This guide covers TOP-5 best self-propelled lawn mowers, their advantages, disadvantages and main differences. It will tell you about how these devices work and what safety risks they pose. Learn about the main aspects you should take into account before you buy a product, such as variable speeds, types of wheels, blade override, and a wash-out port for effective cleaning. The answers provided to the frequently asked questions will help you make the right choice.

What You Will Learn From This Guide:

Why We Need Self-Propelled Lawn Mowers

One of the best parts about living in the 21st century is that we have access to some truly innovative and engaging pieces of technology. We currently live in a golden age of technology, with developers going full speed ahead to not only make our everyday lives easier but also propel us further towards the future.

For example, the ways in which something as simple as mowing the lawn has become easier and easier over the years is a testament to what can happen when people with a goal unite to create progress. Oh, and they're always able to do it without sacrificing what made people so fond of previous models.

I know that when I was younger, learning to mow the lawn was a rite of passage that every kid went through at some point. Growing up, I wanted so badly to learn how to do it, but it was not until I was a teenager that my dad took me outside and showed me the ropes. After that, I was able to start my own lawn mowing business, taking care of people's lawns during the summer months in order to save up for college. Whenever I go to mow my own lawn, I can't help but feel nostalgia for the sweaty, summer days I had as a teenager, mowing the lawn and then taking a break for some ice cold lemonade.

This is why when I first heard a friend of mine wax poetic to me about the benefits of using a self-propelled lawn mower, I was surely skeptical of how efficient it could be. After all, do we really need to automate every aspect of our everyday lives? Well, after spending a bit of time with the device, I have to say that yes, perhaps we do. This is because using this device doesn't mean that you have to sacrifice the routines that you value in your life, but instead just trim the fat so you don't get caught up in them.

After spending a while trying to find a self-propelled that was just for me, I'm here with some information on these unique products. This is why in this Buyer's Guide I'll be giving you a look at how they even work, what you should be looking for when hitting the market, and seeing if 5 of the market's top products are really worth it.

Let's get right into it, shall we?

How Do Self-Propelled Lawn Mowers Work?

One of the most mystifying aspects of these devices is how they work. Being able to not push the lawnmower is a blessing, but how does the blessing work?

Well, think of it as having a drive system in the same way a car does. This means that once the motor is started, a device squeezes a handle that propels it into motion. In the case of self-propelled lawn mowers, this squeeze also creates the cutting motion for the grass, making the device run in a smooth, constant motion. All you have to do is turn the lawn mower as you see fit and control the direction!

Something that's certainly worth noting, though, when speaking about these devices is the inherent safety risks. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission of the United States of America (CPSC), 36,000 people were brought to emergency rooms for self-propelled lawn mower-related injuries between 2012 and 2014. That's a large amount for a single type of product, but this doesn't mean that you should stay away from them altogether.

Instead, I recommend you look into the safety precautions required before taking control of one of these devices. After you familiarize yourself with all of the different precautions you should be taking, then you're ready to use this kind of machine without worrying.

In the right context, I believe that these things are not only incredibly intuitive devices to use, but also very productive ones!

What Are The Types of Self-Propelled Lawn Mowers And Their Differences?

There are models that have different features, but the most important distinguishing factors are the speed, the way it starts, your wheels, and the ability to clean your device.

For example, some types of mowers will only have one speed, preventing you from being able to cut grass at different speeds and lengths. If you don't have a specific way in mind to cut your grass, this should be no problem, but those with a distinct vision should be cautious when purchasing a one-speed product unless they're already familiar with how it works. This is why having a device that gives you multiple speed settings is the way to go if you want true nuance when mowing your lawn.

The type of wheels and how they work are two other factors that distinguish different types of self-propelled lawn mowers. For example, the wheels can swivel, giving you access to do more complicated turns, or they could be motionless. They can also push the mower from the front, rear, or have 4 wheel drive.

Some earlier models might not have a blade override feature, but most modern models do. This is probably the most important part about any given model, as this feature stops the motor if you ever let go of the mower. To make sure you're safe while using the product, make sure you have one of these.

Having a wash-out port is also another essential distinction between different types of these devices, as this is often the difference between being able to effectively clean your mower or not. If your device has one of these, simply hook up a hose and rinse it out!

What To Look For When Buying A Product?

Ultimately, looking for your ideal model will depend on your personal preference. What to look for when buying a product really just has to do with making decisions regarding all of the distinguishing factors in the aforementioned "What are the Types of Self-Propelled Lawn Mowers?" section. In fact, the ideal lawn mower has all of the above features, giving you true flexibility.

However, I don't think there are any products on the market that currently offer all of the features I mentioned in a way that is effortless. After all, too much of a good thing can be bad. That being said, my favorite mower is one that doesn't have all of the aforementioned features but makes you forget about them due to how seamless using it is (more on that below).

TOP-5 Best Self-Propelled Lawn Mowers

Take a look at this review of TOP-5 best products within the price range from $100 to $600. These are 14-inch, 17-inch, and 20-inch mowers, with weight varying from 28 to 84 pounds. Some models have such beneficial features as swivel wheels, the system that mulches, bags, and rear discharges easily. The design also matters as the device should be convenient to handle, given that large lawn would be more time-consuming.

Durable 20-Inch Self-Propelled Lawn Mower | Greenworks

Durable Self-Propelled Lawn Mower: photo

On the lower end of self-propelled lawn mowers, this Greenworks 25022 is a great device to rely on if you're looking for something that just gets the job done. However, beyond this, it isn't more than your standard direct lawn mower. I'm including it on this list because it's a great value for your money, but those who are looking for swivel wheels or a device that comes with its own extension cord might be disappointed when confronted with this model.

It should be noted, though, that the 12 amp motor is incredibly efficient and quite durable! Even if the product isn't, it also comes with a 4-year warranty that allows you to feel confident about your purchase.

Greenworks: Check the current price

Compact 14-Inch Self-Propelled Lawn Mower | Sun Joe MJ401E

Compact Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Sun Joe: photo

If you're looking for a product that will fit a tight budget, this one is for you. This Sun Joe MJ401E has a lot of similar features to the aforementioned Greenworks model but is available for a fraction of the price. The Sun Joe MJ401E, though, is a bit less comfortable, mainly due to the uneven design and uncomfortable grip.

I can see this becoming an issue for those who deal with chronic pain that's related to gripping things, though. If you have a large lawn, this might also become an issue after an extended period of time. However, when compared to the other budget models on the market, this one clearly excels as the best of its class. On top of this, there's a great grass catcher that makes it easy to dispose of grass!

Sun Joe MJ401E: Check the current price

Walk Behind Mower with Removable 20V Batteries | Worx WG744

Walk Behind Mower with Removable 20V Batteries: photo

Sitting in the middle as a moderately-priced model, this model crosses the threshold of how much more you can get if you're willing to spend over $250 for your mower. What I love so much about this machine are the two removable 20V batteries that come with it, giving you an intense 40V sense of power each time you use it.

On top of this, there's also a great system that mulches, bags, and rear discharges easily! Though there's no adjustable speed, the flexible height adjustment this device gives is plenty and allows for some great customization.

Worx WG744: Check the current price

3-in-1 Self-Propelled Lawn Mower | Honda

Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Honda: photo

At the top of the price chain, this Honda HRR216K9VKA is a great device for anyone looking for a top-of-the-line self-propelled lawn mower. The crowning jewel of this lawn mower is the micro cut twin blades that let you cut your grass with the utmost precision.

I particularly like this device because of how clean of a cut it gives, with a lot of customization regarding how much height you're able to have as well. Another great element of this device is the variable speed selections that let you control the exact way you cut your grass! The price on this is obviously prohibitive for many people, but I'm including it on this list so you can see what a really high-quality product looks like.

Honda: Check the current price

20-Inch 56-Volt Cordless Lawn Mower | EGO Power+

56-Volt Cordless Lawn Mower: photo

This is a truly modern product that lets you have really the best of all worlds when cutting your grass. Something I think makes this product stand out from the rest is the 56V potential that this mower gives you when using it to cut grass. It's incredibly thorough, giving you a 20-inch cut capacity that makes it easier than ever to effectively cut grass.

Two things you won't find in this product are swiveling wheels and variable speeds, but in my experience using this device it's clear that you don't need those things. It's easy enough to use on its own, giving you a wonderful sense of flexibility. It's also easily contained with a durable outer shell, also being able to be folded up. If you're willing to spend the money for a reliable, long-lasting device that's also flexible, this is the product for you.

EGO Power+: Check the current price

Comparative Chart of the Effectiveness of Self-Propelled Lawn Mowers

Products Features

Greenworks

Durable Self-Propelled Lawn Mower min: photo

  • Weight: 56 pounds
  • 20-Inch deck
  • 12 Amp motor
  • 3-In-1 (mulching, side discharge, and rear bag)
  • Warranty: 4 years

Effectiveness: 9

Sun Joe MJ401E

Compact Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Sun Joe min: photo

  • Weight: 28 pounds
  • 14-Inch deck
  • 12-amp motor
  • Detachable grass catcher
  • Warranty: 2 years

Effectiveness: 8

Worx WG744

  • Weight: 38 pounds
  • 17-inch deck
  • Premium 2-in-1 design

Effectiveness: 9

Honda

Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Honda min: photo

  • Weight: 84 pounds
  • Variable speed from 0 to 4 mph
  • Micro cut twin blades

Effectiveness: 10

EGO Power+

  • Weight: 56 pounds
  • 20-inch deck
  • 3-in-1: mulching/ bagging/ side discharge
  • Warranty: 5 years

Effectiveness: 10

Safety Precautions

Since you will deal with a powerful machine, you should follow safety precautions specified in the user's manual, such as that of Honda. Although each model may have its own safety requirements, there are some common recommendations and tips, some of which I am going to mention below.

  • Wear protective clothing covering the entire body. Keep in mind that loose trousers or shirt may get stuck in the device.
  • Remove any barriers before you start the machine. This is mainly about stones, sticks or any hard objects that can be found on the way of your mower.
  • Make sure that all bolts and other components are in place. 
  • Adjust your mower only with the engine turned off.
  • Do not touch blades as they can harm you.
  • Keep the machine out of children's reach. 
  • Do not pull it towards yourself or any other person or animal because there is a possibility that you can lose control over it.
  • Do not use it in darkness or after drinking alcohol.

FAQ

Which self-propelled lawn mower is the best?
Out of all of the products I've tried, I have to say that the EGO Power+ 20-Inch 56-Volt Lithium-ion Cordless Lawn Mower is the best product currently on the market. It is incredibly easy to use and is housed in a very durable shell, making it an ideal unit to use for those looking for something reliable and effective.

The price might be a bit prohibitive for some people, but you more than get back what you put into it. I highly recommend the EGO Power+ as a product that has truly changed not just the way I mow my lawn but also go about my everyday life.

How much does the average unit weigh?
The average unit weighs about 40 pounds.

Can you pull a walk behind mower backwards?
On most products, you can release the drive bar that you're holding in order to get the machine to go backwards while the blades are still running. It's worth saying, though, that this type of usage should be approached with extra caution.

What's the difference between a self-propelled and push mower?
Like I mentioned in the section describing how these devices work, the difference between the two is that a self-propelled lawn mower operates on a system similar to a car, with a constant motor controlling not just the blades, but also the speed of the vehicle. As a result of this, you don't have to push it!

Which is best a front or rear wheel drive self-propelled mower?
Rear wheel self-propelled mowers tend to give you more control, but — if you didn't have to choose between front or rear — I would recommend a 4 wheel drive model, if possible.

Pros & Cons of Using These Products

Pros

  • Cut your lawn quicker
  • Not have to push your lawn mower
  • Increase your overall efficiency

Cons

  • Can be unsafe to use
  • Higher-end models might cost prohibitive for some users

Tips & Life-hacks for Using These Products

Though there are plenty of life hacks for how to use your direct lawn mower to run without needing a human following it, these methods are often very unsafe and put yourself and many others at risk. Because life hacks disregard the safety precautions necessary to safely use one of these devices, I'm not going to include them here.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, finding a self-propelled lawn mower is a great way to make your everyday life much easier. Though you still have to monitor and walk with the device, it's really incredible how much difference a motor can make. For me, I don't have to worry anymore about breaking a sweat while cutting the grass, but can still enjoy the nostalgia it brings me. I hope this guide has been helpful so when the time comes, you're able to find a model that's right for you!