If you have a decent-sized lawn then a plugin mower simply won’t do the trick. A petrol model is required and the push ones are tough to work with. They require you to physically push them using muscle power and sweat to get the job done.
A self-propelled mower makes the job quicker, easier and gives a better finish to the lawn whilst leaving you much less exhausted. They don’t require a charger, just a little fuel (plus oil) and you’re good to go.
This article has ranked the best self-propelled lawn mowers available in the UK ready for Spring grass growth. Ater testing all these models and many others I’ve updated this article in 2023 to include the latest and greatest. If you’ve been wondering which mower is the best petrol model out there then this review is for you!
To begin we have the top five options, next, a handy buyers guide and finally, some more models reviewed. Let’s begin with our top choice! I’ve linked them mainly through to Amazon but you can also shop for many of these models at Screwfix, B&Q, and Wickes.
Top 5 Best Self-Propelled Lawnmowers
- Top Choice – Hyundai HYM430SPE Self Propelled Electric Start
- Runner Up – Sprint 2691605 460SPX Self-Propelled Petrol Lawn Mower
- Best Budget Option – Einhell Petrol Lawn Mower GC-PM 46 S
- Best Mulching Option – Murray EQ400 – Self-Propelled Petrol Lawnmower with Briggs and Stratton 575EX Series Engine
- Best Lightweight Option – Mountfield 297412048/AMZ SP41 Petrol Rotary Lawnmower
1. Top Choice – Hyundai HYM430SPE Self Propelled Electric Start
Blade Size: 42 cm
Grass Bag Size: 45 litres
Weight: 30 kg
Height Adjust: 6 positions – 25-75mm
Power: 2600 watts/139cc
- Very reliable
- Light for a petrol mower
- Wide cutting width for a faster finish
- Ideal for larger lawns
- Easy button start
- I’d like a larger grass collector
- Doesn’t go as low as some people like
Leading the pack is this wonderful Hyundai which overtook the Honda IZY when I updated this article in 2023. For ease of use, it has an electric start button that you push before the pull cord. It starts very cleanly and effortlessly.
You can set the height adjustment lever from 25mm to 75mm automatically sets all four wheels to the same height so you’ll always end up with the perfect finish every time you mow. Some people like a lower grass height but with my uneven lawn 25mm is more than low enough, it’s not even a setting I venture down to.
It’s a rear-wheel-drive controlled by the handlebar so snaps off if you let go. The grass collection bag is quick release and 45 litres will keep you going for ages.
The sturdy steel deck can handle a lot of mowing in its lifetime and this mower is perfect for medium-sized lawns.
This mower is not lightweight but is lighter than a lot of petrol mowers which can top 40-45kg+, and it has good manoeuvrability and with a powerful engine and easy start, most people find they get on well with it. I found it great for my larger sized lawn.
2. Runner Up – Sprint 2691605 460SPX Self-Propelled Petrol Lawn Mower
Blade Size: 46 cm
Grass Bag Size: 60 litres
Weight: 32 kg
Height Adjust: 6 positions – 28-92mm
- Powqerful engine
- Good sized grass bag
- Can mulch grass
- Sturdy rear wheels
- Again a higher cutting height than some people like
This Sprint model is powered by a Stratton Briggs engine so already durable and reliable. The powerful engine and larger cutting blade will handle medium to large gardens no bother and with a 60-litre grass bag, you’ll not be stopping very often to empty it.
A couple of handy features are the hose connection that allows you to wash the deck easily. This turns a nasty job into an easy one and keeps the mower free from corrosion.
The handle height can be adjusted to suit you and it has a comfortable foam grip. A single point lever makes for super easy height adjustment.
It has a 4-in-1 cutting system that can send clippings for bagging, side or rear disposal or mulching option.
Ready start technology ensures an easy get-go even on cooler days and no manual choking or priming of the engine is needed.
It has very sturdy rear wheels so copes well with uneven surfaces and this mower is an all-round great option.
Arguably this is actually better than the above Hyundai but it comes at a higher price point which is why I made it the runner up. But if you can afford it, it’ll be money well spent on the Sprint.
3. Best Budget Option – Einhell Petrol Lawn Mower GC-PM 46 S
Blade Size: 46 cm
Grass Bag Size: 50 litres
Weight: 31.5 kg
Height Adjust: 9 positions – 30-80mm
Power: 1900 watts
- Good cutting width
- Large grass container
- 9 cutting heights
- Pull cord start rather than button
- Better for small to medium gardens
- Struggles in long grass
Usually, when you go for the budget option you find a rapid decline in quality. This Einhell gc-pm is an exception to that rule. The powerful 4-stroke engine handles larger lawns without an issue. It has 9 different cutting height adjustment settings so you can set it to a suitable height no matter what time of year it is.
The large size of cutting width can handle medium to large lawns but the ergonomic grip handle design means it won’t take up much space in your shed as it folds up.
It’s a hard-wearing design and the enormous 50-litre grass box holds a lot of clippings but you won’t suffer from the extra weight as the rear-wheel-drive system carries out the hard work for you.
It does have a pull cord start that is designed to be easy to use but I know a few people who have had some issues with this. You still need some good technique, unlike cordless push-button start mowers.
4. Best Mulching Option – Murray EQ400 – Self-Propelled Petrol Lawnmower with Briggs and Stratton 575EX Series Engine
Blade Size: 46cm
Grass Bag Size: 60 litres
Weight: 32 kg
Height Adjust: 6 positions – 28-92mm
Power: 1200 watts/140cc
- Effectivce grass mulching
- Reliable stratton engine
- Good bag size and cutting width
- Not as powerful
- Not self propelled
Moving on, we have another best seller with the Murray self-propulsion mower with mulching plug. It has the option to expel grass clippings by rear discharge, side discharge, you can catch them in the grass collector or mulch them using the mulching plug.
The Stratton engine is a high-quality choice that starts easily and runs well if properly maintained. These engines are widely regarded as second only to Honda.
The height of the cutting blades can be easily adjusted to 6 different cutting options using a lever and the handle height is also adjustable to suit you.
I found This mower has a decent size but is less powerful than our other options so far. It would suit medium to small lawns very well and may manage a large lawn if it’s not too uneven.
It comes with a 2-year warranty and a 30 days period to return the item unused if you’re not happy with it. You can always contact Amazon for more information on the returns policy.
5. Best Lightweight Option – Mountfield SP41 Petrol Rotary Lawnmower
Blade Size: 39 cm
Grass Bag Size: 40 litres
Weight: 23 kg
Height Adjust: 5 positions – 25-70mm
Power: 1100 watts/123cc
- Easy to move around
- Good price
- Avoids corrosion
- Best for smaller gardens
- Only 3 height settings
- Not as powerful as the others
If you struggle to heave those heavy lawnmowers out of the shed (you’re not alone!) but your garden is too large to downsize to a push mower then you may want to consider Mountfield. This self-propelled petrol lawnmower is much lighter than your standard model.
It’s not as powerful as the other models here but it does have an OHV auto-choke petrol engine so it starts easily and runs well in all conditions. The 39cm blade is best suited to smaller lawns as is the 40-litre grass collection bag.
You can adjust the height to 3 different levels with a lever so is very easy to do.
The thing that makes this model so lightweight is the polypropylene deck which is good for durability as well as resisting corrosion.
This is a budget-friendly option and less power means it will struggle on steep inclines as well as very uneven lawns. It’s best suited to smaller, flat areas or edges.
Things To Consider When Buying A Self-propelled Lawnmower
How Powerful Is The Lawn Mower?
The power of a lawnmower is usually stated in watts for an electric lawnmower and engine displacement in cc for a petrol mower. The cc number generally means the amount of power the engine can generate as well as how fuel-efficient it is.
Basically, this number gives you an idea of how well the mower will cope with a thick lawn, uneven surface and hills. More power is required for a bigger deck as this gives the mower more work to do. As you can see from our list, Honda is the most powerful engine with the Mountfield model being the least powerful.
No matter how powerful the mover is however, it will struggle with wet grass and even damp grass.
Size of blade
The size of your lawn is really important when choosing the size of the blade for your new lawnmower. There are loads of different opinions out there on which size suits which cutting system so you’ll find that websites can vary a lot with these instructions. I’ll give you the guide I find the most useful but it is a guide only not a rule.
For small lawns (up to 100sqm) you should be ok with a cutting width of around 30 cm, medium lawns (100-250sqm) will need 35-40 cm and larger lawns (250sqm+) will need 40 cm+.
Adjustable lawn mower Deck Height
When you’re cutting the grass you don’t want to remove more than 1/3 of the length of the blades otherwise you can end up with bare patches as the grass can die off when cut too short. As the seasons cycle through, the height the grass grows can vary substantially depending on day length, weather and how frequently you cut it. This is why you need a mower with an adjustable deck height to get the best results.
Some mowers do come with an adjustable deck but you need to remove the wheels and use bolts to secure it. This is tedious and tricky to do and will make cutting the grass a real headache.
Look for a mower with a single lever height adjuster and for best results, one that adjusts all 4 wheels, not just the front ones.
The grass collector is where the grass cuttings are stored whilst the mower is in use. The bigger the bag, the less often you need to empty it. It sounds simple enough but it is worth considering that a larger bag ends up a lot heavier when full so if you have the walk far to empty it, this can end up being very hard work. For push mowers it weighs them down so makes mowing very hard work.
The best thing about the self-propelled lawnmower is you can get the mower to drive the grass clipping to the disposal point so a bigger bag is possible with these.
Starting up a cold lawnmower can be near impossible for some people. The strength you need to pull the choke can be quite substantial. If you identify with this it’s worth considering an electric start button. Alongside this, OHV auto-choke engines are supposed to be a lot easier to start even in colder conditions.
Some mowers feature a variable speed control which can be quite handy for large, flat areas to help speed up the mowing. The majority of petrol mowers are single speed so you’ll need to carefully check the product description if you’re after more options.
Are self propelled lawn mowers worth it?
For any decent-sized lawn, a cordless lawn mower is essential. Push mowers require effort to physically drive the mower around. Self-propelled mowers have loads of great features that not only take the hard work out of mowing but they get the job done quicker overall.
Is it bad to pull a lawnmower backwards?
When you reach the edge of the lawn, if you have trees or a fence there, it can be difficult to turn the mower around. It’s fine to pull the mower backwards when the drive is off to turn it or reach a small area.
Should I go for a front-wheel or rear-wheel drive?
A rear roller mower generally gives better traction so you can get a straight line when mowing. Front-wheel drive mowers are usually a bit cheaper but you won’t get such a neat finish.
Who makes the best walk behind mower?
Honda is widely regarded as the best manufacturer of long-lasting, powerful engines.
How often do you change the oil in a lawnmower?
The general rule of thumb is to change out the oil once a year or after every 50 hours of use.
Is it OK to push a self propelled mower?
Yes, it’s fine to push a self-propelled mower with the drive disengaged. These mowers are very heavy though and it will be very hard work to do so.
Other Self Propelled Lawn mowers Reviewed
Cobra M46SPC 18″ 46cm Petrol Self Propelled Lawn mower
Blade Size: 46 cm
Grass Collector Size: 60 litres
Weight: 28 kg
Height Adjust: 10 positions – 25-75mm
Cobra can’t be left out of the running with their OHV, easy start mower. It’s fairly powerful and not too loud and makes cutting medium to large lawns easy enough.
You can set the deck height to 10 different levels so it’s highly adaptable for any lawn.
It’s not too heavy to move about and the massive 60-litre clippings bag never seems to fill up.
The lawnmower is not too heavy but powerful enough to tackle a thick lawn. It’s reliable, durable and gets the job done. You cant ask for much more than that!
McCulloch M46-120R Classic Petrol Self-Propelled Single Speed 120 cc Lawn Mower
Blade Size: 46 cm
Grass collector Size: 50 litres
Weight: 29 kg
Height Adjust: 5 positions – 30-80mm
This McCulloch model is quite a hefty one. It’s a bit cumbersome to move about and some people report issues with the assembly. Not a great start but once you get going this mower runs well.
It has a solid steel frame, a good-sized, 50-litre grass collector and enough power to handle the average lawn. It will struggle a bit on hills and over rough areas.
Although it is large, the handle folds down for ease of storage which is useful so it can tuck away into the shed with no bother.
P1 Powered by Hyundai Petrol Lawnmower
Blade Size: 51 cm
Grass Box Size: 60 litres
Weight: 42 kg
Height Adjust: 7 positions – 25-85mm
This next mower is a really powerful one. It handles large areas and uneven ground with ease and the 60-litre bag keeps you going for ages.
Despite its size and power, the easy start means anyone can get it going. It’s a battery and key start to turn it on then it has a recoil to get it going.
It’s pretty efficient on fuel consumption and the cutting options add to its versatility. It has a side or rear discharge, cut and collect or mulching option.
It’s a heavy model but this is necessary for those larger lawn areas. It’s not one to get if you struggle with grip strength but if you need a powerful machine then it’s got you!
Webb Classic 46cm (18″) Self Propelled Electric Start Petrol Rotary Lawnmower
Blade Size: 46 cm
Grass Box Size: 55 litres
Weight: 35 kg
Height Adjust: 7 positions – 25-75mm
Finally, we have the Web Classic self-propelled lawnmower. With an electric start, it gets going no bother. The sturdy steel cutting deck adds some weight to this mower but also durability.
It’s a decent size cutting blade at 46 cm and the 55-litre cuttings bag gives a clean finish and holds more than enough for any medium to large lawn.
It’s a powerful engine so will manage uneven or hilly lawns and the height adjust has 7 settings. The ball bearing wheels and a comfortable grip ensure a smooth drive.
It may be last on the list but this doesn’t reflect the power and quality of this mower. Overall, finishing this review article on a high!
Honda Izy HRG 416 SK Petrol Self Propelled Rotary Lawnmower
Blade Size: 41 cm
Grass Box Size: 50 Litres
Weight: 29 kg
Height Adjust: 6 positions – 20-74mm
Power: 2800 watts/145cc
So let’s start with our top choice, coming in number 1, we have the Honda Izy model. Honda lawnmowers are by far the most reliable and although the upfront cost is high, they give back way more in the long run.
The engine is really powerful and can tackle pretty much any lawn you point it at. With a blade size of 41 cm, it can handle medium to large lawns with ease. You can easily adjust the cutting height of the mower to get a nice finish and with a 50-litre bag, you won’t be emptying it too frequently.
The steel deck is very sturdy and lasts for years but despite this, Honda has kept the weight below 30kg which is impressive.
It starts with a pull cord but the auto choke means that this works smoothly even on colder days so you won’t end up exhausted before you even begin mowing the lawn.
This mower handles rough ground and slopes with ease. The only issue with the Izy is if you don’t clean the grass mulch off it (especially before winter storage) the deck can end up with corrosion. This issue normally happens after about 10 years of use but if you want a full lifetime out of your Izy then give it a brush off after each use.
There are a lot of options out there when it comes to self-propelled petrol mowers. I hope this guide has helped point you in the right direction and has given you some things to watch for when choosing your next lawnmower.
Whether you were looking for a self propelled lawn mower for large gardens, small gardens or even a medium sized garden I hope you found something useful. Or even if you didn’t find a choice you like, I hope you can now find something that will perfectly suit your needs.
Having spent my whole summer testing out self propelled mowers I’m exhausted, so it’s time to chill out and look at a job well done.