How Much Does a Lawnmower Cost? Types, Price & FAQs
Summer is great. The sun comes out, the kids are out of school, and the cold stays away for a few months. Also, the grass starts growing. In some places, the grass grows uncomfortably fast during the summer. It only takes a few weeks of warm weather to realize that you need a new lawn mower to keep up with your healthy grass. The problem is that lawnmowers are expensive. Or are they? How much does a lawn mower cost?
The cost of a new lawn mower is dependent on a large number of factors. There are a variety of different types, styles, sizes, and power sources for lawnmowers. Some mowers are as cheap as $50, while others can cost thousands. The price difference between the lawn mower you actually need and the lawn mower you think you need could be hundreds of dollars. Making the right choice is important and making the wrong choice could cost you hundreds.
Push Mowers vs. Riding Mowers
One of the first decisions you will have to make regarding lawn mowers is whether to get a push mower or a riding mower. Push mowers are much more affordable than riding mowers, but they are also harder to use. A typical gas-powered push mower will cost around $250, while riding lawn mowers generally start at $1200 and go up from there.
Push mowers take a lot more effort to use as they must be tended to by a person on foot. Riding mowers drive like small cars and allow people to sit while they cut their lawn. Riding mowers are good for large yards or pieces of property, while push behind mowers is good for small, fenced yards.
The cost difference between push mowers and riding mowers is substantial, and many people will know which one they want simply by looking at the price tag. At the high end, riding lawn mowers can cost $3500 or more, while the most expensive push mowers usually don’t approach $1000.
Riding lawn mowers also have heftier blades and larger engines that require more specialized maintenance than gas powered push mowers. That means that the upfront cost is higher for riding lawn mowers but so is the annual cost to keep them running in top form.
Gas Mowers vs. Electric Mowers
The other decision that will have to be made is whether or not to choose a gas mower or an electric mower. Gas mowers are simple, they are the cheapest type of powered lawn mower, and they can last a very long time if they are properly cared for. They require frequent upkeep, gasoline, and oil to keep them running. Supplies and parts for gas powered mowers are plentiful and cheap.
Electric lawn mowers are becoming more popular every year. There are more options on the market than ever before for electric mowers. Electric mowers are often battery powered but they can still sometimes be plugged into the wall. Electric lawn mowers are quieter than gas powered mowers, and they require less annual maintenance. However, the rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that they run on are expensive. If you run out of juice during a mowing session, you will have to either purchase a second battery for hundreds of dollars or wait for your current battery to recharge, which could take hours.
Electric lawn mowers are often more expensive than gas mowers. Most of the additional cost lies in the battery system. Many electric mowers start around $300 and can often be found between $400 and $500 which is nearly double the cost of a regular gas-powered mower.
Comprehensive Cost Breakdown
The cost of a new lawn mower can vary wildly depending on what kind of lawn mower you decide to purchase. Lawn mowers can range in price from $50 to $5000. Most people are looking for standard gasoline powered push mowers but there are corded electric mowers, battery powered mowers, riding mowers, and manual mowers to choose between. Each one of these types of lawn mowers has a very different price and set of features to parse through.
A regular gas-powered lawn mower runs around $200 on average. That number can go higher for name brand mowers and mowers that have extra features like a bagging mechanism and self-propulsion mode. The higher end gas mowers can be $600 or more for the units with the largest number of features.
Battery powered lawn mowers have become more popular. Battery mowers can be as cheap as $150 if you can supply the batter yourself. Some battery powered mowers run off a widely used battery system that many people already have in their homes. If you need to buy a unit that includes the battery, the price usually jumps up to $300 to start. There are some mowers with extremely large batteries that can run as high as $750 or more.
Riding lawn mowers have the widest price disparity and the largest number of options. There are simple rear-engine mowers that can be found for $1000, and there are professional-grade zero-turn mowers that can cost as much as a car. Typical homeowners looking for a riding mower should expect to spend around $2000 for a standard model.
That puts the range on an average price for a typical lawn mower at $150 to $2000. Narrowing down exactly what type of mower you want, what style, and what size will go a long way in narrowing down your options.
Cost By Type
|Push Mower (Gas)||$150||$600||$200|
|Push Mower (Electric, no battery)||$50||$250||$150|
|Push Mower (Electric, with battery)||$150||$1000||$400|
|Riding Lawn Tractor||$1200||$4000||$2000|
What Is The Cheapest Type of Lawn Mower?
The cheapest type of lawn mower is a reel mower. Reel mowers are sometimes called manual lawn mowers. These mowers do not use any gas, oil, or batteries to power them. They are powered entirely by the human body. These mowers are just a cutting wheel or cutting reel with a handle. The user walks behind it like normal, but instead of being assisted by an engine, the person has to put all of the muscle into it to get it to cut.
These mowers are only good for small yards with cooperative grass, but they are the cheapest type of lawn mower by far. Reel mowers take mowing and turn it into a workout. If you are on a budget and have a reasonable sized yard, then a reel mower could be just the solution you are looking for. Many manual lawn mowers start at less than a hundred dollars.
Gas and Oil
While not a huge cost, if you buy a gas-powered lawn mower, you will have to be prepared to keep it well stocked with gasoline and oil. Most lawn mowers only take one gallon of gas at a time, but larger mowers can take up to five gallons. When gas gets more expensive, it also raises the annual cost to keep your lawn mower running. Oil is also a cost that needs to be considered. Again, oil is not very expensive upfront, but a lawn mower will require oil to be on hand for regular maintenance.
Lawn mowers are not a one-time purchase. They require regular upkeep to ensure that they are in proper working order.
Cans and Sprays
All of that gas and oil will need somewhere to live. When you buy a lawn mower you will likely have to buy gas cans shortly afterward if you want to keep your small engine fueled up. Likewise, there are some sprays that you might want to pick up while you are at it. There are sprays meant to keep your carburetor clean, sprays for the spark plugs, and starter fluid that helps juice up a crusty engine.
For example, when gas costs near $5 per gallon and gas cans approach $20 or more per can you are looking at shelling out some additional money to gather everything you need to stock your garage with for your lawn mower.
One thing that will need to be replaced periodically on your lawn mower is the blades themselves. Over time, the blades get dull and wear out. Dull lawn mower blades will lead to rough cuts and missed spots. Lawn mower blades can cost anywhere from $10 to $75, depending on the type and brand you need for your particular mower.
Lawn mower blades can last a long time if you just have a standard yard with typical grass. However, if you have a lot of weeds, tree roots, or rough patches that you mow over regularly, you could end up wearing your blades out faster which will require more frequent replacement.
Running over metal, rocks, or debris can also damage the blades which can lead to an earlier than expected replacement date for mower blades.
A Battery System
Electric lawn mowers will require a battery and charger in order to run. Many times, battery powered mowers come with the charging system included, but that is not always the case. The battery and charger for electric lawn mowers often run between $100 and $200 per set. If you need to buy a charger in addition to your lawn mower be sure to factor in the cost of the battery itself.
Also, there is a chance that your battery could go bad, get lost, or be stolen. If you need to replace the battery for your lawn mower, you will need to pay a couple of hundred dollars to make it right, or you will be left with a mower that cannot run.
There are still electric mowers that run on extension cords rather than batteries. If you have an electric mower that needs a cord, budget $20 to $40. Corded lawn mowers also have the nasty habit of accidentally running over their cords which ups the likelihood of having to rebuy the extension cords over time.
Choosing between various types of lawn mowers could simply come down to cost. Some lawn mowers are really expensive. Other times, it will come down to preference. If you are handy and have a good history with small engines, a regular old gas-powered lawn mower will suit you just fine. If you have an acre or more of land, you might want to invest in some legitimate riding lawn mowers to help keep your property in line. If you hate gas engines and want something simple and easy to use, you might want to grab a new battery-powered lawn mower. The choice is entirely up to you and your budget.
Featured Image Credit: Skitterphoto, Pexels