Self Propelled Lawn Mowers Explained: How they work & compare to others

By   | Last Updated :   April 5, 2023 | Filed In :   Product Recommendations & Advice

Designed to make lawn maintenance easier and more efficient, a self-propelled lawn mower can take the hard work out of keeping your garden looking its best.

Many garden owners in the UK are unaware of the benefits of using a self-propelled lawn mower, or how they differ from traditional push mowers. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you better understand what a self-propelled lawn mower is, and how it can benefit you and your garden. We’ve also listed our top recommended self-propelled mowers in this guide here.

Self Propelled Lawn Mowers Explained: How they work & compare to others 1

How Does a Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Work?

Self-propelled lawn mowers are powered by a small internal combustion engine, typically running on gasoline or electric power. The engine powers a transmission system that transfers power to the mower’s wheels, enabling it to move forward without requiring significant effort from the user.

The self-propulsion feature is typically controlled by a lever or button located on the mower’s handle. By adjusting the speed control, users can set the pace at which the mower moves forward, allowing for greater control over the cutting process. Some self-propelled lawn mowers also include adjustable speed settings, allowing users to choose between different speeds based on the terrain, grass type, or personal preference.

The self-propulsion feature of a lawn mower provides a number of benefits:

Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a newcomer to lawn maintenance, a self-propelled lawn mower can make a big difference in the quality and ease of your lawn care routine.

Types of Self-Propelled Lawn Mowers

Self-propelled lawn mowers come in a variety of types, each with its own set of features and benefits. The most common types of self-propelled lawn mowers include:

Front-Wheel Drive Lawn Mowers:

As the name suggests, front-wheel drive lawn mowers are designed with the propulsion system located in the front of the mower.

This type of self-propelled lawn mower is ideal for flat or slightly sloped lawns, as they provide good traction and manoeuvrability on even terrain.

Rear-Wheel Drive Lawn Mowers

Rear-wheel drive lawn mowers are designed with the propulsion system located in the rear of the mower.

This type of self-propelled lawn mower is ideal for hilly or uneven terrain, as it provides better traction and stability on inclines and bumpy surfaces.

All-Wheel Drive Lawn Mowers

All-wheel drive lawn mowers feature a propulsion system that powers all four wheels of the mower, providing optimal traction and stability on a variety of terrain types.

This type of self-propelled mower is ideal for larger lawns or challenging terrain, as it offers superior manoeuvrability and control in any conditions.

When choosing a mower like this, it’s important to consider the type of terrain you’ll be mowing, as well as your personal preferences for speed, manoeuvrability, and overall performance.

Benefits Of Self Propelled Lawn Mowers

There are many benefits to using a self-propelled lawn mower, including:

1. Reduced Physical Exertion

One of the primary benefits of using a self-propelled lawn mower is that it reduces the amount of physical exertion required during mowing. This is particularly beneficial for individuals with physical limitations or those who have larger lawns to mow.

2. Improved Efficiency

Self-propelled lawn mowers are designed to move forward on their own, which means that users can focus on the cutting process rather than pushing the mower around the yard. This can lead to improved efficiency and precision when mowing, resulting in a more even and well-manicured lawn.

3. Better Performance on Challenging Terrain

Self-propelled lawn mowers are designed to provide better traction and stability on challenging terrain, such as hills or uneven surfaces. This can make it easier to mow your lawn without worrying about slipping or losing control of the mower.

4. Time-Saving

Using a self-propelled lawn mower can save time and effort compared to using a traditional push mower. It can make lawn care easier, more efficient, and less physically demanding.. You can cover more ground in less time with a self-propelled mower, allowing you to complete your lawn care tasks more quickly and efficiently.

Maintenance Tips for Self-Propelled Lawn Mowers

Like any lawn mower, self-propelled models require regular maintenance to keep them running smoothly and extend their lifespan. Here are some maintenance tips to keep in mind:

1. Change the Oil

It’s important to change the oil in your self-propelled lawn mower regularly to keep the engine running smoothly. Check your owner’s manual for specific instructions on how often to change the oil.

2. Replace the Air Filter

The air filter in your lawn mower helps prevent dust and debris from entering the engine. Over time, the filter can become clogged, which can reduce the mower’s performance. Check your owner’s manual for instructions on how to replace the air filter.

3. Sharpen the Blade

A dull mower blade can damage your lawn and make it more susceptible to disease. Make sure to sharpen the blade at least once a season to ensure a clean cut.

4. Check the Spark Plug

The spark plug in your mower ignites the fuel in the engine. Over time, the spark plug can become fouled or worn, which can lead to problems starting the mower. Check the spark plug regularly and replace it if necessary.

5. Clean the Deck

Grass clippings and debris can build up on the underside of the mower deck, which can reduce the mower’s performance and cause rust. After each use, make sure to clean the deck thoroughly to remove any build-up.

Comparison: Self-Propelled vs. Push Lawn Mowers

While self-propelled lawn mowers offer many benefits, they may not be the best choice for everyone. Here are some factors to consider when comparing self-propelled mowers to traditional push mowers:

1. Cost

Self-propelled lawn mowers are generally more expensive than push mowers. If you’re on a tight budget, a push mower may be a better option.

2. Physical Exertion

Push mowers require more physical exertion to operate, which may not be ideal for individuals with physical limitations or those with larger lawns to mow.

3. Terrain

Self-propelled lawn mowers are better suited for challenging terrain, such as hills or uneven surfaces. If your lawn is relatively flat, a push mower may be sufficient.

4. Lawn Size

Self-propelled lawn mowers are generally more efficient for larger lawns, as they can cover more ground in less time. For smaller lawns, a push mower may be more practical.

5. Noise and Emissions

Gas-powered mowers, whether self-propelled or push, can be noisy and emit exhaust fumes. If you’re concerned about noise or air pollution, an electric mower may be a better choice.

Ultimately, the choice between a self-propelled and push lawn mower comes down to personal preference and the specific needs of your lawn.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do I start a self-propelled lawn mower?

To start a self-propelled lawn mower, first, make sure the fuel tank is filled and the oil level is correct. Then, engage the blade control and pull the starter cord while holding down the operator presence control bar.

  1. How fast do self-propelled lawn mowers go?

The speed of self-propelled lawn mowers can vary depending on the model. Some models have fixed speeds, while others have variable speeds that can be adjusted to match the operator’s walking pace.

  1. What is the difference between front-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive self-propelled lawn mowers?

Front-wheel drive self-propelled lawn mowers are designed for manoeuvrability, making them ideal for use on flat terrain. Rear-wheel drive self-propelled lawn mowers are better suited for hilly terrain or for mowing thick, tall grass.

  1. How often should I sharpen the blade on my self-propelled lawn mower?

It’s recommended to sharpen the blade on your self-propelled lawn mower at least once a season, or more frequently if you mow frequently or have a large lawn.

  1. Can I use a self-propelled lawn mower on wet grass?

It’s generally not recommended to use a lawn mower, whether self-propelled or push, on wet grass. Wet grass can be more difficult to cut and can cause the mower to clog or leave clumps of grass on the lawn.

  1. How often should I change the oil in my self-propelled lawn mower?

The frequency of oil changes can vary depending on the model and usage. Check your owner’s manual for specific instructions on how often to change the oil.

 

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    By Mike L
    Mike Lovatt

    I'm Mike. I've been interested in gardening since my grandparents always asked for help planting bulbs and seeds in the garden when I was around 10 years old. From a young age I then had my own garden patch to maintain and grow plants in. I decided to start a gardening focused website to share my passion, ideas, help and advice for other keen gardeners.

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