List of Lawn Mower Brands You Need to Avoid

A lot of gardeners hope for a beautiful garden with a luxuriant green lawn. However, to maintain the beauty, one needs an ideal lawn mower.

The lawn is generally the largest section of your garden.Therefore, it is important to have a high-grade lawn mower that is suitable with the width of your garden and the thickness of your grass. A lawn mower should even be your main gardening tool. 

The problem is choosing an ideal lawn mower can be frustrating as there are numerous types and brands out there. The jargons used are also quite confusing, so, you need to educate yourself first before even starting gardening as a hobby or job. On top of that, you will also find many high-quality lawn mowers come at high prices.

There are countless reviews of the best lawn mowers available, but it is rather difficult to find the ones that tell you which lawn mower brands to avoid. The question is: how do we know they are the worst? 

There are non-profit organizations that work alongside consumers for safety, facts, openness, and justice in the global marketplace.

One of the trusted ones is Consumer Reports (CR). This independent organization annually evaluates the performance of lawn mowers of most types—gas and electric (battery) lawn mowers, as well as the walk-behind and self-propelled ones. 

How Consumer Reports Evaluates Lawn Mowers

CR assesses many types and brands of lawn mowers at its mower-testing station located in Fort Myers, Florida, US. Last year (2019), they tested some popular brands such as Honda, Cub Cadet, Ryobi, Craftsman, and Stihl. They also recommended some new electric models, the best ones with cutting performance as excellent as the gas-powered ones. 

Not all types and brands of lawn mowers are measured up. Those that leave dirty lumps behind while cutting the grass are scored 60 at maximum out of 100 based on CR’s assessment. 

Other criteria for CR’s assessment are bagging (collecting of grass clippings), mulching (returning grass clippings into the soil for fertilizing), and side discharging (disposing of large grass clippings out of the sides of a lawn mower), as well as other features that add to user convenience. The result of the testing published on CR’s website also includes lawn mower brands to avoid.

The List of Lawn Mower Brands You Need to Avoid

Based on the result of CR’s testing last year, there is only around a third out of 80+ push lawn mowers recommended by the organization. The following is the list of several faulty lawn mower brands and models you need to avoid. 

The Craftsman 37420 

Powered by 140cc OHV engine of Briggs & Stratton® Silver Series, The Craftsman 37420 offers pretty well durability and performance. The gas-powered push lawn mower also features a special plug that eases up the engine starting.

However, CR’s testing has proven that its deck functioned for bagging, mulching, and side discharging does not work as well as expected.

Pros:

  • Easy and smooth starting with MRS (Most Reliable Starting) spark plug
  • It is enhanced with Dust Blocker™ technology   

Cons: 

  • It performed quite well in CR’s mulching assessment, but its side-discharging and bagging capabilities are just mediocre for its price
  • It is a little too expensive in its class

Troy-Bilt TB110

The gas walk-behind lawn mower is equipped with a special blade for good mulching, a bumper that scrapes up grass well, and an evenly shaped deck for the finer flow of grass as well as lump eliminating.

Its starter is also powered by the ReadyStart Choke System and 140cc OHV engine from Briggs and Stratton® although there are some complaints that the starter sometimes does not work smoothly. 

Pros:

  • A fitted mulch kit for returning nutrients into the soil for more fertilized lawn
  • 11-inch back wheels to provide better maneuver on higher ground and rougher land

Cons: 

  • The mower is struggling in cutting and bagging (grass collecting)
  • Some customers reported that the machine sometimes even won’t start

Goplus Electric Lawn Mower

The battery-powered push lawn mower is smooth in operation and improved with variable 3-level heights. Its 25L-volume grass-clipping box keeps your lawn neat.

Its well-designed handle adds convenience to your grip. It also comes in big size, making it a fast performer in its class. Unfortunately, there were some consumers’ complaints about the engine being too noisy and some other quality problems. 

Pros:

  • A powerful engine and keen blades for efficient cutting
  • Dual switches to prevent accidental starting
  • A stylish lawn mower look

Cons:

  • The grass collecting box is being full too quickly
  • Adjusting the cutting height is too hard
  • The engine is too noisy 
  • Several quality issues reported by some consumers, making it deserve to be one of the lawn mower brands to avoid

Sun Joe MJ500M

Sun Joe MJ500M is a manual walk-behind lawn mower that is best used in small to medium-width lawns. It can cut grass as high as 1.81 inches and has four sharp steel blades for fast cutting.

Its compact design makes it easy for you to assemble it. Gripping the handle is a comfort since it is covered in foam. 

This device is also maintenance-free, eco-friendly, and quiet, as it does not require gas to move. With its advanced handy Grass Catcher rear bag, handling rugged turf and keeping lawns neat and clean is a piece of cake.

Too bad that Sun Joe MJ500M has poor cutting performance and several more quality issues, according to CR’s testing and customers’ complaints. 

Pros:

  • Effortless push and operation on small-size lawns 
  • Four adjustable height positions for convenient use
  • The mower is environmental-friendly and free of maintenance as it requires neither gas nor battery to move
  • It is lightweight and compact, making it easy to set up

Cons: 

  • Poor cutting performance
  • Its maneuver is not smooth enough that it is often held off by small twigs while cutting 
  • The tips of its blades often get stuck and bent
  • Its wheels are unsteady and sometimes easily fall apart
  • It requires constant maintenance even though it is a manually-pushed lawn mower
  • The grass catching bag often falls off while the device is moving

Kobalt 40-Volt Brushless Lithium-Ion, 20-Inch Cordless Electric Lawn Mower

With Kobalt electric lawn mower, no more mess, noise, and air pollution will be caused by your lawn-mowing activities. It is cordless, so its maneuver is free from troubles

It also has a 20-inch deck made of steel, making it more durable compared to the other lawn mowers in its class. The 40V-powered device is rechargeable as well, so no worries that the mower will stop working due to low battery power. 

In addition to that, the walk-behind lawn mower is also enhanced with the cutting-edge technology of brushless lithium-ion motor, so with only a few recharges, you get to move it with more speed and power.

The bad news is, there are some reports from several consumers that the mower has no good maneuver, resulting in rough weed cuts. 

Pros:

  • A 3-in-1 feature for capabilities of mulching, bagging, and side discharging
  • A 20-inch deck made of steel for extra durability

Cons:

  • The battery is not included in the package, so you have to buy it separately to have the device work with no hassles 
  • The power does not last over 20 minutes after the device is fully recharged (the company claims that the power can last up to 60 minutes)
  • The maneuver is not smooth enough; it cannot run through the weed up to 3-inch high. You have to move it to the lawn section with lower grass
  • Uneven lawn cuts resulted from the unsmooth maneuver

Sun Joe MJ-HVR12E 10-Amp 11-Inch Electric Hover Mower (Green Color)

This hover mower is lightweight that it is easy to carry and operate. It does not have any wheels, but it is expected to be able to slide smoothly through the lawn.

Its electric motor creates the convenience of air for smooth maneuver and exact cutting of even a rough lawn in a small yard. It also comes with 30 replaceable blades even though they are all made of plastic. 

Pros:

  • Powered by a 10-amp electric machine/fan, meaning this lawn mower does not produce fumes, gas, or require highly-cost maintenance
  • Compact and lightweight, for easy storage and optimal maneuver

Cons: 

  • The 30 replacement blades are made of plastic. Therefore they easily break just after the first mowing
  • Due to dull blades, the lawn mower is reported showing poor cutting performance
  • The mower is indeed a hover. It remains on the ground—it cannot be lifted/moved easily by a powerful electric motor as promoted by the company
  • No wheels, so the mower shows poor maneuver

Conclusion

There are many more faulty lawn mower brands and models, but if you are still confused, there are also customers’ reviews on marketplace sites like Amazon that sum up the rates of each lawn mower offered on its site. 

Although some of the customers’ reviews are very subjective, the objective ones can be helpful to customers who are clueless on how to choose the best lawn mowers. Both that and CR’s assessment can be a great solution for you to decide which lawn mower brands to avoid.