With the world focused on greener energies, gas mowers might not be the most common choice nowadays when people come to buy a lawn mower. But they do still have their place. Their power and unlimited runtimes are something other types of mowers are yet to match, and these strengths are particularly attractive if you have a medium or large lawn to maintain.
But with literally dozens of options available, you want to know what the best gas lawn mower of 2021 is, which is why we’ve whittled down all the contenders to a shortlist of 5. Any one of these gas mowers will do you and your lawn proud.
The 5 Best Gas Lawn Mowers (Our Picks)
1. Honda HRX 201-cc 21-in Gas Lawn Mower
(Best Gas Lawn Mower in 2021)
Honda has long been known as the "gold standard" in the world of gas mowers, and they sell a number of contenders that we considered for the title of best gas lawn mower, but it was the Honda HRX21K6VKA that took home the trophy. This isn't your typical entry-level mower, so if you're on a tight budget, you might want to skip over this one. But you do get A LOT of mower for the money you have to plonk down.
Honda engines are well-known for their reliability and power and the GCV200 engine on this model doesn't disappoint. It's extremely strong and doesn't bat an eyelid even as you plow on through thicker or longer patches of grass. That’s something you’ll learn to love if you frequently mow in tough conditions or tend to get a little lazy with your yard care like I do.
And in terms of bringing it to life, it just requires a light pull on the starter cord as opposed to aggressively tugging at it like you’re doing some sort of workout at the gym. Lots of folks say it starts on the first pull. Another thing you’ll come to appreciate over time, especially if you’re not getting any younger!I put so much emphasis on the engine, as for me when shopping for a gas mower, it’s the most important factor. But there is a lot more to this mower than just a great engine. You get 4 cutting modes (mulch, bag, discharge + leaf shred) - it mulches exceptionally well - a deck made of NeXite, which is Honda's proprietary material and offers the resistance of a steel deck without the heavy weight, as well as 7 different cutting heights and rear-drive self-propel.
Weight: 91 lbs
If you have the money, get a Honda gas mower. You won't regret it. I've owned two and I loved mowing with both of them. The quality of the components is far superior to cheaper gas mowers, and it really does show. The Honda HRX21K6VKA has bags of power, it’s very easy to use and the self-propel is a great help on uneven terrain or slight inclines.
2. BLACK+DECKER 21 Inch 140cc 3-in-1 Gas Mower
(Best Self-Propelled Gas Lawn Mower)
This is a mower that I only came across recently and seriously considered buying. I was looking for a mower that would do well with inclines, and front-wheel drive is always the better choice in that situation. This BLACK+DECKER 12A-A2SD736 not only offers that, but it’s got tons of power and an engine that won’t let you down. It just does all the basics very well, and is quite a bit cheaper than the Honda I just outlined above.
Based on my research, it won’t do quite as good a job at mulching (Honda’s Micro-Cut Twin Blade system makes a big difference here) as the Honda, but it still delivers a cut that you’ll be happy with, unless you’re the groundskeeper at the local golf course.
It’s also a nice weight at a tad under 80 lbs. Obviously you have the self-propel when it’s needed, but it pushes very nicely too and feels like it’s reasonably well built. I think you can tell the difference between this and a Honda, but it doesn’t feel like it’s going to start falling to pieces after a season eitherYou have all the other basic features you come to expect on gas mowers nowadays, including 3 different cutting modes (side discharge, bagging and mulching - this mower bags well from what I've heard) and 6 different cutting heights. It goes together easily in about 10 minutes and the grass catcher is easy to attach and detach. All in all, it's hassle-free mowing for a very good price.
Weight: 77.8 lbs
If you’re looking for a gas lawn mower that has it all - self-propel, different cutting options and plenty of power - but don’t want to pay the earth, the BLACK+DECKER 21 Inch 140cc is the perfect choice. Its size makes it a good fit for medium size lawns and it does well even on rough or uneven terrain.
3. Craftsman M105 140cc Gas Powered Push Mower
(Best Budget Gas Lawn Mower in 2021)
If you’re looking for the best gas lawn mower on a pretty limited budget, I’d most probably hang my hat on the Craftsman M105. I personally know folks that have had these and have been happy. I don’t like Briggs and Stratton engines as much as Honda, but when the cost of the mower is this much lower these are compromises that you kind of have to accept.
The main thing with the Craftsman M105 is that it actually does a good job of cutting. In most conditions, the engine will hold up its end of the bargain and get you through. I'd always recommend keeping on top of your mowing so you're never having to cut taller grass, but if you do find yourself in that position, this will do the job. The cut is nice and even too.
The construction isn't as solid as the performance but, and I had to repeat myself, you have to remember that this is an entry-level model at a bargain price. Everything is made as good as it needs to be to get the job done, but I’d recommend you don’t put the Craftsman M105 through the wars if you want it to last several seasons.
The other thing worth mentioning about this mower is its relative light weight. At 72 lbs it’s on the lower end of the weight spectrum for a gas mower, which is a big bonus if you’re not blessed with bulging biceps and don’t want to have to fight with your mower. There’s no self-propel feature - please don’t make the mistake of thinking there is, like so many do - so bear that in mind if you have a large lawn to take care of or have some very steep slopes to mow.
Weight: 72 lbs
The Craftsman M105 is the perfect mower for those with a small to medium size lawn that is relatively flat, and don’t want to spend a ton of money. It’s the kind of mower that needs a bit of TLC, but providing you give it that, it’ll pay you back in return.
I have mentioned several times on this page how much I love Honda mowers, so it shouldn't come as much of a surprise to see another. They are without doubt some of the best gas lawn mowers around. The Honda HRN216VKAA is a watered-down version of the Honda HRX21K6VKA that came in at #1 on this list. It doesn’t quite have all of the bells and whistles, but it’s still a very solid mower and is a fair bit cheaper too.
The engine is a GCV170 engine, which is not quite as powerful as the GCV200, but still packs enough punch for anything the average homeowner is likely to face. And it starts nice and easy too, so no torn rotator cuffs on the horizon. One of the other differences is the deck. It's made from steel as opposed to NeXite, so you do have to be warier of moisture and corrosion, but that's fairly simple provided you're careful.Anyway, enough of what this mower doesn't have. Let's focus on what it does have. It comes equipped with the Twin Blade MicroCut System, so mulches extremely well (I've never seen finer mulch than that produced by Honda mowers), 7 different cutting heights, 3 different cutting modes (bag, mulch and discharge), and a rear-wheel drive self-propel system that can be adjusted to your walking speed.
Weight: 81 lbs
The Honda HRN216VKAA is one of the cheaper models that they produce and is a great option if you want the quality and reliability that Honda is known for, but you don't want to spend all of your vacation money on a mower. Honda's entry-level is right up there with the top-end models of a lot of other brands.
I’ve included this gas mower from Troy Bilt as it offers something a little bit different to the other mowers in this list and is well suited to yards that aren’t blessed with a perfectly flat surface. The 11 inch rear wheels make navigating rough and uneven terrain much easier. Smaller wheels in these same conditions often make the task more difficult. There’s no self-propel feature here though, so I wouldn’t recommend this for very steep slopes or large areas of uneven ground. You back likely wouldn’t thank you for it afterward.
It comes with a large rear bag, a mulching set and a side discharge chute, so whatever your cutting preference is, you’re covered with this mower. I try to mulch when I can, but sometimes it’s not feasible (think when it’s super windy or the grass is really tall). It’s always good to have several alternatives, as you can adapt to the conditions.It’s equipped with one of Troy Bilt's own engines (I have to admit, I have no experience with them, but based on research they seem solid), is easy to start and at 66 lbs assembled is, without doubt, one of the lightest gas mowers on the market. You'd notice a very big difference in weight between this and the Honda HRX21K6VKA that is #1 on this list. This makes it nice and maneuverable, especially in tight little corners of the yard.
Brand: Troy Bilt
Weight: 66 lbs
Don't struggle with that slope or bit of uneven ground anymore. Either get yourself a mower with self-propel or get this Troy Bilt TB130 for a great price. It's a solid all-around mower that boasts superb maneuverability and is very easy to use. There isn't a lot to criticize about it, which is why it’s one of the best gas lawn mowers of 2021 in my opinion.
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