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10 Types of Lawn Mowers: Pros & Cons (with Pictures)

Red Lawn Mower on Grass

When you are thinking about lawn mower types, you’d probably imagine maybe five different types of lawn mowers. In reality, that number is much bigger! Lawn mowers can be powered in different ways and come in a variety of styles. Suppose you are looking for that perfect lawn mower for maintaining your particular yard or simply looking to inform yourself thoroughly about lawn mowers. In that case, this is the right article for you.

We gathered all the basics regarding different lawn mowers, as it is essential to know you have all these options before making your final decision. After reading this article, we hope to give you a better insight into all the types of mowers, their purposes, and their amazing features.

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The 10 Types of Lawn Mowers

1. Zero-turn Mower

Toro Z Master, Werktuigendagen 2005
Toro Z Master, Werktuigendagen 2005 (Image Credit: werktuigendagen, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 2.0 Generic)

A zero-turn lawn mower is a type of ride-on mower with a zero-turn radius. Zero-turn mowers are incredibly maneuverable and much easier to handle than other ride-on mowers. They have lap bars in the front seat that the operator controls. Most zero-turn lawn mowers come equipped with multiple cutting heights, providing maximum quality to the entire lawn mowing experience.

These lawn mowers are excellent for close mowing around objects, such as trees, garden beds, and lawn ornaments, and in narrow spaces.

  • Easily maneuverable 
  • Shorter working time
  • Traction problems
  • Expensive

2. Rotary Mower

Rotary Lawn Mower
Image Credit: Andres Siimon, Unsplash

Rotary mowers are a type of walk-along mowers that have single blades rotating horizontally. Rotary mowers work well at mowing long or medium-long grass, making this a great tool for gardeners who can’t devote much of their time to maintenance. The only downside these mowers have is that they are not as precise as cylinder mowers. Due to the blades rotating at very high speeds, they tend to bash the grass and create an uneven cut. These flaws are usually not that visible, though, considering that most lawns have differences in color, terrain type, and thickness of the grass.

  • Suitable for larger areas
  • Durable
  • Not as precise as some other mowers

3. Robotic Mower

Robotic lawn mower
Image Credit: MonikaP, Pixabay

Even though it seems like a creation from a futuristic sci-fi movie, robotic lawn mowers are an actual tool that many gardeners own and love. While these lawn mowers are the newest technology, they are not that simple to set up. Setting up robotic lawn mowers takes time and experience, but once you manage, you can sit back and relax while this extraordinary lawn mower does all the work for you.

  • Programmable
  • It may be a bit challenging to set up
  • Expensive

4. Push Mower

Push Lawn Mower
Image Credit: rseigler0, Pixabay

Push lawn mowers are lawn mowers that require you to walk behind them and direct them to where you would like to mow. These lawn mowers are excellent at mowing mostly flat terrains and are not as suitable for hills or slopes. They are usually very lightweight and easy to maneuver. Although they require a bit of physical strength, these lawn mowers are among the most popular ones on the market. Push mowers are affordable and easily obtainable and therefore widespread and valued.

  • Lightweight
  • Easy to handle and steer
  • Affordable
  • Not convenient for hilly terrain
  • Requires physical strength

5. Cylinder Mower

Lawnmower in the spring
Image Credit: Ryan Nicoll, Unsplash

Cylinder lawn mowers are another type of walk-along mower. They work by being pushed in the desired direction, and they have a huge cylinder blade in the front and another fixed blade next to it. The rotating cylinder blade traps the grass, and the fixed blade cuts it. This motion makes this lawn mower unsuitable for rocky or uneven terrain, which is one of its few downsides.

Because of its specific design, the cylinder lawn mower is also unsuitable for longer or rougher patches of grass. If you decide to use one of these machines, you must regularly cut and maintain your lawn.

  • Very precise
  • Great at cutting short grass
  • Requires high maintenance of the lawn
  • Not suitable for longer grass or hilly terrain

6. Lawn Tractor

Lawn Tractor
Image Credit: Insa Osterhagen, Pixabay

Most people imagine a lawn tractor when they think about a ride-on mower. These incredible machines are excellent at mowing large areas, with deck widths ranging from 42 to 54 inches. These lawn mowers tend to be a bit more expensive, although they provide a high-quality, effortless cut. The operator sits comfortably in this machine and drives it around, creating a neat lawn. Lawn tractor mowers come in many designs and variations in size, shape, power, and built-it features.

While many passionate gardeners use and love lawn tractors, they are not that convenient for maneuvering and are a bit challenging to turn around.

  • Excellent for larger spaces
  • Difficult to handle and turn
  • Can be quite expensive

7. Hover Mower

Hover-mower (Image Credit: Traveler100, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 3.0 Unported)

As the name suggests, these unique lawn mowers hover a few inches above the ground. Since they glide on a cushion of air, they are straightforward to maneuver, especially in areas that are harder to reach. They can do an excellent job in narrow spaces and precisely mowing around objects such as trees, vegetable gardens, and ornaments. Since hover mowers are affordable, they are very popular and loved by many gardeners.

  • Easy to handle and maneuver
  • Great at precise cutting
  • Unsuitable for larger lawns
  • Less power than other mowers

8. Self-Propelled Mower

Self-Propelled Mower
Image Credit: Gustavo-Fring, Pexels

Self-propelled mowers work similarly to push mowers, except they have a transmission that propels them to move forward on their own. This motion makes mowing a lot easier for the operator since he only has to steer this mower in the desired direction. They are ideal for larger lawns, and since they maintain a constant speed, they prove a much cleaner cut than push mowers. Self-propelled lawn mowers tend to be a bit more expensive than push mowers, although many people opt for self-propelled since it makes the job much easier and more fun.

  • Excellent for bigger areas
  • Easy to handle
  • It might be more expensive

9. Bagging Mower

Bagging Mower
Image Credit: Pexels, Pixabay

Bagging lawn mowers have a special attachment that allows the mower to collect all the grass clippings neatly instead of dispersing them back onto the lawn or pavement. This feature makes it much easier to maintain a flawless garden, as you don’t have to clean the grass clippings afterward. The only disadvantage of using bagging mowers is having to empty the container often, especially when mowing larger areas as the container tends to fill up fast.

  • Neater than a regular mower
  • Makes it easier to maintain the garden
  • Container frequently needs emptying

10. Mulching Mower

Mulching mowers are excellent tools for adding more nutrients to your garden. They work by cutting the grass clippings into fine pieces and dispersing them all over the garden. The grass clippings, in this case, serve as natural fertilizers. Mulching mowers are excellent because you don’t have to empty the bag at all; plus, they provide you with a much healthier lawn. They also do a great job at protecting your lawn from drying up in the heat and direct sunlight.

  • Provides cover from the sun
  • Works as a natural fertilizer for the soil
  • If not done properly, mulching can create buildup

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Drive Types

All-Wheel Drive

These lawn mowers are characterized by having all four of their wheels connected to their power source and propelled simultaneously. All four wheels on these lawn mowers move equally in unison. These lawn mowers are usually much more powerful and faster than other mowers, although they are not as maneuverable as other mowers.

Front-Wheel Drive

Front-wheel drive lawn mowers have two front wheels that are the only source of power that propel the entire lawn mower forward. They are much easier to steer and maneuver than all-wheel-drive lawn mowers since they do a great job mowing around obstacles and oddly shaped lawns. These mowers are excellent on flat surfaces and terrains but don’t work well on uneven ground or slopes.

Rear-Wheel Drive

Rear-wheel drive lawn mowers are propelled by the back wheels and pushed forward. These are a bit difficult to handle and maneuver, especially when working in narrow spaces or trying to go in reverse. Even though they are challenging to turn around and change the direction of the mowing, they are excellent on rough terrain, bumps, and steep inclines.

red lawn mower in the field
Image Credit: Piqsels

Power Types

Electric Mower

Electric mowers are powered by the cord attached to the mower, allowing electricity to run the machine. These mowers are the most common ones on the market and are incredibly popular. They don’t need gas or a battery to run, are extremely easy to handle and maneuver, and are quite affordable.

  • Affordable
  • Easy to use and maneuver
  • Easy to maintain
  • Excellent for small to medium-sized lawns
  • You have to be careful not to touch the cord with the mowing blades
  • You need an extension cord long enough to mow the entire lawn

Battery-Powered Mower

Battery-powered lawn mowers run on a battery that is usually lithium-ion. These mowers are very convenient since you don’t have to worry about tearing the cord or the oil getting stale—they run on a durable, lightweight battery. Since the cord does not restrict these lawn mowers, they are suited for all sizes of lawns, but they are also a bit more expensive. Even though the cord is out of the way, they can’t run forever. You have to charge the battery after about an hour of use, which can be inconvenient for some gardeners.

  • Easy to use and maneuver
  • Convenient for larger lawns
  • Expensive
  • The battery has to charge after about an hour

Manual Mower

Manually powered lawn mowers are pretty different than the other three on the list since the operator has to propel the lawn mower. These lawn mowers have a regular engine, although their engine only moves the blades and doesn’t provide momentum to the mower. In this case, the operator is the only source of momentum, making this lawn mower one of the hardest mowers to use. Manual mowers are excellent for the environment and are very quiet and affordable.

  • Environmentally-friendly
  • Quiet
  • Affordable
  • Excellent for smaller yards
  • Easy to handle
  • Require physical strength to operate

Gas-Powered Mower

Gas-powered lawn mowers run on petrol and are cordless, so they are excellent for larger lawns. They are usually much more powerful than other types and tend to cut grass faster, shortening the mowing time. Since they are powerful, they do a great job cutting more challenging grass. They are easy to steer and maneuver, especially around obstacles and hard-to-reach spaces. They tend to be much heavier than other types of mowers and require a lot of regular maintenance.

  • Easy to handle
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Powerful and fast
  • Excellent for large lawns
  • Convenient for rough, dense, and tall grass
  • Expensive
  • High-maintenance
  • Adds to pollution

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Final Thoughts

Every lawn mower has good and bad features, so it’s essential to consider whether that particular lawn mower can provide you with what you are looking for. This article covered all the most common lawn mowers you can find on the market, their qualities, and their drawbacks. While reading through this list, think about what your lawn needs, and you’ll hopefully find an ideal lawn mower type that will suit you best.

Featured Image Credit: Magda Ehlers, Pexels


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