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What's behind our lawn mower & tractor Ratings?

Experts at our National Testing and Research Center tested 130 models in lawn mowers & tractors to see which ones perform best.
We look for:
  • Overall score
    Based mostly on cutting performance, handling, and ease of use. The displayed score is out of a total of 100 points.
  • Side discharging
    A combination of evenness, which is how close the tractor or rider came to even, carpet-like mowing, and how evenly clippings were dispersed from the side-discharge chute.
  • Mulching
    Reflects a combination of evenness, which is how close the tractor or rider came to even, carpet-like mowing, and how completely the mower distributed its clippings over the lawn's surface.
  • Bagging
    Denotes a combination of evenness, which is how close the tractor or rider came to even, carpet-like mowing, and a measurement of the effective capacity of the grass bag, determined when the bag was full or when the chute clogged and stopped collecting clippings.
  • Handling
    Includes clutching or drive engagement, braking, steering, turn radius, and stability.
  • Ease of use
    A composite score that includes leg room and seat and steering-wheel comfort, along with ease of blade engagement, cut-height adjustment, parking-brake engagement, bag removal, and cutting-mode changes.

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Recommended lawn mowers & tractors

Recommended lawn mowers & tractors are standout choices with high scores. They include CR Best Buys, which offer exceptional value. When narrowing your choices, weigh features, price, and attributes that matter to you.
  • Buying Guide
  • Price & Shop
A gas or electric push mower is fine for a small lawn. But you'll probably prefer a self-propelled gas model for slopes and a lawn tractor for a lawn one-half acre or larger. An old-fashioned manual reel mower is the greenest choice for small areas. If you're looking for information about lawn mowers and tractors, Consumer Reports is your best resource. Consumer Reports’ lawn mower and tractor reviews will give you honest buying advice that you can trust. Use our lawn mower and tractor buying guide to discover which features are most important to consider. We also provide unbiased ratings and lawn mower and tractor reviews to help you choose the best lawn mower and tractor for your needs.

Recently reviewed lawn mowers & tractors

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LC 221AH [Item# 806391] (Lowe's)
This Husqvarna 21-inch self-propelled high wheel mower has multiple speeds. It has an overhead valve engine.

Lawn mower & tractor buying guide

A gas or electric push mower is fine for a many suburban lawns. But you'll probably prefer a self-propelled gas model for yards with slopes and a lawn tractor for a lawn one-half acre or larger. While an old-fashioned manual reel mower without an engine or motor is the greenest choice for small areas, our tests have show than many require more effort than you might expect while delivering less-than-stellar mowing. For help with your selection, use this lawn mower and tractor guide.

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