Most of us remember the stubborn old gas-powered push mowers that were always a pain to start, wildly hurled rocks and sticks out the side, and made enough noise to wake the entire neighborhood. They also cost an arm and a leg, and would take yours off if you got them too close to the blade! Luckily, there are plenty of low-cost alternatives to a gas-powered mower that require less maintenance, make less noise, and cut your grass just as well.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at eight of the best budget lawn mowers on the market right now. After using quite a few of them, we’ve come to understand what makes a good budget lawnmower.
Our reviews will compare what we learned about each of these models to help you narrow down the field to the ones we think are the most suitable.
|Model||Price||Powered by||Editor Rating|
|Great States Push|
|American Corded Electric||Corded Electric||4.65/5|
|American Lawn Mower Push Reel ||Manual||4.10/5|
Whether you want an ultra-short lawn that’s just 0.5 inches high or you want some more substantial grass at 2.5 inches, this push-reel lawn mower from Great States can help you achieve it. With a manually-powered design, you’ll never need to add gas or worry about charging batteries. There’s also little to no maintenance involved with this mower since there’s not much to it. That said, you’ll be pushing this with just your physical strength, so it’s a bit more of a workout than a powered mower. But it’s also much quieter and won’t contribute any pollution to the atmosphere. Besides, a little exercise never hurts!
The large 10-inch wheels make it easy to roll over bumps, sticks, stones, and more. Five blades make short work of the grass and provide an even cut height for a beautifully finished lawn. This mower has a wider cutting swath of 16 inches, so it takes fewer total passes than some competitors. While the 415-16 does take some elbow grease to push it around, it’s a very lightweight tool and we were surprised at the small amount of effort required to mow.
Gone are the days of noisy and obnoxious gas-powered push motors. You can still find them, but modern solutions are much quieter, lighter, and easier to use, such as the Goplus 14-inch 12-amp lawnmower. It looks pretty similar but it performs very differently. No more dealing with a choke or yanking on a cord until your shoulder pops out to get it started. Instead, just push the ignition button and pull the small lever and this mower will start right up. But it’s so quiet that you’ll barely hear it, unlike those older gas models. This machine is built from a lot of cheap plastic parts that don’t seem robust. But at just 15 pounds, it’s also very lightweight and you won’t have to fight to push it uphill.
Performance-wise, you can expect it to cut grass like the fuel-powered mowers you remember. Thanks to the powerful 12-amp motor installed in this device, it makes short work of grass and weeds and cuts them as low as 1 inch for an even and beautiful lawn appearance. On the downside, you’ll always be stuck to an extension cord and limited to its length since you need an outlet for power.
If you want a low-effort way to keep your lawn looking well-kept, then this electric lawn mower from American Lawn Mower is one that’s worth checking out. It looks similar to the gas mowers from yesteryear, but it’s a completely modern device that makes them seem outdated and antiquated. At just 25 pounds, it’s pretty lightweight and easy to maneuver. But that doesn’t mean it’s not powerful. With an 11-amp motor turning the 14-inch steel blade, this mower makes short work of even the stoutest grass, weeds, and whatever else is in your lawn. The 16-gallon grass collector on the back reduces your work time by minimizing the cleanup you’ll need to do after cutting, and the adjustable handle keeps you comfortable while you work.
Though it’s still affordable, this mower is one of the highest-priced options on our list. But you’ll never need gas or batteries for it, so it will never be dead or run out of fuel. That said, you’ll always be tied to an extension cord, and you’ll need to purchase it separately since no cord is included. Despite those drawbacks, this is a great mower that will leave you with a beautiful lawn.
When it comes to lawn mowing versatility, it’s hard to beat the three-in-one approach of the BLACK+DECKER MTE912 lawnmower. This device is more than just a lawnmower. The main push handle detaches from the wheeled base to be used standalone as an edge trimmer or weed whacker. While this functionality is very useful, we would prefer if it were a bit more powerful. At just 6.5 amps, it’s not producing enough power to deal with the thickest weeds and lawn offenders.
We were happy with how light and easy to use this mower is. You can push it around with no problems and you won’t get tired out. It’s also completely electric, so you’ll be stuck to an extension cord, but you’ll never need batteries or gas. The automatic string feed system was a bit of an annoyance, but once you learn to work with it, it’s pretty useful. We were surprised that you the lowest you could cut is 1.6 inches, and we would like to see it get down to at least an inch. Overall, it’s not our favorite, but we appreciate the diversity of the three-in-one approach.
Although all of the push reel lawn mowers look pretty similar, key differences separate them and make certain models preferable. This mower from American Lawn Mower looks great at first glance, but it’s falling short in a few areas. While many of these push reel mowers are equipped with five blades for an even, close cut, this one has just four blades, and our lawn didn’t appear as evenly cut with them. They also had some trouble getting through the thicker weeds that sometimes choke our yard. With a cutting width of just 14 inches, we also had to make more passes with this mower than with others. The smaller 8.5-inch wheels didn’t help since they kept getting stuck on larger stones and sticks.
Despite the drawbacks, there were still plenty of things to like about this mower. It’s very lightweight, and you’d be surprised to find how much easier it is to push around than a gas mower. It’s basically maintenance-free, saving you time and frustration. This mower also isn’t going to throw rocks and debris like a gas mower does, so no windows are going to be broken by a catapulted stone.
When we first pulled it out, we expected the Greenworks 25052 reel lawn mower to be a solid performer and one of our favorites. We liked the built-in grass catcher basket that promised to make our cleanup shorter and save us time overall. While it’s a good idea in theory, in reality, it became a nuisance. It seemed to fill up much faster than expected, but we’re ok with that. The problem is that it wouldn’t stay in place! It kept falling off and dumping the loose grass all over the yard. After stopping several times to rake the mess, we ditched the grass-catcher all together.
The large 10-inch wheels on this mower make it easy to scoot across the yard without getting stuck on anything. Unfortunately, the lowest this device will cut is 1⅛-inch, which is not low enough for those individuals who prefer tightly cut grass below an inch. But our biggest complaint is the lack of longevity. For the first year, this mower was great. By the second year, it was starting to exhibit some wear and tear. At the end of the third season, it was falling apart and no longer usable.
We like the idea of a grass catcher attached to the mower to help reduce the time it takes to clean up all the cut grass. The MJ500M manual reel lawn mower from Snow Joe is such a model, and it features a 6.6-gallon grass catcher. Unfortunately, it seems to be in the way and makes it difficult to push this mower. We ended up removing it pretty quickly so that the mower was easier to use. We liked the 16-inch wide cutting path that helped us finish mowing in fewer total passes. It also cuts down to just 0.79 inches, which is pretty respectable.
One issue we had is that the blades just aren’t sharp enough. They have a hard time getting a clean cut on the grass. But one other thing continually annoyed us with this machine. The handle kept loosening and moving, causing us to stop every few minutes and make adjustments. This made the whole job too time-consuming, and it kept this device from climbing out of the bottom position of our list.
These days, many options exist to cut your grass without spending a fortune. Whether you want something completely manually-powered or an electric mower that plugs in, our reviews have covered some of the best and most popular low-cost lawn cutting options available. Our favorite push reel lawn mower was the Great States 415-16 model. With 5 blades, it delivers an even cut for a beautiful lawn as low as 0.5 inches. The 16-inch cutting width reduces the total time you spend pushing it across your lawn, and the oversized 10-inch wheels make sure it can roll over anything without getting stuck. No gas or batteries are necessary to run it, and little to no maintenance is required to keep it performing at top level.
Our favorite electric mower was the Goplus 14-inch 12-amp mower. Its powerful motor makes short work of even the thickest grass and weeds and can cut them down to as low as just one-inch. No gas or batteries needed, just plug it into an extension cord and go. The built-in grass collection box reduces your clean up time. In the end, we’re confident that either option will provide you the beautiful lawn that you desire.
Featured Image Credit: Greenworks, Amazon
Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!