Best Self Propelled Lawn Mower Reviews 2017 – Buyer’s Guide
The smell originating from freshly mowed grass is one of the simple yet satisfying pleasures in life. Doing it with a smoothly operating self propelled lawn mower takes the experience a notch higher. To identify the best self propelled lawn mower, here are some factors that you should consider. Also check out our best lawn mower guide for a regular lawn mower.
Rear Wheel Drive
9.4 /10Our Rating
Rear Wheel Drive
8.5 /10Our Rating
Poulan pro 961420135
Front Wheel Drive
6 /10Our Rating
Front Wheel Drive
6 /10Our Rating
Rear Wheel Drive
8 /10Our Rating
Factors to consider when selecting a self propelled lawn mower
It is the first thing that you should check if interested in purchasing a lawn mower. Self-propelled mowers are said to be safe. They have an automatic shut off system ensuring the mower shuts of when not in use or when you pause to pick up clippings , weeds, or a ball from the ground. In addition, many mowers have an override system that allows the blades to disengage once the engine shuts off.
Ease of use
Are you looking for a manual or an electric corded self-propelled lawn mower? The question is determined by checking the convenience level involved when making the purchase. Self-propelled gas lawn mowers might be more convenient especially if not up to the hassle that accompanies corded electric mowers. You might need to check if the lawn mower starts by recoil or has an electric starter. Recoil starters require you to pull a cord to start the mower while an electric one requires you to push a button or a start key.
This influences movement, the speed limit and the smoothness of work done. Look for comfortable and well tread wheels that make it easy to propel the mower with minimal effort. In addition, you can maneuver them with more ease and prevent the mower from damage especially if the wheels come off due to excessive turning.
Buy mowers from well-reputed entities such as Kohler, Honda and other name brands. Servicing your machine on a regular basis is considered common practice. Don't ignore this factor and the availability of spare parts and local maintenance shops. Regular maintenance improves the condition of the mower increasing its durability.
Many lawn mowers today come with extra accessories. Knowing these accessories after identifying your needs makes it easier when it comes to making your purchase.
Size of the garden or lawn
Lawn mowers come in different sizes. The lawn mower purchased must be directly proportionate to the size of the lawn. This prevents over loading the mower.
Advantages of self propelled lawn mowers
- Time: they reduce the time taken and the energy required to fulfill the function. This can be attributed to the fact that the mower is self-propelled, making it easier to mow across challenging vegetation or land.
- Speed: they are designed to accommodate the user’s speed limit and the pace of work. If aiming for a slower or faster mower or you want to match the speed of the mower to your physical needs, then the speed can be readjusted. A one speed self-propelled mower on the other hand can result to uneven grass cuts and poorly cut mulch clippings.
- Bagging: many mowers have side bags to bag cut grass. Therefore, you have accessories and added functionalities such as mulching.
- User friendly: the mowers have automatics chokes and can be started when the engine is cold due to their choke recovery systems.
- Choice: self-propelled lawn mowers come in different sizes, designed for different uses and with different accessories. This offers a wide selection to choose from.
Types of self propelled lawn mowers
Self-propelled lawn mowers come in different shapes and sizes and for different purposes. There are three types of self-propelled lawn mowers.
Front Wheel Drive (FWD)
- Suitable for flat land surface and terrain.
- Easy to use as all you need is to tip the front wheels of the lawn mower back to stop it.
- Hard to maneuver especially when faced with a challenge such as taller tougher grass. However, if the challenge is an uneven shaped lawn or mowing around trees, then it might be a good idea to try the front wheel.
Rear Wheel Drive (RWD)
- Suitable for a sloping terrain due to their advanced traction, as cutting grass on a slope is best done across and not up and down.
- Provides more stability compared to the others when mowing.
- It is easier to maneuver and provides better traction control.
- Requires a bag for the grass which is an essential accessory and a stopper i.e. the mower stops mowing once the bag is full and the front end of the mower lifts.
All-Wheel Drive (AWD)
- This is designed to offer more stability especially in slippery terrain similar to how a car operates.
- It is suitable for use in lawns where the grass is quite tall or tough, on uneven terrain or on a steep slope.
- It offers maximum control and has great maneuverability.
Top 5 Best Self Propelled Lawn Mower Reviews
Self-propelled lawn mowers offer a stiff competition. All have similar features and the advantages are almost the same. However, the Honda HRR216K9VKA 3-in-1 is the best one of them all. Compared to the others, it offers an improved variable speed that is comfortable for all, can be used on different lawns and has a wide range of grass height. It is easy to use, safe, and is from a well-known brand making it easier to maintain and service in the long run.
If you want a lawn mower that’s easy to operate, you should definitely consider a self-propelled mower. Differing from a push mower, there’s no need to use a lot of energy pushing it around a lawn and up/down a hill. It’s also a wise option if you have health issues that would make a standard mower difficult to operate.
Ease-of-operation is definitely one of the main benefits of self-propelled mowers. However, they also generally provide less power than push mowers, and especially cordless battery powered units. Another key drawback is that they require more maintenance. This means that you should try to take the right steps to keep your mower operating at the best possible level. The good news is that taking certain steps in maintaining the unit will make the device operate as efficiently as possible. Here are some helpful tips:
1. Read the owner’s manual before you key start up the mower
Even if you’ve owned self-propelled mowers in the past this is a critical step to take like reading a buying guide. If you use and maintain the unit properly it’s likely that the mower will last for several years. On the other hand, if you don’t take that step you could end up using/maintaining the mower improperly, which could cause a ton of expenses and problems that you probably want to avoid.
2. Make sure all moving parts have stopped before routine maintenance
That includes tasks such as inspecting, cleaning, and fixing. You should also unplug the spark plug ignition wire. Ground it against the mower’s engine to prevent the unit from starting unintentionally. While it’s important to maintain your self-propelled mower, it should be done as safely as possible in order to avoid problems.
3. Get major repairs from an official dealer
This is important instead of taking the unit to a third-party repair shop. Performing regular maintenance will help to prevent many types of issues that you might have to deal with in terms of your mower.
However, in the case that you’re unable to repair the unit, you should certainly contact an official dealer. This will help to ensure that it’s done properly. Usually there are web tools to help you find an official dealer in your area. They’ll have experienced technicians and expertise about different products. That will help to ensure that you can get all the parts and service from one location, instead of multiple ones.
4. Change the oil regularly
This is a given, but it’s definitely worth mentioning. It’s important to use high-end oil to prevent the engine from seizing up. First, verify that the engine is warm. This will provide a complete drainage and allow any impurities to drain out with the oil. The next step is to let the oil release into a bucket/recycled milk jug.
There are 3 ways to remove the oil. You can use a dipstick after tilting the mower, via the drain plug, and an oil-extraction gadget. There’s no right or wrong method, but you should use whichever one is most convenient for you. Replace the plug then add new oil to the engine. Finally, it’s critical to dispose of the used engine oil properly. Do that by placing it in a clean plastic container that’s covered with a tight-fighting lid. It’s important not to mix the oil with any other substances including paint and gas. Then take the container to a service station, recycling center, or other location that accepts used oil.
5. Change the air filter
Like a furnace, a lawnmower works better when clean air is flowing through it. It’s important to replace the air filter periodically due to the mowing you’ve been doing. Just remove the filter. Then clean the area around it, and install a new air filter. This is one of the easiest yet most effective steps for optimizing the operation of your mower.
6. Replace spark plugs each season
It’s important to take this step each mowing season. On average you should put in a fresh one every season. This will result in faster starts and improved fuel economy. However, it’s important to correctly gap the spark plug before you start the installation. This is an easy maintenance step you can take to ensure that your mower is working as effectively as possible. It proves that you don’t have to spend a small fortune to keep your mower working as effectively as it can.
7. Regularly clean the mower
Any machine with moving parts requires maintenance. Since the mower has had long-term grass exposure, this can cause wear and tear on the unit. That’s due to exposure to grass, leaves, dirt, twigs, and other items.
It starts with removing surface debris from the unit, which is easy to do. It can be blown or brushed off. Sometimes there’s a deck wash-out port that can be connected to a hose in order to flush out all the pieces of grass and other debris below the mower’s deck. If your unit doesn’t have that feature you can tilt the mower onto its side and then use water to rinse the deck. If you see any bits of pieces stuck in the mower blade always use a stick to get it out. Never use your hands as it could become dangerous.
8. Inspect the unit after hitting a foreign object
It’s important to take this step even if the mower keeps operating. The reason is that it could result in damage of the mower, which is certainly a situation you want to avoid. In this case you should first turn off the engine. Then disconnect the spark plug ignition wire. Next, ground it against the engine. Afterwards, inspect the mower carefully for any damage that might have occurred. If you find any damage repair the damage. Then start up the mower and operate it again. However, it’s critical to take all these steps to ensure that the operation of your self-propelled mower is optimized. Operating the mower when a foreign object is lodged underneath can cause a lot of damage to the unit.
9. Sharpen blades twice per season
This will help to ensure the blades work properly and your lawn looks healthy. On the other hand, mowing with a dull blade tears up the grass blades, which results in the grass being ragged, a weakened plant, and promoting disease. On the other hand, a sharp blade provides a clean cut. This helps to plant to heal over time, and allows it to recover faster. The process of sharpening the blade is a relatively simple process. In addition, a do-it-yourself fan can handle the task after doing a little research, or with the help of a lawn mower dealer in your neighborhood. Regardless of how it’s done it’s important that the blades get sharpened on a regular basis to provide maximum efficiency.
10. Check the blade/engine mounting balls
Examine them from time to time to ensure that the tightness is proper. You should also visually check the mower’s blade for damage. For example, check if it’s bent, cracked, or worn out. Make sure to only use the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) blade when changing the blade. If you use parts that aren’t OEM parts it could result in bad performance and even cause safety issues. Such parts have a lower price tag, but it’s not worthwhile if it compromises their function or safety.
11. Handle mower blades properly
Mower blades are quite sharp and can cut your hands. Thus, it’s important to always wear gloves when handling blades and wrap them. You should use extra care when servicing the blades as they’re particularly dangerous in that situation because you’re twisting and turning the item to perform maintenance.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is a self-propelled mower?
Simply put, this is a kind of mower that can mow and propel itself simultaneously. They distribute power not only on the wheels, but also on the blades, making mowing an effortless task. There is no need for pushing and it can deliver superior functionality in different slopes or terrains.
2. What is the best brand of self-propelled lawn mower?
This is not an easy question as it will all depend on individual preferences and user-specific requirements. However, when you talk about reliability and reputation of the manufacturer, some of the best brands include Honda, Troy Bilt and Poulan Pro. These brands have been around for years and consistently ranked high above competition.
3. How do I start a mower?
This will differ depending on the specific brand of the mower that you are using. Traditionally, which is still the case in most models today, you have to pull a cord to ignite the engine. Newer models, on the other hand, are more innovative and can start with a push of a button.
4. Which is better, front or rear-wheel drive?
Both are actually good. If we have to pick only one, however, we would recommend rear-wheel drive. We believe that it is better because of its center of gravity. This will prevent slippage, making it better when it comes to performance.
5. Is maintenance required?
Like in the case of other products, maintenance will prove to be necessary in terms of being able to maintain its long-term functionality. Some of the parts that should be well-maintained include belt, transmission, and wheels.
6. What size should I purchase?
To determine the size of the self-propelled lawn mower that is right for you, it is important to consider the side of the yard where it will be used. Larger mowers are more powerful, which is why they are recommended if you have a larger yard.
7. What is the maximum speed of self-propelled lawn mowers?
Different models from different brands will have varying speeds. Generally speaking, however, they will be from 3 to 5 kilometers per hour. You would not need anything that is more than such.
8. Can I use it in hills?
Definitely! Because they are self-propelling, there should be no problem in using them in hilly areas, as well as in uneven terrains. Its performance will not be compromised.
9. What features should I look for?
First, take a look at the safety features, which will make sure that the mower can be operated in a manner that is safe. Make sure that it also has ergonomic features, such as being easy to maneuver, having wheels that will perform well in different terrains, and having comfortable handle. May attention to its flexibility, ease-of-use, and durability.