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How to buy the best lawn tractor

Mulching or collection lawn tractor?

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Mulching or collection lawn tractor?

Some ride-on mowers collect the grass clippings, while others mulch them back into the lawn. We’ll help you decide which is best for you.


Large areas of grass generate a lot of grass clippings, and what you decide to do with them will affect the lawn’s finish and the amount of work needed. You can collect and dispose of clippings on the compost heap or recycle them back into the lawn.

Discover which lawn mower is right for you with our Best Buy lawn mower reviews.

Rear-collection mowers

The cheaper systems rely on airflow to push clippings into a collection bag. More expensive ones use a powered sweeper to brush them up, or an integrated rear-collection system. If you don’t want to pick up the clippings, you can often buy a deflector, which goes on the back or side of the mower and helps to distribute the clippings evenly over the lawn.

If you do decide to buy a collector mower, look at the size of the collection bag. The larger it is, the less frequently you’ll have to stop to empty it - although it will also be heavier. Some have to be emptied manually, while others have an automatic tipping system to reduce the effort involved.

Side-discharge mowers

Lawn tractors that have mid-mount cutting decks with side ejection give you the option of spraying the clippings from the side of the deck when you don’t want to collect them.

Mulching mowers

Dedicated mulching mowers give the best result - the blade cuts the clippings until they are very fine, and then blows them into the lawn, where they decompose and help feed the turf. You can convert some collecting mowers into mulching mowers by fitting a special mulching plate.