What’s Good About A Self-Propelled Lawn Mower




Toro 21199 Self-Propelled Lawn Mower

Toro 21199 Self-Propelled Lawn Mower

Pros and cons of a self-propelled lawnmower will provide information on the differences between these types of mowers. Which one is good on types of lawns. Each model has some features that are different from the other. Which features are good and which ones can you do without.

You may be thinking about shopping for a self-propelled mower but, you are not sure if this model of mower is a must-have or can you do without. Self-propelled mowers work well with specific types of terrain verses the walk-behind push mowers.

The bottom line here is you want to find a mower that is best for your lawn conditions. We are going to look at the pros and cons of a self-propelled lawn mower.

The major benefit of these mowers is they do make the job of cutting the lawn easier and faster. They are an excellent choice for hills and slopes which will result in an even cut. The major disadvantage of these mowers is they are more costly and heavier.

Advantages of Self-Propelled Over Push Mowers

  • Easier on the body. Most models of self-propelled mowers use gas. There are some self-propelled mowers that use a battery. If you have a medium to large size lawn, a self-propelled mower is the right choice. You don’t have to push the heavy mower around which is good for those who are physically able to do it. The only effort you need to exert is on the turns. Otherwise, you are just steering the mower in the right direction.
  • Covers Larger Areas Quicker. These mowers will mow the lawn faster and will save you some valuable time. In most cases, the time saved using the self-propelled and the push mower is about 30%. With that extra time you can do other things that are important to you and your family.
  • Yard Size Does Make A Difference. If your yard is under ¼ acre, a self-propelled model is just too much. A battery or electric powered mower is best. Between ¼ and ½ acre, a self-propelled or gas push mower will work fine. For lawns greater than ½ acre a riding mower should be considered. If your lawn is shaped irregularly, a zero-turn mower may be the right choice.
  • Lawn Terrain Is Huge. If your lawn consists of uneven, hilly or slopes, be sure that the wheels on the lawn mower are even-sized. Uneven wheels can make mowing in these conditions harder. For this type of terrain there are certain models of mowers that work very well on uneven ground. Depending upon the size of the lawn a self-propelled mower that has rear wheel drive is a good option. For smaller size yards, you can use a battery or an electric model. By using a good mower you can deal with these uneven yards.
  • The Cut of Grass Is Smoother. A self-propelled mower gives you a quality ad smoothness of the cut. Using a push mower can be tricky as you move over the surface of the lawn can get erratic and cause uneven cuts. As you tire the mower will get difficult and cause the mower to change speeds which affects the uniform cutting of the grass. A self-propelled mower allows you to move the mower at the same speed and provides consistency in grass cutting and a better appearance.

Disadvantages of Self-Propelled Mowers

Now it is time to share with you some of the disadvantages of a self-propelled lawn mower.

  • They are heavier than push models. The self-propelled models are heavier because of the self-propel drive, belt, and everything else it requires to run will add additional weight to the mower. When the self-propel is engaged, you experience no problems in the extra weight. It is an issue when the self-propel is not in use as it can be difficult moving it from the storage area and walking the mower to the yard without starting it.
  • More problems can be expected. With more gadgets and features that come with self-propelled mowers there is a lot that can go wrong. These extra features do get expensive to fix it if something should go wrong. It is possible that you may not experience any problems as you own the mower.
  • These mowers cost more. By adding extra features to these models comes at a price. They will be more costly than a gas powered push mower. Before you go purchasing a self-propelled model, determine if you really need it. Review the size yard, slopes and hills and if your budget can afford it. Consider buying a self-propelled mower if:
  1. You have a medium to large size lawn.
  2. Your yard has slopes and/or hills to mow.
  3. You might struggle with the weight of a push mower model.

If none of the above apply to you, you don’t need to buy a self-propelled lawn mower.

Can Self-Propelled Mowers Go Backwards?

Self-propelled mowers under their own power cannot go backwards. They only have one speed and it’s forward under propulsion. If you want to move the self-propelled mower backwards it must be by your own power. If you need to move the mower backwards you should first disengage its blade and drive motor. If you keep the lever that drives the wheels in the nuetural position, the mower can move backwards.

However, if there is no lever to disengage the wheels, the only way to move the self-propelled mower backwards is to raise its wheels. This can get tricky and difficult for elder individuals and it can be dangerous especially on hills or slopes.

Another fact you should know about mowing is when mowing the grass backward it is not safe. The clippings are not discharged normally as when going forward. It can leave clumps of grass on the mowed yard. Don’t forget that a backward movement be aware of the risks, performance and safety concerns because debris can get tossed out the shoot when going in reverse.

Mowing in Reverse on Slopes

If your yard or property is full of steep slopes or hills, you can experience a greater risk of falling down when trying to mow in reverse. The mower machine combined with your body creates a greater chance of losing your balance with the possibility of the machine rolling over you. This can be life-threatening or cause a serious accident.

A self-propelled mower does not perform well in these situations. When you force the blades to cut in reverse it results in an uneven cut, unbalanced, and irregular performance. You might notice many blades of grass remaining intact, untouched, and a choppy lawn.

Unless it is an extreme emergency, do not mow the lawn using a self-propelled mower in reverse or backwards. Lawn mowers are made to go forward.


We shared information about self-propelled mowers the good and the bad. They are an excellent choice to buy based on the size of the yard, hills or slopes exist, and you don’t like to push the mower around the yard.

Now you know the pros and cons of the self-propelled lawn mower. They are heavier and costlier than the gas-powered push models.

Be sure to do your homework first before purchasing a self-propelled lawn mower. Another decision to make is to determine if you want to protect the environment by using a battery powered model verses gas-powered models.

We will include all types for your convenience so you can select the best one for your size yard.

Don’t forget to perform the standard maintenance as outlined in the owners’ manual. By doing this, you will extend the life of the mower and it will operate more efficiently.

Shop Self-Propelled Lawn Mowers

You can shop for the self-propelled lawn mower by clicking on the model of interest. You will be taken to Amazon where you can read the customer reviews, answered questions, before placing the order.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.