Mulching as you mow has many benefits.
A mulcher or mulching lawnmower works by chopping the grass cuttings very finely and allows them to fall back to the earth. They decompose here and nourish and feed the lawn as they do so creating a thicker and healthier lawn.
Mulching also means you don’t have to stop and empty the grass container. This can save you about 30% off your usual mowing time which can add up to a lot over the year.
There’s a huge range of options available when it comes to mulching lawnmowers and it can be difficult to know where to begin. To help you choose the best mulching lawn mower for your garden I’ve put together this list of the best options out there.
I’ve also included a complete buying guide to help answer any mulching questions you may have and to help you understand the process a bit better.
Top 5 Best Lawn Mowers With A Mulcher
- Top Choice – Cobra MX534SPH Petrol Rotary Lawnmower With Honda Engine
- Runner Up – Hyundai Self Propelled Petrol Mower With Electric Start
- Best For large gardens – Murray EQ500X Self-Propelled Petrol Lawnmower Including Mulching Plug
- Best Cordless – Greenworks GD40LM46SPK2x Battery-Powered Lawnmower
- Best Budget – Hyundai Electric Rotary Lawn Mower with 3 x Heights
1. Top Choice – Cobra MX534SPH Petrol Rotary Lawnmower With Honda Engine
Type: Petrol Engine Self-Propelled
Cutting Width: 53cm
Cutting Height: 25 – 75mm
Suitable For: Lawns Up To 2000m2
- Reliable honda engine
- Speed select self drive
- Height adjust handle
- 2-year waranty
- Handle doesn’t fold for storage
- Not great at getting to edges along fencing
Stealing the top spot we have this Cobra self-propelled petrol lawnmower. This lawnmower has so many great features that make it really user friendly and the price tag is really low! It’s fitted with a Honda engine which are well known for their great design quality and longevity. For a petrol model, it’s pretty quiet and starts up well no matter what temperature.
The self-drive engine has four different speed options so this makes mowing any lawn quick and effortless. It has a generous cutting width and 65 litres of storage for grass clippings if you’re after a tidy finish.
The handle has a height adjust to stop you from ending up with a backache or a sore shoulder. It’s also easy to clean as it has a hosepipe connector so there’s no excuse to put it away dirty. This also helps extend its lifespan.
It comes with a mulch plug but can also be set to side discharge if required. For domestic use, this mower comes with a 2-year warranty so you can rest assured you’re covered for that period.
Overall this is a highly functional and very well designed lawnmower with an easy to use mulcher. Great for medium to large sized gardens.
2. Runner Up – Hyundai Self Propelled Petrol Mower With Electric Start
Type: Petrol Self-Propelled
Cutting Width: 51cm
Cutting Height: 25-75mm
Suitable For: Lawns Up To 2000m2
- 3-year warranty
- Electric push start
- large grass collector
- Low emmissions
- Pretty heavy
- A little pricey
Next up we have Hyundai with this powerful, electric start lawnmower. It is self-propelled and has variable speed transmission. A slightly smaller cutting width yet more powerful engine means this model can mow a large lawn with ease. The OHV engine is a low emissions and low maintenance model and the cuttings deck also has a hose attachment.
The grass collection bag can hold up to 70 litres of grass cuttings so you won’t be stopping very often to empty this. It has a rear discharge and mulch option which keeps your grass healthy.
It comes with a 3-year platinum warranty but you need to register within 30 days to activate this so don’t forget this step!
At nearly 44kg it’s a heavy one and some people may struggle to mow with it. The self-drive sure helps out here and this mower even comes with cup holders which is a lovely feature!
3. Best For Large Gardens – Murray EQ500X Self-Propelled Petrol Lawnmower Including Mulching Plug
Type: Self Propelled Petrol Engine
Cutting Width: 46cm
Cutting Height: 28 – 92mm
Suitable For: Lawns Up To 1500m2
- Effectivce grass mulching
- Reliable stratton engine
- Good bag size and cutting width
- Reliable motor
- Doesn’t do so well on uneven lawns
With an efficient Briggs & Stratton engine, this self-propelled lawnmower will get the job done with ease. It achieves the perfect balance between being powerful and yet still small enough to manoeuvre around tight corners.
It can be set to bag the grass clippings using the 60-litre bag, side or rear discharge or it can be fitted with the mulching plug to help fertilize your lawn.
The height adjust is set by two separate levers for the front and rear wheels and can manage 6 heights between 28-92mm. This allows you to get a perfect finish all year round. It does have a recoil start but tends to start very well, even on the first attempt!
For a petrol mower, it’s not too heavy at 28kg and operates at a single-speed transmission to power through any job at hand. It also comes with a 2-year warranty.
4. Best Cordless – Greenworks GD40LM46SPK2x Battery-Powered Lawnmower
Type: Battery Powered Electric
Cutting Width: 46cm
Cutting Height: 25 – 80mm
Suitable For: Up to 800m2
- The Green choice
- Easy start because it’s electric
- Less maintenance
- Reasonable run time
- Batteries need replaced after about 5 years
- Battery needs to cool before recharging
If you have a small lawn then a petrol mulching mower can be a bit much. They are heavy, expensive, and do require a lot of upkeep. For small to medium-sized lawns up to 800 sq meters, a battery-powered self-propelled is ideal. You can adjust the speed to a comfortable walking pace for you and get the job done in no time.
This Greenworks model is designed with an efficient and quiet brushless motor. It comes with two 2Ah lithium-ion batteries that when fully charged will cover an area up to 800m2. Of course, factors like lawn thickness and wet grass can affect the area.
This mower has a 55-litre grass collector, mulching function and a side discharge option. It’s a lovely lawnmower to use due to the soft grip ergonomic handles and push-button start.
This is well designed and effective cordless mulching electric lawnmower but there are some things to consider when choosing a battery option. Factors like long/thick grass, wet grass and a full grass box can quickly swallow up the battery charge and affects the runtime. When it’s hot after use the battery won’t re-charge so you need to give it 30 minutes to cool down. If you’re trying to mow a large area, it can take a while to finish the job.
5. Best Electric – Hyundai Electric Rotary Lawn Mower with 3 x Heights
Type: Corded Electric
Power: 1200 Watts
Cutting Width: 33cm
Cutting Height: 20 – 60mm
Suitable For: Lawns Up To 144m2
- Roller for stripes
- OK cutting width for price
- Small grass collector (not a problem if you’re mulching)
- Feels a little flimsy
For very small gardens, the best option is a corded electric lawnmower. These small machines are surprisingly powerful and are very lightweight. At only 10.5kg with soft grip, folding handles this push mower is easy to use and compact to store.
It has an easy remove 30-litre grass box with a level indicator as well as a mulching feature that turns cut grass into fertiliser for your lawn. There is a single lever height adjust over three cutting heights so you’ll get a smooth finish.
What puts this mower a cut above the rest is the integrated rear roller which is essential to achieve that beautiful striped effect.
It’s covered by the Hyundai 3 year warranty so don’t forget to activate this when your mower arrives.
The 10-meter power cable restricts the area this mower can cover so you will need an extension cable to manage bigger lawns. For the very low price, this lawnmower is a great option for smaller areas and is lightweight enough that anyone can use it.
Top Tips For Using A Mulcher On Your Lawn
The length of the grass determines how well a mulching lawnmower will work. Overloading a mulcher means it won’t chop the grass finely and the process will not be as effective. Never remove more than 1/3 of the length of the grass (even if it’s very long) as this will produce optimal mulching. The increased length of grass also helps retain moisture which speeds up decomposition.
Always ensure the blades of your mulcher are sharp. Dull blades won’t perform very well and the mulching process will cause the blades to dull quicker than a regular lawnmower.
It’s also essential that you keep the blades clean by washing them or brushing the debris away after each use.
The lawn needs to be damp to help decompose the mulched material. If it’s especially dry then hose down the area after mulching. Do not hose the area before you mow as this can affect the results.
As mulching acts as a natural fertilizer you can reduce your usage if you’re regularly mulching your lawn.
Unfortunately, mulching lawnmowers do spread weeds. As they chop up the grass and let it fall back to the earth they also disperse any unwanted seeds as well. It’s important to not mulch if you have a weed problem. Use some weedkiller first to get on top of the problem and try mulching when the lawn is clearer.
Things To Consider When Buying A Mulching Lawnmower
The size of your lawn is really important when you’re trying to decide which lawnmower is best for you. Buying one that is too small can make mowing the lawn take hours and hours and buying one that is too large can make it difficult to manoeuvre around your garden. For all these lawnmowers I’ve included an estimation of the area they should manage. Of course, this can vary a bit in practice but the rough guide will help get you started.
The power of your lawnmower decided how well it’s going to cope on thick, long grass and uneven terrain. For petrol lawnmowers, power is generally stated in cc, for electric mowers it’s voltage or wattage. If you have a bowling-green smooth lawn then power isn’t much of a concern. If you have rough patches then you’ll need a higher-powered machine.
Petrol Vs Battery Vs Corded
I’ll quickly cover the plusses and minuses of each type of lawnmower so you can decide which is best for you.
Petrol lawnmowers are heavy, loud, expensive, and emit fumes. They require maintenance, servicing and need oil and petrol added. They are very powerful and give you the freedom to roam. If you have a large area to cover or a very thick/uneven lawn then a petrol mower is ideal.
Battery lawnmowers give you the freedom to roam without the downsides that come with petrol ones. They are lightweight, eco-friendly, and easy to use. The issue is that the batteries don’t last very long so they won’t cover an area as wide as even a small petrol mower will. The batteries take a long time to charge and are expensive to replace if they fail.
Corded electric lawnmowers are surprisingly powerful little machines. They’re nothing on a petrol mower but for the tiny price tag and ease of use, they can manage small lawns well. You are of course limited by the power cord length but an added extension cable can help extend their range.
The cutting height is important to achieve a nice finish for your lawn. It depends on the species and thickness of grass you have as well as the season of the year. You want to aim to remove the top third of the blade when you cut so you’ll need a mower that can achieve this height. The more levels the mower can be set to, the more control you have of the finish you’ll end up with.
What are the benefits of a mulching lawn mower?
A mulching lawnmower chops up the grass clippings very finely and allows them to settle back onto the lawn. This means they decompose here and act as a natural fertilizer. They help nourish and thicken your lawn and also save you from constantly emptying the grass collector.
Can a mulching lawnmower also collect the grass cuttings?
Yes, most mulching lawnmowers have several options for bagging, side and rear discharge as well as mulching. Some models are designed specifically for mulching only so look out for this if you’re wanting a dual-purpose one.
Is a mulching blade better?
Mulching blades are specially designed to finely chop the grass clippings. They are a natural and eco-friendly way to deal with grass clippings but can’t be used when the grass is very thick or long. They are better for lawns that are regularly mowed otherwise the mulch can overload it.
What are the disadvantages of mulching?
Over mulching can suffocate the grass and mulching can spread weeds around your lawn. The mulch is a good hiding place for pests and it can heat up on a hot day and cause heat damage to your lawn. Make sure you only limit the amount of grass you mulch so as not to overdo it.
Is mulching better than side discharge?
Side discharge dispels the grass cuttings out an opening in the side of the cutting deck. This allows them to decompose similar to mulching but they are not chopped as finely. This means they will take longer to break down and may leave ugly patches of decaying grass clippings on your lawn. You can use a side discharge as a mulcher if you run over the lawn several times to recycle the clippings through the mower and chop them finer.
More Mulching Lawnmowers Reviewed
Type: Hand Propelled Petrol Engine
Cutting Width: 46cm
Cutting Height: 22-65mm
Suitable For: Up to 1000 sq meters
For medium-sized, smooth lawns, a self-propelled lawnmower is not always necessary. This hand-propelled lawnmower with a petrol engine will give you the power and freedom of a petrol lawnmower without the hefty price tag.
This mower can cover a lawn up to 1000m2 due to the 125cc Briggs & Stratton engine and the 46cm cutting width. It does weigh 26kg so will be difficult to push on sloping lawns or uneven ground.
It comes with a bagging option of a large, 60-litre grass collector, it can be set to rear discharge and it also has a mulching plug option. It’s a pull-start, but quite reliable due to the Briggs & Stratton engine. However, if you find these to be tricky to do then best opt for an electric start mower.
It comes with a 2 year warranty but you need to make sure you look after the machine to uphold this. Keep it clean and serviced.
STIGA Combi 55 SQ
Type: Petrol Self Propelled
Cutting Width: 53cm
Cutting Height: 25 – 80mm
Suitable For: Lawns up to 2000 sq meters
This self-propelled, rear-wheel-drive option by Stiga is another great choice when it comes to mulching lawnmowers. It’s a single-speed drive operated by a quick release handle. The handlebar is designed to be soft grip and comfortable to hold.
It has a solid steel deck and a central lever that can adjust the cutting height to five different levels. It has a roomy, 70-litre grass collector and this mower can also be set to rear or side discharge alongside its mulching option.
The wheels are designed with a soft tread and the back ones are larger allowing for better traction and less marking of your lawn. They are also fitted with ball bearings for greater stability.
The only downsides are it’s a pretty heavy mower at 36kg and the recoil start can be a bit tricky to get the hang of.
Type: Self Propelled Petrol
Cutting Width: 51cm
Cutting Height: 25 – 70mm
Suitable For: Up to 1800m2
This lawnmower by Makita has a 4 stroke, Briggs & Stratton engine with a 1-speed gearbox and ready start technology so no priming or choking is required. It has very large rear wheels that allow it to navigate uneven terrain with ease.
Close to edge cutting means you’ll get neat edges around fences and flowerbeds and saves using a trimmer after you mow. A single lever adjusts your cutting height to five different settings between 25 and 70mm so there’s a setting to suit every lawn.
This mower has a specially shaped blade that holds grass clippings close to the deck of the mower so it can finely mulch them as it spins. This creates a quick decomposition of the cuttings so your lawn benefits immediately.
This mower doesn’t have the option to collect grass clippings as it’s designed solely as a mulching mower. It’s well designed and a great option if mulching is what you require.
Type: Battery Powered Electric
Cutting Width: 37cm
Cutting Height: 25-75mm
Suitable For: Up to 250m2
To round this article off, we have a battery-powered, cordless lawnmower by Swift. This lightweight option is ideal if you have a small garden and need a helping hand. You get the freedom to roam with the battery and it’s more eco-friendly than a petrol mower.
It’s cleverly designed so that the engine automatically adjusts the turning speed of the blade when it senses conditions are tougher.
It has a solid steel blade and advanced, brushless motor that gives a top-quality cut every time. It has a 40-litre grass box with a child safety feature which is great peace of mind if you have young children. Of course, it has a mulching option as well to keep your lawn healthy.
When the battery is fully charged it should manage an area up to 250m2 but it does take 4 hours to charge the battery.
One feature I love is the grass combs included on this mower which directs long grass towards the blade and allows a neat, close to edge finish.
The mower comes with a 24 month warranty on the machine and a 12 month warranty on the battery. This is worthwhile activating as batteries can be very expensive to replace.
Husqvarna TS 138
Type: Petrol Ride On
Power: 8400 Watts
Cutting Width: 97cm
Cutting Height: 38 – 102mm
Suitable For: Lawns up to 6000m2
For really large lawns, a ride on mower is a must. This lawn tractor by Husqvarna has a huge cutting width of 97cm which can cope with grass areas up to 6000 sq meters, possibly more!
The cutting deck can be set to a huge range of heights by adjusting gauge wheels. This allows a height adjustment of 1/8 inch increments per turn. The mower is pedal operated with adjustable driver’s seat and even has headlights so you can mow at night.
You can get all sorts of accessories for this mower such as snow blades, brushes, and trailers so it can be used as a proper tractor as well as for lawn care. It has a hose attachment so is easy to clean.
With a very powerful Briggs & Stratton engine and a solid steel deck there’s not a lot this mower can’t do. It does come with a large price tag but for such a powerful and multifunctional machine you’ll get back way more and mowing will become a job that you look forwards to.
So there we have it. 10 fantastic mulching lawnmower options. Mulching is an eco-friendly and timesaving option to keep your lawn looking healthy and well maintained. I hope this article has helped persuade you that mulching is the way forwards where it comes to lawn care. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what’s best for your garden and the correct lawnmower for you has to suit the operator as well as the lawn type.