Mowing a hilly lawn requires a good mower that can propel itself up. This is even more helpful if you have a large yard, and in that case, you will need a good self-propelled lawn mower. So, if you have heard about self-propelled mowers but you have never tried using one, and you want, this article is for you. But, first, we shall review self-propelled lawn mowers and see the best options available that you can buy when you finally make up your mind to buy one.

What is a Self-Propelled Mower?

Self-propelled lawn mowers operate by engaging the wheels to propel or 'drive' the mower forward. Depending on the model, you can engage the front wheels, rear wheels, or all-wheel drive when using a self-propelled mower. When operating the drive, you do not have to push the mower. Instead, you walk behind and steer it across the lawn. After that, the mower does the job on its own.

Self-propelled lawn mowers have similar features to manual push mowers, only that they allow for quicker movements, and you can adjust the walking speeds of 2-5 mph. Either batteries or gasoline can power self-propelled lawn mowers. Let's get the difference between the two.

a). Battery-Powered Self-Propelled Mowers

Battery-powered mowers are also called electric mowers. These self-propelled lawn mowers use a battery to operate, which you need to recharge once it runs out of charge. Battery-powered mowers are also eco-friendly as they do not emit any greenhouse gases into the atmosphere during operation. In addition, they are lightweight, easy to use, and maintain.

However, when getting a battery-powered mower, remember that the battery can last anywhere from 30 minutes to more than an hour. In addition, the noise levels of these lawn mowers are low.

b). Gasoline Self-Propelled Mowers

Gas self-propelled mowers use gasoline to operate. Unlike battery-powered mowers, they are not very eco-friendly as they emit exhaust gas into the atmosphere. A gas-powered mower is also noisy, and maintenance is more demanding than electric. However, they are also robust and suitable for large lawns.

Types of Mowers

There are different types of mowers, depending on how they are operated. They include;

a). Self Propelled Mower

The engine is powered by its wheels, providing a forward momentum along with spinning blades. It functions more like putting a car in automatic transmission into the drive; It pulls itself forward slowly until you pull the mower backward.

b). Push Mower

A push lawn mower operates with a gas or electric motor that powers its blades. A regular push mower has four wheels and only moves when you pull or push it.

c). Manual Mower

A manual mower does not have a motor. So to use it, you need to push it forward.

I would like us to go through the best self-propelled lawn mowers, so you can have options when you decide to purchase one.

Are self-propelled lawn mowers any better?

Best Self-Propelled Mowers

1. Greenworks 48V Cordless Lawn Mower

Greenworks 48V 17" Brushless Cordless Lawn Mower + 24V Brushless Drill / Driver, (2) 4.0Ah USB...
  • Two Greenworks 24 VOLT POWERALL batteries combine for 48 VOLTS of exceptional power without leaving the 24...
  • Highly efficient brushless motor provides more torque, quiet operation, and longer life
  • 17 in. rust-resistant lightweight deck designed for easy maneuverability
  • Single button 6 position height adjustment offers a range of cutting height from 1-1/4 in. to 3-3/8 in
  • 2-in-1 feature provides mulching and rear bagging capabilities

You are probably familiar with Greenworks as it is a popular brand and is quite known for its high-quality yard tools. This Cordless lawn mower from Greenworks is powerful as it uses two-24V powerful batteries. This exceptional battery power is suitable for mowing tall grass on uneven terrain without leaving the 24 Volt platform.

The motor of this electric mower is brushless, which makes it highly efficient for more torque and longer life, giving you good value for your money. Unlike gas lawn mowers, electric mowers are quiet during operation, and this Greenworks mower is a perfect example of that. It does not make noise as you cut grass, making it perfect for most residential lawns, as you will not worry about making noise for the neighbors.

Greenworks brushless lawn mower features a 17-inch durable and rust-resistant deck that cuts through thicker grass well. It is also easy to maneuver as you work across the yard. It is also a two-in-one mower, which provides mulching and rear bagging features. With six-position height adjustments, you have a whole range of cutting height that you can select from.

  • Pros
  • Dual battery system makes it powerful
  • Six-position height adjustment
  • Brushless motor makes it long-lasting and quite
  • Lightweight
  • Cons
  • The entrance of bagger clogs quickly

2. Worx Nitro WG753 40V Power Share Pro Cordless Self-Propelled Lawn Mower

WORX Nitro WG753 40V Power Share PRO 21" Cordless Self-Propelled Lawn Mower (Batteries & Charger...
  • [GAS-LIKE POWER] Worx Nitro outdoor tools are engineered to provide gas-like power, performance, and run time
  • [SELF-PROPELLED] Rear-wheel drive with variable-speed control
  • [3-IN-1 FUNCTIONALITY] Mulch / Bag / Side-Discharge
  • [RUN LONGER WITH HIGH-CAPACITY BATTERIES] Worx Power Share PRO intelligent batteries deliver extended run...
  • [BRUSHLESS MOTOR] Brushless motors are more efficient, run 50% longer, are 25% more powerful, and have 10%...

Worx Nitro 21-inch lawn mower is designed to provide gas-like cutting power to ensure you get the best performance. It is also a rear-wheel-drive with variable speed control, so you don't have to use all your energy while mowing, as it propels.

Worx Nitro Self-Propelled battery-powered mower runs longer as it uses high capacity intelligent batteries and features heat and impact protection. If you love Worx, you will love this even more as it is compatible with all Worx 20V and 40V tools and products.

This mower is more efficient with a brushless motor as it runs 50% longer and 25% more powerful. That is precisely what you need to keep your lawn neat. It also automatically adjusts performance to grass conditions, so you can even use it to mow wet grass without a problem.

It features a durable 21-inch steel deck with Nutricut dual-stage mulching capabilities and is very easy to use as it is a single lever height and up to 7 height positions. Unlike gas mowers, this battery lawn mower is quiet during operation and is also eco-friendly.

  • Pros
  • As powerful as a gas mower
  • It is lightweight
  • Compatible with 20V and 40V Worx tools
  • Long battery life for extended mowing sessions
  • Cons
  • Battery life is wanting

3. Craftsman M215 159cc Self-Propelled Gas Powered Lawn Mower

Craftsman M215 159cc 21-Inch 3-in-1 High-Wheeled FWD Self-Propelled Gas Powered Lawn Mower with...
  • POWERFUL 159CC OHV GAS ENGINE: Powerful gas engine comes equipped with recoil and auto choke. No more fussing...
  • 3-IN-1 CAPABILITIES: Unit has side discharge, rear discharge, and mulching capabilities.
  • FRONT WHEEL DRIVE: Tip-up, turn, and maneuver around level terrain with ease.
  • SELF PROPELLED AND VARIABLE SPEED: Move around your yard with less effort and the propulsion speed of your...
  • DUAL-LEVER ADJUSTABLE CUTTING HEIGHT: Choose from 6 different height settings to suit user’s needs.

If you need an extremely powerful mower for your lawn, it's time to try this gas lawn mower from Craftsman. It has a powerful 159ccOHV gas engine and comes equipped with recoil and auto choke, so you don't have to fuss with the primer or choke.

As it is a self-propelled gas lawn mower, you can mow the grass around your yard with less effort, making it a highly suitable tool for any yard. In addition, its three-in-one capabilities include discharge, rear discharge, and mulching capabilities, so you can use it for other jobs besides mowing.

Craftsman gas lawn mower is a front-wheel drive, and you can maneuver it around level terrain with ease; and the rear wheels are 11-inches to tackle an uneven terrain easily. It also features a dual-lever adjustable cutting height, and you can choose up to six different cutting heights.

  • Pros
  • Powerful gas engine for efficient mowing
  • Cutting deck features 3-in-1 capabilities
  • Not heavy
  • Cons
  • Most parts are made of plastic

4. EGO Power+ LM2130 Self-Propelled Lawn Mower

EGO Power+ LM2130SP 21-Inch 56-Volt Cordless Select Cut Lawn Mower with Touch Drive Self-Propelled...
  • Select Cut Multi-Blade System for premium cutting performance that exceeds gas
  • Touch Drive Self Propelled Technology puts complete control in the palm of your hands
  • Get 60 minutes of run time on single charge when used with the recommended 56V 7.5 Ah ARC Lithium battery
  • High-efficiency brushless motor
  • Adjustable self-propel speed .9 MPH – 3.1 MPH

You can use another powerful electric mower to maintain your yard and keep all weeds and tall grasses tamed. Ego Power+ is a cordless mower with a touch drive self-propelled technology. It gives you total control as it is automatic. Using this electric mower with the correct battery allows you to get up to 60 minutes of run time on a single charge. The recommended battery is a 56V 7.5 Ah ARC lithium-ion battery.

EGO Power+ uses a high-efficiency brushless motor, making it highly efficient and long-lasting. You can also adjust the speed as you desire, anywhere between 9mph-3.1 mph. It is also suitable for mowing various grass types. It is also lightweight, so you will not struggle with it due to the weight.

  • Pros
  • Powerful as a gas mower
  • Long battery life
  • Lightweight
  • Adjustable speeds
  • Cons
  • The blades may fail to spin
  • Does not come with a battery or charger
  • Not pocket-friendly

5. Makita XMLO8PT1 Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless Self-Propelled Lawn Mower

Makita XML08PT1 18V X2 (36V) LXT® Lithium‑Ion Brushless Cordless 21" Self Propelled Lawn Mower...
  • 2 Free Batteries with qualifying X2 kits for a limited time (4 batteries included)
  • Self propelled with variable speed (1.5 MPH - 3 MPH)
  • 4 Bay battery system for 2 times more run time
  • Powered by (2) 18V LXT batteries with the option to insert (2) additional batteries for extended run time
  • Mows up to 1/2 acre using (4) 18V LXT 5.0Ah batteries

Makita is an on-brand that makes cordless outdoor equipment to ensure maintaining your lawn becomes a breeze. This model of their mower is cordless and uses two lithium-ion batteries to operate. The Makita-built motor delivers 2,800 RPM, and the battery system holds four batteries, which means it runs for twice the run time, making it quite efficient and increased mowing session.

As already mentioned, it is battery-powered hence operates with minimal noise levels and zero emissions. This self-propelled mower is also easy to maintain. Moreover, it offers ease-of-use features like mulching capabilities and height adjustments so you can use it comfortably regardless of your height.

This mower also features a Makita Extreme Protection Technology, a protective seal that ensures it operates efficiently and that dust and water do not get to the key internal components when mowing wet grass. It is suitable for mowing residential lawns.

  • Pros
  • The battery system holds up to four batteries.
  • Operates quietly
  • It does not emit gasses into the atmosphere
  • It is fast
  • Cons
  • It is heavy

Features to Look for in a Self-Propelled Lawn Mower

The self-propelled mower has different features, some of which differentiate it from the other types of mowers. Let's have a look.

a). Deck

Deck size is the size your mower covers on one mow. This is proportionate to the size of the lawn. If you have a large lawn, it is best to go with larger deck sizes like 30 inches or more. However, if your lawn is mid or small, smaller deck size is just as fine. For example, you may prefer 20-22 inches.

Usually, you will find a mower with a steel deck which adds weight and is less durable. The steel also gets dirty. Therefore, for these reasons, some manufacturers use sturdy aluminum or high-impact plastic decks that add more resistance and wear and tear and avoid corrosion.

b). Height

If your lawn is uneven, cutting grass on it may not be a smooth ride as it is when cutting grass on more leveled lawns. Therefore, one feature you can enjoy while mowing your sloppy lawn is height adjustability. Most self-propelled mowers have single lever, two lever, and four lever deck height options. As the lever increases, so does the usage complexity. This means that if it is a single lever, it is the easiest to operate. So, if you think you may need frequent height adjustments, it is better to go with a single lever.

c). Mulch and Bag it

The best self-propelled lawn mowers are not only suitable for mulching and bagging; some are equipped with mulch and side discharge. Bagging and discharge have various uses. For example, if you want easy disposal of the method, you may bag the grass or go with side discharge if you plan to recycle the lawn nutrition.

On the other hand, mulching makes the grass cut smaller, making it ready simultaneously.

d). Start-Up and Speed Settings

You will find that mowers use an electric push start or start with recoil, and whatever you choose is a result of absolute preference. However, one crucial safety feature that you should look for is blade over-ride functionality. It bodes well if your lawn has numerous obstacles and you are willing to remove them. In addition, the override function prevents you from restarting the machine every time you stop due to obstacles.

You may need to ensure you check out the requirements of your lawn mower to ensure an enhanced post-purchase experience.

e). Wheel Drive System

You can get a self-propelled lawn mower with a front-drive system or a rear while rear-wheel drive allows. The front-wheel-drive system will provide power and superior maneuverability to the machine. However, these wheels may not provide the best traction as needed on hilly slopes, and the rear wheel may be a little low on maneuverability. It is however, still an excellent option as a self-propelled mower as it provides the needed traction on sloped surfaces.

Most mowers have the same wheel size, at the front and back. However, it is always preferable to have larger rear wheels as they work efficiently to provide better traction and friction, and they are also excellent for uneven surfaces.

Frequently Asked Questions About Self-Propelled Mowers

1. How long will a tank of gas last in a self-propelling lawn mower?

The amount of gas you spend partly depends on how hard the mower's engine is working. Your gas mower is more likely to use more gas when trimming tall, thick grass or when going uphill than it does when trimming grass on a flat surface. However, generally, most lawn mowers use between one and two gallons of gas per hour.

2. Is it better to collect grass clippings in a bag or have my mower turn them into mulch?

This depends on the length of the grass clippings. Mulching is a great way to keep your yard healthy. However, if the grass clippings are longer than an inch, mulching will not b as effective due to clumping.

Image: Gardenlines