Lawn Care

How to Choose a Lawn Mower for a Small Yard

Lawn mower

A well-kept lawn is certainly a thing of beauty and a practical area of the yard where you can place furniture to enjoy the outdoors. It’s also great for kids and pets to play on and can be an attractive addition to even the smallest of spaces. There is a downside to a lawn, however, and that’s the maintenance it needs with a lawn mower. Of course, the smaller the lawn, the less time it will take, but you still need to keep it cut to an attractive and manageable length.

Grass, as used in lawns, comes in many different types, and the most popular ones will grow very quickly when it is their growing season. Your lawn may need cutting every couple of weeks or sooner during these times, which is why you need a lawnmower. During the grass’s dormant months, it will not grow, so you can at least rest assured that lawn maintenance is not an all-around requirement.

In the following article, we’ll have a look at the best lawn mowers for small yards and see if we can find one that is suitable for you. We are looking at three different types of mower for you, these being non-powered mowers, powered mowers, and the latest addition to the market, robot mowers.

Non-Powered Lawn Mowers

When we talk about non-powered mowers, we are referring to a class of lawn mower that has no motor. These devices usually consist of a set of blades that are rotary in operation and attached to a wheel at either side. The mower has a long bar leading up to two handles, and you simply push it along in lines on your lawn. For smaller lawns, these inexpensive mowers can be a sensible choice, as they are easy to move around, are not heavy, and a good one will do the job.

The main problem is that they have to be manually pushed. If, for example, you are tackling a lawn that has been neglected, this is unlikely to be your best option as the blades will not cut through the tough, long grass. People who use this type of mower usually have a strip of lawn in their yard or a small square, and when used regularly, such a lawn can be kept neat and tidy with one of these. If you want an easier life and a better cut, we recommend you look at powered mowers, so let’s look more closely at these.

Powered Lawn Mowers

The powered lawn mower is the type you will be most familiar with. The extendable handle attached to a body that hides an electric motor – there are gas versions, but they tend to be used on bigger lawns and are more expensive – and the blades. The blades in these are usually rotary; this means they are attached to a central hub that spins at speeds and cut the grass as your push. The blades in quality models are metal, while those for budget mowers tend to be cord – as you would see in a trimmer – or replaceable plastic.

The electric-powered mower is almost certainly the choice for anyone with a smaller to average-sized yard and lawn. Easy to use, effective, and not heavy, they cut quickly and efficiently. You may find models with or without grass boxes that collect the cut grass, and those with make life much easier.

Things to look for with powered mowers include the power of the motor, which we would recommend be at least 6 amps for efficient use, and the cutting width, which may vary considerably between models. The standard will be around 20inches, which should be enough for a small to average-sized lawn. Bear in mind that while some models are rechargeable cordless designs, others come with a lengthy power cord, but this should not present a problem in the smaller yard.

One last point to make is that if you mow each length of lawn in opposing directions, this type of mower will result in the lovely stripes so favored by gardeners, and remember that a well-kept and presented lawn and yard adds to the value of your home should you come to sell. What about robotic mowers, and are they just a novelty? Let’s see what we think!

Robotic Lawn Mowers

Given the developments in technology in recent years, it is no surprise that we now have robot lawn mowers. You may have seen similar devices for use inside the home as robot vacuum cleaners; the robot mower follows the same principle except with blades underneath for cutting grass. But are they any good? The answer is perhaps yes, and no!

The concept and operation are clever, but there are some complexities. The robot mower operates from a base – which also serves to recharge it when not in use – to which it automatically returns when the job is done. In effect, the mower ‘learns’ the design of the lawn, but it has to have aid to do so. This comes in the form of a wire boundary a short distance from the ground, which defines the edge of the lawn. When the mower touches this, it turns around.

Once these mowers have mapped your lawn, they can be effective, and anyone with a small lawn who does not mind a wire running around it may want to look more closely. You can also override the automatic feature and control it remotely. Bear in mind that users have reported the mowers over-running the boundary, but that should not be too big a problem if your yard is enclosed.

Which is for you? Here is our summary.


The three main types of mower outlined above are all suitable in their own way for small yards, and remember to check out this vital lawn care advice that goes further than simply mowing the lawn. Why not check the review that we mentioned and see if there’ a type of model that stands out for you and enjoys a beautifully kept lawn in your smaller yard?

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