Best Lawn Mower For Hills, Rough Terrain, Steep Banks (2021)

If you have a hilly garden and want a mower for it, you have come to the right place. Lawn mower is the only option for maintaining the grass of your lawns. Grass cutters and scythe snaths are fine for cutting small patches of grass but are not feasible for the actual mowing. A well-kept lawn is pleasing to the eye, whizzes away the tension of a long hard day at work and the perfect spot to enjoy a sunny Sunday morning with your family.

Many lawns are flat but some are made on hilly platforms or sloping terrain. The choice for the best lawn mower for hills is different from that of flat gardens.

So, what should such a lawn mower have?

Ask Yourself Before Buying a Mower For Hilly Terrain

1. Powerful engine: Because you would be mowing uphill thus the machine should be studded with enough power so it can counter the component of weight acting against the motion. We read it in school Physics that when we go uphill, the Sine component of weight acts opposing our motion, the practical realization of which can be experienced on your hilly lawns. Gas-powered mowers are strong enough but it is the electrically operated ones that need to be noticed if they are suitable or not.

2. Not very heavy: It’s a bit tricky to understand. While you would want a heavy mower for your hilly gardens so that it grips well with the ground and doesn’t flip over but a heavier weight also means more opposing force when traveling up the slope. Therefore, you should draw a balancing line when looking at the weights of the mowers by keeping in mind both of these points. Weights between 400-800 pounds are acceptable for riding lawn mowers while 80-150 pounds for push mowers.

3. Drive Type: Simply put: either you need to have a rear-wheel drive or an all-wheel-drive mower for your hilly lawns. They generate an extra push required for the heavy mowers to pace uphill.

4. The turning radius: On hilly terrain, turning the mower is more difficult therefore you should eye at the model that has a small turning radius because that would be easier to maneuver. Zero turn mowers are the best in this regard but then again, their engine’s power and weight would be the other factors to look at.

 

Best Lawn Mowers For Hilly Terrains & Steep Banks

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This article discussed the top models for hilly lawns as per the different types of mowers. For the ease of the reader, we have divided the article according to the specific class of machines so that you can read out the section of your interest.

Let’s start then.

 

Best Robot Lawn Mower For Uneven Paths

Then, there are some people who are too lazy to execute a mowing job. Are you one of them? If yes, you would have known about robot lawn mowers. They perform the job for you while you rest on one reading newspaper or surfing through social media apps on the smartphone. There are some considerations before choosing the best robot mower for yourself.

  1. What is the slope of your lawn: Not all robot mowers can handle slopes and those which can have a certain limit to their functionality. Get a know-how of the incline of your garden and choose the model accordingly.

  2. Wheels of the mower: As they are not very heavy so they have to rely majorly on their wheels for the grip. Ensure that the wheels of the mower have rugged tires, and can handle all types of weather and grass.

  3. Rain detection systems: These automated machines are integrated with rain detection systems that allow them to either continue their cutting operation during wet weather or leave them and return to a dry place, usually their charging panel. Choose the model which offers both functionalities because wet grass reduces the traction ability of the tires and it’s better for the mower to abort the operation and perform it in dry weather. In situations where rain is not heavy, you can activate the mode which directs it to continue with the mowing. These systems are configurable and easily connected with Wi-fi and GSM.

After analyzing the aforementioned points, we selected this model for you. It is laden with convenience, accessibility and can handle inclined lawns easily.

1. Husqvarna Automower 315 (Best Robotic Lawn Mower For Hills)

 

A robotic lawn mower can mow your lawn every second day to make it look fresh all the time. Owing to its carbon blades and a smooth circular cutting operation, you can handle grass of height up to 2.4 inches. It operates at a decibel rating of 58dB which ensures that your neighbors or people sleeping in your house’s bedroom are not disturbed by it.

 

It works on the principle of boundaries. Once you have defined the hidden boundaries (made from a green low-voltage wire) for the Automower 315, turn it on and it will get to work. Equipped with intelligent obstacle avoidance and navigation algorithms, it can handle all sorts of lawns and will return to the charging station automatically when it reaches a 15% battery level.

 

Through the LCD panel, you can configure all the settings while a PIN code keeps it away from thieving eyes. The user can set the time limit on the mower and a cool Weather option which directs the usage of the Automower depending on how quickly the grass is mowed and according to the rain. It can be operated even in rains and provides a healthy run time of 70 minutes.

 

Most importantly, it can handle slopes up to 35% which translates to 22 degrees slope however it is recommended that you don’t use it above 15%.

 

Key Specifications:

  • Tackles slopes up to 35%
  • Run time of 70 minutes
  • Timer function and anti-theft schemes
  • Tilt and obstacle avoidance sensors
  • 8lb heavy
  • 2-year warranty
  • Operates at 58dB

 

Best Push Mower For Hills

As we have discussed the best self-propelled lawn mower above, therefore we will be discussing corded mower sin this section. Although it is not a very good option to use these electric mowers on highly inclined terrains because they are not meant to be used on such slopes but if you have small inclines and a small-sized garden, this could be a decent choice. These mowers are inexpensive and could be the cutting tool you require. Here is the top model we suggest to you.

2. Black + Decker MM2000

 

It carries a 20-inch cutting deck which is fabricated with a durable polymer and supports 7 height adjustments. You can effectively cut grass of heights 1.5-4inches from this mower. The cutting system is facilitated with the EdgeMax system that allows you to mow the outlines of the hills which accounts for a much cleaner look.

 

The mower supports all three types of grass cutting methods and includes a large 13-gallon grass catcher bin with visualization port to know the filled volume. You won’t have to halt your cutting process in between to dump the bin because of its large volume.

 

The wheels grip well to the grass and it has three cutting levels labeled small, medium or flat. This gives more freedom to the user as per the type of cut he wants. The handle can be collapsed after the usage for easy storage. This model has received a high number of 5-star reviews and is a part of numerous ‘top push mowers’ lists on the internet. It offers 2 year-warranty to the consumers which cover the defects in material or workmanship.

 

Key Specifications:

  • Cutting deck is 20 inches wide
  • 7 height adjustments which can cut grass of heights 1.5-4 inches
  • Facilitated with EdgeMax system that mows the outline of the hills
  • 13-gallon grass bag
  • Wheels grip well to the ground
  • Handle can be collapsed for easy storage
  • 2-year warranty
  • High 5-star rating on Amazon

Best Self Propelled Lawn Mowers For Hills

People who cannot afford a riding lawn mower or have lawns that are not very big can conveniently divert their focus to walk behind self-propelled lawn mowers for the mowing job. Once you have acquired a lush green lawn with fresh grass carpeted over it, it wouldn’t take you long to realize it needs to be mowed regularly to regain the original shape because weeds and overgrowths are very likely to smudge up your beautiful garden. Here are the top self-propelled lawn mowers for your hills.

3. Husqvarna LC221AH

 

Featuring an all-wheel drive and a mighty engine, this mower is everything you need for your lawn spanning over an area of less than an acre. What makes it so suitable for your hilly gardens is the fact that it is all-wheel drive, not very heavy, comes with a 3-year warranty and provides a superior grass cut.

 

Bedecked with a 163cc Briggs & Stratton engine which is started by a 2-pull promised string will get your cutting job executed in less than 40 minutes. It is covered with a protective frame that saves it from water.

 

The cutting deck is 21 inches wide and fabricated out of 16-gauge steel which is long lasting and durable. With a deck lift mechanism and high-quality cutting blades, you can cut the grass in the desired trait.

 

Especially for the left-handers, it offers a dual trigger drive activation which gives the user the freedom to control the speed from either hand. It supports mulching and bagging capability with a deck wash port for maintenance ease. The wheels are large and all in all, it is a brilliant purchase and that too at a reasonable price.

 

Key Specifications:

  • 163cc Briggs & Stratton engine
  • Cutting deck is 21 inches wide
  • Dual trigger drive activation
  • 2-in-1 cutting capability
  • Inexpensive

 

4. Snapper XD 82V

 

Although it is an expensive option but we have rated it as a top model because of its outstanding functionality and reliability.

 

It is operated by 82V Briggs & Stratton battery and brushless motor which can be operated with 2Ah, 4Ah and 5Ah lithium-ion batteries and offers a run time of 35-45 minutes with a charge time of only 30 minutes.

 

Snapper XD 82V Mower is equipped with load-sensing technology which enables it to use an optimal amount of charge from the batteries. This is not only good for the running of the motor but also ensures that the battery stays with you for a long period of time.

 

Owing to its 21-inch steel cutting deck, it offers 3-in-1 cutting capability and that too, with an efficient grass cutting ability. You would get a 1.2-bushel grass catcher for the rear discharge of the grass clippings. Rear wheel drive with large wheels that are covered with rugged tire treads grips well to the ground when you would mow uphill and make maneuvering a breeze.

 

The deck lifts through 7 height adjustments and can be driven on variable speeds which is one of the unique features of these types of mowers. The speed control slider is situated on the handle opposite to the start push button.

 

For easy storage in confined places, it even has a vertical storage posture.

 

Key Specifications:

  • 82V Briggs & Stratton battery
  • Run time of 35-45 minutes
  • 21-inch steel cutting deck with the 3-in-1 cutting capability
  • Rear wheel drive
  • Variable speed control
  • 7 height adjustments for deck lift
  • Warranty of 5 years

 

Best Riding Lawn Mowers For Hills 2021

Riding lawn mowers are of three types. Rear Engine, Lawn tractors, and Zero turn mowers (Residential & Commercial ZTR).

The first ones are called rear engine and characterized by small cutting decks, small size, low price and their ability to mow tight corners as well. If you have small-sized lawns, these are your best options.

The second type is lawn tractors that have a bonnet in front of them, heavy in weight and engine’s power but lower in speed. They can haul attachments like lorries as well and are suitable for larger lawns.

The third type is the zero turn mowers that are the quickest of all and can make 360 degree turns very easily. They carry a hefty price tag but offer enhanced functionality. There is a separate section for zero turn mowers so we will discuss the top two models of tractors here.

5. Troy Bilt 382cc

 

Having a hilly lawn which spans over less than an acre? Here is the automatic choice for a best small riding lawn mower for hills for you. Proven to be worthy by a large number of customers and the tag of a company like Troy Bilt on the product, there is no second thought when buying this machine.

 

Featured by a 30-inch cutting deck and a 382cc auto choke OHV engine, it delivers enough power to be driven uphill while cutting the grass effectively on course. Its ability to deliver speeds up to 4.25 MPH even on slopes make it a brilliant option for your less-than-an-acre lawns.

 

It has a rear wheel drive which is probably the first reason for including it as our top pick and is furnished with a 6-speed transmission which delivers no running complications and errors. The cutting deck has got 5 height adjustments so you can cut tall or short grass at any time. You can either side discharge the clippings or mulch them.

 

As for the wheels, they are excellent. Gripping power is maximized by the rugged treads while the 16-inch diameter of the rear wheels ensures that the mower never flips over and causes accidents. It weighs about 330 pounds which is neither too heavy nor too light. The seat is high enough to visualize the grass upfront and padded to be highly comfortable. In addition, the engine is shielded by the frame itself so you can also use it in a drizzle. Every hand control is in easy accessibility, the steering is ergonomic in design, and the turning radius is 18 inches.

 

Key Specifications:

  • 30-inch cutting deck
  • 15 HP auto choke OHV engine
  • Speed: 4.25 MPH
  • Rear-wheel drive
  • 6-speed transmission
  • 5 height adjustments
  • Weighs 336 pound
  • Rugged wheels
  • 1.3 Gallon fuel tank
  • Turning Radius 18 inches

 

6. Cub Cadet XT1

 

This yellow machine would look highly attractive while whirling around in the green grass but it isn’t all looks. The utility is massive.

 

Powered by 18HP Kohler engine, it can cut grass of your uneven ground at a reasonable pace. The cutting deck is 42 inches wide which can handle a large patch of overgrown grass along the run. Its hydrostatic transmission is efficient enough to drive it uphill without any chances of tipping over.

 

Moreover, it offers reverse cut operation as well which becomes particularly useful on hilly terrains because it is very difficult to turn the mower on slopes. There is a dedicated wash port to wipe off the grass clippings and a headlight to get the mowing job done in dark too.

 

Driving seat is equipped with a great suspension, deck lift and speed mechanisms are located in close vicinity and large wheels are rugged enough to handle all sorts of grass. Some customers complained about the plastic parts in the engine but we assure you, if you follow the maintenance manual properly, this 3-year-warranted product is there to stay with you for a long time.

 

FeatureValue
Product NameCub Cadet XT1
GROUND SPEED (FWD/REV)
5.5MPH/3.1MPH
Engine Power Output18 HP
Fuel TypeGasoline
TransmissionHydrostatic
Motor/Engine manufacturerKohler
Turning Radius16 Inches
Grass Cutting Height1 - 4 in
Cutting Width42 Inches
Cutting MethodCollect/Mulch/Side discharge
Fuel Tank3 gal
Seat Type
Cub Comfort™ high-back seat with 10 degree incline and slide
Star Rating
Item Weight580 lbs
Warranty3 Year Warranty
PricePrice not available
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Key Specifications:

  • 18 HP Kohler engine
  • Cutting deck is 42 inches wide
  • Turning Radius 16″
  • Offers reverse mowing action
  • Headlights present
  • Wash deck port
  • 3-year warranty

 

Best Zero Turn Lawn Mowers for Hills

As we mentioned earlier, if you have large hilly gardens or commercial lawns with grass carpeting over acres of hilly terrain, zero turn mowers are your best take. They are heavy machines with large cutting decks and two control handles that move the drive wheels of each side. The wheels spin in the same direction when the mower is moving linearly but when turning it through zero turn radius, their operation is the opposite.

For example, if you want to turn the mower left, you will push the left handle back and the right one forward which will cause the left wheel to turn in reverse and the right one forward causing the machine to turn left. This is simply how you operate a zero turn mower. It is exactly like working with a LEGO or semi-autonomous line following robot. When directing it to turn a particular direction, you reverse the rotation of the motor on that side and keep the other side’s in forwarding direction for a specific time delay.

Keeping in view the budget restrictions and size of the lawns, we have managed to finalized one walk behind self propelled zero turn mower and two riding zero turn mowers for you. Walk behind zero turn mower is very cheap compared to the riding mowers.

Mowox MNA152613 Zero-Turn Radius...

 

This product is an ingenious product that takes the shape of a typical push mower but the capability of a zero turn lawn mower and that too, way cheaper than general zero turn lawn mowers.

 

The working is made possible by the front wheel which can rotate 360 degrees to allow a turning radius of zero degrees. Equipped with a high performance 163cc Briggs & Stratton Engine, it can cut wet and dry grass effectively. It gets started easily because of the Instart technology which utilizes the electric charge of Lithium ions to stir up the gasoline engine on the very first push.

 

It allows 2-in-1 bagging and mulching capability with a large grass catcher bag and a cutting deck which can be lifted through 6 heights to handle variable heights of grass. Handles can be collapsed for storing in tight spaces while the rear wheels improve the traction ability of the machine. Together, the wheels and the zero turning radius work perfectly to access each and every turn of the lawn and make your life easier.

 

Key Specifications:

  • 163cc engine
  • Front wheel can be rotated 360 degrees
  • Very cheap zero turn lawn mower
  • Instart technology
  • 2-in-1 cutting capability
  • Large rear wheels for improved traction

 

8. Husqvarna MZ61 - Best Zero Turn Mower For Large Yards With Hills

 

This is a power house, a bodybuilder in the field of lawn mowing. With a 61-inch cutting deck and an absolute monster 27HP engine, this mower is everything you need for manicuring your lawn’s grass. It is just the perfect weight for hills and offers enhanced comfort and reliability.

 

Equipped with a 27HP Briggs & Stratton engine which is V-twin in nature, you get more efficiency and power and such a heavy rating is very rare amongst zero turn mowers. It wouldn’t leave any portion of the lawn unattended. Then, there is the hydrostatic gear transmission which is an improved scheme of force transmission and drives control. It accounts for smooth steering and easy maneuverability.

 

Thirdly, there is the steel cutting deck which is 61 inches wide and very durable. You will have no issue standing or stepping on it. It is furnished with a 3-blade cutting system that works together to deliver a superior grass cut. They are fashioned out of stainless steel and wouldn’t catch rust thus have a longer life.

 

Engine holds a capacity of 5 gallons of fuel due to which you can have multiple phases of mowing before having to refill it, it can move in both forward and reverse direction and supports all 3 types of grass cut schemes along with a 9-bushel grass catcher bag. The seat is very comfortable and vibration dampers minimize any jerks traveling to your body. You would also get an hour meter which depicts the time when it requires service. Keep it well maintained and it will serve you for years. As a whole, it is a brilliant purchase despite its lofted price tag.

 

FeatureValue
Product NameHusqvarna MZ61
Productivity4.2 acres/hr
Engine Power Output27 HP
Fuel TypeGasoline
TransmissionHydrostatic
Grass Cutting Height1.5 - 4 Inches (Approx)
Cutting Width61 Inches
Cutting MethodCollect/Mulch/Side discharge
Fuel Tank5 gal (US)
Seat Type
Standard high back, arm rests
Motor/Engine manufacturerBriggs & Stratton
Star Rating
Item Weight770 lbs
WarrantyCheck Here
Price$5,090.99
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Key Specifications:

  • 27HP Briggs & Stratton engine which is V-twin in nature
  • Hydrostatic gear transmission
  • Turning Radius: Zero
  • 61-inches cutting deck
  • 3-blade cutting system
  • Grass cut schemes (low, high, medium)
  • Contains a 9-bushel large grass catcher bag
  • Hour meter

 

9. Ariens IKON-X 52 Inch - Best Zero Turn Riding Mower For Hills

 

If you have a somewhat smaller lawn, you might be eyeing at cutting decks between 36-42 inches but this model is available with a 52-inch width at just 200-300 bucks more.

It might be a little heavier than its competitors but that doesn’t mean it cannot access hills. In fact, it is very effective for such terrains. Supported by a 23HP Kawasaki engine, it delivers enough power and speed to cut your grass before you realize it is actually a task.

The 52-inch cutting deck is made of steel and 4.5-inches in depth which means it ca cut short grass effectually. It operates at high cutting speed and gives a fine, equal grass cut.

IKON-X 52’’ is equipped with large wheels that grip well to the ground and a high, padded seat with armrests and a cup holder so you are never dehydrated during your grass cutting job. All the parts including the deck, wheels, and transmission and bolted together with each other sturdily and only after extensive vibrational testing, was this model open for purchase in the market. This model has received wholesome appreciation from the customers and even if you come across any problem, the Customer Care team is very helpful and their service is responsive.

FeatureValue
Product NameAriens IKON-X 52"
GROUND SPEED (FWD/REV)
7 mph/3 mph (Approx)
Engine Power Output23 HP, 726cc
Fuel TypeGasoline
TransmissionHydro-gear
Grass Cutting Height1.5-4.5 in
Cutting Width52 Inches
Cutting MethodCollect/Mulch/Side discharge
Fuel Tank2.8 Gallon (10.5 L)
Seat Type
High-back padded seat with armrests
Motor/Engine manufacturerKawasaki
Star Rating
Item Weight871 lbs
Warranty3 Year Warranty
PricePrice not available
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Features:

  • 52-inch cutting deck
  • 23HP Kawasaki FR V-Twin Engine
  • Turning Radius: Zero
  • Large wheels
  • Padded seat with a cup holder
  • Sturdily built

 

We are pretty sure you have got the majority of the information regarding lawn mowers for a hilly garden. All of these models have been selected after extensive research and going through their technical reviews.

FAQs

  1. What is the best method to use riding mowers on hills?

You should always drive uphill or downhill on hilly terrains. Driving sideways is tricky and dangerous because there are chances that it may flip over. Do the opposite for push mowers.

  1. How to clean the cutting deck of a lawn mower?

A good practice is to let the wet grass clippings, if any, to dry and blow them away with the help of a blower. The next method is to open the deck wash port and insert the water hose in them. It will clean the clippings deposited on the walls of the deck. The mowers which do not have any deck ports have to be lifted to spray them with water or find an opening to reach the bottom of the deck.

  1. What is the best method: mulching, side discharge or bagging?

It depends on your choice. If you want to mulch to increase the fertility of the soil, you should go for mulching. If you need no mess on the lawn, go for bagging and if you have wet grass, go for side discharge because it would minimize the probability of grass clippings getting trapped underneath the deck.

We are pretty sure you have got the majority of the information regarding lawn mowers for a hilly garden. All of these models have been selected after extensive research and going through their technical reviews.

Last update on 2021-08-01 at 01:33 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API