Last updated on November 27th, 2023
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I have reviewed a lot of lawnmowers over the years and one specific type which has always been one of my favourites is the self-propelled lawnmower. Most self-propelled mowers are actually powered by petrol, and due to the fact that most petrol mowers are fairly heavy because of the engine, not to mention, usually have a steel deck which adds the overall weight.
You can get some arguably lightweight petrol models these days, however, once you start looking at models suitable for medium and larger gardens then the mowers tend to become fairly heavy. This is where the self-propelled models really are worth the extra expense as they make mowing the lawn for longer periods of time much easier, especially for professional mowers who may be mowing all day, every day.
These are lawnmowers that move under their own power; all you have to do is steer them. Some self-propelled lawn mowers have variable speeds so you can treat mowing the lawn like a stroll or as exercise if you use the faster settings.
My review of the best self-propelled lawn mowers presents the mowers that we recommend. I describe what to look for in a mower and then tell you how each of the models measures up. I’ve then identified the very best self-propelled lawnmowers.
BEST PROFESSIONAL PICK
My top 5 best self-propelled lawn mowers to buy in the UK
- Hyundai HYM510SPE 196cc Self Propelled Lawnmower – OUR BEST PICK
- Hayter Harrier 48 Pro FS BBC Rear Roller Lawnmower – PROFESSIONAL PICK
- Murray EQ2-300 Self-propelled Petrol Lawnmower – RUNNER-UP
- Titan-Pro 22 Self-Propelled Lawnmower with Zero Turn – BEST FOR LONG GRASS
- Mountfield SP45 44cm Petrol Lawnmower
Do you have an uneven lawn? Check my review of the best lawn mowers for uneven and sloped lawns
The Top 5 Self-Propelled Lawnmower Reviews
1. Hyundai HYM510SPE 196cc Self Propelled Lawn Mower
The Hyundai HYM510SPE 196cc Self Propelled Lawn Mower is a brand new model and it’s the current flagship model of Hyundai’s range of walk-behind lawnmowers, and what a machine! This mower is quickly becoming a favourite with many gardeners including myself and for good reasons.
Firstly, let me get straight to the self propelled feature on this model as this is what sold me on this model. It has 4 speeds, 1 being a slow walk, great for moving around object and it gets fast and faster until you get to number 4 which I would say is a brisk walk. Feels like your chasing the mower but it is great for mower large lawns and getting it done quickly.
First of all, the Hyundai HYM510SPE features an electric push-button start button/key as shown above for instant starting and has a recoil start option as a backup should the other option fail, push-button start is usually found on very expensive models so its nice to see it on a mid-range model. This combination is a huge advantage over many other models with only a recoil start, most of the models on this list use recoil pull starts and not electric starts and this is fine for most people, some even have easy start features but there are still people who may struggle to pull the cord so having the push button option is a great addition for them. I think it’s just a great feature to have and one that actually makes sense and is actually used.
Another useful feature of this lawnmower is that it has a 4-in-1 discharge option. These include collecting the grass clippings as most mowers do, rear discharge, side discharge as shown above and mulching to put the clippings back onto the lawn, this can be good for adding a little goodness back into the lawn and is as simple as just inserting the mulching plug as shown below.
This gives you total control over your mowing in that it’s up to you to decide what you want to do with the grass.
The large 70-litre grass bag will come in handy if you want to collect the grass, and it really is large. Its large capacity ensures that you’ll spend more time mowing and less time emptying.
The cutting height is also adjustable in 6 different positions ranging from 25mm to 75mm. Simply move a lever to your desired height and the mower will do the rest. It is easy to adjust the height too, with some models it can be difficult to raise the height but in this model it’s surprisingly easy, especially for such a large model.
When it comes to construction, this mower is a winner as the quality is outstanding. It’s made of high-quality components that guarantee maximum durability. One such part is the integrated OHV 4-stroke Euro 2 engine which benefits from low emissions, low maintenance, economical operation and more importantly is very powerful whilst not being overly noisy.
One thing we do like is that no tools are required for assembly. You can be up and running in minutes upon receiving this mower, just don’t forget to add the oil, luckily its a 4 stroke engine so there is no oil petrol mixing to do so even topping up with oil is straight forward. It’s worth noting that it also usually comes with the oil, or at least the one I purchased did.
This model also has foldable handles that make it easy to store and transport and we think that the additional bottle holder for a drink on the go is a brilliant idea. For safety, Hyundai’s innovative OPC lever will ensure that the engine won’t run when you let go of the handle but this is a feature you will see on nearly all self-propelled models nowadays, for safety reasons.
With this new model, Hyundai has clearly made the rear wheels bigger than the front in order to enhance manoeuvrability and maximum traction. You’ll appreciate them when you need to mow around trees and flowerbeds in your garden. There is also a wash port hose connector that makes it a breeze to clean the underside of the lawnmower. All you have to do is attach a garden hose and run the mower.
The product is covered by a 3-year platinum warranty so you can be confident of your purchase plus it also includes 1 year warranty for commercial use too, something most manufacturers don’t do.
- The perfect mower for medium and larger size gardens, top quality features at an affordable price.
- Self-propelled, rear-wheel drive with a 4-speed setting to match the user speed.
- Powered by a 196cc Hyundai 4-stroke engine with low emission, minimal maintenance and economical in use.
- Push-button electric start which makes starting so easy with pull cord for backup.
- Made of high-quality, durable components that guarantee a long life for the mower.
- Includes OPC (Operator Presence Control) which ensures the engine does not run without your activation.
- Comes with a large 70-litre grass collector to help reduce frequent emptying.
- A single lever adjustment allows you to adjust six cutting heights from 25mm to 75mm to give the finish you are looking for.
- Has foldable handles that reduce space in storage and transport.
- 3 years warranty when you register online for full peace of mind.
- It may be a little heavy, however it is a fairly large model so this is expected.
I really like the Hyundai HYM510SPE 196cc Self Propelled Lawn Mower and I liked it that much I named it my ‘Best Pick’ and also use this very model myself.
It starts quickly and easily without straining your back thanks to the electric button start, I love that it has four speeds of mowing with smooth transitions as most other models have just one standard speed, this is probably the real selling point for me as well the electric start and large size.
What we will say is that this model is large and heavy so is probably better suited to larger gardens or for professional lawn maintenance gardeners. It produces lots of power to cut overgrown areas of the lawn and allows you to customise the cut in terms of height with some good height settings. The mower is also incredibly versatile with mulch and three other self-discharging options which we like.
It takes around half an hour to build and should be fairly easy for anyone, nothing too complicated. The build is of high quality and looks like it can take a beating for years. Its cup holders are very good additions too, I could see these being really handy on really hot summer days.
Overall it is a fantastic mower, one of the best, without doubt, it is just a big model, they do also do some slightly smaller self-propelled model that you can view on Amazon here if you feel this lawnmower is a little too big.
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2. Hayter Harrier 48 Pro FS BBC Rear Roller Lawnmower
BEST PROFESSIONAL PICK
The Hayter Harrier 48 Pro FS BBC Rear Roller Lawnmower is easily one of the best models on the market and sits in between the smaller 41 PRO and the large cutting width model the 56 PRO, making it agile enough for small lawns whilst also being big enough to tackle larger lawns up to 522m².
The lawnmower is equipped with both a powerful and maybe more importantly a reliable 170cc Honda GCVX170 engine that is fuel-efficient and environmentally conscious. It has a fuel capacity tank of 0.9 litres so you can tend to a large lawn easily. To give you an idea of fuel tank sizes, the larger model is a 1-litre tank and only 0.1 litres larger.
- Designed with the professional gardener in mind which means it’s extremely robust, reliable and gives a superior cut.
- Features a Crank-Safe BBC System for optimal performance, this means the blades stop without needing to turn off the engine which saves you time as you don’t need to restart the engine every time you empty the grass collector.
- Fitted with a reliable and robust 170cc Honda GCVX170 engine.
- Has a large capacity fuel tank which means more time mowing and less time emptying.
- Comes with a large 70 litre grass collector to promote efficient time management.
- Features a one-piece aluminium cutting deck that is light but durable.
- Spend less time cleaning with the new washing port which you can attach to a hosepipe for cleaning under the deck.
- Easy to start thanks to the recoil system in place.
- 7 cutting height adjustments from 13mm for a close cut to 60mm for tackling longer grass.
- Self-propelled with single speed and rear roller for creating a striped finish.
- Offers a 2-year warranty for both domestic and commercial purposes.
The mower is fitted with a two-piece steel rear roller with a new differential and bearing mounting support system which basically ensures it is built to last. This gives your lawn that even, striped look that many strive to achieve.
This lawnmower is self-propelled (3mph) which saves you the trouble of pushing the 54kg model around.
Amongst its prized features is the Crank-Safe BBC System that promises longevity. The manufacturer has backed the quality of the crank system by offering a lifetime warranty. That should be more than enough evidence to convince you that it is a worthwhile investment.
A strong cutting deck is a must for the demanding day to day mowing of professional gardeners who can never be too sure if there are stones hidden amongst the grass that they are cutting. With this in mind, this model is fitted with a one-piece aluminium cutter deck which is very strong, extremely durable and improves the machines overall life span.
With a cutting width of 48cm, one can cover a large area in a short amount of time. This lawnmower is perfect for gardens that range from around 261m² for smaller and medium sizes lawns to 522m² for those larger lawns.
The cutting height settings are adjustable from 13mm – 60mm which are easy to change, as you would expect, using a single lever.
Mow the whole lawn without stopping thanks to the large capacity collector featured. The 70-litre collector will save you time and energy in the long run. When you are done mowing, connect a hose to the washing port to clear up any debris and grass clippings from underneath the mowing deck. You can use the rear carry handle and front bumper to lift the mower more easily when loading on and off a van or carry up steps etc, a simple but effective little feature that just makes your day a little bit easier.
- It is expensive so may be out of the price range for some people but certainly a worthy investment for professionals.
The Hayter Harrier 48 Pro Lawnmower is designed with both professional and domestic users in mind, but it really comes into its own for professional gardeners. The lawnmower has all the features to make regular lawn maintenance a success. It is powered by a reliable Honda engine which ensures it is extremely reliable and the build quality is unmatched by most other models and domestic mowers don’t even come close in terms of quality.
Because it is expensive, we recommend you consider whether you feel it is worth the investment and this is why it is our top recommended model for professionals or anyone with a lot of lawn to maintain. This is not a model that you want sitting in the garage only really being used once every few weeks. This is the kind of machine that has been designed for daily mowing and will keep going day after day and even year are year without even missing a beat. This is a real workhorse and a worthy investment for any professional mower, plus it’s backed by a two-year warranty and that is for commercial use too.
Ever considered a robotic lawn mower?
You can now get robot lawn mowers suitable for large gardens for the price of some of these petrol models
3. Murray EQ2-300 Self-propelled Petrol Lawnmower
The Murray EQ2-300 Self-propelled Petrol Lawnmower may not have all the features of a larger, more expensive, self-propelled mower but it is a solid mid-range mower with enough power for keeping a small to a mid-sized lawn in shape.
This petrol walk-behind mower is powered by a 125cc Briggs and Stratton engine, whose engines have earned a reputation for reliability and efficiency. You’re responsible for putting 0.50-litre SAE30 4-stroke oil for the engine and up to 0.8-litre of unleaded petrol into the separate fuel tank. Both of these tanks are simple to top up. You use a standard recoil start (pulling a cord) to start the mower but it’s easy to use.
- Reliable 125cc Briggs & Stratton 300E Series engine.
- Recoil start but it’s easy to use.
- A 2-in-1 cutting system for cut and collect or rear discharge needs no tools to change.
- Six cutting height positions from 28mm (1 inch) to 92mm (3.5 inches) for optimal grass length.
- Large 60-litre soft mesh collection bag so fewer trips to empty it.
- 41cm (16-inch) cutting width for wider and fewer strips.
- A Single-speed of 3.6 km/h (2.2 mph) gives a comfortable walking speed.
- Ergonomic handlebar with three heights so you won’t have to stretch or crunch when using the mower.
- Two-year limited Consumer Warranty.
The Murray EQ2-300 has a 2-in-1 cutting system and you don’t need tools to change to flip between modes. You can cut and collect the clippings into the large 60-litre soft mesh collection bag without having to make too many trips to unload the bag. You can also cut and discharge the clippings back onto the lawn from the rear of the mower. This adds nutrients back into the grass for its continued good health.
The cutting blade of this mower is 48cm (16 inches) wide. It’s wide enough to shorten the number of times you’ll spend going across the lawn. You walk behind this self-propelled mower at a comfortable 3.6 km/h (2.2mph), steering it in the direction you want it to go. And steering is not difficult at all as you’re using an ergonomically designed handlebar with three height adjustments. You can select the height that doesn’t put stress on your arms and back.
As you’re walking with the mower it is cutting the grass to one of six predefined heights that you’ve selected by adjusting two levers. Choose from a range of 28mm (1 inch) to 92mm (3.5 inches) for your grass length.
There’s a two-year limited warranty for the Murray EQ2-300 so you needn’t worry about it going wrong. There’s extra support in the assembly phase with a video for setup on the Murray website. This helps as it takes a coordinated effort by two people to put together this petrol mower.
- The mower does not free-wheel backwards easily.
- Difficult to clean underneath without draining the petrol tank.
- The shortest cut (28mm) may not be short enough for some.
We most definitely recommend the Murray EQ2-300 Self-propelled Petrol Lawnmower. It has just the right balance of features for the fuss-free mowing of a small to medium-sized lawn. It weighs less than other petrol mowers and the single walking pace is comfortable at 3.6 km/h (2.2mph) so it should fit most people without too much exertion.
It’s a robust machine with a powerful and reliable Briggs and Stratton motor. The Murray EQ2-3300 does need two people for assembly, guided by an online video. As with all petrol mowers that don’t have the wash-out feature, cleaning under the mower is difficult (and potentially messy) without draining the petrol tank first. Users have complained online that the shortest cut, at 28mm, isn’t close enough for the smoothest look for their lawns.
All in all, we approve of the Murray EQ2-300 Self-propelled Petrol Lawnmower and it is the Runner-up in our review of the best self-propelled lawn mowers.
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4. Titan-Pro 22 Self-Propelled Lawnmower with Zero Turn
BEST PICK FOR LONG GRASS
The Titan-Pro 22 Self-Propelled Lawnmower with Zero Turn is perfectly designed for gardeners who want the ability to turn on the spot for delicate mowing thanks to its “ZERO TURN” front wheels. This is a fantastic idea, the front wheels turn on their footprint effortlessly and without lifting the front, allowing easy mowing around obstacles such as trees, flowerbeds and paths. Because you don’t need to lift the front wheels up as you do on most other models it gives a more even cut. It is also great for longer grass too.
- A great mower for larger gardens.
- Outfitted with Kohler Courage engine which is powerful and reliable.
- Comes with “Zero Turn” wheels that rotate on the spot for precise mowing, giving a more even cut when turning as you don’t need to lift the front wheels up.
- Lockable caster wheels allow cutting in straight lines with ease.
- One-touch height adjustment system with cutting height varying from 20mm up to 90mm, perfect for mowing longer grass.
- A very large 80-litre collection bag ensures less time emptying and more time cutting grass.
- 3-in-1 discharge system with side discharge, mulch and collect options.
Of course, the zero-turn wheels have been around on many ride-on lawnmowers for years, but this model is amongst the few self-propelled lawn mowers that offer the same feature. The ones on this model can also be locked in place so that you can mow in straight lines which is really handy.
What’s more, this machine is fitted with a Kohler Courage XT775 engine which is a really well-respected engine and very reliable, they are known for their powerful transmission and high torque.
The cutting range can be adjusted from 20mm to 90mm at the touch of a button and that means you have a wide selection from which to trim your grass. With its deck extending beyond the wheels, you are certain to achieve utmost precision when mowing the lawn.
This model also has a very large cutting width of 22 inches (55cm) so it’s easy to cut a lot of grass at a time. This 3-in-1 lawnmower also allows you to side discharge grass clippings if your mowing somewhere you don’t need to collect the grass, mulch them to add nutrients back to the soil or collect the clippings for disposal. Its massive 80-litre grass bag is probably the largest of lawnmower bags and the benefit is that you’ll not have to report to the garden bin frequently.
- Becomes quite heavy when the large grass bag fills up.
Absolutely yes, especially because it turns on its footprint so you can mow where you want with ease which is the real benefit here and a fantastic design.
Those looking to precisely mow around flowerbeds and trees will benefit greatly from this lawnmower. It suits any large garden as well thanks to its extra-large 80-litre grass bag. Mulch option is also available to help return essential nutrients and minerals back to your lawn. Cutting height is spread across a wide range and that’s a big advantage, especially if you mow very long grass.
Even the flaws we’ve pointed out don’t really take away from the performance and reliability of this model. Overall the Titan-Pro Lawnmower is a fantastic self-propelled mower for large lawns.
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5. Mountfield SP45 44cm Petrol Lawnmower
The Mountfield SP45 44cm Petrol Lawnmower comes with a 140cc powerful 4-stroke engine and the 44cm cutting width is perfect for small to medium-sized lawns.
The mowing deck is constructed from powdered steel so you do not have to worry about corrosion.
This model also comes complete with height adjustment settings that you can use to get the length of cut that is suitable for your lawn. We love the fact that these settings come with an easy to use lever for proper adjustment. You can adjust from 20mm-70mm.
- A great mower for medium-sized gardens.
- Equipped with a powerful 140cc Mountfield WB45 OHV engine.
- Features 5 height adjusting mechanism to set between 20-70mm.
- It comes with a rear-wheel-drive for better traction.
- It includes a large 55-litre grass collection box and a mulching plug for convenient disposal.
- It comes with a 2-year warranty, after-sales help, advice website and phone line.
It comes with a large 55-litre collection box that collects all the clippings and trimmings. The 55-litre capacity is big enough to house a considerable amount of clippings. The mulch plug will be of excellent use to you if you need it which gives you the option to mulch and leave grass clippings on the lawn to put nutrients back into the lawn.
This model comes with a two-year warranty.
- It lacks speed adjustment settings.
The Mountfield SP45 44cm Petrol Rotary Lawnmower is another good petrol mower from a well-known manufacturer we have come to trust. We would recommend this mower for medium or larger sized gardens.
It is not as diverse as our best pick but the 2-year warranty with the after-sales help and advice website, the phone line is a huge bonus for full peace of mind.
Overall an excellent mower which we would be happy to recommend. Nothing special as such but you know you are investing in a reliable good quality mower without the fancy features.
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Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Buyer’s Guide
Type of self-propelled lawnmowers
There are different types of lawnmowers that are available on the market for you to select from. We shall define these types according to their means of power. Most self-propelled lawnmowers are powered by petrol which our reviews will focus on.
It is important to realise that most self-propelled lawnmowers are petrol-powered mainly because corded mowers are lightweight and don’t require this feature and most cordless mowers lack the power needed to be economical as the batteries drain quickly.
We highly recommend that you go for a petrol model if you are considering a self-propelled model.
Front-wheel drive vs rear-wheel drive
With self-propelled lawn mowers, you can have front-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive. We recommend rear wheel drives since they provide easy manoeuvrability and seem to easier to use and offer more grip.
If the wheels are larger on the front they tend to have limited movement especially when they are confronted with obstacles. Rear-wheel drive gives you excellent manoeuvrability and traction control and some models also have front wheels on cast wheels which can turn on the spot which can be useful.
Can you adjust the speed?
Having access to adjustable settings on a self-propelled lawnmower is a big advantage and usually fitted to more expensive models. It gives you the option to slow down or go faster depending on the height of your grass and what pace you are comfortable walking at. The ones that lack adjustable settings may mow too slowly or too quickly instead of being comfortable and able to mow at your own speed. The good news is, we have found some great affordable models which we have included in our review.
Look for the extra features
The swivel wheel comes in handy. They make for easy manoeuvring around objects. They can easily manoeuvre around different terrains. Most of the time you find that only the front wheels are swivel wheels. This gives the self-propelled lawn mower more control.
Wash out ports are useful for the maintenance of lawnmowers. They make sure that the blades are washed out of all the debris. This will facilitate more efficient blades since nothing is stuck in between.
When the grass gets cut you have to pick how to dispose of the grass clippings. There are several options that are available which include ‘cut’, ‘cut and collect’, ‘side discharge’ and ‘mulch’. Some models have one or more of these grass disposal features while some are known as 4-in-1 models and have all the features giving you more flexibility.
Some models simply cut and collect or cut and drop, usually smaller cheaper simpler models, but some more advanced models can cut and collect, cut and drop, have the option to mulch and also have a side dispatch mode. Mulching is great if you have a particular dry lawn, as it can help retain moisture and add goodness back to the lawn.
Budget and price range
Depending on the model and functional features you will end up looking at different price ranges ranging from just over £200 for a good low-cost model to around £300 for a good all-round model full of extra features to nearly £1000 for professional models designed for heavy-duty use on a daily basis.
Warranty and spares backup service
All models should come with warranties and usually, they range between 1 year for cheaper models to 5 years for the most expensive. You should really be looking at models that come with at least 2 years warranty as it shows that the manufacturer has confidence in their own products.
Most reputable suppliers will have a spares backup service for replacement parts such as cutting blades, spark plugs and pull cords.
Choosing the best self-propelled lawn mower really depends on your individual needs and budget, for around £200 – £250 you can get yourself a reliable model with a host of features such as mulching, adjustable heights, a large collection box, steel mower decks and a decent warranty. For a little more, you can get the most reliable models fitted with the best engines, electric start, multi-speed propulsion and build quality that is sure to last many years.
Whatever your budget, we hope we have helped you decided which model is right for you and hope we have helped you make an informed decision about which mower is right for you.
Below is a quick roundup of our ‘Best Pick’ and the best mower for professional gardeners looking for the very best self-propelled petrol lawnmower.
Last update on 2023-11-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API