Summer is here again, which means it’s time to mow your lawn. It’s one of the worst weekly tasks for homeowners, and finding the best lawn mower can be challenging. However, Consumer Reports tests everything, including grass-cutting push mowers. We’ve compiled a shortlist of the best lawn mowers for $300, a shockingly affordable price.
What makes a good lawn mower?
According to Consumer Reports, a few different attributes are required for a lawn mower to be considered good. For example, reliability, side-discharging, mulching, and bagging are categories CR judges. Additionally, the price is incredibly important. CR says the sweet spot for getting a ton of value out of a lawn mower is around $250-$325. Paying more than that usually isn’t worth it.
In the same vein, even the cheapest segment of mowers, gas push mowers, are up in price right now. They’ve risen 26.5 percent since Spring 2021, and carry-over battery push options are up 16 percent. Regardless of which type of mower you choose, they’re far more expensive than a year ago.
Best gas lawn mowers for $300 or less
Firstly, Consumer Reports recommends the Cub Cadet SC100 HW as the best gas mower. Although it received the highest overall score, it tied with the next option. CR says it’s very reliable and gave it a perfect rating. Predicted reliability is based on previous versions of the same model and how long they lasted with very few problems. Additionally, all other categories received high scores from CR. As a result, it’s one of the best, most affordable lawn mowers.
Next, the Toro Recycler SmartStow 21329 is recommended. Toro’s offering missed perfect reliability by a small margin while scoring just as high as the Cub Cadet. However, it made up for the lack of reliability elsewhere. The Toro Recycler SmartStow received a higher bagging rating than the Cub Cadet, making it the best option on the list in the category.
Lastly, CR recommends the Troy-Bilt TB120B. It’s rated just short of the other models on the list, but CR calls it “very good.” The other factors don’t matter as much with perfect reliability and mulching scores. Although, side discharging still did very well, and bagging was only slightly worse. Like the other two gas mowers, it’s usually around $300.
Best battery lawn mowers for $300 or less
Consumer Reports gave the Kobalt KPM 1040A-03 the highest overall rating for battery-powered push mowers. Scoring higher than every gas option, the Kobalt costs around $299 on average. CR failed to find any flaws in the mower’s performance and scored it well for reliability, satisfaction, mulching, noise, handling, and side discharging.
Next, the Hart HLPM011 Battery Mower is more on par with the top-tier gas mowers, CR says. However, just like the class leader, the Hart offering doesn’t have flaws in performance. It did, however, score very well in handling, noise, mulching, evenness, and run time. Additionally, CR noted that the Hart mower is particularly easy to use.
Finally, the third recommended battery lawn mower is the Skil PM4910-10. Overall, it scored the same as the Hart mower and for similar reasons. Consumer Reports said it doesn’t have any flaws in its performance either. Additionally, it’s easy to use, turn, push, and pull, vital for any mower. Moreover, handling, noise, mulching, evenness, and run-time are bright spots for one of the best $300 battery mowers.
Best lawn mowers for $300 or less
In conclusion, there are plenty of lawn mower options available today. Although they’ve risen in price, it’s possible to find a good one for cheap. According to Consumer Reports, the prices change frequently, so monitoring a specific model could net you a better deal. Whether you need a gas or battery-powered push mower, these are the best bang for your buck options.