To maintain a neat-looking yard with less effort and to avoid uneven grass…
…and back strain, a self-propelled lawn mower may be the right tool.
What makes these mowers unique is their self-propulsion. Just start it and steer.
A self-propelled lawn mower with pace-keeping technology…
…allows you to walk at your own comfortable pace, so you won’t be slowed down by a speeding mower.
Furthermore, these models often feature a variety of deck levels so that users can select the optimal cutting height.
The following recommendations are among the best-performing mowers in their categories.
Learn what makes a high-quality self-propelled mower and how to select the right model for your lawn.
Let’s hear Kevin’s story before moving on to the next section…
My wife and I wanted a mower that wasn’t as loud and noisy as a gas mower, that didn’t burn oil,
and that didn’t vibrate as much. The mower we chose fulfilled all our expectations.
With this mower and two batteries, we are able to keep up with a 1/3 acre lot.
We need to charge the batteries midway through mowing only when we wait too long between mowings
and the motors have to do extra work to cut down the tall weeds.
Due to its lighter weight, this mower is easier to push than gas-powered models.
Now is the time to begin…
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
There are many factors to consider when choosing a new lawn mower.
Grass type, cutting options, and engine power are some of the features to consider.
The type of mower to choose also depends on your needs and the size of your lawn.
“A mower is like many consumer products in that the more features a manufacturer adds, the more expensive it becomes. A longer or eye-catching features list isn’t necessarily better. Sometimes less is more. Here are the most important to keep in mind.”ROY BERENDSOHN – Writer
Typically, gasoline engines are rated in cubic centimeters (cc)…
…which can narrow the selection to a mower that is suitable for a specific yard.
- A small engine—one around 125 cc—is appropriate for a modest-size yard with moderate lawn growth.
- Small to medium-sized yards and moderate to heavy grass growth can be handled by engines with an average size of 140 to 180 cc.
- Engines larger than 180 cc are ideal for larger yards with a lot of lawn growth each year.
In the same way, battery-powered mowers measure their engine power in volts (V).
The engine power for these self-propelled battery-powered lawn mowers ranges…
…from 18 V for small engines to 120 V for large engines.
On the other hand, most of these lawn mowers run on 40 to 80 V…
…which is more than enough to handle the same tasks as a 140- to 180-cc engine.
There are a variety of speed-control options on self-propelled lawn mowers…
…including a squeeze handle, drive bar, dial, and even a pace-keeping system…
…that automatically adjusts to the pace of the user.
While some mowers have only one speed setting, others have multiple settings up to 4 mph.
Self-propelled lawn mowers have different speed controls and speed options…
…and what works for one person might not work for another.
Before buying, check the mower’s speed control to find one that fits the user’s lawn-mowing style.
A squeeze bar, for example, is an excellent option for a self-propelled lawn mower…
…that will be used by more than one person.
As the user squeezes the bar toward the handle, the mower moves faster.
Lawn mowers offer a variety of cutting options, including bagging, mulching, and side discharge.
However, most self-propelled lawn mowers come with two, or even three, cutting options.
- Single-option mowers are straightforward and simple to operate, but do not provide enough flexibility to accommodate varying lawn conditions, which is why most mowers offer more than one option.
- The 2-in-1 mower offers two of the three available cutting options (bagging, mulching, or side-discharge). While more versatile than single-option mowers, they lack the versatility of a 3-in-1 mower.
- The 3-in-1 mower is quickly becoming the industry standard. In addition to bagging, mulching, or side discharging in one machine, they provide increased cutting versatility.
Front-Wheel vs. Rear-Wheel Drive
Front-wheel drive lawn mowers are powered from the front…
…while rear-wheel drive lawn mowers are powered from the back.
- Mowers with front-wheel drive are perfect for even terrain. Users appreciate the ability to tip the mower back, removing the wheels from the ground and stopping the mower’s progress. Due to this immediate pause in momentum, it is easier to maneuver around lawn ornaments and other obstacles.
- Mowers with rear-wheel drives usually have more power than those with front-wheel drives, but they also are more expensive. With these mowers, the user doesn’t have to exert as much effort on hilly terrain. Their maneuverability, however, is not as convenient.
The diameter of the rear wheels can vary depending on the size of the mower and the terrain it can handle.
The wheels on some self-propelled lawn mowers are often between 7 and 8 inches in diameter.
Some mowers, however, have larger rear wheels than front wheels…
…with rear-wheel diameters ranging from 8 to 12 inches, which are better suited to bumpy terrain and thick grass.
It is best to use this wheel configuration if the yard has a lot of lawn growth or very uneven terrain.
Recoil vs. Electric Start
When searching for the best self-propelled lawn mower…
…it is also important to consider whether it starts by electric ignition…
…or whether a recoil cord must be pulled to crank the engine.
- The electric start feature is present on all electric lawn mowers, although some gas mowers also have the feature. By pressing a button or turning a key, the mower communicates with the engine and automatically starts up. However, if the electric start is not powered, the mower will not start. Consider a lawn mower with both an electric start and a backup recoil cord if it is a concern.
- Starting with a recoiled cord is a traditional method of starting a gas lawn mower. By pulling the cord, the user physically cranks the engine, causing it to start. Anyone who has ever used one of these lawn mowers knows that the recoil cord rarely works the first time; it usually takes three or four pulls to get the engine started.
While these mowers propel themselves, users may still consider the mower’s weight.
Weight can be a problem if the mower is only self-propelled during cutting…
…or if it needs to be lifted over curbs or into storage.
When lifting the mower for storage or moving it across difficult terrain, a lighter machine is easier to handle.
Self-propelled lawn mowers weigh from 60 pounds to 100 pounds.
A battery-powered mower usually weighs less than a gas-powered mower…
…making it a good choice for those afraid of maneuvering a heavy machine.
Perhaps you are wondering…
To ensure that they continue to work effectively and last as long as possible…
…power tools and yard equipment, including self-propelled lawn mowers, require some form of maintenance.
Gas-powered mowers and battery-powered mowers require very little maintenance.
Gas tanks in one require regular refills, and batteries in the other require regular charging.
In addition to this, all self-propelled lawn mowers require some ongoing maintenance to function properly.
The most common maintenance requirements for self-propelled lawn mowers include regular oil changes…
…washing to remove dirt and debris, and inspecting the blades…
…to ensure that they are sharp and do not have nicks or cracks.
Now let’s get to the main points…
Our Top Picks
|Greenworks MO40L03 Lawn Mower, 21", Green||Prime||Buy Now|
|Snapper XD 82V MAX Cordless Electric 21" Push Lawn Mower, Includes Kit of 2 2.0 Batteries and Rapid Charger||Prime||Buy Now|
|EGO Power+ LM2021 20-Inch 56-Volt Lithium-ion Cordless Battery Walk Behind Push Lawn Mower with Steel Deck - 5.0 Ah Battery and Charger Included||Prime||Buy Now|
|Greenworks Pro 21-Inch 80V Self-Propelled Cordless Lawn Mower, Tool-Only, MO80L00||Prime||Buy Now|
|Greenworks 40V 21" Brushless (Smart Pace) Self-Propelled Lawn Mower, 2 x 4Ah USB (Power Bank) Batteries and Charger Included MO40L4413||Prime||Buy Now|
Let’s go through them one by one…
The mower uses pace-keeping technology to adjust its speed to match the pace at which the user walks.
It weighs 70 pounds and is powered by a 40-volt engine.
The mower only moves forward when the user depresses the squeeze bar, eliminating worries about it rolling away.
By adjusting the power output of the mower, Greenworks’ Smart Cut technology can enhance power…
…or prolong the battery life, depending on how thick the grass is.
This mower has an 8-inch front wheel and a 10-inch rear wheel, so it can handle most lawns.
Its three cutting options allow the grass to be mulched, bundled, or side discharged.
Depending on the preferences of the user, the deck of the mower can be adjusted…
…to one of seven different height positions.
- Matches the user’s pace of walking
- Can’t roll away on its own
- Seven cutting heights to choose from
- Struggles with dense wet grass
With its 82-volt engine, this Snapper mower can cut through thick grasses without slowing down or stopping.
As soon as the grass is cut, the mower can mulch, bag, or side discharge the grass according to the user’s preferences.
Despite weighing 72 pounds, the self-propelled lawn mower has eight-inch front wheels…
…and ten-inch rear wheels that withstand bumpy terrain.
It uses a squeeze bar and pace-keeping technology to automatically move forward at the speed of the user.
The mower comes with two batteries and a rapid charger.
- Works great on thick grass
- Mulch, bag, or discharge options
- Fast-charging battery
Its built-in light allows users to mow the lawn safely at night or during overcast weather…
…with this EGO Power+ electric lawn mower.
With a 20-inch cutting deck, it’s easy to maneuver the mower around objects in the yard…
…such as bird feeders or trees, while the front-wheel drive allows it to turn 360 degrees on a single point.
Maintaining small yards efficiently requires this maneuverability.
Six different height settings allow the user to set the cutting deck to the perfect height for their lawn.
A 56-volt battery powers the 85-pound mower for up to 60 minutes. Both the battery and charger are included.
- Built-in light
- Easy to maneuver around objects
- 1 hour of battery life
- Not suited for leaves in the fall
With 65 pounds of weight and an 80 volt battery, the self-propelled lawn mower is able to drive through weeds…
…damp grass, and dense foliage. Battery life is up to 60 minutes…
…so users can power through small to midsize yards before needing to recharge.
A Greenworks electric lawn mower comes with mulching, bagging, and side-discharge options.
It can fold up to save space in the garage or shed, and it is easy to store.
It comes with 8-inch front wheels and 10-inch rear wheels so it can move easily over uneven or hilly terrain.
- Folds for vertical storage
- Great for hilly terrain
- No gas fumes
- Cuts and mulches very well
- Emptying the bag is sometimes tricky
Due to its 21-inch swath cut, this Greenworks mower can run for up to 70 minutes…
…on its two 40-volt lithium-ion batteries (included), allowing users to mow longer without stopping to recharge.
When one battery runs out, power automatically switches to the second battery.
It can climb up to 20-degree inclines and has rear-wheel drive.
The 92-pound mower has a large front and rear wheel for easy maneuvering…
…a push-button start, cutting height adjustment, and a folding handle for easy storage.
To collect clippings, side discharge, rear bagging, and mulching are all options available.
The battery charger also includes a USB port that can charge a cell phone or tablet if necessary.
- Wide cutting blade
- Two batteries for extra running time
- Can climb up steep inclines
- Can miss grass after the first pass
The best self-propelled lawn mowers are innovative machines with either front- or rear-wheel drive…
…allowing the user to control where the mower goes while the mower propels itself.
A range of options are included in our list of recommendations based on users’ preferences…
…from easy-to-maneuver battery units to power-house gas units that can tear through almost any material.
With our top picks of self-propelled lawn mowers…
…you can match the pace of the user to reduce the amount of constant starting…
…and stopping that creates uneven patches in the lawn.
To provide options for shoppers searching for a mower that matches their individual pace…
…instead of feeling like the machine is running away from them, we looked at speed control in our research.
Many of our options include adjustable cutting heights and innovative battery and charger units…
…so you won’t need to stop in the middle of the job to recharge.
Consider the Greenworks MO40L03 Lawn Mower…
…if you’re looking for a versatile lawn mower with a long battery life.
Choose the Snapper Cordless Electric Lawn Mower Kit if you’re looking for an upgrade…
…to your present lawn mower. You’ll enjoy a fast-charging battery and multiple ways to dispose of cuttings.