Make Yard Maintenance A Breeze With The Best Push Lawn Mowers (2024)

A push lawn mower, whether powered by gas, a battery, or an electric cord, lets you keep your lawn under control and looking its best. The best push lawn mowers are powerful enough to handle even thick grass, make clean cuts, are easy to push, and let you choose how to dispose of the grass clippings (bag, mulch, or side discharge).

Push lawn mowers are a great option for relatively flat lawns of half an acre or less. If your lawn has many obstacles or slopes, you may want to consider a self-propelled lawn mower instead since the mower does most of the pushing for you while you guide it along. For lawns more than an acre, a riding lawn mower might be well worth the investment.

Noah James, a professional landscaper and owner of Liberty Lawn Maintenance, says, "Powerful performance, ease of use, and environmental friendliness are all key considerations when it comes to selecting the right push lawnmower. For dependable results, find a mower with a well-balanced cutting blade made from heavy steel or aluminum."

We've tested over a dozen lawn mowers and included some of the best push mowers we tested in this list. We also researched additional top-rated models, using what we've learned while testing. Each mower was evaluated on maneuverability, durability, safety features, and noise level.

What We Like

  • Easy to maneuver around obstacles

  • Works on overgrown and weedy lawns

  • Mower folds compactly

What We Don't Like

  • Requires an extension cord

If you want a reliable lawn mower that has no issues around obstacles, can cut overgrown grass, and provides a uniform cut, look no further than the Greenworks Corded Electric Push Lawn Mower. We tested this mower in our home and found that it had no trouble navigating our yard's many obstacles, such as the patio, flower garden, and trampoline. In fact, it took a little over 30 minutes to mow our lawn, which was heavily overgrown with weeds and dirt areas.

With its 16-inch deck and light weight (just 48 pounds), this mower allowed us to reach portions of our yard that would have previously required a weed wacker. We were able to easily adjust the height of the mower—five heights, ranging from 0.62 inches to 2.8 inches— through a lever on the unit so that we were able to get our preferred cut every time.

We also liked how versatile the mower was, as it could mulch, side discharge, and bag. In our experience, the bagging option was the most practical to prevent grass from sticking to our shoes. Emptying the bag was simple. We only emptied it twice: once after mowing the rear yard and once after mowing the front. Keep in mind that if your yard is larger, you may need to empty it more frequently.

Although some users might be wary of a corded mower, we didn't have any problems with it. One major advantage was that there was no need to worry about petrol fumes, oil changes, or batteries. Keep in mind that you'll need an extension cord that is suitable for use outdoors. While the mower can use up to a 150-foot chord, we discovered that a 100-foot cord was more than plenty. To ensure that the plug stays put and avoid tripping, a cord retainer is included for your convenience

The mower's assembly was as simple as attaching the handle.The handle can be folded down completely for convenient storage in your garage or shed. Folding the handle was at first a challenge due to the lack of directions, but as we got the hang of it, it was really simple (just twist the handles on the side).

Cutting Width:16 inches | Weight:48 pounds | Power Source: Corded | Clippings Options:Bag, mulch, side discharge

What We Like

  • 45-minute runtime

  • Good power

  • Bags, mulches, or side-discharges clippings

What We Don't Like

  • Can struggle with damp grass

If you don't want to deal with a cord or the fumes and maintenance of a gas mower, this battery-powered mower from Ego is a great option. It has an impressive 45-minute runtime. We also think it has impressive power; the included 56-volt, 5-Ah battery and high-efficiency brushless motor allow this lawn mower to handle tall or thick grass without a problem (but may struggle with damp grass).

The cutting deck is 21 inches wide (5 inches wider than our best overall pick), so it can tackle more grass with one pass. Plus, there are sever height adjustments ranging from 1.5 inches to 4 inches, so you can have the right height for your lawn. You'll also appreciate the bright LED headlights, which make it easier to mow at dusk or in the morning.

You can bag your clippings in the included grass catcher, which is very easy to lift for emptying, let them discharge to the side, or mulch them into the lawn. When you are finished mowing, the mower's handle folds down so you can store it easily. While the mower comes with a battery and charger, you don't need to wait for another battery to charge if you already use Ego Power+ tools (like cordless leaf blowers and hedge trimmers)—the battery is compatible so you'll always have an extra ready to go.

Cutting Width:21 inches | Weight:49.4 pounds | Power Source: Battery | Clippings Options:Bag, mulch, side discharge

What We Like

  • Powerful motor

  • Delivers a clean, even cut

  • Easy to start

  • Large rear wheels offer improved handling

What We Don't Like

  • No side discharge

Unlike many gas mowers, which require seemingly endless cord pulls to power up, this one starts right up, thanks to Troy-Bilt's ReadyStart technology. Once started, the 140cc Briggs & Stratton engine has plenty of power to slice through even thick grass, leaving your lawn neatly groomed.

This sturdy mower has a 21-inch cutting deck (tied for largest on our list) and six easily adjusted cutting levels ranging from 1.25 inches to 3.75 inches, so whatever your type of lawn grass, you can cut it to the appropriate height.

Thanks to Troy-Bilt's TriAction cutting system, the mower gives an exceptionally clean cut to the grass and produces very fine clippings, which can either be mulched back into the lawn or collected in the included 1.9-bushel bag. There is no side-discharge option on this mower. Its 11-inch rear wheels allow the mower to move easily over even rough terrain and up or down gentle slopes on lawns up to 1/4 acre or so in size. It comes fully assembled and has a two-year limited warranty.

However, one downside is that, like many gas mowers, you need to change the oil periodically—use 10w-30 oil (sold separately)—and to do so, you'll need to tip the mower onto its side to let the old oil drain out before adding the new oil. There is no need to mix oil with gasoline, though.

Cutting Width:21 inches | Weight:66 pounds | Power Source: Gas| Clippings Options:Bag, mulch

What We Like

  • Easy to maneuver around obstacles

  • Lightweight

  • No gas needed

What We Don't Like

  • Not great for large lawns

If your yard is just a quarter to half an acre in size, this Ryobi mover can be just what you need to keep things under control. We put this mower to the test in our front yard, which is 10 x 30 feet with bushes and a small fence around the perimeter, and we were able to mow the entire lawn in 30 minutes.

At 13 inches, the cutting width is the smallest on our list, making it very easy to maneuver around tree trunks and other obstacles, but it also better suited for a small lawn. We found it incredibly easy to push this mower throughout our lawn because it weighs just 23 pounds, which is half the weight of best overall.

The mower includes a single-point height adjustment, letting you choose the ideal height between 1 and 2.5 inches. There is a height adjustment lever near the front tire; however, we did not change the height throughout our testing. Though the mower did a great job of leveling off our lawn, we did notice tiny clippings fly out as we were moving. While it was inconvenient since some of the clippings would occasionally get stuck in the vents, it was nothing a simple dusting after mowing couldn't fix.

This is a corded model, so you won't have to worry about filling up on gas, which may be expensive in regions like California, where we tested this mower. However, it does not come with an extension chord, so you will need to purchase one separately. We purchased an orange-colored outdoor-rated extension cord, which we loved because it improved visibility and prevented us from running over it.

You can mulch the grass clippings or collect them in the included bag. The grass cuttings come with a bag for easy collection or mulching. If your yard is bigger than ours, you may need to stop and empty the bag more frequently (it was full when we moved between our back and front yard).

Cutting Width:13 inches | Weight:23 pounds | Power Source: Corded| Clippings Options:Bag, mulch

  • Make Yard Maintenance A Breeze With The Best Push Lawn Mowers (12)

  • Make Yard Maintenance A Breeze With The Best Push Lawn Mowers (13)

  • Make Yard Maintenance A Breeze With The Best Push Lawn Mowers (14)

  • Make Yard Maintenance A Breeze With The Best Push Lawn Mowers (15)

  • Make Yard Maintenance A Breeze With The Best Push Lawn Mowers (16)

What We Like

  • Powerful motor

  • One-step start, no priming required

  • Includes grass collection bag and mulch kit

What We Don't Like

  • Requires periodic oil changes

With a 140cc Briggs & Stratton engine, this gas push mower from Craftsman is best for smaller lawns that are no more than 1/4 acre in size, but it easily handles even thick or tall grass. Unlike many other gas mowers, this one starts up easily, so you won't be yanking on the cord in frustration. The 21-inch cutting deck is wide enough to get the mowing down quickly, and there are six cutting height levels ranging from 1.25 inches to 3.75 inches. The sturdy wheels maneuver easily over rough terrain or slight slopes.

You can set the mower to side discharge clippings, collect them in the included rear bag, or mulch them back into the lawn. At 65 pounds, this isn't a light lawn mower (just a pound lighter than our best gas pick), but it does handle easily.

On the downside, like our best gas pick, this mower requires periodic oil changes. You'll need to tip the mower onto its side to drain the old oil before adding fresh 10w-30 oil. As a general rule, the oil should be changed at least once each year. However, there is no need to mix oil with gas as the mower has a 4-stroke engine. A two-year warranty covers the mower.

Cutting Width:21 inches | Weight:65 pounds | Power Source: Gas | Clippings Options:Bag, mulch, side-discharge

What We Like

  • Creates very fine clippings for mulch

  • Powerful engine

  • Nine cutting heights

  • Performs well even on wet grass

What We Don't Like

  • Must register mower with Toro to receive the side-discharge chute

While it's powerful and loaded with great features, this mulching lawn mower stands out for its ability to reduce grass clippings intothe finest mulch, which Toro calls "lawn vitamins." If you prefer not to leave the clippings on your lawn, you'll also love the included two-bushel bag. Unlike many other gas mowers, you never need to do an oil change on this one; just check the oil level and top it off when necessary. And you'll love the power of this mower, which has a 140cc Briggs & Stratton engine that easily handles thick or tall grass, even if wet.

The mowing deck is 21 inches wide. Nine cutting levels, ranging from 1.25 inches to 3.75 inches—the most levels on this list—allow you to fine-tune the length of your grass. It is also not difficult to start; generally, it will roar to life with just one or two cord pulls.

The mower can also side-discharge clippings, however to receive the free side-discharge chute, you must register your mower with Toro, who will then mail you the chute. The mower is easy to push and steer and has tractioned 10-inch wheels up front and 8-inch wheels in the rear, so it can easily handle tough terrain. A three-year warranty is included with the mower.

Cutting Width:21 inches | Weight:62 pounds | Power Source: Gas | Clippings Options:Bag, mulch, side discharge

What We Like

  • Lightweight

  • Cuts grass up to 4 inches

  • Adjustable blade height

What We Don't Like

  • Might jam on a large stick

  • Can be tiring to use

If you have a small, flat lawn and want the ultimate in environmentally friendly lawn care, it's hard to beat this reel mower. While you'll get a bit of a workout using this mower, it does create a very fine cut, doesn't make much noise, and won't take up a lot of room in your garage or garden shed. It's also very reasonably priced and lightweight (the lightest on our list).

Unlike powered mowers with a single blade that spins on a horizontal axis, this reel mower has four blades that spin vertically. It neatly snips your grass with a scissor-like action that creates a very even cut. And there's almost no maintenance required; every few years, you'll need to sharpen the blades.

The mower cuts a 14-inch swath of grass in a single pass. You can adjust the cutting height between 1 inch and 1.75 inches, but the mower won't perform well on grass taller than four inches. It can occasionally get jammed on large sticks or other lawn debris, so it's best to be sure there aren't obstructions in your path while mowing.

The polymer wheels are 8.5 inches in diameter and roll smoothly. The clippings will mulch into your lawn, but you can purchase a separate bag for this mower if you prefer to bag your clippings.

Cutting Width:14 inches | Power Type:Manual | Weight:19 pounds | Clippings Options:Mulch

Final Verdict

Our best overall push mower is the Greenworks 16 Inch Corded Electric 10 Amp Walk-Behind Push Lawn Mower. We tested this corded mower in our home and found it easy to adjust the five cutting settings and to handle different conditions in our lawn. We also like the three different options to handle the grass clippings: mulching, side discharge, and bagging. If you don't want to deal with a cord or a gas mower, our best battery mower, the Ego 21-Inch 56-Volt Push Lawn Mower is a great choice. This powerful mower has a battery life (runtime) of up to 45 minutes.

Make Yard Maintenance A Breeze With The Best Push Lawn Mowers (20)

What to Look for in a Push Lawn Mower


There are four basic types of push mowers based on their power sources.

  • Gas mowers are fueled by gasoline. These are generally the most powerful push mowers, and as long as the tank has fuel, the mower will keep running without concern for losing power. On the downside, these mowers are noisy, they emit smelly fumes and pollutants, and they can be hard to start. The Craftsman M110 21-Inch Push Mower, our best for thick grass pick, is an excellent gas mower.
  • Corded electric mowers are not as popular as they once were, but are still a good option for buyers who have small lawns and are looking for a bargain. Electric mowers must be plugged into an electrical outlet, meaning that you will need a long, outdoor-rated extension cord for power. Along with low cost, the pros of these mowers include that they do not emit any fumes, you don’t need to keep track of battery life, and they are relatively low maintenance. However, you’ll need to take care not to run over the extension cord while you mow. Our best overall pick, the Greenworks 16 Inch Corded Electric 10 Amp Walk-Behind Push Lawn Mower, is a corded electric model.
  • Battery or cordless push mowers are powered by a battery (sometimes two or more). That means you don’t have to worry about an extension cord, and you won’t be bothered by gas fumes. However, you will have to keep an eye on the battery life (runtime), as battery-powered mowers can range from 30 to 60 minutes (sometimes more) when fully charged. While there are cordless mowers powered by an 18-volt battery, most use 40 volts or more. Our best battery-powered pick, the Ego 21-Inch 56-Volt Push Lawn Mower, has a 45-minute runtime.
  • Manual or reel mowers, rely on your own muscle power to push the mower. These old-fashioned, environmentally friendly mowers have no motor or engine. However, they can do an exceptional job of neatly clipping lawn grass, as long as the grass isn’t too high or thick. These are generally very inexpensive but are suited only to small lawns, and they can be tiring to use. We like the American Lawn Mower Company, our best reel mower pick.


Some mowers, especially older models, have four wheels that are all the same size, generally between 6 and 8 inches in diameter. However, many mowers today, especially higher-end models, have typical 7- or 8-inch wheels in front but higher wheels in back. Often labeled as “high wheel” mowers, the rear wheels on these models are typically 10 to 12 inches in diameter.

The Troy-Bilt TB110 21-Inch Push Mower, our best gas pick, has 11-inch rear wheels, so it easily rolls over just about any lawn. Having the higher rear wheels lets the mower move more easily over rough terrain and makes pushing the mower uphill easier. Note that higher wheels do not mean that the mower's deck is higher; the mower deck should still sit just a few inches above the lawn.

The tread of your mower’s wheels is also a consideration. The more grooved and patterned the tread, the easier it will be to push the mower over wet grass, soft grass, or dirt.

Cutting Deck

The cutting deck of a lawn mower is the base that houses the spinning blade that cuts the grass, and the size of the cutting deck determines the width of the cutting path achieved by one pass of the mower. The most common cutting deck size for a push mower is between 20 and 21 inches, but you’ll find mowers with smaller decks and some larger ones. Keep in mind that the larger the cutting deck, the more energy you’ll need to exert to push the mower, and the more difficult it will be to maneuver around tree trunks and other obstacles. All of the gas mowers on this list have a 21-inch cutting deck, including our best mulching pick, the Toro Recycler Gas 21-Inch Push Mower.

Smaller mowers with decks that are less than 18 inches are good for small lawns or lawns that require considerable maneuvering between trees, flowerbeds, or other obstacles.

Grass Disposal Options

There are three basic options for handling the grass clippings that accumulate as you mow. Some mowers have all three options, while others only have one or two of them.

Side discharge means the mower simply shoots the clippings out of a chute on the mower’s side and back onto the lawn. You can then either rake up the clippings or leave them in place. Keep in mind that leaving large clippings on the lawn can smother the grass, however. For larger yards, you might consider getting a lawn sweeper to effectively gather up the cut grass along with other debris.

Mulching the clippings means the mower blades chop the clippings into very fine pieces before dropping them back onto the lawn from underneath the mower’s deck. These finely-cut clippings decompose much faster than unmulched clippings, so they won’t smother your lawn and provide valuable nutrients to the grass as they decompose.

Bagged mowers have a rear bag that catches the clippings as they are cut. You then lift the bag off the mower and empty it once you’re finished working.Many of the mowers on this list have all three options, including our best battery-powered pick, the Ego 21-Inch 56-Volt Push Lawn Mower.

Make Yard Maintenance A Breeze With The Best Push Lawn Mowers (21)


  • What’s the difference between a push mower and a self-propelled lawn mower?

    A push mower's engine or motor merely powers the cutting blade; it is not connected to the mower wheels. That means you are required to supply the pushing power yourself to keep the mower moving across your lawn.

    A self-propelled mower, however, uses its engine or motor to power the blade andthe wheels, meaning that the mower moves forward on its own power, leaving you to basically just steer. Self-propelled mowers are easier to use, especially when mowing up hills, but you'll pay much more for these mowers. Still, it might be worth it if you have a very large or very hilly yard.

  • How long do most push mowers last?

    If properly cared for, a good push mower can last you a decade or longer. However, to achieve that goal, you need to carry out regular maintenance, which can include oil changes and filter changes on gas mowers, periodic blade sharpening, removal of caked-on grass and mud from the mower’s deck, and storage of the mower in a spot where it isn’t subjected to weather extremes. You should also take care not to mow over rocks or large sticks, which can damage the mower’s blades, deck, or motor.

    As a rule of thumb, gas mowers tend to last longer than battery mowers.

  • What time of year are lawn mowers the cheapest?

    Like other seasonal outdoor products, lawnmowers go on sale at big home improvement centers at various times of the year. Often, you’ll find mowers on sale in the early spring as home improvement centers try to tempt buyers who are just starting to get back into their lawn care routines. But you’ll often also find sales during the late fall, when lawns are starting to go dormant in many parts of the country, and stores look to reduce inventory so as not to have to store it over the off-season.

    The big summer holidays of Independence Day, Father’s Day, and Memorial Day are also good times to purchase a mower, as most home improvement centers will have them on sale at those times.

  • What is the difference between rotary and reel mowers?

    A rotary mower has a motor or engine that is powered by gas, a battery, or by an electric cord. These powered mowers usually have a single blade that spins very rapidly on a horizontal plane inside the mower’s cutting deck. The spinning of the blade creates a slight lift in the grass, which is then cut by the blade.

    Reel mowers, also called manual mowers, do not have a motor or engine. Their only source of power is your own exertions in pushing them across your lawn. Reel mowers usually have three or more blades that spin vertically around a central axis. They cut the grass in a scissoring motion as they are pushed, which gives a very clean cut to the lawn.

    When choosing between a rotary and a reel mower, you’ll want to consider the size of your lawn, your own physical strength, and endurance, the amount of time you have to devote to lawn care, your budget, and your desire to be more or less “green” in your lifestyle. Rotary mowers are more expensive than reel mowers, require less effort to use, and get the mowing accomplished faster. Reel mowers are best for small lawns only and can be tiring to use, but they are relatively inexpensive and are the most environmentally friendly option.

Why Trust The Spruce?

This article was researched and written by Michelle Ullman, who is a writer specializing in home and garden products. She has been freelancing for The Spruce since 2020, covering a wide range of home improvement products, including power and hand tools, painting supplies, landscaping tools, and tool organizers.

To choose the best push lawn mowers for this article, she took into account feedback from our testing team, assessing mowers based on power, range of cutting heights, ability to mow over uneven terrain or handle thick grass, options for disposing of grass clippings, and overall value. She also considered feedback from insights, both positive and negative, as well as product reviews on home improvement and lawn care websites.

Our Experts:

  • Noah James, a professional landscaper and owner of Liberty Lawn Maintenance
  • Daniela Galvez, senior editor at The Spruce
  • Jenica Currie, editor and product tester at The Spruce

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Make Yard Maintenance A Breeze With The Best Push Lawn Mowers (2024)


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