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Buyer’s Guide to Walk Behind Lawn Mowers

A walk behind lawn mower is an important purchase. Selecting the model that’s perfect for your lawn can be daunting. There are many aspects you should consider when making your purchase and this guide will help you get started.

Aspects to consider when selecting a walk behind lawn mower:

Type of mower

There are three types of mowers to choose from: gas, electric, battery-powered

Yard size and operation

Electric and battery-powered walk behind lawn mowers are best for small lawns. A drawback of electric mowers is the cord, which can get in the way of the user. Gas-powered mowers allow you to mow without restriction. They’re more powerful and can cut thick grass on flat, hilly or uneven lawns. More strength will be needed to push these mowers unless you’re working with a self-propelled model. Self-propelled walk behind lawn mowers use either front or back wheels to propel the mower for you.

For a zone start mower, hold the bail and pull the row; releasing the handle will stop the engine. Blade-brake clutch mowers start the same way, but releasing the handle will stop only the blade, not the engine. Simply use a key to start electric mowers.

Cutting widths

Walk behind lawn mowers are available in 20-inch, 21-inch, and 22-inch cutting widths. These widths indicate how wide a swath of grass you can cut with a single pass of your lawn mower.


There are varying engines available. A typical engine will have a side valve and be gas-powered. Overhead valve engines are more useful for heavier mowing conditions.


A common deck construction is steel; however, this deck may rust over time. Cast aluminum decks will not rust and will absorb vibrations. They will also last longer than steel decks. Xenoy decks have the same benefits of aluminum but are lighter weight.

Other aspects to consider: mulching/bagging

Mulching mowers have decks designed to keep the clippings, allowing the blade to cut them into smaller fragments. The small clippings fall on the lawn as mulch to add nutrients to the soil. Mulching works well if you mow regularly and your grass isn’t too tall.

Mowers with bagging systems have a bag attached to their rear. This bag collect clippings as you mow, giving your lawn a clean, freshly manicured look. Once your bag is filled with clippings you must dispose of them in a yard waste bag or a compost pile. This bag is also easily removable so you can switch between bagger and mulcher.

Side discharge

Side discharge mowers release clippings out the side of your lawn mower. These clippings will eventually decay into your lawn. This is a helpful option if you have tall or coarse grass. If the clippings are thick, rake them up and dispose of them. These clippings could smother your grass and leave unwanted brown streaks on your lawn.

Height adjustment and mower speed

Iron walk behind lawn mowers allow for height adjustment for mowing different heights of grass. Self-propelled walk behinds are designed with single and multi-speed options. Multi-speed is recommended because of its flexibility for varying mowing conditions.


Regular maintenance and blade care are necessary for the longevity of your walk behind lawn mower, but additional maintenance is needed based on your mower type. Electric and battery-powered mowers require battery care. A gas mower requires regular oil, spark plug, and air filter changes.

Feel free to contact us for any of your walk behind lawn mower maintenance needs.


You May Also Enjoy These Articles:

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How to Replace a Toro Walk Behind Mower Blade

5 Lawn Mower Tune-up Tips for Spring

5 Reasons Pre-Mixed Fuel is Best


Why Weingartz?

Weingartz, family owned and operated, began in 1945 as a farm supply store for local Michigan families. In the 1970s, we began to focus exclusively on outdoor power equipment. Over time, we morphed into the “power equipment superstore” that now defines all of our locations. The staff and experts at Weingartz work diligently to provide the best service possible and give honest and helpful advice to each and every customer.

Weingartz also sells parts for all outdoor power equipment at

46061 Van Dyke Ave.
Utica, MI 48317
(586) 731-7240

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