And as a back pain fighter, your lower back will definitely have something to tell your wife. Well, if back pain was holding you back from getting the job done and not laziness, I’ve got good news for you. There are several options for back pain sufferers on the lawn mower market.
1. Greenworks 17-inch Cordless Mower goes as our Top Pick good for small to medium ( 7000 sq. feet) yards mowed once a week at least.
2. Sun Joe MJ401c is our budget pick with a lightweight, cordless design.
3. American Lawn Mower 16-Inch is the featherweight and most eco-friendly contender on the list for you, raw vegan hippies!
4. WORX WG794 Landroid is a robot mower. Absolute hassle free, back-friendly letting you rest the most.
For that very reason I’ve created a guide for all those looking for ergonomic lawn mowers or tractors. Behold our top list of the best lawn mower for bad back to avoid lower back pain after cutting your grass.
Note: We included a guide for you at the end pointing out the most crucial aspects of mowing without straining your back. Also, we extended it with a ‘What to Look for When Buying a Lawn Mower for Back Pain Suferers’ section just for your pleasure.
Greenworks 17-inch Cordless Mower
✔️ Powerful and cordless
✔️ Up to 7000 sq. feet
✔️ 40 minutes of cordless action
Sun Joe MJ401c Cordless Mower
✔️ Super lightweight at 29 lbs
✔️ 25 minutes of constant mowing
❌ Performance issues in thick, long grass
American Lawn Mower 16-inch
✔️ Super maneuverability
✔️ Up to 8000 sq. feet
❌ Cuts unevenly in certain areas
The 4 Best Lawn Mower for Bad Back in 2018
Greenworks 17 inch Cordless Mower
When you mow with a sensitive lower back, there’s nothing more pleasing to have a powerful but lightweight machine in front of you. At 36.2 pounds (battery attached) I consider the Greenworks a well balanced option.
Its key selling point is the high capacity battery. It allows you to mow 7000 sq. feet at a charge. Although Greenworks advertises 60 minutes of continuous cordless action, the real capability is between 35 – 40 minutes.
One more thing about the battery: you’ll need only 60 minutes to fully recharge. This means you’ll be able to mow even larger yards with two or three hours of work.
Unlike other cordless mowers Greenworks features a 17” super-wide deck allowing you to finish with the job faster. Now mix these with a powerful motor. Needless to say: it’s not equivalent to a gas powered machine, yet it can easily cut a 1/2 to 1 foot high, thick grass layer.
A single lever 5-position height setting allows to set cutting height from 1.25” to 3.4”. You’ll avoid kneeling down with a bad lower back thanks to this feature.
Price always counts. Although it’s not the cheapest on our list, we nominated the Greenworks 17” as the top pick on our list for a good reason. Just consider the powerful motor, battery life and most notably the featherweight construction.
Best Cordless Budget Lawn Mower
Sun Joe MJ401c
Struggling with an aching back and don’t have the cash to afford a top-notch machine? Sun Joe will lure you in with its top-level specs still staying in the lower price range.
I’m not saying you’ll ride through tens-of-thousands of sq. feet this fellow. But the 14-inch wide housing allows you to effortlessly maintain at least 5,000 sq. feet.
The key selling point however is weight. Even as a back pain fighter, you’ll easily maneuver the 29 lbs (plus collected grass) around the yard.
Speaking of ergonomics: the handle fits even taller people but can be adjusted to someone with average height.
Let’s not forget about the 28 V / 4.0 Ah motor either. More than enough for the regular duty if you don’t use it as a jungle extinguisher. As a big plus the Sun Joe runs as quiet as a panther and emits zero carbon dioxide (of course).
Battery capacity gives you approx. 25 minutes of constant mowing action suitable for small / medium sized gardens.
If I were to name a drawback, then it’d be performance in thick / long grass. You’ll certainly notice efficiency reduction in those areas, but there’s a neat little trick I use to tackle this.
Pro tip: If you see this little dude wrestling with thick grass, go over the area again. The ultimate method in the long term is to mow your grass every 3 days, especially in spring.
One more flaw to mention here. You’ll need to set mower height manually by flipping the mower over and adjusting each wheel individually.
Apart from these two weaknesses, we still think the Sun Joe MJ401c is the best option if you’re on a budget and suffer of back pain.
Best Lightweight Lawn Mower
American Lawn Mower 16-Inch
Here comes an extremely quiet, super economic, ergonomic and environmentally friendly little guy the 16-inch American Lawn Mower.
No pollution, no need to stay alert when having kids around. It performs well for small to medium yards. (Recommended max. lawn size: 8000 sq. feet)
Needless to say that it triumphs as the most lightweight nominee at 25 lbs. You’ll actually be able to navigate with one hand having a beer in the other. Come on, which competitor offers that pleasure?
Since the American has only 2 wheels, it’s a delight to turn with it compared to any other mower on the list.
As every mower, the American Lawn Mower has some letdowns as well. The biggest drawback is uneven cutting. If you prefer having a golf course in your garden, you’ll need to go over certain areas 2 to 3 times to evenly cut it.
The other thing isn’t really a drawback but it needs attention. Since this machine doesn’t have a grass catcher, you’ll mulch back cut grass onto your lawn. There are two ways of handling this:
- Get a grass catcher for you American
- Rake your lawn with a scarifier 3 times a year. This way mulch won’t obstruct sunlight and nutritions flowing through the upper soil layer
Many doubt the effectiveness of reel mowers, but I can honestly say they’re wrong. The key here is frequency. If you can cut your grass 2 times a week, it’ll be much easier to push the mower and it will cut much more evenly.
Best Robot Mower
WORX WG794 Landroid
I’m not a big fan of robotic lawn mowers though I have to admit: they can make life with a bad back much easier.
Needless to say, the reason why this fellow got on our list is convenience. What on Earth could make a back pain sufferer’s job more smooth than to have somebody else do it?
Unlike its contenders the WORX WG794 Landroid is reasonably priced and can beat off your lawn maintenance service in some months.
One of the biggest benefits of the Landroid is that it can handle even a half acre yard effortlessly. You might need some extra perimeter wires in that case though.
Speaking of perimeter wires. If you once manage to set them up (i.e. dig it under the lawn edges), the bot goes truly automatic. You’ll rarely need any maintenance.
Of course, it’s not all about convenience. You’ll also need power to properly maintain a grassy area. The WG794 scores well above average here too. It handles average and denser areas pretty well, while always staying silent.
The built-in moisture sensor also saves this guy from burning down. Whenever it rains heavily or the grass feels wet, back he goes to the charger.
Some of you asked if the Landroid delivers the same quality as a cylinder mower. To be honest, it mows extremely smooth. You’ll hardly notice any difference between cut and uncut areas, since it mows 2 hours daily by default.
As any robo mower, the Landroid comes with some drawbacks. The biggest hurdle is that you’ll need to edge trim in corners and where a level difference exists.
Also, I advise you to get a regular mower as well, since there might be areas (a grassy area surrounded by patios) where you’ll need it.
All-in-all, the Landroid fits very well in most gardens. It’ll do the tough job instead of you 95% of the time. It requires little maintenance but keep in mind you’ll need to do some trimming and manual mowing occasionally.
What to consider before buying a lawn mower for bad back?
Weight – If you’re buying a regular mower weight is the single most property that will have you avoid lower back pain after mowing lawn.
Corded mowers perform best in this term, but who wants the hassle with cords? Stick with battery powered machines which are usually 40% lighter than gas ones.
Ergonomics – Handle height and setup, and one lever height adjustment are the common things to look for. Just think about it. If you cannot customize the handle height, you’ll probably won’t have the proper posture.
Yard size – You cannot mow a 2 acre field with a battery push mower, obviously. As you could see, most of our contenders were for either medium or smaller gardens. Larger gardens will either require a gas mower or a riding mower. I would recommend using riders from 1 acre and up.
Engine starter grip – Needles to say, gas mowers are usually harder to start. Starting the engine may cause strains in your back (it did to mine several times) when pulling the grip. If you need to stick with a gas mower, try kneeling down and then pulling the grip which can help a lot.
What to look out for as a back pain sufferer when mowing
Posture – Whether you’re pushing a lightweight reel mower or a cordless mower, it’s essential to keep up a good posture. Walk with your back straight up. Set up the handle to your height (if you have a customizable handle).
Prevention – Never forget this. Exercising is the most important thing if you don’t want to strain your back. Do daily routines as I’ve always suggested, and see results.
Wear protective gear – Wearing protective glasses is a must when doing any sort of landscaping. However, you’ll need to protect your spine as well. Get a back brace or a posture corrector the overall mowing experience will skyrocket.
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