7 Best Lawn Mowers for Steep Hills – Reviews & Buying Guide
While different homeowners will have varying tastes and preferences when it comes to home aesthetics, those with large yards will often form some sort of hills to improve the overall appearance.
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Hilly yards and lawns have a very appealing look, but this kind of setup takes more effort to maintain, and this is why you need the best lawn mower for steep hill mowing.
Lawn mowers for steep hill look and work like the typical ones for flat terrain. However, they tend to have more power to tackle, the slope or incline are also more maneuverable.
Also, these lawn mowers will in most cases be rear wheel driven to provide excellent traction on the steep terrain for efficient mowing, and to prevent slipping and other accidents.
Before you buy a lawn mower for steep hills, there are several things you need to first consider such as the drive mode, cutting capacity and speed.
In this guide, we explain these factors in detail and also review 7 of the best lawn mowers for steep hills.
1. Greenworks GLM801600 Cordless Lawn Mower
2. Ego Power+ Cordless Lawn Mower
3. Honda HRX217K5VKA Lawn Mower
4. Troy-Bilt TB330 Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
5. Troy-Bilt Neighborhood Riding Lawn Mower
6. Worx WG775 Cordless Lawn Mower
7. Snapper P2185020 Variable Speed Lawn Mower
You can also read other product reviews such as lawn mower, self propelled lawn mower, electric lawn mower, zero turn mower, reel lawn mower, lawn mower blade.
7 Best Lawn Mowers for Steep Hill - Reviews
Your choice of lawn mower will determine how picturesque your hilly lawns will end up looking. Below we compare 7 top rated lawn mowers for steep hill mowing using power, speed, and a few other factors to help you get one that will help you keep your lawn in great shape.
#1. Greenworks GLM801600 Cordless Lawn Mower
Editor's Rating: (4.5 / 5)
- Power: 80 Volts
- Clearing Capacity (deck size): 21 inches
- Weight: 57 lbs
This mower also provides longer run times for every charge as you can use it for up to one hour without having to recharge. And it also uses Smart-Cut tech to improve the performance and runtime.
The brushless motor provides more torque and power to make mowing a quick and easy task. Also, it requires minimal maintenance and has zero emissions.
With the 21-inch deck size, this mower has a large enough cutting width to speed up mowing and the deck is also 3-in-1 which means it will mulch, side discharge and has a rear bag capability.
#2. Ego Power+ Cordless Lawn Mower
Editor's Rating: (4.4 / 5)
- Power: 56 Volts
- Clearing Capacity (deck size): 20 inches
- Weight: 65.3 lbs
The 56 Volts walk behind lawn mower for steep hill allows you to choose from three battery options and depending on what you pick, you can get a run tie of up to an impressive 90 minutes.
You can also be sure of minimal downtimes when using this mower as it comes with a rapid charger that will take as little as 30 minutes to recharge the battery fully.
The mower has a 20-inch deck size to speed up the mowing process, and it is also a true 3-in-1 mower that allows for superior mulching, side discharge, and rear bagging.
The LED headlights are also a convenient addition as they make the mower ideal for use at any time. And the manufacturer will back it with a 5-year warranty.
#3. Honda HRX217K5VKA Lawn Mower
Editor's Rating: (4.4 / 5)
- Power: 187 cc
- Clearing Capacity (deck size): 21 inches
- Weight: 108 lbs
Unlike other small and older gas-powered mowers, it uses an automatic choke system to make starting a less complex process.
Although it does not have a side discharge, the excellent mulching and bagging make up for this by helping to capture the grass clippings to eliminate the need for raking afterward.
This Honda mower will give the grass smooth and even cuts thanks to the MicroCut blade which has 4 cutting surfaces instead of the typical 2 in most other models.
There are also seven cutting levels in this mower that range between 3/4 and 4 inches to make it more useful for different situations.
#4. Troy-Bilt TB330 Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
Editor's Rating: (4.1 / 5)
- Power: 163 cc
- Clearing Capacity (deck size): 21 inches
- Weight: 80 lbs
Troy-Bilt makes some of the top-rated lawn mowers for steep hill and this is more so when it comes to the gas-powered models. And their 163 cc TB330 self-propelled model does not disappoint.
It is a variable speed drive control unit with four top speed settings and with a single lever control for convenient and comfortable operation.
This 3-in-1 mower has mulching, side discharge and rear bagging which are some of the main features that many users are looking for in steep hill mowers.
The ergonomic and adjustable handle is also very convenient as it will accommodate different kinds of users but the only shortcoming about it is that you have to remove the carriage bolts completely to fold it.
The high performance and durable 8 x 8 wheel also move through the lawn with ease and it will be a long time before you need to replace them.
#5. Troy-Bilt Neighborhood Riding Lawn Mower
Editor's Rating: (4 / 5)
- Power: 382 cc
- Clearing Capacity (deck size): 30 inches
- Weight: 340 lbs
If you are homeowner looking for powerful riding lawn mower for steep hill mowing, this is a great choice.
Although it is the heaviest item on our list at a total weight of around 340 lbs, it is still relatively lightweight when you compare it to other riding lawn mowers in the market.
Its compact size makes it great for midsize lawns and also quite convenient to store as it takes up little space in the garage.
The 382 cc engine makes it the most powerful lawn mower for steep hills on our reviews and it delivers forward speeds of up to 4.25 MPH.
The 30-inch deck size with 5 adjustable settings helps to speed up the mowing process and the size makes navigation through the yard quite easy.
Other things like comfortable, mid-back seat, 18-inch turning radius and large and durable wheels also add to the ease of use and convenience of this mower.
#6. Worx WG775 Cordless Lawn Mower
Editor's Rating: (3.6 / 5)
- Power: 24 Volts
- Clearing Capacity (deck size): 14 inches
- Weight: 32 lbs
By making the battery removable, the manufacturer makes charging convenient as you can do it far from the machine. And the battery will provide enough run time to cut up to 6,000 square feet once fully charged.
With the ergonomic upswept handle design, hand fatigue should also not worry you, and so you can use this mover for extended periods comfortably.
Despite the relatively affordable price tag and compact size, this is still a 3-in-1 mower that will allow for mulching, bagging, and rear discharge. And the push start button makes it easy and quick to start.
#7. Snapper P2185020 Variable Speed Lawn Mower
Editor's Rating: (3.5 / 5)
- Power: 190 cc
- Clearing Capacity (deck size): 21 inches
- Weight: 91 lbs
The highly efficient vacuum deck will cut and suck up the clippings to ensure you always get a clean finish. And it also has the 3-in-1 mowing capability.
With the ready starting system on this mower, you will never have to worry about choking or priming as a simple pull is all it takes to start it.
The easy to use adjustment handles make it quick and easy to change the cut height to 7 different positions between 1.25 and 4 inches.
How to Buy the Best Lawn Mowers for Steep Hill
A hilly terrain on your front lawn or backyard always creates breathtaking terrain but maintaining it takes more effort and requires you to have the best lawn mower for steep hills.
While there are many lawn mowers out there that can work well on steep hills it is important to always consider the following things when shopping for one to ensure you make the right pick.
#1. Rear vs. Front vs. All-Wheel Lawn Mower
When it comes to finding a good lawn mower for steep hills, one of the first things that you will need to consider it the drive mode. And here you will have three main options which are rear, front and all-wheel drive lawn mowers.
1. Rear Wheel Drive
The rear wheel drive lawn mower is the best choice for mowing steep hill as it provides an excellent traction which is crucial in case you lose control when mowing.
With the rear wheel drive mowers, bagging is also easier since most of the weight is on the on the rear wheels.
Also, the excellent traction makes it easier to mow a straight line and so you are more likely to end up with a more precise cut and pristine hilly yard.
The rear wheel drive lawn mowers will not only work well for hilly terrain but are also great for other irregularly shaped yards.
2. Front Wheel Drive
With the front wheel drive lawn mowers, the drive wheels are at the front and this makes them one of the best choices for level terrain.
The mode of drive of these types of lawn mowers will allow you to tip up and turn them more easily than most other type and hence making them highly maneuverable.
However, the front wheel drive lawn mowers will not be very useful for incline or hilly terrain as they require the front wheels to be firmly on the ground to move.
3. All-Wheel Driver
As their name suggests, the all-wheel drive mowers are the kind that will provide power to both the front and rear wheel. And this gives you some of the benefits of both the front and rear-wheel drive mowers.
Since all the wheels are on the ground, you will get good traction on both hilly and flat terrain with an all-wheel driver lawn mower.
With the power distributed evenly on all the four wheels, these mowers tend to be more balanced which makes mowing in tough conditions simpler.
The only significant shortcoming with this type of mower is that most tend to be pricier than the other two types.
What to Buy
If you want the best lawn mower for steep hill mowing, the rear-wheel drive is the best choice.
The front-wheel drive is a good choice when you want something relatively more affordable for flat terrain.
The all-wheel mower can be great for all conditions if you do not mind the extra cost and have enough experience to maneuver it.
#2. Deck Size
The deck size determines the maneuverability of the lawn mower on hills and slopes and so it is always an important factor to consider.
If you are dealing with a large open lawn, a deck size of up to 54 inches is a great choice as it gives you more cutting width so that you can finish mowing fast.
However, the large deck sizes might not be appropriate for narrow lawns. For narrow lawns, something shorter is more appropriate as it gives you better control and maneuverability.
It is important to gauge the size and shape of your hilly lawn and use this information to choose an appropriate deck size.
A lightweight lawn mower will be more ideal for hilly terrains. Heavy lawn mowers are harder to handle and will take more effort to move up and down the hill.
But, as much as you might want a light and easy-to-use lawn mower, it is vital to make sure that you strike the right balance between weight and power.
Most lightweight lawn mowers will not have a lot of power and so they might not be very efficient for mowing steep hills. And so the right idea is always to look for the most powerful but lightweight steep hill lawn mower.
#4. Ease of Use
Any lawn mower for steep hill mowing that you buy should be easy to use because mowing is already a stressful task, and you do not want something that only makes things worse.
When it comes to the ease of use, you will have to look out for things like how easy the mower is to start and the maneuverability.
Also, assembly should be easy if it requires any, and it should do various tasks like mulching, bagging, and side discharge to make it more convenient.
Luckily, most modern lawn mowers are made with ease of use in mind. And so if you get something from one of the top brands, you can be sure that it will be straightforward to use even if you are a beginner.
You do not want to have to buy a new lawn mower for mowing your steep hill yard every other season, and so you need to buy something that comes with some durability assurances.
A warranty is this assurance that you need and it also helps to protect your investment for a particular period.
While the longer the warranty the better, the best lawn mowers for steep hill come with an average of 2-year warranty which is still good enough.
Handy Tips for Mowing on a Steep Hill
Mowing on a steep hill is not the easiest landscaping task and it can also be quite dangerous. But, it will be less risky if you do things the right way and below are some handy tips to help you with this.
#1. Never Mow Wet Grass
While sometimes you might not have a choice but to mow the grass when wet due to time constraints, it is a bad idea when dealing with steep hills.
Wet grass is harder to mow through than dry grass, and it also increases the likelihood of debris getting caught up in your mower and clogging it or even cause more permanent damage.
Also, a damp or wet yard is more dangerous to you as it increases the likelihood of slipping. Hence it is always important to ascertain that the grass is dry before you start mowing, and this is more so if the hilly yard is shaded.
#2. Keep Mower at Maximum Cut Height
Scalping is a common issue when mowing on a steep hill and besides from obviously being annoying, it can damage your lawn mower.
The best way to prevent it is by keeping the mower's cut height as high as it can go. And in case the grass you are cutting is too long you can move it down just enough when cutting those long spots.
#3. Mow Side to Side with Push Mowers
When using a push mower to mow your steep hilly terrain, you should avoid doing it by moving up and down because this will compromise your safety significantly.
While going up the hill it is easy to for the mower to roll back down on you, and you can easily slip down under the motor when mowing downhill or it can speed down and away from you.
The safest way to mow a steep hill with a push mower is doing it side to side. Although there is still a slim chance of the mower tipping when mowing from side to side it is unlikely to roll down as fast or as far as it would when moving up.
#4. Mow Up and Down for Riding Mowers
If you are using a riding mower, the best idea is to mow up and down and not side to side as you should with a push mower.
With a riding lawn mower, you are more likely to topple down the hill when mowing from side to side, and you can end up getting crushed in case you are still on the seat when the mower flips.
The tire design, power, and weight of the riding lawn mower make it harder to flip when mowing up and down the steep hill.
Frequent mowing is necessary to keep your hilly backyard neat and picturesque. But, you need to get the best lawn mower for steep hills to do this.
Since most mowers are made for flat and open terrains, it is important to take more time and also know what to look for when buying something for mowing your steep hill yard.
Our detailed buying guide above provides the vital information you need to pick that perfect steep hill mower, and with reviews of some of the top rated ones for recommendations.
But, as you are shopping for your lawn mower also keep other important factors like the fuel efficiency or runtime (for battery-powered models) and overall build quality in mind, and also go for something from a reputable brand.
Last Updated on July 22, 2019 by Tom Bradly