Best Self Propelled Gas Lawn Mower (Reviews For 2024)

The Best Self-Propelled Gas Mower You Can Buy in 2024

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Are you looking for the Best Self Propelled Gas Lawn Mower in 2024?  If so, you’re in the right place because this guide will point out all the differences between the best self-propelled lawn mower brands – and why we think a self-propelled gas mower is one of the best, most dependable lawnmowers you can own.

All the gas-propelled mowers in this mower guide will help you save significant time and effort mowing a lawn over a push mower.  A top-rated self-propelled mower will quickly propel the mower up a sloped yard or uneven terrain.

And, If you are wondering:  “Are self-propelled mowers worth the money?” 

Our answer is a definite – Yes – assuming your lawn is under 1 acre. A gas mower is more suitable for more significant acreage than battery mowers, which are better suited for 1/2 acre or smaller lawns.

If you happen to have a huge yard, we recommend getting the best riding lawn mower you can afford, for a yard 1 acre or more in size.

What is a Self-Propelled Mower and How Does it Work?

Self-propelled mowers are popular lawn equipment that use wheels to “drive” or propel the lawn mower forward.

Located on the lawn mower handle or by a separate control lever, the operator can engage either the Front wheels, Rear wheels, or All-wheel drive, depending on the design of the self-propelled mower. 

By engaging the driver, the operator does not have to push the mower but instead walks behind and steers the mower across the lawn. Self-propelled mowers offer the same features as manual push mowers but typically allow quicker mowing times, with adjustable walking speeds between 2 – 5 mph.

The Best Self-Propelled Gas Mower in 2024

Editors’ Choice:  Honda “HRX217VKA” – 21″ Self-Propelled 4-in-1 Mower

Image of a Honda HRX217VKA Mower
The Honda HRX217VKA Self-Propelled Gas Mower – www.besthomegear.com

Our top-rated “Self-Propelled Gas Lawn Mower” choice is the Honda HRX217VKA, a 4-in-1 self-propelled gas mower with a premium Honda GCV200 Engine. 

This incredibly powerful gas-powered lawnmower provides every feature you could hope for in a lawnmower, including “Select-Drive” technology to adjust speed to match your stride – between 0-4 Mph.

With the Versamow 4-In-1 Mowing system and Clip Director, you can Mulch, Bag, Rear Discharge (Bag included), or Leaf Shred without additional tools or attachments. Just slide the convenient knob selector to your choice of cutting – it’s that easy!

We named this one the Best Mower for many reasons, in part due to its industry-leading brand reputation and the popularity of this particular Honda lawn mower.

The Honda Mower checks all the boxes you could hope for, including the Honda Brand’s dependability, twin micro-cutting mower blades, and a powerful 200cc GCV200 gas engine.

Honda Self Propelled Gas Mower
Honda HRX217VKA Self-Propelled Mower – www.Besthomegear.com

Key Features of This Lawn Mower Include:

  • GCV200 (cc) Honda Engine with pull start
  • Rear-wheel drive (Better for Sloping Land or Hills)
  • NEXITE Deck:  Anti-Rust, Anti-Dent Composite Deck 
  • Auto-Choke System for easy starts
  • Dual-Height (7-Position) Levers
  • Perfect for 1/4 – 1/2 acre lot
  • 3 Position Handle and Folds for Storage.
  • 9″ High Traction Wheels – With Ratchet system for easy maneuvering
  • 21″ Steel Mowing Deck – With High Volume Lift Design
  • 1.9 Bushel Grass Collection Bag Included
  • 5-Year Warranty
  • Weather and Dent Resistant
  • 4-in1 Mowing Options – Side, Rear discharge, Leaf shredding, or Mulching

Honda HRX217VKA 21″ Self-Propelled Gas LawnMower Video:

 

Summary: 

Honda mowers can easily cost up to $1,000. But why spend that much on this premium brand when this Honda mower has all the features you need for less?

Those features include the patented “variable speed” Select Drive – which adjusts to “your walking pace,” NEXITE Composite Mowing Deck, a powerful 200cc OHV gas engine, 4-In-1 Mowing Options, and Auto-Choke.

With this amazingly powerful self-propelled mower, there is no need to set the choke (auto); pull the cord and Go.  In our opinion, Honda truly offers the best premium gas mowers you can buy.

HONDA – GAS-Powered Self-Propelled Mower (Home Depot)

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HONDA Mowers


Runner Up:   TORO “Recycler” 22″ Self-Propelled Mower – Front-Wheel Drive

toro recycler 22
TORO “Recycler” Self-Propelled Gas Mower

Our strongest contender for Honda – is the TORO “Recycler” – 22″ Gas-powered Self-propelled mower.

Boasting almost too many features to mention, let’s start with a powerful Briggs & Stratton 163cc EXi engine with Easy-start.  There is No Need to prime or choke before starting the engine.

The TORO Recycler also features ALL-WHEEL Drive, allowing this mower to tackle sloped yards with steep hills with no problem.

Let’s not forget the “No Levers or Buttons” Self-Pace propelled mower system – With TORO Self-Pace, you simply push the Handle forward and go.

While there are no speed adjustment knobs, you can easily adjust the speed by way of a speed cable adjustment to match your desired pace.  The TORO recycler comes from the factory with a pre-set walking speed; however, adjust it faster or slower to your liking.

Once the speed is dialed into your favorite pace, you only need to start the engine and mow.

Speaking of starting, TORO offers a 5-year “Guaranteed to Start” Engine Warranty and a 5-year limited warranty on the mower.

It is highly rated by our team and consumers and includes one of the largest mowing decks in our reviews.

The recycler 22″ Steel Mowing Deck also consists of the patented TORO extra-long mulching blade that “double cuts” grass clippings, avoiding clumps while mowing.

This 3-in-1 mower offers three mowing options: Mulch, side-discharge, or rear-bag grass collection.

“This is the mower to own if you have a steeply sloped or hilly yard.”

We named the “Recycler” self-propelled mower our Runner-Up because it also offers maximum features, Like user-friendly all-wheel drive, Variable Speed Control, a Dual wheel height adjuster, Nine Height Settings, and a large Grass Clipping Bag – all at a very competitive price.

Key Features of This Lawn Mower Include:

  • 163cc OHV Briggs & Stratton EXZi Easy Start Engine
  • With “Smart-Pace” Speed Control, Push-And-Go.
  • All-Wheel Drive Superior Traction
  • 3-in1 Mowing Options – Side, Rear discharge, or Mulching
  • Wash Out Port
  • 22″ VORTEX Mowing Deck with Extra Large 
  • 5-Year Warranty
  • 10 Inch Turf Traction Rear Wheels
  • Nine adjustable height settings
  • Easy-Start 5-Year Warranty – Pull and Go!
  • The rear collection Bag included

The TORO “Recycler” Self-Propelled mower easily beats out the features of most other gas-powered mowers. The Powerful 163CC EXi OHV Briggs engine makes it almost as powerful as our editor’s choice mower from Honda. 

With its 3-in-1 mowing option, including side discharge, bag, or mulch, the larger bagging capacity on this model is also a favorite feature.  Users like to spend less time dumping grass clippings and more time mowing! 

TORO Recycler Mower Video:

 

The TORO Recycler 22″ may be light-duty for users with lots over 1 acre or very heavy cutting, and for those types of yards, we recommend considering a riding lawn mower.

However, the average homeowner with a medium-sized lawn, and even one with slopes or hills, will find that this mower provides superior construction, quality, and suitable power to mow their lawn quickly and effectively. 

TORO 22″ Self-Propelled Mower

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TORO “RECYCLER” MOWER


Best Value:  PowerSmart 22″ – Self-Propelled Gas Mower

PowerSmart Self Propelled Gas Lawn Mower, 22-Inch 200cc 3-in-1 Walk-Behind Lawn Mowers Gas Powered, Black (PSM2022)

Although many great gas-powered self-propelled mowers exist, many can fall into a pretty hefty price range.  The 22″ PowerSmart lawn mower is the clear choice for the best value, gas-powered, self-propelled lawn mower.

This is the mower my neighbor bought last year; he loves it and says he’s “laughing all the way to the bank” based on what he says is an excellent value over the high-priced brands.

If you want to buy a good value lawn mower without breaking the bank, we highly recommend the Powersmart mower with a 3-in-1 (bag, mulch, discharge) and a 21″ steel mowing deck.

This model has been one of Amazon’s Best Rated self-propelled mowers for the last few years.

The Powersmart lawn mower offers a fantastic mix of quality and features at a price point that practically any homeowner can afford.

Key Features of This Lawn Mower Include:

  • 22-inch mower deck
  • Powerful 200cc 4-Stroke OHV Engine
  • 5-Height Adjustable Lever
  • Rear-wheel drive (more power)
  • Recoil the “One-Pull” Cord and start
  • No Variable control Speed is available
  • Single lever adjustable height control
  • 11.5″ Large Rear Wheels  
  • Smaller Gas tank – 1/4 Gallon – Good up to 1/2 Acre Lawn
  • No Speed Selector for Self-Propelled Pace.

The PowerSmart mower has more power (but costs nearly 2/3 as much) as the larger 170cc gas engine from Honda.  And with a value-priced mower, you’ll have less concern about your budget – and still not have to worry aboutlawnmower surging” that comes from inferior engines.

The one caveat from Pro Smart is that the mower doesn’t offer a variable speed drive motor, so you will need to keep pace (a little slower) than PowerSmart sets their walking speed at.

This is one of the few features that keep their mower less expensive than other brands.

The PowerSmart Lawn Mower is designed with rear-wheel drive (RWD) for climbing uneven or hilly yards, and for that type of terrain, RWD will always outshine front-wheel drive (FWD) models.

The 11.5″ large rear wheels are also perfect for uneven terrain and propelling up steep-sloped yards. 

The Powersmart Self-Propelled mower, with its “3-in-1” option, can bag, mulch, or side discharge, just like any conventional gas mower.

PowerSmart Mower Summary:

Powersmart is made by Amerisun in Itasca, Illinois, and has, in the last 4-5 years, become a very reputable and affordable name in Lawn Equipment. 

Powersmart offers a complete line of outdoor power tools, such as leaf blowers, string trimmers, and hedge trimmers, if you are running light on funds for lawn equipment.

The PowerSmart gets our pick for Best Self-Propelled Mower under $400. Remember that this Powersmart self-propelled lawn mower has no Adjustable Speed for walking pace—the only mower in our reviews that does not offer that feature.

PowerSmart- Self-Propelled Mower

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POWERSMART


Best Mower with Vertical Storage – Toro “Smartstow” Recycler 

Toro Smartstow Gas Self Propelled Mower 21465
Toro Smartstow – Self-Propelled Gas Mower – Besthomegear.com

For buyers who want one of the best gas lawn mowers on the market and the ease of storing a lawn mower Vertically in the garage,  we highly recommend the 22″ Toro Smartstow Gas Self-Propelled Lawn Mower.

With a slightly less powerful 150 cc OHV engine and Rear Wheel Drive than our Runner Up from TORO,  this mower will tackle just about any lawn you can throw. The Toro brand is rock solid, and this mower offers many of the same excellent features as higher-priced mowers.

Key Features of This Product Include:

  • Briggs & Stratton 150cc OHV Engine
  • 22″ Steel Mowing Deck
  • SELF-PACE walking speed control
  • Vortex High Lift Grass Cutting design
  • 5-Position Cutting Heights
  • Larger Bag Capacity (Bagger Included)
  • 3-in-1 Discharge Ability
  • 3-Year Warranty

Buyers who select the Toro Smartstow lawn mower will find it both a good value and an overall high-quality lawnmower compared to most brands. This mower starts quickly and offers enough power to propel it over steep terrain.

Unlike some mowers that aren’t built to Toro’s standards, this model loses little to no grass when used for bagging.

Check out Toro’s Gas Self-Propelled Mower Video:

 

Summary:

We still prefer the Editor’s “Honda lawn mower” choice for several reasons. Honda offers a more powerful (190cc) engine, which is more practical for steep properties or Hills and is better for less frequent mowings (longer grass).

In addition, Honda also offers this mower with an “Electric-Start” feature. No more yanking pull cords to start your mower.

However, these features are the only significant differences Honda offers over the Toro Stowmaster mower, but for those with a bigger budget, the Honda may still be a better choice.

If you instead prefer the Vertical Storage and Cost of the Toro, it is a fantastic choice for a self-propelled gas-powered mower.

TORO – Gas Powered Self-propelled Mower

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TORO


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) 

How Does a Self-Propelled Mower Work?

Self-propelled lawnmowers operate by engaging the drive system to the lawnmower wheels.  Much like a vehicle, self-propelled mowers use the engine to engage either the front wheels (FWD), rear wheels (RWD), or all wheels (AWD) to propel the lawnmower and cut grass.

How Do You Use a Self-Propelled Mower?

The process is quite simple if you have not used a Self-Propelled mower before.  Here are the steps required to use a self-propelled mower:

  1. Engage the “Choke” lever (unless your model has “Auto-Choke”)
  2. Grip and hold the “Safety Lever” on the Mower Handle
  3. Pull the starter cord (or use the turnkey if you have an electric start)
  4. Q:  Disengage the “Safety Lever” to engage the self-propelled mower wheels
  5. Adjust walking speed to a comfortable pace

Can You Push a Self-Propelled Lawn Mower?

You can push a self-propelled mower without the self-propelled wheels engaged as long as the drive-system lever is disengaged from the wheels.

Which is Better, Front Wheel Or Rear Wheel Drive Lawn Mower?

The decision to buy a front-wheel (FWD), rear-wheel (RWD), or all-wheel drive (AWD), is a matter of personal preference and affordability.

FWD mowers are the easiest to operate on a level lawn and make turns with.  Just tilt the front wheels up when you make your turn.

RWD mowers, with the weight centered over the rear wheels, are better for hilly or sloping yards.

Finally, the AWD (All-wheel-drive) mower is the ultimate drive system, and considered the best for steep hills but is easily the most powerful for lawnmowers in any condition.


Differences Between “Mower Types”: 

Front-Wheel vs. Rear-Wheel vs. All-Wheel Drive Lawn Mowers 

Front-wheel drive (FWD) Advantages:

  • Maneuverability: FWD is the best model to choose for mowing Level Terrain.
  • Turning:  Because the front wheels engage the drive, riding the mower requires you to tip the front wheels up, spin, and start mowing a new row of grass.  FWD mowers are great for small yards that need lots of turns
  • (FWD) Disadvantages:
  • Loss of traction due to less weight over front wheels doesn’t work as well on bumpy or irregular yards.

Rear Wheel Drive (RWD) Advantages:

  • Uneven Terrain: RWD models are a better choice for Hilly or Uneven terrain due to the weight being centered in the middle and providing more traction and power over bumpier or steep lawns.  
  • Cut:  Most agree that RWD models provide a more manicured/even cut lawn because the mower is more stable over any irregular ground.
  • Bagging:  RWD is also beneficial since more weight over the rear wheels provides even more traction for hills, etc.
  • Power:  RWD is a more powerful drive vs. FWD.

(RWD) Disadvantages:  

  • Maneuverability:   Rear-wheel drive is more difficult to pull backward since the rear wheels are constantly engaged with the drive motor.
  • Turning: It is more complex than an FWD model because you must manually disengage the drive or slow the speed to turn the mower before the next pass.

All-Wheel Drive (AWD) Advantages:

  • Best possible traction for Hilly or Uneven Terrain since all four wheels are engaged
  • Better balance and weight distribution

(AWD) Disadvantages

  • Price.  AWD models tend to be the most expensive to purchase
  • Maneuverability. Like RWD models, you must disengage the drive or manually slow the speed at each turn.

Simple Repairs for Your Toilet?  Read our “Hands-On” 🙂 DIY Guide To Toilet Repairs

Conclusion

Remember the most important features if you’re ready to buy a new lawnmower. The type of terrain you have and the number of turns your lawn has is critical to make a sound decision.

While Honda makes our list for the Editors Choice self-propelled mower – You may be a “Craftsman” kind of customer – our runner-up in today’s review.  Likewise, if you want to save a little money, consider the powerful 200cc up-and-comer from PowerSmart.

You can make the right purchase by carefully taking stock of each mower’s features and how they relate to your lawn and budget.

Thanks for visiting BestHomeGear, and good luck with your “Self-Propelled Lawn Mower” Selection!

Check out our most recent article: The 10 Best Stihl Leaf Blowers.  Featuring the best Stihl Blower for Any Sized Yard.

References & Additional Reading:

Kevin Carroll
Kevin Carrollhttps://www.besthomegear.com
Kevin is the author and editor for Best Home Gear, and uses his 25+ years experience in Commercial and Residential Construction Management to author and publish the work for this website. In addition to publishing Best Home Gear; Kevin enjoys the outdoors in Michigan and Arizona, hiking, cycling, fishing, golf, and completing DIY projects at his Home and Garden.

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Author and Publisher for Best Home Gear

Kevin is the Author, and Publisher @ Best Home Gear, which he began In 2018.

As a Professional in Construction, Real Estate and Property Management, Kevin uses that experience to publish Useful Articles, and help homeowners improve (DIY) their own homes, lawns, and outdoor spaces.

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