A lawn mower is a necessity for any yard. It delivers a clean, finished look that pulls your yard together. It’s important to find a lawn mower that matches the conditions of your yard, and to do so it’s important to understand the different types available and how they work.
As you search for the right type of mower, first take stock of your yard – is it small (less than 1 acre) or large? Will you be facing uneven terrain, or is it fairly flat? And will you have to mow around a number of obstacles?
Once you’ve taken care of that, you’ll be able to accurately compare options. Keep in mind, though, that to maximize your options you’ll want to shop and compare earlier in the season, if possible.
What size lawn mower do I need for my yard?
The bigger the yard, the more mower you’ll need. Push or self-propelled lawn mowers work well in smaller or medium sized yards of 1 acre or less, but you could also consider a small riding lawn mower with a 30" deck size if you’re looking to get the job done faster. Consider a riding mower or a zero-turn mower for yards of 1 acre or more, as these come with larger deck sizes and more powerful engines, allowing you to easily tackle the task.
What lawn mower is best for a small yard?
If you have a small, flat lawn that’s less than a half-acre, a push mower should do the job. These mowers use a gas-powered engine to propel the blades and require the operator to push the machine forward. Push mowers are typically the best lawn mowers for half-acre lots. These mowers are not recommended for mowing uphill. But if you’re faced with uneven terrain or tricky obstacles, you might want to consider a model with high rear wheels, as these push more easily over tough spots and up hills.
And if your yard is particularly small, consider a reel mower for lawns less than one-fourth of an acre, such as the TB18R Reel Lawn Mower. These require no gas or oil and provide a more quiet operation than gas mowers, so you can mow earlier or later, depending on your schedule
If your yard is larger than a half-acre, you’ll want to consider a self-propelled lawn mower. These types of mowers are propelled forward by a transmission and are available in two different types of speed systems. Single-speed systems offer one set speed that can be engaged or disengaged, and variable-speed systems allow you to select your pace by squeezing a lever on the handles.
Self-propelled lawn mowers come with front-wheel drive (FWD) or rear-wheel drive (RWD). FWD delivers traction to the front wheels and will maneuver easily around beds and trees. RWD delivers traction to the rear wheels for performance on hills and when using a rear bagger.
Zero-Turn or Lawn Tractor: What’s the Difference?
Riding lawn mowers come in two general types: lawn tractors and zero-turn mowers. Lawn tractors or garden tractors are great for larger properties up to two acres. In both cases, the bigger the yard, the bigger the deck size you’ll want, because a larger deck allows you to get the job done faster.
Additionally, whether it’s a zero-turn or lawn tractor, these types of lawn mowers are designed to accept lawn mower attachments like grass baggers, dump carts and other pull-behind accessories like aerators and sprayers.
Zero-turn lawn mowers are named for their zero turning radius, allowing you to make tight, efficient turns, which is ideal for flat yards featuring many trees or obstacles. They are often built on a heavy duty steel frame and usually feature two lap bars that independently control the speed and direction of the rear wheels. Choosing a zero-turn allows for a close trim on lawn edges and can dramatically reduce the time it takes to mow the lawn.
What Features Do I Need for My Lawn Mower?
Troy-Bilt® lawn mowers are built to last, with many helpful features depending on your needs. Whether it’s a push mower or a powerful rider, Troy-Bilt lawn mowers will help make yardwork a little easier. You can use our product finder to narrow your search and find the best mower for your yard.