Whether you are a new home owner or looking to replace an old grass cutter, it is important to know what to consider when selecting a lawn mower. Over the years, the design and features of mowers have developed and become much more sophisticated. Pick the right machine for the job and your weekly lawn mowing will end up being a chore that you actually enjoy!

In this article we will discuss the major factors you should keep in mind when considering what the perfect lawn mower will be for your lawn care needs.

Basic Types of Mowers

There are two basic types of mowers; reel mowers and rotary mowers. The reel mowers of today are a lot easier to work with, yet, the basic design remains the same. Rotary mowers include the gas-powered or electric push mowers, riding lawn tractors and the new robotic electric mowers. Most important in selecting a lawn mower is to match the mower to your lawn.

Lawn Considerations

In selecting a lawn mower, the first criterion to evaluate is the size of your garden. If you have a garden that is a 1/2 acre or more your best choice may be a riding lawn mower. If “postage-stamp” describes the size of your garden, then consider a reel mower. The push mower will probably cover any garden size in-between.

The second thing to look at is the lay of your land. Is the terrain flat, sloped or steep? Lawn mowers with larger rear wheels or even rear-wheel drive are better for sloped and irregular lawns. The other choice to consider is a front-wheel drive self-propelled mower which is perhaps best for expansive, flat acreage.

The final consideration is landscaping, ornamentation and obstacles. If you have numerous trees, bushes or perhaps a pond, look for a lawn mower with ease in maneuverability.

Clippings and Cuttings

Other things to consider when selecting a mower are the type and height of the grass, the amount of moisture in your grass if you are in a low-lying area and any other organic material you may encounter, such as twigs or pine cones. The engine size and torque specifications of your mower need to be sufficient to handle what you will be cutting.

The types of clippings need to be factored in when you decide how you will manage the discharge of newly cut grass. Basically, you will determine whether you wish to mulch or bag the clippings. If you decide to bag, then you need to choose between side-discharge and rear-bagging. Some mowers offer a 3-in-1 discharge option, allowing flexibility between bagging, side discharge and mulching.

Types of Engines

Consider the types and features of the engine when selecting a lawn mower. Engine features include the method of starting the engine, the type of fuel and the type of engine. Lawn mower engines can be started with a recoil cord or an electric start. If you choose the electric start, remember that the charge in the battery will require electricity to maintain it.

Fuel choices include diesel or gas, depending on the engine type. Your choice in the type of lawn mower engine is the two-cycle engine, which requires a gas and oil mixture for fueling and the four-cycle, which runs on straight gas. Research data indicates that the four-cycle engine is more efficient and requires less maintenance in the long run.

The latest information from Consumer Research reveals there is little difference in the performance of major engine brands. Also, in selecting a mower, the amount of horsepower is not a major factor. Rather, it is the engine size and specifications that determine the quality of performance.


In selecting a mower, if your research leads you to the decision that a riding mower best meets your needs, then consider adding accessories to make your lawn mower into an all-season helper. With the right additions you can maximize your lawn tractor and use it for snow blowing, grading gravel, dethatching, hauling, shredding, plowing and more.

Making the Chore Enjoyable

Considering the factors discussed in this article when selecting a lawn mower should help you choose the right machine for your lawn care needs. With the right tools, maintaining your lawn can easy and enjoyable. Who knows, you just might have to get up early to beat your family to the job!

Selecting your next lawn mower need not be a chore so long as you stop and consider your needs and requirements before purchasing.