Putting 50 Lawn Mowers to the test

Testers put 50 mowers through their paces. Included in the tests were push and self-propelled mowers from Lawn-Boy, Craftsman, Troy-Bilt, and other manufacturers.

The mowers are tested on these six acres of grass in Fort Myers, Florida. Then consumer reports' testers get down to business on their hands and knees to inspect how well each mower cuts.

Peter Sawchuk, said, "Here's a classic example of unevenness. Here's a particularly big piece that got pushed down."

Every mower is rated for its ability to cut in several modes, side discharge, mulching, and bagging.

Good mowers disperse clippings evenly, not in big clumps like this. You'd end up having to rake them so you won't damage your lawn.

If you want to mow your lawn at a budget price, two bare-bones push-mowers, one from Airiens and the other from Yard Machines, did a good job for the money.

Bob Markovich with Consumer Reports said, "These mowers feature overhead valve engines that run more cleanly and efficiently than traditional mower engines, and each one costs $200 dollars."

But if you like using side discharge for clippings, these mowers are only fair.

Willing to spend more money? For better performance and less effort, this self-propelled $320 dollar Toro Recycler did a very good job overall.

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