Expert tips for buying a lawn mower

December 27, 2014

There’s nothing like the smell and look of a freshly cut lawn, but you’ll need a lawn mower that’s easy to use and sized for the job to get the beautifully manicured appearance you want. Here are some expert tips to help you find the perfect machine.

Expert tips for buying a lawn mower

Types of lawn mowers

Mowers come in all shapes and sizes, for virtually any kind of lawn.

Manual reel mower
The most affordable and environmentally friendly of all lawn mowers, a manual mower uses a series of circular blades that rotate as you push it along.

  • Since there’s no engine, the only upkeep is the occasional blade sharpening.
  • Every manual mower is a push mower, so they’re best for smaller properties.

Electric lawn mower
Electric lawn mowers are quiet and low maintenance, best for flat, average-sized yards.

  • They can be corded or cordless.
  • Cordless mowers are often less powerful.
  • Corded mowers are powerful, but can be a nuisance if the cord gets caught on obstacles. Plus you need to be mindful of where the cord is at all times so you don't run over it while mowing.

Gas-powered lawn mower
These mowers are powerful and effective but also more expensive to operate.

  • They are loud and need regular maintenance.
  • On some models the gas engine drives the wheels and rotates the cutting blades, giving you a self-propelled lawn mower that can easily handle uneven terrain. These types are the most expensive walk-behind mowers to purchase versus riding mowers.
  • Consider a gas mower if you have a larger property or regularly encounter thick weeds and grass.

Riding lawn mower
A riding mower or lawn tractor takes much of the manual labour out of grass cutting.

  • These machines are best suited for people with large properties or professional landscapers, because they can cut large expanses of grass very quickly.
  • They’re powerful machines that can handle thick weeds and uneven ground, but they’re also the most expensive.

Lawn mower features

Generally, the greater the number of features on a mower, the pricier it will be. That's why it's good to ask yourself if there are certain features you can live without – like self-propelled wheels – if you have a small property, for example.

Speed control
Sometimes you need to mow a little faster or slower, depending on the job, the height of the grass, and if it has been raining a lot recently.

  • Speed control helps you get things done right, no matter how long it’s been since you last cut the lawn, by allowing you to speed up or slow down the speed with which the cutting blade spins.

Height control
Height control lets you raise or lower the blades, depending on the grass length you want to achieve.

  • Certain areas of your lawn, such as underneath trees, might grow faster than others that are open and sunny. In these instances, height control can be handy to have to help compensate, so you can cut your lawn uniformly.

Push start
Rather than pull on a ripcord, a push start gets your lawn mower running with the touch of a button.

Clippings bag
A clippings bag collects the grass cuttings for easy disposal.

  • Rear-bag models are usually easier to remove and more effective than side-bag models, but they’re also more expensive.
  • Clippings bags are also handy to help collect leaves from your lawn in autumn.

Other considerations before buying a lawn mower

Beyond the type and features you want in a lawn mower, there are two other key aspects to consider.

A mulching option cuts grass into fine clippings that sift easily back to the soil surface.

  • Mulching is an economical and environmentally friendly way to help your lawn look its best. What's more, mulching means you no longer have to "throw away" grass clippings or leaves in the garbage because you're putting them back into the soil.

Cutting width
The wider the cutting width, the fewer passes you’ll have to take over your lawn to do the job.

  • Look for machines with wider blades if you have a large property.
  • The only potential downside is that wider machines tend to weigh a few pounds more and use slightly more gas.

A lawn mower must be based on yard size and budget. Choose a machine with sufficient power to handle the job so you can keep your property well maintained all season long.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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