Best Self Propelled Lawn Mower
- Lawn Mower Reviews and Comparisons -
If you have a large and or sloping lawn to maintain the best solution is probably a self propelled lawn mower. By reducing the amount of effort required, they can actually make the task of mowing a lawn pleasurable. However, choosing the right self propelled mower can be a challenge. To make the task easier we have highlighted the main differences between the best and the rest.
Comparing Propelled Lawn Mowers
Before considering costs, brands and models let's look at the key features offered by the best self propelled mowers:
- Top models.
- Front or Rear Wheel Drive - traction is a vital consideration when mowing slopes, bumpy terrain or wet grass. Under these conditions the best lawn mowers are propelled via their rear wheels. Essentially it's because the back wheels are always in contact with the ground and bear most of the weight. On the other hand the front wheels are often elevated when turning or going over bumps. In the case of front wheel drive mowers there is a resulting loss of traction that the operator must overcome by pushing or shoving.
- Swiveling Wheels - only the best self propelled have wheels that swivel through 360 degrees. If you need to navigate around trees, shrubs and garden beds they are perfect, but be prepared for sticker shock when you check out options such as the Ariens Classic. Most mowers are simply designed to mow up and down in straight lines. They cannot cut-in close to garden features and need to be pulled or dragged around sharp turns.
- Fixed or Variable Speed - the problem with fixed speed self propelled lawn mowers is that they take no account of conditions or the person walking behind. Variable speed mowers enable users to reduce the pace when cutting long or wet grass and speed up at other times. They also accommodate personal preferences.
- Pull vs. Electric Start Lawn Mower - needless to say the best lawnmowers don't rely exclusively on a recoil pull start to kick them into life. They usually have an electric starting mechanism and a pull rope for backup.
- Disengage Blade without Shutting Down- one of the most frustrating features of cheap lawn mowers is that the only way to disengage the blades is to switch off the mower. Most high end mowers permit users to disengage the cutting blades without stopping and restarting motors.
- Hose Pipe Connectors - most of us are guilty of not paying enough attention to lawn mower maintenance. The usual outcome is a mower that doesn't start and needs replacing sooner rather than later. To make the dreaded task of cleaning them easier, some Toro lawn mowers have a connection point for a garden hose. It eliminates the necessity to tip them on their side when washing out the underside of the deck with resulting spilt oil and gas.
The Best Self Propelled Lawn Mowers
The Lawn Boy 10642 - an entry level budget priced mower with many of the features found only at the premium end. For example: it's a variable speed rear wheel drive mower with an electric start.
The 10642 has a 20" deck which is not big. It cuts circa 18" on each pass, which is less than some top end push lawn mowers so it's not ideal for very large lawns unless you enjoy walking behind a lawnmower.
There are cheaper and more expensive Lawn Boy mowers, but we think this model offers the best value for money if you have a small to medium size lawn.
The Husqvarna XT722FE is a high quality self propelled lawn mower with features including: keyed electric start, variable speed, heaps of power and wheels with double ball bearing for smooth running. Husqvarna lawn mowers are equipped with several brands of motor. The best of them is Kohler, as found on this unit.
The Husqvarna XT722FE has a 22-inch cutting width and six cutting height increments. It's variable drive speed allows users to adjust the speed according to their needs and the condition of the lawn. Like all Husqvarna walk-behind mowers, it provides a three-in-one cutting system: mulching, rear bag collection, and side discharge capabilities.
The Black & Decker SPCM1936 is a self propelled cordless electric lawn mower. It's hard to find a better self propelled lawn mower. Apart from charging, cleaning off the grass clippings and sharpening the blades, it requires no maintenance. Furthermore it's more reliable than any gas powered alternative.
Other considerations: electric lawn mowers are lighter than gas powered mowers, far less noisy and eliminate the need to buy or store gasoline, oil, air filters, spark plugs.
An SPCM1936 can comfortably crop up to one third of an acre on a single charge. The batteries are exchangeable, so if you have a larger area get a second battery and keep on mowing.
Most gas powered self propelled lawn mowers are non-CARB compliant and hence can't be sold in California. Similar laws will almost certainly be enacted in other States, which will add further impetus to the growing demand for electric lawn mowers. Because they are lighter and easily pushed many consumers also decide that they don't actually need a self propelled lawn mower. The alternatives include push electric lawn mowers such as the top rated Black and Decker CM1936.
Related Lawn Mower Reviews
Snapper Lawnmowers - the brand is best known for it's distinctive red ride on lawn mowers, however it also lays claim to having invented the first self propelled mower with a rotary blade.
Ariens Lawn Mowers - definitely not the cheapest, but arguably the best lawn mowers. Unlike many of the alternatives they are built to last.