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 almost 56,000 walk-behind mowers
A reliable lawn mower is like a little insurance policy. Season after season, it ensures that you don’t waste precious money and time on repairs—or on purchasing a new machine.
Indeed, if you’re in the market for a new lawn mower, reliability can be as crucial a factor in your purchase decision as performance.
“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 almost 56,000 walk-behind mowers purchased between 2010 and 2020. That tally reflects experiences with about 44,500 gas mowers and more than 11,000 battery units.
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.
Battery push mowers typically don’t cost as much as self-propelled battery models, but they’re a little more troublesome, our members told us. The most commonly reported problem—batteries that got worse—was an issue among a brand median of 10 percent of battery push mowers, compared with a brand median of 6 percent of self-propelled mowers. (“Brand median” means the halfway point; among brands for which we had sufficient data, some had batteries worsen at a higher rate, and some at a lower rate.)
A brand median of 7 percent of battery push mowers had batteries that died completely; that compares with a brand median of 3 percent of self-propelled mowers.