The 12 Best Lawn Mowers for Mulching

Approx Reading Time: 19 minutes

It never gets any easier.

It is true, the technology improves. The build-quality becomes better. And the performance raises each year. But making the right choice never gets any easier.

And especially when it comes to lawn mowers.

Lawn mowers are not generally considered a cheap piece of equipment. Nobody buys a lawn mower every year, which means that we need to choose the right product suitable for our needs.

This is why below, I share with you a list of the best lawn mowers for mulching. Later in this article, I also will include some important pieces of information regarding what to look for and expect from a mulching mower.

Here are the best lawn mowers for mulching at a glance:

The Best Lawn Mowers for Mulching

Brand and Model Type Deck Size Self-Propelled Cutting Height
Honda HRX217K5VYA Mulching Lawn Mower Gas 21″ Yes 3/4″ – 4″
Greenworks MO13B00 3-in-1 Mulching Mower Corded 21″ No 1 1/2″ – 3 3/4″
Husqvarna 5521P Lawn Mower Gas 21″ No 1 1/4″ – 3 2/5″
Honda 662300 4-in-1 Lawn Mower Gas 21″ Yes 3/4″ – 4″
Snapper CRP218520 NINJA Mulching Lawn Mower Gas 21″ Yes 1 1/4″ – 4″
Greenworks 25022 Corded 20″ No 1 1/2″ – 3 3/4″
EGO Lawn Mower Battery 21″ Yes 1 1/2″ – 4″
Sun Joe MJ403E Corded 17″ No 0.98″ – 2.87″
WORX WG779 Battery 14″ No 1 1/2″ – 3 1/2″

Now, let’s take a deeper look at what each of these mowers has to offer!

Honda HRX217K5VYA Mulching Lawn Mower

An excellent 4-in-1 mower from Honda that can deal with almost any type of grass. The powerful gas engine provides the necessary torque, which, combined with the excellent MicroCut® Twin Blades, produces finely-cut grass clippings.

The blade is designed in a specific way so as to provide better cutting performance, which produces an outstanding quality mulch. And if you are going to bag the grass, you can expect it to hold a lot more grass than other mowers.

The neat thing about this mower is that it has everything you need to mulch already built-in.

You can even adjust the mower to partially bag and mulch. All you have to do is adjust the knob found on the deck to the appropriate position, and you are good to go. No tools, no accessories, and no mechanical skills are needed.

The mower has a variable speed controller that can be adjusted according to your personal stride. So if you feel like taking your time today, this mower has your back.

We all know that Honda’s engines are a staple in the lawn care industry. The mower comes with a 5-year residential warranty, but did you know that their deck is also backed by a lifetime warranty? It is, and this is why it is one of the top models in this category.

You can buy it on Amazon.

Greenworks MO13B00 3-in-1 Mulching Mower

Greenworks offers a neat 3-in-1 lawn mower that is also very powerful. If fact, it is more powerful than you may expect after taking a look at its price tag.

Being a corded lawn mower, this also means that you will not have to worry anymore about oil changes, refueling, and complicated engine maintenance. All you have to worry about is your lawn.

However, this is where the trade-off happens.

The built quality feels a little cheap. Granted, this is when we compare it to more expensive models that cost several times as much.

One of the more significant downsides to this otherwise excellent mower is the fact that it is corded. Corded lawn mowers are a lot cheaper to use compared to gas mowers, but the cable length can limit your work area.

The Greenworks MO13B00 is best for small to medium lawns and backyards.

With that being said, corded lawn mowers are one of the most environmentally friendly and clean mowers on the market. Using them produces no harmful gasses or toxic emissions, and best of all, it costs almost nothing. Using this mower will cost you a little over 20 cents per hour. And how nice is that?

You can buy it on Amazon.

Husqvarna 5521P Lawn Mower

If I wanted the best mulching lawn mower for the money, and I had a limited budget, the Husqvarna 5521P is probably one of the best candidates in this category.

The build quality is solid. It is a gas lawn mower that is capable of mulching, bagging, and side discharging, so nothing usual here.

So what is the quality of the mulch? The mower is powered by a Briggs & Stratton engine – a well-known manufacturer of quality engines – and it can provide exceptional power while at the same time remaining fuel-efficient and easy to maintain.

With that being said, this mower is geared more towards homeowners with small to medium yards.

Note: By the time I finished writing this article, the product listing has disappeared from Amazon, but I’ll make sure to update it when I find it somewhere else.

Honda 662300 4-in-1 Mulching Lawn Mower

The Honda 662300 is another exceptionally powerful mower that will not leave you disappointed. The gas engine has been well-proven to provide lots of power, and it is currently used on other Honda mowers as well.

The mower performs exceptionally well when it comes to mulching and shredding leaves. And if you want to switch back to bagging or side discharge, it is extremely easy to do so. In fact, it is as easy as turning a knob. You will not have to worry about installing and removing any equipment, mulching kits, or anything else.

The blade is designed in such a way as to maximize the shredding of the grass blades, this not just makes for extremely finely-cut mulch but also allows you to fit more grass clippings in the bag.

The mower is self-propelled, which is a great plus when it comes to maneuvering it over different terrain.

You can buy it on Amazon.

Greenworks 25022

The Greenworks 25022 is another popular lawn mower that can be used not just for the regular cutting and maintenance of your lawn but for mulching as well.

This mower has one of the best price-to-performance ratios.

The deck is a little smaller, measuring at 20″ so it is best for small yards. The foldable handle that it comes with is making it also very compact and easy to store, even for people that have limited storage space.

It is a corded model rated at 12 amps, so it is fairly powerful but limited in terms of coverage. The mower does not come with an extension cord, so this means that you will need an extension cord that is tailored to your personal needs.

The fact that it is 12 amps coupled with the 20″ deck means that it can be prone to clogging if used on lawns that have very tall or thick grass.

With that being said, the excellent build quality, performance, and price are making this mower one of the best.

You can buy it on Amazon.

EGO Lawn Mower

EGO is a well-known manufacturer of battery-powered equipment. If you are tired of using gas lawn mowers but also do not want to deal with the limitations imposed by the corded lawn mowers, then you can take a look at the battery lawn mower.

This is a 3-in-1 mower that can be used for bagging, side discharging and mulching. EGO+ claims that their batteries provide as much power as gas does.

The mower is easy to maneuver as it is self-propelled and very lightweight. A great plus in anyone’s book, in my opinion.

Battery lawn mowers like this one are easy to maintain and keep clean. Unlike gas mowers, there is no fuel or oil that you need to worry about.

You can buy it on Amazon.

Snapper CRP218520 NINJA

This mower from Snapper features a powerful and reliable Briggs & Stratton Professional Series™ engine, which is easily able to deal even with longer and thicker grass.

If you expect gas-powered lawn mowers to be extremely loud, this is the one that will surprise you pleasantly as it runs very quietly.

One of the neat things about this mower is that it is also self-propelled, providing variable speed up to 4 mph.

This mower specializes in mulching. However, it can also be used for side discharging or even adapted to bag the clippings.

The blade has 6 cutting surfaces that will shred the grass clippings to dust while the uniquely designed deck will generate airflow, which will eventually push them back into the soil.

Overall, this is one well-designed dedicated mulching mower that is easy to start and operate. The speed control is within your reach all the time, and there are no complicated levers or controls.

The only con? It comes at a higher price (compared to other models), but a price that is well worth it.

You can buy it on Amazon.

Sun Joe MJ403E

Compared to the rest of the mowers, this is a relatively smaller model with its deck measuring the humble 17″. However, that does not mean it is not as powerful as it is powered by a 13 amp electric motor.

This is one relatively small-sized and lightweight corded lawn mower. It can easily be folded and carried to a different location. This ability to be folded makes it perfect for homeowners with smaller storage spaces.

The smaller deck size is making it perfect for smaller lawns. Make sure to cut regularly and keep your lawn well-manicured. Despite this lawn mower being very powerful, it will have a difficult time cutting very tall, out-of-control grass.

It is a very quiet and environmentally-friendly machine that does not require a lot of maintenance beyond the odd cleaning. But the downside is that you will need an extension cord suitable for the mower.

You can buy it on Amazon.

WORX WG779

Are you looking for a very compact and lightweight lawn mower that can mulch? Then WORX may have just what you are looking for.

First, let me point out that this battery-powered lawn mower has been designed in such a way that you can swap its batteries between the different WORX tools – a neat little feature that adds a lot of versatility.

Two 20V 4Ah batteries power this little mower. You can choose to use one or two batteries, depending on the task at hand.

These batteries provide for a cleaner and easier maintenance and use of your mower – no longer will you have to worry about gas or oil.

One of the nice things about this mower is the fact that it is very compact and lightweight. It weighs a mere 29.1 lbs. And best of all, it is very quiet. Well, this doesn’t mean you will be able to use it at 5 am, but still, there is a significant difference between a battery model and a gas model.

Whether you need to mulch or bag, this mower will be up to the task.

You can buy it on Amazon.

Greenworks MO80L410

Here we have another lawn mower from Greenworks.

First, allow me to start by saying that if you are on the lookout for a very powerful battery-powered lawn mower that you can use for mulching, this is the one that ticks all the boxes.

It is powered by an 80V 4Ah battery. You can expect to get about 3/4 of an hour of run time from the battery, but the power output is where it really excels at.

The mower is a 3-in-1 model that can be used for bagging, side discharging and mulching.

The Smart Cut Technology adapts the blade’s speed accordingly in order to provide the best cut possible.

Overall this is one very powerful lawn mower that will not leave you disappointed.

You can buy it on Amazon.

EGO Power+ LM2000

This lawn mower by EGO features a nice 20″ deck that is capable of not just standard cutting and bagging but side discharging and mulching.

You can choose to run it with different batteries ranging from 4.0 Ah up to 7.5 Ah.

However, when we compare the other things like taking care of the gas, oil, and the overall gas engine maintenance, this is when the beauty of the battery-powered mowers really shines through.

There is no expensive fuel and oil that you will be using each time — no complicated maintenance, no mess.

This battery-powered mower by EGO is significantly less noisy and more environmentally friendly than gas-powered models. The nice thing about it is that the battery is interchangeable, and you can use it on multiple EGO tools.

The only disadvantage is this case is that these mowers usually have expensive batteries.

You can buy it on Amazon.

Greenworks 25142

This 16-inch lawn mower is perfect for small to medium lawns. It packs a reasonably powerful 10 amp electric motor that is capable of tackling even relatively thick grass. However, the 10 amps may not be enough and could struggle with taller grass that has not been cut for a while.

It is a 2-in-1 mower that is capable of bagging and mulching.

The fact that it is a corded model makes it perfectly suitable for people that do not want to have to deal with buying and storing gas and oil, breathe in toxic fumes, or worry about the maintenance.

The smaller size and weight of the mower are going to appeal to some homeowners as they would be able to store it in smaller spaces, carry it around easily and maneuver easily around trees, hedges, and more.

One of the downsides is that it is a corded model, so you will need to have an extension cord.

The catcher bag is not terribly big, so depending on your lawn, you may find you need to empty it more frequently.

You can buy it on Amazon.

What Are the Different Types of Mulching Mowers

There are three main types of mulching mowers.

Gas Powered Mulching Mowers

Gas mulching mowers are almost always going to be the ones that provide the best power and torque.

If you have a larger lawn, thicker grass, or mow less frequently, a gas lawn mower is the way to go.

With that being said, gas lawn mowers, although more powerful and potentially considered more reliable, do produce more emissions and exhaust fumes and require more maintenance on average.

Dealing with fuel and oil can also be considered a downside as this can be messy and hazardous.

Corded Mulching Mowers

Corded lawn mowers are environmentally-friendly, quieter, cheaper, and easier to use.

Compared to gas mowers, the corded ones are less powerful and more suitable for small to medium lawns.

The cable will limit your work area significantly, and you need to be careful not to run over it.

Battery-Powered (Cordless) Mulching Mowers

The battery-powered mowers are usually less powerful than their gas counterparts. However, they do not suffer from the same problems corded models do – there is no cable restricting your movement.

These are more suitable for small to medium lawns.

Battery lawn mowers, however, all suffer from one huge disadvantage – the battery. Depending on the size of your yard, you may find that you will go through several battery charges before you can finish the job, depending on the size of you lawn. This means that you will have some downtime where no work will be completed as you wait for the battery to charge.

Hence why some owners opt for buying one or two extra batteries, this is a good way to go about it, but usually the batteries are very expensive.

What to Look for in a Mulching Mower?

Before purchasing your new mower, there are a few aspects and features that you may want to consider.

The Type of the Mower

If you are cutting larger lawns and yards, consider getting a self-propelled gas lawn mower. These are more powerful, will keep running as long as you have fuel handy and will move on their own. Many mowers even have adjustable speeds.

For smaller to medium lawns, a corded or cordless lawn mower can be used. In this case, you may still want to opt for a self-propelled model or go with a standard walk-behind mower depending on your personal preferences.

The Drive Wheels

A self-propelled mower is essentially going to push itself. Some models can go as fast as 4 mph, so you can even combine mowing with light jogging if that sounds appealing to you.

However, here we are all about how that affects your lawn and the type of drive wheels matter.

  • Front-wheel drive is better for yards where you need to maneuver around different obstacles;
  • Rear-wheel drive is better if you have an uneven lawn and you have to go uphill or downhill;
  • All-wheel drive is better for mowing extremely uneven yards.

The Cutting Width and Height

The width of the cutting deck refers to the size of the stripe, which you will cut with one pass.

If you care for a larger lawn, you need a mower with a larger cutting width because this will reduce the time you spend mowing.

Next on the list is the cutting height. It usually varies from a mower to a mower, so make sure that the ranges will fit nicely with how you intend to maintain your lawn.

Power Ratings

For mulching, you want to use a mower that is a little more powerful. Mulching is more demanding than the regular cutting and bagging of the grass clippings. This is the main reason why, although possible, not all regular lawn mowers can be adapted to mulching.

Experts recommend using mowers that have about 4 hp engine or a little above 2.9 kW.

The Gas engines on mulching lawn mowers usually range between 140cc and 190cc. The larger the engine, the more powerful you can expect it to be.

For electric corded and battery-powered mowers, it is advisable to go for something more powerful. Higher voltages running at higher amperes will produce more power.

However, keep in mind that ampere-hours (Ah) is a different measure, which is more indicative of how long the battery can supply the said power.

What Is the Difference Between Mulching and Regular Lawn Mowers?

There are two different types of mulching lawn mowers.

  • Dedicated mulching mowers that specialize in mulching only; and
  • Multipurpose lawn mowers that can be used for different purposes, including mulching.

As I mentioned, dedicated mulching mowers do precisely that; they mulch. Usually, they are a little limited to mulching and potentially side discharging.

However, the other type of mulching mowers is frequently referred to as 3-in-1 or 4-in-1 mowers.

They can be used not just for mulching but for bagging, side discharging, and leaf shredding. So right off the bat, you can see how more beneficial a multipurpose mower like this can be.

Lawn mowers that have been designed explicitly with mulching in mind usually have an underdeck carriage that looks a little different; it is more smoothly designed, roomier, and with less sharp edges and places where grass clippings could potentially get stuck.

The underdeck is designed to promote better airflow, which pushes the grass clippings into the blade(s) and retains them there for longer before they fall back to the ground.

The standard lawn mowers, on the other hand, may have an undercarriage that is not suitable for mulching. The deck may be designed to perform well when bagging the grass but fall short if you try to use it for mulching.

Lastly, mulching mowers are used with a special type of blade. The mulching blades are a little different compared to the regular blades. They can sometimes be referred to as 3-in-1 blades as well.

Mulching blades have a more prominent curvature and a longer cutting edge. The blade is designed to produce the type of airflow which will keep the grass clippings under the deck for longer where they will continuously be cut into finer and finer pieces.

The standard cutting blades do not have such features and focus on cutting the grass and generating lifting power in order to direct the clippings to the bag or the side discharge chute.

Are Mulching Mowers Worth It?

There are several pros and cons of mulching lawn mowers.

Mulching Mowers Save Time

Mulching saves time.

One of the fairly overlooked benefits of mulching is that it will save you time.

When mulching, the grass is cut into finely almost powder-like pieces that are immediately returned back to the soil.

You do not have to do anything else other than just walking. There is no need to empty the bag; in fact, some mulching mowers may not even have a bag.

Mulching Is Beneficial to the Soil

The mulch you create as you cut the grass contains vital nutrients that will not go to waste and will return back to the soil, enriching it and boosting the health of your lawn.

Mulching Lawn Mowers are Easier to Operate

Even standard mowers can be converted to a mulching mower. However, this usually involves the purchase and installation (and subsequent removal) of a mulching kit. You may also need a different dedicated mulching blade.

All this work, on the other hand, does not grant you the perfect mulching results. Usually, a dedicated mulching mower or one that has been built specifically for that purpose will produce better results.

Mulching Mowers Can Save You Money

Since you will be returning much of the nutrients back in the soil, you will not need to use as much fertilizer as before. This is an excellent way to keep your lawn and plants looking healthy and vibrant.

Mulching Mowers May Need Frequent Maintenance

Since the grass will be kept circulating under the deck and be continuously cut, this means a few things.

  • You will most like need to clean the deck more frequently from grass build-ups; and
  • You may need to sharpen the blades more frequently since they will be in constant contact with the grass clippings, which can dull the cutting edges faster.

Mulching Mowers Should Be Used Regularly

When mulching, you do not want your grass to be left unattended for long periods of time. If your grass grows too tall, (1) this can place incredibly high amounts of strain on your mower but also (2) it can hurt the grass.

Here’s the thing.

The rule of thumb states that grass should never be cut more than 1/3 at a time. If your grass grows too tall, you can run into some problems where the grass clippings may be too large or not be able to get back into the soil in an optimal manner.

 

Peter Toth

Hi! I'm Peter, the owner of BackyardGadget. Working around the house has always been a big part of my life. I've created this site to share my experience, and to help people choose the right tools for the job. Thank you for stopping by!