Choose this lawn mower…
If you want or are…
A well-rounded riding, a gas-powered mower with reverse mowing
Honda HRN 166cc
Looking for a variable speed, self-propelled push mower
Ego Power+ 56V
An electric mower for more eco-friendly lawn care
Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1
A larger cutting deck and top-notch maneuverability
Worx Landroid L
Hands-off lawn care
Finding the right mower for your yard can be tricky. It may be tempting to spring for the fancy zero turn model with the 60+ inch cutting deck or the robot mower, so you don't have to waste your Saturday afternoons cutting the grass. But not all mowers are suited to every lawn, and not all mowers are created equal.
If you have a smaller, suburban lot (think .25 to .5 acres), a riding mower is going to be overkill, and you might not have any space to store it in the offseason or during bad weather. A 21-inch push mower, preferably self-propelled, will be plenty of power and cutting width to handle most typical in-town lawns. For anything from .75 acres to 1 acre, a riding mower with a 30 to 42-inch cutting deck will be ideal; you'll be able to cut your grass in an hour or less and maneuver around most obstacles with ease. Anything over an acre, and you'll need a much larger cutting deck, 46-inches and above. That way, you won't have to spend 6 hours mowing 2-3 acres of open land.
Zero turns are similar to commercial-grade lawn mowers, featuring very wide cutting decks and pivot turning for exceptional maneuverability around obstacles. They're perfect for 2+ acre lawns or 1+ acre lawns with lots of trees.
Robot mowers are the latest innovation in lawn care and are similar to robot vacuums and mops that you may already use inside your home. Their biggest appeal is that they automatically run mowing routines and return to their home bases for charging so that mowing can be completely hands-off. The downsides are: they're very expensive, they don't mow in straight lines (randomized patterns only, but they also mow frequently, so theoretically, you'll always have a well-manicured lawn), have very small cutting decks (less than 10-inches wide), and require you to lay guide or boundary wires in order to keep the unit from driving itself into the street or your neighbor's garden beds. They can be a wonderful addition to your tool shed but aren't suited to many kinds of lawns.
If you're ever unsure about what kind of mower will work best for your lawn, you can always ask an expert at your local DIY or hardware store about what features you'll need to get the best experience.