There’s nothing quite like the smell of freshly cut grass. For the vast majority of people this smell is like getting an endorphin rush – you can’t help but feel happy about life in general, and if the sun is smiling down on you it just doubles that feeling. Unfortunately the problem is that somebody needs to cut that grass in the first place, which is something that some people don’t mind…but most people avoid like the plague.
|Lawn Boy 17732||Black & Decker SPCM1936||Husqvarna 7021P||WORX WG789||Sun Joe Mow Joe iON100V|
|Cuttings Disposal||Mulch or bag||3-in-1||3-in-1||3-in-1||3-in-1|
|Heigh Adjustable||1- 4-inches||1.5 – 3.5-inches||1.5 – 3.5-inches||1.5 – 3.5-inches||1.75 – 3.5-inches|
|Warranty||2-Year Full||2-Year Limited||2-Year Limited||2-Year Limited||2-Year Full|
The idea of pushing a lawnmower around and over hundreds, maybe thousands, of square feet of lawn or garden space just doesn’t really light a fire under most people. Push mowers – powered or not – will give you a lot of exercise but that’s probably not what you want. So if your lawn is in need of being mown and you’re currently in the market for a new walk-behind mower then you can get all the cutting options you need, without all the exercise, in a self-propelled lawnmower instead. In fact if your lawn is any bigger than say .5 of an acre then you’re going to need a self-propelled mower instead of a push mower to actually get the job done properly.
So in this guide we’re going to take a look at what you need to know about buying a self-propelled lawnmower and we’re also going to go provide you with some brief self-propelled lawnmower reviews at the end of this article too.
Table of Contents
- 1 What Is A Self-Propelled Lawnmower?
- 2 What Are You Mowing?
- 3 Mulch or Bagger?
- 4 Front-Wheel Or Rear-Wheel Drive?
- 5 Swiveling Wheels
- 6 Variable Speed?
- 7 Advanced Blade Control
- 8 Cleaning Ports
- 9 Our Top 5 Self-Propelled Lawnmower Reviews
- 9.1 1) Lawn-Boy 17732 Gas Powered Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Review
- 9.2 2) Black & Decker SPCM1936 3-in-1 Cordless Self-Propelled Lawnmower Review
- 9.3 3) Husqvarna 7021P 21-Inch 160cc Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Review
- 9.4 4) WORX WG789 19-Inch 36 Volt Cordless Electric Self-Powered Lawn Mower Review
- 9.5 5) Sun Joe iON100V 21 inch Battery Powered Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Review
- 10 Summary
What Is A Self-Propelled Lawnmower?
This type of mower has all the same features as a regular lawnmower except for the fact that it has a built-in motor for “driving” it forward at speeds of around 3mph, or a gentle stroll – just in case you have visions of being dragged along behind some high-octane-fuelled mechanical nightmare. The drive system on a self-propelled lawnmower can provide for either front-wheel or rear-wheel drive – each of which having their own advantages. Regardless of what type of self-propelled lawnmower you choose it will make cutting lawns with any kind of slope much easier, plus if you have a larger lawn or yard it means you can cut it with less effort and in less time than it would take with a normal push-mower.
Next up we have some of the features you need to be looking for in a self-propelled lawnmower, as well as some of the key questions you need to ask yourself before purchasing one.
What Are You Mowing?
You might want an industrial strength self-propelled mower but do you really need one? Be realistic about what your lawn is going to demand of you when it needs to be cut. This actually works both ways in that if you have a huge garden then don’t try to be a hero and mow it with a push-mower, and on the other hand don’t buy a massive ride-on mower for a tiny garden. You probably have no idea how big, or small, your garden actually is, so it’s a good idea to measure it before you go choosing a lawnmower folks.
Mulch or Bagger?
It’s also important to decide in advance what you want to have happen to all that grass you’re about to cut. Do you want it to collect all the grass clippings so you can dispose of them yourself in whatever way you see fit? Or would you prefer it to chop the grass into teeny-tiny pieces (mulching), which you can then leave to fertilize and nourish your lawn? Or maybe you want a side-discharger which basically fires the grass cuttings to one side, where you’ll most likely leave them. These features (or the lack of them) should be a key factor in your final choice of lawnmower. You can get a self-propelled lawnmower which mows, mulches and bags (called a 3-in-1) – providing you with all the features you need in one place, so buying a versatile lawnmower like this would be advisable from our point of view.
Front-Wheel Or Rear-Wheel Drive?
Oddly enough your choice between front-wheel and rear-wheel drive is going to come down to the type and shape of lawn you have. If you have a lawn with complex shapes, corners and curves then you’ll need the cutting accuracy a self-propelled lawnmower with front-wheel drive offers you – you’ll just have a lot more control than you would trying to manually push it around sharp corners yourself. If your garden has any kind of slopes or inclines then you’ll need the extra power a rear-wheel drive lawnmower can give you to get up these slopes – a front-wheel drive lawnmower is basically of absolutely no use on a lawn with any kind of slope on it – the wheels simply can’t get any traction.
There’s a very good chance that your lawn isn’t die-cut straight, so you’re constantly having to force your lawnmower into tight corners, or trying to mow in circles. Even with a front-wheel drive lawnmower this can still be pretty difficult at times and the constant stress on the wheels will eventually damage them. Some manufacturers have finally seen the light though and are now fitting swiveling front wheels to their range of self-propelled lawnmowers. This makes them far more maneuverable and easy to use as a result. Swivel wheels are a definite plus on any lawnmower you might be considering.
From our point of view owning a lawnmower with variable speed is a “must have” on our shopping list if and when we need to buy a new self-propelled lawnmower. The reason why is because if you want to give your lawn the most even cut possible then you’ll need to be able to vary the speed of the cutting blades on the mower itself. Single speed mowers just don’t do a great job of mulching or providing a great finish on the vast majority of lawns. Having a variable speed mower also means you can power through trimming your lawn when you need to – something a fixed speed mower simply won’t allow you to do.
Advanced Blade Control
This is a very neat, and necessary, feature which allows you to shut the cutting blade(s) off but keep the motor running. So instead of having to shut the entire mower down when you’re moving it to another spot in the garden you can safely disengage the cutting blade(s) and move the lawnmower without any fear of cutting a cable, hose or your toes in the process. We would strongly recommend that you add “blade override” to the list of features you’ll want on your new lawnmower for the obvious safety benefits, but it also extends the lifespan of your mower engine because you’re not starting and stopping it every 5 minutes.
You don’t need us to tell how you how badly crudded-up the internals of any lawnmower can get, and the same is true of self-propelled lawnmowers folks. If you can afford it buy a lawnmower with what’s called a “wash-out port” – this port allows you to attach a garden hose to your lawnmower and rinse the cutting blades and the surrounding area completely clean, which can obviously stop corrosion and mechanical problems later on.
Our Top 5 Self-Propelled Lawnmower Reviews
And now we come to probably your favorite bit of the entire article so far – the reviews. We’ve tried to review as broad a cross-section of self-propelled lawnmowers here as possible and from as many brand-names as possible too, while also catering for the fact that some people need to be able to buy a great lawnmower on a budget. So let’s get on with the show!
1) Lawn-Boy 17732 Gas Powered Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Review
This variable speed and height adjustable lawnmower from Lawn Boy also offers 3-in-1 cutting functionality, allowing you to cut, mulch and bag to your heart’s content. The 149cc Kohler motor drives the triple blade cutting mechanism and as well as the rear-wheel drive function on this lawnmower. The “footprint” of this lawnmower is also small enough to allow it to squeeze into tight spaces, while it’s also perfectly capable of tackling sloped lawns too. With Lawn Boy you’re also getting a brand-name you can trust and you’re also getting an awful lot of features for less than $300.
2) Black & Decker SPCM1936 3-in-1 Cordless Self-Propelled Lawnmower Review
When it comes to mechanical innovation you can always trust Black & Decker to come up with something new and this time it’s a cordless electrical lawnmower. This variable speed lawnmower allows you to trim your lawn at your own pace without any of the noise or potential pollution of a gas-powered mower. The rechargeable battery is removable, so you can recharge it wherever suits you and this lawnmower also folds up neatly for storage. Other things you’ll like about this mower is that it’s also a 3-in-1 mower, providing lots of versatility and you only ever need to push a button to get this mower started. The Black & Decker SPCM1936 cordless self-propelled lawnmower currently retails for just under $440.
3) Husqvarna 7021P 21-Inch 160cc Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Review
Well we’re not going to have to spend any time introducing the Husqvarna brand to you. Husqvarna has been manufacturing motorcycles since 1903 and have been manufacturing lawnmowers under the “Flymo” brand name since the 1960s. This Husqvarna self-propelled lawnmower is height-adjustable and features a 160cc Honda motor to drive the cutting motor and the rear-wheel drive. This versatile lawnmower also has a three-in-one cutting system, so you can swap between mulching, side-discharge and bag collection quickly and easily. This very popular lawnmower retails online for just under $400.
4) WORX WG789 19-Inch 36 Volt Cordless Electric Self-Powered Lawn Mower Review
Here we have another rechargeable electric self-powered lawnmower, but this time from the team at Worx. As the name of this mower suggests it actually adjusts itself to suit your walking pace, instead of the other way around – as is the case with a lot of self-powered mowers. The mower can also “detect” when you’ve hit a clump of tough grass and automatically offers some extra cutting power to mow through it. A single charge will power the WORX WG789 PaceSetter for roughly 45-minutes, which should be enough to mow more than 12,000 square feet of lawn – or roughly six tennis courts in total. This mower also offers 3-in-1 cutting for mulching, bagging or side-discharge. A very capable self-propelled lawnmower which currently retails online for just over $510.
5) Sun Joe iON100V 21 inch Battery Powered Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Review
And now we have a lawnmower from a brand name you might never have heard of, but once you see the color scheme on this lawnmower you’ll find it hard to forget. As with all of the other lawnmowers we’ve reviewed here the Sun Joe iON100V is a 3-in-1 lawnmower so it will suit whatever mowing needs you might have. The 20-inch wide cutting path also means you’ll get through more lawn in less time with this self-propelled electric, cordless mower. This mower can give you roughly 60-minutes of mowing time on a single charge and is also ETL safety approved. You can get your very own Mow Joe iON100V online right now just a little under $400.
So now that the sun is shining and your grass is growing faster than the weeds are, it’s time to get out there and take control of your lawn once again. At least one of the self-propelled mowers we’ve listed here today will be more than up to the task, plus it’s not going to take nearly as much effort to get the results you want using any of the self-propelled mowers we reviewed above.