When grass is greener the other side, there is some serious mowing regime being observed. Lush lawns don’t just happen; they are tended to and regularly at that. Some people will have smaller perhaps less than 1/3-acre of a lawn others will have bigger lawns.
The latter can be a challenge to maintain especially without the right equipment. Experts recommend that bigger lawns be mowed using a self-propelled lawn mower and the much bigger ones using a riding lawn mower.
The best self-propelled lawn mower will save you precious time and effort. The advantage of these mowers is that they power their own blades and wheels; all you need to do is simply direct it as it mows and this doesn’t take much effort. If you can get performance, durability, and convenience out of a mower then you have made the right selection.
Sadly, this doesn’t happen all too often, thanks to so many branded and brandless units in the market today, worse if it’s your first time acquiring a mower. This is why we have compiled this review of only the best there is along with a buyer’s guide, to help you make an informed choice.
Comparing the top self-propelled lawn mowers
|Self Propelled Lawn Mower||Power||Fuel Capacity||Deck||Cutting Option||Cutting Height Range ||Wheels||
|Troy-Bilt TB330||163cc Briggs & Stratton||1.09 qt||21 in||6 settings; 1.25″ – 3.75″||8″ front, 8″ rear||
|Honda HRR216k9VKA||Honda GCV190||N/A||21 in ||6 settings;||8″ front, 8″ rear||
|Husqvarna 961450021 HU725AWDBBC ||Honda GCV 190CC||0.3 gal ||22 in ||Bagging|
|7 settings; 120mphgs; 1” – 4.25”||8” front 11” rear||
|Lawn-Boy 10732||Kohler XT6 149cc||N/A||21 in||Bagging|
|6-settings; 1.25” – 3.75”||7” front 8” rear||
|GreenWorks Pro MO80L510||N/A||21 in||Bagging|
|8” front 10” rear||
|Honda HRX217K4HZA||Honda GCV 186CC||N/A||21 in||Bagging|
|7-settings 0.75” – 4”||9” front 9” rear||
|Troy-Bilt TB220||Briggs & Stratton|
|0.25 gal||21 in||Bagging|
|6-settings 1.25″ – 3.75″||8” front 11” rear||
Best Self Propelled Lawn Mower Reviews
1. Troy-Bilt TB330 163cc 21-inch 3-in-1 Rear Wheel Drive Self-Propelled Lawnmower
The TB330 makes it top of our review and for the right reasons. This unit comes packed with cutting edge features like its exceptional performance rear wheels along with a powerful 163cc Briggs & Stratton Engine and will deliver value, no question about this. Let’s check out what makes it best among the best.
The Troy Bilt TB330 self propelled mower is designed for the homeowner however surprisingly it comes with power, a 163cc Briggs & Stratton 725ex Series 4-Cycle Engine equipped with an auto choke system for a single-pull start, eliminating the need for choking or priming. Additionally, this engine comes with an overhead valve (OHV) design which typically means that its valves are positioned above the piston for enhanced combustion.
Rear Wheel Drive and Speed Controls
Perhaps the most notable advantage this unit offers ahead of the others. With both front and rear wheels measuring 8 inches in diameter, it is designed with a rear wheel transmission system powering its rear wheels for optimal traction during mowing. In addition, you have 4-speed settings with an easy single lever control that puts you in charge of your mow.
Troy Bilt Tri-Action Cutting System
Away from power and this is the next feature that matters most in a mower. The TB330 features a 21-inch TriAction cutting system with tough steel blades and this will without doubt let you cut clean in a single pass and because cleaning the deck can be a hectic affair, it comes integrated with a wash port so you can clean your deck fast and easy and store it for the next use.
The TriAction system features a rake guard to push up grass so all blades are cut uniformly during mowing. You can cut to your desired height by adjusting your deck’s cutting height between 1.25-inches to 3.75-inches in six height settings.
This unit has all three discharge capabilities; bagging, mulching and side discharge and to facilitate this, its package includes a 1.9 roomy bushel bag which will accommodate most if not all of your mulch.
What We Loved
- Tri-Action cutting technology
- Rear wheel drive
- Multiple discharge capabilities
- Folding handles for ease of storage
What we didn’t Like
- This unit could have been better with an electric start as these are the most convenient today
If you are looking for power-packed unit with great performance and a simplistic design then you need to consider the TB330. Again it is a well-rounded unit built for soft and tough, wet and dry grass, and will work amazingly on even and uneven terrain. It comes as a good recommendation for those acquiring a mower for the very first time for their medium sized backyard.
2. Honda HRR216K9VKA 3-in-1 Variable Speed Self-Propelled Gas Mower with Auto Choke
The HRR216K9VKA is one of Honda’s revolutionary self propelled mowers. We had to mention this because not all of Honda’s HRR series mowers are self propelled.
One remarkable feature is its automatic choke regulator button conveniently integrated on this unit’s handle. Other impressive features this unit boasts of include:
Patented Micro-Cut Dual Blades
Any user needs durable cutting deck beyond good performance and this is what HRR216K9VKA has to offer. A 21-inch 12-gauge steel dual blade which is agreeably tough, long lasting and can easily be adjusted to 6 cutting heights.
The mention of micro means that this blade will literally shred your grass into finer clippings which is a plus especially if you are considering discharge by mulching. All the same, it will still handle bagging and side discharge quite well. Smaller grass clippings are also much easier to dispose because the mulch bag will accommodate at least 4 times, more clippings.
You’ll certainly love the clip director, a device integrated in the mower to help you change your discharge options in an instance while working.
When you are you are starting your unit to begin its operation, you will understand the convenience of an auto choke over a manual choke system, when your units rumbles with the first cord-pull.
The HRR216K9VKA is designed with Smart Drive variable speed control system which is actually the mark of quality of Honda mowers. This system comes with the convenience auto selecting a comfortable speed from preset speeds between 0 and 4 Mph on the go and quite easily with a simple press of a button.
Finally, it is backed by 3 years warranty and we thought that compared with others in the market, this is perhaps almost the best protection deal you can find.
What we Loved
- Automatic choke regulator button let’s you change speed on go
- Quality solid construction
- Micro-cut blades
- The Zone Start Safety System which automatically shuts down the engine upon release of the flywheel lever.
What we didn’t like
- No wash port, you have to turn the mower over to clean it
- High noise level
- Some users recorded a challenge starting the mower.
The HRR216K9VKA makes a good addition to your toolset. However, we found that this unit worked well with even lawns and may not be the best self-propelled lawn mower for hills. It is considered an average man’s model with slightly better quality components than others in the space. On the overall it is solidly built to last and for performance and comes with great power.
3. Husqvarna 961450021 HU800AWDH Honda 190cc 3-in-1 All Wheel Drive 4X4 Hi-Wheel Mower in 22-Inch
The 961450021 HU725AWDBBC by Husqvarna comes as a great option for sloped yards thanks to larger rear wheels designed to offer remarkable stability on slopes. It is actually an all wheel drive which means that you get both the front drive maneuverability advantage and rear drive traction advantage making it the best self-propelled lawn mower both for hills and even topography.
The Honda GCV190 OHV 190cc 4-cycle engine was just the right engine needed to power its four wheels uphill, on uneven terrain and on wet grass for medium to large sized lawns and even better because this is an all wheel drive requiring simultaneous power to all its four wheels.
Coming to its ball bearing wheels, the front wheels are the usual 8 inches in diameter while the rear wheels are larger at 11 inches. They are designed with a tread pattern to enhance traction especially when mowing uphill or on wet grass.
Variable Drive System
This feature allows you to adjust your speed settings up to 3 mph based on the condition of your terrain. Normally, you will work well at a high speed on flat lawns and slow down on slopes or rugged terrain.
Husqvarna 961450021 HU800AWDH comes equipped with a 22-inch heavy duty steel blade (slightly wider than most others) and all three cutting options; rear bagging, side discharge, and mulching. Its package includes a mulch kit and a rear bagger which are great accessories with this regard. With an adjustable cutting height of 7 settings between 1 and 4.25 inches, you can trim your lawn to your desired height.
Additionally and quite unique is the Blade Brake Clutch (BBC) which works by stopping the blades from spinning as the engine still runs to let you pass over obstacles. You can actually perform any other tasks like removing obstacles or piled debris from your path with the blades stopped and the mower still in motion. This is a good maintenance feature for your blade.
What we loved
- All-wheel drive system for maneuverability and traction
- Blade brake clutch allows you to stop the blades and pass obstacles when the mower is still in motion
- Powerful Honda GCV190 OHV 190cc 4-cycle engine
What we didn’t Like
- Plastic components like the plastic wheels
- At over 100lbs, this mower is heavy
We felt this is an amazing option especially for those with sloped lawns. On the overall however, it comes with exceptional power, performance, quality components and features you would see in top rated mowers. Also worth our mention is that this unit is versatile and on point as far as safety is concerned.
4. Lawn-Boy 10732 Kohler XT6 OHV, Rear Wheel Drive Self Propelled Gas Lawn Mower, 21-Inch
At a glance, the the beautiful green and design of this mower will charm you. Aesthetics aside, this mower is quite simplistic in its design, light but quite a good performance. If you are looking for a non complicated mower with a good and comfortable user experience then this one makes a good choice.
Talking of power, this Lawn-Boy comes with a 149cc Kohler XT6 OHV Engine which is reasonable for the average-use homeowner although it will deliver lesser power than others to the blades. It does have a recoil starter mechanism rather than an electric starter feature. However, it has an auto choke mechanism, eliminating the often times daunting task of priming or choking.
Rear wheel drive system
Rear drive system is a mark of quality for traction and is a very important feature in self-propelled mowers. Along with it is the 21-inch steel deep dome-shaped cutting deck that certainly delivers quality cuts. The deck adjusts to 6 height settings between 1.25 in and 3.75 in. and comes with a 2-point height adjustment mechanism.
Incorporated in the deck is Lawn Boy’s unique tri-cut system. This system works by reducing surface area while cutting for utmost efficiency.
Finally, it has all three cutting capabilities; mulching, side discharge and bagging which is a versatility feature we have come to appreciate with most self-propelled mowers in the market.
We needed to discuss this in depth since it gives the 10732 a great distinction from most others in the same space. Let’s put this into perspective. Most rear drive self propelled units have an almost standard weight range of between 85-135 lbs. Anything above 90 in this case would be considered a little on the heavier side.
This mower is surprisingly steel constructed yet it weighs only 66 lb make it one of the very few mowers that are at way below 85 lbs in weight and giving it a plus in terms of maneuverability.
What we loved
- Less noisy
- Quality cuts
What we didn’t like
- Lower engine capacity
- No wash port
- Small mulch bag hence frequent emptying
This unit is a great addition however, others have felt that it is too basic, lacking in important features like a side discharge, blade brake clutch, and a wash port yet these are the same features that would place any unit above average.
The OHV Kohler engine however is a feature to reckon with and could be traded for other lacking accessories if you are just in for the basics. It is suitable for normal regularly mowed lawns rather than tall thick or dense lawns.
5. GreenWorks Pro MO80L510 80V 21-Inch Self-Propelled Cordless Lawn Mower, 5Ah Battery and Charger Included
This is the first battery powered self propelled mower that makes it to our top self propelled mowers review. It comes designed with a brushless DigiPro motor that is digitally regulated and is known for its power and 5AH Lithium Ion battery together with its charger.
Battery and Charging System
MO80L510 mower is compatible with 2AH battery model GBA80200 which take around 30 mins to fully charge and 4AH battery model GBA80400 which takes 60 minutes to fully charge. You can also replace its charger with rapid charger model GCH8040. This means that with an extra fully charged battery, you can work a large lawn uninterrupted till completion.
MO80L510 features the SmartCutTM load sensing technology which automatically adjusts motor power according to the toughness, density or height of grass being cut for a more efficient battery use. Again it comes with bagging, mulching and side discharge options for you to choose from.
It is a 3-in-1 mower with bagging, mulching and side discharge capabilities making it quite a versatile unit.
Its 20-inch cutting deck is all steel. While some users will claim that it contributes to the unit’s heavy weight, it’s arguably a quality performer when it comes to cutting. It will deliver clean cuts between 1-3/8″ to 3-3/4″ height with an easy single lever height adjustment.
To complete the convenience equation, this mower has a multi position handle that you can adjust to your comfort level and fold away for easy storage
What we loved
- Superior bagging capability
- Silent operation
- SmartCut technology
What we didn’t like
In our opinion, the MO80L510 is a good buy compared to others in its league considering it is easy to use thanks to its cordless design, as well as the efficiency features incorporated in it. It is built to last and you can expect that it will outperform others when it comes to heavy duty tasks.
Aside from its weight, there was not much coming forth from users in terms of complaints and has featured in several self propelled lawn mower reviews.
6. Honda HRX217K4HZA HRX Series Lawn Mowers
Honda mowers are known for their strength and power and the HRX217K4HZA certainly exhibits these features and much more. With a GCV Auto-Choke Honda engine to power its blades and with a simple press of a button you will effortlessly start this unit. In addition, it comes with other cutting-edge features you can only find in high-end mowers.
Easy Electric Start
The HRX217K4HZA mower is equipped starts in an instant with a single start. Its electric start key is self-charging and comes with a rechargeable cyclone battery that will keep charge longer. This is why priming and choking will certainly be a thing of the past.
Talking of power, it can only get better with the Honda GCV186 EPA and CARB certified, 4-cycle engine.
HRX Cruise-Control (Hydrostatic Transmission)
Another amazing feature is the hydrostatic cruise control system that lets you control your speed with maximum accuracy with 7 settings between 0 and 4 mph. It also features a variable drive system with thumb lever control. The thumb control is conveniently positioned on the handlebar for ease of operation. Something quite unique about the thumb control is that it is pressure sensitive and will adjust according to the pressure exerted.
Speaking of the handlebar, at 41 inches height, 6-ft tall people have a reason to smile. The handle is adjustable to three positions to enhance comfort while mowing and it folds for easy storage. Finally, it offers you a soft comfortable grip, minimal fatigue, and less vibrations thanks to the foam that covers it.
This HRX Mower comes with a roto-stop blade-brake technology that lets you stop the blades while the mower continues in motion when you need to maneuver around obstacles or stop for any other tasks like emptying the collection bag, removing obstacles, or simply break for a few seconds. This is much easier than having to start and stop the engine every other time.
Microcut Twin blade system, Nexite Deck
The micro cut twin blade is a feature to behold. This system works with four cutting surfaces so you can get finer clippings used for mulching.
Unlike the usual 3-in-1 cutting capabilities in other mowers, this one comes with a 4-in-1 Versa-Mow system. It gives you the option of mulching, bagging, side discharge and shredding leaves. Quite interestingly, you can mulch and bag at the same time. Simply position your clip-director to set how much grass you will bag and how much you will mulch. Its package includes a large 2.5-bushel discharge bag.
The 21-inch deck is made from Nexite which is apparently durable, rust-, rot- and dent-free making it an all weather mower. The deck also features a skirting around it to stop grass from being discharged on the sides.
Backing the Honda HRX217K4HZA is a 5-year warranty on defective workmanship and parts which in our opinion is much better than the 3-year warranty most others have.
What we loved
- Rear-wheel self-propulsion system
- Excellent mulching and bagging features
- 4-in-1 Versa-Mow capabilities
- Roto-stop blade-brake technology
What we didn’t like
- Noisy due to its large engine
- Pressure sensitive controls may not be easy to work with especially when just starting out
This is one of the best choice mowers you can have. It has a larger engine and comes with some of the latest convenient features which only goes to show how much attention to detail was observed at its design stage.
It takes care of comfort, safety, convenience, durability and comes as the most versatile mower. We recommend this unit as the best self-propelled lawn mower for hills given its efficiency.
7. Troy-Bilt TB220 159cc 21-inch FWD Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
The TB220 mower by Troy Bilt is a 3-in-1 self propelled, front wheel drive lawn mower with amazing power from its 159cc Briggs & Stratton OHV engine. It works smart on even terrain and maneuvers quite well thanks to its front drive system.
As we have already mentioned, this unit is powered by a 159cc Briggs & Stratton 625ex OHV engine. OHV engines are most preferred because they are efficient. A single pull of the recoil start is all you need to set this mower into operation. The starter is also equipped with an auto-choke hence there will be no need for priming or choking.
Front Wheel Drive
Front wheel drive systems have the advantage of enhanced maneuverability especially if your yard is laid with obstacles. To add to this, the TB220 mower will give you excellent cuts on even terrains or on gentle sloped yards.
TriAction Cutting System
The TriAction cutting system is a combination of features including a 21-inch lightweight deck, wash port, and dual lever height adjustment making it easy to adjust both the front and the rear wheels at a go.
The deck comes with 6 adjustable height settings between 1.25 to 3.75 inches. This package also includes a rake guard that pushes grass up during cutting for fine results and a 1.9-bushel bag to collect grass clippings.
What We Loved
- Manoeuvrability is on point
- Additional accessories; wash port and rake guard
What we didn’t like
- Vibrates just a bit more than others in the same league
- No padding on the grip makes your hand experience fatigue and vibrations
- 1.9-bushel bag fills faster
Troy Bilt TB220 is a relatively easy to use mower with great convenience features and accessories. For even lawns, the front wheel drive system offers better manoeuvrability especially where there are obstacles. Blade controls are conveniently located on the handle making it quite easy to start/stop the blades and the engine.
Our Top Pick
The best self-propelled lawn mower in our opinion is the Honda HRX217K4HZA Lawn Mower. Its advanced features including the electric-start, 4-in-1 Versamow systemTM together with a clip-director, Roto-stop blade-brake technology, Micro cut twin blade system and a hydrostatic transmission places it well above average compared to others in its category and quite efficient too. Along with a 5-year warranty, this happens to be the best investment the any serious home owner can have.
Self Propelled Lawn Mowers Buyer’s Guide
Self propelled lawn mowers are designed to power their own wheels and blades which comes as a great advantage on larger sized lawns otherwise you would get pooped and spend a lot of time trying to mow with the push mowers and this can be quite frustrating.
Some Top Brands in the Market
Troy Bilt has managed to meet the needs of the average homeowner with their Low end mowers. Most of their units come with all the basics features anyone would look for in a mower and at a reasonable price. All the same, they feature high performance, quality components, and comfort features making them among the most preferred and best rated by users.
Honda mowers on the other hand cater for the high end needs. They are tough built with quite sturdy components and have always been at the forefront embracing the latest in technology and advancements.
In fact, their design and construction focuses mostly on convenience and durability. Honda manufacturers its own engines used in its mowers and in others like Husqvarna.
Factors to Consider when selecting a self-propelled Lawn Mower
- Variability in speed and cutting height – Adjustable speed is important just as cutting height adjustment is.
- Discharge capabilities – This includes side discharge, mulching, and bagging options. If you can get a unit with all the three, and these are widely available, the better for you.
- Engine power/ capacity – Tough grass, sloped lawn, and rugged terrains will certainly need a powerful engine. Engine power also determines how efficiently you get the job done because it is essentially the power behind the different components of a self-propelled lawn mower.
- The Wheels – Wheels determine traction and speed. Large wheels do not necessarily mean that a mower has better traction, far from it. Also to note is that for up/down hill mowing look for a mower with larger rear wheels than the front.
- Cutting width – For most mowers, 21 inches would be the standard. However, a few others will fall short while other will be longer. Longer blades will let you cover a larger space within a short time; the only downturn is that they will turn on a bigger radius which makes it a bit difficult to negotiate.
- Yard size and topography – the size of your yard certainly determines the self-propelled lawn mower to go for. Topography too, in terms of slope, ruggedness, and the nature of the grass you intend to mow. Go for a rear drive mower if your land is sloped or rugged because you need traction. However for even lawns or those with obstacles, a front drive mower works well because of ease of maneuvering.
- Starting system – the most recent mower models have taken this feature into serious consideration because starting a mower can take time. Electric starts are common nowadays and they come with an auto choke mechanism to make this a simple process.
# 1: Larger mower wheels are more efficient
On the contrary, large wheels add to the overall weight of the mower making it a bit hard to mow downhill.
#2: If you cut your lawn too low you will not have to mow too often
Cutting your lawn too low is known as scalping and is one big mistake people make. A scalped lawn weakens grass and affects its regrowth.
#3: Remove all grass clipping when mowing to have perfect results.
While it may be true that grass clippings are a major cause of thatch, the upside is that they decompose and add nutrients to the soil which will in turn reduce the amount of fertilizer you will use ultimately. However, you need to make sure you don’t leave too much grass clippings on your lawn.
#4: Never Mow wet grass.
While it may be a bit difficult and dangerous mowing wet grass, it is quite possible to mow wet grass provided you have the right mower. Some self-propelled mowers like the Honda HRX217K4HZA perform quite well on wet grass.
Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Safety Maintenance Tips
- Before you begin any maintenance process, ensure that your spark plugs are disconnected.
- Always clean your mower after every use. Some mowers will come with the advantage of a wash port making it easy to clean.
- Never remove any objects lodged on the blade with your bare hands, use a stick instead.
- Oil changes needs to be done regularly to keep the mower in a good working condition.
- Mower blades need regular sharpening at least twice a season or at the slightest indication of dullness.
- Always check the blade(s) for any signs of damage. If you notice this, you know that it is time for replacement.
- Be cautious when cleaning mower blades, due to their sharpness they pose great danger. It is best to have gloves on when cleaning or sharpening them.
Mowing your large lawn doesn’t have to be an energy-draining, time-consuming affair if you have the right mower. All the same, just like a lawn needs a regular mowing program, the mower too needs a regular maintenance program for it to give you more years of useful service.
Bottomline, the right tool for the job always is the best tool so you need the best self-propelled lawn mower for your specific needs.