If you know what you're looking for, it should be no problem to choose a high-quality walk-behind mower. The process to finding one depends on several things: the type of engine you want, the power of the engine, the use for the mower, the land you are mowing, the amount of work you are willing to put into mowing and maintenance, and the warranties that back the mower. Making a list of what you want will help in comparing mowers.
Choose between electric and gasoline engines. There are advantages and disadvantages to both types. Decide by making a two-column list for each, placing advantages in one column and disadvantages in the other. Write the advantage of each on a separate piece of paper; then write the disadvantages of each on another. Look over each page to determine which engine type is best for you.
Compare the horsepower of the engines. More horsepower will be important when working with hills, overgrown areas, mulching and mowing wet grass. The higher the listed horsepower, the greater force a mower engine will have. If you have a larger yard, a mower with more horsepower might last longer.
Look at each mower's range for mowing height. Greater ranges allow for more ability in mowing different types of grass. Some grass can be mowed to a minimum of 1-1/2 inches while others need a minimum height of 3 inches.
Decide on the need for added features such as mulching and bagging ability. Budget-priced mowers are usually simple mowers with no attachments. Ask yourself if you want the added ability to mulch lawn and garden waste into the grass. Also ask yourself if you will use the bagger consistently; if you don't, then getting a mower with a bagging attachment may not be worth the cost.
Evaluate the grade of the land being mowed. If you have mostly flat ground or gentle slopes, exploring self-propelled mowers can be an option; regular walk-behind mowers are better suited for use on hills and inclines. Consider the use of rear-wheel-drive mowers for slopes and hills; use front-wheel-drive mowers for flat or slightly sloped ground.
Identify the level of required maintenance of each mower. Look at the amount of moving parts, the complexity of any possible repairs and the ease of access to repair or replace parts. Consider how much maintenance you want to do yourself or are able to do yourself. Simple mowers may be better suited for persons who want to deal with only gas, oil and spark plugs.
Read the warranties. Examine the duration, coverage and limitations of each mower's warranty. You may find two equal mowers, but one may have more items covered or a longer duration of warranty coverage. Also look at how far away service centers are or whether you can use a local service provider.