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The 7 Best Self Propelled Lawn Mower | Reviews 2020

Best Self-Propelled Mower For The Money

Are you looking for the Best Self Propelled Lawn Mower for the money?  If so, we’re here to help you sort out the differences between the very best models you can own – and why we think a self-propelled mower is the best type of mower you can buy – period.

If you don’t already own one, you’ll love this amazing piece of lawn equipment. If you already own one or are looking to upgrade, then you’ll agree that self-propelled lawn mowers are one of the best pieces of lawn equipment you can possibly own. 

With a no-hassle approach to lawn care, these power-assisted mowers truly make your life easier, and if you’re still wondering “are self-propelled mowers any good” or “are self-propelled mowers worth the money?”  Our answer is a resounding – Yes!

The best self-propelled mower can save loads of time and effort but are even more of a “must-have” if your yard is hilly or uneven. A top-rated self-propelled mower is literally able to propel up the slope as opposed to having to push your way up – how great is that? And if you appreciate an electric push-button start mower vs. the standard ripcord pull method, you will be equally satisfied with four of the models here in our review offering that feature.

If you happen to be in a hurry, or would rather skip the full review, our number-one rated self-propelled lawn mower is the Honda HRR216VYA

You can skip right to that model here!

To help you with your selection process, we’ve put together a list of the 7 Best Self-Propelled Mowers on the market today. These individual winners have been placed in several different categories and listed along with some of their key attributes and features to help you understand the differences of each mower and make an informed buying decision.  So which models make our list for the best self-propelled lawn mower you can buy?

Best Self-Propelled Mower Buyers Guide


First, let’s take a look at the Top 3 rated products in this category, then we’ll break down all products in detail and help you choose the right one for you in the Buyers Guide below.

Editor’s ChoiceRunner UpBest Electric Value
Honda HRR216VYA 21'' 3-in-1 Self Propelled Smart Drive Roto-stop Lawn Mower with Auto Choke and Twin Blade SystemCraftsman M215 159cc 21-Inch 3-in-1 High-Wheeled FWD Self-Propelled Gas Powered Lawn Mower with BaggerGreenworks PRO 21-Inch 80V Self-Propelled Cordless Lawn Mower, Battery and Charger Not Included
Honda HRR216VYA 21'' 3-in-1 Self Propelled Smart Drive Roto-stop Lawn Mower with Auto Choke and Twin Blade SystemCraftsman M215 159cc 21-Inch 3-in-1 High-Wheeled FWD Self-Propelled Gas Powered Lawn Mower with BaggerGreenworks PRO 21-Inch 80V Self-Propelled Cordless Lawn Mower, Battery and Charger Not Included

Editor’s Pick: Honda HRR216VYA “Smart Drive” (RWD)

Honda HRR216VYA 21'' 3-in-1 Self Propelled Smart Drive Roto-stop Lawn Mower with Auto Choke and Twin Blade System

If you’re looking for the best self-propelled mower on the planet, complete with capabilities that far exceed the average model, we rate the 21″ wide cutting path – Honda HRR216VYA  3 -in-1 Smart Drive with Roto Stop as the homeowners Best option. Smart Drive allows you to adjust your speed, and It comes with a powerful Honda 160 cc larger engine and with Rear-Wheel drive.  The mower lands at about 90 lbs. of weight, it is a beast as it climbs over practically any hilly or uneven lawn.  This high-end mower offers 3-in-1  Bag, Mulch, and Side discharge grass clipping options.

This Honda mower gives you 6 mowing height options and features their unrivaled and patented Honda “Twin-blade micro-cut” system“Leaf Clippings” with four cutting surfaces, allowing you to mulch wet leaves, and virtually eliminate raking in the Fall. When considering the price of this model, ask yourself what value you place on that feature alone.

However, the real “Game-changer” for Honda is the Roto-Stop feature.  This feature allows you to stop the blades but step away from the mower while leaving.  This allows you to move something out of the way without shutting off the mower and restarting it – this is a HUGE time-saver as we all know.

Say for instance you have a large yard to mow and it’s also a bit overgrown or damp. Instead of mowing with the options other mowers offer – that is either 100% mulch or 100% bag, the Versamow system with their 10-position toggle, allows you to adjust the Percentage of each option.  You could for example bag 25% and mulch the other 75%, basically, whatever the perfect combination is to finish that overgrown yard in one pass. Once you master the Versamow options and calibrate to your yard, you can control your mowing patterns based on any number of wet/dry, or long/short grass conditions.

To See the Incredible Honda “Smart Drive Mower” in Action – Check out this Video:

Key Features of This Product Include:

  • 21-inch mower deck
  • Auto-Choke – No Manual Choke adjustment required
  • 5-Position Adjustable Speed – “Smart Drive”
  • Improved blades for better cut quality
  • Large 8″ Wheels
  • Roto Stop Feature
  • Superior bagging system
  • 3-in-1 capability
  • Adjustable position Handle
  • 160-cc  Honda engine
  • Bag included
  • Rear Wheel Drive

One of the most common advantages reviewers describe for the Honda HRR216VYA mower,  is its superior construction. At 90 pounds, this mower is definitely heavy but is built exceptionally well. The easily adjustable propulsion speed is an excellent feature that allows users to exert more speed control based on their individual walking speed. Overall, if you wanted to check every box of features that you would want to see in a self-propelled mower, Honda has done just that with this model.

Customer Concerns/Suggestions:

Price: Honda builds a fantastic mower and their reputation is outstanding, however that comes with a more expensive initial investment.  Some users who require a lightweight mower, have also noted that the 100 lb. weight of this mower makes it cumbersome to maneuver before start-up and engaging the self-propelled drive motor.  If you’re on a stricter budget we suggest skipping to our runner up tor the very popular Battery Powered Greenworks Self Propelled mower – Our “Best Value” choice.




Runner Up: Craftsman Self-Propelled Mower – High Wheel (FWD)

Craftsman M215 159cc 21-Inch 3-in-1 High-Wheeled FWD Self-Propelled Gas Powered Lawn Mower with Bagger

Our strongest contender for Runner Up – is the Craftsman – gas-powered, High-Wheel, self-propelled mower with the highly sought after Overhead Valve 159cc engine. This 21″ front-wheel-drive (FWD) mower is a high-quality mower that comes in at a very reasonable price point. We named this one Runner-Up because but because it offers maximum features; with Front-wheel drive, Large Rear wheels, Variable Speed Control, and a Dual wheel height adjuster – all for a very reasonable price.

Key Features of This Product Include:

  • 159cc OHV Engine  
  • Large 11 High Rear wheels
  • 3-in1 Mowing Options – Side, Rear discharge or Mulching
  • The mower can be operated with only one hand
  • 7 adjustable height settings
  • Auto Choke – Pull and Go!
  • Bag included

A couple of reasons the Craftsman Self Propelled mower beat out the Greenworks Battery powered mower is it’s the Gas Powered engine which makes it more powerful, and the engine type they utilize.  The Craftsman has met buyers’ needs with a powerful 159cc engine and generally easy lawnmower to own and maintain.

With its 3-in-1 mowing option, including side discharge, bag, or mulch; the larger bagging capacity on this model is also a favorite feature.  Users like that they spend less time dumping clippings and more time mowing! 

Customer Concerns/Suggestions:

The majority of buyers find the Craftsman easy to start on the first pull, though a few have noted that it takes them more than one try to get the mower running, however, cold starts are common complaints with most pull cord mowers.

For users with large lots or very heavy cutting, the Craftsman Mower at 21″ may be a bit light-duty. The average homeowner with a small to a medium-sized lot, however, will find that this mower provides good construction quality, a reasonable amount of power and excellent ease of use for routine mowing.



Best Value – Greenworks 80 Volt 21″ Self Propelled (RWD)

Greenworks PRO 21-Inch 80V Self-Propelled Cordless Lawn Mower, Battery and Charger Not Included

Although there are many great self-propelled mower options out there, some can fall into fairly high price ranges.  The Greenworks is in our opinion the clear choice as the best value self-propelled lawnmower.

If you want to buy one of the best lawn mowers for the money, and never have to worry about gas/oil or sparkplugs again -we highly recommend the Greenworks MO80L00 80 Volt Battery Powered Mower: 3-in-1 (bag, mulch, discharge) 21″ Self-Propelled Mower.  In fact, it’s one of Amazon’s Best Rated mowers.  This mower offers a fantastic mix of quality and features at a price point that practically any homeowner can afford without breaking the bank. 

Key Features of This Product Include:

  • 21-inch mower deck
  • Electric Start – No Pull Cord
  • Rear-wheel drive  (RWD)
  • Equivalent 160cc OHV Brushless 80 Volt engine
  • Adjustable Variable control Speed
  • Single lever adjustable height control
  • “Smart Cut” Load-sensing technology
  • 10″ Large Rear Wheels

Many buyers find that the Greenworks 80 Volt is one of the best mowers they’ve ever owned.  Of course, while these are amazing machines they have certain limitations.  Battery-powered lawn mowers are probably the best mower for small to mid-size yards, due to a maximum run time of about 30-40 minutes.  They also don’t possess quite as much power as the larger gas engine models such as a 190cc Honda.

If you’re someone who delays their mowing until their grass is very long, this may not be the best choice.  What the Greenworks self-propelled mower lacks in those two areas, however, the extraordinary features of this self-propelled mower make up in other areas. Variable speed can be set to any speed you want, and this mower is more than capable of moving along at a brisk pace, making it a good option for people who like to mow as quickly as possible.

The Greenworks MO80L00 is designed with rear-wheel drive (RWD) for climbing uneven or hilly yards, and for that type of terrain, RWD will always outshine FWD models. The 10″ large rear wheels are also perfect for uneven terrain and propelling up steeper sloped yards. 

This mower is also capable of bagging, mulching or side-discharge just like a conventional gas mower.

Customer Concerns/Suggestions:

Though most buyers are very satisfied with this mower, there is one drawback commented on. The Amazon purchase does not include the 80 Volt Lithium Battery with purchase. If you’re already using the 80 Volt system to power your other

Greenworks outdoor power tools; such as a leaf blower, string trimmer, or hedge trimmer, you’re all set – just use one of those 80V batteries. If not, be prepared to invest about $250 for the battery itself.  Keep in mind, however, once you have this amazing mower in your garage, your done buying gas, oil, sparkplugs, and the inevitable tune-up at your local mower dealer.

So consider the cost savings – long term. Whether you have the battery system already or not, we still consider the Greenworks 80 Volt mower a Best Value. This mower is also capable of bagging, mulching or side-discharge just like a conventional gas mower.  It’s also designed with rear-wheel drive (RWD) for climbing hilly yards, there’s nothing better.




Best Self Propelled Gas Mower with “Electric Start”: Lawn Boy 17734 (RWD)

Lawn-Boy 17734 21-Inch 6.5 Gross Torque Kohler Electric Start XTX OHV, 3-in-1 Discharge Self Propelled Lawn Mower

For buyers who want the best gas lawn mower with the ease of using Electric Start capability, we highly recommend the Lawn Boy 17734 with Rear Wheel drive. This mower offers many of the same excellent features of higher-priced models and allows you to start with just the turn of a key.  No more excuses for letting that grass get out of hand with this model.  If you love the Lawn Boy mower but would prefer a Honda Engine over the Kohler XTX engine you also have that option – however, they don’t offer the Kohler with Electric Start.  Go to Amazon to check out all the self-propelled Lawn Boy mower options.

Key Features of This Product Include:

  • Kohler XTX OHV Engine
  • Electric Start
  • Self-Propel
  • Lawn-Boy Engineered Tri-Cut System
  • Two-Point Height of Cut
  • Larger Bag Capacity
  • 3-in-1 Discharge Ability
  • 3-Year Tru-Start Commitment
  • 2-Year No Worry Warranty

Buyers who select the Lawn Boy 17734 Rear Wheel Drive will find it to be both a good value and an overall high-quality lawnmower. This mower starts easily and offers more than enough power to propel it over steep terrain. Unlike some mowers that aren’t built to Lawn Boy’s standards, this model loses little to no grass when used for bagging.

Check out Lawn Boy’s Gas Mower with “Electric Start”:

Customer Concerns/Suggestions:

One con that has been mentioned with regards to the Lawn boy Electric Start Mower is that the product comes with front wheels disassembled, and some work is required to set up the handle as well.  This is sort of typical with mowers shipped to customers, but be aware there is some assembly. Because it is Rear Wheel drive it isn’t quite as easy to maneuver as a front-wheel-drive mower.  Rear wheels are larger than the front at 8″ but not as big as other models which have 11″ High wheels.  For the High-Wheel option, you need to select the non-electric start model.




Best Self Propelled Mower for Hills:  Husqvarna L221A – (AWD) All-Wheel Drive

Husqvarna LC221AH, 21 in 163cc Briggs & Stratton Walk Behind Mower

Coming in first on our list of the best All Wheel Drive (AWD) self-propelled lawn mowers is the Husqvarna L221A.  With one of the best all-wheel-drive options in the self-propelled mower marketplace, the Husqvarna is the best mower for hills that we reviewed.  With a reliable and powerful 163 cc Briggs & Stratton engine, this mower has about all the bells and whistles one could hope for. As is typical of Husqvarna, the L221AH offers a very high construction quality. Thanks to its all-wheel-drive mechanism, this mower also provides users with extensive maneuvering capabilities and propulsion that will work well on very Hilly or uneven surfaces.

The key features of this product include:

  • 21-in Premier Cut provides superior lift for manicured professional looking results
  • Featuring 2-pull starting promise with a powerful 163cc Briggs & Stratton Ready Start engine for easy and reliable starts
  • Check & Add easy-to-maintain engine – allows you to never have to change the engine oil
  • All-Wheel Drive with Dual-Trigger activation allows convenient variable speed control with either hand
  • 11-in high, rear ball-bearing wheels ensure smooth operation and maneuverability; Ideal for medium to large size yards with hilly, uneven terrain and other tough mowing conditions

People who have bought the L221A (AWD) tend to be impressed by both its build quality and its ability to easily mow larger lots. Although it’s an excellent option for anyone, buyers who have significant inclines on their properties have been delighted with this mower, as it can quickly climb up higher grades than many of its competitors. Thanks to the 163cc engine, this model from Husqvarna also offers more than enough power and usually starts on the very first pull.

The only major downside of the Husqvarna L221A Mower is the fact that it is quite heavy. While this won’t matter for the average homeowner, people who load their mower into a vehicle to mow multiple lots should keep the weight factor in mind. If you haven’t used a self-propelled lawn mower before, this all-wheel-drive model may take some getting used to, but you will soon find yourself using it with ease.



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Favorite Brand: Troy Bilt TB220 – Front-Wheel Drive

Troy-Bilt TB220 159cc 21-Inch FWD High Wheel Self-Propelled Lawn Mower

Although it may not rate as highly as some other models, the Troy Bilt TB220 is an excellent overall mower that deserves a spot on this list. The TB220 is a front-wheel-drive (FWD) model that offers Troy Bilt’s inherent quality, and for even smooth lawns, this is one of the best values you can find.

Key Features of This Product Include:

  • 21-inch mower deck
  • 159cc OHV engine
  • 11-inch rear wheels
  • Bag included

Reviews of the Troy Bilt TB220 almost universally praise its quality and ease of use, as well as the fact that it is relatively light and easy for users of all ages to maneuver. Even though it is lightweight, the TB220 also offers plenty of power, making it a good compromise model for people who have less space, and need a lighter mower but don’t want to skimp on engine capacity. While this mower isn’t the best option for tackling large lots, it will also work extremely well for ordinary residential use.

Customer Concerns/Suggestions:

One criticism of the Troy Bilt TB220 Mower that does crop up in some reviews is the fact that the cover for the starter cable is made of plastic and can be damaged during shipping. While this is a relatively minor issue that won’t have any adverse effect on the mower’s function, it’s still worth keeping in mind. Another complaint is a smaller bag than customers may need.




Best “Electric” Battery Powered Mower: Snapper 82 Volt System

Snapper XD 82V MAX Electric Cordless 21-Inch Self-Propelled Lawnmower Kit with (2) 2.0 Batteries & (1) Rapid Charger, 1687914, SXD21SPWM82K

To round out our list of the Best walk-behind mowers with Self-Propelled drive, we’re including our choice for the Best Electric Self-propelled mower which is the Snapper 82-volt mower. This Snapper lawn mower could also be considered the best lawn mower for small yards, due to its battery limitation of 30-45 minutes. 

If you have a small to a medium-sized yard, appreciate a quieter mower, and don’t want to fuss with gas & oil, this could be your very best outdoor choice.  This quality mower is powered by a very hearty – 2.0 Ah rechargeable lithium-ion battery and an engine manufactured by the always dependable Briggs & Stratton Company.

Key Features of This Product Include:

  • 21-inch mower deck
  • Adjustable speed
  • Two batteries included
  • Automatic power adjustment
  • Push-button electric start
  • Includes 82V battery and Rapid Charger

Buyers who have purchased the Snapper self-propelled electric lawnmower praise it for high-quality and superior performance in small to medium-sized yards. The 82 Volt battery for this mower can last up to 45 minutes and charges quickly, allowing it to be used for extended periods. Several reviews also mention the mower’s ability to automatically increase power when needed to cut through thicker grass or debris as a significant advantage.

Customer Concerns/Suggestions:

One disadvantage that appears in some reviews of the Snapper Battery mower is the fact that it is prone to clogging with cut grass. This is likely a function of the fact that the electric motor that powers this model is less powerful than a similarly sized gas-powered engine would be, or you simply need to sharpen or grind your mower blade.

While this problem isn’t too detrimental, people who buy this model should plan on performing routine deck cleanings to prevent the mower from becoming clogged.  Check out our article  “How to keep grass from sticking to your Mower Deck”.






Front-Wheel vs. Rear-Wheel vs. All-Wheel Drive Lawn Mowers 

Which Type Of Lawn Mower Is Best For You?


Front-wheel drive (FWD) Advantages:

    • Maneuverability: FWD is the best model to choose for mowing Level Terrain.
    • Turning:  Because the front wheels engage the drive turning the mower simply requires you to tip the front wheels up, spin, and start mowing a new row.  FWD mowers are great for small yards that require lots of turns

(FWD) Disadvantages:

  • Loss of traction due to less weight over front wheels doesn’t work as well on bumpy or irregular yards.

Rear Wheel Drive (RWD) Advantages:

  • Uneven Terrain: RWD models are a better choice for Hilly or Uneven terrain, due to the weight being centered in the middle, and providing more traction and power over bumpier or steep lawns.  
  • Cut:  Most agree that RWD models provide a more manicured/even cut lawn because the mower is more stable over any irregular ground.
  • Bagging:  RWD is also very helpful when bagging since more weight is over the rear wheels providing even more traction for hills, etc.
  • Power:  RWD is a more powerful drive vs. FWD.

(RWD) Disadvantages:  

  • Maneuverability:   Rear-wheel drive is more difficult to pull backward since the rear wheels are always engaged with the drive motor.
  • Turning: It is more difficult than an FWD model because you need to disengage the drive or slow the speed manually, to turn the mower before the next pass.

All-Wheel Drive (AWD) Advantages:

  • Best possible traction for Hilly or Uneven Terrain since all 4 wheels are engaged
  • Better balance and weight distribution

(AWD) Disadvantages

  • Price.  AWD models tend to be the most expensive to purchase
  • Maneuverability. Similar to RWD models, you need to disengage the drive or manually slow the speed at each turn.

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If you’re getting ready to buy a new lawnmower, be sure to keep in mind what features are most important to you. The type of terrain you have and the number of turns your lawn has is very important to make a sound decision.

While it is our Editors Choice – If you find it difficult to operate a heavier mower, a model like the Honda Versamow- because of its weight – and Rear-Wheel drive may not be the right choice for you.

Likewise, buyers with large lots of yard to tackle will generally prefer a more powerful gas model to the Snapper electric mower, because of its limited battery life. By carefully taking stock of each mower’s features and how they will relate to your own lawn, you can make a great purchasing decision.

In terms of the best overall mower for the most significant number of people, we recommend the Honda HRX217K5VKA. The HRX217K5VKA  power, build quality, and the Honda Versamow system, and Rear Wheel drive brute force make it an excellent lawnmower for pretty much any application. Depending on your own needs, budget, and preferences, though, another one of the models on our list may be a better choice for you.

Thanks for visiting BestHomeGear.Com and good luck with your “Self-Propelled Lawn Mower” Selection!

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As a Homeowner, Builder, and Property Developer/Manager for 30+ years, I’ve worn a lot of “different hats”, and In that capacity, owned or used about every tool or piece of home equipment one can think of. Managing property in Michigan, Arizona, and Florida, also allows us to test many of the products we review firsthand, and in vastly different climates and conditions. Our goal at BestHomeGear.Com is to share the first-hand experience by providing exceptional Home & Garden Techniques, Product Reviews, and useful DIY Guides for our faithful readers - Homeowners like you. We trust you will find BestHomeGear.Com very informative - and extremely helpful.

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