What is a Self-Propelled Mower? (How Does it Work)

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Is the mowing season at the door? Then, you must be ready with your lawn mower to shape your lawn towards perfection. But are you tired of using the push lawn mower and giving up all your energy?

Well, here is a solution for you. Self-propelled lawn mowers are ruling the lawns these days. It is the best utilization of technology in the field of lawn mowers. A self-propelled lawn mower saves you the effort of pushing your mower around.

All you need to do is activate its self-propulsion system and guide it around your lawn. Well, it does not end here. If you are too curious about what a self-propelled mower is and how it works, we have covered you all.

We have discussed self-propelled lawn mowers (with pictures), so you can know all about them. Its drive mechanism, features, and functionalities will surely amaze you.

How Does a Self-Propelled Mower Work?

How Does a Self-Propelled Mower Work
Image Source: lawnmowerfixed.com

A self-propelled mower is designed in a way that makes it move forward without pushing. It consists of several parts that make self-propulsion possible. But the driveshaft used to connect the wheels to the motor is the main reason behind its self-propelling mechanism.

A lever called ‘bail’ is used to self-propel the mower. It causes the engine power to shift to the drive system. This, in turn, pushes the mower forward on its own. The lever is also known as the speed control lever. It could either be attached to the handle or as a separate bar.

The drive system triggers the cutting blades to spin, and your mower goes on to do its job. You must only squeeze the lever and walk behind the mower to direct its path. Hence, it makes all the efforts you need to put into pushing mowers null and void.

Similarly, you can stop the self-propelled lawn mower by disengaging the propulsion. You can also do so by lifting the spinning wheels. This way, you can easily give forward momentum to your self-propelled lawn mower and pull it back. A drive mechanism just made to make your lawn days effortless and time-saving.

Types of Self-Propelled Mower

Self-propelled mowers give you a convenient and time-efficient mowing day and variety. It comes in many types, which you can choose based on your requirements and the lawn size. Here are the different types of self-propelled lawn mowers you can choose from.

1. Front-Wheel Propelled Mowers

Front-Wheel Propelled Mowers
Image Source: poweredoutdoors.com

Front-wheel lawn mowers are the best types of self-propelled lawn mowers you can come across. It propels on the front wheels and hence the name. It provides you with efficient mowing as you can turn it easily. All you need to do is lift the front wheels.

Moreover, you can do it swiftly if you want to make a 180-degree turn. However, this lawn mower works best if you have a garden with easy terrain. It mows flat surfaces efficiently. But, on the other hand, it is not made for inclines. It is because of its inability to generate enough force for the purpose.

2. Rear-Wheel Propelled Mowers

Rear-Wheel Propelled Mowers
Image Source: mowoxusa.com

Rear-wheel mowers are another type of self-propelled lawn mower. Unlike front-wheel lawnmowers, it propels on the rear wheels. It has features opposite to that of front-wheel self-propelling lawnmowers.

It is difficult to make a turn with rear-wheel mowers as the rear wheels require lifting. Moreover, if you are not tall, it would be difficult for you to use this self-propelling lawn mower.

It has a complicated design and mechanics, which makes it costlier than the front-end self-propelling mowers. But on the bright side, the propulsion power of rear-wheel propelled mowers is more.

The high propulsion makes these mowers efficient for steeps and inclines. So, if your garden has rough terrain, you can go for the rear-wheel propelled mowers.

3. All-Wheel Propelled Mowers

All-Wheel Propelled Mowers
Image Source: lawnlove.com

All-wheel propelled lawn mowers propel on all the wheels. It makes them different and more efficient than the front and rear-wheel propelled mowers. It distributes its propelling power on all the wheels, making it highly efficient for rough terrains.

4. Gas Self-Propelled Mowers

 Gas Self-Propelled Mowers
Image Source: toolsinaction.com

Gas self-propelled mowers are also one of the best self-propelled lawn mowers. As the name suggests, they work on gas, utilizing it as fuel. It has good and bad parts. The good part is you need not charge it with electricity, which is a basic need for electric mowers.

Moreover, it works best for vast lawns. It also wins on the affordability and servicing side. But it could be more environment-friendly. It is because gas-self-propelled lawn mowers create a lot of noise and smoke, which can also irritate your neighbors.

5. Electric Self-Propelled Mowers

Electric Self-Propelled Mowers
Image Source: the-gadgeteer.com

Electric self-propelled mowers are the best utilization of electricity. Unlike gas-powered lawn mowers, they work on electricity. How you provide electricity categorizes these lawn mowers into two types, cord and cordless.

In the case of cord electric lawn mowers, you need to plug them into an electricity source while mowing. But cordless self-propelled lawn mowers need to be charged and can be used without plugging in during operation.

The best part is electric self-propelled lawn mowers are environment-friendly. They make no noise or smoke. It can be your best choice if you have a small lawn. You do not need to accelerate electric self-propelled lawn mowers, which are easy to start.


Now that you know all about the magic of self-propelled lawn mowers, you must be eager to buy them. So, here we have recommendations on what factors to consider before buying a self-propelled lawn mower.

  • Speed: Different courses of a lawn require different speeds. Hence, it would help if you bought a self-propelling lawn mower with speed ranges matching the terrain of your lawn. You can also go for mowers with adjustable speed features if you have a lawn with varying terrain.
  • Capacity: The capacity of a self-propelling lawn mower is also an important factor to consider. It depends on the size of your lawn. If you have a small lawn, you can buy a self-propelling mower with a low capacity and vice versa.
  • Type: Self-propelling lawn mowers come in various types. You can choose from gas or electric lawn mowers. For an electric self-propelled lawn mower, you also have an option for cord or cordless types. While a cordless lawn mower is easy to start with just a button, a cord lawn mower requires you to pull the cord. There are times when the cord might get stuck. So, it entirely depends on the convenience you want from your lawn mower.
  • Wheels: The type of wheels also differ with different types of self-propelled lawn mowers. Self-propelling lawn mowers with swivel wheels are the best to consider. They make turning around rough terrains easy, which many lawn mowers can not do. Hence, if you have a garden with rough terrain, you can go for self-propelling lawn mowers with swivel wheels.
  • Weight: The weight of self-propelling lawn mowers also makes a difference. Though you need not push it around, you must still carry it around your lawn. Hence, if you can not handle the mowers with heavy weight, you can opt for the ones with lesser weight.
  • Price: Price is among the most important factors when buying self-propelled lawn mowers. Self-propelled lawn mowers are costlier than push mowers. Moreover, the price changes with the model of the self-propelled lawn mowers. Hence, you can buy one that suits your requirements best and is within your budget.


Are self-propelled lawn mowers more expensive than push mowers?

Yes, self-propelled lawn mowers are more expensive than push mowers. It is because of their sophisticated design and many advantages over push mowers.

What are the best brands to consider for a self-propelled lawn mower?

The choice of a brand may differ from your requirements regarding a self-propelled lawn mower. However, some of the best brands to consider are Troy-bilt, Craftsman, Cub Cadet, Greenworks, DeWalt, etc.

How long does a self-propelled lawn mower last?

A self-propelled lawn mower can last up to 8 years. But the lifespan also depends on the amount of usage and maintenance.

How can I adjust the speed of a self-propelled lawn mower?

You can adjust the speed of a self-propelled lawn mower by adjusting its throttle. Increasing or decreasing the throttle increases or decreases the speed, respectively.

How to set the cutting height in a self-propelled lawn mower?

You can adjust the cutting height in a self-propelled lawn mower by raising or lowering the height adjustment lever.


Choosing a mower can be a daunting task. But if you want to have an effortless and time-efficient mowing experience, self-propelling lawn mowers can be your best choice. Unlike push mowers, they need not be pushed around and consume your energy. The smart drive mechanism makes them propel on their own. Hence, you can follow the recommendations and buy your yard’s best self-propelled lawn mower. It is time to let your lawn mower give you some rest.

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