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8 Best Affordable Lawn Mowers

Lawn mowers are an essential tool for many homeowners. But how do you find a great choice without breaking your budget?

Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.

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Affordable Lawn Mowers

We all know the importance of a quality lawn mower for anyone who enjoys DIY lawn maintenance. But with prices creeping up to $1,000 or more, many homeowners are hesitant to invest in a new mower.

We wanted to help DIYers searching for a more affordable lawn care solution that doesn’t sacrifice quality and safety. So we’ve assembled a list of great lawn mowers that cost less than $250, plus one that’s slightly more.

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Best Affordable Corded Mower

The Greenworks Corded Mower ($147) is a strong entry from a leading manufacturer of environmentally-friendly electric mowers. While Greenworks’ cordless models are much more expensive, this 10-amp corded version is ideal for smaller yards and smaller budgets. The 16-inch cutting deck allows for easy maneuverability in tight quarters, and the quiet electrical drive eliminates fumes and reduces noise pollution.

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Best Affordable Cordless Electric Mower

If you’re looking for the sweet spot between affordability and power, the Ryobi 13-inch cordless mower ($199) is a perfect example of a tool that does the job without unnecessary bells and whistles.

The 18-volt battery and 13-inch cutting base makes it a strong choice for smaller yards. And the battery is swappable with more than 150 tools in Ryobi’s ONE+ system, meaning you won’t need to invest in expensive 40-volt batteries for various outdoor tools.

Lightweight and portable, this mower has enough charge to handle a quarter acre of moderate-height dry grass. Our one qualification with this model is that it does not have a side discharge option. You can only bag or mulch, which can make for a particularly long day if you’re cutting tall grass.

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Best Classic Manual Push Mower

This 16-inch five-blade manual push mower from Great States ($99) is easy to use, and the only batteries you need to charge are your muscles.

The adjustable cutting height allows you to customize your trim, and the 16-inch cutting base is the perfect size for most small yards. Of course, we do mean small! Most DIYers want to keep their manual mowing to a tenth of an acre or less. But if you’ve got a small yard, or you love a physical challenge, then this is the perfect affordable option.

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Best Premium Manual Push Mower

If it’s possible to have a “luxury” manual push mower, then the Fiskars 18-inch manual mower ($200) is it. The inset wheels allow the mowing blades to reach the edges of the wheels, making for much easier trimming. This mower is so well-designed that in some yards it practically eliminates the need for touching up with a string trimmer.

Also, the inertia glide bearing system means that it takes less effort to push this mower. The manufacturer claims it is 60 percent easier to push and has 200 percent the cutting power of a traditional manual mower. When combined with the wider base, this mower can tackle (relatively) larger yards.

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Best Affordable Gas Push Mower

The Yardmax Yg1650 21-inch gas mower ($220) features multiple qualities that set it apart from similarly priced competitors. With a 21-inch cutting width, 170-cc engine and a collection bag, along with bushel of strong reviews, the Yardmax is a contender in the budget gas mower category.

Of course, at this price you give up higher-end features like propel assist and smart phone functionality. But Yardmax knows you don’t really need an app to tell you how much gas is in the tank. Instead, this model simply cuts the grass and leaves money in your wallet.

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Best Bare-Bones Gas Push Mower

Interestingly, Yardmax has an even less expensive model. Their 20-inch gas push mower ($170) saves you $50 over the Yg1650 while giving up a couple of key features.

This model has a slightly smaller cutting deck (20 inches instead of 21) and doesn’t accept a bagging attachment. So if your grass is long, you’ll need to make multiple passes to mow it. Also, all the wheels on this model are the same size; larger back wheels allow you to pivot and navigate easier.

On the plus side, it does come with a 16-gauge steel deck, the same mulch-friendly design and a really terrific price. Also of note: Unlike many similarly-priced gas mowers, the Yardmax comes with a single-lever height adjustment, making finding the right mowing height extra easy.

While the Yg1650 is a better overall value, if you’re especially tight on budget, this 20-inch model is a more reliable solution than other mowers at this price.

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Best String Trimmer Mower

Those of us with small yards know a simple string trimmer is sometimes all that’s needed to keep the grass in check. The trick is keeping a level cut. The Black+Decker MTC220 ($150) is a convertible string trimmer that uses an adjustable-height cutting deck to provide a stable base for mowing lawns.

The 20-volt batteries are swappable with any of the tools in Black+Decker’s Power Connect line. It makes for quick work of small yards, without the hassle of buying gas or annual mower maintenance. And when you’re done mowing, just disconnect the trimmer for touch-up work or edging.

Note that there’s also a corded version of this tool, the BESTA512CM ($85). But the versatility and convenience of cordless cutting gives the MTC220 the edge.

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Best Mower to Watch for a Sale

We set out to find great mowers for less than $250, so the Craftsman M105 ($259) slightly exceeded our target budget. We’re including it here because it’s a great mower to pick up during a sale or promotion.

The M105 sits right on the edge of the budget/full-feature divide. Although it doesn’t have propel assist, it does feature side and rear discharge, mulch capability, large rear wheels and a four-stroke engine with auto-choke. Plus, unlike many budget mowers, it comes with engine oil included.

This is a popular, dependable mower made in the U.S. If you can wait for a sale, this is a great option to keep in mind.

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All prices and links were current as of publication.

Dan Stout
Dan Stout is a freelance writer and author based in Columbus, Ohio. Dan's non-fiction has appeared on numerous sites and in print, while his prize-winning fiction has been featured in publications such as Nature and The Saturday Evening Post. He is the author of The Carter Archives series of noir fantasy thrillers from DAW Books.

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