To find the best electric lawn mower we ran over 20 hours of backyard 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.
Our favorite (although it was close): the Ego 21-inch, 56V. This mower combines:
- Useful battery features
- Plenty of motor power
- A broad cutting width
- And and excellent choice if you are moving from a grass mower or want to upgrade to a better cordless mower.
That said, today’s cordless mowers provide an excellent and eco-friendly alternative to traditional gas-powered lawn mowers. So check out our top 5 and make sure to read our buyer’s guide before you purchase your next cordless electric mower.
- Our Top Cordless Model Picks
- Top Rated Electric Lawn Mower Test Results and Ratings
- How We Choose And Why You Should Trust Us
- Why You Should Trust Me
- Shopping Guide for Best Electric Mower
- Electric Mowers: Now and Then
- 1 The Top Rated Electric Lawn Mowers for 2019
- 1.1 #1 Ego 21-inch 56V Electric Lawn Mower – Editor’s Choice
- 1.2 Design
- 1.3 Performance
- 1.4 #2 Black & Decker 60v Powerswap – Best Mower for Battery Life
- 1.5 Design
- 1.6 Performance
- 1.7 #3 Worx 24v Powertank – Best Electric Lawn Mower for Small Lawns
- 1.8 Design
- 1.9 Performance
- 1.10 #4 Lawnmaster 60v Electric Lawnmower – Most Customizable Mower
- 1.11 Design
- 1.12 Performance
- 1.13 #5 Greenworks Pro 60v – Most Durable Electric Mower
- 1.14 Design
- 1.15 Performance
- 2 Top Rated Electric Lawn Mower Test Results and Ratings
- 3 How We Choose And Why You Should Trust Our Top Electric Lawnmowers Choices
- 4 Why You Should Trust Me
- 5 Shopping Guide for Best Electric Mower
#1 Ego 21-inch 56V Electric Lawn Mower – Editor’s Choice
- Powerful 56V battery
- Headlights for low-level work
- Lightweight, durable design
- Easy, useful controls
- 21-inch cutting width
- Small grass bag
- Some controls a little flimsy
The Ego 21-inch cordless lawn mower does a little bit of everything, and it’s good at all of it. That 21-inch width is ideal for nearly all home lawns, covering the maximum amount of space without getting too unwieldy in narrow paths or sharp turns.
It also has a largely plastic framework: This is a growing trend among electric lawn mowers (and, increasingly, all mowers), and we’re here to tell you it’s very worthwhile.
The plastic shell is tough enough to endure even rough mowing conditions and tough weather, and it makes the entire lawn mower much lighter, so transportation isn’t an issue. In fact, these plastic mowers are so light that the self-propelled feature isn’t every really necessary – although the Ego model includes this as well, just in case.
The battery design is also top-notch, with a handy drop-down slot that makes it easy to pull out for recharging, and a handy indicator (which we always like to see on mowers).
The 56-volt model also supplies quite a bit of power, which makes this Ego suitable for rougher conditions, and the basic safety key operation is good enough to keep the mower off when necessary. The battery can even power front headlights for work in low-light conditions, something that is rarely seen on consumer mowers.
However, there are two issues we will note with this design. First, if you choose the model with self-propelled features, the activation handle is a little flimsy. This is true of most electric mowers, actually – self-propel handles tend to be weak additions, and while serviceable, the Ego model’s propel feature also suffers from this.
Second, the grass bag is well positioned and easy to empty, but it’s definitely on the small side (rated as “two bushels” which isn’t very helpful to the average homeowner). You’ll have to do regular dumping if you have a sizable lawn.
Those big wheels add a lot of welcome traction to this model, making turning and control a breeze, while the lightweight nature of the Ego model makes for quick work. Add in the six height position options (you don’t usually find more options than that), and it’s hard to find a single thing to complain about.
The battery is rated for an hour of run time, and saw no significant loss of performance in our tests. The rapid charge time promises a full battery in only a few hours, one of the shortest charge times we’ve seen, and it seems to hold to that spec – although you will probably want to charge for longer your first time.
Now, it can be hard to judge the blade performance on a new lawn mower, because the blades are shiny, sharp and ready for action – blade performance takes a year or two of use before you can really tell the full story. But for our review, the blades performed excellently and cut autumn grass without any problems.
Note: The link to purchase this Ego model does not include the battery or the charger. You will have to buy these separately or find a package deal for all of them.
#2 Black & Decker 60v Powerswap – Best Mower for Battery Life
- Powerswap tech for much longer uptime
- Excellent maneuverability
- 20-inch width may be a little small for some
- No self-propelling option
Let’s talk about the most notable aspect of this 20-inch mower, the “powerswap” technology. It’s a particularly smart innovation by Black & Decker that allows you to store two powerful 60V batteries in the mower’s battery chamber.
You can flip between them with a switch in case one starts to run out. Not only are these batteries compact and easy to charge, but they can also help you avoid the dreaded loss of performance when one battery starts to lose juice.
That improvement alone is enough to recommend the Powerswap model, but this lawn mower has other design advantages as well. It’s very easy to assemble, a bit smaller than models like the Ego, and has that durable plastic framework that makes it extra lightweight without sacrificing quality.
It still offers the mulch/discharge/bag option that all top-notch mowers provide, and the grass bag is surprisingly sizable for a mower of this size.
In other words, this is one of the best lawnmower designs we’ve come across, and it may be well worth sacrificing a little bit of cutting width for.
While our top pick, the Ego model, was lightweight and easy to maneuver, this B&D model takes the prize for speediest mowing job.
Real talk: my lawn isn’t exactly easy to mow. There are some weird shaped flowerbed islands, some tight corners, and a significant amount of uphill work.
But this B&D Powerswap mower cut through it all as though it was nothing, showing excellent blade performance and speed (despite no self-propelling option). It barely feels like you are pushing a mower at all.
The mower also comes with “autosense technology, which helps conserve as much power as possible when batteries run low so you don’t lose juice in the middle of a project. In practice, the batteries take around 5-6 hours to charge each for the first time, and shorter periods afterward.
The mower is rated for 1/4 of an acre, which seems pretty small to us. With swapping between batteries, it seems like you could easily mow much more with an uptime well above an hour, but perhaps it’s best to stick with conservative estimates.
Note: That B&D rechargeable battery can also be used in other electric B&D products, if you’d like to keep it in the family!
#3 Worx 24v Powertank – Best Electric Lawn Mower for Small Lawns
- Compact form that’s easy to store
- More power than you’d expect
- Different modes for power or quiet use
- Designed for small yards and shorter mowing tasks
At first glance of the Powertank, you might think, “How cute!” But while this is a small lawnmower, it’s no kid’s model: Instead, it’s designed for a very specific issue that it solves very well – the tiny yard.
You see them all the time behind apartments, in front of townhouses, and in small fenced-in areas by businesses. Those little patches of grass are often too small for large mowers, but they still need to be cut from time to time.
Here is where this 14-inch cordless Worx model really shines. It’s perfect for mowing small spaces, and (despite being able to handle up to 6,000 – 10,000 square feet on a single charge) the design favors these little projects in almost every way.
The grass bag (0.85 bushels) is equipped with a plastic handle for easy dumping, it’s small enough to sneak around trees or shrubs, and the mower is only 33 pounds for easy storage and maneuverability.
Of course, not everyone needs a small mower, even one that can handle mulching, bagging and discharge as necessary. It’s certainly not designed for large yards or lawns that take a lot of work, but it fits in its niche perfectly for people who don’t need a mainstream lawn mower but could use a smaller version to take care of their mini-lawns.
Plus, it folds up quickly for handy storage if you don’t have much room. A well-designed safety key is included, as well.
This Worx model is no slouch! The battery takes only an hour or two to charge, and doesn’t easily run out of juice. In fact, it was a little surprising just how powerful the Worx turned out to be.
There’s a dial on the mower that you can switch between Power and Quiet modes. The Quiet mode is pretty self-explanatory, but the Worx is so quiet anyway that it’s not really necessary unless you want to save battery life. The Power mode, meanwhile, was able to deal with grass, pine needles, and small sticks without breaking a sweat or slowing down.
Basically, if you are uncertain about getting a mini mower for your yard, know that it works even better in practice than it does in theory.
On the downside, the battery is exposed to open air, and has a push button to see the charge indicator, which isn’t that desirable.
#4 Lawnmaster 60v Electric Lawnmower – Most Customizable Mower
- Speed and power customization options
- Lightweight design for easier handling
- Some flimsy design features
- Slightly small 19-inch cutting width
This Lawnmaster model is a jack of all trades that sacrifice some battery life for extra power and can help with pretty much any mowing project, especially if you tend to have long grass or more debris in your yard that needs to be taken care of.
There are seven total height positions, and although the cutting width is only 19-inch, this sizable mower feels like it can take on more.
Functionality includes the expect mulching, bagging and discharge options, but always goes beyond this to allow for power and cutting speed changes. This is the only mower on our list with customization options like this, and they are a welcome feature if you have to mow different types of terrain in one session and want to change how the mower behaves between them.
As for the frame, it’s made of that solid molded plastic that allows for optimal performance while still making the mower lightweight: The Lawnmaster also includes a front handle to make lifting easier if your storage options are a little more complicated.
The drop-in 60V battery charges quite quickly – it took less than two hours to reach a full charge, and there’s a surprising detail “iPower” battery management system to control how your battery charger works with simple buttons right by the handle.
While running, the mower sits close to the ground and has a well-designed blade that can handle fine grass clipping with ease.
No problems with performance here, as this mower is designed to expend a lot of power – with a battery that only lasts 30 – 60 minutes as a result.
However, some parts of operation remain a little puzzling. The battery is fine and the charge indicator easy enough to understand, but the safety key is located in the battery housing, a very odd location that makes it harder to quickly switch the mower off for some momentary maintenance.
#5 Greenworks Pro 60v – Most Durable Electric Mower
- Highly durable
- Excellent cutting performance
- Large wheels for rough terrain
- Poor self-propel option
- Battery is durable but takes time to charge
- Heavier than other models
Let’s say that you aren’t really impressed with these lightweight home mowers. Maybe you have a larger yard that needs more attention, or you are thinking about adding cordless lawn mowers to your landscaping business and need a model that can stand up to a lot of hard use. Greenworks has designed a model just for you! This durable Pro 60v mower is powerful, built to last, and doesn’t shy away from lots of use or tough products.
The extra large wheels make this Greenworks model ideal for navigating over rough terrain when necessary, there’s a self-propel option for faster work, and the large grass bag can hold a lot of clippings before emptying.
However, the durability also creates some issues in other design aspects. The frame is fully metal, which makes this 21-inch mower feel particularly heavy, especially after reviewing some of the lightweight models on our list. It’s no easy task to carry it around. There’s also no safety key feature, which is weird and little disconcerting when it comes to watching out for your fingers.
In most respects, the Greenworks Pro model performs like, well, a pro (and the 4-year warranty is also worth noting). With a large, heavy-duty battery that operates for at least an hour of solid work, you can get plenty of work done with this mower – and the 7 height positions allow you to customize your work for whatever landscape you need.
The handle is also noteworthy for its welcome padding, ideal for longer mowing projects.
However, there are a couple things to note here: That heavy battery may take some extra charge time, especially the first time you charge it – expect a few hours per charge, on average, which could complicate long-term work unless you have a couple interchangeable batteries to use.
Also, we tried the self-propel model, and found the propel option…lacking. The speed adjustments didn’t seem to make much difference, and there was a delay between letting go of the handle and the mower stopping – during which you can’t turn the wheels, which makes the mower difficult to navigate right when you need it most. We suggest you use the self-propel feature sparingly and don’t expect too much.
Top Rated Electric Lawn Mower Test Results and Ratings
|Ego 21-inch 56V||Black&Decker 60v Powerswap||Worx 24v Powertank||Lawnmaster 60v||Greenworks Pro 60v|
|Battery Life||60-100 mins||60-70 mins||40-60 mins||45-60 mins||60-70 mins|
|Construction Material||Weather resistant plastic||Weather resistant plastic||Weather resistant plastic||Weather resistant plastic||Steel|
|Check Price||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price|
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.
Put it all together, and we get a great look at what the mower has to offer!
Why You Should Trust Me
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!
Why You Should Buy an Electric Lawnmower Instead of Gas Mower
In our electric vs. gas section, we cover a lot of points in favor of purchasing a cordless mower: Maintenance and startup are much easier, you aren’t creating any fumes or resulting residue, etc.
However, we want to point a few additional points in favor of buying an electric lawnmower.
√ No Gas To Store
First, you don’t have to buy extra gas or keep it around to top off your tank. It’s not only handy, it can also save you some extra money over time. This also plays into the environmental advantages of using electric mowers (although, of course, you are still using electricity whenever charging the battery).
√ Faster Cut Times
Second, it’s amazing to note just how much faster it is to use an electric mower. Without the refueling and priming, without the pull cord, you can start or stop mowing instantly as needing. It shaves off a surprising amount of time from your mowing routine. On a side note, these mowers also tend to be particularly lightweight, which makes them much, much easier to push and transport than older gas models.
√ Large Yards, No Problem
Third, while we touched on it before, it’s worth noting that today’s cordless mowers are easily capable of handling large yards and even professional projects, as long as you purchase the right model. There are also a number of smaller models that are perfect for tiny yards where buying a gas mower would be a waste. We discuss which of our top models is suited to what task in the review.
Electric vs. Gas Mowers: Electric Wins Every Time
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.
√ Exhaust Fumes From Gas
Gas mowers require a traditional engine with a fuel tank that creates those classic controlled explosions to move the blades. As a result, exhaust fumes are expelled and pollute your (and our) eco system. Not only is this bad for the ozone layer, but you’re inhaling this as you mow.
√ No Fumes from Electric
√ Conversely, cordless electric mowers, meanwhile, use rechargeable batteries, typically the lithium-ion packs found in most rechargeable appliances, to provide juice to electric motors. They don’t put off any noxious gasses.
√ No Trips to the Gas Station, No Flammable to Store
√ Just as fuel is used and must be replaced, batteries lose their charge and must be recharged – but the similarities end there. For one thing, charging a battery is as simple as plugging into the charging mount overnight and then putting it back in the mower. No need to get gas or worry about it combusting.
√ Less Maintenance
Also, the cordless model is much easier to maintain, since you only need to worry about cleaning out dirt and grass – there’s no need to worry about oil levels, fuel leaks, gas spills, or anything else.
√ Ultra Easy Start, Especially if You’re Older Or Have Back Problems
From a practical perspective, there’s also one more important difference: There’s no pull cord on the cordless mower, and no need to rev up the motor when beginning. Starting an electric mower is as simple (and easy if you’re older) as pushing a button.
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.
A Word About Batteries and Replacements
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 one aspect of lawnmower batteries in particular: charge indicators.
- Charge Indicators
- The charge indicator is the light on the mower that shows you, in real time, how much power the battery has left. Most cordless mowers have these – although not all – and they typically have a gradient that shows when the battery charge is getting low, in plain view.
- This is a handy feature that lets you know when it’s time to charge and if you need to recharge after a mowing project – it’s particularly useful when batteries behave unpredictably.
- However, this feature also has its own foibles. On-mower indicators typically use motor performance as a shortcut to measure battery life, so it’s more of an indication of performance.
- Go through a patch of particular thick grass, and you can watch the indicator go down. Move past it, and your battery “charge” will rise because the motor is turning faster now. That can be useful information, but it isn’t a direct look at your battery charge.
- Ultimately, we like charge indicators, but it’s important to understand their limitations.
- Battery Charge Times
- In our reviews, we tested battery charge times and compared them product specifications and claims. However, it’s worth noting that charge times for these batteries can be a little…quirky. Sometimes batteries lose their charge very quickly. Sometimes they charge very slowly and need much longer than indicated time to reach maximum charge. And sometimes they behave normally!
- This used to be more problematic with early cordless mowers when batteries were less refined and charging was hit or miss (sudden battery failure also happened). Today’s more advanced mowers have more reliable batteries with fewer issues, but charging variance still occurs.
- One important factor is the weather and temperature, which can affect how easily a battery builds and holds a charge. Wiring, the quality of the charger, and other factors also play a role. In other words, expect a few surprises.
- Buying new batteries
- If your battery is struggling to hold a charge and no longer provides enough power to effectively mow your lawn, it’s worth it to visit the manufacturer and look up your battery model number.
- Some manufacturers offer replacement batteries that you can buy separately. I have had success with this method in the past, and today’s battery packs are even more buyer friendly.
Electric Lawnmower Top Features To Look For
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 lawn mowers 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, 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.
Electric Mowers: Now and Then
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.
There’s no better time to make the switch! So let’s take a look at these cordless mowers, the top model we reviewed, and the runners-up.