By knowing all about lawn mower brands to avoid, you avoid headaches and expensive repairs down the road. We’ve rounded up countless customer reviews and our own experience to show you what to look for in a mower.
Disclaimer: The information included in this post is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as legal, financial, or DIY advice. We highly suggest consulting a professional before attempting any DIY home improvements or repairs.
5 Lawn Mower Brands to Avoid
Some brands may seem reputable, but this doesn’t mean that all of their models are durable and strong. You might want to think twice about a brand that is comfortable selling a poorly manufactured mower.
You’re better off avoiding these brands and saving yourself from a lot of trouble. The following brands have manufactured lawnmowers that have consistently received negative reviews and complaints from customers:
- Cub Cadet
Craftsman is a well-known brand, but it has been manufacturing poor-quality walk-behind lawnmowers over the past several years. Many customers have bagging issue complaints. Many grass clippings won’t make it into the bag.
This means your mower leaves a messy trail of mulch. In particular, the Craftsman M215 Self-Propelled lawnmower has disappointed and frustrated many customers. The manufacturers use cheaper materials to build this model, creating a mower that isn’t durable.
It has parts made of flimsier plastic than other brands. Many customers ended up with broken pieces within several months of purchasing the mower. Additionally, this model runs very loud. Unfortunately, many customers have to wear earplugs while using the mower.
It just isn’t built to last, so there’s a good chance that you’ll have to buy another one fairly quickly. Buying a cheaper, poorly made lawnmower now can actually end up costing you more money in the long run.
2. Cub Cadet
Many Cub Cadet models tend to be more expensive than their competitors. This wouldn’t be too much of an issue if they performed at a higher level. However, the price isn’t worth the performance. Customers share a common complaint regarding Cub Cadet lawn mowers, primarily the Cub Cadet SC 500 Z.
They operate well for the first few months but quickly decline and deteriorate. You can almost immediately notice that this model uses inexpensive material. Customers often experience their first issues with the drive belt. Then, they also have to replace the poorly made bagger multiple times.
This model also breaks easily because of the cheaper material used to manufacture it. Overall, these lawnmowers have a short-lived performance, and many customers start feeling disappointed within a couple of months.
Earthwise manufactures many weak lawnmowers. This means that you can risk spending a lot of extra time on mowing. Earthwise mowers run on outdated lead-acid batteries rather than lithium-ion batteries.
A lead-acid battery can’t hold as much charge as a lithium-ion battery, so these lawnmowers have weaker power. Plus, you need to charge them frequently. Earthwise lawn mowers may be passable for tiny lawns, but they definitely will not last on medium-sized grounds.
You’ll want to avoid the Earthwise 60220 and Earthwise 60318 models. They don’t tend to do well with denser grass. Also, many people ended up with lawn mowers with faulty or weak batteries. These batteries frustrated these customers because they extended mowing times and produced very uneven cuts.
4. Stihl (for Electric Mowers)
You may be better off avoiding electric lawnmowers manufactured by Stihl. These lawnmowers are pretty expensive when compared to their abysmal performance. The Stihl RMA 370 is a prime example of this with its inexpensive material that damages easily. It also has a very narrow 15-inch deck.
Because of the small size, you’ll be spending more time mowing up and down your lawn. This model’s motor quickly drains the battery even though it’s a lithium-ion battery. On top of that, it takes about 60 minutes to fully charge the battery. Therefore, you could end up spending a whole afternoon just mowing your lawn.
Troy-Bilt push lawn mowers perform poorly with collecting and bagging clippings. The Troy-Bilt TB100 and Troy-Bilt TB200 leave a mess, and customers have had to go back and clean up the clippings themselves. These models also don’t do a good job of picking up any leaves.
Their inefficiency means that you can be stuck in a time-consuming process when you’re lawn mowing in the fall. Lawnmowers should make your life more convenient, not create more work for you. Plus, the manufacturers use cheap plastic to create the Troy-Bilt TB200.
As a result, it’s prone to damage from everyday things in the yard, such as pieces of wood and stones. Many customers have reported that these units deteriorate after a couple of months or give out halfway through the job.
Lawn Mower Features to Avoid
Try to visit stores as much as possible so that you can get in-person experience with different lawnmowers. However, we understand that this isn’t always an available option because some nearby stores don’t sell a particular brand or model.
Fortunately, you can identify some red flags fairly quickly when you’re shopping online for a new mower. You’ll notice that many of the brands we mentioned have models with several of these red flags. Regardless of brand, make sure to stay away from any mowers that have these features:
Bulky Size and Weight
You don’t want to find yourself trying to maneuver a bulky lawnmower on a hot summer day. You’ll have a difficult time staying on course, and your lawn will end up looking messy with uneven lines. Make sure to also check the lawnmower’s weight.
A heavy mower will be a significant disadvantage to lawns with hills or uneven ground. You’ll face the challenge of pushing it uphill. On top of that, you can also risk straining your back when you’re being pulled downhill by a bulky lawnmower.
Most mowers have a body made of plastic, aluminum, or steel. While many people may prefer plastic because it’s lightweight, it’s a cheaper material. Consequently, it may not be able to withstand frequent use in the long run. Realistically speaking, you won’t have the time to spot and remove every single rock and stick on your lawn.
Debris will inevitably hit the body of the lawnmower when the blades are running. Plastic is ultimately going to wear down and break faster when rocks and other hard material hit it.
So, mowers with plastic parts may initially look like a more affordable option. However, you might end up wasting extra time by having to pick up debris before mowing. You might also risk paying more to repair or replace an easily damageable lawnmower.
Narrow Mowing Deck Width
Try to picture mowing your lawn with the Stihl RMA 370. It has a 15-inch mowing deck, which means that you’re barely cutting the width of a foot of grass each time you walk the length of your lawn. A smaller lawnmower may be a more appropriate option for a small yard.
However, this doesn’t mean that your mower should have a narrow mowing deck. If you can’t decide between two lawnmowers, make sure to check their mowing deck width and drop the model with the narrowest mowing deck. You will only waste your time and energy with these types of units.
Larger Set of Rear Wheels
Many manufacturers often advertise that lawnmowers with larger rear wheels are the perfect solution to uneven grounds. The back wheels are supposed to help with tilting and maneuvering. Unfortunately, this usually isn’t the case.
The motor of these lawnmowers is almost always near the front of the body. This placement creates an uneven distribution of weight, with the front of the mower heavier than the back.
As a result, you’ll have a difficult time trying to tilt back the mower because you have to lift all of the weight of the heavy motor that’s sitting at the front.
Short or Limited Warranty
Some lawn mower brands have extremely limited warranties or no warranties at all for some of their models. Lawnmower repairs can cost a couple of hundred dollars, so you’ll want a good warranty that lasts for at least three years.
Lawnmowers are regularly in situations with high risks for damage. You can end up regretting a purchase if it doesn’t come with a good warranty.
Negative Customer Reviews
People who have owned and operated a particular lawnmower can provide the most honest and informed insight. Make sure to pay attention to any reviews listed with each mower. Don’t just compare the number of positive reviews to negative reviews.
Instead, pay attention to the content of the reviews. Look for the following information:
- Length of time someone has owned the lawnmower
- Start-up issues
- Specific parts breaking down and malfunctioning
- Loud or screeching engine noises
- The manufacturer’s response to the customer’s issue
So, Which Lawn Mowers Should You Avoid?
Make sure to steer clear of lawnmower brands that have one too many red flags. After all, these are long-term investments, so save your time and money by avoiding certain brands.