Canstar Blue’s 2019 lawn mowers review has seen Masport, Victa, Ryobi, Ozito and ALDI Gardenline compared and rated on their reliability & performance, value for money, ease of use, quality of grass cut, maintenance & servicing and overall customer satisfaction.
See our Ratings Methodology.
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 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 45% of respondents to our latest survey stating that they enjoy mowing their 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. That’s why our annual lawn mower review can help you make a better-informed decision the next time you need to replace your garden mate, with our ratings based on the back-yard experiences of people just like you.
Once again, we’ve surveyed hundreds of men and women who have recently bought a new lawn mower to find out which brands are rated best. Which lawn mower brand do Aussies rate highest? In 2019, the answer is… ALDI Gardenline. Yes, you read that correctly. ALDI might only sell lawn mowers as one of its seasonal Special Buys during the warmer months, but Aussies that own one think the supermarket chain is a cut above the big-name brands.
Canstar Blue’s 2019 lawn mowers review has seen five brands compared and rated in the following order for overall customer satisfaction:
With ALDI taking out the top spot, Masport, Victa and Ryobi all finished with four stars for overall satisfaction, with Ozito rated just three stars. While ALDI and Masport were the only brands to score a five-star rating in this year’s report, other brands – including some that didn’t feature in our star ratings but are mentioned below – may also be worth checking out if you’re looking to tackle your lawn. Below we explore what’s available from each brand, as well as what you should keep an eye out for when you step in store.
Part of the supermarket chain’s ‘Special Buy’ range, you’ll only be able to get your hands on a Gardenline Lawn Mower at select times throughout the year, but from this year’s ratings, it’s worth the wait. While it may not have the same range as other brands, if you’re looking for a no-frills model, or you’re simply after an affordable lawn mower that you can pick up with the bread and milk, ALDI may be best the option for you.
ALDI’s petrol model includes a 161cc 4-stroke engine, with an 18inch cutting width, suitable for smaller to medium-sized lawns. Other features include a 55L catcher, as well as seven adjustable heights to find the best length for your lawn, with ALDI generally selling this petrol model for under $200.
For those after an electric model, ALDI has also previously released a 2x20V cordless lawn mower, which features an adjustable handle for easier use and storage, as well as an integrated battery indicator to let you know when you’re running on empty. With its brushless motor, the cordless mower has a 14.5inch cutting width, ideal for smaller lawns, as well as an adjustable height of 25mm to 75mm, allowing you to give your lawn the look you want. It’s worth noting, however, that ALDI’s lawn mowers can change from one year to the next, so this summer’s releases may look a bit different.
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.
Its petrol range includes three main series, including the President flagship model, which will cost you between $300 and $1,300. The introductory model, the 500 ST, comes with a steel chassis to handle rough terrain, as well as solid plastic catcher for the clippings. With a two-blade cutting system and 16.5inch cutting width, the 500 ST may be best suited for smaller yards, or those looking to stick to a budget.
If money is no issue, the 6000 SPV may be more your speed, with a price tag around $1,200. With a larger price tag comes larger dimensions and capacities, with an 80L catcher a prime example of the ‘bigger is better’ mentality. The SPV also feature adjustable wheel bearings, self-propelling functionality and mulching capabilities, ideal for those with larger lawns or are a bit of green-thumb. With 11 height settings, you can cut the grass to your liking, saving you from mowing more frequently than you’d like.
If the President doesn’t make the cut, you can check out the Contractor series, although the starting price of $900 may make some think twice before heading to the checkout. Features include adjustable wheel bearings, mulching capabilities as well as a ‘Catcher Full’ indicator, allowing you to ensure you’re not drowning in clippings.
In addition to petrol mowers, Masport does offer an electric mower, although you won’t have many models to choose from. Aptly named the ‘Electric Mower’, the model includes a 45L catcher and a 1600W motor, as well as a 16.5inch cutting width, ideal for smaller yards. If you’re looking to tackle an even smaller yard, you may be interested in the Cleveland 18inch Hand Mower model, which features and old school design along with an adjustable cutting height, perfect for small strips of grass. Retailing for just over $200, the Cleveland won’t break the budget, and won’t wake up the neighbours on Sunday morning either.
Founded back 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 mower 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 Victa Classic Cut, the Ultralite should still be able to get the job done, with less effort.
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.
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 lawn mowers include 160cc, 175cc and 190cc varieties, each with a 4-stroke Subaru or Yamaha 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 choice when it comes to cutting your grass down to size.
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.
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.
While the five brands featured in our 2019 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.
Better-known for manufacturing cars, Honda also sells 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 a polymer chassis for a lightweight design, the HRE370 offers a 14.5inch cutting width, with five height settings for an adjustable cut.
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. 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.
Founded more than a 100 years ago, Japanese manufacturer Makita offers a smaller range of mowers in comparison to other brands, but still enough for those after either a petrol and electric model. 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.
Operating within Australia for more than 60 years, Rover has a wide selection of lawn care products, including lawn mowers for every backyard type and size. Focussing on traditional petrol models, Rover has a competitively priced range, with the basic models starting from just $400 and the most expensive mowers 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. You can pick from the Steel Deck and Alloy Deck for a choice in manoeuvrability and weight, which may be worth exploring if you have to push your mower up a hill or if you have tight corners to deal with.
Like anything with a motor, there’s plenty to consider when it comes to buying a new lawn mower, particularly as it could transform your lawn from jungle to award-winner. In addition to your budget, factors such as your lawn size, lawn variety and how often you’re looking to mow will all influence what type of mower you purchase.
An obvious area to consider 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 will 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, with larger widths also not suitable for smaller spaces.
The power source will also play a part in your decision process, 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-stroke and 4-stroke model, which require different fuel types to run, and usually a trip to the petrol station to refuel.
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 you 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 may also run out of charge before you finish mowing, leaving you with a half-finished job. Only 27% of survey respondents stated that their lawn mower’s power lasts long enough to mow their entire lawn, meaning looking into the battery capacity and charging time can save you from standing around.
Other areas to consider include features such as mulchers, catcher capacities, ergonomic handles and adjustable wheel bearings, as each may make your time outside more comfortable, particularly if you have a big lawn. Each feature may cost you a bit more, but may be worth it when it comes to comfort and convenience. With survey respondents spending just under $650 on their lawn mower purchase, and their previous mowers lasting over eight years, forking out of your next purchase may save you in the long run.
With plenty of brands and models to consider, which lawn mower you end up unleashing on your lawn will come down to a variety of factors, as well as what you want your lawn to look like at the end of the day. Those with a bigger lawn may be better suited looking at models with a wider cutting width as well as larger motors or batteries to ensure the job gets done, while those with a garden on a slope may find a self-propelled model the best fit. If you’re a bit of green thumb, a mower with mulching capabilities may also be your best option, allowing you to take proper care of your lawn, while those with a small patch may even consider a hand mower.
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. And if you’re looking to get the edge over your neighbours, be sure to check out our guide to whipper snippers to ensure your yard is a cut above the rest.
This report was written by Canstar Blue’s Home & Lifestyle Content Lead, Megan Birot. She’s an expert on household appliances, health & beauty products, as well as all things grocery and shopping. When she’s not writing up our research-based ratings reports, Megan spends her time helping consumers make better purchase decisions, whether it’s at the supermarket, other retailers, or online, highlighting the best deals and flagging anything you need to be aware of.
Photo Credit: Sergey Ryzhov/shutterstock.com
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 an electric or fuel lawn mower in the last 2 years – in this case, 447 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.
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