Finding the best lawn mower for your garden is a must. Regular mowing is essential to having the best-looking lawn around, making sure it stays happy and healthy, and keeping it that way. Our advice is to mow at least once a week in spring and summer and less regularly in autumn and winter.
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The main consideration is the type of lawn mower for your plot and this will usually be dictated by the size of your lawn. For example, a manual push-along cylinder mower might conjure up images of lazy, hazy British summers, but they're not a quick or easy option - unless you have a tiny lawn. Likewise, with a robot lawn mower you can literally it back and relax while the little machine does the work for you, but they're usually best suited to smaller gardens.
Most lawns are best cut with an electric lawn mower with a rotary blade. These can be corded with long power cables or cordless and rechargeable, powered by lithium-ion batteries - light and easy to manoeuvre. You don't have the drawback of a trailing cable, and their motors don't require any maintenance nor produce any emissions. On battery lawn mowers, Geoff Hodge says, "As we get more used to charging battery-powered cars, battery lawn mowers will become an easy choice. What's more, their batteries can often be shared among sister products in the same range."
That being said, if you're blessed with a large garden, you may find that a petrol or ride-on lawn mower is best for your needs. These bad boys provide more power and a longer runtime to tackle even the largest of lawns. We've shared the best lawn mowers to buy this season and answered more of your lawn mower questions further below.
Best lawn mower shortlist:
• Best for larger lawns: Einhell Power X-Change 36/47 Cordless Lawnmower – View on Amazon
• Best for smaller gardens: Bosch Rotak 34 R Corded Rotary Lawnmower – View on B&Q
• Best for easy storage: Flymo EasiStore 340R Li Cordless Rotary Lawn Mower – View on Amazon
The best lawn mower UK
Best lawn mower for larger lawns
This robust model from Einhell is a powerful electric mower designed for large lawns, offering a
- Wide 47 cm cutting width for efficiency
- 75 L grass collection box
- Contains 2 x 18 V batteries
- Wheels stick out, so additional edge trimming may be needed
Best lawn mower for smaller gardens
This compact Bosch Rotak 34 R Corded Rotary Lawnmower cuts right to the edge and the Powerdrive
- Cuts right to the edge, no need for a trimmer
- Large capacity for the size
- Corded, but not necessarily an issue
Best lawn mower with easy storage
This Flymo mower utilises a powerful 40V battery to tackle your lawn with ease. Further, a 34cm
- Good value
- Stores well
- No restriction of a power cord
- Small grass box
Best lawn mower with grass mulcher and collector
This 48V cordless 36cm lawn mower from Greenworks is the perfect tool to keep your lawn trim in
- Easy to assemble
- 2-in-1 mulcher/collector
- Flimsier build
Best lawn mower for mulching
Making light work of cutting the lawn, the Kärcher LMO 18-36 is a battery-powered lawn mower with
- Easy to assemble
- Comfortable to use
- Wide cutting path
- Battery and charger may not be included
Best self-propelled petrol lawn mower
The Murray EQ700X self-propelled lawn mower is packed with features (not gimmicks) that help to
- Starts easily
- Powerful whilst being energy efficient
- Great for big lawns
- Shortest cutting setting is very severe
Best petrol lawn mower for lawns up to 500sqm
This high-quality 4-stroke push lawnmower has a relatively quiet engine so you won't need to worry
- Low fuel consumption
- Easy to set up
- It's a large bit of kit
Best robot lawn mower for coverage
The Cobra Mowbot 800 can cover 800 square metres, and there’s a 1,200 square metre version as
- Great for those who can't mow their lawn
- Well made
- Virtually no tools required
- Costs as much as a small ride-on mower
Want to find out more? read our full Cobra Mowbot review.
Best lawn mower on a budget
The Webb Classic WEER33 Electric Rotary Lawnmower has excellent features and will ensure a superb
- Comfortable handles
- Some found the lawn mower struggled with damp grass
Best ride-on lawn mower for power
The Stihl RT4082 Garden Rider makes short work of lawns up to 4,000 square metres. It features
- Easy to drive
- Powerful engine
- Mulching insert available but needs to be bought separately
How to choose the best lawn mower
First, let's focus on the type of cutting blade. There are three types of cutting blade that each come with the own pros and cons.
A rotary lawn mower cuts the grass with a horizontal chopping action that results in a clean finish. Rotary lawn mowers operate well on uneven terrain and tougher grass. Rotary lawn mowers have a single blade that's mounted under the body of the lawn mower.
A cylinder lawn mower has cylindrical blades mounted at the front of the lawn mower, resulting in a fine cut. The blades cut in a scissor-like action and are set on a horizontal shaft on the front of the mower. The blades rotate vertically and cut against a fixed bottom blade. It gives a close-cut finish but needs completely even ground in order to be effective. The cut results in super short grass and is best suited to fine turf. For a quality finish, opt for a cylinder lawn mower, but bear in mind they don't cope well with tough grass or uneven ground.
Additionally, there are hover lawn mowers that create a cushion of air between the appliance and the grass. Easy to maneuvre and effective on uneven lawns, these lawn mowers are lightweight and don't have wheels. Hover mowers can be very effective on irregular-shaped lawns as they can move from side-to-side as well as forwards and backwards.
Unless you're maintaining the turf at Wimbledon, a rotary lawn mower is recommended as the cutting deck can be adjusted to cope with different heights of grass and a rotary lawn mower is easier to maintain.
Secondly, consider how you want your lawn mower to be powered. Again, each power source comes with their respective benefits and problems.
A push mower is great for a small garden that has an even surface. Plus, you get all the pleasure of mowing a lawn and enjoying the scent of freshly cut grass, while getting a full body workout.
If you need a lawn mower to take some of the strain and you have a small-to-medium-size garden, opt for an electric lawn mower. Note the length of the power cable, which can vary from 10 metres to 20 metres. You can buy an extension cable if your garden is on the large side. Purchase an outdoor extension cable that's weather-resistant and made from heavy-duty materials. Additionally, opt for an extension cable with a wire thickness that's a minimum 14 gauge. A thicker wire will prevent overheating and cope with more power flow – therefore reducing the danger of the outdoor appliance overheating. In short, always use an extension cable that's designed for outdoor use and can cope with the wattage of your electric lawn mower.
Choose a cordless lawn mower if you have difficult areas of lawn to cut. This type of lawn mower is powered by rechargeable battery packs. They are great for a smaller garden and conveinient, but don't quite have the oomph of a corded electric or petrol lawn mower. The battery life is generally 30 minutes, plus they need time to recharge.
Finally, a petrol lawn mower is the best option for a large lawn and can cope with stubborn grass and uneven terrain. However, they are not environmentally friendly and they require maintenance.
Features to look for in a lawn mower
Geoff Hodge from Garden Answers has helped us pop together a guide to the best lawn mowers for your garden – to keep your grass in tip-top shape.
Deck material: Strong, robust metal decks add to the overall weight. Non-metal decks, usually made from polypropylene, are lightweight, damage resistant and resilient.
Comfort handles: Soft, comfortable and height-adjustable handles make mowing easier on your back and hands, especially when cutting for a long time.
Carry handles: Well-spaced carry handles make the machine balanced, lighter and easier to carry.
Blade height adjuster: This must be easy to adjust and offer a choice of cutting heights. Most lawns should be cut 2.5-4cm (1-1½in) high for much of the year.
Clippings collection: Grass collectors cut down the time needed to look after the lawn. Larger collectors need emptying less regularly.
Grass combs: Side grass combs help ensure neat results along edges, fences, and walls.
Rear roller: This is needed if you want traditional lawn stripes. The heavier the machine and roller, the better the stripes.
Mulching function: Some mowers cut the grass so finely that you can leave the clippings where they fall.
Lawn mower FAQs
What's the difference between a push and a power mower?
Gardens expert Geoff Hodge says: "One recent development in the world of battery-powered lawnmowers is the introduction of self-propelled mowers – previously only available with top-of-the-range petrol models. Self-propulsion makes mowing easier and more manageable because the mower pulls itself along, reducing effort and fatigue.
"Self-propelled lawn mowers are perfect for larger lawns and slopes. You simply walk behind the mower to control its direction. Because power is needed for this, the batteries won't last as long from a single charge as those used with an equivalent push mower."
What do I need to know about battery lawn mowers?
With battery power, you need to consider: the battery voltage (V) and amp hours (Ah).
Voltage - Higher voltage generally means greater power and performance, but the size and weight of the mower will impact this, too. Mowers with a higher voltage are better equipped to tackle long, wet grass.
Amp Hour - This is analogous to the size of a car's fuel tank; the larger the amp hours, the longer the battery will last between charges. Higher Ah batteries can tackle larger lawns before becoming flat. For instance, a 2.5Ah battery should cut up to 400sq m (480sq yd) on a single charge. However, more amp hours do not equate to greater power output.
Lithium-ion batteries charge relatively quickly – in as little as 30-40 minutes. Depending on Ah size, they'll run long enough on one charge to complete mowing. They can be recharged before they're flat and don't need to be fully charged before use. Plus, they won't lose charge in the shed over winter.
Geoff also recommends buying a second battery "if you want to mow a large lawn in one session".
Some mowers come with two, while others offer super-fast chargers. Mowers with the latest sensory technology can sense the load on the motor and operate at the optimum level for each task, boosting power for long/damp grass and extending battery run time during lighter cutting tasks.
What is cutting width?
Broader mowers tend to offer greater cutting width. A larger mower, with wider cutting width, reduces the number of passes needed to mow the lawn but may be heavier to carry and more awkward to manoeuvre.
As a guide:
• Small lawn (up to 250sq m/300sq yd): 30-35cm (12-14in) cut width.
• Medium lawn (250-580sq m/300-700sq yd): 35-43cm (14-17in) cut width.
• Large lawn (more than 580sq m/700sq yd): 43-55cm (17-22in) cut width.
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Piper Huxley is a Homes, Garden and Wellness Product Writer for Modern Gardens Magazine, an all-rounder. When she’s not writing about houseplants, she’s tending to her own growing collection…