Push mowers, also called reel mowers, are a tried and true option for cutting grass. These mowers are powered by either gas or electricity, and a manual pull-to-start mechanism. Push mowers are lightweight and easy to maneuver, making them perfect for smaller yards, and are often the most affordable option.
While pushing a lawnmower around can be tiring, our lawn pros love these mowers because they leave your lawn looking neat and trim rather than having a bumpy or uneven cut. The last thing you want is for your neighbors to make a comment about your grass!
Push mowers have come a long way over the years, and come equipped with a number of features, including cruise control, which stops the mower once it gets to the desired speed and even mulching blades that chop grass clippings into small pieces that decompose and help your lawn grow. We evaluated the ease of use; quality of cut, noise, and engine as well as how easy it is to store the mower away after use. These are the best push gas lawn mowers of 2022:
Why Decide To Drive When You Could Be Self-Propelled?
The most important difference between a self-propelled lawnmower and a walk-behind lawnmower is really simple, a self-propelled lawnmower moves by itself by turning the front or rear wheels when you push a lever of any kind while walking behind it. A push mower means you push it to move it forward. No push, no move.
But why can you choose a push lawn mower and do all that extra work once the lawn mower can do it for you? There are a few reasons. For one, a push lawn mower will be much cheaper to buy straight from the start. All of this added benefit can add up to many additional costs.
A self-propelled lawnmower will be gentler than the usual equivalent due to the additional hardware required to operate the lawnmower. This makes for an easier push mower for you to, well, push and makes it easier to maneuver around curves and obstacles.
Finally, a walk-behind lawnmower includes fewer components that could break or require routine maintenance, such as a jack or transmission on a self-propelled lawnmower.
A push lawn mower is best suited to mostly flat terrain and half an acre at the most. That doesn’t mean it can’t handle a bigger lawn using a load of hills, you’ll just burn so many extra calories using it.
Mulching Vs Bagging Vs Side Discharge
Grass clippings are an inevitable side effect of lawn mowing and you need to take care of it one way or another. There are three ways to manage your clippings: you can mulch them, you can bag them, or you can dump them.
Mulching is everywhere your mower picks up clippings after cutting them from a sprout of grass and continually throws them under the deck. When the clippings are thrown in, the mower blade cuts them into finer pieces and eventually spreads them across the lawn where they break down into a natural fertilizer.
Sounds perfect, right? Mulching is great if you’re sure you’re mowing frequently and stick to the 1/3 rule (never cut more than 1/3 the length of the grass). Since the lawn mower has this excess work to do, the clippings need to be larger at first or you will simply start dropping large clumps of grass that need to be raided when the lawn mower can’t handle the workload.
Also, in case you have a large amount of weeds, your lawn mower will fight to split the sturdier material and you may end up spreading weeds around your yard during the procedure.
The bagging is pretty neat as the lawn mower not only cuts the grass but also acts as a vacuum cleaner that sucks up clippings and anything else lying in your yard. This is really a great way to prevent disease or weeds from spreading around the garden.
The downside to wrapping is that you won’t get the fertilization boost from your clippings and you still have to find a place to dump all the clippings you have in your bag. If you need a special garden waste container, this is an excess cost to consider.
Side or rear discharge is very similar to mulching in that the clippings are scattered around the garden after being cut and therefore involve many of the same drawbacks. However, instead of being repeatedly cut into smaller pieces, the cutouts are pulled out to the extent that they are cut.
This means that if the clippings don’t come out small enough, you’ll likely end up needing to resize them to prevent them from sitting together with the grass and damaging it.
Discharging cut grass allows the mower to handle taller grass without getting bogged down than mulching could, but if you let your lawn grow for a long time it is probably the best choice. If you are meticulous in mowing every few days, any method will do the job well.
The Top 10 Push Gas Lawn Mowers
1. Honda HRR216PKA
This Honda mower offers exceptional power and flexibility. At the heart is the demanding and reliable 160cc Honda GCV160 engine that fires with a single hit and runs faster than you might expect.
The engine is responsible for turning the only double-blade installment on our list. In order not to be overshadowed by the power plant, the MicroCut system beautifully cuts and pulverizes the clippings. The HRR speaks in a low voice and carries a large cane.
The HRR216PKA is a 3-in-1 system with a large 1.9 bushel bag stretched further with the HRR’s ability to break down clippings. Along with the attached bag it’s easy to go from bagging to mulching with the Clip Director, then simply get rid of the bag to resume unloading.The drawback of the rear unloading is that you will likely find your trainers and shins caked with plant matter.
The mowing height can be set to one of six positions ranging from 1 1/20 cm to 10 cm via a separate adjustment on each of the four wheels. While that’s enough, it feels awkward and looks unpolished compared to other smart models on the HRR.
Aside from the cutouts in the shoes and the awkward height adjustments, the only complaints about the HRR216PKA were that it sometimes left an uncut streak when cutting thick grass.
The Honda is a little expensive as the mowers move, however, the Honda brand is well known for excellence and durability, making the HRR216PKA a worthy investment.
Features We Like
- Reliable Honda Engine
- Big 21-inch Deck
- Easy to Start Auto Choke
- Good Quality Steel Lawn Mower
- Easy to Handle and Push
- Nice Looking Lawn Mower
|Easy to use controls||No automatic choke Pros|
|Quiet, quick, and maneuverable|
2. Cub Cadet SC100
It’s hard not to fall in love with the Cub Cadet SC100 as it packs a serious punch but won’t KO your financial plan.
For starters, the SC100 runs on the reliable 159cc Cub Cadet OHV engine that’s a dream to start and more than strong enough to tackle any reasonable (or unreasonable) job set before it. A single blade engages the CycloCut system to provide consistent, professional quality cuts.
The SC100 is just another 3-in-1 system with a 1.9 bushel bag but requires a chute connection to perform side unload service. This specific lawn mower is known as an excellent shredder, but has had some minor complaints about clogging or difficulty vacuuming wet debris when bagging. But that’s the purpose of almost all complaints.
One of the main highlights of the Cub Cadet is the single-point height adjustment lever that makes moving the cutting height a walk in the park. The scope of the SC100 ranges from 1 1/10 cm to 3 3/10 cm over six settings.
Weighing in at 29kg, it is among the lightest gas push mowers on this list, making it easy and easy to push. The SC100 was also the only lawn mower on this list that included a wash port on the deck to make regular deck cleaning a hassle.
This lawnmower certainly boasts the toughest title and with very good reasons.
Features We Like
- Gas Powered
- Very Good Reviews
- Cutting Width: 18 in.
- 3 in 1 with Mulching, Side Discharge, and Bagging
- High Wheel
- 3 Year Warranty
|Easy to start||Heavy difficult to carry|
|Large 16″ wheels for mobility||No zero-start system|
|Comfortable, cushioned seat||No suspension|
|Large capacity, 60-lb. grass bag|
|Rear cut height adjustment|
3. Craftsman M105 140cc 21-Inch 3-in-1 Gas Powered Push Lawn Mower
The Craftsman M105 is a reliable lawn mower with a three-in-one design that allows you to switch between mulching, side-discharge, and rear-discharge options. The 2.4 hp 140cc engine has plenty of power to handle tough weeds and tall grass, and the 21-inch cutting deck does a good job of cutting a good sized lawn in one pass.
The mower has 6 adjustable cutting heights, so you’ll have plenty of flexibility to trim your grass to various lengths. It’s lightweight, so it’s easy to maneuver, and it folds up nicely for storage or transportation. The Craftsman M105 isn’t as quiet as the Echo or the Husqvarna, and it has some vibration issues, so some people might not like it. But it’s a solid, reliable mower with all the essential features for a simple yard job.
Features We Like
- Up to 3-in-1 capabilities
- 21-inch cutting deck
- Dual-lever adjustable cutting height
- 3 cutting positions
- Heavy duty wheels
- Auto choke and recoil starting
- Stainless steel blade
- Cutting height adjustable from 1.5 to 3.5 inches
- High-quality blade
- Easy to assemble
- Cutting deck height is adjustable
|Easy starting||Not ideal for hills|
|Tall grass mowing capability||No cruise control|
4. Poulan Pro PR550N21R3 Push Gas mower
The Poulan Pro PR550N21R3 is easily the cheapest gasoline lawnmower of the bunch and doesn’t provide much in the way of bells and whistles. It’s a focused version focused on staying cheap, while still offering a great cut for your garden.
The PR550N21R3 is equipped with a 140cc Briggs and Stratton 550E engine that drives a blade. Briggs and Stratton has a reputation for producing robust engines that endure well over time.
Leaving bells and whistles out of this layout means this mower is by far the lightest at 23kg, which makes maneuvering around obstacles or up a mountain considerably less demanding.
This model has the smallest bag at 1.6 bushel, but is still capable of mulching, bagging and unwanted dump tasks with outstanding results. Deck height is individually adjusted on each wheel with five positions ranging from 1 1/10 cm to 3 1/5 cm.
Some have complained that the 140cc engine can sometimes feel underpowered or that it creates a weak vacuum for bagging. Others have questioned the build quality of such a lightweight mower. However, it remains at the top of the list for performance in its price range, offering plenty of mowing options and the ability to fulfill them.
Features We Like
- The 21″ Steel Deck Provides a Durable Cutting Surface
- Three Cutting Options: Side Discharge, Mulching, or Bag
- Quick-Adjust Cutting Height for Fine-Tuning
- It Includes a One-Year Warranty
- The Steel Chute is Easy to Clean
- Long Handle Provides Enhanced Control
- 3-in-1 Mower
|Powered speed||Heavy; difficult to carry|
|21-inch cutting path|
|Heavy-duty 21-inch (55 cm) cutting path|
|15 amp motor|
|23-inch (59 cm) side discharge chute|
5. PowerSmart 21-inch 2-in-1 Gas Powered Push Lawn Mower with 170cc Engine
The 21-inch PowerSmart 2-in-1 Gas Powered Push Lawn Mower is the mower you need when your lawn is half an acre or less. It’s not the mower you need when your terrain is hilly or if your grass is thick or long. And it’s not the mower you want for rough or uneven terrain, but we used it just fine for rolling over some mild hills and flat terrain. It has a 21-inch steel deck, which is plenty wide for most suburban lawns, plus it’s got a 5-position adjustable blade height from 1.18 to 3 inches. The cutting deck is wider than most mowers in this price range, which helps you trim a sizable lawn more efficiently
It has two modes of operation: mulching, which chops up the grass clippings and feeds them back into the lawn’s soil, and side discharge, which discharges the grass clippings to the side instead of depositing them on the grass. Both were easy to use. The mower also has the advantage of a 21-inch cutting width, which, combined with its heft and a 170cc gas motor, makes it a pretty powerful mower
The mower has a single gas-powered 9.8-amp motor, and if you want it to start easily, you’ll need to fill the gas tank, which is easy to do. It weighs 44 pounds, but with two people, it was pretty easy to maneuver.
Features We Like
- Integrated carry handle for easy transport and storage
- 3 year residential warranty; 1 year commercial warranty
- Engine speed: 5000 RPM
- Perfect for small and medium yards up to 1/2 acre
- Removable 2.5 bushel grass catcher
- 3-position cutting height adjustment
- Heavy-duty steel deck
- Adjustable cutting height
- Easy to Start
|Powerful 21-cubic-inch (21.2 liter) 3.5hp Briggs & Stratton engine||Awkward to start|
|Fast cutting performance||No cruise control|
6. Power Smart 21-inch 3-in-1 Gas Powered Push Lawn Mower with 144CC Engine
The PowerSmart 21-inch 3-in-1 Gas Powered Push Lawn Mower is a decent mower for the price. The 21-inch mowing deck, 15.5-pound weight, and 45-minute gas run time are all fairly standard for a push mower, but it’s worth noting that this mower’s 21-inch cutting width is actually narrower than most of the lawn mowers on this list. The mower is also fairly quiet for gas mowers and can cut grass to the proper height. The mower has a convenient 7-inch steering wheel, and it provides plenty of power.
The mower’s height adjustment lever is on the left side, which can make it kind of awkward to reach, and even when we adjusted the lever to the tallest height, it didn’t quite reach 3 inches. The handle doesn’t adjust in height, so we found a lot of our grass was cutting right up to the handle, rather than being neatly left behind. The mower is also noisier than other gas mowers, and we found that it took about 40 minutes to get through a medium-size yard. The mower also lacks an automatic shutoff feature, which seems like a basic safety feature. The mower comes with just a 10.5-amp, 6.5-pound cord, which limits how far you can push it. Another problem with it is the size of the 18-gallon grass bag. It takes up a lot of space, so if your lawn is large, you will struggle with the bag.
Features We Like
- 3-in-1 design: side discharge, mulching and bagging
- 5-position height adjustment from 1.18″-3″
- Durable steel mowing deck
- Dual-lever height adjustment
- Pull-cord starting system
- Wheels for easy maneuverability
- 21-inch cutting width
- Assembly item weight: 48 lb
|High power; 144CC||Gas-powered engine|
|21-inch cutting deck||Expensive|
|Advanced cutting system|
|Easy to use|
|3-in-1 function: mulching, bagging, and side discharge|
7. YARDMAX 21 in. 170cc 3-in-1 Gas Walk Behind Push Lawn Mower
The YARDMAX 21′′ is one of the few 3-in-1 mowers in this price range that can cut a very wide swath while cutting the lawn, making it a great option for yards with extended borders. It’s solidly constructed and easy to operate, making it a great choice for many homeowners. While it features a single lever for height adjustment, we found the automatic height adjustment to be imprecise, and even with the lever at its highest point, it was sometimes difficult to keep the grass cut at a consistent height. It’s also not the best mulching machine on the market, but for the price it’s by far the best budget 3-in-1 mower.
The YARDMAX 21″ 3-in-1 push mower is a great choice for the homeowner who wants a mower with all the features and is easy to use, but doesn’t mind pushing. The 170cc OHV Yardmax engine delivers maximum performance in this class of mower. The YG1650 features a high-rear-wheel design, and all wheels are equipped with durable 1.5” wide treads and with double ball bearings, all of which makes for easier pushing and for even cuts. Cut your lawn to your specifications by using a single convenient lever to select one of seven cutting heights, from 1.25” to 3.75”.The MaxFlowTM volute deck is designed to keep grass clippings airborne longer for superior mulching, or for flowing into the rear bag when needed. The entire mower can be compactly folded for stowing in tight garage spaces. Only limited assembly required.
Features We Like
- High Rear Wheel Design
- Heavy Duty Stamped Steel Deck
- Heavy Duty Steel Drive Wheel
- Heavy Duty Steel Blade Housing
- Nice and maneuverable
- 3 Position Handle
- Nice Deck Size
- Easy to Use
|Cuts grass up to 2.7 acres||Gas emissions|
|Rear discharge grass catcher||Difficult to push|
|3-in-1 design: mulch, bag, side discharge||No side discharge|
|Easy to start||Not ideal for smaller yards|
|4.0 HP Briggs and Stratton Engine|
|Large rear wheels|
|Easy to maintain|
8. Yard Machines 21″ 125cc Gas Push Lawn Mower
Brighten up your yard with the Yard Machines 21″ 3-in-1 Gas Push Lawn Mower. With plenty of cutting options, you can easily manage any size lawn. It includes a cutting deck, rear bagging system, and mulching settings. The cutting deck has 6 cutting heights ranging from 1 1/2″ to 3 1/2″. The cutting height is easily adjusted with the dual-lever height adjustment. You can mow your lawn in a variety of settings using the mulching and bagging options. The chute opening is 3 1/2″ wide, and the bag is 2 1/2″ wide.
This is a powerful, durable mower, but it has some limitations. The “3-in-1” design means it can mulch, bag, and side discharge, but it can’t mulch and bag at the same time. And stopping to empty the bag or mulch bins is a nuisance, requiring you to lift a heavy bag or mulch box off the mower. Its engine may outlast most mowers, but it doesn’t last as long as more expensive ones, so it doesn’t pay for itself over time. It’s also not as quiet as some mowers. It’s also heavier than many mowers, and it isn’t as maneuverable or as balanced as others. But its strong cutting power makes it a great choice for frequent mowing in hilly areas.
Features We Like
- 3-in-1 Mower: Mulching, Bagging, or Side Discharge
- Dual Lever Height Adjustment
- 21″ Cutting Deck
- 7″ Front & 8″ Rear Wheels
- 6 Cutting Height Settings
- 7.5 HP Engine
- 2-Year Warranty
|Quick, easy to start||No mulching capability|
|Easy-to-empty 21″ collection bag|
|Easy-to-read fuel gauge|
|Easy-to-adjust cutting height|
|Adjustable rear grass collector|
|No tools required|
9. Hyper Tough 20-inch 125cc Gas Push Mower
The Hyper Tough 20-inch 125cc Gas Push Lawn Mower is a powerful, reliable machine that provides a great cut. The Prime N Pull feature makes starting this lawn mower a breeze. The powerful 125cc Briggs & Stratton engine provides plenty of power to get the job done fast. The mower assembles in 5 minutes and is designed for great balance and low vibration to make yardwork simple and comfortable. The handle folds down for convenient storage when not in use.
The Hyper Tough mower has a 20-inch cutting deck made with durable steel and a side discharge chute that disperses grass clippings evenly, adding vital nutrients back into the lawn. But a couple of the mower’s features, such as its side discharge chute, are targeted at homeowners with small yards. This nimble mower provides precise cutting and is adjustable to five cutting heights to meet your needs.
The mower’s height adjustment dial is on the wheels, and it can be awkward and imprecise to use, especially if you don’t have a lot of arm strength. Also, the mower’s drive wheels are made of plastic and tend to wobble, making the mower feel unsteady when it’s cutting. But overall, this mower is a solid, affordable choice.
Features We Like
- Deluxe handle folds for easy storage
- Powerful 125cc Briggs & Stratton engine
- Shock absorbing design
- Easy to assemble
- Contains 4 wheels that pivot for smooth ride
- Heavy duty steel frame
- 2 year manufacturer’s warranty
|Fast starting, efficient engine||Robust construction|
10. Black Max 21-inch 125cc Gas Push Mower
If you’re looking for a gas push mower, the 21-inch Black Max 125cc is a powerful, well-made machine that’s ideal for frequent grass cutting. The mower is lightweight and easy to maneuver, and the 11-inch rear wheels provide increased traction, making it a favorite among gardeners who might encounter some hills or uneven terrain. It has a powerful Briggs & Stratton 125cc engine that cut our test plot cleanly and quickly.
The mower’s 9-inch rear wheels and front wheel drive are an advantage on flat lawns, and the mower’s high cutting height adjustment allows for plenty of versatility. The mower has a quick-attach side discharge chute, so the grass can be quickly cut away from the rest of your lawn, and the grass bag is large, so you don’t need to empty it frequently. The mower has a sturdy, heavy-duty frame, and the steel frame is also rust-resistant.
The mower is lightweight, making it easy to maneuver and easy to operate. The large rear wheels provide great maneuverability through tough terrain and uneven surfaces. The mower also features a Two Point Six Position Wheel Height Adjustment, allowing for multiple cutting height options. The mower includes a quick attach side discharge chute for bagging or for mulching. The Black Max 21-inch Gas Push Mower also includes a three year limited warranty.
Features We Like
- 3 Blade Microcut System
- 5 Year Warranty
- Designed & Assembled in USA
- Tough & Durable
- Easy to Store
- Adjustable Height
- 3 Year Warranty
|Powerful engine||Heavy difficult to carry|
|Cutting deck||No zero-start system|
|Easy to maneuver|
|21-inch cutting deck|
Push Gas Lawn Mower Buying Guide
Whether you are looking for a lawn mower to mow your small residential yard or a push lawn mower that can mow a football field or playground, you need to check the characteristics of a lawn mower before buying it.
Whatever your goal, here are some general aspects and characteristics of a walk behind lawn mower that you should consider before buying one:
- The Recognition Of The Brand
You can check the brand of the mower to make sure it is of high quality. The high quality products have gained a lot of respect from brands like Black Max, Power Smart, and Craftsman over the past decades.
When compiling our list, we also considered brand recognition. Some famous brands offer 3 or 5 year warranties on their products.
You should also consider the power source of the mower. There are basically two types of walk behind mowers on the market. These two types of walk behind mowers are electric and gas.
If you want a gas lawn mower to cut at most 25 acres, it should be able to do that. Also, be sure to check the fuel capacity of the mower.
We recommend that you check the range of your lawnmower if you are looking to buy a battery-powered lawnmower. It would be extremely frustrating if your lawnmower stopped charging midway through the lawn mowing.
When buying a lawn mower, the first thing to consider is its performance. It’s not worth buying a lawn mower that can’t handle tough conditions.
You need to make sure that the lawn mower you are considering buying has enough durability to mow a medium sized lawn.
Finally, you need to consider the price of the lawn mower. When buying a walk-behind lawnmower, you also need to consider the long-term cost of maintaining the lawnmower.
For example, gas lawn mowers are generally less expensive than electric push lawn mowers. But they do require oil as their fuel and you will need to purchase it regularly to get these lawn mowers to work.
However, they are more expensive than battery-powered electric lawn mowers. They won’t need any long-term maintenance.
We would like to thank you for staying with us until the end. People buy lawn mowers without thinking too much. And they are disappointed when the product doesn’t live up to their expectations. But surely, you are not one of them.
We want to conclude our discussion by recommending our top rated push lawn mower. And this is the Craftsman M105 push lawn mower. The lawnmower’s 140cc engine is from the 550E series. It has large wheels that facilitate maneuvers.