The main option for an average family home is the standard walk-behind mower. It is much more compact than its riding counterparts, and it can do an equally good job on lawns smaller than 1/2 acre in size. There are two types of walk-behind mowers to pick from – push and self-propelled. A buyer should certainly consider both options.
In this guide, I will help you learn more about the push mower and self-propelled lawnmowers. I will compare them and give you a range of factors to base your choice on. I will use my extensive experience with these machines as a professional gardener in California to help you make the best decision for you.
The push lawn mower requires you to use effort to push it so that it gets propelled forward. These machines come with a motor or an engine, but it only powers the blade. Naturally, when you push the mower, you use more effort, especially when you make turns.
The self-propelled lawn mower moves forward on its own. It is equipped with a transmission that sends power to either the machine’s front or rear wheels. They roll to propel it forward while you do not have to use any effort to move it. Still, you will have to hold the handle firmly so that you control and machine. You will have to exercise some effort at turns and when climbing hills.
Often, the self-propelled models come with variable speed transmission. This means that you can select the machine’s running speed, typically within the range of 1 to 3.5 mph. This allows you to mow at your own pace.
It should be noted that just like the push mowers, the self-propelled ones can come with either a gas engine or an electric motor. Both options are available to buyers. I wanted to stress this because there is a misconception that the self-propelled models can be powered only by a gas engine.
The main advantage of the self-propelled lawnmower over the push one is that it is easier to operate. You do not have to use any effort to drive it forward. You need to steer it so that it moves in the right direction.
A powerful and heavy lawnmower is more versatile when it is self-propelled. You will be able to trim the grass more quickly and efficiently without much effort. This is a great option for those who have large and/or hilly lawns.
The major advantage of the push lawn mower over the self-propelled type is that it is typically more affordable. Still, you should not expect the price difference to be that great. This is mainly because the price depends on many other factors such as power, mowing capability, cutting system, and clippings collection system.
Since the push mower does not require power for moving forward, you can expect it to operate for longer on a single filling of the fuel tank or a single battery charge. This brings convenience, especially if you have a bigger lawn. Besides, the energy consumption of the machine is smaller.
I am not the one who draws the conclusion on which type of lawnmower is better. What I can do is sum up the facts. The self-propelled models are easier and often more efficient to use, while the push ones are more cost-efficient, all other things being equal. Since you are the one who has to decide, I will help you make a choice based on a set of crucial factors.
If you want to mow a larger lawn more quickly, you will need a more powerful mower and a greater cutting swath. Naturally, this machine will be heavier. In this case, you will operate it more efficiently and comfortably if it is self-propelled (for instance, like for half acre lot). For a smaller lawn, you can consider a push-type as well.
If the terrain is flat, then you can use either a push or a self-propelled mower. However, if you have to climb hills, you should certainly consider the latter option. It will save you time and a considerable amount of effort.
Evaluate the physical fitness of the person who will mow the lawn on your property. If you are a fairly strong, fit, and healthy guy, you can readily go for a push model without hesitation. If you are a woman, you may be better off with a self-propelled mower. The same is true for elderly individuals, people who have medical conditions affecting their physical strength and mobility, and those who are not physically fit for one reason or the other.