In the world of lawn care, push mowers remain a staple for homeowners. Their simplicity, cost-effectiveness, and versatility make them an excellent choice for maintaining small to medium-sized lawns. As of 2023, the market has seen a significant number of innovative models, each with unique features and benefits. This guide will review the best push mowers of 2023, weighing up their pros, cons, and unique selling points.
Types of Push Mowers
There are three main types of push mowers - manual, gas-powered, and electric.
- Manual Push Mowers: These are the most basic type of push mower. They work best on small, flat lawns. Manual mowers are quiet, require little maintenance, and are environmentally friendly. However, they can be hard to push if your lawn is bumpy or has thick grass.
- Gas-Powered Push Mowers: These are more powerful than manual mowers and can handle larger lawns and thicker grass. However, they can be noisy, require regular maintenance, and emit pollutants.
- Electric Push Mowers: These mowers can be corded or cordless. Electric mowers are quieter than gas mowers, start easily, and require less maintenance. However, corded models can be inconvenient to use, and cordless models may not have enough battery life to mow a large lawn in one go.
Key Factors to Consider
- Lawn Size: If you have a small, flat lawn, a manual push mower might suffice. For medium-sized lawns, an electric mower should do the trick. If you have a large lawn with rough terrain, you might need the power of a gas mower.
- Cutting Width: The cutting width of a mower determines how much grass it cuts in one pass. Larger cutting widths reduce the number of passes you need to make, saving time and energy. However, mowers with wide cutting paths can be harder to maneuver around obstacles like trees or flower beds.
- Height Adjustment: Look for a mower that allows you to adjust the cutting height. This feature lets you adapt to the changing conditions of your lawn throughout the year.
- Bagging, Mulching, and Side Discharge: Some mowers offer 3-in-1 functionality: they can bag grass clippings, mulch them back into the lawn, or discharge them to the side. This gives you flexibility in how you handle grass clippings.
- Noise Level: If noise is a concern, consider an electric or manual push mower, as they are significantly quieter than gas models.
- Price: Push mowers can vary greatly in price. Decide on a budget before you start shopping, but remember that a higher price often means better quality and more features.
Top Push Mower Models of 2023:
1. EGO Power+ LM2102SP
- Pros: Self-propelled, powerful battery, excellent cut quality
- Cons: High price, heavier than other models
The EGO Power+ LM2102SP is a battery-powered, self-propelled mower that rivals many gas-powered models in terms of performance. It features a 56-volt lithium-ion battery, providing up to 60 minutes of run time. This EGO model offers a 21-inch cutting deck and a 3-in-1 function, allowing for bagging, mulching, and side discharge. It also features LED headlights, which are useful for early morning or late evening mowing. One downside is its weight (over 80 lbs), which may be challenging for some users to maneuver.
2. Honda HRX217K6VKA
- Pros: Versatile speed control, excellent mulching capability, reliable engine
- Cons: Expensive, requires gas
Honda's HRX series has always been recognized for its high quality, and the HRX217K6VKA is no exception. It features a powerful 200cc engine and a unique Versamow system that allows users to mulch some grass while bagging the rest. It also has a variable speed Select Drive control for easy maneuverability. On the downside, this is a gas-powered model, so it's less environmentally friendly and requires more maintenance than electric models.
3. Greenworks Pro 80V 21-Inch
- Pros: Long battery life, lightweight, quiet operation
- Cons: Less powerful than gas models
Greenworks Pro 80V is a top-of-the-line battery-powered push mower offering up to 60 minutes of runtime. Its 21-inch steel deck and brushless motor provide reliable performance for small to medium-sized lawns. The mower is lightweight and quiet, making it a pleasure to use. However, it may struggle with very thick or tall grass, where a gas-powered model might excel.
4. Toro Recycler 21378
- Pros: Personal Pace self-propel system, powerful engine, good cut quality
- Cons: Heavy, not as eco-friendly
The Toro Recycler 21378 comes with a robust 159cc engine and a 21-inch steel cutting deck. Its standout feature is the Personal Pace self-propel system, which automatically adjusts to your walking speed. This model is best suited for larger yards that require a powerful and durable mower. The downside is its weight and the fact that it's a gas model, meaning it's less environmentally friendly and requires regular maintenance.
5. Sun Joe MJ401E-PRO
- Pros: Compact and lightweight, cost-effective
- Cons: Smaller cut width, corded
The Sun Joe MJ401E-PRO is an affordable and compact electric mower, perfect for small lawns. It has a 14-inch cutting width and a 13-amp motor that can handle most grass types. Being a corded model, it offers unlimited run time but may limit mobility due to the need for an extension cord.
6. Husqvarna L121FH
- Pros: Efficient, 4-in-1 cutting system, lightweight
- Cons: Gas-powered, manual push
The Husqvarna L121FH features a 149cc Kohler engine and a 21-inch cutting deck. It's a light, efficient, and easy-to-use push mower with a 4-in-1 cutting system (bagging, mulching, rear discharge, and side discharge). However, it's a manual push mower, which can make it a bit more labor-intensive to use, particularly on larger lawns.
The best push mower for you depends on your lawn size, physical ability, and personal preferences. For those seeking eco-friendly and quiet operation, battery-powered models like the EGO Power+ LM2102SP or Greenworks Pro 80V are excellent choices. If power and versatility are paramount, the Toro Recycler 21378 or Honda HRX217K6VKA are reliable gas-powered options. For small lawns and budget-conscious consumers, the Sun Joe MJ401E-PRO offers a great balance of price and performance.
Remember, the key to lawn mower longevity is regular maintenance and proper storage. No matter which model you choose, make sure to follow the manufacturer's care instructions to ensure your mower gives you many years of service.