Buying a battery-powered lawn mower: self-propelled or not? (Need answer fast!)

When it comes to battery-operated things, I’ve learned the hard way to stay away from devices that use the higher voltage battery packs. They don’t last nearly as long as their lower voltage counterparts. I strongly suspect this is due to cell imbalance during the charging procedure. (The 56 V battery pack for my EGO trimmer lasted one season.) Because of this, I recommend Milwaukee tools. Their 12 V battery packs are awesome, and will last quite a few years.

Good points.

Even with the self propelled feature disengaged its run time is less. Likely though still enough to get through the quarter acre … (and can always have a spare pack charged) but yeah that yard and the likely need to lift the mower often, I’d go for the lighter model. Pushing one of these is no more effort than walking. Maybe less than walking given that uneven ground! Lifting the dang thing frequently might be more the annoying aspect.

According to the specs, the self-propelled one is only one pound heavier than the push one.

That Milwaukee mower is $1,100, almost three times more expensive than the self-propelled Ryobi. For that price I can replace the Ryobi’s (admittedly expensive) battery pack several times.

I’ve had the Ryobi push mower for over 5 years now. Two 40V batteries came with it. I love it. Very small yard, only .12 acre, so one battery lasts the entire yard, unless I let the grass get too high. I have not noticed any battery issues yet. Also in New England, so similar mowing season.

So far my Greenworks 40V 21" push mower is doing my lawn on 1 battery. It mulches very well. The handle folds down easily and the unit is designed to standup to take up less space in garage or shed. It is also very easy to clean with thanks to this feature.

I’ve got about 5100 sq’ of actual grass to mow out of the 10,000 sq’ property. Last year I tried it with a cheap corded one and was less than overjoyed with it. As people warned me the cord was annoying and ate up time. This Greenworks is only taking 20-30 minutes. It is more like taking a walk than work.

More details here:

Thanks for that link.

I just got back from Home Depot with my new self-propelled Ryobi and a matching leaf blower with two batteries. The matching string cutter (with no battery) comes by mail next week.

Thanks all for the advice. I’ll post again after my first use, which may be a few days from now.

My only experience is with gas-powered self-propelled vs. non-self-propelled mowers. And my experience was that the self-propelled mower was handy for mowing in long straight paths, but for anything else, it just added weight that made the mower harder to maneuver, so for me it was more trouble than it was worth.

Since you’ve gone with Ryobi, I’d like to mention a website, It is run by Ryobi’s parent company, TTI. They often have sales on refurbished and “factory blemished” items. Factory Blemished items are 100% new in box items with full warranty, but they have to label it as blemished due to their exclusive contract with Home Depot. They have sales often, and I’d expect a 30 - 40% off sale coming up for memorial day and father’s day. Those are a great time to pick up some of the “battery included” tools at great prices and score more batteries, which are always good. I got a backpack leaf blower for $110 including a battery and charger during the last sale, and the 40V 18 inch chainsaw for under 250 at one prior to that.


I didn’t read all the posts, I just want to say that I have the 40v Ryobi mower. It’s considerably lighter than any other mower I’ve ever used. I’m sure the lack of engine helps, but I think the plastic deck makes a big difference as well. In fact, it’s light enough that it tends to ‘bounce’ quite a bit. That is, if I hit a bump, I might actually miss a spot. But I still very much like it.
In any case, my point is that it’s so light, if you have no issue mowing a lawn with a regular, non-self-propelled mower, this one will be considerably easier to use. I probably spend 25-50% less time mowing just because of how much faster I can push it around the yard.

Once you get the mower, how long before you spring for the matching blower, string trimmer… :wink:

Bought the leaf blower on the same trip, string trimmer is ordered, arriving in a few days. :grinning:

The string trimmer was what most impressed me. I got it along with the mower for whatever reason.

But, I used it for the first time this year (after it sat in my garage for a year), and it was amazing. Far more powerful than a plug in electric, and probably more powerful than a gas, and much lighter as well.

I got the same brand. I did not strictly need the self-propelled, but it helps me get the job done a lot faster and easier. It drains the battery life a bit faster, but you can just buy an additional battery if that’s a problem. I loved my Ego mower so much that I bought their blower and chainsaw, so I already have a pool of 3 batteries (though I never need more than 2).

I was skeptical about battery-powered gardening equipment, haven sampled a lot of the tech over the past 20 years. But no more. Battery power is ready for prime time and I’m never going back to gas, ever.

Thanks a lot! Now I’m going to buy a bunch of discount tools I don’t need. Also found out they have an outlet store just a few miles from my house.

To stay on topic, and I know the OP has already bought a self propelled mower, but I have the EGO non-propelled model, because I was too cheap to spend the extra $100, and it’s fine. It’s so easy for me to push that I don’t feel like I miss it.

I couldn’t agree more. I had a Ryobi w/ an integrated battery maybe 25 years ago and it was crap. These new tools are a completely different beast. I’ve got a blower and string trimmer. Never had a blower before - always thought rakes and brooms were sufficient and I DETESTED the noise. Now, I’m a blowing fool!

The other day I was mowing my lawn around 730 a.m., and my neighbor across the street walked over and said, “Does that mower make ANY noise?” Now she was overstaying it SLIGHTLY, but my other neighbor has the snowblower - and it is even QUIETER than my mower. Great stuff.

I’d be thrilled if gas mowers/blowers were outlawed! :smiley:

Just for fun, I searched for manual push mowers (the old fashioned kind, non-gas, non-electric), and the first one I clicked on was on Amazon and the description said “self-propelled.” Self meaning the human who is pushing it. :crazy_face:

That has not been my experience at all. I have a hilly yard with lots of trees, and I find the self-propelled feature useful both for traveling straight uphill, and also for getting around the trees.

With my battery mower, you can adjust the speed of the self-propel. I tend to keep it on high - which moves along at a pretty decent clip. For me personally, using it around obstacles would increase my chances of getting int trouble and doing some damage.

I had a push gas mower for 18 years, then in 2020 switched to a Toro 60V self-propelled mower. I do like the self-propelled feature; among other things, it’s handy for mowing under trees and bushes while walking next to the mower instead of behind it. If you’re concerned about battery life, just make sure you get a big enough battery (Toro offers a 60V, 7.5 A-hr battery), or get two battery packs so you can just swap them halfway through the job.

Here’s my report from the first use. I easily mowed the 2500 or so square feet in the back yard pictured above in about 20 minutes, without any difficulty. Some of the grass was quite tall, but the Ryobi handled it with no trouble.

I’m very happy I sprung for the self-propelled model; it worked great. It certainly makes mowing the very uneven terrain easier, and it’s much easier powering the mower up the steep slope to the front, where it’s stored, than it would be to push it.

The matching string trimmer arrives in a few days, and maybe on the weekend I’ll have a chance to try it out and neaten the rough edges where the mower couldn’t go.

All in all, I’m quite happy with my purchases. Thanks to everyone here for your advice and comments.