There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to self-propelled lawn mowers. Some are meant for commercial use, while others are best for residential use. They also differ in terms of their power source, cutting width, and type.
Additionally, the price of self-propelled mowers differs from one brand to the next. Thus, getting one that fits your yard needs can be a little challenging. Fortunately, I have done the heavy lifting for you.
I have compiled this unbiased review of the 6 best self-propelled mowers in the market today. I have also included a comprehensive buyer’s guide to inform your purchase.
Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Self-Propelled Lawn Mowers
In this section, I’ll share a breakdown of all the things you need to consider when choosing a self-propelled mower.
- The size of your yard
If you have a more extensive lawn, it only makes sense to buy a lawn mower to complete the job as soon as possible. Self-propelled lawn mowers are ideal for mowing medium to large-sized yards. For a small-sized lawn, a push mower may be your best pick.
- Speed control
Some self-propelled lawn mowers have a speed control setting that allows you to choose or set the speed you’d want to operate your machine. Others are only driven at a constant rate. Consider your speed needs, and choose a mower that best suits your needs.
- Power source
Self-propelled lawn mowers are either battery or gas-powered. Although most types are gas-powered, the battery-powered options are quick and equally effective, they have their share of flaws.
An electric mower can only be used near a power outlet. Battery-powered options, on the other hand, need to be recharged from time to time. The battery can go off when you least expect it.
Gas-powered self-propelled lawn mowers win the favorite spot for most landscapers for their reliability. Gas is also a more affordable fuel than electricity.
The run-time of a self-propelled mower largely depends on its power source. In electric models, it merely refers to the duration a battery lasts before it needs recharging. For gas-powered options, this is the duration it takes before the mower needs refueling. Always choose the option that will give you the highest run-time.
- Suitability of the user
If you are searching for the best self-propelled lawn mower for an older adult, go for one with varying speeds. Also, ensure that the slowest speed is slow enough for the operator. Better yet, choose one that can automatically adjust its speed depending on the user’s pace. An option with a non-varying speed may be too fast for them.
- Cutting Options
Self-propelled lawn mowers can be classified into three main types depending on their cutting options.
- Single-option. These are the most basic and will only do what every mower is made to do – to cut grass.
- Two-in-one mowers. These feature two cutting options, including mulching, bagging, or side-discharging.
- Three-in-one mowers. 3-in-1 options are the most versatile in that they allow the user to enjoy all three cutting options in one machine.
Self-propelled lawn mowers are excellent on slopes compared to other types of push mowers. However, if the engine power is too low, a mower may not do well on slopes. Thus, if your lawn is particularly hilly or uneven, choose an engine model that is powerful enough for your kind of terrain.
- Mower cutting width
Generally, most self-propelled lawn mowers have a cutting width of between 21 to 30 inches. The cutting width represents the amount of grass your mower cuts in a single cut. Thus, if you have a large-sized yard, a mower with a wider cutting width may be your best pick.
However, mowers with a wider cutting width are often costlier than standard options. They’re also bigger and will require larger storage space. What’s more, they are not easy to maneuver around obstacles such as outdoor furniture, trees, and other landscaping features.
- Adjustable deck height
The ideal cutting height for any lawn will differ depending on the season. Usually, it is lower during cold seasons and higher during summer. Choose a mower with a broad deck adjustment range for better versatility.
- Electric or recoil start
In most mowers, you’ll need to pull a cord to start the engine. However, there are now modern electric start options which you can start with a simple press of a button.
- Wheel size
Most self-propelled lawn mowers wheels are either 6 or 8 inches wide. If possible, choose those with wider wheels. The wheels will work better on lawns with loose soil or tall grass.
6 Best Self-propelled Lawn Mowers
Whether you are looking for the best electric or gas self-propelled lawn mower, residential or commercial, there is something for you.
Best Electric: Greenworks Cordless Twin Force Self-Propelled Mower
Top on the list of the best self-propelled lawn mowers is a product by Greenworks, renowned for their top-notch garden tools. The Greenworks Cordless Twin Force Lawn Mower is no less.
It is a battery-powered self-propelled mower with a power rating of 40V, making it ideal for mowing lawns of up to ½ an acre. It comes with two battery sets, 4Ah, and 2Ah, offering a longer run-time of up to 60 minutes.
The mower is set to automatically switch to the backup batteries immediately after the main battery runs out. Operating it is easy. It also has a push start button, making it a breeze to start.
What’s more, this mower uses a unique SmartCut tech, which automatically adjusts your mower’s power usage and run-time, depending on the grass’s thickness.
Great Cutting Power
Another standout feature of the Greenworks G-MAX 40V Mower is its cutting power. It features a twin blade system, rotating in different directions for superior cut quality. Its bagging and mulching abilities are also impressive.
Thanks to its wide 20-inch cutting deck, it offers a decent cutting speed for mid-sized yards. The cutting height is also versatile with five possible options, between 1 ¾ to 3 3/8 inches.
With a weight of 42.5 lbs., the mower is relatively light for its size, making it easy to transport. It also maneuvers around obstacles with ease, and its operation is also super quiet. The handles also have a thin foam layer for added comfort during mowing.
|It has a long battery life of up to 60 minutes (or more)||Handle height could have been adjustable|
|Quick start push button||It doesn’t perform well on long, dense, or wet grass|
|Wide 20-inch cutting deck for quicker mowing|
|A smart cut technology automatically adjusts the run-time depending on the thickness of your yard|
|Four years mower warranty and two years battery warranty|
This Greenworks G-MAX 40V is quite an affordable self-propelled mower. Its performance is well fit for mid-sized lawns.
Best Gas: Craftsman M215 Self-Propelled Mower
Versatile Cutting Heights
Do you want to achieve a short golf-course manicured lawn, or are you looking for a light trim? This mower comes in very handy regardless of your mowing needs. It has a dual lever that allows you a whopping six cutting heights to suit every user’s cutting requirement.
The cutting heights can be adjusted from 1.25” to 3.75”. Plus, the mower has a 21-inch cutting deck to finish the job quickly.
Impressive Performance on all Terrains
Thanks to its powerful 159cc gas engine, the Craftsman M272 has enough power to mow on all types of terrains.
It also has a high-wheeled design, with the rear wheels measuring 11” while the front wheels are 8”. The wider rear wheels are fortified with extra traction to ensure stability during operation. This mower is a front-wheel drive, driven by squeezing a hand lever that allows you to increase your mower’s speed.
It also has an electric start. However, there’s also a recoil start, which acts as a backup when the batteries run out of charge. Each purchase comes with one V20* Lithium-Ion battery and a charger.
With a 21-inch cutting deck, this mower works quickly to complete the job in the shortest time possible. It has a rear discharge, side discharge, and excellent mulching abilities. These are useful in ensuring a well-manicured and evenly cut lawn.
It also comes with a grass catcher to collect all your grass clippings. Assembling it is also straightforward. As a sign of quality guarantee, each machine comes with a two-year manufacturer’s warranty.
The Craftsman M275 159cc Self-propelled mower is ideal for mowing small to medium-sized lawns
|Easy assembly, which is complete within 15 minutes||Heavy compared to the rest|
|It has both an electric and recoil start||It doesn’t perform well on large-sized lawns|
|It comes with a removable bagger to collect all your grass clippings|
|The high-wheeled design ensures better traction on all terrains|
|The cutting deck is adjustable to six cutting heights to meet all user cutting needs|
If you are looking for a self-propelled gas mower that’s perfect for residential use, then Craftsman M275 is what you need.
Best Overall: EGO Power+ Cordless Electric Self-Propelled Mower
With the EGO Power+, you’ll have an electric self-propelled mower that is as powerful as the gas-powered counterparts, yet the battery charge lasts long enough to mow a considerable land size.
This is a compact, sleek, and stylish mower. It has a plastic body. The wheels, too, are made of sturdy plastic, which is strong enough to maneuver even thick lawns with tall grass.
Easy to Set Up
Each purchase comes with three menus, one for the battery, one for the mower, and one for the charger. The menus are straightforward and easy to follow, and the setup process will be complete in ten minutes or less. It also has a grass catcher that is as well easy to attach.
Another great feature of this mower is that it comes with LED headlights. The headlights provide enough light to illuminate your lawn even during the darker hours.
The EGO Power+ LM2142SP has an electric start. It will automatically start with a press of a button. Its operation is also super quiet, allowing you to hold everyday conversations as you mow.
Maneuverability is also excellent. Plus, thanks to its super lightweight, mowing up and down a slope is a breeze. You do not have to battle the mower’s weight on a hill. It also has a 21-inch cutting deck, which is adjustable to six cutting heights. The minimum cutting height is 1.5”, adjustable to 4”.
The feature that makes this mower outshine the rest is its long battery life. It has two 5.0Ah batteries with a run-time of up to 80 minutes on a single charge. They are also quick charging, and each battery will be full in about 40 minutes.
The mower also has a variable speed of between 3.1 to 9MPH, giving you added control over your mowing.
|Powerful 56V mower that delivers power that is similar to that of a gas-powered mower||The handles height is not adjustable|
|Long-lasting dual batteries with a run time of up to 80 minutes||Price is high-end|
|Quick electric start push button|
|Bright LED headlights allow you to work both day and night|
|The cutting deck has six height settings|
The EGO Power+ LM2142SP is a high-end residential self-propelled lawn mower that offers performance that is as good as gas-powered mowers. However, it is a bit costly.
Best for Tight Spaces: PowerSmart DB2322S Self-Propelled Mower
The PowerSmart DB2322S Gas Self-propelled is compact and highly maneuverable, making it ideal for use on tight and oddly-shaped yards.
Measuring 37 x 25 x 18 inches, with a weight of 93 pounds, the PowerSmart DB2322S is compact enough for use in tight yards. It is also lightweight and easy to use. Thanks to the 11.5-inch rear wheels, this machine can also work well in uneven terrain or hilly yards.
It is a gas-powered self-propelled mower that has an easy-to-use pull cord. The mower packs a powerful 196 cc engine to give the needed power for small to medium lawns.
The PowerSmart DB2322S cutting deck has a width of 22 inches, wide enough to mow a considerable area while still allowing easy maneuverability. It has five cutting heights that range from 1.2 to 3.5 inches. The cutting heights allow you flexibility depending on the length of the grass you’re mowing.
What’s more, the deck is dome-shaped and made from durable steel. Its blades are sturdy and sharp to give a clean and smooth cut.
This mower has a 3-in-1 deck featuring a bagger, side discharge option, and mulching capability. The grass catcher is generously sized to catch all grass clippings for a clean yard. It is also easy to attach and detach.
|Powered by a powerful 196 cc engine to handle all kinds of terrains||The mower deck would have been thicker|
|Light and compact design ideal for tight lawns|
|3-in-1 deck with a side discharge, bagger, and mulching capability|
|Five cutting heights for all your mowing needs|
Being a rear-wheel self-propelled mower, the PowerSmart DB2322S is easy to move and mow even on uneven or hilly terrain, which makes it perfect for small-sized yards.
Best Budget: Greenworks M040L02 Self-Propelled Mower
Here is yet another great product from Greenworks Store. The M040L02 is a powerful battery-powered self-propelled mower that is both functional and efficient.
Compact and Lightweight
Measuring 62.25 x 42.25 x 21.5 with a weight of 67 pounds, the Greenworks M040L02 is a compact and lightweight battery-powered self-propelled mower. It is made from steel, which is both durable and sturdy. Plus, you can store the mower vertically to save on space.
The large 21-inch cutting deck makes mowing large yards quick and easy. Thanks to the brushless drive motor, the mower is quiet and will last longer.
This self-propelled mower has a dual battery port. You can store one battery as a backup while the machine runs on the other. The mower uses either a 5Ah or 6Ah battery. The 5Ah battery offers a run-time of up to 45 minutes when fully charged. On the other hand, the 6Ah battery gives a run-time of up to 60 minutes.
This mower offers great performance at its price point, from its quick push-button start to its SmartCut tech. It has three-in-one settings, and you either bag, mulch, or side-discharge the grass clippings.
The SmartCut technology allows the mower to adjust its power usage based on the lawn height to ensure optimum run time and performance. Plus, it has a single lever with seven height levels for flawless height adjustments.
|Compact and easy to store||Battery run time could have been longer|
|Easy to start||The mower is challenging to steer in reverse|
|Easy speed control|
|Dual battery port allows you to use one battery and have the other battery as backup|
|7-level height adjustments|
This Greenworks is one of the best budget self-propelled mowers. It is ideal for mowing lawns of up to ½ an acre. It is also versatile and offers the ultimate value for your money.
Best for Commercial use: Greenworks Pro Brushless Self-Propelled Mower
If you are looking for a self-propelled mower that is powerful enough to handle frequent and heavy mowing, the Greenworks Pro could be your best pick.
This mower weighs 64.15 pounds and measures 62.6 x 37.8 x 22.05 inches. Although this isn’t the lightest mower out there, it packs down to a small size allowing for vertical storage. It will take up tiny storage space in your garage.
Power Rating and Battery Life
Greenworks has once again outdone itself with this self-propelled lawn mower. It is a battery-powered mower that runs on a 4Ah battery with a power rating of 80V to mow even the toughest and tallest lawns. Its performance is similar to that of a 160cc gas engine mower.
When the battery is fully charged, the mower can run for up to 60 minutes. Every purchase includes a charger and one 4Ah battery. Thanks to SmartCut technology, the mower automatically senses the load amount and adjusts power depending on the grass thickness.
This mower has an electric start which is quick and easy. It has 3-in-1 settings, as you can either mulch, side-discharge, or bag the grass clippings.
Plus, the single-lever cutting height adjustment, with 7 height levels, makes it super easy to use and control. The rear wheels are large, measuring 10” for better stability and traction.
|Powerful enough to cut thick and tall grass||Battery run time could have been longer|
|Packs down to a small size that allows vertical storage|
|The three-in-one deck allows you to mulch, bag, or side-discharge grass clippings|
|The 21-inch cutting deck offers quick mowing speeds as it cuts vast areas|
|Quick charging batteries|
The Greenworks Pro 80V 21-inch Mower is ideal for commercial landscapers. It has a 21-inch cutting deck, making the mowing process quicker and more efficient.
The Final Verdict
The best self-propelled lawn mower is the Greenworks Cordless Twin Force Mower. It has an impressive battery life of up to 60 minutes, it has excellent maneuverability, and its performance is top-notch. However, if you prefer a gas-powered option, the Craftsman M215 is a great pick.
Be sure to use the tips I’ve shared above in the buyer’s guide section to inform your buying decision.