We did this on LawnSite.com – the most popular lawn care forum – where over 186,000 lawn care enthusiasts gather to discuss lawns.
Here are the results (Note: many of these are commercial mower brands).
Survey Says: 21 Most Trusted Lawn Mower Brands
Here are the results of the survey we did of nearly 1,000 lawn care enthusiasts.
Quick Look At The Top 5 (more details below):
- Honda and John Deere were a cut above the rest. Honda small engines are well know for their reliability and durability. John Deere has been a mainstay of the riding mower industry in 1963. Not surprising most pros recommend those two lawn mower brands the most.
- Toro created the golf course grass equipment industry with the release of the first mechanical fairway mower in 1924. Today they have a wide-range of walk-behind and ride-on mower to choose from.
- Hustler is a well-known zero turn mower. Their commercial zero turns are loved in the industry. Recently they were acquired by behemoth Stanley Black & Decker.
- Wright mowers are extremely well recommended when it comes to stand-on mowers and hydro walk behinds.
Below are the best brands broken into sections by type: Push mower, electric mower, riding mower, zero turn mower etc.
Best Gas Push Mower Brands
- First launched the HR21 lawn mower in 1978
Honda is the brand of choice for most lawn mower rental companies. They don’t want to deal with breakdowns so they just get Honda and that’s that.
When it comes to how good a lawn mower is it is really the engine that matters. Sure, the blade and wheels and whatnot matter but it’s the engine that powers the whole thing.
And Honda makes the best small engines for walk behind and riding lawn mowers.
How are Honda lawn mowers and small engines so good?
- Engineering. Honda is a massive global company with endless resources. Their power equipment engineering teams are the best at what they do. They are well paid, happy and dedicated to making the best small engines for lawn mowers, generators, water pumps, snow blowers and trimmers. When you have good engineers with tons of small engine design experience you have good products.
- Materials. Honda uses a rust free NeXite material for their mower decks. This adds lifetime to the deck as the sheet steel will often rust before the engine dies. They use cast iron cylinder sleeves and they forge their own steel for the crankshafts and crankcases in their engines. Everything is top-spec and has durability in mind.
- Manufacturing. You can design the best anything on paper but the hard part is getting it built right at scale. Elon Musk says, “engineering is easy, manufacturing is what keeps me up at night.” Setting up manufacturing assembly lines to produce lawn mower engines with tight quality control is what Honda specializes at. They have plants in the U.S., Japan and Thailand producing 7 million + small engines per year.
- Details & Focus. Honda only makes 11 models of small engines for power equipment. In 2022, they produced just shy of 6.3 million. They have heaps of data points to know what can go wrong with any of their small engines. And then they improve and make better designs for those issues.
- Always Improving. Honda listens to their customers which is both you and other lawn mower brands who choose Honda engines for their product. And they jump on any suggestions and implement if deemed an improvement.
There’s plenty of stories of fathers handing down their 20 year old Honda lawn mowers to their kids.
But Honda isn’t the only company that cares about the quality of their product. The next best push mower brand is:
The Toro Company
- Created the Park Special power mower in 1924
Toro is an old-school American company founded in 1914. They sell equipment for landscape and turf maintenance for homeowners and professionals.
Toro does not make their own engines. They do offer a Toro branded engine on their zero turn mowers but those are made by Loncin Industries in China. They mostly buy small engines from Honda, Kawasaki, Kohler, Briggs & Stratton, Yanmar and Kubota.
Here’s what engines they offer for each type of lawn mower:
- Briggs engines – Homeowner walk behind mowers
- Honda, Kawasaki or Kohler – Commercial walk behind mowers
- Kawasaki, Kohler, Kubota, Yanmar or Toro (Loncin) – Zero turn mowers
- Kawasaki or Kohler – Stand on mowers
They have 100 years experience in the mowing industry and have a great reputation. If a lawn mower rental company rents a zero turn it is usually a Toro.
Best Electric Push Mower Brands
- Introduced their highly rated cordless electric mower in 2012
EGO is a brand of the power tool industry behemoth Chervon. They make only battery powered lawn and garden equipment – including chainsaws, leaf blowers, hedge trimmers, string trimmers and lawn mowers (yes, riding ones too).
They offer 9 types of walk behind mower in both push and self propelled style. Here are the mower deck widths they have: 16.5 inch, 19 inch, 20 inch and 21 inch.
We own the 19 inch self propelled model and love it. It is highly rated because it cuts like a premium machine and feels sturdy and strong. It is is definitely one of the 2 or 3 best lawn mowers out there in terms of value for money.
Makita makes every single type of power tool and many different types of power equipment – including electric lawn mowers.
They are not owned by some conglomerate and they don’t have any other brands under their corporate umbrella – they are just loud and pride Makita. If they do acquire a company they rename it Makita.
It is the battery and electric motor which make the mower. And considering Makita has been perfecting their motor/battery design for decades – they make a good mower.
Just a quick note: The cordless electric mowers are for homeowners with less than 1 acre of land. It takes about 1h 40min to mow an acre with a walk behind mower and that stretches the battery to its limits before needing a charge.
Ryobi is a brandname that TTi (Techtronic Industries) licenses from Ryobi Limited (the Japanese tool die maker). TTi makes all the Ryobi power tools and power equipment you see at The Home Depot.
Their electric lawn mowers are of the budget variety and having tested one we can say they are fair value for money.
As more and more brands decide to offer a battery powered lawn mower, Ryobi will remain a mainstay in the homeowner level of the market. There is always room for an affordable lawn mower.
Greenworks is similar to EGO: They only offer battery powered products. In addition to lawn mowers and other lawn equipment they have pressure washers and power tools like saws and drills.
They have a ton of different lawn mowers in their range.
They classify mowers by voltage. Since voltage = current x resistance, knowing the voltage you essentially know the torque the electric motor can give to the blade. The more torque the tougher, thicker the grass it can cut.
Here’s their range: 24V, 40V, 60V and 80V. They range in price from $300 to $600.
Milwaukee is another brand owned by TTi (Techtronic Industries). TTi is a massive producer of power tools around the world and they have a great reputation.
Milwaukee lawn mowers are new, having been introduced in late 2020.
It was surprising to see a few Milwaukee recommendation on the survey. But since Milwaukee is the most popular and biggest power tool brand in the USA it makes sense on brand recognition alone.
They are using their M18 system x 2 in the mower (12 Ah batteries). This delivers as much torque as a 200cc gas engine.
Best Riding Tractor Mower Brands
Since 1963 John Deere has been making a name for themselves in the lawn vs garden tractor market. They are the brand most people think of when they think ‘riding mower’.
In our best lawn mower brands survey – John Deere was the 2nd most recommended after Honda.
John Deere has such a strong brand they could produce junk and still be rated highly. However, it’s good they don’t produce junk.
In their shareholder release in 2020 it was shown they have received less warranty claims – every year – for the past 5 years running. This is a performance indicator they use to determine the durability and reliability of their lawn mowers. Good work John Deere!
Yanmar makes all the diesel engines for John Deere.
They also make their own garden tractors and lots of other construction equipment.
They have been making small diesel engines since 1933 and are one of the best.
Kubota is a Japanese manufacturing giant. They make all types of heavy equipment including lawn mowers.
They have several walk behind, zero turn and lawn tractor mowers to choose from.
They ranked highly in our survey because their mowers are 100% made in-house. They engineer everything from the wheels to the engine to the gearbox and so have complete control over all the specs.
Lawn care pros really like Kubota.
And here we are at the budget riding mower brand.
Husqvarna produces affordable riding mowers for homeowners. They also make popular chainsaws and string trimmers.
They are a Swedish company that started making rifles in 1689. Now they are probably best known for chainsaws.
But they also make a popular robot mower, and offer a range of ride-on mowers
Best Zero Turn Mower Brands
Hustler was the 4th most recommended brand in our landscape professionals survey.
Kind of surprising, really.
Hustler used to be known for having some hydraulic and electrical issues with their mowers. In 2011, they did a complete redesign of those two systems and it seems to be paying dividends.
Now pros are loving the reliability.
Hustler only makes zero turn mowers and they offer 13 models.
Scag Power Equipment is a giant in the landscape industry.
They are highly recommended for their zero turn, stand on and hydro walk behind mowers.
With over 50 models to offer SCAG is one of the largest independent manufacturers in the commercial and residential mowing industry.
Their mowers come with Briggs Vanguard, Kawasaki, Kubota or Kohler engines. Your choice.
Ferris is owned by Simplicity Manufacturing Company which itself is owned by Briggs & Stratton.
They are a well known zero turn and stand on mower brand.
They only make commercial mowing equipment.
How the Troy Bilt brand was built is an interesting story.
Troy Bilt was acquired by lawn mower giant MTD Products in 2001. MTD Products was acquired by Stanley Black & Decker in 2021.
Troy Bilt offer a range of mowers and snow blowers and are a highly recommended brand in the landscape industry.
Bobcat is a longstanding North Dakota company which sold to a Korean conglomerate in 2007.
They are well known for their small construction equipment but also make great mowers.
Cub Cadet is also made by MTD Products in Ohio.
They are considered a value for money mower but also make one of the best zero turns on the market. A zero turn built for tackling hills up to 25 degree slope.
Best Hydro Walk-behind & Stand-on Mower Brands
Exmark Manufacturing was bought by Toro in 1997.
Exmark has long been known and trusted by landscapers and lawn care professionals for their hydro walk behind mowers and more recently their stand on mowers.
Just take a look at that beast. It is what they are famous for – the hydro walk-behind mower. It is the best mower on hills and comes with an up to 60 inch mowing deck.
Have a look at all the benefits Exmark walk behind mowers offer:
Another well-known and loved brand in this category is Wright.
Their Velke hydro walk behind mower model is quite literally famous in the landscape industry.
There are no better mowers than Exmark and Wright when it comes to commercial quality.
You will pay for that quality as well. The intro model with a 36 inch deck is $8,000+.
Stihl makes mowers but they are better known for their backpack leaf blowers and trimmers – according to lawn care experts.
Old school Craftsman lawn mowers are an honorable mention.
The Craftsman we all knew and loved is no longer.
They are now a brandname and nothing more.
Owned by Stanley Black & Decker (owner of DeWalt, Cub Cadet, Troy Bilt, Hustler) the Craftsman lawn mowers today are not bad but they aren’t worth mentioning on this best brands list.
American Lawn Mower Company
American Lawn Mower Company, as the name would suggest, is completely American made. They are best known for their reel mowers but have recently move into the cordless lawn mower market. They have a marketing push of ‘Keeping America Green’ hence the no gas mowers.
4 Best Small Engine Brands The Best Lawn Mower Brands Choose
95% of gas powered lawn mowers have a small engine from Honda, Kawasaki, Kohler or Briggs & Stratton. There are other brands like LCT, Kubota and Yamaha but most choose one of the “big 4” small engine companies.
Landscape professionals rank lawn mower engines in this order:
- Honda. Best and most expensive.
- Kawasaki. Great overall. High quality and decent price.
- Kohler. Best value. Good quality, great price.
- Briggs & Stratton. Great value and decent engine – especially if we’re talking about the Vanguard Series.