Buying Guide

Best Self-Propelled Lawn Mowers For Your Yard

How Self-Propelled Lawn Mowers Work
self-propelled lawn mower preparing to mow lawn

Self-propelled mowers strike that balance between pushing your mower in the right direction and having the high speed to get the job done quickly. These types of lawn mowers can cut through thick grass or well-trimmed lawns depending on the power source and voltage. 


A simple squeeze on the ‘bail,’ the handle or lever that operates the drive system, will get a self-propelled lawn mower moving from 1 to at least 3.5 MPH. This feature makes it easy to use and requires much less effort than walk-behind mowers


  • Self-propelled lawn mowers offer a single speed option and an option for variable speeds that reach high power. 
  • Self-propelled lawn mowers have front-, rear- and all-wheel drives options. Front-wheel drive is best for flat lawns because of the lift required to move across the lawn. Rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive are the safest and most effective when mowing in a pattern on a sloped yard or lawn.  
  • Self-propelled gas or electric mowers have options for easy-to-store and height adjustment.


Safety: Once you take your hand off the bail the mower will stop, and the blades

will stop spinning to avoid injury.


Let’s explore the few differences between a gas and electric mower to determine the best self-propelled lawn mower for your yard.


Gas vs. Electric Self-Propelled Lawn Mowers
self propelled lawn mowers
self propelled lawn mowers
Description Gas: Cordless self-propelled mower with push to start that requires gas refill and periodic maintenance, including emission. Electric: Corded or cordless self-propelled mowers with electric starter switch that are lightweight and quiet in noise.
Feature/Benefits 3-in-1 feature makes it easier to manage mulch, discharge and bag clippings during and after mow. Battery powered charge allows mow to last longer and go farther in distance.
Recommended For More challenging yards with thicker grass. Best option for a yard that requires a longer cutting period.
Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Accessories and Features
couple looking at features on self-propelled lawn mower in The Home Depot
  • Bags: Some models offer side discharges where clippings shoot out as you go, or bags capture clippings from the rear or side of the mower.
  • Mulching: This accessory is highlighted in a feature. Mulching finely chops grass clippings as you go, creating fertilizer for your lawn.
  • Blade Brake: This is a tool or an override system in the self-propelled mower that stops the blade from spinning but allows the engine to keep running in case you need to pause for any reason during your chore.
  • Power-Reverse: A feature only offered on a few self-propelled mower brands, power-reverse delivers power to the front wheels for easy maneuvering in reverse. A mower with a focus on rear wheels does not have this option.
  • Automatic Choke: Allows the mower engine to be cranked at any temperature and helps adjusts the engine accordingly to regulate fuel/air mixture.

You have plenty of good mower options when it comes to grass maintenance – self-propelled mowers, push lawn mowers, reel mowers, riding mowers and more. For tips on lawn care using these mowers, take a look at our guide How to Maintain Your Lawn Mowers.