Which Mower is Right for You?

Consider these important factors before you invest in a new mower.

Lawn size. Gas-powered mowers with standard-size 19- and 22-inch cutting decks can tackle yards up to one-half acre, so you can finish the job in about an hour. Battery-powered ones top out at about one-third acre before needing a recharge. Eighteen-inch push-reel mowers are ideal for tiny yards up to 2,000 square feet. Areas larger than one-half acre are best handled by lawn tractors.

Upkeep. All mower blades require sharpening. For gas- or battery-powered rotary mowers, that's twice a season. New push-reel mowers go about three years between resharpenings. A gas-powered mower also needs its oil, spark plug, and air filter changed annually, and its fuel drained or stabilized with an additive at the end of the mowing season. The rechargeable battery in battery-powered and robotic mowers lasts about two years; 
a replacement costs $100 to $160. The only annual maintenance a push-reel mower needs is gear or chain lubrication.

Storage. Most gas mowers take up about 4 square feet. Battery-powered, push-reel, and robotic mowers can be hung on a wall if space is limited. Keep all mowers dry to prevent metal parts from rusting.
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