What Is A Self Propelled Lawn Mower

What Is A Self-Propelled Lawn Mower?

7 minutes

Lawn mowers have continued to be improved since the first model was invented. With each development, the new model was made to be more convenient, higher functioning, and easier to use. The newest version is the self-propelled lawn mower.

If you’re wondering what a self propelled lawn mower is, how it works, and what the unique features are, we’ve got you covered. 

Whether you are looking to buy one or are simply just curious, we’ll outline everything you need to know about the self-propelled lawn mower.  

So, let’s get started! 

What Is A Self Propelled Lawn Mower: Your Ultimate Guide 

In today’s world, you have a number of lawn mower options to choose from when determining which type of mower will best suit your requirements. So, what is a self-propelled mower and why buy one? 

What Does A Self-propelled Lawn Mower Do?

A self-propelled lawn mower functions automatically without needing much manual effort. The engine drives all of the mower’s wheels automatically by generating forward movement and rotating the blades.

It’s similar to driving a car. You simply need to steer your mower in the right direction, but there isn’t any need to actually push. It will progressively drive itself ahead until you activate the brake or change the direction. 

There are two options to choose from the first being that you can have an automated self-propelled lawn mower; the second is a walk-behind self-propelled lawn mower. 

What Is A Self Propelled Lawn Mower

The Working Mechanism Of The Self Propelled Lawn Mower

A self-propelled mower uses a drive mechanism where the operator activates the mower by squeezing a bar of the handle, this is known as the “bail”. The mower will then drive ahead without any need to push.  

If you let go of the handle, the lawn mower will turn off, stop moving, and the blade stop rotating.

Varieties Of The Self Propelled Lawn Mower 

As mentioned before, this mower works like a car, especially with its features of rear-wheel drive, front-wheel drive, and all-wheel drive. 

Some of the varieties are as follow: 

Category 1: All wheel drive (AWD) self propelled lawn mower

It’s quite easy to get the all-wheel-drive mower moving in the right direction. Mowers with all-wheel drive, which is also known as four-wheel drive, offer amazing grip and balance using all four wheels.

You can use the simple handlebars to swap between the 3 driving systems as needed for excellent traction on hills and almost any surface. AWD is the most expensive of the three drive options and is also the rarest.

Category 2: Front-wheel drive (FWD) self propelled lawn mower

Front-wheel drive is less expensive than the other driving systems. This is best suited to flat lawns, as the mower’s front wheels tend to bounce when the lawn is uneven. You may lose propulsion whenever this happens.

Front-wheel drive does require a little more physical effort. You will have to push the mower forward yourself if the front wheels of the mower come off the grass due to a slope or while turning in a different direction. 

Category 3: Rear-wheel drive (RWD) self propelled lawn mower

The most common of the 3 driving systems is rear-wheel drive. If you have a lot of trees on your lawn, this is a perfect option for you.

When you face a curve around the trees, the Rear-wheel drive assists you to push around the corners. This driving system is great for large lawns, or lawns with many slopes, hills, or uneven terrain. RWD delivers excellent stability and requires little effort to navigate on any surface.

Category 4: Gassed self propelled lawn mower

Self-propelled gas lawn mowers maintain power for long periods of time. They are also cordless, user-friendly, and preferable for mowing large lawns. These mowers are also one of the most cost-effective on the market as they run longer and cost less than electric self-propelled lawn mowers.

Category 5: Electric self propelled lawn mower

The electric self-propelled lawn mower can be used on a regular basis. This mower needs to be plugged into a power source to use, but it doesn’t make any sound, does a fine job, and is the easiest to start. On the smaller lawns, this mower is the best type of mower to use. 

A second option would be the cordless electric mowers, as they are handier, but they must be recharged after each use. Depending on the condition and size of your lawn, electric cordless lawn mowers can last approximately 45 minutes.

Features And Benefits Of Self Propelled Lawn Mower 

  • The transmission system: front-wheel mowers are ideal for large yards as they require little physical effort. For a lawn with many slopes, rear-wheel drive is a perfect solution. And for extremely uneven terrain, an all-wheel-drive mower is the best type to use. So, there are a wide variety of self-propelled lawn mowers to choose from depending on your requirements.
  • Speed Control: The speed is normally controlled by simply pressing on the handle. This is a great option if you’re looking to keep a steady pace, but need a little extra help getting up a hill area or across uneven areas. 
  • Active handle: If you release the handle of a self-propelled lawn mower, the self-propulsion will stop working. This feature is necessary to ensure that the mower may not run off by itself. 
  • Swivel wheels: If your lawn is difficult to mow because of impediments such as trees or flower beds, mowers that have swivel wheels come in helpful because they enable the mower to easily pass obstructions.
  • Cutting width: You can have different cutting widths based on the size of your lawn. The general rule is: the larger the cutting width, the larger your mower should be.
  • Blade brake: This feature enables you to turn off the blades while still operating the mower. If you need to navigate rough terrain, or empty the trash bag, or collect any impediments in the grass, this is a useful feature to do so. 
  • Height adjustment: A single handle that can adjust the height of all four wheels of your mower.
  • Hose attachment: There is usually a hose attached with the mower to wash the deck of your mower. 
  • Safety option: There are also safety features on certain mowers. These include the ability to disconnect the blades without switching off the mower’s motor; as well as vibration absorbers, in order to reduce stress exhaustion in your hands.

Cost Of The Self Propelled Lawn Mowers

Due to the extra parts and improved engine power, self-propelled mowers are more expensive than regular push mowers. However, they are significantly less expensive than the riding mowers.  

A self-propelled mower will cost you around $300 USD or more. The branded versions with extra amenities can be even more expensive, with costs around $1,200 USD.

You will be able to find something with the ideal performance and pricing balance between $350-$400 USD. In general, cordless lawn mowers are slightly more expensive than gas-powered mowers. 

Self Propelled Lawn Mower Brands

Fortunately, there are several brands from which you can choose to buy good-quality equipment. 

EGO and Greenworks are the most popular for cordless lawn mowers. 

Should You Buy A Self Propelled Lawn Mower?

Well, there are different reasons to buy a self-propelled lawn mower. If you are not sure yet, we’ll help you work through it.

Self-propelled mowers will save the most time and labor, especially if you own a lawn that is larger than 1⁄4 of an acre.

These types of mowers can be beneficial for both small and large lawns with slopes, rough and uneven terrain, or trees. If your lawn is anything like this, it’s best to buy a self-propelled lawn mower. 

Mowers with self-propelled batteries or gas engines are efficient and fearless lawn explorers. They plow through the grass smoothly. If you aren’t able to consistently mow your lawn, this device is perfect for you. 

If you prefer to leave the effort up to the machine, then a self-propelled lawn mower can be a lifesaver for you. It will make your lawn tidy almost effortlessly. 


We are almost at the end of this article on ‘what is a self-propelled lawn mower’. Hopefully, this article has provided the necessary knowledge and will help in your decision-making. 

A self-propelled lawn mower can last for more than 8 years. Though it may seem costly, the benefits that come with it justify the extra cost.

Finally, make sure to take regular maintenance measures to make up for the cost of your machine and appreciate its value.  

Todd L Miles
Lawn Mowers Enthusiast
I started "Landscape and Lawns Care" to provide clients with lawn care with better service, better products and, most importantly, better ethics. My promise to every customer is to give the greenest grass possible while controlling weeds, insects, and diseases! The most important thing is that I strive to always do the right thing for you, your lawn and your wallet!