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Alex Temblador

Troy-Bilt XP 21 in. 163 cc 3-in-1 RWD Self Propelled TB310B review: a quick start gas lawn mower for small-to-medium yards

Troy-Bilt XP 21 in. 163 cc Briggs and Stratton ReadyStart Engine 3-in-1 Gas RWD Self Propelled TB310B Lawn Mower.

Keeping your lawn mowed and maintained is hard work, and yet it shouldn’t be difficult. When I was asked to review the Troy-Bilt XP 21 in. 163 cc Briggs and Stratton ReadyStart Engine 3-in-1 Gas RWD Self-Propelled Lawn Mower, I said yes immediately. I’m no stranger to Troy-Bilt yard products or lawn mowers. It’s a quality brand and I soon learned that this particular lawn mower fit right into Troy-Bilt's stellar offerings. 

Over the course of a few weeks, I discovered how easy it was to start this lawn mower and use it to mulch and bag the clippings in my yard. Best yet, with a self-propel feature, I could effortlessly move the mower up and down the slopes in my yard. The drawbacks of this lawn mower were so few, especially compared to the pros. As someone who has half an acre yard, I can confidently say that this 21-inch deck mower is one of the best gas lawn mowers suited for small-to-medium yards. 

Read on to see my full review then, take a look at our guide to the best lawn mowers to see where Troy-Bilt XP 21 in. 163 cc Briggs and Stratton ReadyStart Engine 3-in-1 Gas RWD Self-Propelled Lawn Mower sits amongst the ranks.

Troy-Bilt XP 21 in. 163 cc 3-in-1 RWD Self Propelled TB310B Gas Lawn Mower: key specifications

Troy-Bilt XP 21 in. 163 cc 3-in-1 RWD Self Propelled TB310B Gas Lawn Mower: price & availability

The Troy-Bilt TB310B lawnmower is priced at $529 on the Troy-Bilt website, which is slightly cheaper than what it’s priced at Home Depot. Right now, Target – of all places – has it priced the lowest at $519. In my opinion, the price tag makes sense, especially since the lawn mower has self-propel capabilities and can mulch and bag clippings. Even the fact that the user doesn't have to choke the engine to start it up adds to the quality of the product.

Score: 5 out of 5

Troy-Bilt XP 21 in. 163 cc 3-in-1 RWD Self Propelled TB310B Gas Lawn Mower: Setup

If you’re new to lawn mowers, you’ll be glad to hear that setting up this particular lawn mower isn’t a difficult task, though it does take about 5-10 minutes to complete. The lawn mower arrived in a large box on a wood pallet. After moving the box off the pallet, I cut the sides of the box so that they fell flat and I could roll the lawn mower out. 

The lawn mower itself comes nearly assembled. I only had to lift the handle and add either the side discharge chute or the bag (if I wanted).

The handle was folded down against the lawn mower. (When storing the lawn mower away, you can always fold the handle down again.) To lift the handle, I had to remove the T-bolts near the back wheels and then lift the handle until the holes aligned before I could screw the T-bolts back in. 

There are also T-bolts in the middle part of the handle. I adjusted those as well so that the handle was at the height I needed. Truthfully, these T-bolts are a bit of a hassle, especially considering that Troy-Bilt offers lawn mowers with EZ-fold handle release levers which make adjusting the handle a quicker, easier process. 

(Image credit: Future / Alex Temblador)

From there, I cut the zip tie from the side of the handle so that I could then pull the starter rope and place it in the rope guide.

I grabbed the pouch of oil that came in the packaging and added the entire thing to the oil container. Next, I added fresh gas and then adjusted the wheel height. While the front wheels are very easy to adjust, I had a lot of trouble adjusting the back wheels. 

To adjust the wheels, I had to pull a lever on the wheels out and then move it to the left or the right and fit it on another spoke. Pulling the lever out was a struggle, and while it was easier to move the lever to the left, it was almost impossible to move that lever to the right, and thus lift the wheels higher.

For the first testing session, I added the side discharge chute to the deck (and left the plug in the back) as I prefer to mulch my grass and let it discharge out the side.

(Image credit: Future / Alex Temblador)

Troy-Bilt XP 21 in. 163 cc 3-in-1 RWD Self Propelled TB310B Gas Lawn Mower: Design

This Troy-Bilt lawn mower is a gas-powered push lawn mower with a 21-inch deck, making it better equipped to handle small-to-medium yards. It’s designed with rear-wheel drive, rather than front-wheel drive. Rear wheel drive results in improved wheel traction especially when mowing on slopes.

The 163cc Briggs & Stratton engine is easy to start thanks to TroyBilt’s ReadyStart technology. In the past, many gas lawn mowers required choke starting – or pressing a plastic button a few times so that it filled with gas. With this lawn mower, there is no choke. All you have to do is pull the recoil starter rope once or twice for the lawn mower to start.

(Image credit: Future / Alex Temblador)

There are six deck positions which means the cutting height ranges from 1.25 to 3.75 inches. When the lever is placed on the spokes toward the front of the mower, the deck is closer to the ground. Alternatively, when the lever is placed on the spokes in the direction of the back of the mower, the deck lifts up. 

(Image credit: Future / Alex Temblador)
(Image credit: Future / Alex Temblador)

If you need to adjust the handle for your height, you can by unscrewing the T-bolts and arranging it to your liking before screwing the bolts back in. Above the handle is the blade control. It must be held down toward the handle when you start the lawn mower or else the mower won’t start. It’s also what keeps the mower running. Let go of it and the mower stops. 

To manage the self propel speed, you pull on the dual levers below the handle. The more you squeeze them, the faster the mower goes. The maximum speed of the self propel feature is 3.7 mph. 

In addition to an integrated mulch plug, the lawn mower comes with a 2.3 bushel grass bag and a side discharge chute, both of which can be used or removed.

Score: 4.5 out of 5

(Image credit: Future / Alex Temblador)

Troy-Bilt XP 21 in. 163 cc 3-in-1 RWD Self Propelled TB310B Gas Lawn Mower: Performance

One of my favorite aspects of this lawn mower is that it doesn’t require a choke to start the engine. It only took me one or two pulls of the coil rope for the engine to start every time. 

Throughout the mowing process, my hands felt comfortable gripping the blade control and the self-propel levers. I was so thankful for the self-propel feature, especially since I have quite a large yard. At 86.5 lbs., this Troy-Bilt mower is not the heaviest 21-inch push lawn mower on the market, but it’s not something you want to push around for an hour on your own. 

(Image credit: Future / Alex Temblador)

Granted a maximum speed of 3.7 mph isn’t the fastest among self propel mowers, but it’s average. When set at max speed, I found myself walking at a brisk pace without the lawn mower getting away from me. 

As someone who has a ton of slopes in their yard, including one ditch, the self-propel feature was a game changer. I can’t easily push 86.5 lbs. of metal up my hills without struggling (or hurting myself), but I didn’t have to do that thanks to the self propel feature. Instead, the self propel feature literally propelled the lawn mower up the slopes with little effort on my part.

Some of the slopes in my yard require me to mow up and down the slope, while others have to be mowed in a back and forth manner. When I mowed the slopes in a back and forth manner, I took notice of the rear wheel drive, as it prevented the lawn mower from slipping down the slope.

(Image credit: Future / Alex Temblador)

There were some areas of my yard with higher, thicker grass, and it would have been nice to have been able to lift the lawn mower slightly. However, since I had a lot of difficulty raising the deck of the lawn mower, especially on the back wheels, I decided to power through the grass -- despite how difficult it was. The lever design is my biggest issue with the lawn mower. 

Most of the time I used the side discharge chute or nothing at all, as I don’t mind the mulched grass clippings in my yard. I tested the mower's mulching capabilities on a pile of leaves that I removed from my flower beds, and it shredded them with ease. I did use the grass bag once, just to make sure it worked. It took me a few minutes to get it attached, but once I did, it caught the clippings which were then easy to deposit in the trash.

All in all, I didn’t have any real issues with this lawn mower, and it performed remarkably well cutting my yard. 

Score: 4.5 out of 5

Troy-Bilt XP 21 in. 163 cc 3-in-1 RWD Self Propelled TB310B Gas Lawn Mower: Maintenance

If you invest in this Troy-Bilt lawn mower, you need to know that it will require maintenance. It’s no more maintenance than other gas lawn mowers, but it’s more maintenance than you’d have to do for a battery-powered one.

First – you'll need to keep the deck cleaned of grass clippings and such. Use a blower to remove clippings around the engine and the top of the deck. You can screw a lawn hose to the deck wash adaptor and wash the bottom of the deck with water. If you don’t do this, the grass will cake on the underside of the deck and need to be removed with a scraper. 

Not only will you have to either sharpen the blade or replace it occasionally, but you should check the oil intermittently throughout the cutting season to see if you need to add more. Spark plugs and the air filter will also need to be replaced once a year. 

Before storing it away in the winter, run the lawn mower until it’s empty of gas. Don’t forget to give the lawn mower a thorough cleaning as well. 

Troy-Bilt XP 21 in. 163 cc 3-in-1 RWD Self Propelled TB310B Gas Lawn Mower: User reviews

This Tory-Bilt lawn mower has about 50 reviews which average out to about a four-star rating out of five stars (some of the reviews on one site were also found on other sites). Reviewers rave over how easy this lawn mower is to start. Many others appreciate its mulching capability and the self-propel features. A few were disappointed with the fact that some parts around the wheels were made of plastic and do not seem that durable.

Should you buy the Troy-Bilt XP 21 in. 163 cc 3-in-1 RWD Self Propelled TB310B Gas Lawn Mower?

Buy it if...

Don’t buy it if…

How does the Troy-Bilt XP 21 in. 163 cc 3-in-1 RWD Self Propelled TB310B Gas Lawn Mower compare?

The Honda HRX217HZA also has a 21-inch deck, mulching capabilities, and self-propel features, which is necessary since it’s much heavier than the Troy-Bilt mower. That said, the Honda is nearly twice as much, a price which feels a bit high in my opinion. If you’re willing to spend top dollar, there is always the Troy-Bilt TBWC28T Self-Propelled Lawn Mower. With a 28-inch deck and thicker back wheels, it’s better suited to larger yards. Alternatively, you won’t have the same maintenance requirements if you go with the EGO Power+ LM2135SP 21 inch Select Cut because it’s a battery-powered, self-propelled lawn mower with a 21 inch deck. According to our editor, Jennifer, the cutting capability of this Ego is next to none.

How I tested the Troy-Bilt XP 21 in. 163 cc 3-in-1 RWD Self Propelled TB310B Gas Lawn Mower

After mowing my half an acre yard a few times, I got a good sense of this lawn mower and its features from the pull start to its mulching capabilities and everything in between. Because my yard is full of slopes, large spaces, obstacles, and different varieties of grass, I was able to provide some great insights into the features of this lawn mower and ultimately who the mower will best suit. 

Find out more about how we test.

  • First reviewed: March 2024
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