Rear Wheel Drive Lawn Mowers Vs Front Wheel Drive Mowers

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Rear Wheel Drive Lawn Mowers Vs Front Wheel Drive Mowers

When purchasing a lawn mower, its propulsion system should be carefully considered. Front wheel drive lawn mowers tend to be less costly and work well on flat surfaces; however, they lack maneuverability over uneven terrain.

Rear wheel drive lawn mowers feature larger wheels in the back for increased traction on uneven terrain and less effort required when turning corners. Their larger rear wheels also help power through turns without having to lift up their front wheels as you turn.


Rear wheel drive mowers distribute most of their weight over the powered rear wheels for greater traction than front-wheel drive models – this can be especially helpful on lawns with hills or uneven ground that make mowing difficult.

Rear wheel drive mowers feature larger wheels than front-wheel drive models to maintain traction over uneven surfaces and steeper grades, and provide greater stability than unpowered front wheels when maneuvering or redirecting the mower.

Rear-wheel drive lawn mowers offer another advantage over front-wheel drive models when it comes to navigating obstacles like rocks, tree stumps, and logs. Rear-wheel drive models can easily navigate such obstacles while front-wheel drive models may struggle with getting traction over these obstructions.

Rear-wheel drive mowers offer superior traction, as well as being easier to maintain than their front-wheel counterparts. Most mechanical components are housed beneath the deck for easier access and replacement of worn parts; for instance, replacing the belt typically only requires taking apart blade and cover off pulleys – while access to engine is gained through door on side of deck.

Front-wheel drive mowers use propulsion from forward-facing wheels, making them an excellent choice for flat lawns as uneven or sloped areas cause the front wheels to bounce around more and require extra effort in moving the mower across it.

All-wheel drive mowers offer excellent traction on all terrain, yet are more complex and generally more costly than their front-wheel drive counterparts. There are, however, options for buyers on a tight budget looking for the ideal mower – such as Black+Decker Battery-Powered Self-Propelled Lawn Mower that has over 800 5-star reviews at Home Depot and an Amazon rating of 4.3 with its disproportionate pair of wheels making it easy to push around easily.


Rear wheel mowers may be your go-to option if you need to navigate tight corners or navigate around trees more effectively. As rear steer machines that can turn on a dime, rear wheel mowers provide more agility than front-wheel drive machines in narrow spaces where front wheel drive mowers might struggle with maneuvering. Furthermore, they’re faster turning around obstacles in small areas like parking lots or construction sites.

Rear-wheel drive lawn mowers typically feature larger rear wheels than their front-wheel counterparts, making them easier to push over uneven ground – an important consideration if your lawn contains uneven patches with bumps and hills. Also keep in mind that adding a bagger may alter weight distribution, impacting how easy or hard it is for you to push.

Bigger back wheels help the mower remain more stable on uneven terrain, helping prevent uncontrollable shaking common among smaller front wheels. Furthermore, larger rear wheels make steering easier when cutting curved paths around trees or other objects – especially useful if your goal is lawn striping!

Rear-wheel drive lawn mowers may make it easier to maneuver when working with wet grass, due to less-likely digging into the soil by their front wheels and losing traction – something which is particularly frustrating if working in wet yards where redirecting your mower requires additional work.

Always bear in mind that both types of lawn mowers come with advantages and disadvantages, making it essential to choose one which meets your individual needs. Front-wheel drive models tend to perform best on flat yards but may struggle on uneven or hilly terrain. Rear-wheel drive models tend to be much more versatile as they can adapt to multiple terrains more readily.

Ease of Use

Rear-wheel drive mowers provide many distinct advantages over their front wheel counterparts, including ease of use. No matter if you’re mowing on flat ground or hilly lawn, rear-wheel drive mowers typically provide excellent traction with minimal effort required to push forward, making them the ideal solution for anyone wanting to spend less time mowing and more time enjoying nature.

If your yard has a steeper grade, front-wheel drive mowers may be better suited for this task. Just be sure that they can manage gradients effectively; bagging grass clippings could prove difficult should their front wheels lift from the ground while moowing, leading to an unruly cut that results in messy results.

Self-propelled front-wheel drive mowers may experience this common issue when their bags become overburdened with grass clippings or wet ground, creating extra weight which causes its front wheels to lift off of the ground, stopping mowing altogether and leading to frustration for their users. To prevent this from happening, empty out your bag or switch to a mulching blade which reduces how much dirt is deposited onto your garden from time-to-time.

Rear-wheel drive mowers are known for their ease of maneuverability when it comes to tight turns. Furthermore, these mowers can easily navigate over obstacles like rocks, fences and trees. Furthermore, these are an ideal solution for anyone who tends to keep an abundance of ornamental plants in their lawn.

Rear-wheel drive mowers also boast ease of upkeep and maintenance, due to having fewer moving parts that need attention and being easily repairable when something breaks. If cost of repairs becomes an issue, purchasing used models could save money in repairs costs.

Some manufacturers have added features to their mowers that enhance ease of use and maneuverability, including shock absorbers that protect front wheels from impact and vibration while mowing, helping extend its lifespan.


Rear-wheel drive mowers may cost slightly more than their front-wheel counterparts; however, their benefits include functioning well on hilly and uneven terrain as well as providing greater control when maneuvering through tight spaces or around lawn ornaments. Furthermore, due to having their weight centered toward their rear wheels rather than front wheels, rear-wheel drive models require less power when moving forward or turning than other types.

Historically, push mowers had four identical wheels that made for easy turning and smoother rides overall. Although this can work for most yards, many homeowners prefer larger rear wheels for added stability and ease of use – they make turning easier while creating a much smoother ride overall and enable straight line cutting for professional results.

Bigger wheels on a mower’s rear are also more durable, providing more value for your investment when purchasing one. This factor should be taken into consideration by anyone wanting to get maximum return from their money spent when shopping for their next mower.

Front-wheel-drive mowers also have their own set of advantages, often being more cost effective and suitable for flat terrain than rear-wheel models. Turning these machines requires extra work as the front wheels must be lifted off of the ground to change course.

Roy Berendsohn is a senior home improvement and gardening editor for Popular Mechanics who has written extensively on topics including carpentry, masonry, plumbing, painting, welding, woodworking, outdoor power equipment use (chainsaw use in particular), home remodeling as well as repairs. Furthermore, he founded Repairability’s network of experts that answer readers’ DIY project queries.

Rachel Rothman holds a master of mechanical engineering and serves as chief technologist of Good Housekeeping Institute, testing numerous lawn care products since 2012. Lynn Redmile has extensive experience testing outdoor power equipment; as senior test coordinator she oversees this testing process at Good Housekeeping Institute.

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