Choosing the Best Lawn Mower for Your Yard
by Barb Hopkins
The lawn mower is one of the most used yard maintenance tools for any homeowner. Grass mowing season often begins in early April and continues into October (or later) in many regions of the country. Choosing the right lawn mower for your lawn is essential. Tips for how to choose the best lawn mower include several simple factors.
Choosing the right lawn mower requires considering various basic questions such as:
- How large is your lawn?
- Will you be mowing on slopes or hills?
- Do you have many trees or landscaping features to mow around?
- Does your neighborhood have noise restrictions?
A small yard, less than a quarter of an acre, typically only needs a small width electric or reel mower. There are many great reel mowers, including the Remington 18-inch reel mower with bagger. Yards measuring about a third of an acre are the right size for push mowers — you can go with either cordless or corded electric types or smaller gas engine models such as the Craftsman 21-inch push mower. If your yard is a half acre or slightly larger, you should consider a gas engine push or self-propelled mower.
Larger yards typically need larger equipment. You can mow an acre or larger yard with a push mower, but it will take a long time. Riding mowers range in size and include options for medium and large lawns. Lawn and garden tractors, as well as zero-turning radius riding mowers, cut a wider area with each pass and are the best lawn mower choice for larger yards.
Electric versus gas push mowers
An electric mower typically is quieter than a gas mower. Corded electric mowers are not practical if your electrical source isn’t conveniently located. Cordless electric mowers run on a rechargeable battery and don’t require gasoline. Considered more eco-friendly, the electric mower typically has a smaller mowing deck, so its cutting width is narrower. You can choose from many electric lawn mowers from manufacturers such as Craftsman, Black & Decker and Earthwise. Gas push mowers are available in more sizes and with a larger variety of features.
A self-propelled push mower with a gas engine allows you to move easily up hills and over almost any type of terrain. Look for a front-wheel mower to help you maneuver easily around trees and other obstacles. A rear-wheel drive is a better choice for mowing uphill. Consider a variable-speed mower that allows you to adjust the speed to your walking pace. Zero-turning radius riding mowers provide maximum maneuverability for larger lawns containing many trees, raised flowerbeds or landscaped areas. There are several zero-turn tractors from Craftsman, Stanley, Poulan, MTD and Swisher to choose from.