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Consumer Reports: Best and Worse Walk-Behind Lawn Mowers

As springtime comes around again, with it comes the need to mow your lawn regularly. Worried that your lawn mower might not have survived the winter? Read up on the best (and worst) walk-behind lawn mowers on the market right now:

Best self-propelled mowers

Self-propelled mowers require less effort on your part, especially on graded areas of your lawn. Paying more for theHonda HRR2169VLA, $500, buys superb mulching and bagging, no-prime starting, and an electric-start feature whose battery gets charged while you mow. Among the other multispeed mowers, choose the Toro Super Recycler 20381, $500, for its bagging; Toro Recycler 20333, $400, for its blade-brake clutch; and Troy-Bilt TB-280ES 12AGA26G, $340, for its low price and electric start.

The Toro Recycler 20339, $380, tops our single-speed picks and offers unique stand-up storage. Also consider the all-wheel-drive Toro Recycler 20353, $400, for steep slopes—as well as the quiet Craftsman 37545, $340, which just missed making our picks—if you mostly mulch and would rather not wear ear protection.

Best push mowers

Among push gas mowers, choose Yard Machines 11A-B96N, $240, for its impressive mulching and bagging and stellar evenness in side-discharge mode. Among battery mowers, pick the Black & Decker CM1936, $400, for its impressive mulching and the Black & Decker SPCM1936, $450, for its driven wheels and smoother side-­discharging. Willing to live with a cord? The Black & Decker MM875, $240, is still a cut above the others in this group.

Worst walk-behind mowers

Earthwise 60318, $300. Most self-propelled cordless mowers cost more, and for good reason. This one clogged and left clippings when bagging, and we found it hard to maneuver.

Murray M22500, $170. This gas push mower wasn’t designed to bag, was mediocre in the side-discharge mode, and left visible clippings when mulching. Many push mowers adjust cutting height with one lever per wheel, but for this one you’ll need to remove and reattach each wheel.

Earthwise 50120, $160. It’s the least expensive of the plug-in mowers we tested, but it’s no bargain. Mulching and bagging were subpar, and—with many leftover clippings—side-discharging was so-so.

SRC: See the original Consumer Reports article here www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2015/04/the-best-and-worst-walk-behind-mowers/index.htm

 

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