The 8 Best Lawn Mowers of 2021
Make sure your lawn is in tip-top shape
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Best Overall: John Deere E120 42 in. 20 HP V-Twin Gas Hydrostatic Lawn Tractor
For a powerful, reliable lawn mower, you can’t go wrong with the John Deere E120 Lawn Tractor. This riding lawn mower is powered by a 20-HP engine that’s designed to start up easily and quickly, even if the mower’s been sitting unused in the winter months. The mower even has a hydrostatic transmission with cruise control and can reach speeds up to 5.5 miles per hour.
This John Deere ride-on lawn tractor features a fully welded steel frame and cast-iron front axle for durability, and its operator station is wide and comfortable with an adjustable seat to make mowing the lawn a more comfortable experience. The mower deck can be easily adjusted to several different cutting heights, and all you have to do is pull a knob to engage the blades. Worried about maintenance? Don’t be! The John Deere EZ oil change system takes just 30 seconds, and the mower comes with a 10-point pre-inspection to ensure it’s ready for action.
Best Budget: American Lawn Mower Company 14-Inch 11-Amp Corded Electric Lawn Mower
If you have a smaller yard and don’t want to splurge on a lawn mower, the American Lawn Mower Company 14-Inch Corded Electric Mower is a great budget-friendly option. The corded walk-behind mower is lightweight and easy to operate, yet its 11-amp motor will still cut through tall grass with ease.
This push mower has a 14-inch deck with five height adjustments, ranging from 1 to 2.5 inches. You can choose between rear discharge and mulching for its grass clippings, and it even comes with a 16-gallon grass bag for easy cleanup. The mower’s handle adjusts to several heights to accommodate various users, and when it’s time to put it away, the handle folds down for easy storage. According to reviewers, this inexpensive lawn mower is lightweight and surprisingly quiet, and most agree it’s a great value for those with small lawns.
Best Ride-On: RYOBI 38 in. 75 Ah Battery Electric Rear Engine Riding Lawn Mower
Most people think of gas-powered lawn mowers as ride-on machines, but the RYOBI 38 in. Electric Rear Engine Riding Lawn Mower is giving traditional models a run for their money. This top-rated riding lawn mower is powered by four 75Ah batteries that deliver up to two hours of runtime per charge, making it an appealing option for those with yards spanning up to 2 acres.
This electric ride-on lawn mower sports a 38-inch two-blade deck with 12 height positions, and its blades are powered by dual high-powered brushless motors. Unlike gas mowers, the RYOBI doesn’t have spark plugs or filters to change, and it’s quiet and fumeless to operate.
In addition to its superior cutting power, this mower features cruise control, LED headlights, and a USB phone charger, and when you’re done cutting, simply plug it in to a 120-volt outlet to charge back up. Reviewers agree this riding mower is well-built and delivers great results—their only complaint is that it can be a bit of a rough ride on uneven terrain.
Best Self-Propelled: Honda 3-in-1 Variable Speed Gas Self Propelled Lawn Mower
If your yard is large or on a slope, you’ll probably want a self-propelled lawn mower to take some of the grunt work off your hands. Luckily for you, the Honda 21 in. 3-in-1 Variable Speed Gas Self-Propelled Lawn Mower is a reliable option at a reasonable price. It comes equipped with a 170cc engine and a 21-inch steel deck with twin blades for unbeatable performance.
This 3-in-1 lawn mower offers mulching, bagging, and discharge capabilities, and its variable speed control adapts to match your stride for comfortable mowing. There are seven deck heights to choose from, as well as five adjustable handle positions, and its auto choke system ensures it will start up easily every time.
Best Push: Troy-Bilt 21 in. 160 cc GCV Series Honda Gas Walk Behind Push Mower
Push mowers don’t use motor power to turn the wheels, so they require a bit more physical effort on your part. However, if you have a small, flat yard, you’ll be pleased with the performance of the Troy-Bilt 21 in. Gas Walk Behind Push Mower. This gas-powered model has a 160cc engine with an auto choke system, and its TriAction cutting system includes a rake bumper, specialized blade, and symmetrical 21-inch deck to create finely mulched clippings and deliver a clean, even cut.
The Troy-Bilt push mower has an ergonomic handle for a comfortable grip, and its 11-inch rear wheels make it easier to push over rough terrain. There are six deck heights between 1.25 and 3.75 inches, and you can choose to bag, mulch, or side discharge clippings. The mower comes with a 1.9-bushel grass clipping bag, as well as a mulching kit, and the machine comes fully assembled in the box—all you have to do is unfold the handle. Reviewers say it starts up easy and can cut through thick grass with ease, and many note it’s lighter than other push mowers they’ve used—always a plus!
Best Gas-Powered: Toro Recycler 22 Gas Self Propelled Lawn Mower
Gas lawn mowers typically deliver more power than their battery-powered counterparts, and one of the best options you’ll find today is the Toro Recycler 22 in. Variable Speed Self-Propelled Gas Mower. This mid-priced model has a 163cc Briggs and Stratton engine that starts up with the push of a button, and its variable speed self-propelled design allows you to move at your own pace as you navigate your lawn.
The Toro Recycler has a 22-inch deck with nine cutting positions between 1 and 4 inches, as well as two handle heights. You can switch between mulching, bagging, and side discharge as needed, and the quick-connect bagging system makes it a breeze to switch between the different options. Plus, the machine doesn’t require oil changes—you simply add more oil when needed for easier maintenance.
Best Battery: RYOBI 20 in. 40-Volt Brushless Lithium-Ion Cordless Battery Push Lawn Mower
Battery-powered lawn mowers are quiet and eco-friendly, but they do have limited runtime per charge, making them best for those with smaller lawns. If your yard is ½ acre or less, the RYOBI 20 in. Lithium-Ion Cordless Battery Push Lawn Mower will suit your needs, as it can run for up to 48 minutes per charge thanks to its high-capacity 6Ah lithium-ion battery. This mower has 3-in-1 mulching, bagging, and side discharge capabilities (though the side-discharge accessory is sold separately), and its brushless motor delivers powerful performance to rival gas mowers.
The RYOBI Push Lawn Mower has a 20-inch deck with seven cutting positions between 1.5 and 4 inches, and it even has an on-board battery storage compartment in case you need to swap in a new battery while mowing. The machine has LED headlights, a telescoping handle, and a push-button start, and reviewers say it delivers just the right amount of power for a small or medium-sized yard.
Best Electric: Greenworks 20-Inch 3-in-1 Electric Corded Lawn Mower
If you don’t mind working around an electrical cord while mowing, you can save some money with the Greenworks 20-Inch 3-in-1 Electric Corded Lawn Mower. It’s powered by a 12-amp motor and boasts a 20-inch steel deck, and it has all the features you need to keep your small lawn in top shape.
This electric lawn mower has mulching, side discharge, and bagging capabilities, and there are seven height positions to choose from, ranging from 1.5 to 3.75 inches. It has a push-button start for easy operation, and its handle folds down for compact storage. You’ll need to buy an extension cord separately, but the Greenworks mower does have an integrated cord lock to prevent it from accidentally disconnecting during use. Plus, according to reviewers, it’s quiet and smooth during operation, and it can handle tall grass if you’re patient.
This article was written by Camryn Rabideau, a freelance contributor for The Spruce. As someone who grew up on a 70-acre farm, she’s no stranger to lawn mowers, and she’s written extensively on them, even doing first-hand product testing.