depot. We noticed the ease of setup and how quickly the handle adjusted to our preferences.

We then add gasoline, battery or electric cord to prime the mower. We evaluated the ease of adjusting the cutting height, first testing the higher cutting height and then the lower one. We took each mower down a few passes of a half-acre patch of uncut grass measuring about 22,000 square feet, and observed how it cut at high and low heights. We also monitored the packaging and coverage features. Next, we took each mower up and down a grassy hill to see how it performed. Our final test was the storage capacity test.

What you should know about lawn mowers

Eight lawn mowers sitting on the green grass.
Credit: Reviewed/Kevin Cavanaugh

Self-propelled mowers can take some of the effort out of direct mowing.

There are two basic types of mowers: push and self-propelled.

The push type mower is usually smaller, lighter, and easier to store. They are used primarily for small, flat lawns. They are ideal for cleaning areas that larger lawn mowers may miss. It can be powered by gasoline, cords or batteries.

Self-propelled lawn mowers typically have a larger cutting diameter and can move independently through the operator's controls. Gasoline, ropes, or batteries can also power these mowers.

Because they take the brunt of being pushed so far, self-propelled mowers are ideal for large lawns up to a half-acre and can easily handle hills and sloping lawns. These self-propelled mowers are not fully automatic lawnmowers, so you still have to do some work to guide them around your garden.

What is a self-propelled lawn mower?

The first self-propelled lawn mowers began appearing in the late 1960s. As the suburbs grew and lawns became larger, using a heavy steel mower on a summer afternoon was not what most people wanted to do. The first self-propelled mowers had primitive front-wheel drive systems that worked well enough, but the mowers often moved very slowly. You weren't paying, but you were caught in a slow-moving grass-cutting parade. Early mowers moved too slowly or too fast for normal walking speed.

Today's best lawn mowers offer a much better drive system. Owners can set their preferred walking speed to match the mower, without being pulled or having to push.

The Ego Power+ Select Cut 56-Volt 21-in Self-Propelled Cordless Electric Lawn Mower allows the operator to drive into the lawn without rotating the blades. This is a great advantage.

Self-propelled mowers reduce operator fatigue and make cutting grass easier than it has been in years. Self-propelled mowers make cutting on hills safer and more efficient. And with modern speed options, it makes summer chores more fun.

Which lawn mower is right for you: gasoline, cordless, or battery?

A hand pulls the green Ego Power+ lawnmower battery out of its socket.
Credit: Reviewed/Kevin Cavanaugh

Battery-powered lawn mowers can be powerful and efficient.

gasoline

Gasoline-powered lawn mowers have kept lawns trim for decades. They are powerful, reliable and affordable. It comes with self-propelled movement, mulching features, and self-cleaning availability. It is powerful enough for large lawn care jobs to treat a quarter to half acre of lawn. Any garden larger than this will require a riding mower.

But gas-powered mowers emit dangerous carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons, require regular maintenance, and require gasoline and oil storage. This may not be suitable for some consumers.

Electric wired

Corded electric mowers have been around for years and have historically been the choice of consumers with small lawns that don't need a more powerful gasoline mower. Although it is powerful enough to accomplish most cutting or trimming tasks, the only obvious drawback of a corded mower is the electric cord.

For any yard worth mowing, a long electrical extension cord is required to operate the mower. This can be a minor inconvenience, such as keeping the cord free from tangling in trees and bushes, or a major inconvenience when you drive over it and break it into small pieces.

However, corded electric mowers require no gas, oil, or maintenance, and other than occasional blade sharpening, they can operate reliably for years.

battery

Battery-powered cars, power equipment, and tools have been around for a long time. The electric motors were solid and reliable, but the battery needed repair. A few years ago, an electric car was expected to go just 100 miles on a single charge, and electrical tools and equipment only lasted a short time. Recently, battery technology has developed significantly.

Electric cars can go hundreds of miles on a charge, and electrical tools and equipment can last an entire day. Lithium battery technology has found its way into lawn mowers, creating a viable option for consumers who don't want gas or cords. These battery-powered mowers are powerful, efficient, lightweight and environmentally friendly.

Many are now using brushless electric motors, which are more efficient, produce more torque, and last longer than older brushed electric motors.

What is a lawn mower reel?

This reel mower stands out from others in our guide in that it works without a motor. This unique feature makes it an environmentally friendly option, as it does not rely on gas or batteries, reducing noise pollution. The mower's mechanism is simple but effective, with two wheels connected to a larger blade with handles. As you push the mower, the wheels move the blade, cutting the grass efficiently.

Its precise design means it can't handle sticks and doesn't cover leaves. However, it is a great mower for small yards and one of the most affordable lawn mower options.

How often should I mow my lawn?

Cutting your garden keeps it healthy and lush.

Mowing the grass too much and cutting it only when it grows is unhealthy for a beautiful, lush lawn. The rule of thumb in the lawn care industry is for grass to be between 3 inches and 3.5 inches tall. This allows the grass to be tall enough to thrive in the heat.

When cutting grass, never take more than a third of the blade at once – in other words, never cut more than an inch or so. Not only does this cause the grass to become clumped or in the mower bag, but it also removes a lot of the nutrients and moisture from the grass.

After late-winter fertilizer treatments and often heavy rains, lawns come back to life and need trimming every four to five days to remove sufficient height. As summer recedes and the temperature rises, the grass will grow more slowly, and cutting once a week is sufficient.

It is also essential to keep your lawn mower blades excellent and sharp. Steel lawn mower blades tend to develop a dull edge after one season. A dull edge will tear up the grass and not cut it. This can cause browning of the grass tips and increased stress on the mower. While you're under the deck checking those blades — and always disconnect the spark plug wire before getting under the mower — make sure there's no old grass buildup stuck to the mower deck.

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