With summer in full swing, it’s important that you keep up with your lawn maintenance to ensure you can enjoy the season of barbecues and back yard get-togethers before the warm days are all gone.
If you want to get the most out of your summer, make sure to pick a mower that will help you spend less time mowing and more time actually enjoying your lawn and your time spent outdoors. This is where self-propelled lawn mowers come in!
Unlike other bulky and hard to maneuver mowers, self-propelled mowers can reduce the exhaustion and frustration that comes with having to mow your lawn. Self-propelled mowers use a powerful engine to glide across your yard on their own, cutting down grasses and leaving behind a smooth and pristine outdoor carpet with little effort on your part. All you have to do is steer the mower to where it needs to go.
This is the reason why self-propelled mowers account for close to 80 percent of all grass-cutting equipment sold in the US and can be found in most homes in America. If you haven’t experienced the convenience and easy-of-use of self-propelled mowers, now’s the time to do so. Most modern walk-behinds use lighter materials, increasing their power-to-weight ratios and making them more capable of handling tough jobs without compromising their durability.
If you’re on the market for a new mower, take a look at our review of the best self-propelled lawn mowers of 2020 below to help you choose the right mower for you.
Best Gas Self-Propelled Mower
Honda 664100 HRX217VKA 4-in-1 Walk Behind Lawn Mower
The Honda HRX217VKA is a 4-in-1 self-propelled mower with a 21-inch cutting width. Easily switch between mulching, bagging or discharge by sliding the Clip Director® from one position to the other without the need for a mulch plug or other attachments. Its Hydrostatic Cruise Control allows you to adjust the mower’s speed from 0 to 4 mph just by turning the control lever.
The Honda HRX217VKA is hands down the best rated self-propelled lawn mower on the market right now, with a powerful and easy starting GCV200 engine and a powerful twin-blade system to match.
- Easily switch from mulching to bagging or discharge without the need for extra attachments
- Twin blades use four cutting surfaces for ultra-fine clippings and a perfect cut each time
- Recoil starting system
- Variable throttle can lead to unwanted speed changes on bumpy terrain
- Flywheel brake safety system
- Rust-free, no-dent NeXite® mowing deck with lifetime warranty
- 2.5 bushel bag capacity
- Twin blade MicroCut System®
- Standard rear discharge
- Honda Auto Choke system
- 5 year residential warranty
Best Electric Self Propelled Mower
Snapper XD 82V MAX StepSense Lawnmower
The XD 82V MAX StepSense by Snapper is a smart and quiet electric lawnmower that automatically adjusts its speed to its user’s pace to make it easier to mow the lawn without having to fumble with levers or deal with a runaway mower.
There’s no need to deal with the hassle of hauling an extension cord around either. Its dual-battery powerhead houses two 82-volt batteries for up to 60 minutes of continuous and cordless run-time. It features a 21-inch cutting blade deck, 3-in-1 mulch, bag or discharge options and intelligent load sensing technology for maximum efficiency. The brushless 1500-watt motor is powerful enough to provide the high energy output needed to leave your lawn looking pristine. This energy-efficient and eco-friendly premium electric lawn mower makes it easy to cut even the toughest of lawns.
- Engine starts at the push of a button
- Cordless electric system with dual-battery compartment
- StepSense™ Automatic Drive System automatically adjusts to your walking speed
- 3-in-1 mulching, bagging and discharge system makes it easy to mow your way
- 60 minutes may not be enough time to finish mowing
- Batteries drain faster in uneven terrain or tough mowing conditions
- Folds for easy vertical storage
- 1.7 bushel bag capacity
- Push-button starting system
- 7 single-lever height adjustment options
- 21” steel deck
- 82V max voltage
- Ergonomic handle and touchpoints
- 5-year limited consumer warranty
Self-Propelled VS Push Mower
For many people, mowing their lawn can feel like an arduous chore, but it doesn’t have to be that way. The type of lawn mower you choose will affect how simple or time consuming getting your yard work done will be, so it’s important to choose wisely between the two types of walk-behind mowers available on the market. Most people are familiar with the push mower, which must be pushed across the lawn by the user while the blades cut down the grass. Although effective, push mowers can be bulky and hard to move, causing the user’s arms to get tired and contributing to exhaustion. Self-propelled mowers, on the other hand, move forward on their own as the motor turns both the cutting blades and the wheels. While both types of mowers will get the job done, using self-propelled mower can significantly cut down the stress and hassle of making your lawn look beautiful.
Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
- No pushing required
- Easier to maneuver and handle
- Very useful on less-than-even terrain
- More expensive than push mowers
- More parts that can potentially break download-festival-tickets
- Inexpensive models available
- Great for smaller lawns
- Must be pushed while mowing
- Can be too bulky to mow on uneven terrain
Gas VS Battery
If you were looking for a lawn mower just a few years ago, your only option would have been a regular gas model or a corded electric mower. Since then, batteries have gotten much better and cordless electric mowers that actually run for long enough to mow your lawn are available. These battery-powered mowers afford all the convenience of electric mowers without any of the drawbacks, like having to haul a heavy extension cord around your lawn. Battery mowers are now as convenient and useful as gas mowers, and unless you have a more than 1/3 of an acre to mow that’s full of really tall grasses, a battery mower may be for you.
- Better suited for large lawns
- Can handle tall, tough grasses better
- Comes in a range of prices
- Are dirty – high in emissions, require gasoline and engine oil to run which can spill on your land
- Can be difficult to start up
- Engine requires constant maintenance
- Are noisy
Battery Lawn Mower
- Environmentally friendly – no emissions
- Low maintenance
- Starts with the push of a button
- Lightweight and foldable for easy storage
- Must remember to charge batteries
- Batteries may not last long enough to mow entire lawn
- Tough grasses and uneven terrain can drain batteries faster
Gas Engine Types
Honda offers a variety of 4-stroke gas engines for lawn mowers, all made from high-quality components from the world’s largest engine manufacturer. Honda’s lawn mower engines are designed to maximize energy output and fuel efficiency, while reducing noise and potential downtime, even for the toughest jobs.
Honda stands behind all their engines with an industry-leading three-year warranty, so you can be sure you’re getting superior craftsmanship. Honda engines are well known for being easy to start. They implement a unique automatic mechanical decompression system, heavy-duty recoil ropes, and advanced variable ignition timing for quick and consistent starts, each and every time.
Best of all, Honda engine owners can take advantage of a network of over 14,000 parts and service centers, so if there’s ever an issue with your engine, you’ll be able to get back to work quickly. Honda engines are one of the best options available for powering your gas lawn mower.
Briggs & Stratton Engines
Whether you’re looking for a gas or electric lawn mower, Briggs & Stratton offers a variety of powerful and innovative engines for all your mowing needs. Briggs & Stratton engines are designed with easy start technology and quieter operation that are 50% quieter than conventional gas engines. They have also designed gas engines that can be stored upright without any gas or oil leaks.
Briggs & Stratton has over 110 years of experience crafting powerful and easy to use engines and are leading the charge in innovation. Their ReadyStart® gas engines require no choke and no priming to get going and their 82Li Series™ electric engines provide superior lithium-ion battery performance and load sense technology that automatically adjusts power based on grass thickness. They also design powerful hybrid engines to power the best electric start self-propelled lawn mowers available.
Whether you’re looking for innovative gas engines or powerful battery engines, Briggs & Stratton delivers.
Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Features
Self-propelled lawn mowers need powerful engines to run both the blades and the wheels, and most self-propelled mowers will have no trouble tackling even the toughest of grasses.
Gas mowers will still have the power advantage over battery mowers, but they’ll also be noisier and less ecologically friendly.
Even battery-powered self-propelled mowers are capable of handling tougher grasses and uneven terrain, though. These conditions will simply drain the battery power faster, meaning you may have to recharge more often to finish mowing.
While there are some single-speed self-propelled mowers on the market, most of the models you’ll see will offer variable speed control.
In fact, adjustable speeds will make mowing easier as a single speed mower may go too fast to cut grass evenly while an adjustable speed will deliver a smoother cut. The fastest a self-propelled mower will go is around 3-5 mph, as you may have to jog behind your mower if it goes much faster than that.
Self-propelled mowers aren’t particularly noisier than their push mower counterparts. A lawn mower’s noise levels is more depended on whether it’s a gas or an electric mower. Gas engines tend to be a lot noisier than electric engines, even the ones that claim to reduce noise. If you’re looking for a quieter mowing experience, look no further than a battery powered mower.
Self-propelled mowers do have more moving parts than push mowers, so there is a greater chance that something will break down and will have to get repaired. The belt is the part that may need the most replacing on a self-propelled mower. Other than that, you’ll just need to handle the regular maintenance a mower requires. Gas mowers need a lot more TLC than electric ones, so if you’re looking for a more hands-off experience, consider a battery-powered mower.
Users of self-propelled mowers often swear by the cut quality of their machines. The adjustable speeds on most self-propelled mowers allows for a very smooth and clean cut that will leave your lawn looking like a pristine green carpet.
Self-propelled technology has advanced greatly in the past few years and self-propelled mowers are just as reliable as regular push-behind ones. The reliability of your mower depends more on the particular brand you go with. Don’t be surprised if you get what you pay for if you go for one of the cheapest models.
The warranty of your mower will depend on the particular machine you purchase, with most warranties ranging from 3 to 5 years. Commercial warranties will be much shorter and you can expect your engine to have it’s own warranty policy.
Top 5 Gas Self-propelled Mowers
1. Husqvarna LC221AH 21 in Mower
2. Craftsman M215 Mower
3. Troy-Bilt 159cc 21-inch 3-in-1 Mower
4. Honda 662300 21 in. GCV200 4-in-1 Versamow System Walk Behind Mower
5. Lawn-Boy 10732 Kohler XT6 OHV Mower
Top 5 Electric Self-Propelled Mowers
|Top||Snapper XD 82V MAX StepSense Electric Cordless Mower||Check Price|
|Top||EGO 21" 56-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Self Propelled Lawn Mower||Check Price|
|Top||Greenworks PRO 21-Inch 80V Cordless Lawn Mower||Check Price|
|Top||POWERWORKS 60V 21-inch SP Mower||Check Price|
|Top||Yard Force Lithium-Ion 22” Self-Propelled 3-in-1 Mower||Check Price|
Which Mower Should you get?
This will depend on your yard size and needs. If your yard isn't too large I think the convenience of an electric self propelled mower is well worth the investment.
Overall, if would go with an electric mower. If you are only interested in a gas mower I would recommend Honda, Husqvarna, or Snapper. These are great reputable brands.
Wrapping it up
There you have it… the best gas and electric self propelled mowers on the market. It will mainly come down to your personal preference. It may come down to availability as well since COVID has hurt the availability of some of these mowers.
If you have any questions or need help finding a particular mower you are interested in shoot us a message or leave us a comment below!
We'd also like to hear from you in the comment. Let us know which self propelled mower is your favorite!