9 Must-Have Features To Look For In A New Lawn Mower

On the market for a new lawn mower? Look out for these 9 essential features that will make your mowing experience as quick and easy as possible.

✅ Key Takeaways:

  • Some of the essential lawn mower features are cut height adjustment, a grass collector, a powerful motor, durable blades, an ergonomic design, and storage features.

  • Some fun extra features to consider on a new mower are a rear roller, a mulching function, grass combs, and autonomous mowing.

Table of Contents

📡 9 Features To Look For In A New Lawn Mower

Read on to learn which essential features you should look for in a new lawn mower.

 

✂️ Cut Height Adjustment

Regardless of which types of lawn mowers you’re considering, cut height adjustment is an important feature that you shouldn’t go without.

 

Most lawn mowers have at least three cut heights, enabling you to alter the height of the deck – and therefore the height of the blades – to allow you to cut closer to, or further from, the ground.

 

You can use a mower’s cut height adjuster to tailor your cut depending on the initial grass height and your desired length of cut.

 

For instance, if you’ve gone too long since your last mow and your garden is starting to resemble a jungle, you can do one mow on the highest cut height, then reduce the height and do another mow.

 

Breaking your mowing into increments rather than cutting off too much grass at once will prevent you from stressing the grass, clogging the blades, and wearing out your mower’s engine.

Some of the best plan mowers offer 5-7 cut heights, so you can achieve your exact preferred cut height.

🏋🏻 Durable, Lightweight Build

Another essential feature of a new mower is a durable, lightweight build. This is easier to achieve with some types of lawn mowers than with others.

Durability is important because you want your initial investment to be worth it. The average price of a starter lawn mower is around £130, with prices climbing to £400-£650 or more for a top-of-the-range petrol mower or robotic mower. So, your chosen mower should be built to last, so you don’t have to spend another chunk of money on a new model for at least 5-10 years.

A lightweight build is also important because you don’t want to complicate the mowing process and make extra work for yourself with a machine that’s bulky, difficult to maneuver, and heavy to lug around.

Typically, the more money you spend on a mower upfront, the better the quality of the design. The phrase “buy cheap, by twice” definitely applies to lawn mowers. I recommend spending at least £170 on a lawn mower if you want to avoid too many flimsy plastic parts.

A lawn mower’s weight comes down to its size and power type. Manual push mowers are super lightweight because they don’t use an engine. Electric lawn mowers are also lightweight, weighing around 6 to 10 kilograms.

Cordless mowers are slightly heavier due to their heavy batteries, weighing around 10-14 kilograms. Petrol lawn mowers are the heaviest mowers due to their bulky engines. They weigh around 20-35 kilograms, depending on their size.

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💪 Ergonomic Handles

Pushing a lawn mower requires some physical effort, but you shouldn’t put your back out or sustain an injury from this activity.

 

You can reduce your risk of muscle strain, including back and shoulder issues and wrist and hand strain, by buying a lawn mower with an ergonomic design.

 

Especially look at mowers with ergonomic handles, since the positioning and style of the handle will determine the strain that is put on your body when you push the mower. A good lawn mower should have an adjustable handle height for people of all heights, with an easy-press lever for comfortable handling while you mow.

 

You don’t have to be prone to injury or getting on in your years to prioritize ergonomic features on a lawn mower! Most people will bring out their mowers at least 10 times during the grass growing season, and you want to have a comfortable mowing experience that doesn’t make you dread your lawn maintenance duties.

📐 Suitable Cutting Width

All types of lawn mowers come in different deck sizes, so find a mower with a suitable cutting width for your lawn size.

 

A mower’s cutting width is the width of the cutting deck, which correlates to how much ground the mower covers with every lap of your lawn.

 

The average cutting width for a domestic lawn mower is 28-42cm. Bigger isn’t always better with this feature – you need to choose a cutting width that’s ideally suited to your lawn size.

 

If you have a small lawn, opt for a mower with a 28-32cm cutting width. A mower of this size should be wide enough to cut your lawn with speed, while being narrow enough to get into small gaps and having a small enough turning circle to make it easy to turn after each lap in gardens with limited room.

 

A cutting width of 32-38cm is best for a medium lawn. This slightly wider cutting width means you can cover more ground with each lap, so mow your lawn in fewer laps, but the mower won’t be unnecessarily large and bulky, and won’t take up too much space in storage.

 

If you have a large lawn, opt for a mower with a 38-42cm cutting width or wider. You should prioritize a large mower that will cover plenty of space with each lap, since your lawn is big and you don’t want to spend more time mowing than you need to.

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📦 Grass Collector

Most people just want to get their lawn mowing chores finished as quickly as possible. One feature that can save you a lot of cleanup time is a grass collector.

 

The majority of corded and cordless electric mowers, petrol mowers, and manual reel mowers come with a grass collector. Most mowers use a grass box at the back of the machine, while some have a grass bag, and some have a smaller box at the front of the mower.

 

A conventional rotary mower chops grass with the blade, then sucks these grass clippings into the grass box as you mow.

 

A manual reel mower with cylinder blades works slightly differently: the grass is spat out of the top of the mower deck and is caught in an open-top grass box. This method is less efficient than the conventional rotary mower collection method and you’ll probably have to tidy up with a rake or a brush after mowing.

 

The average grass collection box on a mower is 30-40 litres.

 

The bigger the grass box, the less frequently you’ll need to empty out your grass clippings. Depending on your lawn size and grass box capacity, you’ll need to make around 2-5 trips to your garden waste bin in a single mowing session.

🏎 Powerful Motor

Regardless of the mower size you choose, its motor or engine should be powerful enough to tackle your terrain.

 

Most electric mowers have a starting power of 1,200 watts. This is powerful enough to cut thick, rough grass as long as 10cm.

 

The larger push mowers have a more powerful engine, up to 1,700 watts or more. These are more capable of handling tough, long grass without stilting the motor or clogging the blades.

 

Petrol mowers have the most powerful engines that allow them to cut grass more quickly and effortlessly compared to electric lawn mower types. For that reason, petrol mowers are the best solution for quickly mowing larger lawns.

 

Motor power doesn’t apply if you’re looking for a manual push mower. Manual mowers are people-powered, meaning that the blades are prompted to spin when the operator pushes the mower forward.

 

If you’re interested in manual mowers, make sure you’re okay with the fact that pushing these mowers takes extra effort, and the lack of a motor may compromise their performance somewhat. For instance, a manual mower can’t be used on tall grass or very thick grass because the mower will simply be too difficult

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🦾 Durable Blades

Also look for durable blades in your new lawn mower – it’ll save you a lot of time and effort and help you to maintain a healthy lawn.

I strongly recommend narrowing your search only to mowers with blades made from stainless steel, rather than plastic. Luckily, this won’t limit your options since even the cheaper lawn mowers nowadays tend to have metal blades.

The stronger, tougher, and more durable the mower blades, the longer you will get out of the mower before the blades need to be sharpened or replaced.

Rotary mowers have the strongest blades because they have a large, single blade that’s sturdy and tough enough to withstand a variety of mowing conditions without quickly becoming dull or damaged.

Cylinder mowers have several smaller blades that are still strong and durable, but need more frequent sharpening and replacement.

If you want to limit blade maintenance as much as possible and prevent the side effects of mowing with dull blades, I recommend only considering rotary lawn mowers.

Luckily, most lawn mowers available for domestic use have rotary blades. The exception is manual push mowers, which usually have cylinder blades by default.

🏠 Storage Features

A good mower should also have a number of storage features that make it easier to store in your shed or outhouse.

 

Most lawn mowers have a foldable handle that reduces their footprint, so they take up less room in storage.

 

Some smaller, lighter electric lawn mowers have a hook that enables them to be hung vertically from a wall, so they don’t take up any ground space in your shed.

 

A corded electric mower should have a convenient storage solution for the cord, such as a dedicated slot for wrapping the cable and a couple of clips to hold it in place, preventing tangling between uses.

 

Petrol lawn mowers are the least adaptable in storage because of their fuel content, which means they can’t be stored vertically, and their bulky engine, which means they take up more space than the average electric mower.

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📝 Good Warranty & Guarantee

A warranty/guarantee isn’t a physical feature of a mower, but it’s still important to look for when looking for a new lawn mower.

 

The standard warranty for a corded electric lawn mower or a cordless mower is 2 years. Some manufacturers offer the option to extend the warranty by an extra year if you register the mower online.

 

Petrol mowers have a warranty that typically starts at 3 years, depending on the mower price and manufacturer.

 

A good warranty is essential regardless of the type of mower you buy. It means your purchase is protected if you receive a faulty product or the mower breaks down within the warranty period.

 

A warranty is proof that the manufacturer believes in the product they’re selling. So if a lawn mower doesn’t have a warranty, you have to wonder why.

🧐 Useful But Non-Essential Lawn Mower Features

There are a few additional lawn mower features that are useful for certain preferences and mowing situations, but aren’t usually essential.

These include:

♻️ Mulching Plug

A mower with a mulching plug lets you switch between catching the grass clippings in a grass bag or grass box, and spreading the clippings across your lawn as you mow.

There are a few specific benefits of a mulching lawn mower:

  • It suppresses weed growth

  • It keeps soil warm in spring

  • It fertilizes grass and encourages leaf growth

  • It improves the texture and content of the soil

  • It reduces diseases and thatch

  • It eliminates your need to empty the grass clippings into a garden waste bin or compost heap

You can only effectively mulch with a mulching mower (i.e. a lawn mower that has a built-in mulching feature). Mulching mowers cut grass up into small enough clippings to be lightly distributed across your lawn, preventing an overload of grass that could block sunlight to the growing grass beneath.

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⚪️ Rear Roller

A rear roller is another optional feature you might prefer on your next lawn mower.

 

Lawn mowers with rear rollers flatten the grass as you mow. If you mow in back-and-forth laps of your lawn, the grass will take on a striped appearance due to the sun reflecting off the oppositely-bent grass blades.

 

You can find a rear roller on several types of lawn mowers, including corded electric mowers, battery-powered mowers, and petrol lawn mowers. Only hover mowers don’t have the option of a rear roller due to their hover design.

 

Not all lawn mowers come with a built-in roller, so you will need to search specifically for rear roller mowers if you want to achieve a beautifully striped lawn with minimal hassle.

🧹 Grass Combs

Grass combs are optional, but they’re becoming more and more of a mandatory feature in modern lawn mowers.

 

Grass combs are found on the sides of a lawn mower deck and are slightly wider than the mower’s wheels. They cut grass growing very close to the edge of your lawn, so you can cut right up to walls, flower beds, and lawns.

 

The advantage of a mower with grass combs is that you can do more with your mower itself, so you won’t have to spend so much time (or any time at all) strimming or clipping the leftover grass around your garden edges after you’ve finished mowing.

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🚀 Self-Propelled Function

A self-propelled function is something you’re most likely to find on a petrol lawnmower, which is heavier and designed for mowing bigger spaces, and takes more effort to use.

Self-propelled mowers take a lot of the hard work out of mowing because they drive the mower forward using a built-in motor. All you have to do is set the speed (as close as possible to your normal walking place) and turn the mower at the end of every lap.

Not all petrol mowers are self-propelled, but I recommend looking for a self-propelled lawn mower if you have a large lawn or you have a specific preference for petrol mowers but you’re concerned about over-exerting yourself pushing a heavier model.

🤖 Autonomous Mowing

Finally, tech lovers with big budgets should consider looking into a mower with an autonomous mowing function, a.k.a a robotic lawn mower.

 

Robotic lawn mowers cut your grass according to their own schedule and mapping of your garden.

 

Once you’ve set up the perimeter wire and the mower’s docking hub, your work is over. The mower will make an appearance every few days to mow your lawn, and you won’t have to lift a finger.

 

Robotic mowers are a fantastic choice for folks who would rather never have to mow their lawns again. They’re expensive, though – the smallest, most basic model for a small lawn will set you back around £400.

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🏁 Final Word

Now you know which essential features to look for in a new mower, you can make a smart buying decision that you won’t come to regret by this time next year.

If you’re ready to move on to shopping for a lawn mower, we’ve shared some of the best lawn mower deals in our buyer’s guides.

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