Types Of Lawn Mowers – A Complete Guide For Buyers

types of lawn mowers

Last updated on September 26th, 2021 at 09:55 pm

If you want a lush green lawn, you need to take good care of it, and one of the best ways to do that is by cutting the grass or mowing it regularly. Ultimately, any type of lawn mower will cut the grass in your lawn, but you just can’t go ahead and use a tow-behind tractor mower or trail cutter if you have a small residential lawn.

And you can’t use a reel mower or hand powered push mower for a large golf course. You need something more powerful or heavy duty.

That is why there are different types of lawn mowers and there are different factors that determine the type of lawn mower you should choose for your yard.

But before we look into these important factors, we’ll talk about the different types of lawn mowers first. Then later, we’ll tell you how to decide the one to choose for your lawn.

Classifying the types of lawn mowers

Lawn mowers are mainly classified based on how they are moved through the lawn or the source of energy for their motion. This divides them into the following types:

  • Push lawn mowers
  • Self-propelled lawn mowers
  • Riding lawn mowers
  • Zero-turn mowers
  • Tractor-pulled mowers
  • Robotic lawn mowers

They’re also classified according to the source of energy for their cutting action, which divides them into 3 major types which are:

  • Hand powered
  • Electric or electricity powered
  • Gas powered lawn mowers

Last but not least, they’re also classified based on the type of blade or cutter they use. This divides them into two major types:

  • Cylinder or reel mowers
  • Rotary lawn mowers

Learn more about each of the different types below.

Push mowers

push lawn mower

From the name, it’s quite easy to know that these are hand-powered, and thus require you to physically use your energy to push them through the lawn.

Push lawn mowers can either be hand powered, electric/battery powered or gas powered.

The hand powered ones mainly equipped with reel or cylinder blades for making cuts.

The energy for cutting the grass results from you pushing the reel mower through the lawn, with the reel connected to tires or the mower’s wheel by gears.

When you push the mower, the gear connection makes the reel spin several times faster than the rubber tires or wheel of the mower.

Electric or battery powered push lawn mowers power the mower blade with electricity from power outlets of from batteries, even though you still have to push them through the lawn to cover ground.

While gas powered push lawn mowers have gas engines that spin the blades. You just have to push them through the lawn to cover ground as well.

Self-propelled lawn mowers

self-propelled lawn mower

Unlike push lawn mowers, self-propelled lawn mowers don’t require you to push the mower. The mower propels itself through the lawn such that if you leave it, it will keep going by itself in one direction unless you turn it with your hands towards another direction.

Thus, all you have to do with self-propelled lawn mowers is to guide them through the lawn. The gas engine or electric motor provides the energy that moves the mower through your lawn.

Riding lawn mower

riding lawn tractor

As the name strongly implies, a riding lawn mower or ride-on lawn mower is designed to allow you to ride it through your lawn to cut the grass.

With these mowers, you have a seat where you can sit down and control the machine.

The most common form of a riding lawn mower is the lawn tractor which resemble small agricultural tractors comprising a cutting deck mounted between the front and rear axles of the machine.

There are also rear-engine riding lawn mowers that have the engine of the mower at the back of the mower just below the driver sit, unlike a lawn tractor.

Riding mowers are best for cutting large lawns larger than ½ acre. So, if you have a really large lawn that you want to keep in good condition, then you should consider getting one of these machines.

Zero turn mowers

troy-bilt zero turn mower

A zero-turn mower is a riding lawn mower that differs in the way you can steer it through your lawn. While a standard riding lawn mower will take a large space to reverse it or turn it to another direction, a zero turn mower can turn in the same spot about any radius.

It typically drives faster and costs much more than conventional riding mowers of the same size with steerable front wheels.

Steering controls also differs in zero-turn lawn mowers. Unlike conventional riding mowers, instead of a steering wheel, zero-turn mowers have two throttles that control the rotational speed and direction of each drive wheel.

These throttles are operated using levers mounted close to the waist or shoulder of the driver. Although, some z-turn mowers can be steered with a normal steering wheel or a joystick.

Tractor-pulled or tow-behind mowers

tow behind mower

You mount these to tractors and tow them through large lawns to cut the grass. Some of these can be powered by the physical movement of the tractor just like hand powered push mowers, while others have engines mounted in them to power the blades.

They’re also called trail cutters and are ideal for big mowing jobs, with difficult grass and weed and it will even cut brush up to 3 inches.

Tow behind mowers easily attach to your ATV, UTV or just any tractor and are really the ideal mower you need for large heavy-duty grass, shrub and brush cutting jobs.

Robotic lawn mowers

robotic lawnmower

These are ideal for homeowners and commercial buildings or estates that just want a set-and-forget system for cutting their lawn.

It might sound too good to be true but these machines really exist and you can find some of the best ones here.

Robotic lawn mowers allow you to trim your lawn without even being there and without employing anybody to do it for you.

It’s a machine you can buy once, install it yourself or get it installed for you, and it will do the job of mowing your lawn every day according to the way you schedule it to mow the lawn.

They usually come with mobile apps you can use to schedule them to mow the lawn even in your absence.

All the ones we’ve seen are battery operated, and they recharge themselves automatically without your intervention.

Talking about robotic mowers, Husqvarna makes some of the best ones which they call the Automower, and you can read all about it here.

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