Looking for the best mulching lawn mower? Mulching mowers are fast becoming the preferred way to look after your lawn, thanks to their amazing recycling abilities. Not only does a mulching lawn mower cut your grass, but it also replenishes the nutrients in the soil by recirculating your grass clippings back into the lawn.
This process saves you from having to use chemical fertilizers that are both bad for the environment and the wildlife in your garden. It also saves you the hassle of clearing up messy clippings or having dead grass rotting in unsightly clumps on your lawn.
In addition to these benefits, the design and technology of specialized mulching lawn mowers has advanced in leaps and bounds in recent years. So there are now many different models to choose from.
But don’t panic; we’ve done the research and put together a list of our top picks to help you select the best mulching lawn mower for your needs.
So let’s take a look!
What's In This Article
- Our Top 5 Best Mulching Lawn Mowers Reviewed
- 1. Black+Decker 21″ 2-in-1 Mulching Lawn Mower (Best Overall)
- 2. PowerSmart 3-in-1 Self-Propelled Mulching Mower (Best Premium Pick)
- 3. WORX WG779 40V Battery-Powered Mulching Mower (Best Budget Pick)
- 4. Craftsman M215 3-in-1 Mulching Mower (Best For Large Lawns)
- 5. PowerSmart 21″ 2-in-1 Mulching Lawn Mower (Best Value For Money)
- Buyer’s Guide to Choosing the Best Mulching Mower
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Thoughts
Our Top 5 Best Mulching Lawn Mowers Reviewed
1. Black+Decker 21″ 2-in-1 Mulching Lawn Mower (Best Overall)
Black and Decker are a highly respected power-tool brand, and their 21-inch mulching mower is as reliable and efficient as you would expect it to be.
This mower gets our vote as the ‘best overall’ mulching lawn mower due to its mid-range price point, multiple cutting height settings, and lightweight design. All these features result in a versatile and convenient machine, and it is perfect if you have a small to medium-sized yard.
This mower has a 2-in-1 deck, so you can mulch your grass when it needs more nutrients and side discharge the clippings when it doesn’t. The 140cc engine is powerful enough to tackle most tasks unfazed. However, it doesn’t cope so well with wet grass.
Best of all, this mulching mower has excellent thick-set tires. So you can roll it smoothly over tricky terrain, twigs, sticks, or roots, and it won’t be negatively affected.
- 62 lbs – lightweight and easy to store
- 2-in-1 deck with in-built mulching capacity
- 6 height settings for versatile trim length
- 21-inch cutting width
- Thick, durable tires for all terrains
- 140cc engine
- Not so great on wet grass
- Side chute can catch on twigs
Is It For You?
The Black and Decker 2-in-1 mower is ideal if you have a small to medium lawn and want a fast and efficient mulching mower. The engine is not the most powerful, but it is great for most lawns, and the dual deck will allow you to mulch whenever you feel your grass needs some TLC.
- POWERFUL ENGINE: 140cc reliable engine equipped with recoil...
- MUTLIPLE HEIGHT SETTINGS: Dual lever height adjuster with 6...
- 2-IN-1 CUTTING DECK: Side discharge and mulching...
2. PowerSmart 3-in-1 Self-Propelled Mulching Mower (Best Premium Pick)
Now, if you are wild about your lawn and want the best of the best, then this premium offering from PowerSmart is right up your street.
It has a triple functionality, offering you the option to mulch your grass, bag it or use the side chute. This means that this machine really does it all and you will get lots in return for your money.
The 200cc engine has more than enough power and won’t let you down, even in tough spots. And better still, this PowerSmart mulching mower is self-propelled, saving you the effort of pushing it yourself.
This makes it ideal if you suffer from back pain or have large lawns that take a long time to mow.
In addition, the 22-inch alloy steel deck is durable and sturdy. Yet surprisingly, this mower only weighs 76 lbs, which is impressive considering its other specs.
- 76 lbs
- Powerful 200cc engine
- 5 cutting heights
- Durable alloy steel metal deck
- Bagging, side chute, and mulching
- Self propelled
- High price point
Is It For You?
This fantastically versatile mulching mower can do it all. It is perfect for gardening enthusiasts who want a premium product that will really benefit the health of their grass.
- 200CC GAS ENGINE & 22-INCH MOWING DECK: 200cc 4-stroke...
- SELF PROPELLED LAWN MOWER: 86lbs weight, metal deck with 8"...
- ADJUSTABLE CUTTING DEPTH: 5-position grass height adjustment...
3. WORX WG779 40V Battery-Powered Mulching Mower (Best Budget Pick)
Our pick for the ‘best budget’ mulching mower goes to this lightweight and energy-efficient machine from Worx. It comes in at under half the price of other models and yet performs perfectly on small lawns.
The 13-inch cutting width is narrow, so it isn’t best for large expanses of grass. But it creates a neat and tidy finish on dainty lawns and has six adjustable cutting heights for precision finishing.
Best of all, this mulching mower is battery-powered. It comes with two rechargeable batteries that are very easy to install. Plus, they last well and can be recharged simultaneously for convenience and speed.
What is more, the mower has a battery meter onboard, which shows you how much juice you have left at all times so you won’t get caught short.
And because it is electric, this Worx mulching mower is far quieter than gas-powered alternatives and is much better for the environment.
So if you care enough about your grass to buy a mulching mower, then you might as well go that step further and look after the wildlife and air quality too!
- 40V battery powered, better for the environment
- 13-inch cutting width, great for small lawns
- 6 cutting height positions
- 5000 square feet runtime
- Easy recharge
- Mulching and bagging options
- Intellicut technology for thicker grass
- Onboard battery meter shows how much juice you have
- Lightweight at only 35 lbs
- Plastic is less robust and durable
- Not great for large gardens
Is It For You?
This affordable mulching mower is perfect for eco-conscious gardeners who don’t want to spend a fortune but still want top results.
- [6 HEIGHT ADJUSTMENTS] A single lever lets you set the...
- [INTELLICUT] feature provides torque on demand for tougher...
- [SAME BATTERY, EXPANDABLE POWER] Worx Power Share is...
4. Craftsman M215 3-in-1 Mulching Mower (Best For Large Lawns)
Craftsman is a top brand, and their M215 mulching mower is powerful and energy-efficient. This mower also happens to have lots of unique features, elevating it to another level and making it our top pick for large lawns.
This machine has a 21-inch cutting width, meaning you won’t have to do loads of passes to cover your lawn. It is also incredibly versatile, with three options available: these are mulching, bagging, and side discharge.
In addition, this mower is self-propelled to save you the trouble of pushing it over great distances. It also has easy-to-use speed settings, which means that you can walk at the pace that suits you.
The 11-inch back wheels give this mower excellent height and allow you to take it to those hard-to-reach areas where the grass is thick underfoot. The only downside is that it is pretty hefty at 82 lbs.
- Self propelled, so it saves your back
- 21-inch cutting width covers ground quickly
- 159cc engine is powerful and efficient
- 3-in-1 capacity for bagging, spreading, or mulching
- Variable speeds and front-wheel drive for maneuverability
- 6 height settings for the cut you want
- 11-inch back wheels for uneven terrain
- Expensive compared to other models
- 82 lbs, heavy to lift
Is It For You?
This fantastic mulching mower from Craftsman is ideal if you have a large lawn. And as it is self-propelled, it takes the strain off and allows you to guide it easily, even over thick or rough terrain, making this a robust and reliable mower.
- POWERFUL 159CC OHV GAS ENGINE: Powerful gas engine comes...
- 3-IN-1 CAPABILITIES: Unit has side discharge, rear...
- FRONT WHEEL DRIVE: Tip-up, turn, and maneuver around level...
5. PowerSmart 21″ 2-in-1 Mulching Lawn Mower (Best Value For Money)
And finally, for great value, we will finish with another offering from PowerSmart. This mulching mower is gas-powered and lightweight, making it an easy-to-operate machine.
Better still, it has a foldable handle that bends over the deck for convenient storage. So you can store it vertically without causing any damage to the tank or deck, which makes it a top option if you have limited garage space.
This mower has all the key features of a good mulcher: adaptability, reliability, power, and convenience.
The only drawback is that it expels the grass clippings out of a side chute rather than forcing them downwards. These clippings will still benefit your lawn in the long run but may take longer to reintegrate than those that are propelled downwards.
- Foldable handle for compact vertical storage
- Lightweight at only 60 lbs
- Very affordable price
- 170cc engine for reliability and power
- 5 cutting heights and easy adjust lever
- 21-inch cutting width
- Only has the side chute option, so less powerful mulching
Is It For You?
This mulching mower offers excellent value and is ideal if you don’t have lots of storage space to spare. It folds over and can be stored vertically, therefore it won’t clutter your garage. While this machine isn’t the most efficient mulcher on our list, it gets the job done well for a very reasonable price.
- POWERFUL ENGINE: 170CC 4-stroke engine equipped with recoil...
- 2-IN-1 CUTTING DECK: 21 inch steel deck, with side discharge...
- CUTTING HEIGHT ADJUST: change grass cutting height from...
Buyer’s Guide to Choosing the Best Mulching Mower
Before you make your final choice, we have listed below a few key things to look out for when deciding which mulching lawn mower is best for you.
Gas, Electric, or Battery-powered?
These days, mulching mowers are available in both gas and electric models. Gas engines provide more power and allow you to cut thick, long grass without any issues. They also don’t require power cords and can be topped up easily.
However, gas engines are pretty noisy and less kind to the environment. They give off emissions that aren’t eco-friendly, and they are also generally more tricky to keep ticking over smoothly.
On the other hand, electric mulching mowers are kinder to the environment with no nasty emissions. They also tend to be quieter and are less likely to disturb your neighbors.
Battery-powered mowers are cordless and convenient. However, they require frequent recharging if you don’t want your mower to cut out mid-mulch.
Many mulching mowers have dual-use decks, with bagging and side discharge abilities, as well as the mulching function. Bagging is great for those times when you have friends or family over and you want your lawn to have a clean finish.
Note that it is important not to confuse side discharge with mulching, as they are not the same thing. While opening the side chute on your mower will spread the grass cuttings, it will not re-cut them into micro clippings or propel them back into the soil as a mulching mower will.
Additionally, side discharge can leave dead grass rotting on your lawn, which is not helpful to its health. However, mulching encourages the grass clippings back into the soil for a vastly different result. To learn more about the pros and cons of each of these, check out our article on mulching vs side discharge here.
Overall, multi-functional mowers are great and give you more options from one machine. But be sure that the multifunctionality does not disguise a lack of mulching ability.
A large cutting width is very handy to have on any mulching mower, as it allows you to cover more of your lawn with each pass. As a result, it speeds up the task of mulching and mowing and allows you more time to relax and enjoy your lawn.
However, size isn’t everything. A wide mower will be heavier and more tricky to store. And if you have a small garden, it may be a better option to choose a lightweight and easy to maneuver mower instead.
Always look to see if the mulching mower you pick is self-propelled or push-powered. A self-propelled mower will be ideal if you have back issues or large lawns to maintain.
However, push mowers give you much more control over the speed at which you walk up and down the lawn.
And if you are fit and healthy and don’t have too much ground to cover, they are a great, affordable option.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Does A Mulching Mower Work?
A mulching mower works like a regular lawn mower, slicing the blades of grass on your lawn to make them shorter.
However, rather than expelling the grass cuttings out of a side chute or sucking them into a bag, a mulching mower keeps the loose grass contained under the deck of the mower and re-cuts it multiple times until it becomes micro-clippings.
These tiny pieces of cut grass are then propelled downwards into the ground, where they reintegrate into the soil and give all their nutrients back to the earth.
What Are The Benefits Of Mulching?
Not only does mulching return nutrients back to the soil, encouraging healthy growth, but it also cuts down on the amount of garden waste you produce and saves you the hassle of collecting dead cuttings from your lawn.
When Should You Mulch?
Mulching works best on dry grass, as the blades can cut more effectively and don’t become clogged up with mushy cuttings. For this reason, it is best to water your lawn after you have used your mulching mower and never before.
Are There Any Downsides to Mulching?
While mulching the lawn has many benefits, there are also some downsides. These include increased mowing time, the potential to spread weeds, and an extra mess to deal with, especially if your grass is long or wet. For more information on the downsides, check out our article on the disadvantages of mulching grass.
If you care deeply about your lawn and want to improve its health and upkeep, then a mulching lawn mower is an excellent choice.
Not only will it help make your grass more lush and green due to the added nutrients it harnesses, but it will also save you time, energy, and trips to the green waste bin!
You May Also Like:
- Mulching vs Side Discharge – Which is Best for Your Lawn?
- The Disadvantages of Mulching Grass
- How to Keep Rabbits off Your Lawn
Steve is a passionate gardener and particularly loves growing vegetables. His interest was spurred at eight years old while helping his parents take care of their extensive yard, lawns, and vegetable garden. Over the years, his childhood interest grew into a lifelong passion. Read more »
Last update on 2023-03-21 / Affiliate links / Some images and data from Amazon Product Advertising API