While it might sound a little gruesome, you only need to answer one simple question when deciding on a push lawn mower.
“How do you want to dispose of the decapitated, dead grass?”
You basically have three options in ejecting the grass from a push lawn mower: side discharge, mulch or rear bag.
Side-discharging is the most common and easiest way to mow the lawn. As you mow, the cut-grass is ejected out the side of the lawn mower, leaving behind large clipping that eventually decay into your lawn.
Normally, this option works well. If your grass is really tall, however, you'll need to rake up the excess - especially during the dog days of summer. The extra clipping could smother the grass below, leaving
brown streaks in your lawn.
Mulching lawn mowers are more like knife-wielding chefs at Japanese steak houses. They chop the grass into very fine fragments, releasing nutrient-rich nitrogen into your lawn much faster.
You simply add a mulching plug into either the rear bag or side-discharge, preventing the grass from prematurely escaping. Then a special mulching blade hacks the captured grass into multiple pieces.
To get a perfectly clean, freshly-manicured look for your lawn, rear-bagging is the way to go. As you mow, the cut-grass is ejected into a bag behind the mower.
Once the bag is filled with clippings, you either dump them into a compost pile or yard waste bag.