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. That said, today’s electric lawnmowers provide an excellent and eco-friendly alternative to traditional gas-powered lawn mowers.
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.
- 1 Top 5 Best Electric Lawn Mowers Compared
- 2 How We Choose And Why You Should Trust Our Top Electric Lawnmowers Choices
- 3 Why You Should Trust Me
- 4 Shopping Guide for Best Electric Mower
Top 5 Best Electric Lawn Mowers Compared
#1 Greenworks 25022 Electric Mower – Top Pick/Best CordedWHY 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.
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.
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.
#2 Sun Joe MJ401E-PRO – Honorable Mention/Best for Small YardsWHY 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.
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 into your trash once you’re done.
#3 American Lawn Mower 50514 – Best BudgetWHY 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.
#4 Greenworks 25322 – Best ValueWHY 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.
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. 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.
#5 Snapper XD MAX – Best CordlessWHY 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.
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!
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!
Shopping Guide for Best Electric Mower
Electric vs. Gas Mowers: Why You Should Buy an Electric Lawnmower Instead of Gas Mower
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.
- 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.
- 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 a few aspects of lawnmower batteries.
- 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 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.
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.