There are many things to consider when you’re buying a self-propelled mower to work on a big hill, preparing your lawn for the season, or just trying to get your backyard lookin’ sweeter. Suppose you’re meandering through the lawnmower aisle in Home depot and contemplating which one to buy.
In that case, you might realize that one product description says it’s got a great deck design for maneuvering over hills, and another says this thing is great for cutting up against fences. So what is the best self-propelled lawn mower for those with the slaggiest of lots and the steepest landscaping? Let us find out.
Types of Lawn Mowers
Walk-behind vs. riding lawn mower
If you’re looking to buy a lawnmower, chances are you’ve been confronted with a choice: walk-behind vs. riding lawn mower. Which is better? Before you purchase a lawnmower, there are a few things to consider. The first is the size of your lawn. You wouldn’t want to use a riding lawn mower on a small or irregularly shaped yard. For these types of lawns, you might look into the option of buying a walk-behind mower.
The second consideration is the terrain of your yard. Walk-behind lawn mowers are easier to maneuver if you have trees and other obstructions in your yard. If space is an issue and storage is a concern, a walk-behind mower may be the better option for you.
Walk-behind mowers have the following advantages:
- Can work on a variety of terrain and around obstacles.
- They are easy to operate and require no special training so that anyone can use them.
- They usually cost less than riding mowers, especially when considering the maintenance costs.
- Walk-behind mowers can be good for small yards as they’re very maneuverable.
- They’re often more environmentally friendly than other types of lawnmowers.
- Relatively slow. While this may not be a problem for small yards, it is undoubtedly an inconvenience for larger yards.
- Require physical strength. If you have injuries or chronic pain to your hips or back, it can be challenging to walk behind and push a large mower. Additionally, if you live in an area with hilly terrain, pushing a walk-behind lawn mower up hills can be physically demanding and time-consuming.
- Less maneuverable. Compared to riding mowers, walk-behind lawn mowers are less maneuverable around obstacles such as bushes, trees and other landscape features. The smaller turning radius also makes it more difficult to cut around landscaping features and tight areas such as around the side of your house and along fences.
Riding lawn mower advantages include:
- You’ll get the job done faster with a riding mower since they cover so much more ground at once.
- The ride is far more comfortable, especially if you have back problems or find pushing a lawnmower tiresome. Riding lawn mowers are also easier on your knees and feet.
- You don’t need to worry about turning a corner too sharply and damaging your lawn with a riding mower — it turns on a dime!
- The cost of the machine is significantly higher than that of a push mower.
- The larger size makes it difficult to store and transport.
- Due to the sheer weight of the machine, it can be difficult to maneuver around tight turns or corners.
Front vs. Rear vs. All-Wheel Drive
The engine is mounted on the front wheels with front-wheel drive lawn mowers, so the blades are below the engine. On steep hills, a front-wheel-drive lawn mower can have trouble with traction. If you have a lot of hills in your yard and don’t want to be pushing uphill all the time, consider a rear-wheel-drive lawn mower.
Rear Engine Mowers – Advantages
- They have faster-turning cycles, which can be used on hillsides or slopes more quickly than front engine mowers.
- They do not require any extra space for storage since their engines are located at the back of the lawnmower.
- They are usually less expensive than other lawnmowers because manufacturers do not need to put as much money into designing these machines with advanced features or technologies that significantly increase their price tag.
Front Lawn Mowers – Disadvantages
- They are heavier than rear engine mowers, making them harder to maneuver on hillsides or slopes (but easier to push).
Rear Wheel Drive
A rear-wheel-drive mower has its engine mounted over the rear wheels. The blades are mounted at the same level as the engine, so they’re closer to the ground. On flat terrain or small inclines, a rear-wheel-drive will cut better than a front-wheel drive because it’s more powerful. However, the traction isn’t as good as a front-wheel-drive mower on steep hills.
- Rear lawn mowers can be used on hilly terrain. The weight of the motor on the rear end makes it difficult for the mower to tip over, even on steep slopes.
- This is your best option if you have a large yard because it will be easy to store and not take up much space in your garage.
- Many rear lawn mowers are available, such as self-propelled or push models, so they are versatile enough to fit most needs and budgets.
- Rear lawn mowers require two hands while operating them because the operator pushes them forward instead of pulled back like with front models. This makes them more difficult to use than other types of mowers! They also require some strength and endurance to operate correctly.
- Some people find them uncomfortable due to their size and weight distribution.
All-wheel drive (AWD) lawnmowers are a step up from FWD and RWD since they have four powered wheels instead of two. This gives them more stability and allows them to tackle even more difficult terrain such as slopes or hills. Find out some helpful tips on how to mow hills on this YouTube video from Lawn Care Business Success
- More control when maneuvering around obstacles, such as trees and flower beds
- Better traction on hills and slopes, which means less risk of injury to yourself or damage to the lawnmower
- Easier to use in wet weather conditions, especially if you live in an area that gets a lot of rain throughout the year
- Durable design with heavy-duty tires (some models have pneumatic tires like those used for cars); these types of wheels are more resistant to punctures than other wheeled vehicles because they can be inflated or deflated needed without losing air pressure over time.
- You’ll need to take more care with sharp turns.
- The mower is more likely to get stuck in compacted mud and snow, damaging the transmission.
- The mower is heavier, so it will be harder for some people to lift and move.
Two-Way Function vs. Three-Way Function Lawn Mowers
A two-way function lawnmower is a self-propelled device that can be operated manually and automatically. In this case, you don’t have to push the lawnmower across your garden, as it does all the work for you. This is ideal for people who are looking for an easy way to maintain their garden without too much effort on their part. These are some of the best self-propelled lawn mowers for hills.
Three-way function lawnmowers are very similar to two-way function devices except for one major difference: three-way function devices can be used on either side of the body and are ideal for people who like to change how they do things from time to time. A three-way function device might also be better suited if you have an uneven surface or slope to mow across.
The following are the best self-propelled lawn mowers for steep hills:
Yard Force 22″ 3-in-1 Self-Propelled RWD Gas Mower
The Yard Force 22″ 3-in-1 self-propelled gas mower makes yard maintenance so much easier with a conveniently located variable speed transmission to handle any job. You can choose from 7 different cutting heights, or you could even mulch the grass or load the bag with leaves and other debris. The 7 x 22″ wheels and rust-resistant deck help make this mower one that lasts. The engine features auto choke technology and a unique blade configuration to produce a powerful cut every time.
- ReadyStart® Technology- Thanks to the Briggs & Stratton engine that features ReadyStart® technology, starting this lawnmower is effortless. It starts on the first pull every time, so you can get your lawn mowing done without a difficult start.
- Six positions, dual-lever height adjustment allows you to change cutting heights from 1 1/2 inches to 4 inches high.
- Bag on Demand allows users to switch between mulching and bagging without tools or attachments.
- The washout port hose attachment easily cleans the underside of the mower deck.
- Cast aluminum deck resistant to rust and corrosion while remaining lightweight.
DEWALT Front Wheel Drive Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
This 21” Front Wheel Drive Self-Propelled Lawn Mower is perfect for small to medium-sized yards. The 163cc engine provides the power to cut through tall, thick grass and the front-wheel-drive system ensures control and ease of use. Choose between mulching, bagging or side discharge to best suit your needs.
- 163cc Engine with ReadyStart technology. Provides easy starting, more durability and less maintenance required.
- The front-wheel-drive system offers better traction, control and maneuverability.
- 21 in. steel deck is durable and lightweight.
- Side discharge, mulching, and rear bagging are all options.
- Self-propelled from 0 MPH to 4 MPH with variable speed transmission.
- 8 in. front/12 in. rear wheels for better traction and maneuverability.
- Single point height adjustment allows you to quickly change the cutting heights for the best cut on any type of grass.
Toro TimeMaster 30″
Innovative, robust and powerful cordless lawnmower.
The innovative 30″ Toro can handle even large lawns easily and efficiently thanks to a powerful battery and cutting width . The easy-to-handle mower is equipped with an innovative composite deck, which is resistant to damage from hard objects such as stones and roots. Thanks to its compact design, the mower combines maximum performance with low weight, making it the ideal mowing tool for small to medium-sized lawn areas.
- Innovative composite deck – extremely light, exceptionally robust and resistant to damage from hard objects such as stones and roots.
- Ergonomic working height adjustment with one hand: a locking knob allows quick adjustment of the working height between ten levels in three different ranges (20mm each).
- Central cutting height adjustment with single lever: convenient adjustment of the cutting height through ten levels at four different ranges (25mm each).
- Thanks to the Bosch Easy Start system: no pulling is required – just press the start button.
- Efficient grass collection in 60l grass box – very large capacity.
- Large wheels make maneuvering easier on uneven ground.
This lawnmower features a Kohler engine that produces 6.75 ft. lbs. Gross Torque, 159cc, and is equipped with a recoil start. The front-wheel-drive system provides the best traction on hilly terrain, and the high rear wheels make it easy to maneuver on all types of terrain.
- Self-propelled front wheel drive system featuring variable speed that allows you to mow at your own pace.
- High rear wheels for added maneuverability on hilly terrain.
- Kohler 6.75 ft. lbs. Gross Torque, 159cc OHV engine with no oil change required – just check the oil level before each use.
- The cutting deck allows you to discharge bag or mulch grass clippings easily.
- 3 position height of cut (HOC) adjusts from 1-1/4 in., 2-1/4 in., and 3-1/4 in. for multiple cutting heights.
- Blade Stop System (BSS) allows you to step away from the mower without stopping and restart the engine; just lift on the handle when done moving obstacles or debris.
Honda Versamow System 4-in-1 21 in
It has a powerful Honda GCV190 OHC engine with plenty of power and torque to handle even the most challenging mowing circumstances. It is exceptional mulching, bagging, and discharging capabilities, as well as the Versamow SystemTM with Clip Director®, enables you to mulch, bag, discharge, shred leaves, or even mulch and bag at the same time.
- Select Drive provides infinite speed control between 0 and 4 MPH.
- Smart Drive control is conveniently located on the handlebar for easier speed control of the mower. Choose your speed to match your stride for maximum comfort and control.
- The Versamow System allows you to mulch, bag, discharge, or shred leaves without using any tools or attachments. Simply turn the Clip Director knob while mowing, and the Versamow System will take care of the rest.
- MicroCut Twin Blades offers superior cutting performance and a finer mulch, reducing bagging and clippings blown into flower beds.
- GCV200 Auto Choke System eliminates choking or priming before starting. Simply start the engine and begin mowing.
- Easy-starting Honda Auto Choke System eliminates choking or priming before starting. Just start the engine and begin mowing.
- Honda’s unique NeXite deck won’t rust, dent or chip, providing long-lasting durability.
- Six rear-bearing wheels provide superior maneuverability when cutting around obstacles like trees or flower beds.
EGO Power Self Propelled Lawn Mower
EGO Power+ proves that outdoor power equipment’s absolute highest quality and performance can be achieved while maintaining value and durability. The 21” self-propelled, dual-port brushless mower delivers the torque of gas without the noise, fuss and fumes. It’s easy to use, featuring a 3-in-1 cutting system that allows you to mulch, bag or side discharge grass clippings. It is powered with 56V lithium-ion battery technology, making it remarkably light with all of the torque you need to get yard work done while saving money on power usage.
- LONGER RUN TIME & BATTERY LIFE: Industry’s largest battery pack delivers up to 60 minutes of cut time and over 2500 sq. ft. of grass cutting per charge for uninterrupted mowing.
- POWERFUL BRUSHLESS MOTOR: DigiPro brushless motor technology with a high-efficiency design increases battery run time up to 30% more than previous models.
- ADJUSTABLE SPEED SELF PROPELLED: Single point height adjustment offers cutting heights ranging from 1-3/8 in. to 3-3/4 in., and self-propelled rear-wheel drive allows you to maneuver around flat, hilly or uneven terrain easily.
- FOLDING HANDLES FOR EASY STORAGE: Innovative folding handles provide compact storage and a quick, hassle-free setup.
- EGO POWER+ ARC LITHIUM BATTERY: Industry’s most advanced rechargeable lithium-ion battery delivers power beyond belief and is compatible with all EGO POWER+ products.
Greenworks 3-in-1Electric Corded Lawn Mower
The GreenWorks Electric Corded Lawn Mower offers a versatile 3-in-1 design, allowing you to mulch, rear bag, or side discharge grass clippings with a simple flip of the switch. Because it runs on electricity, no tune-ups are required and no gas oil mix. Its 12 Amp motor provides enough power to cut through the toughest grass.
- The 12 Amp Electric Motor is powerful enough to cut through tough grass.
- The 20-inch cutting deck offers an outstanding balance of maneuverability and cutting capacity, ideal for mid-sized areas.
- For flexible demands, the 3-in-1 function gives several alternatives for grass clippings, including rear bagging, side discharge, and mulching capabilities.
- Fold-down handles for compact storage and easy portability.
Snapper Rear Engine Riding Mower 2691525
The Snapper Classic RER is a rear engine riding mower that is designed for cutting small to medium-sized yards. It is ideal for homeowners with less than 1 acre of land. The 28-inch stamped deck has 13 adjustable height settings which range from 1 inch to 4 inches.
Even when tackling tough grass or wet conditions, the rear engine provides sufficient power for the 28-inch deck. The rear-mounted engine makes the machine lighter and more compact, which means it can be turned around or maneuvered in tight spaces easier than a front engine riding mower.
- 344cc Briggs and Stratton 875EXi Series Engine with ReadyStart – No need to prime or choke. Just check the oil, turn the key, pull the cord and mow!
- Rear Wheel Drive – Self-propelled rear wheel drive offers variable speeds up to 4.25 MPH, perfect for hilly terrain.
- Electric Start – ReadyStart technology allows you to start your engine with just one button push.
- 28 inch (71cm) Steel Mowing Deck – Rugged steel deck offers premium performance and durability.
- 11.5 Foot-Pounds, 344cc Briggs & Stratton OHV 875EXi Series Engine with Ready Start, no priming, no choking. Just check the oil and go!
Husqvarna Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower
The Husqvarna Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower is the perfect mowing machine for lawns around 2 acres. This machine has a tough front end with a fully welded tubular frame and cast-iron front axle for long-lasting durability. The 54 in. reinforced cutting deck features air induction mowing technology to ensure a clean cut every time and uses dual anti-scalp wheels to prevent damage to the lawn when riding over rough terrain.
The hydrostatic transmission gives you smooth, variable forward and reverses speed. An ergonomic design brings comfort to your fingertips with an adjustable high-back seat, armrests, rubber foot pads and vibration dampeners for extended use. This mower also features an electric blade engagement, hour meter with service minder, electric clutch (PTO) for easier operation and 16 in. extra-high rear wheels for superior traction on hills or rough terrain.
Designed for the homeowner or property owner, this unit is easy to maintain thanks to convenient access to the air filter.
- 26 HP Kohler 7000 Series V-Twin OHV Engine.
- Hydro-Gear EZT transmission provides an effortless driving experience.
- The performance cutting system offers excellent airflow and cuts quality.
- 54 in. reinforced 12-gauge steel fabricated deck features air induction mowing technology, resulting in higher airflow and faster grass dispersion.
- Mow larger areas faster with the 4.5 MPH forward maximum ground speed of this riding mower.
- Comfortable 18 in. high back seat with armrests provides stability when turning or lifting the deck when changing heights.
- The easy-to-use dial gauge allows you to switch between height settings from 1.5 inconveniently.