The 8 Best Self-Propelled Lawn Mowers of 2020

An easier way to care for your lawn

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"Reviewers say that it's easy to start, incredibly powerful, and can handle hills and other tough jobs."
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"This affordable, American-made mower is ideal for use on small lawns."
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"The mower has seven cutting heights, as well as bag, mulch, and side-discharge capabilities."
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"An on-board battery storage compartment keeps you from running out of juice in the middle of the lawn."
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"It’s powerful and easy to use, thanks to its speed control and easy start."
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"This just under 50-pound mower folds for compact storage."
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"The 196cc engine and three-speed transmission will make quick work of your hilly lawn."
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"It boasts a 33-inch deck to cut wider paths, saving you time and energy."
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While they look similar to regular push lawn mowers, self-propelled models have one important difference—they use power from the motor to turn their own wheels, saving you the effort of physically pushing the machine. This feature is extremely beneficial if you have a large yard to mow, as well as when you’re working on sloped terrain.

Here, the best self-propelled lawn mowers for a tidy property.

Best Overall: Honda 21" Walk Behind Mower, Variable Speed

The Honda Variable Speed Gas Self-Propelled Lawn Mower checks off several key boxes that many people look for when buying a lawn mower: It’s powerful, reliable, and reasonably priced, and it gets rave reviews from verified buyers, to boot. This self-propelled mower comes equipped with a 170cc Honda engine and 21-inch steel deck with twin blades, and its Smart Drive technology allows you to easily adjust its speed.

This 3-in-1 lawn mower offers mulching, bagging, and discharge capabilities, and there are seven cutting heights to choose from, as well as five adjustable handle positions. Even though it runs on gas, this mower starts up easily thanks to its auto choke system. Plus, the Honda 3-in-1 Self-Propelled Mower has a unique stacked and offset twin blade design that provides better cut quality and smaller clippings for mulching and bagging. Reviewers are hard-pressed to find anything they don’t like about this self-propelled lawn mower, noting that it’s easy to start, incredibly powerful, and can handle hills and other tough jobs.

Best Budget: Craftsman M140 160-cc 21-in Gas Push Lawn Mower

High-end self-propelled mowers can cost $1,000 or more, but the CRAFTSMAN M140 Self-Propelled Gas Lawn Mower is a more affordable option, coming in at under $300. This highly rated mower is powered by a 160cc Briggs and Stratton engine, and it has a 21-inch deck that allows you to either mulch or bag grass clippings. 

This CRAFTSMAN mower has single-speed front-wheel drive to make cutting your lawn easier, and its dual-lever height adjustment offers six different positions. The mower comes with both a rear bag and a mulch kit, and reviewers say this American-made product is a great value, especially for those with small lawns.

Best Splurge: Toro 30" Personal Pace TimeMaster Mower (21199)

The Toro TimeMaster earned its name thanks to its time-saving design, which allows you to make quick work of your yard chores. While this self-propelled gas mower isn’t cheap, it will definitely wow you with its 223cc Briggs and Stratton engine, dual-force cutting system, and 30-inch steel deck. 

This wide mower cuts a larger path with each pass, allowing you to get the job done faster, and it also features adjustable speed to match your pace. The Toro TimeMaster comes equipped with a blade stop system that allows you to leave the motor running while you step away from the machine, and it has seven cutting heights, as well as the bag, mulch, and side-discharge capabilities.

Best Electric: RYOBI 20 in. 40-Volt 6.0 Ah Lithium-Ion Battery Self-Propelled Lawn Mower

The RYOBI Self-Propelled Lawn Mower is a top-rated electric model, thanks to its self-propelled rear-wheel drive, impressive runtime, and powerful 40-volt motor. This mower runs on a 6Ah high-capacity lithium-ion battery that delivers up to 42 minutes of operation per charge, making it ideal for property up to ½ acre. 

This self-propelled mower has 3-in-1 mulching, bagging, and side discharge cutting options, as well as a seven-position height adjustment. It’s easy to operate thanks to a push-button start, easy-lift bag, collapsible telescoping handles, and LED headlights, and there’s even an onboard battery storage compartment in case you run out of juice in the middle of the lawn. Plus, you can’t beat the convenience of electric mowers, which have limited maintenance and are both quiet and eco-friendly.

Best Gas: Honda 21 in. NeXite Variable Speed 4-in-1 Gas Walk Behind Self Propelled Mower with Select Drive Control

If you don’t mind doing a little extra maintenance on your mower, a gas-powered model like the Honda NeXite 4-in-1 Self-Propelled Mower is a worthwhile investment, as it delivers unmatched power to tackle any job. This model is powered by a 200cc Honda engine and features Select Drive, which allows you to easily adjust the mower’s speed to match your stride. 

This gas mower can be used to mulch, bag, or discharge grass clippings, and it even has leaf shredding capabilities. Its MicroCut twin blades cut grass finer for better mulching and bagging, and the mower comes with a 2.5-bushel bag. The 21-inch deck has seven cutting heights, and the exclusive rust-free Nexite deck comes with a limited lifetime warranty. Reviewers say this mower is a great buy, writing that it’s powerful and easy to use thanks to its speed control and easy start.

Best Lightweight: EGO 21 in. Select Cut 56V Lith-Ion Cordless Electric Self Propelled Mower

Many push mowers are quite heavy, frequently weighing 80 pounds or more, but not the EGO Cordless Electric Self-Propelled Mower. This battery-powered model weighs in at just over 50 pounds, making it lightweight enough for anyone to handle. Plus, it has the brand’s unique Touch Drive Technology, which allows you to control the self-propelled system using pressure from your hands and adjust its speed with a dial positioned conveniently at your fingertips. 

The EGO Mower offers more than an hour of runtime per charge, and it can mulch, bag, or side discharge clippings. The product’s multi-blade cutting system includes two interchangeable lower blades—one for mulching and one for bagging—and you can opt for seven different cutting heights. The mower folds for compact storage, and reviewers rave about how lightweight and easy to use it is.

Best for Hills: Weibang 21 in. Gas Residential Walk Behind Self Propelled Mower

Self-propelled lawn mowers are popular among homeowners with sloped yards, as they help you power up inclines with minimal effort. However, some mowers perform better on hills than others, and if you want to make quick work of your hilly lawn, you should consider the Weibang Gas Residential Self-Propelled Mower. This mower is powered by a 196cc engine and three-speed transmission, and reviewers say it tackles even the biggest slopes with no problem. 

The Weibang Self-Propelled mower has a 21-inch heavy-duty steel deck, as well as 9-inch extra-strength wheels. You can either bag or side discharge clippings—no mulching, unfortunately—and there are seven cutting height positions to choose from. Buyers can’t say enough about the high-quality construction of this machine, writing that it’s incredibly easy to use and the engine is extremely powerful.

Best for Large Yards: Cub Cadet CC 800 Wide Area Walk Mower

If you have a bigger yard, it will take quite a long time to cut it using a mower with a small deck. Instead, you’ll want a product like the Cub Cadet Wide-Cut Self-Propelled Lawn Mower, which boasts a 33-inch deck to cut wider paths, saving you time and energy. 

This gas mower is powered by a 382cc engine and features a variable four-speed drive system that you can adjust based on your pace. It has eight cutting heights that adjust via a single lever, and its 16-inch rear wheels provide better traction on uneven terrain. You can even unlock them for zero-turn capabilities—how’s that for versatile?

Final Verdict

If you're searching for a powerful self-propelled lawn-mower that can tackle any type of lawn job, whether big or small, pick up the Honda 21" Walk Behind Mower. Looking for a great lawnmower that won't break the bank? Try the Craftsman M140 160-cc 21-in Gas Push Lawn Mower. This 21-inch lawnmower is perfect for smaller lawns and will leave your lawn looking beautiful for under $300.

Why Trust the Spruce

This article was written by Camryn Rabideau, a freelance contributor for The Spruce. As someone who grew up on a 70-acre farm, she’s no stranger to lawn mowers, and she’s written extensively on them, even doing first-hand product testing.

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