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Best Push Mower 2018 - 8 Push Mowers reviews

It can take time to get our lawns looking just the way we want them, but owning a high-quality push mower can help get the job done right. There are a number of different push mowers available on the market, and even the best models are cost-effective options.

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What is a push mower?

A push mower can be a number of different types of mowers that you can push by hand using their built-in handlebars. A push reel mower is a sub-type of the walk-behind mower. The push mower has been around for many years and started as the cylinder (or reel) mower. The only thing you had to do was stand behind the mower and keep pushing it across the lawn.

Unlike the self-propelled mower, the basic push mower (which is still sometimes referred to as a reel mower) are significantly more lightweight. In fact, they can be anywhere between 10 and 30 pounds lighter than a self-propelled motor. They are also much lighter than they used to be several decades ago, making push mowers easier to use than ever before.

How does a push mower work?

The push mower has a relatively simple construction compared to a regular gas-powered lawn mower. In order to make the push mower work, all you have to do is apply physical force while grasping the handle and simply keep walking forward at a nice and steady pace.

A push mower typically has somewhere between three and seven blades. The more blades a mower has, the more money it will cost you. Five-bladed push mowers tend to work well and are still extremely cost-effective. These blades are driven into the grass as you push the mower throughout your yard.

The metal blade edges set the level of the machine; in other words, that is the level your grass will be cut at when you push the mower through it. The blades act similarly to scissors. As you turn the reel while pushing, the grass that comes between the reel and the contact surface will get cut by the blades. (Of course, this works differently than a traditional rotary motor, which is more knife-like with its sweeping cuts.)

If you opt for a gas push mower, you will have to start the mower by pulling on the crank system unless you manage to find a model with an electric starter. Also, there are electric push mowers available that are corded or cordless. These are typically viewed as being more environmentally-friendly than their gas-consuming counterparts and get the job done in a similar manner.

Electric push mowers come with different battery sizes. The corded versions can be plugged into outlets while the cordless versions can run independently on their own charge. The higher the voltage you opt for, the greater the output you will receive from the battery.

Advantages & Applications

One of the most obvious advantages to owning and operating a basic push mower is that they are lightweight and easy to use. Those who struggle with maneuvering heavier mowers can benefit from the ease of pushing a small push mower.

Also, basic push mowers make a lot less noise than regular lawn mowers. You will not have to worry about annoying your neighbors with a loud motor or having to wear protective headphones to keep your ears safe from the noise.

Basic push mowers are also ideal for those who have smaller yards. While they do not do the best job at cutting taller items like dandelions and other weeds, push mowers are fully capable of trimming grass that stems half an inch or shorter in height.

Of course, the price difference between a basic push mower and a gasoline-powered push or riding lawn mower makes for an astronomical difference in terms of affordability. Since the push mower only requires your body's physical force to make it work, you can save money by not having to regularly purchase gasoline to help fuel your lawn mower.

Since no gasoline is required for the most basic push mower, that also makes the push mower more environmentally-friendly than its gas-powered competitors. Electric push mowers are also relatively eco-friendly since they rely on battery power to operate.

What types of push mowers are there?

As far as push mowers go, there are three main types of mowers that are typically used. Gas-powered push mowers are still quite popular, but electric push mowers and self-propelled mowers are also being sold as alternatives to the traditional gas-powered push mower. What you select really should be based on the unique needs of your lawn.

The standard gas push mower is optimal for a yard that is up to about half an acre in size. A standard gas-powered push mower will perform best on flat terrain. However, if you get a model with high rear wheels, they are better able to tackle many of the obstacles that exist in your yard.

One of the greatest difficulties that owners of gas push mowers encounter is knowing which type of gas the lawn mower needs and being able to purchase it on a regular basis. If you purchase your gasoline from a fuel pump, you will need to check and make sure that you're getting the right type. Also, you will not want to keep this gasoline for over 30 days, since aging gasoline from the pump will cause corrosion in the mower. Additionally, ethanol can become a problem due to how hot it burns. Too much ethanol will put a lot of wear-and-tear on smaller engines. It is considered good practice to use fuel stabilizers in gas-powered push mowers to keep the engines from becoming corroded over time.Man using electric Corded Push Mower

Electric push mowers can save you the hassle of buying gasoline and having to cautiously maintain your push mower's engine. Corded electric push mowers tend to have an unrestricted running time since they are plugged into an electrical outlet. Of course, that also means you will have to ensure the cord is long enough for the mower to cover the entirety of the yard. Cordless electric push mowers give you that flexibility but do have to be recharged. However, some batteries take longer to charge than others. At the very best, you can get a battery to recharge within half an hour's time. Electric push mowers with and without cords are optimal for lawns ranging up to 1/3 of an acre with flat terrain and no obstacles to get in the way.

Additionally, you can opt for a self-propelled mowers to give you more versatility. These tend to be the best options for those with larger lawns steeped in hilly terrain and difficult obstacles. While front-wheel drive (FWD) models tend to hinder traction due to the bag in the back, rear- and all-wheel drive (RWD and AWD, respectively) models actually benefit from having the extra heft in the back. AWD models are the most well-rounded and are known for being able to tackle any type of lawn terrain.

Finally, there is the push reel mower. While the new push reel mowers are quite simplistic in how they function, they are vastly improved over the ones that were designed in the 20th century. They still function the same way and are optimal for use in yards smaller than 1/3 of an acre and without rugged terrain. These mowers are the least expensive you can find and do not require any gasoline or electricity in order to function.

This is how a push mower is tested

Each year, new makes and models of push mowers are tested by multiple consumed-based companies to discover which mowers truly are the best. Consumer Reports tests push mowers every March, right before the start of spring. When testing push mowers, companies like this tend to test all of the machines on a wide array of grasses and surfaces, throwing plenty of obstacles into the way.

Also, while testing these push mowers, companies pay attention to how many pounds of clippings they are able to bag up. The more clippings there are, the more there is to compost and put back into your lawn, which can save a lot of money on having to buy commercial-grade fertilizer.

Companies also test on how easy it is to use each push mower. These tests gauge how much each push mower weighs, the ease of assembly and disassembly, the ease of storage, how conveniently the controls work, how well the machine moves throughout different terrains, and how long the battery life lasts or how much gasoline is required to fuel the push mower.

What should I pay attention to when buying a push mower?

When you are testing out a new push mower, there are a few key criteria you should be looking for in terms of its features. While the various types of push mowers are designed differently, there are features that you should pay attention to.

A push mower should be tested for its amperage (amps) or voltage (V). Cordless push mowers are voltage-based while corded push mowers are amperage-based. The higher the measurement you get for either one, the more power your push mower will receive. Some cordless mowers come with a dual battery set-up, which expands the amount of cutting time you get from the engine.

Second, as you might do when buying a vehicle, you should consider the push mower's engine torque, which is displayed in terms of foot-pounds (or lb-ft for short). Torque is the force that enables the propelling of the blades that cut your grass. Essentially, the more torque your push mower's engine has, the better it is able to cut through weeds and dense areas of grass.

You should also pay attention to the push mower's engine displacement, which is measured in cubic centimeters (cc).

7 Leading Manufacturers

There are a few manufacturers of push mowers who stand out above the rest. These manufacturers tend to put out the most well-rated and popularly purchased push mowers each year.

  • 1. Honda
  • 2. Troy-Bilt
  • 3. Craftsman
  • 4. Cub Cadet
  • 5. Snapper
  • 6. Toro
  • 7. Poulan Pro

For 2018, Honda came out swinging with the Honda HRX. This line-up has some of the most powerful engines available in any push mowers and has five different models to choose from. Honda assigns five-year mower warranties to each of these models, which tends to make them worth their price tags.

Troy-Bilt is currently a component of Modern Tool and Die (MTD) Products, an American manufacturer that specializes in outdoor power equipment. Troy-Bilt started off by selling rotary tillers in 1968 and has now grown to sell a wide range of mowers, including a popular line-up of push mowers.

Craftsman is a part of Stanley Black & Decker and is their line-up of tools and outdoor power machinery. Craftsman has actually been a registered trademark of Sears since 1927 and is currently one of the top-selling brands of push mowers.

Cub Cadet is another American-built line of lawn mowers that are popularly purchased. Cub Cadet was founded in 1961 and places emphasis on helping suburban homeowners perfect their lawns. They offer both residential and professional-grade push and riding lawn mowers that are specifically adapted for different needs.

Somewhat lesser-known than the other competitors but equally worthy of mention is Snapper. Snapper sells its products in both the United States and Canada and has been in business since 1951. Snapper has a large selection of push mowers that feature new technological innovations and are competitively priced.

Toro is known for producing some of the most long-lasting and dependable mowers on the market. Their line-up of push mowers is extensive, giving consumers many options to choose from to help them meet their needs.

Poulan Pro offers a wide range of moderately-priced push mowers that are designed to handle difficult terrains. The company has been manufacturing outdoor power equipment for well over 70 years and has a strong reputation. All of its products are manufactured within the United States although it is owned by the Swedish company Husqvarna AB.

Internet vs. retail trade: Where do I buy my best push mower?

Many of the push mowers that you find in retail stores are also available online through manufacturer websites. If you have a small vehicle or are not physically able to load a push mower into your vehicle at a brick and mortar store, you might want to consider ordering your push mower online.

While you might not like the idea of having to pay for shipping and handling fees, many companies offer incentives when you buy online. Some manufacturers will also provide you with the opportunity to have a professional from their company come out to your home and help you assemble your push mower.

Interesting facts & advice

If you are thinking about purchasing a push mower, you should probably familiarize yourself with the push mower's history, as well as some core facts and tips on how to set up and run your push mower.

The history of the push mower

The push mower was first invented back in the 19th century. In 1830, English inventor Edwin Beard Budding got a patent for the first push mower and spent the next decade designing and testing his product. Budding had gotten the inspiration for this project from having spent time at a local cloth mill, where he witnessed just how accurately a cutting cylinder was able to mechanically trim cloth. The reel mower was designed as an easy-to-use alternative to a scythe and could trim lawns and gardens. Some of his earliest products were sold to Oxford's colleges as well as the Regent's Park Zoological Gardens, located in London.

The first push mower that Budding designed was 19 inches in width and crafted from wrought iron. The gear wheels were crafted from cast iron and functioned in a way that transferred power to the bladed cylinder from the rear roller. A tray situated in the front caught the clippings of grass. Over time, another handle was added to the front of the design in order to help the mower move along.

old push mowerAfter another ten years of developments, Budding finally released a mower that could be drawn by horses. About six decades later, the steam-powered lawn mower finally came into existence. The silent cutter was developed in the 1850's by a Leeds-based company known as Thomas Green & Son. Instead of a gear drive, a chain drive was used to promote quieter running of the mower. By the 1860's, push lawn mowers were all the rage, and, in 1893, the first steam-powered lawn mower was patented.

Once the 20th century was underway, more and more lawn mower manufacturers entered the fray with their gasoline-powered engines. Although Britain had started the lawn mower craze, it picked up in the United States after Amiriah Hills received the first American patent for lawn mower manufacturing in January of 1868. Other developers quickly followed suit, and gasoline-powered lawn mowers began to be manufactured in Lansing, Michigan in 1914. Ransom E. Olds had received a patent and began working with Ideal Power Mower Co. Ideal Power Mower then crafted the first self-propelled riding lawn tractor in 1922, which furthered American agricultural advances.

Figures, data and facts about the push mower

  • The average American spends roughly four hours each week on maintaining their lawn. That adds up to about eight days per year! This is why having the right push mower can make a difference in terms of efficiency.
  • In Southport, Merseyside, northern England, there is an entire museum dedicated to lawnmowers. It is known as the British Lawnmower Museum. It features over 300 exhibits and even has a lawn mower that was used by Prince Charles and Princess Diana.
  • About 21 of the 50 million acres of grass in the United States alone are residential.
  • Collectively, homeowners in the United States spend an annual amount of roughly $30 billion on caring for their lawns.
  • Flymo introduced the first series of hover mowers in the early 1960‘s.
  • A gasoline-powered mower emits somewhere between 10 and 12 times the amount of hydrocarbon (per hour) as your average automobile.
  • Lawn mowers were originally designed for use in large, open grassy areas like golf parks.
  • About 5% of polluting exhaust found in urban areas comes from lawn mowers, according to the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) estimates.
  • There are about 850 grass plants in every square foot of your lawn, which comes out to about 3,000 blades of grass.

Installing a push mower blade correctly in 6 steps

  1. Installing a new blade on your push mower is not an easy task and can be somewhat dangerous if not done correctly. That is why it is important to carefully follow the correct steps in order to successfully install your blade. To do so, read and follow these six steps:Son joe Push Mower Blades.
  2. If you have a gas-powered push mower, make sure that you have no gas left in it. Then, gently lift the deck of the mower in order to expose the blade underneath. While tilting, keep an eye out for any potential oil spillage, as that is also something you will want to avoid. You might need to prop the mower up with a weight or with the help of another person.
  3. To prevent a short-out or spark, unplug the mower's spark plug.
  4. Using a socket wrench that is adequately sized, remove the blade mounting bolt with your dominant hand while using your other hand to keep the blade stable. As you're removing it, take note of the position the currently-used blade is in. This can help you visualize how you will need to mount the new blade.
  5. Line up the new blades as the old ones were lined up and mount them in the correct direction. If you cannot recall how the blades were originally mounted, make sure you have your owner's manual handy so that you can consult it.
  6. Once the blade is secured into place, check the blade to see how it functions. The new blade should not seem wobbly and insecure when you move it. After returning your props and tools, place your mower back into an upright position. Allow half an hour to an hour for oil to makes its way back into the engine. If you start your push mower before the oil re-enters the engine area, this could potentially cause damage.
  7. When your lawn mower is ready, re-fuel it with gasoline if it is required and check to make sure that all pieces are in place before you run your push mower. You should make it a point to check the oil filter mounted on your push mower to make sure that oil hasn't enveloped the filter. Once you've made sure that your lawn mower is in proper working condition, turn it on and test out the new blade on your lawn.

10 tips for care

Depending on the type of push mower you buy, maintenance needs might vary a little bit. If you are not sure of what your mower might need, be sure to consult your owner's manual and/or a lawn care professional to learn more. Otherwise, you can take the ten following tips into consideration.

  1. Replacement parts should be manufacturer-approved. Otherwise, you might end up spending money on a part that doesn't work with your push mower. When shopping for replacement items, cross-check the product's label to make sure that it is compatible with the make and model of your push mower.
  2. When you need to perform any sort of maintenance on your mower, make sure that you are doing so in an open area where there is plenty of ventilation. You do not want to be inundated with fumes. Also, you will find it easier to perform maintenance on a flat, hard surface.
  3. Invest in a good drop cloth to cover the floor while you are performing any type of maintenance on your push mower. Oil, dirt, grass, and other debris can easily clutter the floor when the mower is propped up for maintenance.
  4. Before each time you mow, perform a routine inspection. First, unplug the spark plug, then check the fasteners to make sure that they are tight.
  5. After checking the fasteners, check to see how well the wheels are rotating. If you have a self-propelled lawn mower, you will notice some resistance, which is normal.
  6. Take note of how the parts look and perform. Look for clear signs of damage or decay, then consult your owner's manual before shopping for replacements.
  7. Keep your grass catcher clean after each use. This will help to keep your machine looking new.
  8. Before you start your push mower, check the oil and (if necessary) fuel levels to ensure that there is no leak. Simply remove the dipstick and see how close the oil is to the correct level. Also note the color of the oil. If the levels seem low, check for a leak.
  9. When it is the end of the mowing season, spend some time checking on your mower blade. If it looks damaged or worn, you will need to consider replacing it before the next mowing season starts.
  10. Make sure you consult your owner's manual for instructions on how to properly store your lawn mower during the cold winter months. Pay attention to what your manufacturer instructs you to do with regard to the battery and how it should be charged during the winter.

Useful accessories

When you go to purchase your push mower, you should also consider what kinds of accessories you might need in order to perfect your lawn's look. For many push mowers, having the right bagger is absolutely crucial. Many owners often find that the bag that comes with their lawn mower is simply too small for the clippings they accrue while mowing. This is something that should be considered before purchasing a push mower. Of course, this can be negated by purchasing a mulching blade instead, as that does not warrant the use of a bag and helps to fertilize your lawn.

Blades are a core component of the push mower's design. Having blades that work properly and can get the job done is a “must”. If you find that the blades that came with your push mower are dulling beyond the point of sharpening or just don't seem adequate for your lawn, you can swap in a replacement that is manufactured for your particular make and model.

Mulching kits are a popular addition to push mowers that can be bought separately and attached. This allows you to recycle what your mower crunches up from your lawn without the hassle of the bagger. These kits tend to produce finely-chopped pieces of mulch that fertilize your lawn for you.

Push mower mulching kit

Tune-up kits, batteries, oil, and blade sharpeners are also core essentials that need to be purchased. Tune-up kits can help you elongate your push mower's lifespan, keeping it functioning well for years to come. Also, batteries will wear down over time, so you will likely end up having to purchase a replacement at some point. As with an automobile, oil is necessary for keeping your mower's engine running smoothly, which is why it is important to have a sufficient level of it inside of the mower. Also, blade sharpeners can help you keep your blades effective at trimming the grass in your yard.

Covers are an important aspect of storing your push mower. Accidents can happen, and dust and debris can collect during those long winter months when you are storing your push mower in the shed or garage. (You should not store your push mower outside during the winter, as the cold can cause decay.) Covers also can help deter children from playing on the push mower and potentially getting accidentally hurt.


Q: Should I use a bagger to catch grass?

Q: Should I use a bagger to catch grass?

A: This depends on your lawn's needs, as you should leave the clippings on your lawn in order to help fertilize it after every other time you mow. Most clippings will get brushed away within one to two days. However, if you want your lawn to look pristine right away, a bagger is a good idea.

Q: How much does an electric or gas-powered push mower weigh compared to a push reel mower?

Q: How much does an electric or gas-powered push mower weigh compared to a push reel mower?

A: Your average push reel mower will weigh somewhere around 15 to 16 pounds. Powered push mowers have heavier components (such as the engine) and tend to weigh significantly more, generally weighing in at about 50 to 60 pounds.

Q: Is a push mower the right type of mower for my lawn?

Q: Is a push mower the right type of mower for my lawn?

A: You need to consider the size and terrain of your lawn before making a purchasing decision. If you have a lawn that sizes in at under 6,000 square feet or smaller and is relatively flat in terms of its terrain, then a push mower will likely be ideal for your lawn's needs. However, if you have a larger or more hilly yard with a lot of obstacles, you might want to consider getting a riding lawn mower.

Q: How will my lawn benefit from a push reel mower over an electric or gas-powered mower?

Q: How will my lawn benefit from a push reel mower over an electric or gas-powered mower?

A: Using a push reel mower decreases the impact that a mower has on the health of your grass. By gently cutting your grass and leaving it there to act as fertilizer, your grass can take on a greener shine and become thicker.

Q: What kinds of pollutants are in the power mowers, anyway? Can they cause me harm?

Q: What kinds of pollutants are in the power mowers, anyway? Can they cause me harm?

A: There are multiple chemical compounds that can be emitted from powered push motors, especially those that are powered by gasoline. Carbon monoxide is emitted, as are nitrogen oxides and harmful organic compounds. While they do not cause direct harm to you as long as you are operating them out in the open, these chemicals do account for roughly 5 percent of air pollution in the United States, and they're most heavily condensed in congested urban areas.

Q: Why should I consider a high-wheel mower?

Q: Why should I consider a high-wheel mower?

A: A high-wheel push mower is a mower that has rear wheels that are either 11 inches or 12 inches in size. These wheels tend to make the mower easier to maneuver and create a stronger sense of stability when going along on uneven or hilly lawn surfaces.

Q: What is a convertible mower, and why should I get one?

Q: What is a convertible mower, and why should I get one?

A: There are two types of convertible mowers. A 2-in-1 push mower allows you to either mulch and bag or mulch and distribute from the side. However, a 3-in-1 mower will mulch, bag, and distribute clippings from the side. The 3-in-1 style goes that extra step in doing some of the work for you and is a time-saver.

Q: What should I do if the engine doesn't start?

Q: What should I do if the engine doesn't start?

A: If your push mower doesn't start up right away, don't panic! Start by checking to make sure you have enough fuel or sufficient battery charge. Check to see if the fuel valve is turned on all the way, that the ignition switch is in the “on” position, and that there is plenty of oil available.

Q: Where should I purchase accessories and replacement parts for my push mower?

Q: Where should I purchase accessories and replacement parts for my push mower?

A: Accessories and replacement parts should, as a rule of thumb, be purchased from your manufacturer. Most manufacturers have shops on their websites where these parts are listed, so if you can't make it to a brick and mortar store, you can conveniently purchase replacements and accessories online.

Q: How long of a lifespan does the typical push mower have?

Q: How long of a lifespan does the typical push mower have?

A: The average lifespan of a push mower is somewhere between eight and 10 years. This is accounting for proper and timely maintenance and storage. A push mower that isn't adequately stored during winter or maintained year-round could have a shorter lifespan.

Alternatives to the push mower

If you feel like a push mower might not be the right machine for you, there are some alternatives that you should consider buying. A self-propelled mower can work well in yards sizing up to 3/4 of an acre. If you are someone who struggles with pushing a mower but does not want to invest in a riding lawn mower, the self-propelled mower can reduce the amount of fatigue you would otherwise endure with a push mower and is still relatively affordable.

You can get front- or rear-wheel drive on a self-propelled mower. If you need something that easily makes 180-degree turns and maneuvers around tight corners without hassle, a front-wheel drive self-propelled mower might be a good choice for you. Otherwise, the rear-wheel-drive self-propelled mower offers a lot of traction and are well-suited for bigger yards that have a lot of slopes.

Of course, a riding lawn mower is probably the best option if you have a yard spanning more than an acre or if you have limited physical mobility. There are riding lawn mowers of different cut widths, so you have a lot of variety to choose from. Zero-turn-radius (ZTR) mowers are optimal for trimming in large, open yards and up close to garden beds. These typically come with a set of lap bars as opposed to a steering wheel, as you will find on a traditional riding lawn mower.

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