The Worst Push Lawn Mowers and What to Buy Instead

Buying a push lawn mower doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, when it comes to choosing the best mower, Consumer Reports recommends avoiding these walk-behind lawn mowers altogether. The good news is that there are several better walk-behind lawn mowers worth considering. Let’s find out what they are.

Different types of lawn mowers

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Now, there are several different types of lawn mowers out there. The most popular types of lawn mowers include push lawn mowers, lawn tractors, zero-turn mowers, and rear-engine riders. When it comes to walk-behind mowers specifically, some are gas-powered while others are battery-powered.

According to Consumer Reports, push mowers are best for individuals with small yards to mow. “In a small yard you’re more likely to be turning around or navigating around obstacles more often,” explained Misha Kollontai, a Consumer Reports senior test project leader who tests lawn mowers. “A walk-behind mower is more appropriate for such jobs than a tractor or riding mower. It’s easier to navigate.”

Consumer Reports says these are the worst push lawn mowers 

As for the worst push lawn mowers? Several walk-behind lawn mowers earned an Overall Score of 60 or lower on Consumer Report’s 100-point scale. Those mowers include the Murray 11A-A2BF758, Worx WG779, and the Sun Joe MJ401C-XR.

While the Murray 11A-A2BF758 may be an affordable lawn mower that costs approximately $190, Consumer Reports says it’s simply not worth the money. It earned a 45 Overall Score, along with below-average scores in side-discharging and bagging. “Owners surveyed by CR give the brand’s mowers Poor satisfaction ratings and below-average marks for predicted reliability,” Consumer Reports added.

Consumer Reports gave the Worx WG779 a similarly low rating. This push lawn mower will have you spending roughly $266 but, according to the organization, you could do better at that price point. While the Worx WG779 earned an Excellent handling rating, its performance in other tests was considerably lower.

A man using a push lawn mower to mow grass
Push lawn mower. | Alexander Sayganov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

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The Sun Joe MJ401C-XR is the worst push lawn mower

The Sun Joe MJ401C-XR ($219) didn’t fare much better in Consumer Reports lawn mower reviews. In fact, of the three worst walk-behind lawn mowers on its list, the Sun Joe MJ401C-XR was given the lowest scores of all. Consumer Reports gave it an Overall Score of 40; that’s not all either.

According to Consumer Reports, this 14-inch push lawn mower earned one of the worst overall scores in Consumer Report’s mowing test. It also earned lower than average scores in bagging, evenness, and run time. Side discharging means you’ll have to purchase an accessory chute too.

What are the best push lawn mowers?

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The good news is that there are better push lawn mowers worth considering. For example, the Ryobi RY401200 ($480) is among the best battery push lawn mowers. Consumer Reports gave it a 79 Overall Score, adding that “it’s superb at side-discharging and mulching.” It’s also the only battery push lawn mower Consumer Reports has tested so far that does well at cutting evenly.

For the best battery self-propelled lawn mower, consider the Ego LM2156SP ($750), which Consumer Reports gave an 84 Overall Score. While this electric lawn mower is expensive, Consumer Reports says its performance is “top-notch.” It boasts a run time of 60 minutes too and takes less time to charge than other electric lawn mowers.

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The Honda HRX217K6HZA ($870) is among the best push lawn mowers too. This mower earned an 87 Overall Score. Consumer Reports added that it earned Excellent ratings for mulching, bagging, evenness, and handling. Perhaps the only downfall is its price. For those shopping for an affordable lawn mower, the Honda HRX217K6HZA may not be the best fit.

How to choose the best push lawn mower

When it comes to shopping for the best lawn mower, there are plenty of choices out there. Consider Consumer Reports’ best-reviewed lawn mowers and, chances are, you’ll come across the best lawn mower for satisfying all of your lawn care needs.