Consumer Reports has tested more than 100 lawn mowers from Home Depot, Lowe’s, and other retailers.
Its testers have pushed them more than 50 miles to help you find the best mower for your yard. They rate each mower on how well it can cut in different modes — mulching, bagging, and side discharging.
If you’re looking for a push mower, Consumer Reports says consider buying one that’s self-propelled. They’re a lot easier to use and they’re not a lot more money.
Consumer Reports recommends several single-speed self-propelled mowers, including the Snapper SP70 12A-A2A1707. It’s very good at mulching and side discharging, and costs just $280.
If you want more control and more even cutting, Consumer Reports says opt for a self-propelled mower with multiple speeds. That allows you to vary the speed to meet the conditions of the grass, or if you’re in a hurry, to get the job done faster.
One of the best is the $700 Honda HRX2175VKA. It offers excellent cut performance whether you’re bagging, mulching, or in side-discharge mode, which is helpful if you’ve let your grass get too tall.
And the less expensive Honda HRR2169VKA is a Consumer Reports Best Buy for $400. It’s not as good in side-discharge mode as the $700 Honda, but Consumer Reports tests found that it’s slightly easier to handle and control.
For a little less money, Consumer Reports also recommends the self-propelled Toro Recycler model 20332 for $360. When it comes to operating the controls and shifting speeds, it’s not as easy to use as the Hondas, but it does offer excellent cutting in mulch mode.
Complete Ratings and recommendations on all kinds of products, including appliances, cars and trucks, and electronic gear, are available on Consumer Reports’ website.