Mowing anything but the shallowest of slopes is always going to be a chore. It isn’t getting back to the top that’s the problem, it’s doing it twenty or thirty times in a row. And if the slope is steep or uneven, the task isn’t just difficult, it’s also potentially dangerous.
Starting with the gentler inclines and working our way up to the more precipitous, here’s a list of high-end tools that can tackle different gradients at the same time as satisfying your other, more mundane gardening needs.
Please note that these tools are not listed in order of how good they are at accomplishing a particular task. They’re all good in different ways, depending on how steep and uneven the terrain is.
Our TOP Best Lawn Mowers for Slopes, Hills & Steep Banks
The Best Lawn Mowers for Steep Slopes & Banks to Buy in 2023
- Cleva Lawnmaster 33cm Hover Mower
- Hensita EGO LM1903E Self-Propelled Cordless Mower
- BLACK+DECKER 900W Electric Strimmer
- Einhell GC-PM 40/2 S Self-Propelled Petrol Lawnmower
- Lawn King RC125 Ride-on Lawnmower
- Joyiever Metal Blade Cordless Trimmer
- WORX Landroid M WR141E Robot Lawn Mower
- Bosch AHM 38 G Manual Lawn Mower
Cleva Lawnmaster Hover Mower
- Power Source: Mains electricity
- Weight: 8.75kg
- Cutting Width: 33cm
- Type of Slope: Shallow – both even and uneven
If you have a stretch of lawn you can’t cut because, although the incline is relatively gentle, it’s too long or wide to mow comfortably, you might consider a hover mower.
To save you time, the Lawnmaster has a wider cutting width than any hover mower in its class. It’s not the lightest but weight isn’t as important when your mower is gliding on a cushion of air. Most of its 8.75kg is the motor, which delivers a whopping 1500W of power, so you’re going to get a beautifully clean cut.
It has 4 cutting heights and a mulching system that chops up cut grass – the best fertiliser bar none – and sprays it out over the lawn.
The Lawnmaster handles regular lawns just as easily as inclines, even if the terrain is uneven. Just make sure your extension cord is rated for use with large domestic appliances like stoves and washing machines.
- Compact for easy handling and storage
- A powerful, bespoke motor
- A reversible cutting blade
- 4 cutting heights and a mulching system
- If your property is large, you’re going to need outbuildings with mains sockets or a long extension cord.
Joyiever Metal Blade Cordless Trimmer
- Power Source: 2x24V lithium-ion batteries
- Weight: 3.17kg
- Cutting Width: 15cm
- Type of Slope: Steep, uneven and irregular
If your house is on the side of a steepish hill, chances are you’ve got strips of lawn along the back and one side where the ground ramps up sharply.
Joyiever is a South Korean online jewellery company that only recently branched out into gardening tools. One of its first, very affordable offerings is this cordless multi-tool, pretty much a one-stop shop where trimmers are concerned.
It comes with everything you need: safety goggles, gloves, an array of plastic and metal alloy blades, a plant guard, batteries and a charger.
- Fit for purpose
- Eminently affordable
- Very poor documentation
- Some users complain about the battery life but this could be because they’re using the wrong blades
Lawn King RC125 Ride-On Lawnmower
- Power Source: A 382cc electric engine/mains electricity
- Weight: Indeterminate
- Cutting Width: 76cm
- Type of Slope: Anything from shallow to moderate including hills and banks.
Essential to big farms, a ride-on mower is also an option if you own an allotment, very large garden or smallholding. Ride-on mowers have the power to get you up steep grades and the brakes to get you back down. They’re little tractors with a cutting rack suspended between the front and rear wheels.
This recommendation comes with 3 caveats:
- Never use a ride-on on an incline if the grass is wet. If the tyres lose traction, you’ve no way of slowing your descent.
- Momentum is not your friend. When traversing steeper gradients, proceed slowly and exercise extreme caution.
- Mowing from side to side displaces your centre of gravity and runs the risk of the mower tipping over. Unless you’re completely sure that the slope is shallow enough, always mow up and down.
- Vastly cheaper to run than a petrol ride-on
- Electric motors last longer and require less maintenance
- An electric starter
- A 46cm turning radius
- Ride-ons can tow liquid fertiliser rigs and a variety of other accessories
- There’s a learning curve
- The initial layout is costly
Hensita EGO LM1903E Self-Propelled Cordless Mower
- Power Source: 56V 5Ah arc lithium battery
- Weight: 16.5kg
- Cutting Width: 47cm
- Type of Slope: Hills and steep banks
This mower doesn’t just look like a Formula 1 race car, it performs like one too. The manufacturer, EGO (E for electric + Go), redesigned the battery to deliver the performance of a petrol engine without the noise and exhaust fumes or the fuss of having to mix oil and fuel.
- A powerful battery with a 5 Ampere-hour capacity
- Variable speed
- Has the option to self-propel without the blade spinning
- Excellent, robust build quality
- A 3-year warranty on the battery and 5 on the tool
- Ayrton Senna action figure sold separately
BLACK+DECKER 900W Electric Strimmer
- Power Source: 900W electric motor/mains electricity
- Weight: 3.4kg
- Cutting Width: 35cm
- Type of Slope: Very steep banks and hills
I chose this strimmer because it has the broadest cutting width, a full 35cm, nearly as much as a lawn mower. It has an adjustable second handle so you’ll be able to angle it parallel to any bank no matter how steep.
It’s light, although I strongly recommend buying a shoulder harness if you plan on strimming very large areas.
When you’re not using it to mow banks and hillsides, you can use it to edge your lawn and trim shrubbery.
For larger areas, you can always look at a petrol strimmer.
- A dependable manufacturer with a long history in the industry
- 900W of power
- You need a properly-rated extension cord
- A little overpriced for a strimmer
Einhell GC-PM 40/2 Self-Propelled Petrol Lawnmower
- Power Source: A 4-stroke 2kW 132cc petrol engine
- Weight: 21.2kg
- Cutting Width: 40cm
- Type of Slope: Steep hills
You can tell at a glance that this mower means business. If the Hensita EGO is a race car, the Einhell is a muscle car, a Dodge Charger.
It doesn’t have a variable speed control but you can disengage the rear-wheel drive if it feels like it’s getting away from you. It has 7 cutting heights, which puts it squarely in the professional garden tools category.
It has an extensible guide bar, a simple and oft-overlooked feature you can only really appreciate if you’ve spent the better part of an hour walking behind a mower kicking the grass bag.
- A 4-stroke engine so you don’t have to mix oil and petrol
- At 21kg, it’s light for a petrol mower
- Fast and manoeuvrable
- Relatively quiet compared to other petrol mowers
- Expensive to run
- Requires a microparticle mask to keep out the exhaust fumes if you have asthma or bronchial issues
WORX Landroid M WR141E Robot Lawn Mower
- Power Source: Lithium-ion battery
- Weight: 14kg
- Cutting Width: 18cm
- Type of Slope: Steep or shallow
This is the ‘fire-and-forget’ option when it comes to slopes and banks. You set up a charging station, bury a boundary wire around the perimeter of the area that needs mowing, and let it get on with it. If it starts raining, you can tell it to stop and return to the charging station with an app on your smartphone.
This robot mower has one distinct advantage over other makes, it doesn’t need a guide wire, just a boundary wire.
Robot mowers are good at maintaining a lawn, not at delivering a first cut. If the grass is longer than a couple of inches, you’d be better off getting it cut, than letting the robot keep it that height.
- Extremely quiet.
- Onboard rain detection.
- If you own a large property, you need to invest in a higher-capacity battery.
- No good at first cuts.
Bosch AHM 38 G Manual Lawn Mower
- Power Source: Human being
- Weight: 6.9kg
- Cutting Width: 38cm
- Type of Slope: Any angle no matter how steep
This option isn’t for everyone but it’s very effective if you happen to be in fairly good shape. The advantages are: it’s not going to tip over or run away from you, it’s incredibly affordable and the cut is exceptionally smooth and clean.
If you’re an assiduous gardener you will have noticed by now that gardening beats the gym by several hundred kilometres. A push mower is a workout all on its own. Calves, quads, shoulders, arms – even your abs – get put to the test. To increase your stamina and lower your heart rate, get a push mower.
This push mower has two cutting blades: a fixed horizontal blade on the bottom and a revolving cylindrical blade on top. Together they work like a pair of scissors, cutting the grass without tearing or ripping it.
- A broad cutting width
- Very economical
- Exceptional results
- Low maintenance
- Easy to clean
- Very demanding physically.
How to Buy the Best Mower for Hills, Slopes and Steep Banks
For the best outcome in terms of time, money and the end result, it’s always better to work out what you need, and then buy the next tool up. That way you’ll always have some spare capacity, enough to make up the difference.
Weight is very important. Lighter mowers are more manoeuvrable and easier to control.
Another aspect you need to consider is how strong you are. If you have a bad back, tricky knee or the frailty that comes with age – you’re better off investing in a ride-on mower or one that’s self-propelled.
If you choose a cordless tool like a strimmer, bear in mind that using the metal blades takes far more battery power than the plastic kind. You must match the type of blade to the terrain. Metal blades are meant for cutting brush like brambles and nettles, not grass.
Frequently Asked Questions
What type of lawn mower is best for hills?
On the whole, self-propelled mowers are best for hills, especially if the grade is uneven.
What type of riding mower is best for steep hills?
Ride-on mowers are not a good choice for steep hills. Their centre of gravity is too high and you run the risk of tipping over.
If you’ve read this far, you should have some idea of the options available to you and some of the obstacles you’re going to encounter.
The key to mowing hills, slopes and steep banks is matching the type of tool to the terrain, and then choosing a version of the tool type that matches your capacity for physical exertion.
Know this: there’s a tool out there for every variety of circumstances if you take your time and choose wisely.