Troy-Bilt TB230 21″ 159cc Self-Propelled Mower Review

A lot of walk behind, gas-powered lawn mowers have a well-earned reputation for being pretty heavy. This isn’t necessarily what you want if you have to mow a rather large lawn on a hot and humid day. Fortunately, well-meaning lawn mower manufacturers like Troy-Bilt have come to understand this foible and worked to design self-propulsion features into their units.

The Troy-Bilt TB230 159cc has highly efficient overhead valves OVH. It has four sturdy 8-inch wheels, that are integrated with a front wheel drive self-propulsion system. A special hand control allows you to vary the speed to meet your natural gait, or the terrain you are cutting.

The engine was specially designed to “Check” but don’t “Change” the oil. Every few mowing sessions, you simply check the oil before starting. If it’s a little low, you simply pour in a small amount to fill it back into the normal range.

The mower’s deck is set up to be highly versatile. Troy-Bilt TB230’s “Tri-Action Cutting System” allows you to set it up for mulching, bagging, or side discharge. The height of the deck can be easily adjusted to any one of six positions.

They also include a special port that accommodates a built-in deck wash port. This allows you to simply attach a standard garden hose to wash away loose or gunky lawn debris.

Key Features

  • 159 cc OVH gas powered engine
  • 8-inch wheels
  • Self-propulsion system with variable speed control
  • Deck wash adaptor for easy cleaning
  • Tri-Action versatility to mulch, bag, or side discharge grass clippings


At first glance, the 159 cc gas-powered mower is a little bit smaller than some of the competitors at this price point. However, the OHV design of the engine allows it to develop more overall power, which allows it to cut efficiently, as well as drive the self-propulsion system.

Ease of Use

Some people will shy away from gas-powered lawn mowers based on the perception that they are harder to use than say an electric mower of a similar size. As a well-established name in the mower industry, Troy-Bilt understands this perception and they have put a lot of effort into making the TB230 easy to use.

First of all the engine oil system is designed to check but don’t change. With normal use, you should never have to change the oil in this mower. You simply check it every two or three mowing sessions and carefully top it up to the normal range indicated on the dip stick.

The deck wash system also spares you the hassle of having to manually clear away grass clippings from under the deck. You simply hook up a standard garden hose to the deck wash adaptor and then follow the instructions.

Cut Quality & Options

The power produced by the Troy-Bilt TB230’s 159 cc OHV engine gives it the versatility to make the most of the Tri-Action cutting system. You can quickly switch it from mulching, bagging, and side discharge modes.

The deck was also designed with an integrated rake bumper, which helps lift up blades of grass for more efficient mulching or bagging. This spares you the frustration of mowing over a swatch, only to look back and see some flattened blades remain untouched.

It also helps break down cut blades of grass better when mulching. In bagging configuration, the lifted blades of grass that are drawn into the bag integrated quickly into compost bins where microbes can break them down efficiently.


The Troy-Bilt TB230 needs very little maintenance. The engine is designed to never need an oil change. You just check the oil before a mowing session. If the oil level is on the low side of the safe range on the dip stick, you simply add a small amount of oil in. Then give it a minute or two to properly settle and check the level again.

If conditions have been especially dusty or your lawn has been suffering from a lot of pollen, you might want to check the air filter each month. Giving it a little blow-out with an air compressor, or really just a vigorous shake will help ensure that the 159 cc engine is getting the oxygen it needs to produce at full power.

For what it’s worth Troy-Bilt also backs up the TB230 with a 2-year warranty. This is a little better than some of the competitors in this category.

Safety Features

The Troy-Bilt TB230 159cc has the standard hand controls you find with pretty much every walk behind lawn mower. The self-propulsion system also has variable speed control, which is easy to use. This allows you to set the mower to your preferred walking speed, rather than nudging it along or feeling like it’s pulling you away.

Special Features

The Tri-Action cutting system allows you to mulch, bag, or side discharge cut grass clippings.

The deck wash adaptor makes it easy to clear away grassy debris from the underside of the mower’s deck.

The variable speed front wheel drive helps you set the self-propulsion system to the speed that works best for you.

The rake bumper design of the mower deck also helps to lift up blades of grass to make sure every blade of grass is properly introduced to the blades.

The height control lever allows you to easily set the mower deck to the ideal height for your lawn’s condition.

Cost Effectiveness

The OVH 159 cc engine is fuel efficient, while also supplying the blades and propulsion system with superior power for a mower this size. The Tri-Action cutting system allows you to mulch, bag, or side discharge grass for the compost bin or to be reabsorbed by the natural layers of the turf. The rake bumper also ensures that you get every blade with the first pass, which spares you from having to double back during a mowing session.

8 Total Score
Quality self-propelled lawnmower

  • Fuel efficient
  • Tri-Action cutting system
  • Deck wash adaptor
  • 2-year warranty
  • No need for oil changes
  • Rake bumper
  • Easy height control
  • All wheels are 8-inch diameter
  • No way to drain overfilled oil
  • A little heavy
  • Slightly underpowered
  • Bagger can get heavy
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Troy-Bilt TB230 21″ 159cc Self-Propelled Mower Review
Troy-Bilt TB230 21″ 159cc Self-Propelled Mower Review
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