The history of Lawn Boy is a convoluted one that began with Ole Evinrude (of Evinrude outboard motors fame) and includes numerous other companies including Briggs & Stratton. I’ll get into the brand history in a moment, but for now suffice to say that during the 1930s the Evinrude Company diverged from producing outboard motors into the realm of lawn mowers, resulting in the first Lawn Boy mowers hitting the market in 1934.
Today, Lawn Boy mowers are made by the Toro Company. Although Toro does produce some zero turn mowers under the Lawn Boy name they are mostly focused on producing walk behind gas and electric Lawn Boy mowers, many of which are highly regarded for their effectiveness and durability. I’ll take a closer look at their current offerings in our Lawn Boy lawn mower reviews.
Our Lawn Boy Lawn Mower Reviews
History of Lawn Boy Lawn Mowers
The Lawn Boy brand began as an offshoot of Evinrude and Briggs & Stratton and continues to this day under the guidance of lawn care giant Toro. There is some debate about whether Evinrude’s founder, Ole Evinrude, had any actual interest in producing lawn care equipment, but the first Lawn Boy mowers were introduced under his name anyway shortly after his death in 1934.
Although the early Lawn Boy reel-style, human powered mowers found some market success they were discontinued during World War II as the company shifted focus back to producing outboard motors, this time for the military.
After the war the company, now known as Outboard Marine and Manufacturing Company or OMMC, went back to producing reel mowers and regained much of their previous market share. But there was a shift taking place that OMMC couldn’t ignore. It was the shift away from human powered mowers to gas powered mowers.
OMMC felt they lacked the R&D capability to produce their own gas powered motors fast enough to take advantage of changing consumer tastes. So instead they acquired the Rotary Power Mower Company of Missouri and rebranded that company’s mowers as Lawn Boy mowers.
During the 1960s and 1970s Lawn Boy mowers gained a lot of traction in the US market. Demand was ramped up when Sears decided to feature Lawn Boy mowers in their hundreds of big box retail stores nationwide. However, the good times couldn’t last and in the early 1990s the Lawn Boy brand hit hard times due to intense competition and Toro swooped in to purchase the brand.
Just as Lawn Boy had purchased Rotary Power Mower Company and simply rebranded those mowers as Lawn Boys in the 1950s, so too Toro essentially bought the Lawn Boy brand and slapped the name on many of their already existing mowers. That’s not to say that those mowers are not quality products, as you’ll see in our Lawn Boy lawn mower reviews, but only to say that Lawn Boy DNA is difficult to find in products currently bearing that name.
Where are Lawn Boy Lawn Mowers Made?
Lawn Boy’s story is a complicated one (to the point that you could argue that there is actually no such thing as a Lawn Boy mower), there’s no doubt about that. But one thing in the brand’s favor is that production of Lawn Boy mowers has never strayed from US soil. At least, not entirely. Toro currently produces Lawn Boy mowers at its plants in Shakopee, MN, Windom, MN, Sanford, FL, El Paso, TX and elsewhere. However, some (not all) of the engines used in Lawn Boy mowers originate in Japan.