If you’re tired of pushing a heavy mower around most weekends, then a self-propelled lawn mower could be the solution. Especially if you have a large lawn or if it’s on an incline. So today in this article, we will be sharing our top picks and reviews for the best self-propelled lawn mowers.
We’ve taken the time to research and pick out five of the top ones available in 2023. Our reviews are 100% unbiased, and while we cover the pros of each mower, we also include a few cons.
We get that making a purchase like this requires insight and background knowledge, which is why we’ve put this article together for you. In addition to our mower reviews, you also get a handy buying guide that highlights some key factors to consider before making a final decision.
So by the end of this guide, you will know what you can expect from a top-quality self-propelled mower, and you will be in a position to know which one would best suit your needs.
Let’s get started!
What Will I Learn?
- Best Self Propelled Lawn Mower Reviews
- 1. Greenworks M-210-SP Self-Propelled Mower (Best Overall)
- 2. Makita XML06PT1 Self-Propelled Lawn Mower (Best Premium Pick)
- 3. PowerSmart PSM2020 Self Propelled Lawn Mower (Best Budget Pick)
- 4. Craftsman M215 Self Propelled Lawn Mower (Most Highly Rated)
- 5. WORX WG743 Self-Propelled Mower (Best Rear-Wheel Drive)
- So What’s The Best Self-Propelled Lawn Mower For You?
- Buyer’s Guide
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best Self Propelled Lawn Mower Reviews
1. Greenworks M-210-SP Self-Propelled Mower (Best Overall)
- CORDLESS LAWN MOWER – Get more done, faster, with…
- DURABLE 21” STEEL DECK – The 21” steel deck allows you…
- SELF-PROPELLED – Rear wheel drive power increases traction…
First on our list is the Greenworks M-210-SP self-propelled mower. It comes from one of our favorite brands, offering excellent quality and great value for money – although it isn’t exactly cheap. (If you’re looking for something super affordable, check out our budget pick below).
This lawn mower is battery-powered and entirely cordless, so there are no wires around to cause a tripping hazard. And we love how it can house two batteries rather than just one.
Also, given that one battery will run for up to an hour at a time, if you charge two batteries together, you get a whole two hours of run time using one after the other. Perfect for larger lawns.
The Greenworks M-210-SP features a brushless motor, which means the engine generates more power to keep those blades spinning. And its self-propelled drive system can easily climb hills with up to a 20-degree incline.
This mower can cut grass in strips of 21 inches wide, and you can set it to either discharge the grass clippings at the sides of the machine, collect them into a bag at the rear, or mulch them for you.
- Features a dual battery port design
- One battery can last up to one hour
- Brushless motor for additional power
- Easily climb hills with up to 20⁰ incline
- Collect, discharge or mulch the grass
- It’s slightly more expensive than the mid-price range models
Is It For You?
The Greenworks M-210-SP is a perfect choice if you have relatively large lawns that can take over an hour to mow or if they are on a hill.
2. Makita XML06PT1 Self-Propelled Lawn Mower (Best Premium Pick)
- No gas, emissions, oil mixing or pull starts with reduced…
- Self-propelled with variable speed (1.5 MPH – 3 MPH)
- 4 bay battery system for 2 times more run time
If you have a bit more money to spend, or if money is no object, then the Makita XML06PT1 self-propelled lawn mower would be an excellent choice. It’s a commercial lawn mower kit with commercial-grade steel blades from a top brand.
This mower is an impressive beast of a machine that can mow non-stop for up to a staggering two miles at a time. And this is thanks to its powerful brushless motor and four-bay battery system.
We were also impressed by how durable and long-lasting this machine is, which is partly due to its excellent level of water resistance. It comes in at a high rating of IPX4, so that means you never have to panic if the machine gets caught in the rain.
You can cut the grass to as short as 1.25 inches, and the clippings are collected in the grass catcher bag at the rear, which can hold up to 1.7 bushels. And when the bag starts to get too full, the grass level indicator will deflate to let you know when it’s time to be emptied.
- Comes from a top brand in the industry
- Features a great 4-bay battery system
- Excellent level of weather resistance
- Has a very powerful brushless motor
- Features commercial-grade steel blades
- The cutting width is just 18 inches – we’d prefer at least 20
Is It For You?
If you want the absolute best and are not concerned about price, then the Makita XML06PT1 is an excellent choice – especially if you have large lawns to mow.
3. PowerSmart PSM2020 Self Propelled Lawn Mower (Best Budget Pick)
- 170CC OHV GAS ENGINE & 20-INCH STEEL MOWING DECK: PowerSmart…
- ADJUSTABLE CUTTING DEPTH: The self-propelled mower has…
- FLEXIBLE AND AGILE: 3-in-1 side discharge and mulching…
If you have a far more limited budget and are conscious about not spending too much, the PowerSmart PSM2020 is a great pick. It has all of the most important features of a self-propelled lawn mower, but with none of the needless expense.
Despite its affordable price point, it’s actually quite a powerful little machine with a 170cc motor. It also has a wide cutting deck of 20 inches and can cut grass to your preferred height, anywhere between 1.21 and 3.15 inches.
You can either side discharge the grass clippings, mulch them, or simply collect them into the bag at the rear, which has a generous 14.6-gallon capacity. This mower is also quite agile and easy to maneuver.
And whereas normally you’d expect cheaper models not to be as durable or long-lasting, this one comes backed by a lengthy 3-year warranty. So if an issue does arise, there’s great after-sales customer support that you can take advantage of.
What We Like:
- Bargain, affordable price point
- Run by a powerful 170cc motor
- Wide cutting deck of 20 inches
- Large 14.6 gallon bag for clippings
- Backed by a 3-year warranty
What Could Be Better:
- It has a 4-star customer rating on Amazon rather than 4 and a half stars
- Because it’s gas-powered, you get emissions
Is It For You?
The PowerSmart PSM2020 self-propelled lawn mower is ideal if you don’t want to spend too much money but still want a very reliable machine.
4. Craftsman M215 Self Propelled Lawn Mower (Most Highly Rated)
- POWERFUL 159CC OHV GAS ENGINE: Powerful gas engine comes…
- 3-IN-1 CAPABILITIES: Unit has side discharge, rear…
- FRONT WHEEL DRIVE: Tip-up, turn, and maneuver around level…
The Craftsman M215 is hands down one of the most popular self-propelled lawn mowers available with the leading online retailers. On Amazon, for example, there have already been well over 1,000 individual customer ratings, which doesn’t include those sales where customers neglected to leave a review.
Better yet though, is how the average customer rating still comes at an impressive 4 and a half stars out of 5. And just to put that in perspective, most self-propelled lawn mowers are lucky if they just manage 4 stars.
Its popularity must stem at least in part from its value for money.
The Craftsman M215 may not be quite as affordable as our budget pick above. Still, it’s very reasonably priced, and it is a fraction of the cost of our best overall pick. Also, it’s a little over half the price of our premium pick. (Yes, that’s how much self-propelled lawn mowers can vary in price!)
What makes this particular lawn mower different from most of the other ones that made our shortlist is that it’s gas-powered rather than electric or battery-powered. And that has implications for how powerful it is.
For those who don’t already know, gas-powered lawn mowers tend to have more powerful engines than their battery-powered counterparts. This one is 159cc, and you don’t have to fuss around with a primer or choke; simply give a quick pull to start it up.
With this sort of power, you need only guide the machine rather than push it.
- Bestseller with excellent customer ratings
- Very reasonably priced, great value for money
- It has a powerful 159cc gas-powered motor
- Side & rear discharge & mulching capabilities
- Large front & rear wheels that allow more traction
- Comes backed by a 24-month warranty
- Because it’s gas powered, you get emissions
- It’s not really designed for larger lawns
Is It For You?
The Craftsman M215 is an excellent choice if you have a small to medium-sized lawn and prefer the idea of a gas-powered mower over an electric one.
5. WORX WG743 Self-Propelled Mower (Best Rear-Wheel Drive)
- QUICK-START 40V POWER: Cordless lawn mower delivers robust…
- SAME BATTERY, EXPANDABLE POWER: The same Power Share…
- INTELLICUT: Patented sensor technology automatically adjusts…
The WORX WG743 cordless self-propelled lawn mower may be battery-powered, but it performs like a gas-powered one and has excellent run time too. And, as our heading suggests, its star feature is the self-propelled rear-wheel drive, which lets you choose what speed you want the mower to run.
You can either take your time and go slow or get your lawn mowing over and done with ASAP. And you can either side discharge the grass clippings, mulch them, or simply collect them into the bag at the rear.
We were also impressed by the auto-intellicut technology. This increases the power when the grass is thicker and then dials it down when not as necessary in order to conserve battery power. We think that’s pretty neat.
And speaking of battery power, there’s a handy battery charge indicator to tell you how much power you have left. It also has a full bag indicator to let you know when the bag needs emptying.
The WORX WG743 is available in different deck widths, namely 14, 17, or 21 inches. Wider ones are better for more extensive lawns, but unfortunately, the price does increase with size. You can also buy it with different battery types, including high-capacity batteries, and with or without a charger.
- Excellent value for money
- Variable speed rear-wheel drive
- Adjustable height for different users
- There’s a handy battery charge indicator
- Auto-intellicut technology (as described earlier)
- The 21-inch version doesn’t feature variable speed or Intellicut
- The 14 and 17-inch versions don’t feature a brushless motor
Is It For You?
The WORX WG743 self-propelled lawn mower is a great choice for circumstances where different people are mowing the lawn on different occasions. Both the height and speed of the mower can be adjusted for whoever happens to be mowing the lawn that day.
So What’s The Best Self-Propelled Lawn Mower For You?
So, if you have been paying attention, you’ll have noticed that self-propelled lawn mowers can be very different from each other. The most obvious differentiators are their cost and how they are powered. But they also vary in terms of their advantages and disadvantages.
In short, there really is a different type of lawn mower for different sets of circumstances…
For example, if you have a large lawn to take care of, we recommend our number one best overall pick, the Greenworks M-210-SP. This mower is also the best choice if your yard is on an incline.
Alternatively, if you have the budget for it, go with our number two pick, the Makita XML06PT1.
However, if you are particularly budget-conscious, then our number 3 pick, the PowerSmart PSM2020 is the one for you. It may be relatively cheap, but it’s certainly very reliable.
And finally, if you have different people attending to the lawn on different occasions, you could do with a mower with adjustable heights and speeds, like our number 5 pick, the WORKX WG743.
As promised, here’s your buying guide. It covers a few important things that you might want to consider before making a final decision.
Why Buy A Self-Propelled Mower?
If you don’t like sweating your clothes off pushing a heavy mower around most weekends, then a self-propelled lawn mower is a much better option. Especially if you have a large lawn to mow or if it’s on an incline.
But, a quick heads up, you will still have to walk behind your mower to guide it around. Of course, there are such things as robotic lawn mowers that you don’t have to walk behind, but these are much more expensive than self-propelled walk-behind lawn mowers.
Gas Powered Vs Battery Powered Self-Propelled Lawn Mowers
As a general rule, traditionally, gas-powered lawnmowers tend to be far more powerful than their battery-powered counterparts.
However, technology is really keeping up now. So you can often get battery-powered mowers that pack just as much power and performance as their gas-powered alternatives.
Not to mention how much better they are for the environment, especially if the batteries are rechargeable. Also, you won’t have to keep buying fuel or worry about any nasty emissions.
Moreover, although both types of mower may require some maintenance, more can go wrong with a gas-powered lawn mower since it has more moving parts and will require a lot more maintenance.
Value For Money
Self-propelled lawn mowers can vary greatly in price. For example, you can get some at the lower end for under $200, while you can sometimes expect to pay $800 or more at the high end. However, most will typically cost between $300 and $550.
The moral of the story here is that it pays to check prices as you go along. You’ll be pleased to know that many of the more important features are pretty much standard across the price range.
For example, you won’t need to pay over the odds for a 3-in-1 mower that gives you the option to side discharge the grass clippings, collect them in a bag at the rear, or mulch them. Most of them will do that for you.
Weight And Maneuverability
Anything too big and clunky can be heavy or difficult to maneuver, even when it’s self-propelled rather than a standard push lawn mower. You can usually find the weight of the lawn mower in the product description on the retailer’s web page.
Although a bag to collect the grass clippings often comes as standard, you usually have to buy other necessary accessories separately. For example, items such as batteries, chargers, and a cover for the lawn mower so it doesn’t get weather damaged.
One of our favorite special features in self-propelled lawn mowers is automatic Intellicut technology, as per our number 5 pick, the WORKX WG743.
Specifically, this feature increases the power when the grass is thicker and then dials the power down when not as necessary to conserve battery power.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is A Self-Propelled Mower Worth It?
We would argue that a self-propelled lawn mower is absolutely worth the investment. Especially when you consider that some self-propelled models cost just as little as the push lawn mowers do.
Pushing a non-self-propelled lawnmower around a big lawn can be hard work, particularly if the lawn is on an incline. In contrast, simply guiding a self-propelled mower around is a breeze. Anyone can do it, seniors or grandchildren included.
Where Can I Buy A Good Self-Propelled Lawn Mower?
You don’t necessarily need to go to a store to buy a good self-propelled lawn mower. Instead, you can find all the information you need about the ones that grab your attention online.
And if you were to click on “Check Price” on any of the lawn mowers presented above, you will be taken straight to one of our preferred leading online retailers.
In conclusion, a self-propelled lawn mower is absolutely worth investing in. And as you can see, we’ve found some great ones for you to check out for every budget level. Of course, in the end, we imagine the cost may be the deciding factor in which one you get.
If your yard is on an incline, then the Greenworks M-210-SP would be best. And if there are several people taking turns using the mower, we would recommend the WORKX WG743.
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Last update on 2024-02-28 / Affiliate links / Some images and data from Amazon Product Advertising API