Consumer Reports’ Latest Florida Lawn Mower Tests
Whether you’re a pusher or a driver and whether you use a gas-powered, battery-powered or electric mower, it’s time to make your lawn look great with the right model. Consumer Reports spends part of the winter in Florida putting lawn mowers and tractors through a series of tough tests to provide recommendations that top the rest.
Testers evaluate each mower’s cutting and mulching performance as well as maneuverability and maneuvering.
If you’re looking for a hassle-free mowing experience, CR says you might want to consider switching to battery power. This year, testers found that batteries performed as well as gas in all categories tested.
You don’t have to spend as much on maintaining them, they tend to be a lot quieter, and many people tend to enjoy the bells and whistles that come with battery-powered units more than gas-powered models. Even if you don’t spend too much, you can find a battery-powered mower that will do a great job.
For example, you’ll save over $200 by choosing the top-rated Greenworks MO80L421 self-propelled battery mower for $750 over the top-rated Honda HRX217HZA gas-powered model for $980. Both rank highly in CR’s reliability surveys and offer excellent shredding.
For half the price, CR says Kobalt Lowe’s battery-powered KSPM 1040A-03 self-propelled mower for $400 also offers excellent mulching.
If you’d rather push yourself, consider the CR-recommended $350 Ryobi RY401170VNM Battery Mower.
Still not convinced that a battery-powered mower is right for you? The Honda HRN216VKA self-propelled gas mower for $470 offers an even cut, excellent mulching and very good maneuverability.
And if your lawn is big enough to require a riding mower, the John Deere S120 for $2,300 is a great choice at a great price.
The only downside to battery-powered mowers is that you have to remember to charge the battery. Most get around 30-45 minutes of battery life on a charge, so you’ll have to plan ahead. And around age 5, you may need to consider replacing the battery.
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