Jeffrey Tung on Jan 1, 2024
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There is no standard for yards, lawns, or gardens. Each one is unique and has its own merits whether in terms of size, terrain, and other natural decorations. You could have a full garden or a simple expanse of greenery. Sure, you can say that, objectively, there is at least a standard regarding cleanliness, yard health, and general lawn care. But, essentially, your yard is yours and that includes how you take care of it.
Lawn mowers are some of the most important maintenance tools that you should have at home. Consequently, just as your yard is personalized to your preferences and maintenance measures, it’s also the same with the lawn mower. There are a number of lawn mowers in the market that will more or less fit your yard’s standards.
The ultimate question you may be asking now is what is the best lawn mower for you?
As mentioned earlier, there is no “one size fits all” to a lawn mower. Given that, take a closer look at your yard and assess every aspect. You will be able to determine the best lawn mower for your own yard by picking the product that will cater to its specific needs and characteristics. Listed below are some of the factors you should consider before choosing a lawn mower:
To pick what is the best lawn mower, what you should do first is figure out how big your yard is. Small yards are up to 100 square meters big, while larger ones are about 250 square meters and above. That’s a huge difference especially for the type of lawn mower you’re going to use.
Given that, the size of your yard determines the type of lawn mower you want. The best lawn mowers for small gardens are electric or battery lawn mowers. Meanwhile, the best lawn mowers for large gardens would be the petrol lawn mowers. We will discuss these different types of lawn mowers in detail in the succeeding sections.
Best lawn mowers for small gardens: Tools Official’s Top Picks - Makita XML03PT1 - Greenworks 25142 - Craftsman V60 CMCMW260P1 Best lawn mowers for large gardens: Tools Official’s Top Picks - Honda HRX217K5VKA
Not all yards are flat and smooth. There are those that have hills and slopes that some may find difficult to mow. There are certain types of lawn mowers with specific designs for those with tricky terrains. For instance, self-propelled mowers and some riding mowers have the right features to finish this job.
Of course, you shouldn’t forget to take yourself into account (or whoever will be using the lawn mower, that is). Your physical condition actually has a lot of bearing on what type of lawn mower you should use. Considering the yard size and terrain, it’s important to take note of your own physical capacity. Not all yards are flat and small, making it much more difficult to maneuver in. Older people, those with physical disabilities and other possible restrictions may find different types of lawn mowers designed to cater to such concerns.
There are a number of elements that you should take into consideration when picking out a lawn mower. Lawn mowers have many parts that differ from one another with each product; One may have a specific feature to it, while the other may have its own unique perks. Given this, each one is designed to cater to particular lawns and its users as well. Listed below are some of the key aspects that you should take note of:
Electric. Lawn mowers with an electric power supply are the best option for lawns that are 300 square meters and under. The advantage of having this power source is its low maintenance engine. You would just have to clean it and keep it sharp. Moreover, they are eco-friendly as they don’t release polluting fumes into the air.
Electric lawn mowers are also a lot lighter and easier to maneuver than most lawn mowers with other power sources. To maximize its reach, we recommend using an extension cord so you can go from the main power to the farthest your lawn mower can go.
Gas. As opposed to electric lawn mowers, petrol lawn mowers are more suitable for large lawns. These are the most powerful out of every other power source, which makes it the best fit for yards of a larger size and difficult terrains.
However, take note that because it’s designed as being jam-packed with power, more robust, and durable, it’s also much heavier and requires more maintenance than others. With petrol lawn mowers, you would have to consistently stock up on fuel, which may not be cost-effective in the long run. Moreover, as compared to electric lawn mowers, this one works a lot louder – whether this is a con or not is up to you.
Battery. Although battery lawn mowers may seem too similar to electric ones, there are nuances that make this unique. Battery lawn mowers make use of rechargeable batteries, which makes it easier and better in maintenance as compared to other types. These are also especially useful for those with no accessible sockets or power source near their yard. However, its battery life varies with every model so pick wisely!
Manual. The power source for this one is your own physical strength. While that may not seem attractive to some, there are still benefits to a manual lawn mower. It’s small and easy to carry around as it doesn’t have an engine or battery pack. Given its size, this is also easy to store around your house or garage. If your yard is on the smaller size, the manual lawn mower will be a suitable fit for it as well. An added bonus to this is the extra exercise you’ll get every time you use it!
The cutting width refers to how wide your lawn mower’s blade can cover. A larger cutting width would mean lesser time spent on mowing as compared to a smaller cutting width. To figure out what size your cutting width should be, take a look at your yard size. For small lawns, look for a cutting width of about 300 millimeters. For medium-sized lawns, it would be about 350-400 millimeters. Lastly, for large lawns, look for a cutting width of 400 millimeters and above.
The cutting height, on the other hand, refers to how high the grass will be cut. Fortunately, the majority of lawn mowers in the market have adjustable blades so you can customize its cutting height, which usually ranges from 20 millimeters to 60 millimeters.
This is often overlooked in the decision-making process for lawn mowers. After you’ve done your job of mowing, you would have to think about where you’ll be storing the lawn mower every time you use it. This poses an issue especially for those with a full garage or home in general. Storage is also an issue of security – you can’t just leave it out outside open and unguarded. Fortunately, there are some lawn mowers that are designed with foldable handles making it easy and convenient to store.
While some lawn mowers will be equipped with particular features, some may not be designed with the same perks. Listed below are some of the standard features that you should look for in a good lawn mower:
Bagging. This feature prevents the cut grass from piling up. As the lawn mower does its job, the grass will be transferred to a bag instead of back into the yard; it offers more control to the user on where the cut grass will land. To ensure optimal performance, you should remove the cut grass inside the bag once it is filled to a garbage bin or a compost pile.
Mulching. The mulching feature helps put nutrients back to the yard. It’s not the same as simply landing the grass clippings back to where it was cut. Instead, the grass will be finely cut even more within the blade area, and then be blown evenly back to the lawn, which helps keep it green and healthy. Moreover, this feature lessens the chances of fungus to develop as well as keeping your soil from drying out; the grass clippings serve as natural nutrients for the soil.
Zero-turn radius. This feature offers a precise steering and an easy maneuver, leaving no grass uncut. Even better, this is not exclusive to one type of lawn mower. Types such as riding, self-propelled, and other types of mowers can have this feature as well. Although this works much more effectively on flat yards, there are some types of lawn mowers with this particular feature that works just as well on tricky terrains. For instance, you can pick out a lawn mower with an independent deck that follows every contour and curb of the yard.
Push mowers, as hinted by the name, work manually. This has no internal motor and requires physical strength from the user. With the lack of an engine and a larger deck, push mowers become much more lightweight, easily stored, and a lot quieter to use as compared to other types. The only downside to this is that it takes a lot of effort to use. You’ll be using much of your strength to properly mow your lawn, especially for ones with sloped terrain. With its design, this lawn mower is most suitable for flat lawns on the smaller side.
Tools Official’s Pick: Makita XML03PT1
Reel Mowers are also known as cylinder lawn mowers as they have cylindrical shaped blades at the forefront of the mower. Generally, much of these mowers have about more than three more blades attached aside from the fixed blade at the bottom of the unit. These work best in maintaining flat lawns with short grass.
An upside to reel mowers is their low-cost prices and efficiency. However, most of these reel mowers are not adjustable so it’s usually at a standard cutting height and width depending on the model you purchase. Another downside to this is that these don’t work as well on rough surfaces with coarse grass as compared to flat and smooth yards.
Tools Official’s Pick: Fiskars 362050-1001
If you’re starting to get tired of the physical exertion that mowing requires, riding mowers might just be the one for you. Not only are these convenient, but they are also efficient and extremely durable. They’re equipped with many features that make cutting grass easier and much more effective. This is especially recommended for those with large acres of land to mow as they are designed with bigger decks compared to other lawn mower types.
However, you would really need to do some deep research in order to find the right riding mower for you – these are a costly investment after all. There are some that are cheaper but prove to be less effective and uncomfortable. Moreover, before you make your purchase, make sure that you have sufficient space to park your riding mower.
Tools Official’s Pick: Husqvarna Z254
Robot mowers are perfect for those who are unable to do the mowing itself (or maybe they just hate it). Technology has progressed so far and it’s no surprise that lawn mowers have evolved as well. This is how a robot mower works: it’s a machine that consists of various sensors that detect surface angle and possible impact, some drive and blade assemblies, a motor, and a battery. All of these essential parts work together to help mow lawns without the support (or even the presence) of a person. As long as you’ve input the right settings, then the mower will do its job for you.
Some downsides to it include its inability to mow rougher areas and terrains such as soggy areas, rocks, tall roots, and the like. Just make sure to watch out for anything that can wedge itself under the robot mower; prolonging this would result in your mower degrading in functionality and efficiency. Another reminder for this particular lawn mower is to regularly check it as it can be easily overlooked given its independent nature.
Tools Official’s Pick: Husqvarna Automower 115H
This lawn mower means exactly what its name says – it eases some of the exertions of its user by doing the propelling themselves. Gas or petrol powers many of these self-propelled mowers rather than electric sources, making it much more powerful and also a lot louder to use. Some models also have a feature where you can adjust the speed of the mower to your preference; similar to driving, you will just have to press on its bar, namely the bail, and let it do its work while you turn it towards the direction you want it to. You can simply walk with it and let go of the bar if you want to stop. You might want to consider this type of lawn mower if you have a large lawn to mow.
Tools Official’s Pick: Honda HRX217K5VKA
Husqvarna Z254. Husqvarna is particularly known for the durability of their zero-turn mowers. This particular model is a testament to that. Its controls are easy to learn and handle because of the Hydrostatic transmission, which gives you the freedom to choose a variety of speeds rather than the standard preset gears. Professional lawn mowers should be fast and efficient especially for commercial purposes. Fortunately, the Husqvarna Z254 has a fabricated deck, cast iron blades, and a Kholer motor, all of which helps do the job done quickly.
Check out our full review here.
Honda HRX217K5VKA. If you’re looking for a truly reliable lawn mower, Honda has lawn mowers that are designed with many features worthy of this title. Particularly, the Honda HRX217K5VKA is easy to use because of Honda’s Versamow system. It allows the user of the lawn mower to transition from feature to feature such as bagging to mulching without much difficulty. It’s a self-propelled lawn mower that makes mowing efficient and even fun to do. This also works perfectly with large lawns with rough terrains as its bag can withhold a large amount of cut grass, and its throttles and handlebar are easy to use. Although it’s more expensive than other lawn mowers of the same type, its features and design deem it to be worth the price.
Check out our full review here.
The best lawn mower in 2020 isn’t just one lawn mower. Much like in most products, the best depends on what would work on your yard best. There are different factors that make every lawn different from one another, ranging from the size and terrain to even the type of soil you have. It’s important to pick out the one that would suit you and your yard’s standard in order to maintain its health.
Just take note of the key features and factors worth considering that have all been discussed in the previous sections above. In no time, you’ll be one step closer to finding what is the best lawn mower for you this year!