If you're researching lawn mowers, you know that there are a variety of options. While we used a bunch, we didn't walk behind or sit on every lawn mower available. We've picked out the best lawn mower models based on our own experience. But remember, even in our own offices, these are topics of heated debate, and not every yard or property is created equal.
And there's another problem—Honda will be out of the market in September 2023, ending some of our favorite lawn mowers and some of the most popular in the country.
We know they're not the only good ones. So please help others who read this article and tell us what the best lawn mower is and why in the comments below.
Table of contents
- best ride
- best self-propelled
- best push
- Best Electric
- best robot
- purchase guide
- Why You Can Trust Pro Tool Reviews
best riding lawn mower
Business Pick: Hustler Hyperdrive Series Zero-Steer Mowers
A commercial ZT must have it all: durability, cut quality, speed and comfort are top of the list. Fail any of these and you're back to the drawing board.
Hustler's Super Z Hyperdrive series earns our highest recommendation, as do Scag's Turf Tiger II and eXmark's Lazer ZX series.
Powered by a Vanguard big block EFI 35 – 40 HP commercial engine, the Hustler Hyperdrive mower cuts well and reaches speeds of up to 16 MPH. Hustler's I3M seat is very comfortable on those long summer days, while the hydraulic system and transmission system help keep the mower operating smoother than most.
In terms of durability, Hyperdrive's 60 – 72 inch VX4 decks are constructed of 7 gauge steel. Raised and lowered using foot pedal controls, they have a cutting height range of 1 – 5.5 inches.
Hustler offers a 2 year unlimited hour/5 year 1200 hour warranty on the Hyperdrive range with 3,000 hours on the drive system. Visit or call your local Hustler dealer for pricing.
Residential Pick: Cub Cadet Ultima ZTX6 Series Zero-Turn Mowers
The Ultima ZT series is a popular entry in the Cub Cadet zero-turn line, but if you're looking for the best riding lawn mower for homeowners, it's worth upgrading to the Ultima ZTX series. Overall, the range falls into the Prosumer category, bridging the gap between purely residential models and high-priced commercial models. Taking it a step further, the Cub Cadet ZTX6 mower earns our official recommendation.
Available in 54 or 60 inch decks, both options draw power from a Kawasaki FX801 25.5HP commercial grade engine. Cub Cadet's Hydro-Gear ZT-3400 hydrostatic drivetrain is also commercial grade, providing forward speeds of up to 9 MPH.
Where you see the mower back at the focal point of the home is the less solid structure, including a 10 gauge steel deck. That said, with an optimal property size rating of 4 to 12 acres, we're not at all concerned about whether it will hold up over time.
If you think you'll love zero turns in this class, but horizontal bars aren't your thing, there's now the Ultima ZTXS line, designed with a steering wheel and Cub Cadet's Synchronized Steering.
Price: $8999.00 – $9299.00 ($10299.00 for 60-inch ZTXS6)
Did you know Stihll now has zero-turn ride-on mowers? check the detail information!
best self propelled lawn mower
Commercial Choice: Exmark Commercial X-Series Self-Propelled Lawn Mowers
As we say goodbye to Honda this year, the HRC line still gets our two thumbs up, and you can get them. From there, we turn to Exnark and its Commercial X line, which complements its Lazer Z zero-turn mowers nicely. Some pros are sure to move to the higher-capacity 30-inch models, but we expect the 21-inch models to find their way on more trailers.
Exmark wisely uses the Honda 163cc. The GXV engine known for its reliability. It's fueled by a large 1 gallon tank and turns the blades at tip speeds of up to 18,500 fpm. If you want to upgrade to a 179cc engine, there is also the option of a Kawasaki FJ180V engine.
The deck is 1/4" aluminum construction to reduce weight (112 lbs) while maintaining high durability. The deck is adjustable from 4.5 inches on the high side all the way to 1 inch, while the drive runs at speeds up to 4.2 MPH.
Price: From $1799.00
Residential Pick: Toro Super Recycler Series 21-Inch Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
Toro has a long history of residential lawn mowers, and our favorite is the Super Recycler line. Taking advantage of all the technology Toro has to offer, our top recommendation (model 21565) includes the Personal Pace drive system and Smart Stow design, which lets you store the mower vertically, even if it's a gasoline model.
It uses a 163cc Briggs & Stratton engine that produces 7.25 foot-pounds of torque and a tip speed of just under 17,000 fpm.
Toro touts commercial-grade construction on this model, including a lighter aluminum deck instead of steel. Beyond that, you get excellent cut quality, especially in terms of coverage (prefer the name Super Recycler!). All in all, the Personal Pace drive system adjusts to your walking speed, so there's no need for adjustment bars or dials.
Business Pick: Honda HRC Series 21-Inch Walk-Behind Lawn Mowers
If you're buying a legal walk behind lawn mower instead of a self-propelled lawn mower, your options at the professional level are pretty limited. Our recommendation is to buy this Honda HRC216PDA while it is still available. As part of the HRC range, you get the commercial grade quality you need for extended life.
A GSV160 commercial engine drives Honda's MicroCut dual blades, which create better cut quality and handle overgrowth better than single blade designs. A height range of 3/4 to 4 inches is suitable for each turf grass type.
The only downside is the fuel tank. It only holds 32 ounces, so you'll need to refill it more often.
Residential Pick: Honda HRN Series 21-Inch Walk-Behind Lawn Mower
What goes around comes around, and of all the home walk-behind lawn mowers available, we recommend getting the Honda HRN216PKA while you still can. The HRN series replaces the popular HRR series and is withdrawn from the premium HRX series. Between the two residential lines, this is the only push mower that Honda makes specifically for homeowners.
It uses a Honda GCV170 engine rated at 167cc, so you get more power than the 140cc class most push mower options use. An automatic choke makes starting easier, and it's equipped with everything you need whether you're covering, bagging or side dumping.
The best electric battery-powered lawn mowers
Commercial Pick: Milwaukee M18 Fuel 21-Inch Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
Ever since Milwaukee first ventured into the world of outdoor power equipment, people have been asking…how about a lawn mower? While it took another few years, the final product was worth the wait.
Milwaukee's M18 Fuel mower uses two M18 batteries for power, produces more blade torque than any other electric competitor, and matches the output of its 200cc gas engine. Excellent cutting properties wrapped in legal commercial grade packaging, the cream of the crop from day one. So far, no other lawn mower has surpassed it for the title of best professional electric lawn mower.
Price: $1099.99 with two 12.0Ah batteries and dual-port simultaneous fast charger
Residential: EGO Select Cut XP 21-Inch Lawn Mower with Speed IQ
The evolution of EGO's flagship lawn mower is interesting. It raises the bar for Li-ion battery capabilities, starting with a dual-cell peak power model. Then we saw the first stacked blade SelectCut option, which improves the quality of cut and efficiency in tall grass. These two technologies are combined in SelectCut XP. Now, EGO is adding Speed IQ to the mix.
Speed IQ is a self-propelled system that automatically adjusts to your pace. However, it's not a set of spring-loaded handles like Toro uses on its Personal Pace models. Instead, there's a sensor doing some serious engineering magic… and from our brief time at Gear Expo 2022 (formerly GIE), it worked like a charm.
Price: $999.00 with 12.0Ah battery and turbo charger
best robot lawn mower
Business Pick: Husqvarna CEORA Robotic Lawn Mower
Husqvarna has a deeper run in the robotic lawnmower space than any other brand, and we've seen the technology get better and better as the years go by. Moving into large-scale commercial mowing, we now see the Husqvarna CEORA taking center stage.
Mower capable of cutting up to 18 acres at standard quality. But you can also use it on the sports field for professional cutting on up to 6 acres per charge. Here's the kicker – you don't need wires. The model uses Husqvarna's Precise Positioning Operating System (EPOS), which combines reference stations and satellite technology to create a virtual perimeter system.
Price: $32,829.94 starter kit
Residential pick: Husqvarna Automower 435X AWD
Husqvarna has always been at the forefront of robotic mower technology and they have raised the bar (again) with the Automower 435X AWD. This futuristic machine has been specifically designed to handle slopes up to 35°.
This robotic lawn mower is good for about 0.9 acres of yards, and the battery gives it a mowing time of 1 hour and 40 minutes. It takes only 30 minutes to charge and it's off and running again.
As with most robotic lawn mowers, the mowing height is limited. Ranging from 1.2 to 2.8 inches, it's not the best choice for all grass species.
Smartphone connectivity and GPS assistance are built into the system. While Husqvarna is working on it, it's not completely wireless just yet.
Price: Starting at $5199.00 with professional installation ($3999.00 without professional installation)
How We Chose – Best Lawn Mower Buying Guide
Lawnmowers for the level we're writing make up a large class, and we won't go into all the details of all the classes we recommend – it's going to take a long time to write (and probably be very boring to read)! However, all the lawn mowers we look for have a few things in common.
Some grasses are easy to mow, others are not. The St. Augustine grass we grow in Central Florida grows exceptionally thick and we need enough power to cut it while maintaining a high enough blade speed to get the best cut quality the mower can provide.
When we talk about cut quality, we consider several things. First, we want to see how the lawn mower cuts grass. The best lawn mowers make your yard look like a green carpet that rolls with the knolls.
Second, we check how little grass the blade cuts to cover and how much grass is left when we bag. Whichever you prefer, you want your lawn to look clean and tidy when you're done.
Do you want your lawn mower to last for one season or multiple seasons? Some engines, like Honda's, are known for their years of reliability. On the residential side, a Honda engine lasts ten years!
Although professionals replace or purchase a brand new mower every 3 to 5 years, quality engines from Kawasaki, Pioneer, and others can keep these years of trouble-free service with regular maintenance.
The engine isn't the only part of your lawn mower that needs attention. The pulleys, height adjustment, wheels, and more all need to stand up to the time you're going to be using your lawn mower. It's very different between someone who mows once a week and a professional who mows 20 lawns a day.
Lawn Size Suitability
You don't maintain 3 acres of land with an 18 inch lawn mower. At least, you shouldn't be. But these mowers are great for smaller urban lawns. We always consider the best lawn size for each mower. Part of that is the deck, and part of it is how efficiently it uses a tank of gas or a set of batteries.
price and value
Value for money is another consideration for many. Finding the right balance of performance, quality, and price tops our list, and the price each lawn mower offers can influence our choice.
Why You Can Trust Pro Tool Reviews
Ever looked at a "review" site, but you can't tell if they actually tested the tools, or if they were just "recommending" Amazon bestsellers? That's not us. We won't recommend anything unless we've actually used it ourselves, and we don't really care who the major retailers are. It's all about providing you with sound recommendations and our honest opinions on each product.
We've been in business since 2008, covering tools, writing reviews and industry news coverage for the construction, automotive and lawn care industries. Our professional reviewers work in the industry and have the skills and experience to see if a tool will perform well in the field.
Every year, we introduce and review more than 250 individual products. Our teams will use hundreds of other tools at media events and trade shows throughout the year.
We consult with innovators in tool technology and design to gain a broader understanding of where and how these products work.
We work with more than two dozen specialty contractors across the U.S. who review products for us on real job sites and consult with us on testing methods, categories, and weightings.
This year we're giving readers over 500 completely free new pieces of content, including objective reviews of tools and products.
The end result is information you can trust because we collectively draw on editorial, scientific, and real-world professional experience every time we pick up and test a tool.