What every best Lawn Mowers has:
- Leaves lawn looking well-trimmed.
- Handles intuitively for easy pushing and steering.
- Offers brand reliability and a good warranty.
Consumer Reports field tests around 80 different lawn mowers, including push mowers, self-propelled mowers and robotic lawn mowers. Each are rated and ranked against similar models based upon how well they bag and mulch. Comfort, usability and handling are included in each mower's overall score.
This free-to-the-public article presents the highlights -- and lowlights -- from this year's lawnmower tests by Consumer Reports. Based on performance at a test lawn in Florida, top performing self-propelled and push mowers are named, including electric and gas models. The article also specifically calls out a handful of mowers that clearly disappoint.
Whether it's for the environment, the exercise or to fit your budget, if you want a people-powered reel-mower for your appropriately-sized lawn, this is an excellent resource. Recommendations are based on both research and testing. A top choice and two runners up are named. Wirecutter also covers self-propelled mowers, but that review is based on research rather than testing.
Daniel Jackson reports on a season's worth of mowing a 4,300 square-foot lawn with an assortment of mowers. Testing methodology is explained well, and a top choices include a self-propelled gas model, and electric push mower, and a manual reel mower.
Home Depot offers a wide variety of lawn mowers, including reel mowers, electric and gas push lawn mowers, self-propelled mowers and more. Individual models often draw considerable feedback, sometimes numbering in the hundreds or even thousands of reviews. Some reviews are drawn from manufacturer web sites, but many are from Home Depot users and unique to this site.
Lowe's also has a wide selection of reel, cordless electric, corded electric and gas push lawn mowers. Owners can rate and review lawn mowers here, and say whether or not they would recommend their mower to a friend. However, as is the case at Home Depot, some reviews originate at manufacturer web sites.
Roy Berendsohn goes "out in the backyard with the latest electric lawn mower offerings" from several manufacturers and provides capsule reviews. However, testing methodology is not explained, nor are test results shared in any depth. Elsewhere on the site, Berendsohn and Timothy Dahl provide capsule reviews of "The Best Lawnmowers for Any Sized Yard," but while evidence of hands-on experience with the mowers is clear in some cases, testing again is unexplained.
Mowers Direct is a large internet lawnmower retailer. Users can leave reviews and, while these vary greatly in depth and helpfulness, many are relatively comprehensive including feedback after extended use -- sometimes spanning several years. In addition, Jose Castellanos, the mower product expert at Mowers Direct, provides his own feedback on mowers including a letter grade (though we didn't spot any truly awful grades) and specific recommendations for top models. Videos are also included for many models showing the equipment in use.
Amazon carries a good selection of walk-behind mowers. While most types of lawn mowers can be found here; electric mowers are reviewed most often. Some of the models have more than 100 reviews for a well-rounded critique, and a few have several hundred reviews or even a few thousand. All reviews are unique to Amazon.
Walmart carries a variety of well-known and lesser-known brands in its lineup of push, self-propelled and electric lawn mowers. Some garner just a handful of reviews, but a few models have several hundred comments.
Other than marketplace sellers that are listed on its web site, Sears doesn't currently list tons of lawn mowers for sale. However, it remains the best place to see user feedback on Craftsman mowers, some of which garner dozens of reviews or more -- with a handful getting more than 100.
OPE Reviews doesn't cover a ton of lawnmowers, and reviews are interspersed with industry news and announcements. However, the hands-on reviews that it does publish are often detailed and expertly done, so this site is worth checking out.
Noel Case tests 10 gas lawn mowers for this report. There is good information about features, design and convenience. However, while overall testing methodology is described, information about how specific machines fared in those tests is relatively sparse. Elsewhere on the site, Danny Chadwick offers a similar report on electric lawn mowers, with the same pros and cons.
Consumer Reports' Ed Perratore discusses results from testing three reel mowers. Though this article is older, the mowers covered remain available -- albeit with some relatively minor design and model name changes -- so the conclusions reached are still relevant, and the article is free for all to read.