Lawn mowers; some see them as one of their garden toys, while others dread having to use it. No matter which you identify with, the fact is most of us, need a lawn mower.
Getting the right one for you and your yard might be a little more difficult than knowing if you enjoy mowing or not. Picking the right mower depends on the size and terrain of your yard, power, and personal work preference.
Lawn Mowers: Which Type Is Best for You and Your Yard?
Yard Care Gurus want to give you the information you need to make picking the right mower for you, easy and stress-free.
Electric Push Mower
When it comes to electric push mowers, there are two options; corded and cordless. Cordless electric lawn mowers are just that. They are battery powered lawn mowers, that have no cords. The battery is able to be removed for charging purposes. Corded electric mowers require being plugged into an electrical outlet while using.
Electric push mowers are great when you are worried about your carbon footprint, or you don’t want to hassle with gas and oil. They are also much quieter than your normal gas push mower. This is great when living close to neighbors who don’t like noise.
If you choose to go electric, whether you choose cordless or corded, strongly depends on the size of your yard, and the type of landscape you have. If you have a lot of shrubbery or trees a corded lawn mower could be a pain to get around your lawn. If you have a larger yard, a cordless lawn mower will offer more maneuverability for you to complete your lawn without the use of extension cords.
Electric mowers are great for small yards around ¼ of an acre. If the yard is bigger it may require more than one battery charge or a much larger extension cord to complete, but it does vary.
When choosing a cordless mower, battery life and cutting width are important options to look into when picking the right mower for you. Both corded and cordless electric mowers have made great strides in matching the efficiency and effectiveness of the gas mower.
Electric mowers do require some maintenance to keep it running smoothly but a little less than a gas powered. Maintaining the battery and blades as well as preparing the mower for winter will help maintain and increase the life of an electric mower.
Gas Push Mower
Gas push mowers have been the mainstream mower for years. These mowers are great for yards up to about half an acre or so.
Gas mowers have more power than an electric mower and can be maneuverable around your landscape or on hilly terrain.
Gas mowers are traditionally loud and could limit when you mow your grass due to your neighborhoods regulations. If you like to mow early morning or late at night this might not be the mower for you.
Gas mowers do require more maintenance than an electric mower. Additionally, gas mowers require regular changing of the air filter, oil, and spark plugs, in addition to getting them winter-ready at the end of the cutting season. Inspecting the blades is also important to get the most efficient cutting power.
Self Propelled Option
Both the gas-powered and electric mowers can come with a self-propelled feature. This assists with pushing the mower around your yard, without you pushing it all by yourself. This is great for yards with some hills or for those who don’t want to put as much effort in.
Adding this option usually does add to the cost of the mower.
If choosing an electric self-propelled mower, keep in mind that the battery is used to propel the mower as well-meaning less battery life to mow in one charge. However, many electric self-propelled mowers do come with either a larger battery or more than one battery as a solution to this problem.
If using a bagging system, having a rear wheel or all wheel drive self-propelled mower gives you the most effective traction for your mower due to the added weight in the back of the mower.
Riding Lawn Mower
There are several types of riding mowers and tractors:
- A riding mower
- A lawn tractor
- Or a garden tractor.
These are perfect for a yard that is bigger than ½ an acre as it saves you time and energy.
The differences in the three types have to do with cost, size, and capabilities.
A riding mower is specifically made for cutting grass. They usually do not offer many, if any, attachments, but are very maneuverable. They have cutting decks that are usually smaller than the other options. This is usually the cheapest of the three as well.
A lawn tractor has a larger cutting deck and slightly more power. These are great if your yard is more than an acre or if you want more versatility out of your mower. Many lawn tractors come with more accessories, such as towing capabilities and snow attachments.
If you want a heavy duty rider, or want the most versatility, then a garden tractor is your best option. These have the ability to attach tillers, snow plows, seeders, backhoes, and much more. Garden tractors have a larger cutting deck, more horsepower, as well as a larger price tag. Garden tractors can easily mow a yard up to 5 acres.
Maintenance for your rider will be very similar to a gas push mower. Maintaining the engine and blades as well as the tires will ensure your mower continues to work for years to come.
A reel mower requires no gas or electricity because it is powered by you. A reel mower uses fixed blades on a rotating reel to cut the grass as you push it. Think of scissors, it’s very similar.
These mowers are good for yards less than ⅓ of an acre. They also produce little, if any sound.
Reel mowers usually have a small cutting width so it could take more sweeps to get your yard mowed. These mowers also have more difficulty with higher grass, so you may need to mow more often than if you were using a push mower.
If you are environmentally friendly-minded and have a pretty small yard a reel mower could be right for you.
Bagging System or No Bagging System
Many mower options allow a bagging system. This is used to collect the grass clippings instead of blowing them back into your yard via the side discharge.
Using a bagging system does help to keep your yard looking cleaner. It also helps decrease the seeds of weeds from being spread around your yard as well. If you enjoy composting, a bagging system can be beneficial for that too.
There is also the option of mulching mowers. This will cut your grass into much smaller pieces to create mulch that it spreads around your yard adding beneficial nutrients. This option is best when you don’t let your grass get very tall.
If you tend to wait until your grass is tall having a bagging system is your best option.
Mowing can be fun and picking the right mower for you, and your yard is the first step to making it less of a chore. Keeping in mind the size of your yard and how you want to utilize your mower are the first steps in making your decision.