Unlike traditional push mowers, self-propelled mowers are equipped with a transmission that drives the mower to move forward, so you don't have to push it. This makes them ideal for larger lawns or lawns with a slope. They come in different types - gas-powered, electric (corded and cordless), and battery-powered.
In 2023, we've seen some exciting advancements in the lawn care equipment industry, with self-propelled lawn mowers leading the charge. These mowers offer a perfect balance between manual push mowers and fully automated robotic mowers, making them a favorite among homeowners. Here, we'll take a look at the top self-propelled lawn mowers of 2023, assessing their performance, ease of use, durability, and special features.
Why Buy a Self-Propelled Lawn Mower?
There are several advantages to using a self-propelled mower:
- Ease of use: They move on their own, requiring less physical effort.
- Efficiency: They can easily handle larger lawns, unlike push mowers.
- Versatility: They work well on a variety of terrains, including slopes and uneven ground.
- Time-saving: They significantly reduce mowing time.
Key Features to Consider
When shopping for a self-propelled lawn mower, there are several key features you should consider:
- Gas-Powered: They are powerful and can handle larger lawns and tougher grass. However, they require regular maintenance and are louder and heavier than their electric counterparts.
- Electric (Corded): They are quiet, low-maintenance, and good for small to medium-sized yards. However, they require an extension cord, limiting your mobility.
- Battery-Powered (Cordless): They offer the quiet operation and low maintenance of an electric mower with the mobility of a gas mower. But they have a limited run time on a single charge.
Cutting Path Width
The wider the cutting path, the fewer passes you'll need to make to mow your lawn, saving time and energy. Typical cutting paths range from 20 to 22 inches for most self-propelled mowers.
This feature allows you to adjust the mower's speed to your walking pace. It's especially useful for larger yards, where a higher speed can significantly reduce mowing time.
Cutting Height Adjustment
Most mowers offer a range of cutting heights, allowing you to choose the optimal height for your type of grass and the current season.
Mowers typically come with three discharge options: bagging, side-discharge, and mulching. Some models offer all three.
Top 5 Best Self-Propelled Lawn Mowers 2023：
1. Honda HRX217K6VKA
As a brand, Honda has always been synonymous with reliability and quality, and the HRX217K6VKA is no exception. This mower is powered by a robust 200cc Honda GCV200 engine that ensures efficient mowing. It features a 21-inch cutting deck and a 4-in-1 Versamow system with Clip Director, allowing you to mulch, bag, discharge, and leaf-shred. Plus, it has an adjustable speed control (0 to 4 mph) providing flexibility for different lawn conditions and personal preferences.
The mower's NeXite deck is rust-proof and exceptionally durable. Also, the MicroCut Twin Blades offer superior performance, ensuring finer clippings for mulching and better bagging. The only downside is its price, which is on the higher end, but the quality and performance you get justify the cost.
- Excellent Performance: The Honda HRX217K6VKA lawn mower is known for its exceptional performance. It has a powerful engine that provides excellent cutting power and can handle tough mowing conditions with ease.
- Versatile: This lawn mower is versatile and can handle different types of grass and terrain. It has a variable speed control that lets you adjust the speed according to the mowing conditions.
- Easy to Use: The Honda HRX217K6VKA lawn mower is easy to use and maneuver. It has a self-propelled drive system that makes it easy to move around your lawn without much effort.
- Durable: This lawn mower is built to last and is made of high-quality materials. It has a rust-free deck and a durable frame that can withstand years of use.
- Low Maintenance: The Honda HRX217K6VKA lawn mower requires minimal maintenance. It has a four-in-one system that allows you to mulch, bag, discharge or shred leaves. This feature reduces the need for frequent cleaning.
- Price: The Honda HRX217K6VKA lawn mower is relatively expensive compared to other lawn mowers in its class.
- Heavy: This lawn mower is heavier than other models, which can make it difficult to move around, particularly on steep hills or inclines.
- Noise: The Honda HRX217K6VKA lawn mower is relatively loud, which may be a concern for people who live in quiet neighborhoods.
- Bagging System: The bagging system can be a bit cumbersome to use, particularly when the bag is full.
- Adjustment: The height adjustment system can be a bit tricky to use, and it may take some time to get used to it.
2. Toro 20334 Recycler
The Toro 20334 Recycler offers excellent value for its price. Its powerful 163cc Briggs & Stratton engine provides enough power to tackle thick grass and hilly terrains. The 22-inch cutting deck is larger than most, reducing the time spent on mowing.
One of the standout features is its Personal Pace Self-Propel System, which automatically adjusts to your walking speed. The mower also offers a 3-in-1 capability: bagging, mulching, and side discharge. Additionally, it comes with an electric start function, eliminating the need for a pull-cord start. However, some users have reported issues with the self-propel mechanism over time.
- Excellent Cutting Quality: The Toro 20334 Recycler Lawn Mower is known for its excellent cutting quality. It has a powerful engine that provides exceptional cutting power and can handle tough mowing conditions with ease.
- Easy to Use: This lawn mower is easy to use and maneuver. It has a self-propelled drive system that makes it easy to move around your lawn without much effort.
- Versatile: The Toro 20334 Recycler Lawn Mower is versatile and can handle different types of grass and terrain. It has a variable speed control that lets you adjust the speed according to the mowing conditions.
- Low Maintenance: This lawn mower requires minimal maintenance. It has a two-in-one system that allows you to mulch or bag the grass clippings. This feature reduces the need for frequent cleaning.
- Compact: The Toro 20334 Recycler Lawn Mower is compact and easy to store. It has a foldable handle that allows you to store it in small spaces.
- Lack of Durability: The Toro 20334 Recycler Lawn Mower may not be as durable as other lawn mowers in its class. Some users have reported issues with the engine and other components.
- Poor Bagging System: The bagging system can be a bit cumbersome to use, particularly when the bag is full. Some users have reported issues with the bagging system clogging.
- Noisy: The Toro 20334 Recycler Lawn Mower is relatively loud, which may be a concern for people who live in quiet neighborhoods.
- Difficult to Adjust: The height adjustment system can be a bit tricky to use, and it may take some time to get used to it.
- Expensive: The Toro 20334 Recycler Lawn Mower is relatively expensive compared to other lawn mowers in its class.
3. EGO Power+ LM2102SP
For those looking for an eco-friendly alternative, the EGO Power+ LM2102SP is a fantastic choice. This electric self-propelled mower is powered by a 7.5 Ah 56-Volt Lithium-Ion battery. It provides 60 minutes of run-time, enough for most medium-sized lawns.
The mower has a 21-inch cutting deck and a 3-in-1 function (mulching, bagging, side discharge). Its variable speed control can be adjusted from 0.9 MPH to 3.1 MPH. One standout feature is its weather-resistant construction, allowing you to mow in different weather conditions. It also has LED headlights for mowing in low-light conditions. However, it lacks the power for tackling thicker grass varieties or very large yards.
- Electric powered - no gas, oil, or pulling of cords required. Quiet operation.
- Rechargeable 56V lithium ion battery allows up to 80 minutes of run time on a single charge.
- Self propelled with two speed options.
- Powerbrushless motor provides powerful torque and long lifespan.
- Durable all-metal mowing deck is rust resistant.
- LED headlights illuminate the mowing path for early morning or evening use.
- Higher upfront cost compared to gas lawn mowers.
- Longer recharge time for the battery (4-6 hours).
- Limited by the runtime of the battery. More batteries required for larger lawns.
- Performance may diminish slightly over time as the battery ages.
- No emission testing required like with gas mowers.
4. Husqvarna L221A
The Husqvarna L221A is a high-performance self-propelled mower designed for tough mowing tasks. It features a powerful 160cc Honda GCV160 engine and a 21-inch, heavy-duty steel deck for durability. The mower comes with an all-wheel-drive system, making it suitable for hilly terrains and large yards.
The 4-in-1 cutting system includes rear bag, mulch, side discharge, and rear discharge. The mower's handle can be adjusted for height, and it folds for compact storage. A minor downside is the lack of variable speed control.
- Powerful 142cc Briggs & Stratton engine provides ample power and torque.
- 21" twin blade cutting deck made of rugged steel for durability.
- Cruise control feature allows you to set the speed and just drive.
- Electric start option for easy starting.
- 6 speed in-line cruise transmission for optimized speed.
- Relatively heavy at 108 lbs.
- More expensive compared to some comparable lawn mowers.
- Fuel tank capacity is only 0.95 gallons, which may require frequent refueling.
- Oil changes required regularly.
5. Craftsman M215
The Craftsman M215 is a solid and affordable option for small to medium-sized lawns. It has a 159cc OHV engine and features a 21-inch cutting deck. It comes with a 2-in-1 capability (bagging and discharging), and its variable speed control is a plus.
One of its unique features is the EZ Start auto-choke that makes starting the mower a breeze. It also has 11-inch rear wheels for better maneuverability in uneven terrains. However, the build quality could be better, especially the plastic components.
- Powerful 145cc Briggs & Stratton engine provides good cutting power.
- Durable 21-inch steel deck for withstanding impacts and rusting.
- On-board storage keeps tools close at hand.
- Height adjustment for cutting grass between 1.25 and 3.5 inches.
- Tender foot levers make changing blade height easy.
- Push type mower, not self-propelled.
- Fuel tank capacity of only 0.95 gallons requires frequent refueling.
- Oil changes required periodically.
- Relatively heavy weight of 96 lbs.
- Wheels are smaller at just 6 inches.
Maintenance and Safety Tips
- Regularly check the mower's oil level and change it as per the manufacturer's instructions.
- Keep the mower's undercarriage clean to prevent grass clippings from building up.
- Sharpen the blades annually to ensure clean cuts.
- Always wear protective gear, including safety glasses and sturdy footwear.
- Never mow wet grass as it can cause the mower to slip or the grass to clump and block the mower.
Self-propelled lawn mowers are a great investment for homeowners, saving time and reducing physical exertion. The best mower for you depends on your yard size, terrain type, and personal preferences.
The Honda HRX217K6VKA, with its superior performance and durability, tops the list, while the Toro 20334 offers great value for money. The EGO Power+ LM2102SP is perfect for those seeking an eco-friendly option, whereas the Husqvarna L221A is designed for more challenging mowing tasks. Lastly, the Craftsman M215 offers a good blend of price and performance for smaller yards.
Remember, regular maintenance is the key to prolonging the life of your mower, no matterwhich one you choose. Always check the manufacturer's instructions for care and maintenance guidelines.