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1 October 2020

Which lawn mower brand to buy in 2020

Exclusive Which? reliability and customer satisfaction data can help you choose a lawn mower brand that can go the distance. We survey owners of lawn mowers from the likes of Cobra, Flymo, Gtech, Honda and John Deere to find out which develop the least faults over time, and which brands customers are happiest with and would recommend.
Selection of lawn mower brands
JB
Joel Bates

Power issues are the most common faults across all lawn mower types, with cordless-mower batteries failing to hold charge, electric mowers suffering electrical failures and petrol-mower engines failing to turn over.

Problems with handle controls breaking are also common with around 10% of reported issues across all mower types – all of which could render your lawn mower unusable until it's fixed.

Knowing which brands develop the most faults and how quickly is vital when buying a new lawn mower. That’s why each year we ask more than 2,000 Which? members to tell us whether they're happy, or have experienced problems, with their lawn mowers in our unique reliability and customer satisfaction survey.

Our survey data takes into account the reported fault rates, the severity of these faults and the speed with which they occurred. In our latest analysis, we've looked at the performance of the biggest manufacturers – including Cobra, Flymo, Gtech, Honda, John Deere – and have calculated a reliability rating and customer score for each, so you know which brands to choose and which to avoid.

Best vs worst lawn mower brands compared

We’ve found huge differences between how satisfied owners are with their lawn mowers.

Our Best Buy lawn mowers will help ensure that you buy a lawn mower that will meet your expectations.

The most reliable lawn mower brands

The table below summarises our latest reliability results. Brands are ranked by their customer score, which relates to whether their customers would recommend that brand. 

The higher the percentage score for reliability, the fewer the problems reported.



In the table below, only logged-in members can view which brands are the most and least reliable, and which ones members are most satisfied with. If you're not yet a member, join Which? to get instant access.



Common lawn mower problems

Although each type of lawn mower is very different in terms of the mechanics that make them run, the most common issues owners of all types of lawn mowers face relate to power outages.

These can be caused by Li-ion batteries in cordless mowers struggling to retain a charge, or by key elements of the engines in electric and petrol mowers rusting or wearing away over time. Moist or cold storage environments can often exacerbate or accelerate these problems.

Thankfully, in most cases these issues are solvable, either by replacing the battery (in the case of cordless mowers) or by having your mower serviced.

Top-three common cordless lawn mower faults

Top-three common electric lawn mower faults

Top-three common petrol lawn mower faults

You might expect cheaper lawn mower brands to have the lowest ratings for reliability, but our survey shows that this isn’t always the case. 

The cheapest electric lawn mower brand, on average, in fact scored the highest for reliability and the most expensive brand came bottom of the list for petrol mowers. This proves you don’t always need to pay the highest price for the most reliable lawn mower.

See our Don't Buy lawn mowers to take note of the models you should make sure to avoid.

Which lawn mower brand stays fault-free for longest?

The graph above shows how the brand that stays fault-free for the longest compared with the worst brand, and the overall average across all three lawn mower types. Which? members can see how brands compare for faults over a six-year period in the table below.

If you're not yet a member, join Which? to get instant access. 

Cordless lawn mowers

Brand name % fault-free after six years
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90%
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90%

Electric lawn mowers

Brand name % fault-free after six years
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92%
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90%
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85%
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81%

Petrol lawn mowers

Brand name % fault-free after six years
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83%
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79%
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74%
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69%
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63%
Table notes

Results based on feedback from 2,656 lawn mower owners surveyed in January 2020.

How long will my lawn mower last?

There is some variation among lawn mower types as to the time they last. On average, a cordless mower will last 9.1 years, an electric mower 8.9 years and a petrol mower 11 years. That's according to the experience of Which? members who told us how long they kept their previous appliance from a brand, before they had to replace it, either due to a fault or because it wasn’t working as well as when they first bought it.

As you can see from the graph below, there’s a big difference between how long the best and the worst lawn mower brands last.

Which? members can log in to view which lawn mower brands last the longest before they need to be replaced. If you're not yet a member, join Which? to get instant access.

How we measure faults and reliability in lawn mowers

Our data takes into account minor, major and catastrophic faults:

  • Minor faults don't affect the product's performance significantly, or only occur occasionally with minimal impact. This issue may be irritating or annoying, but isn't frequently problematic and you can easily work around it.
  • Major faults have a noticeable effect on the product’s performance. They affect how you use the product and can be problematic.
  • Catastrophic faults will render the product unusable, with the fault needing to be repaired or parts replaced before it can be used again.

Lawn mower brands rated

Choose a brand from the list below to find out more about how good it is, including the number of Best Buys it’s received and the average score of its lawn mowers in our reviews.

Only logged-in members can view the hidden results in the tables below. If you’re not yet a member, join Which? to get instant access.

Black & Decker lawn mowers overview table
Number tested2
Number of Best Buys
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Average test score
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Brand reliability rating
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Customer score
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Typical spend
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Table notesAverage test score based on results of models tested in the past three years (as of 26 March 2020). The customer score and brand reliability rating are based on a Which? member survey conducted in January 2020 of 31 electric Black and Decker lawn mower owners. The customer score is based on whether members would recommend the brand to a friend and the reliability score is based on members’ experience of that brand. Table last updated March 2020.
  • Find out if Black & Decker lawn mowers are more or less reliable than other brands.
  • See how Black & Decker owners rate their lawn mowers.
  • Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive reliability ratings and verdicts. If you're not yet a member, join Which? to get instant access.
Bosch lawn mowers overview table
Number tested10
Number of Best Buys
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Average test score
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Brand reliability rating
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Customer score
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Typical spend
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Table notesAverage test scores based on results of models tested in the past three years (as of 26 March 2020). The customer scores and brand reliability ratings are based on a Which? member survey conducted in January 2020 of 233 cordless and 608 electric Bosch lawn mower owners. The customer scores are based on whether members would recommend the brand to a friend and the reliability score is based on members’ experience of that brand. Table last updated March 2020.
  • Find out how likely a Bosch lawn mower is to develop a fault.
  • See how Bosch lawn mowers perform in our tests and how many be made a Best Buy.
  • Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive reliability ratings and verdicts. If you're not yet a member, join Which? to get instant access.
Cobra lawn mowers overview table
Number tested11
Number of Best Buys
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Average test score
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Brand reliability rating
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Customer score
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Typical spend
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Table notesAverage test score based on results of models tested in the past three years (as of 26 March 2020). The customer score and brand reliability rating are based on a Which? member survey conducted in January 2020 of 42 Cobra petrol lawn mower owners. The customer score is based on whether members would recommend the brand to a friend and the reliability score is based on members’ experience of that brand. Table last updated March 2020.
  • Find out how likely a Cobra lawn mower is to develop a fault.
  • See how Cobra lawn mowers perform in our tests and how many are Best Buys.
  • Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive reliability ratings and verdicts. If you're not yet a member, join Which? to get instant access.
Flymo lawn mowers overview table
Number tested15
Number of Best Buys
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Average test score
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Brand reliability rating
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Customer score
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Typical spend
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Table notesAverage test score based on results of models tested in the past three years (as of 26 March 2020). The customer score and brand reliability rating are based on a Which? member survey conducted in January 2020 of 260 Flymo electric lawn mower owners. The customer score is based on whether members would recommend the brand to a friend and the reliability score is based on members’ experience of that brand. Table last updated March 2020.
  • Find out how likely a Flymo lawn mower is to develop a fault.
  • See how Flymo owners rate their lawn mowers.
  • Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive reliability ratings and verdicts. If you're not yet a member, join Which? to get instant access.
Hayter lawn mowers overview table
Number tested4
Number of Best Buys
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Average test score
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Brand reliability rating
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Customer score
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Typical spend
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Table notesAverage test score based on results of models tested in the past three years (as of 26 March 2020). The customer score and brand reliability rating are based on a Which? member survey conducted in January 2020 of 117 Hayter petrol lawn mower owners. The customer score is based on whether members would recommend the brand to a friend and the reliability score is based on members’ experience of that brand. Table last updated March 2020.
  • See how Hayter owners rate their lawn mowers.
  • Find out how reliable Hayter lawn mowers are compared to other brands.
  • Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive reliability ratings and verdicts. If you're not yet a member, join Which? to get instant access.
Honda lawn mowers overview table
Number tested4
Number of Best Buys
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Average test score
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Brand reliability rating
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Customer score
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Typical spend
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Table notesAverage test score based on results of models tested in the past three years (as of 26 March 2020). The customer score and brand reliability rating are based on a Which? member survey conducted in January 2020 of 179 Honda petrol lawn mower owners. The customer score is based on whether members would recommend the brand to a friend and the reliability score is based on members’ experience of that brand. Table last updated March 2020.
  • Find out how likely a Honda lawn mower is to develop a fault.
  • See how satisfied customers are with their Honda lawn mowers.
  • Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive reliability ratings and verdicts. If you're not yet a member, join Which? to get instant access.
John Deere lawn mowers overview table
Number tested4
Number of Best Buys
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Average test score
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Brand reliability rating
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Customer score
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Typical spend
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Table notesAverage test score based on results of models tested in the past three years (as of 26 March 2020). The customer score and brand reliability rating are based on a Which? member survey conducted in January 2020 of 30 John Deere petrol lawn mower owners. The customer score is based on whether members would recommend the brand to a friend and the reliability score is based on members’ experience of that brand. Table last updated March 2020.
  • See how John Deere compares with other brands.
  • Find out which faults are most likely to happen in John Deere lawn mowers.
  • Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive reliability ratings and verdicts. If you're not yet a member, join Which? to get instant access.
Mountfield lawn mowers overview table
Number tested10
Number of Best Buys
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Average test score
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Brand reliability rating
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Customer score
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Typical spend
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Table notesAverage test score based on results of models tested in the past three years (as of 26 March 2020). The customer score and brand reliability rating are based on a Which? member survey conducted in January 2020 of 204 Mountfield petrol lawn mower owners. The customer score is based on whether members would recommend the brand to a friend and the reliability score is based on members’ experience of that brand. Table last updated March 2020.
  • Find out how likely a Mountfield lawn mower is to develop a fault.
  • See if Mountfield lawn mowers are long-term purchases.
  • Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive reliability ratings and verdicts. If you're not yet a member, join Which? to get instant access.
Qualcast lawn mowers overview table
Number tested2
Number of Best Buys
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Average test score
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Brand reliability rating
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Customer score
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Typical spend
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Table notesAverage test score based on results of models tested in the past three years (as of 26 March 2020). The customer score and brand reliability rating are based on a Which? member survey conducted in January 2020 of 103 Qualcast electric lawn mower owners. The customer score is based on whether members would recommend the brand to a friend and the reliability score is based on members’ experience of that brand. Table last updated March 2020.
  • Find out how likely a Qualcast lawn mower is to develop a fault.
  • See if Qualcast lawn mowers are long-term purchases.
  • Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive reliability ratings and verdicts. If you're not yet a member, join Which? to get instant access.

Head to our lawn mower reviews

Know which lawn mower brand you want? Use the links to go straight to our reviews and find your ideal model:

How we calculate the best and worst brands

Which? has a wealth of information on the UK’s favourite garden product brands. Every two years, we ask Which? members to tell us about the garden products they own - from how likely they would be to recommend a brand, to how reliable the products are once you get them home. This year, almost 5,000 members told us about more than 11,000 products. We calculate a brand's reliability and its customer score based on the results of our bi-annual survey.

Our reliability surveys, combined with our extensive lab tests, mean we can recommend the best lawn mower you should buy.

This data is crucial for our testing, too. If a brand falls far below the category average, we take away the manufacturer’s Best Buy recommendations and won’t recommend any of its products unless a marked improvement in reliability is shown.

View all Lawn mowers
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