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Two walk-behind mowers.

Best and Worst Walk-Behind Lawn Mowers

Cutting champs and clumping chumps from Consumer Reports' unparalleled field tests

Every year Consumer Reports tests a new batch of gas and electric walk-behind mowers at its test lawn in Fort Myers, Fla. This year we bagged more than 5,000 pounds of grass clippings as part of that effort and discovered that not every lawn mower measures up to our cutting, mulching, and bagging tests.

Though even the lowest-rated tractors and riders we tested performed passably, several walk-behind mowers left ugly clumps in their wake and scored 50 or lower on CR's 100-point scale. Brands we tested include Ariens, Cub Cadet, EGO, Echo, Honda, and Toro. 

Here are the best and worst in each category of walk-behind mowers from our tests:

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We investigate, research, and test so you can choose with confidence.

Best Gas Push Mower
Cub Cadet SC100

Cub Cadet SC100

Among gas push mowers, the Cub Cadet SC100 delivers impressive mowing in mulching and side-discharge modes, and CR's test engineers noted that it handles easily. At $250, it's not only the top gas push mower in our ratings but also one of the least expensive, earning it the mantle of a CR Best Buy. 

Worst Gas Push Mower: The Craftsman 37420, $200. The Craftsman performed well in our mulching test, but its bagging and side-discharging capabilities were only adequate. It's less expensive than the Cub Cadet, but not so much so that you should consider it. For a tool you could use for a decade or more, we advise spending the extra $50 for a top performer.