Want to keep your lawn well-maintained, without having to push around your lawn mower? Then a self-propelled lawn mower is a perfect choice for you.
If you are still searching for the best self-propelled lawn mower for your home, then we have the solution. We have prepared an extensive guide for you to find reviews of some of the best self-propelled lawn mower.
In this article we review the following self-propelled lawn mowers:
- Best Overall: Honda HRN216VKA Self-Propelled Mower
- Best Electric: Greenworks 80V Pro 21-Inch Cordless Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
- Snapper XD 82V Cordless 21″ Lawn Mower
- CRAFTSMAN M215 159cc 21-Inch 3-in-1 Self-Propelled Gas-Powered Lawn Mower
- Lawn-Boy 17732 Rear Wheel Drive Variable Speed Lawn Mower
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Self-Propelled Lawnmower Reviews
Honda mowers are well known for their quality. It’s a reputation they’ve built over the years by producing some of the best small gas engines. Their success also comes down to the innovation and quality engineering they put into their mowers. This focus is reflected in the performance of the HRN216VKA Self-Propelled Mower.
The HRN216VKA Self-Propelled Mower is equipped with a powerful 4-stroke 166 cc Honda GCV170 engine. That engine provides some serious power to the mower’s dual cutting blades that can slice and dice through the grass for high-performance mulching. Like you would expect from a Honda, this engine is not only powerful but also reliably easy to start.
- Honda’s “Smart Drive” speed control makes it easy to instantly adjust the speed of the mower to match your walking speed and handle changes in terrain.
- The heavy-duty Honda GCV170 engine provides serious power with little maintenance needed.
- The blade overide stops the blades when the bale is released while keeping the engine running which means less wear from repeated starting.
- Covered by a 3-year warranty.
- Smart drive speed adjustment
- Powerful and easy to start Honda engine
- Dual cutting blades
- 3 discharge options with no required attachments
- High traction wheels
- Easy to remove 1.9-bushel grass bagger
- Dual blade design makes sharpening more difficult
Cordless electric mowers have become more widely popular in the last few years thanks to the advances made in creating longer-lived batteries. It’s easy to understand why when you look at the benefits that they offer compared to gas mowers. These electric mowers need way less maintenance, run quietly, and of course, don’t need gas or oil.
Greenworks is responsible for some of the most popular electric lawn mowers and for a good reason. Their Greenworks MO80L410 self-propelled lawn mower offers performance on par with the best gas mowers. Its brushless motor provides performance comparable to a 160cc engine. It’s part of the companies 80V pro tool line and can share the same batteries with any other tools you own from that lineup.
- The brushless electric motor offers performance equivalent to a 160cc gas engine.
- Provides up to an hour of cutting with a fully charged 4Ah battery.
- Smart Cut feature automatically increases blade speed to cut patches of long, thick grass.
- The 3-in-1 capability for mulch, rear bag, or side discharge.
- Can share batteries with other 80V Greenworks tools.
- Covered by a 4-year warranty for the mower and 2-year warranty for the battery.
- Push-button start
- Runs quietly
- Requires little maintenance
- No gas or oil
- Environmentally friendly
- Easy to use and maneuver
- Runtime is limited by battery life
A significant part of the appeal of electric mowers comes from their lightweight, making them easy to use. However, this often comes at the expense of power and less durable plastic frames. That isn’t the case here, though.
The Snapper XD SXDWM82K turns the concept of an electric mower on its head. Forsaking the lightweight design that you would expect of an electric mower, this mower instead packs on pounds for increased performance. It’s heavy, but that extra bulk is leveraged for serious cutting power and performance.
This mower is durable with an all-steel frame and ready to cut through any grass regardless of height or terrain. While it isn’t as lightweight as other electric mowers, it still boasts many of the advantages needing little maintenance. Best of all is the battery life on this mower, which on a fully charged 4Ah battery runs for up to 90 full minutes.
- Provides up to 90 minutes of runtime with a fully charged 4Ah battery or two 2Ah batteries.
- The rugged steel body is heavy but durable and built to last.
- A brushless electric motor offers high power and reliability.
- The 3-in-1 design allows you to mulch, bag, or discharge grass.
- Covered by a 5-year warranty for the mower and 2-year warranty for batteries.
- Variable speed control
- Sturdy steel cutting deck
- Long battery life
- Push-button quick start
- Folds vertically to take less storage space.
- 7 height adjustment options
- Runs quietly
- Heavyweight for an electric mower, it weighs in at around 90 lbs.
- Mulching performance could be better.
- A bit pricey
Craftsman is another brand with a well-established reputation for providing quality lawncare tools. A very popular and versatile mower, the Craftsman M215 is powered by a 159cc engine. If you are looking for a gas-powered mower suitable for medium-sized yards, then the Craftsman M215 is a fantastic choice for you to consider.
This mower is lightweight and easy to use with a 21-inch cutting deck that provides accuracy and mobility without compromising performance. With a smooth recoil start & auto choke, the M215 is also easier to start than many other gas-engine lawnmowers. Its variable-speed drive control makes it easier to maneuver as well with the ability to adjust the mower’s speed.
- The auto-choke and recoil-start make the M215 quick to start.
- Variable speed adjustment lets you set the propulsion to a comfortable walking speed and adjust for the terrain.
- It’s equipped with a set of massive 11-inch tractioned rear wheels well suited for handling uneven terrain.
- It features 3-in-1 discharge capability for mulching, rear bagging, or side discharge.
- Covered by a 2-year warranty.
- Large well-tractioned wheels
- Six different height settings
- Dual-lever height adjustment
- Durable steel construction
- Variable speed settings
- The blade is easily removed for sharpening
- Handles are not padded
- Warranty period is only 2 years
A great mower at an excellent price point, the Lawn-Boy 10732 is likely the best self-propelled lawn mower you’ll find on a budget. Punching well above its weight-class when it comes to similarly priced lawn mowers, the 10732 is lightweight and impressively powerful.
Designed by Toro and boasting a powerful 149cc Kohler XTX engine, it provides reliable performance while being easy to use and maintain. Its engine doesn’t require any oil changes, and it always starts in the first 2 pulls. The combination of this mower’s lightweight frame and rear-wheel drive makes it especially well-suited for mowing uphill, and it would be an excellent choice for homeowners with sloped yards.
- Kohler XTX OHV engine does not require oil changes.
- A 21-inch cutting deck is maneuverable while still providing good coverage.
- This mower very well when mowing uphill.
- The large bag size of the mower means you have fewer interruptions while cutting the grass.
- Covered by the Lawn-Boy 3-Year Tru-Start commitment and the 2-Year Full Coverage warranty.
- Fantastic price as of the time of review
- Easy to start
- Performs well on slopes
- CARB Compliant for the state of California
- Lightweight and comfortable to handle
- Blade design prevents grass from forming clumps
- Struggles with wet grass
- Durability issues
- Full coverage warranty period is only 2 years.
Features to Look when Selecting a Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
When searching for the best self-propelled lawn mower, there are some features you should keep an eye out for. Which features are important to you isn’t the same for everyone and depends on your yard. Remember when selecting a mower to choose the right one that meets your requirements.
These are a few of the more universally useful features that you should be aware of.
Variable Speed Options
Variable speed is most certainly a feature to look out for!
Some mowers have set speed settings, but others offer different degrees of control to the user instead. With variable speed options, you can set the mower to operate fast or slow, depending on your terrain. This is also great to have because you can adjust the mower to a comfortable walking speed.
A wash-out port is a useful feature for cleaning your lawnmower after use. With a wash-out port, you plug your hose into the mower’s port for cleaning. This makes washing the grass clippings on the underside of the cutting deck and on the blades simple.
Cleaning grass clippings from the mower after cutting the lawn improves the life of your blades. This will mean longer between needing to sharpen or replace those blades. Keeping your lawnmower blades clean can also prevent the spread of lawn diseases.
With a washout port, there is no hassle when you clean your mower.
A common feature in most mowers is that the engine automatically switches off when you release the bail handle. This means that for every bump or obstacle, you will have to switch on the mower again and again. This can become quite a hassle even though it is a safety feature.
With a blade override instead the blade of the mower safely disengages, but the engine keeps running. This feature also leads to less wear on the mower by reducing the frequency of starting.
What Is The Correct Way To Use A Self-Propelled Lawn Mower?
If this is your first time purchasing a self-propelled lawnmower, then you might not know how to use it. While you should always read the owner’s manual the basics should always be the same.
To activate the drive on a self-propelled lawn mower you need to squeeze the bail. This is the bar present on the handle of the mower.
When you squeeze the bail, the mower will start moving forward without having to push it. The bail will start the blades and the engine of the mower, and all you have to know is turn it in the direction you want it to go.
When you release the bail, the engine shuts down, and the blades also stop moving. This is for safety purposes so that you do not hurt yourself when faced with an obstacle. Some mowers may have a blade override feature instead. This is a feature that disengages the blades without shutting down the engine.
Safety Precautions for Using a Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
Before buying the best self-propelled lawn mower, you should know how to operate it safely. These tools are powerful pieces of machinery. You shouldn’t operate it without reading the owner’s manual first.
These are some of the safety precautions you should take when operating a self-propelled mower.
Wear Appropriate Clothing
When mowing your yard with one of these machines, make sure to dress appropriately. Avoid wearing any flowing or loose attire or jewelry that can get caught on in the machine. Make sure that you wear clothing that is comfortable to work in.
Wear close-toed shoes that are resistant to slipping. Even if you are uncomfortable in shoes, do not be barefoot when you use the lawnmower.
Assembly and Checks
When you assemble the machine, take extra care, and read the manual carefully. Conduct double checks for any loose parts or bolts before you start the lawnmower.
If you have any doubts about assembly, then turn to a professional for assistance. Operating a mower that has been improperly assembled poses a danger to the user and risks damaging the mower.
Check Your Yard Beforehand
Before operating a lawn mower, check the yard for any obstacles or debris and remove them. Remove any rocks or sticks that may get in your way while mowing the yard. This yard debris can be flung around when comes in contact with the mower. When that happens, it not only dulls the mower blades but may cause injury or property damage.
With a yard of overgrown grass, it can be difficult to see potential obstacles. In such a situation, set the mower for its max height and remain observant while mowing. Afterward, look for any debris that may remain, and you can now cut it again to the desired height.
Keep Away from Young Children
This is a very common safety warning written in the manual of most machinery. Keep small children away while operating your mower. Children playing in the yard can be an accident waiting to happen.
Even if you have an enthusiastic child at home who wants to operate the machine, do not allow them unless you are sure that they can handle the mower. Even then, do not leave them unsupervised while they are using the mower.
Be Cautious on Steep Slopes
Most self-propelled mowers can handle slopes effectively. Still, there is a risk involved. Your owner’s manual should mention what slope your mower is safe to operate on.
The risk of using it on hilly or steep areas is that you may lose control of it. This will damage the machine if it becomes overturned and can also cause you an injury.
When mowing on a slope, you should make sure your footwear has good traction to avoid slipping. You should also cut vertically up and down the slope as the wheels will have better traction this way.
Shut Off the Engine When Adjusting
Before making any adjustments to the mower, you should shut down the engine. Most self-propelled lawn mowers will automatically shut down when the bail is released. A lawnmower with a blade override system needs to be manually disabled.
Keep the Mower Away From Your Body
Even though the mower will run on its own, the control is in your hands. Make sure that the mower is kept at a distance from your body. Do not pull the mower backward while in use. If you feel that you are unable to control it, then let someone else operate it.
Stay at a Safe Distance from the Blades
It may seem obvious, but it is vital to keep away from the blades of the mower. Never stick your hands near the underside of a running mower. If you have a jam to clear, then turn off the mower first before doing so.
Use It During the Day
You should try to use your lawnmower only during the day. This isn’t only to keep your neighbors happy.
During the day, you have much more visibility so you can keep aware of obstacles and debris in your cutting path. Visibility at night is much more limited and more dangerous as a result.
If you need to mow the lawn in the evening or at night, then consider investing in a set of powerful yard lights.
Bringing it All Together
A self-propelled lawn mower can be a great time and effort saver. Which mower is best for you depends on the needs of your yard. Knowing which features you need can help you choose the best self-propelled lawn mower for you.
In our reviews, we found the Honda HRN216VKA outperformed the competition. Its powerful Honda engine is reliable and requires little maintenance. The Smart Drive speed adjustment feature also makes adjusting the speed super simple.
For the more environmentally conscious reader, our choice for the best electric self-propelled lawn mower is the Greenworks 80V Pro. This cordless mower offers up the same power as you can expect from a gas-engine mower in a lightweight and easy to maneuver frame. Choosing a cordless mower also means not having to worry about oil changes and other maintenance.
Once you have made your choice, don’t wait. Choose the best self-propelled lawn mower for your yard today!