When selecting the type of lawnmower that suits your needs and preferences, today you have plenty of options. Naturally, the choice you ultimately make will depend on a few factors, including the size of your yard, the type of grass you have, and the amount of time you can dedicate each week to maintaining your property.
In the past, the only option you had was a walk behind push mower—a mower that was powered solely by you and the sweat on your brow. However, thanks to advancements in technology you now have the option of selecting a self-propelled walk behind mower—a mower that does most of the work for you, while you merely steer the machine where you would like it to go.
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In this blog, we already wrote several lawn mover reviews in the past so this time we decided to answer one of our reader’s question about the best self-propelled lawn mowers for hills. To help you find the best mower for your situation, in the following article we will review several of the most popular self-propelled lawnmowers on the market today, complete with the advantages and drawbacks associated with each of these models.
We have also included a “Self-Propelled Lawnmower Buyer’s Guide,” which will highlight the various factors you will need to consider when purchasing one of these handy yard maintenance products.
Troy-Bilt TB330 Rear Wheel Drive Self-Propelled Lawnmower
Built by one of the best known companies for outdoor maintenance products, the Troy-Bilt TB330 Self-Propelled Lawnmower boasts a rear wheel, self-propelled drive system, which gives the mower greater traction and maneuverability on all lawn surfaces. Its dual lever, variable speed options allow you to fine-tune the speed of the machine—a machine that is equipped with four top speed settings for personalized comfort and control—and the single height adjustment lever makes it easy to adapt to different cutting lengths, without having to squat down and change each wheel height independently. The mower is very versatile on all types of grass, allowing you to mulch, bag or discharge the cut grass from the side of the mower.
The Troy-Bilt TB330 Rear Wheel Drive Self-Propelled Lawnmower is powered by a powerful 163CC Briggs and Stratton Engine—an engine made by the company that literally wrote the book on small engines. The engine features the company’s patented ReadyStart technology, which promises fast and easy starts in all weather conditions without any priming. The ReadyStart technology helps the Troy-Bilt TB330 sense the engine temperature and thus adjusts the air/fuel mixture to suit the engine and weather conditions perfectly. No endless pulls trying to start the mower, and no fiddling with the air/fuel mixture; to start the machine, just pull the cord once and the lawnmower will roar to life as the ReadyStart starting system does the rest.
With tough and durable 8-inch wheels all around, the lawnmower ranks very high in performance regardless of the surface, and the fully adjustable, ergonomically-designed handle makes it easy and comfortable to use regardless of your height.
• Versatile. With its six different grass height settings, plus the option to bag the grass or mulch, the Troy-Bilt TB330 Rear Wheel Drive Self-Propelled Lawnmower is very versatile.
• Durable. Thanks to the 8-inch wheels on the front and back of the mower, it is very durable and sturdy.
• Easy to Use. Because the Troy-Bilt TB330 Rear Wheel Drive Self-Propelled Lawnmower is so easy to use, it is perfect for a “starter mower.”
• Rear-Wheel Drive. The rear-wheel drive on this mower gives it better traction and control than front-wheel drive mowers.
• Some have complained that the plastic levers used to power the rear wheel drive are hard to manipulate.
• A few reviewers have said that the plastic levers on the machine are not that durable and because they dig into the hand, not very comfortable to use.
EGO LM2102SP 21″ Self Propelled Lawnmower
The EGO LM2102SP 21″ Self Propelled Lawnmower is a follow-up to the company’s original cordless lawnmower, but this one has added the self-propel feature for your comfort and convenience. This powerful yard machine comes with a 7.5 AH 56 Volt ARC Lithium Battery, which gives you up to 60minutes of continuous run time on a single charge. The rapid charger, that comes complete with this model, makes it easy to fully charge the battery in less time than other chargers (about 1 hour), allowing you to get back to the project at hand.
The EGO LM2102SP 21″ Self Propelled Lawnmower is one of the first self-propelled lawnmowers that allow you to get all the torque and power of a gas-powered mower, without the harmful fumes, messy maintenance, and costly fill-ups. The self-propelled function has variable speeds, ranging from 1.8 miles per hour to 3.6 miles per hour, enabling you to cut the grass at your own pace. The lawnmower has a 21-inch deck and an easy push-button start—a great feature for those who hate to pull the start cords on gas mowers. The one-handed height adjustment allows you to adapt to different heights on the fly, and the 3-in-1 versatility of the machine allows you to bag, mulch or discharge the cut grass. The 9-inch rear wheels on the EGO Self-Propelled lawnmower give it plenty of clearance, and its all-weather construction means it can resist rust and oxidation.
• Headlights. The LED headlights on the EGO LM2102SP 21″ Self Propelled Lawnmower allow you to cut the lawn in darkening conditions and in shady areas where this is very little light.
• Compact. The compact construction of this mower makes it very easy to store.
• Long Warranty. The EGO LM2102SP 21″ Self Propelled Lawnmower comes with an extended 5-year warranty.
• Limited to 60 Minutes. Unless users buy a backup battery for the EGO LM2102SP 21″ Self Propelled Lawnmower, their mowing time will be limited to 60 minutes at a time.
• More Maintenance. Self-propelled walk behind mowers require more maintenance than push mowers of this same type.
• Trouble Finding Service Center. According to users, for neighboring service centers, there is no place locator available online.
Jonsered L2821 21 in. Gas Walk-Behind Lawnmower
Another mower that fits into the class of “self-propelled, gas-powered lawnmowers” is the Jonsered L2821 21-inch Lawnmower. This mower boasts a heavy-duty 160CC Honda GCV160 engine—an engine that displays 6.9 pounds of gross torque. With variable speed and height adjustments, the mower is very versatile, and because both the speed and height can be changed from either of the two side-mounted levers, it is perfect for both right-handed and left-handed mowers.
The Jonsered L2821 21-inch Lawnmower features a convenient high-tunnel cutting deck design which not only offers the very best in performance and cut quality, but also leads to better bagging performance, ensuring very little post-mow raking or cleanup. The 9 different height adjustments allow you to easily choose your preferred height, especially if you like to cut the grass differently in different seasons and on different types of lawns. The mulching function on the Jonsered L2821 21-inch Lawnmower finely chops the grass prior to using it as a natural fertilizer, and the convenient hose connection makes cleanup a breeze.
• Powerful. Powered by the Honda GCV160cc motor, the Jonsered L2821 21-inch Lawnmower is very powerful.
• Easy Cleaning. The convenient hose connection makes it easy to clean the messy inside portion of the deck after mowing.
• Many height adjustments. With a whopping 9 height adjustments, the mower is very versatile.
• No Side Discharge. There is no side discharge option on the Jonsered L2821 21-inch Lawnmower, as there are with the other mowers on our list.
• Noisy. Some users have complained that this mower is very noisy—even noisier than other gas-powered self-propelled mowers.
Self-Propelled Lawnmowers: Buyer’s Guide
As you can see, self-propelled lawnmowers provide a lot of benefits. They make the lawnmower feel virtually weightless, are ideal when you need to mow up slopes, and have a greater reach than push-behind mowers. However, before you purchase one of these handy yard machines, there are several things you should look for and consider—six of which we have outlined in the following buyer’s guide.
1. Front-Wheel Drive or Rear-Wheel Drive
If you are going to spend money on a self-propelled lawnmower, we strongly recommended you choose a model with rear-wheel drive. Although these tend to be a bit more expensive than their front-wheel drive counterparts, the rear-wheel drive on a self-propelled lawnmower gives you much greater traction, control and maneuverability, and offers more power when going up slopes.
2. Set or Variable Speed
Self-propelled lawnmowers with a set speed do not give you any flexibility in terms of pace, which can make you and your lawn suffer. An adjustable-speed self-propelled lawnmower will allow you to control the pace based on lawn conditions, slope, and your physical ability or condition at the time of mowing, giving you more control and offering cuts that are more complete and precise.
3. Recoil or Electric Start
Recoil-start lawnmowers require you to pull a cord in order to start the mower, while electric-start self-propelled lawnmowers will start at the push of a button or with the turn of a key. This is a matter of preference, but if your physical strength is starting to wane—or you’re just sick and tired of cord-start mowers—you may want to take advantage of the new technology and opt for the latter type of mower.
4. Hose Connection
Hose connections on self-propelled lawnmowers, also known as “wash-out ports” are very convenient. They allow you to wash out the inside of your mower’s deck after each mow, keeping it looking clean and like new.
5. Blade Override
With a self-propelled lawnmower, the engine will typically stop every time you let go of the handle. This is a safety feature, but it can be inconvenient. How many times have you had to stop and move something from your mower’s path, only to have to restart the engine every time you do? If you regularly mow lawns, you know this can be a major pain. However, a blade override on your lawnmower allows the engine to keep running when the handle is disengaged, but it stops the spinning movement of the blade for your safety. This is a very convenient feature indeed.
6. Swivel Wheels
If you have a yard with a lot of obstacles to negotiate when mowing—such as flowerbeds, trees and structures—swivel wheels in the front of the self-propelled lawnmower will allow you to move around these objects freely and with ease, while also allowing you to cut even closer to these obstacles for a more complete mow.