A Guide To Lawn Mowers: Comparing the Popular Styles

lawnmower illustration

Springtime can mean growing grass, depending where you live. And with that, spring means seeing to the need to mow it! Here are some basics when it comes to choosing a new lawn mower this season.


We have had a lawn service come over to mow our lawn for years. The guy we used was cheap, did a great job, and took the clippings away with him so we didn’t have to haul them off ourselves. Sadly, he has decided to retire his lawn mowing business so this is yet another job around the house my boyfriend will have to take over.

On the bright side our city now offers composting services which collect grass clippings every two weeks so disposal is no longer an issue. Now we just have to buy a lawn mower, and oh boy, what choices!

Everyone has seen the ride-on mowers zipping along on large lawns like farms and golf courses. While these mowers seem like fun, for our medium sized lawn just a regular push-style (also often called walk-behind) one will do and that is what I will compare:

Reel mowers

These are the cheapest mowers out there – basically because they have no engine. As you push these mowers the blades spin to saw off the grass. Other than sharpening the blades occasionally they require no maintenance so they seem like a great choice – however they do tend to get stuck on twigs and larger weeds since the blades are spinning only with push power, which makes the job a bit harder.

These mowers typically only shave off the top of the lawn, giving it more of a trim than a cut – requiring you to mow more often. If you have a very small patch of grass, these would likely be your ideal pick.

Gas-powered mowers

Gas mowers are the most popular choice of lawn mowers. These beauties will saw through thicker weeds and even small branches. The downsides are that they can be quite loud and they give off some emissions, making them less than ideal for the environment. Plus with the price of gas these days, mowing your lawn could really take a chunk out of your bank account!

Electric mowers

Electric mowers typically have a little more power than gas powered models so they are very easy to use and also won’t get stuck on any small barriers on the lawn. These machines are quieter and better for the environment than their gas counterparts as well. However, as the name says – they are electric so an outlet must be close by, not making them an ideal pick for larger lawns.

You also have the risk of running over your cord – and unlike when you run over the cord with your vacuum cleaner (something I’m known for!), this cord usually won’t live to see another use. I’ve seen electric mowers rigged up to be battery powered, but this adds a lot more to the price, which is already more than gas models.

Narrowing down your options

Both gas and electric mowers have other things to consider, like speed controls and bagging features, but with so many mowers out there, at least we have narrowed down that we will just be looking at gas models. What type of mower do you swear by? Does anyone have any tips to pass along to my future lawn mowing boyfriend?

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