Adam holds a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Linguistics, and creative writing has always been his greatest passion. For more than 25 years he's been working for several well-known automobile and travel magazines as an editor and expert consultant, but when Adam started his writing path here, at WisePick, it turned out that he's capable of writing practically anything about everything.
Initially being an engineering specialist, Tom has never stopped learning and acquiring other knowledge and skills. Now he’s involved in technical support for a well-known household appliances manufacturer, so no wonder he knows everything about almost everything you buy for your home.
Last updated: February 08, 2021
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Regular mowers were not designed for those unique gardens with raised edges, lumpy surfaces, and hilly stretches. If you’ve already tried a regular lawn mower – most of them ranked for slopes of only 15 degrees – or you’ve even tried a handheld weed eater, you’ll know that these methods either don’t work at all or take far too long to show results. Mowers specifically for hills, on the other hand, include enhanced traction, a larger clearance, and typically an industrial blade. This buying guide was written specifically for those with hilly gardens, and here we’ll look at the guaranteed best mower for hills.
In our review we considered all facets of hill-friendly mowers before ranking the top models on our list. These most important features included each mowers’ running time, motor type, amount of grass discharged, weight and fuel costs over time. We even considered overall friendliness to the environment and opted for mowers with lower exhaust ratios, or those that are manual self-pushing mowers.
Our detailed research took some time to compile due to extensive outreaching to manufacturers and verified customers of each product. Customers were asked what they liked and didn’t like about their new mowers, as well as if they’d suggest buying the mower to anyone else. Based on our research, the following guide is organized into tables with detailed reviews of each mower – including their pro’s and con’s – and then an organized buying guide at the end. It’s our hope this article assists you in your purchase of the best mower for hills.
The EGO Power Mower is a cordless lawn mower which utilizes lithium batteries combines with low gas amounts for advanced propulsion, with less exhaust. It’s rechargeable and each battery is 56-volt lithium-ion which can not only run the mower wheels and blade, but also the high-powered LED headlights for night mowing. This mower is also guaranteed to make 30% less noise than other mowers on the market, tempering the power of its engine and blade with a more compact sound-reducing design. Design is also weatherproof and has 3-in-1 functions for mulching, bagging, or just discharging grass via the side chute. Over time if there is any leakage or age to the lithium batteries, this mower is also compatible with all arc-lithium batteries, and they are easy to replace. With a great 5-year warranty, this is a mower you can trust will outperform for years to come. Despite its weight, it’s an automatic push-button starter and runs on wheels, meaning it can be used by anyone in the family with very little fuss.
What we liked:
20-inch cut capacity
Weather resistant design
3-in-1 discharge options
Amazing 5-year warranty
What could be better:
Hybrid mower with some carbon emission, though less than most
This mower requires very little extra care and will reduce all emissions while in use. It’s great for the professional yard and commercial-grade gardens/fields, and it has a battery run-time of up to 60 minutes (that’s around 1 full acre of coverage). It comes with 80v batteries and runs entirely cordless with a durable steel deck and blade. It’s capable for a quick charge, though does not come with a cord and battery charger (purchase separately). This mower is self-propelling, with large 10-inch rear wheels for better up-hill traction and easier maneuverability. It also uses SmartCut Technology which senses the load (grass or mulch bag) and adjusts for the weight. Additionally, this is a great mower for all grass height preferences, as it features an all-wheel single-lever height adjustment. It has a 3-in-1 function for a mulch rear-bag, grass discharge, and regular grass bagging. The entire mower is designed for heavy-duty jobs and will deliver the power and performance of a 160cc gas engine with lower emissions, longer running time, and advanced maneuverability for a hilly environment.
This rear-wheel drive mower is ideal for large hills and awkward stretches where regular mowers couldn’t get. Its self-propelling wheels are run by an quick-starting 163cc gasoline-powered engine, but unlike most pull-chain gasoline engines, this one is designed with ReadyStart technology for ease of use. This model also uses TriAction technology, which guarantees a clean and even cut in one pass. The speed drive control is equipped with four different top speed settings and allows for personal preference and cut, allowing you to create an individualized lawn experience every time. Grass discharge is designed on a 3-in-1 system that allows for mulching, storing in the cutting deck, and simple discharge as you go. Included with your purchase is the standard size 1.9-bushel grass catcher, ideal for most hauls of 5- to 7-yard lengths. This mower’s size is especially ideal for hills and uneven terrains, with an 8-inch front and rear for great maneuverability and added larger back wheel traction, as well as increased rear clearance. A trustworthy mower and manufacturer, this model comes with a great 3-year warranty.
This mower is one of the best eco-friendly tools on the market, with a powered and rechargeable 40v EcoSharp battery system and zero carbon emissions. This mower utilizes advanced lithium-ion technology for an insanely quiet runtime of up to 40 minutes per full charge (that’s around ¾ an acre of coverage). It’s cordless, gas-free, oil-free, and doesn’t require pull-cords or extensions. This cordless dynamo product is engineered with a powerful 600w brushless motor, with an extended life of up to 2,000 hours (2-year warranty included). The blade is waterproofed and rust-free steel which can mow a 15-inch path in one single pass. The compact design features a front and back with all-terrain wheels, great traction and adjustable blade clearance. It starts with a simple push-button system and the blade is integrated into a 6-position height adjustment lever (from 1.18 inches to 3.15 inches). The detaching grass bag can hold up to 9.25 gallons of trimmings, or can be removed for grass discharge. Additionally, this machine is Energy Star certified, utilizes hybrid technology in case you want to attach a cord, and goes where no electric motor has gone before.
This easy-start mower has a 160cc gasoline 4-cycle engine and an auto choke function for ease of use. It reduces emissions with a manual fuel shut-off valve, and only rear-propelled components. A paddle lever is designed into the product for instant speed adjustment up to a maximum speed of 4mph. The 21-inch mowing deck with a side-discharge function and steel blade allows for smooth movement and precise cuts every time. Grass is discharged with zero clumping, and can be manually adjusted to be cut at 6 different heights (from 1-1/8 inches to 4 inches). This has no bagging option, however can be set for regular discharge or single blade mulching. Its ball bearing rear wheels are raised slightly higher than the front ones and provide increased durability and better traction for hills and uneven surfaces. Mower adjusts to accommodate users of all heights, and when you’re done it folds down for easier storage in all corners of your house, garage, or yard. If you’ve got a stubborn yard with rocky and hilly elements, this mower will not disappoint you.
This is not just any self-push mower, it’s also the best manual mower on the market, and makes up for you extra effort in reaching all those places that gas and electric mowers cannot reach. This mower combines amazing technology with superior ergonomics and delivers an amazing and clean cut every time, without oil and gasoline discharge, and negative carbon emissions. You won’t be hassled by a dragging cord, and will never need a recharge, as well. It comes with an InertiaDrive Reel that creates 75% more cutting power than any other standard reel mower. This system eliminates the need for using electricity or gas, and its unique grass discharge throws clippings away from your feet and the path of the mower. Not only will it cut more than other mowers, but its design is 40% easier to push than other push mowers and creates a large 17-inch cut width. This mower’s technology is patented, the mower itself is cheaper, and anyone can use it with very little effort.
What we liked:
Great 17-inch cut width
Cheapest eco-friendly solution
InertiaDrive Reel for increased power and easier pushing
What could be better:
Manual push mower (no engine)
Smaller cut-width (mowing will take longer, but corners will be easier)
Things to Consider
The remainder of this guide is provided to explain certain facets of each model, and how these features affect the quality and design of the mower. Examples are given of mowers which exhibit exemplary features, and we’ve answered the most frequently asked questions at the end.
Advantages of having a top-quality lawn mower for hills
Having the best mower for your circumstances – meaning the size of your lawn, grade of the hills, and any other uneven parts – is essential to cleaning up any lawn. A regular lawn mower will not get the job done, and will in fact be at risk of constantly getting damaged, unless it’s designed for raised surfaces such as hills. A top-quality mower will not only suit all garden types, but will also last long enough (battery and gas-wise) to trim the entire lawn. Additionally, top-quality mowers tend to have multiple disposal options such as: grass collecting bags, grass discharge, and single blade mulching options. Mulching can be especially good for your lawn!
Features to consider when choosing a mower for hilly surfaces
The following features are very important for a hill capable lawn mower, but some of the most important to consider are tires and mowing deck size. The back tires of any automatic self-propelling mower should be larger than the front ones, because this provides increased traction and a better ability to climb and maneuver hilly elements. The mowing deck size will determine what angles and corners your mower can reach to cut, and will work even better if your blade height can be manually adjusted.
Most of the mowers on our list are hybrid devices which use batteries and gasoline to run, and typically these can mow a little under an hour if fully charged or fueled. One of the best running times for a mower on our list is the Greenworks Pro 80V with a 60-minute run time (that’s around a full acre of coverage at medium speed).
You’ve probably mowed your lawn or someone else’s before, and therefore you’re probably accustomed to the more traditional choice of a gas-powered motor. These are easily the strongest motors with the highest-powered running blades, though if you’re concerned with being eco-friendly, there are other options. The most environmentally-conscious mowers are typically hybrid types, which utilize fuel along with an electrical battery for reduced carbon emission and quieter mowing elements. These need to be recharged, or batteries eventually need to be replaced, but they can easily handle any hill and stretch of lawn for a typical 30-40 minutes. The EGO Power mower has a long-lasting hybrid motor and is great for all hill grades and garden types. The only fully electrical mower on our list is the Sun Joe iON16LM-HYB which is very eco-friendly with no carbon emissions and the quietest running motor.
Typically, mowers are fairly heavy yard tools – discounting most manual push mowers.
Because of the increased weight, you’ll mainly want to consider mowers which have self-propelling back wheels, especially if you have back problems or other health concerns.
Most electric and gasoline powered mowers weigh 50+ pounds. The lightest hybrid mower on our list is the Sun Joe, but if weight is your main concern you might want to consider a manual self-push mower like the Fiskars StaySharp.
Self-propelling mowers are the easiest mowers to maneuver and control, especially up hill, where pushing a heavy mower would be hard on your shoulders, legs, and back. These mowers typically have back wheels which run via the engine, and so long as you hold a lever or switch down, the mower will continue moving uphill while you steer it.
Grass discharge options
Looking at the above models you’ll see that most of them have a 3-in-1 discharge design. This means that you can control what way you collect or dispose of your grass. Option one is typically a back-hanging gallon bag that collects the cut grass as you mow – the Sun Joe mower can hold up to 9.25 gallons of grass. The other option is to disconnect your bag and let the mower discharge grass as you mow, though some mowers have a side slot through which your discharge can go. Finally, many mowers now have a ‘mulching’ function which uses a single-blade, high-speed setting to finely cut and mix grass into a fertilizing mulch for your lawn.
Cutting height settings
A great example for this function is the Honda HRS216VKA which has a dual-lever, that can manually adjust blade height settings to cut your grass at 6 different heights (from 1-1/8 inches to 4 inches). Some mowers have adjustable blades but will require you to turn the mower over and adjust the blade yourself, risking losing parts or getting cut in the process. The best mowers with cutting height settings will have included levers that can adjust the blade height. This is especially important when you want to raise the blade against uneven surfaces.
Also refer to deck size, because this generally describes the blade length and area of cut it will do in one pass. For instance, the Fiskars StaySharp has a 17-inch cut width while you’re mowing. Other blade considerations: is it waterproofed (and therefore rust free)? A blade which rusts easily will age quickly, and may damage the other components of your mower.
Lawn mower dimensions
The thinner your front and back ends, the easier it will be to mow in thin corners and odd stretches of your lawn, especially the space in-between hills where they meet, or on hard hill corners. Another great part of smaller dimension lawnmowers is their ability to fold in half for easier storage.
The EGO Power mower, while being one of the larger hybrid mowers on our list, still has the capability to fold in half for easy storage under your porch, in your garage, or other parts of your yard and house.
Corded or cordless?
Cord mowers are electric, but always need to be plugged in while you use them. Not only will you constantly need longer extension cords for a larger lawn, but with a cord-mower you also risk mowing over your cord and damaging it. Cordless mowers, on the other hand, are either gasoline-powered, or have batteries which can periodically be recharged with a cord while not in use. These mowers can easily go farther, with fewer risks and inconveniences.
The EGO Power mower has the longest tool (5-year) and battery (3-year) warranty, and offers excellent security for an expensive purchase. A good warranty should give you the security you need to receive your product and test it over an extended period of time. Consider models with warranties which are at least 2-years in length, if not longer. This will give you plenty of time to learn how to handle your new device, and to test it against any unlikely flaws/damage during shipping or manufacturing.
Yes! The most important features if you’ve got a fairly hilly garden/backyard are the mowers tires and deck size and adjustability. The tires will dictate whether your mower has the traction it needs to climb a hill while mowing, and they’ll also make it harder or easier to mow on a hill. Ideal mowers should have larger back tires because this will create a greater rear clearance for added maneuverability and easier pushing, as well as room for any discharge. If your mower cannot easily discharge, grass will clump inside of the deck and inhibit the speed of your blade, not to mention over time clumping will damage and dull your blade.
The deck size and adjustability is equally as important, because this will dictate the angle and grade you can mow at – depending on the size of the machine and your blade. Hill corners (sharp sides) can be especially hard to mow without a medium to small sized deck. Additionally, being able to manually adjust your blades height will allow you to avoid rocks and other uneven parts of a hill; it will also allow you to adapt to the height of your lawn.
The quicker your mower moves uphill the less likely it is to stall, and the more grass it will process as it runs. If your variable speed is too low you’ll have to do a lot more pushing uphill, and have a lot less control downhill. Also, you’ll get the job done much quicker, and this is preferable for mowers with a short running life.
Todays mowers typically come with a wash-out fitting for your hose. Move your mower to a stretch of your lawn, snake your hose over to it, and screw the hose into this available nozzle. Once you’ve connected your hose to the mower deck, your pressure should do most of the work washing out accumulated clippings. However, manual mowers will typically have to be sprayed down and oiled by you. WD-40 is always a great finish after you’ve cleaned your mower because it will grease the blade, keep it from rusting, and keep it sharp.
Be aware that more expensive mowers have a fitting for the head of your hose, whereas cheaper mowers will require you to manually thread the hose onto the deck.
Most mowers come fully assembled, except for the blade and grass collecting bag. Bags are very simple to install, and most of them just clip onto the back or side of your mower. Blades, on the other hand, come with detailed instructions and require you to flip the mower on its back or side while fitting the blade into the deck. You’ll need to pour in your own gasoline, and some batteries may need charging before use.
Mostly this depends on the mower, and there is no exact answer which covers all battery types and engines. Some mowers simply have more batteries than others, or they have different batteries which may charge quicker or slower than other models. Consult the manufacturer for more specific details!
These are the top models and choices for any buyer looking for an amazing mower for a hilly backyard. If you’re having a hard time deciding the mower for your space and needs, no one could go wrong with these three highly-rated devices:
EGO Power. This model was chosen as the best-all-around for its impressive battery-powered emission reducing design, with an impressive running time and LED lights for night use. It has a great 20-inch cut capacity and self-propelling back wheels. It can easily be used by anyone in the family.
Greenworks Pro 80V. With one of the longest running times – 60 minutes (around an entire acre of lawn coverage) – this mower outruns even some of the full gasoline engines. It’s a smart choice for reducing carbon emissions, and is smaller for increased maneuverability and finer cutting on hills.
Troy-Bilt 12AVA2MR766. This mower is not only your reliable ally when it comes to keeping your lawn in top condition (thanks to the 163cc Briggs & Stratton engine), it’s also super easy to use since it’s self-propelled. Ideal choice for women, people with back pain or the elderly.