Riding Lawn Mower Vs Push Lawn Mower: Which Is Right For Your Home?

Unless you plan on hiring landscaping services, a lawn mower is essential for any homeowner who is responsible for tending to their own yard. With this in mind, it is important to search for a model that is affordable, easy to maneuver, and suitable for the size of your lawn, says Absolute Lawn Pros. Buying a mower that not only suits your budget but is also durable and easy to maintain can prove to be a worthwhile investment in your home's upkeep and longevity.

Lawnmowers come in many shapes, sizes, and varieties nowadays, but the one main differences to choose from is riding versus pushing. Each style has its own benefits and drawbacks — the right choice for one homeowner may be the wrong choice for their next-door neighbor. The type of yard you have and the qualities you look for in a mower should help guide your decision. Here are the main differences between the two types of mowers, and how to determine which model is right for you.

What's the difference?

The main difference between riding and pushing lawn mowers rests on the role of the operator. Push lawn mowers rely on an engine to power a blade, or multiple blades, according to Mowers Boy, which cut the grass as the operator pushes it across the lawn. Conversely, with a riding mower, an engine powers the blade and propels the vehicle, allowing the person riding it to control the speed and direction of the machine using pedals and a steering wheel, much like with a car. In other words, pushing lawn mowers require much more energy and effort from the operator when compared to a riding mower.

However, not all push mowers require the user to do all of the work, nor are all riding mowers simple to use. According to Moving.com, lawn mowers differ greatly in power and performance across various models and brands, so it is difficult to gauge a mower's efficiency without testing it first.

In terms of money, riding lawn mowers normally cost more than push mowers. Moving states that push mowers can cost as little as under $100 or as much as $1,200, depending on whether it's a standard model or the self-propelled type. Riding mowers, on the other hand, can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $10,000 depending on the size and model of the machine.

Which one is right for you?

Determining the best mower for you depends on several factors, including the size, terrain, and landscape of your yard. Those with larger yards may want to consider a riding lawn mower over a push mower, according to Backyard Boss, since riding mowers can cover more ground in a shorter period of time. 

Consumer Reports states that yards smaller than half an acre generally aren't large enough to justify purchasing a riding lawn mower. The layout of your yard also helps determine the best lawn mower for your home. Backyard Boss also explains that riding mowers aren't ideal for yards with steep hills or sharp inclines, as the machine could easily roll over and injure the operator. However, riding mowers are great for large, flat yards, and are much easier to cut in straight lines.

Another important factor to consider is the type of grass your yard has since some homes have thicker species that are more difficult to manage than others. Thick grass can often be too rough for push mowers, and should be left to riding lawn mowers or mowers with thicker and sharper blades.