Maintaining a beautiful, lush lawn is a lot of work. It requires regular watering, fertilizing, and mowing. If your property has any hills or inclines, it can be an even greater challenge to keep your grass looking its best.
When it comes to cutting grass on an incline, suddenly a standard mower becomes much more difficult to operate. If you’re looking for the best lawn mower for hills, then read on!
In this article, we will take a look at the 10 best lawn mowers for hills in 2022. We will review each one and help you decide which is the best for your needs. So whether you are looking for a gas-powered model or a cordless one, a riding lawn mower or a push-behind one, we have you covered! Keep reading to learn more, and happy mowing!
The Different Types of Lawn Mowers
There are multiple different types of lawn mowers, but they may all be classified into two categories: push and riding. Push mowers are easy to operate and use, whereas riding models are bigger and more powerful. Both have benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to choose a lawn mower that is appropriate for your property.
Push Mower / Walk-Behind Lawn Mowers
A push mower, also known as a walk-behind lawn mower, is a type of rotary lawn mower that is powered by either a gas engine or electric motor, which can be powered by an electric cord or a battery.
A push mower and a walk-behind mower, while they look the same, are often given as labels for slightly different types of lawn mowers. Even though both are powered either by gas or electricity, a push mower is one that you physically have to push forward in order for it to move forward. A walk-behind mower, on the other hand, is called “self-propelled” in that it powers itself forward, and you as the user simply have to walk behind it and direct it on the path you want it to mow.
Push mowers are typically smaller and more maneuverable than self-propelled mowers, making them ideal for small yards and gardens. Self-propelled can cover more ground with less time and effort, so if you have a larger lawn and still want a walk-behind mower, then self-propelled is the way to go.
Some push mowers also feature additional attachments, such as grass collectors and mulching kits. Whether you’re looking for a gas or electric push mower, there’s sure to be a model that’s perfect for your yard.
The most popular lawn mower type today is a gasoline-powered push lawn mower. This type of mower is very powerful and is capable of cutting through tough grass, tall grass, on uneven terrain, and anything else your lawn might need. These can mow up to 1.5 acres of land on a single tank of gasoline. If you’re looking for a quick and powerful lawn mower, this is the one to go for.
However, they are quite noisy and smell strongly of gasoline whenever they’re used, and since they require a lot more maintenance than corded electric or cordless models, they can be more expensive as a whole. Gas-powered lawn mowers require an oil change and the spark plugs or air filters might need changing approximately every 100 hours of usage.
Corded Electric Lawn Mower
An electric lawn mower is one that is powered either by a power cord or a battery. They are generally smaller and lack the power of gasoline-powered engines, but they don’t release any pollutants and are also usually quieter.
A corded electric lawn mower works on either a 120 volt or a 240 volt power source, and it includes a cable that is between 25 and 100 feet long, although an extension cord may be required for larger yards.
A corded electric lawn mower never runs out of power, unlike a battery-powered or gas-powered lawn mower, which is one of its major selling features. However, you need to be more careful with these, as the cable may be difficult to navigate around and get mixed up either with your legs or with the mower blades.
Cordless / Battery Powered Lawn Mower
Battery powered electric lawn mowers are more expensive than corded electric mowers, but they are also easier to maneuver around your lawn and you don’t have to worry about running over a live electric cable.
The major disadvantage is that these types of lawn mowers have small batteries, so they won’t run for long before needing to be recharged. They usually come with a charging station that connects to the power outlet and then tucks into the mower when it’s fully charged.
However, if you need a quick mowing job done or need to mow an area of your lawn that is not in reach of an outlet, then a cordless lawn mower could be perfect for you.
Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
Self-propelled lawn mowers, otherwise known as walk-behind models, are self-powered. They simply need you to guide them in the desired mowing direction. They require much less effort and time to use for a long mowing session than normal push mowers, regardless of power source, but because of this they’re also the most expensive push models available.
Riding Lawn Mowers
A riding lawn mower is a lawn mower that has a seat on which you can sit and drive to trim your lawn. Just like push mowers, riding lawn mowers can be powered either by gas or electricity.
You may use the mower while driving forward, backward, or in place, which allows you to cut grass accurately and around any tight turns or obstacles.
There are four main types of riding lawn mowers: front engine mowers, rear engine mowers, zero-turn lawn mowers, and lawn tractors.
Front Engine Mower
A front engine riding lawn mower has its engine in the front, and this type is usually the most powerful of riding mower models. The front-mounted engine typically produces between 18 and 26 horsepower, allowing it to tackle hefty mowing work and other lawn chores.
Larger cutting decks are more common on front-engine riding lawn mowers, with widths ranging from 36 to 54 inches. You can also tow multiple accessories with its engine strength to better perform a variety of lawn maintenance functions.
Rear Engine Mower
Rear-engine riding lawn mowers, on the other hand are entry-level riding lawn mowers. Their engines are less powerful, but they’re lighter and have more maneuverability and require less power to run. Rear-mounted engines normally have between 11-15 horsepower.
These lawn mowers are also smaller and lighter, making them perfect for mowing tiny sections of lawn or smaller. They’re also safe to ride through flower beds, garden gates, and trellises because they have a smaller deck size. They’re a good middle ground between heavier and more expensive models and zero-turn lawnmowers.
Zero-Turn Lawn Mower
Zero-turn riding lawn mowers have a turning radius of zero inches, allowing them to turn 180 degrees on the spot. They’re extremely maneuverable in confined areas and around tight corners in your lawn.
They tend to have exceptional cutting abilities that are great for flower beds. The deck size of 32 to 60 inches permits you to cut the grass in far less time as well. The typical power of a zero-turn mower is between 12 and 25 horsepower, with engines ranging in size from 452 to 700 cc.
The location of the cutting deck is the main difference between a riding lawn mower and a lawn tractor. The cutting deck of a riding lawn mower is in front of the seat, but for lawn tractors its in the middle of the mower.
Lawn tractors have powerful engines with a cutting deck width of up to 48 inches, and are great for mowing grass, raking leaves and other yard work. They have large, powerful engines, and the majority of lawn tractor decks are detachable, making them perfect mowers for adding additional attachments. As a result, a lawn tractor is the most versatile riding lawn mower.
Reel Lawn Mower
Reel lawn mowers are the most cost-effective but time-consuming type of lawn mower. These mowers have no power source and must be pushed manually, and their blades spin in a cylindrical fashion as you push them across the grass, cutting it.
Reel lawn mowers are considerably quieter and more safe than both electric and gas-powered lawn mowers. Reel lawn mowers are excellent choices if you have a tiny lawn, want to save money, or don’t mind putting in the extra effort to push them.
Which is The Best Type of Mower For Hills?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. It depends on the size of your lawn, the terrain, and your personal preferences. Ultimately, you will need to assess the terrain of your yard and choose a model that can handle it effectively.
For small lawns that have hills, a reel lawn mower or push mower will do the job just fine. If you have a larger lawn with more challenging terrain, a riding lawn mower could be a better option.
However, a lawn tractor is certainly not a good choice for mowing hills. These mowers have a front axle that pivots, which causes the machine to automatically tilt over a little and potentially lose traction on one of the back wheels when it is on a slope.
Additionally lawn tractors have the engine in the front. Therefore, when going down a slope, the center of gravity will shift as compared to going upwards. Because most lawn tractor mowers have only rear brakes, you can lose your ability to brake when going downhill.
Push mowers are also generally safe to mow a hill with. For one thing, you are not situated on the mower itself, so if it flips or slides downhill you can easily move out of the way and not worry about getting hurt with it. However, these could be laborious to push up a hill multiple times, so be sure that you are able to handle the work before starting.
How to Cut Grass on a Hill
If you are looking to maintain a nicely cut lawn on a hill, there are several things you can do to ensure the process goes smoothly.
Preparations Before Mowing
The first step is to assess your yard and identify and rid your lawn of any potential hazards or obstacles that could make cutting your grass more challenging. Walk up and down the hill before mowing to see if there are any divots or potentially tricky sections to avoid.
Additionally, always check the weather before mowing a hill in your lawn. If it has recently rained, then it could be too slippery to safely mow. However, soil that is too dry can also be crumbly and the tire treads on the mower might have a hard time gaining traction.
Push Lawn Mower
When using a push lawn mower, you want to mow the hill side to side, and not up and down. It is far easier to keep your balance this way, and you are less likely to slip and fall.
You should also maintain a wide and stable stance while mowing the hill to enhance your stability. Think about wearing cleats or grippy shoes to keep your balance and prevent your feet from slipping.
When it comes to turning your mower, try your best to not turn at all when on the hill. If you have to, however, turn the mower so that it faces uphill while turning.
Riding Lawn Mower
Mowing a hill with a riding lawn mower is the exact opposite as to a push lawn mower. With a riding mower, you want to mow up and down the hill, not side to side. That way, your riding lawn mower can better maintain traction on the slope, and there’s less potential for it to roll over.
You also don’t want to turn a riding lawn mower while on the hill, only when you get to level ground at the bottom or top of the hill. It is best to avoid any type of direction change when on an incline.
Also, do not ever put any attachments on your riding mower when you plan to mow a hill; this will add more weight and change the center of gravity so that it could tip over or slide.
Lastly, if the hill is too steep to mow upwards, only mow downwards, and for the uphill take a more circuitous, less steep route back up to the top, and repeat.
Safety Tips For Mowing On a Steep Hill
The most important tip to keep yourself safe is that if you are in any way uncomfortable mowing the hill – if it is too steep or you’re unsure your mower can handle it – then call in a professional to take care of it.
If you’re mowing a hill yourself, always do it on a dry and clear day so neither the mower or yourself slip at all on the grass. Take your time when mowing on a steep hill; a slight increase in speed can greatly increase the risk of damage or injury. However, also keep in mind that you shouldn’t ever stop on a hill, especially when going upward. The torque and momentum required to maintain a slow pace is less than it is to start from a standstill.
Another thing to remember is to raise the cutting height of your mower to as high as it can go. This is the most likely way to keep the blades from getting stuck in the grass, and allows them to pass over any small debris or lumps that could otherwise tilt or affect the lawn mower.
If you’re using a push mower to mow a hill, make sure that it is a model that automatically shuts down if your hand moves from the handle. This way, if the mower slips or falls down the hill, it will automatically turn off and the blades won’t be able to hurt or damage anything.
The 10 Best Lawn Mowers to Use on Hills
We have found these 10 lawn mowers to be the best options for you if you are looking for a mower to use on hills in your yard.
#1. Honda HRX217K5VKA Gas-Powered 4-in-1 Lawn Mower
The Honda HRX217K5VKA Gas-Powered 4-in-1 Lawn Mower is one of the best gas-powered push lawn mower models on the market. The Versamow System on the Honda HRX217K5VKA means you can mulch, bag, discharge, and shred leaves – you can even combine mulching and bagging – with no expensive extra tools or attachments.
It also comes equipped with 7 different cutting heights, which range from 3/4-inch to 4 inches high. This power and high cutting deck is great for mowing over and around hills. In addition, the unique, twin-blade MicroCut System helps to create ultra-fine grass clippings for excellent mulching. It provides more clippings per bag by utilizing four cutting surfaces, so you get a perfect cut and spend less time emptying clippings.
The HRX has a 21-inch wide cutting deck that is made of NeXite, a material highly resistant to impacts. It also won’t dent or corrode with rust over time; in fact it’s so durable it comes with a lifetime warranty. It also has a rear discharge door, which allows for greater mobility and eliminates the need for an extra discharge chute attachment. The quick-release handle is readily adjustable to one of three settings, and you can also use it to move and store the mower quickly.
#2. Greenworks Pro 21-Inch 80V Self-Propelled Cordless Lawn Mower
- The package length is 43.18 centimeters
- The package height is 86.36 centimeters
- The package width is 58.42 centimeters
The Greenworks Pro 21-Inch 80V Self-Propelled Cordless Lawn Mower is the best electric mower you could use to mow slopes and hilly terrain. It says right in the product description that it can easily climb hills with up to 20% incline, which is pretty steep and will cover most hills in your backyard.
This self-propelled mower has an 80-volt battery that will give you gas-like performance at the touch of a button, but with less noise, no oil, and no pollution or smelly fumes. It also can get up to 45 minutes of runtime on its 4-AH battery, and the brushless motor provides more torque and longer tool life.
The Greenworks Pro has an easy push-button start, 7-position mowing height adjustment, a 21-inch durable steel deck, and 3-in-1 mowing versatility that allows you to rear bag your grass clippings, side discharge them, or mulch them.
#3. Snapper XD MAX Electric Cordless 21″ Push Lawn Mower
- Your purchase includes: Electric Cordless Push Mower (battery and charger not included).
- Up to 45-minute run time for a single fully charged battery, with the Briggs & Stratton 82V MAX 2.0 Lithium-ion Battery.
- 21 inches Steel mowing deck with 3 in 1 Design mulch, bag or side discharge grass clippings easily.
The Snapper XD MAX Electric Cordless 21″ Push Lawn Mower is another top-of-the-line cordless electric lawn mower that you can use to cut grass on hills in your backyard. It boasts the industry’s first Briggs & Stratton 82V MAX 2.0 Lithium-ion Battery that will provide your mower with 45 minutes of high-powered operating time, and is environmentally friendly and won’t produce lots of noise or gas fumes.
This powerful mower is also very durable with its reinforced steel 21-inch cutting deck that is equipped with a 3-in-1 design, so you can mulch, bag, or side discharge grass clippings with ease. It has smart and efficient load sensing technology that can adjust to meet the demands of the cutting blades.
The Snapper XD MAX also features a simple push button start, 10-inch rear wheels, and 7 positions of adjustment for the height of cut.
#4. Husqvarna YTH18542 42-Inch Hydro Transmission Riding Lawn Mower
The Husqvarna YTH18542 42-Inch Hydro Transmission Riding Lawn Mower is our top choice for using a riding lawn mower on hills. The manufacturer specifically recommends for use on uneven and hilly terrain. This top-of-the-line lawn mower comes equipped with an 18.5 HP, 540 CC Briggs & Stratton Intek engine, as well as a strong flat-stock steel reinforced cutting deck.
You can operate the hydrostatic transmission, speed, and direction with only the foot pedals, as the control system is entirely foot operated – you wouldn’t need to even take your hands off the steering wheel. This riding lawn mower also features fender-mounted cutting height adjustments, a sliding adjustable seat, an ergonomic steering wheel, and simple mounting and dismounting via a step-through. You’ll get maximum enjoyment and convenience with it.
Husqvarna constantly strives to make their riding mowers more durable, as well as perfect and enhance them. One of this mower’s top features is the Air Induction mowing system; this takes fresh air from both above and below the deck for smooth and effective grass cutting, regardless of the thickness or roughness of the grass. This model also comes with a safety switch beneath the driver’s seat, promptly shutting off the mower when you get off of the seat.
#5. Earthwise 60418 Lithium Ion Cordless Electric Lawn Mower
- TWO 40V lithium Ion batteries included
- 3-in-1 side discharge/mulch/rear bag
- LED battery monitor and zone starting / safety bar
The Earthwise 60418 Lithium Ion Cordless Electric Lawn Mower has two Lithium-ion batteries for optimum strength and performance, and a spacious 18-inch deck for easily cutting grass on hillsides.
Its battery-operated motor cuts through grass for up to 45 minutes per charge. Its small size (51 x 42 inches) and comfortable folding handle, as well as its broad wheels, make it simple to move around on your lawn.
It is a cordless mower, so there are no lengthy wires to tangle or risk cutting with the mower in use, and it consumes no gas or oil, meaning it is environmentally conscious.
The lawn mower is equipped with 7-inch front and 9.5-inch rear wheels, which means the weight is more evenly distributed when mowing side-to-side up a hill. The cutting height can also be adjusted between 1.5 inches and 4 inches. It also is equipped with 3-in-1 grass-removal capabilities, so you can choose what you want to do with your grass clippings.
#6. Troy-Bilt 30-Inch 382cc Riding Lawn Mower
The Troy-Bilt 30-Inch 382cc Riding Lawn Mower is another high-quality and inexpensive riding lawn mower for any terrain type. This riding mower is one of the most compact models available on the market, so will save you room when storing it in your shed or garage, and it takes up about the same amount of space as a wide-cut walk-behind mower, so can easily go through most gates or tight spaces in your backyard. Although, due to this small stature and narrow, 30-inch cutting deck, we would recommend using this riding lawn mower for lawns about 1.5 acres in size or less.
The Troy-Bilt 30-Inch mower, while relatively small, is just as durable as the other mowers on our list and can easily scale over your yard’s uneven, hilly, and rough ground. It effectively dampens any vibrations you might feel when riding, thanks to its low to high back seats, as well as the distinctive vibrational-reducing Soft Touch steering wheel.
This model also features a Shift-on-the-Go gearbox, meaning you can easily change between 6 distinct mowing speeds while continuously mowing the lawn. The rear hitch allows you to attach carts, sprayers, and spreaders as well as an attachable mulching kit that mulches your grass clippings and returns the nutrients back into the dirt. However, be sure to not use any attachments when using it on a hill.
#7. Troy-Bilt TB330 3-in-1 Rear Wheel Drive Self-Propelled Lawnmower
- Powered by a 163cc Briggs & Stratton Engine
- Equipped with a 21-Inch TriAction cutting system with integrated premium deck wash
- Designed with a single-lever variable speed drive control with four top speed settings for individualized comfort and control
The Troy-Bilt TB330 3-in-1 Rear Wheel Drive Self-Propelled Lawnmower is a small but very powerful push lawn mower. It is powered by a 163cc Briggs & Stratton Engine that comes with ReadyStart technology so you can start it with ease.
This mower comes with the Troy-Bilt TriAction cutting system, which is engineered to deliver a clean, precise cut in just a single pass. The single-lever variable speed drive is controlled via four speed settings and provides bespoke comfort and maneuverability.
The TB330’s 3-in-1 convertible mulching and cutting deck is built to last, with three options for you to choose your preferred cut: mulch, bag, or side discharge using an included standard 1.9-bushel grass collector. The TB330 has 8-inch front and rear wheels for easy mobility on uneven ground, and comes standard with a 3-year limited warranty from Troy-Bilt.
#8. Ariens 915223 IKON-X 52″ Zero Turn Mower
- This refurbished product is tested and certified to look and work like new. The refurbishing process includes functionality testing, basic cleaning, inspection, and repackaging. The product ships with...
The Ariens 915223 IKON-X 52″ Zero Turn Mower is a large, powerful riding mower that can tackle difficult, uneven, and hilly ground as well as high, unruly grass. It’s a great choice for a professional landscaper or gardener, or for someone with a lot of acreage. It has a strong 23 HP, 726 CC Kawasaki FR V-Twin engine that is extremely long-lasting, and durable, large front and rear wheels.
It has a wide 52-inch cutting deck that is 4.5 inches deep and made from 11-gauge steel. This, in addition to the full tubular steel frame and padded rear seats and armrests, means that you will enjoy a smooth ride on any surface in your backyard. The IKON-X also has a commercial-grade, 4-point dual-arm deck hanging system in addition to dial-operated cutting height selection, both of which provide an bespoke lawn mowing experience every time.
#9. EGO Power+ LM2000-S Lithium-Ion Cordless Walk Behind Lawn Mower
- Battery and Charger Not Included
- True 3-In-1 Function: Superior mulching, rear bagging and side discharge performance
- 20" Cut Capacity: Cut more grass in less time
The EGO Power+ LM2000-S Lithium-Ion Cordless Walk Behind Lawn Mower is one of the most advanced battery-powered push lawn mowers available today, proving the strength and performance of a gas mower without the noise, fumes, or impact on the environment.
The 600W magnetic motor has high torque and is designed to give you gas-like power at 3300RPM in a battery-powered package. It also has a 20-inch wide cutting deck to optimize the time spent out in your lawn. In addition, it has 3-in-1 functionality, meaning superior mulch, rear bag, or side discharge ability.
The convenient push button start means you can start your mower anywhere and at anytime, and it folds up completely so you can store it anywhere you have even a small amount of extra space. It is compatible with all EGO power+ arc lithium batteries, allowing you to switch back and forth between multiple lawn tools.
#10. Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro LT50 FAB
The Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro LT50 FAB is overall one of the finest riding lawn mowers currently available. It boasts a strong 24 HP Kohler 7000 series twin cylinder motor and a hydrostatic transmission, both of which provide optimum command and control. You won’t have to worry about shifting any more, simply push the pedal and go.
The 50-inch wide, triple blade AeroForce cutting deck is one of this mower’s best features. An AeroForce deck is built to enhance suction and airflow, which results in a more efficient cut and bagging performance, with less clumping during discharge and better overall results.
The XT1 features a more robust cutting mechanism with stamped and milled cutting deck choices, ensuring that it remains level on its wheels over rough and hilly terrain. You can move it with ease in any driveway or lawn thanks to its strong engine. It also has a small turning radius of 16 inches and an efficient steering mechanism that allows for swift maneuvering even in confined areas.
This model is covered by a 3-year engine and 5-year chassis and front axle warranty, allowing you to use it as much as your lawn demands. It also includes a wide selection of adaptable all-season attachments for any lawn or garden care task.
To Sum Up
So, what is the best type of lawn mower to use on hills? The answer to that question really depends on a variety of factors, including the size and shape of your property, as well as how often you plan to use the mower.
If you’re looking for a versatile option that can handle a wide range of terrain, we recommend either a rear wheel drive riding mower or a self-propelled model. However, if you have a smaller yard with lots of tight corners and curves, then a walk-behind or corded electric model might be better suited for your needs.
Our number one choice for the best mower to cut grass on a hill with is the Honda HRX217K5VKA Gas-Powered 4-in-1 Lawn Mower. If you would rather go for a riding lawn mower, however, we would recommend the Husqvarna YTH18542 42-Inch Hydro Transmission Riding Lawn Mower.
Always keep safety in mind when using any type of lawn mower, but especially when tackling hills – follow our tips above and you should be good to go!
We hope that you found this article helpful and informative, and that it will make choosing the right mower for your needs a little bit easier. Thanks for reading! Do you have a favorite lawn mower for hills? Let us know in the comments below!