7 Best Self Propelled Lawn Mowers Under $400 – Ultimate Review

As the name says, self-propelled lawn mowers push themselves and you simply walk behind the mower to control its path. A push lawn mower needs to be pushed forwards or pull backwards manually while steering it at the same time.

The benefits of best rated lawn mowers are obvious: they are less tiresome to use and so the mowing becomes a pleasant landscaping activity rather than a strenuous chore most people dread.

Self-propelled lawn mowers offer a choice of both front and rear wheel drive to better suit your yard. There are even 4-wheel drive units.

They are ideal for yards up to ¾ acre and come in a wide range of designs and with various useful features.

ModelEditor RatingPrice 
1. Snapper 21”, 163cc, Self Propelled Gas Powered Mower
2. Troy-Bilt TB220 159cc 21-Inch Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
3. Yard Machines 159cc
4. Troy-Bilt TB330
5. Poulan Pro All Wheel Drive Mower
6. Lawn-Boy
7. Troy-Bilt TB450

Best Lawn Mowers For The Money - Buying Guide

Guiding a self-propelled lawn mower around the yard is making it much easier for you to mow your lawn, no matter how strong you are.

Push mowers will provide some exercise and are generally cheaper due to their simple design, construction, materials and the fact that they are not self-propelled.

Push mowers which are corded are limited by the nearest outlet and maximum cord length while gas powered self-propelled machines have no limitations as regards maneuverability around the yard, similarly to a cordless mower.

The engine

Walk-mower engines range from 140-cc to 190-cc. You should choose a larger engine for tougher cutting conditions such as tall and wet grass, bagging, leaf mulching, or maintenance mowing in which you're cutting down weeds.

The most basic and least expensive is a traditional side-valve where the valves are on the side of the engine block. This engine is being replaced in the market by those with overhead valves or even overhead cams. The cam and valves are in the cylinder head, like in a car engine. Renowned manufacturers have introduced yet another variation known as direct-overhead-valve. You will pay a little extra for an overhead-valve engine, but in return you will get more efficient fuel consumption, reduced emission of gases, less vibration, and quieter mowing.

Types of drive

Self-propelled mowers have three different types of propulsion: front-, rear- and all-wheel drive.

Front-wheel drive is ideal when your unit has plenty of weight in the front to keep the wheels on the ground. However, unless you are mowing up the hill constantly, you may have to push a little more to keep the mower moving.

Rear-wheel drive is the most common propulsion system. It is efficient because the weight of the bag helps give additional traction to the wheels.

All-wheel drive is great for mowing around obstacles, but it can make the mower more difficult to pull back or move when the mower is off.

Many self-propelled mowers also offer various bagging options, including side and rear.

Benefits of a mulching lawn mower

All self-propelled lawn mowers are equipped to handle grass clippings in one of three ways: the clippings can be discharged out of the deck, discharged into a bag, or mulched into fine particles and discharged below the deck.

Mulching is the process of the lawn mower blade chopping up grass clippings into fine pieces as you pass over them while mowing. This reduces the waste to be bagged or raked. Another benefit is that since the clippings are cut into small, fine pieces, they dry and decompose quickly, providing nutrients to the roots of the grass.

Mulching is most effective with a maintained lawn and dry grass. If you try to mow and mulch with wet grass, you will get clumps and frequently blocked blades. While most mowers in our top picks can mulch, some are more effective than others.

Other useful features of self-propelled lawn mowers you should look for are easy start, no choke feature, adjustable handles, noise mufflers and a few more bells and whistles.

Top Rated Lawn Mowers Under $400 Reviews

Editor Rating:


Snapper 21”, 163cc, Self Propelled Gas Powered Mower

Snapper 21”, 163cc, Self Propelled Gas Powered Mower is a trusted and reliable machine for small-to-large sized yards up to 1 acre with flat, hilly or uneven terrain.

The self-propelled drive system lets you maneuver easily and quickly around your landscaping using a premium-quality, high-performance Briggs & Stratton 163cc OHV 725EXi Series Engine for no-hassle effortless mowing.

It features the ReadyStart, no prime, no choke system: all you need to do is pull for power. The G technology eliminates the need to ever change the oil with. Just check the level and add more if needed.

You can choose your cut finish with 3-in-1 cutting deck: mulch, bag or side discharge. Variable-speed front-wheel drive lets you mow at your own pace. Another great option is a dual-lever height adjustment with 6 cutting positions, adjust based on grass type.

The 8" front wheels and 11" rear wheels allow for better maneuverability on hills and uneven terrain. The adjustable, ergonomic handle offers greater comfort.

The convenient deck wash-out port enables you to keep your mower clean using just a garden hose. The mulch plug included helps put nutrients back into the soil.

If you mow your lawn regularly and your grass is well-kept, a single mowing pass will be enough. For very tall grass above 7”, thick variants and dense weed coverage, at least two passes are required to get that perfect finish.

The 21” cutting deck is made of solid steel and the dual-blades are well-designed, ensuring a clean straight cut. The result is a healthy grass and an amazingly looking lawn.

Things We Liked

  • High-performance Briggs & Stratton 163cc engine
  • ReadyStart, no prime, no choke system
  • 3-in-1 cutting deck: mulch, bag or side discharge
  • Dual-lever height adjustment with 6 cutting positions
  • Adjustable, ergonomic handle
  • 3-year limited warranty

Things We Didn't Like

  • The collection bag doesn’t collect all the clippings: a little litter left on the sides



Editor Rating:


Troy-Bilt TB220 159cc 21-Inch Self-Propelled Lawn Mower

Troy-Bilt TB220 159cc 21-Inch Self-Propelled Lawn Mower comes with a with a powerful 159cc OHV engine and will be ideal unit for small to medium size yards.

This mower is self-propelled and equipped with front wheel drive. The smarter tire design, 8" x 11" front and rear tread wheels, and comfort grip handle provide more confident handling and traction for most terrains.

The TB220 cutting and mulching deck grass height settings range from 1.25-3.75 inches. You have 3 options to select your desired cut for mulching, bagging, or side discharge with an included standard 1.9-bushel grass catcher.

This specific model comes equipped with a TriAction cutting system engineered to deliver a clean, even cut in just one pass, if your lawn has been maintained regularly. A few passes will be needed for taller or wet grass.

Overall, Troy-Bilt TB220 will meet most homeowners’ needs. With its front-wheel self-propelled drive system you will get increased maneuverability around obstacles. It will be easy to raise and lower the cutting height, thanks to dual-lever height adjustment.

In addition, since this mower's three-in-one deck lets you discharge, mulch and bag, this unit is versatile enough to handle any yard. The TriAction® cutting system with a rake guard will ensure grass stands upright, an S-blade will create an even cut while a symmetrical deck will creates a strong vacuum.

This unit mulches very nicely and the bag holds more as a result of that. Light pull and it starts up. You will really like the extra features like the easy adjustable speed and the easy to squeeze drive control handle. The deck wash really completes the package here and the affordable price should seal the deal

Things We Liked

  • 159cc Front Wheel Drive OHV engine
  • A very lightweight design with a 21-inch steel deck
  • Dual-lever height adjustment for user comfort and side mulch capability
  • 8" x 11" wheels that offer control while mowing for rougher terrain
  • Troy-Bilt Tri-Action system for a clean and even cut
  • 2-year limited warranty

Things We Didn't Like

  • When used up the hill, the front wheels rise up a little losing traction



Editor Rating:


Yard Machines 159cc

Yard Machines 159cc features a front wheel drive self-propelled single-speed transmission for a quicker mowing. In addition, it has a 3-in-1 deck that allows you to choose your cut finish to best suit your needs.

It comes equipped with an auto-choke feature which eliminates the need for priming or manually choking of the engine. You simply need to pull the cord to start.

It is powered by a POWERMORE® 159cc overhead valve engine which provides you with the power needed to get the job done quickly and effortlessly.

This Yard Machines mower comes with front wheel drive and one single forward speed to power through your lawn maintenance tasks. A 21-inch cutting width and dual-lever height adjustment are two more welcomed features.

At 71.9 pounds, this self-propelled lawn mower is lightweight and has 8 x 8-inch wheels for easy maneuverability by most users. It has a large gas tank so you don't have to refill it every time.

It’s quick on the drive so you’ll be mowing your lawn faster. This unit has high clearance and front and rear wheel sets are individually adjustable.

You can engage and disengage the drive quickly with the control handle. This allows you to easily disengage when driving over concrete so you won’t wear out the drive wheels.

A tad smaller chute is a slight con, however, as the wet or thicker grass will clog it at times. Also, the bag is not included with this model.

Things We Liked

  • Durable 159cc OHV engine
  • Equipped with a 21-inch steel deck and dual-lever height adjustment
  • Side discharge and mulching capability
  • Features 8 x 8-inch wheels for smooth turning
  • Dual-lever height adjustment
  • 2-year limited warranty

Things We Didn't Like

  • Larger chute would be an improvement



Editor Rating:


Troy-Bilt TB330

Troy-Bilt TB330 is powered by an easy-starting 163cc OHV 725ex Briggs & Stratton engine with ReadyStart technology for added ease of staring your regular mowing chores.

The single lever variable speed drive control is equipped with four top speed settings for individualized comfort and control. This particular model also comes equipped with a TriAction cutting system designed to deliver a clean and even cut.

The TB330's 3-in-1 convertible mulching and cutting deck is built to last providing 3 options for you to select the desired cut. You can either go for mulching, bagging, or using side discharge with an included standard 1.9-bushel grass catcher.

The TB330 features a standard Troy 8-inch front and 8-inch rear high performance wheels for durability and control while mowing. The 1.09-quart fuel tank and 1.9 standard bushel capacity grass bag mean it's unlikely you'll have to waste time filling up or emptying the TB330 in the middle of mowing.

This rear wheel drive mower is equipped with a 21-inch TriAction complete cutting system: a rake bumper to lift grass upright, a specially designed blade for finer mulch, and a symmetrical deck for superior grass flow, eliminating clumping or patches in your lawn. At the price, this unit is a good deal and a great value for money.

Things We Liked

  • 163cc OHV 725ex Briggs & Stratton engine
  • ReadyStart technology for added ease
  • The single lever variable speed drive control
  • 4 top speed settings for individualized comfort
  • 8-inch front and 8-inch rear wheels for easy maneuverability
  • 3-year limited warranty

Things We Didn't Like

  • When used up the hill, the front wheels rise up a little losing traction



Editor Rating:


Poulan Pro All Wheel Drive Mower

Poulan Pro All Wheel Drive Mower is a versatile self-propelled lawn mower equipped with four-wheel drive, nine cutting heights and the ability to take on slopes, hills and uneven terrain


This unit is sturdy and built for mowing the grass and grooming your yard and lawn nicely, even if you have a yard with difficult terrain including hilly sections, uneven ground and other troublesome conditions.

It offers nine different cutting heights, which is more than most of the lawn mower models on the market. Having so many easily adjusted cutting heights at your command ensures that you can get the exact appearance of your lawns.

The cutting path of the Poulan Pro is a generous 22 inches, which is wide enough to help you achieve a clean, attractive cut. Both front and rear wheels are 8 inches in diameter.

Poulan Pro All Wheel Drive Mower comes with variable speed control so you can take on hard mowing jobs and complete them with ease. To start it, you need to pull a cord which is designed to make starting this gas lawn mower simple with no-prime starting and no flooding.

The 149cc engine will reliably power this unit which has a versatile deck with side discharge so you can avoid grass clippings landing on your feet. This 3-in-1 machine also mulches clippings into small pieces to fertilize your lawn naturally.

You can also use its rear-bagging feature so the clippings are contained and you can remove and dispose of them easily. The bag can collect 2.2 cubic feet of clippings.

Things We Liked

  • Kohler 675 149cc auto-choke engine
  • Side discharge, mulch and bag capability
  • 4-quick height adjusters with 9 positions
  • Exclusive 4x4 all wheel drive technology
  • 8-inch front and 8-inch rear wheels

Things We Didn't Like

  • Better quality materials would be a great improvement



Editor Rating:




Lawn-Boy comes with a Kohler XTX engine to bring lawn care to a new level. Commercial-grade features deliver reliable performance and the design provides user-friendly operation and maintenance.

The 21-inch steel deep dome deck is lightweight, but durable. It provides excellent mulching capabilities and a superior quality of cut.

You can easily adjust the deck height at 2 points for quick customization of your mowing height.

Lawn-Boy's versatile cutting system allows you to choose between mulching, bagging or side discharge, depending on your needs and preferences.

When you need to bag your clippings, the large bag fills easily and holds more clippings, which allows you to empty the bag faster and less often.

Under normal use and maintenance, the mower should start on one or two pulls for three years or the manufacturer will fix it for free. This model is backed by one of the best full warranties in the industry.

Things We Liked

  • Rear Wheel Drive System for better traction and control
  • 2-Point Height-of-Cut System allows quick adjustments of cutting heights
  • Kohler 149cc/ 6.5 ft.-lbs. Gross Torque/ OHV Engine
  • CARB Compliant for the state of California

Things We Didn't Like

  • Difficult to pull backwards with the drive disengaged



Editor Rating:


Troy-Bilt TB450

Troy-Bilt TB450 is the industry’s first four-wheel drive mower that lets you switch between front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive on the go.

This unit comes with a reliable 175cc Briggs & Stratton 775 Professional Series engine and ReadyStart starting system. It also comes with a 2-pull Briggs & Stratton Starting Promise. Let’s take their word on that!

Troy-Bilt TB450 delivers the long-lasting and durable performance you can trust. Expect to get a clean cut with every pass thanks to the TriAction cutting system. Smarter tire tread design provides more confident handling and traction.

The one-hand operation lets you switch to all-wheel drive while keeping one hand free. With this mower you should be able to easily adjust to any condition of your grass or terrain.

Backed by a 3-year limited warranty, where this model falls short is the bag to collect grass clipping: it can fall off at times. Otherwise, a solid purchase for the price!

Things We Liked

  • 175cc Briggs & Stratton 775 Professional Series engine
  • ReadyStart with variable self-propelled four wheel drive
  • 21" TriAction cutting system with integrated deck wash
  • Dual-lever deck height adjustment
  • Adjustable three-position ergonomic handle with comfort grip
  • 8" front and 8" rear tread wheels built for all terrain types

Things We Didn't Like

  • Bag attachment system could be better



Aleks Stanic

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