From the Forums: Understanding Self Propelled Lawn Mowers

Article Posted By: Craig Allen

of Senior Editor, The Home Depot Blog

 A woman mows a lawn

What are the advantages of front wheel drive and rear wheel drive in self propelled lawn mowers? And why do some lawn mowers have large rear wheels?

Those are questions posed by Apron blog reader MaryAnne, who was reading up on the top lawn mower models we carry at The Home Depot.

CoachDave is a Home Depot associate who provides expertise and advice on The Home Depot’s online Community Forums. He knows about lawn mowers of all types– self propelled, riding, reel, and even a contraption we’ve never seen before.

Here’s what he had to say:

Choosing a self propelled lawn mower can seem a bit of a mystery at first. With just a little bit of information you can make that decision easier.

The two basic kinds of self propelled lawn mowers are the front- or rear-wheel drive.

A front wheel drive system is great for flat yards. That’s because when you are going up an incline in a hilly yard, you might need to lift the front wheels off the ground slightly. If you have a front wheel drive, that takes the propel system out of the equation. A front wheel drive is also particularly effective on lawns which require a lot of turning.

A rear wheel drive mower is good for both flat and uneven surfaces. They are slightly less effective on yards requiring a lot of turning because they are propelled by the rear wheels. However you should choose a rear drive every time if you are planning to mow a lawn that has hills or slopes.

As for the wheel size, there are “low wheel” and “high wheel” mowers, referring to the size of the rear wheels. The low wheels make almost flat lawns a breeze for mowing.

A low wheel lawn mower

The high wheel models are best for lawns with lots of hills so the blades do not scalp the lawn.

A high wheel self propelled lawn mower

Choosing the self propelled lawn mower that is best for you isn’t as difficult as you can see.

Either way you’re better off than the one I used when growing up:

 an old lawn mower attached to a rusty old bicycle

We have more advice and project ideas from our experts. Visit the Forums for DIY tips and tricks from our store associates. From the Forums Friday is our weekly column highlighting the best of The Home Depot’s Community Forums. 

Lawn mower-bike contraption photo (cc) Lee Coursey

Related Pinned Items