Are Self-propelled Mowers Worth It? Making The Right Decision For Your Yard

A self-propelled mower can be a great investment for your yard, but it is important to ensure it is the right decision.

There are many factors to consider when deciding if a self-propelled mower is worth it, such as the size of your yard, the type of terrain, and the amount of time you have to spend mowing. So, the question is, are self propelled mowers worth it?

This article will explore all of these considerations and the benefits and drawbacks of investing in a self-propelled mower.

What Does Self-Propelled Mean?

Self-propelled refers to a machine or vehicle that can move without external assistance. This term is often associated with lawn mowers or snow blowers with an engine or motor to power the wheels or blades rather than requiring the user to manually push or pull them along. A self-propelled machine can move forward or backward at varying speeds and can be controlled by the user via a handle or other mechanism.

A self-propelled lawn mower has a motor that powers the wheels, making it easier to push and maneuver the mower over the grass. This type of lawn mower is ideal for larger yards or individuals who have difficulty pushing a heavy mower.

With a self-propelled lawn mower, the user can simply guide the mower in the direction they want it to go while the motor moves it forward. This makes mowing the lawn a more efficient and less strenuous task. Some self-propelled lawn mowers may also allow users to adjust their speed to suit their needs or terrain better.

Are Self Propelled Mowers Worth It

Are Self Propelled Mowers Worth It?

Regarding yard care, using a self-propelled mower can be a great way to do the job quickly and easily. With the convenience of a self-propelled mower, you can quickly and easily cover a large area of your yard without manual effort.

However, with the various types of mowers available, it can be difficult to decide if a self-propelled mower is worth the investment. If you are considering purchasing a self-propelled mower, it is important to consider its cost, features, and convenience before purchasing.

Researching user reviews online is one way to determine if a self-propelled mower is worth it. Sites like Reddit have several threads devoted to discussing the pros and cons of various mowers and can be a great resource to learn more before purchasing.

Additionally, researching customer reviews can provide insight into the performance of the mower and whether or not it is worth the money. It is also important to consider the mower’s features and how it can help you maintain your yard.

Some mowers offer adjustable speed settings, allowing you to mow at a comfortable pace. Some self-propelled mowers may offer additional features such as mulching or bagging capabilities.

In addition to researching user reviews, it is important to consider your needs and budget. Self-propelled mowers can be more expensive than traditional push mowers, so it is important to determine if the cost is worth the convenience.

Additionally, the size and terrain of your yard should be considered when deciding whether a self-propelled mower is worth the investment. A self-propelled mower may be the best option if you have a large yard with hills and other obstacles.

Types Of Self-Propelled Mowers

Having the right lawn mower is essential when taking care of your lawn. There are several types of self-propelled mowers available in the market. Here are some popular ones:

  • Front-wheel-drive mowers: These have drive wheels in the front and are great for mowing level yards with many obstacles.
  • Rear-wheel-drive mowers: These have drive wheels in the rear and are perfect for mowing hilly terrain or yards with thick grass.
  • All-wheel-drive mowers: These have all four wheels powered, providing excellent traction and maneuverability on any type of terrain.
  • Electric mowers are becoming increasingly popular due to their quiet operation and eco-friendliness. They can be either corded or cordless.
  • Gas-powered mowers: These are the traditional self-propelled mowers and are still popular due to their powerful engines and ability to handle large lawns. However, they can be noisy and emit pollutants.
  • Robotic mowers: These are the latest self-propelled mower family additions. They use GPS and sensors to automatically mow your lawn without any input from you. However, they can be pricey and unsuitable for complex lawn shapes or slopes.

Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Drive System

The self-propelled lawn mower drive system powers its drive wheels, allowing it to move forward. The most common drive systems are front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, and all-wheel drive.


Front-wheel drive mowers can maneuver around obstacles easily and are generally good for flatter terrain. Rear-wheel drive mowers are best for uneven terrain because they are better at going uphill due to the added traction from the drive wheels. All-wheel drive mowers are the most versatile and can handle all terrain.

A gas engine usually powers the drive system, but electric and battery-powered options are also available. When choosing a self-propelled lawn mower, consider your terrain, yard size, and personal preferences to determine which drive system will work best.

Pros And Cons Of Self-Propelled Lawn Mowers

Self-propelled lawn mowers come with several advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the pros and cons of self-propelled lawn mowers:


  • Easier to operate: Self-propelled lawn mowers require less effort from the operator, making them ideal for large lawns or yards.
  • Faster mowing: A self-propelled lawn mower can cover more ground in less time.
  • Better traction: Self-propelled lawn mowers often have better traction, making them suitable for hilly or uneven terrain.
  • More environmentally friendly: Some self-propelled lawn mowers are battery-powered, making them a more eco-friendly option.



  • Expensive: Compared to push lawn mowers, self-propelled lawn mowers are more expensive.
  • Heavy: Self-propelled lawn mowers are heavier, as they come with a motor or engine that drives the wheels. This can make them difficult to maneuver.
  • Maintenance: The motors or engines in self-propelled lawn mowers require more maintenance, such as oil changes and spark plug replacement.
  • Not suitable for small lawns: If you have a small lawn, a self-propelled lawn mower might not be necessary, as a push mower would be sufficient.

Overall, self-propelled lawn mowers are an excellent choice for those with large or hilly lawns who want a faster and easier mowing experience, but they may not be the best choice for those with smaller lawns or tight budgets.

Costs Of Self-Propelled Mowers

The cost of self-propelled mowers can vary depending on the brand, features, and size. You can find basic models for around $300 to $400 on the lower end. These models typically have smaller cutting decks and may not have as many features.


Mid-range self-propelled mowers range from $400 to $600 and may offer larger cutting decks, more powerful engines, and additional features like bagging or mulching options.


High-end self-propelled mowers can cost upwards of $1,000 or more. These models typically have larger cutting decks, powerful engines, and advanced features like self-propelling speed control and easy height adjustment.

Before purchasing a self-propelled mower, consider your budget and the features that are important to you. It’s also helpful to read reviews and compare different models to find the best option.

Maintenance Requirements For Self-Propelled Mowers

Self-propelled mowers are a great option for those who want a little extra help when it comes to cutting their lawn. However, like any equipment, they require regular maintenance to keep them running smoothly. Here are some maintenance requirements for self-propelled mowers:

  • Check and change the oil regularly. This is especially important for self-propelled mowers, as their extra power can cause the oil to break down more quickly.
  • Keep the deck clean. Grass clippings and other debris can build up on the deck and obstruct the blades, reducing cutting performance.
  • Sharpen the blades regularly. Dull blades can tear the grass instead of cutting it cleanly, leading to a less healthy lawn.
  • Check and replace air filters as needed. A dirty air filter can reduce engine performance and cause other issues.
  • Keep the wheels and drive system lubricated. This will ensure that the self-propelled feature continues to work smoothly.
  • Check and replace spark plugs as needed. A worn spark plug can affect engine performance and cause starting issues.

By following these maintenance requirements, you can help ensure that your self-propelled mower lasts for many years and continues to provide reliable cutting performance.

How To Choose The Right Self-Propelled Mower For Your Yard?

Choosing the right self-propelled mower for your yard can be a challenging task. Here are some key factors to keep in mind before making a purchase:

  • Yard Size: The first thing to consider is the size of your yard. If you have a large yard, you may need a self-propelled mower with a wider cutting swath and a larger engine.
  • Terrain: The type of terrain in your yard is also important. A front-wheel-drive mower may be sufficient if you have a flat yard. However, consider a rear-wheel or all-wheel drive mower for better traction if you have hills or inclines.
  • Engine Power: The engine’s power is important to consider as it impacts the mower’s cutting ability. A larger engine will allow for easier cutting of thick grass and tougher weeds.
  • Cutting Mower: The type of cutting mower you choose will depend on your yard’s specific needs. A standard rotary mower works for most yards, but a reel mower may be a better option for small, manicured lawns.
  • Comfort and Convenience: The comfort and convenience of the mower are also important. Consider adjustable handles, easy-start buttons, and adjustable cutting height to make mowing easier and more comfortable.

Recommended Accessories For Self-Propelled Mowers

When it comes to self-propelled mowers, a few accessories can make your job easier and more efficient. Here are some recommended accessories to consider:

  • Grass catchers – These attachments can be added to the mower to collect the grass clippings as you go. This is a great option if you prefer a more manicured lawn or want to use the clippings for composting.
  • Mulching kits – Mulching kits are accessories that enable you to chop up the grass clippings finely and re-deposit them back onto your lawn as a natural fertilizer.
  • Blade sharpeners – Sharp blades are essential for a clean, even cut. Invest in a blade sharpener to keep your blades in top condition.
  • Fuel stabilizer – Fuel stabilizers are additives that can be added to your gas to keep it fresh and prevent it from breaking down over time, ensuring your mower runs smoothly.
  • Protective gear – Don’t forget to invest in protective gear such as safety goggles, gloves, and ear protection to keep yourself safe while using your self-propelled mower.

Common Mistakes To Avoid When Using Self-Propelled Mowers

Common Mistakes To Avoid When Using Self-Propelled Mowers

When mowing your lawn, a self-propelled mower may seem like a great idea; however, there are a few common mistakes to avoid to ensure you are getting the most out of your investment.

  • Not adjusting the speed appropriately: self-propelled mowers have different speed settings, so ensure you use the appropriate speed for the terrain you’re mowing. Going too fast or slow can lead to uneven cuts or damage to the mower.
  • Not maintaining the blades: dull blades can do a poor job cutting grass, and they can also put a strain on the mower’s engine. Make sure to sharpen the blades regularly and replace them when necessary.
  • Overloading the bag: if you’re using a self-propelled mower with a bag for collecting grass clippings, ensure you’re not overloading the bag – otherwise, the mower might struggle to move forward, and you could end up with uneven cuts.
  • Ignoring the terrain: self-propelled mowers are great for hills and inclines, but make sure to use caution and avoid steep inclines that could be dangerous or cause damage to the mower.

Safety Tips For Using Self-Propelled Mowers

Self-propelled mowers are a great investment for homeowners who want to make lawn care a breeze. With powerful motors and advanced technology, these mowers can make the job much easier and more efficient. However, before investing, there are some safety tips to consider.

  • Wear appropriate clothing and shoes. This includes long pants, sturdy shoes, and ear and eye protection.
  • Always read the owner’s manual before using the mower. This will give you important information about how to use the machine safely.
  • Keep your hands and feet away from the blades, and only use the mower on flat terrain.
  • Check the mower for loose bolts or damaged parts before each use.
  • Use the mower’s safety features, including the dead-man switch, and immediately stop the blades if you release the handle.
  • Never leave the mower unattended; always turn off the engine before making any adjustments or repairs.

Troubleshooting Common Issues With Self-Propelled Mowers

Self-propelled mowers are a great tool to have in your arsenal for maintaining your lawn. However, like any piece of machinery, they can experience issues that make them difficult or impossible to use. Here are some common issues with self-propelled mowers and how to troubleshoot them:


  • Failure to start: If your self-propelled mower doesn’t start, try checking the spark plug. Sometimes, it simply needs cleaning or replacement. Make sure there is enough fuel and the air filter is clean.
  • Lack of traction: Check the drive belt if your wheels spin when you try to engage the self-propelled feature. It may have slipped, or it needs replacing.
  • Uneven cutting: Check the blade if the mower leaves uncut grass strips. If it’s dull, it won’t cut the grass evenly. The blade’s height may also be incorrect.
  • Vibration: If the mower vibrates excessively, check if the blade is properly attached. A loose blade can cause intense vibrations or even damage to the machine. The problem could also be damaged wheels, axles, or propelling system.
  • The self-propelled feature isn’t working: Check the control cable if your mower won’t propel. It could be broken or loosely attached to the self-propelled handle. Check the transmission system or the drive gears.

These are just a few common issues with self-propelled mowers and many other possible reasons for difficulties. In general, maintenance is the key to ensuring your mower operates correctly.

Regular cleaning and blade sharpening, checking the oil and air filter levels, and checking the belt tension and drive system will help prevent problems. If you encounter any issues, consult the manufacturer’s manual, troubleshooting guide, or professional repair service.

Comparing Self-Propelled Mowers With Other Lawn Mowers

It’s important to consider the pros and cons of each type of mower before making a purchase. Self-propelled mowers are the most expensive type of mower but are also the most powerful and efficient. Unlike a push mower, a self-propelled mower requires less effort to move, allowing you to mow your lawn quickly and with less fatigue.

They are also usually more reliable, with fewer breakdowns and more power than a push mower. Self-propelled mowers also have more features, such as adjustable speed control, multiple cutting heights, and the ability to mulch and bag grass clippings.

On the other hand, self-propelled mowers can be more difficult to maneuver on uneven terrain, tend to be more expensive, and require more maintenance than a push mower. They are also unsuitable for small lawns, as their size and power can be too much for smaller spaces.

If you’re looking for a mower that will give you a faster, more efficient cut, a self-propelled mower is the way to go. However, if you have a small lawn or are looking for a mower that’s easy to maneuver and maintain, a push mower might be the better option.

Ultimately, the decision will be based on your needs and budget. Self-propelled mowers are worth the money if you need a powerful and efficient mower, but a push mower might be the better choice if you’re looking to save money. No matter which mower you purchase, research the options and find the one that best suits your yard.

Best Self-Propelled Lawn Mower

The right lawn mower is essential when it comes to keeping your lawn looking its best. But with so many models on the market, deciding which is the best for your yard can be difficult. However, here are a few top-rated options to consider:

  1. Honda HRX217VKA: This model is known for its powerful engine, easy maneuverability, and comfortable handling. It also features a clip director that lets you switch between bagging, mulching, and discharging clippings.
  2. Toro 20339: This model offers excellent cutting performance and a user-friendly design. It also includes a lightweight and easily removable bag for collecting grass clippings.
  3. Craftsman M310: This affordable option offers a durable steel deck, adjustable cutting height, and excellent maneuverability. It also features a large-capacity bag for collecting clippings.

Ultimately, the best self-propelled lawn mower for you will depend on your budget, yard size and terrain, and personal preferences. Be sure to read reviews and compare features before making a purchase.


In conclusion, whether or not a self-propelled mower is worth it depends on your individual needs and preferences. If you have a large lawn that needs frequent mowing, a self-propelled mower could save you time and effort and make the job easier. On the other hand, if you have a smaller lawn that doesn’t need to be mowed very often, it may not be worth the expense. Ultimately, your best choice will depend on your yard size, budget, and preferences.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Which is better, push or self-propelled?

The answer is subjective and depends on the individual user’s specific needs. If you want to mow a small, flat area with minimal obstacles, then a self-propelled mower would be best, as it requires less effort from the user. Suppose you want to mow a larger area with hilly terrain and many obstacles. In that case, a push mower may be the way to go, as it offers more control over the machine and the ability to maneuver around objects more easily.

Is it worth buying a self-propelled mower?

Yes, it is worth buying a self-propelled mower. Self-propelled mowers are more efficient and easier to use than manual mowers, which can save time and effort. They also often have better features and are quieter than manual mowers.

Do self-propelled mowers last?

Yes, self-propelled mowers can last several years with proper maintenance and care. Depending on the brand and model, some self-propelled mowers may last up to 10 years or more.

How much should I pay for a self-propelled lawn mower?

The cost of a self-propelled lawn mower varies greatly depending on the type and features you are looking for. Generally, you can expect to pay anywhere from $150 to $2,000 or more.

What are the benefits of a self-propelled mower?

Self-propelled mowers provide a more efficient way to mow lawns as they reduce strain on the user, have adjustable speeds, are more maneuverable, and have a tight turning radius. They are also more powerful than traditional push mowers, making handling thick grass and rough terrain easier.

How much do self-propelled mowers typically cost?

Self-propelled mowers typically cost between $200 and $1,500, depending on the size and features of the mower.

What are the drawbacks of using a self-propelled mower?

The drawbacks of using a self-propelled mower are that they are typically heavier and more expensive than regular push mowers. They also require more maintenance, as the self-propelled mechanism can wear down over time, and the drive belt may need to be replaced. They may also be more difficult to maneuver in tight spaces and around obstacles, as the wheels continue to move even when the operator releases the handle. Additionally, the added power of the self-propelled feature may increase the risk of injury if not handled properly.

Are there any special features to look for when buying a self-propelled mower?

Important features of a self-propelled mower include adjustable speed control, cutting deck size, engine or motor quality, and special capabilities like bagging or mulching. The specific features chosen will depend on individual needs and preferences.