Here's how a self-propelled mower can make yard work easier
Whether you have an oversized lot or you’re just sick of wrangling a heavy push mower, a self-propelled lawn mower can help make the physically exhausting chore of cutting the grass a bit more tolerable.
But with so many choices in powered lawn equipment, what benefits do self-propelled mowers offer that make them worth purchasing? And are they even worth the additional cost? Let’s explore the features you can expect from a self-propelled lawn mower.
Best Mower for Large Lots
If your yard is over a half an acre, you’re probably well aware that cutting the grass with a push mower takes a looong time and proves to be a grueling workout. But most residential lots aren’t large enough to require a riding mower, which can cost over $1,000 to purchase.
Self-propelled mowers, however, offer a solid, mid-priced option, and are great for medium to large sized yards.
The best part of a self-propelled mower is, as the name implies, the mower moves by itself, without the need for human force to power the machine. Instead, the user simply walks behind the mower in order to guide it.
Self-propelled mowers come in single and variable speed, where the variable speed allows the user to select the mower’s speed on a control lever.
For ease of use, front-wheel drive self-propelled mowers are the easiest to turn, as you simply tip the front wheels back and lift them off the ground.
Best Mower for Hilly Lots
Another benefit to self-propelled mowers is that they perform well on hilly, sloped lots, as the machine will accommodate for the incline much more effectively than a human using their own force to push the mower.
Rear-wheel drive self-propelled mowers will provide the best traction when cutting sloped lots, whereas front-wheel drive is preferable on flat lawns.
Best Mower for Tall Grass
If you’re the type that puts off cutting the grass until the very last minute, you’ll definitely want to own a self-propelled mower. Self-propelled mowers glide through thick, high grass with ease, whereas reel or push mowers will require extra exertion of force to accommodate for tall grass.
Also, self-propelled mowers provide a clean, uniform cut to the lawn, in contrast to the uneven cut of a reel mower.
Self-Propelled Mower Features
Self-propelled mowers come with a large range of available features. First, you’ll need to choose between front, rear, or all-wheel drive types, based on the slope of your lawn. You’ll also have to decide between a mid-pace, single speed mower or if you’d prefer a variable speed mower that adjusts to different paces.
Self-propelled mowers are also available in side-discharge or bagged to collect clippings. Higher end mowers may be referred to as “3 in 1”, where mulching is the third option.
Self-propelled mowers are also more technologically advanced in that many models offer the ability to cold start the engine, with automatic choke recovery systems. Most self-propelled mowers are gas-powered, but there are a few cordless battery-powered models available. Gasoline powered self-propelled mowers tend to work better on thick grass, whereas battery-powered are better for shorter lawns.
Cons of Self-Propelled Mowers
Each type of lawn mower (reel, push, self-propelled or riding) has its limitations, and self-propelled mowers are no exception. For instance, self-propelled mowers are a bit more costly compared to reel or push mowers, since the machine is essentially performing the work for you.
Gasoline powered self-propelled mowers typically fall in the $250-800 price range vs $150-300 for a gas-powered push mower. Electric self-propelled mowers start at around $300 vs $160 for an electric-powered push mower.
However, with advanced technology also comes higher maintenance, as well as a greater potential for problems to occur, and because of this, self-propelled mowers tend to require repairs more often than push mowers. That’s pretty much the only advantage a reel mower offers over a self-propelled.
If you have a mid to large size lot, your best choice in lawn mowers will definitely be a self-propelled model. Whether you choose front or rear wheel drive, single or variable speed, will depend on your lot slope and individual preferences. With their slew of different options and available features, self-propelled mowers offer ease of use, along with efficiency in cutting a variety of lawn types, all while providing a consistent and cleanly cut yard and will help you make your lawn care easier.