Types of Lawn Mowers – All the Varieties Explained

Even though, on the face of it, it may seem that lawn mowers are pretty straightforward, there is a lot more to them than you might think. For example, there are a whole slew of different lawn mower types with different propulsion systems and different sizes, all of which are designed for a specific purpose. But you need not worry because we will explain all the types, what they are good for, and how you can pick the correct one for your needs.

The main types of lawn mowers include walking lawn mowers, ride-on mowers, tractor mowers, self-propelled mowers, reel mowers, zero-turn mowers, hover mowers, and the most modern robot mowers.

types of lawnmowers

Different Types of Lawn Mowers

In this first part, we will cover all the popular lawn mower types, their different variations, and their pros and cons. That will help you get a better understanding of how they work and prepare you for the second part of choosing the correct lawn mower for your needs.

Ride On Lawn Mowers

Technically, a ride-on lawn mower is any lawn mower that you operate while sitting on it. However, that’s not the case. A ride-on lawn mower does have a seat, and you can ride it, but it has a blade in front of the driver instead of between the axles as a lawn tractor does.

That means a ride-on lawn mower is a good option for large pieces of land that have a lot of obstacles, like trees. The front-mounted blade makes it much easier to cut grass in tight spaces since you don’t have to push the whole mower through. Also, ride-on lawn mowers are exclusively gasoline-powered, and while they can be on the expensive side, they are certainly worth it if you are old or have a big lawn.

Walking Lawn Mowers

A walking lawn mower is the most common type and one of few manual lawn mowers. Walking lawn mowers don’t have a propulsion system and rely on the operator to move them. This can be an electric lawn mower, battery-powered, or gasoline powered. Of the three, the battery-powered one is the best option because you don’t have to pull a cord behind you, and they are much lighter than gasoline-powered ones.

Since a walking lawn mower requires a lot of physical effort, it’s best suited for younger people, flat land, and small parcels. They are also fairly easy to maneuver, making them good for obstacle-ridden lawns.

Self Propelled Lawn Mowers

A self-propelled lawn mower looks exactly the same as the previous walking lawn mower, but it has a transmission and moves forward on its own. A self-propelled lawn mower is always gasoline powered, but even so, it’s much easier to use because you are not the one pushing it.

These types of lawn mowers are perfect for medium-sized lawns with a lot of obstacles, especially if you are younger because moving them from side to side can still require significant effort.

Zero Turn Lawn Mowers

Zero-turn lawn mowers are mostly used by professionals because they are one of the most expensive ones on this list, plus they can be difficult to operate. That said, a zero-turn lawn mower is extremely maneuverable since it can turn around almost in its place.

However, they are also much wider than a typical ride-on mower, so it’s not as good for obstacles. But since a zero-turn mower has the biggest blade of all the mowers on this list and it doesn’t mind patchy land, it’s perfect for large lawns. There are even battery-powered options, but those beat the purpose of a mower used for large lawns.

Hover, Lawn Mowers,

A hover mower is the only one on this list without wheels, and it’s one of the easiest to use. Hover mowers use the blade as a propeller which keeps it just above the ground, so the mower essentially carries its own weight.

That said, they do have small blades and don’t go well with patchy land. But for small lawns with a lot of obstacles, you will hardly find a better option. Moreover, you can pick between gasoline, battery, or cord-powered hover mowers.

Lawn Mower Tractors/Garden Tractors

A lawn mower tractor or garden tractor is one of the most expensive mowers on this list. It’s also not as maneuverable as a zero-turn mower, and can’t squeeze into tight spaces as a ride-on mower can. However, a tractor-mower is the most versatile piece of equipment you can get.

A tractor mower doubles as a leaf blower, a tractor-trailer, and a snow plow. Moreover, a tractor mower doesn’t mind patchy land or hills, making it perfect for small farms or houses with big lawns.

Push Reel Lawn Mower

A push-reel lawn mower, or cylinder lawn mower, is the type of mower you have definitely seen suburban dads use in old fifties movies. Today, these almost look like comedy props, but they still have their use. If the only lawn you have is a couple of square meters in the driveway, there is no need to waste money on bigger mowers.

Also, this rotary lawn mower will cut the grass perfectly; it’s cheap, doesn’t require almost any maintenance, is easy to operate, it’s maneuverable, and even kids can use it. Plus, they are usually pretty wide, so you won’t waste any more time using them than you would with a walking lawn mower.

Robot Lawn Mowers

A robot lawn mower is the latest invention on the grass-cutting front. These mowers work in the same way a Roomba vacuum cleaner does, and they resemble one too. And just like a Roomba, these work on their own, charge themselves, and don’t require any maintenance or assistance.

Unfortunately, these mowers require perfect grass conditions in order to work properly, which means flat land, short grass, and not a lot of obstacles. But if your backyard has the said conditions and isn’t too big, a robot mower can save you a lot of time and effort.

what size lawn mower

How to Select the Perfect Lawn Mower for Me

In this part, we will divide the aspects you need to consider when buying a lawn mower into three parts, the lawn size, obstacles, and conditions. And in all three categories, you will find at least one entry for each of the lawn mower types we mentioned. Then, all you need to do is cross-reference the conditions of your land and find which lawn mower covers all three.

Lawn Size

Small (100 Square Meters)

  • Reel Mower
  • Hover, Mower,
  • Walking Mower (Cord, Battery, Gasoline Powered)
  • Robot Mower

Medium (100-250 Square Meters)

  • Walking Mower (Gasoline Powered)
  • Self Propelled Mowers
  • Ride On Mower

Large (250+ Square Meters)

  • Ride On Mower
  • Zero Turn Mower
  • Tractor Mower
  • Self Propelled Mower

Lawn Conditions

Flat Land

  • Hover Mower
  • Reel Mower
  • Walking Mower
  • Robot Mower
  • Self Propelled Mower

Uneven/Patchy Land

  • Zero Turn Mower
  • Ride On Mower
  • Self Propelled Mower
  • Tractor Mower


Little To No Obstacles

  • Ride On Mower
  • Zero Turn Mower
  • Tractor Mower
  • Self Propelled Mower

A Lot of Obstacles

  • Hover Mower
  • Reel Mower
  • Walking Mower
  • Robot Mower

Average Lawn Mower Prices

  • Robot Lawn Mower – $1,320
  • Reel Lawn Mower – $115
  • Walking Lawn Mower – Electric $260/gasoline $320/battery $600
  • Self-Propelled Lawn Mower – $630
  • Ride On Lawn Mower – $3,195
  • Tractor Mower – $3,515
  • Zero Turn Lawn Mower – $5,050
  • Hover Mower – $250


Q: How many different types of lawn mowers are there?

There are eight types of lawn mowers which include self-propelled mowers, walking mowers, reel mowers, ride-on mowers, zero-turn mowers, robot mowers, tractor mowers, and hover mowers. Also, there are some subtypes like gasoline, electric, and battery-powered mowers, plus front and rear engine mowers and ride-on or push mowers.

Q: What is the most common type of lawn mower?

The most common type of lawn mower is a walking mower. A walking lawn mower is most commonly powered by a gasoline engine, with electric and battery-powered ones available. The second most common lawn mowers are self-propelled ones that look exactly the same as the walking mower but have a drivetrain.

Q: What is the best type of lawn mower to use?

The best type of lawn mower to use is the self-propelled mower. A self-propelled mower is the most versatile for the money; it’s easy to use, doesn’t mind patchy land, and is maneuverable. It basically ticks all the boxes, even though it doesn’t do every job the best.

Q: What are the three types of lawn mowers?

The only category by which all lawn mowers can be divided into three groups is by the type of motor. And those three types are battery, electric, and gasoline-powered mowers.

Q: What is a 4-stroke lawn mower?

A 4 stroke lawn mower is a mower with a four-stroke engine. The engine can be gasoline or diesel, and the four-stroke engine is the same type you will find in your cars and trucks. The main differentiation between four-stroke and two-stroke engines for the average owner is that a four-stroke engine has an oil sump, while a two-stroke runs on pre-mix.

Q: Which lawn mower is easy to use?

The easiest lawn mower to use is the reel mower. A reel mower is entirely mechanical and doesn’t have a gasoline engine or an electric motor. It also doesn’t require any maintenance, and it’s as easy to use as it is to push an empty wheelbarrow. There are also robot mowers, but technically you are not using those because they work on their own.

Q: Which type of lawn mower is generally used for lawn mowing?

Walking mowers, self-propelled mowers, robot mowers, reel mowers, and ride-on mowers are most commonly used for lawn mowing. Other types, like zero-turn mowers and tractor-mowers, are best suited for large pieces of land with rough terrain.

Q: What is a rotary mower used for?

A rotary mower or reel mower is typically used for small driveway lawn patches. A rotary mower is small and easy to maneuver, but it’s also slow and doesn’t cope well with rough terrain.

Final Words

Ultimately, there are plenty of lawn mower types and subtypes, with the main ones being hover mowers, self-propelled mowers, zero-turn mowers, tractor mowers, walking mowers, robot mowers, reel mowers, and ride-on mowers. To pick the correct one, you can either use our guide or ask your friends or a dealer for advice.

Ibro Cehic

Ever since I was bitten by the automotive bug during early childhood I was obsessed with cars. My first driving experience came when I was ten and I already started tinkering with cars and motorcycles at thirteen. So, right from the beginning, I knew my life would revolve around cars, even if I wasn’t sure how that would happen. And today, thanks to my second passion, writing, I get to share my love for automobiles with other enthusiasts through my articles.

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