Low Wheel vs. High Wheel Mowers

If you are looking to buy your first lawn mower, you will come across two main types of mowers to choose from - a low-wheel mower and a high-wheel mower. And you may be left wondering, which of these two mowers should you go for? Well, this article has the answers.

In this guide, we will compare these two types of mowers. We will take a closer look at their differences, as well as the benefits and drawbacks of each. And by the time you finish going through this guide, you will have all the answers you need to help you choose the right mower for your yard.

With that said, let’s jump straight in.

The Difference between High Wheel and Low Wheel Lawn Mowers

Low wheel mowers come with the same wheel sizes in the back and front. So, if you were to replace the wheels of this mower, you will simply need to select a single size.

Low wheel mowers are your ordinary type of mower and they are best suited for flat yards or terrains. Also, this type of lawn mower will be ideal for someone buying it for private use.

High wheel mowers, on the other hand, come with larger rear wheels than the front ones. Consequently, they also have higher ground clearance, compared to their low wheel counterparts. With the larger rear wheels and higher ground clearance, you can tackle almost any terrain with these mowers.

As much as high wheel mowers may be slightly more expensive than low wheel mowers, their versatility makes them worth the cost. If you work as a freelance groundskeeper then a high wheel mower will be the best choice. Also, if your lawn is hilly or uneven, then you should go for a high wheel mower.

Feature Low Wheel Mower High Wheel Mower
Maneuverability around tight corners Good Poor
Ability to reach under low branches Good Poor
Stability on uneven terrain Good Poor
Weight and ease of pushing Light, easy Heavy, difficult
Effectiveness at cutting tall grass Poor Good
Ability to tackle rough terrain Poor Good
Suitability for large lawns Poor Good
Cutting deck size Small Large
Durability and lifespan Average Good
Cost Low High

Benefits of Low Wheel Mowers

One of the main benefits of low wheel mowers is that they are easier to operate. For instance, if you encounter tight spaces while mowing, you will find it easier to work with a low wheel mower. Also, low wheel mowers tend to be more compact. Therefore, they won’t consume too much storage space in your garage.

Another benefit of low wheel mowers is that they are cheaper to purchase. If you were to compare two mowers with almost similar features where one is a low wheel mower while the other one is a high wheel mower, you will notice that the high wheel mower will cost you more, compared to the low wheel mower.

Drawbacks of Low Wheel Mowers

Like anything else, low wheel mowers also come with their fair share of drawbacks. And one of the drawbacks of low wheel mowers is that you are limited to where you can use them. These mowers are mainly built for flat, even surfaces.

So, if your work entails mowing different types of yards, you will be forced to invest in another mower than can handle the rougher or uneven yards, since the low wheel mower can handle such terrains.

Benefits of High Wheel Lawn Mowers

As mentioned earlier, high wheel lawn mowers have bigger rear wheels than front ones. And, this design gives them several advantages.

First, they are great at mowing rough ground and terrains. If you have to mow an uneven or rough yard filled with holes, ruts, divots and other elements, then using a high wheel mower will make your work easier.

If you were to use a low wheel mower, its blade may even end up touching the surface, especially when you encounter an area with serious dips. And as a result, the blade may end up getting stuck on the ground, leading to breakage. Also, with a low wheel mower, its blade will get dangerously close to the ground, and it may end up scalping the lawn.

But when you are tackling such terrains with a high wheel mower, then you won’t have to worry about such issues. Its ground clearance is high enough, thanks to the larger rear wheels. So, you won’t experience issues of the blade getting stuck on the ground or scalping the yard.

Second, a high wheel lawn mower will make it easier to mow slopes. If you are mowing a yard that has some slopes, you will find it easier to get the job done if you are using a high wheel lawn mower. The mowers larger rear wheels will cover more ground with the same effort. So, you will experience lesser fatigue and soreness.

Third, a high wheel lawn mower will also make your work much easier when you are cutting yards with plenty of grass. Usually, lawn mowers come with bags designed for catching grass clippings. And once the bag is full, it may begin dragging down the rear of the mower. But thanks to the extra height, that high wheel mowers come with, this problem is usually eliminated.

Drawbacks of High Wheel Mowers

As you may expect, high wheel mowers also come with their fair share of drawbacks. And one of the disadvantages of this mower is that it can be hard to navigate or turn in tight spaces. So, if you are not used to operating a lawn mower, then it will be advisable to stay away from high wheel mowers.

Another drawback of high wheel mowers is that they are a bit more expensive, compared to their low wheel counterpart. Unless it’s the only type of mower that can handle your yard, then paying extra for this type of mower may not be worth it.

What Is the Purpose of High Rear Wheels on a Lawn Mower?

Some lawn mowers, especially the high wheel ones come with bigger rear wheels than the front ones. So, what’s the purpose of having higher rear wheels on a lawn mower? The main purpose of these wheels is to give the mower higher ground clearance. Consequently, its blade will also be higher from the ground. And thanks to this design, such a mower will be able to comfortably tackle uneven or rough terrains.


So, between a low wheel mower and a high wheel mower, which one should you purchase? Well, it will depend on your needs. If you will be mowing uneven yards and lawns with plenty of slopes and rough patches, then you should go for a high wheel mower. On the other hand, if you will be mowing a small and even lawn, then a low wheel mower will be more than capable.

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