Lawn mowers have been used to maintain lawns for more than one hundred and fifty years. Over the years, the invention has seen numerous modifications that have made it much easier to use than the original version. In this article, we are going to help you understand the various lawn mower types to help you better select one that is best suited for your yard.
Table of contents
- Walk-Behind Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
- Walk-Behind Push Mower
- Riding Lawn Mowers
- Rough-Cut Mowers
- Other Types Of Lawn Mowers
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Walk-Behind Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
This type of lawn mower is one that will drive itself. The person mowing the lawn has to work to both guide and steer the mower but doesn’t have to push it. Thanks to a powerful motor built into the lawn mower, it will actually propel itself around the yard.
These mowers are often a little more expensive due to the heavy-duty motor and the mechanisms used to create them. They also tend to require more regular maintenance; however, for many people, they are the better option because they are significantly easier to use.
In general, walk-behind self-propelled lawn mowers are a great option for homeowners who have medium-size yards and who don’t have the strength to push the mower on their own as lawn mowers can tend to be very heavy. Because they propel themselves, they are great on both flat and hilly lawns.
Gas-powered self-propelled lawn mowers are some of the most popular ones on the market. They require the user to regularly fill the tank with gasoline or the lawn mower will not work correctly and may even stop working halfway through mowing the lawn. They generally have four-stroke engines in them that are very powerful and range from four to seven horsepower.
The engines often require a manual pull crank in order to start the lawn mower, although there are some that have an electric button to push start the mower instead. They usually have a throttle control that is located on the handlebar that allows the user to control the speed of the engine.
These self-propelled lawn mowers are a great option for homeowners who need more power cutting their lawns and who need to be able to easily go for longer distances. They do, however, require regular maintenance and tend to produce a lot of pollution.
Read more: Best Self Propelled Lawn Mower
These lawn mowers are not nearly as noisy as gas-powered self-propelled lawn mowers and are much lighter. They do require maintenance before each time they can be used as the battery has to be fully charged before the lawn mower will operate. While batteries vary, it’s very common for a battery to last for around an hour before needing to be charged again.
Proper battery maintenance will extend the life of the battery in a new electric mower and will prevent it from failing. Because of the shorter battery life on these lawn mowers as well as the fact that they will simply not have the same power as gas-powered self-propelled lawn mowers do, they are best suited to smaller yards that don’t have very thick or rough grass.
Read more: Best Battery Powered Lawn Mowers
Walk-Behind Push Mower
This lawn mower type is the most popularly used by people since they are easily available across the globe. They come with either a rotary or a reel feature for the blades. They can also come with either gas or electric-powered motors. These machines are going to be the most cost efficient option you can buy. In addition to that they are very easy to handle.
Push mowers get their power primarily from the person using them. While they do have engines that vary in size and power, most of the power in a push mower is dedicated to mowing the grass. The person who is mowing the lawn needs to be strong enough to be able to move the mower around so that the lawn can be cut.
While they tend to vary in weight, between 60 and 70 pounds is fairly average for a walk-behind push mower. It’s a good idea to check a mower’s weight before purchasing it to make sure that you will be able to easily push the mower.
Due to how much more work you have to put into using this type of mower, they are a great option for stronger individuals who aren’t afraid of the workout. They are also generally only used on smaller lawns that don’t have a lot of hills as they can be difficult to push up a hill and also to control when coming back down.
They can be tiring to use on big lawns due to all the walking and pushing required. Most of them feature a rather narrow mowing deck which means you will have to do a lot of walking on big lawns.
Gas-Powered Push Mower
Gas powered push mowers offer a lot of power when mowing the lawn but can be very difficult to handle and to maneuver. This is because they are very heavy due to the engine. While some people can use them without a lot of problems, they are not the best option in yards that have many obstacles to move around.
These lawn mowers require the same maintenance and care as gas-powered self-propelled mowers do but can be harder to use due to the fact that they need to be pushed by the person mowing. For this reason, they are good for small yards that are flat without any inclines and are best used by a person who is very strong and will be able to handle moving the mower.
Read more: Best Gas Powered Lawn Mowers
Battery-Powered Push Mower
While battery-powered push mowers are a little more difficult to use than self-propelled options, they are not nearly as heavy as gas-powered lawn mowers are, which makes them a better choice for people who don’t have the strength to handle a gas-powered lawn mower. They do require regular care and maintenance to keep the battery charged and in good condition.
One thing to consider when shopping for this type of lawn mower is how long the battery will last before needing to be replaced. All batteries will have to be replaced at some point but to avoid the extra associated costs of having this type of mower, it’s best to make sure that the battery is durable and designed to last for a very long time.
Because this lawn mower has to be pushed around the yard, it’s not an ideal option for homeowners who have very large yards or ones with lots of hills. While they are easy to use on flat surfaces, they can be very dangerous to use on hilly areas.
Read more: Best Battery Powered Lawn Mowers
Corded Electric Push Mower
Corded mowers have to be plugged in while they are in use, which can add a certain difficulty to mowing the lawn as it’s important to not mow over the cord. One major advantage of this type of lawn mower is that it doesn’t require all the care and maintenance that gas-powered and battery-powered lawn mowers do.
Since these lawn mowers just need to be plugged in during use, there isn’t any worry about the battery not being fully charged or running out of gasoline while mowing. Of course, because they are attached at all times to a cord, users have to be creative in using them.
These mowers are a good option for homeowners who have very small yards to maintain as they will only be able to be used as far away from the home as the cord will stretch.
Reel Lawn Mowers
Also known as “cylinder lawn mowers”, reel lawn mowers are a very environmentally friendly option for mowing a lawn. Traditionally, they don’t have an engine and they don’t require gas, electricity, or oil, making them almost perfectly quiet. They run on the power of the person who is using them. However, there are some gas-powered options that are available as well.
One main benefit of this type of mower is that they do not rip the grass the way that other lawn mowers do; instead, they cut the blades, which results in a very healthy and neat appearance. Since they don’t generally cut as low as other types of lawn mowers and since the height on the mower isn’t always adjustable, they usually require homeowners to mow twice a week.
They are a wonderful, light option for homeowners who have smaller yards and don’t mind clippings being left on their lawns. Unlike other lawn mowers that can have bags, these will leave clippings behind them, which not everyone finds ideal.
Reel lawn mowers are not suitable for lawns with tall weeds .These type of mowers tend to roll over rather than cut the weeds. They are also not very well suited for use on uneven lawns.
Hover Lawn Mowers
These lawn mowers actually produce a cushion of air underneath them and then ride on top of that. They look as if they are defying gravity and are easily moved from side to side as well as forward and back. Thanks to how easily they can be moved, they are great in tight spots that could otherwise be difficult to mow.
They use an impeller that is located above the blades to push air down, which lifts up the mower. Since they need to be lifted up, they are significantly lighter than other mowers. They are a great option for homeowners who have steep slopes, high-weeded areas, and waterfront areas to be mowed.
However, they have their drawbacks as well. The main disadvantage of hover lawn mowers is their ineffectiveness when used on uneven lawns or those that feature rough terrain. The air cushion can push down grass, limiting the amount that is cut by the blades. The result can be an uneven lawn with some areas not being cut at all.
They are quite hard to use on edges, since the wide gaps may affect the air cushion created. Also keep in mind that they have no wheels, so you’ll have to drag or carry them from the shed to the lawn.
Riding Lawn Mowers
Riding lawn mowers take a lot of the hard work out of mowing a lawn and allow the person who is mowing to sit and relax during this chore. They are significantly bigger than other types of lawn mowers and generally cost more both to buy and to maintain.
Even though they are more expensive, riding lawn mowers are a great choice for many homeowners who are looking to decrease the amount of time they spend on yard work. They are a great option for homeowners who have very large lawns to cut and can decrease the amount of time spent mowing. However, not all riding lawn mowers are a great choice on hills and can actually be dangerous.
The ride-on lawn mower can be used on large lawns and is more effective in cutting tall weeds and grass than other types of lawn mowers. They do all this without the operator having to break a sweat, which makes for a much more enjoyable experience, every time.
Most of them run on gas-powered engines. Electric kinds are also available. However, they are costly and rather scarce in comparison to the gas powered models.
Zero-Turn Lawn Mower
This type of lawn mower is a little newer to some people but has a number of advantages over traditional tractor lawn mowers. They have very comfortable seats and the rider sits low to the ground. One of the main draws of this type of riding lawn mower is that they are engineered specifically to be easily maneuvered around tight turns and obstacles.
They do not have a steering wheel; rather, they have two bars that the person uses to control the mower. While it can take some time getting used to driving this type of lawn mower, they are one of the best options for quickly mowing a yard and getting close enough to the landscaping so that there aren’t large areas of uncut grass left behind.
Zero-turn lawn mowers are great for mowing in a hurry, getting close to obstacles, and taking care of a large yard in a short period of time. However, they don’t offer stability on hills and can be dangerous on slopes more than 15 degrees.
Read more: Best Zero Turn Lawn Mower
Tractor Lawn Mower
Tractor lawn mowers are probably the most popular type of riding lawn mowers and have been around for a very long time. They have steering wheels to make using the lawn mower as easy as possible for the rider and are designed with comfort and maneuverability in mind.
One thing to remember about tractor riding lawn mowers is that they do not offer the precision of other types of mowers. They do have a learn curve and take a little time to best learn how to control the mower so that you can keep the yard looking its best. However, they generally do a great job keeping the yard looking its best.
These mowers are ideal for someone who is unwilling or unable to use a walk-behind lawn mower and who has a larger yard. They can be dangerous to use on hills in the yard.
Articulating Lawn Mower
Articulating lawn mowers are a great option for homeowners who are interested in a zero-turn mower but have heard how using it incorrectly can easily tear up the lawn and want something that will be a little more gentle on the grass. These mowers have a front-mounted cutting deck that allows for complete mowing control.
It’s easy for the person mowing to see where he or she is going and, thanks to the large and flat deck in front, it’s possible to get under branches and other obstacles. They have the best maneuverability of any lawn mower on the market and have easy steering.
Much the same as zero turn mowers, articulating lawn mowers are great for use in large lawns and since they can be used with a number of different attachments, they can do more than mow your lawn. They are ideal for mowing large areas in a hurry and for flat lawns with little slope.
Equipped with a heavier blade that is very sturdy and designed to cut through dense material without slowing down, rough-cut mowers can even cut through small trees without problems. They are made from durable, strong materials and generally are very reinforced so that there aren’t problems with the chassis being damaged during use.
While these mowers do a great job removing a lot of thick and rough grass from large areas in a hurry, they are not going to provide the same polished look as other lawn mowers will. However, they are often the only option for people who have very thick brush that they need to cut through as they are the only option that is tough enough to handle the job.
While they are the best option for cutting through dense brush, they are not a good option for use on regular lawns. Due to their size, weight, and power, they will easily tear up normal grass.
Sickle Bar Mower
This type of mower has a long bar where there are mounted fingers and guard plates. Inside the bar, there is a channel with a reciprocating sickle that has very sharp triangular blades. The bar is pulled back and forth inside the channel at very high speeds. Any grass or plant matter that ends up between the finger plates and the sickles will be cut.
There is a bar that rides along the ground that can be tilted to ensure that the grass is cut at the right height. All cut grass is guided away from uncut grass and forms a swath in the grass where the mower will then travel on its next pass. These are best used in cutting tall grass or hay in large fields.
Flail mowers are a special type of rough-cut mower that are a great option for cutting through heavy scrub and brush that may ruin a regular lawn mower. While there are some smaller options that are self-powered, most attach to the back of tractors. When the flail on the mower hits an immovable object, it will simply bounce off of it while other mowers will throw the object.
They are the best option for cutting tall grass in areas where it comes in contact with a lot of loose debris, such as rocks along the sides of roads. Since these mowers won’t throw objects that they come in contact with, they are very safe to use. This ensures that small rocks and other items don’t become projectiles, which can be dangerous and cause personal harm.
Brush Hog Mower
This is a type of rotary mower that attaches via a three-point hitch to the back of a tractor. The blades are not rigid as are the blades on a traditional lawn mower but are hinged, which allows them to move if they hit stumps or rocks. While most lawn mowers have sharp blades, brush hog mowers have dull blades that will allow them to easily work through dense growth.
The blades can reach more than 150 miles per hour, which will allow them to easily cut through not only grass and weeds but also small trees and saplings. These mowers are the best choice for people who need to clear large fields but who aren’t worried about a nice, smooth cut as they would be if cutting grass on a lawn.
Other Types Of Lawn Mowers
Robotic Lawn Mower
Robotic mowers aren’t as popular as other types of lawn mowers but are becoming a more common sight, thanks to how easy they make maintaining your lawn. Instead of sweating it out while mowing the grass at your home, you can relax and watch as a small robot does the work for you.
These lawn mowers do take a little more setup time than traditional types of mowers do. In order for them to work correctly, the owner has to take time to install a boundary wire which will then provide the mower with an area that it can run and cut grass. While installing the wire and programming the motor can be tricky, the payoff may be worth it.
Robotic lawn mowers do not require any supervision to operate. You only have to switch it on and leave it to cut your grass. In fact, you don’t even have to switch it on yourself in most cases. The machine operates on a schedule which you program beforehand, so that it will mow the lawn automatically for you a few times per week or however often you prefer.
Because robot mowers are very quiet, they can be used at night without bothering the neighbors. They are a wonderful option for people who aren’t interested in mowing their lawns themselves and feel confident that they could set up the boundary wires without issues.
Remote Control Mowers
While not as common as other types of lawn mowers, remote control mowers are a great option for people who would otherwise be unsafe when mowing their lawns. These lawn mowers are very heavy-duty and area designed to be very productive and safe to use.
They generally are great climbers so they can handle steep slopes without tipping over, which could be dangerous. Additionally, they are a wonderful option to be used in locations such as near active train tracks where otherwise the person operating the mower would be putting himself or herself in danger.
While they are much larger and heavier than other types of lawn mowers, because they can be easily driven and controlled, it’s easy to load them into the back of a vehicle or onto a trailer. They can handle slopes up to 55 degrees without tipping, making them great for use in extreme locations with hills. Additionally, since they can be used in dangerous locations, they are perfect for owners who are unable to enter a mowing area due to safety concerns.
Tow-Behind Lawn Mowers
This type of lawn mower attaches to the back of a tractor or an ATV. They generally have a very large deck, which makes them great for mowing large areas of grass all at once. Since they are attached to tractors or ATVs, they can be used at high or low speeds without any problems.
Tow-behind lawn mowers tend to be much more durable and able to cut through rough grass and weeds than traditional self-propelled or walk-behind lawn mowers, which means that they are great for use in large and overgrown fields. However, users do have to have a tractor or ATV in order to use this type of lawn mower and it requires the same regular maintenance as other types.