The Best Mulching Lawn Mower in 2021 - Backyard Boss
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The Best Mulching Lawn Mower in 2021

Keeping your lawn in tip-top shape is one of those things that has a huge impact on the general aesthetic of your space. Mowing, raking, fertilizing, and watering your lawn are all important chores to keep things looking good. Or are they?

What if there was another way, with fewer steps to a beautiful lawn? With a mulching lawn mower in your tool shed, this can be a reality. For the full scoop, read about the benefits of a mulching lawn mower.

Once you’re caught up to speed, and you’re ready to explore your options for mulching lawn mowers, take a look at the post below for the best mulching lawn mower on the market in 2021.

Black and Decker Push Mower - The Best Mulching Lawn Mower in 2021Black and Decker Push Mower
  • Power source: Gas
  • Deck size: 21 inches
  • Warranty: 2 years
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Sun Joe Walk-Behind Mower - The Best Mulching Lawn Mower in 2021Sun Joe Walk-Behind Mower
  • Power source: Battery
  • Deck size: 17 inches
  • Warranty: 2 years
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Worx Cordless Lawn Mower - The Best Mulching Lawn Mower in 2021Worx Cordless Lawn Mower
  • Power source: Battery
  • Deck size: 16 inches
  • Warranty: 3 years
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Black + Decker OHV Mower  - The Best Mulching Lawn Mower in 2021Black + Decker OHV Mower
  • Power Source: Gas
  • Deck size: 21 inches
  • Warranty: 2 years
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Sun Joe MJ403E - The Best Mulching Lawn Mower in 2021Sun Joe MJ403E
  • Power source: Electric
  • Deck size: 17 inches
  • Warranty: 2 years
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Why You Can Trust Us

Before I started mulching my grass, I was not a fan of mowing the lawn. It wasn’t the mowing part that I disliked, it was the collecting of the shorn grass blades that got to me. When I was a teenager, living with my parents, mowing the lawn was my responsibility. Once a month in winter, once a week in summer.

All that grass mowing led me to find the easiest and most efficient way to get the job done. While I had to play by my parents’ rules back then, I was storing away all these ideas and methods to use when I had a lawn of my own.

Fast forward an undisclosed amount of time, and here I am with my own lawn. I’ve tested the ideas and methods I had when I was a teenager and fine-tuned my lawn maintenance approach.

One thing that’s had the biggest impact is mulching the grass clippings, right where they land. I’ve gone for more of a meadow-style yard, as opposed to a pristine grass lawn, and mulching my grass clippings has contributed significantly to the natural soil life needed to sustain a healthy lawn.

Now I love mowing my lawn. And it’s all thanks to mulching my grass clippings. Now it’s your turn to make the change. So I’ve compiled a list of the best mulching lawn mowers on the market and put them into the neat post below. Enjoy.

Best For Self-Propelled Mowers

Black and Decker Push Mower
    This mower presents the two best solutions to take the hard work out of yard work; mulching grass clippings and a self-propelled lawn mower.



Why We Like It: Going with well-known brands is usually a safe bet when it comes to garden machinery, but that’s not the only reason why we love this Black and Decker walk-behind mower.  This machine comes with options. A grass collecting bag is included, but can easily be removed and the chute closed off with the mulching plug to transform this thing into a mulching machine.

On top of that, it’s self-propelled. There’s a throttle on the handlebars which engage front-wheel drive on your lawn mower. So not only do you not have to collect the grass clippings, you don’t even have to push the mower if you don’t want to. Now that sounds like a lawn mowing operation I can get behind.

Who Should Buy It: This lawnmower is an excellent all-rounder for small to medium-sized yards. You can choose to discharge the clippings out the side, the rear, or mulch them. The large cutting deck means you can get more done with fewer passes, and self-propelled mowers make life a lot easier.

Best Battery Powered

Sun Joe Walk-Behind Mower
    Battery powered mowers have a distinct advantage, they are quiet and the engine's run cool. Get this lawn mower if you mow in stealth mode



Why We Like It: Mowing the lawn doesn’t have to be a noisy affair. Not if you have this battery-powered offering from SunJoe, that is. The 670-watt brushless motor runs cool and quiet for those stealthy lawn mowing sessions when everyone else is enjoying a Sunday afternoon nap.

The grass collection bag is easily removed, and the included mulch plug will turn this mower into a mulcher whenever you’re ready. Two batteries are included so you’ll never be without power.

Who Should Buy It: If there’s a member in your household that’s sensitive to noise, or is always napping when you’re ready to mow the lawn, consider this offering from Sun Joe. The battery-powered machinery paired with the brushless motor means you’ll have a whisper-quiet lawn mower at your disposal for your convenience.

Best For Adjustable Power

Worx Cordless Lawn Mower
    This is the mower for you if you like to adjust your power and torque. Ramp up the power for tough areas, scale it down to conserve battery. The power is in your hands



Why We Like It: This push mower from Worx is another cordless, battery-powered offering, but this one has something extra. The adjustable power feature is not something you see on most mowers. This product includes a grass bag as well as a mulch plug.

The torque adjusts when it encounters thicker grass and needs a bit more power. You can then manually lower the torque once again to conserve battery power. This is a useful feature for uneven lawns. It’s even useful if you have a perfect lawn since you can set the torque on its lowest setting and conserve battery power. Very nifty.

Who Should Buy It: If you have an uneven lawn with a few thick patches of grass spread among some thinner patches of grass, consider this mower from Worx. Also, if you have a bowling-green-like lawn and want to conserve power when mowing your lawn, this mower can do that too!

Best Gas Mower

Black + Decker OHV Mower
    The classic lawn mower. Nothing fancy here. The tried and tested lawn mower design. Gas-powered engine with no bells and whistled. Collect your clippings or mulch them, the choice is yours



Why We Like It: There’s nothing like the smell of gas to let you know that your mower is capable of tackling any job you put in front of it. This gas-powered offering from Black and Decker has both side discharge and mulching capabilities so you can decide where you want your grass clippings to go.

The large rear wheels are also easily adjustable for various terrains if you have a more natural yard. The blade height is easily adjusted with a simple lever, so if you’re going for a full cut or a light trim, you’re covered.

Who Should Buy It: This mower is for those of you looking for a simple, gas-powered mower that you can rely on to cut your grass. You can choose between side discharge or mulching modes depending on what you need. Whether you skipped a few weeks and your lawn is a bit unruly, or you just need to neaten things up before the next family gathering, you and your Black and Decker will keep your lawn in top shape.

Best Corded Mower

Sun Joe MJ403E
    This lightweight, corded mower knows what it does and knows how to do it. This is a maintenance mower to keep your lawn looking great with no gas or batteries required



Why We Like It: This corded mower doesn’t try to be everything to everyone. It simply excels at what it’s designed to do. It’s corded and it doesn’t handle tall grass. However, as a machine to maintain your lawn, you can’t go wrong with this mower/mulcher from Sun Joe.

This lightweight, quiet mower will quickly and easily maintain your pristine lawn on a regular basis. The fact that it’s so light means that regular passes over your lawn with this mower will be a breeze. You also have the option of grass collection or mulching capabilities.

Who Should Buy It: This is a maintenance mower. So, if your lawn is in good condition, and you plan to keep it that way, this is the mower for you. This is also an excellent choice for those who have a soft spot for electric mowers. If you’re looking for a mower to make it easy to trim your lawn on a regular basis, you need something lightweight, quiet, and easy to use. You need this mower from Sun Joe.

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Mulching Mower

In order to get the best results from your mulching mower, you need to do things a bit differently. The obvious one is that you want to remove the grass bag/box from the mower and put the mulch plug in. This turns your lawn mower into a mulching mower.

You’re also going to have to mow slightly more frequently with a mulching mower. This is because you don’t want to have to mow off too much grass in one session, as this could lead to something called thatching, which isn’t good for your grass.

Although you’re mowing more regularly, it should take you quicker to mow the lawn because you don’t have to stop to empty the grass bag in the middle of your mowing session. You’re aiming to shorten the grass by about one-third every time you mow. Long grass should be mown in stages, starting with the longest setting and slowly working your way down towards your desired length. If you attempt to mow long grass in one pass, you risk damaging your mower and voiding the warranty.

To avoid your grass clippings from clumping, mow the lawn when it’s dry. Never mow in the rain or directly after a precipitation event. If you must mow the lawn when it still has dew on it, mow slowly and keep checking for clumps in the mulch.

You want to make sure that your mower cuts the grass into fine pieces. This should happen automatically due to the design of mulching mowers. If you find that the grass isn’t being chopped up as finely as you’d like, sharpen your mower blades.

Lawn being mowed in playground
Image credits: andreas160578 via Pixabay

Another thing to keep in mind is that you want the grass clippings (now mulch) to be spread evenly over your lawn. The design of your mower should do a decent job at this, but you can help it achieve this goal.

To do this, vary the direction of mowing on each pass. This will help spread the mulch evenly and will reduce clumping. It also results in a nice pattern on your lawn once you’re done and can help you identify any patches you may have missed.

Make sure that your mower is running at full throttle when in use. This will ensure that the grass clippings are getting chopped up sufficiently, being spread evenly, and you’re getting the most out of your mulching mower. Make sure your blades are always sharp for best results.

It’s important to remember that there’s going to be an adjustment period between maintaining your lawn in a more conventional way and maintaining your lawn with mulching.

Your lawn is a living organism. Not only that, it’s also a living environment for a huge array of life. All these living things need to adjust to the change and find their natural balance. Once this has happened, however, you’ll never go back to collecting your grass clippings.

How We Picked

Like most products on the market, mulching mowers come in all shapes and sizes. To make sure that we only recommend the best mowers for the job at hand, we came up with a list of criteria to help us choose. Here they are.

  • Mulching capabilities. This one seems obvious, but it’s worth mentioning. Most mowers nowadays have the option of collecting the grass in a grass box or removing the box, installing the mulch plug, and mulching your clippings. We made sure all the mowers on this list have this option.
  • Power source. The options for powering appliances these days fall into three main categories; gas, battery, and corded. There are people out there who have a personal preference when it comes to power sources for various reasons. We included at least one of each to keep everyone satisfied.
  • Budget. As always, budget is one of the biggest factors when it comes to purchasing decisions. We included a range of mowers that fit a range of budgets.
Blue mower cutting grass
Image credits: Rudy and Peter Skitterians via Pixabay

Wrap Up

At the end of the day, the Black and Decker self-propelled mower is our top pick. This lawn mower is an excellent choice for small to medium-sized yards. And the best part? It’s self-propelled with front-wheel drive. This means all you have to do is steer while the mower does the rest.

You can choose to collect your clippings in the included grass bag if you so wish, or you can install the mulch plug to mulch your lawn instead. The 140cc engine is sure to have enough power and torque to chop your grass clippings into a fine mulch that will feed your lawn for years to come.