Get a jump on spring lawn mower sales and take advantage of retailers that want to clear out last year’s inventory and start to move the new models. Cutting your lawn is faster and easier with the right mower and now’s a good time to find a new mower on sale. Lawnmowers don’t last forever. If you’re looking for deals on this essential lawn care equipment, we found the best cheap lawnmower deals available at major retailers.
We focus on walk-behind mowers in this article, plus a few of the best robotic lawnmowers. We don’t cover riding mowers, which are not usually necessary for lawns smaller than a half-acre. Following the cheap lawnmower deals just below, we cover the various types of mowers and their advantages and limitations. We also list essential features and factors that may matter in your search for the best lawnmower deal for your needs.
Today’s best lawnmower deals
How to choose a cheap lawnmower
The advantages and limitations of different lawnmower types
- Gas-powered lawnmowers: Lawnmowers with gasoline motors are often the least expensive. Gas mowers are also more powerful than electric lawnmowers, which gives them an advantage if you need extra power for unusually thick and long grass or if you tend to use your lawnmower to trim weeds and other forms of plant life. You can also mow anywhere with a gas mower, as long as you have gas in the tank. The downsides of gas mowers include the necessity of keeping gasoline on hand. Gas mowers also require more maintenance than electric machines. Also, even with near-universal electric starting, gas mowers sometimes can be hard or impossible to start, which often means a trip to a repair shop. A frequent complaint about gas mowers is that they’re noisier than electric mowers.
- Corded electric lawnmowers: The least expensive electric lawn mowers require power cables long enough to reach all parts of your lawn. Handling the cables may mean it takes longer to mow your lawn as you move the cable out of the way to avoid running over it and stop to free up the cable when it gets kinked or snagged. Corded electric lawn mowers start easily and maintenance is low. Other than keeping the mower relatively clean of accumulated dried grass and mowing residue, not much is required. Because you need access to electricity to use a corded electric mower, you may lose a bit of portability as you can’t use it anywhere it cannot be plugged in.
- Cordless electric lawnmowers: Cordless electric lawn mowers cost more than electric mowers, but as long as you have charged batteries, you can mow grass anywhere you transport the mower. Cordless mowers generally have more than one power mode so you can conserve battery power on flat ground with thin or short grass and then switch to more powerful and energy-consuming modes on inclines or with thick or long grass and weeds. Most battery-powered cordless mowers today use 40-volt batteries to have enough cutting power for average lawns. Some cordless mowers use permanent batteries with built-in chargers. Models with replaceable batteries that you can charge separately from the mower let you extend your mowing time by replacing a spent battery with a fresh one. Another advantage of cordless mowers is that the manufacturers often have other tools such as edges, grass trimmers, and blowers that use the same size battery.
- Robot lawnmowers: Robot mowers are common in Europe, but still unusual in the U.S. Robotic lawnmowers run on battery power, like robot vacuum cleaners and, also like vacuums, have varying levels of self-management. For example, they need to navigate obstacles to reach all areas of the yard and monitor their power level to return to a charging station when their batteries near depletion. The greatest advantage of a robot mower is no human accompaniment or intervention is needed once the robot has been configured and scheduled. You can configure and monitor a robot mower remotely with a smartphone app and some models also respond to digital voice assistants such as Amazon Alexa. Robot lawnmowers are the most expensive type of residential mower, but their cost is expected to drop in the next few years.
The most important factors in choosing a lawnmower
It helps to have a handle on three general factors when shopping for a new lawnmower: Yourself, your lawn, and lawnmower features. If you like to get in some cardio while mowing a half-acre lawn, your mower choice will differ from someone who has a tiny plot and want the job done with as little effort or fuss possible.
- Your lawn: Small lawns of one-tenth of an acre or less typically don’t require large, powerful lawnmowers. A small corded electric mower or a walk-behind or robot cordless mower may be sufficient. If you have a large lawn with tough-to-mow grass, steep inclines, and overly moist soil, a more powerful mower is in order. The type of grass in your lawn can matter in your mower choice as well, especially if you have grass such as Bermuda Grass that looks best when cut very short.
- Power source: See the section above for the advantages and limitations of gas, corded electric, cordless electric, and robot mowers. If you have long, narrow areas to mow, for example, a cordless electric mower might not be a good choice because you could spend an inordinate amount of time handling extra long power cables.
- Deck or cutting path width: Mowers with narrow cutting decks are lighter and easier to navigate around obstacles in tight spaces that machines with wider decks. A thinner cutting path width means you’ll need to make additional passes, and cutting your lawn will take longer. For most lawns, 19-inch to 21-inch mower deck width is a good compromise.
- Push or self-propelled: Push mowers that depend on the operator to move are lighter, cheaper, and easier to operate than self-propelled mowers. If your lawn has hills or even modest inclines, however, a self-propelled mower can relieve you of much or all of the pushing effort.
- Clipping discharge: Most walk-behind mowers have two or three of the common discharge modes: Bagging, mulching, or side discharge. If you want the neatest possible lawn, bagging is the best option, even though dealing with the bagged clippings can be tiresome and messy. Side discharge mowers are typically used with separate lawn sweepers. Mulching, which returns the grass clippings to the lawn where they can add nutrients, is the least complicated and arguably the most environmentally sound way to deal with clippings.
- Cut-grass height settings: Few lawn mowers have just one cut-grass height. Most have three or more settings. The height you choose can depend on the type of grass in your lawn or your personal preference for a neat and trim lawn or longer and softer grass. Most mowers have manual height adjustments set with one or four levers that lift the cutting blade or the mower deck. A few more expensive mowers have powered height adjustment.
Digital Trends may earn commission on products purchased through our links, which supports the work we do for our readers.