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 2019 tests, we evaluated machines from Craftsman, Cub Cadet, EGO, Honda, Ryobi, Stihl, and more. 

More on Lawn Mowers

"This year, a few new models rose to the top of our ratings in both battery and gas self-propelled mowers," says Frank Spinelli, 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. (For comparison, even the lowest-rated tractors and riding mowers didn’t leave clumps behind.) 

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) and spread 500 pounds of fertilizer. For our tests, we cut 450,000 square feet of grass in three modes—mulching, bagging, and side discharging—covering level turf, slopes, and in ditches to get a feel for each and every model. We also review the convenience features on every model we assess.

The Overall Score for each model in CR's mower ratings incorporates all of that performance data, along with predicted reliability and owner satisfaction ratings from our latest member survey. The survey leverages data on more than 43,916 lawn mowers and tractors that members purchased between 2008 and 2018.

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

CR members with digital access 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

Side discharging
Mulching
Bagging

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. Here are models that struggle in our exhaustive cutting tests.

Quick Take

Ryobi RY40190

Price: $400

Mulching
Bagging
Handling
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Quick Take

Troy-Bilt FLEX

Price: $500

Side discharging
Mulching
Bagging
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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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