Walk-Behind Lawn Mower Buyer's Guide

Walk-Behind Lawn Mower Buyer's Guide

How to Pick the Perfect Walk-Behind Lawn Mower

Jake, the Lawn Mower Expert
Lawn Mower Expert

Whether your lawn is a large expanse of turf or a lot the size of a postage stamp, you want to keep your grass neat, trimmed, and well maintained.

Lawns are not created equal. Neither are lawn mowers. No matter what size your lawn is, however, there's a walk-behind lawn mower to meet your needs.

Walk-behind lawn mowers come in three distinct styles:

  • Reel
  • Electric
  • Gas-powered

Choosing the perfect walk-behind mower is easy once you know which kind best suits your yard.

Reel Electric Gas
Reel Mower Electric Mower Gas-Powered Lawn Mower
Cutting Width: 14 - 20" 14 - 21" 21 - 61"
Cutting Height: 0.25 - 4" 0.62 - 4" 0.75 - 4.25"
Weight: 19 - 147 lbs. 30 - 80 lbs. 62 - 250 lbs.
0 - 140 CC 24 - 40 Volts 10 - 29 HP



Reel Lawn MowerReel Mowers

Some people think of a reel lawn mower as an antique tool, a relic seen only in movies and cartoons from the 1950s. We beg to differ.

Using a reel of blades that spins as you push, reel mowers avoid tearing the grass the way that rotary motor blades do. Instead, they trim grass with a fine cut the way that a pair of scissors would... if you could attach a set of wheels to a pair of scissors and push it across your entire lawn.

Today's reel mowers are available in two styles:

  • Manual reel mowers, which are lightweight, produce no fuel emissions, and require little maintenance beyond sharpening the blades
  • Powered reel mowers, which offer a reel's close cut but are powered by an engine or motor and often are self-propelled

Reel mowers can get jammed by twigs and debris, making them a less-than-ideal choice if your yard has lots of trees. However, manual reel mowers are ideal for smaller lawns or those who mow more frequently and aren't concerned with cutting long grass. Powered reel mowers often prove to be on par with (or even better than) other types of walk-behind mowers.

Learn More: How To Pick The Perfect Reel Lawn Mower


Electric Lawn MowerElectric Mowers

Electric mowers have become more popular as gas prices have continued to fluctuate. They're available in two styles: corded mowers and cordless or battery-powered mowers.

The benefits of electric mowers are appealing to lots of modern lawn care enthusiasts:

  • Less expensive than gas mowers
  • No fuel emissions
  • Quiet motor

You can't venture far from an electrical source with a corded electric mower. The limited amount of charge that a battery can hold also means that cordless electric mowers might not be the best choice for large lawns. 

However, if you're interested in a walk-behind mower that costs less than a gas mower and provides some power without burning through fuel or needing regular oil changes, an electric mower is an excellent choice.

Learn More: How To Pick The Perfect Electric Lawn Mower


Gas-Powered Lawn MowerGas-Powered Mowers

Walk-behind gas-powered mowers remain the most popular lawn mower option. You can find them in two styles: push mowers, which require effort from the user to move forward, and self-propelled mowers, which use a drive wheel to move forward so that a user simply guides the mower around the yard.

Gas-powered walk-behind mowers come with some drawbacks that the smart buyer should be aware of:

  • More expensive than electric or reel mowers
  • Create emissions when in use
  • Have noisy engines

So why are gas-powered mowers so popular? One simple reason: their power. Their engines allow them to cut thick grass with ease. The powered drive wheels on self-propelled mowers also make them the best choice for mowing hilly lawns with noticeable inclines.

If you have a mid-sized or large lawn with a lot of thick, overgrown grass to tame, or if you like the convenience of a drive wheel making your mower easier to push, your best bet in a walk-behind mower will be to go gas-powered.

Learn More: How To Pick The Perfect Gas-Powered Lawn Mower

Jake, the Lawn Mower Expert
Lawn Mower Expert
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