What Type of Lawn Mower is Best For Inclines and Small Hills


When confronted with a hill you need the right equipment. If you don’t have the correct lawn mower, what could be a simple task just gets more difficult, so selecting the right machine is important. 

Types of Mowers For the Job

There are no shortages of mowers that can take on hilly gardens. That doesn't mean that all mowers were created equal, as they certainly weren’t. Not all lawn mowers were designed with steep gradients in mind.

Walk-Behind Mowers
These will be the cheapest compared with other varieties. They will also be among the safest. These mowers give you the freedom and flexibility to manoeuvre the machine exactly how you want. However they also will be the most tiresome as most of the time the power will come from you. If your hill is particularly steep this could present a few problems for you, as it will get tiring very quickly. If you do have your heart set on a walk behind mower you should make sure your machine is either real wheel drive or four-wheel drive. The additional power driving the wheels will make the job considerably easier.

Robot Lawn Mowers
It is a misconception that robotic mowers can only work on flat lawns. In actual fact the Flymo robot lawn mower can work on gradients of up to 25% without any issue come rain or shine (something riding mowers cannot do). Robotic mowers will also mean you won’t even need to be present at all, as after you have set it up it will take care of this chore for you.

Riding Mowers
These machines are significantly more expensive than their walk-behind counterparts however they are usually drastically more powerful and make the grass cutting much easier. They are usually fairly impractical if the overall size of the garden is quite small, however they can take a significant chunk of the work out of cutting the grass if the size is worthwhile. It is very important to remember, however, that the riding mowers have a much higher risk of tipping over when mowing hills – which can be very dangerous. You also should look to only cut the grass when it is dry.

Zero Turn Mowers
Zero turn mowers come in both riding and walk-behind varieties and are characterised by the ability to turn 360 degrees on the spot. The front wheels can spin which mean they can turn within their own trajectory. This makes them incredibly maneuverable and can be very efficient on larger lawns as well as hills.

Hover Mowers
These machines are typically not as effective as other walk behind mowers when it comes to steep hills. Small banks are where hover mowers come into their own. They are incredibly maneuverable as they float above the grass so can be swept in a sideways motion to cut the grass on the bank with ease.


What To Look For?

Now you have sized up your own garden you now know what you need to get mowing. There are therefore a few things that you should look for.

Size of the Deck
The width of the cutting deck is important, as this will determine how maneuverable it will be when on hilly terrain. A wider deck will never be as good at mowing around obstacles or a narrow ditch so you should pick the right lawn mower for your lawn. Ideally with an open lawn you can look for a cutting deck between 42 and 54 inches.

Ease of Operation
Naturally some lawn mowers will be more difficult to operate than others, as some are more complicated than others. If you are looking at a riding lawn mower features such as cruise control will be a helpful. You will need to work harder on lawns with hills so you will need to do what you can to find a mower that is as easy to operate as possible.

Because you are going to be working quite hard, pushing a heavy walk-behind lawn mower can be tiring. You should therefore consider a powerful machine within quite a light mower where possible. A riding mower may be the better option depending on how hilly your lawn is however you should be careful as if the machine tips over this can be dangerous.