Best Lawn Mower for Steep Banks: Top 5 Solutions for 2022
Although hilly yards may be aesthetically pleasing, it can be pretty challenging to mow them. Most lawn mowers are designed to withstand up to 15-degree-inclines, but anything more than that may require a special steep bank mower. The best lawn mower for steep banks works well on slopes and can save you time dealing with large surfaces.
When mowing a hilly landscape, you need the best lawn mower to help you deal with uneven terrain. Factors such as strength, reliability, and weight are essential for choosing a suitable model. Once you find a potent yet lightweight mower, mowing steep hills will become much easier.
You will find valuable tips for choosing the best lawn mower for steep banks in this buying guide, including the 5 top-rated mowers to cope with hilly terrain.
Types of Mowers for Steep Slopes
The best lawn mower for steep banks comes in three types – a riding mower, zero-turn mower, and walk-behind mower. Each of them has its own characteristics, based on which you’ll choose what works the best for your needs.
Riding mowers use a steering wheel and pedal system to cut large grass quickly and more conveniently. Besides, they come with potent engines, which is why they tend to be larger than other lawnmower types.
Since riding mowers are explicitly created for steep banks, they are prone to tipping over. Therefore, you need to be particularly cautious when using them. Keep in mind that even the best riding lawn mower for hills might not perform well on slippery surfaces. So it’s essential to use it on dry terrain.
Zero-turn mowers make a turning of zero degrees using hydraulic speed. These mowers are efficient for larger lawns, have independent power on the rear wheels, and are powered by two handles that also act as their brakes.
Another thing that makes zero-turn mowers special is the speed. They are faster than riding mowers and are incredibly convenient for yards with curves and tight turns. However, they lack stability, and you should not try to use them on inclines greater than 10 degrees.
Walk-behind or stander mowers are the safest solutions compared to other mower types. The standers allow you to position your weight to adapt to all situations on a hill, making the walk-behind mowers the best choice for slopes.
Besides, these lawnmowers only require you to press the buttons to navigate and maneuver the machine, reducing the risk of losing control over it.
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How to Find the Best Mower for Hills?
While hilly terrain may be beautiful, it can be pretty dangerous. Therefore, you need the best lawn mower for steep hills to deal with the obstacles and ensure a safe and even environment around your home.
Keep in mind the following factors when choosing the best mower for slopes:
Yard Size and Type of Terrain
The first and foremost thing to consider when shopping for the best lawn mower for hills is your yard size and terrain type. For instance, riding mowers can handle different types of terrain and are packed with an array of features to prevent damage to the blade and reduce the risk of getting stuck. On the other hand, you may find tiny stand-behind mowers convenient for addressing smaller areas and shorter grass.
As for your yard size, it is an essential factor that dictates the time it takes to complete the job. If you have a large area to mow, go for faster yet quality models to complete your tasks efficiently and on time.
Unlike all-wheel or front-wheel-drive, rear-wheel-drive offers better traction. While the front wheel maneuvers well on even terrain, it is not suitable for a hilly surface. Therefore, you need something better than that to deal with your uneven lawn.
The Deck Size
The deck width determines how easily you can maneuver a hilly landscape. While you can use a deck between 42 and 54 inches to mow an open yard, it won’t be your go-to choice for lawns with a narrow ditch or many obstacles. Namely, an expansive deck cannot maneuver well around obstacles.
Gas or Electric Mower
While battery-powered lawn mowers are quiet, lightweight, and incredibly easy to operate and maintain, battery life may be a weak point. Namely, running out of battery in the middle of mowing may be quite frustrating.
Gas-powered motors are way more powerful than electric ones. However, they are noisier and more prone to emitting exhaust fumes. On the other hand, these steep bank mowers deliver more torque, cut through overgrown grass more efficiently, and deal with large properties with dense grass much more conveniently than electric ones.
The average riding mower weight is about 470 pounds. Still, you can expect more powerful mowers to weigh up to 600 pounds, while those lightweight electric mowers weigh about 400 pounds. While electric mowers are the lightest solutions, zero-turn models are considered the heaviest.
5 Best Mowers for Steep Slopes in 2022
We tested over 10 steep bank mowers and chose the 5 best picks for you. We pointed out their main features, strengths, and weaknesses to keep in mind before opting for a particular product.
1. Best Overall: Snapper XD 82V MAX Cordless Push Lawn Mower
KEY FEATURES// The 21-inch steel mowing deck; Mows for 45 minutes on a single charge; 7-position height adjustment.
Snapper XD 82V MAX Cordless Push Lawn Mower is a unique, cordless mower packed with essential features for fighting an uneven terrain. Apart from being cordless and easy to maneuver, Snapper XD has no emissions, gasoline expenses, or noise.
This steep bank mower is powered by 2 durable batteries, featuring a low-maintenance brushless motor technology. You can mow for 45 minutes on a single charge, which is more than enough to get a ½ acre done.
This lawnmower guarantees durability and long-lasting performance, but we’re more concerned about the batteries themselves. If your batteries fail, replacing them will cost you an arm and a leg!
WHAT WE LIKED// Operates quietly; Minimal vibration; Easy to clean and maintain; Lightweight and easy to maneuver.
WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE// Batteries are expensive to replace.
2. Best Premium: Husqvarna MZ61
KEY FEATURES// 24 HP Kawasaki engine; Roll-over protection system (ROPS); High-back seat with armrests.
Husqvarna is a well-known name that deserves a place on our list. Its MZ61 lawn mower for steep hills is a reliable machine that ensures a 100% safe operation in all conditions. It is a professional-grade mower that features an ergonomic design for enhanced comfort when addressing high inclines and uneven terrains.
The Husqvarna MZ61 is incredibly suitable for large jobs thanks to its comfy high-back seat, armrests, and vibration dampeners that allow smooth operation on a hilly landscape for hours. What we liked the most about the MZ61 is a hydrostatic transmission that ensures quicker and easier starting.
This Husqvarna hill lawnmower can mulch, bag, or discharge grass clippings, but these attachments are sold separately. Given the price, this is a huge drawback.
WHAT WE LIKED// Commercial-grade lawnmower; Reliable engine with the hydrostatic transmission; Ergonomic and comfortable design; Large cutting width.
WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE// It is quite expensive, primarily since the mulcher and bagger are sold separately.
3. Best Value for Money: Sun Joe MJ401E-PRO
KEY FEATURES// Adjustable deck; Durable 14-inch steel blade cuts; Powerful 13-amp motor.
A powerful, lightweight, and cost-effective Sun Joe MJ401E is the best lawn mower for hills on small surfaces. It is easy to use and convenient for mowing tight spaces within small yards. Additionally, the Sun Joe steep bank mower has three-position manual height adjustment for maximum comfort and convenience.
We highly recommend this lawnmower for basic jobs and small yet hilly surfaces that need to be mowed. You will love its power and the way it cuts grass – however, it may not be the best solution for addressing high grass.
Overall, the Sun Joe MJ401E provides excellent value for money. Still, don’t expect miracles. This machine may meet your basic needs regarding home yard but might not be suitable for heavy-duty tasks and large areas.
WHAT WE LIKED// Inexpensive; Easy to use and carry in one hand; Sturdy material; Quite powerful considering the size.
WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE// It takes a lot of time to complete the job.
4. Best Electric: Greenworks Pro 21-Inch Self-Propelled Cordless Lawn Mower
KEY FEATURES// Battery-powered; Smart-Cut Load sensing technology; Brushless motor.
The Greenworks Pro can be a go-to choice for all those who prefer smooth and silent operation. This is a battery-powered lawn mower that allows you to mow larger hilly areas for one hour on a single charge.
One of the features we found exceptionally convenient is Smart-Cut technology that improves performance and run time. You will love how easily you can get the task done with this mower. Thanks to the brushless motor, the Greenworks Pro 21-Inch has enough power to make mowing more comfortable.
Overall, this is a great low-maintenance tool with zero emissions worth considering. However, a significant drawback is that it doesn’t work well on wet surfaces. Besides, you cannot rely on customer support to help you solve problems, which can be an issue for first-time users.
WHAT WE LIKED// Affordable; You can use it for one hour before recharging; Minimal noise and vibrations; Easy to start.
WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE// Unresponsive customer service.
5. Best Robotic: WORX WR150 Landroid L 20V
KEY FEATURES// Battery-powered; Wi-Fi and App-controlled; Rain sensor.
A next-gen WORX WR150 Landroid L 20V is a killer robotic mower that exceeds your expectations. It is one of the best mowers for steep slopes whose algorithm-based system delivers next-level results, meeting your lawn’s individual needs.
You can use the mobile app to control the mower, but that’s not all. The Landroid app allows you to measure your lawn, check mowing progress, update your mowing schedule, and more. Thanks to the patented AIA technology, this mower can navigate narrow passageways that regular machines cannot reach.
Landroid mower is packed with cutting-edge features you’ll find incredibly helpful. Rain sensors, for instance, allow you to keep the mower away from the rain and prevent sliding on steep surfaces. However, the Landroid wheels don’t go well on dry grass.
WHAT WE LIKED// The ability to mow up to ½ acre; Adjustments of the mowing plan; Mobile app; Customized mowing schedules.
WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE// The wheels become slippery on flat and dry grass.
7 Important Safety Tips for Safe and Efficient Mowing
Safety comes first when operating mechanical equipment. No matter how safe the mowers are, it is critical to apply specific safety measures to prevent potential accidents, injuries, and property damages.
- Inspect the yard to see if it’s free from debris that the blades might throw.
- Ensure discharge chutes are away from people, cars, pets, and surrounding structures.
- Let gasoline mowers cool before refueling to prevent fire.
- Don’t run the mower in a poorly ventilated space, such as a garage.
- When mowing on a hill, keep the mower vertical to the direction of the slope. Mowing parallel to the incline increases the risk of an accident.
- Disconnect the spark plug before performing maintenance to avoid accidental startup when working on the mower.
- If you own a riding mower, don’t let other riders join you on the machine.