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Consumer Reports: Best mower for your lawn

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The grass may be greener on the other side, but with the right lawnmower, you can improve the view on your side too. (WLS)

The grass may be greener on the other side, but with the right lawnmower, you can improve the view on your side too.

Consumer Reports tested more than 100 lawnmowers and tractors, including electric and battery-powered ones. Its experts have affordable recommendations for any size yard.

Lawnmower testers at Consumer Reports have a tough job: leaving the cold, New York winter to brave a 6-acre test site in warm, sunny Florida. All that, to help you pick the best mower or tractor for your yard in time for spring.

"So the first thing you really want to consider is how big your yard is and whether you have any hills. Then, of course, you also have to decide whether you want a gas or electric model," said Paul Hope, Consumer Reports.

If your lawn's on the smaller side - a quarter of an acre or less - a push mower should get the job done. The 250-Troy Bilt is very good if you prefer to mulch the grass. It left behind an evenly cut lawn and is easy to push, pull and turn.

To make mowing easier for larger sized lawns - a half-acre to an acre - a self-propelled lawn mower is the way to go. The $600 Ego is the only self-propelled electric mower Consumer Reports recommends.

"The EGO will run for about an hour. That's enough to mow about half of an acre. After that, you'll need to recharge it for about an hour," Hope said.

Not ready to give up the gas? The $400 Toro Recycler SmartStow offers multiple speeds, so you can power through thicker grass and adjust to different terrain.

If you've got an acre and then some - or prefer to ride your mower - testers found some good starter options while testing tractors.

The $1900 John Deere D130 can cut and clip grass as evenly as some tractors that cost almost twice as much. Consumer Reports surveys report above average reliability for John Deere mowers.

For lawns with serious hills and bumpy terrain, Consumer Reports says consider an all-wheel-drive mower. It recommends the $550 Cub Cadet SC 700h. It cuts evenly in mulch, bag and side discharge modes, plus the all-wheel drive can handle the hills.

All Consumer Reports material Copyright 2017 Consumer Reports, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Consumer Reports is a not-for-profit organization which accepts no advertising. It has no commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site. For more information visit consumer.org
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