Hey Adam, “What is the Best Gas Lawn Mower for me?” This is the question I get on a daily basis. While there are a ton of great Gas Lawn Mowers on the market today, some may be considered the best gas lawn mower according to their features but when it comes to real life, they may not make the cut, if you know what I mean! Over the past years I have work with some amazing gas lawn mowers and crappy lawn mowers. I had a lawn mower that broke after one use.
Without further ado, below are the Top 8 Gas Lawn Mowers on the market today. You can also check out the comparison chart below to compare and see different features for different gas lawn mowers.
Top 8 Gas Lawn Mower Reviews
1. Husqvarna L221A 21-in Self-Propelled Gas Lawn Mower
It’s spring season, and the inevitable need for cutting grass has found its way back. However, you don’t need just any run-of- the-mill mower. What you need is functionality, durability, efficacy, and you need this all in one machine.
Well, the Husqvarna L221A gas mower is a formidable candidate in your search for a mower. It comes standard with amazing features. This is a gas-powered mower equipped with a 160cc Honda GVC160 engine, with a 6.9 pound per foot gross torque.
This only speaks volumes about the power and pull of this particular model. It is not huge, although, as it is only 21 inches wide and also coupled with 12-inch rear wheels that augment mobility over many types of grass and field.
It also allows for 1.5 to 3.5-inch cutting height, six cutting height increments, and four-point height adjustment. It will be able to eat up the grass like a monster but drive like a charm.
The handle is adjustable for ergonomic use, and on top of that the mower can be folded for storage optimization. In all, the machine is only 78 pounds. Continuing, the Husqvarna is also outfitted with a 3-in- 1 cutting system– mulch, rear bag, and side discharge.
Again, some mowers can be very powerful in their own right, but are they functional? Can they be used relatively easily? The 3-in- 1 system speaks to how comprehensive and complete the Husqvarna really is!
So, for uneven, bumpy terrain the Husqvarna, with its maneuverability, is able to slash and slide through areas where most mowers would have big trouble and do it with trademark power.
However, it’s not only limited to cutting grass and the 3-in-1 system goes to show how many features it has. The Husqvarna L221A truly is a multi-faceted, distinct mower that can take on the worst of lawns and have the best of results.
2. Honda HRR216K9VKA 21 inches 3-in-1 Self-Propelled Gas Mower
The Honda HRR216K9VKA 3-in-1 self-propelled gas mower is an excellent piece of machinery, as it comes equipped with a multitude of self-enabling and enhancing features.
Beginning with the basics, the HRR216K9VKA has a cutting width of 21 inches, weight of 84 pounds, and dimensions of 23 x 38.25 x 62 inches. With its smart drive, it has a variable speed of 0 to 4 mph, making it easy to operate but also efficient to use.
There is a control for the self-propulsion speed on the handle which the user can operate with his/her thumbs. Its rear-wheel-drive also makes for convenient operation.
The aforementioned 3-in-1 feature stands for the mulch, bag, and discharge that comes standard on the equipment. The HRR216K9VKA also provides 8-inch ball bearing wheels, 6 position cutting height adjustments, and auto choke for comprehensive, all-around use.
Lastly, the GCV160 engine packs just the right amount of punch to get rid of that thick, bulky grass you’ve been holding off on.
You may be thinking a piece of machinery that is this all-inclusive and wide-ranging would take up a great amount of space but, in fact, it has a 2-position handle that allows for easy folding and storage.
3. Husqvarna HU700L 22-inch 3-in-1 Gas Lawn Mower
The Husqvarna HU700L Honda 3-in-1 rear-wheel drive with Hi-Wheel mower in 22-inch deck is an all-inclusive, all-efficient mower standard with tons of ergonomic features.
However, there are multiple models you may choose from ranging from the variable speed transmission, low-wheel, hi-wheel or all-wheel drive. Whatever the case may be, each one is guaranteed to offer great end results.
Each variation of the mower will come standard with a dependable and easy-to-start engine along with a powder-coated cutting deck. In turn, this will provide a distinct and amazing cutting experience.
Regarding the engine?
Well, the HU700L boasts a rock-solid GCV160 160cc 4-cycle OHV engine with, again, easy starting and power that speaks volumes.
The engine may be powerful, but it is not heavy or difficult to use as the auto walk self-propelled rear wheel drive system enables the user to mow at his/her own comfortable pace by only having to apply pressure to the handlebar to control speed. 3-in-1 system (side discharge, mulch, bag) can also be found on this particular model.
Ball-bearing wheels which are 8 inches in the front and 11 inches in the back also make for upgraded maneuverability in many types of grass. A 3-position adjustable handle will also augment operation of the machine.
Finally, a mower deck washout port enables the user to clean the cutting deck without hassle. In all, the Husqvarna HU700L is impeccable in use, ergonomics, and capability.
4. Troy-Bilt TB370 163cc 21-inch In Step RWD Self-Propelled Gas Lawn Mower
The Troy-Bilt TB370 gives the user just what they need and more to take on the daunting task of cutting their thick, high grass.
This self-propelled Rear-Wheel Drive lawn mower holds an impressive, easy-starting 163 cc OHV Briggs & Stratton engine with ReadyStart technology for additional ease-of-use.
In addition, the single lever variable speed drive control holds four top speed settings for personalized comfort and maneuverability.
Highlighting its versatility and capability, the 21-inch TriAction cutting mechanism boasts a rake bumper to pick grass up, a custom-made blade for finer mulch results, and asymmetrical deck for loftier grass patterns, along with clearing up clumps or patches in your lawn.
The TB370 is furnished with a cohesive deck wash. Coupled with the ReadyStart system, it immediately senses engine temperature and regulates the air/fuel mixture for optimal results.
There is no difficult fiddling or having to work your way around the machine that is necessary on your end. Leave it to the intelligent ReadyStart system.
Something else that is quite easy is the engine start. The user will just tug lightly once for power and, again, the ReadyStart will fire it up. 8″ front & 11″ durable rear wheels allow for even more maneuverability, even in shaky, bumpy terrain.
Lastly, the mower can be adjusted to six different grass height settings, ranging from 1.25-inches to 3.75-inches, aiding you in finding your personal comfort. The Troy-Bilt TB370 is an undisputed piece of equipment guaranteed to do its job.
5. Poulan Pro PR625Y22RHP 22 in. Walk Behind Gas Lawn Mower
If there’s one optimal piece of equipment you need to take care of your lawn, it is the Poulan Pro PR625Y22RHP.
The front wheel drive feature with variable speed transmission provides excellent, precise results.
Cutting width is 22 inches, dimensions are 20.75 x 25.25 x 40.25 inches, with a weight of 84 pounds. Continuing, the front drive system coupled with the 12” high rear wheels is the textbook combination to enable ease-of-use operation.
No hassle, just free-flowing, smooth driving. The 3-in-1 system consists of side discharge, mulch and bag capabilities. So, sprinkle your lawn with the nutrients it deserves, bag clippings for a fine-tuned look, or just utilize the simple side discharge.
Changing between these modes is extremely easy and convenient. 4-quick height adjusters with 9 positions add another element of ergonomics to the Poulan Pro PR625Y22RHP, along with 8-inch front and 12-inch rear wheels.
The most impressive part of this machine? It’s hard-hitting engine, a 625e series 150cc Briggs & Stratton which comes equipped with the ever-so efficient ReadyStart.
It aids in starting the engine with absolutely no hassle. Ergonomics, control, and power supremacy all tied in together is what the Poulan pro will give you.
6. Snapper 12AVB2A2707 21″ Self Propelled Gas Powered Mower
The Snapper self-propelled gas mower is the indispensable, utmost lawn mower you need.
The variable speed front wheel drive and the adjustable high mower wheels coupled with the easy-to-start Briggs & Stratton 163cc 725exi Series engine makes for a machine that can tackle small, large, hilly, bumpy, uneven terrains.
The ReadyStart system implemented also means no prime and no choke. Just pull and go. Another great thing is that you most likely will never have to change your oil with the check & add feature.
Furthermore, the 3-in-1 system gives you three useful options of side discharge, mulching and rear bagging.
Concerning maneuverability and ease-of-use, the Snapper comes equipped with 8-inch front wheels and 11-inch rear wheels that work like a charm on uneven terrain and bumpy hills.
On top of that, the adjustable handle design enhances the ergonomic appeal of the Snapper.
Also, an appropriate deck wash-out port suitable for cleaning out grass clippings that get stuck or lodged under the mower deck.
7. Lawn-Boy 10732 21-Inch Self Propelled Gas Lawn Mower
The Lawn-Boy 10732 Kohler may sound harmless, but it’s quite effective and powerful in what it can handle.
For basics, the machine has a cutting width of 21 inches and a weight of 66 pounds.
The rear-wheel drive self-propelled gas lawn mower allows for superior traction and control on uneven terrain and different types of grass.
A 2-point height cutting system allows for easy toggling and adjusting of cutting heights. This gas mower has an electric start as well. Where the power comes into play is the Kohler 149cc OHV engine the mower is outfitted with.
With 6.5 ft. –lbs. gross torque, it is a force to behold. Combined with the aforementioned traction and control, the Lawn-Boy is a strong machine that will be able to glide across your lawn and eat up anything in its way, no matter how its presented.
Lastly, the Lawn-Boy comes equipped with an easy bagging system that makes bagging painless and fast. In conclusion, Lawn-Boy is a perfect mix of power, convenience, and fun.
8. Craftsman 37430 3-in-1 21-inch Gas Powered Push Lawn Mower
The Craftsman 37430 gas-powered push mower is the archetype and standard of what a reliable, quality lawn mower should include and feature.
The machine has dimensions of 36.6 x 17.5 x 23.9 inches with a weight of 65 pounds. With 21-inch cutting width, low 7-inch front wheels, and high 11-inch rear wheels, there is a certain versatility that allows for range of motion and customization.
Featuring a strong Briggs & Stratton Silver Series 5-torque- 140cc engine, the Craftsman mower is extremely capable of taking on any type of terrain and grass.
A spark plug makes firing up the machine a no-hassle job. Also, there is a 3-in-1 cutting system equipped to the 37430 that enables side discharge, mulch, and bag clipping functions.
Finally, dual-point deck height adjusters with six positions add a great element of ergonomics to the Craftsman 37430 lawn mower.
Why Choose A Gas Lawn Mower?
The first thing you need to do is to consider the size and layout of your garden or yard. Generally speaking, the larger your garden, the more likely you are to choose a gas propelled mower.
With very large gardens, you are unlikely to choose a corded electric lawn mower – as the cord won’t stretch that far or use a battery lawn mower as the charge could possibly drain before the mowing is complete.
Gas Lawn Mower Features
Generally, the features of lawn mowers are similar, irrespective of the method of power. However, there are some features that are particularly relevant for gas mowers.
For example, most gas mowers have a steel deck (body), unlike their electrically powered counterparts, which are increasingly made of plastic.
I have split out specific features in the sections below.
Engine & Transmission
A standard engine will cope very well on small, flat, lawns. The next step-up is an OHC (Overhead Cam) engine, which will be quieter and smoother to operate. However, if you have a larger garden, or a hilly terrain, then you should consider a more powerful OHV (overhead valve) engine.
Other than the comments above, do not get too hung up on engine torque. The higher the number does not necessarily relate to a better cutting performance. However it probably will guarantee more money draining from your wallet.
Recoil or Electric Start?
Many people’s idea of a gas mower, is of someone desperately trying to crank start an engine over and over again, wiping sweat off their brow and hoping that the cord doesn’t snap. The times I’ve done that over the years.
However, I find that today’s crank starting (or recoil) engines are a lot more reliable now than in years gone by. Plus they usually fire up on the first pull…… even after sitting in my garage all winter.
Even better is the electronic starter models – with a key, or the push of a starting button. You need to be aware though that electric starting gas mowers do need to have the small battery, that provides the ignition start, charged up periodically. These are not like automobile batteries that get recharged via the engine. Lawnmowers don’t work like that.
Either way, these are proving to be very reliable ‘first-time starters’.
Push or Self-Propel?
Even with the lightest of engines, gas mowers are always going to be heavier than their electrically powered rivals.
This can be a problem if you have a lot of mowing to do, or have an undulating space to work in. I can tell you that pushing additional weight uphill for any length of time is not fun.
To compensate for this, many gas mowers come self-propelled. That means that the engine not only turns the blades but also propels the wheels. This results in the unit moving forward under its own steam, at a gentle walking pace. You just need to steer it.
Front Wheel or Rear Wheel Drive?
Generally speaking it is better to have a rear wheel drive mower. This means that the driving power is going to the wheels at the back of the lawn mower and therefore you will get better traction control. You should certainly consider this a better option if you have a hilly yard.
There are occasions when you will have the front wheels off the ground and if they are the ones with the power going to them (as in a front wheel drive mowers), then you immediately lose that power as soon as the wheels are airborne.
Set or Variable Speed?
This is for self-propel mowers. basically a set speed mower will do just that…. go at a set speed.
However, some may prefer the variable speed mowers. This can help adjust to your mowing conditions (i.e. longer grass, hills), or your own fitness levels.
Cylinder or Rotary?
Gas mowers are available in cylinder and rotary formats. Each design has its own benefits, although the rotary models have increased their popularity in recent years and now command the bulk of the walk-behind mower market.
As with electric lawn mowers, cutting widths can vary. The wider the width, the less maneuverable your lawn mower will be, but the less mowing you will have to do.
Many gas lawn mowers favor the traditional independent wheel height settings. That is a height adjuster on each wheel. Although less efficient, these systems tend to be more robust than the more modern ‘one lever lifts all’ height adjusters. Having said that, I personally prefer the single height deck adjustment system.
Mulch, Side Discharge, or Grass Catcher?
Gas mowers offer 3 types of grass discharge :
This is where the grass is chopped up very fine and left to ‘mulch’ in the grass – giving nutrients back to the soil. What you are looking for is clippings that are chopped as fine as possible and that will ‘melt’ into the grass so you can’t see them.
If the mower leaves the mulching in large clumps on your lawn then this is going to look unsightly and will not help the fertilization of your grass. Again, if this happens you will need to rake the mulch up.
In addition to the above, you need to be aware that if your lawn is infested with weeds, you could end up mulching weed seeds into your lawn…. and that will just spread their development.
What I have found over the years is that you are very unlikely to get a gas propelled mower that is excellent in all of the above types of cutting. Therefore, I’d strongly recommend that you buy a mower that has good capabilities in the type of cutting you do most. In other words, pick a mulcher with good customer reviews, if mulching is what you do most.
This is where the grass clippings are thrown out of the side of the mower, via a chute. Here, they can be left on the grass, or raked up. Ideally, you want a side discharge mower that evenly distributes the clippings, and not just throws them out in large clumps.
You’ll also find that if the discharge chute is pointing in a downwards direction then you will end up with a long trail of clippings. Where this happens you will need to rake the clippings up.
Here a bag, or light-weight plastic box is, attached to the rear of the mower and the grass clippings are collected for disposal or composting.
Remember that you are looking for a bag that is large enough to not get in the way, but also to ensure that you have as few ’emptying trips’ to your compost heap as possible.
I’ve also been caught out with grass catchers that are not set at a good angle. This means that although the bag could potentially hold a lot of clippings, they tended to fall out (or back into the mower) before it was even half-full.
An important safety feature that’s included in many self-propel mowers is the additional rail by the handle of the lawn mower, which you have to grip during operation. As soon as you let go of this additional rail, then the lawn mower cuts out.
Whilst that is useful in times of an emergency, the disadvantage of this system is that every time you need to stop and let go of this rail – say to pick something up, or empty the grass catcher – then the mower will cut out. You then have to start it up again when you are ready to proceed.
From experience, I can tell you that this can get be a bit annoying. To combat this, you can get mowers with a blade over-ride system. This is also known as a blade break clutch. Although these mowers are more expensive, this will allow the blade to be dis-engaged from the motor, once the rail is released. That means that the engine continues to run, but you have the safety of the blade no-longer turning.
Swivel Wheel Mower
Swivel-wheel mowers help when you have lots of curved borders to negotiate, or lots of obstacles. As their name suggests, the front wheels spin (like a super-market trolley). They are fantastically easy to maneuver and great for tight spaces (see image to the right).
Tipping over a gas mower, to clean the underside, can lead to gasoline working its way into the air filter, and this can cause problems. Washout ports on a gas mower are an important feature, as they help you clean the mower without tipping it over.
To clean the underside of the mower, you simply attach a garden hose onto the port and turn on the hose. Then you fire up the engine and run it for a couple of minutes. This will obviously spin the blade, whilst the water cleans the underside of the mower’s deck.
Handle Bar Height Adjustment & Grips
This, for me is the most important part of any mower, but especially important for gas powered mowers.
I do suffer with the occasional back problem, so it is vital that I can get the height of the handle just right. You’d be surprised just how limited some brands are when it comes to height adjustment of the handle.
I also like to see the new ergonomic handles. This is where you can position your hands at a slight angle to each other, as opposed to being on a straight bar.
Finally, most mowers come with sponge, or foam, handle grips. This is vital on a gasoline mower, as the foam will absorb some of the vibrations pulsing up from the engine. Just make sure that the foam grips have a good shelf life because some cheaper versions can fall apart with less than a season of use.
Pros And Cons Of A Gas Powered Mower
- Are better suited for larger gardens and do not have the limits imposed by battery life or distance from an electrical power source
- Are usually more powerful and can therefore tackle longer, course, and also wet grass
- You won’t have to worry about tripping over cables You don’t have the potential hazard of electrocution as a result of cutting through the cable
- The decks are usually made of steel or aluminum – this is much more robust than the plastic bodies of electric mowers
- Gas mowers tend to be heavier than electric models – although some lighter models are available
- They tend to be less maneuverable and therefore not suited for smaller yards, or gardens with obstacles or curved edges
- There are more safety concerns regarding inflammable liquids and certainly, gas lawn mowers shouldn’t be transported when pull of gas
- It’s not always easy to see when the mower needs re-fuelling
- Non self-propelled models can be too much like hard work
- Recoil models can sometimes be tricky to start – especially when left idle throughout the winter months – and for this reason are not suited for smaller framed people or the elderly
- Require more upkeep and are a little bit more difficult to clean if they don’t contain a washout port.
All mowers have risks attached to them. Many of the risks can be attributed to gas and electric mowers. However, I will focus mainly on gas mower safety considerations here.
- Always start off your mowing by clearing anything from your lawn. These can be things you might trip over, or things that you might run over with the mower (twigs or stones).
- Always wear protective eye-wear, as things can fly out from under the mower at great speed.
- Never smoke, or have a naked flame whilst using a gas lawn mower.
- Never mow with children or pets in the locality.
- Never run with your gas lawn mower.
- Keep feet and hands well clear from the blade.