We all love spending time outside, taking care of the lawn (OK, at least I know I do) and, if you are reading this, chances are you love it too! I enjoy every moment I spend mowing my lawn and I love it when friends drop by and admire my beautiful green grass, since it’s the result of a lot of work, time and money I invested each and every day, all with the help of the best lawn mower I could afford and with the help of the internet (I learn a lot of things online each and every day). Now, if you are here, you probably walk the same path, so stick around, because, I tell you, you’ll have a thing or two to learn by reading this site!
Also, beside helping you choose the best lawn mower for your yard, I will also try to provide more than enough information so you can take care of your lawn without the help of a professional. You will find here information about the best lawn fertilizer, about the best grass seed, about how to mow the grass correctly and when to, so you may become a bit of an expert yourself after a while, but something tells me you won’t mind.
So, what types of lawn mowers are there
Well, since having the perfect lawn has always been very important to people all around the globe, designers and engineers did everything in their power to come up with the perfect, the best lawn mower, the best combination between a technical solution, price and maneuverability. There are many solutions available out there, all are part of the following categories (they can actually be part of more categories at the same time if you think about it):
Ride on mowers (or riding mowers), practical and… fun!
As the name suggests it, instead of pushing them around, you just ride them. They have a seat and a steering wheel, they have an engine, usually a pretty powerful one, they may be gas powered or electric. They are really fun, trust me, I love riding them and they are really good at their job too!
Zero turn mowers
Again, as the name suggests, zero turn mowers are built with one goal in mind: to turn around easily, with a zero turning radius. They are easy to drive, quite large, not cheap and they are designed for large areas, where there are also some obstacles you need to get around. They are actually a specialization of ride on mowers.
Lawn tractors are again, ride on mowers (of course, you need to ride and drive them), they are not cheap and they are not built for small lawns. You can easily attach a lawn aerator or a cart to them and many people consider them the best right from the start (we discuss more about why they may be the best here).
Do you have a smaller yard? Go for a push mower
The above mentioned lawn mowers are all engine powered and quite large, but if you don’t want (or need) a large and powerful tool, you could go for a push mower, which is a very useful, lighter and less expensive choice.
So, how about a manual push mower?
Push lawn mowers could be also motorized or manual, so you also have choices here. If you go for a “manual” one, that means you will need to actually push it around, without the help of a motor. That’s great, if you think about the very reason you are outside, namely to take care of your yard/lawn as part of your small, green environment. We all need to preserve the environment and a manual push mower may be the best choice from this point of view.
Engine powered push lawn mowers
The engine brings, of course, more power, more maneuverability, all this with less effort from your side so in the end you will save time and get the job done faster. Of course, engine powered push mowers are not as powerful as those in the ride on category so don’t you dare ride them. But for a smaller yard, they may be the ultimate tool!
We spoke above about engine powered tools, but we didn’t mention how the engine itself is powered. Well, there are two possibilities: gas powered engines or electric ones. Gas powered mowers are usually heavier, louder, more powerful, require more maintenance and have a better autonomy, they are actually small tractors if you think about it.
An electric lawn mower is an environment friendly, cleaner and quieter solution so from this point of view, it can be considered already the best lawn mower. They can be corded or cordless, so depending on your choice, autonomy and the distance from the power source where you can use it varies heavily.
There are also other choices, like for example, the somehow futuristic robotic lawn mower, which does the job by itself! We all love SF movies (ok, ok, at least I love them!) and such an automated solution while I drink a beer on the porch makes me smile. After all, we have washing machines that wash clothes by themselves, so why not accept an automated tool that takes care of our lawn? Actually, if you want a bit of statistical info, you should know that in 2012 the growth in sales for robotic mowers was 15 times bigger than the growth in sales for “regular” ones, engine powered or human pushed. What do you think about it? I say more and more people started to like the automated solution. Or the beer on the porch…
And if we speak about futuristic solutions, why not mention here the hover mowers? No wheels, just a spinning blade and hovering capabilities. Speaking of futuristic solutions, may it be the best lawn mower of tomorrow?
Now, if we consider the position of the blades, mowers can also be categorized as follows: rotary mowers, that have the blade spinning on a vertical axis and reel or cylinder lawn mowers, if the blades are spinning on a horizontal axis. Quite a difference, since each solution has advantages and disadvantage and of course, we will speak about it here in details in order to understand which one fits us better.
So, what to consider when trying to find the best lawn mower?
Finding the best item in any category is always difficult, so in order to find the best you need to clearly know what you want and what you are looking for. You also need to clearly define your criteria by which you judge. So:
How large your lawn really is?
It may sound like a basic criteria, but it’s one of the most important one since for a small lawn, a zero turn mower may be way too much and a small push mower may have the job done in no time. On the other hand, if the grass area is large, you need an engine powered tool, with a large autonomy.
What types of grass do you have?
You may have a fine grass that needs to be cut often in order to look great so you should go with a reel mower. Or you may have mixed types of grass, with quite a lot of weeds. In this case, a rotary may be better for you. I know you don’t like to admit that you have weeds but hey, be honest, it happens to the best of us.
What’s the shape of your yard?
Does it matter? Well, if your yard has an irregular shape, if you planted trees and shrubs, if you have border paths, they you may consider a hover mower, it may be the best one for you.
What powering options do you have?
Gas powered? Electrical? Corded or cordless, which is better for you? If the lawn is large and there is no electrical socket around, you may consider a gas powered tool or an electrical, cordless one. However, for smaller yards, an electrical corded mower could do the job just fine, just that you need to pay attention to the cord when working, to not cut it since this means trouble…
By the way, searching for the best lawn mower, I got to know when they were invented: quite a long time ago!
Since I got more and more into them, I asked myself when they came into being, so I looked for an answer and…I found it: the first mower was invented in 1827 by Edwin Budding and was designed to cut the grass on sport fields. It was 19 inches wide, so you wouldn’t have much use for it in a small yard. Of course, at that time, it was a machine that you had to push from behind. Ten years passed since a mower that could be drawn by animals was invented and 60 before a steam powered one was built.
I don’t intend to start a history here (but to find the best lawn mower), I just wanted to point out they have quite a history behind and since they were invented, they were always in the center of attention, people who were interested in them trying to continually improve them, making them smaller or larger, depending on the situation, lighter, easier to handle and less expensive. As I was previously saying, nowadays the trend seems to be automatic/robotic tools that maintain the grass by themselves. Again, while we drink a beer on the porch.
As a bottom line, I like cutting the grass and having a tidy lawn, I like spending time outside and having everything in place and I love learning about how to do it right. I will keep an eye on the best lawn mower and I will try to learn as much as possible about them and I will try to share it here with you, because, sharing it here helps me learn even more since I will be exposed myself to information you provide through comments or similar articles on other blogs.
I started to write this article with the desire to find the best lawn mower available out there, for me and, using my experience in finding it, for you. The fact is that as with any other domain, it’s difficult to find the best product ever. You can usually find the best products in a particular category, so I you will find here also the best ones in the above categories and, why not, one that really makes me tick more than any other I evaluated. I am not sure I will be able to spot that one, considering also the price range is so large, but I will do my best trying and I also count on you to help me with an advice, technical specifications and any other information I may miss. After all, I hope to also create a community here, a community oriented to finding the best lawn mower for taking care of the lawn and garden and this includes, why not, learning about garden design, about grass types, about decorative plants and about anything else we could think of that may help us have a tidier and greener yard.