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Riding mowers and walk-behind mowers both have their pros and cons in and around the garden.

Knowing the differences between these two popular types of lawn mowers will help you decide which is the better choice for your yard and/or garden.

Is a walkbehind mower better than a riding mower? A walkbehind mower is a cutting grass machine that’s operated by a person that pushes it around the lawn. With a riding mower, on the other hand, the operator is seated on it.  Which one is better for you and your yard and garden depends on your specific landscape, needs, and budget.

Read on below to learn the main characteristics of each mower type, the differences between them, and our top pick for each one (as well as mini-reviews)!

Riding Mower Vs Walkbehind Mower: Which Is Better?

woman in brown long sleeve shirt holding grass cutter
Photo by Gustavo Fring on

Before deciding which side of the riding mower vs walkbehind mower argument you belong on and whether a riding mower or a walk-behind mower is a better option for you, you need to know their characteristics and the factors you need to consider before making your choice. 

1. Size of the Mowing Area

You’ll need to consider the size of the area you need to take care of before deciding if a walk-behind mower or a riding mower is the right choice for you.

For small lawns, a riding mower will not be practical and if your lawn is large, you’ll never be able to keep up with the maintenance with a walk-behind mower. 

2. Overall Functionality

Walk-behind mowers have the only function of cutting grass.

With ridding mowers, however, there are other things you can do like clearing snow during the winter or attaching different pieces of equipment to the back of the mower such as tillers or soil cultivators.

3. Ease of Use

The use of a walk-behind mower is pretty straightforward. Once you’ve turned it on, you push behind it and turn it around whenever you need it.

It’s very easy for beginners. With riding mowers, their operation may take some time to get used to, as they normally move much faster than walk-behind mowers.

4. Characteristics of Yard and Garden

If your lawn has an uneven slope to its surface, with hills and steep slopes, then a riding mower may not be the best option, as it’ll be a risk of rollover.

Even more, if the traction is not good or if the grass is wet, a riding mower can get stuck at the bottom of a hill.

For this kind of lawn, a walkbehind mower may be a better choice.

5. Purchase and Upkeep Costs

If the previously mentioned factors did not help you make a decision, then your budget may be one last thing to consider. While riding mowers may have more functionalities than walk-behind mowers, they are also considerably more expensive.

Best Walkbehind Mower for Your Yard and Garden

The best walkbehind mower for your yard and garden is usually the one that you can afford, to be perfectly honest.

But, what if we told you that if you can afford practically any mower, you can afford one of the best?

Keep reading and discover why we picked the unit below as our favorite walkbehind mower currently on the market.

Greenworks 40V 16″ Cordless Electric Lawn Mower

The 40V Walkbehind Electric Cordless Mower from Greenworks is our top pick for lawnmowers to invest in for the yard and garden, period. The only exception is for those who are purchasing mowers for a landscaping business or who have huge estates to mow (in which case, they are still excellent options for the garden).

The mower is cordless, comes with a battery and charger, and holds a charge for up to 45 minutes of mowing action. It also includes a built-in mulcher and bagger.

The mower is lightweight, and great for teens and the elderly as well as those with bad knees or bad backs. Even more, it runs quietly, and you never have to fool with gas or oil. We have the Greenworks 24V Trimmer and we think it does an amazing job in our garden and yard.

Benefits for Lawn Care

  • 2-in-1 mower and mulcher combo
  • 5-positions for the mower deck
  • 40V power with 4.0Ah battery and charger (included)
  • No gas, no oil, no emissions
  • 3-year warranty for battery and mower

Disadvantages for Lawn Care

  • Must be pushed (no riding or self-propelled options)
  • Needs to be recharged (or have an extra battery) for properties that take an hour or more to mow

Best Riding Mower for Your Yard and Garden

Choosing the best riding mower for your yard and garden often boils down to budget, as much as it does personal preference, and other important factors like how big your yard is, what angles you have to deal with, and more.

Read more about the riding mower vs walkbehind mower debate below, where we discuss one of the all-time best riding mowers for your yard and garden: the MZ61 from Husqvarna.

Husqvarna MZ61

An shiny new orange and black husqvarna riding mower - mz61 model.

The MZ61 Riding Mower from Husqvarna is a legend in its own right. This classic riding mower is one of the most used by large landowners and commercial landscaping companies alike.

That said, if you have a large yard or garden, it’s also likely an excellent choice for you.

The model is one of Husqvarna’s finest; it comes with all the most comfortable features such as padded foam grip handles, high-backed pilot seats, large back wheels, zero-turn functionality, and a 27 HP Briggs and Stratton engine.

Even more, the riding mower has a big and heavy-duty 11-gauge steel 61-inch deck that allows for a 54-inch wide cutting path. That said, the unit does run on gas, oil, spark plugs, air, and oil filters, and requires more maintenance and money to keep running.

Benefits for Lawn Care

  • 61-inch 11-gauge steel deck with a 54-inch cutting path
  • Comfortable high-backed seats
  • Padded foam grip handles
  • 27 HP Briggs and Stratton motor
  • Zero-turn precision mobility

Disadvantages for Lawn Care

  • Runs on gasoline and oil
  • Requires more maintenance
  • Is louder and produces more emissions

Suggested Reading: Wagon Vs Wheelbarrow: Which is Right for You?

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