Most and Least Reliable Walk-Behind Lawn Mower Brands

How to find a lawn mower that lasts: Reliability ratings based on CR members’ reports on over 45,000 walk-behind mowers

A walk-behind lawn mower sitting on a lawn.

Whether you enjoy spending time maintaining a lush, manicured lawn or you view cutting the grass as a tedious chore, nobody wants to deal with a broken-down lawn mower. Especially not when you’re in the thick of it, so to speak, come spring and summer.

If you’re in the market for a new mower, you’ll want a model that will last for years to come. And you want to be happy with your purchase, long term.

“That’s why our overall lawn mower ratings combine our lab test results with brand reliability and satisfaction data from our annual member surveys,” says Simon Slater, associate director of survey research at Consumer Reports.

Our most recent survey collected feedback from CR members on more than 45,000 walk-behind mowers purchased between 2009 and 2019.

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The results inform our predicted reliability and owner satisfaction ratings for each brand and mower type—battery-powered push mowers, battery-powered self-propelled mowers, gas push mowers, and gas self-propelled mowers. And those ratings factor into each model’s Overall Score, along with performance ratings based on our exhaustive mower field tests.

Here’s a detailed breakdown of the winners and losers from our survey, across the four walk-behind mower categories. The results cover a variety of brands, including Cub Cadet, Ego, GreenWorks, Honda, Kobalt, and Stihl. If a brand receives an unfavorable reliability rating of Fair or Poor in a given mower category, its models in that category are not eligible to be recommended by CR—no matter how well they cut in our performance tests.

For our reliability results on riding mowers, check out our guide to the most and least reliable riding mower brands.

Battery-Powered Push Mowers

These cordless electric push mowers run long enough to cut small yards on a single charge and require little maintenance compared with their gas-powered equivalents.

In the past few years, they’ve also become a major part of the walk-behind mower market, accounting for 24 percent of the mowers purchased by CR members in 2019. That makes battery-powered push mowers the second-biggest category behind gas self-propelled mowers.

Of the 14 battery push mower brands in our survey results, Kobalt and Stihl receive the highest marks, with each brand rating Excellent for predicted reliability and owner satisfaction. Ego earns a Very Good rating for predicted reliability and Excellent for owner satisfaction. (Kobalt battery push mowers are not currently tested by CR.)

At the other end of the spectrum is Earthwise, which receives unfavorable ratings (Fair) for both predicted reliability and owner satisfaction. However, Earthwise battery push mowers are not currently tested by CR.

Other brands with Fair ratings for predicted reliability are Black+Decker, Craftsman, DeWalt, and Sun Joe; all of those names are represented in our ratings. For owner satisfaction, Sun Joe receives an Excellent rating. Black+Decker, Craftsman and DeWalt earn Good ratings in that category.

In the middle of the pack are Echo, GreenWorks, Neuton, Ryobi, Toro, and Worx. All are rated Good for predicted reliability. Echo, GreenWorks and Ryobi receive Excellent ratings for owner satisfaction. (Echo and Neuton battery push models are not currently tested by CR.)

Here’s a Best Buy battery push mower from Ego with ratings of Very Good for reliability and Excellent for owner satisfaction.

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