Many homeowners long for a green lawn that is lush and green. It is important to have a beautiful lawn. It can be difficult choosing the right mower for your lawn. There are many sizes and shapes of gas lawn mowers, from small push-behind machines that have 20-inch decks to large monster lawn tractors that can cut 46 inches wide.
The size of your lawn, terrain type, and even operator strength will all play a part in determining the best gas mower. This guide will help explain these machines and the key features you should consider when searching for the best gas lawnmower.
BEST OVERALL Honda 21 in. Honda 21 in.BEST BANG TO BUCK Troy-Bilt 21 in. Push Lawn Mower Gas WalkBEST MANUAL LAWN MOWER Honda 21 in. Honda 21 in.BEST SELF-PROPELLEDCRAFTSMAN 160cc 21-in Self Propelled Lawn MowerBEST FOR A SMALLY PARK Yard Machines 20 in. 125 cc gas walk behind mowerBEST FOR LARGEYARDS Toro TimeMaster 30 in. Self-Propelled Gas Lawn Mower
How to choose the Best Gas Lawn Mower
There are two main types: self-propelled mowers or manual walk-behind mowers. While selecting the right type for the yard is key, it’s also important to keep in mind the engine and deck size. These and other important characteristics will be discussed below.
Leave no trace:The simplest lawn mowers, the push-behind model (also called walk-behind), has a single-cylinder engine producing 125cc – 190cc. The engine’s power is dependent on the size of the cylinder. These mowers require that the operator pulls the trigger and provides all the power they need.Self-propelled:The self-propelled lawnmower is an upgrade to the walk behind model. They look like push mowers but have a belt that powers the front and back wheels. The operator engages the mower’s wheels by pushing a control bar.Riding:This type of mower comes with a seat and an engine/mowing platform. A riding mower’s engine is considerably larger than a push mower’s engine in order to provide enough power to propel the machine forward and run its multibladed mowing deck. There are both zero-turn and tractor riding mowers. They have wider decks than self-propelled or walk-behind mowers. This makes them more suitable to larger yards.
The engine size for self-propelled and push behind gas lawnmowers can be measured in cubic centimeters. Most walk-behind mower engines range in size from 125cc to 193cc. The cylinder size is proportional to the power of the engine. The horsepower of riding mowers can be measured in horsepower (hp). It typically ranges between 10 and 22 horsepower.
No matter the type of mower, engine size is an important consideration, as it pertains to the size of the mower’s deck. Mowers with larger decks will require larger engines to run them. They have more blades or more blades.
When considering engine size, it’s also wise to factor in the turf and terrain the machine will be mowing. A thicker lawn may require more power to mow than one with a shorter grass. A steeper slope might require more power for a self-propelled walking behind mower to climb up and down.
Lawn Size & Terrain
When choosing the best gas mower for you, consider your yard’s size and terrain. A walk-behind model may be adequate for smaller lawns up to ¾ acre in size. A self-propelled mower might be a better option if your yard is hilly or steep.
Yards that are ¾ acre or more typically require a riding lawn mower. A riding mower with 12 horsepower is suitable for small yards up to one acre. For lawns over 2 acres, it is recommended to use a mower with at minimum 18 horsepower.
The mower’s ability to cut a single row of grass depends on the size of the lawn’s deck. The deck determines the length of time it takes to cut the grass. A walk-behind mower with a 20-inch deck is suitable for small yards of about ½ acre. Larger yards of up to ¾ acre require a larger 22-inch deck. There are a variety of deck sizes for riding mowers, from 28 inches to 46 inches. A larger deck will cut more grass in one pass but is also more difficult to maneuver in tight spaces.
Size of the Drive and Wheels
The type of drive and wheel size impact a lawn mower’s handling. Most walk-behind lawnmowers are equipped with wheels measuring 8 to 11 inches. Some manual push-behind gas lawnmowers have 11-inch rear tires, which makes it easier to push on more difficult terrain.
There are two types, rear-wheel drive and front-wheel drive, of self-propelled lawnmowers. Each model has its strengths and weaknesses. Front-wheel-drive self-propelled mowers tilt the drive wheels upwards, making it easier for the operator turn the mower. Rear-wheel-drive mowers have better traction in their middle, which allows them climb steeper terrain more easily.
Some walk-behind mowers come with all-wheel drive. This gives them superior traction and makes them ideal for steep slopes.
Options for cutting
Gas mowers have three options depending upon the model: side-discharge, bag and/or Mulch. Side discharge moves the clippings towards the side of the mower. Many gas mowers have bins or bags that collect the clippings. This prevents them getting back on the lawn. Some models may include mulch kits. These allow the mowers to cut the clippings several times and then return them to the yard to act as fertilizer.
Gas lawn mowers come with many extra features. Some self-propelled models can be controlled with handlebar controls to adjust the mower’s speed. Hydrostatic transmissions are used on higher-end lawn mowers. These allow riders to change speeds automatically without the need to shift gears manually.
Our Top Picks
These products make gas lawn mowers more affordable and are the most popular in their respective categories. There are both small-sized and large-sized lawn mowers available that can handle up to 3 acres. These lawn mowers are powerful and offer multiple cutting options. There are large deck sizes.
Photo by homedepot.com
Whether it’s generators, automobiles, or lawn mowers, Honda has a reputation for producing durable, high-performing engines—like the one in this 21-inch gas mower. The powerful 170cc engine sits atop an ample 21-inch deck, and unlike walk-behind models that have a single blade, this Honda’s deck boasts two offset blades that produce smaller clippings than other blade styles.
It is easy to switch between bagging or mulching. Honda’s propulsion system is powered by rear-wheel drive. This mower can climb steep slopes and deal with difficult terrain. Handlebar controls make it a breeze to switch between the mower’s variable speeds.
Specifications of the Product
Engine: 170ccDeck Width: 21 inchesFunctions: Mulching, bagging, side discharge
Dual blades produce smaller clippings. The clip system makes it easy for you to switch between functions. Smart drive allows for speed control. Rear wheel drive provides excellent grip
Honda mowers are some of the most expensive on market.
Those with a small yard and a small budget should check out this Troy-Bilt mower, which doesn’t skimp on features even despite being one of the more affordable models on the market. This mower is a walk behind model with large 11-inch back wheels that make it easier to push. The 21-inch deck’s 159cc engine gives the blade plenty of power, while the Tri-Cut system produces fine trimmings for effective mulching.
Side discharge and bagging can be used for cutting. This mower also includes Troy-Bilt’s popular maintenance-free engine, which won’t require an oil change for the entire life of the engine.
Specifications of the Product
Engine: 159ccDeck Width: 21 inchesFunctions: Mulching, bagging, side discharge
Affordably pricedLarge rear wheel for easier pushingThree-function cutting system
Although the price is affordable, it is more expensive for a push behind model.
The Honda manual mower is simple to use and powerful. It also features durable features. The 160cc engine powers this mower. It is powerful enough to turn the blade on its 21-inch durable steel deck.
The 8-inch wheels and ball-bearing rear tires make it easy for the mower to be driven over rough terrain. There are two options for cutting: side discharge or mulch kit. There are six levels of cutting. The handles can be folded inwardly smoothly and quickly after lawn labor is finished.
Specifications of the Product
Engine: 160ccDeck Width: 21 inchesFunctions: Mulch, side discharge
8-inch wheels make pushing easier. Six cutting levels. Folding handle for compact storage
One of the most expensive walk behind mowers.
Photo by lowes.com
This mower comes with a Honda engine. And while its 160cc engine isn’t quite as powerful as the 170cc engines on Honda mowers, it still boasts excellent reliability and ease of use. Like all Honda engines, it’s self-choking, so there is no need to prime the engine by squeezing a bulb.
Craftsman prioritizes traction and handling, as shown by the 11-inch front wheels, front wheel drive, knobby tread, and rear wheels measuring 11 inches. The mower can climb steeper slopes and on uneven terrain. The 21-inch deck allows for side discharge, mulching, or bagging, while a dual lever makes for hassle-free adjusting between the mowing deck’s six heights.
Specifications of the Product
Engine: 160ccDeck Width: 21 inchesFunctions: Mulch, side discharge, bagging
It comes with a 160cc Honda engine, which self-chokes
A little smaller engine than Honda mowers.
Photo by homedepot.com
This manual walk behind mower can be used for small yards. It’s certainly spartan, with a 20-inch cutting deck, only three cutting heights versus the more popular six, and side discharge as the only cutting option. The mower’s low weight of 50 pounds (almost 30% less than some walk-behind models) and small profile make maneuvering around tight spaces, such as flower beds, trees and lawn ornaments, easy.
Although it doesn’t have the same features and options as some walk-behind mowers it is much cheaper and easier to use. After the mower is finished, the handle can be folded down to make it compact and easy to store.
Engine: 125ccDeck Width: 20 inchesFunctions: Side discharge
It is small in weight and easy to maneuver.
There is no bagging or mulching feature.
Toro’s large self-propelled mower is a great alternative to riding mowers for larger yards. Its deck measures 30 inches and is comparable to a riding mower. This mower can handle lawns of up to 1 acre. The deck boasts a powerful motor of 223cc and dual blades beneath it that provide exceptional cutting capabilities.
Side discharge, bagging, and bagging options can all be found on the mower. Traction Assist and Personal Pace are available to enhance maneuverability and provide better performance on uneven terrain.
Specifications for the product
Engine: 223ccDeck Width: 30 inchesFunctions: Mulch, side discharge, bagging
The 30-inch cutting deck will speed up your job. It is easy to maneuverability thanks to its variable speed and Traction Control.
Mowers of larger size are more expensive than self propelled mowers. This is because it takes more strength to maneuver.
With its powerful and reliable 170cc Honda engine and numerous features that foster easy operation—including variable-speed self-propelled rear wheels and three cutting functions—the Honda 21 in. The 3-in-1 Variable speed gas self-propelled mower is ideal for anyone with a yard larger than 1 acre. Cub Cadet X1 Enduro Gaz Riding Lawn Mowers are great for larger lawns of up to 3 acres.
How we picked the best gas lawnmower
We evaluated dozens of top-of the-line gas lawnmowers and focused on three main attributes: deck sizes, engine sizes, cutting functions, and engine sizes. Gas lawn mowers are a broad category. We broke down the mowers into smaller, manual push-behind models that are suitable for smaller yards, self propelled models for medium-sized yards, and riding lawnmowers for larger yards to give you an apples-to–apples comparison.
Mowers with larger engines, larger decks and more cutting functionality were awarded higher ranks than mowers with smaller engines or less functionality. We also considered the brand’s reputation when ranking mowers.
For questions about lawn mower longevity, maintenance, and/or storage, read on—plus get answers to other common questions.
Q: How long can gas lawnmowers last?
A gas lawn mower can last between 8-10 year if it is properly maintained. The mower’s use frequency, the length of time it is used to mow the grass, and the intensity of the work required to cut the grass all have an impact on its longevity.
Q: What gas is best for a lawnmower mower?
Unleaded gasoline with a minimum 85 octane or less is the best fuel for lawnmower engines. While higher-octane gas won’t hurt an engine, there is no benefit to using this more expensive gasoline.
Q: How do gas lawnmowers be maintained?
Unless the mower doesn’t require oil changes, make sure to change the oil regularly. Most lawn mower manufacturers recommend changing your oil at the start of each season. To prevent debris from clogging the engine, clean and replace the air filters. Before you store the mower for the winter, make sure to replace the spark plug and use a gas stabilizer. Turn the mower over once in a while to remove grass clippings.
Q: Are gas lawnmowers considered safe?
Properly maintaining gas lawn mowers will allow them to be used safely. All gas mowers have a safety feature, sometimes referred to as a dead man’s switch, that prevents the blade from operating unless the operator is holding a bar on the handle closed.
Q: Do all gas lawnmowers have bags for storage?
Most walk-behind mowers come with bags, but not all models. Some models are not equipped with bags, such as those that are made to mow smaller areas. Many riding mowers have an optional bagging system available that can be purchased separately.
Q: How do I store my gas lawnmower in winter?
By emptying the gas tank, you can winterize your lawnmower. Drain the engine oil, and then add new oil. The mower should be kept dry and protected from heat and water heaters.