The best lawn mower for you is entirely dependent on the size and shape of your garden; whether it is sloped, how environmentally conscious you are, and whether you enjoy mowing the lawn or not.
The popularity of cordless electric mowers has grown significantly in recent times. However petrol mowers are fantastic at tackling large gardens, and developments in robot lawn mowers mean you no longer have to do the work yourself!
The reality is, there is no one best lawn mower. Instead, there are a variety of top models that I present to you in this article. I hope my recommendations and research into the capabilities of these mowers help you make an informed decision for your garden.
Trying to find machines that work for us, to make our lives easier, rather than complicating matters with infuriating flaws, doesn’t seem too much to ask. And yet, often, machines such as gardening tools do seem to just miss the mark, whether it’s because they don’t live up to expectations or simply aren’t powerful enough for the job.
For this reason, the Greenworks Cordless Lawn Mower is somewhat of a refreshing find. As a battery-powered electric machine it has none of the cables that standard electric tools require, yet it manages to be cordless without the need for the fuel combustion of petrol mowers. Whilst some battery-powered tools lack power, this Greenworks mower is still a very viable option for the majority of gardens.
With a cutting width of 41 cm, it’s one of the wider models available, making it suitable for slightly larger gardens as well as smaller spaces without many obstacles. Of course, it is battery powered, which limits its running time and coverage-potential slightly; however, seeing as one battery can mow an area of around 300 m² (and two batteries come included!), this isn’t the type of machine that will run out of charge on its first pass of the lawn.
What’s more, it will cut through a good variety of different grasses, coping well with standard-lawn vegetation. It does fall down slightly in larger areas of thick grass, and this can be attributed to its battery-powered motor, but if moved through at a steady and slow pace it can still be persuaded to work through some of these patches.
The five adjustable cutting heights, ranging from 25 – 80 mm, do help broaden the types of terrain this mower can tackle. That said, it is worth bearing in mind that a minimum cutting height of 25 mm is not that low compared to what some other mowers can achieve. If you’re a gardener who’s looking for a bowling-green finish as opposed to a well-kempt meadow, this may not be the best lawn mower for you.
And yet, several other factors work in this cordless mower’s favour, including its ability to be stored easily and its lightweight design. With the handle folded down, the unit measures just 45 cm in height, which comfortably fits in the corner of the shed or garage. Its also constructed predominantly of plastic, which keeps the weight down and results in an 18 kg mower that can be used on slopes without excessive exertion.
Finally, with the ability to either mulch or collect grass in its 50 L catcher bag, this mower offers the flexibility to fertilise the lawn, or add clippings to the compost, without overly frequent emptying required.
The height of the whole unit, with the handles folded, is 45 cm so it's easy to store.
The fulness of the grass bag can be checked without removing it to save time.
One battery on full charge can mow an area of approx. 300 m².
The lightweight design means it isn't too tiring to mow, even on sloped gardens.
For safety, the mower won't run unless the handle is being held.
The adjustable cutting height doesn't cut as low as some other mowers - not for those who want really short grass.
Due to the power of the motor it is not well suited to cutting through thick, dense lawns.
The deck is made from plastic instead of steel, which may not be as durable.
There is no back roller for creating a striped finish.
For larger gardens, the Hyundai HYM510SPE combines power, size and practicality, resulting in a petrol mower that doesn’t mess around when it comes to tidying up the lawn.
With a 196 cc 4-stroke petrol engine, it’s got a lot of force behind it yet remains manageable at the same time; there are four self-propel speeds that help reduce the amount of effort required whilst also keeping the power in check. Speed settings 3 and 4 can be used in larger, open spaces, whilst numbers 1 and 2 allow this Hyundai mower to be more controllable around borders and other obstacles.
As is often the case with petrol machines, this mower is heavier than electrical models of the same size. It has a predominantly plastic construction, to help keep weight down where possible, but still weighs 43.8 kg. Being self-propelled, the weight is not overly problematic when at work mowing the lawn; however, it can make manoeuvring this mower in and out of storage quite difficult, especially if the shed is some distance from the lawn.
Returning to features that make this mower suitable for large gardens, it has a 51 cm cutting width and 70 L grass collection bag. This is the largest width featured on this list, and results in a sizeable mower that covers big areas fairly rapidly. Of course, on the flip side, if your garden has many narrower areas to contend with, this mower may not be suitable.
Thanks to the weight of this machine, it can support a bigger grass catcher than some others, and therefore requires relatively infrequent emptying. Some medium-size lawns won’t even require it to be emptied once during the job.
If collecting the clippings for compost isn’t your thing, this mower also offers a mulch function, allowing the cuttings to be used to fertilise the lawn and provide valuable nutrients.
A battery comes included as well, which needs to be charged in order for the electric start to function. This method of starting the engine works very reliably and is infinitely easier than the pull-cord start of traditional petrol mowers. That said, if for some reason the battery isn’t charged, it is possible to start the Hyundai HYM510SPE with a yank of the cord, it might just take longer.
The electric starter works reliably every time and avoids any back strain from a pull chord.
Quick to assemble in under 30 minutes.
In small/medium gardens the whole area can be mowed without emptying the collection bag.
The lower speed offers a good balance of propulsion yet control around borders and other obstacles.
Can tackle longer grass of at least 12 cm without altering performance.
If you want to make use of the electric start you will need to remember to charge the battery as well as put petrol in the mower.
The hard plastic wheels do not have a lot of traction and can get stuck in softer ground.
When the grass bag is full, the mower is 5 - 10 kg heavier which can be difficult to manoeuvre.
In times when the motor can't be used, for example when moving the machine out of storage, its weight can make it difficult to manage.
Flymo Speedi-Mo 360VC Electric Wheeled Lawn Mower review
Type: Corded Electric
Lawn Size: Small to Medium
Power: 1500 W
Weight: 11.5 kg
Cutting Width: 36 cm
Cutting Height: 20 - 60 mm
Collection Bag: 40 L
When it comes to talking about lawnmowers, it never takes long for the name ‘Flymo’ to crop up in conversation. This well-renowned brand have been creating reliable mowers for decades, so it’s no surprise that several Flymo mowers have made it onto this list.
The Flymo Speedi-Mo 360VC Electric Wheeled Lawn Mower is a decent machine that offers 1500 W of cutting power whilst still fitting into a reasonable price bracket. As a mains-powered unit it doesn’t have all the free-range flexibility of a cordless or petrol mower, but it does provide benefits of its own.
There are no batteries to charge, or fuel to prepare, and thanks to its plug-in design there’s no need to stop mowing until the job is truly finished (whereas battery-powered mowers may cut you off prematurely!). It’s also less prone to stalling than some battery-powered mowers, and can battle through slightly thicker grass because of its more reliable power source.
With a 12 m cable, small/medium gardens may not even require an extension cable to get the work done; however, around bigger spaces and more obstacles it is likely that one will be needed.
Generally speaking, this is an appropriate size for medium gardens; the 36 cm cutting width is reasonable without being too large – it’s a size that can get around most parts of the garden, including narrower areas. The five cutting heights, ranging between 20 and 60 mm, also offer a good selection for the majority of gardens.
At 11.5 kg it’s a lot lighter than a petrol mower, and doesn’t require anywhere near as much strength to remove from storage. Plus, thanks to this lightweight design, it’s also suitable for gardens with several levels as it can be lifted up and positioned where required. The handles fold down as well, which is just another feature that helps it store easily.
It's able to cut quite close to the edge of borders.
Avoids back pain for most gardeners as handle height is adjustable to two settings.
Can cut through thicker and slightly damp grass without the engine slowing down or struggling.
It's easy to transport, with a carry handle positioned on top.
Putting the grass collection basket together can be difficult - it needs persuasion to click together.
If overfilled, the grass box may break apart as the weight makes the clips undo.
For those looking for a way to avoid mowing the lawn altogether (without leaving it in an untidy state of disarray), robotic lawn mowers like the McCulloch ROB S400 offer an ingenious solution. After its initial set up, this intelligent robot mower will hardly require any additional thought; it will merrily take charge of the lawn, leaving you free to get on with other things.
Whilst some people enjoy mowing the lawn, for others it is a necessary but time-consuming chore, and this robot mower makes it possible to tick the job off the list without even stepping outside.
Placing the guide wires in the garden is straight forward, but may take a couple of hours. Once they’re down, it’s easy to program the mower’s computer with your specific instructions and send it on its way. It automatically returns to base to charge, so requires very little afterthought.
Thanks to the guidewires, it can be programmed to navigate gardens of all different shapes and avoid obstacles like ponds and flowerbeds. Plus, it will adjust its mowing schedule based on the lawn growth, preventing wear on the lawn.
As with most mowers, there are a range of cutting heights to choose from, from 20 – 50 mm. Just because the robot is left to its own devices, doesn’t mean you can’t choose exactly how you’d like the lawn to look!
It isn’t possible to collect the grass, as this robot mower has no collector, but instead it mulches the clippings in order to provide light fertiliser for the lawn. Also, if you’re worried about pets, this is a pet-friendly unit so it won’t harm your cat or dog even if they run in the mower’s path.
There are some situations in which this robot lawnmower may not be suitable, and it generally depends on the layout of the garden.
Firstly, whilst this mower can cut on lawns with up to a 35% incline, it won’t be very efficient in multi-level gardens or those with split lawns. These will require the mower to be physically picked up and put down, which naturally requires more active input from you. It also won’t be able to return itself to the charging station in these cases.
The main thing to bear in mind, however, is the position of the charging station. There are quite a few prerequisites for its placement: the charging station needs to be near a socket, but preferably placed on a lawn, it must be a level surface (with a maximum of 3 cm height difference between the front and back of the unit), and needs a space of 3 m clearance in front of it without other obstacles. As a result, some gardens may not have a suitable layout to host this robot mower.
It's virtually silent in operation meaning it could even be used at night.
Can tackle longer lawn grass of around 10 cm.
Can cope with undulating lawn, not just a flat area.
The mower is waterproof so doesn't get damaged in the rain.
Won't be suitable for all gardens because of specific positioning instructions for charging station.
Requires an electrical socket to be in easy reach of the lawn.
Charging station shouldn't be placed in direct sunlight so requires a shaded area.
Not all mowers are created with the same amount of power under their belts, and if you want a machine that will really fly through the lawn – no matter what hardy weeds or nettles lurk amongst the greenery – only a powerful tool like the Spring Self Propelled Petrol Lawn Mower will really stand up to the job.
Equipped with a 125cc engine, this mower has the same force behind it as a small motorbike. And, in reality, this isn’t just any engine, but a reliable and powerful Briggs & Stratton 300E motor. Produced by a company that has over a 100 year history of engine manufacture, these well-renowned models consistently deliver excellent performance.
Depending on the job at hand, this petrol mower has six cutting heights to choose between, ranging from 28 – 92 mm. So, whether it’s a standard run around the lawn, or a beefier fight against thicker plants, the correct level can be chosen accordingly. The 46 cm cutting width makes it a good choice for medium/large gardens.
In terms of comfort, there are a couple of things working in this mower’s favour. The handle is height adjustable, able to move between three different positions, making it possible to mow for extended periods without suffering back pain from working at awkward angles. Plus, the self-propulsion makes this 25.2 kg easy to push, and it’s still not too heavy to control. There is only one speed setting, so there’s no option to slow it down or speed it up, but the measured 3.6 km/h pace will be suitable for most users without feeling like it’s running away.
Note: this mower requires four-stroke engine oil to run, which doesn’t come included with the machine, so make sure to buy some separately.
The pace of the self-propel motor is good without being too fast.
The handle can be adjusted through three different heights making it suitable for most gardeners.
Is capable of tackling grass over 30 cm.
Even when the engine is cold it can start on the first or second pull.
Four-stroke engine oil does not come supplied and needs to be bought separately before use.
Taking the handle apart can be difficult so it's likely to be left on for storage taking up more space.
The shortest cutting height (2.8 cm) may be too high for some gardeners.
Flymo Easi Glide 300 Electric Hover Lawn Mower review
Type: Corded Electric
Lawn Size: Small
Power: 1300 W
Weight: 8.5 kg
Cutting Width: 30 cm
Cutting Height: 10 - 30 mm
Collection Bag: 20 L
Chugging the lawnmower back and forth over the grass can be tiring; a recipe for sore arms and a stiff back, especially if the mower is heavy or doesn’t have a very ergonomic design. The Flymo Easi Glide 300 is pretty different to standard lawnmowers, hovering over the lawn on a cushion of air, avoiding the usual resistance felt when cutting the lawn.
Thanks to this design, gardeners aren’t directionally limited and can glide the mower around without being resigned to the classic ‘forward and back’ strokes. The air cushion makes the mower a lot more forgiving to use slopes as well, as it responds to the terrain and glides over different inclines without altering the cutting height.
With reference to cutting height, there are four settings to choose from, ranging from 10 – 30 mm. 10 mm is one of the shortest cutting lengths featured on this list, making this mower one of the best lawn mowers for creating ‘bowling green’ lawns.
Weighing 8.8 kg, even when the motor isn’t running, this is a light unit to transport around. The handle also collapses down, making it quite compact, which is useful for fitting it into the boot of a car.
It comes with a 12 m power cable so can mow most small gardens, and some medium areas, without an extension cable. Its weight makes it a good option for gardens with different levels or platforms, as it’s easy to carry around, although in these cases an extension will likely be required.
The 30 cm cutting blade width also makes this a good contender for smaller lawns. In fact, in general, this is a compact unit which manoeuvres easily thanks to its wheel-free design, so fitting into narrower spaces and navigating smaller gaps becomes pretty easy. Plus, it doesn’t leave a large border when cutting up against walls and buildings – generally only leaving a few cm uncut.
One thing to bear in mind is the pace that needs to be adopted when using this machine – due to the hover design, there is a lot of air being pushed out. This can blow debris around if the unit is pushed too quickly.
When cutting up to the edge of buildings, it can cut within a few cm wall.
The mower compresses grass in the collector well, so it doesn't fill up too quickly.
No wheel-tracks will be left in the grass.
If the grass is quite long it may be blown by the mower once cut, instead of collected.
To ensure all debris is collected, it may be necessary to adopt quite a slow pace.
There's no 'fulness' level indicator on the grass box to show when to empty it.
If the lawn has a lot of bumps, the hover feature may struggle to maintain an even cutting level.
Flymo Turbo Lite 250 Electric Hover Lawn Mower review
Type: Corded Electric
Lawn Size: Small
Power: 1400 W
Weight: 5.1 kg
Cutting Width: 25 cm
Cutting Height: 11 - 31 mm
Collection Bag: n/a
With a name like ‘Turbo Lite’, there’s no guesses for what particular selling point the Flymo Turbo Lite 250 Electric Hover Lawn Mower is bringing to this list. At just 5.1 kg, it’s the lightest mower featured here, and as a result it’s a great choice for gardeners of all ages, as well as anyone who finds heavy mowers too taxing on the wrists or back.
Weighing the same as a standard housecat (but being easier to hold as there’s much less wriggling!), this is certainly a very manageable machine. Measuring 79 x 39 x 80 cm, it’s compact and can be stored easily – in fact, due to its light weight, it can even be hung from a hook for storage.
In terms of performance, this mains-powered mower provides 1,400 W of power, gliding over the lawn using Flymo’s famous hover technology. It hovers well, resulting in limited resistance when cutting (especially if the grass is already short), and can tackle some longer grass too. Its cutting height can be altered from 11 – 31 mm depending on the type of grass you’re cutting as well as the desired finish. With longer grass it may be necessary to stop and clean the vents relatively frequently, which is easily done, as blocked vents stop the mower from hovering.
The cutting blade measures 25 cm, which is also the smallest size featured on this list. This might be a blessing or a curse, depending on the garden, as smaller spaces will likely benefit from the easy manoeuvrability offered by such a unit.
Generally speaking, this mower is better suited to a small garden in any case, as the 10 m mains cable is a good length to work in small/medium gardens without the need to use an extension cord.
One thing to be aware of: this mower does not have a grass collection box – instead it leaves the clippings on the lawn. For some gardeners, this isn’t a problem, as the mulched grass can act as a fertiliser for the lawn; however, if you like to collect your clippings, you will have to follow up your mowing by raking the area.
Storage is very tidy because the handle folds down parallel to the base of the unit.
Cuts grass on sloped lawns.
Hovers well so there's very little resistance when cutting grass.
Ideal weight for people who struggle with heavier mowers.
May not work effectively on bumpy lawns - best suited to a flat surface.
The vents may get clogged with grass meaning it doesn't hover well until the grass is brushed off.
The cutting heights available may be too long for some, depending on personal taste.
Adjusting the cutting height is not done with simple levers; you need to remove the blade and add spacers.
No cable hooks to keep the cable neatly out of the way whilst mowing.
Cons: can’t always cut through thicker grass, may require a couple of passes, the power has to come entirely from your pushing force!
Hover Lawn Mowers
Clever technology that uses air to create a cushion between the grass and your mower. This enables the high-speed rotary blade to cut your grass.
Pros: quiet, can be manoeuvred from side to side – great for getting under awkward evergreens and overflowing borders.
Cons: cords can get in the way/ batteries require charging. Can require a fair amount of forearm strength – not ideal if the mower is heavy.
Electric Lawn Mowers
The electric lawn mower is perfectly capable of dealing with small- to medium-size lawns. It comes in all different formats (rotary, cylinder, hover) and is the best solution for the majority of British gardens.
Pros: quiet to use, can be quite powerful, simply plug in and mow without interruption until done!
Cons: may require an extension cable if the cord isn’t long enough, cords can get in the way and cause a hazard.
Fortunately, someone thought it a good idea to create a cordless lawn mower…
Cordless Battery-Powered Lawn Mowers
These are the next generation of lawn mowers.
Pros: simply plug in, charge up, and away you go. No cables, no petrol, no pollution. They’re fantastic. But what’s the catch?!
Cons: a battery-powered lawn mower is only really good for about half an hour. That being said, for the majority of gardens this is more than enough.
A cordless lawn mower makes the best lawn mower for a small garden because of how easy they are to use!
If your garden is big, the best lawn mower for you might be a petrol model…
Petrol Lawn Mowers
Pros: they’re extremely powerful, petrol lawn mower will do a great job at cutting the lawn, and they’re cheap to run.
Cons: they’re noisy, polluting, and need a bit more maintenance than your standard mower.
If you thought battery-powered mowers were a neat idea, you ain’t seen nothing yet!
Pros: if you’ve got the money, the future is at your fingertips. The little robot mower will travel your pre-programmed cutting area, cutting and mulching as it goes. You can be sitting on the patio enjoying a BBQ, while this little fella does the donkey-work!
Cons: as with most technology, these mowers work great until they don’t, and then they can be more complicated to fix (certainly compared to a manual push lawn mower!).
In the handy table below, I’ve highlighted which lawn mowers are appropriate for different sized gardens. This should help you choose what style is most appropriate for yours.
Why Lawn Mower Weight is Important
Lawn mower weight is certainly something to consider before buying one of these machines. There’s actually quite a lot of variation when it comes down to it.
A standard weight for a manual push or hover mower is between 7 – 9 kg. Some electric models weigh more like 12 -15 kg, and then weights can go all the way up to 40 kg for a beastly petrol one!
Don’t just take my word for it though – be sure to check the product specifications as these weights can vary dramatically.
Ultimately, the best lawn mower for you will be of a weight that you’ll feel comfortable manoeuvring around the garden.
Remember: even if your mower is self propelled, this feature won’t work when the engine is off. So you’ll have to lug the full weight of the machine from the garage to the garden.
Self Propelled vs Manual Push Lawn Mowers
Self-propelled lawn mowers are best suited for big lawns, uneven ground or steep inclines. Basically, they do the hard work for you.
If you’ve got a small or medium-size garden, that’s generally flat, you don’t really need a self-propelled mower, and manual push will be sufficient. Of course, no-one is going to stop you if you’ve got your heart set on self propelled!
Should You Choose a Lawn Mower With or Without Mulching?
After the initial blades of grass are cut, they are transported into the mower. Once inside they are finely cut down into very small particles of grass. These particles are then distributed back to the lawn where they can quickly decompose, and feed the soil with valuable nutrients.
It makes your soil richer, which in turn makes your grass healthier.
You’ll save a lot of time not having to empty the grass collection box
You’re helping the environment by not having to throw away tons of grass every year.
You may not have to bother with harmful pesticides and weed killers, because you’re treating your lawn the natural way.
Of course, you may not want to use this option. In which case you can choose a mower without it, which may be cheaper. Most mowers offer you the option of mulching or not when using them.
The Importance of Lawn Cutting Height
Interestingly (well, depending on your point of view…!), cutting your grass to different lengths can affect the health of it.
The majority of the time though, height comes down to personal preference.
A beautiful, thick green lawn can look amazing, whilst a really short one is great for playing football on. The choice is yours, and if you want more options – make sure the mower you’re buying offers plenty of range.
Typically, the better the lawn mower, the more cutting heights it’ll have.
Most cheap lawn mowers will have 3 options, mid-range mowers have about 5 or 6, and high-end models can have 7+.
With proper care and maintenance, there’s almost no limit to how long your mower will last. Some are cited to have a ‘life expectancy’ of around 8 – 10 years, but certainly manual and petrol lawn mowers can last a lot longer if they are cared for properly.
What size grass collecting box do I need for my lawn mower?
Grass collectors range from about 20 L to 80 L. As you’d expect, the bigger your garden, the bigger your container should be. Take a look at product reviews
It’s also worth noting that they come in two formats; grass collector bags and grass collector boxes. The bags are typically made of canvas, while the boxes are made from plastic.
In the plastic boxes, look out for plenty of air holes as good ventilation helps evenly distribute the grass. Canvas bags obviously do this well already.
What are the best lawn mower brands on the UK market?
Flymo and Bosch are two excellent brands that tend to dominate my top lawn mower lists. They’ve both perfected their models for the mass market, and understand the average consumer wants and easy to use, reliable lawn mower at an affordable price.
Flymo has been around since 1964, and incredibly Bosch is over 130 years old!
Looking at the other manufacturers on our list, Einhell have been making garden tools for 50 years, VonHaus are a massive brand, and Evopower are making waves in the lawn mower market thanks to their modern technologies.