If you enjoy the effort of pushing a lawn mower and seeing your hard work pay off in the form of a well-trimmed lawn, that’s great! There’s nothing wrong with using all of your energy and completing a job with all of your own exertion. But if you're not looking for a great workout, you need the best self-propelled lawn mower to make quick work of heavy chores.
For those of us who aren’t superheroes, a little boost won’t hurt anyone. We’ve organized a list and determined the best self-propelled lawn mower for 2019. If you want a push mower that gives you some guidance while you’re cutting the grass, this is the list for you!
What Exactly is a Self-Propelled Lawn Mower?
The best self-propelled lawn mower is exactly what it sounds like. You won't have to shove the mower forward with all of your might. Instead, you’ll notice an extra handle where your hands are resting. By utilizing this feature, you’ll give the push mower an extra boost.
Best of all, these mowers practically start on auto pilot. It’s an amazing feature that you won’t want to give up once you get used to it.
The self-propulsion of a mower allows you to concentrate on bigger lawns and properties. If you’re only dealing with a few patches of grass here and there, finding the best self-propelled lawn mower probably won’t be necessary. You’ll do fine with a basic mower — perhaps even an electric one — if you only have a small area to cover.
It might take you a bit to adjust to the momentum behind a self-propelled mower. If you aren’t careful, you’ll feel like the force could take you and your arms with it.
So, make sure you allow yourself some time to get acquainted with how much leverage is needed with the propulsion handle. Unlike the activation bar for the mower, you’ll only need a couple fingers to propel the mower forward.
Where Can I Purchase the Best Self-Propelled Lawn Mower?
If you prefer to find the best self-propelled lawn mower in a store, you have a few different choices. Bigger warehouse stores like Lowe’s or The Home Depot are a great start. In these, you’ll be able to look at and feel each mower in your hands. In almost all cases, the mowers you find in retail outlets are brand new.
You can also check into some of your local hardware stores and compare their prices and availability to larger chains. Some companies prefer to stock their self-propelled lawn mowers at independent hardware stores. If you'd prefer support small businesses in the process, check out these retailers.
Online purchases and deliveries are available too. Amazon has an extensive offering of lawnmowers. And some even come with free shipping, including order that qualify for Prime.
How Much Will the Best Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Cost?
If you’re looking for a low-grade lawn mower that leaves out a few now-standard features, you won’t need to shell out any more than $200. For the best self-propelled lawn mower, however, you’re going to need at least $300.
All of the mowers that we have featured inside this article are going to range from $300 up to $600. If you really want a deluxe model, you could easily go into four figures for a lawn mower. We truly don’t think that’s necessary, however.
If you’re just a basic homeowner who wants the best self-propelled lawn mower for your lawn, any of the mowers we have mentioned here will do the trick.
How Did We Find the Best Self-Propelled Lawn Mower?
Figuring out which was the best self-propelled lawn mower was no easy task. Of course, we have certain criteria that have to be met. So, we put all our mowers through a rigorous performance evaluation.
We made sure to properly assemble each mower according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Without proper assembly, we wouldn’t be doing each build justice with our final review score. We also took note of any problems we had during assembly. After all, this shouldn’t be too difficult of a process for the average homeowner.
The grass on each lawn grew between one and two weeks. We didn’t take any gravel or stray debris into account. So, the blades took on nothing but grass and stray weeds. We also made sure that we used these mowers on lawns that held some shrubs or trees. There’s no reason to test a mower without seeing how it can navigate a few obstacles. This is especially true when self-propulsion is a key feature of the review.
First, we noted how much time was necessary to finish the job. We also considered how consistently the blades inside each mower handled the grass on each lawn. Then, we took each mower for a spin across a standard-sized lawn, no bigger than one full acre.
Using the maximum height setting on each mower, we went across a patch without using the self-propulsion on each mower. Initially, we noted how hard it was to push, as well as the difficulty involved in tight turns. However, we also looked at whether or not the side discharge became easily blocked.
Then, we used the minimum height setting with propulsion activated. Along with everything listed above, we determined how long it would take until we had to empty the bag. If it was possible to exhaust a mower’s gas tank in one session, we took note of that as well.
We realize that we didn’t run each model over an entire estate, which may skew results. However, given the amount of people reading this review, we don’t believe you need to know how a lawn mower runs across a mansion’s private soccer field.
What Features Make for the Best Self-Propelled Lawn Mower?
If you’re going to invest in the best self-propelled lawn mower, you’ll want to look for the features we have mentioned below. Regardless of which one you choose, be sure that all of them lived up to their boasts about performance in these areas:
The best self-propelled lawn mower models are the ones that let you switch blade heights to accommodate the length of the grass. There’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to easily switch this with the levers located on each wheel.
If you’re working with a self-propelled lawn mower, odds are you have a gas engine. These are known for their obnoxious noise levels, and more than likely, you’ll have a neighbor who gives you that look.
First of all, a 10-dB range can be the difference between needing earplugs and being able to comfortably cut your grass. The larger the engine, the more noise it’s going to generate. If you need to focus on a quieter sound, make sure that you’re getting a self-propelled lawn mower with a smaller engine.
The width of the blade in your lawn mower will tell you how many times you need to cut across the area of your yard. With a bigger blade, you won’t take as many laps. This also means less energy spent on the process of maintaining your yard. Ultimately, it also means the more time you get to enjoy sitting outdoors, admiring your work.
If you want to keep your clippings from littering your lawn, you’re going to be interested in how large the bag is that holds it. This might mean more stops during lawn mowing sessions to empty the bag and get it ready for disposal. If you have a larger bag, you’ll also need to remember that it gets heavier with each load.
Choosing the Best Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
Now that we’ve gone over our selection process, it’s time to figure out exactly what is the best self-propelled lawn mower. Let’s dive into our list and show you some of the models we used.
- Powered by a 159cc Front Wheel Drive OHV engine
- This self-propelled lawn mower is perfect for mowing small to medium sized yards
- Offers a very lightweight design with a 21-inch steel deck
We’re starting out with a budget-priced lawn mower that meets what you need in a basic self-propelled lawn mower. It doesn’t perform the greatest, but there’s still a lot to like about the Troy-Bilt. The self-propulsion is competent. So, you’ll have no issues pushing this across wide areas of grass. The propulsion comes on the front wheels, giving you plenty of momentum when going uphill.
That money you saved did not go into any extra comfort features, however. You’ll immediately notice the lack of a cushioned handle. We’re kind of surprised here, as almost any mower, even one without self-propulsion, includes this as a standard. If you’re not a fan of gloves or prone to blisters, this won't be the best self-propelled lawn mower for you. On top of this, you’re looking at the smallest clipping bag possible.
The Troy-Bilt is good for a tight budget, but there are better mowers on this list.
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Here’s a name you might not have heard in a long time. The Craftsman 37441 is the best self-propelled lawn mower for those who want as quiet of an engine as possible. This measured at 85 dB, and while that isn’t exactly a whisper, it also won’t blow our your or your neighbor’s ears.
This mower is a featherweight at 84 pounds. Combined with the self-propulsion, this makes for a great training mower if you have someone just learning how to use one on their own. You’ll also find an electronic readout that tells you exactly when the oil for the engine needs to be added.
The Craftsman also lacks any cushioning on the handle, but it felt better in our ungloved hands than the Troy-Bilt. This one also handles speed changes pretty well, which gives it a higher rating for us. It doesn’t have that powerful of an engine, which is to be expected if you’re looking for something on the quiet end.
Poulan Pro PR675AWD
This self-propelled mower is a beast. It’s built with bigger lawns in mind, and cuts with nine different height options. Combine this with a four-wheel drive engine, and you’re looking at one mower on our list that's capable of handling some seriously large yards.
The blade on the Poulan Pro is 22 inches long, one of the largest we worked with. You can quickly adjust with a lever and move all four wheels at once. This mower comes with a smaller bag, but it isn’t the tiniest one we have seen so far. Thanks to the lever, you’re looking at an even cut regardless of the settings on the blade.
We don’t think this mower is necessary for most people with average-sized lawns, or flat terrain without any hills. If you have a complex area with many inclines, you’ll appreciate the force behind this one. Having so many height options is also a plus if you prefer to keep your land at a uniform height.
The Honda HRX gets our pick for the best self-propelled lawn mower on our list. It was difficult to find any fault with it. And that's considering the incredibly effective self-propulsion to the massive capacity (2.5 bushels) of the clippings bag. As long as you don’t mind a heavy bag by the time it’s full, you’ll be saving yourself a massive amount of raking and cleaning.
The Honda self-propelled engine is incredibly powerful, topping even that of the Poulan Pro. You’ll be able to pick from seven different blade heights, starting at 0 .75 inches and going all the way up to 4 inches. The only drawback we can find in this mower is the lack of an electric starter. However, this isn’t enough to take away our highest recommendation.
We hope you were able to find one of the best self-propelled lawn mowers on our list for your own use. We think that we came up with a reasonable number of choices. You should be able to find the right model for you, regardless of what kind of lawn you’re working with. Having the advantage of self-propulsion makes the effort of cutting your grass much more rewarding.
If you decide that you ever want the exercise of a push mower with the built-in energy of a riding mower, this is the way to go. With the right care and regular maintenance, you’ll be enjoying the best self-propelled mower for years to come!