Jack J. Goodwin

How to Use a Self-propelled Lawn Mower

Self-propelled lawnmowers are easy to use. However, that might not be the case for beginners. Like other machines, using it for the first time can be challenging. People with vast experience have an easy time operating it.

More than half of the world’s population does not know about these mowers. Research shows that most of them have never seen such machines. With all these people left in the darkness of technical know-how, this article is there to bridge the gap. It is this backdrop that we intend to show you how to use a self-propelled lawn mower.

How to use a self-propelled lawn mower

The mower works in the same way as a vehicle. Its drive system is similar to the one of a car and requires an operator to control it. The operator squeezes the bar or sometimes the bail on the handle. It causes the cutting blades to spin and make the mower move forward. From there, the mower will move independently, and the user is to control the direction and speed. You can also bring it to a stop.

Releasing the grip on the bar will stop the mower. The blades will also stop spinning. Its drive system does a lot of work, and this process is similar to that of a hand-held, self-guiding vacuum cleaner.

Self-propelled lawn mowers can also work as push mowers. However, they are heavier than the actual ones and will give you a lot of tasks.

Things to do before operating a self-propelling lawn mower

  • Check the gas level

Before using the mower, ensure that it has sufficient gas in the tank. You can always top it up to recommended levels.

If the fuel in the tank is more than two months old, discard it and replace it with a new one. The expired gas bears low-quality standards. It can damage the engine and other vulnerable parts. A new one will boost energy and efficiency, giving out optimum output in the field. Fresh gas also maintains the general health of your lawn mower.

  • Check the oil level

Oil and gas have the same features. The more they stay in the system, the more harmful they become. Most manufacturers recommend changing it after a specific period or when the machine performs a certain amount of work. The occurrence of any of the above conditions will determine when to replace it.

Sometimes, the oil is fresh but has fallen below the accepted levels. In this case, a top-up becomes necessary. Alternatively, you can discard it in totality and replace it with a new one.

Fresh oil will strengthen the engine leading to more output in the field.

  • Check the clipping bag

Some models do not use it. However, if yours has one, ensure it is empty before starting the work. The clipping bag stores all the cut grass until you discard them.

Emptying it at the beginning will help you perform your tasks uninterrupted.

  • Prime the engine

If the machine has a primer, press the bulb until it hardens to prime the engine. Pressing it will spray gas into the engine, making it easy to start.

Some models, however, use electricity instead of gas. In this case, plug into a power source. Alternatively, you can attach a charged battery to the unit to provide energy to the system.

The challenge with the cord is that it limits the distance to cover. It might unplug when the mower reaches the farthest limit, leaving the engine without power.

  • Roll the mower to the lawn

Do not start the mower when you are not on the lawn yet. Instead, move it to the part where you want to mow. It saves on power before the actual work begins.

Adjust the height of the cutter deck to the highest point to prevent grass from holding it. Remember that the engine is still off, and the grass can entangle, becoming cumbersome.

Read more: Best Self-Propelled Lawnmower Under $300

  • Start the engine

Once in the desired area in the field, it is time to ignite the engine. Engage the choke as you put the throttle to the start position.

Hold the cutout safety bar of the engine with one hand, and pull the starter cord with the other. Keep pulling until you feel the pressure, and give it a sharp tug to ignite the motor.

It might fail to ignite the first time. Repeat the process a few more times until the engine comes on.

  • Set the mower to start the work

It is now time to mow the grass. However, the mower will not move until you prepare it. Disengage the choke and set the throttle to the low position. Set the cutter to the correct height. It should cut only 1/3 of the grass at any given time. Finally, use the squeeze to release the brakes and set the wheels in motion.

  • Mow the grass

Mow your lawn from the farthest point to the other and in a straight line. If the garden is slant, move from top to bottom and vice versa. Mowing across can be dangerous as you risk tipping off in the process. Do not use a self-propelling or riding mower if the slant is more than 15⁰. Use a push mower instead.

Adjust the height of the blades and speed as you proceed with your task. Remember that moving in straight lines will ensure that no patches of grass are left behind.

  • Switch off the engine

After all the work, turn off the mower, inspect it for damages, and do the necessary repairs. Clean the blades, and return them to storage.

Sometimes, the blade can bend, break, or even go blunt. It might become necessary to replace it with a new one. Alternatively, sharpen it in readiness for the next task.


Many people do not know how to use a self-propelled lawn mower. However, it is not a complicated task. It operates like a vehicle but with a few things to perform. The article has all the details about its operation from the beginning to the end.

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