Consumer Reports testers walking next to a lineup of lawn mowers, including the best and worst walk-behind mowers
More than 80 walk-behind mowers were put through their paces in CR's 2020 tests.

Every year Consumer Reports evaluates the latest battery and gas walk-behind mowers at its mower-testing facility in Fort Myers, Fla., including push and self-propelled models. In our 2020 tests, we evaluated models from Ego, Honda, Stihl, Toro, Troy-Bilt, and more. 

"This year, a few new models rose to the top of our ratings in both battery and gas self-propelled mowers," says David Trezza, who oversees lawn-mower testing for Consumer Reports. "And we're recommending a record number of battery-powered models, the best of which can cut as well as gas mowers."

But not every walk-behind mower measured up. Several that left behind ugly clumps received an Overall Score of 60 or lower on CR's 100-point scale. 

How CR Tests Lawn Mowers and Tractors

To get you ratings and reviews of the latest models by early spring, our testers travel to Florida to conduct tests in late winter at grounds we maintain year-round. We plant 1,800 pounds of grass seed (predominantly annual rye, prized for its dense growth). We cut 500,000 square feet of grass in three modes—mulching, side discharging, and bagging—a total of 3,000 pounds of clippings. We cover level turf, slopes, and in ditches to get a feel for each model. We also review the convenience features on every model we assess.

More on Lawn Mowers

The Overall Score for each model in CR's mower ratings incorporates all that performance data, along with predicted reliability and owner satisfaction ratings from our latest member surveys. The surveys leverage data on more than 64,000 lawn mowers and tractors that members purchased between 2009 and 2019.

Start with our lawn mower buying guide if you're not sure which type is right for your needs.

CR members can read on for ratings and reviews of this year's very best walk-behind mowers from brands such as Cub Cadet, Ego, Honda, and Toro. For even more options, check out our comprehensive lawn mower and tractor ratings.

Best Battery Push Mowers

Top Picks

1

Side discharging
Mulching
Bagging

2

Side discharging
Mulching
Bagging
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Best Battery Self-Propelled Mowers

Top Picks

1

Side discharging
Mulching
Bagging

2

Side discharging
Mulching
Bagging
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Best Gas Push Mowers

Top Picks

1

Side discharging
Mulching
Bagging

2

Side discharging
Mulching
Bagging
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Best Gas Self-Propelled Mowers

Top Picks

1

Mulching
Bagging
Handling

2

Side discharging
Mulching
Bagging
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Best Gas Wide-Deck Self-Propelled Mowers

Top Picks

1

Side discharging
Mulching
Bagging

2

Side discharging
Mulching
Bagging
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Worst Battery & Gas Walk-Behind Mowers

Only about a third of the 80-plus walk-behind mowers in our ratings perform well enough for CR to recommend. Others struggle in our exhaustive cutting tests; here, we list a few of them.  Check CR's mower ratings for a more complete list.

Quick Take

Lawn-Boy 17734

Price: $330

Side discharging
Mulching
Bagging
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Quick Take

Murray 11A-A2BF758

Price: $190

Side discharging
Mulching
Bagging
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Quick Take

Sun Joe MJ401C-XR

Price: $190

Side discharging
Bagging
Handling
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Finding the Perfect Lawn Mower

Is your lawn mower failing to make the cut? On the "Consumer 101" TV show, Consumer Reports expert John Galeotafiore explains to host Jack Rico how to find the best mower for your needs.