Electric start petrol mower. 9 Fixes For When Your Lawn Mower Won’t Start

There are a number of reasons, mechanical and otherwise, why a mower won’t run. The good news is that fixing most all of the issues is easy enough for a DIYer to handle.

By Tony Carrick and Manasa Reddigari | Updated Aug 8, 2022 4:03 PM

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Lawn care can be tedious, but once the grass starts growing in the spring, mowing becomes a fact of life in most neighborhoods. When you finally muster the strength to tackle that first cut of the season, there are few sounds as disheartening as that of a lawn mower engine that turns over but doesn’t start.

Before you drag the mower in for repairs or invest in costly replacement parts, first make sure that a clogged air filter, soiled spark plug, damaged safety cable, clogged mowing deck, or contaminated gas isn’t to blame. Work through the following steps, and you may be able to get your puttering grass guzzler up and running again in no time.

A lawn mower repair professional can help. Get free, no-commitment repair estimates from pros near you.

Change the lawn mower carburetor filter.

Your lawn mower’s air filter guards the carburetor and engine from debris like grass clippings and dirt. When the air filter becomes clogged or too dirty, it can prevent the engine from starting. To keep this from happening, replace paper filters—or clean or replace foam filters—after every 25 hours of engine use.

The process for removing the filter depends on whether you are operating a riding or walk-behind lawn mower. For a riding mower, turn off the engine and engage the parking brake; for a walk-behind mower, pull the spark plug wire from the plug. Then, lift the filter from its housing.

The only choice for paper filters is replacement. If you’re cleaning a foam filter, wash it in a solution of hot water and detergent to loosen grime. Allow it to dry completely, and then wipe fresh motor oil over the filter, replace it in its housing, and power up the mower—this time to the pleasant whirring of an engine in tip-top condition.

Check the spark plug.

Is your lawn mower still being stubborn? The culprit may be the spark plug, which is responsible for creating the spark that ignites the fuel in the engine. If it’s loosened, disconnected, or coated in water or carbon residue, the spark plug may be the cause of your machine’s malfunction.

Locate the spark plug, often found on the front of the mower, and disconnect the spark plug wire, revealing the plug beneath. Use a socket wrench to unscrew the spark plug and remove it.

Check the electrode and insulator. If you see buildup, spray brake cleaner onto the plug, and let it soak for several minutes before wiping it with a clean cloth. Reinstall the spark plug, first by hand, and then with a socket wrench for a final tightening. If the problem persists, consider changing the spark plug.

Clear the mower deck of debris.

The mower’s deck prevents grass clippings from showering into the air like confetti, but it also creates a place for them to collect. Grass clippings can clog the mower deck, especially while mowing a wet lawn, preventing the blade from turning.

If the starter rope seems stuck or is difficult to pull, then it’s probably due to a clogged deck. With the mower safely turned off, tip it over onto its side and examine the underbelly. If there are large clumps of cut grass caught between the blade and deck, use a trowel to scrape these clippings free. When the deck is clean again, set the mower back on its feet and start it up.

Clear the vent in the lawn mower fuel cap.

The mower started just fine, you’ve made the first few passes, then all of a sudden the mower quits. You pull the cord a few times, but the engine just sputters and dies. What’s happening? It could have something to do with the fuel cap. Most mowers have a vented fuel cap. This vent is intended to release pressure, allowing fuel to flow from the tank to the carburetor. Without the vent, the gas fumes inside the tank begin to build up, creating a vacuum that eventually becomes so strong that it stops the flow of fuel.

To find out if this is the problem, remove the gas cap to break the vacuum, then reattach it. The mower should start right up. But if the lawn mower won’t stay running and cuts off again after 10 minutes or so, you’ll need to get a new gas cap.

Clean and refill the lawn mower fuel tank.

An obvious—and often overlooked—reason your mower may not be starting is that the tank is empty or contains gas that is either old or contaminated with excess moisture and dirt. If your gas is more than a month old, use an oil siphon pump to drain it from the tank.

(It’s important to be careful as spilled oil can cause smoking, but there are other reasons this might happen. Read more about what to do when your lawn mower is smoking.)

Add fuel stabilizer to the tank.

Fill the tank with fresh fuel and a fuel stabilizer to extend the life of the gas and prevent future buildup. A clogged fuel filter is another possible reason for a lawn mower not to start. When the filter is clogged, the engine can’t access the gas that makes the system go. If your mower has a fuel filter (not all do), check to make sure it’s functioning properly.

First, remove the fuel line at the carburetor. Gas should flow out. If it doesn’t, confirm that the fuel shutoff valve isn’t accidentally closed. Then remove the fuel line that’s ahead of the fuel filter inlet. If gas runs out freely, there’s a problem with the fuel filter. Consult your owner’s manual for instructions on replacing the filter and reassembling the mower.

Inspect the safety release mechanism cable.

Your lawn mower’s reluctance to start may have nothing to do with the engine at all but rather with one of the mower’s safety features: the dead man’s control. This colorfully named safety bar must be held in place by the operator for the engine to start or run. When the bar is released, the engine stops. While this mechanism cuts down on the likelihood of horrific lawn mower accidents, it also can be the reason the mower won’t start.

The safety bar of a dead man’s control is attached to a metal cable that connects to the engine’s ignition coil, which is responsible for sending current to the spark plug. If your lawn mower’s engine won’t start, check to see if that cable is damaged or broken. If it is, you’ll need to replace it before the mower will start.

Fortunately, replacing a broken control cable is an easy job. You may, however, have to wait a few days to get the part. Jot down the serial number of your lawn mower, then head to the manufacturer’s website to order a new cable.

Check to see if the flywheel brake is fully engaged.

The flywheel helps to make the engine work smoothly through inertia. When it isn’t working properly, it will prevent the mower’s engine from working.

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If it is fully engaged, it can make a mower’s pull cord hard to pull. Check the brake pad to see if it makes full contact with the flywheel and that there isn’t anything jamming the blade so the control lever can move freely.

If the flywheel brake’s key sheared, the mower may have run over something that got tangled in the blade. It is possible to replace a flywheel key, but it does require taking apart the mower.

Look out for signs that the mower needs professional repairs.

While repairing lawn mowers can be a DIY job, there are times when it can be best to ask a professional to help repair a lawn mower. If you’ve done all of the proper mower maintenance that is recommended by the manufacturer, and gone through all of the possible ways to fix the mower from the steps above, then it may be best to call a pro. Here are a few signs that indicate when a pro’s help is a good idea.

  • You see black smoke. The engine will benefit from a technician’s evaluation, as it could be cracked or something else might be worn out.
  • Excessive oil or gas usage. If you’ve changed the spark plugs, and done all of the other maintenance tasks, and the mower is consuming more than its usual amount of oil or gas, consult a professional for an evaluation.
  • The lawn mower is making a knocking sound. When a lawn mower starts making a knocking sound, something could be bent or out of alignment. It may be tough to figure this out on your own, so a pro could help.
  • A vibrating or shaking lawn mower can be a sign of a problem beyond a DIY fix. Usually something is loose or not aligning properly.

Best Electric Start Gas Lawn Mower

After gathering 13 lawn mowers and testing a couple of days Toro Recycler is the winner of our lawn mower list.

Because of its features (auto-drive system, vortex technology, deck wash port, ready to start) and affordable price tag.

I am Mohammad Sojib, working as a garden expert for the past couple of years. Since my childhood, I have loved making gardens and sharing tips with my friends.

However, there are lots of types of lawn mowers available on the market and it’s hard to choose if you don’t know about them.

That’s why here I’m and write an in-depth review only for you.

Top 5 Best Electric Start Gas Lawn Mowers Reviewed

Now we are to the most interesting part of this article, where I will give you a detailed review of the 5 best electric start gas lawn mowers that fit all sizes and types of the yard.

Not only the reviews but also I will provide highlighted features, specifications, and pros and cons.

This way you can quickly compare between the different models and easily make the final purchasing decision.

Ok, Let’s dive into the detailed mower reviews.

Toro Recycler 22 in. Briggs Stratton Personal Pace.

  • Auto Drive (Self-propelled): No height change, no need to push, drive automatically
  • Vortex Technology: Offer more airflow, cutting your grass into clumps clippings and helps to fertilize your lawn
  • Toro’s SmartStow: Another name for the foldable handle that allows setting the height in two unique positions. This feature saves up to 70% garage storage. Along with allows to store mowers in a tiny space.
  • Ready Start: No need to prime the auto choke. Press the power button and it will start automatically.
  • Deck wash port: Automatic deck system, it’s allowed to wash mower deck with a garden hose.
  • Best for: Up to 1 acre (Overall)

Toro Recycler Personal Space is a self-propelled lawn mower. And it’s an auto-drive system suitable for a young to 70-year-old man. We are in love with its superior performance. Over 4000 customers gave a 4.2 rating out of 5 stars on Home Depot, making it the most trustable lawn mower in the USA.

Lawn Mower Won’t Start

After working lots of hours, this mower fully meets all our criteria like cut quality, grass management system, and compare performance between flat and hilly (terrain), though we found some drawbacks, these are not major.

The 22 inches stumped 14 gauge steel deck is hard to break in soil or tree clumps and it saves lots of time. Its 150cc engine provides enough power to cut the grass efficiently. But it didn’t perform well on the tall grass.

So, if your lawn’s grass grows quickly then we strongly recommend you set the height cutting height and mow your lawn two times.

However, it’s a rear-wheel-drive (RWD) mower and the RWD drive system provides better traction on the flat or sloped. But the drawback is, plastic-made wheels that sometimes lose traction on large slopes. But not to worry, if your lawn has small flat slopes of flat you can easily avoid it.

Well, for better grass management the TORO offers 3 in 1 versatility whether it’s reducing clumps and adding natural nutrients with the mulching, a clean look with bagging and for the thick grass it offers side discharge.

Long story short, it’s the most reliable lawn mower that offers lots of features price-on-demand. So, if you have up to 1/2 acres of lawns with medium slopes, I will encourage you to go with it.

Honda HRX NeXite HRX217HZA Review

  • NeXite Deck: NeXite deck is made from an extremely durable polymer material. It has similar strength and impacts resistance to polymer materials commonly found in football helmets and car bumpers, etc. Honda uses this for making the mower lightweight besides durable.
  • Micro-Cut Twin Blades: Dual blade and the micro-cut features that allow it to cut grass at any height.
  • Leaf Shredding: Directly helps to produce leaf mulch or compost on the soil.
  • Hydrostatic Cruise Control: Generally cruise control system allows you to control the mower from 0 to 4 MPH. Also, it can help you adjust the speed based on mowing conditions. Prominent features for old men/women.
  • Roto stop: Stop the blade propelling while the mower engine is running. Outstanding features from when you move the mower from one place to another.
  • Best for: 1/2 to 1acre

The Honda HRX217HZA is the most premium and pricey lawn mower on our list. All kinds of the latest technology used in this mower save and make mowing time much easier than before. Over 112 customers gave a 4.8 rating out of 5 stars on Home Depot, making it the most premium lawn mower in the USA.

Its rear-wheel drive (RWD) lawn mower which features the most powerful GCV200 engine which delivers high performance and efficiency on any type of yard.

However, the ball-bearing wheels offer better traction and maneuverability on flat soil of every ground. Also, the machine performed well on the larger slopes.

Also, with cut quality the 21 inches, micro-cut twin blades tackle all kinds of the toughest mowing jobs. Also, it features a roto stop functionality that allows it to stop the blade while the engine is running.

Additionally, the hydrostatic cruise control system offers to adjust the mower speed depending on your walking speed.

For ensuring durability and making it lightweight, Honda uses a NeXite deck. For better grass management Honda offers a 4 in 1 versamow system with a clip detector. The versamow allows you mulching, bagging, side discharge, and leaf shredding. It does not satisfy us with its mulching capability. But thanks to leaf shredding. It allows the production of leaf mulch.

Also, this mower comes with 3 positions quick release adjustable handles. So if you’re a tall person, don’t worry about back pain.

Overall, it’s the great mower for price on demand. It fits all sizes and types of lawn types. Also, for ensuring longevity Honda offers a 5-year mower warranty.

If we sum this review, then I’d love to suggest that you, if your budget is high and looking for the most premium lawnmower with robust performance, then I will encourage you to purchase this one.

Yard Force YF22ESSPV Review

  • ReadyStart: No prime or choke or turn pull cord. Just press the power button and it’s start working
  • 20V 1.5 Ah battery: Using for electric start. And it comes with a charger.
  • Deck Wash Port: Allows to wash mower deck, by using the garden hoses reel.
  • Variable speed: Adjust the mower speed based on your walking speed.
  • Hybrid Grass Bag: Wide open mouth than the general grass bagger.
  • Best for: 1/2 to 1 acre

Yard Force YF22ESSPV is the latest lawn mower in the market that comes at a reasonable price. Yard Force is a reliable Band in the USA.

Before choosing any mower, we are trying to see their positive and negative reviews.

If we look at the home depot, it gets 20 reviews where 12 people gave 5-star ratings. Impressive.

Its rear-wheel drive (RWD) self-propelled lawn mower which features a 163cc Briggs Stratton engine. This powerful gas engine always provides enough power to drive on the slopes and tackle the toughest mowing job.

The 12 in. Rear/8-inch front wheels are PVC wrapped. PVC meets the soils and provides better traction in the flat or large lawn slopes.

over, it offers variable speed control features that allow adjusting the mower speed based on the walking speed. Unlike the other gas mowers, it’s very easy to maintain and operate. But the drawback sometimes is to make fewer fumes.

With the grass, its 21 inches 7 position height setting deck allows to cut the grass into the different levels and provides a nice and clean appearance

For better grass management it has a 3 in 1 function. Its bagging (2 Brussel hybrid grass badger ) and mulching plug are so convenient and easy to attach and detach. Also, if your lawn has thick grass, then we suggest using side discharge.

As a bonus kit, the yard force provides a 20 Volt blower-sweeper in the box. It’s good for normal tasks.

After testing all the criteria, truly it’s a great mower. And also like the other mower, the Yard force also provides a 2-year warranty on the engine and chassis that make this mower more reliable.

So if you have a medium budget and are looking for an electric start gas self-propelled lawn mower, hopefully, it meets all criteria.

CRAFTSMAN M270 Reviews

  • FWD: Front wheel drive lawn mower.Good for flat lawn.
  • Automatic Choke: It automatically sets the choke to give optimum starting and running in all conditions.
  • 1.9 Bushel Dust Blocker Bag: 1.9 bushel equal to 25 lbs. It reduces in the air dust and debris while collecting grass clippings for easy clean up or composting.
  • V20 battery: It allows you to start the mower by pressing the push button
  • Deck Wash Port: Connect to the garden hostess reel, it automatically clean the mower deck.
  • Best for: 1/2 to 1 acre flat lawn

Starting with a online reviews of this craftsman m270 lawn mower

My daughter bought this last year. She let me try it last weekend. Im 65, have trouble walking to mow my whole front yard with a small hill on the corner. Loved the push start. The self-propelled helped me mow my whole yard by myself! I needed this mower! Really disappointed to find I can not find this mower anywhere!!

I found it on the Lowes. Over 243 customers gave a 4.1 rating out of 5 stars on Lowes, making it the best lawn mower in the USA.

It’s a self-propelled lawn mower. So if you’re an old man, don’t worry about this weight. You just need to know how to control this mower.

Featuring a reliable 159cc craftsman powerful engine that provides sufficient power to drive the mower and tackles the hardest mowing job.

The mower has a 21-inch steel deck with dual lever 6 position height change that allows it to cut the grass 1.25-in. to 3.75-in.high

Also, it has a variable speed control feature that is very essential to begin a self-propelled lawn mower.

On the other hand, the front-wheel-drive system performs well in the flat with obtsalace types of yards. But it didn’t perform well on lawn slopes. It loses traction every time.

Overall, it’s a great mower, if you have flat lawns. Otherwise, if your lawn has large slopes, then we won’t recommend it.

DeWALT DW33 Lawn Mower Review

  • High-lift Marbain(R) blade: Create more airflow, and it’s incomparable wear resistance
  • Ergonomic Pistol Grips: Hold your hand in a good position.
  • Electric PTO Clutch Brake: Used to engage and disengage rotating blades on outdoor power equipment.
  • Caster Front Wheel: Help to increase speed, straight line trachkings and also better cornering. It also increases the mower wheel’s traction.

Starting with its 33-inch mowing steel deck that saves up to 50% time than ever. This is a walk-behind lawn mower and specially made for commercial purposes.

The mower packs with a giant 382 cc power engine that provides consistent performance while the larger cutting deck cuts the grass enough on each pass.

On the other hand, its caster wheel provides better traction in any type of lawn, like flat, uneven, or slopes. Also, this mower performs well on the larger slopes. And also began a self-propelled lawn mower; it also has adjustable speed control features.

However, for increasing productivity the mower has 8 position height change settings with a single lever. The razor-sharp blade cuts any type of grass. And it can also cut the weeds. But I do not recommend you cut the weeds. It damages the blade’s sharpness.

When it comes to grass management, this mower features mulch, bagging, and side discharge. Bagging is so convenient. It allows 2 gallons of grass at a time.

So if you’re working on 1/2 or up to 1 acre of lawn you don’t need to empty the bagger many times.

Overall, DeWALT DW33 is the best mower for these people who are too lazy to do their mowing job. And also if you want to start a lawn mowing business and are looking for a walk-behind lawn mower at a reasonable price, then I encourage you to purchase this mower.

Guide to Buying Best Electric Start Self Gas Lawn Mower

As we mention the 5 lawn mowers, all of them are worth buying based on your needs. But of course, you can not buy them all. It is time to make the right decision to save money. That is where this buying guide creates an image that helps to understand what’s the best for you.

Here are all the important factors that you need to consider while you looking for an ideal mower:


As a garden expert, the lawn mower is an essential part of my life. If you maintain a garden or lawn, you should choose the right lawn mower that lasts at least 5 years plus. Some people are choosing the cheap lawn mower. They can not deliver high performance and also make noise that is so annoying. And sometimes neighbors are brothers at this lawn mower sound.

Before purchasing a mower, you should know all the features that meet your criteria and offer on demand. If it isn’t then eliminate the mower from your list.

Long livity

You buy a lawn mower for 300 – 500 USD, and after using it for 1 year you have to go to customer care to repair your lawn mower.

In my experience I saw lots of people buying lawn mowers after a season of a few weeks. They are breaking the deck and the blades lose their sharpness.

  • Build material
  • Wheels types
  • Deck
  • Blades
  • Handlebar
  • And motor

Inspect and research more about them.

In our review, we analyze all of those things and write an in-depth article. So don’t worry.

Ease Of Use

As a gas mower, it requires maintenance every year for a long life. So the best thing is knowing the lawn mower maintenance.

See the mower design and operating system. If you think all of them are user friendly and safe for you, pick them.


You can not do all the different lawn tasks with the lawn mower. But instead of different work, look at versatile elan mowing features like grass management features (3 in 1 or 4 in 1), variable speed, and different levels of height change. It will save time and effort.

Special Features

  • Variable speed control
  • Single level Cutting height adjustment
  • Electric starting battery
  • Deck wash
  • Wheels


Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about electric start gas lawn mowers.

Why You Should Consider a Gas-Powered Lawn Mower?

Aside from longevity, the gas mower is far better than an electric lawn mower. Also, they tackle every type of thought mowing job and provide robust performance.

Do mower deck wash ports work

Yes. It works. A deck wash port helps to clean the lawn mower deck with a garden hose reel. If clean the mower deck from the grass clipping and other debris.

Which is the best lawn mower for old men or women?

For old men or women, we recommend a self problem lawn mower that has a single lever height change and also a foldable handlebar.Above we mention 5 different lawn mowers, so I would recommend that Toro is an excellent choice. Even so, you can consider other lawn mowers.

Final Verdict: Best Electric Start Gas Lawn Mower

As we can see, all lawn mowers come and pack with distinct features and prices. After testing lots of hours we can suggest Toro personal space is the best electric start gas lawn mower that meets all our criteria at an affordable price range.

But if you have more budget, then I will encourage you to choose Honda HRX.

And also, hopefully, all of our lawn mowers are great for those looking for the electric start gas lawn mower.

We just love our work and share tips with you…!

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Best Electric Start Lawn Mower: Definitive Guide Reviews

Like conventional pull-start lawn mowers, electric start tools differ by power, size, and other important features. Despite the similarities, the availability of an electric start feature can be decisive if you want to escape bending and pulling the cord every time.

I wrote this guide to help you pick the best electric start lawn mower by learning what you pay for. Below is a concise but detailed guide for buying the right tool, along with my experience-based reviews of the 4 best models by trusted manufacturers. Read on, don’t forget about safety, and enjoy gardening!

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Best Electric Start Lawn Mowers

In these short reviews, I included all the information you may need to understand whether the tool matches your demands or not. Be attentive and consult the buyer’s guide at the end of this piece if you’re new to the topic.

Craftsman M275 – Best Electric Start Gas Lawn Mower

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Craftsman is a house brand by BlackDecker. This US company has been making excellent affordable tools for over 90 years. M275 is my favorite easy start gas lawn mower. This self-propelled 21-inch tool has large rear wheels and a powerful 159-cc motor that easily deals with bagging and mulching. You can also enable side and rear discharge if needed.

You can benefit from 6 height settings that let you make cuts from 1.25” to 3.75”. Speed adjustment is also provided to match your walking speed. Together with an electric start feature, this is one of the best options for average-size yards. As a bonus, Craftsman provides a limited lifetime warranty.

  • High rear wheels for easy steering;
  • Adjustable front-wheel-drive speed;
  • 3-in-1 deck;
  • Mulching capabilities;
  • 6 height settings;
  • Powerful 159-cc motor;
  • Lifetime warranty (limits apply)

Lawn-Boy 17734 – Excellent Key Start Lawn Mower

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Lawn-Boy is a Toro brand with over 80 years of history that makes lawnmowers with simple constructions. The 17734 21’’ model is equipped with a 149cc Kohler overhead-valve engine that drives rear wheels at one speed, but it feels convenient enough.

The engine has a simple design, so it’s easy to maintain. Mowing height can be adjusted between 2 points for shortcutting and superficial trimming. The large bag collects mulch effectively, so you don’t have to discharge it too often.

The 3-year starter warranty guarantees that the tool will start in 1-2 pulls (key rotations) for at least 3 years. Otherwise, the brand will tune-up the tool for free.

  • 2-year full-coverage warranty;
  • 3-in-1 discharger;
  • 3-year starter warranty with free-repair;
  • Easy-to-maintain engine;
  • CARB-compliant for California;
  • Self-propelled.

Husqvarna LC221FHE – Good Push Button Lawn Mower

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Husqvarna is currently the oldest power tool manufacturer that has been making lawnmowers since 1919 and engine-powered mowers since 1947. Before that, the brand had been producing guns for 300 years.

This 21’’ lawn mower comes with a powerful 163-cc Briggs-and-Stratton engine. It provides excellent cutting ability and bags around 95% of clippings. At low speed, it collects almost 100%. The engine is powerful enough for cutting moist grass after rain without losing mulching quality. You can adjust cutting speed on the go, which is very convenient, but it will take a while to get used to the controller. The warranty is only 1-year, but the tools by this brand are known for their long lifespan.

  • Oil is included;
  • 4 height adjustments;
  • Powerful 163-cc engine;
  • Front-wheel drive;
  • Excellent bagging system;
  • Large rear wheels;
  • Quick electric start.
  • Electric start is a bit fiddly during first uses;
  • Slightly more expensive than competitors as it’s an export tool and the warranty is short.

MELLCOM Gas Lawn Mower – Powerful Lawn Mower With Electric Start

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Mellcom is a small young power tool manufacturer, but a small brand doesn’t necessarily mean bad quality. This brand offers excellent quality for a moderate price. This 21’’ lawn mower is evidence.

The tool comes with the most powerful OHV engine on the list. It has 173cc under the cap. It drives large rear wheels and perfectly mulches the clippings. The large bag comes with a convenient handle that makes discharging effortless. I also like the handles that let you easily switch between 8 height adjustments (from 1.2 to 3.2 inches)

  • 4-in-1 cutting;
  • Fast cutting ability;
  • Powerful 173cc OHV engine;
  • 8 height adjustments;
  • Large 16-gallon bag with a handle;
  • No need to mix gasoline;
  • An affordable model with many extras.

Electric Start Lawn Mower Buyer’s Guide

Do you need more knowledge about self-start lawn mowers? Below are all the facts that you need to consider before buying one for your garden. Enjoy learning and make your lawn healthy!

What is an electric start lawn mower?

This is a subtype of gas-powered lawnmowers that can be turned on with a push of a button or turn of a key. Unlike recoil-started machines, this type doesn’t require any effort from you to turn it on. Most modern models have a battery that powers the starter motor, while the others can be plugged to power the starter.

What to look for in an electric start lawn mower?

Choosing an electric start mower isn’t very different from picking a gas-powered machine. Here are the main considerations.


Engines range from 140cc to 190cc. Tall wet grass cutting, mulching, and bagging require more power. Overhead-valve engines are the most common and affordable, but you can also opt for a diver-overhead-valve style that’s more expensive but reduces noise, emissions, and vibration.

Cutting width and the deck size

The recommended deck size is between 58 and 54 inches for a 2.2-acre. This size lets you mow the lawn in around 1.5-2 hours. Do the simple math to see what size you need.

Self-propelled vs. push mower

Self-propelled mowers have a transmission that drives the wheels and helps you move the tool around the yard. They are usually more expensive but don’t exhaust you at all. You can set a comfortable speed and steer them around. Push mowers cannot boast of such convenience, and you should have enough strength to move them around.

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Adjustable height settings

This feature lets you cut grass to the needed height. It’s a useful feature as it makes you more flexible, but you can get a mower without it if you are sure that the fixed cutting height matches your needs.


  • Easy-access gas and oil tanks;
  • The air filter cover should be easy to remove;
  • Wash-out fitting – lets you connect a hose for cleaning grass from under the deck;
  • Tall rear wheels – they make it easier to move over rough surfaces.

How to maintain an electric start lawn mower?

  • Drain gasoline at the end of each moving season;
  • Check oil level;
  • Clean the air filter;
  • Change spark plugs on time;
  • Keep the blade sharp;
  • Opt for a professional tune-up;
  • Clean the undercarriage.

Electric Start Lawn Mower FAQ

If you still have questions, this section may help you out. I picked the most frequently asked questions of my friends and readers to save you time.

How does an electric start lawn mower work?

Electric start movers are basic gas machines, but they are equipped with an electric starter. This part is powered by an accumulator and spins to turn its crankshaft. The only thing you have to do is push the button or turn the key.

How long does an electric start mower last?

If you maintain the machine properly, the mower’s gas engine will last from 8 to 10 years. If you don’t provide it with the needed care, it will be around 4 years optimistically. Some manufacturers may also promise a limited number of hours, which you can translate into years.

Why is my electric lawn mower not starting?

To understand the reason, you have to inspect the mower. Unplug it and check the cable for damage. Most probably, the cable is cut. There also can be a problem with the engine, which is impossible to detect without taking the tool to the service center. Battery-powered mowers may not start if there’s a problem with the battery pack.

Can I add an electric start to my lawn mower?

Some engines, like Briggs-Stratton, are compatible with starter converters that let you adjust an electric starter quite easily. Incompatible engines can be started with a drill and a 4-inch square-head bolt, but that’s not very convenient.

Easy-Start, Easy-Do

Now you’re ready to make the best model amongst electric start self-propelled mowers offered by the vast number of manufacturers. My favorite tool is Craftsman M275 (see the first review), but your pick can be different from that as our needs may differ. Always remember that to avoid overpaying or underestimating your lawn size.

Have you ever used an electric start walk behind mowers before? Do you like them more than pull-start models? Why? If you have experience with one of the tools from my listing, I’ll be happy to see your opinion in the comment. You can also ask me questions about these tools if any. Take care!

The Best Self-Propelled Lawn Mowers in 2023 for Making Your Yard Work Easier

These lawn mowers drive themselves, taking the load off you in the process.

By Roy Berendsohn Published: Mar 21, 2023

One of the perks of the warm-weather season is getting to spend time outside. If you own your own home and have a yard, it’s very likely that in order to enjoy your outdoor space, you need to mow the lawn. The larger the yard, the more work it will be to maintain. If you have a lot of grass to cut, you’d be wise to consider a self-propelled lawn mower especially now that there are a ton of sales just in time for Memorial Day.

The primary difference between a standard push mower and a self-propelled mower is that the former moves when you push it, and the latter essentially moves itself with only your guidance. Once the engine is running, all you have to do is squeeze a handle or push a lever and the mower will start moving forward with you as you walk.

Turning the mower around is your job, but once you have your heading, just keep the drive handle squeezed and escort the mower down the path, no pushing necessary.

Self-propelled law mowers take power off the engine and route it via a belt to a pulley on the transmission and axle. When you move the drive control lever on the mower handle, you tension the belt, causing the pulley to turn, and this drives the transmission, moving the mower forward.

Move the drive control lever back and the tension is released, the pulley stops turning, and the mower stops moving forward. The belt-driven transmission is a time-tested design to power the mower and take the load off you in the process.

What to Consider

A mower is like many consumer products in that the more features a manufacturer adds, the more expensive it becomes. But a longer or more eye-catching list of features isn’t necessarily better. Sometimes less is more. Here are the most important to keep in mind.

Front-wheel drive mowers tend to be less expensive than rear-wheel drive units. They can be easier to turn because you don’t have to disengage the drive wheels to do so. Simply push down on the handlebar to raise the front wheels off the ground. However, their traction isn’t as strong on hills or when the bag is full, as there isn’t as much weight over the drive wheels.

Rear-wheel drive mowers do cost more and aren’t as easy to turn, as you do need to disengage the drive—but this isn’t too much of a hassle. Rear-wheel drive mowers shine on hills and inclines, and when the grass bag is full. In either scenario, weight is shifted rearward and over the drive wheels, which enables superior traction, thus making the self-propel more effective.

An engine as small as 125 cc can power a mower, but most are somewhere in the 140 cc to 190 cc range. A large engine helps when powering through tall, lush grass or in extreme conditions, such as with a side discharge chute in place and mowing tall weeds in a border area. Also, the extra torque provided by a larger engine can improve bagging when the going gets tough (tall, leaf-covered grass in the fall). But if you mow sensibly and pay attention to deck height—and especially if you don’t let your lawn get out of control—an engine between 140 and 160 cc has more than enough power to get the job done.

A mower can have all four wheels the same diameter (7 to 8 inches), or it may have rear wheels that range from 9.5 inches to 12 inches in diameter. Larger rear wheels help the mower roll more easily over bumpy ground.

With some mowers you can start the engine with the twist of a key or the press of a button. It’s a great option, but a luxury. Keep the mower engine tuned and use fresh fuel with stabilizer added to it, and you’ll never have trouble starting.

Any number of mechanisms can control a mower’s ground speed—a squeeze handle, a drive bar that you press forward, even a dial. There’s no single right answer here. Look at the design and think about how you like to work. For example, if more than one person will be using the mower (and not all of them are right-handed), a drive control like that on a Toro Personal Pace mower might be the answer. Just push down on the bar to make it go faster. Let up on the bar to slow down.

A mower that can bag, mulch, and side discharge is known as a three-function mower, the most versatile kind. Two-function mowers bag and mulch or mulch and side discharge.

Mowers will typically have one, two, or four levers to control the deck height. Single-lever adjustment is the easiest to use, but it requires more linkage, which adds weight and complexity. If, for some reason, you find yourself varying deck height frequently, it’s a good option. Otherwise, two or four levers work just fine.

Only Honda makes a gas-engine mower with a high-impact plastic deck (there are battery mowers that have plastic decks). Otherwise, mowers generally have a steel deck, and a few manufacturers—Toro, for one—offer a corrosion-resistant aluminum deck. An aluminum deck won’t rot the way a steel deck will, but you still need to keep it clean.

This is a hose fitting mounted on top of the mower’s deck. When you’re done mowing, hook up a hose and run the mower to power wash the underside of the deck. We’ve had mixed results with these, but they’re better than just letting a mass of dried grass clippings accumulate.

expensive mowers come with a more durable bag with more dust-blocking capability. If you bag a lot, especially leaves or other lawn debris in the fall, then you need a mower with a higher quality dust-blocking bag. Having said that, if you rarely bag, the standard one that comes with a mower will last you the life of the mower.

Also called wide-area mowers, machines in this subgroup help homeowners better reconcile their need for more power and speed with the fact that they may not have enough storage for a tractor or zero-turn mower. A typical residential walk mower has a single-blade deck that cuts a swath from 20 to 22 inches wide. Wide-cut mowers (built for homeowner use) have either a single blade or, more typically, a pair of blades, cutting from 26 to 30 inches with each pass. Some of these are rated for light commercial use and have larger decks, in the 32-inch range, and engines that start at 223 cc and go up to about 337 cc.

Wide-cut mowers typically employ gear or hydrostatic drive transmissions, and they have top speeds of about 4 to 6 miles per hour. At their fastest, they move so quickly you have to trot to keep up with them. Needless to say, they’re overkill for small yards; only opt for one of these if you’ve got a significant plot of land that you need to keep tidy, but not one so large that you’d be better off going with a full-on riding mower.

TORO Lawn Mower Wont Start Easy Fix

How We Tested and Selected

We compiled this list based on Popular Mechanics mower testing and our knowledge of the lawn mower market at large. For our testing, we put mowers through the paces using our standard Popular Mechanics methodology: We cut turf grasses such as fescues and blue grass and rougher non-turf grasses like Timothy, clover, orchard grass, and wild oats, all in both normal and shin-deep heights. We mow uphill, downhill, and across the faces of hills. The maximum slope we cut is about 30 degrees.

That may not sound like much, but it’s about all you can do to stand on it, let alone push a mower up it or across it. We mow damp and wet grass to test general cutting performance and whether clippings accumulate on the tires. And we cut dry and dusty surfaces to see how well the bag filters under less-than-optimal conditions.

Honda HRN 216VKA

Key Specs

Honda mowers enjoy a sterling reputation. Having tested their walk and self-propelled mowers for the last 30 years, we feel confident that Honda’s entry level mower is a great choice for homeowners looking for power and durability. The HRN features a GCV 170 gas engine that’s built to withstand long hours of operation.

If you do your own maintenance (and most owners who buy this class of product do), you’ll appreciate the easily accessible spark plug and the fuel shutoff valve that enables better winter storage. Close the fuel shutoff and run the mower until it sputters to a halt. This will clear the carburetor of any gasoline, which will prevent the ethanol in it from disintegrating and causing running issues later on. Open the shutoff valve in the spring, add some fresh gasoline, and the mower should start easily.

All this maintenance stuff is great, but we can also tell you that our past test findings on other Hondas prove that their cut quality is outstanding for cleanliness. Sharp blades deliver a velvet-like finish. And their bagging ability is also quite good, in the same league with other well-bagging mowers from Toro.

In all, if you take mowing seriously, you should enjoy this Honda. If you have a little wiggle room in your budget, consider the Honda HRX, which features a mower powerful engine and a composite deck that won’t rust and is renowned for its durability.

One note is that Honda has announced that it will cease selling lawn mowers in the United States after this year—so if you’re considering buying one, best do it sooner rather than later.

Toro Recycler 60-Volt Max Lithium-Ion

Key Specs

Toro mowers have garnered more recommendations from us than any other brand for two reasons: build quality and cut quality. These were amply demonstrated in our testing as the Recycler turned in the best ratio of cut area per amp-hour of battery in the self-propelled category, while at the same time not skimping on cutting, mulching, or bagging quality.

We attribute this outstanding mower performance to three features, all upgrades to the previous version of this machine. First, the air vent at the front of the mower deck seems to improve mulching and bagging performance. Toro calls it Vortex technology, a design that increases air flow under the deck. This helps to stand the grass for a cleaner cut, which improves mulching performance, and also allows better airflow into the bag when collecting the clippings.

Next, the company’s redesigned “Atomic” blade configuration appears to assist the air flow and clipping movement. Finally, the three-phase, 60-volt motor is exceptionally efficient, resulting in a large cut area for a single battery.

Toro has maintained features that make this mower work: rear wheel drive, a one-piece deck that’s all steel (no plastic nose), 11-inch wheels to help it roll over roots and crevices, and the same fold-forward handle that was an industry breakthrough when it was introduced some years ago.

Ryobi 40-Volt Brushless Self-Propelled Mower

Key Specs

This is one of Ryobi’s top-of-the-line mowers, and it’s American-made construction is something we wish we saw more of. It delivers a tremendous cut area with its two 6-Ah batteries providing a total of 12-Ah of capacity, and its X-shaped blade leaves a pristine surface in its wake.

Ryobi estimates the design should provide 70 minutes of run time; we didn’t time our cut, but it strikes as plausible. Its rear-wheel drive and reasonably aggressive tire tread pattern provide good hill climbing and sidehill cutting performance, and its bagging on all surfaces (level, sidehill, and uphill) is also commendable.

Other ease-of-use features include an easily installed or removed bag that mounts and dismounts straight up and down through the handle; deck adjustment is quick and easy thanks to a single-level deck height adjustment. The straight edge deck is polypropylene; it will never rust and needs very little care other than basic cleaning.

Toro TimeMaster 30 in. Briggs Stratton Personal Pace

The Toro Timemaster 30-in. mower has been around for several years and has earned a reputation as a sturdy workhorse for homeowners who want to cut down on their mowing time. It’s also used by some professionals as well. A few years ago the Timemaster got a slightly more powerful Briggs and Stratton gas engine, so it should have no issues powering through most demanding mowing jobs.

The Timemaster is rear-wheel drive and features Toro’s Personal Pace drive system that’s used on many of its self-propelled mowers. This allows the mower to move at your speed by simply pushing down or releasing the handle, which is spring-tensioned.

With a 30-in. deck, Toro claims the Timemaster will help you reduce your mowing time by about 40% compared to using a standard-sized mower. You can mulch, back, or side discharge with the Timemaster, and the handlebar can be locked in a fully vertical position to reduce space consumption in storage.

If you have half an acre to a full acre of lawn to mow and prefer the experience of a walk-behind mower versus a tractor or zero-turn, the Timemaster is worth a look.

Craftsman M220

Key Specs

Craftsman mowers have been doing very well in our tests, so we can recommend this one because it’s so much like the many other of the brand’s models that we’ve tested. If you’re looking for a good blend of maneuverability and power, you’ll get it with this mower. Its front drive helps move it along and makes it easy to turn.

It’s important to note that front-drive mowers do lose some traction when running uphill, particularly with a full grass bag. But if your slope is less than 20 degrees, and you’re not bagging uphill, you’ll be fine. The side discharge will also help you handle tall grass. Adjust the two deck levers to bring the mower up to full height and have at the rough stuff.

The fact that this mower bags, mulches, and side discharges is a plus, enabling you to handle a wide range of mowing conditions, from early spring and late into the fall. Three-function mowers like this are our preference for that versatility.

Toro Super Recycler Self-Propelled Lawn Mower

Key Specs

This is a beauty of a mower, with a cast-aluminum deck and a smooth-running Briggs Stratton 163-cc engine. We tested the Honda engine-equipped version, and it was effective at both bagging and mulching, even in moist grass.

Equipped with rear-wheel drive and the Personal Pace system (the farther you push the drive bar, the faster the mower goes), it’s an effective hill climber and moderately effective on sidehill cutting. It has relatively small 7.5-inch tires on all four corners, which causes this Toro to bump up and down a bit on washboard surfaces. But the good news is that it’s equipped with a far higher quality tire than we’re used to seeing these days. We didn’t notice them pick up any grass on moist surfaces.

Other features we like include its forward-fold handle that has a built-in shock absorber that Toro calls a Flex Handle Suspension, and a high-quality grass bag that loads through the handle, from the top.


Are there special maintenance considerations with self-propelled mowers?

Yes. Both front- and rear-wheel drive mowers typically feature a drive belt, which can crack or wear out over time. Fortunately these belts are not difficult or particularly expensive to replace.

Secondly, you may have to replace the drive wheels occasionally. These wheels are driven with gears. there are typically teeth on the inside diameter of the drive wheel that line up with a gear on the axle. These teeth can wear out, especially if they are made of plastic. Higher-end mowers may feature drive wheels with a metal gear that meets the metal axle gear, which improves longevity of these components.

My lawnmower says I don’t ever have to change the oil, but just add oil when needed. Is this OK?

It’s not a good idea to never change the oil in your lawn mower. In a lawn mower, same as a car, oil degrades over time and is less effective at reducing heat and friction in metal components. Changing the oil in your lawn mower is easy to do and will significantly increase its service life. For most homeowners, changing the oil at the beginning or end of each mowing season should be sufficient, though there is certainly no harm in doing it more often.

Roy Berendsohn has worked for more than 25 years at Popular Mechanics, where he has written on carpentry, masonry, painting, plumbing, electrical, woodworking, blacksmithing, welding, lawn care, chainsaw use, and outdoor power equipment. When he’s not working on his own house, he volunteers with Sovereign Grace Church doing home repair for families in rural, suburban and urban locations throughout central and southern New Jersey.

Toro Personal Pace Auto-Drive™ Electric Start Petrol Mower

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If you find a lower price on the Toro Personal Pace Auto-Drive™ Electric Start Petrol Mower we will beat the difference by 20%. Learn more.

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We’ll unbox, assemble and tune your Toro Personal Pace Auto-Drive™ Electric Start Petrol Mower ready for use, plus show you how it works. Learn more.

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Simply choose to pickup your Toro Personal Pace Auto-Drive™ Electric Start Petrol Mower at one of our five Sydney stores to unlock extra discounts. Learn more.

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Briggs Stratton Engine

Features the 150cc OHV 4-Stroke Engine with ReadyStart™ Technology. Starting made easy! No Prime, No Choke, Smooth Pull-Start!

22” (56 cm) Pressed Steel Deck

Ideal for large lawns up to 500 square metre with 13 cutting height steps of 25mm. 100 mm and a washout port.

Personal Pace Auto-Drive™

Super Bagger Catcher

Get the job done more easily than ever with our new super bagger, shaped for easier lifting, no-shake pouring and zero-hassle cleanup.

Feed Your Lawn

The ultra-fine clippings created by our Recycler® Cutting System nourishes your grass and cultivates a greener, more lush lawn.

Finally, a mower that adjusts to you, with no knobs, no levers, no messing around. Welcome to Personal Pace Auto-Drive – the self propelled mower. Get the job done more easily than ever with our new Super Bagger, shaped for easier lifting, no-shake pouring and zero-hassle cleanup Toro 56cm Personal Pace Auto-Drive.

This Toro Vortex Technology™ is giving you Lawn Vitamins™ for free. The ultra-fine clippings created by our Recycler Cutting System nourishes your grass and cultivate a greener, more lush lawn. With the built to last 22 steel deck, you’ll love the superior cutting and mulching performance it provides with no problems cutting in tight spaces.

In total, it’s a boatload of features that easily make you and your lawn look great in less time. This machine starts the first time, every time. It’s powered by a 7.25 ft-lb Gross Torque Briggs Stratton® EXi 150cc w/Ready Start. no need to prime or choke. It’s also hassle free to maintain because of the no oil change feature.

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