We all know that lawnmowers are designed to keep the lawn looking neat and tidy, and the grass healthy. They’ve been around for more than a century in basic form, and modern models can be quite sophisticated.
As we’re here to talk about self-propelled lawn mowers, here’s a reminder of when Honda build a 130mph lawnmower to claim the world record, but we doubt it would be any use for cutting the lawn! For large expanses of grass, the ride-on mower is a sensible choice. Here we’re looking at those that you stand behind rather than sitting on. Who uses them?
A self-powered lawn mower is suitable for middle to larger sized lawns, and they make life a lot easier. For smaller lawns, they may not come into their own, but you may still benefit if you have trouble pushing a standard mower.
Now, to complicate things a little further, there are various types of a self-propelled lawnmower. By this we mean you can choose from those with gas engines, and those with electric motors. Which is best for you? That’s always going to be a personal choice, but we’ll outline the pros and cons of each below.
Gas or Electric?
The question asked is how they work, so let’s cover that first. Put simply, and a self-propelled lawnmower is a mall vehicle. The engine – whether gas or electric – connects to gearing that turns the wheels.
This means that rather than you having to push the machine when you hold in the grip, the mower will move of its own accord. If you have never tried one then you are in for a surprise as they really do take the strain out of cutting the grass.
The self-propelled lawn mower can be a front-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive. It is usually the case that gas-powered mowers have the back wheels drive, while with an electric model may have the front wheels powered. The front is better for flat lawns as it is easier to move the mower around, while many users prefer rear power for harder to tackle terrain as it tends to add more traction.
Now for the power source. Do you want gas or electric power? The advantage of a gas-powered self-propelled lawn mower is that it will be more powerful overall. They are standard gas engines that can be especially useful, but they are larger and heavier machines than the electric models.
There’s also more maintenance required with this type of machine as they have more moving parts. For example, as with any gas-powered vehicle, you will need to have your mower serviced occasionally and fill it with fuel.
The electric self-propelled lawn mower is a more manageable machine and should be adequate for all but the very biggest of gardens. The motors are suitably powerful and come with speed control on most models.
Traditional Gardening has detailed reviews of some of the best of both types of the model, where you’ll also find more information on gardening, lawnmowers and tools.
The electric mower may be mains powered – that is it has a cord that needs to be plugged into a mains outlet at all times – but we prefer the models that come with rechargeable batteries. These are safer as there is no chance of running over the cord, and they are also easier to use as they are not hindered by the connection. Which is for you?
Choosing a Mower for You
The first thing you need to do is decide which power source is best for you. If you have a small area and power outlets either close to where the lawn is or perhaps outdoors, a corded electric model will suffice. But, we recommend you check out this advice on how to use your lawnmower safely as running over the cord is just one danger.
A gas model will be better if you have a large lawn, but you should be prepared to pay more for this type of self-propelled lawnmower. In the middle are the electric models with the rechargeable motor. We think these are the best choice for a domestic garden and they are also among the more affordable models. Due to their popularity, there is plenty of competition in this market sector, so you might bag a bargain.
What you should look out for when making your choice are things like a good warranty, as things do go wrong, and a lengthy charge from the battery as you don’t want to be stopping and starting. If you can, find one where you can buy spare batteries, as this gives you a longer usage time. Read the reviews we pointed you to, and you’ll find a self-propelled lawnmower that suits you, and at the right price too.