Honda Dominates the Best Gas Push Mowers, According to Consumer Reports

Lawn mowers are handy in the warmer months, but they eventually break down and need to be replaced. While you’ll usually pay over $1,000 for the average push lawn mower, it’s possible to get one for less than $500.

Of course, it’s hard to know which ones to buy with so many makes available. Finding an affordable lawn mower might also mean sacrificing some performance and longevity. If you need something that excels at both, Honda is one of the best lawn mower brands.

Consumer Reports loves Honda lawn mowers

A red Honda lawn mower outside.
Honda lawn mower | Getty Images

According to Consumer Reports, the Honda HRX217HZA is currently the best gas walk-behind mower. Consumer Reports tests its mowers in three key areas: side-discharging, bagging, and mulching.

A mower with good side discharging means that the discharge chute will disperse grass clippings evenly. Mulching refers to the fineness of the clippings and how evenly they’re spread across your lawn. Finally, you want a mower with a bag that doesn’t fill up too quickly.

The Honda HRX217HZA has excellent mulching abilities, and testers could fill up the mowing bag completely with no leakage. However, it can’t side-discharge lawn clippings as smoothly or evenly as other mowers.

Some reviews say that the HRX217HZA runs smoothly with electric starting but will never start after one pull. This mower also has excessive noise levels while standing behind it, so you’ll probably want headphones or earbuds.

However, this Honda mower has excellent handling and doesn’t lose momentum during extended lawn trimming sessions. It also has a convenient blade-brake clutch to conceal the blade at the press of a button. With this, you can safely step away from the handlebar with the engine engaged.

The Honda HRX217HZA usually retails for around $980. If that’s out of your price range, the Honda HRN216PKA is excellent.

You get near-perfect side-discharging, mulching, and bagging performance for just $460. It’s also easy to start, provides a perfectly even cut, and handles just as well as the HRX217HZA mower.

Unfortunately, the Honda HRN216PKA’s cheap price point does come with a few quality shortcuts. The wheels are less durable with their plastic construction, and many owners report minor manufacturing flaws. 

Despite having a perfect reliability rating, the pull-starter is prone to wearing out after a few years. The mower still starts, but it requires a few extra pulls.

How do Consumer Reports judge the quality of lawn mowers?

To start, Consumer Reports takes each mower to testing grounds filled with 1,800 pounds of grass seed. Once everything has grown, the lawn mower will cut 500,000 square feet of grass, which amounts to 3,000 pounds of clippings. In addition to even ground, each mower is driven over ditches and slopes to get the complete picture of its performance.

When a mower is relatively quiet and has more convenient features, it will also have a higher score. Like vehicle scores, Consumer Reports also takes the surveys from actual owners into account when ranking lawn mowers. This allows Consumer Reports to understand better how well each mower holds up after several years.

Why a good lawn mower is important

A healthy lawn keeps your property looking neat, manages the insect population around your home, and encourages even growth. That’s why it’s essential to find a lawn mower that will do its job without wearing out too quickly.

Since lawn mowers are a steep investment, proper research beforehand is required to get your money’s worth. Fortunately, it’s easier to find your perfect mower with resources like Consumer Reports and quality manufacturers like Honda.

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