Luscious Lawns Easy - Find The Best Mulching Lawn Mower [2019]

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I've put 9 years of my commercial lawn care and gardening experience into helping you find the right mulching mower.
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Good Luck In Finding The Right Mulch Mower

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Finding the best mulching lawn mower can save you time and money whilst maintaining a pristine lawn.

One of the best kept secrets of being a commercial lawn care operator is mulch mowing.

Mulch mowing saves time by not having to stop and empty grass clippings.

No clippings to take away means less costs for removal.

The lawn you are mowing benefits from mulching because the nutrients from the tiny clippings are fed back into the ground.

That's win/win for both contractor and customer of the lawn.

My mower of choice was a Honda self-propelled.

The Honda HRXseries is an excellent mower that is really well suited to mulching as you can easily switch between catching and mulching or even catch and mulch at the same time (read my review below)

Honda HRX Mulching Mower

Best Overall Mulching Lawn Mower

I have made the Honda HRX series my best available mulching lawn mower due to their build quality, engine reliability and most importantly, ease to start.

That last statement is really important.

It's no good having the best mulching system in town if the engine is difficult to start.

 

I have used 3 Honda mulching mowers and they work really well. Honda have had mulching technology for a long time now so they know how to build a quality product.

Green works corded mulching mower

Best Budget Mulching Lawn Mower

For small to medium size yards the Greenworks 20-Inch corded mower provides exceptional value at $179.00. 

The specs of this mower compare well to a gas cousin with just one inch difference in its cutting width from the Honda.

It has all the other capabilities of a gas mower with the ability to catch, side discharge and most importantly mulch.

If you're budgets tight and you still want the benefits of mulching this is a worthy consideration.

Oh, and the customer feed back on this model is really good also.

Husqvarna 350BT Gas Leaf Blower

Best Cordless Mulching Lawn Mower

This mower isn't just a glimpse into the future of outdoor lawn care tools, it is the future!

The EGO 21 Inch provides the convenience of electricity without the cord attached.

This product is an example of how far battery powered equipment has come. 

Better battery technology is allowing for longer work times and more power.

The Ego runs for up to 60 minutes which covers a good range of mowing.

Most importantly it mulches via a plastic plug inserted in the rear.

Mulching Mowers Are Loud, Wear Ear Protection !!!!!

This information is really important. Too much exposure to a mower's engine noise can damage your ears. Some mowers come in close to 100 decibels. This is 8 times as loud as 70 decibels. Eight hours of use at this level can result in permanent ear damage. There are plenty of good options for ear protection, and ear muffs are one such option that provide excellent protection at a reasonable price.

 Comparison Table

PRODUCT
DESCRIPTION
POWER HEAD
IMAGEPRICEWARRANTYWEIGHT
(POUNDS)
ENGINE
SIZE
CUTTING
WIDTH
GAS
CORDED
CORDLESS
Honda HRX$709.005 YEARS90190CC21 INCHESGAS
Snapper NINJA $749.003 YEARS82190CC21GAS
Greenworks 20-Inch $179.004 YEARS5612 AMP20CORDED
EGO 21" 56-Volt Cordless self propelled$399.005 YEARS8056 VOLT
7.5 Ah
20CORDLESS
John Deere X300 SeriesJOHN DEERE RIDING MOWER FOR MULCHINGSEE WEBSITE
FOR PRICING
4 YEARS
OR 300 HRS
NOT
SPECIFIED
18.5 HP +42GAS
Honda HRX Mulching Mower

Best Overall - Honda HRX (Mulcher Honda)

Honda have been across mulching lawn mowers for a long time now.

What sets Honda mowers apart is not only their excellent mulching ability but also their build quality, particularly the engines.

I primarily used Honda self-propelled mowers for my business and while I tried a few others I always came back to a Honda.

There is not shortage of mowers that can mulch, that's relatively easy, what sets the Honda apart from its competition is that Honda make excellent engines. 

They just start every time, week in week out.

As a contractor and a consumer this is huge. 

From a mulching point of view, the Nexite body is a big plus.

Mulching may contribute to a build up of grass underneath if you don't clean regularly.

Nexite won't rust so that is a big tick from me.

Here's the thing, I've put the Honda HRX up as the best mulching mower and rightly so its an awesome machine.

BUT!

Nearly all Honda mowers have a mulching option one way or another, so if you don't want to fork out the big bucks for their top of the line model pick a push mower or a lower spec'd self-propelled.

They have an excellent range for varying budgets.

  • Well Set Up System For Bagging, Mulching or both

  • Superior Engine Design And Performance

  • Positive Customer Feedback Always Higher Than Competitors

Pros

Excellent build quality

A mulching system that is easy to use

Class leading warranty of 5 years

Cons

Expensive for a domestic mower

Noisy compared to electric equivalents

Rear chute can clog if you don't follow proper mulching procedures

The Snapper NINJA 190cc is a viable alternative to the Honda and cheaper for a self-propelled mower.

If is designed for mulching so no issue there but from a contractors' perspective, the engine quality of the Honda's is superior and that's why I would still prefer the Honda.

Greenworks 20" Corded Mulching Mower

Best Budget Mulching Lawn Mower - Greenworks 20 Inch Corded

Not everyone has the budget or the need for a top of the line gas powered mulching lawn mower.

For small to medium size yards, the Greenworks 20-Inch mower makes for a viable alternative for both catching and mulching.

Whilst having a cord is not always ideal for long stretches, it does ensure you are getting a solid power supply and you are not restricted by battery limitations or the hassle of fuel.

What I like about this mower is its simplicity. 

You are not paying for something you don't need.

It comes with a solid steel deck, a simple height adjuster and enough  power to mulch, catch or discharge the grass, simple. 

Customer feed back is also solid on this mower with ratings over 4 stars with considerable user feed back.

  • Steel Mowing Deck

  • Easy To Store

  • 3 In 1 Functionality - Mulch, Catch, Discharge

  • Cost Effective Price

  • Is a relatively small mulching mower by comparison to gas equivalent

Pros

Super affordable for a mulching mower

Flexibility in its use. Catch, mulch, side discharge

A viable alternative to gas for small yards

Cons

An extension lead can be frustrating to use

Durability could be a concern if used too much

May not mulch as well as a gas equivalent especially in "heavier"grass

EGO 56Volt Battery Mower

Best Cordless Mulching Mower - Ego 56 volt 7.5Ah

Better battery technology has enabled cordless electric mowers as a viable alternative to gas powered models.

Where these units really come into their own are in city areas where noise is an issue.

Electric mowers tend to be 30% quieter than gas engines.

Electric mowers are also lighter and can be folded up easier when space is tight.

The EGO 21 Inch with the 7.5Ah option wins my vote due to its power and performance combination.

A lot of its competitors have lower rated battery combinations which from a mulching point of view can impact on cutting the grass into fine particles.

The run time of up to 60 minutes will be fine for most small yards so you can get your mowing done without having to recharge or purchase an additional battery.

The downside of these mowers is that the batteries add a significant cost to the purchase price.

This puts them in the more premium end of gas equivalents.

Buying this mower really gets down to your own application.

  • Small yard
  • Noise considerations
  • Dealing with gas

In addition to its feature set the final two reasons I like this mower is the excellent customer support.

This involves how to videos for all operation applications from a dedicated website.

And finally a support forum where owners can communicate with each other about their products.

 

  • Push Button Start - No cord pulling

  • No Fuel Costs or Hassles Using Gas

  • Three In One Functionality

John Deer X300 Series Riding Tractor with mulching switch

Best Mulching Riding Mower - John Deere X300 Series

Before you go selling your current riding mower to upgrade to a mulching option, wait until- you read this.

Most riding mower manufacturers have mulching kits that simply block off the side shoot on the cutting deck and have change over blades set up for mulching.

BUT.....If you dont have a riding mower or need an upgrade then the X300 series is a good option.

One of the downfalls of a mulching kit is you are stuck with it all the time until you remove it.

This is where John Deere have been smart with their one touch mulching riding mower option.

Press a button on the dashboard and the mower instantly converts to mulching via an automated flap at the chute on the mowing deck.

Just as easily turn the chute off when not required.

 

  • Total Flexibility For Mulching or Discharging on The Fly

  • Available on Additional Models

  • A Solid Warranty For Riding Mowers

Considerations When Purchasing A Mulching Mower

How Does Mulch Mowing Work?

Mulch mowing means that instead of cutting and removing the lawn clippings you keep the clippings circulating where the cutting blades are located under the cutting deck and the circulation of the grass ensures the blades chop the grass up into tiny particles that can then quickly feed back into the lawn and provide nutrients.

To keep the grass under the deck the side or rear exit chute of the mower is blocked off by a flap or plug.

Most mowers either come with a mulch kit or are equipped with a mulching system already built into the mower such as the Honda HRX mowers.

Do You Need Special Mowing Blades To Mulch Grass?

Technically you could still mulch with normal blades as long as the chute was blocked off.

Blades made specifically for mulching are going to cut the grass finer than traditional blades as they tend to have two cutting blades on each side thereby providing more options to cut the grass finer.

 

Blade Width

Consider the size of the yard that you are mowing.

For small to medium yards an average size blade width is 18 -21 inches.

Blade width will determine how wide the mower cuts and therefore how many passes it may take to mow a section of lawn.

 

Noise Levels

If you have never used a Gas mower before they can be loud with some pushing close to 100 decibels.

If noise may be a problem, consider changing to an electric option which can cut noise by 30%

Always wear hearing protection if your mower is over 80 decibels.

 

Tips For Mulch Mowing

  • Always mow when the grass is dry.

    Wet grass will clump and not cut up as fine

  • If you do get some clumping when dry, try this

    Raise the mower to its highest setting then re-do the clumped areas. The mower blades work like a fan spreading out the clumped grass.

  • Mowing more frequently will result in less clippings that need to break down

    Better frequency also cuts down time for the job as the mower is not working as hard

  • Only cut the top third of the grass

    Cutting too much grass can result in clumping and and uneven fininsh.

  • Don't cut below 1 Inch of the grass height

    Cutting grass too low results in scalping of the grass and encourages weeds and the lawn will dry out quicker. Keeping the lawn to Two inches is a good guide to work to.

  • Keep your blades sharp

    Sharp blades improves the cutting process and gives a clean finish. Small particles also means better mulching results

More Information.

Answers to some frequently asked questions.


The Final Word On Mulching

Mulching is a super easy way of mowing your grass that is a win/win opportunity.

It's a win for the grass as it gets nutrients back into the soil and a win for the owner as you dont have to catch the clippings.

Determine the right kind of mulching mower you need by the size of the lawn you need to mow.

Also consider what type of mower you need ie. Gas, Electric or Cordless Electric.

Ensure you know when to mow in terms of conditions and the correct height to mow at.

Follow my mulching tips and you will be well on your way to a luscious lawn that is easy to manage.

 

All the best.  Big Gav

 

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