As long as it looks good, it doesn’t really matter if your lawn is smaller than your kitchen or as big as a football field. Choosing the best lawn mower for your lawn can be tricky and often depends upon a number of factors, such as the thickness of your turf and levelness of the terrain.
Generally speaking, the smaller your lawn is, the smaller your lawn mower should be. After all, it wouldn’t make much sense to buy a 54-inch deck riding mower if your lawn is smaller than a tennis court. At the same time, you wouldn’t want to tackle a five-acre lawn with a 16-inch deck push mower. Finding the right balance of features will make your weekly lawn maintenance easier and faster.
Small Lawns (Under 1,500 Square Feet)
Smaller lawns may feature obstacles or unusual shapes, making highly maneuverable mowers best suited for the job. Some of the smallest rotary mowers come in widths as little as 13 inches and are exceptionally light and maneuverable. For lawns up to 1,500 feet in size — or about half the space of a tennis court — you can choose a mower with up to 16 inches worth of cutting width.
Of course, you could always skip the rotary mower and go for a reel mower — a type of mower that is highly maneuverable, requires very little maintenance and takes up almost no space on a wall mount. The drawback is that reel mowers require more manpower to use, as they have no energy source aside from old-fashioned elbow grease to turn the blades.
Medium Lawns (Up to 14,000 Square Feet, or One-Third of an Acre)
When considering how to approach mowing an average size lawn, there are some gray areas that may be best addressed by considering your budget and time. Mowers up to 18 inches can do the job, but some rotary push mowers are available in wider 21-inch models that can make the job go faster. You can also consider self-propelled mowers to speed up the process and relieve physical exertion.
If your lawn is approaching one-third of an acre or more in size, you should look into getting a riding mower with a deck-width of around 35–40 inches to get the job done properly.
Large Lawns (Anything Over Half an Acre)
Unless you truly treasure spending some quality time with your lawn — and working up a sweat in the process — you’ll probably want to stick with riding mowers for lawns over half an acre. These mowers can significantly reduce the time to mow your lawn. Deck sizes around 40 inches are good for half an acre, but 45-inch decks will make the job go faster. Lawns over an acre in size would definitely benefit from 45–50 inches of deck, while a lawn of over two acres will necessitate a deck between 55–60 inches to effectively cut your turf down.
These guidelines will steer you in the right direction and help you to pick the best lawn mower for your lawn, no matter the size. Once you’ve decided on a mower, make sure you keep it properly maintained and remember to always work safely.
Check out all the lawn & garden products available on NAPA Online or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on the best lawn mower for your lawn, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.
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Ben has been taking things apart since he was 5, and putting them back together again since he was 8. After dabbling in DIY repairs at home and on the farm, he found his calling in the CGCC Automobile Repair program. After he held his ASE CMAT for 10 years, Ben decided he needed a change. Now, he writes on automotive topics across the web and around the world, including new automotive technology, transportation legislation, emissions, fuel economy and auto repair.