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Best Lawn Mower for Small Yards

Updated on April 21, 2013

Best Lawn Mower for Small Yards

This is why the cheapest mulching lawn mower you can find is the best for your yard.

I don't want to hear about awesome features, consumer reports, cost of repairs, etc. The best lawn mower for your small, typical, American family in suburbia yard is the cheapest mulching lawn mower you can find. Period!

Buy it, use it, throw it away, buy another one.

Why is mulching important?


The only requirement I have when I buy a lawnmower (yes you can spell it with or without the space) is that it has mulching. This basically means that the grass is cut up and left where it was. Why get one without mulching that will discharge at high velocity anything you run over? Looking to damage your neighbors house? Seriously, the mulch feature is priceless. Gone are the days of shooting grass, sticks, rocks out the side chute. Sure you still have to be safe as things are moving quite fast under there and yes, things still come flying out, but overall just chopping up the grass is the goal.

Besides, the grass just floats around in there and comes out underneath in a relatively even pattern. You don't even notice it unless it's been a month since you last cut! The side chutes seem to create a nice mosaic on your lawn with little walls of chopped up grass.

Other Features of Lawn Mowers

Who cares?

Hey, you got a bag on yours. Ok, if you like cleaning up the cut grass so your lawn looks nice and well kept, I'll give you the bag. Otherwise, what features do you really need on a lawn mower? Gas primer? Most lawn mowers are doing away with that little red ball and still start on one pull. But is it that hard to bend over and push it 3 times? If you have to pay more, will you? How about just go for the electric start? Okay, if you are thinking "hey, that's a nice idea" you need to start reading this page from the beginning.

It starts

It cuts grass

What else is important?

Yours propels itself? Wow, that's gotta save you approximately 12 calories mowing your 20x50 lawn.

Yours has a 12hp engine? Wow, you planning on letting the grass get 3' high? You can even get the premium engines now with overhead cams. Oooohhhhh! Why?

Variable speeds? Seriously?

Electric start? Pretty soon they all will be. But until then, it's a fluff feature.

How to find a good deal

Amazon if you can wait for shipping, Sears if you want it today

Sears, Home Depot, Lowes, Valu Home Centers...they all sell lawn mowers. They all have the teaser model on their websites and in their local ads. This is the model you typically want. Most mowers mulch these days. Most have a gas primer on them. If you spend more than $250 for a gas lawn mower, and you have a typical suburban lot, you're nuts.

Don't leave it out in the rain

Don't run over rocks and tree roots

Use it til it's dead, throw it away, get another one.

I spend about $139-$159 on a lawn mower every 3-4 years. Now I see the prices have finally gone up to around $189 - $249 for the basic model. As sad as that is to a guy like me, I can't expect prices to stay the same forever I guess.

To me, the cheap model is worth it. I don't get my lawn mower serviced, I don't change the oil, I don't do anything with it but cut the lawn. I will admit to cleaning the air filter when it starts acting funny like when it bogs down every time you turn, stop, lift the front, etc. Other than that, use it and throw it away. Ok, I actually replaced the blade on one because I failed to follow the "Don't run over rocks and tree roots" rule and it was only 1 year old. Silly me, $34 later it's much better.

Lawn Mowers on Amazon right now

All of these are less than $250 as of 8-17-12

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Go ahead, convince me I'm wrong

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    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      You Rock--Thanks for the great perspective and FABULOUS reality check!! Think I'm gonna try the Craftsman (optional side discharge) mulching mower. A lightweight beauty at $179.00

    • justDawn1 profile image

      justDawn1 6 years ago

      Very nice! :)

    • ryurek lm profile image

      ryurek lm 6 years ago

      @JoshK47: Exactly! And though I don't know for sure, I bet they last around 3 years...which is probably 2 years more than the warranty you'd get from a $500 lawnmower.

    • profile image

      JoshK47 6 years ago

      Can't do too much to convince you that you're wrong, these seem like pretty solid machines. :)