Commercial Lawn Mower vs Residential Lawn Mower

Just like any engine-powered garden tool, lawn mowers come in two types: those that can be used for commercial purposes and those for residential use. They may appear the same, but they come with different functionality levels. However, some homeowners who have very large lawns, or more than one property that needs regular mowing, may consider going for a commercial lawn mower.

Here is a comparison of some of the main differences between commercial lawn mowers and home use lawn mowers.

professional lawn mowing equipment

Definition of Commercial and Residential Lawn Mowers

Commercial lawn mowers, just as the name states, are used by companies that offer lawn maintenance services. They are built for regular use. They are used heavily day in, day out, up to 6 or 7 days a week.

Residential lawn mowers, on the other hand, are those that are used by homeowners. They come in smaller structures and feature fewer controls than the commercial lawn mowers. Generally these are only used a maximum of once a week during the growing season.

home use lawn mowers are cheaper

Differences between Commercial and Residential Lawn Mowers

Even though both of these lawn mower types are built to cut grass and maintain lawns, they feature some significant differences. They include:


Commercial zero turn lawn mowers are built to withstand heavy-duty use on a regular basis. Therefore, they come with higher quality engines, structures, and overall construction. The horsepower of their engines is also significantly higher.

These features make them ideal for use on significantly large fields, such as golf courses and sports fields. They can also be easily used on lawns with rough terrain that have tall grass and weeds, as well as rocks.

Home-use lawn mowers, on the other hand, come with simpler structures, construction, and low engine horsepower. This is because they are only used from time to time on only one lawn. In most cases, the lawn is usually fairly large at most.

Even though some mowers are designed to handle rough terrain, like zero turn mowers, they will start showing wear and tear signs sooner than those developed for commercial purposes.


This is among the most obvious differences between the two kinds of lawn mowers. Commercial lawn mowers tend to come with heftier price tags than residential lawn mowers. This is because commercial lawn mowers feature more complex features than those created for residential use.

In most cases, home-use lawn mowers can cost up to four hundred dollars, while commercial lawn mowers can go higher than one thousand dollars.

Even so, the price of the lawn mower will be determined by the manufacturer, the type, and the features that accompany the specified model.


Lawnmowers created for commercial are crafted to run for longer than those built for residential use. For this reason, their engines are much stronger and feature higher horsepower. Mostly, the engines featured in commercial lawn mowers do not resemble those that are in residential lawn mowers.

This does not mean that residential lawn mowers are bound to break down faster than the commercial ones. With proper maintenance, they could provide quality service for many years.

However, they are built with less endurance, since they are mostly used once or twice a week for only a few hours. This is a huge gap in comparison to a commercial lawn mower that is used all the days of the week and is expected to run for long hours.


Commercial lawn mowers tend to have more features than residential ones. Even those that also appear on home-use lawn mowers are made more complex on commercial lawn mowers.

Most of the commercial ones feature a grass collection system and complex mulching systems. Some of them may be self propelled which reduces the effort required to operate the machine. The features that are included in the machines are determinants of the price they retail at.

buying a commercial lawn mower as a home owner

When to Buy a Commercial Lawn Mower as a Home Owner

Even though commercial lawn mowers are created for use by lawn maintenance firms, some circumstances may call for homeowners to purchase them. Some of these reasons include:

If you are spending much time on your lawn: if your lawn demands maintenance a couple of days a week for more than one hour, then a commercial lawn mower may be the best choice for you.

Residential mowers are built for little use on the lawn (ideally less than an hour, not more than two days a week), and a lot of usages could wear them down much faster. Spending long hours on the lawn is especially common when summer is at its peak, so you may consider getting one during that time.

If you want a lawn mower with better features and higher quality parts: needless to say, commercial lawn mowers come with higher quality features than home-use lawn mowers. Therefore, commercial mowers demand less maintenance to be kept in peak condition for a much longer period.

If your lawn has rough terrain: hilly ground and difficult terrain can take its toll on residential lawn mowers. This is because they are not built for the difficulties of such landscapes. Therefore, they end up tiring the user during mowing. With the help of a commercial lawn mower, you can mow your lawn at a much faster pace without having to apply too much effort.

If you crave professional lawn maintenance: residential lawn mowers do a good job at maintaining short lawns, but they do not deliver a professional cut. Commercial lawn mowers, however, can provide better results according to your desire and even deliver a healthier looking lawn.

Ride-on lawn mowers are great for large lawns


In matters of quality, endurance, and features, commercial lawn mowers come out on top. However, if you are only bound to use your lawnmower once or twice a week for only a couple of hours, it beats the essence of paying so much money for one.

Therefore, a residential lawn mower will do. Keep in mind that substituting a residential lawn mower for commercial use will only break down the machine much faster as they are not built to endure the rigors of heavy-duty use.

One last tip: no matter what type of lawn mower you have, keeping the mower blades sharp will improve the cut and will make a huge difference. Perhaps try sharpening the blades before you decide to purchase a new mower.

3 thoughts on “Commercial Lawn Mower vs Residential Lawn Mower”

  1. how to tell before purchase if a mower is actually a commercial grade quality before purchase? after all, just because some idiot at Lowes claims it to be a commercial mower doesn’t mean the construction actually is commercial quality!

  2. But what if you find a brand and type of mower that’s about the same price as a residential mower of the same size cut? A Bradley 48″ dual pump hydro walk behind is around $3,400 delivered. A Husqvarna TS series garden tractor is around the same price, and it’s the lowest level 48″ with a transmission that’s not absolute junk according to reviews.

    • What you would get is usually a lover value machine in terms of features. You’d get a simpler machine, but perhaps higher quality. What’s the best choice for you all depends on the square footage to be mowed as well as the length of the mowing season in your particular area.

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