The 7 Best Lawn Mowers of 2022
By Corrie Pelc
If there’s one outdoor chore that universally everyone complains about, it’s mowing the lawn. Usually, the grievances stem from using a lawn mower that is loud, dirty, hard to push, and—especially back-in-the-day—hard to start and unreliable.
The good news is that lawn mowers have come a long way from your summers as a teen. Now lawn mowers are quieter and easier to both use and maintain, helping to make lawn mowing less of a complaint and more of a delight.
With so many lawn mower options available today, how do you know which is the right one for your lawn? We’ve put together what we hope will be a very informative and helpful guide in helping you pick a lawn mower for your needs.
Best Self-Propelled Lawn Mower: Toro Recycler 20332 22 Inch SmartStow Walk Behind Lawn MowerA mid-priced, solid lawn mower for those who want a gas-powered, self-propelled option for smaller lawns.
Best Push Lawn Mower: Troy-Bilt TB130 Gas Walk-Behind Push Mower with 3-in-1 TriAction Cutting SystemA push walk-behind, gas-powered lawn mower with a number of excellent features at a moderate price.
Best Ride-On Lawn Mower: RYOBI 48V Brushless 38 in. 75 Ah Battery Rear Engine Riding Lawn MowerA battery-powered ride-on lawn mower that quickly, quietly, and efficiently mows for up to two hours on one charge.
Best Electric Corded Lawn Mower: American Lawn Mower Company 50514 14-Inch Corded Electric MowerSmall lawn owners rejoice—this is an electric lawn mower that provides excellent maintenance for small lawns in an eco-friendly way.
Best Battery-Operated Lawn Mower: EGO Power+ LM2102SP 21 Inch 56V Cordless Self-Propelled MowerAn eco-friendly self-propelled lawn mower built for all types of weather.
Best Gas-Powered Lawn Mower: Honda HRX217VKA 21 in. NeXite 4-in-1 Gas Walk-Behind Lawn MowerA highly-ranked gas-powered lawn mower with lots of benefits for ease of use.
Best Robotic Lawn Mower: Husqvarna 967622505 Automower 430X Robotic Lawn MowerA great option for those who are interested in spending money on the newest option in the world of lawn mowers.
How Do Lawn Mowers Work?
The main mechanism of any lawn mower is the blade—that's what cuts the grass. In today's modern lawn mowers, the blade is housed in a casing called the mower deck, which is normally made of steel or some other super-tough material. As the blade—or blades—spins and cuts the grass, the deck keeps the grass and anything else on the lawn from flying around and hitting the person using the lawn mower or anything else in the general vicinity.
On top of the mower deck and blade is the body of the lawn mower, which will either need to be pushed or guided by using a handle or steered if it's a ride-on lawn mower. Additionally, each lawn mower will have a way to get rid of grass clippings, either by depositing them into an attached bag or by gently dispersing them back onto the lawn, creating a convenient mulch cover.
Generally, lawn mowers are powered in one of two ways—gas or electric. For gas lawn mowers, you'll need to take into account the oil consumption as well as the gas usage. Electric mowers can either be corded or cordless, meaning they're powered by a rechargeable battery.
Test Factors We Considered in Picking the Best Lawn Mowers
To help you figure out the best lawn mower for your particular lawn, each lawn mower on our list has been evaluated and ranked for these main factors:
- Price: Thankfully there are great lawn mowers out there for all budgets. Keep in mind, some of the pricier mowers are known to withstand more usage, so consider that when determining your investment.
- Mower Type: Is the lawn mower a walk-behind—push or self-propelled—or ride-on? If you have a lot of lawn to mow, or you're not as spry as you once were, this factor will be very relevant in your decision-making.
- Power Type: Is the lawn mower powered by gas, corded electric or cordless batteries? This will determine for how long and how far your mower can go.
- Engine Power: The more powerful the engine, the faster and more efficient the lawn mower.
- Mower Start: How the lawn mower starts—is it a pull-start, push button or something else? It may seem like a small factor to consider, but it will play into how convenient it is to start and stop the job, as well as how easy it is to pause or take breaks.
- Weight: How much the lawn mower weighs is important when you’re pushing it around your lawn.
- Mower Deck Size: The size of your lawn will help you determine the size cutting deck you need—generally the larger the lawn you have to mow, the larger the cutting deck you'll want. And the size of the blade inside the lawn mower will normally be the same size as the cutting deck, so a mower with a 48-inch cutting deck will have a 48-inch long blade.
- Lawn Cutting Heights: Most of the lawn mowers on our list offer various heights the mower deck can be set to, allowing for different heights of grass.
- Cutting Dispersal: As mentioned before, almost all of today’s lawn mowers offer at least two options for collecting grass clippings—bagging them or mulching them and dispersing them behind or to the side of the mower.
- Adjustable Handle: Does the lawn mower’s handle adjust for different heights? This will play into how comfortable your mower is to handle.
- Oil Change System: Does the lawn mower require oil changes, and if so, how easy are they to do? Mower upkeep can become more challenging if you have to weigh this factor into your workload.
We're ready to take a look at our top picks for lawn mowers for 2022!
Best Self-Propelled Lawn Mower: Toro Recycler 20332 22 Inch SmartStow Walk Behind Lawn Mower
If you're looking for a hassle-free, low-maintenance lawn mower, you'll definitely want to check out the Toro Recycler 20332 22 Inch SmartStow Personal Pace Gas Walk Behind Self Propelled Lawn Mower. Featuring a generous 22-inch steel mower deck and Toro's Recycler Cutting System, your yard will benefit from the nourishment provided by the ultra-fine clippings as the mower drops them back down onto the yard. You can also opt to bag your clippings and easily dispose of them with Toro's quick-connect bagging system. This mower features front-wheel drive and a variable speed control system that automatically senses and adjusts to your walking pace, and its 11-inch rear wheels means it's easy to navigate over rough terrain. The mower will never require an oil change—just top it off with oil as needed before each use. And the mower's handle is adjustable to two different heights and then folds away for easy storage.
- No oil changes ever needed
- Recycler Cutting System provides ultra-fine clippings to help nourish your yard
- Comfortable to use with adjustable handle heights and variable speed control
- Not a good pick for lawns larger than a 1/2 acre
Troy-Bilt TB130 Gas Walk-Behind Push Mower with 3-in-1 TriAction Cutting System
If a push walk-behind lawn mower is more your jam, the Troy-Bilt TB130 Gas Walk-Behind Push Mower with 3-in-1 TriAction Cutting System may be exactly what you're looking for. This mower's lower weight—only 60 pounds—and larger 11-inch rear wheels make it easy to push and navigate over your yard, no matter what gets in the way. Troy-Built's TriAction cutting system combines a rake bumper, specialized blade, and symmetrical 21-inch steel cutting deck to produce finely-mulched clippings that can either be dispersed back to the lawn from the back or side through the included mulch kit or collected in the mower's 1.9-bushel rear bag. Built in the USA, this Troy-Bilt push mower with 3-in-1 TriAction Cutting System offers six cutting options from 1.25 to 3.75 inches, and will never need an oil change thanks to Troy-Bilt's Check, Don't Change engine.
- TriAction cutting system provides finely-mulched clippings for a healthier lawn
- No oil changes needed
- 11-inch rear wheels make rough terrain easy to navigate
- Handle not adjustable
- Best for lawns of a 1/4 acre or less
Best Ride-On Lawn Mower: RYOBI 48V Brushless 38 in. 75 Ah Battery Rear Engine Riding Lawn Mower
If you're looking to quickly and quietly mow up to 2 acres, consider the RYOBI 48V Brushless 38 in. 75 Ah Battery Electric Rear Engine Riding Lawn Mower. Powered by 48V 75Ah batteries and two brushless motors, this zero-emission mower can mow for up to two hours—or approximately two acres of mowing—per battery charge. Equipped with a 38-inch cutting deck, the mower's dual blades can be adjusted up to 12 positions from 1.5 to 4.5 inches. Super quiet, this battery-powered ride-on mower also offers cruise control, LED headlights, and a USB port so you can charge your phone while mowing. This RYOBI riding lawn mower is charged between mows through a standard 120-volt outlet.
- Super quiet mowing
- Can mow for up to two hours on one battery charge
- Rather expensive
- Batteries require charging between mows
Best Electric Corded Lawn Mower: American Lawn Mower Company 50514 14-Inch Corded Electric Mower
If you like the idea of an electric lawn mower but don't want to have to wait for batteries to charge, a corded electric lawn mower may be the best option for you. With more than 1,770 ratings and 4.5 stars on Amazon, the American Lawn Mower Company 50514 14-Inch Corded Electric Mower starts with just the push of a button and can tackle tough mowing jobs for small lawns with a 14-inch steel blade that cuts at five different heights between 1 to 2.5 inches. This eco-friendly mower runs on an 11 Amp brushless motor that offers gas-like power and efficiently without any emissions, and at only 21 pounds, is easy to push and navigate around a small yard. The American Lawn Mower Company mower will mulch and disperse clippings or collect them in its 16-gallon grass bag that is fitted with an indicator that alerts you when it's time to empty it.
- Economically priced
- Very lightweight for easy control and navigation
- Push mower
- Corded power limits the distance you can go
- Rather small cutting deck
Best Battery-Operated Lawn Mower: EGO Power+ LM2102SP 21 Inch 56V Cordless Self-Propelled Mower
If you are looking for an eco-friendly lawn mower that can work even in inclement weather, then you'll want to consider the EGO Power+ LM2102SP 21 Inch 56V Cordless Electric Self-Propelled Mower. Powered by a 56V 7.5 Ah Lithium battery, this mower can mow for up to 60 minutes on a single charge and features a weather-resistant build and bright LED headlights so it can operate in all types of weather conditions. Its 21-inch cutting width offers six cutting heights and clippings are bagged, mulched or side dispersed. The mower's self-propelled function offers variable speeds between 0.9 to 3.1 MPH, so you can find a speed that matches your walking pace. The mower also folds up for compact vertical storage.
- Can run for up to 60 minutes on one battery charge
- Weather-resistant construction
- Offers variable speeds to match your walking pace
- Takes 60 minutes to recharge the battery
- Only suitable for smaller lawns
Best Gas-Powered Lawn Mower: Honda HRX217VKA 21 in. NeXite 4-in-1 Gas Walk-Behind Lawn Mower
With almost 1,200 reviews and 4.75 stars on Home Depot’s website, it's no surprise the Honda HRX217VKA 21 in. NeXite Variable Speed 4-in-1 Gas Walk-Behind is our top pick for the best gas-powered lawn mower. This self-propelled lawn mower features a GCV200 Honda engine and a 21-inch NeXite mower deck that is dent- and rust-proof and comes with a lifetime warranty. The deck houses a dual blade system with seven cutting height adjustments from 0.75 inches to 4 inches. The fuel-powered mower offers Honda's 4-in-1 Versamow System with Clip Director that can bag, mulch, discharge, or shred leaves without any additional tools or attachments. And for ease of use, Honda's Select Drive allows you to dial in the exact speed that matches your walking pace as you walk behind it from 0 to 4 MPH.
- Variable pace system matches your walking speed
- 4-in-1 system for bagging, mulching, discharge, and leaf shredding
- Large-capacity 2.5-bushel bag capacity
- Pull cord start
- Oil changes required
Best Robotic Lawn Mower: Husqvarna 967622505 Automower 430X Robotic Lawn Mower
Basically the Roomba equivalent of a lawn mower, the battery-powered Husqvarna 967622505 Automower 430X Robotic Lawn Mower can handle medium to large-sized lawns of up to 0.8 acres and can mow for up to 145 minutes on a single charge. When the battery runs out, the mower returns to its charging station to juice back up. The Husqvarna 967622505 Automower 430X Robotic Lawn Mower uses a patented GPS system to map out your lawn so it knows which areas have been covered so it can adjust its mowing pattern as needed. Through Automower Connect, the mower can be fully operated through a smartphone app—including setting the cutting height—or connected to smart home devices like Amazon Alexa and Google Home. And this robotic lawn mower can manage slopes of up to 45 percent thanks to its large, coarsely-treaded tires.
- Super quiet
- Intelligent mowing cycle keeps your lawn perfectly mowed at all times
- Batteries take about 65 minutes to recharge between mowings
- No bagging option
The History of the Lawn Mower
Lawn mowers have come a long way since the very first lawn mower was invented back in 1830 by an English mechanic named Edwin Beard Budding, which was based on the same cross-cutting machinery he worked on and repaired in textile mills at the time. This prototype of a reel lawn mower—which uses blades that spin vertically to cut the grass in a "scissoring action"—was followed by the first US patent for a reel lawn mower in 1868 by Amariah Hills of Connecticut.
In 1919, the world saw the first gas-powered lawn mower thanks to Colonel Edwin George of the United States. And although electric lawn mowers were first developed in the 1930s, consumers did not really take to them until much later.
How to Get the Most Out of Your Lawn Mower
Lawn mowers can be an investment, but the good news is that with a little know-how and some proper maintenance, they can last for many years. Here are a few tips on how to get the most out of your lawn mower:
- Read the Manual. As with any new piece of equipment, first and foremost always take the time to read the instruction manual accompanying your new mower so you can learn about all of its features to get the most out of it.
- Know Your Maintenance. Whether it's making sure the oil is topped off, the batteries are charged, or the mower is gassed up to go, make sure you know the proper maintenance procedures for your particular lawn mower and follow them.
- Stay Sharp. The blades are the most important part of the lawn mower, so keeping them sharp is vital as dull blades will not keep your lawn looking its best. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for sharpening the blades, and when in doubt, go to a professional.
- Keep it Clean. Clean your lawn mower after every use to remove any clippings that may clog the mower, and to keep it from developing any rust on any of its metal parts. The instruction manual should include proper cleaning procedures for your particular model.
- Store it Properly. When you're done with your mower, store it in an area that will protect it from the elements, such as a shed or the garage. You may even want to consider a lawn mower cover if you'll be storing it for a long time during the winter season.
Do you have a lawn mower that you absolutely love? Tell us about it in the comments below!
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?