Buying Guide: The Best Walk Behind Mower to Conquer Your Lawn - Backyard Boss
We are reader supported. External links may earn us a commission.

Buying Guide: The Best Walk Behind Mower to Conquer Your Lawn

Having a big lawn seems like a great idea.

We all can picture sunny days spent out on the grass, with friends and family spread about, laughing and smiling, engaging in various joyful activities.

Grass grows though.

And YOU, the mastermind behind the dream of a large lawn, are going to have to mow it.

So you need a lawn mower.

Sure, you could try to clip the whole lawn with your kid’s glue-covered scissors, but they probably will need those for the arts and crafts they will be doing inside while they wait for you to cut the lawn already.

I wouldn’t blame you if you tried.

Lawn mower shopping can be a hassle.

Between the countless features, kinds, and purposes, it can be hard to weed out which is the best for you.

To ease your pain so you can spend more time enjoying your dream lawn, and less time clipping it, I have compiled a buyers guide and reviews of some of the best walk behind lawn mowers available now.

Fiskars StaySharp Max Reel Mower (362050-1001) - Buying Guide: The Best Walk Behind Mower to Conquer Your LawnFiskars StaySharp Max Reel Mower (362050-1001)
  • Best Used For: Lawns That are Not Overgrown
  • Power Source: Hand Powered
  • Warranty: 3 Years
Check The Price!
 Greenworks 20-Inch 3-in-1 12 Amp Electric Corded Lawn Mower 250 - Buying Guide: The Best Walk Behind Mower to Conquer Your Lawn Greenworks 20-Inch 3-in-1 12 Amp Electric Corded Lawn Mower 250
  • Best Used For: Manageable Lawns
  • Power Source: Electric
  • Warranty: 4 Years
Check The Price!
22 in. Kohler Low Wheel Variable Speed Self-Propelled Gas Lawn Mower - Buying Guide: The Best Walk Behind Mower to Conquer Your Lawn22 in. Kohler Low Wheel Variable Speed Self-Propelled Gas Lawn Mower
  • Best Used For: Large, Tough Yards
  • Power Source: Gas
  • Warranty: 2 Years
Check The Price!
American Lawn Mower Company 1204-14 14-Inch 4-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower - Buying Guide: The Best Walk Behind Mower to Conquer Your LawnAmerican Lawn Mower Company 1204-14 14-Inch 4-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower
  • Best Used For: Small, Debris-less Yards
  • Power Source: Hand Powered
  • Warranty: 90 Days
Check The Price!
BLACK+DECKER Lawn Mower, Corded, 13-Amp, 20-Inch (MM2000)  - Buying Guide: The Best Walk Behind Mower to Conquer Your LawnBLACK+DECKER Lawn Mower, Corded, 13-Amp, 20-Inch (MM2000)
  • Best Used For: Tough, Large Lawns
  • Power Source: Electric
  • Warranty: 2 Years
Check The Price!

Why a Walk Behind Lawn Mower?

Although the prospect of just sitting and steering while your lawn gets mowed by the mechanical steed beneath you may be an appealing one, for most of us, walk behind mowers are a much better option than riding mowers.

For starters, unless you live on a sprawling estate, you don’t need a riding mower. Furthermore, if you have a normal-sized lawn, a walk behind mower will allow you to get into small and tricky spots that a riding mower would not.

Walk behind mowers have better control, more stability, and better traction. They allow you to be close to the ground so you can see obstacles in your mower’s path and move them out of the way.

They are also much less expensive than riding mowers.

Walk behind mowers may be smaller, and take more work, but they are effective.

Types of Walk Behind Lawn Mowers

Walk behind lawn mowers can come in various shapes and sizes, from a simple, manual reel mower to a monstrous, gas-chugging John Deere walk behind mower. You can differentiate the different kinds of walk behind mowers based on what their power source is. Lawn mowers can be powered by gas, electricity, or manually.

Electric Walk Behind Mower

Electric walk behind mowers have been gaining popularity over the years and it is no wonder why. Using power from a battery or cord, these mowers are reliable and effective. They give you the power of a gas mower without all the inconveniences of one. They do have their own inconveniences though, namely, dealing with not mowing over their extension cord.

Gas Walk Behind Mower

The gas walk behind mower is the classic mower dads have been using too early on Saturday mornings for years. It uses gas to cleanly and swiftly cut your lawn. It has the disadvantages of smelling, emitting hot fumes, and requiring you to purchase gas to run it.

Reel Walk Behind Mower

Reel walk behind mowers are simple but strong. Your pushing power is what propels them around your lawn. Many people are off-put by reel mowers because they believe they will take more work to mow your lawn, but, because of their light design, this is often not the case. Their disadvantage is that tall grass can often trip them up.

Walk Behind Lawn Mower Features

There are numerous excellent features and lawn mower attachments that walk behind mowers can include.

Bagging Feature

This feature is great for people who hate getting grass clipping on their lawn or on their shoes while they mow. The clippings go into the bag, and you can empty it when you are done mowing.

Smooth Operation

If you hate the noise that lawn mowers make, you should look for one that promises smooth operation or to be a quiet lawn mower. This is an issue lots of mowers experience, so there are now many mowers on the market that prioritize this feature.

Stay Sharp Blades

It is always a good idea to check on the quality fo the blades that you are buying. If the blades are not quality, there cut won’t be either. It can also be a total hassle having to sharpen them on a regular basis.

Environmentally Friendly

If sustainability is something that is important to you make sure your mower’s power source is eco-friendly. Gas lawn mowers cause an astonishing 5% of America’s air pollution. Don’t just be good to your lawn, also be good to the Earth.

Stand On Feature

If you were really attached to the idea of not moving while you mow, you can look for the stand-on feature that is common in commercial walk behind mowers. This feature includes a platform on the back of the mower for you to stand on while you enjoy the total control of a walk behind mower.

Mulching Feature

If you are looking to make your grass or leaf clippings into mulch this is an extremely handy feature. It tears grass and leaves for you, so all you have to do is spread them on your garden.


A heavy lawn mower will make your job 1000 times harder. Make sure that whatever model you pick is lightweight unless you are looking for a workout.


Make sure that your lawn mower has safety features. Every year, lawn mowers cause 68,000 injuries in the US. Do not be in that number.

Walk Behind Lawn Mower Care

Once you find the lawn mower of your dreams you are never going to want to let it go. To ensure that your mower lasts as long as possible you need to take care of it.

If you choose a gas mower, make sure that you change your oil regularly. This will make a huge difference in your lawn mower’s life, leading to better performance and a longer engine life. Also, make sure the oil you use is meant for small engines.

Change the filters on your lawn mower regularly. If it has paper filters, replace them when they look dirty. If it has foam filters wash them in warm, soapy water.

After each use of your lawn mower, brush off its blades so there is not just debris collecting in them. This will keep the blades sharp and from getting gunked up.

Lawn  mower storage is very important, during the season you are using it, or during the winter when you are not. This article shares some great tips on how to store your mower when it is not in use, including advice on how to empty its tank, take care of the spark plug, keep your blades sharp, and clean your mower.

Looking for more information on how to maintain your new walk behind mower? Check out this video for more lawn mower maintenance tips!

Our Top 5 Best Walk Behind Lawn Mower Reviews

Best Walk Behind Mower for Well-Maintained Lawns

Pairing the sustainability of a reel mower with the power of a gas or electric mower, this walk behind mower will not disappoint.

It is unbelievably easy to push, in some cases taking less work than an electric or gas mower. This is because its blades are designed to stay sharp, and have no contact with the ground, reducing friction and improving inertia.

Tired of grass clippings covering your shoes?

Use this mowers adjustable grass shoot to point them elsewhere.

You can also adjust the grass cut height from 1”-4”.

It is not only great for the planet but also for your lawn. Tough grass, weeds, hills, this reel mower can take them all on, fast. The only thing that will slow it down is tall grass, which is, unfortunately, something mowers encounter a lot. Grass or weeds that are above 6” in height will not be effectively cut by this mower.

This mower is expensive, costing three times the amount of the other reel mower on this list.

Fiskars StaySharp Max Reel Mower, 18 Inch (362050-1001)
    This powerful reel mower will take care of stubborn grass and weeds. It is easily usable by everyone- no matter their strength level. Perfect for any lawn, just be warned, if your grass is too tall, it will be ineffective.



Best Walk Behind Mower for Easy-to-Mow Lawns

This lightweight, easy-to-assemble mower is flexible and versatile, featuring a portable design that allows it to fold up and be stored anywhere, and 7 blade height adjustments so you can mow grass from 1-1/2 to 3-3/4 inches. Not only is it adaptable in its easy storage and blade height adjustments, it is also flexible in its purpose, featuring the 3-in-1 capabilities of mulching, side discharge, and a rear bag.

No need to bother with gas!

Say goodbye to the loud sounds and smells of your gas mower because this is an electric mower, with a chargeable battery and a 12 Amp motor. The cord is notably not included though, so you will have to purchase that separately.

The price of this mower is standard, not breaking the bank but not quite being budget-friendly. However, this durable motor is built to survive, with a long-lasting 4-year warranty.

Greenworks 20-Inch 3-in-1 12 Amp Electric Corded Lawn Mower 25022
    This product is best suited for people looking to mow largely manageable lawns because although it is versatile, it isn’t the highest-powered machine on the market. It’s lightweight and easy-to-assemble design makes it one of the most easy-to-use mowers.



Best Gas Walk Behind Mower for Large Yards

This lawn mower is a titan of trimming with the capability to tame tall, tough grass. Perfect for big jobs that need some power behind them, and smaller jobs in hard to reach places, this versatile mower has the power of a commercial walk behind mower behind it.

It is user-friendly, with a compact size and a comfort folding handle for easy storage. The 22” cutting diameter and large wheels make maneuvering small spots easy- although the wheels could definitely be sturdier.

Its powerful 159cc OHV engine requires gas, which could be a benefit or negative depending on your preference. The power does come at a price though, namely the price of this mower which is on the expensive side.

That price is not backed up by a strong warranty either: the warranty on this product is only two years and it is very limited.

22 in. Kohler Low Wheel Variable Speed Self-Propelled Gas Lawn Mower
    This titan of trimming is best suited for large yards with thick grass and weeds, however, it can also be good for small spaces.



Best Walk Behind Mower for Small Lawns

Although some may not call this a “real” lawn mower, it is quite literally a reel lawn mower- a low tech, sustainable, walk behind lawn mower.

This is the little lawn mower that could- despite its small size it can effectively mow tough grass and weeds using its 4 heat-treated alloy steel blades which cut a path of 14”. These blades only need to be sharpened every few years and can also adjust the height of the cut from 0.5″-1.75″.

This mower can have some issues maintaining the same height of cut throughout a lawn though. It also can be more time-consuming than gas and electric walk behind mowers since it is smaller.

If you hate the noise lawn mower’s make, the heat and fumes they belch out in their wake, and the smell of gas, this could be a great, relaxing, eco-friendly lawn mowing option for you.

Although it is your pushing that is doing the cutting, the light frame of the lawn mower makes it easy to use. The design incorporates ergonomic cushions on the handles, which is nice, however, the handles are notably weak, so you may want to add extra support/ padding to them. This mower is inexpensive for obvious reasons.

American Lawn Mower Company 1204-14 14-Inch 4-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower
    This simple but effective reel mower is best suited for small yards with not a lot of debris.



Best Electric Walk-Behind Mower for Large Yards

This incredible walk behind mower is great for wide and tough lawns with a 20-inch wide cutting path and a powerful 13 Ah motor. Not only is it strong,  it is also versatile, cutting large swaths of your lawn one moment and then getting the grass right up to the edge of your flower beds the next.

No grass will be left behind.

Although the mower’s effect on your lawn is powerful, keep in mind that some of the parts do feel cheaply made, which should make you nervous about that 2 year warranty. It has 7 height adjustment settings from 1-1/2 inch to 4 inches high.

Featuring 3-in-1 capabilities, this mower is great for bagging, mulching, and side discharging. Its convenient carrying handles and foldable design allow for easy transportation and storage.

You get all the benefits of an electric mower with this tool, but also the downsides, including needing to use an extension cord with this mower.

BLACK+DECKER Lawn Mower, Corded, 13-Amp, 20-Inch (MM2000)
    This powerful electric mower is great for tough and large lawns.




All of these lawn mowers are great options, sporting different features, capabilities, and benefits. However, it is time to cut away the competition and focus on which one of these mowers is the best mower.

Drumroll, please!

My pick is the Fiskars StaySharp Max Reel Mower. This mower combines the advantages of a reel mower with the power and versatility of gas and electric ones. Because of this, it beats out the less effective reel mower, and the gas and electric ones who suffer from the disadvantages of their design. Keep your lawn looking healthy with a quality mower and our definitive mowing guide.

If you have any questions or comments about walk behind mowers, we would love to hear from you below! And, as always, please share!