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 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 top performing brands and models out there.
If you’re looking for the best self-propelled mower money can buy, look no further than Honda’s HRX series mowers. 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.
If you still want a premium self propelled 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 rear wheel drive 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, all Craftsman mowers are built right here in the USA.
While the Craftsman doesn’t have as much power as the Honda, it’s still a solid budget-priced 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 Troy-Bilt is equipped with a 163cc Briggs and Stratton engine which drives the rear wheels. 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.
Another quality Craftsman 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. Drive speed is adjustable by the user and 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 wheels and one for the front, 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.
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 comes with a powerful 159cc engine that starts with a simple pull cord. The engine powers a front wheel drive system that is fully adjustable to the speed that works best for you and your needs.
Like many 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 wheels. All wheels are just eight inches in height.
This gas mower is a great choice for smaller yards or those on a budget.
Another high-quality product from Honda, the HRR216VYA is a rear wheel drive 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 model 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 lawnmower 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, the handle can also be quickly and easily folded into a smaller size.
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 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 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.
If you’ve never purchased a lawn mower before or don’t have much experience with outdoor power equipment, shopping for a mower can feel pretty intimidating.
How big of a lawnmower do you really need?
Should you get a push mower or self-propelled mower?
What features should you look for?
Gas mower 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.
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.
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.
The size of your yard is only part of the equation. Mowing a hilly yard is much different than a flat, square lot.
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 mower is usually a better choice.
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.
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 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.
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 or rear wheel drive.
While both types of mowers have their pros and cons, there are real advantages to choosing one type or the other.
Front wheel drive 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.
Rear wheel drive 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 a rear 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 wheel drive model.
Are electric lawn mowers any good?
Electric lawn 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.
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 mower, there are really only two factors that truly matter: reliability and the needs of you and your property.
Let’s face it…
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. Nearly all of their mowers come 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.
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.