2018 Lawn Mower Reviews & Ratings
You are viewing the archived Lawn Mower ratings. Follow the link to view the current Lawn Mower rating page.
Compare lawn mowers from brands Honda, Masport, Ozito, Ryobi and Victa on factors including ease of use, reliability and performance, quality of grass cut, maintenance and servicing, value for money, fuel economy/battery life and overall satisfaction.
Canstar Blue research finalised in June 2018, published in July 2018.
See our Ratings Methodology
Victa cuts down the competition in lawn mower ratings
Mowing the lawn has long been a Sunday tradition for many Aussies, followed by sitting back with a cold drink afterwards to admire your hard work. With our climate, you can go months during winter without having to get your lawn mower out of the shed, but during the summer, many of us are out cutting the grass every couple of days to keep it properly maintained. As a result, you’ll want a lawn mower that can handle the workload for when the grass gets away from you, as well as one that can handle the size and shape of your backyard.
With a number of mower types available, finding one that will make short work of your lawn can send shoppers into a head-spin, with the choice between a 2-stroke, 4-stroke, electric and even self-propelled models enough for you to think about hiring someone to cut your lawn for you instead. But with six out of ten (61%) respondents to our latest survey stating that they enjoy mowing the lawn, finding one that makes the job a breeze would be at the top of most people’s lists. Reliability and ease of use are crucial factors to consider.
Which lawn mower brand do Aussies rate highest? In 2018, Victa has topped our customer ratings, with five-star reviews across all research categories for the second year in a row. The five brands included in our review were rated in the following order for overall satisfaction:
- 1st Victa
- 2nd Masport
- 3rd Ryobi
- 4th Ozito
- 5th Honda
While Victa stole the show once again, most brands achieved solid results in most research categories, giving you plenty to think about. It’s always handy to keep an eye out for all the additional features and capabilities of mowers, as you might be able to do a lot more than simply cut grass. Read on to find out just what these five brands have to offer for all your lawn mowing needs. We’ll also name drop some of the biggest brands not included in our review.
Top Lawn Mowers
Founded in the 1950s, the Victa lawn mower is an Australian icon, with the brand producing a variety of mowers to suit your needs, whether you have acres or metres to mow. Offering multiple series – which includes electric and self-propelled models – Victa mowers are generally priced between $300 and $900, and are available at hardware stores and mower dealerships.
Victa’s introductory model, the Classic Cut, contains an 18inch cutting width, with a dual-blade cutting system providing an effective way to catch the lawn clippings. Powered by a 4-stroke engine, the Classic Cut also features RapidStart technology for easy ignition, and is suitable for backyards 200m² in size.
The Ultralite may be suitable for those with tight corners – or have issues with heavier models – with the lightweight steel chassis trimming down the mower’s weight, making it much easier to push around the backyard. Including similar height and width specifications as the Classic Cut, the Ultralite should still be able to get the job done, with less effort.
The Commando series from Victa, which includes the Self-Propelled model, the Mulch & Catch, Ultimate and 2-stroke variety, offers an option for all yard sizes and terrains, with each model featuring different cutting heights and widths – seemingly making them easier to manoeuvre and cut. One of Victa’s pricier ranges, the Commando series is also more suitable for larger backyards.
For those after an electric lawn mower, Victa offers both a 40V and 82V cordless range, with each series including at least two model types. Powered by Lithium-Ion batteries, the 40V mower can cut through a 360m² backyard with a single charge, Victa claims, whereas the 82V mowers have a run time of up to 45 minutes. With additional batteries also available for separate purchase, Victa offers work-arounds for larger backyards, or for those who let the yard grow wild.
- Remaining consistent with last year’s results, Victa earned five stars in all research categories, including reliability, ease of use, value for money and quality of grass cut.
Founded just across the ditch in New Zealand, Masport has been operating for over 100 years, with the company today offering plenty of lawn mowers for households to choose from, whether you’re after the traditional petrol model, an electric model, or even the classic hand mower, depending on your needs.
Masport offers three main petrol series, with a variety of other models also available, all priced between $300 and $1,300. The President is Masport’s flagship model, only sold at select dealers, so you’ll have to do a bit of digging if you’ve got your heart set on one.
The introductory President model, the 500 ST, comes with a solid plastic catcher for clippings, as well as steel chassis for tougher terrains. With a 16.5inch cutting width and a two-blade cutting system, the 500 ST might be a suitable model for those with a smaller yard to mow, or those looking to keep to a budget. Retailing at less than $400, the 500 ST has seven cutting height steps, with a range of 13mm to 65mm to help make your lawn look perfectly manicured.
The President 6000 is on the other end of the spectrum, costing over $1,200, but comes with a variety of other features to take care of any lawn. Including mulching capabilities, adjustable wheel bearings and self-propelling functionality, the 6000 could be well worth the price tag for households that have plenty of grass to mow. With an 80L catcher and up to 11 height steps, the 6000 seemingly has the potential to turn even the wildest lawn into a picturesque landscape.
Another of Masport’s ranges is the Contractor series, with a starting price of around $900 likely enough to scare a few away. With features including its ‘Catcher Full’ indicator, adjustable wheel bearings, plus mulching capabilities on some models, the Contractor series has plenty to offer for mowing enthusiasts, but it comes at a price.
If you’re after an electric mower, Masport doesn’t have a huge selection to choose from, but does offer a model under $300 for those interested. With a 1600W motor and a 16.5inch cutting width, the aptly named ‘Electric Mower’ also includes a 45L catcher and a Mulch Plug, available for separate purchase. Weighing only 14kg, the Electric Mower is likely best suited for smaller yards, or for those who struggle to push around larger models.
If you only have a strip of grass to mow – or just enjoy the simple things – Masport offers the Cleveland 18inch Hand Mower model, with the old school design featuring an adjustable cutting height, as well as a lightweight detachable catcher for easy clipping disposal. Retailing for just over $200, the Cleveland is affordable and you won’t have to worry about waking up your neighbours on Sunday morning.
- Masport scored five stars for ease of use, reliability and performance, as well as maintenance and servicing, while scoring four stars for overall satisfaction and value for money.
Known for a wide variety of tools, Japanese manufacturer Ryobi has a number of lawn mowers available for Aussie consumers to purchase, including both electric and petrol models. One of the more affordable ranges available on the market, Ryobi may be suitable for those hoping to stick to a budget, or for those looking for smaller models, with some Ryobi mowers available with a 13inch cutting width.
Ryobi’s petrol mowers include 160cc and 190cc models, each with a 4-stroke Subaru engine. In addition to the power increase, the 190cc model comes with four blades, as opposed to the 2-blade 160cc model, helping to cut through thicker grass. The 190cc model also comes with a 50L catcher, folding handle and 10 height settings to give you plenty of options when it comes to cutting your grass.
The majority of Ryobi’s range comes in the form of electric mowers, with 18V and 36V mowers available. Ryobi’s 18V series operate a smaller cutting width – with the largest model available at just 14 inches – but this may be preferable for those with smaller areas to cut, or those who have a lot of tight corners or edges to take into account.
The 36V range, in addition to the power increase, also provides a wider cutting width, ranging between 16 and 20 inches. The 16inch mower has a catcher capacity of 50L, with five height options for a cutting range between 20mm and 70mm, while the 20inch model bumps the height options up to seven, with a cutting height between 25mm to 75mm for your personal preferences. The 20inch model also contains self-propelling functionality, making mowing the lawn an easier process.
- Rated five stars for ease of use, Ryobi scored four stars for all other categories, including value for money, reliability and overall satisfaction.
Sold exclusively through Bunnings Warehouse, Ozito mowers have been on the market since 1993, with the brand offering electric and hand models only. While you may be out of luck if you were after a petrol model, Ozito’s electric mowers could be able to win you over with one of the cheapest ranges available, costing between $100 and $200.
Ozito’s electric mowers come in a range of motor sizes, including 1000W, 1400W and 1500W options for all yard types. Known as the Ecomow range, all include safety features to ensure no accidental start-ups occur. With a folding handle for easy storage, and a catcher up to a 38L capacity, the Ecomow range will be able to tackle small and medium-sized lawns.
Ozito’s hand model, the Push Reel mower, would be a suitable option for those with a smaller yard, with the model containing self-sharpening blades for reduced maintenance, as well as slip-resistant wheels to ensure easy use, regardless of the weather. The Push Reel also has an adjustable cutting height between 14-42mm for a close cut, with a 300m width cut able to make short work of narrow areas.
- Ozito scored four stars for overall satisfaction and reliability and performance, but notably got five stars for ease of use, but just three stars for grass cutting quality.
While better-known for manufacturing cars, Honda also offers households a variety of tools, including both electric and petrol-powered lawn mowers to help you cut through your weekend chores.
Honda’s electric mower, the HRE370, is priced at around $400 from select retailers, and is powered by simply plugging into a wall socket. With its polymer chassis for a lightweight design, the HRE370 offers a 14.5inch cutting width, with five height settings for an adjustable cut. With its 35L capacity catcher and a four-year warranty, Honda’s electric model may be worth looking into for those with smaller yards.
If you’re after a petrol model, Honda has plenty to offer, ranging in price from $700 up to over $1,700. Honda’s introductory model, the HRS21, has a 21inch cutting width, with six adjustable height settings between 30mm and 100mm for a cut tailored to your preferences. While handy for whatever size your lawn is, the HRS21 does not contain a catcher, with a side chute and mulcher instead, meaning you will have to clean up the lawn clippings afterwards.
Honda’s other petrol mowers – the HRR and HRU ranges – all contain a catcher for grass clippings, with the HRR offering a larger cutting width. Another difference comes from the chassis, with the HRU made with lighter aluminium alloy, while the HRR is constructed from sturdy steel, making the HRU easier to manoeuvre around the lawn. Both models feature a fuel tank capacity of less than 1L, meaning you’ll be able to get through a good chunk of the lawn before you have to refuel.
- While scoring four stars for ease of use, Honda was rated three stars in all remaining categories
Other Lawn Mower Brands
While the five brands featured in our 2018 review can be considered some of the biggest around, there are others on the market that may be worth a look. These include:
Known for a variety of household appliances, German manufacturer Bosch has also ventured outdoors to offer both hand and electric mowers. Providing both corded and cordless electric options, all feature the Ergoflex System, with adjustable handles for improved body posture while you mow, as well as an easy-grip handle.
With cutting heights of between 20mm and 70mm, the cutting width will vary between 14 and 16 inches depending on the model, with Bosch’s hand model producing a similar width with a closer cutting height for a manicured end product.
Operating within Australia for over 60 years, Rover has a wide selection of lawn care products, including lawn mowers for every backyard type and size. While focussing on traditional petrol models, Rover has a competitively priced range, with the basic model starting at just $400 and the most expensive mower costing just over $1,000.
Rover’s range predominantly features the Duracut and Pro Cut series, with the Pro Cut featuring larger engines and cutting widths, with additional features also including mulching plugs, larger catchers and self-propelled models.
Founded more than a 100 years ago, Japanese manufacturer Makita offers a smaller range of mowers, but still enough for those after both petrol and electric models. Makita’s electric range consists of two cordless models, suitable for small to medium sized yards. The smaller model, which features six height settings and a 15inch cut width, comes with a 40L catcher and has a runtime of just 17 minutes, whereas Makita’s other electric model consists of up to 13 height settings and a 17inch width cut, more suitable for larger areas.
Makita’s petrol range includes engine sizes between 140cc and 190cc, with 18inch and 20inch width cuts available. All petrol mowers include mulching capabilities to help with the gardening, in addition to a 60L catcher and an adjustable cut height between 20 and 75mm.
That’s right, ALDI also sells lawn mowers. ALDI’s ‘Gardenline’ series is typically only available as a Special Buy – here one week, gone the next. If other special buys are anything to go by, ALDI is always trying to improve its products and refining their prices, so they may change from one year to the next.
When most recently available, ALDI’s lawn mower boasted a 4-stroke engine, with a 40cm-odd cutting width, making it suitable for most modern backyards. It also featured a sizeable catcher. Expect the next revision of ALDI’s lawn mower to be an improvement, and its price of around $140 may change. In any case, ALDI is known for bargain products, and this is a bargain price. However, Aussie shoppers look at a lot more than price alone, so it all depends on your budget and gardening requirements.
Things to consider when looking at lawn mowers
When it comes to lawn mowers, there is plenty to consider before you reach into your wallet. While for some mowing the lawn is a chore and nothing more, others will consider it an art form – just take a look at any sporting ground! While not all of us are artists, there are a few consistent factors to keep an eye out for when it comes to shopping for a lawn mower.
The most obvious is the cutting capabilities of the mower. All brands will list at what height the grass will be cut, as well as the variable height adjustment that each model is capable of. The more adjustable the height settings are, the more options you’ll have when it comes to mowing the lawn, meaning you’ll get the cut you want, as well as giving your grass the attention and care it needs to grow properly.
Cutting width is also something to take into account, with the larger the width, the more you can cut in one go. The only trade off, however, is that with a larger width, manoeuvrability might become an issue for some, while larger widths also not suitable for smaller spaces.
The power source is also an important aspect to consider, as while it may seem a simple choice between petrol and electric motors, each has other aspects to consider. For petrol models, this includes choosing between a 2-storke and 4-stroke model, which require different fuel types, as well as a trip to the petrol station every time you need to fill up.
Electric mowers are available in both cordless and corded models, which means you can either have one powered by a battery or powered by electricity through your home’s wall socket. Buying a corded model means having to consider where your wall sockets are, as well as possibly carrying around an extension cord while mowing, which can present problems if you accidently run over it! Similarly, cordless models run the risk of running out of charge before you finish mowing, which could mean having to wait around while the battery recharges before you finish the job.
Other features such as mulchers, catcher capacities, ergonomic handles and adjustable wheel bearings are also factors to be considered, especially if you have a big yard or you’re looking to be as comfortable as possible when you’re outside. Each feature may cost you a bit more, but this may be worth it when it comes to comfort and convenience. After all, no one wants to be constantly emptying the catcher every couple of minutes.
Almost one in five survey respondents told us they wish they had spent more on a better mower. That’s something to keep in mind if you’re swayed by a cheap option.
You may also be interested in:
Which lawn mower should I buy?
While they all might do more or less the same job, lawn mowers can be completely different depending on the model type and additional features and capabilities they come with. Those with bigger back yards might like to consider mowers with larger motors or batteries to ensure the job gets done, while those with a yard on a slope might consider a self-propelled model so that you’re not puffed out from pushing the mower around.
Every back yard is different, and there are plenty of model types and brands to consider, so doing a bit of research into lawn mowers could potentially save you money in the long run, as well as save you time mowing, meaning there’s more time to enjoy your lawn with that cold drink.
Frequently Asked Questions
Canstar Blue surveyed 3,000 Australian adults across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased an electric or fuel lawn mower in the last two years – in this case, 432 people.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.