Best Lawn Mowers 2018 – Our Ultimate Buying Guide
Table of Contents
- Walk Behind Mower Review Guide
- Best 5 Walk Behind Lawn Mowers 2017
Purchasing a new lawn mower is always a difficult decision. Top of the line models cost a fortune, but cheap no frills models are often very unreliable which make them a bad choice.
In our updated 2017 home lawn mower buying guide, we rate 5 of the best products across prices that any budget can afford.
Our guide is intended for medium to large sized yards, in most cases we’d recommend a cordless or electric mower for small homes or town houses.
Walk Behind Mower Review Guide
Gas vs electric lawn mower
Gas and Electric mowers both have benefits, so the decision to choose either is always a personal one.
Here are the pros and cons of each:
- More power than electric (or cordless), making it easier to cut long or wet lawns
- With regular servicing Gas Mowers will last for 20+ years
- Requires maintenance. Eg: spark plug, carburetor, oil change
- Some engine types can be difficult to start
- Difficulty in frosty environments
- Easy to start, push and button and you’re set
- Less mess, no requirement for Gas and Oil
- Most electric models are cheaper than Gas
- Power cords can be dangerous and cumbersome
- Cordless Mowers require regular battery charging
- If your battery goes flat during your mow, need to wait for 1-2 hours until it’s ready
- Battery life reduces as the mower gets older
Lawn mower brands
What makes a good lawn mower brand? I believe one component more than any other determines a mowers quality – the engine. It’s for that reason I rate Honda mowers as the best on the market.
Honda engines have been developed through years of research and development in the motorcycle industry.
This research brings many benefits:
- Reliable engines that handle warm or frosty conditions without missing a beat
- Large spare parts network, which makes finding replacement parts quick, simple and most of all cheap.
- Familiarity amongst lawn mower repair workshops. Or if you repair your mower yourself, there’s a large number of YouTube videos showing how to fix any Honda engine fault.
If your budget can’t afford a Honda, manufacturers such as Toro, Masport and Husqvarna release models with Honda engines. This is a great way to save money and still get a reliable, powerful mower.
What Important Features should I look for in a Mower?
Engine Capacity and Type
Engine capacity is very important purchase factor in a few cases.
Yards with fast growing lawn varieties – Even the most avid gardeners sometimes let their lawn overdue for a mow. Small capacity engines struggle to cut overgrown summer lawn, or wet lawn from recent rain.
Honda 160cc engines make light work of even the wettest lawn. 140cc engines often struggle and stall in tough conditions, turning a 30 minute job into over an hour.
If you have a medium size yard, with a medium growth lawn variety, a 140cc+ engine will make a wise purchase. For large yards with aggressive growing grass, purchasing a 160cc+ 4 stroke is recommended.
4 Stroke or 2 Stroke – Most modern mowers are now 4 stroke, which in laymans terms mean you can use standard Gas. This is obviously much easier to maintain because you don’t need to worry about mixing gas with oil additives. 4 Stroke engines are also much quieter which can only be a good thing.
Auto choke or primer bulb – In general higher quality mowers have an auto choke. Where cheaper units use a primer system.
Primer systems are a manual method of pumping gas into the carb before startup. They’re especially common on Briggs and Stratton 2 stroke engines.
In my experience primer bulbs are another component which causes startup problems as mowers get older. If possible, try to purchase a lawn mower with an auto choke.
Cutting height – Quality mowers offer a range of cutting heights, so your lawn not only looks healthy all year round, but doesn’t over stress the roots from cutting too close to the ground.
Cheap mowers often have a fixed height, which is too close to the ground, which makes your lawn look brown and unhealthy, and also causes weeds to appear. The best way to avoid weeds in any grassed area is keeping the growth at its’ optimal condition.
Self Propelled – One of the best decisions that I’ve ever made is buying a self propelled lawn mower. My previous Honda 4 stroke mower was a manual walk behind unit, and mowing my 1000 sq yard block felt like running a marathon in summer.
Self propelled units come in two varieties – 2 wheel and 4 wheel. A 2 wheel unit will be suitable for most yards on flat land. If your yard has hilly terrain, under 15 degrees, I’d recommend a 4 wheel self propelled unit to help make lighter work of your mowing.
Wash Out Port
Wash out ports on the desk of a mower make it easy to clean the blades and the underside.
To clean your mower just start the mower and leave the throttle on medium to high RPM
Use your garden hose to squirt water down into the wash out port
Wash out ports are highly recommended for very dry or wet areas where lawn clippings gather easily around the blades.
Do I need a Catcher or Mulcher?
A mulcher unit is perfect for large yards where it can be difficult to dispose of a large amount of chippings.
Mulcher units make the perfect addition to a warm home compost system.
How often should I mow my Lawn?
Any mowing scheduling determined by the weather. Fast growing varieties such as Bermuda, will need weekly mowing in summer across areas in warmer climates. Although in Fall and Winter this can be reduced to 3-4 weeks when lawn growth slows.
Best 5 Walk Behind Lawn Mowers 2017
Best Gas Walk Behind Mower for the Money
#1. Honda HRR216K9VKA 3-in-1 Variable Speed Self-Propelled Gas Mower with Auto Choke
- Powerful engine cuts through any grass
- Self propel system can be disabled when not required
- Item Weight 84 pounds, so easily liftable by one person
- Cut height needs to be adjusted individually on each wheel.
- No washout port.
Honda HRR216 mower is one of the best sellers on the market. 7 cutting height settings means you have enough adjustability to get the perfect cut any time of year.
Designed with 3 speeds in its self propelled system, just simple adjust faster or slower via the thumb controls on the handle.
Honda’s standard safety handle stops the engine as soon as your hands leave the handle mechanism.
With an auto choke and pull starter, the Honda starts first time. Forget about needing to pull the cord several times to get the engine started, models rated for its easy startup system.
I purchased my Honda from Amazon, which worked out great for me seeing I don’t have a car large enough to transport a mower. Delivery took 2 days right to my front door.
#2. Husqvarna 961450021 HU800AWDH Honda 190cc 3-in-1 All Wheel Drive 4X4 Hi-Wheel Mower in 22-Inch
Item Weight 105 pounds
#3. Troy-Bilt TB330
Item Weight 80 pounds