10 Most Popular Types of Lawn Mowers with Usage Guide

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In the 18th century world, livestock was plentiful and people would usually raise livestock for their own use i.e. traveling, milk and meat, etc. Animals were a good source of maintaining the grass as they would graze around and level up the blades of grass.

People started maintaining grass not more than three hundred years ago. Whenever or wherever it was started, that is not the topic under discussion today but we must know that the first lawn mower was invented in England.

The first patent was granted to Edwin Beard Budding on Aug 31st, 1830. Since then, lawn mowing became effortless, less time consuming and a fun activity. Perhaps, a modern folk will disagree with my statement but in the old days, it was exactly as I told. It was indeed a significant invention for the people of those times.

Gradually, lawn mower reached the height of its popularity which arose competition in the market among manufacturers. Like any other product, competitors of this market always tried to come up with something unique and more facilitating for the sake of business. So, its development process never stopped. Today, we have dozens of models available on the market. We have divided them into different categories based on the major characteristics and functions they perform.

Types of Lawn mowers Based on Their Drive System

1. Propelled

Propelled Lawnmower

First of all, let’s talk about propelled lawn mowers. These are the mowers that require a push from behind. You walk behind them and give them a push to move on and chew up the grass.

Propelled or push lawn mowers are simple, lightweight and cost-effective. They are easy to operate and are very reliable in terms of durability. They can last for years if maintained and washed properly after every time you mow your lawn.

The first lawn mower invented in 1830 belongs to this group of mowers.

Who can benefit:

No matter what type of mower you are using, you still have to spare some time anyways to either walk behind the mower or to operate it by remote control. If you don’t usually find time for exercise, mowing with a push mower will burn hundreds of calories.

It also strengthens some of the muscles of your body that are rarely used in daily routine i.e. back muscles etc.

2. Self-propelled

Self Propelled Lawnmower

Self-propelled mowers are the ones that don’t need to be pushed and they work independently. But they don’t work without your directions and guidelines.

Their drive system is advanced and therefore, they are more convenient to be used.

They are the most powerful and the fastest lawn mowers with a speed range of 5 miles per hour to 13 miles per hour.

These mowers perform multiple functions and are very reliable machines.

Who can benefit?

They are a result of advanced technology and are good for those people who don’t have either time or energy or both.

If you have a large yard, of course, you are not able to mow that with a push mower. It will take most of your time and energy. So, a self-propelled mower will be the right choice for you.

It is good for people with medical conditions and old age. A study conducted by William Beaumont Hospital states that self-propelled mower can be a lifesaver for a person with a heart problem as manual mowers exceed the units of exercise advised by the doctor (Originally reported by CNN).

Read more about these mowers: Best Self-propelled Lawn mowers (Top 10 Picks)

3. Robotic

Robotic Lawnmower

Robotic lawn mowers work better than you can imagine. They have never been very popular due to their price but they are not that expensive these days. In 2012, their sales increases by up to 15% than the previous years.

A robotic lawn mower takes care of your lawn as no one else can. You can set up its work schedule and it will follow that schedule. The best part is, you don’t have to get stuck with it. It follows the programmed instructions and while it’s working, you may take a nap, relax in your swimming pool and even go for groceries. Fun huh?

They are perfectly built to meet the requirements of the modern world.

Who can benefit?

Robotic lawn mowers save you some time and energy for other many activities that usually you don’t find time for, on your weekends.

Robotic mowers are good for students who work to pay back their study loans. Those who suffer from dust or grass pollen allergy can take good advantage of this mower.

And, it is obvious that technology has always proved to be beneficial for medically challenged and old aged people.

4. Riding Lawn mowers

Riding Lawnmowers

Here comes the monster of lawn mowers. Riding lawn mowers are the best choice for comparatively larger yards. They are self-propelled but not robotic. Of course! You ride them.

They can finish up your work in hours that would normally take days with a walk behind mower and that is because of their fast speed which can be up to 13 miles per hour and the cutting width that goes over 60 inches.

Ride-on mowers are self-propelled mowers and they stand among the most powerful mowers because of their features and functions. They are reliable and can last for around 10 years if properly taken care of. Otherwise, use them carelessly, they will still survive for at least half of that time period.

Some riding mowers come with a feature “zero turns” which increases the maneuverability to its maximum point. Check out our roundup of zero turn lawn mowers here.

If you have obstacles or trees and furniture items placed in your yard, you need it.

Who can benefit:

Riding lawn mowers are good to buy if you have a lawn spread on half an acre or above. If your yard is located on a hilly landscape then a riding lawn mower is a must buy.

People who lose physical strength or doctor asked them to avoid pushing something heavy after a surgery, riding lawn mower is the lifesaver for them. You can mow your lawn even when you are not feeling well.

Types of Lawn mowers Based on the Power Supply:

5. Electric Corded Mowers

Electric corded lawnmower

Electric corded mowers are as good as any other mower in our list. Their work efficiency is remarkable. They don’t make noise and are very environmentally friendly as there is no emission of gas.

They may last for around ten years if you maintain them well. You must have an electrical outlet in your lawn to have them do the job. Also, if your lawn is bigger in size, you will have to have multiple outlets so it can work in all areas of your lawn.

You might think they use a lot of electricity. The consumption of electricity depends on the specifications of the mower but minimum energy used by a mower is usually over 700 watts.

Electric lawn mowers are not supposed to be used on wet grass or during rainy seasons. When lawn mowers are advertised as “waterproof”, it doesn’t mean they can work in rain but it means they can resist a certain amount of water for a short period of time.

Electric lawn mowers require less maintenance and of course! No additional charges for oil or gas. 

Who can benefit?

Electric lawn mowers can be very beneficial for homeowners with comparatively smaller yards. If you have a heart patient in your home/neighborhood or a student preparing for exams, getting disturbed with the noise of your oil mower, you need an electric mower.

6. Electric Cordless Mowers

Electric Cordless Lawnmower

Unlike corded mowers, these mowers work in all types of lawns situations. For example, in case of a corded mower, you can only go up to the point your extension cord will allow you but this guy can reach anywhere without getting stuck with a cord.

Batteries of cordless mowers supply enough power to mow a standard lawn in one go. The batteries may go for around 5 years.

Like any other mower, you need to sharpen their blades once or twice in a couple of years depending on the size of your yard otherwise they don’t require much maintenance as compared to gas mowers.

Batteries can be charged overnight to save up enough energy to mow your standard lawn.

Who can benefit?

Unlike corded mowers, these mowers will work on any lawn. If you have trees or other obstacles in your lawn, your corded lawn mower is not ideal as your extension cord will not allow you to go around them. However, with a cordless mower, you won’t get stuck anywhere.

7. Gas Lawn mowers

Best Gas push lawnmower

When we talk about gas mowers, a question pops up in our brain, what kind of gas they use? They use unleaded gasoline with octane. Premium gas can be good for cars or other bigger structures but it is not recommended to be used for a small machine like a lawn mower.

Theses lawn mowers are more powerful as compared to electric lawn mowers. If you have a gas lawn mower, you don’t have to wait for a battery to get fully charged neither your mobility will get impacted with a corded extension.

They are beasts in terms of performance and they are good for all types and sizes of grass.

Who can benefit?

People with larger yards should think about having a gas lawn mower because of the power and capacity they possess. Unlike cordless mowers, their battery won’t get exhausted after mowing up half of your large yard.

If your lawn has unusual growth of weeds or you have a tough grass in your lawn, the gas mower can be the best choice.

It is also good for those who don’t mow very often. When you leave your lawn grass unattended for longer periods of time, the grass gets taller enough to give a tough time to any other type of lawn mower. But a gas mower will chew up your tall grass like it’s no one’s job.

Types Based on Grass Cutting Action

8. Cylinder or Reel

Cylinder or reel lawnmower

Cylinder or reel mowers have a reel with a number of blades on it. The number of blades varies from 4 to 12. These mowers work with physical exertion and basically, they fall under the category of push mowers. These mowers are completely dependent on physical exertion and without human input, they are of no use.

A person walks behind the mower holding its handle. The blades on the cylinder or reel rotate vertically and clip the grass. Their cut is more natural and helps grass recover more quickly.

Reel mowers are not that hard to push as you might imagine. If you have a nice lawn that you mow on a regular basis then lawn mowing with a reel mower will become even easier. They are lightweight and easy to carry.

They work for over 5 years and may go farther than depending on the size of your yard and usage. Now, which mower requires no replacement or sharpening of blades? There is none. You have to sharpen the blades anyways no matter what mower you are buying.

The minimum time limit is one year to sharpen the blades.

Who can benefit?
Those who need a mower in a cheaper price range, reel mowers are the best choice for them. Those who like environmentally hazardous equipment, cylinder or reel mower will never make them feel guilty about polluting the air.

9. Rotary

Rotary Lawnmower

Rotary mowers were invented and developed in the first few decades of the 20th century. They are the most versatile lawn mowers with usually a single blade spinning underneath the mower. The blade spins horizontally like a fan around a vertical axis to cut the grass blades.

Rotary mowers are available with electric, cordless and gas options and incorporate a number of features. They are also heavy-duty mowers but when it’s about the aesthetically clean look of the grass, cylinder or reel mowers are preferred over rotary mowers.

Their blades can be sharpened without an expert’s help, unlike reel mowers.

Who can benefit?

They are equally good for all types of lawns. If you need discharge and mulching features along with a mower, rotary mowers are a good option.

10. Hover Lawn mowers

Hover or no-wheel Lawnmower

This is the type of mower introduced in 1964 and it is a kind of rotary mower. It comes without wheels and needs to be hovered over the grass to cut that.

Hover lawn mowers create an air cushion to maintain their distance from the ground and to give an even clean cut.

These mowers are highly maneuverable as compared to other mowers.

Who can benefit?

If your lawn has an irregular shape and even if it is uneven or bumpy, hover mower will work best for you.

It works better than mowers with wheels when you are mowing slopes. Wheels may get out of control on a slope but hover mower follows your command in any case.


Lawn mowers can still be divided into further categories based on their functions but perhaps, that will increase the confusion rather than helping you out to understand them. Above are the major types that will help you to choose the best one that will reign over your lawn.

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