To find the best electric lawn mower we ran over 20 hours of backyard lawn cutting tests, monitored battery charges, and tried the mowers in real-world scenarios at various levels of performance (and difficulty) to see just how well they compared in the lawn and garden. That said, shopping for a lawnmower whether a push mower, riding mower, or self-propelled mower can be time-consuming and costly. Today’s electric lawnmowers provide an excellent and eco-friendly alternative to traditional gas-powered lawnmowers. You can also read about the best riding lawnmower.
As we got our landscaping done, we paid attention to how the mowers performed in both thick and thin grass. We also compared features like adjustability, cutting deck width, and mulching functionality. After all our testing and mowing, it was easy to pick the Greenworks 25022 Electric Lawnmower as our top pick for electric lawn mowers. It combines functionality and power to bring your lawn under control with ease. Keep reading to learn about our top pick and the the other mowers that made it to our top 5.
Award: Top Pick/Best Corded
WHY WE LIKE IT: The Greenworks 25022 is a surprisingly powerful and durable electric lawn mower that features a steel cutting deck and 7 different height positions. With these features and its ultra quiet operation, this mower is our top pick.
Read Full Review: GreenWorks 25022
One of the best things about electric lawn mowers is how quiet they run, and the Greenworks 25022 stays true to this fact. It’s one of the quietest lawnmowers we’ve tested and it outputs a surprising amount of cutting power. With its 20-inch steel cutting deck, we were hoping this would be the case. The large cutting deck means we could cut more lawn than most other mowers on our list, making this machine more efficient than its competition. The Greenworks 25022 does struggle a bit on wet lawns or thick grass, but that’s to be somewhat expected with electric models.
Related: Check out our best riding lawn mower.
You get three separate modes with the Greenworks 25022: cutting with side discharge, bagging and mulching. This is more than most of the mowers we tested on this list, which gives you the most flexibility when you purchase this mower. While the cord can get annoying to manage while you’re cutting your lawn, it’s a really small price to pay for something so efficient and quiet. Get the job done, have the best lawn in the neighborhood, and then enjoy the best charcoal grill.
Award: Honorable Mention/Best for Small Yards
WHY WE LIKE IT: The Sun Joe MJ401E-PRO is small, compact and perfect for small yards and narrow spaces. It features a lightweight plastic build with a motor that’s still reliable and powerful for its small size.
If you need an electric mower that will fit in between your tightly-spaced trees, planter boxes and fences, then look no further than the Sun Joe MJ401E-PRO. It only has a 14-inch wide cutting deck, which is quite small, to be honest. However, it’s perfect for smaller applications. Fortunately, the 12-amp motor is powerful enough to handle most lawns, especially if they’re smaller.
Related: See our best robot lawn mower.
The biggest downside to this electric lawn mower is the fact that you don’t get any kind of mulching functionality or side discharge. If you do have a small yard, you might not need to worry about this lack of versatility, but the lack of this functionality is apparent in larger yards. Fortunately, you still get the rear discharge chute with an included grass bag so you can easily pack the cut grass clippings into your trash once you’re done. A good lawn mower and the best portable grill is all a man really needs.
Award: Best Budget
WHY WE LIKE IT: The American Lawn Mower Company 50514 electric lawn more is the most affordable option on our list and it still manages to offer plenty of cutting power and enough adjustability to make it comfortable for anyone using it.
This corded electric lawn mower may be small, but it’s got the power to make up for its small size. with a powerful 11-amp motor, this mower is perfect for small to medium sized yards that aren’t wet or overgrown. We especially liked the fact that the mower had a bunch of adjustability options in the handle and cutting height, giving you the flexibility you need to make mowing your lawn with this mower as comfortable as possible.
Despite its small size, the American Lawn Mower Company 50514 mower still features a 2-in-1 design with both rear discharge and mulching systems. Most smaller mowers don’t include both, so we consider this a win. Be aware that some users have reported that the mower blades on this model have come to them dull from the factory, but we didn’t experience any issues like this with ours. For one of the other thankless jobs around the home, chck out the best mouse trap.
Award: Best Value
WHY WE LIKE IT: Another Greenworks electric mower has made it onto our list, and for good reason! The Greenworks 25322 is a battery-powered mower that can sense how tall the grass is and automatically adjust its motor power to most efficiently cut it down.
Read Full Review: Greenworks 25322
We loved the first Greenworks model we tested (which is why it made first place), so it should come as no surprise that we’d include another Greenworks mower on our list. This time, it’s a completely battery-powered model, so you won’t have to worry about that pesky cord getting in the way and caught under the rear wheels. The mower is powered by a 40V battery that gives you a total of 60 minutes of runtime when fully charged. You can even use this battery with other Greenworks power tools.
Unfortunately, we found the power on this Greenworks mower to be a bit lacking when compared to other mowers on our list, especially when cutting thick grass. However, the Smart Cut feature works well and increases the power when you encounter sections of thicker grass. Overall, if you’re looking for a cordless mower that gives you as much value and versatility as possible, you’d do well to consider the Greenworks 25322. You may also want to check out our best garage heaters guide.
Award: Best Cordless
WHY WE LIKE IT: The Snapper XD MAX battery-powered electric mower is the most versatile and powerful cordless option that we tested. It features a powerful 82V battery and super-durable design, making it the right choice for large yards and tough lawns.
Read Full Review: Snapper XD
For starters, the Snapper XD MAX lawnmower looks like it could be a gas-powered mower. It’s got a 21-inch steel cutting deck with big wheels. It also gives you 3-in-1 functionality with rear discharge, mulching and side discharge systems. This mower is perfect for medium to large sized yards.
This is the only mower on our list that’s self-propelled, making it really stand out. With the self propulsion, you don’t have to work as hard to get around your yard, a feature that’s not to be dismissed. You also get 7 different height positions with the Snapper XD and a smart load sensing technology that adjusts the mower’s power to take care of tough patches of grass.
When taking these cordless mowers for a test, we looked specifically at cutting power and operation. How well does the mower function? How much grass can it cut at once? When the battery level starts to decrease, does the motor maintain its power or does it start to fail?
This easily leads to a number of other practical review steps, such as how the grass bag fills up, how the mulching system works, and how much grass gets stuck to the bottom of the mower after use.
Of course, the heart of the cordless mower is the battery, so we also spend time looking at battery voltage, how well the battery charges, how long it holds a charge, and how easy it is to see when it’s running lower.
In addition to these basics, we reviewed other important aspects like lawn mower safety features, maneuverability in use, and what warranties are offered on the model.
We even took some snapshots of the blades after a mowing session so you can get an idea of how much dust and clippings the blade assembly accumulates.
Put it all together, and we get a great look at what the mower has to offer!
I grew up with gas mowers and all the associated gas mower choices (plus a little summer work on the side to make extra money). By the time I moved into my own house with a yard, I was ready for a change – any change. So, I decided to try out cordless mowers and made my first purchase – a Homelite model.
This was around seven years ago, when cordless mowers were still in their infancy, so I was able to see exactly what electric mowers go could well, and conversely, what they failed horribly at.
So with time, I have had the chance to track their evolution and eventual improvement, until finally, we come to the latest cordless models offered by a full array of brands. Personally, I couldn’t be happier with the state of cordless lawn mowers these days, and was glad to take note of all of the latest improvements!
The guts of electric and gas mowers are basically the same until you get to the motor: The motor turns and subsequently turns the lawnmower blade at the same time. The big difference is the source of energy that operates that motor. In short, there are a lot of factors that are in favor of purchasing a cordless mower. But for the most part maintenance and startup are much easier and you aren’t creating any fumes or resulting residue.
That all said, it’s worth noting that gas usually provides a powerful, even application of force as long as there’s fuel, while batteries tend to slow the mower down as they deplete, impacting how efficient the mower is. But that’s largely the biggest caveat to an electric mower and far from a deal breaker in our book.
Electric lawnmowers live and die (literally) by their batteries, so naturally, we’ve addressed batteries and how they work for individual models. There are many different battery setups, sizes, and interactions – this is a field that’s constantly changing.
However, it’s worth taking a little time to discuss a few aspects of lawnmower batteries.
Before you complete your purchase of an electric lawnmower, take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with some of the features and terminology associated with Electric Mowers.
√ Pick a battery and mower size that is right for you
Most electric mowers range between 18 and 21 inches of cutting width. However, some models do go larger: if you want to cover more space on your lawn, make sure the width is above 20 inches. Likewise, if you want a powerful battery for demanding mower jobs or lots of longevity, look for a mower that has a battery above 40v, at the least.
√ The right adjustability for your grass
Mowers tend to have different adjustability options for height. When picking out a mower, make sure it has the height options that you want – two inches, four inches, etc.
√ Mulching & more if You Need It
Most cordless electric lawnmowers do come with mulching options, although their effectiveness can vary based on the power of the mower and its design. If you need mulching options or similar alternatives, double check to make sure the mower has them. Look for a mulching mode if there is one available.
√ Safety features for kids and maintenance
A good electric mower should have a safety key that must be plugged in before the mower can start. With those easy push buttons, you don’t to lose some fingers on accident.
√ A large bag capacity
Bag capacity is important for bigger lawns. Look for larger bags that can hold a lot of grass so that you won’t have to keep dumping grass throughout your mowing project. Bag capacity is sometimes measured in “bushels” which isn’t very useful from a homeowner perspective – it’s best to take a direct look at capacity, or find someone who has.
√ A reliable brand
This isn’t much of an issue these days, but it’s worth pointing out. Seek out a mower from a reliable brand that you trust. Black & Decker, Honda, Worx, Greenworks, Sun Joe and many other reputable brands have electric mowers. Don’t automatically go for the cheapest mower from a brand you’ve never heard of. Quality is particularly important when it comes to electric mowers!
√ Battery charge indicators
Look for a charge indicator that uses LED lights and, preferably, is visible on the mower while you are running it. Other batteries may have small buttons that you can push to give a charge indication, but this is a lot more annoying than a constant, easy-to-read indicator.
During the early years, electric mowers were slow machines held back (literally) by their cords, which needed to be connected to a sort-of-near electrical socket. Not ideal, and not popular! When the first cordless versions came out using large rechargeable batteries, they weren’t especially durable or dependable.
Only in the last few years have cordless mowers really grown into their own, with multiple brands producing powerful lawnmowers that can do everything a gas mower can – and in some cases a few extra things, too.
Self-propelled mowers are essentially walk-behind mowers. Unlike push mowers, a self-propelled mower will drive itself forward to lessen the burden and fatigue you may experience while cutting your lawn. You will still need to direct the mower and walk behind it at all times. A typical self-propelled lawn mower features both front and rear wheel drive to suit any garden or grass cutting job. To choose the best self-propelled lawn mower for you, first, take a look at your yard. Do you have a quaint relatively flat lawn, or is your garden practically a small field with uneven terrain and constant weeds? Think about what your lawn needs then consider what features you need your mower to have: variable speed settings, recoil or electric starter, blade override, swivel wheels, and so on
A gas push mower is a gasoline-powered, self-propelled lawnmower. As mentioned above, self-propelled means the mower will push itself forward, ensuring the work is easier to carry out. The gas engine can outperform electric-powered mowers due to its ability to handle larger areas of thick grass and some uneven terrain.
The difference between a riding mower and lawn tractor is the location of the cutting deck, which affects maneuverability of the “vehicle.” On riding mowers, the cutting deck is located under the front of the vehicle, whereas lawn tractors have a mid-mounted cutting deck. For gardens or lawns with trees and shrubs, the front-end location of the cutting deck on riding lawn mowers is more suited as it offers greater maneuverability. To explore the features these mowers provide in more detail, check out Cub Cadet and their extensive range of riding mowers, lawn tractors, and accessories. To learn more about Riding Mower Engines, have a look at Briggs Stratton Riding Mower Engines. Briggs & Stratton manufacture durable, high-performance engines from single-cylinder models to v-twin engines that can power zero-turn mowers and tractors perfect for ultra-large gardens and landscape jobs.
Mulching is the process of cycling freshly cut grass through a lawnmower and re-distributing the grass clippings back onto the lawn. The purpose of mulching, if done correctly, is to provide your lawn with the nutrients and sustenance it needs to flourish. A lawnmower with mulching systems will ensure your lawn is healthier and save you the added expense of fertilizer. So, consider ditching the bag mulching is the more eco-friendly cost-effective way to go.
This really depends on the size of the yard and terrain type. A typical home lawn will take about 30 minutes to mow with an average of 10,000 square feet of turfgrass. A larger model will significantly reduce mowing time, commercial mowers, in particular, can cut 20 square feet a second.
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