Best Lawn Mower for Mulching Leaves of 2020: Top 7 Picks

Last update: Aug 5, 2020

A lawn mower that chop up the grass clippings very finely and push them back into the lawn as mulch. The mulch adds nutrients back into the lawn. Mulching leaves mowers are designed with a high deck and are shaped so that the mulching blade spins leaves and grass more than once as it cuts them into small pieces.

The most appropriate mower height for mulching leaves is 3 inches. However, the mower height may vary from 2 to 4 inches, depending on the length of your grass. If you are unsure, the highest one is a good practice.

In an organic lawn care environment, mulching makes perfect sense as the benefits are agronomic, financial, and environmental. We researched, experienced and picked all 7 Best Lawn Mowers for Mulching Leaves below:

Here are the best lawn mowers for mulching leaves you can buy in 2020:

  • Best Overall: Earthwise 50520 Corded Electric Lawn Mower
  • Runner-Up: Sun Joe MJ403E Electric Lawn Mower
  • Best Value: Greenworks 25142 Corded Electric Lawn Mower
  • Best All-In-One Cordless: Greenworks MO80L410 Pro Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
  • Best Cordless: Greenworks 25302 Cordless Lawn Mower
  • Best Overall Gas-Powered: Husqvarna 7021P Gas Powered 3-in-1 Lawn Mower
  • Best Value Gas-Power: Craftsman M105 3-in-1 Gas Powered Lawn Mower

Best Overall: Earthwise 50520 Corded Electric Lawn Mower

Earthwise 50520 Corded Electric Lawn Mower
Earthwise 50520 Corded Electric Lawn Mower
Pros
  • 3-in-1, easy on/off side discharge, rear bag, and mulching system
  • Quiet operation
  • Foldable for easier storage
Cons
  • Corded operation limits lawn mower reach

This electric lawn mower has large wheels and cushioned grip to increase comfort and provide better handling when mowing. It is equipped by a 20 inch steel deck, ensuring the longevity and durability of the blade. It is easy to push, though it weighs slightly on the heavier side at 53 lbs.

Since it uses no gas, there will be no pollution and emission from oil fumes. The motor is rated at 12Amp, 120V, 60Hz with 3600 rpm. The motor is quiet so you can mow your lawn without worrying that the neighbor will file a noise complaint.

There is a 3 in 1 function to this lawn mower. It has a side discharge, mulches, or you can rear bag the grass clippings. The mulch plug and bagger has an easy on off attachment so you won’t have to struggle with changing them.

Earthwise 50520 Corded Electric Lawn Mower Specifications
Power typeCorded Electric - 120-Volt, 60 Hz, 12-Amp
TypePush mower
Cutting Width20 Inches
Cutting Type3-in-1, easy on/off side discharge, rear bag, and mulching system
Cutting HeightSingle-lever height adjustment 1.5" to 4"
Assembled Product Weight53 lbs
Verdict

Earthwise 50520 is the Clean Air choice. It requires no gas, no oil, and has no fumes. If you are searching for a lawn mower manufacturer that cares about the environment, this product is the right one for you.

Runner-Up: Sun Joe MJ403E Electric Lawn Mower

Sun Joe MJ403E Electric Lawn Mower
Sun Joe MJ403E Electric Lawn Mower
Pros
  • Offers great value for money
  • 7 height adjustment options
  • Powerful motor system
Cons
  • The collection bag can be heavy
  • You need to push

Even though it is not the self-propelled type, the 31.5 pounds weight makes it easy to move around even in steep surfaces. The deck size on Sun Joe MJ403E is about 17 inches which contributes to an impressive cutting speed level you'll experience when you buy this machine.

To avoid the extra work of having to sweep the lawn after the main session, there is a 12-gallon collection bag that comes with Sun Joe MJ403E. when you finish mowing your lawn, detaching the bag for disposal is easy. However, there are some users that choose the mulching option and this machine even has a mulching function that creates natural fertilizers from the discarded grass.

Among other interesting features, it comes with a 13-amp motor system which it this mower powerful enough to handle thick grasses in tough terrains.

Sun Joe MJ403E Electric Lawn Mower Specifications
Power typeCorded Electric - 13 Amp
TypePush mower
Cutting Width17 inches
Cutting TypeFeatures a removable bag and mulch plug to allow for easy mowing or mulching.
Cutting Heights0.98 to 2.87 inches using the 7-position height adjustment lever
Assembled Product Weight31.5 lbs
Verdict

This Sun Joe mower is great for small to medium sized outdoor spaces because of its powerful motor and wide cutting size.

Best Value: Greenworks 25142 Corded Electric Lawn Mower

Greenworks 25142 Corded Electric Lawn Mower
Greenworks 25142 Corded Electric Lawn Mower
Pros
  • Because its lightweight, the push behind the operation is not difficult
  • Cuts and collects grass efficiently because of its bagging and mulching capabilities
  • Its incredible option for height adjustability makes it perfect for all types of grass
  • Budgeted for small yards.
Cons
  • Small size & light
  • Small catcher bag that may require unload it frequently

For such a small sized and lightweight lawn mower, this model actually performs a lot better than we expected especially when it comes to grass collection, overall power and dealing with tall grasses at the higher mow height settings

This lawn mower is targeted at the residential market that can be used on a regular basis without being hassled. Among the lawn mower machines in the market, this lawn mower has at least 50 percent fewer vibration capacities in partnered with its noise-free operation.

Another key point is the fact that the handles can be folded down after use which is key for people with limited storage spaces and the wheels are large enough so that they can work well around tight corners and flower beds and the mulching plug is very easy to use also.

Greenworks 25142 Corded Electric Lawn Mower Specifications
Power typeCorded Electric - 10 Amp
TypePush mower
Cutting Width16 inches
Cutting Type2-in-1 feature provides mulching and rear discharge capabilities
Cutting Heights5 Position from 5/8" to 2-5/8" for all grass types
Assembled Product Weight48 lbs
Verdict

If your lawn size is small and you're looking for the best value of your money. Greenworks 25142 is what you're looking for.

Best All-In-One Cordless: Greenworks MO80L410 Pro Self-Propelled Lawn Mower

Greenworks MO80L410 Pro Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
Greenworks MO80L410 Pro Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
Pros
  • Self-propelled rear wheel
  • Brushless motor - this is the way electric cars like the Tesla work.
  • 3-In-1 design allows you to mulch, rear bag, or side discharge
Cons
  • Battery life can’t take on larger yards.

Take an 80-volt motor and mount it on a three-function steel mower deck (bags, side discharge, and mulches) and you have this mower. The equipment is powered with 4Ah battery that runs up to 45 minutes on a single charge, ensuring you get your lawn work done in-time with minimum efforts.

One of the advantages on Greenworks MO80L410 is its brushless motor, which operates very quietly, also provides the power you need. The cutting deck height can be adjusted to 7-positions, maintaining the grass height you desire. The lawn mower also features innovative Smart Cut technology that ensures adequate blade speeds depending on the gardening task it’s engaged in.

It’s a self-propelled mower with variable speed control, single-lever height adjustment, and 10-inch wheels, sturdy 21″ steel deck lets you deal with massive spaces of grass temporarily and simply.

Greenworks MO80L410 Pro Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Specifications
Power typeCordless - provides up to 45 minutes run-time with fully charged 4Ah battery
TypeSelf-propelled rear wheel drive can be easily adjusted to your stride
Cutting Width21 inches
Cutting Type3-In-1 design allows you to mulch, rear bag, or side discharge
Cutting Heights3-1/4 inch to 1-3/8 inch
Assembled Product Weight64.15 lbs
Verdict

Overall, the Greenworks MO80L410 Pro mower offers all the features that a high-end battery operated, self-propelled at this price range.

Best Cordless: Greenworks 25302 Cordless Lawn Mower

Greenworks 25302 Cordless Lawn Mower
Greenworks 25302 Cordless Lawn Mower
Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Incredible cutting quality
  • Lengthy battery life for a cordless electric mower
Cons
  • Slows down against dense grasses
  • Cheap, borderline defective rubber grips and rear flap

Greenworks breaks so much innovative ground with the 25302 Twin Force G-MAX. Dual high-capacity (4 Ah) and low-capacity (2 Ah) lithium-ion batteries feed the 40V system powering its twin motors to the tune of an admirable 70 minutes of mowing time. To break that down a bit further, the 4 Ah battery alone will power the featherweight 42.5-pound mower through a quarter-acre of moderate clipping with a full charge – a mostly unheard-of degree of endurance among battery-powered electric mowers.

One of the most notable features of this machine is its wide cutting deck. The deck stares you at the face, and allows you to lawn more efficiently by drastically cutting down the number of passes needed to cover much ground. An adjustable lever allows you the option of choosing from 5 different cutting heights for a smooth and cleaner cut.

Although, the mower comes with two oversized 10-inch wheels for easy maneuverability, be advised that it is not a self-propelling lawn mower. Thus the operator will have to exert a considerable amount of energy to get it around the lawn.

Greenworks 25302 mower is worth the investment, but it’s not suitable for all operations. First and foremost, it’s not a self-propelled lawn mower, look to alternative self-propelled lawn mowers if you don’t have the strength to push it around or if the grass cut area is on a steep/hill. It is able to mulch your grasses while you mow, which contributes essential nutrients back to the lawn. You can also choose to make use of the rear bag to gather the clippings. There is an airflow tab seen on the bag which instructs you if the bag is already full, throwing out any hunch about when it will require emptying.

Greenworks 25302 Cordless Lawn Mower Specifications
Power typeCordless - includes one 4 Ampere hour battery and one 2 Ampere hour battery and charger , Voltage - 40 Volts
TypePush mower
Cutting Width20 inches
Cutting Type2-in-1: Mulch or rear bag
Cutting Heights1 3/8- 3 3/8” (3.5 - 8.5 cm)
Assembled Product Weight42.5 lbs
Verdict

The GreenWorks 25302 rechargeable twin force mower is a great investment if you want a lightweight machine without the hassle of a cord.

Best Overall Gas-Powered: Husqvarna 7021P Gas Powered 3-in-1 Lawn Mower

Husqvarna 7021P Gas Powered 3-in-1 Lawn Mower
Husqvarna 7021P Gas Powered 3-in-1 Lawn Mower
Pros
  • High-spec Honda engine for a high-performance
  • 3-in-1 cutting system-mulch, rear bag, and side discharge.
Cons
  • Not environmentally friendly

The purpose of the Husqvarna 7021P lawnmower is to effortlessly cut and maintain your lawn, offering great results and high-performance finishes. This model is able to bag, mulch, and discharge through the side, depending upon what you want or need the product to do. A cutting width of 21-inches is achieved, covering wide areas, while the ability to adjust the height of the handle ensures that all users are able to comfortably use this model.

Husqvarna 7021P 21-Inch also offers 9 cutting height positions with a soft-grip handle, double ball-bearing wheels, and folds for easy transport. This model is able to bag, mulch, and discharge through the side, depending upon what you want or need the product to do.

The Husqvarna 7021P lawn mower weighs 66 lbs, with a 22.25-inch wheelbase, in addition to 8-inch front wheels and 12-inch rear wheels.

The engine is gas powered, it will be able to provide much more power to the lawn mower than an electric, battery powered engine can. It has a powerful, reliable 160cc engine. The engine is a Honda GCV. These engines are designed to be quieter than other combustion engines of the same size and still provide reliable power and performance

Husqvarna 7021P Gas Powered 3-in-1 Lawn Mower Specifications
Power typeGas-powered - 160cc Honda GVC160 engine, ideal for smaller yards - Fuel tank volume: 0.98 quart
TypePush Mower
Cutting Width21 inches
Cutting Type3-in-1 cutting system-mulch, rear bag, and side discharge
Cutting Heights1.5- to 3.5-inches
Assembled Product Weight66 lbs
Verdict

A reasonable price to make it one of the best walk behind gas powered mowers in its class.

Best Value Gas-Powered: Craftsman M105 3-in-1 Gas Powered Lawn Mower

Craftsman M105 3-in-1 Gas Powered Lawn Mower
Craftsman M105 3-in-1 Gas Powered Lawn Mower
Pros
  • Auto choke feature
  • 3-In-1 capabilities: unit has side discharge, rear discharge, and mulching capabilities.
Cons
  • Small sized engine
  • Small wheel size

It has a set of 7 inches wheels in the front and 8 inches wheels in the back. This awesome combination ensures smooth movement of the Craftsman 105, making it suitable for a variety of terrains.

Despite its small size, the 140 cc engine provides sufficient power capable of mowing your lawn to completion. The engine is also equipped with auto choke which ensures a quick start of the mower without any fuss.

21-inch cutting deck Unlike other lawn mowers where you will have to go back and forth on a particular spot so that you can cut the grass. The Craftsman 105 has a 21-inch cutting deck that cuts the grass in one quick pass.

This push lawn mower is equipped with both side & rear discharge & mulching capabilities.

Craftsman’s handle can be collapsed after use while its rear wheels are 8 inches in diameter. Their surface is designed to keep any rugged operation in mind.

Craftsman M105 3-in-1 Gas Powered Lawn Mower Specifications
Power typeGas Powered - 140cc OHV Engine
TypePush mower
Cutting Width21 inches
Cutting Type3-in-1 side discharge, rear discharge, and mulching capabilities
Cutting Heights1.25 to 3.75 inches
Assembled Product Weight65 lbs
Verdict

For those who looking for the best budgeted & small gas lawn mower, then the Craftsman is the ideal choice. Its build, engine size and the cutting deck were designed for a standard sized lawn. You will also enjoy using it thanks to the auto choke feature.

Lawn Mower Buying Guide

Firstly, you must understand your yard

Think of your lawn as a tennis court. A full-size court would be a medium lawn, half the court or less would be a small lawn. Anything bigger is a large lawn.

  • Small lawn (up to 100 sq m): electric and cordless lawn mowers.
  • Medium lawn (100 – 250 sq m): electric, cordless and petrol lawn mowers.
  • Large lawn (250+ sq m): petrol lawn mowers.

By Type

  • Push mower: ideal for flat small yard. It requires the user to push a motorized blade cutter with wheels across the lawn, it is more budgeted than the others.
  • Self-propelled mower: Mowers offer both front and rear wheel drive to better suit your yard. You simply just need to walk behind the it to control its path. If you feel like you spend way too much time mowing your yard with a push mower, a self-propelled mower could dramatically reduce the time spent on it. You may need to consider one more detail: is your yard flat or hilly? The difference could determine whether you choose rear-drive or front-drive self-propelled mower. A rear-drive self-propelled mower designed for hills pulls the rear wheels instead of the front wheels. A front-drive self-propelled version pulls the front wheels and works best on flat land.
  • A ride-on mower: may be a better choice for those with larger acreage, ff your lawn is larger than ¾ acres you may want to consider a ride-on one.

By Gas or electric:

  • Gas mowers have longer run-time and offer more power than electric, but they can be messy and require more maintenance than their electric counterparts.
  • Electric mowers can be corded or cordless and are much cleaner to operate than gas, but unless you have two batteries (for cordless), there is always a chance you could run out of juice. Of course, with a corded model you're limited by the length of your cord, which can be a nuisance to mow around.

By cutting type

  • Side-Discharge mower: Some of the stuff we cut just can't be mulched. Using side discharging and a block off plate because it is more versatile. A side discharge mower can mow in nearly all conditions, fast mowing & high quality cut. But, the clipping discharge to outside, so it will fit for a large area.
  • Mulching mower: which cuts the clippings into very fine pieces which break down and release nutrients back into the soil. Mulching is preferred in tight area with some specific conditions (the lawn is not too wet and not too long), it can provide nutrients to the lawn but it will reduced mowing speeds and can have issues if not monitored.
  • Bagging mower: which collects clippings into a bag which is disposed of with yard waste. Bagging can mow in nearly all conditions, completely removes all debris, fast mowing & high quality cut. But, you must dispose of clippings.

Popular Brands of Lawn Mower

Craftsman: is one of the market leaders in mower and tractor sales. Many models in the Craftsman line are made by Husqvarna; others are made by MTD. Craftsman lawn tractors run the price spectrum from gear-drive models priced at about $1,000 to fully featured, hydrostatic-drive units that cost more than $2,000. Most Craftsman lawn tractors feature Briggs & Stratton engines, and the 42-inch-deck models are among the most popular. The majority of Craftsman walk-behind mowers are gas-powered, but the company also offers corded and battery-powered electric models.

Husqvarna: makes mowers, tractors, and zero-turn-radius riders for the consumer and the commercial market. Husqvarna has a large dealer base, and Lowe's and Sears carry the brand. Husqvarna lawn tractors are fully featured and have deck widths in the widely sold 42- to 54-inch range. Most models have hydrostatic-drive systems and Briggs & Stratton engines.

Greenworks Tools is the leader in battery-powered outdoor power tools for DIY-consumers and landscaping professionals. The company distributes Greenworks-branded and private label products, as well as products for an extensive network of Original Equipment Manufacturers. With a robust line of Greenworks-branded products including 24-volt, 40-volt, 60-volt, 80-volt, and commercial-grade 82-volt battery-powered outdoor power equipment, a full line of corded equipment, and reel mowers, Greenworks offers the right tool for every job.

Sun Joe® specialize in designing and developing high-quality, innovative, and affordable outdoor tools to keep your home looking beautiful throughout the year, whether the snow is falling or the sun is shining. Founded in 2004, the Snow Joe® company launched with one tool in its product lineup: an easy-to-use, electric snow shovel for under $100 dubbed the “Snow Joe”. Today, our expansive line of outdoor power equipment, which includes manual, cordless, and electric tools such as lawn mowers, trimmers, tillers, and snow blowers, aims to simplify your yard routine to make it quick and easy to get your outdoor chores done. Our focus is on designing high-quality outdoor tools that are affordable, because we believe that high craftsmanship does not have to come with high prices.

Earthwise is made from American Lawn Mower Company which is a family business that started in 1895 to manufacture push mowers. The Earthwise brand, with the slogan “The Clean Air Choice,” and the Yardwise brand, with the slogan “For the Perfect Lawn” were created in 2008 to tout the company’s new, Earth-friendly products.

Conclusion

Shredding leaves with a mulching mower will save homeowners time and money. Mulching is faster and far easier on the back than raking. Mulched leaves keep the soil warmer in winter and cooler in summer and the nutrients provided by mulching reduce the amount and expense of fertilizer need to achieve green-up in the spring. So choose your best lawn mower for mulching leaves is the first thing to make your yard beautiful.

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