The Best Self-Propelled Lawn Mowers — Our 2021 Reviews
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The Best Self-Propelled Lawn Mowers in 2021

Tired of pushing your mower, but not quite ready for a riding mower? What you need is the best self-propelled lawn mower for your yard.

Let’s have a look at the top self-propelled lawn mowers available for purchasing online in 2021.

Backyard Boss Top 4 Self-Propelled Lawn Mowers for 2021

  PRODUCT FEATURES  
Greenworks Pro 80V Self-Proelled Cordless Lawn Mower - The Best Self-Propelled Lawn Mowers in 2021 Greenworks Pro 80V Self-Proelled Cordless Lawn Mower
  • Cutting radius: 21 Inches
  • Powered by: Brushless motor and 80V Li-Ion batteries
  • Warranty: 2 years
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Craftsman M270 High-Wheeled Self-Propelled Mower - The Best Self-Propelled Lawn Mowers in 2021 Craftsman M270 High-Wheeled Self-Propelled Mower
  • Cutting radius: 21 Inches
  • Powered by: 159cc gasoline engine
  • Warranty: 2 years
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Powersmart DB2322s Gas Self Propelled Lawn Mower - The Best Self-Propelled Lawn Mowers in 2021 Powersmart DB2322s Gas Self Propelled Lawn Mower
  • Cutting radius: 22 Inches
  • Powered by: 196cc gasoline engine
  • Warranty: 2 years
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Ego Power+ LM2142SP Cordless Self-Propelled Lawn Mower - The Best Self-Propelled Lawn Mowers in 2021 Ego Power+ LM2142SP Cordless Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
  • Cutting radius: 21 Inches
  • Powered by: Brushless motor and 56V Ego ARC Lithium batteries
  • Warranty: 5 years
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Why You Can Trust US

For many homeowners, self-propelled lawn mowers are one of the best inventions since sliced bread. Especially for seniors, and folks with serious physical disabilities, like me, a self-propelled mower can be the difference between whether you need to pay someone to care for your lawn or if you can manage it on your own.

When I was a kid, my grandma had a self-propelled lawn mower. It was the first lawn mower that I ever used. A couple of years later, when I started mowing yards for extra cash, I often daydreamed about that self-propelled machine while I muscled my parent’s standard push mower over acre after acre of grass. Flash forward two and a half decades, and I am now the proud owner of my own self-propelled lawn mower.

Best Electric Model

Greenworks Pro 80V Self-Proelled Cordless Lawn Mower
    Looking for a battery-powered mower that reviles the power and reliability of gas-powered self-propelled mowers? Enter the Greenworks PRO 80V lawn mower.

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What We Like About It: This unit is not only self-propelled, it is a 3-in-1 mulcher, mower, and bagger. Even more, it runs on electricity and is far quieter than gas mowers.

The Greenworks PRO 80V is a cordless battery-operated and self-propelled lawn mower. A push-button start system lets you fire the mower up quickly and easily every time. It runs for up to an hour per full charge and requires around the same amount of time to charge its 80V Li-Ion 2 Ah batteries.

The mower is equipped with powerful brushless motors and operates with the equivalence of a 160cc gas-powered mower. Smart Cut Load sensing technology makes sure your grass is cut as precise as a professional landscaping machine. Further, the machine functions as a mulcher and bagger in addition to mowing. It has a 21-inch cutting radius.

Who Should Buy This: If you are interested in upgrading to an electric mower, this could be the one. It is just as powerful as gas mowers and takes very little time to charge in comparison to other electric models.

Best Gas Model

Craftsman M270 High-Wheeled Self-Propelled Mower
    From one of the most trusted names in the business, the Craftsman M275 is one of the most reliable and easiest self-propelled lawn mowers to use on the market.

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What We Like About It: For a gas-powered mower, we love the fact that this unit never needs priming or choking. All you need to do is push the button and you are up and running. We also love that it can be used to mulch or bag clippings.

The Craftsman M275 is a 159cc gas-powered self-propelled lawn mower with a built-on bagger. It has an electric start that runs on a V20 Li-Ion battery and comes with a charger. That means there is no priming necessary. Likewise, you will never have to fiddle with a choke either.

The mower is a 3-in-1, as it works for mowing, mulching, and bagging. It is propelled with a front-wheel drive, which you can operate via a single squeezebox-style lever. The deck on the unit houses a 21-Inch blade that is great for small and medium-sized yards.

The tires are eight-inch on the front end and eleven-inch on the rear. They feature zigzag tread for extra traction and durability. The unit has a smooth single-speed transmission as well. Lastly, it comes with a two-year warranty.

Who Should Buy This: Tired of fiddling with all of the various choke and speed settings on your old lawn mower? Upgrade to this unit and never fool with pumping a primer button, jerking on a pull cord to get started, or switching back and forth from one gear to the next as you go.

Best for Uneven Terrain

Powersmart DB2322s Gas Self Propelled Lawn Mower
    Have a larger than average yard to maintain? The PowerSmart DB2322 could be just the self-propelled helper you need to keep the grass cut.

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What We Like About It: For a self-propelled gas mower, this one has a powerful engine, and is multifunctional. Even more, it works well in yards of any size and terrain type.

The PowerSmart DB2322S comes with a big 196cc engine and a lightweight yet heavy-duty body. And, as with our first two picks, this one also functions as a 3-in-1 mower, mulcher, and bagger.

The unit has five positional settings for adjusting the height of the blades which makes it ideal for cutting short, medium, and tall grass. It also works well on overgrowth and woodsy weeds. The rear wheels are oversized, which makes it even easier to maneuver regardless of the terrain.

All things considered, the main drawback to this mower, is that it does not have a push-button. It comes with a pull-start ignition. The DB2322S comes with a two-year warranty from the manufacturer.

Who Should Buy This: If you have been pushing a mower to upkeep your medium or large yard, upgrading to this bad boy can drastically reduce your time and effort. Further, if you have hills, holes, or ditches on your property, this mower will make short work of the grass regardless of the lumps, bumps, and slopes.

Best Cordless

EGO Power+ LM2142SP Cordless Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
    Are you updating your lawn care and house hold tools to the newest electric ones? If so, you REALLY need to give the EGO Power+ LM2142SP a closer look; we think it could really be the one.

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What We Like About It: We love that this machine comes with a powerful brushless motor that puts most electric mowers to shame. It is no wonder the manufacturer vouches for it with a five-year warranty. The fact that you can use batteries from other EGO ARC products is also rather convenient.

The EGO Power+ LM2142SP is a battery-powered self-propelled mower. It’s equipped with PeakPower technology that allows the combined power of dual batteries. Any EGO ARC Lithium batteries are compatible with this unit. That means you can swap out batteries from your power tools to your lawn mower, and vice versa.

As with the other picks on the list, this unit is also a 3-in-1 mower, mulcher, and bagger. The mower comes with a high-powered brushless motor that runs for just under two hours on each full charge, using the included 56 V 5.0 Ah Ego ARC Lithium batteries. However, results may vary if you switch out batteries from elsewhere.

There are six positions for adjusting the cutting height from one and a half to four inches. Make these adjustments almost effortlessly with the unit’s one-handed controls. The mower is equipped with bright LED headlights, which means you can mow in the late evening and early mornings as you see fit.

Who Should Buy This: If you are on the market for a big bad self-propelled mower that runs on electricity, the EGO Power+ LM2142SP should be on the top of your list of mowers to consider purchasing.

What to Look for in a Self-Propelled Mower

Self-propelled cordless electric gas mower by GreenWorks.

Now that we’ve covered our choices for the best self-propelled mowing machines, it’s time to have a closer look at some of the most significant factors to consider while shopping for the right one.

Starter type

First and foremost, you will want to know what sort of starter it comes with. There are two types: pull-start, and push-button electric start. If you don’t choose an electric start, be prepared to prime and choke your mower in addition to yanking on the starter cord.

Transmission

The transmission makes a huge difference in how your self-propelled mower will run. A set transmission has one speed and there are no choking or gears to worry about. A variable transmission requires adjusting as you go.

Wheels

The size and type of wheels are another major consideration to keep in mind while shopping for the right self-propelled mower for you. Typically, you want the back wheels to be 50 to 10-percent larger than the front wheels. That way, the mower is much easier to maneuver and it will work better on slopes.

Cutting Width

The size of the deck and the blade(s) that it houses determine the cutting width of your mower. Depending on how much grass you have, and how few passes you want to make, the larger the cutting width the better. If you don’t mind making a few extra trips around the yard, a smaller width will do just fine. In some cases, a smaller width may even be more desirable. For example, if you have a small yard or narrow passages to maintain.

Override

Blade override is a feature that comes with many self-propelled mowers, but not all of them. This option makes it possible for the mower to shut off automatically as soon as you let go of the bail. Self-propelled mowers without a blade override feature can be a danger, especially if you have pets or small children.

If your mower does have an override, do NOT tie it off as this can result in even more danger. All it takes is a second for a finger to get cut off. Just ask my brother; he almost lost his hand in our grandmother’s mower when he was four or five years old because she had a bandana wrapped around the bail.

Self-Propelled Lawn Mower FAQs

Close-up of a man pushing a green lawn mower across lush green grass.

What is the difference between a self-propelled lawn mower and a push mower?

Self-propelled mowers work with a drive system similar to what is found in vehicles. You simply clutch the “bail,” or hand bar, to engage the drive system and the mower moves forward on its own. All you need to do thereafter is keep your hand on the bail and use the handle(s) to guide it where you want to mow.

Push mowers, also known as walk-behind mowers, on the other hand, are just as their name suggests; mowers that you need to use your own hands and feet to push around your yard. Aside from their propulsion systems, they have little to zero differences.

Can you push a self-propelled mower?

Technically, yes, you can push a self-propelled mower. However, many self-propelled mowers are much harder to push than standard mowers due to the built-in drive system and the extra weight. At any rate, no damage is caused to the drive system or transmission by pushing it.

Are self-propelled lawn mowers worth the money?

Self-propelled mowers are absolutely worth the money, in comparison to even the best cheap lawn mowers, if you struggle with the physical demands of mowing your lawn with a standard mower. That said, they are more expensive than standard mowers and may require more gas, or an additional battery, specifically to fuel/power the drive system.

How long do self-propelled mowers last?

Gas-powered self-propelled mowers last, on average, for approximately ten years. Electric versions tend to last around half that time. Be sure to check the full product description from the manufacturer before buying for this information, or the owner’s manual of your new mower.

How We Picked

Finding the best self-propelled machines to recommend to our readers was as challenging for us as picking the right one for yourself is going to be. But, we managed to successfully select a handful of what we believe to be the smartest investments for you to consider. Based on the points listed in the sections above, we waded our way through the sea of products that matched our initial search for self-propelled mowers available online.

We looked at ease of use, warranty options, fuel type, engine size, safety features, and more. Our idea of the best self-propelled machine is the one that fits you and your yard perfectly. Not the one that has the highest number of reviews or recommendations. Each of the models we reviewed for this guide more than earned its mark of approval from BYB.

Picking the Right Self-Propelled Mower for You

Choosing the best self-propelled mower for your yard can be both fun and challenging. It is always nice to upgrade to a better tool, especially one that can potentially save you so much time and money. Hopefully, our guide helps you make the most well-informed buying decision possible!

Our top choice is hands down the Greenworks PRO 80V 21 Inch Self-Propelled Cordless Lawn Mower. For small to mid-sized yards, there are few better options, and possibly no better choices available online. The unit is powerful, long-lasting, and reduces fuel costs to practically nothing. It’s also affordable considering the cost of self-propelled mowers in general.

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