Best Self-Propelled Lawn Mowers [2020]: Top Brands
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Best Self Propelled Lawn Mower: 7 Top Models of 2020

top selling self-propelled mowers

Ready to step up from a push mower to the big leagues?

In this article we’re going to cover the best self propelled lawn mowers on the market.  

Mowing is typically the most time consuming part of maintaining any lawn. Unless you’re one of the rare breed that just enjoys spending time mowing, cutting down on the time it takes to finish this chore is a big incentive.

Not all lawn mowers are alike.  In fact, even some of the big name brands suffer from quality control issues that will have you spending more time troubleshooting than mowing.  

Let’s take a look at what we found to be the best self propelled lawn mower brands and models out there.

7 Best Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Reviews

1. Best Overall: Honda HRX217K4HZA HRX Series Lawn Mower

If you’re looking for the best self propelled mower money can buy, look no further than Honda’s HRX series lawn mower. Honda has a long reputation of building great mowers that are built to last for many years and this model is no exception.

If you’re not familiar with Honda lawn mowers, just know that the reputation Honda has built over the years for their cars and power sports equipment extends to their lawn care equipment too.

This premium gas mower sports an electric starter to make your weekend much easier along with a battery system that Honda claims will stay charged all season long. Cruise control keeps you moving at one easy speed — up to four miles an hour.

Instead of a traditional single blade, the Honda HRX also comes with a twin-blade design. This set up is designed to cut grass more cleanly and finely, making it easier for you to dispose of grass clippings.

One other very important feature to note with this lawn mower is the ability to disengage the blade while the mower is still running.

While most mowers turn the blade constantly while the motor is running, this Honda allows users to disengage the blade while the mower is still turned on. This makes it much safer to stop and move objects in your path, or other tasks, without the hassle of restarting the mower after each break.

This Honda self-propelled lawn mower offers the best balance of power and features, easily making it our top pick.

Pros

  • Well known Honda durability and quality
  • Electric starter and auto choke for very easy starting
  • Cruise control helps you keep a steady, even speed while cutting
  • Twin blade design makes for finely clipped grass

Cons

  • Price may be a bit high for the average homeowner
  • Electric starter, twin blades, and other complex features may require more maintenance in the long run

Key Specs

  • Electric starter
  • Twin cutting blades
  • Cruise control system
  • Three-position folding handle
  • Powerful 200cc engine

2. Craftsman M310 RWD Self-Propelled Lawn Mower

If you still want a premium self propelled lawn mower but don’t have the cash for a premium Honda machine, the Craftsman M310 is another great option at a much lower cost.

The Craftsman M310 is a RWD self-propelled mower with a 163cc Briggs and Stratton engine, giving this machine plenty of power and simple starting with an easy to pull starter cord.

The wheels can easily and quickly be adjusted with a set of large adjustment knobs. With one knob to adjust the rear wheels and another for the front, you can forget about shuffling around your mower while trying to fumble each wheel into position.

Variable speed drive wheels are controlled directly from a set of levers on the ergonomically shaped handle. The handle can also be folded up quickly and easily for more convenient storage in smaller spaces.

Grass can be bagged, side discharged, or even mulched depending on your yard and lawn care needs.

Build quality is up to Craftman’s long-held standards of quality tools and power equipment. Plus, every Craftsman lawn mower is built right here in the USA.

While the Craftsman self propelled mower doesn’t have as much power as the Honda, it’s still a solid budget-priced self propelled lawn mower.

Pros

  • Variable speed RWD with large rear wheels for excellent maneuverability
  • Ergonomic handle & drive levers
  • Folds for easy storage
  • Cut options include bagging, side discharge, & mulching
  • Easy access deck wash system for quick cleaning

Cons

  • Lots of plastic parts could wear more quickly over time
  • Not a great choice for users who prefer a front-wheel-drive mower

Key Specs

  • 163cc Briggs and Stratton engine with easy pull starting system
  • Dual height adjustment levers
  • Variable drive speeds
  • Three cutting options including bagging, side discharge, and mulching
  • Deck wash attachment built right in

3. Troy-Bilt TB330 163cc Self-Propelled Lawn Mower

Troy-Bilt is another self propelled lawn mower manufacturer with a long history of building high-quality yard care equipment. This company produces everything from snow blowers to string trimmers — and of course lawn mowers.

This RWD Troy-Bilt is equipped with a 163cc Briggs and Stratton engine.  Power is controlled with an easy to access, variable speed controls on the ergonomically shaped handle.

Although there is no electric starter, this gas mower is equipped with an easy pulling starter assembly that’s located at a convenient height for most home operators.

Cutting height is easily adjustable with a single, large adjust knob located behind the left rear wheel. Simply adjust the cutting height once and you’re ready to mow.

Depending on your home and grass clipping needs, grass can either be mulched, bagged, or side ejected from this mower. Simply remove the bag and adjust the side plate as needed.

When you’re done mowing, the included deck wash attachment allows you to quickly and easily attach a hose and wash off the underside of the mower without lifting the deck.  

The Troy-Bilt is another solid self propelled lawn mower with great options including larger rear wheels for enhanced maneuverability.

Pros

  • Powerful, reliable Briggs and Stratton engine with easy to pull starter
  • Variable speed control rear wheel drive system for easy mowing on many different surfaces
  • Mulch, bag, or side eject grass with minimal effort
  • Troy-Bilt build quality and reliability
  • Easy to use deck wash system

Cons

  • No electric starter system
  • Handle does not fold as quickly and easily as some other models

Key Specs

  • 163cc Briggs and Stratton engine
  • Three in one cutting system including the option to bag, side eject or mulch grass
  • Single height adjustment handle
  • Variable speed RWD system

4. Craftsman M275 3-in-1 High-Wheeled Self-Propelled FWD Lawn Mower

Another quality Craftsman lawn mower built in the US, the M275 is a front wheel drive self propelled mower with a lot of great features and a very agreeable price.

An electric starter with an auto choke makes this gas mower a breeze to get going while a built-in pull cord serves as a reliable back up if needed. A 159cc engine powers the M275 once you’ve got it going, making this mower a good choice for small to medium-sized yards. Variable speed drive is controlled by a conveniently located lever on the handle.

Grass can be bagged, mulched, or side ejected with the included three in one clipping system. Bagged grass can be dumped very easily by simply pulling the bag upward.

Deck height adjustment is controlled by smaller tabs on the front and rear wheels. While there is only one tab for the rear and one for the front wheels, they are smaller and more difficult to maneuver than other models.

Taller eleven-inch rear wheels do make sharp turns and navigating uneven terrain a bit easier while mowing.

This Craftsman self propelled lawn mower offers some great features including a 159cc motor and an electric start.  It’s a solid choice at a good price.

Pros

  • Electric start makes starting this mower very easy
  • FWD is easier to maneuver in many yards and is preferred by many users
  • Three in one cutting system makes it easy to bag or mulch depending on your yard and preference
  • Simple speed control makes mowing very easy.

Cons

  • The handle is not ergonomically contoured like some models in this price range
  • The handle also does not fold as easily as other mowers

Key Specs

  • Powerful 159cc motor
  • Convenient electric start with auto choke feature
  • Three in one clipping system allows for bagging grass and mulching
  • Larger eleven-inch rear wheels

5. Troy-Bilt TB220 159cc FWD High Wheel Self-Propelled Lawn Mower

If you’re looking for a good, reliable self propelled lawn mower that won’t break the bank, be sure to check out the Troy-Bilt TB220.

This Troy-Bilt lawn mower comes with a powerful 159cc engine that starts with a simple pull cord. The engine powers a FWD system that is fully adjustable to the speed that works best for you and your needs.

Like many lawn mowers in this price range, the Troy-Bilt TB220 comes equipped with a three in one clipping system that’s capable of mulching, bagging, or side ejecting grass clippings.

The deck is adjustable from 3.75 inches in height down to 1.25 inches. Height is adjusted through adjustment tabs for both the front and rear. All wheels are just eight inches in height.

This gas powered self propelled lawn mower is a great choice for smaller yards or those on a budget.

Pros

  • Simple, reliable design is very effective for small to medium-sized yards
  • 159cc engine provides plenty of power
  • Convenient three in one clipping system provides plenty of options for most homeowners
  • FWD power for easy movement

Cons

  • Fewer features than some of the competition
  • No electric start or easy pull start features
  • Height adjustment knobs are a bit harder to work than some other mowers

Key Specs

  • 159cc motor
  • Easy to clean deck with built-in flush system
  • Three in one clipping system allows for mulching, bagging, and side ejection
  • FWD self-propulsion system

6. Honda HRR216VYA 21'' 3-in-1 Self Propelled Smart Drive Roto-stop Lawn Mower

Another high-quality product from Honda, the HRR216VYA lawn mower is a RWD self propelled lawn mower with features designed to make your life much easier.

This Honda sports a simple to use electric starter that’s also equipped with an auto choke feature. A reliable 160cc Honda engine powers this machine, giving you plenty of power to clip the average yard and the promise of years of reliable service.

Grass can be bagged, mulched, or simply side discharged with the already equipped three in one cutting system. And, like many other Honda mowers, this model comes equipped with the Roto-stop system which allows the blade to be stopped while the mower is still running.

The 21 inch cutting deck can be adjusted to six different positions with a maximum height of four inches and a minimum of 1.25 inches.

This Honda self propelled lawn mower is also equipped with a large 1.9 bushel grass bag. This allows you to mow longer with fewer stops to empty the bag if you’re bagging your grass.

Another exciting feature of this lawn mower is the adjustable handle. Unlike most mowers, the handle of this mower can actually be extended or retracted based on the height of the user.

When it’s time to store this Honda lawn mower the handle can also be quickly and easily folded into a smaller size.

Pros

  • Easy to start with electric starter
  • Legendary Honda reliability and plenty of power for most yards
  • Three in one cutting system gives users options to suit many different yards
  • Quick folding handles with height adjustment feature

Cons

  • This premium mower comes with a premium price tag
  • All wheels are just eight inches in height

Key Specs

  • Large 1.9 bushel grass bag
  • 21 inch wide cutting deck with dual cutting blades
  • 3-in-1 cutting system allows for bagging, mulching, and side discharge
  • Powerful and reliable Honda 160cc engine
  • Electric starter with auto choke feature

7. Snapper XD 82V MAX Electric Cordless 21-Inch Self-Propelled Lawnmower

Tired of dealing with gas and oil? Want to mow the lawn without pumping noxious fumes into the atmosphere every time you crank up your mower?

The Snapper XD 82V MAX is a powerful electric self-propelled lawn mower with a great feature set and plenty of battery life to tackle most yards.

Electric lawn mowers have come a long way in recent years, offering comparable power to some gas mowers.

An 82-volt Briggs and Stratton motor power this electric mower go with power coming from a 2Ah lithium ion battery. This set up allows users to mow for up to 45 minutes on a single charge. 

If that’s not quite enough time to make it through your yard, this Snapper actually comes with an additional battery so you can keep going without waiting for it to recharge.

This self propelled lawn mower has an all steel 21 inch cutting deck that’s designed to either bag, mulch or side discharge grass. The height of the mowing deck is also fully adjustable with a single lever controlling all four wheels.

Speed is fully adjustable with this mower and the electric motor turns on with the simple press of a button. And because the Snapper XD 82V MAX is all electric, mowing your lawn will be almost completely silent.

If you’re looking for a self-propelled lawn mower but are tired of dealing with gas, this is a solid choice.

Pros

  • Simple, quiet operation that’s better for you and the environment
  • No gas, oil or exhaust fumes to deal with
  • Powerful 82 volt motor for yards up to 1/2 acre
  • Two batteries included
  • 3-in-1 cutting system: bag, mulch, or side eject

Cons

  • Run time is limited to battery life
  • Power and battery life make this mower a poor choice for larger yards

Key Specs

  • 82 volt Briggs and Stratton electric motor
  • Two 2Ah lithium ion batteries included
  • Standard size 21 inch cutting deck
  • Cutting height adjustable to seven positions

Tips On Purchasing a Self Propelled Lawn Mower

If you’ve never purchased a lawn mower before or don’t have much experience with outdoor power equipment, shopping for a self propelled mower can feel pretty intimidating.

How big of a lawn mower do you really need?

Should you get a push mower or self-propelled mower?

What features should you look for?

Gas or electric?

While all of these questions are important, it’s vital that you begin with your needs — don’t just look for the latest and greatest features. 

What should I look for when buying a self propelled lawn mower?

The best self-propelled lawn mowers are great for just about any size yard.  Before you even begin to look for a mower, take a look at your yard. Start your search by determining what’s best for your unique situation.

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you survey your property and needs-

Yard Size, Shape, & Obstacles

Is your yard big or small?

Are there lots of obstacles, islands or plants in your yard?

If you have a relatively small yard or limited storage space, you might be better served by an electric model or a simpler, smaller gas push mower that’s easier to store.

If you have a larger yard then a self propelled mower is a great solution.  They require less physical strength and stamina.

Terrain & Hills

The size of your yard is only part of the equation. Mowing a hilly yard is much different than a flat, square lot.  Self-propelled lawn mowers are ideal in these circumstances.

If your yard does have a lot of hills or is oddly shaped, you may want to consider a rear wheel drive mower with larger back wheels. This type of gas mower is easier to turn and maneuver.

On the other hand, if you live on a relatively flat lot, a front wheel drive self propelled mower is usually a better choice.

Grass Type and Lawn Care Preferences

Another major factor to consider is how you’d prefer to manage your grass clippings.

Many homeowners like to bag their grass or have grass that benefits from bagging. Others prefer the simplicity of mulching or have grass and soil that’s better off with mulching.

If your grass is thick you’ll want to consider a bagging lawn mower as thicker grass is more difficult to mulch.

Personal Preferences

It’s always a good idea to keep your physical needs in mind too. If you have back problems or other physical limitations a push mower may not be an option.

Or maybe you just want to save yourself some time and effort.  If so, consider picking up a self propelled lawn mower with an electric starter or other features like one touch height adjustment.

Some self-propelled lawn mowers also come equipped with adjustable handles or other ergonomic features that make them much easier to operate for users of all sizes, ages, and abilities to use.

Be sure to keep your needs — and your yard — in mind when shopping.

Self-Propelled Mower FAQ

What is the most powerful self propelled lawn mower?

If you’re looking for a powerful self propelled mower, the Honda HRX217K4HZA is tough to beat.

With a 200cc engine, this lawnmower has a much larger power plant than most mowers this size. The big motor on this Honda makes it a good choice for yards of all sizes, but this much power is best suited to large yards and those with tough terrain.

The Honda HRX217K4HZA also comes equipped with dual blades, allowing for this model to quickly cut through tough grass and mulch or bag it quickly.

Honda’s well-established reliability really helps make this mower one of the best all around choices on the market.

Which is best front or rear wheel drive self propelled mower?

Most self propelled lawn mowers come in one of two flavors: front (FWD) or rear wheel drive (RWD).  There are also all-wheel drive lawn mowers.  All-wheel lawn mowers are great for rough and uneven terrain.

While both types of mowers have their pros and cons, there are real advantages to choosing one type or the other.

FWD Self Propelled mowers

Front wheel drive lawn mowers are generally best for level terrain or smaller yards. With the drive wheels up front, it’s easier to lift the front wheels and turn the mower quickly as is usually needed with smaller yards.

But front wheel drive can make it more challenging to gain traction on rough or hilly ground.

RWD Self Propelled mowers

Traditional self propelled mowers are almost all rear wheel drive. And it’s no surprise why.

Rear wheel drive mowers have many advantages.

While they might not turn quite as quickly as their front wheel drive counterparts, these mowers have much better traction on tough terrain. With traction better centered on the mower, it’s easier to keep the unit moving.

Choosing the right lawn mower for your yard

Choosing a front, rear, or all-wheel drive mower ultimately depends on your yard and needs.

Go with front wheel drive for a flatter yard. But if you have hills or mixed terrain, it’s probably a better idea to go for a rear or all-wheel drive model.

Are electric lawn mowers any good?

Electric mowers are a great solution for those with smaller yards.  They’re also ideally suited for those with thinner grass types.  

However, if you live in a warm, humid climate you might want to consider a gas powered mower as thicker grasses can be tough on electric mower engines.

An important consideration with an electric self-propelled mower is that the battery life will be shorter as the drive mechanism requires additional power.

If waiting on a battery to charge before you can finish mowing doesn’t appeal to you, a self-propelled gas mower might be a better solution.

What is the best brand of self propelled lawn mowers?

With so many different lawn mower brands available, it can be tough to know which ones are the best. But when it comes to buying a lawn mower, there are really only two factors that truly matter: reliability and the needs of you and your property.

Let’s face it…

Self-propelled lawn mowers are not cheap to buy or maintain. If you’re going to invest in a piece of lawn care equipment, you want it to last for more than a season or two.

When it comes to reliability, Honda is one of the best brands in the outdoor power equipment business. While you may only be familiar with Honda’s cars or motorcycles, the company has been producing lawn mowers and other outdoor power equipment for nearly as long as they’ve been building road-going vehicles.

The other great thing about Honda lawn mowers is how versatile they are. Pretty much every self-propelled lawn mower they make comes equipped with a three in one bagging system and most also come with Honda’s unique dual blade system. 

These features, along with others like the ability to stop and start the blade while the mower is running, make Honda mowers very versatile and well suited to many different properties.

And if that’s not enough, Honda also has one of the best service networks and warranty programs in the business.  So if you’re looking for the best, a Honda’s self-propelled mowers are the way to go.

About the Author Jason Thompson

Jason is a work from home dad who has a passion for DIY projects, yard work, and SEC Football. His background is IT, but he's always fancied himself as a part-time ship welder, landscaper, and short order cook. During the week he can be found on his laptop 10 hours-a-day, but on the weekends he escapes to the local DIY Cave to play with REAL toys.  You can also find him on Facebook, Twitter, and can contact him via email.