Come summer, no other tool in your shed sees more action than the lawn mower. It's what tames turf's wild-and-clumpy nature, turning it into a living carpet that's host to family picnics, ball games, and lounge-chair lazing.
But like any machine that gets used a lot—about 30 times a season—it wears out and needs to be replaced. If it's been a while since your last mower purchase, you might be surprised at what's available. Those noisy, exhaust-spewing 2-cycle gas engines have been replaced by quieter, cleaner, 4-stroke machines. Mower decks have been reshaped so that mulching blades can slice and dice clippings with maximum effectiveness. Plus, you can now get no-pull-cord electric starting, one-touch height adjustment (no fiddling with each wheel), and safety controls that stop the blade but not the engine.
If refueling isn't your cup of tea, new battery-powered mowers, including a few robotic ones, have largely replaced electric models that left you tethered to an extension cord. And for you energetic types, even the old-fashioned push-reel mower has been updated, so it's easier to operate and the blades don't need to be sharpened as often.
We're here to help you make your pick and offer guidance from the pros on how to use it safely and without harming your grass. Before you head out for another round of grass shearing, check out the latest in lawn mowers and mowing techniques.