The Best Lawn Mowers Under $400
We've rounded up the best cheap lawn mowers for 2019, based on professional reviews and owner feedback. Our list features gas and electric mowers, including cordless and self-propelled models, as well as a reel mower, from popular brands like Toro, Troy-Bilt, Honda, Fiskars, Ego, and Sun Joe. None costs more than $400.
What We Considered
Whether you have a small city plot or a sprawling suburban spread, the right lawn mower can make cutting the grass a little less of a chore. Manual reel mowers and corded or cordless electric mowers are best suited for smaller, relatively flat lawns up to one-quarter of an acre. For slightly larger yards of up to an acre — or for hacking cleanly through overgrown or wet grass in one pass — gas-powered push mowers are the better option. Homeowners with even more ground to cover or yards with lots of hills may want to spring for a self-propelled push mower (we've reviewed one here), or consider a riding lawn mower instead.
Our Top Pick
GreenWorks 25022 Review
Est. Price: $150 | Buy it on Amazon
Professional testers don't often review or recommend electric mowers, preferring to focus on more powerful (and pricey) gas models. But the 12-amp GreenWorks 25022 is an exception, garnering nods at a handful of pro sites and top billing at BestReviews and Your Best Digs, where it scores points with testers for affordability, ease of use, and overall efficiency. It also earns plenty of enthusiastic owner feedback, including solid 4- and 5-star ratings from over 80% of the more than 3,700 Amazon customers who've reviewed it. Like all corded electric mowers, managing limited cord reach and keeping the cord out of the way while mowing is a challenge, beyond that, however, owners agree that this Greenworks lawn mower has got more than enough power to handle typical urban and smaller suburban lawns. Even better, it's covered by a fairly generous four-year warranty.
20-inch blade cuts relatively wide swath compared to many inexpensive electric mowers.
7 height adjustments, ranging from 1.5 to 3.75 inches.
Three cutting options: side discharge, rear bag or mulch.
Solid build, with steel deck and large front and rear wheels.
Handle folds for storage.
Bag prone to "leaking" grass clippings, some owners complain.
Detaching, emptying clipping bag can be challenging for users.
Users say cord holder is too small and flimsy to handle a heavier extension cord. (Cord not included.)
Sun Joe MJ401E Review
Est. Price: $99 | Buy it from Lowe's
For smaller properties and smaller budgets, the Sun Joe Mow Joe (MJ401E) delivers big on value. The demure size and limited cutting path do mean it'll take longer to finish job than it would with a bigger mower, and it might not be quite powerful enough to plow through wet or overgrown grass, but the majority of users say this little green machine meets, or even exceeds, expectations. (It also comes in four colors now, including black, red, and blue.) Owners like the fact that it's incredibly simple to set up, light enough to lift with ease, and fairly easy to maneuver for a plug-in, particularly in tight spaces. Clean up is relatively simple, too, since the design of the hard-topped grass bag allows it to be easily removed for emptying — something users should be prepared to do frequently, as it only holds 10.6 gallons of clippings, about the capacity of a small kitchen trash can. Warranty coverage extends two years.
Among the least expensive lawn mowers on the market.
Detachable grass catcher included.
Very lightweight and easy handling, at just 29 pounds.
Handle folds for storage.
Maximum mowing height is just 2.5 inches, with only three cutting positions.
14-inch cutting path is relatively narrow.
Can bog down with tall and/or wet grass.
Not intended for mulching.
Grass chute for bagless mowing costs extra.
Ryobi RY40180 Review
Est. Price: $279 | Buy it from Home Depot
If you want to go electric but don't want to fuss with a plug, this battery-powered Ryobi is a solid alternative to pricier cordless models. While a few users say they've had to make second passes over stubborn patches, many claim the machine's ability to tackle tall grass and automatically ramp up power to deal with denser growth is nothing short of impressive. This Ryobi mower is also praised for its easy adjustment, compact storage, and a noise-level that's so low that some claim mowing can be done even in the morning without disturbing neighbors. Perhaps the biggest drawbacks are the exceedingly long charge times required and rather limited battery life. The manufacturer claims 40 minutes of run time on a full charge — sufficient for a half-acre yard — but experts and many users suggest that run times closer to 30 minutes, and a quarter-acre of mowing power, would be a more realistic. estimate. On the plus side, the Ryobi RY40180's lithium-ion battery (5.0Ah) is compatible with other 40-volt Ryobi rechargeable lawn and garden gear, so users who own one of these tools can simply swap out power packs in a pinch.
7 height adjustments, from 1.5 to 4 inches.
Bags, mulches, and can be equipped for side discharge.
Can be stored vertically.
Longer-than-average 5-year warranty, plus 90-day return option.
Takes 3.5 hours or longer to charge battery.
Some complaints of short run times and failing batteries.
A few owners say their mowers shut down intermittently, requiring frequent restarts.
Side discharge chute costs extra.
Ego LM2101 Review
Est. Price: $399 | Buy it from Home Depot
If you’re willing to pay a bit more for a cordless mower, the Ego LM2101 is a top choice. In professional tests, its cutting performance measures up well against all but the priciest gas mowers, and both Top Ten Reviews and Wirecutter have previously named it a best pick among electric mowers. Users are equally enthusiastic, giving this easy-handling Ego mower some of the highest ratings of any model in our lineup. It's the fast recharge time, in particular, that sets this powerful 56-volt mower apart from less-expensive options, and the 5.0Ah lithium-ion battery has got enough juice, according to reviews, to easily handle a lawn of half an acre. Though many do say this cordless unit can't match a gas mower when it comes to vacuuming up leaves, the majority are more than happy to deal with a little more debris in favor of fumeless yard maintenance that doesn't require mucking about with fuel or complicated upkeep. Another plus, the battery is compatible with other Ego power tools. (Note that Ego sells two versions of this mower: one with a battery and charger included, one without.)
21-inch cutting patch is relatively wide.
3 cutting functions: side discharge, rear bagging, and mulching.
6 height adjustments, ranging from 1.5 to 4 inches.
Only takes about 40 minutes to fully charge the battery.
45-minute run time; can last up to 60 minutes, depending on lawn.
Can be stored vertically.
On the pricier side for a push mower.
Struggles with wet and overgrown grass, some owners complain.
Several users say suction is not strong enough to pick up leaves or adequately clear clippings.
Side-discharge chute is free, but must be requested from company.
Ego's customer support and repair services are a source of frustration for many.
Toro Recycler SmartStow 21329 Review
Est. Price: $299 | Buy it from Home Depot
The Toro SmartStow delivers on both performance and features, users say. Its reliable 150cc Briggs & Stratton engine has got enough power to tame tough lawns — even damp, overgrown turfs — and feedback suggests it does equally well at mulching, too. The fact that it can be stored upright like an electric mower is also a big selling point for many, and the washout port for easier clean ups is another nice touch. Although not self-propelled, it handles fairly well with its large, 11-inch rear wheels and should be suitable for relatively flat yards of up to a half acre. It comes with a 3-year starting guarantee in addition to a 2-year full-coverage warranty; but, as with all gas mowers, be sure to pay attention to fuel recommendations to keep that guarantee in force.
22-inch cutting path is as wide as you'll find on a push mower.
9 height adjustments, from 1 to 4 inches.
Briggs & Stratton engine never needs oil changed, just top offs.
Comes "3-in-1 ready," for bagging, mulching, or side discharge.
Only gas model that can be stored vertically.
3-year starting guarantee.
Recoil, rather than electric ignition.
Noisier than some similar mowers, according to tests.
At 69 pounds, some users find it a bit heavy for a push mower.
Troy-Bilt TB110 Review
Est. Price: $219 | Buy it from Home Depot
Among lower-priced gas push mowers, experts say the Troy-Bilt TB110 is a good choice for homeowners on a budget. It has a lot of pluses, including an 140cc overhead valve engine by Briggs & Stratton, as opposed to the cheaper generic engines found in many inexpensive mowers, and owners say performance is good whether mowing or mulching. Handling also gets a thumbs-up, and the large rear wheels make negotiating uneven ground easier. As for shortcomings, there are complaints that the bagger tends to let stray clippings fly free and can be a hassle to fully empty, and some users are disappointed by the lack of an actual side discharge opening on this mower. Overall, however, this Troy-Bilt mower earns very solid reviews for a relatively cheap model. The Troy-Bilt TB110 carries a two-year limited warranty.
Quality Briggs & Stratton engine.
6 height adjustments from 1.25 to 3.75 inches.
Comes fully assembled; users say set up is a cinch.
Recoil, not electric ignition.
Rear bagging performance not as good as side discharge or mulching.
Honda HRR216VKA Review
Est. Price: $379 | Buy it from Home Depot
The Honda brand is the gold standard among gas mowers, and the Honda HRR216VKA is the least expensive self-propelled model the company makes. Experts consider it an excellent value, and it earns very solid scores across the board from consumers — including the more than 4,000 owners who offer feedback on Home Depot's website. In pro tests, this mower does exceptionally well at mulching leaves and lawn debris, and it can cut through grass smoothly and evenly in one pass, thanks to its uniquely designed blades and a powerful 160cc engine. It's suitable for yards of up to half an acre, and most owners say it can handle small to moderate hills with ease, although the self-propelled front wheels can occasionally slip and skid on steeper or slick surfaces. Honda offers a three-year "top to bottom" warranty on this mower.
21-inch cutting patch is relatively wide for a push mower.
Honda engines have an excellent reliability record.
6 height adjustments, ranging from 1.125 to 4 inches.
Variable speeds, up to 4 miles per hour.
Mulches, bags, and discharges, easily switching between modes with simple knob adjustment.
Twin-blade system for finer clippings.
Handle folds easily for storage.
Relatively noisy, according to professional tests.
Ignition is recoil, not electric, and a few owners say it can be hard to start.
Discharges grass to the rear rather than the side, which some users dislike.
Some find variable speed thumb controls tricky to manage.
Fiskars StaySharp Max 362050 Review
Est. Price: $193 | Buy it on Amazon
For homeowners with small yards looking for a simple yet sturdy mower that can stand the test of time, the Fiskars StaySharp Max reel mower is well worth considering. Prior iterations of this manual push mower have been popular with owners and experts alike, and current user feedback indicates this model is just as good. It's got more level adjustments and a higher maximum height than typical reel mowers, and the build quality is near bullet-proof. True, the trade-off is that it's bulkier and can be a little harder to maneuver in tight areas than similar mowers, and it's more expensive, too. Still, you get what you pay for, and users say this Fiskars mower makes short work of tough grass, delivering a smooth, clean cut: "like a hot knife through butter," according to more than one reviewer. Reel mowers work best on lower grass, however, so overgrown lawns and taller weeds can be a challenge. Feedback suggests that more frequent mowing makes for best results. This mower carries a three-year warranty.
18-inch blades are relatively wide for this type of mower.
8 height adjustments, from 1 to 4 inches.
Grass chute can be reversed to send clippings forward.
Blades stay sharp longer than other reel mowers, according to reviewers.
Hassle-free: no cord, no gas, no battery.
May struggle in tall or thick grass.
Weighs 52 pounds and requires elbow grease to push.
Grass catcher costs extra.
Comparatively expensive for a reel mower.
Other Products We Reviewed
Electric is the way to mow, judging by Black & Decker LM175 reviews. Although users have to get used to dealing with the power cord -- that is, keeping it out of the mower's path -- they say the advantages of this electric mower far outweigh any nuisance. On sites such as Home Depot, consumers note that they never have a problem starting the 6.5-amp motor. Compared with a gasoline engine, it's quiet, clean, efficient, and emissions-free.
At only 35 pounds, the Black & Decker LM175 (starting at $159) is easy to push around the yard, according to reviews, which is a good thing, because you need one hand to push the mower and the other to maneuver the cord. Many reviewers liken the experience to vacuuming the yard. There is no extension cord included, so that's an extra expense. Look for a 14- or 16-gauge cord that will reach all corners of the yard from an outdoor electrical outlet. The manufacturer recommends a radius of up to 100 feet.
The Black & Decker LM175 has six cutting heights, which range from 1 inch to 3.5 inches and are easily changed at the handle. Reviewers say this model powers through grass, even tall grass, as long as they use a high setting the first time and then go over it at a lower height. On Amazon, a reviewer with thick St. Augustine grass reports that this electric mower has no problem getting through it. As one consumer puts it in a review on the Walmart website, the Black & Decker LM175 makes an ideal tool for mowing a typical suburban lawn, but not so much for rehabilitating a derelict lot.
The cutting deck is 18 inches wide and made of a polymer resin, so it won't rust. The only grass disposal option is side discharge. Owners lament that a bag once sold separately has been discontinued; there is also no way to produce mulch. The side discharge seems to work well, however, and there are few reports of clumping. Consumers interested in the mulching option should look to the Black & Decker MM275 (starting at $174), which also has a more powerful 9-amp motor.
Countless reviews across multiple sites say the Black & Decker LM175 is easy to put together, even with sketchy diagrams and instructions. It comes with a two-year warranty, and several users report that it has lasted for years with proper maintenance.
Worx WG782 Review
With a 14-inch cutting deck and a weight of only 32 pounds, the electric Worx WG782 (starting at $229) is not a powerful, heavy-duty lawn mower. For many users, though, that's part of the draw. People who have relatively small yards or very little room between landscaping features appreciate the narrow cutting deck. In Worx WG782 reviews on the Home Depot website, users express surprise at how well the mower works considering its small size.
This cordless electric mower is lighter and cheaper than most other battery-powered models. The manufacturer claims that the removable 24-volt battery will last through about a quarter of an acre of mowing before it needs charging, which takes about four to five hours. On the Walmart website, several reviewers mention that the battery lasts longer than they thought it would, and constant recharging proves unnecessary. The Worx WG782 is so easy to push and turn, users say, that mowing the lawn is like taking a walk.
The Worx WG782 offers less precision than the other models we researched, with three cutting heights ranging from 2 to 3.5 inches. Some reviewers mention that they would have liked a setting lower than 2 inches. This is a three-in-one mower with the option to mulch, collect cut grass in an included bag, or discharge grass clippings from the rear. The bag that comes with this relatively small mower is likewise on the small size, at 0.85 bushels. The upside, one reviewer points out, is that it's easier to dump the grass clippings, even if you have to do it more often. The handle and grass bag collapse and fold down on top of the mower for storage.
This cordless electric lawn mower has two modes of operation: "quiet," for keeping the noise to a minimum, and "power," which provides a boost in more difficult situations. The quiet setting is quiet enough that a reviewer says a neighbor heard nothing while she was using it. According to another review on the Home Depot site, one user who thought the mower looked like a kiddie toy was impressed it had the power to cut through weeds and mulch any pine cones or twigs that were lying around.
For many consumers, the Worx WG782 is an easy-to-use alternative to a heavy, noisy, high-maintenance gas mower. It excels at navigating tight spots in a small yard or doing detail work after a large lawn has been cut with a riding mower. The Worx WG782 comes with a two-year warranty.
Murray M22500 Review
The Murray M22500 has an appealing price for a gas lawn mower (starting at $172), but online feedback is divided. Reviewers who are fond of this mower say it's easy to put together and push, and it cuts pretty well. On the other hand, it's made mostly of plastic that doesn't seem to stand up to everyday use. According to Murray M22500 reviews on the Walmart website, the oil and/or gas cap is the first piece to break off. Other problem areas: the pull cord and the part of the deck where the engine is mounted.
With a 140 cc Briggs & Stratton engine, this lawn mower does not have a huge amount of power, but for the price, users don't expect much. Murray's Prime 'N Pull E-Z Starting System is supposed to make starting a breeze, and most reviewers appreciate that they don't have to choke or prime the engine. However, several report persistent problems starting up the mower or report that it died after several uses. A few mention that the lawn mower pooped out after hitting a patch of rough (i.e., not pancake-flat) terrain with grass any taller than 4 inches. The high rear wheels, which measure 12 inches compared with 7 inches in the front, are designed to make it easy to maneuver on uneven ground. Some experts, though, say it's easier to handle a lawn mower and tilt it backward to turn around when all four wheels are the same size.
The Murray M22500 has a 22-inch deck and five settings to control the height of the cutting blade. The adjustment must be made on the wheels, whereas the cutting height on other mowers can be adjusted with a single lever on the handle. There are two methods of grass disposal: mulching and side discharge. Users simply put a cap on the cutting deck when they want to mulch the grass and remove it to discharge the grass out the side. No collection bag is included with this mower. There is also no wash-out port or hose attachment for cleaning underneath the deck.
Many reviewers are pleased with the job this mower does on small to medium-size yards -- as long as it starts and keeps working. The Murray M22500 comes with a limited two-year warranty.
This corded electric mower receives overwhelmingly positive reviews for its light weight and easy operation. Some users take issue with having to manage the cord, but most reviewers prefer that to replacing a battery or dealing with gasoline.
Black & Decker MM275 reviews on the Sears website highlight the ease of navigating this 38-pound machine around a small yard, as well as the cutting power of its 9-amp motor. One user credits this model with plowing through thick grass growing over a septic tank -- which proved too much of a challenge for a gas mower. In reviews on Amazon, users also tell of easy starts (no pull string to yank), good mulching, and the oomph to mow up small hills. The biggest drawback to this model, reviewers say, is also its strength; that is, electric power. Lots of users have something to say about the cord, and a few just couldn't deal with it. But those who master its management or chalk it up as a minor inconvenience are quite happy to be free of gas models and well satisfied with this machine.
The Black & Decker MM275 (starting at $174) features an 18-inch mowing deck made of polymer (no rust) with a side discharge (chute can be removed). The cutting height can be set to six positions ranging from 1 to 3.5 inches and a lever lets users adjust all the wheels at once. This mower can mulch as it mows; a bag for clippings is sold separately. The mower has a 100-foot range from an electrical outlet and is intended for plots smaller than a quarter of an acre. Buyers must purchase an extension cord separately.
The Black & Decker MM275 is an environmentally friendly option that finds favor with consumers who take on the chore of lawn maintenance. The 6.5-amp Black & Decker LM175 (starting at $159) is lighter, cheaper, and garners similarly positive reviews, although it has no mulching capability.