In the following guide we mainly focus on walk-behind mowers since the majority of lawns are served perfectly well by these machines. However if you have a lawn that is larger than half an acre you may want a riding mower. If you have a yard that is between a quarter and half an acre consider a self-propelled model. This basically means you do less pushing. Self-propelled mowers are especially helpful on hills. Also pay special attention to blade size. Look for a mower with a blade thats at least 20-inches long if you have a larger yard. Conversely if you have many narrow areas to mow a smaller deck the area within which the blade spins around is best.
Consumer Reports recommends the Toro Recycler 20333 because of its very good ratings in ease of use handling side discharging and bagging and excellent mulching. The reviewer specifically liked the washout port for cleaning buildup under the sizable deck. The Wirecutter used to list the 20333 as the runner-up pick but supplanted it with the 20340 because of the newer models upright storage. However the reviewer still recommends the 20333 if the blade brake clutch is more important to you than compact storage.
The Sun Joe MJ104E has more than 1250 five-star reviews on Amazon. Buyer Jim has had his Mow Joe for more than a year and left it in the weather and abused it otherwise. He is happy with how it has performed. He cautions against buying the 16-gauge extension cord recommended by Amazon. Instead choose 12 gauge for 100 feet or more and 14 gauge for under 100 feet.