Flat lawns are very common and perhaps standard in every sense of their appearance. However, gentle slopes or winds have a way of adding aesthetic worth to your lawn by breaking the monotony created by a flatness or evenness.
But with the majestic sight comes mowing challenges. With most of the mowers in the market oriented for even terrains, it may be a bit difficult picking the best lawn mower for hills particularly the right one for your exact slope.
Smaller yards typically range between a 10 and 15 degrees slope. While this is not exactly steep, mowing up the hill will be a taxing task unless you have the right mower for the job. If you have a smaller sized yard, a self propelled mower rather than a push mower may be the most ideal, unless you are ready to expend some energy.
For slopes steeper than 15 degrees, a front steering tractor may be most ideal compared to a zero-turn radius riding mower especially for larger sized yards. However, if you have to use a zero-turn radius, always use it on dry grass for better traction. With a rider or tractor, it is better to mow straight up and down the slope.
Overall the best way to mow on hills is to start at the bottom and work uphill. In our mower for steep hills review, we picked five of the best lawn mowers for hills from 4 different categories, with the best hill-mowing user experience.
Comparison Table of the Features to Expect
Best Self-Propelled Lawn Mower for Steep Hills
1. Troy-Bilt TB330 163cc 21-inch 3-in-1 Rear Wheel Drive Self-Propelled Lawnmower
Troy-Bilt TB330 is an exceptional performer on gentle slopes with quite a fair price tag attached to it. Together with a sizeable base and good traction, this is definitely one of the best lawn mowers for hills.
- Powered by with an easy-starting 163cc OHV 725ex & Stratton engine
- Self-propelled, gas powered
- Single lever variable speed control
- 2 year limited warranty
- Has 8-inch front and rear wheels to maneuver uneven terrain
- 3 in 1; side discharge, mulch and rear bag
- Tri-action cutting edge
- Quick start engine
- Easy to assemble and use
- Ample uphill mowing horsepower
- All four wheels are the same size therefore it is not the best lawn mower for steep hills
Troy-Bilt TB330 is the best lawn mower for small hills. It is gasoline powered and self-propelling making your work much easier. With its tri-action cutting edge, you are guaranteed of a clean cut. With a cut width of 21 inches and a max cut height of 1.25 to 3.75 inches, this unit comes as a suitable option for working large lawns. Other than cutting, it’s efficient in mulching, bagging and side clipping as well.
Troy-Bilt TB330 can reach a maximum mowing speed of 3.5MPH which is adjustable accordingly. You can also adjust the mowing height and handle to your desired positions. This is the most recommended lawn mower for beginners and quite affordable too.
Best Push Lawn Mowers for Hills
2. Honda HRX217K5VKA 187cc Gas 21 in. 4-in-1 Versamow System Lawn Mower with Clip Director and Micro Cut Blades 660250
Honda HRX217K5VKA is by far the most versatile push lawn mowers with 4 grass management capabilities. Additionally, it comes with a powerful 187CC GCV OHC Honda engine and strong rust free NeXite twin blade to deliver a velvet cut on your lawn.
- Twin blade microcut system for a perfect cut
- Cone clutch variable speed Select Drive transmission
- Powerful Honda GCV190 OHC engine designed with auto choke for an easy start
- 21 inch NeXite cutting deck that’s resistant to rust and dents and is adjustable 7 points between 0.75 and 4 inches
- 4-in-1 capabilities; mulching, bagging, side discharge and shredding
- Limited manufacturer’s warranty of 5 years
- Reliable to give a fine cut
- Easy to use with a powerful engine that makes it possible to operate even with one hand
- Excellent manufacturer’s warranty on parts and labor
- A bit pricey
- A bit heavy hence not very portable
- Lacks a washout port
Honda HRX217K5VKA is an efficient lawn mower on small hills and a quality built one at that. It is self-propelling with a powerful Honda GCV190 OHC engine designed with an auto choke for an easy start and a smooth operation on tough grass. Another advantage is that it works well on wet grass.
Its Versamow System technology gives you the option of mulching, discharging, shredding, or bagging your grass. Its speed is adjustable from 0 to 4 MPH; simply adjust your speed by rotating the speed dial. Honda HRX217K5VKA cutting blade is durable thanks to its Nexite deck. Nexite is resistant to rust and damage and comes with a lifetime guarantee.
If you are looking for a self-propelled, gasoline powered and durable machine, this is the best lawn mower for you.
3. Husqvarna 7021P 21-Inch 160cc Honda GCV160 Gas Powered 3-N-1 Push Lawn Mower with High Rear Wheels (CARB Compliant)
If you are looking for a powerful yet light and compact unit for your small gently sloped yard, then Husqvarna 7021P makes a great choice.
- 3 in 1 cutting system
- 21 inch cutting width
- Gas powered push lawn mower
- 160cc Honda GVC160 engine
- 12 inch rear wheels to maneuver rugged terrains
- Limited manufacturer’s warranty of 2years on parts and labor
- Well equipped for 3 mowing options; bagging and mulching and side discharge
- Compact designs hence fits well in tight spaces
- Powerful durable Honda GVC160 engine
- Ideal for small yards and short grass
- The lower part of the mower is not protected against rust. Therefore if you leave it in humid areas, you will need to paint it yourself
Husqvarna 7021P push mower is certainly a great addition to your lawn maintenance toolkit. It features 3- in-1 cutting capabilities, mulching, side discharge, and bagging, making it a versatile unit. Along with a stamped steel cutting blade of 21inches adjustable to 6 cutting heights between 1.5 and 3.5 inches, this gas powered unit is set to shorten your mowing time without the hassle of sharpening its blade frequently.
Its engine is another feature to focus on. Honda engines are generally powerful and durable. The GVC160 specifically has a 160cc capacity and uses regular unleaded gas. Something appreciable about it is that it comes with an inbuilt cooler so you can operate it over a long period. Thirdly, this delivers 6.9 lbs/ft of torque and 2500 rpm of speed making it a good match for any uphill task.
You’ll love that it has larger 12-inch rear wheels than the 10-inch front wheels, a feature that makes it cope quite well on hills. Finally, it’s one of those few affordable performers you can consider buying if you are on a budget.
Best Riding Lawn Mowers for Hills
4. Cub Cadet Xt1 Enduro Series Lt 42 In. 18 Hp Kohler Hydrostatic Gas Front-engine Riding Mower
Cub Cadet Xt1 Enduro Series riding mower is a solidly constructed mower with a wide cutting width and comfortable sitting making it the best for extensive home lawns.
- 42-inch dual stamped steel cutting blade
- 18HP/597cc Kohler OHV 4-Cycle Engine
- Designed to tow detachable lawn accessories
- LED headlights, cruise control buttons for speed adjustment
- Comfortable high back seat and comfortable grip steering
- Tuff Torq K46 Hydrostatic Transmission
- 3-in1 cutting capabilities (mulching, bagging and side discharge)
- 12-position cutting height between 1 – 4 inches
- Bluetooth enabled to monitor maintenance needs
- Can mow both forward and in reverse
- LED lighting for better view in poorly lit conditions
- Easy speed adjustment
- Has a wide turn and therefore cannot maneuver tight spaces
- The engine block is a bit high slightly obstructing the front view
If comfort, versatility, and strength are your greatest needs, the Cub Cadet Xt1 Enduro will make a great option. It features larger rear wheels and a powerful 18HP/597cc Kohler 4-cycle engine giving it better maneuverability on sloped medium yards. Coupled with Tuff Torq K46 Hydrostatic Transmission, all it takes is a simple push of the pedal.
With a wide 42-inch dual stamped steel cutting deck and 12 adjustable cutting heights, mowing your 3 or more acres of lawn is tremendously fast and easy. Its 16-inch cutting radius, it’s quite easy to avoid obstacles in your yard, however you may not be able to mow tight spaces well enough. Quite uniquely, the cruise control buttons make it easier to adjust your speed both forward and reverse, accordingly.
You will definitely love the Bluetooth app which monitors this unit’s operation by the hour so it will be easy for you to know what needs maintenance when.
Best Garden Tractor for Hills
5. Husqvarna 960430211 YTA18542 18.5 hp Tractor Mower, 42″
Husqvarna 960430211 YTA18542 comes as your best bet if you have an overly steep and large sized lawn.
- 540cc 18.5HP Briggs and Stratton Intek single-cylinder engine
- Features a deck wash port
- Side discharge capabilities
- 42-inch stamped steel deck
- Designed with a deck lever for ease of 6-point height adjustment between 1.5 and 4 inches
- Air induction mowing technology for free airflow within the deck, better grass lift, and an immaculate cut
- CVT automatic transmission featuring an enclosed belt drive system
- Ergonomic steering wheel and adjustable comfortable seat
- Designed with reverse system
- Can be used with other accessories for edging, dethatching, and ridging
- 3 year limited warranty, 5 year consumer warranty
- Sufficient legroom for tall guys
- Built to include extra features and extra capabilities with accessories
- Made of durable material exclusive of plastic in its frame
- Lacks anti scalp wheels
- Requires constant pressure on the foot pedal
Husqvarna 960430211 YTA18542 features a maintenance free fast auto transmission.This together with its powerful 540cc 18.5HP Briggs and Stratton engine make it easy to use even for beginners. It is made of highly durable material to guarantee you a long useful life.
With a 6-point adjustable mowing height between 1.5 and 4 inches, you can now cut your grass to your desired height. An integrated deck lever is a convenient advantage that eases the height adjustment process. The deck also comes with an air induction cutting mechanism that lifts grass to allow the blade to cut through cleanly and perfectly.
Other than mowing, Husqvarna 960430211 YTA18542 can be used to tow other accessories such as mulch kit for fertilizing your lawn. It is one of the most versatile riding lawn mowers and suitable for experienced lawn mowers both for domestic and commercial purposes.
Lawn mowers can be equally efficient even on slightly steep hills. The budget for a lawn mower is more friendly and accommodating to most people. If your hills are not more than 15 degrees steep, you need not invest in an expensive hill mower. With a little research and consulting, you should find your best lawn mower for hills.