Saving the planet means rethinking every ordinary activity. With the best mulching mower, you can turn your weekly or monthly grass-cutting ritual into an eco-friendly operation. This way, you’ll be giving back to the environment, improving the state of your lawn, and saving money all in one go.
Mulching is a way or recycling that some also call bio-clipping. These terms mean returning the nutrients to your lawn with the help of certain lawn mowers. When you get the hang of it, you’ll be wondering how you ever did without mulching all these years.
Purchasing a mulching mower, however, requires a bit of know-how. Make sure to brush up on this area so you can get the best mulching mower to fit your budget and lawn needs. Also, be sure to glance at the best options in the market for an idea of what to look for.
Why Do You Need a Mulching Mower?
When we mow our lawn, yard, or garden, the grass clippings are usually another chore afterward. We either have to sweep them up or empty them out of the bag into the trash can. However, mulching provides a highly beneficial alternative that can help to better your lawn.
Mulching refers to recirculating the grass clippings using the mowing deck itself. This produces a fine substance known as mulch. The mulch is then automatically spread on the ground as you’re mowing. This way, you don't have to clear up the clippings or lose their benefit. The ground also stays fertilized.
With the best mulching mower, you’ll be able to save on several other costs. There will be no black bag for the clippings, and no chemical fertilizers for your yard. You can also look forward to lush, thick grass the natural way. The best mulching mower should have the unique blades plus a moving deck for cutting the grass efficiently. The smaller the pieces, the easier it is for the soil to absorb the grass’s nutrients.
What Makes the Best Mulching Mower?
Now that you know what mulching can do for you, it’s time to find out how to pick the best mulching mower for your yard and your budget. There are several options on the market, but be sure to consider the following factors first.
There are three main types of mulching mowers: gas-powered, corded, and non-corded. You’ll find that a gas mower might be the most popular option. It will probably stay this way, as this kind of model is perfect for a challenging or large lawn. It allows the user full control, especially over bumps and around obstacles. However, these kinds of mulching mowers do require a lot of maintenance.
If you want to minimize your carbon footprint, an electric model may be the best mulching mower for you. Electric mowers run on either battery power or home electricity, and they create no pollution. Electric mowers come in two varieties: corded and uncorded.
With a corded mower, you’ll have a long power cord that connects directly to a power outlet. This is a feasible option if you have a small lawn, but not for a larger one. It’s also difficult to mow around several obstacles with a corded mower.
An uncorded mower runs on a battery, requiring recharging when empty. While these do provide a convenient and eco-friendly experience, they don’t give you as much power as corded and gas versions.
The size of your lawn
The kind of mulching mower you’ll buy would also depend on how large a lawn you have. A large space needs a gas mower rather than an electric one. If you have a medium lawn (around 0.5 to 1.5 acres) you can go for an electric uncorded option. However, you’ll need to get one with a long-lasting battery so you can avoid recharging in the middle of your mowing session.
You need a mobile mower to easily access all parts of your lawn while mowing it. There should hence be proper wheels that can deal with the mower’s weight and move easily over bumps and stones. Heavy models with small wheels could make for a very difficult mowing and mulching experience.
The level of noise
It’s always best to get a mower that makes as little noise as possible. A noisy operation could disturb your neighbors and possibly their pets. The noise may also damage your ears.
Noisy mowers are also usually bad for the environment. Gas-powered mowers are among the noisiest. They also produce carbon dioxide at a much higher rate. A noisy mower may also indicate low-quality blades and decks. A quiet mower means high-quality blades and greater fuel efficiency.
Among the other factors that may influence your choice of the best mulching mower are the height and cutting range available, as well as the power and performance. If you’re planning to cut various areas or different lawns, an adjustable height is necessary.
You should also check out the power capacity of your mower, along with its battery life. Finally, see how fine the mulch it can produce. The result should be as clean-cut and fine as possible, without unsightly clumps. The finer the cut, the better your lawn will look afterward.
How to Maintain Your Mulching Mower
Now that you have the best mulching mower for your lawn, you should take proper care of it. Even the best mulching mower could seize up and become useless if you don’t maintain and use it properly. Follow the guidelines below and get the idea of what it takes:
Follow the "one-third" rule
The first rule of mowing is never to cut more than a third off the height of your grass in one go. Even if you have grass blades growing a few inches long, adjust the blade height for one-third of it and make multiple rounds as needed. Even the best mulching mower doesn’t have a deck that can handle a huge load of grass clippings at once.
Make sure the grass stays half an inch longer
The final result of your grass should be around half an inch longer than with other methods. When you were clearing the grass clippings away or discharging them, extremely short blades of grass were acceptable. However, you need the grass to stay a bit longer to retain the moisture, suppress the weed growth, and also hide the fine mulch.
Check if the blades are sharp
Your mower blades should be sharp all the time. Keep in mind that mulching blades grow dull more quickly than those in other mowers. This is due to the heavy workload, so you should perform a weekly checkup. You also need to clean the deck’s underside, ideally using a brush with nylon bristles. The cleaning is necessary for maintaining good airflow, a vital aspect of proper mulching.
Set a specific schedule for watering the lawn
You should water your lawn after the mowing is done. If you do this beforehand, the clippings will stick to the mower and cause clumps in the mulch. On the other hand, watering afterward results in settling down the clippings and helping them decompose.
How We Reviewed
We’ve selected the following as the best mulching mowers on the market. They all have excellent Amazon reviews and ratings. We’ve also taken care to select those with different features, so there’s an option for every kind of requirement.
As a rule, the best mulching mower doesn’t come cheap. Electric mowers usually cost less than the gas versions. The Honda HRR216K9VKA, one of the highest prices on the market. However, the Earthwise 50214 is an electric option that costs at the lowest.
If you need a mower with several height adjustments, an easy stop function, and other features, it also means a hefty price tag. If you’re on a budget, you might have to opt for lighter options.
The 8 Best Mulching Mowers of 2019
These eight are our favorites. Which will be the best mulching mower of the year? Since each mower comes with competitive features, you should finalize your decision only after matching those features with your lawn’s specific needs.
- 10 Amp Electric Motor delivers enough power to cut through touch grass. Assembled Product Weight: 48.0 Pounds
- Durable 16-Inch cutting deck gets the job done quicker and more efficiently
- 2-in-1 feature provides mulching and rear discharge capabilities
- 5 position height adjustment offers a range of cutting height from 5/8-Inch to 2-5/8-Inch for the perfect cut on all types of grass
- 7-Inch rear wheel and 6-Inch front wheels.Maximum extension cord length:150 feet.Maximum extension cord length:150 feet
The Greenworks 25142 is a corded electric mulching mower with a 10 amp motor. It’s suitable for small and medium lawns without requiring you to put additional efforts while using it. It boasts a 16-inch cutting deck, which is a large enough size to minimize your effort. This is an eco-friendly option that won’t produce much noise or air pollution.
While customers do find the corded option a little unwieldy, they love the quiet operation of the Greenworks mower. The one-touch start button is also a highly appreciated feature. With the prices varying according to its cord length.
- Make lawn mowing a breeze with this high-grade walk-behind mower
- Adjustable Smart Drive control allows you to adjust the mower's speed to your liking
- Mulch, bag, and discharge with the 3-in-1 System and Clip Director
- No more having to restart the engine after stepping away from the mower
- Roto-Stop temporarily stops the blade instead of turning off the engine
The Honda HRR216K9VKA is a variable-speed mower with smart drive and micro-cut twin blades. Since it’s self-propelled, you can use it easily and without stress. It’s gas-powered, making it immensely powerful and consistent in its cutting force. There’s a quick-stop function when you let go of the lever, making this a safe choice for those with kids or pets.
User reviews have raved about how the performance of this mower results in extremely fine mulch which easily decomposes. This has resulted in healthy lawns for many people. Its only downside is the high price.
- Compatible with all EGO power+ arc lithium batteries
- 20 in. cut capacity
- Weather-resistant construction
- 3-in-1: mulching/bagging/side discharge
- Folds easily for compact storage
The EGO Power+ LM2000-S has everything you’d want in a cordless lawn mower. There's the one-touch start, the easy mobility, and the high level of performance that won’t make you regret the purchase. It also features a weather-resistant body, ensuring that you can mow and mulch no matter what it’s like outdoors. The unique addition of LED headlights is a great idea as well.
Users of this mower have loved its wide 20-inch cutting deck which provides an efficient and streamlined result. This mower is definitely worth considering. Unfortunately, the high price can place it out of many gardening budgets.
- G-max 40 Volts Li-Ion battery system powers multiple tools for complete yard work system--includes one 4 Ampere hour battery and one 2 Ampere hour battery and charger , Voltage - 40 Volts
- 20-inch cutting deck offers a great balance of maneuverability and cutting capacity making it ideal for mid-sized areas. Front Wheels: 7 Inch, Rear Wheels :10 Inch
- Innovative smart cut technology adjusts for power or runtime based on the thickness of your grass. Deck Material - Plastic
- Dual blades offer better cut quality, superior mulching and bagging capabilities; 5 position single lever height adjuster allows for a cutting height range of 1-3/4 inches to 3-3/8 inches
- Kindly review the user manual under technical specification for troubleshooting steps and set up instructions
The Greenworks 25302 has a wide 20-inch cutting deck, which will reduce the time it takes for you to mow your lawn. The dual blade system adds to the efficiency and speech while helping in making fine mulch out of your clippings in no time. With the Greenworks unique Smart Cut technology, the mower itself will decide whether to increase its runtime or power output.
Customers love the easy use and comfort of this cordless mower. They also appreciate the five cutting heights available along with the excellent battery life.
- 20-inch wide cutting path
- 7-setting height adjustment from 1-1/2 inch to 4 inches high
- Convenient carrying handle
- 13-gallon nylon grass collection bag
- Included Components: (1) Mower, (1) Grass collection bag; Power Source: Electric
The Black & Decker MM2000 has a 20-inch deck with an impressive selection of seven height adjustment levels. There’s also a carrying handle and the option to collect your clippings in a large nylon bag. The 1-amp motor inside makes it more powerful than most other corded varieties.
Customers love the immense power of this mower, even though it means less flexibility. The environmental impact is also on the lower side, with the one-touch system counted as yet another plus point.
- Briggs and Stratton Silver Series 5-torque - 140cc engine
- 21-inch cutting width, low 7-inch front wheels, high 11-inch rear wheels
- 3-in-1 cutting methods (side discharge, mulch, or bag clippings into rear bag)
- Dual-point deck height adjusters with six positions for quick height adjustments
- Reliable spark plug
The Craftsman 37430 is a gas-powered mower with excellent efficiency when compared to both corded and cordless models. What’s more, it also offers the unique feature of an easy-start mechanism. This isn't something you find in gas mowers every day!
Customers love the easy ignition and wide 21-inch cutting deck in this option. However, the 3-in-1 system might not be too impressive for those who just want a mulching mower.
- Maintenance free - No gas, oil or tune-ups
- Detachable grass catcher for easy disposal; Grass collection bag capacity: 14. 5 gal
- Best use: small to mid-sized lawns
- Powerful 12-amp motor with a durable 20-inch steel deck
- Tailor cutting height with 7-position manual height adjustment
The Sun Joe MJ408E is an electric mulching mower that doesn’t require tune-ups, gas, or oil changes. You can also use it for discharging the clippings on the side or collecting them in a bag. The 12-amp motor provides a straight, clean cut that is around 20 inches wide.
Customers love the two-year warranty on this model, along with the budget price. However, you should keep in mind that the lowest cutting height is 1.96, which might be too long for some gardeners.
- Powerful 8-Amp motor provides the power to cut all types of grasses; High efficiency motor for gas-like power
- Large 14" cutting width with single lever easy-change cutting height adjustment from 1.5"-4"; 5.5" front and 6.5" rear wheels for maneuverability
- 2-in-1 side discharge and mulching system; Adjustable comfort 'V' handle with cushioned grip for easy of use
- Compact and slim frame with folding handles for easy storage; Cord retention hook keeps cord secure while in use
- Lightweight and easy to operate
The Earthwise 50214 has a power of 3700 RPM, with both mulching and side discharge capabilities. There are large wheels, a folding handle, and a height adjustment with a single lever. This way, you can easily adjust the facilities as needed before mowing a specific lawn. The price is quite reasonable for a mulching mower, giving you great value for the money.
Customers do find the cord a bit challenging but appreciate the way this mower starts immediately. They also like the fact that it makes less noise and gives off fewer emissions than a gas-powered mower.
It’s Time to Get the Best Mulching Mower Moving!
If we must choose between the excellent options above, the Greenworks 25302 seems to be a sound investment. It’s an eco-friendly option with a reasonable price and a well-known brand name to boot. What’s not to like about it?
Get your best mulching mower on your yard as soon as you can, and you’ll see the difference soon enough. You’ll be saving the environment and have a lush green lawn with more time on your hands to enjoy it.