Is a Push Mower or a Riding Lawn Mower Best for Mowing Your Lawn?

In the market for a new lawn mower? Not sure which type of lawn mower is the best for mowing your lawn? No need to stress. In fact, Consumer Reports recently highlighted the best types of lawn mowers for different sized yards. Let’s find out whether a push mower or a riding lawn mower is best for your yard.

The difference between a push mower and a riding lawn mower

When it comes to buying a new lawn mower, you’ve got a few options to choose from. Among them, you’ll find two main types of lawn mowers: push mowers and riding lawn mowers. On the surface, the main difference between the two is that push mowers must be pushed, while riding lawn mowers can be, well, ridden. That’s putting it very simply, however.

As a matter of fact, push mowers include both typical push mowers and self-propelled push mowers. If your yard is on the smaller side of things, a push mower may be a good fit for you. And if you dread those days of mowing the lawn? You would be wise to consider a self-propelled push mower, reports the Chicago Tribune.

As for riding lawn mowers? They are much faster than push mowers and can take on both larger lawns and thicker grass. The downside to this type of mower, however, is they are generally more expensive than other types of mowers. 

The best type of lawn mower for yards up to a quarter of an acre

We’ve covered the difference between push mowers and riding lawn mowers. Now let’s talk about the best type of lawn mower for yards up to a quarter of an acre. For yards up to a quarter of an acre, Consumer Reports recommends choosing an electric push mower. This type of mower is not as loud as gasoline-powered models and can handle mowing up to a quarter of an acre on a single charge.

As for the best electric mowers to buy? Consumer Reports recommends two options: the 21-inch Ryobi RY401200 and the 21-inch DR Power Equipment CE75021XEN0. The 21-inch Ryobi RY401200 excels at cutting grass evenly and can last up to 40 minutes on a charge. The 21-inch DR Power Equipment CE75021XEN0, on the other hand, has a run time of 80 minutes and excels at mulching and bagging. 

Pick a self-propelled lawn mower for yards up to a half of an acre

Say you need to mow up to a half of an acre of land. In that case, Consumer Reports recommends opting for a self-propelled push mower. This type of lawn mower rides on powered wheels, making it even easier to mow. Consumer Reports also suggests choosing a self-propped lawn mower with rear- or all-wheel drive if your yard is on an incline. 

And when it comes to the best self-propelled mowers to buy? Consumer Reports recommends both the Honda HRX217K6HZA and the 21-inch Ego LM2156SP. The Honda HRX217K6HZA is a self-propelled gas mower that Consumer Reports gave Excellent ratings for mulching, bagging, cutting evenness, and handling. Meanwhile, the 21-inch Ego LM2156SP is a self-propelled battery mower that earned Excellent ratings in side-discharging, handling, mulching, cutting evenness, and run time.

Riding lawn mowers are best for yards bigger than half an acre

For yards larger than half an acre, a riding lawn mower is likely the best choice, says Consumer Reports. Riding lawn mowers can cut large areas of grass and come equipped with much more powerful engines than push mowers. When it comes to choosing the best riding lawn mower? You can’t go wrong with a John Deere.

In fact, Consumer Reports recommends two John Deere riding lawn mowers: the John Deere X350-42 and the John Deere S240-48. Consumer Reports gave the John Deere X350-42 Excellent ratings for cutting evenness, side-discharging, mulching, and handling, and a Very Good score for bagging. Meanwhile, the John Deere S240-48 earned Excellent ratings in side-discharging, bagging, mulching, and cutting evenness. 

Consider a zero-turn lawn mower if your yard is irregularly shaped

A zero-turn John Deere lawn mower, a zero-turn lawn mower is the best type of mower for large yards
John Deere Zero-Turn Mower | Sergio Flores/Bloomberg

Perhaps you need to mow more than half of an acre, but your yard is irregularly shaped and features obstacles like trees or stones, then Consumer Reports suggests choosing a zero-turn lawn mower. “If your lawn is covered in trees, stones, or other obstacles, a zero-turn mower would probably be your best bet,” Consumer Reports explains. “It would allow you to maneuver around easily and cut even along the most irregular lines.”

There are two zero-turn lawn mowers worth of Consumer Reports recommendation too. First is the Gravely ZT HD 48 991152, which earned Excellent ratings for both side-discharging and mulching modes. The organization also suggests the battery-powered Ego ZT4204L. This mower earned Excellent scores for side-discharging, mulching, and handling and runs for roughly 80 minutes on a single charge.

Choosing the best type of lawn mower

Choosing the best type of lawn mower for your yard can be stressful. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be. In fact, with this information in hand, choosing the right lawn mower for your yard is an even more manageable task.

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