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7 Best Push & Self-Propelled Walk Behind Mower – 2017 Reviews

7 Best Push and Self Propelled Walk Behind Lawn Mower Reviews

Walk-behind lawn mowers are one of those handy, cannot do without gardening machines, which are designed to save you time and effort in your quest to cultivate and maintain a great looking lawn.

From the first manual 'Push Reel' lawn mower invention, yes, there still some out there, mechanical lawn mowers have come a long way. But just like most home and garden power tools, the best lawn mower will depend on your garden specifications: size, type of grass, and your physical abilities to be able to maintain your garden.

Our pick

THE BEST WALK BEHIND MOWER

Honda 3-in-1 Self Propelled Self Charging Electric Start Lawn Mower

This powerful mower is ideal for small to medium sized lawns and it is capable of handling most mowing conditions. It has everything you need for an effective enjoyable mowing experience, three mulching capabilities, multiple height and speed options, a comfortable folding handle for easy storage, and it is environmentally friendly.

Push or Self-Propelled Mower

Push Lawn Mower

A push or traditional walk-behind mower requires you to physically propel the machine. If you have a small lawn and easy to cut grass then a push mower is the ideal choice for you. Besides maintaining your lawn it is a great way to get some exercise!

A self-propelled mower can either be powered by electricity or gas and has a strong motor that does most of the hard work, and a handle that you can press to propel the machine in the desired direction. All it takes is a gentle push and off it goes, no need for any exertion.

If you have a bad back or are physically challenged in some other way, and if you have a large lawn, or a lot of uneven ground to cover, then invest in a self-propelled lawn mower.

Self-propelled Lawn Mowers

Self-propelled mowers offer a keyless start, single and variable speeds and you use the machine by engaging a speed control lever. The speed control lever can be a part of the handle or a separate bar that you press to make the mower move forward. The only energy you have to exert is to guide the mower around the yard.

These energy saving mowers are usually front or rear wheel drive, Front wheel drive models are easy to operate and allow you to turn the mower by simply tipping the front wheels back and lifting them off the ground.

Rear wheel drive tends to provide better traction when mowing across slopes in a back-and-forth pattern. Rear wheel drive mowers are most effective when they are to the grass collection bag or a container as it can make them more balanced. If the bag or container is too full it can also cause the front end of the mower to rise up. So remember to empty it regularly.

Self-propelled lawn mowers may be a little more expensive, but they can save from physical strain and will making your mowing chores a breeze. But also keep in mind, most manufacturers make their mowers to be lightweight these days, so whether you choose a push walk behind mower instead of a self-propelled model, most of them will be relatively easy to maneuver around your yard.

Electric, Gas-powered, or Battery-powered Mowers

Like many mechanical power gardening tools: weed wackers or chainsaws, lawn mowers can be powered either by electricity, gas or a battery.

Electric (corded)

Electric mowers are ideal for small sized yards, but they can also work well on medium lawns that have even terrain. They can provide a clean cut like gas-powered mowers, but their key selling points are that they are usually very light and easy to maneuver. Electric mowers are also eco-friendly, they require minimal maintenance and they work well in suburbia as they are quiet.

The downside of using an electric mower is that you have to stay close to a power outlet, or you may need to use an extension cord. Power cords can be dangerous, so you have to be aware of their position while you are mowing and take care that you do not mow over the top of them. Also the extension cord can come loose from the machine or the initial power source.

Remember: If you have to use an extension cord, heavy-duty 12 gauge cords are the best to use for a lawn mower. Overall, electric mowers works best on small to medium lawns with slight inclines.

Gas-powered Lawn Mowers

Gas-powered lawn mowers are noted to be the most powerful of mowers, so they generally can do a better job at cutting through tall grass and tough weeds. They are also ideal for medium to larger properties that have uneven terrain and hilly areas.

The downside of gas-powered mowers is that they emit fumes, you may have to mix oil with fuel or if they have a separate reservoir for the oil, you have to make sure that you use the right amount of oil and do not overfill the reservoir. If you use too much oil it could cause problems with the engine and the mower could stop working.

Gas-powered mowers are a lot noisier than other types of mowers, but they can help you get your mowing chores done quickly.

Battery-powered Lawn Mowers

if you are looking for a portable, cordless option, then a battery-powered lawn mower is ideal. They can be used for most lawns, small to medium sized, but they may not work the best with long grass. Most battery-powered models draw their power from a long-lasting lithium-ion battery and a strong motor, which allows you to cover a large area with just one battery charge. Another key selling point of a battery-powered mower is that most of them are easy to start with just a push of a button.

Six Factors to Consider for Choosing the Right Walk-behind Lawn Mower

1. Deck Size

The deck size of a mower describes the cutting swath or the cutting area of the mower. The wider the deck the fewer passes you will have to do to cut your lawn. Most cutting decks range from 15 inches up to 21 inches for residential uses.

Remember, the larger the deck, the heavier the mower may be and it may be more difficult to maneuver, especially in tight spots. Also, the mower can take up more storage space. But if you have a larger lawn, you may need a larger sized deck.

2. Lawn Size

If you have a small sized lawn with low-level grass that is easy to cut, then choose an electric mower or a mower with a 15/16 inch cutting deck.

If you have a medium to large yard with uneven terrain and some slight inclines, a gas-powered or a battery-powered mower with a strong 56 volt lithium-ion battery and a larger cutting deck would be the best choice.

If you have a lot of mowing to do or have a lawn that has a lot of hilly areas, you could choose a self-propelled mower that does most of the work.

3. To mulch or not to mulch?

Most mowers come with mulching capabilities. They can either shoot the grass clippings to the side, collect the clippings into a bag, or just mulch the grass clippings back onto the lawn from the rear of the mower. If the mower shoots the clippings to the side or just on the lawn, you have to consider using a rake to collect the clippings to put them under a tree or in the garbage bin.

Some mowers come with a 3-in-1 mulching feature where they can do all three, and you can choose which is the best for you. If the machine mulches the grass into the attached bag or container, you will have to stop continually if you have a lot of area to cover. Also, mowers that come with a 3-in-1 mulching feature may be more expensive. So it all depends on your gardening modus operandi and budget.

4. Height Adjustment

Gardening experts say that we should not cut our lawns to less than 30% of its overall height as cutting it shorter can weaken it. In the hotter weather grass can become more brittle and break easy, so choosing the height of the mower in relation to the grass level is important for a healthy looking lawn. Fortunately, most mowers come with a smart height adjustment feature, which gives you a range of heights to choose from, and these height levels can be easily adjusted by a single handle.

5. Extra Safety Features

If you choose an electric push mower, it can be easily started with a key or by pushing a button. This option is great for those of us with back problems or for elderly people who still like to get some exercise out in the fresh air and like to maintain their own lawn. Trying to pull on a cord multiple times can be hard work and frustrating, and also cords can break after long term use.

Some mowers like the Honda 21 Inch 3-in-1 Self Propelled Electric Start Lawn Mower gives you variable speed controls. There are some mowers that are ergonomically friendly and have operator friendly features like a foldable handle for greater portability and easy storage.

6. Warranty and Customer Support

Of course we do not expect our mowers to function effectively forever. At some point, hopefully not straight away, they will need to be fixed. Some manufacturers offer a 2 year warranty which is not very long, especially if you are going to be using the lawn mower a lot, and especially for heavy-duty mowing chores.

Other manufacturers offer a generous 4 year warranty, they it can be a limited warranty, so it is best to read the fine print. A good tip before purchasing, besides reading this article, is to visit the manufacturer's website.

Another thing to look out for in relation to product warranties is that some manufacturers have two warranties for their mower, one for the machine itself and another for the motor. So keep your eye out for these details that can be easily overlooked.

Good customer support and an accessible service centre is essential when things go wrong or you just want to ask a question about your mower. So have a look at these details as it is all part of being a savvy gardener who wants to make sure that their money is well spent.

Best Walk-behind Lawn Mower Comparisons and Reviews

Electric Walk-behind Lawn Mower:

1. Sun Joe MJ401E Mow Joe 14-Inch 12 Amp Electric Lawn Mower

If you have a small sized yard and you are looking for a walk behind mower that is easy to handle and maneuver around tight spots like flower beds and along the edge of pathways, then the Sun Joe MJ401E Electric Lawn Mover is a great choice. It is lightweight at 29 pounds, delivers a smooth cutting performance, and it features three height settings (low, medium, high), so that you can set it your desired height for the best cutting action.

The mower is easy to set up as it comes almost pre-assembled, so all you have to do is attach the blades and tighten the handles, plug it into a power outlet and you are all ready to go. If you need to purchase an extension cord, choose a 12 gauge cord.

Although the body of the mower is made from plastic, do not be fooled, it is powered by a durable 12 Amp electric motor so it can power through thick grass quickly. It has a 21 inch cutting deck, which gives it a rather wide cutting swath. The wheels are lightly constructed and may have trouble negotiating uneven and rocky terrain, but it is designed primarily for small lawns with even terrain.

If you are a homesteader who need a maintenance free, easy to use mower that is ergonomically friendly, the Sun Joe mower will be a good choice for your mowing needs.

What we like:

  • Affordable
  • Ideal for small lawns
  • Lightweight
  • Powerful
  • Easy to maneuver in tight spots

What we don't like:

  • The grass catcher fills up quickly
  • Not ideal for uneven terrain or large yards.

2. Black & Decker 20 Inch MM2000 13-Amp Electric Lawn Mower

The MM2000 lawn mower from Black & Decker is powered by a 13 Amp motor that will deliver all the cutting power you need to maintain your small sized lawn. The mower is easy to assemble, all you have to do is attach the handle.

It has an excellent cutting ability with a cutting radius of 20 inches. The EdgeMax cutting deck allows to cut close to the edge of fencing and around flower beds, so that you can effectively manicure your lawn to perfection.

The mower is portable, easy to operate, and has a 3-in-1 grass management system, mulching, bagging and side discharge capabilities, a single lever height adjuster with 7 height settings from 1.5 to 4 inches. The 13 gallon nylon grass collection bag allows you to check to see how much grass or debris is in the bag.

It is also ergonomically friendly with a carrying handle for easy transport and storage, Overall, the Black & Decker lawn mower can provide you with an excellent and clean cutting performance.

What we like:

  • Ideal for small lawns
  • Press button start
  • Quiet
  • 7 setting height adjustment
  • Excellent cutting ability
  • Portable
  • See through nylon grass collection bag
  • Carrying handle

What we don't like:

  • Not ideal for large lawns or heavy-duty mowing
  • Not ideal for uneven terrain

Battery-powered Walk-behind Lawn Mower:

3. EGO Power+ 20-Inch 56-Volt Lithium-ion Battery-powered Lawn Mower

EGO is an award winning company that has consistently delivered high quality power gardening tools, and their EGO Power+ Battery Powered Mower will not disappoint. It is lightweight, emission-free, powerful mower that can be easily started with just a push of a button. The EGO mower is an ideal option for any homesteader who has a small to medium sized lawn. It has a 21 inch cutting deck, and the 5.0 Ah 56-Volt Lithium-Ion battery has enough power for mowing areas up to one acre and can even tackle slight inclines and uneven terrain.

The EGO battery takes about 30 minutes to charge and it has a runtime that is equivalent to about 45 minutes before you have to recharge it again. It is especially designed residential use as it is quiet operator and environmentally friendly with no harmful emissions.

The mower is designed with a 3-in-1 mulching/bagging/side discharge, 6 height adjustments to choose from, easy to access grass collection bag and LED headlights if you need to mow your lawn in low light conditions. It is portable and can be easily folded for storage. Extra features include a battery and charger, and a very generous 5-year limited warranty, but remember to read the warranty carefully to see what it does and does not cover. The mower also comes with a battery and a charger

What we like:

  • Ideal for small to medium yards up on ½ acre
  • Powerful
  • Quiet
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to manoeuvre
  • Smooth cutting performance
  • Fast charging battery
  • Compact

What we don't like:

  • Expensive
  • Not ideal for large properties
  • Can get bogged down in wet grass

4. GreenWorks 25322 G-MAX 40V 16-Inch Push Battery-powered Lawn Mower

The Greenworks 25322 G-MAX Push Battery-powered Lawn Mower has everything you need for maintaining a small sized lawn. It is lightweight, starts with just a touch of a button, and it provides that much needed power due to the 40 volt lithium-ion battery, which will give you consistent power for up to 40 minutes before having to recharge the battery.

You can choose from 5 height settings, which can easily adjusted with a single lever, and the innovative SMART CUT technology adjusts the power or runtime based on the thickness of your grass, and the 7 inch rear wheels and 6 inch front wheels means you can effortless maneuver the machine over your lawn. The mower has a durable 16 inch reinforced poly plastic cutting deck, and it can also mulch the clippings into a rear collection bag, which is easy to attach and detach.

The mower comes with an easy fold handle system for greater portability and storage, and a battery and charger is also included.

What we like:

  • Ideal for small lawns and basic mowing needs
  • Lightweight
  • Great battery life
  • Five height settings
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Compact and easy to store

What we don't like:

  • Not ideal for tall grass or tough weeds
  • Technical support was not very helpful
  • One year warranty

Gas-powered Walk-behind Lawn Mower:

5. Honda HRR216VLA 21 Inch 3-in-1 21 Inch Self Propelled Electric Start Lawn Mower

There is a lot to love about the Honda 3-in 1 Lawn Mower. Firstly, it is self-propelled, so if you suffer from a bad back or you are an elderly homesteader and would prefer a mower that is easy to maneuver, this mower is a great choice. It has an electric key start which is due to its new self-charging built-in Cyclon sealed lead-acid battery, and a reliable fuel efficient Honda GCV16 160cc 4-Cycle Engine.

Honda has designed this mower with so many handy features that makes this mower ideal for small to medium lawns. It has a 21 inch cutting deck, 2 cutting blades, 6 cutting height levels ranging from 1 to 3½ inches, and the variable 5 speed controls from 0 to 4 mph gives you more control over the machine's mowing action – you can choose from a slow walk to a faster walking pace.

The twin blade MicroCut System can cut the grass into small clippings, which allows for easy disposable through the rear of the mower.. The machine also has mulching, bagging, discharge, and leaf shredding capabilities. The mower is lightweight and easy to maneuver in tight spaces and around trees and shrubs, and the folding quick release handle makes it easy to store away.

The highlights of this mower is its self propelled feature, powerful premium Honda engine with a electric start and an auto Choke system, which means there is no hassle when you have to start up the unit - just start it up and start mowing. The mower is also designed to be environmentally friendly with a 50-state EPA and CARB emission certification.

What we like:

  • ​Electric key start
  • Easy to use
  • Quiet
  • Works best on flat terrain
  • Great cutting action
  • Plenty of power
  • Solid construction
  • Fuel efficient
  • 3 year residential warranty

What we don't like:

  • Expensive

6. Craftsman 37430 21 Inch 140cc Briggs and Stratton Gas Powered 3-in-1 Push Lawn Mower

Craftsman have been manufacturing high quality garden power tools for over 80 years, so you can be rest assured that when you buy one of their mowers you can expect a superior mowing experience. The Craftsman is designed to handle almost any type of lawn terrain as it is powered by a strong and reliable Briggs and Stratton Silver Series 140cc OHV engine, and with five pounds of torque per foot, and alloy steel cutting blades, you will have no trouble cutting through tough weeds and tall grass.

The Smooth Start™ Plus and the Precision Plus technology means that the machine is easy to start and will have the mower up and running quickly with a smooth cutting performance. The mower has a 21 inch 3-in-1 durable steel rust resistant cutting deck with mulching and side discharge and rear bagging capabilities, and 6 six height positions to choose from.

If you have a lawn that has uneven terrain or thick grass, the sure-grip traction on the high rear wheels will give you that much needed grip and control in rough mowing conditions.

If you suffer from allergies, the Craftsman has designed this mower with environmentally friendly specifications. The EZ Empty 1.9 Bushel Rear Bag With Dust Blocker protects you from the dust that can arise from grass clippings and other kinds of debris.

The low 7-inch front wheels and high 11-inch rear wheels gives you that much needed maneuverability in tight spots and around other gardening obstacles.

One of the highlights of this model is that it is vibration free and has a reduced noise level, which make it one of the quietest mowers on the market. Overall, the smart design of the Craftsman push mower provides you with an effortless and efficient mowing performance.

What we like:

  • Ideal for small to medium yards
  • Easy pull start
  • Ergonomic design
  • Good maneuverability
  • Powerful
  • Can handle uneven terrain
  • Easily cuts through tough weeds.
  • Comfortable to operate
  • Vibration free and reduced noise

What we don't like:

  • No folding handle
  • Single cutting blade
  • Limited warranty for 2 years.

7. Husqvarna 7021P 21-Inch 160cc Honda GCV160 Gas Powered 3-N-1 Push Lawn Mower

Husqvarna is one of the most well known manufacturers of superior home and garden electrical tools, and their gas-powered 7021P push lawn mower is what you can expect from Husqvarna: it is an efficient and effective mowing machine that is ideal for medium sized yards.

Besides the powerful 160cc GVC160 Honda engine that is carb-compliant, and the 6.9 gross torque, 12-inch high rear wheels and double ball bearings, it can easily cope with all kinds of terrain and cut through thick tall grass and weeds.

The engine features a new Easy Start auto choke system and there is no primer bulb to push. For a cold start you slide the choke lever over, squeeze the safety bar on the handle and pull. The choke releases by itself, and there is no chance of flooding the engine.

Although it may not be the quietest mower, the Honda motor runs smooth and strong and is known for its longevity and overall cutting performance.

It has a 21 inch steel cutting deck, 3-in-1 features (mulch, collection bag, and side discharge), and 9 cutting height position that can be adjusted for varying lawn conditions. The soft grip foldable handle makes it easy to transport and store away.

What we like:

  • Good value for money
  • Ideal for small to medium sized yards
  • Powerful engine
  • Great cutting ability
  • Easy to start and maneuver
  • No need to prime the engine
  • Works well on uneven terrain and for cutting through thick grass and weeds
  • Emission and carb compliant for use in California

What we don't like:

  • Two warranties: one for Husqvarna and one for Honda
  • Can get heavy and bogged down in wet grass

Our Top Pick

Our top pick for the best walk behind lawn mower is the Honda HRR216VLA 21' Inch 3-in-1 Self Propelled Gas-powered Electric Start Lawn Mower. 

Our pick

THE BEST WALK BEHIND MOWER

Honda 3-in-1 Self Propelled Self Charging Electric Start Lawn Mower

This powerful mower is ideal for small to medium sized lawns and it is capable of handling most mowing conditions. It has everything you need for an effective enjoyable mowing experience, three mulching capabilities, multiple height and speed options, a comfortable folding handle for easy storage, and it is environmentally friendly.

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