Commercial lawn owners can mow their yards with riding mowers but what if they don’t have that much money to buy ride-on mowers, that’s when commercial walk behind mowers come in to play.
What is Walk Behind Lawn Mower?
Lawns deserve to be taken care of and that’s exactly what lawn mowers do. Walk behind lawn mowers, as the name suggests, are the mowers that need to be controlled by the driver from behind not like the riding lawn mowers.
Walk behind lawn mower is one of the most traditional modes of grass cutting and in fact, was a revolution in the field of lawn care. Before them, people had to cut grass with cutters, shears, and trimmers.
The invention of walk behind lawn mowers made the mowing job a lot easier and people started making larger lawns.
This article narrates the best commercial walk behind lawn mowers with a complete overview of their advantages and demerits. It also contains affiliate links, we may earn a commission if you buy through a link on this page.
Before the discussion of the best models, we will be telling you about the walk behind mowers in detail, so you can scroll down to the list of the lawn mowers if you don’t want to read this information.
Differences b/w Commercial & Residential Walk Behind Mowers
Although commercial and residential lawn mowers can be used interchangeably depending on the scenario but one should understand what is the difference between the two.
It is the most obvious difference which can be understood by even a layman. Commercial mowers carry a heavier price tag because they are furnished with extensive features. Residential push mowers are available in the range of $200-600 but commercial push and self-propelled mowers would cost you $700-$2000. Besides, it varies with the company and the size of the cutting deck.
Commercial mowers have to be used 5-6 times a week for many continuous hours and on much larger lawns, therefore, they are designed to withstand wear tear and the phases of time and weather.
These commercial intent mowers are built with heavy-grade metals and weather-proofing features such as galvanized cutting decks and fender-covered engines.
Many of these lawn mowers are equipped with features to access all sorts of grass and terrains. Usually, commercial walk behind mower is either rear wheel drive and all-wheel drive.
Normal warranties on these mowers are 3-5 years.
As a rule of thumb, commercial lawn mowers come with larger cutting decks. Then, there are other features such as complex mulching systems to allow portion-wise grass clippings that need to be directed in the rear bag and the ground, speed control, and handling options and safety features.
The horsepower of these lawn mowers is higher than the residential ones and the fitted engines are much more fuel-efficient, more reliable, and cause less running problems.
Types of Commercial Walk Behind Lawn Mowers
There are two types of walk behind lawn mowers.
These mowers need to be pushed physically by the users themselves. Such mowers have engines that will only move the cutting blades that are either powered by a battery or a gasoline engine. The wheels don’t have any transmission mechanism for moving the wheels forward.
These mowers require human effort to be moved so are not feasible to be used on slopes and large commercial lawns, therefore we will be only discussing the self-propelled lawn mowers in this article. Push mowers are only suitable for use in small gardens.
These mowers, as depicted from the name are self-propelled by either an engine or a battery. This saves the human effort and thus, can be used to mow large gardens. This is the only evident difference between a push and self-propelled lawn mower.
The user only needs to control the direction of the mower while the transmission will help to push the mower forward. Among self-propelled models, there are three categories of them:
1. Rear wheel drive
This means the back wheels are provided power by the engine. They provide improved traction and can effectively be used on hills and inclines. This makes sure that the rear wheels are grounded which provides enhanced handling and maneuverability. If you have a hilly yard, you should choose this type for sure.
2. Front wheel drive
These types of mowers are operated by tipping back the rear wheels and then lifting them off the ground. Usually, front wheel drive mowers are light in weight than the other two types. They are safe options for flat gardens only.
3. All wheel drive
Engine provides power to all the wheels of an all-wheel-drive mower. They provide traction of the highest standard among all three types and give low-effort maneuverability. Such mowers can be used on any type of terrain: flat, hilly, wet or uneven. Also, as a matter of fact, they are the most expensive self-propelled mowers.
Advantages of Commercial Self-propelled Walk Behind Mower
1. Effort saver:
As it can be propelled by itself, there is no need to push it physically which saves an ample amount of human effort and that stamina which would have been invested in the pushing can now be used to mow large portions of the yard because there is one less factor tiring you up.
2. Variable speeds:
Many self-propelled lawn mowers are equipped with variable speed feature whereby you can adjust the speed of the mower according to your desire and the time available for the mowing job. The speed is controlled through an ergonomic speed lever located on or near the driver handle.
3. Saves time:
They are faster than push mowers and require no human effort so you can mow your lawns in less time.
4. Other features:
They may be expensive than the push mowers but the number of additional features packed in them makes them offer good value for the money.
This includes better engines that can provide supreme performance for a longer time, sharper and efficient cutting blades with increased cutting surfaces and better geometries.
Auto-choke starting feature to turn on the mower on the very first try and 3-in-1 discharge system which enables you to choose which type of grass clipping method you need.
Number of brands are manufacturing walk behind mowers, and among these very few are making commercial models. We have enlisted the names of credible companies that are producing products flawlessly.
Top 5 Commercial Walk Behind Mowers
If you’re looking for commercial riding mowers then check our article of best commercial zero turn mowers.
Best Commercial Walk Behind Lawn Mowers Reviews
1. Snapper CP215520HV (Best Honda Engine Commercial Walk Behind Mower)
It is one of the most economical commercial self-propelled lawn mowers in the market. Equipped extensively with all the necessary requirements, it is an excellent option for lawn owners who cannot afford to pay a huge sum of money on a grass cutting machine.
Starting with the engine of the mower, it is furnished with a powerful 160 HP GXV Honda engine which is OHV in nature. This specific Honda engine is a proven masterstroke in their manufactured line. It provides fuel-efficient performance on part of the precise valve and crankshaft movements and is very smooth due to a ball bearing mechanism in the crankshaft. It starts easily, delivers high power and is CARB compliant which means it doesn’t emit harmful gases which can prove ominous for the atmosphere.
It’s a rear wheel drive mower so it can be used even on slopes with effectiveness. The smooth-turn differential feature allows the machine to be turned around the lawn smoothly and with minimum effort. Sharp corner and tight spaces, which are often difficult to access for these push mowers, doesn’t cause any problem for this particular machine.
If we talk about the cutting deck, it is 21 inches wide and fabricated out of 14-gauge steel. The HI VAC technology allows the deck to use its vacuum-like suction to suck and cut grass cleanly and much more efficiently. With the help of sharp blades and rolled deck edge, it can suck up a large amount of grass and let the blades do the rest. Together, they work towards a superior and commercial-grade grass cut. You may change the height of the deck through 7 levels and cut grass of heights 1.25-4 inches.
A pull string starts of the engine while there are two controls on the sides of the driver handle. The right side of the driver contains the transmission control while the left one is dedicated to the speed lever. As commercial lawns are large, thus the rear wheels are 10 inches large to access all types of terrain and all the wheels are rugged enough to sustain every type of grass and weather, hence contributing towards a long life. You can either bag the grass clippings or mulch them to increase the fertility of the soil.
For safety, you have a bail handle as a standard safety feature but alongside, the blade break can be shut off any time you feel something is not working right. The engine is not covered with any fender so it is recommended that you don’t use it in rain or drizzle as water may enter the engine. Some customers also complained about the metal piece that keeps the bagger in contact with the mower.
- GXV160 engine which is OHV in nature
- Real wheel drive so can be used on slopes as well
- Smooth-turn differential feature allows for easy maneuverability
- HI VAC deck sucks up the grass and cuts it more efficiently
- 21-inch steel cutting deck with 7 height adjustments
- 10-inch rear wheels for more traction
- Improved safety features
- The engine is not covered
- Some customers complained about the metal piece which keeps the bagger attached to the mower
2. Snapper CRP218520 (Best Self Propelled Commercial Lawn Mower)
Another Snapper model and a much lower-priced one but not as powerful and accessorized as the previous one. It is perfect for those who have simple commercial lawn mowing needs.
It is quite similar in shape to the previous Snapper model except that it lacks a bagger and the HI VAC sucking chute thus this can be called a simpler version of the Snapper’s previous model. Powered by a Briggs & Stratton 850 Series engine which is rated at 190cc.
With a Ready Start system to start the engine on the first pull of the string and CARB compliant assurance, it provides a high torque of above 8 ft/lb which can make it drive through thick grass like St. Augustine with ease.
To cut long grass over uneven terrain, you would require a high-quality cutting deck which is versatile and Snapper provides just that in this model. The 21-inch cutting deck is incorporated with Ninja blades that have a total of 6 cutting surfaces that mulches and slices the grass quite speedily. It cut’s grass through 7 height adjustments from heights 1.25 to 4 inches. It can be used over hills and plain yards alike since it is a rear wheel drive mower.
It doesn’t support bagging facility and side chute needs to be purchased separately if you want to enable side discharge. It is primarily a mulching mower. The deck is fashioned out of 14-gauge steel and integrated with high-grade steel axles and bracing.
Additionally, there is a cup holder on the driver handle where the drink can be placed so you are never out of hydration during the mowing job because mowing commercial lawns can be a tiring task. The handle is padded with a foam covering so there is no chance of any sort of hand fatigue even upon usage for extended periods of time.
As for the demerits, is doesn’t have an oil drain plug so the user has to remove the side discharge chute to remove the dirty oil. Also, the self-propelling button that activates the said capability is not in an ideal position for the hand. It is located above the handle while it should optimally be under or parallel to the handle.
- Powerful Briggs & Stratton engine with high torque
- Rear wheel drive so it can access hilly terrain as well
- 21-inch cutting deck with 7 height adjustments
- The Ninja blades have 6 cutting surfaces
- Cup holder along with the handle
- Doesn’t have an oil drain plug
- The self-propelled activator is no in an ideal position
3. Greenworks MO80L510 (Best Cordless Battery Powered Commercial Lawn Mower)
This is the only battery-powered lawn mower in our list. While general residential battery-powered mowers operate on 40V batteries, this is equipped with an 80V battery which is rated at 5Ah.
The good thing about the battery apart from the high power is its ability to get charged from batteries of other models like GBA80400 and GBA80200.
Mower provides a total run time of 70 minutes which is probably the longest of all 80V lawnmowers, therefore, it can be used to mow ¾ acres of land on a single charge. Additionally, it takes only 30-40 minutes to get charged.
Motor, which is responsible for the movement procedures is brushless in nature. Brushless motors have a smaller number of moving parts and have a low probability of encountering running issues along with being much durable.
In fact, it provides power equivalent to a 160cc engine. Further on the excitement, it is integrated with smart cut technology which enables the batteries to provide the optimal amount of power to the blades according to the condition of the grass.
It grinds up upon thick grass and slows down on short, thin grass. This not only saves time but increases the battery life too.
As for the cutting deck, it is 21 inches wide and fabricated with steel. The height adjustment handle is located on the rear right side which lifts up all the wheels at the same time.
Total of 7 height adjustments allows you to cut grass of heights 1.25-3.625 inches. Greenworks MO80L510 supports all three types of grass discharge options, that are, mulching, bagging, and side discharge.
The mower can be started with a single push button, it operates on a low-noise decibel level and have rugged wheels to improve traction.
After the mowing operation, you can collapse the handle over the body and store it in either vertical or horizontal position although the vertical mode saves more space.
Greenworks MO80L510 has been raved largely by the customer and will be a commendable addition to your gardening equipment.
How to start this model:
- Insert the charged battery in the battery compartment of the mower.
- Press the green safety button located on the right side of the handle.
- Pull back the bail handle while keeping the button pressed.
- As the mower starts, leave the button and start mowing.
- To stop the mower, simply release the bail handle.
- 80V 5Ah battery with a run time of 70 minutes
- Charging time is only 30-40 minutes
- Cutting Deck 21″
- Brushless motor
- Smart cut technology
- 7 height adjustments to cut grass between 1.25-3.625 inches
- Low-noise mower
- The height adjustment bar extends out of the mower and can hit small lumps present on the ground.
- Battery-powered so have to be charged before use
4. Toro 21200 TimeMaster (Top Rated 30″ Walk Behind Commercial Mower)
Bedecked with a complete range of useful features, this walk behind lawn mower is not only swift for small yards but can handle large commercial ones too.
On part of its 30-inch wide cutting deck, it can handle a large patch of grass which reduces mowing time by almost 40%. This means the time required by a to mow a ½ acre area would decrease to 30 minutes if we compare it with a 21-inch lawn mower.
2 blades work through a Dual-force cutting scheme which gives a clean and quick grass cut. It can be lifted through 7 height adjustments by a 2-point lever instead of controlling form all 4 wheels whereby you can cut grass of heights 1.25-4.25 inches.
In addition to it, there is a deck wash port to clean the grass clippings away through a water hose after the job is done which keeps it away from catching rust.
If we talk about the engine of the mower, it has a Briggs & Stratton engine which is rated at 223cc and has a driving torque of 10 ft/lb which provides enhanced power to the cutting blades. It comes with a 3-year warranty and a fuel capacity of 0.3 gallons.
You can either choose to bag, side discharge or mulch the grass clippings. To enable the mulching, you need to insert the mulching plug and only after taking it out, will you be able to use the bagging or side discharge option.
A unique feature is the Blade Override System (BOS) which is a method of only stopping the blades from moving and not the whole mower. When your bag is filled and you need to dump it, simply press the blade control bar lock and release the bail handle. After you are done with the dumping of the grass clippings, connect it back and resume from where you started without starting the engine again.
Mowers self-propel system is a combination of Personal Pace and Traction-assist handle which gives the user complete control over the drive of the mower. Pushing it down increases its speed al the way up to 4.25 MPH.
The Traction-assist handle comes handy in tight corners when you can only use one hand to hold the handle. The Quick stow lever allows the freedom to choose two different handle heights which is quite convenient. Especially the 90-degree position save space while storing it.
The mower weighs 150 lbs and comes with a 3-year warranty.
- 30-inch cutting deck with 7 height adjustments (1.25-4.25 inches)
- 223cc Briggs & Stratton engine
- 3-gallon fuel capacity
- 3-in-1 cutting capability
- Blade override function
- Personal pace and Traction-assist handle for convenient usage
- Quick stow lever for easy storage
- Rear wheel drive with 10 inch rear and 8-inch front wheels
- 3-year warranty
- The handle cannot be collapsed more than 90 degrees
Recommended For You: Best lawn mower for wet grass cutting
5. Swisher WHERC10224C (Best Lawn Mower For Large Grass)
A beast in its own style, this 24-inch self-propelled lawn mower will satisfy your commercial mowing needs in a calming manner. If you have long grass in the lawns, this is the mower for you. Uniquely designed and with fewer parts but which are highly durable, this mower is there to stay.
It is equipped with a Honda GX 389cc 4-stroke engine with a large fuel capacity of 0.7 gallons. It provides enough power to the mower to handle lawns up to 1 acre and can be operated in reverse as well. Especially when operating in tight corners, reverse function is a handy feature to have.
Started through a 12V recoil backup, it allows a four-speed operation and while it has a rear wheel drive at the same time, it becomes a highly versatile model to own. Not only can it yield god results on flat lawns but handle hilly yards with comfort as well.
To perform the cutting operation, it is furnished with a 24-inch cutting deck which is welded with 11-gauge steel which is very durable and a little bit heavy which causes the final weight to amount to 290 lbs.
Big limitation, however, is the nonadjustable 4-inch cutting height due to the front castor wheels. You cannot cut grass lower than this which is a big downside. But the G-6 blades are really sharp and protected by side deflectors to prevents debris from firing at the user.
Additionally, it has large 16-inch pneumatic wheels which will not go flat any time sooner. They, along with the maneuverable front castors, provides enhanced handling and smooth steering even in places where standard walk behind mowers are hard to go in.
On part of its adjustable handle height, you can control them from different heights depending on the terrain of the yard. It comes with a 1-year warranty.
- 24-inch cutting deck
- GX 389cc Honda engine
- Rear wheel drive
- Very durable
- Side deflectors to guard against flying debris
- 16-inch pneumatic wheels with front castors for good maneuverability
- No adjustable heights so you can only cut grass of height 4 inches.
- Warranty is only 1 year
Taking care of your commercial walk behind lawn mower
You can extend the life of your mower by following maintenance tips. After all, it deserves to be taken care of because it looks after your lawn regularly.
1. Be careful about the fluids
Oil in the mower is just as significant as oil in the car. It needs to be changed regularly so that the engine receives fresh fluid always hence its efficiency can be enhanced.
Check the oil level before every mowing job and replace it if it is below the indicated level. When the color of the oil darkens up, it’s time to change it.
2. Spark plug
If your lawnmower is facing difficulty in starting up, the first point of check should be the spark plug because it is the igniting base for the engine. Remove the spark plug and blow into it or clean with a cloth.
You may also clean it with a toothbrush. Insert it back and power up the engine. If it doesn’t start, the plug needs to be changed. Purchase it from a nearby lawnmower shop.
3. Air filter needs cleaning
The engine works with air and fuel as a combination so unless it is receiving clean air, it won’t function properly. Check the air filter and clean it with a blower after every 2 weeks because commercial walk behind mowers is used extensively.
Replace the air filter after every season or as directed by the manufacturer. A dirty air filter can harm the engine so be cautious about it.
4. Clean the cutting deck
If the grass clippings remain attached with the underside of the cutting deck, it won’t be long enough since it starts to catch rust or crumble. If your mower has a wash port, it’s great but if it hasn’t, you need to turn over the mower and clean it with a water hose.
Don’t turn over 180 degrees but 90 degrees. First, sweep it with a cloth or a broom and then wash it with a water hose. Dry up the surface after washing.
5. Mechanical maintenance
Keep an eye on wobbling axles, loose nuts or washed out washers. Check the height adjustment lever regularly and clean it if necessary.
Lubricate the moving parts as directed by the manufacturer otherwise, grease and dirt will build up in the parts and decrease the life of the machine.
Depending on the size of your commercial yards, you may choose between the 5 models we have presented in front of you.
If you have long grass, the Swisher model is best for you but our ultimate best would be either Toro TimeMaster for large lawns or Snapper CRP218520 for medium to small-sized lawns.
Both these walk behind mowers have great features and a long warranty which shows they are greatly reliable. Also, a considerable number of customers have liked and recommended these models.
We hope you make the right decision and whichever the model you choose, prove useful and convenient for you in the longer run.