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 lawnmowers for hills – so you can finally achieve relief from your beautiful but troublesome garden.
Let’s make mowing great again!
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- Top 16 Best Lawnmowers for Hills in 2020
- American Lawn Mower Company 1204-14 Lawn Mower
- Black+Decker BESTA512CM Electric Lawn Mower
- Fiskars 17 Inch StaySharp Plus Reel Mower (6207)
- GreenWorks 25022 Corded Electric Lawn Mower
- Greenworks PRO 2502202 Cordless Lawn Mower
- Lawn-Boy 17732 Self Propelled Lawn Mower
- Greenworks 21-Inch Self-Propelled Cordless Lawn Mower
- EGO Power+ LM2001-X Cordless Lawn Mower
- iON16LM-HYB Hybrid Cordless/Electric Lawn Mower
- Snapper XD Electric Cordless Self-Propelled Lawnmower
- Snapper P2185020 Self Propelled Lawn Mower
- Honda HRX217K4HZA Lawn Mower
- WORX WR140 Landroid M Robotic Lawn Mower
- Troy-Bilt WC33 420cc Lawn Mower
- Husqvarna LTH1738 Hydrostatic Gas Riding Lawn Mower
- Husqvarna MZ61 Zero-Turn Riding Mower
- How to Choose the Best Lawnmower for Hills
- What are the Main Features to Look for in a Lawnmower 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 Lawnmower?
Top 16 Best Lawnmowers for Hills in 2020
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.
Reward: The best lawnmower 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.
Reward: The most versatile lawnmower 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 17 Inch 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.
Reward: 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.
Reward: Best electric mower for small yards and lawns.
- 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 lawnmower 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.
Reward: 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.
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.
Reward: For those on a budget, this is the best 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.
Greenworks 21-Inch Self-Propelled Cordless Lawn Mower
The cordless mowers up their game with another Greenworks product that this time comes complete with a 5.0 AH lithium battery and charger. The self-propelled drive system makes it easy for you to take the machine up hills or over difficult terrain, and the durable 21-inch steel deck is as tough as they come.
Again, the battery system can be used with over 25 different tools in the Greenworks line, while this mower gives you excellent mowing options with seven different cutting heights and a three-in-one discharge system.
The added battery storage allows you to carry an extra battery for an extended runtime if required.
Reward: One of the best battery-operated self-propelled mowers for hills.
- Instant, one-touch start.
- Vertical storage system.
- Zero emissions.
- Fade-free battery power.
- Again, be careful when selecting from the choice of products available.
EGO Power+ LM2001-X Cordless Lawn Mower
Boasting a powerful 7.5 AH lithium-ion battery, this cordless lawnmower 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.
Reward: A very highly rated battery-operated mower.
- Five height adjustments.
- Built-in headlights.
- Quiet operation.
- Fast charging.
- Not self-propelled.
iON16LM-HYB Hybrid Cordless/Electric Lawn Mower
I’ve included this Sun Joe iON mower because of its hybrid capability – it can be used with or without a cord, should you wish to charge up its 40-volt battery to give you up to 40 minutes of quiet operation.
It offers six positions of cutting height that you can easily adjust with one hand, and it features Ecosharp technology so the battery doesn’t fade and you maintain top performance.
The 9.25-gallon grass bag conveniently detaches to dispose of grass clippings, and the mower is targeted for use on small to mid-sized lawns. Rugged front and rear wheels ensure it offers excellent traction on any kind of terrain.
Reward: The best hybrid mower for hills.
- Brushless motor.
- It doesn’t seem to last as long as other cordless mowers.
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.
Reward: The best 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.
Snapper P2185020 Self Propelled Lawn Mower
Another Snapper entry now with this self-propelled gas-powered lawnmower with a Briggs & Stratton 850 professional series engine that doesn’t need to be primed or choked. One of the best lawnmowers for sloping gardens around.
It boasts a rear-wheel drive as the best possible option for negotiating hills, while also including a smooth-turn differential to save you time and effort with excellent maneuverability. Featuring a hi-vac bagging deck that effectively sucks up the clippings for a clean and tidy finish to your yard.
The ten-inch real wheels also offer excellent traction on thick grass, tougher terrain, and hills, while the 21-inch deck provides plenty of cutting width so you can get the job done as quickly as possible.
Reward: The best lawnmower for bagging clippings.
- Three-in-one system.
- Seven height adjustments.
- Name to trust.
- Easy start.
- Mulching plug sold separately.
Honda HRX217K4HZA Lawn Mower
As well as making some of the best cars in the world, Honda makes some of the best lawnmowers, too. This auto-choke electric start model is no exception, with a rechargeable, cyclone battery that will last the whole season.
With a powerful, hydrostatic transmission, speed and cruise control, and a Roto-Stop blade break that starts and stops the blade with the engine running, this machine is packed with features to make cutting the grass an absolute joy.
Add in a rear-wheel drive, this self-propelled beast is one of the best lawnmowers for steep slopes on the market. With Honda, you wouldn’t expect anything less.
Reward: The best gas-powered lawnmower for hills.
- Name to trust.
- Twin-blade system.
- Tough and durable deck.
- Easy to store.
- It can be difficult to maneuver around obstacles.
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 lawnmower 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.
Reward: The best robotic lawnmower for hills.
- You don’t do any work.
- Multi-use battery.
- Fully customizable.
- Not going to be as accurate as a human.
Troy-Bilt WC33 420cc Lawn Mower
This is a behemoth of a mower from Troy-Bilt, which offers the huge advantage of zero-turn without actually being a ride-on.
It’s powered by a 420cc OHV engine with an easy electric start while offering that all-important rear-wheel drive with options for up to four different speeds giving you total control of the mow.
The generous 33-inch cutting deck has an integrated deck wash, while the two-in-one side discharge and mulch offer you a choice of how the cuttings are distributed.
As far as self-propelled, rear-wheel-drive lawnmowers go, this is up there with the very best. You’re going to have loads of fun with this machine.
Reward: The best self-propelled, zero-turn lawnmower for slopes.
- Name to trust.
- Eight adjustable cutting heights.
- Built to last.
- Durable wheels.
- Twin-bladed deck.
- Bagger sold separately.
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 lawnmower that will have your lawn the envy of your neighbors. If you actually have any, of course.
Reward: The best 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 lawnmower for anyone who has a lot of land to maintain.
Reward: The best 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 Best 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 lawnmower, 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 lawnmower 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 lawnmower 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 Lawnmower 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 lawnmowers will be able to reach speeds of anywhere between two to five miles per hour.
Riding lawnmowers 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 lawnmower 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 Lawnmower?
Another good question and one that is very important. A poor cleaning regimen for your lawnmower 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 the best lawnmowers for hills 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 lawnmower of choice.
It’s a tough decision, but I would go for the Snapper XD cordless lawnmower. It’s got the power, the rear-wheel self-drive function, and it’s environmentally friendly to boot.
Let me know which lawnmower you would choose for tackling those hills.