Best Self Propelled Lawn Mowers
We’ve curated a list of eight of the best self-propelled mowers across a range of price-points.
If you want an immaculate lawn but aren’t interested in the physical effort involved, why not consider a self-propelled mower? These innovative and effective machines work best with larger lawns. They also work especially well for uneven and challenging terrain.
Rather than rolling up your sleeves and pushing a heavy mower around for hours, you can make mowing your lawn as easy as taking a leisurely stroll around your property. It’s not just ease of use and speed you get with a self-propelled mower, either. You can impart a close and consistent finish every time, too.
To make your life easier, we’ve curated a list of eight of the best self-propelled mowers across a range of price-points. Let’s get started.
The Best Self Propelled Lawn Mowers of 2020
Let’s get started!
Honda HRN216VKA Self-Propelled Mower (Updated 2020 Model!)
First up, the retooled Honda HRN216VKA launched during the 35th anniversary of Honda Power Equipment. What makes this powerful self-propelled mower stand out?
The all-new 2020 model has a punchier engine than its predecessor with far fewer moving parts and 10 percent more power. The engine is also more fuel-efficient and torquier thanks to numerous technical tweaks and an all-metal transmission. The result is a motor that’s reliable and easy to start thanks to the proprietary Auto Choke.
The Smart Drive system offers you variable speed control from the ergonomic handlebar controls. Use the paddle lever with either hand and match the pace of the mower to the condition of your yard. Adjustment is smooth and easy. You won’t need to push or pull either, allowing you to mow a large lawn with almost no effort. Large, 8-inch wheels offer superb traction even on demanding terrain.
The 21-inch steel deck is rugged and optimizes airflow to help with both mulching and bagging. With the three-in-one system, you can add the Clip Director if you want clippings discharged from the side rather than mulched or captured in the nine-bushel bags. This all-new Honda is highly versatile.
Twin blades are stacked and offset, translating to outstanding cut quality. A pair of levers allow you to dial in the cutting height through seven settings from 1 inch to 4 inches.
A two-way ratchet system ensures the Honda HRN216VKA self-propelled mower is easily maneuverable with minimal effort needed even if you’re turning the mower in a tight spot. Maintenance is minimal. The generous fuel tank spout lessens the chance of spillage, oil changes are a breeze, and you can access both the air filter and spark plug with ease.
When you’ve manicured your lawn, fold down the quick-release handle, and you can store the compact Honda in a small shed. Get more done in less time with this outstanding replacement to the classic HHR216 line. The best thing? You won’t even break a sweat.
- Uprated GCV170 is more powerful, more fuel-efficient, and torquier than the outgoing engine it replaces
- Twin blades are highly effective at mulching
- Two-point height adjustment system for maximum flexibility
- Quick-release folding design for easy storage
- We found some reports of issues with the carburetor
Honda HRX217K5VKA 187cc Gas 21 in. 4-in-1 Versamow System Lawn Mower with Clip Director and MicroCut Blades
Steeping things up in terms of pricing, the Honda HRX217K5VKA is arguably the finest gas-powered mower in a crowded market. Where does it stand and fall, then?
The 190cc engine is another improved powerhouse. In addition to ample power reserves, its fuel economy is impressive. Expect to slice through up to 10,000 square feet of grass with a single tank. The gas tank on this model is one quart. Thanks to the Auto Choke system, starting it up couldn’t be easier.
The pair of blades have four cutting surfaces. Even if you’re using the highest setting, you’ll return exceptional results with your lawn looking immaculate.
The deck is NeXite, a polymer-based composite material that won’t rust and is robust enough to withstand some serious punishment. Grass doesn’t stick to this deck much either. Simply wipe it down after use, and you’re good to go.
A four-in-one Versamow system gives you the choice of mulching, shredding, bagging, or discharging the clippings. Mulching, in particular, is performed to the highest standard, with only super-fine clippings remaining. The class-leading 2.5-bushel bag is also noteworthy.
Benefit from seven cutting heights from 0.75 inches through 4 inches. Fine-tune the height with a simple dial and adjust the speed up to a maximum of 4 mph. Watch out at the upper end, though. You could find the speed a little too much to handle—exercise caution until you’re comfy with the HRX217K5VKA.
All four wheels come loaded with ball bearings giving you a durable and maneuverable self-propelled mower to help you make light work of yard duty. The deck is guaranteed for life while the residential warranty is a solid five years, giving you total peace of mind.
- Rear-wheel drive means no loss of traction even under heavy loads
- Rugged 21-inch NeXite cutting deck— get more done in less time
- Multiple options for disposing of clippings
- Exceptional fuel economy at 10,000 square feet per quart of gas
- It’s quite the task to remove the bag with three separate steps
EGO Power+ LM2020SP 20-Inch 56-Volt Lithium-ion Brushless Walk Behind Steel Deck Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
Are you looking for the power and torque of a gas-fueled mower without the noise and fumes? If so, consider the EGO Power+ LM20202SP.
This mower comes as a bare tool, meaning you need to get the battery and charger separately. If you’re new to the EGO Power+ line, this will increase the price tag of the full set-up. If you’ve already invested in this ecosystem, you’ll save money by sharing these components between your tools.
Cord-free convenience is useless without adequate battery life. The 56-volt lithium-ion battery is quick to charge and gives you enough juice to power through a large lawn in a single session. Interchangeable batteries come in three iterations (4.0, 5.0, and 7.5Ah).
The hard-wearing deck has a 20-inch cutting capacity. Take advantage of five cutting heights from 1.2 inches to 3.5 inches. You can fine-tune the height with ease, even if you’ve never used a self-propelled lawnmower before.
Since there’s no roller onboard, you won’t be able to create stripes on your lawn, so rethink if you insist upon this feature. There’s only a single blade in place, but this is efficient and copes well with tough grass. Choose from mulching, bagging, or side discharge, so your clippings end up where you want them.
Safety features include a removable safety key, overload protection, and safeguards against the battery overheating. That’s more than you usually get on self-propelled mowers in this price bracket.
Once you’re done with the mower, just fold it down to simplify storage. You won’t need to carry out any pesky upkeep either.
For complete freedom of movement and enough power for most residential cutting needs, the EGO Power+ LM20202SP is a cost-effective and long-lasting self-propelled mower worthy of a place on any shortlist.
- Super-swift charging in thirty minutes flat means minimal downtime even if you run out of juice midway through mowing
- Choose from side discharging, mulching, or a grass bag
- Compact unit you can store with ease
- Broad range of reliable safety features
- Battery and charger are not included, which can make this option pricier
Greenworks PRO 21-Inch 80V Self-Propelled Cordless Lawn Mower
For lawn-loving, bargain-hunters, next up, we have the Greenworks 80V mower. If you thought cordless mowers were all prohibitively expensive, think again. This monster comes in well below $500.
It is another cordless model offers as a bare tool. You can also buy it bundled with a pair of 2.0Ah batteries along with a charger. A 4Ah battery is also compatible with this mower. Charging takes roughly an hour for the 2.0Ah version, and Greenworks claims the runtime is up to 60 minutes—in our tests, this held to be true.
If you are worried about losing power mid-mow, we recommend going with the pair of 2.0Ah batteries. If you run out of juice, you can switch to your backup and keep mowing while your second battery recharges.
The brushless motor kicks out power in line with a 160cc gas engine, so you won’t be shortchanged on the performance front, either. While we’d like to see the blades improved, you’ll still give your lawn a reasonably close cut. The Greenworks 80v also as SmartCut Load-Sensing tech baked to optimize cutting.
With 10-inch wheels, you can trundle around a larger and more challenging yard without getting bogged down. Self-propelled, you’ll find the user experience is practically effortless.
The cutting width is substantial at 21 inches, allowing you to power your way through a sizeable property with relative ease. The 10-inch rear wheels ensure you won’t run into trouble or lose traction even on a slight incline.
This model’s minimum cutting height is 1.4 inches, with a maximum of 3.75 inches, allow you to trim your lawn to your precise specifications. Adjustment is straightforward, even if you don’t have a good deal of experience with mowers.
The self-propelled nature dramatically reduces the amount of effort you need to put in. A three-in-one system offers you the choice of mulching, bagging, or side discharge, so you have all major bases covered.
The mower is guaranteed for four years with a two-year warranty in place for the battery. If you’re operating on a tight budget but not prepared to compromise on quality, this is one of the best budget self-propelled mowers up for grabs.
- Cord-free convenience allows you to mow larger yards without being tethered to a power outlet
- Comparable performance to a 160cc gas model
- Oversized rear wheels for impressive maneuverability even on rougher terrain
- SmartCut Load-Sensing tech for a perfect cut every time
- Some reports of faulty batteries that won’t charge
Troy-Bilt TB490 XP 21-Inch 1 90cc 2-in-1 4×4 Self-Propelled Mower
An all-wheel-drive beast, the Troy-Bilt TB490 is certainly not cheap, but you’re buying into a highly reputable brand. Why should you dig deep for this self-propelled mower, then?
To kick-off, the throbbing Honda engine is rated at 190cc. With variable self-propelled four-wheel drive and an automatic choke, the overall experience is seamless. You get power combined with control and ease of use, though, the controls for flicking between these options could be stronger.
The durable 21-inch steel cutting deck can take some rough and tumble. A dual-lever allows you to manipulate the cutting height between 1.25 and 3.75 inches so you can apply a variety of finishes. The deck adjusts through six different positions.
With a no-load speed of 3177 rpm and blades spinning at just under 200 mph at the tips, you get power, precision, and impressive speed.
The Tri-Action system sees the grass pass through a rake guard first, helping it to stand up for easier cutting. Next, it’s chopped by an S-blade before the deck creates a vacuum so that the clippings can better circulate. The latter element improves mulching significantly.
Beefy 8-inch front wheels along with 11-inch wheels in the back ensure you can roll this mower just about anywhere in the yard fuss-free. One of the prices to pay for all that power and speed is underwhelming fuel efficiency. Factor this in if money is tight.
Rated at 91 decibels, the Troy-Bilt also certainly isn’t quiet. That said, noise is roughly comparable with the average gas-fueled mower. If you plan to use the mower for extended periods, you should consider wearing ear protection.
As with all the best self-propelled lawn mowers, you can mulch or bag your waste as well as discharging it from the side. Crowned with a lengthy three-year warranty, you’re in safe hands with Troy-Bilt.
- Potent 190cc Honda engine packs a serious punch
- Both four-wheel drive and two-wheel drive
- 8- and 11-inch wheels offer excellent all-terrain performance
- Couldn’t be easier to startup—there’s no tiresome pull starting with this model
- Not very fuel-efficient
- On the loud side—get your earplugs ready!
Honda HRX217VLA 21″ Walk Behind Lawn Mower w/ Electric Start
The Honda HRX217VLA is a cinch to set up. You’ll be up and running immediately. Ideal for mowing medium to large lawns with very little physical input, where does this self-propelled gem excel?
The four-in-one Versamow system gives you the choice of bagging, shredding, and mulching or discharging the clippings out the side. Mulching is possible even under adverse conditions. Choose from seven cutting heights from 0.75 inches minimum up to 4 inches. This provides you with more scope than most of the opposition to fine-tune the height of your lawn.
Packing the GCV190 motor, this Honda can run at speeds up to 4 mph. That might not seem very fast, but we can assure you it’s more than fit for the intended purpose. Indeed, we’d advise that you take things steady at the upper end. Select Drive makes changing speeds quick and easy.
Despite such firepower, the startup is electric and effortless. A 21-inch NeXite deck is resistant to rust and impact. You shouldn’t experience any issues in this area.
However, if there’s one area where the Honda falls down, we’d have to isolate the 9-inch plastic wheels as a disappointment, especially considering the price-point. The one positive is the ball bearings, which deliver a reasonably smooth ride.
Honda’s twin blades with multiple surfaces mulch clippings down finely, ensuring you’ll get more in the bag saving yourself a little time and effort.
Warranties usually indicate the stage at which you can expect problems to start developing. In the case of the Honda HRX217VLA, you’re covered for a full five years, inspiring confidence at the point of purchase. What are you waiting for?
- The straightforward assembly allows you to get going right out the box
- The rust-proof deck should deliver years of faithful service
- Generously-sized grass collector ideal for mowing spacious gardens
- Extra-long warranty from a trusted brand
- The plastic wheels are a disappointment
Snapper XD 82V MAX Cordless Electric 21-Inch Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
Perhaps the key benefit of the agile Snapper XD 82V is the stellar Briggs & Stratton powerhouse. The dual-battery powerhead delivers runtimes of up to an hour. You get a couple of 2Ah batteries and a rapid charger as well. While the Snapper is not exactly cheap, it represents superb overall value.
The brushless 1200-watt motor and 21-inch cutting path are ideal for powering your way through larger and more challenging cutting jobs without fatigue setting in. Push-button start removes any hassle.
While the self-propelled nature certainly cuts down on the effort required to mow your lawn, you might find this mower a little tough to handle until you get accustomed to it. Load-sensing technology is a nice touch, though, and keeps things running smoothly with no input needed on your part.
The deck is durable and comes with the regulation 21-inch cutting path. Mulch, bag, or discharge clippings out the side. For bagging purposes, the 1.7-bushel capacity should be sufficient for medium-sized lawns.
You’re free to choose from seven height settings depending on the type of grass you have and the kind of finish you’re looking for.
When you’re all done with your yard work, vertical storage capability is a bonus if you have a crowded toolshed. Backed by a lengthy five-year warranty, you won’t have any concerns about fixing any problems yourself either. In terms of the price to performance ratio, this is one of the finest self-propelled lawn mowers on the market.
- Wide 21-inch cutting path to power through yard duty
- Decent runtime should let you mow your whole lawn in a single session
- Dependable five-year warranty lets you buy with complete confidence
- Vertical-storage capability
- Navigating obstacles can be tricky in self-propelled mode
Greenworks 21-Inch 40V Brushless Self-Propelled Mower
Last, but certainly not least, is another entry from the inimitable Greenworks. As a company, they have a hard-won reputation for producing top-notch tools at pocket-friendly prices. This 40-volt self-propelled mower continues that tradition in fine style.
The bare tool allows you to make use of any batteries from the G-MAX 40V Li-Ion System. If you’re already using this ecosystem, you save at the point of purchase then save space in your workshop with fewer accessories to accommodate.
Delivering over an hour of runtime, you can deal with larger lawns without needing to stop and recharge. On the flip side, you’ll need to factor in perhaps 90 minutes for charging.
Boasting a brushless motor, power delivery is comparable with a 160cc gas model, so you won’t be stiffed in terms of performance to achieve cord-free convenience.
The 20-inch cutting deck offers you five positions so you can cut grass from 1.75 inches up to a maximum height of 3.4 inches. High-speed dual blades make light work of stiffer and more challenging grass, and you can make adjustments to the cutting height using a single lever.
The front wheels are quite small at just 7 inches, with the larger 10-inch rear wheels compensating for this somewhat. Maneuverability is reasonably good but nothing to write home about. The other notable drawback is the lack of battery indicator. The only thing we can say in defense of this omission is that you should cut your whole lawn in one session, so it’s certainly not a deal-breaker.
Options for clippings are limited to bagging and mulching. There’s no side discharge on the Greenworks 40V mower. You can see at a glance when the bag needs emptying, which is a nice touch.
- Batteries and charger work with all tools in the G-MAX 40V Li-Ion System
- Roughly 70 minutes of runtime adequate for most purposes
- Pair of cutting blades move in opposite directions for maximum efficiency
- Single-lever blade height adjustment
- 90-minute charging time is less than ideal, and the lack of a battery indicator is poor
- Wheels could be a bit bigger
Tackle Your Lawn with Ease with a Self-Propelled LawnMower
We hope by now you have narrowed down your shortlist with the help of our reviews of the best self-propelled lawn mowers in 2020. Which mower will work best for your lawn will depend on your terrain, grass type, yard size, budget, and preferences.
While EVERY mower on this list is good, we’re confident you’ll find the perfect self-propelled mower for your needs right here on our list.
If you want to read a few individual self-propelled lawn mowers on our blog, please check the links below, but you’re free not to.
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