What is the Best Walk Behind Mower in 2018? – Reviews by BackyardGadget

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A casual banter on a Reddit sub about walk behind mowers turned out to be more interesting than I’d imagined.

There was this guy who was looking for a new mower after his old Scag 52” had kicked the bucket.

And surprise, surprise, there were some questionable recommendations being made. One guy for example, recommended a Bobcat belt drive mower. That is a very good mower if you have deep pockets.

The question is, why would you want to blow a thousand dollars when you can get a much better mower for less?

So, I decided to add my two cents to this discussion and created this article to talk about the best available mowers.

And here’s a glimpse into the chosen 8 that made the list.

The best walk behind mower for the money

Ever since my parents set up their first lawn care business, I have lived with more mowers than you can ever imagine.

From Sears Craftsman 18-inchers to Lawn Boy 5000 and Bolens Ridemasters, I have seen them roar to life and sputter to death.

I can vouch for the fact that lawn mowers and sales talk don’t go hand in hand.

You need to have an expert with you to spot that aggressively advertised, overpriced gimcrack.

That’s why I’m here. Here are my honest reviews.

1. Greenworks 20-Inch 40V Twin Force Cordless Lawn Mower


If you find cords too messy (I personally do), then here we have a cordless version of the 25022 with a few identical features and a few interesting upgrades.

It has the same 20-inch cutting swath. But the stainless steel deck is replaced by a tough polymer one.

That makes this lighter than the 25022 and rightly so because you’d have the added weight of the dual batteries. (More on this later)

The same 10-inch rear wheels are retained for easy navigation and maneuvers, and there are dual blades under the deck that glide through most types of grass.

How was my experience?

I have used this on overgrown, wet, Bermuda grass. Apart from occasionally backing up and readjusting the position, I haven’t had one problem with the mower getting clogged or conking off.

It is powered by Greenworks’ renowned 40V lithium Ion batteries that are also compatible with some other power tools from their lineup. So, if you own any other compatible Greenworks power tool, then you can buy this without the batteries and just swap the batteries when you wish to mow.

In the standard package, the mower comes with two batteries on board. One 4Ah one and another 2Ah one. With both batteries fully charged (takes about 30 minutes to charge the 4Ah one), you can get an hour of run time.

What’s amazing is that the mower automatically detects which battery is low on power and starts to draw power from the other one. So, you spend more time mowing and have fewer interruptions.

Another great feature is the smart cut technology which automatically adjusts the power depending on the thickness of the grass. If you encounter a patch with thick weeds, you can feel the motor revving up.

It has multiple grass management options including mulching and bagging. Surprisingly, no option to side discharge.

If you have a lawn that’s 1/3rd of an acre or slightly more, then this cordless walk behind mower is a great choice.

Pros

Pros
  • No cord
  • 20-inch polymer cutting deck
  • Lightweight mower
  • Two batteries on board
  • About 70 minutes of runtime from a single charge
  • Automatically detects which battery is low on power
  • Smart cut technology which adjusts power depending on the thickness of the grass
  • Mulch or bag

Cons

Cons
  • No side discharge
  • Occasionally tends to leave some grass uncut if they are between the dual blades. Not a biggie though.

2. EGO Power+ 20-Inch 56-Volt Lithium-ion Cordless Lawn Mower


The Power+ is one of Ego’s bestselling cordless lawn mowers.

It looks stylish, is surprisingly lightweight and has plenty of power.

The fact that it’s cordless and quiet makes it one of the best picks for small and medium sized lawns in sound-sensitive neighborhoods.

To top it off, it has excellent customer ratings all over.

The Power+ has the signature gray and green colored polymer deck that is now synonymous with Ego’s range of power tools. It is powered by a 56-Volt Li-Ion battery that is cross-compatible with other tools from Ego’s range.

How was my experience?

Usage is easy thanks to the controls which are all centered around the handle. There’s the bail lever, a height adjustment lever and a couple of safety features all of which can be accessed with one hand while you control the mower with the other.

You can bag (15-gallon bag included), mulch or side discharge and the 600-watt electric motor provides it with enough power to cut through normal or moderately grown grass.

But if you allow your lawn to resemble a rainforest before you decide to mow, then this might not be the mower for you.

It is reasonably easy to maneuver and control. Some users who were not very tall mentioned that they found the handle a little too long for comfort. But that’s subjective.

The Power+ comes with only one battery and provides you with 45-minutes of runtime on a full charge (30 minutes to charge). That should more than suffice for a lawn that’s up to 1/3rd of an acre.

The Ego Power+ has a few minor flaws. But none of those are deal breakers. Overall, this is a very reliable machine that can serve as the perfect pick for someone transitioning from expensive gas guzzlers.

Pros

Pros
  • Stylish, lightweight cordless machine
  • Easy to maneuver and control
  • Up to 45 minutes run time on a single charge
  • Battery charges in 30 minutes
  • Bag, side discharge or mulch
  • Comes with a 15-gallon bag
  • Top ratings all over

Cons

Cons
  • At a time when most electric cordless mowers feature two batteries on board, the Ego Power+ only comes with one on-board battery. If you wish to buy an additional one, you will be left poorer by about another $200.

3. Black Decker EM1500


The Black & Decker EM1500 is a budget priced lawn mower aimed at homes with thumbnail-sized yards that don’t demand the brute force of gas powered mowers or extra wide cutting decks.

This is a very compact corded electric mower with a 15-inch cutting swath. That’s perfect for yards ranging from 5000 to 10000 square feet at best. Anything bigger and you’d need a 20-inch cutting deck at least. Unless you have no qualms about spending an entire day mowing the lawn that is.

As expected at this price point, there’s a lot of plastic on that casing.

Don’t let that fool you into believing that this machine is not durable. It can take a beating and continue to sputter away.

How was my experience?

This mower starts smooth and easy at the touch of a button, a single lever allows you to adjust the height from 1-1/10 inch to 3-1/10 inches and cord management is simplified with precisely positioned cord wrapping posts.

It features Black and Decker’s Edge Max technology which allows you to get closer to fences, trees and other obstacles for an even cut. Also, the overall profile is so low that it can easily go under shrubs.

One of the big draws of the Black & Decker EM1500 is the Compact and Go bag that can accommodate 25% more grass than other similar-sized bags. It is more of a box than a bag really.

And it sort of negates the problems caused by the small cutting swath as you can collect more clippings before you stop and empty the bag.

Talking about grass management, you cannot mulch or side discharge. But that’s a small niggle in an otherwise flawless package.

Pros

Pros
  • Compact mower with a small cutting swath
  • 15-inch cutting deck
  • Weighs only 31 pounds
  • Low profile allows you to go under shrubs
  • Edge Max technology for mowing closer to edges
  • Compact and Go grass collection box allows you to collect up to 25% more clippings
  • Single lever height adjustments to six positions

Cons

Cons
  • Tends to struggle when used in wet and tall grass
  • Can take forever to mow larger lawns

4. Snapper XD SXD21SPWM82K


The Snapper XD SXD21SPWM82K is a cordless, variable speed mower from one of the oldest brands in the business.

And as expected from Snapper, this one is built like a tank.

Out of the box, you are greeted by a 21-inch heavy duty steel mowing deck. Now, I know that new age polymer decks are equally durable. But there’s something about a metal deck that makes it more appealing. That might just be me though.

How was my experience?

The overall build quality is top notch. Everything feels sturdy after the minimal assembly.

The Snapper XD has a push button start and powers to life instantly. What surprises most people is that it is extremely quiet for a mower that has so much power.

To add to this, the 1200-watt high-efficiency brushless motor is as reliable as they come.

It is powered by a Briggs and Stratton 82V new age Li-Ion battery and it has two battery ports on board. Each one takes about 30 minutes to charge thanks to the rapid charger.

And you can mow with one while you charge the other.

Each fully charged battery gives you about 30 minutes of run time at full steam. In other words, the mower doesn’t go slow as the battery depletes.

The Snapper XD SXD21SPWM82K features load sensing technology that automatically senses the thickness of the grass and weeds and adjusts the power accordingly.

That might seem gimmicky on paper.

But it’s a really useful feature if you are guilty of letting weeds overtake your lawn every now and then. Takes the guesswork out of power adjustment.

Pros

Pros
  • Top notch build quality
  • Push button start
  • 1200-watt high efficiency motor
  • Powered by Briggs and Stratton 82V Li-Ion 2AH battery
  • Two battery ports
  • Load sensing technology
  • 45 minutes of total run time
  • Mulch, side discharge or bag
  • 7 height adjustments

Cons

Cons
  • The 30 minute run time seems a little tepid as compared to the other features of this mower. But that’s precisely why Snapper gives you two batteries in the pack. So, even if you’d have to stop and swap batteries, there won’t be any downtime.

5. Greenworks 20-Inch 12 Amp Corded Lawn Mower 25022


If you are shopping for walk behind mowers on a budget, then this is probably the best option that you have.

This is a corded electric mower that has a gaggle of useful features which can be compared to much higher priced, gas powered mowers.

For instance, there’s a 20-inch stainless steel cutting deck, 3 grass clipping management options and 10-inch wheels that can navigate through lush overgrown grass on reasonably good terrain.

 

How was my experience?

The Greenworks 25022 is a treat to use. It is a push button start, (No more yanking on cords), is silent and efficient.

You can adjust the cutting height in 7-increments, on-the-go with a lever that’s perfectly positioned on the handle.

You have the option to mulch, bag or side discharge. If you prefer bagging, you will appreciate that the bag is easy to attach and you can switch from mulch to bag or side discharge easily.

It is extremely powerful and the 12-amp motor under the deck can make short work of most medium sized lawns.

The caveat is that you will have to mow with a cord trailing behind you (with an extension cord). And it takes some practice to get the right mowing pattern without having to frequently adjust the cord.

When not in use, the mower handle can be folded for storage without taking too much space.

Overall, the Greenworks 25022 is a well-rounded package at a very attractive price tag. If you have a lawn smaller than ½ an acre and you don’t mind a corded machine, then you have just found the right mower for you.

Pros

Pros
  • 20-inch cutting swath
  • Stainless steel deck
  • 12-amp motor delivers lot of power
  • 7-position single lever height adjustment
  • Mulch, bag, side discharge
  • Reasonably priced
  • Folds for storage

Cons

Cons
  • You will have to adjust to mowing with the cord. And you will need to buy an extension.

6. Lawn-Boy 10736


The Lawn Boy 10736, a very versatile lawn mower that is available in a variety of configurations.

So, you can pick from an Electric start version, a push version powered by a Honda Engine, a Push version powered by a Kohler engine or a self-propelled version.

I really loved the Honda engine push mower and the self-propelled versions.

Comes with extra high wheels (11-inches) on the rear that makes it very easy to maneuver even in lawns with uneven turf or lots of obstacles.

How was my experience?

The 21-inch cutting swath will translate into reduced mowing time. And that’s heavy duty steel. You can be rest assured that your mower wont cower and die even if you hit a tree stump while making a sharp turn.

The GCV 160 Honda engine is silent, efficient and reliable. Powers on instantly every single time and is designed for prolonged usage. That’s one of the reasons why the Boy is commonly used by professional lawn care companies.

It features the tri-cut blade system which cuts, bags and mulches allowing you to seamlessly switch between the three.

Height adjustment is as easy as activating a two-point system which can easily be done with one hand while you are mowing.

Comfortable handles, easy controls and reliable performance make the Lawn Boy 10376 an excellent choice for most homeowners.

Pros

Pros
  • Available in varied configurations
  • 21-inch cutting swath
  • Stainless steel deck
  • Tri cut blade system
  • Can mulch, bag or side discharge
  • Large bag included
  • Powered by a GCV 160 Honda Engine
  • Easy cutting height adjustment
  • Comfortable handle and controls

Cons

Cons
  • This tends to struggle in wet, overgrown grass. Well, so do many other overpriced mowers to be honest. So, if you are looking for something that can tackle thick, wet grass, skip this and go for my #1 pick, the Honda instead.

7. Worx WG775


Last but not least, the Worx WG775 is in the same league as the Black & Decker EM1500.

It is a compact, lightweight machine that’s best suited for yards that are 10000 sq. feet at best. That’s my personal opinion though.

There are many users who use this to mow yards up to 1/3rd of an acre. (Not sure how many passes that would take.)

That’s because it has a 15-inch cutting swath. And is powered by a 24-Volt battery that runs for 45 minutes on a single full charge. But if you are using it to cut overgrown grass, the run time might be shortened further.

How was my experience?

The WG775 has a push button start and is as quiet as a church mouse. So, you can power this on and take it for a spin irrespective of whether it’s night or day.

You can adjust the cut height from 2 – 3.5 Inches at the touch of a lever and choose to mulch, side discharge or bag. It comes with a 0.85 bushels’ bag which is the perfect size to collect clippings from small sized lawns.

The performance is excellent and it provides a uniform cut without uncut patches, a problem commonly seen in cheap mowers.

Overall, the WG775 is a good combination of practical features and reliable performance.

Pros

Pros
  • Cordless, lightweight mower
  • 14-inch cutting swath that’s perfect for small yards
  • Single lever cutting height adjustment
  • IntelliCut technology to adjust the power depending on the conditions
  • Excellent performance
  • Mulch, bag or side discharge
  • Push button start and extremely quiet
  • 45 minute run time
  • 30-minute quick charging battery

Cons

Cons
  • Tends to get bogged down when the cutting height is set at its lowest.
  • As the battery gets depleted, it tends to lose power resulting in unevenly cut patches. To avoid this, stop mowing when you feel the blades are slowing down. Recharge fully and continue.

Conclusion

There you go folks. There’s a mower in this list for everyone. Just in case you want me to refresh your memories

My suggestions for small lawns – Black & Decker EM1500 & Worx WG782

My top rated self-propelled mowers – Honda HRR216K9VKA & The Lawn Boy 10736

The best corded walk behind mower – Greenworks 25022

My picks of the best cordless mowers – Ego Power+, Snapper XD & THE Greenworks 40V Twin force

Which one is your favorite? Do share your experiences and recommendations in the comments below folks. I would love to hear them!

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!