Having a rolling lawn or a hilly landscape can be a beautiful thing, until it comes time to mow it. Then, you may find yourself cursing the fact that you ever bought this property. But, it doesn’t have to be like this. You can enjoy your beautiful landscape, and be able to mow it easily, when you have the right lawn mower. Not every lawn mower is meant for use on hills or a bumpy lawn.
There are certain factors that you need to take into consideration when buying a lawn mower for hills. There are several types of lawn mowers available, all with different capabilities. Their prices also tend to range. Some are relatively affordable, while others can set you back a few thousand dollars.
We are going to take a look at how you can be certain to buy the best lawn mower for hills, and give you our hand-picked top 3 favorite lawn mowers for hilly terrain.
🥇 Best Gas Powered Lawn Mower For Hills
- Honda gcv160 160cc 4-cycle OHV engine powerful and easy starting
- 22-Inch, 3-in-1 steel mower deck that gives you the option to side discharge,...
- Auto walk self-propelled rear wheel drive system that let's you control the pace...
- Ball bearing wheels 8-inch front and 11-inch rear wheels that provides improved...
- 3-Position adjustable handle - just set the handle height to a level that's...
This machine has a proven track record. It has sufficient power to make short work of steep hills and inclines. I has a 4-cycle engine so it’s highly efficient and easy to start.
🥇 Best Riding Lawn Mower For Steep Hills
- FAST auto transmission for a maintenance...
- Ergonomic design with an adjustable high...
- Electric engagement of cutting blades,...
- Convenient fender mounted deck lever is...
- 3 year limited, 5 year frame/chassis and...
This is one of the few modestly prices riding mowers that performs outstanding on hills due to its very powerful motor. This is a premium riding lawn mower that will serve you well for many years.
🥇 Best Electric Lawn Mower For Hills
- Up to 70 minutes of run time with fully...
- Brushless motors are more reliable and...
- Smart Cut Load sensing technology
- 3-in-1 Mulch, rear bag, and side...
- 80V 5AH li-ion battery and rapid charger...
The greenworks pro 21-inch 80V is an incredibly powerful cordless lawn mower. When handling this machine, you quickly realize that gas powered is on its way out, and for good reason. This machine has all the benefits of gas power, but none of the drawbacks.
Table of contents
- The Winners
- Choosing a Lawn Mower for Hills
- How To Mow Steep Slopes
Choosing a Lawn Mower for Hills
There are some lawn mowers that are specifically designed for steep hills, but these are often much more expensive than the average home owner can afford. Instead, most people tend to opt for less expensive models that are not necessarily designed for hills, but have great hill-mowing capabilities, such as self-propelled lawn mowers. You can find many high-quality self-propelled models priced below $1,000, making them a lot more budget-friendly, and they can be used on all types of lawns, including hills and bumps.
Other types of mowers like corded electric models or cordless mowers are usually not the best choices for hills, as their wheels aren’t powered. As a result you will be the one pushing the full weight of the mower to the top of the hill which is quite a strenuous activity.
If you have decided on a self-propelled lawn mower for its ease of use, make sure that you choose a model that has rear-wheel or 4 wheel drive. This ensures that the machine is grounded, has lots of traction, and is still easy to maneuver. Also look for variable speed settings, so you can easily cut tall and thick grass evenly.
Which Lawn Mower Is Best For Hills?
There is a significant variety of lawn mowers out there on the market, but not all of them are appropriate for mowing hills. Even when it comes to considering the types that are good for mowing hills, it can still be difficult to ensure that you buy the one that is most appropriate to your specific situation.
While a riding lawn mower can give you adequate performance on a large terrain that has several hills, a lawn mower that you walk behind, will provide you with better control. However, safety and performance are only some of the important factors to be taken into account here.
What Makes A Lawn Mower Good For Hills?
One of the initial features that you should always be on the lookout for would be to ensure you buy a rear wheel drive device. Sure, front wheel drive options can still help you mow hills, but only the less steep hills. As the hill gets steeper, you will likely start to notice that the performance of the lawn mower starts to become diminished.
This has to do with simple physics. As the incline gets steeper, the center of gravity will shift to the rear of the mower. This will cause the front wheels to lose traction, and shift all traction to the rear set of wheels. This is why it is so important to be looking for a rear wheel drive self propelled lawn mower when you need to mow steep hills.
When you consider buying a push lawn mower, whether electric or gas powered, you also need to know if you are going to be opting for a self-propelled option or not. A self-propelled lawn mower has a motor that helps you move the lawn mower with ease. As the wheels will turn on their own, the only thing the operator needs to focus on is steering in the right direction.
Self-propelled lawn mowers come in three options: front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive. Front-wheel drive options offer better control around bushes and other obstacles that you might face on flat terrain.
A rear-wheel drive, however, is often considered the more appropriate option for hills. The wheels at the back of the lawn mower will automatically be turned by the device, along with the built-in motor – this gives somewhat of better performance when trying to get the lawn mower to go uphill or lawn in locations where steep inclines are present.
It is also important to take into account the motor that is fitted in the lawn mower. When you choose a lawn mower with a stronger motor, it means the motor will be more capable of helping you push the lawn mower up a hill, and give you more control when coming down the hill. The power of the motor especially becomes an important factor when you are mowing tall grass, wet grass, or rough terrain.
You might also want to try and avoid a zero-turn lawn mower, if possible. These lawn mowers use castors for their front wheels, and the entire device is powered and steered through the rear wheels. The castor wheels in front mean you will have less traction when you take the lawn mower up a hill.
When the slope is steep, you might also not have adequate control over steering, due to the specific steering level system utilized by a zero-turn lawn mower. This can increase your risk of slipping or the lawn mower from rolling over on the hill.
Gas Powered, Electric Or Riding Mower?
The most preferred option among most people who have cut the grass on hills with different types of lawn mowers before is usually a self-propelled option. This often includes a gas powered option, but nowadays there are a couple of battery powered lawn mowers that are self-propelled as well.
Riding lawn mowers are sometimes preferred, but these are generally considered to be less safe than walk behind lawn mowers. If anything goes wrong with the riding lawn mower, then you might not be as safe as you would be compared to a situation where something goes wrong with a walk behind lawn mower, for example.
When choosing which type of lawn mower is most ideal for your terrain, you need to consider how steep your hill is. You also have to take into account the landscape itself. Are there obstacles? Is the hill even in a diagonal direction, or are there many slopes, holes, and other areas that could make the job harder.
Perhaps a more significant consideration is the size of your yard. Do you have less than half an acre to mow, go with a self propelled walk behind mower, either gas or battery powered. If your yard is larger than half an acre, I would suggest going for a riding lawn mower. Keep in mind you will have to be mowing the lawn every week or two, and you want to keep it a low stress activity.
Best Self Propelled Lawn Mower For Hills
As self-propelled lawn mowers are usually the preferred option amongst most people due to the ability to reduce the risk of a rollover, as well as the fact that they cost much less than riding lawn mowers, we decided to start by looking at the best self-propelled lawn mower for hills.
There are quite a lot of options out there that you will have to filter through if you are looking for one of these tools, and not all of them will be appropriate for mowing a hill. Let’s take a look at one that we have found to be perfect for this type of task.
- Honda gcv160 160cc 4-cycle OHV engine powerful and easy starting
- 22-Inch, 3-in-1 steel mower deck that gives you the option to side discharge, mulch or bag your grass
- Auto walk self-propelled rear wheel drive system that let's you control the pace of your mowing
- Ball bearing wheels 8-inch front and 11-inch rear wheels that provides improved maneuverability in all types of grass
- 3-Position adjustable handle - just set the handle height to a level that's comfortable for you
While there are many options out there, we find that Husqvarna 961450023 HU700H Honda 160cc 3-in-1 Rear Wheel Drive Hi-Wheel Mower the most ideal for hills. One of the main reasons why we chose this particular model is because it is a rear wheel option – front wheel mowers tend to be inappropriate for mowing hills.
This product comes with a Honda GCV160 160cc 4-cycle engine that is very powerful, considering this is a lawn mower, and it is also much easier to start than some of the competing models that you are going to find.
You have three options to choose from when it comes to expelling the cut grass. This includes discharging through the side, bagging the grass through the attachment that comes with the lawnmower, or mulching the grass.
The wheels offer ball bearing features, with the front wheels measuring in at eight inches each and the rear wheels at 11 inches. This makes the Husqvarna 961450023 HU700H Honda 160cc a more convenient option if you are looking to mow a variety of grass types and lengths. You will also be able to easily adjust the height of the lawn mower in order to make the device more appropriate for the desired length you are aiming for on the hill that you are mowing.
- Plenty of power and traction to make it up steep inclines.
- Efficient, clean 4-cycle engine.
- Powered by a 163cc Briggs & Stratton Engine
- Equipped with a 21-Inch TriAction cutting system with integrated premium deck wash
- Designed with a single-lever variable speed drive control with four top speed settings for individualized comfort and control
- Comes with a 3-in-1 side discharge capabilities, mulch or rear bag - with a 1.9 bushel capacity bag included
- Designed with 8 x 8-inch high performance wheels and an adjustable ergomatic handle for added ease while operating
The Troy-Bilt TB330 is a self-propelled lawn mower that is ideal for hilly or bumpy properties. It is powered by a Briggs & Stratton 163cc OHV 725ex engine, and it has the popular ReadyStart technology so it is easy to start. Mow your entire lawn in just one pass, thanks to the TriAction cutting system, which gives you a clean and even cut every time. It features eight-inch rear wheels for easy maneuverability, even on bumpy or hilly land.
- Three Options – This is another mower that lets you bag, side discharge (with a 1.9-bushel grass catcher), or mulch the lawn clippings, making your work a whole lot easier.
- Adjustable Handle – This lawn mower has an adjustable, ergonomic handle that makes it even easier to operate.
- Warranty – This mower comes with a limited, three-year warranty, backed by a name that you know and trust.
- Construction – Some users have reported that various parts of this lawn mower have either broken, or have fallen off completely.
Best Riding Lawn Mower For Steep Hills
If you have more than half an acre to mow and you prefer a riding lawn mower instead of one that you will have to walk behind, then know that not all of the riding models out there are good for hills. If you choose the wrong model, then it may not be the safest option for mowing uphill and downhill.
In fact, without the right power features, the lawn mower may not even reach the top of the hill. Let’s see what is the best riding lawn mower for steep hills, according to our research.
One of the most important considerations in this decision is the power of the motor. Lots of riding mowers are simply not powerful enough to get up the hills and spinning the mower blades round effectively at the same time.
- FAST auto transmission for a maintenance free operation
- Ergonomic design with an adjustable high back seat with arm rests and comfortable grip steering wheel
- Electric engagement of cutting blades, simply pull the switch
- Convenient fender mounted deck lever is spring assisted for easy operation
- 3 year limited, 5 year frame/chassis and front axle consumer warranty
We found the Husqvarna 960450057 GTH52XLS 24V Hydro Pedal Tractor Mower to be the most ideal option if you are planning to mow steep hills. This model comes with a powerful 160cc Honda motor to help making pushing it up the hill faster, while the rear-wheel drive function also gives you better control over the device.
The auto transmission system means you do not have to worry about manually adjusting transmission in order to comply with the specific area of lawn that you are mowing. The product is also relatively low-maintenance, both during and after use.
The overall design of the Husqvarna 960450057 GTH52XLS 24V Hydro Pedal Tractor Mower is attractive, but yet very functional. The high seat at the back of the riding lawn mower gives you a comfortable position to sit down while you are mowing the lawn. The steering wheel also features a comfort grip cover in order to improve the overall handling of the lawn mower.
The blade system is handled with an electrical component, which means there is no need for additional products or gasses in order to cut the lawn. You simply pull on the appropriate switch in order to activate the blades and initiate the cutting process.
- Very powerful motor
- Premium quality
Best Electric Lawn Mower For Hills
An electric lawnmower is ideal if you have a small yard with a few steep hills to mow, but would like to avoid the use of gas. We looked at quite a large number of these products and found that there are a significant number of options that may not be appropriate for mowing hills.
Most cordless electric lawn mowers are not self propelled. This functionality is vital when mowing hills, for obvious reasons. There are a number of suitable mowers that fit this category. We did, however, find one that stood out when it comes to considering the best electric lawn mower for hills.
- Up to 70 minutes of run time with fully charged 5.0AH Battery, battery and charger included
- Brushless motors are more reliable and delivers gas equivalent performance to a 160cc gas engine
- Smart Cut Load sensing technology
- 3-in-1 Mulch, rear bag, and side discharge
- 80V 5AH li-ion battery and rapid charger included, compatible battery and charger models GBA80200, GBA80400 and GCH8040
In our comparison of 9 popular battery powered lawn mowers, this model was the winner.
The Greenworks PRO 21-Inch 80V Self-Propelled Cordless Lawn Mower is a very easy to use device that comes with a range of convenient features to make your task of mowing the lawn, whether on an even terrain or on a hill, effortless and much faster.
The lawn mower comes included with a 5.0 AH battery, providing you appropriate battery life to continue mowing the lawn for as long as 70 minutes at a time. You also get a charger included, which is used to charge the battery. The long period of operation ensures you can continue mowing the lawn without having to worry about the battery running out of power while you are in the middle of the process.
The brushless motors that are fitted in the Greenworks PRO 21-Inch 80V Self-Propelled Cordless Lawn Mower start easily and deliver power and performance that is very similar to what you would expect from a gas self-propelled lawn mower.
You are able to select between three options in terms of ejecting the grass after cutting. These options include mulching, side discharge, and, of course, expelling the grass into a rear bag.
The Greenworks PRO 21-Inch 80V Self-Propelled Cordless Lawn Mower is available in various options. In addition to the default option, you can also choose to buy the lawnmower with other types of batteries, as well as without the charger.
- One of the best battery powered lawn mowers on the market
- Outstanding performance
- Long battery life
How To Mow Steep Slopes
Before you start a lawn mower, you should do some initial investigation and planning. Know exactly how you will be mowing the lawn on that slope. This way, you will have a much lower risk of running into safety hazards during the entire operation.
The specific type of lawn mower you choose will ultimately tell you how you are going to be mowing the hill. With a riding lawn mower, for example, you may wish to avoid tipping over by going uphill and downhill while mowing the grass. If you choose a self-propelled lawn mower, on the other hand, then going sideways can be an easier and more appropriate option, since you won’t have to push the lawn mower up and down the hill constantly.
It is always important to take the safety of your mowing operation into account – more than 250,000 people in the United States alone are treated for an injury that they suffered while mowing each and every year.
How To Mow Hills With A Zero Turn Mower
Zero turn lawn mowers are larger than standard options and are most appropriate for properties that have an exceptionally large area of grass that needs to be cut. Generally, a zero turn mower is not considered the most ideal option for steep hills and slopes.It is not impossible to mow steep hills with a zero turn lawn mower though. There are just a few things you have to always be aware of.
Ensure that the tires are still in good shape and firm before you do any mowing. Be sure to check the treading of the tires. A lack of tread on the back tires of a zero turn lawn mower will give you less traction and make slipping more likely to happen. In terms of tires, it is always a better idea to opt for a wider set of tires on the rear side of the mower. This way, the tires that are doing all the steering will have better traction on the ground.
Always mow up and down the hill. Never mow the incline sideways. If the incline gets very steep, mowing uphill might become dangerous, as there will be the risk of flipping over. In this case you might want to reverse up the hill, and drive forwards down the steep hill.
It is important you are gentle on the controls. If you pull the sticks too abruptly, the center of gravity will shift too quick, and can cause the zero turn mower to flip in extreme cases. In less extreme cases, it will hurt your lawn as the wheels will spin and skid, tearing up your lawn. Do not make any kind of sharp turns while you have the zero turn mower on the hill.
Make sure you only mow when the grass on the hill is dry. Avoid trying to mow wet grass, as this may cause the machine to slip and tear up your lawn.
When using a zero turn lawn mower on a hill, it is important to be in control of the speed. Sure, these devices can move rather quickly, but on a hill, you want to limit your speed to about 5 mph. This way, you will have much better traction, and the grass will be trimmed effectively the first time around.
Lastly, make sure you always have the rollbar properly installed and pointing up! In the extreme case of the mower flipping, this will protect you from bodily harm. I cannot stress how important this is.
How To Mow Hills With A Lawn Tractor
When you decide to mow a hill using a lawn tractor, understand that this type of product comes with a risk of tipping while you are moving around on the hill. This is because the center of gravity on these machines is quite a bit higher than with other types of mowers.
With a lawn tractor, ensure that there are no hazards in your way on the lawn. Try to limit the number of attachments you add to the tractor as well. Another good tip would be to mow the lawn on the hill upward and downward, instead of sideways, as this helps to reduce the risk of tipping the tractor.
It is also important that you move the lawn tractor slowly when you decide to use it for mowing a hill. Going fast can lead to a loss of control, while a slow speed will provide a steadier performance. Also be sure not to suddenly change the speed at which you are going while you are on the hill, as this is another reason for a lawn tractor tipping over.
If you have a large yard with hills, or the terrain is bumpy, you need a lawn mower that can handle such terrain. The above-three lawn mowers are all ideal for hilly and bumpy terrain, and they are easy to use and maintain. These self-propelled mowers are made by some of the most trusted brands in the world, and you can be sure that no matter which you choose, you will be getting a high quality product that is going to last for many years to come.
After reading about these lawn mowers, you can see that you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to get a quality mower that works great on hills. These are all available for less than $1,000, and they are all excellent options for most yards. While there are a few customer complaints about each, this is nothing unusual. There is not a product in the world without its little quirks. All in all, we feel that these are some of the best lawn mowers for hills that aren’t going to cost a fortune.
Last update on 2019-09-16 / affiliate links / image and description from Amazon