Most and Least Reliable Walk-Behind Lawn Mower Brands

    Our ratings are based on CR members’ reports on more than 44,000 models

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    lawn mower Photo: iStock

    A reliable lawn mower is like an obedient dog: capable and available, doing your bidding without a fuss. And unlike with a dog, you can leave a lawn mower’s output behind.

    An unreliable lawn mower, however, is just annoying. Who wants to waste precious money and time on repairs—or on purchasing a new machine?

    “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 surveys, done in the fall of 2019, 2020, and 2021, collected feedback from CR members on more than 44,000 walk-behind mowers purchased between 2011 and 2021. That reflects experiences with more than 32,500 gas mowers and more than 11,500 battery units.

    More on Lawn Mowers

    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, Cub Cadet, Ego, Greenworks, Honda, Kobalt, Ryobi, Stihl, Toro, and Troy-Bilt. If a brand receives an unfavorable reliability rating of Fair or Poor in a given mower category, its models in that category aren’t 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.

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