If you’re an old school man and you love the smell of gas in the air and the noise of machinery then gas mowers are for you. While they may not have the modern technology and sophistication of their electric counterparts, gas powered mowers are proven and tough and as long as they have fuel they will generally keep going.
They also have the added benefit of being much easier to repair as the moving parts that break can all be unbolted and replaced or fixed individually. All the heavy duty mowers I’ve owned and operated over the years went through a number of engines, shafts and gearboxes in their lifetime, not to mention the number of spark plugs and tune up they received.
The only thing that really killed the mowers in the end was a busted frame which really does take some effort to achieve. In terms of mowing hour’s life, a nice big solid gas mower has proven to be the best option, and in the short term, I believe it will continue to be. This is not to say that electric mowers will not eventually catch up, because I believe they will and in 10 years time gas mowers will become more and more reserved for heavy commercial work.
With that being said, let’s take a look at what a gas mower is and what the advantages and disadvantages of this category are.
Gas Mower Comparison Table
|Image||Model||Blade Size (inches)||Weight (pounds)||Price||Rating|
|Poulan Pro PR500N21SH||21||35||$|
|McLane 21-Inch 6.75||21||90||$$$$$|
What Is a Gas Powered Lawn Mower?
These machines have been the mainstay of lawn mowers for decades. They are generally powered by either a 2 stroke or 4 stroke engine and are more powerful than electric mowers in general. There are many variants that are self propelled and they can come with mulchers and grass clipping catchers.
They have typically been started by operating a choke and a pull cord but there are now many electric start options available.
As I alluded to above, gas powered mowers are the most reliable heavy duty mowers on the market at the present time and although they are not as popular as electric mowers, if you have a large area and you don’t want to worry about power cords or batteries then these machines are a perfect fit.
If you have a typical flat suburban yard to mow there are a number of disadvantages to buying a gas mower such as the smell, the noise, the need for gas and the need for maintenance. Gas mowers have many moving parts and therefore require lubrication, tuning and eventually replacing.
If you decide to go for a gas mower here are a few options for you that have proven to be solid machines.
Powered by a Honda GCV160 engine 7021P and with a fuel tank capacity of 0.98 quarts this Husqvarna is a very popular and solid option. It features a 6 level cutting height adjustment ranging from 1.5 inches up to 3.5 inches. It has a 21 inch cutting blade also and some big solid 12 inch rear wheels to help with maneuverability in varying terrain.
Storage is made simple by the fold away capabilities of this mower. Its average weight is around 102 pounds and it comes with a 2 year warranty. You can pick the Husqvarna 7021P up for around $275.
Powered by a 140cc engine, the Husqvarna 5521P offers slightly fewer features than the 7021P for a slightly lower price. It comes with a 21 inch cutting width and is as a member of the 3 in 1 mower category, it also has the ability to be a mulcher or to be fitted with a grass catcher.
It comes with a 5 level adjustable cutting height and folds away for easy storage. Featuring a 2 year warranty, the Husqvarna 5521P can be purchased brand new for around $255. This makes it good value in my opinion and worthy of a spot amongst the top rated gas powered mowers.
The Lawn-Boy 17734 green machine is powered by a Kohler engine and has the massive advantage of being self propelled. The specs of this machine make it one of the better options as it features an electric start, 3 year warranty and comes with a grass catcher.
The Lawn-Boy 17734 has a fairly standard 21 inch cutting width but at just 72 pounds, it is actually one of the lighter gas mowers out there. Being self propelled, light and maneuverable makes this model of lawn mower a winner in my books and I would happily recommend it to anyone one that would rather spend the $329 for this machine over saving a few bucks on a cheaper model.
The Poulan Pro PR500N21SH gas fuelled mower is powered by a 140cc Briggs and Stratton Engine and is strictly a side discharge mower, meaning no catcher at all. There is not even the option to ad a catcher as this model will not support one at all so bear that in mind.
This Poulan comes with a 21 inch wide cutting area and has 12 inch rear wheels to help manoeuvre around in uneven terrain.
This machine is also very light, weighing in at only 35 pounds so it can thrown around with ease. You can pick one of these mowers up for around $213.
This mower is bigger and heavier to throw around than most, with not only the machine itself being heavy, but the catcher also. The heart of the McLane 21-Inch 6.75 is a 6.25 GT Briggs & Stratton engine and as the name suggests, the cutting width is 21 inches.
The adjustable cutting height ranges from a very low 0.5 inches up to an also low 3 inches which is slightly lower than the cutting height of a typical mower.
The price for this machine is around $400 making it a little more expensive than the average mowers reviewed here also. This does reflect the fact that this mower is more of a heavy duty and more solid option when compared to its competitors in this category.
Using A Gas Lawn Mower
Here’s a video to give you some hints and tips on using and looking after a gas powered lawn mower.
How to Choose the Best Gas Lawn Mower For You
If you have an average sized suburban home there are countless options for you as far as gas, electric or reel lawn mowers are concerned but just focusing on gas powered mowers here are some extra things to consider:
Power VS Weight
Do you need the extra power that generally comes with extra weight? Or will a lighter machine do the job for you?
Do you Need a Catcher?
Do you want the option to catch your grass clippings or is this not important to you?
Self Propelled or Push?
Do you want to man handle your machine around the yard or would you prefer to just walk along behind it and steer?
You can now find models with electric starting mechanisms so maybe you would like to ditch that annoying pull cord and manual choke for good.
Blade overrides are becoming more and more popular which means there is an additional lever to pull in which makes the blades engage. This can be a little annoying but it makes for a very good safety feature if you want to ensure the blades don’t cut anything but grass.
Handling and maneuverability
The size of the back wheels are a great way to increase stability in rough terrain but also think about swivel wheels as these will help with handling, but they do make the wheels more vulnerable to damage.
Along with these considerations, also take note of the points noted on this page as some of these points are also applicable to gas powered mowers.
Over to you
Hopefully I’ve helped you make a decision as to whether or not a gas powered mower is right for you. There is plenty more information on this site to help guide you through the entire selection process and come up with the best mower for you so if you haven’t found the right mower just yet, take a look at some of the other types of lawn mowers available.