What Mower Type Is Best For Hills?

Looking for the best mower for a sloped or hilly lawn?

In this guide, I’ve shared which mowers I think are best for safely and easily mowing on hills.

✅ Key Takeaways:

  • The best mower types for mowing on hills are lightweight mowers that have powerful engines.

  • Certain types of electric, petrol, and hover mowers are all suitable for mowing hilly lawns. Robot mowers can also be used on inclines of 25-45%.

  • Some features to look for in the best lawn mower for hills are rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, self-propulsion, a lightweight frame, and zero-turn or wheelless design.

Table of Contents

🤷‍♂️ Which Mowers Are Best For Mowing Hills?

I recommend two mower types for mowing hills: hover mowers (for smaller lawns with a slight incline) and self-propelled lawn mowers (for larger lawns with steeper hills).

Hover mowers are best for smaller gardens with slight inclines because they’re lightweight and compact, making them easy to maneuver, and they float on an air pocket rather than being restricted by wheels, so you can tackle inclines at a comfortable angle. However, these mowers aren’t convenient for a large garden because they only cover a small cutting area, and they’re not ideal for very steep hills because they’ll still require a lot of push power, regardless of size.

Self-propelled mowers are ideal for larger lawns with steep slopes because their wheels are driven by a motor, so mowing hills won’t increase your physical pushing effort – simply walk behind the mower and hold onto the handles as you would on flat ground. You can find petrol mowers with self-propulsion that are large enough to cover lots of ground with every lap, so they’re a great solution for quickly cutting a large, sloped lawn.

While I think hover mowers and self-propelled mowers are the best mower types for most hilly lawns, you might prefer a different mower type, and that’s why it’s important to be aware of all your choices.

Read on to learn about all the mower types that can be used for mowing on inclines and hills.

🌟 Best Mower Types For Hills

Here I’ve shared my top recommended mowers for hills and inclines.

🛩 Hover Mowers

A hover mower is a wheelless lawn mower that floats on a cushion of air.

 

Hover lawn mowers have narrow cutting decks and are lightweight (between 6 and 8 kilograms typically), so pushing them up inclines takes less effort.

 

This type of mower is ideal for bumpy, uneven, or slightly sloped gardens with unusual shapes because you can mow with a sweeping action, rather than being restricted to back-and-forth mowing. Plus, the mower doesn’t have wheels that dig into the ground if you’re mowing on an incline.

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🚀 Self-Propelled Petrol Mowers

A self-propelled lawn mower typically has a petrol engine and a larger cutting width (usually 36-50cm), so it’s the best choice for mowing a large hilly lawn.

 

Self-propelled mowers have a motor that powers the wheels to move the mower forward at a preset speed. You can simply walk behind the mower and steer it when necessary.

 

The self-propulsion feature is ideal for mowing steep hills because it requires no additional effort from you – it’s the same as mowing on flat ground.

 

An extra benefit of petrol mowers for hills is that they don’t need a power cable, so you can mow freely in any location.

🔌 Corded Electric Mowers

A conventional corded electric lawn mower with wheels can also be used to mow hills on a small-to-medium lawn.

I recommend looking for a lightweight electric mower, ideally under 10 kilograms, with a powerful motor that drives the blades to cut grass even with the extra resistance of uphill mowing.

The main disadvantage of a corded electric lawn mower for hills is that the cord will get in the way and further complicate the already challenging task of mowing on slopes.

🔋 Battery-Powered Mowers

A battery-powered mower is another option for mowing small or medium lawns with hills.

 

The advantage of this mower type is that it’s cordless, so you don’t have to worry about navigating around a cord while you’re mowing a slope.

 

Plus, you can take this mower as far away from the nearest power outlet as necessary, so you can use it to mow a sloped allotment or a garden across the road from your home.

 

However, a battery-powered mower is heavier than a corded mower because of its large battery, and it’s not as powerful because the mower is running off the limited supply from the rechargeable battery.

 

You’ll have to exert more energy to push this mower up hills, and if your lawn is very hilly, the extra power required to mow up and down inclines will cause the battery to lose charge faster.

🤖 Robotic Mowers

It’s a myth that robotic mowers can’t be used on slopes!

A good robot mower should have a low centre of gravity, meaning it won’t flip if it’s mowing on an incline.

The majority of robot mowers can mow on inclines up to 25%, while the very best mowers can manage up to 45%.

The added bonus of robotic mowers is that they’re completely autonomous, so you don’t have to worry about getting the mower out yourself. Because of their convenience and superior hill mowing capabilities, I recommend these mowers as a premium option for folks with small lawns and big budgets.

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📝 Features To Look For In A Mower For Hills

Here are some of the features that you should look for in the best lawn mower for hills:

🏋🏻‍♂️ Lightweight Design

If you have a small lawn with slopes, prioritize looking for a compact, lightweight mower without the extra bulk and weight that will make mowing on inclines more difficult.

 

You can find lightweight hover mowers and corded electric mowers that weigh around 6-8 kilograms. Mowing with a lightweight mower means there’s less weight for you to push up a hill, so your arms won’t have to work as hard.

💪 Powerful Engine

A powerful engine is another handy feature in a lawn mower for hills.

 

Mowing grass on a steep hill will require the motor to work harder to drive the blades as you’re mowing against the pull of gravity.

 

Choose a mower with a powerful motor or engine to ensure the blades can handle cutting grass on a hilly terrain.

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⚪️ Wheelless Design

If you want to avoid the hassle and inconvenience of a wheeled lawn mower when cutting a sloped lawn, opt for a mower with a wheelless design.

 

A hover mower is a push mower that floats above the lawn, so you can move it in any direction when mowing a hill, allowing you to choose the most comfortable mowing path for you.

 

The lack of wheels means you can turn the mower easily, even while you’re on a hill, with a reduced chance of tipping the mower or getting stuck at an angle, and no chance of leaving wheel marks in the lawn.

🚀 Self-Propulsion

Self-propulsion is a feature to look for on a petrol lawn mower that you plan to use for mowing a large lawn with steep slopes.

 

A self-propelled lawn mower drives itself forward, so the user doesn’t have to put in the physical effort of pushing.

 

Self-propelled mowers are the best walk-behind mowers for large sloped lawns because they’ll prevent you from getting tired from the exertion of pushing heavy machinery, so you can finish the job faster.

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🚜 Rear-Wheel Or Four-Wheel Drive

If you’re specifically looking to buy a petrol mower with self-propulsion, I also recommend prioritizing mowers with rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive.

Rear-wheel and all-wheel drive mowers have a more powerful drive that helps them to get up hills, so I recommend choosing these mowers over a conventional front-wheel drive model.

🦼 Zero-Turn

A zero-turn mower is a type of push-powered or riding lawn mower that’s capable of turning a full circle on the spot thanks to its 360-degree spinning front wheels.

Zero turn mowers are highly manouverable, making them a great option for mowing slopes and inclines. However, I don’t recommend using a zero turn riding mower on hills with more than a 15-degree incline because of the safety risks of doing so.

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🧐 Is A Manual Mower Good For Mowing Hills?

I don’t recommend a manual lawn mower for hills because manual mowers are entirely person-powered, meaning that your pushing effort drives the mower’s wheels and spins the blade.

Because of the additional resistance from the extra effort of spinning the blades, manual mowers typically feel heavier to operate, and mowing up hills with a manual mower will tire you out quickly.

Only buy a manual lawn mower if you have a flat, even lawn.

🤨 Are Cylinder Or Rotary Mowers Best For Hills?

Rotary mowers are better for mowing hills than cylinder mowers if you want to mow a horizontal path along a slope.

 

When you mow horizontally on a hill with a cylinder reel mower, the side of the mower that’s closest to the bottom of the hill presses further into the ground, resulting in an uneven cut.

 

Rotary mowers use one large horizontally-spinning blade rather than several smaller vertically-spinning blades, so they’re less likely to cut unevenly when you’re mowing horizontally along a slope.

 

If you’re simply mowing vertically up and down a hill, it doesn’t matter what mower blade type you use, although most mowers for domestic use have a rotary blade.

🏁 Final Word

Hopefully this guide has given you the information you’ve been looking for about which mower types are best for hills and slopes.

 

Ultimately, the majority of mowers can be used on hills, but the best mowers have features that reduce – or eliminate – your pushing effort when mowing on a steep slope.

 

If you’re keen to learn which mower brands and models for hilly lawns are on the market today, check out our guide to the best lawn mowers for hills.

 

Thanks for reading, and happy mowing!