How much does a lawn mower cost? This is the first thing you need to know when considering your purchase, as this will help you set a realistic budget.
Knowing the different kinds of lawn mower on the market will help you ask yourself: how much does a lawn mower cost and which one do I need?
A decent mowing machine is vital if you want to keep your grass looking its best and as healthy as it can be. There are all kinds of mowers; some suited to smaller yards, others ideal for a huge expanse of grass. You also need to consider what it will be powered by - gas, electricity and so on. This will depend on where your lawn is situated, what access you have to power and so on.
What type of lawnmower should you buy?
There’s a lot of choice when it comes to buying a lawn mower, so here’s our rundown of the different types available:
Gas lawn mowers
These mowers have more power than most, and are better at tackling large lawns that are far from perfect. They are usually heavier and larger than other types. They can be quite expensive to buy but they have a long life span. They are noisier than other types, so if you have neighbors close by that is something to consider.
Electric lawn mowers
Electric mowers need an outside power source, and you have to consider how much cable you will need if you have a larger garden. They are typically better suited to an average size lawn that is relatively flat. Some mowers have to be pushed (so are better if you have a bit of upper body strength), while self-propelled mowers move of their own accord. Some people find they can run a little too fast though! They are also quieter than gas-powered models.
Electric lawn mowers with a battery
These mowers run on power from a rechargeable battery. Like all batteries, they only have a finite amount of run time in one charge, so that has to be considered. If you have a larger lawn this may not work for you - unless you go to the added expense of having more than one battery, so you can be charging one while using the other. They also tend to be less powerful, so are better suited for a relatively easy lawn to cut.
Riding lawn mowers
Riding mowers are quite an investment, but if you have a very large lawn or area of grass, they are the easier option. They are gas models, so make quite a bit of noise, but make light work of large areas and paddocks.
Mulching lawn mowers
Some lawn mowers collect the grass clippings in a bag or hopper. These then have to be disposed of (they can be put on a compost heap if you have one). Other mowers cut the grass into tiny pieces that can be left on the lawn and help to feed or mulch it, leaving your lawn healthier. If you hate raking up grass clippings, this is definitely a good choice for you!
Robot lawn mowers
Robotic mowers sit on a charging station in your garden (usually quite close to the house as they need to be near a power source. Most robotic mowers (apart from a couple that have special sensors) run within a cable that is laid around the edge of your lawn. It can be dug into the lawn itself, or just laid on top of the grass. Usually the cable will eventually bury itself under your grass. Then the mower can be programmed to cut your grass to a certain level.
It can be programmed to mow at set times, or left to decide when to cut. The joy of a robot mower is that your grass will pretty much always be the right length, as the mowers cut little and often.
They also generally cut the grass into tiny pieces to mulch the lawn, which means you never have to rake up grass clippings. If you have a lot of wildlife around you, you might find they occasionally nibble through the boundary wire, so that is something to consider. Setting up the wire - especially if you have a large grass area, can take some time, but hopefully you only need to do it once! Your supplier can often arrange for this to be professionally installed for you.
How much does a lawn mower cost?
Electric lawn mowers
Electric lawn mowers start at around $100 up to around $400, depending on the features offered by the machine.
The Sun Joe MJ401E-PRO Electric Lawn Mower (opens in new tab) is a decent budget model, which is ideal for smaller yards. The Ryobi 40V 21-inch Brushless Smart Trek (opens in new tab) is a self propelled battery model that is a good choice for a smaller budget. If you have more cash to spend, the Toro Recycler 21" SmartStow 60-Volt Cordless Mower (opens in new tab) is a great choice for smaller, flat lawns and offers three choices of what to do with the grass clippings!
Robot lawn mowers
The joy of the robot mower is that you never really have to ever think about mowing your grass again- your robot mower will take care of it for you! If you want something affordable, the MowRo RM24A (opens in new tab) is a great choice - but don’t expect lots of added extras.
For a mid-range mower, we’d suggest the Worx WR140 Landroid M 20V (opens in new tab) if you have a smaller lawn. Power and design come in the form of the Husqvarna Automower 315X (opens in new tab) if you are looking at the top end of the budget for your robot mower.
Riding lawn mowers
If you want to take a seat on your mower while it tackles your large expanse of grassy areas, then a riding mower is what you need. These don’t come cheap - starting at around $1,500 they rise up to as much as $10,000 in the domestic market, while professional models can far exceed this.
At the lower end of the budget is the Troy-Bilt TB30R Neighborhood Rider (opens in new tab), which offers plenty of features for its relatively low price. In the mid range, we’d opt for the Husqvarna YTH1852 (opens in new tab), which is ideal if you want something more compact,
If you’re looking at something more expensive the John Deere S180 (opens in new tab) is worth considering - it will tackle acres of grass!
Gas lawn mowers
Finally, if you’re after a gas mower, we would suggest looking at the Craftsman M105 (opens in new tab) if you're on a budget. Its light weight will appeal to many, and its maneuverable nature is useful if you have a less than square lawn!
In the mid-range price bracket, the Troy-Bilt TB160 (opens in new tab) is worth considering - it’s not the most expensive but still packs plenty of power under its hood. If you have more cash to spend, the Honda HRX217HZA (opens in new tab) is a powerful model with twin blades for precision cutting, which is ideal for mid-size and larger areas.
What the expert says…
Fiona Jenkins is a landscaper with over 25 years of experience in the industry. As a gardening expert for MyJobQuote, Fiona offers her expert advice to tradespeople and home owners, and has also been featured as a gardening expert for a range of reputable publications.
Fiona Jenkins offers advice on finding the right lawn mower:
"Lawn mowers come in a range of mowing widths. As a good rule of thumb, the wider the mowing width is, the faster you will be able to complete the job. If you want to determine the right mowing width, it's important to consider the size of your lawn:
• Small lawn – 11-12in mowing width
• Medium lawn – 13-15 mowing width
• Large lawn – 15in or more mowing width
Adjustable mowing heights
Most lawn mowers come with functions to adjust to mowing height. This enables you to increase and decrease the distance between the grass and the blades so that you can cut the grass at the right height to suit your needs.
Some mowers enable you to set the mowing height to your exact needs, and others enable you to set the height according to various standard heights.
The speed and power of a lawn mower are usually determined by wattage and the number of revs per minute. The smaller your lawn is, the less power you will need to mow it.
Electric mowers can come in 500-watt versions or may come in more powerful versions like 1300 watts. Meanwhile, gas lawn mowers are often more powerful than electric ones, and this makes them more suited to mowing larger lawns."