10 Best Self-Propelled Lawn Mowers of 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks
One of the quintessential sounds of summer is a lawnmower rumbling in the distance. Perhaps one of your first jobs involved taking care of your neighbor’s lawn. Suffice to say that a well-manicured lawn is a desirable feature. It’s no wonder that the global lawn mower market is a $27.5 billion industry, according to 2018 figures. Experts estimate that it will grow by over 42% by 2025 to $39.2 billion.
With over 170 businesses manufacturing these products, it can feel overwhelming to pick the best one. We’ve taken on the task for you. Our article includes detailed reviews of some of the top self-propelled lawn mowers available. We’ve also included a comprehensive buyer’s guide to help you choose the right one for your lawn and budget.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Best Overall||Greenworks M-210-SP Self-Propelled Mower||
|Best Value||Lawn-Boy 17732 Self Propelled Lawn Mower||
|Premium Choice||Makita XML08PT1 Self Propelled Lawn Mower||
|Snapper SXD21SPWM82K Self-Propelled Lawn Mower||
|Craftsman M275 Self-Propelled FWD Lawn Mower||
The 10 Best Self-Propelled Lawn Mowers – Reviews 2021
1. Greenworks M-210-SP Self-Propelled Mower – Best Overall
The Greenworks M-210-SP Self-Propelled Mower is an eco-friendly option for those who prefer a battery-powered device. It’s surprisingly lightweight for what it is. It has a 21-inch deck, which is more than adequate for most lawns. The product succeeds in usability, with a push-button start and easy access to the working end of the mower. It even has a USB port for charging your devices.
The runtime on a single charge is decent at 40 minutes. That is probably enough for most yards. When not in use, the mower folds up for convenient storage. It has seven height options and adjusts to the changing terrain with the manufacturer’s SmartCut technology.
2. Lawn-Boy 17732 Self Propelled Lawn Mower – Best Value
The Lawn-Boy 17732 Self Propelled Lawn Mower is one of the best self-propelled lawn mowers for the money. It is a gas-powered model with a 21-inch deck. It’s also CARB Compliant, making it an environmentally friendly option. We liked the fact that it’s a 4-stroke model to make maintenance easier. It is a rear-wheel model, which, unfortunately, doesn’t go backward.
The manufacturer backs up their product with both a 2-year full warranty and a 3-year TruStart warranty. We thought it was refreshing not to see the word, limited. It was quick to start, even though it has a pull mechanism. There were a few design issues with the bag and front-end attachments. Otherwise, the mower runs well and does an excellent job of cutting.
3. Makita XML08PT1 Self Propelled Lawn Mower – Premium Choice
The Makita XML08PT1 Self Propelled Lawn Mower is another battery-powered device that makes short work of lawns under ½ acres. It is a variable speed model that runs from 1.5–3 mph. The range is excellent if you want to take your time and enjoy the day or zip through mowing quickly. The mower runs on two 18-volt batteries that are included with your purchase, along with two extra ones.
The design of the battery portion is superb to protect them from overload and overheating. The mower holds all four batteries in two packs. That adds considerably to the weight, tipping the scales at over 116 pounds. However, it’s quite fast and has plenty of cutting power through even the thickest of lawns. It’s worth noting that there is a learning curve to optimizing its use.
4. Snapper SXD21SPWM82K Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
The Snapper SXD21SPWM82K Self-Propelled Lawn Mower runs on a Briggs & Stratton 82-volt, lithium-ion, 2.0Ah battery, which is included with the charger. It is a 3-in-1 model with a push-button start. The mower has an extra-large rear wheel, which makes it an excellent choice if your yard is hilly. This one will climb them effortlessly.
The mower uses smart technology to optimize its performance. There is also a seven-position height adjustment. The product is brushless, with a 21-inch deck. The runtime is decent at 45 minutes. Of course, that figure varies with what you’re mowing. While it seems robust enough, it was louder than we expected for a product of this type.
5. Craftsman M275 Self-Propelled FWD Lawn Mower
The Craftsman M275 Self-Propelled FWD Lawn Mower is a versatile product, with mulching and both rear and side discharges available. It is gas-powered and includes the oil to get you started. It is a front-wheel drive, which takes it off the table for yards with rugged terrain. However, it has some welcome features, including an electric start and a deck wash option.
We liked that you can adjust the cut height on the fly. It also has large rear wheels that give it some extra oomph. Assembly is required, but it wasn’t a big deal. It is also a single speed, which isn’t unexpected given its specs and other features. It comes with a 2-year warranty. The manufacturer makes the product in the USA with globally sourced parts.
6. Troy-Bilt TB220 High Wheel Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
The Troy-Bilt TB220 High Wheel Self-Propelled Lawn Mower is another 3-in-1 offering with front-wheel drive and a side discharge. It’s a lightweight model that is suitable for smaller yards that don’t need the extra power or bigger engine size. It is gas-powered with a 159cc powerhouse and a 21-inch deck. It delivers reliable performance with a tri-action cutting system and four variable speed settings.
We thought the wheels were a bit small if you need a boost to cut through thick or tall grass. They are also a bit cheap-looking. However, the price is right for a product that works as described, especially if you’re mowing a flat lawn without a lot of obstacles. It’s quick to assemble, which we always appreciate in these types of products.
7. POWERWORKS MO60L02PW Self Propelled Mower
The POWERWORKS MO60L02PW Self Propelled Mower is a value-priced product, especially considering that it is battery-powered. It has a 45-minute runtime, which is desirable for smaller lawns. The engine is 60 volts, which is enough juice to cut through some thick grass. There are a lot of things going with this product, starting with its price.
The mower is foldable, which we think should be a feature with all of them. The manufacturer backs up their product with a 4-year limited warranty, one of the longest of the ones we reviewed. The product is a bit heavy, which can affect battery life on uneven terrain. An extra battery is also expensive. The length of the warranty saves the day for this one.
8. EGO LM2102SP Self Propelled Lawnmower
The EGO LM2102SP Self Propelled Lawnmower starts respectable, with a 5-year warranty and a 60-minute running time. That figure is impressive for a product of this type. You may actually be able to mow the entire lawn on one charge! The recharge time is lightning fast at 30 minutes. However, then things start to go downhill.
It’s expensive, even though it’s an eco-friendly option. The battery makes it a beast at 165 pounds. Heaven forbid, you have to take this one up hills or steep slopes! The other dealbreaker is that the battery is not included with the already high price tag. On the positive side, you can use it out of the box, unless you need the bag.
9. Yard Force YOLMX225300 SP 3-in-1 Mower
The Yard Force YOLMX225300 SP 3-in-1 Mower is the only 22-inch deck model on our list. It features a push-button start, which we always appreciate. This model is an excellent example of where the technology in this industry is headed with the ability to adjust on the fly to the lawn’s conditions. It takes self-propulsion to the next level.
On the downside, this lawn mower isn’t cheap. It’s definitely a higher-end model. It’s also heavy, which is the tradeoff that exists with battery-powered mowers. The operation isn’t intuitive, which you may expect with its smart technology. The handle is surprisingly flimsy for a product at this price point. Unfortunately, the manufacturer dropped the ball on this one.
10. Husqvarna 967820502 LE221R Self-Propelled Battery Lawn Mower
The Husqvarna 967820502 LE221R Self-Propelled Battery Lawn Mower comes into the game with the solid reputation of the manufacturer. It is a battery-powered, 3-in-1 model, weighing in at 70 pounds. For a battery-powered product, that’s not bad. However, the reason is that the powerhouse is only 40 volts. That’s not a lot of juice for uneven lawns.
Unfortunately, the mower isn’t easy to maneuver, making the job more of a chore than we’d like. However, it is well-constructed, which is what we’d expect from this manufacturer. Unfortunately, quality control is off the mark, which can put it in the dealbreaker category if you are one of the unlucky few. It’s a shame coming from a company that prides itself on quality.
Using a self-propelled lawnmower is the way to go if a rider isn’t an option for you. Instead of you supplying the elbow grease, it does the job for you. You’ll likely find operating one is a godsend, especially if you have a large or hilly yard. The technology has come a long way since Edwin Beard of Great Britain invented the device in 1830.
Today’s models have bells and whistles that almost make mowing fun. They are more user-friendly with all aspects of using and maintaining one. They’re more efficient and can last much longer than the lawnmower your dad had. The price varies widely, depending on the mechanics and other features of the product.
There are several things to keep in mind that can help you narrow your choices. First, there is the size of your lawn. If it’s large, then you’ll likely find it a chore with even the best self-propelled lawn mower. The second thing to keep on your radar is the type of terrain that you have. Manufacturers often include a recommendation, whether it’s flat, uneven, or hilly.
Other points to consider include:
- Power source
- Type of start
- Deck size and height
- Engine size
- Speed setting
- Drive type
- Clipping management
- Wash-out ports
Let’s cover each one in detail with tips on what may work best for you. We’ll also discuss the pros and cons of your choices.
Most self-propelled lawn mowers are gas-powered. Many products have an automatic choke so that you don’t have to prime it before starting it. That makes them easier to use. If you have a larger yard or uneven terrain, it’s a smart choice for getting the job done quickly. You’ll find models that have either a two-stroke or four-stroke engine.
The latter is desirable because it’s more fuel-efficient. It also eliminates the need to pre-mix the oil and gasoline before filling the lawn mower. On the downside, gas-powered mowers are loud. You can find battery-operated ones that are quieter. However, they are often spendy, particularly if they include the battery.
Type of Start
An electric or push-button start is the easiest to use. Some may find that a pull-cord model is more difficult to get running. There’s also the risk of the cord breaking if you use your mower a lot. Manufacturers are well aware of these issues and have improved the technology to make starting their mowers less cumbersome.
Deck Size and Height
The deck is the cutting width. The optimal size depends on your lawn and its layout. If you have a lot of trees or landscaping, you may find that a larger deck makes it harder to turn with a wider radius. You’ll see products with widths varying from 20 to 30 inches. Mowers with a 21-inch deck are the most popular. If your yard is a ½ acre or less, this width is suitable without sacrificing maneuverability.
A mower with a height adjustment feature allows you to change the cut based on the season, weather, and landscaping preferences. Your grass will grow differently throughout the year. For example, photosynthesis or energy production slows when temperatures climb into the 90s. You’ll likely have to mow less. Ideally, don’t trim more than one-third of the visible plant.
You’ll find mower engines that range from 140–190cc for self-propelled models. The factors of yard size and terrain also come into play here. The other things to think about include whether you want to mulch the grass clippings. It’s also a matter of how critical your lawn’s appearance matters to you. Popping for a product with an engine in the 160–180cc is worth the investment.
Remember that the conditions and the necessary labor vary. If the grass is thick, you’re going to have to work harder to get it through and cut it uniformly. We suggest going for the higher spec to have a mower whatever the conditions.
Self-propelled lawn mowers come in either set or variable speed settings. The latter is desirable because you can match the conditions with the amount of effort and time you have. If you keep up with your lawn’s maintenance, you can probably get by just fine with a set-speed model. We also suggest checking how you adjust it. Ideally, it moves easily through the settings and is durable to handle heavy use.
Pay attention to the range of speeds, if provided. The point of this feature is to match the effort with the conditions. You don’t want to run after your walk-behind lawnmower. We like products that give us a choice of a leisurely job or a quick turnaround. Remember that walking at 3 mph is a brisk pace. Balance that with the effort, which rests with the weight and design of the mower.
These factors are more critical if you have to do some pushing up hills and slopes. That makes other things like drive and wheel size essential. We suggest that you compare the specs of your current ride with other products that you’re considering. Think about what makes your job harder, and focus on how you can make it easier for you.
Front-wheel mowers offer several advantages. They are typically affordable, which makes them an excellent option if you don’t have a big yard and don’t want to invest a lot of money. They’re easy to turn, too. Simply lift up the front end, and point it to where you want to go next. However, on the downside, they are only appropriate for flat terrain.
Rear-wheel mowers have the extra boost of power to help you climb hills and steep slopes. They are also preferable if your lawn is thick. If your yard is uneven, they’ll make your job a lot easier. You may also see all-wheel-drive models, which are the cream of the crop—for a price. If your yard is particularly rugged, it may be a worthwhile investment.
You have two choices when it comes to managing the grass clippings. Leaving them on the lawn is a cheap source of vitamins and nutrients for your grass. You can use a self-propelled mower with a mulching feature to make your yard more presentable and provide much-needed air circulation. Bagging and composting them is another way to handle the issue.
Affordably priced mowers give you just those two choices. High-quality products are 3-in-1, which means you also get a third option with a rear or back discharge. We think they are worth the extra money to get the most out of your purchase. The choice of which direction is up to you. However, we like products that give you the option for either one.
Wash-out ports are a must-have with self-propelled lawn mowers. They are openings on the top of the deck. Simply attach a hose and clean the blade and underside of your mower. It’ll keep it running more efficiently without a layer of grass clippings interfering with its operation. You’ll likely find that doing this maintenance will extend the life—and value—of your mower.
After completing our reviews, two leaders stand out from the rest. The Greenworks M-210-SP Self-Propelled Mower is an excellent option that is both easy to operate and environmentally friendly. The design is well done, with quick access to the business end of the mower. It has a decent running time for small to medium lawns.
The Lawn-Boy 17732 Self Propelled Lawn Mower is an example of what we like to see from a manufacturer, with its two-part warranty. It speaks volumes about its quality, especially since it doesn’t take on conditions. It’s gas-powered which makes it inexpensive to use for buyers who prefer this type of product.
Buying a self-propelled lawnmower is a no-brainer if you have a lawn with slopes or uneven patches. It takes some of the labor from you so that you may even enjoy mowing your lawn. Our product lineup revealed that the technology is improving and incorporating more user-friendly features. Of course, power is the deciding factor. It all depends on how the manufacturers leverage it to your advantage.
- 1 A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- 2 The 10 Best Self-Propelled Lawn Mowers – Reviews 2021
- 2.1 1. Greenworks M-210-SP Self-Propelled Mower – Best Overall
- 2.2 2. Lawn-Boy 17732 Self Propelled Lawn Mower – Best Value
- 2.3 3. Makita XML08PT1 Self Propelled Lawn Mower – Premium Choice
- 2.4 4. Snapper SXD21SPWM82K Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
- 2.5 5. Craftsman M275 Self-Propelled FWD Lawn Mower
- 2.6 6. Troy-Bilt TB220 High Wheel Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
- 2.7 7. POWERWORKS MO60L02PW Self Propelled Mower
- 2.8 8. EGO LM2102SP Self Propelled Lawnmower
- 2.9 9. Yard Force YOLMX225300 SP 3-in-1 Mower
- 2.10 10. Husqvarna 967820502 LE221R Self-Propelled Battery Lawn Mower
- 3 Buyer’s Guide
- 4 Conclusion