Whether you enjoy spending time maintaining a lush, manicured lawn or view cutting the grass as a tedious chore, you don't want to deal with a broken-down lawn mower. If you're in the market for a new mower this year, Consumer Reports can help you avoid that hassle.

The top brands covered in our exclusive lawn mower brand reliability report break half as often as the worst, and others are so problem-prone that more than a third of their owners are likely to experience a problem by year four of ownership.

Here are the most and least reliable lawn mower brands in each configuration.

Gas Push Mowers

Gas push mowers are more reliable than self-propelled models. Honda takes top honors—only 14 percent are estimated to break by the fourth year of ownership. Troy-Bilt and Yard Machines come close, with just 16 and 17 percent, respectively, likely to break by year four.

Models from each of those lawn mower brands do well in our tests. The Yard Machines 11A-B9A9, $240, and the Troy-Bilt TB130 XP, $250, both cut well in mulching and side-discharge modes, even if they aren't the very best baggers. At the bottom of our reliability survey are Husqvarna and Lawn Boy—a quarter of their owners can expect to experience a problem in the same time frame.

Gas Self-Propelled Mowers

Self-propelled mowers have more moving parts than push mowers, so it stands to reason that they're more prone to breakage, and as a group they are. Honda again tops this category as the most reliable lawn mower brand—only 16 percent of owners will likely experience a break in our year-four interval. That's good news, considering Honda routinely occupies the top spots in our ratings of self-propelled mowers.

The Honda HRX2175VYA, $700, is currently the best self-propelled mower in our ratings, and the Honda HRR216VKA, $430, cuts almost as well—without some bells and whistles such as electric start or a blade-brake clutch—for much less money.

On the flip side, the Snapper SP98 self-propelled mower, $296, offers decent performance considering it's the cheapest model of its kind in our ratings, but it ranks dead last for reliability. A whopping 35 percent of Snapper owners can expect a break by year four.

Electric Push Mowers

The reasons to avoid switching to an electric push mower seem to be disappearing by the day. We've already talked about their rise in performance, but our latest reliability survey might just sell you on the idea of going gasless. Electric push mowers have lower rates of breaking than any other mower type in our survey. And Kobalt leads the charge—only 4 percent are likely to need repairs by the fourth year of ownership.

The Kobalt 632477, $500, wasn't a standout in our tests, but it cut well enough in all three modes. Considering this lawn mower brand's impressive reliability, it might be just what you're after if your top priority is fuss-free trimming.

Even the less reliable electric mower brands in our survey, Black+Decker, GreenWorks, and Ryobi, have a breakage rate of only 13 and 17 percent—better than most of their gas competitors. The Ryobi RY40170, $400, performed similarly to the Kobalt, but it's $100 less, and some of Ryobi's other tools, including string trimmers and leaf blowers, can run on the same battery.