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Best Gas Lawn Mower (2024)

Gas lawn mowers are still the most popular choice for grass-cutting homeowners. They’re powerful, typically affordable, and durable, making them a great choice for years of lawn mowing. They also come in so many varieties these days that there is a gas lawn mower for just about any yard and homeowner.

But with so many options, it can be pretty difficult to nail down the perfect model for your needs. In this guide, we’ll go over what you need to know about choosing the best gas lawn mower as well as some of our favorite picks.

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How We Picked the Best Gas Lawn Mowers

We think that a lawn mower should be a point of pride for every homeowner (though we know not everyone agrees!). For that reason, we knew it was important to suggest only the best gas lawn mowers for our list. 

To make sure only the top models made it, we called on years of lawn mowing and small machinery experience to choose the best features, sizes, power, and other characteristics that we feel make a great mower. Then, we took account of all the gas mowers that we’ve performed hands-on testing with. Finally, we considered all of these models’ prices to ensure that each model we suggested provided plenty of value. This list is the result. 

Best Overall Gas Lawn Mower

ExMark Commercial 21 X-Series

Key Features

  • Powerful and long-lasting Kawasaki engine
  • Commercial-grade components and accessories
  • Speed adjustments are smooth and easy, even on the fly


  • Type: Self-propelled
  • Cutting Width: 21 inches
  • Engine: 179cc Kawasaki

The ExMark Commercial 21 X-Series walk-behind mower is a great choice for pros and homeowners looking for a hardcore gas lawn mower. Our choice for the best gas-powered lawn mower features a 179cc Kawasaki gas engine that gives it the power necessary to cut through tall, dense grass. It also features commercial components, such as an aluminum deck with replaceable wear strips to ensure it lasts.

This ExMark model has several other features to love. It features rear-wheel self-propulsion for covering a lot of ground, and thanks to its multi-cone transmission, smooth speed adjustments can be made on the fly. Its front height adjustment system doesn’t rely on levers and pivots, meaning it’s simple to operate and maintain. Also, the 2.5-bushel bagger capacity can clean up most small to medium-sized yards without an issue. 

Price: Starting at $1,799

Best Gas Push Lawn Mower

Troy-Bilt 140cc Walk Behind Push Mower TB125B

Troy-Bilt 140cc Walk Behind Push Mower TB125B

Key Features

  • No-prime, no-choke design for easy starts
  • Relatively lightweight design for easily pushing across a yard
  • TriAction cutting system designed to create finer clippings


  • Type: Push
  • Cutting Width: 21 inches
  • Engine: 140cc Briggs and Stratton

Basic doesn’t always mean bad. Homeowners looking for the best push gas lawn mower for its ease of use should consider this model from Troy-Bilt. This mower features a 140cc Briggs and Stratton engine that produces sufficient power. It also features a no-prime, no-choke design. This engine coupled with the TriAction cutting system that stands blades of grass up, creates updraft, and then cycles clippings through the blade more often, will have no problem with smaller yards.

This Troy-Bilt is manually operated, meaning the user has to push it. However, its relatively lightweight design makes it easy to maneuver. It also comes with 11-inch rear wheels for better maneuvering and turning, as well as a 1.9-bushel rear bagger.

Price: $359

Best Self-Propelled Gas Lawn Mower

Toro Personal Pace TimeMaster 21199

Best Self-Propelled Gas Lawn Mower

Toro Personal Pace TimeMaster 21199

Key Features

  • Burly 223cc engine offers plenty of power for commercial and residential cutting
  • Personal Pace control adjusts the mower’s speed to your walking speed
  • Large 30-inch cutting path quickly cuts large lawns


  • Type: Self-propelled
  • Cutting Width: 30 inches
  • Engine: 223cc Briggs and Stratton

When it comes to finding the best gas self-propelled mower, it’s hard to beat the Toro Personal Pace TimeMaster. This model features a 223cc gas engine coupled with the brand’s Personal Pace feature, which allows the mower to adjust to the user’s walking speed automatically for low-effort mowing. 

This commercial-grade machine is built with heavy-duty materials like a steel deck and a cast aluminum frame. It also features a 30-inch cutting path that helps it cut large yards quickly without the need for storing a large ride-on mower. 

Price: $1,599

Best Push-Button Start Gas Lawn Mower

Toro Recycler 22-inch Self-Propelled Lawn Mower 21464

Best Push-Button Start Gas Lawn Mower

Toro Recycler 22-inch Self-Propelled Lawn Mower 21464

Key Features

  • Features the brand’s Personal Pace self-propulsion
  • Users can switch from mulching to bagging quickly without even removing the bag
  • Push-button start makes firing it up a breeze


  • Type: Self-propelled
  • Cutting Width: 22 inches
  • Engine: 150cc Briggs and Stratton

If you’re tired of pull-start mowers but don’t feel like investing in a ride-on or high-end commercial model, the Toro Recycler could be a great solution. As our choice for the best electric start gas lawn mower, it features an electric push-button start that quickly and easily fires up the 140cc Briggs and Stratton engine without endless pulling.

This model from Toro features the brand’s Personal Pace automatic speed adjustment that adjusts to the user’s walking speed. It also features a 3-in-1 design that cuts, mulches, and bags, and can switch from bagging to mulching without removing the bag. The Recycler line features Vortex Technology that quickly and efficiently cuts grass clippings into smaller pieces to promote breakdown and replenish the nutrients in the yard. 

Price: $529

Best Lightweight Gas Lawn Mower

Toro 140cc 21-inch Self-Propelled Lawn Mower 21321

best lightweight gas mower

Toro 140cc 21-inch Self-Propelled Lawn Mower 21321

Key Features

  • Self-propelled mower weighs just under 40 pounds
  • Affordable price point makes it accessible to most homeowners
  • Features Toro’s Recycler Cutting System to nourish grass


  • Type: Self-propelled
  • Cutting Width: 21 inches
  • Engine: 140cc Briggs and Stratton

Folks who want a lightweight lawn mower but don’t want to sacrifice self-propulsion should consider this model from Toro. This mower features a 21-inch cutting width and a 140cc Briggs and Stratton engine propelling the blade and the rear wheels, but it only weighs 38.8 pounds in total.

This Toro model doesn’t use the brand’s popular Personal Pace system, but it does allow for speed changes. And yards will benefit from the Recycler Cutting System, which cuts grass clippings smaller for faster breakdown to nourish the grass.

Price: $399

Best Mulching Gas Lawn Mower

Toro 21-inch Super Recycler SmartStow 21565

best mulching gas lawn mower

toro 21565

Key Features

  • Super Recycler Cutting System cuts clippings into tiny pieces so they’ll break down faster (even over the traditional Recycler system)
  • SmartStow storage allows users to flip it up and hang it from a bracket in their garage
  • Personal Pace automatic speed adjustment tailors its pace to the user


  • Type: Self-propelled
  • Cutting Width: 21 inches
  • Engine: 163cc Briggs and Stratton

When it comes to mulching grass clippings as small as possible, it’s pretty hard to deny the Toro Super Recycler’s prowess. This lawn mower features dual blade accelerators with under-deck wedges and bumpers, which work together to finely mulch grass clippings for faster breakdown. This model also comes with the brand’s Personal Pace self-propulsion, which adjusts to the user’s speed.

Not only is the Super Recycler a great mulcher, but it’s also the best vertical storage gas lawn mower. The user can fold and flip the model up and hang it from the wall in their shed or garage using the Toro SmartStow system, keeping precious floor space clear. 

Price: $799

Best 20-Inch Gas Lawn Mower

Husqvarna W520 Push Lawn Mower 970 47 66-01

Best 20-Inch Gas Lawn Mower

Husqvarna W520 Push Lawn Mower 970 47 66-01

Key Features

  • Commercial-grade machine despite its compact size
  • Reliable and powerful Kawasaki engine
  • Blade Brake Control allows the user to keep the mower running while stopping the blade


  • Type: Self-propelled
  • Cutting Width: 20 inches
  • Engine: 179cc Kawasaki

The Husqvarna W250 is a compact, 20-inch lawn mower, but don’t let its size fool you. It’s made with commercial-grade materials and it’s ready for heavy-duty mowing. This model features a reliable and powerful 179cc Kawasaki engine that propels the machine’s rear wheels for easy cutting. Speed adjustments are simple and easy with the handle-bar mounted lever.

This model has some smart features to note. For one, it has a blade brake control setting that stops the blade but allows the engine to keep running to prevent unnecessary wear from starting and stopping. It also features an ergonomic handlebar design that folds for very compact storage. 

Price: $1,299.99

Best 21-Inch Gas Lawn Mower

Cub Cadet 21-inch 3-in-1 Lawn Mower SC500K

Cub Cadet 21-inch 3-in-1 SC500K

Key Features

  • Commercial-grade Kohler engine for power and durability
  • 3-in-1 kit cuts, mulches, and bags
  • Comfortable padded bail lever and drive levers


  • Type: Self-propelled
  • Cutting Width: 21 inches
  • Engine: 173cc Kohler

Twenty-one inches can be the lawn mower sweet spot for many homeowners, and this model from Cub Cadet makes a great choice. This 3-in-1 mower kit can cut, bag, or mulch and comes with the block-off plate for the deck. It also comes with a 1.9-bushel bag for collecting plenty of clippings before emptying.

This model features a commercial-grade Kohler engine to drive the blade and rear wheels. The drive wheels measure 11 inches tall, allowing them to traverse rough terrain. There’s also a padded bail lever and dual drive levers that make for a comfortable handlebar combination. Users can change the speed via the bar-mounted lever to keep a casual pace or cut quickly. 

Price: $699

Best 22-Inch Gas Lawn Mower

Toro Personal Pace 22-inch Mower 21472

best 22-inch gas lawn mower

Toro Personal Pace 22-inch Mower 21472

Key Features

  • Personal Pace automatic speed adjustment for convenience
  • Vortex Technology to reduce clippings for faster breakdown
  • All-wheel-drive for excellent traction and consistent control


  • Type: Self-propelled
  • Cutting Width: 22 inches
  • Engine: 163cc Briggs and Stratton

Finding a 22-inch push mower that’s easy to operate is a task, but Toro did it with this Personal Pace mower. It features a 163cc Briggs and Stratton mower that does not need to be primed or choked when starting.

The mower’s namesake comes from the brand’s speed adjustment setting, which adjusts automatically according to the user’s pace. It also features all-wheel-drive to promote traction and consistent cutting when the terrain might be a bit uneven (which also makes it the best self-propelled gas lawn mower for hills). It has Vortex Technology, which cuts clippings smaller, allowing them to break down faster and replenish the nutrients in the soil.  

Price: $529

Best Gas Lawn Mower Buying Guide

A lot goes into choosing the best gas lawn mower for your yard and needs. The following sections will break down the most important factors to consider.

Engine Power and Efficiency

Evaluating Engine Size and Fuel Consumption

A general rule is that the larger the engine, the more fuel it will use. With push mowers, most engine sizes are between 125cc and 170cc with the higher number producing more power. With ride-on and zero-turn engines, it’s more appropriate to look at engine output, which ranges from 10 to 25 horsepower or more. Similarly, the more power, the more fuel a lawn mower will use. 

There are exceptions to these rules, however. Mowers with electronic fuel injection (EFI) are typically more efficient than carbureted models, so although a mower might have a large, more powerful engine, it might be better on gas if it uses an EFI system.

Balancing Power with Environmental Impact

Having the power to cut through a dense mat of grass quickly is great, but as mentioned above, large and powerful mowers can really burn through some gas. This creates emissions that are harmful to the environment. 

For environmentally-conscious folks, choose a mower based on yard size, not how much power it has or how big it is for bragging rights. Also, consider a battery mower as they’re becoming more powerful and capable. 

Mower Size and Cutting Width

Matching Mower Size to Lawn Area

Match your mower to the size of your lawn. Here is a simple guide to choosing the ideal deck size relative to lawn size:

  • Small yards (under 1/4 acre): 20 inches or less
  • Medium yards (1/4 to 3/4 acre): 21 to 22 inches for a push mower, 30 to 46 inches for a riding mower or zero-turn
  • Large yards (3/4 acre or more): 42 inches or larger for a riding mower or zero-turn

These sizes will mow quickly and efficiently while producing the minimum amount of emissions necessary.

Understanding the Importance of Cutting Width

Cutting width is a major consideration. The smaller the cutting width, the more passes the user will have to make to cut the lawn. This takes longer and might result in unnecessary wear and tear on the mower. But, for tight areas like between garden beds and walkways, larger cutting widths won’t fit.

Also, understand that cutting width is from tip to tip of the blade (or blades), not the width of the machine itself. The deck will be wider. If your storage area is only 48 inches wide, a 48-inch ride-on mower will not fit.

Features and Ease of Use

Assessing Start Mechanisms and Speed Settings

When choosing a gas lawn mower, consider how you want to start it. Most models have pull cords that start the engine. Others might have electric start options that make it easy to crank the engine until it starts.

Also, consider speed settings. With gas-powered models, speed settings refer to how quickly a self-propelled or ride-on mower moves. Some self-propelled models have self-adjusting speeds, while others need to be set to the user’s desired speed. For ride-ons, several speed settings allow the user to adjust how quickly they’d like to mow with their foot off the brake. For zero-turns, speed is usually determined by the positioning of the handles.

Additional Features like Mulching and Bagging

To make the most of your gas lawn mower, consider additional accessories like mulching and bagging. Most push mowers will mulch with the chute removed and the flap on the deck shut. However, a mulching blade can improve efficiency. Ride-on mowers might require mulching kits, which include deck block-off panels to keep grass clippings under the deck for as long as possible.

Both ride-on and push mowers can be operated with baggers, as well. These bagger systems connect to the discharge chute and collect clippings for the user to dispose of rather than leaving grass clippings in the yard. 

Gas Lawn Mower Uses

While battery mowers are becoming more popular, it’s hard to deny the utility of a gas lawn mower.

Maintaining Grass Length and Health

Gas lawn mowers can be a big help in maintaining the ideal grass length and health of the lawn. Most experts agree that grass should be cut to lengths between 3 and 3.5 inches long, as this allows the grass to survive a variety of conditions. Also, when a user sets their gas mower up to mulch, grass clippings are left on the surface to break down and enrich the soil.

Versatility in Lawn Care and Maintenance

Smaller gas lawn mowers can reach areas where large models cannot. For example, a small model might be able to cut underneath a bush or tree, or even between two plantings. However, a large mower can cut larger yards quickly, and their wider footprint typically promotes more evenly-cut grass.

Commercial Landscaping Applications

Efficiency for Larger Properties

For now, gas-powered lawn mowers are the favorite among professional landscapers and caretakers. They can run as long as there is a fuel source available and they don’t need to be charged between uses. This makes for efficient use of time, especially when cutting multiple large properties throughout the day.

Durability for Frequent Use

Though they require more maintenance, gas lawn mowers are considered to be more durable than battery-powered options. You can service gas models, but the battery models are often fully enclosed and difficult to work on. Gas mowers typically consist of metal components whereas battery models might opt for plastic. This makes gas models more appropriate for the frequent use that a commercial company might require. 

Safety Considerations When Using a Gas Lawn Mower

Gas lawn mowers are power equipment so it’s important to be prepared, use them correctly, and protect yourself and others.

Essential Gear for Safe Operation

When using a gas mower, there are some important pieces of protective equipment that you should wear. For one, make sure to wear sturdy shoes or boots to prevent slipping and falling. Also, wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from flying debris. Finally, be sure to wear hearing protection and work gloves. 

Proper Handling and Maneuvering Techniques

There are some important details to understand about handling and maneuvering a gas lawn mower:

  • Be sure to read the owner’s manual. 
  • Always inspect the mower before using it, taking a quick look at the spark plug wire, fuel cap, and any other potentially loose or damaged items. 
  • If you need to inspect the blade, be sure to unplug the spark plug before turning the mower over (preferably after draining the fuel).
  • Wear the proper protective gear during use.
  • Always look around before turning the mower around, and stay aware of your surroundings. 
  • Never cut grass without first inspecting it for debris or hidden objects.
  • Always maintain a firm grip on the handlebar and never permanently affix the safety bar to the handlebar.
  • Avoid mowing up and down steep slopes, cutting side to side instead, but still be very careful about footing and mower control.

Awareness of Surroundings and Potential Hazards

Operators need to be aware of their surroundings at all times, which can be difficult with a loud mower running. Frequently look around to ensure that no children, adults, or animals are in danger of being struck by the mower. Also, be aware of any overhanging objects like branches, flag poles, and other items that can cause an injury if walked into. Keep an eye out for potential hazards like rocks, roots, water valves, sprinkler heads, and other objects that could cause damage. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Gas Lawn Mowers

What are the Advantages of a Gas Lawn Mower Over Electric Models?

Gas mowers will run as long as there is fuel, while electric mowers will eventually run out of battery life. Spare batteries are expensive and take longer to charge completely than a trip to the gas station. 

How Often Should I Perform Maintenance on My Gas Lawn Mower?

Here are some general rules, but the operator’s manual is the best source of information:

  • Inspect the mower for damage, loose parts, and other issues before every use. 
  • Change the oil after 25 hours of use and blow out the air filter.
  • Replace the air filter after 50 hours of use and check any belts for wear or damage.
  • Replace the spark plug and sharpen the blade after 100 hours of use or whenever the mower’s performance seems to dip.
  • Add fuel stabilizer to the tank every winter. 
  • Inspect the fuel lines and the fuel filter in the spring. 

Can Gas Lawn Mowers be Used on All Types of Terrain?

Yes, gas lawn mowers can be used on all types of grassy terrain. Push mowers may be more susceptible to ruts and dips, but there is a model for every type of yard. 

How to Properly Store a Gas Lawn Mower?

The best way to store a gas lawn mower is to add fuel stabilizer to the fuel tank and place it somewhere where it can sit level throughout the winter. There are also wall-hanging models that are easier to store without leaking for smaller garages or shops.

What Features Should I Look for in the Best Gas Lawn Mower?

Some features to look for in the best gas lawn mower include electronic fuel injection, self-propulsion, adjustable speeds, mulching or bagging options, a wash-out port, and electric start. 

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