How do Self-Propelled Lawn Mowers Work?

With so many breakthroughs in quiet self-propelled lawn mowing technology, it wasn’t easy to find the very best models available on the market today. After carefully reviewing all of the bestsellers, we have crafted this list of the top 24 best quiet self-propelled lawn mowers.

  1. Husqvarna 961450023 HU700H Honda 160cc 3-in-1 Rear Wheel Drive Hi-Wheel Mower in 22-Inch Deck
  2. Snapper 12AVB2A2707 21″ Self Propelled Gas Powered Mower with Side Discharge, Mulching, Rear Bag and Rear High Wheel, Dual-lever Height Adjustment with 6 Cutting Positions
  3. GreenWorks Pro GLM801600 80V 21-Inch Cordless Lawn Mower, Battery and Charger Not Included
  4. EGO Power+ 20-Inch 56-Volt Lithium-ion Cordless Lawn Mower – 4.0Ah Battery and Charger Kit
  5. Craftsman 37430 21 Inch 140cc Briggs and Stratton Gas Powered 3-in-1 Push Lawn Mower
  6. Earthwise 60617 17-Inch 24-Volt Cordless Electric Lawn Mower
  7. GreenWorks Pro MO80L510 80V 21-Inch Self-Propelled Cordless Lawn Mower, 5Ah Battery and Charger Included
  8. Husqvarna 961430130 LC221RH Propelled Lawn Mower, 21-In
  9. Husqvarna 7021P 21-Inch 160cc Honda GCV160 Gas Powered 3-N-1 Push Lawn Mower With High Rear Wheels (CARB Compliant)
  10. Lawn Mower Wheels Murray 21″ Low with 450 Series Engine, Red
  11. Troy-Bilt TB450 XP 21″ 175cc 3-in-1 4×4 Self-Propelled Mower
  12. Sun Joe MJ401C 14-Inch 28-Volt Cordless Lawn Mower
  13. EGO 21″ 56-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Self Propelled Lawn Mower (Battery and Charger Not Included)
  14. BLACK+DECKER EM1500 15-Inch Corded Mower with Edge Max, 10-Amp
  15. GreenWorks 25022 12 Amp Corded 20-Inch Lawn Mower
  16. WORX WG771 56V Lithium-Ion 3-in-1 Cordless Mower with Locking Caster Wheels, 19-Inch, (2) Batteries and Charger Included
  17. Honda 21”3-in-1 Self Propelled Self Charging Electric Start Lawn Mower
  18. Snapper P2185020 / 7800980 HI VAC 190cc 3-N-1 Rear Wheel Drive Variable Speed Self Propelled Lawn Mower with 21-Inch Deck and ReadyStart System and 7 Position Height-of-Cut
  19. Troy-Bilt TB370 163cc 21-inch In Step RWD Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
  20. ARIENS COMPANY 911175 21″ VS RWD Lawn Mower
  21. Yard Machines 159cc 21-Inch Self-Propelled Mower
  22. Poulan Pro 961420127 PR625Y22RHP Briggs 625ex Side Discharge/Mulch/Bag 3-in-1 Hi-Wheel Front Wheel Self Propelled Mower in 22-Inch Deck
  23. Lawn-Boy 17732 21-Inch 149cc Kohler XTX OHV, 3-in-1 Discharge Rear Wheel Drive Self Propelled Gas Lawn Mower
  24. Troy-Bilt TB220 159cc 21-inch FWD Self-Propelled Lawn Mower

Ever wonder how self-propelled lawn mowers work? Wonder no more. Self-propelled lawn mowers work on a drive system (making them vehicle-like) that requires the operator to squeeze a bar (called a “bail”) on the handle to engage the mower, after which the mower moves forward on its own (you don’t have to push it).

That is, squeezing this bar not only causes the cutting blades on a self-propelled rotary mower to begin Self-propelled lawn mowers work on a drive system (making them vehicle-like) that requires the operator to squeeze a bar (called a “bail”) on the handle to engage the mower, after which the mower moves forward on its own (you don’t have to push it).

That is, squeezing this bar not only causes the cutting blades on a self-propelled rotary mower to begin spinning, but also causes the mower, itself to take off — all you have to do is control the direction in which it goes. If you release your grip on the bar, the mower shuts off (but see below for an exception): it stops moving, and its blades stop spinning.

This is a safety feature that is more or less the norm nowadays. It is a safety feature that is present even on mowers that are not self-propelled. For example, I can’t start up my battery-powered push mower unless I’m holding down the bar on the handle.

The premise behind this safety feature is two-fold:

  • If you were to slip and lose your footing, there’s less chance of spinning blades coming into contact with your body.
  • If you were suddenly to spot a potential hazard of any kind, you wouldn’t have to fiddle with a switch to try to shut the mower off: all you have to do is release the bar.

I mentioned an exception above regarding how self-propelled lawn mowers work. I was referring to the fact that, for the higher-end models, the blade stops spinning when you release the bar, and the unit stops moving, but it does not entirely shut off. This feature is referred to as a blade override system.

A blade override system is a convenient feature for two reasons:

  • It lets you transport the unit from point A to point B effortlessly but without cutting grass along the way.
  • You don’t have to restart the mower every single time you release the bar to move something out of your way, swat a mosquito, or sip on that lemonade beckoning to you from your patio table.
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