Best Self-Propelled Mowers

Top 10 Rated Self-Propelled Lawn Mowers 2015

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People tend to think of mowing the lawn as backbreaking, sweat-inducing work, but self-propelled lawnmowers can make the task a lot more bearable, particularly if you have hilly or uneven terrain to maintain. All you have to do is guide the mower; it does all the rest. Some self-propelled lawnmowers practically pull you up the hill, saving you the effort of pushing. As we rated our top ten self-propelled lawnmowers, we considered the following traits:

1. Durability
2. Easy to start
3. Solid construction
4. Powerful engine
5. Bagging, mulching, and side-discharge capabilities
6. Thoughtfulness of design
7. Height adjustment options
8. Price and value

Honda HRR216  9.5/10

21-inch blade
Rear wheel drive
1-gallon tank capacity
Cutting height 1.8–4 inches

A great value at $399, The Honda 21 in. 3-in-1 Variable Speed Self-Propelled Gas Mower is well worth the price for its incredible power, top-notch construction, and durability…read more


Honda GCV190  9.5/10

Bagger
Blade stop system
Rear wheel drive
0.25 gallon tank capacity
Cutting height .75–4 inch

With the Honda GCV190, handling tough, steep terrain becomes a breeze. The self-propelled mower starts with a single pull, even after being stored way for the winter…read more


190cc engine
22 inch-cutting width
4.6 hp
Self Propelled
91 Pounds

This self propelled push mower is one of the stronger ones available. Husqvarna made a very reliable machine with this one. Its a breeze to push the HU800 around the lawn thanks to the all-wheel…read more


Husqvarna HU800H  8.5/10

Recoil start
0.24 gallon fuel tank capacity
4-cycle
1 cylinder
Rear wheel drive

With a powerful Honda engine, the Husqvarna HU800H starts easily with a single pull and runs smoothly. Best suited to medium to large lawns, its speed controls…read more


John Deere JS36  8.5/10

21-inch blade
Rear wheel drive
1-gallon tank capacity
Cutting height 1.8–4 inches

One of the nicest features of the John Deere JS36 is that when you release the control, the engine and blades stop immediately. This provides greater control to the person mowing…read more


Auto-choke engine
Front wheel drive
CARB compliant

Combining the Honda and Husqvarna names, the Husqvarna HU700FH has great power but runs fairly quietly. Starting on the first or second pull, it runs smoothly up and down hills…read more


John Deere JS28  7.5/10

190cc
Pull start
Front wheel drive
9-position height adjustment

The John Deere JS28 features mow-mentum drive, which gives users greater speed control for better mowing. Its rugged steel deck can handle hilly, uneven terrains…read more


Toro 20371  7/10

Bagger
22 inch width
Front wheel drive
0.24 gallon tank capacity
Cutting height 1–4 inches

An affordable, easy-to-handle self-propelled mower, the Toro 20371 typically starts on the first or second pull of the cord. Its speed and power are impressive, although sometimes…read more


Honda HRR216  7/10

21 inch width
Bagger
0.2 gallon tank capacity
Cutting height 1.25–3.75 inches

The Yard Machines 12A-A13K729 is an affordable, lightweight self-propelled mower that handles thick grass and inclines with ease. The mower was simple to assemble…read more


Why Should I Buy a Self-Propelled
Lawnmower?

If you’re like most people, you think of yard work as a tough, time-consuming chore. You may have considered what type of lawnmower to buy next, one that could make your work easier, and checked out the self-propelled lawnmowers. They tend to be more expensive. They typically require more maintenance than push mowers. So why should you buy a self-propelled lawnmower? Let’s look at some of the special qualities of a self-propelled mower.

It’s the difference between pushing and walking

Self-propelled mowers do what their name suggests: they propel themselves. You don’t have to struggle to push it where you want it to go; you simply walk behind and steer it. Some have such powerful engines that they run at a good clip, but you should be able to adjust the speed so that you’re not jogging to keep up.

They are built for hills

Because they propel themselves, self-propelled mowers are suited for lawns with hilly and uneven terrain. You won’t have to strain to push the mower up an incline. Self-propelled mowers typically have larger rear wheels for greater maneuverability.

The speed of the mower depends on the engine

Unlike a push lawnmower, which relies solely on the walking speed of the person pushing it, a self-propelled lawnmower’s speed depends on the size and power of the engine. Typically, the operator controls the speed by squeezing a throttle bar, which propels the wheels. To slow or stop the mower, the operator releases pressure on the bar. This is also a safety feature. Suppose you trip and let go of the throttle bar—the mower will automatically stop, reducing the risk of injury.

They are more expensive than push mowers

Push mowers on average cost between $150 to $400. Because of their more complicated engine parts, self-propelled mowers run anywhere from $250 to $700. So you have to factor in the size and condition of your lawn when deciding which route to take. Large, inclined yards would benefit more from a self-propelled mower, whereas smaller yards would not truly require it.

In summary

You should strongly consider a self-propelled mower if:

  • You have a large yard with hilly, uneven terrain.
  • You cannot or do not wish to strain to push a mower.
  • You wish mowing the yard would go faster and easier.
  • You have the extra time and expenses to buy and maintain the mower.

Steve Holdgren Steve Holdgren is an engineer by trade and has worked for some of the largest energy related engineering firms in the world with his latest stint in Switzerland. He holds a degree is mechanical engineering… See more about Steve

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Filed Under: Lawn & Garden