Even though you can find many different types on the market, fundamentally they all fit into these four categories: manual-reel mowers, self-propelled mowers, push mowers, and robotic mowers.
These are old-school cutters that need your energy to be moved. You just need to push it to turn a series of blades and that's it. This is a perfect mower for environmentally-conscious owners. They don't pollute and you don't have to store gas, charge battery or plug in a power cord. They are cheaper than others, quite safe and don't make noise. Besides, you'll get a nice workout unless you choose the more expensive option that has a motor and can spin the blades while you push.
From the other hand, manual-reel mowers can't cut grass taller than 1.5 inches and it also can't trim closer than 3-5 inches around the obstacles. Cutting swaths are often small varying from 14 to 18 inches wide. Besides, some models don't disburse clippings like other types of mowers, so you'll need a rake or a bag. And be prepared for serious pushing if you allow your lawn grass grow for too long.
The upkeep of manual-reel mowers is inexpensive and requires a simple sharpening and blade adjustment that you can do yourself. It's best for small lawns but if you have something from medium to large you may want to rethink your choice.
These mowers mostly come in gas, but you can also find electric models that use a battery or a cord, but they usually quickly eat up a charge. Gas models usually feature a four-strike engine. Most of them can easily handle thick and long grass and weeds, cut a 22-inch swath, and allow you to bad or mulch clippings. Besides, electrics don't produce emissions. Self-propelled mowers, however, are quite noisy. If you move uphill with a bag of clipping expect the most traction. Moreover, mowers with AWD are hard to push.
Electric models only require blade sharpening, while gas mowers will need oil changes and tune-ups. Self-propelled mowers are the most popular choice for many home owners as they perform well and are easier to operate than manual-reel mowers.
Push mowers come in electric and gas models. The gas ones are often equipped with a four-stroke engine. Electric models use a motor to turn blades. Just like the previous type of mowers, these can also cut 22-inch swath and can handle thick and long grass and weeds, can side-discharge and bag clippings. Electronic models can be cord or cordless and they start with push-button ease. Most of the push mowers offer a mulching mode and a rear bag to finely cut clippings and fertilize grass as they decompose. Modern cordless mowers can last longer than previous models but they are also more expensive.
Just like self-propelled mowers, these are quite noisy and you may need ear protection. Gas models also produce emissions. Besides, plan for regular oils changes and tune-ups if you choose the gas model. Electrical models only need blade shaping. Push mowers work best for medium to small lawns without incline.
Robotic mowers aren't used widely as they are the newest models on the market. They simply buzz along within an allowed perimeter. These robots are specifically designed to crisscross randomly, changing direction every time they reach an obstacle or the wire, and many models also can return to a charge station automatically. Once you have a schedule, your mower will start without your help - although it's better if someone can check on it from time to time. Robotic mowers are environmentally-friendly.
However, you will need to set up a perimeter wire and decide on mower's boundaries. You should remove all the obstacles before it can properly work. Their performance also varies and they after cut worse than conventional mowers, while the price is always higher.
Robotic mowers don't need any special upkeep, just cleaning and blade sharpening. They are perfect for those who have an obstacle-free, flat lawn and can supervise the mower.