In spite of what some lunatics will try and tell you in the 21st century, the earth is not flat.
Neither is everyone’s backyards. Well, some are, while others can look like something from a dramatic Lord of the Rings quest.
Having a rolling landscape can be a wonderful aesthetic, but it’s not always that easy to maintain. If you don’t have the right equipment, mowing grass over hills can be a real chore.
It’s can also be tiring and very time-consuming.
That’s why I’ve put together this review of the best lawn mowers for hills – so you can finally achieve relief from your beautiful but troublesome garden.
Let’s make mowing great again!
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. If you shop through the links on YardThyme, we may earn an affiliate's commission from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you. For more information, read full disclosure here.
- Top 16 Lawn Mowers for Hills in 2021
- American Lawn Mower Company 1204-14 Lawn Mower
- Black+Decker BESTA512CM Electric Lawn Mower
- Fiskars StaySharp Plus Reel Mower (6207)
- GreenWorks 25022 Corded Electric Lawn Mower
- Greenworks PRO 2502202 Cordless Lawn Mower
- Black Max 163cc Perfect Pace Gas Mower
- Lawn-Boy 17732 Self Propelled Lawn Mower
- EGO Power+ LM2001-X Cordless Lawn Mower
- Craftsman M270 Gas Push Lawn Mower
- Snapper XD Electric Cordless Self-Propelled Lawnmower
- Honda NeXite Gas Walk Behind Mower
- Toro Recycler Briggs And Stratton Gas Lawn Mower
- Weibang 4 Stroke Loncin Shaft Walk Behind Mower
- WORX WR140 Landroid M Robotic Lawn Mower
- Husqvarna LTH1738 Hydrostatic Gas Riding Lawn Mower
- Husqvarna MZ61 Zero-Turn Riding Mower
- How to Choose the Right Lawnmower for Hills
- What are the Main Features to Look for in a Lawn Mower for Hills?
- How Fast Does a Self-Propelled Mower Go?
- How Long Does It Take to Charge the Battery of a Cordless Mower?
- Is It Possible to Mow in Reverse with Gas-Powered Mowers?
- Do I Have to Assemble the Mower Myself?
- Do Accessories Matter?
- How Do I Clean My Lawn Mower?
Top 16 Lawn Mowers for Hills in 2021
American Lawn Mower Company 1204-14 Lawn Mower
We’ll begin at the very basic end of the scale with this traditional push mower from the American Lawn Mower Company.
This is an eco-friendly option to gas or electric mowers that offers you excellent results with easy assembly and very little maintenance.
The blades are constructed of a high-quality, heat-treated alloy to ensure they stay sharp for longer, while the four-blade assembly is ideal for trimming all types of common grass.
Push mowers still have their place cutting lawns, and they’re very useful for tackling hills, offering excellent control and maneuverability.
Great lawn mower on a budget!
- Great price.
- Name to trust.
- Simple to use.
- No tool assembly.
- Adjustable cutting height.
- Zero emissions.
- Safer option compared to other mowers.
- Choice of sizes available.
- Not suitable for larger lawns and gardens.
- It can be very hard work.
Black+Decker BESTA512CM Electric Lawn Mower
This is a very versatile piece of equipment from a household name in power tools. It offers a three-in-one choice of a mower, trimmer, and edger, backed by a 6.5 amp power-drive motor.
There’s an automatic feed spool that helps you keep working without having to stop and adjust if there are breakages or any problems.
It’s much lighter than gas-powered mowers and trimmers, which means it’s more comfortable to use if you’re not getting any younger. The adjustable handle height also provides excellent comfort and control depending on the user’s preference.
The clever cord-retention system prevents accidental cut-offs, so you can mow the lawn, detach the deck and trim, and then rotate the head and edge – as efficiently as possible.
The most versatile lawn mower for hills.
- Name to trust.
- Perfect for small spaces.
- Easy to use.
- Adjustable cutting heights.
- Lightweight and compact.
- Not suitable for large areas.
- You’ll potentially go through a lot of spools.
- Extension cord not included.
Fiskars StaySharp Plus Reel Mower (6207)
This is the Rolls Royce of reel mowers from Finnish gardening company Fiskars – which was founded in 1649. It offers a super-clean cut without the use of gas or electricity, boasting a 40% easier push than competitors, and 75% more cutting power.
The cutting system is specially designed to use precision-ground, hardened steel blades for an efficient cut while ensuring they last longer between uses with little maintenance required.
The unique glass-clipping chute throws the grass away from your feet as you make your pass.
The best reel mower for hills hands down.
- Adjustable height system.
- Available in a choice of sizes.
- Easy to assemble and operate.
- Zero emissions.
- Name to trust.
- Again, not really suitable for large areas – unless you seriously want a workout.
GreenWorks 25022 Corded Electric Lawn Mower
Greenworks offer this corded, 12-amp electric mower that has a tough and durable 20-inch steel deck and a push-button start.
It features a three-in-one system for mulching, side discharge or a rear bagger; with the choice of seven different cutting heights, it’s ideal for negotiating all kinds of terrain and tackling all varieties of grass.
There are foldable handles for compact storage, while it’s lightweight enough to push up hills and offers excellent maneuverability and control.
- Smooth, quiet operation.
- Easy to use.
- Powerful motor.
- Bagger included.
- Safety lever.
- Cord not included – make sure you purchase the correct extension cord for use.
Greenworks PRO 2502202 Cordless Lawn Mower
Another Greenworks offering now with this 21-inch battery-operated lawn mower that provides you with up to 60 minutes of uninterrupted mowing on a full charge.
The brushless motor is powered by an 80-volt lithium-max battery system which gives you gas-powered performance at a fraction of the cost. Featuring a one-touch start, a durable steel-deck, and seven cutting height choices that can be adjusted by a one-handed lever.
It’s super-quiet, environmentally friendly, but with a high-powered torque that will get the job done. You can even use the battery to switch to other garden maintenance tools in the Greenworks line if required.
A highly rated cordless mower for hills.
- Mulch, bag or side discharge.
- Smart-cut technology.
- Zero emissions.
- Versatile battery use.
- Battery and charger not included.
Black Max 163cc Perfect Pace Gas Mower
Backed with a powerful Briggs and Stratton engine, this 21-inch Black Max gas-powered lawn mower might well be able to set the “Perfect Pace.”
Designed specifically to tackle uneven or hilly terrain, the 11-inch wheels provide excellent traction with a rear-wheel drive that will get you moving.
The durable, PolyMax deck is super-lightweight and rust-resistant – and you wouldn’t know it wasn’t metal by looking at it.
And when you’re done, the “Mow N Stow” capability allows you to fold the machine to reduce its profile and save up to 70% on storage space.
- Great price for what you get.
- Rugged and durable.
- Premium-quality engine.
- Compact, space-saving design.
- None to speak of.
Lawn-Boy 17732 Self Propelled Lawn Mower
The Lawn-Boy here is the first of our mowers that offer the coveted rear-wheel drive which provides the best possible traction for hilly terrain. It’s also self-propelled, which takes the effort out of pushing the mower along manually, so you can easily guide the machine as it does the work for you.
The two-point height-of-cut system allows you to quickly adjust cutting heights from one side of the mower, which is ideal for saving time during your cut. A Kohler 149cc OHV engine powers the 21-inch cutting deck with a tri-cut cutting technology that makes it a great option for mulching.
As far as gas-powered mowers go, this is a great entry-level option.
For those on a budget, this is a great self-propelled lawn mower for hills available.
- Affordable for a self-propelled mower
- Extra-large bagger.
- Easy to handle.
- No oil change required.
- Low maintenance.
- The choice of engines and designs is both a blessing and a curse – make sure you choose the right one before purchasing.
EGO Power+ LM2001-X Cordless Lawn Mower
Boasting a powerful 7.5 AH lithium-ion battery, this cordless lawn mower from EGO provides up to 90 minutes of cutting time on one charge. It has a 20-inch cutting capacity, a foldable body for easy storage, all housed in a tough and durable, weather-resistant construction.
It offers you the performance of gas-powered mowers without the fumes or maintenance and can mow up to two miles when fully juiced – more than enough for small to medium-sized yards.
Like the Greenworks, the battery is also compatible with other EGO products in the range. It’s really up to you to decide which one you prefer.
- Five height adjustments.
- Built-in headlights.
- Quiet operation.
- Fast charging.
- Not self-propelled.
Craftsman M270 Gas Push Lawn Mower
This is a powerful 159cc self-propelled lawn mower from Craftsman that features an automatic choke for maximum performance.
It’s something of a hybrid creation, too, as it includes a V20 battery that provides a push-button start, so you don’t have to do your back out with a pull cord all the time.
The three-in-one deck allows you to discharge, bag, and mulch clippings, while the 1.9 bushel dust blocker bag provides easy clean up while reducing in-air dust and debris.
With an easy-to-adjust six-position height system, you can tackle just about any terrain you come across, and a variable speed control lets you set your own pace.
- Name to trust.
- Push-button start.
- Battery compatible with the V20 system.
- Easy to assemble.
- The front-wheel drive won’t be ideal for everyone.
Snapper XD Electric Cordless Self-Propelled Lawnmower
It was only a matter of time before the first Snapper mower appeared on the list, and I’ve gone for this cordless model, to begin with.
It will give you up to 45 minutes of run time with the powerful Briggs and Stratton, 82-volt lithium battery, and the kit comes with two, 2.Ah batteries included along with their charger.
It has a 21-inch deck, a self-propelled power system with variable speed, a push-button start and seven height variants with a hand-operated lever.
This has got the power, maneuverability, and control you need for tackling hills and obstacles, without the maintenance concerned of a gas-powered tool.
Good cordless lawn mower for steep banks.
- Name to trust.
- Powerful battery.
- Load sensing technology.
- 3-in-1 steel deck.
- Vertical storage capability.
- Expensive for a rechargeable mower.
Honda NeXite Gas Walk Behind Mower
Honda needs little introduction when it comes to engines, and they make some of the finest lawn mowers in the world as a result.
This is their new GCV200 model, with an integrated select drive speed system for all the control you could wish for. A four-in-one design allows you to mulch, bag, rear discharge or shred leaves, giving you the ultimate choice in how to dispose of clippings, with the MicroCut twin blades that will make short work of anything in their path.
A three-position, quick-release adjustable handle caters for all users, and a flywheel brake system has been included for added safety.
- Very powerful.
- Name to trust.
- Rust-free, non-metal deck.
- Rear-wheel drive for hilly terrain.
- Easy-start motor.
- Pricey for a walk-behind machine.
Toro Recycler Briggs And Stratton Gas Lawn Mower
Here we have a brand new 22-inch Toro lawn mower with a Briggs and Stratton engine that offers 163 CCs of power.
Devoid of levers and adjustment knobs, the easy-to-steer handle puts you in control, with a self-propelled, “Personal Pace” auto drive system that matches how fast you naturally walk.
Large wheels with improved tread offer excellent traction for hills and slippery conditions – without tearing into your lawn – and no less than nine cutting positions ensures you’ll easily achieve the finish you’re looking for.
The recycler cutting technology feeds your lawn with ultra-fine clippings, and you can cover more ground with the large, steel deck that’s been built to last.
- Name to trust.
- Quick-wash port.
- Adjustable handle height.
- Quick-connect bagging system.
- No oil change required.
- Rear-wheel drive for hills.
- Some reports of the bag system needing some improvement.
Weibang 4 Stroke Loncin Shaft Walk Behind Mower
Here we have a super-powerful, commercial-grade lawn mower for use at home. Built like a tank and designed to last, this Weibang 21-inch machine has a monster 196cc engine with a safety bar installed to instantly stop when released.
The heavy-duty steel deck offers improved airflow for collecting grass clippings – even in poor conditions and over tough terrain, with a three-speed professional transmission to offer the very best in power, performance, and control.
Designed to cut one to two acres, the extra-strength, double-ball-bearing wheels and rear-wheel drive will conquer those hills with ease.
- Commercial-grade mower.
- Premium-quality construction.
- Rust-resistant deck.
- Highly rated.
- Single height adjustment.
- Built to last.
- On the expensive side.
- Heavy for a walk-behind mower.
WORX WR140 Landroid M Robotic Lawn Mower
This little device is able to climb hills up to 35% gradient, so I’ve included it here just to give you another option. It’s a fully automated gizmo that can be totally customizable to your needs, using five unique settings.
The robotic lawn mower learns about your lawn and will suggest a mowing pattern based on the lawn size – ideally no bigger than one-quarter of an acre.
It finely cuts the grass a little at a time, naturally fertilizing your yard, with no need to bag or clean up the clippings. A cut-to-edge feature allows the spool to get right up to your borders, so you’ll have much less to edge and trim when the big job is done.
It returns automatically to its charging station, and you’re fully in control with the supported app at all times – even being able to pinpoint its location should it be stolen.
- You don’t do any work.
- Multi-use battery.
- Fully customizable.
- Not going to be as accurate as a human.
Husqvarna LTH1738 Hydrostatic Gas Riding Lawn Mower
The first of only two riding mowers included in this review is from revered Swedish company Husqvarna. With a reinforced cutting deck that delivers a quality performance every season, the pedal-operated hydro-static transmission offers the most power and control in its class.
Featuring air-induction mowing technology for a precise cut, ergonomic steering, super-comfortable seat and backrest, and the versatility to adapt the machine to your needs, this is a highly-rated lawn mower that will have your lawn the envy of your neighbors. If you actually have any, of course.
Great riding lawn mower for steep banks.
- Name to trust.
- Chokeless start.
- Reverse option.
- 17 horsepower.
- Large cutting deck.
- Not suitable for smaller lawns.
Husqvarna MZ61 Zero-Turn Riding Mower
Finally, we’ll finish with a zero-turn, riding mower – once again from Husqvarna.
Usually, zero-turns might not be considered the best for mowing hills, but this machine has a low center of gravity that offers commercial-grade quality and power for all your lawn mowing needs.
The fabricated 11-gauge steel cutting deck offers a huge 54-inch cut with an ergonomically designed deck lifting system for quick and easy adjustments from the operator’s seat, while clippings can be discharged, mulched or bagged with the right attachments.
Deck-guiding castors ensure a level cut over uneven terrain. The high-backed seat has armrests and vibration dampeners, making this an ideal lawn mower for anyone who has a lot of land to maintain.
Good commercial lawn mower for steep banks.
- 27 horsepower engine.
- Easy-access service points.
- Very comfortable.
- Built to last.
- Name to trust.
- Mulcher and bagger sold separately.
- Very expensive.
How to Choose the Right Lawnmower for Hills
Hills can be tricky to negotiate when you’re mowing your lawn, but choosing the right mower for the job doesn’t have to be.
Read on to discover what you should be looking out for when you’re making your purchase.
First, you should be thinking about the cutting deck size of the lawn mower, and select the right size for your yard.
If your mower is too large you might end up doing more harm than good and damage your lawn. Plus, you need to make sure you also have the room to store the machine.
Too small and you’ll simply never get finished.
As a rule of thumb, if your land is less than half an acre, you should be looking at a lawn mower with a deck size of fewer than 40 inches.
For a land that is between half an acre to two acres, look for a deck that is between 40 and 50 inches.
For anything over two acres, lawnmowing decks should be over 50 inches.
You should also make a note of how many obstacles you have on your land, such as trees or water features. Carefully choosing the right size of the deck will help you negotiate anything in your path.
Self Propelled Versus Push Mowers
Push mowers can give you a lot of control because it’s your own energy that is making them work.
This can be advantageous when attempting to cut grass over hills or tricky terrain – which is why I’ve included a few push mowers as part of the review.
They’re much more lightweight than other mowers and are likely to be far easier to maneuver around obstacles.
They’re also excellent options if you’re environmentally conscious, or you simply have a smaller yard.
However, if you really want to take the effort out of moving up hills, you really should be looking for a self-propelled machine.
This means that the mower will drive itself forward using either its battery or engine, providing you have a hold on the starting lever.
You’ll find it makes a significant difference if you’re going up and down hills all day. However, they can take a bit of practice when it comes to getting used to their extra power.
Rear Wheel Drive Versus Front Wheel Drive
Where possible, I’ve tried to go for mowers with rear-wheel drive in this review.
That’s because they offer much better traction than front-wheel drive mowers – which is what you’re looking for when trying to mow up and downhill.
The trade-off is that rear-wheel mowers can be a little bit harder to maneuver than their front-wheel-drive counterparts.
Typically, riding mowers aren’t recommended for steep hills as there is a possibility they might tip.
The riding mowers I’ve included here have a lower center of gravity significantly reduce that chance.
And if you’re mowing a large area of land, you’re going to need all the benefits a ride-on can offer you.
But that comes at a price – ride-on mowers aren’t cheap and should only really be purchased if you really need one.
Everyone’s yard, garden or land is going to be different, so there isn’t a “one size fits all” mower.
I’ve tried to include mowers that offer the most number of cutting height options, so you can adjust the blade to suit the terrain you’re mowing.
This is also useful for tackling hills or mowing at an angle – especially if the adjustment lever is easy-to-operate while you’re in the process of mowing.
As you’ll notice in the reviews, I’ve opted to give you as much choice as possible when it comes to the lawnmower’s power source.
From manual push mowers to corded, cordless, gas-powered and even a robotic option – there’s something for everyone and for every yard.
It’s up to you which one you choose as they all have their advantages and disadvantages.
Manual mowers are super-quiet and have zero emissions – but they can be a lot of effort to push forward and aren’t really suitable for the elderly, infirm or anyone with back problems.
Corded mowers shouldn’t run out of power until unplugged, but there is a very real danger of cutting the line with the lawn mower blade.
Cordless mowers are rechargeable, meaning they’re environmentally friendly and quieter than other mowers. However, battery packs are expensive and they can run down – especially if you’re mowing a large area.
Gas mowers offer the most power, but they constantly use fuel and can be the hardest to maintain. They’re also easily the noisiest of all mowers.
Finally, robotic options might be the way of the future, but they’re not very fast and while they allow you to put your feet up and read the paper, they’re less reliable than a human.
Think carefully about your lawn size and needs before going for the mower with the right power source for you.
What are the Main Features to Look for in a Lawn Mower for Hills?
Depending on your size of the lawn, I would say look for self-propelled, rear-wheel-drive mowers that are as light as possible.
The wheels should have good traction and be very sturdy.
Adjustable blade height is also very useful – the more the merrier.
How Fast Does a Self-Propelled Mower Go?
It depends on the engine – if it’s gas-powered or electric.
For the most part, self-propelled lawn mowers will be able to reach speeds of anywhere between two to five miles per hour.
Riding lawn mowers will obviously go considerably faster and should only be operated by someone who is competent to do so.
How Long Does It Take to Charge the Battery of a Cordless Mower?
Good question – but it really depends on the mower.
It appears that some mowers offer around an hour’s use for an hour’s charge.
However, don’t quote me on that and check with the manufacturer for the exact figures before making your purchase.
Is It Possible to Mow in Reverse with Gas-Powered Mowers?
It is, providing that the lawn mower has that function.
It will say in the specifications if it has a reverse option – so make sure you check the product details carefully before making your purchase.
Not all mowers have reverse capabilities – and they can take much more effort to maneuver.
Do I Have to Assemble the Mower Myself?
Again, it depends on the type of mower, but for most of them, you shouldn’t have to.
Most mowers come fully assembled. There might be some basic assembly you need to do but it will be very straightforward and fully explained in the instructions.
Do Accessories Matter?
Having the option of adding accessories to your mower is always a plus point – but you don’t actually need any of them.
I’d look for a mower that already comes with everything included, so you don’t have to purchase a bagger or mulcher separately.
Remember that extra accessories – however useful – will also add weight. This might make it a bit more challenging when you’re mowing your hills.
How Do I Clean My Lawn Mower?
Another good question and one that is very important. A poor cleaning regimen for your lawn mower will result in a shorter life span and reduced performance.
How you clean your mower will depend on the type of mower it is – obviously, a reel version is going to be rather different from a ride-on.
First of all, it’s very important that you clean your mower as soon as the job is done. if you wait for any length of time, grass clippings will dry and become very difficult to remove.
Check out the video below for a step-by-step guide for cleaning a gas-powered mower.
One man went to mow, went to mow a meadow – and if he’s packing one of these lawn mowers with him, then that man will do the job in no time.
I hope this review and guide has helped point you in the right direction, but if you need an extra little bit of help, I’ll let you in on my lawn mower of choice.
It’s a tough decision, but I would go for the Snapper XD cordless lawn mower. It’s got the power, the rear-wheel self-drive function, and it’s environmentally friendly to boot.
Let me know which lawn mower you would choose for tackling those hills.