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 30,000 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 now 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 30,000 walk-behind mowers purchased between 2008 and 2018.

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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 Craftsman, Ego, GreenWorks, Honda, Kobalt, Ryobi, Toro, and Troy-Bilt. If a brand receives an unfavorable reliability rating of Fair or Poor for a given mower category, its models in that category are not eligible to be recommended by CR.

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 mower market, accounting for 22 percent of the mowers purchased by CR members in 2018. That makes battery-powered push mowers the second-biggest category behind gas self-propelled mowers.

Of the 10 battery push mower brands in our survey results, Kobalt and Ryobi received the highest marks, with each brand rating Very Good for predicted reliability and Excellent for owner satisfaction. (We don’t currently have any Kobalt battery push mowers in our ratings.) At the other end of the spectrum are Earthwise and Worx, which both rate a Poor for reliability. Earthwise also earns a Poor rating for satisfaction, while Worx earns a Good rating.

Four more brands—Black+Decker, Craftsman, Toro (not currently in our ratings in this category), and Neuton—received unfavorable reliability ratings of Fair.

Finally, in the middle of the pack are Ego and GreenWorks. Both brands rate Good for predicted reliability and Excellent for owner satisfaction.

Here’s a superb battery push mower from Ryobi with ratings of Very Good for reliability and Excellent for satisfaction.

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