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Honda dominates the best gas-powered mowers, according to Consumer Reports

Lawnmowers are handy in the warmer months, but eventually they break down and need to be replaced. Although you’ll typically pay over $1,000 for an average push lawn mower, it’s possible to get one for less than $500.

Of course, it’s hard to know which ones to buy with so many brands available. Finding an affordable lawn mower can also mean sacrificing some performance and longevity. If you need something that excels at both, Honda is one of the best lawn mower brands.

Consumer Reports loves Honda lawn mowers

Honda Lawn Mower | Getty Images

According to Consumer Reports, the Honda HRX217HZA is currently the best walk-behind lawn mower. Consumer Reports tests its mowers in three key areas: side discharge, bagging and mulching.

A mower with good side discharge means that the discharge chute will disperse grass clippings evenly. Mulching refers to the fineness of the clippings and their even distribution on your lawn. Finally, you want a mower with a bag that doesn’t fill up too quickly.

The Honda HRX217HZA has excellent mulching capabilities and testers could completely fill the mowing bag without leaking. However, it cannot side-discharge grass clippings as easily or evenly as other mowers.

Some reviews say the HRX217HZA works fine with electric start but will never start after just one pull. This mower also has excessive noise levels when standing behind it, so you’ll probably need headphones or earphones.

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However, this Honda mower has excellent maneuverability and does not lose momentum during long lawn mowing sessions. It also features a handy blade brake clutch to conceal the blade with the press of a button. With this you can safely pull away from the handlebars with the engine running.

The Honda HRX217HZA usually sells for around $980. If that’s out of your price range, the Honda HRN216PKA is excellent.

You get near-perfect side-discharge, mulching, and bagging performance for just $460. It’s also easy to start, delivers a perfectly even cut, and handles just as well as the HRX217HZA trimmer.

Unfortunately, with the cheap price of the Honda HRN216PKA comes a few quality shortcuts. The wheels are less durable with their plastic construction, and many owners report minor manufacturing flaws.

Despite a perfect reliability rating, the pull starter tends to wear out after a few years. The mower still starts, but it requires a few more pulls.

How does Consumer Reports judge the quality of lawn mowers?

To start, Consumer Reports takes each mower to proving grounds filled with 1,800 pounds of grass seed. Once everything has grown, the lawn mower will cut 500,000 square feet of grass, which equals 3,000 pounds of mowing. In addition to flat ground, each mower is driven over ditches and slopes to get the full picture of its performance.

When a mower is relatively quiet and has more convenient features, it will also score higher. Like vehicle scores, Consumer Reports also considers actual owner surveys when ranking lawn mowers. This helps Consumer Reports better understand how resilient each trimmer will be after several years.

Why a good lawnmower is important

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A healthy lawn keeps your property clean, manages the insect population around your home, and encourages even growth. That’s why it’s essential to find a lawn mower that will do its job without wearing out too quickly.

Since lawn mowers are a big investment, proper research is needed beforehand to get the most value for your money. Fortunately, finding your perfect mower is easier with resources like Consumer Reports and quality manufacturers like Honda.

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