Lawn Mower Shopping Guide 2017

Spring has arrived and summer is just around the corner! The birds are chirping, the sun is out and your lawn is finally a beautiful green! Which reminds you, your lawn mower from last year has kicked the bucket and you need a new! There are a few things to consider when purchasing a new lawn mower, but the process is not overly complicated. Here are a few types of lawn mowers to help with the process.

Push Mowers

Push mowers are also known as reel mowers. They are gasoline powered but do not always have to be self-propelled. These are the most popular type of lawn mower for homebuyers who are budget conscious. Most of the time, people who have flat yards and do not need to lug clippings around are best suited to purchase this type of mower.

Gas Push Mowers

cub cadet mower

These mowers are the most popular types of push mower out there. They are rather basic in function. They are best fit for yards that are up to ½ acre in size, so it can handle larger tracts of land than what most people realize. At the same time, it is not restricted by a battery's life, no more than it relies on a power cord. Therefore, it is very different than electric mowers in what it can do. While most models are pull-cord or crank start, there are also options that include electronic start. In order to keep this type of mower running smoothly, the manufacturer's guide should be followed closely on how to fuel it and what to do for maintenance. There are a few brands that are rather popular for gas mower models. Craftsmen makes their Cub Cadet series to provide impressive mowing and mulching results. Most of these models are available at a decent price, too, so they are great for people on a budget. Ariens also makes a model called the Razor that is rather popular. Like the Cub Cadet, this model is able to create mulch as well, and it also has a bag attachment.

Self-Propelled Mowers

Honda Mower

People with larger yards or yards that are hilly in nature should look into purchasing a self-propelling mower. Even for smaller, flat yards, this model is great for anyone who simply wants to put less work into mowing. There are three different types. First, there is the front-wheel drive, which is great for level terrain and is easy to turn and flip upside down when working on the machine. The rear-wheel drive type is great for providing more traction on hilly terrain. The drive system can be disengaged for flatter terrain to run similar to a front-wheel drive model. Lastly, there is the all-wheel drive model, which works as an option in between the front-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive models.

A few companies make great self-propelled mowers. Honda might be known for making automobiles, but they make some pretty awesome self-propelled mowers as well. They are easy to maneuver, start, and store. It is also smaller than most of its competitors, therefore making it more lightweight. Toro's Recycler is another great option. It has the option of bagging clippings as well. Plus, the handle collapses and folds flat, so the mower can be stored in an upright position that saves space.

Key Features

There are many key features to warrant using a push mower. First and foremost, they have plenty of amperage in comparison to the power that corded models put out. They pull plenty of engine torque (the ratio of foot to pounds) to keep the mower's cutting blades spinning at a high rate. Plus, since there is not a prime engine in place, the mower starts easily and quicker than other types. 

Riding Mowers

riding mower

People who have large lawns or who want to put relatively little work into mowing their grass should look towards purchasing a riding mower. In this case, the operator usually sits in a seat and controls the mower from that location, allowing them to literally ride the machine. Many of these models use horizontal blades, which works similarly to push mowers, making people more familiar with how they operate. In many cases, they have variable transmission to help with controlling either level or hilly terrain.

Different Transmissions

In the past, gear drive transmissions were the only type of option available on riding mowers. Today, there are several types. One of the most common options is the manual. It works like a car clutch to propel the mower along at different transmission settings. Likewise, an automatic mower acts as an automatic engine does in a car. The gears change on their own, as needed, according to the terrain and speed being traveled. The final option is the hydrostatic transmission. These have been on the market for some time. They make use of a variable displacement pump that drives a fixed displacement motor. There is plenty of control over the speed and there are plenty of directions to travel in as it can change with ease from one direction to another. These directional changes are usually made with a hand or foot motion.

Lawn Tractors

lawn tractor

One type of riding mower is the lawn tractor. Many people use this term synonymously with riding mowers, but they are a bit different. A lawn tractor's cutting deck is located under the front of the vehicle whereas riding mowers have their cutting deck located in a mid-mounted fashion. Instead of having a steering wheel like riding mowers, lawn tractors have controllable arms on either side of the driver's seat. These features make maneuverability extremely easy for lawn tractors compared to riding mowers. Lawn tractors have an easier time cutting corners and areas with shrubs and trees.

Zero Turn Radius Mowers

zero turn mower

Many types of lawn tractors and riding mowers can act on a zero turn radius. In other words, these machines can literally turn on a dime. Hydraulic speed control of each drive wheel is the most common way to achieve this zero turn effect. Usually, this takes place because the mower operates on four wheels that can swivel in sharp turn motions.


There are plenty of things to consider when purchasing a lawn mower. These items above are only a few options from a long list of choices. All of the items in this Lawn Mower Shopping Guide are exactly the right place to start on the journey to finding the right lawn mower for the needs of any yard.