Best lawn mower 2021: the definitive list from cordless and electric to petrol, robots and ride-ons

The finest petrol, cordless, ride-on, robot and electric mowers to beautify your green sward

Best lawn mowers best lawn mower
(Image credit: John W Banagan/Getty)

Now that summer is upon us, more than ever, you need the best lawn mower. Even under normal circumstances, there's no better time to start thinking about a new mower. You know: to replace that clapped out heap of decayed plastic and metal you have in your man shed. Let's face it, you'll be seeing a LOT of that garden this year so you'll want it well maintained.

We’ve had a damn good think about which lawn mowers we like the most and which ones are best in each of the following categories: cordless, corded, petrol, robot and ride on.

And here they are in all their shiny splendour. Fret not if none of these tickle your fancy bits because T3 world also has a tranche of full round-ups in every category of lawn mower known to mankind – short of any rocket- or nuclear- propelled models we don’t know about. 

Our in-depth lawn mower guides, category by category:

The best lawnmowers you can buy

best lawn mower 2020: Kärcher LMO 18-33T3 Awards 2020

(Image credit: Kärcher)

1. Kärcher LMO 18-33

Best cordless mower for small urban lawns

Type: Cordless
Power: 18v
Deck size: 33cm
Cutting height: 35-65mm
Grass collector: 35 litres
Weight: 11.3kgs
Average run time: 25 mins
Reasons to buy
+Easy to manoeuvre+Effective cutter+Comfy handlebar+Excellent battery+It mulches, too

• Buy Kärcher LMO 18-33 from Kärcher

If you have a small urban-sized lawn and fancy the idea of going cordless, you might not find a better little performer than this new keenly-priced model from Teutonic pressure-washer manufacturer Kärcher. Its small 33cm cutting deck and 35-litre grass catcher is just the right combination for quick wizzes round the sward and, because it’s so light, it’s really easy to manoeuvre and carry.

Some small budget mowers aren’t very well made and sport spindly handlebars that wobble and aren’t very comfortable. By contrast, this one comes with a very decent handlebar assembly that is both easy to fold and comfortable in the hand.

The construction of its 18v battery is another great facet because its corners are coated in rubber to prevent it from being damaged if dropped from a low height. Rather brilliantly, it also features an LCD screen with a battery-remaining readout in percentages. You should feasibly eke 25 minutes of running time out of it.

This mower cuts extremely well and almost right to the edge; it also mulches for those who prefer to fertilise their lawns with nitrogen-rich cuttings. Despite the lower voltage, the motor is a little titan that seemingly stops at nothing, ultra long grass notwithstanding. A top choice for urban lawnsmiths.

best lawn mower 2020: Gtech Cordless Lawnmower 2.0

(Image credit: Gtech)

2. Gtech Cordless Lawnmower 2.0

Best cordless lawn mower for slightly larger lawns

Type: Cordless
Power: 48v
Deck size: 42cm
Cutting height: 30-80mm
Grass collector capacity: 50 litres
Weight: 13.5kgs
Average run time: 40 mins
Reasons to buy
+A doddle to use+Ultra quite+Amazingly light

•Buy the Gtech 2.0 Lawn Mower direct from Gtech

For cordless wannabees with larger lawns, this brilliant model ticks all the right boxes. Light as a feather and equipped with a large 42cm cutting deck and whopping 50-litre grass collector, the Gtech is an exceptional performer that cuts grass into smaller clippings than most other mowers. We imagine this could be due to the Gtech’s unique half-blade design which is quite unlike any other mower on the market. The motor, too, is worth a mention because it adjusts its speed depending on the depth of grass. Hence, in short sections it growls along quietly but as soon as it hits a swathe of long grass, the motor speed – and noise level – ramps up. This clever tech helps ensure that the mower meets its claimed 40 minute runtime.

Although the handlebar system can’t be adjusted for height, it’s still comfy in the hand. Besides, the mower is so light for a model of this size that pushing and steering it is a veritable doddle. Needless to say we love it.

Footnote: Such is the popularity of this mower, you might have trouble getting hold of one while most of the world is in lockdown. However, a little bird tells us that three large shipping containers are right now en route to the UK and due here hopefully by the end of April. You might wish to hold out till then because this one’s a cracker.

Best lawn mower 2020: HONDA HRG 416 PK


Best petrol mower

Type: Petrol
Power: 145cc
Deck size: 41cm
Cutting height: 20-74mm
Grass collector capacity: 42 litres
Weight: 28kgs
Average run time: As long as there's fuel to hand
Reasons to buy
+Reliability+Efficiency+Reasonably priced

•Buy the Honda Izy HRG 416 from John Lewis & Partners

This petrol mower is what you need if you have a large lawn and don’t mind a bit of noise and the smell of spent fuel wafting in your direction.

Petrol mowers are notorious for being temperamental, especially after being in storage for a long period of time. Well, if you want a petrol mower that will start first time even after a year in the shed, then this is the model to get your mitts on. It’s a Honda after all and, historically speaking, their stuff rarely goes wrong.

Equipped with a reliable pull-start 145cc Honda four-stroke engine and a wide 41cm sitting deck, this is the machine to reach for when your lawn’s too large for a cordless or corded model. 

The Izy HRG 416 doesn’t have self propulsion but it’s pretty easy to push despite its substantial 28kgs of mass. It also features a wider cutting height range than most mowers – from a near-bowling green short 20mm to a maximum of 74mm. Its 42-litre grass collector, meanwhile, is big enough to contain a large dollop of sward cuttings.

A top-dollar option for those who enjoy disturbing the peace on a sunny summer’s afternoon.

Best lawn mowers 2020: Robomow RC 308u Pro

(Image credit: Robomow)

4. Robomow RC 308u Pro

Best robot lawn mower for small to medium lawns

Type: Robot
Power: 26v
Deck size: 28cm
Cutting height: 15-60mm
Grass collector capacity: None
Weight: 11.4kgs
Average run time: 60 mins between auto charges
Reasons to buy
+Good choice for small to medium lawns+You don't have to lift a finger

•Buy the Robomow RC 308u Pro from John Lewis & Partners

One man went to mow… Actually he didn’t, he sat on his arse while a robot did it for him.

If you don’t fancy the idea of faffing about pushing machines up and down the lawn and walking to and fro with heavy baskets of grass, then you need one of these little helpers that trundle on day and night snipping here and snipping there until your lawn looks permanently like a putting green.

In the pantheon of autonomous lawn mowers, the Robomow RC 308u Pro is an unequivocal winner. Yes, admittedly you do need to spend ages laying a wire around the perimeter of your sward and installing a little charging station, but once that’s out of the way, it’s plain sailing. The Robomow will zig-zag across the lawn cutting everything in its path for up to 70 minutes at a time before returning to the charging base for a 70-90 minute top up. Then it’ll head out again, and again, and… you get the picture.

This particular model has a small cutting deck of just 28cm so it’s good for lawns up to a maximum of 1,500 square metres and with slopes not exceeding 20˚ (or 36%). You can command it with the Robomow app, too, so you never ever have to leave the deckchair other than reaching for another beer. The perfect option, no less, for the rich, lazy garden loafer.

Best lawn mowers 2020: Bosch AdvancedRotak 650

(Image credit: Bosch)

5. Bosch AdvancedRotak 650

Best corded electric mower for larger lawns

Type: Corded
Power: 1,700w
Deck size: 41cm
Cutting height: 25-80mm
Grass collector capacity: 50 litres
Weight: 16kgs
Average run time: Endless
Reasons to buy
+Cuts right to the edge+Comfy handles+It also collects leaves+Quiet as a church mouse

•Buy the Bosch AdvancedRotak 650 from Amazon

If you have a medium-to-large sized garden with a power supply in the vicinity – or a suitable extension cable to hand – consider this reliable flagship cutter from Bosch. Its ample 41cm cutting deck will cover a lot of ground in one swoop while its 50 litre grass box means fewer trips to the compost heap. It also sports a good cutting height range of 25 to 80mm in seven increments.

Bosch’s multi-position Ergoflex handle bar system is a notable feature that’s ideal for both righties and southpaws – it really is comfortable to push around. It's also ridiculously quiet for a lawn mower which will please the neighbours.

Cutting wise, this is an exceptional machine that cuts right to the very edge of borders which in turn means less strimming afterwards. It also collects leaves while it mows using innovative airflow technology.

This is just one model in a wide range of Bosch electric mowers – both corded and cordless – so if this particular one’s cutting deck size isn’t suitable for your lawn, consider a larger or smaller model like the 550 or 750. Whichever one you opt for, rest assured that you’ll have chosen wisely because Bosch rarely makes duffers.

•Buy the Bosch AdvancedRotak 650 from John Lewis & Partners

Best lawn mowers 2020: Stihl RT 5097

(Image credit: Stihl)

6. Stihl RT 5097

Best ride-on lawn trimmer for humongous swards

Type: Ride on petrol
Power: 344cc/8.8hp
Deck size: 95cm
Cutting height: 30-100mm
Grass collector capacity: 250 litres
Weight: 228kgs
Average run time: As long as there’s fuel to hand
Reasons to buy
+Easy to use+Massive cutting deck+250-litre grass collector+Comfy seat with springs

•Buy the Stihl RT 5097 from Mow With Us

When your lawn space approaches an acre in size (about half a football pitch), you’ll be much better off with a ride-on mower. Apart from being just about the most fun thing you can do on your lawn, this Teutonic petrol machine from STIHL will do the job in a fraction of the time. It is, after all, designed for lawns up to and beyond 6,000m2.

The STIHL RT 5097 boasts a huge 95cm cutting deck and a front-mounted 344cc, 8.8hp Briggs & Stratton engine married to a pressure-sensitive pedal for smooth and very accurate manoeuvrability, whether it’s going forwards or backwards. And because you sit up high and in full view of the front wheels, it’s almost impossible to ride slipshod over the partner’s prized Tulip collection. 

The grass collector tucked low behind the driver’s bum can hold a massive 250-litre of grass cuttings and is easily emptied without having to leave the ultra comfy spring-loaded seat. Simply reach down to the right and pull the big lever. Oh, and of course it has headlights too for those who enjoy disturbing tranquil evenings.

If you’re in the market for a reliable German-engineered ride-on mower that tackles large gardens with aplomb, then this is the one to jump on. But you will need somewhere to store it and a wide enough side passage (the mower is 101cm in width) with no major obstacles in order to get onto the back garden.