There are basically two ways to look at lawn mowing, landscaping, and gardening around your home. One is the do the very least work possible, just getting by and counting every moment as drudgery. Or, you can embrace it for what it is—an opportunity to make your yard and your landscaping beautiful and improve the look and feel of your neighborhood.
To make the second choice a reality, you’re going to need some specialized tools for the variety of different jobs out there. Purchasing decisions aren’t easy–there are a half dozen different types of lawn mowers to choose from, and hundreds of models! To get you started off on the right foot, consider our selections for the best lawn mowers, landscaping tools, and gardening accessories for a perfect backyard.
- Best Gas Push Lawn Mower: Yardmax 21-Inch 3-in-1 Gas Mower
- Best Battery Powered Lawn Mower: Hart 40-Volt Cordless Self-Propelled Mower
- Best Riding Lawn Mower: Troy Bilt 42-inch Bronco Riding Lawn Tractor
- Best Zero Turn Lawn Mower: Craftsman 50-Inch Gas Zero Turn Mower
- Best Reel Mower: Remington 16-Inch Reel Push Mower
- Best Limb Loppers: Fiskars 25-Inch Power-Lever Lopper
- Best Pruning Shears: Fiskars Traditional Steel Pruners
- Best String Trimmer: Hart 20-Volt Electric Trimmer
- Best Sidewalk Edger: Hart 20-Volt Electric Edger
- Best Hedge Trimmer: Greenworks Cordless Hedge Trimmer
- Best Garden Spade: Fiskars D-Handle Spade
- Best Hand Trowel: Bond Stainless Steel Hand Trowel
- Best Garden Sprayer: Chapin 2-Gallon Handheld Sprayer
- Best Garden Hoe: Emsco Fiberglass Handle Garden Hoe
- Best Wheelbarrow: Garden Star Dual Wheel Wheelbarrow
What’s With All The Different Mowers?
Keeping your lawn groomed nicely is one of the most important aspects of having a beautiful yard. And in some parts of the country, mowing is necessary a couple of times a week. Selecting the right lawn mower for your yard can be made easier when you think about how much grass you have to mow, and how much work you want to put in to get it looking great. Consider these five mowers when making a decision.
Best Gas Push Lawn Mower: Yardmax 21-Inch 3-in-1 Gas Mower
This mower is perfect for the homeowner with a small to medium size yard and doesn’t mind pushing to get the mowing done. The 170cc OHV Yardmax engine delivers maximum performance in this class of mower and never needs an oil change. The YG1650 features a high-rear-wheel design, which is an advantage when mowing slopes and rough terrain. All wheels are equipped with durable 1.5-inch wide treads and with double ball bearings, which makes for easier pushing and more even cuts. Choose from seven cutting heights ranging from 1.25 to 3.75 inches, which you can change simply by moving one lever.
Best Battery Powered Lawn Mower: Hart 40-Volt Cordless Self-Propelled Mower
The 20-inch brushless self-propelled mower makes mowing yards up to 1/2 acre in size an easy task. You start your mower with the push of a button, and brushless technology provides consistent power without bogging down. On-board storage allows for two batteries, so you can continue mowing when one battery runs out of power. The mower is equipped with telescoping and folding handles, which makes for compact and easy storage in a garage or shed.
Best Riding Lawn Mower: Troy Bilt 42-inch Bronco Riding Lawn Tractor
Powerful and easy to use, the Bronco 42 riding mower is powered by a 19 HP Briggs & Stratton engine that delivers easy starting and dependable performance. With its AutoDrive transmission, operating this mower is as simple as driving a car. The foot pedal control provides smooth adjustment of speed and direction. The mower’s step-through frame design makes it easy to get on and off and has plenty of legroom. You can quickly adjust the cutting height with a fender-mounted, five-position lever. It’s ideal for large yards.
Best Zero Turn Lawn Mower: Craftsman 50-Inch Gas Zero Turn Mower
This zero-turn riding mower from Craftsman provides the ultimate mowing experience. Its strong 24 HP twin-cylinder engine has an easy and reliable starting system with no prime and no choke. The 50-inch deck means you’re cutting a giant swath of grass every time around the yard! The mower’s dual-range hydrostatic transmission and high-back seating provide a comfortable ride, and you’ll be able to mow tight spots and corners easily thanks to the unit’s zero-turn radius. You can add a grass bagger for a neater lawn, or a grass mulching kit to put nutrients back into the soil.
Best Reel Mower: Remington 16-Inch Reel Push Mower
With a classic and familiar design, this reel lawn mower is an excellent choice for those with very small yards or even those who want to leave no carbon footprint to cut the grass. It’s the ultimate green machine, and with nine different height adjustments, you can keep your lawn at the perfect height. Plus, since the only noise is your breathing, you can mow as early or late as you wish without bothering your neighbors!
Best Landscaping Tools
While keeping a lawn mowed is key to its general appearance, landscaping gives it character and beauty. Here are some basic landscaping tools you’ll need to keep your yard well maintained and attractive.
Best Limb Loppers: Fiskars 25-Inch Power-Lever Lopper
This Power-Lever lopper from Fiskars features compound lever technology that multiplies your leverage to give you up to twice the cutting power than traditional single-pivot loppers. The fully hardened, precision-ground steel pruning blade is enhanced with an UltraBlade coating that keeps it sharp up to five times longer than untreated blades, and even protects it against rust. The lopper’s durable steel construction even includes handles with Softgrip touchpoints for a secure, comfortable grip.
Best Pruning Shears: Fiskars Traditional Steel Pruners
The fully hardened, precision-ground steel blade of this Fiskars pruner stays sharp longer, and a corrosion-resistant, low-friction coating makes cutting much easier than with uncoated blades. A self-cleaning sap groove keeps the blades from sticking—a frustrating slow-down during big pruning jobs—and a non-slip, comfort-grip handle accommodates both left- and right-handed users.
Best String Trimmer: Hart 20-Volt Electric Trimmer
A “weed whacker” is essential to successful landscaping, and Hart’s battery-powered, 13-inch string trimmer provides the precision and power you need for cutting grass in areas that a mower can’t reach. This trimmer has a handy variable speed trigger, which provides more power for cutting thick grass, or less for more precise trimming. Its brushless motor delivers more power and a longer run time than many similar units.
Best Sidewalk Edger: Hart 20-Volt Electric Edger
Hart’s portable and eco-friendly edger is ideal for creating clean lines around your driveway, walkways, flower beds, and patio without having to worry about tripping over cords or emitting exhaust fumes. It has a four-position depth adjustment for easy cuts and a dual serrated 8.5-inch blade for longer life. Weighing in at only 11 pounds, it is also easy to maneuver and control, and the front and rear wheels provide added stability. Plus, the included quick charger allows you to completely charge the battery in 30 minutes!
Best Hedge Trimmer: Greenworks Cordless Hedge Trimmer
The Greenworks lithium-ion battery hedge trimmer delivers up to 30 percent more run time on a single charge compared to other batteries. The handle rotates 90 degrees right or left, which makes cutting at an angle quick and easy. A 22-inch polished steel blade gives you plenty of length for an even cut, and the dual-action blades reduce vibration and cut branches evenly from both sides. It comes with a four-year warranty.
Best Gardening Accessories
Whether you have a flower garden for beauty or a vegetable garden that provides fresh produce for you and your family, gardening chores are much easier—and more enjoyable—when you have the proper equipment. These five accessories will make your gardening chores easier and your garden more productive.
Best Garden Spade: Fiskars D-Handle Spade
A good garden spade is essential for basic gardening and landscaping tasks, and this model is designed for easy, fast digging. The tall, pre-sharpened, curved blade quickly excavates small deep holes for setting out plants or digging up bulbs, and an oversized footstep allows you to use extra power when the ground is hard. The shovel’s blade is welded to the shaft for additional strength, and it is made of powder-coated steel to prevent rust and allow easy cleaning. The spade’s D-shaped handle provides ample space for both hands—allowing you to get more leverage when you need it.
Best Hand Trowel: Bond Stainless Steel Hand Trowel
The Bond stainless steel hand trowel features a serrated edge, which makes digging easier. It has an ergonomic handle so you can get a comfortable grip and reduce the chance of hand and wrist fatigue.
Best Garden Sprayer: Chapin 2-Gallon Handheld Sprayer
This hand pump sprayer from Chapin has a 2-gallon tank with a 4-inch wide mouth opening for easy filling—and cleaning, which is important when you want to use the sprayer to mist plants with water. The in-tank filter eliminates clogging, and the 16-inch poly wand makes it easy to use on plants large and small.
Best Garden Hoe: Emsco Fiberglass Handle Garden Hoe
This 48-inch garden hoe from Emsco is perfect for making rows, clearing out weeds, aerating soil, edging, and many other basic tasks. The fiberglass handle is extra stiff to prevent snapping, but light enough to not tire you as you work it. The heavy-gauge, powder-coated steel head measures 6.25 inches wide by 4.5 inches long, making for efficient hoeing.
Best Wheelbarrow: Garden Star Dual Wheel Wheelbarrow
Few gardening items are handier than a good wheelbarrow. This Garden Star model has a large, non-corrosive poly basin that can hold up to 300 pounds and a loop handle that allows you to get the best grip for you. It has two large air-filled tires for increased stability, greatly reducing the chance of spills—which happens easily with one-wheel models. Plus, the entire unit weighs only 29 pounds, making it easy to push and store.
A Final Tip on the BestLawn Mowers, Landscaping Tools and Gardening Accessories for a Perfect Backyard
Two words: Don’t skimp. A cheaply made lawn mower will cut poorly. A subpar spade will break. Off-brand shears will stick and dull easily. Invest in good tools and equipment and you’ll get your yard looking just the way you want it without frustration or added cost.