You’re probably seeing a lot more electric lawnmower models when you visit the local hardware store. Electric mowers were first thought to be fads, but the technology has consistently improved and many consumers are finding these mowers easier and cheaper to use while still providing the plush, even lawn we all seek.
Why go with electric?
Many electric lawn mower companies advertise themselves as green products. While this is certainly a benefit, there are other reasons an electric lawn mower can be a great investment.
For one, you never have to buy a can of gas again. This means no last minute runs to the gas station, no more fuel stench and no more pollution from the exhaust. You’ll also be saving money, since a corded or cordless electric lawn mower is much cheaper to run. Of course, all of this energy saving and reduced pollution is good for the environment.
Secondly, if you’ve ever owned a gas lawn mower, you know the maintenance that comes along with it. From oil and air filter changes to spark plug maintenance and replacement, gas-powered mowers can be quite the hassle. An electric lawn mower saves headache, time and money. You also won’t be stuck carefully fine tuning the adjustments of a gas mower, which can be quite fickle. No more endless cord-pulling!
A third benefit is that electric lawnmowers are much quieter. You’ll never have to worry about bothering the neighbors or waking up the baby with an early Saturday morning lawn care regimen. This also means you can comfortably enjoy some music through your earphones or keep an ear out for kids and pets.
Which electric mower should I choose?
The first thing you need to decide on is a corded or cordless mower. There are pros and cons to each.
Cordless Electric Lawn Mower
When people first look for an electric mower, they tend to gravitate toward the cordless models. After all, these look and function like the gasoline mowers they’re used to. However, don’t be too quick to settle based on a passing familiarity.
Cordless mowers are great for smaller yards. They typically use a 24-volt or 36-volt rechargeable battery. The batteries can take up to an average of 12 hours to charge. This means you have to plan and remember the night before to charge the battery. There’s no running to the store to get fuel. If you forget, you just have to wait.
We say these are excellent for small yards because of their runtime. These batteries last, on average, around 1 hour. A medium-sized yard can also be completed, as long as you’re efficient in your movement. Plan out your mower path beforehand to maximize the acreage you can cover. You may also want to buy an extra battery so you can swap out and keep going.
Corded Electric Lawn Mower
A corded mower is powered by an extension cord, so make sure you have one if it’s not included as part of a mower kit. Corded mowers have no restrictions on when or how long you can use them, but the length of your extension cord will tell you how far away you can go.
Once you get the hang of managing a dragging cord, you’ll find there’s no real difference in functionality. Corded mowers are really no different than corded hedge trimmers and other similar lawn care tools. A bit of practice at cord management the first few times is all you need.
Top 6 Best Electric Lawn Mower Reviews
1. Sun Joe Mow Joe 14-Inch 12 Amp Electric Lawn Mower Review
The Sun Joe is another corded 12 amp electric lawnmower with a simple push button starter. The 14” blade makes this a compact mower that’s easy to get into small spaces, along fences, and around tight landscaping curves. The bag holds 10.6 gallons of clippings, and the snap-close plastic top keeps everything in place until you’re ready to remove it. The cutting height can be adjusted to three heights between 0.8” to 2.4”. This Sun Joe model is an ultra-light 28 pounds, and takes less than 10 minutes to assemble out of the box.
2. BLACK+DECKER CM1640 40V MAX 16-Inch Cordless Electric Lawn Mower Review
This was our top cordless electric lawn mower. The 40V battery can last for 1/3 of an acre. This one, like the GreenWorks model, has a 3-in-1 feature that allows you to bag, discharge or mulch your clippings. The Black & Decker is the only model in our top three features a variable speed, self-propelled system to help maneuver the 38 pound mower so you can get the work done faster and more efficiently. For storage convenience, the entire mower folds in half, with the handle bars folding down to the base. You can even store the mower in the vertical position with the wheels against the wall to really save on space. The mowing height can be adjusted from 1.5” to 3.5”
3. GreenWorks 25022 12 Amp 20-Inch 3-in-1 Electric Lawn Mower Review
This mower is ideal for average-sized lawns. It is safe, easy to operate, and made of high quality materials. It is a powerful, efficient, and durable machine, packed with 12 Amp motor, capable of mowing your lawn in no time.
It also features a cord lock system, which prevents the cord from disconnecting while in use. This makes the job faster and more efficient. This 25022 mower from GreenWorks has a cutting width of 20 inches, 10-inch rear wheels, and 7-inch front wheels. This remarkable dimension provides better maneuverability even on tight surfaces, allowing you to complete the job with much fewer passes.
The GreenWorks 25022 mowers also feature a single lever, 7-height position adjustable handlebars. The handlebars are particularly designed so that users can stand more comfortably, even with the bag in between the handles. Its compact design and foldable handles provide easy storage even in limited spaces.
4. Black and Decker BEMW482BH 17-Inch 12 amp Electric Lawn Mower Review
This efficient, economical, and powerful electric mower provides hassle-free operation to achieve a well-manicured lawn in no time. It offers one key start system, which means you do not have to strain your arms pulling strings or deal with messy oil and gas. It comes with an 17-inch cutting blade, side discharge, and an optional side bag assembly.
This mower will always look new and polished, owing to the rustproof polymer deck. Upon purchase, assembling the parts of the mower is so easy, allowing you to start mowing almost immediately. The one-touch height adjustment also comes very useful when pushing the mower around, allowing you to adjust the height comfortably, up to 3.5 inches. Its working path is a wide 17 inches, allowing you to maneuver through a 100-foot range efficiently.
5. WORX WG775 Lil’Mo 14-Inch 24-Volt Cordless Lawn Mower Review
This cord-free electric start lawn mower will make you forget that mowing is a difficult chore. It features an intuitive control system that will allow you to keep an attractive, well-manicured lawn in swiftly and efficiently, and in a matter that you will enjoy. It is packed with 3-in-1 power, making mulching, bagging, and discharging of waste, a lot easier.
Mowing would be a breeze as you push this electric mower through a powerful 24-volt battery that has the capacity to run up to 30 minutes and mow an area of around 6,000 square feet with every charge. The unique power level indicator will tell you when to charge the battery. When charging, you do not need to bring the entire mower to the main power source as the batteries can be completely removed.
Without the cord to worry about, you can bring the mower at any point of the yard. The ergonomically-designed handle of this mower allows you to push it easily across the yard, and to adjust the height of the all the wheels, simultaneously.
6. Snapper XD 82V MAX Electric Cordless 19-Inch Lawn Mower Review
The Snapper XD 82V lawn mower is a made of heavy duty steel. This ensures that your mower can last for a very long time. It can handle almost any type of lawn, making it a safe and convenient tool to maintain your lawn. In no time, you can have a well-manicured lawn. Its 19-inch cutting path allows you to make only a few passes to get things done.
This mower comes with 9-inch rear wheels and 7-inch front wheels, allowing you to navigate easily even through tough lawn terrains. The ergonomically-designed V handle allows you to have greater control for better maneuverability. Its powerful 82V Lithium ion 2.0Ah Battery(2) delivers steady performance, without worrying about a messy cord.
Features to Consider
Hopefully our electric lawn mower reviews have narrowed down your options and saved you from a lot of guesswork. If you’re looking for more information on specific features, read on to learn more about the various features you’ll find in the best electric lawn mower.
Self-Propel & Variable Speed
The heavier the motor, the more carefully you’ll want to consider a self-propel feature. Luckily, most manufacturers account for this and add self-propelling to any mower over 60 to 70 pounds.
If you do get a self-propelled electric lawnmower, consider one with a variable speed. There’s nothing more frustrating than fighting with a mower that is too fast or too slow for you.
Corded or Battery?
We discussed in the introduction some of the things you’ll need to think about when choosing between a corded or cordless electric lawn mower. Just remember, most corded mowers do not come with a full cord. They will include a cord about one foot long. You’ll need to purchase a separate extension cord that is rated for outdoor use.
Make sure you get a cord that is rated to handle the electric load. Generally, you want to look for a gauge rating that matches or exceeds the amp rating. For instance, a 14 gauge cord can handle a 14 amp motor, but a 14 gauge cord is not safe for a 15 amp motor.
If you choose a battery-powered mower, consider how long the battery takes to charge (usually at least 12 hours). Is the battery removable, or do you have to plug in the entire mower? Know about how long the battery lasts. This is usually rated as run time in hours or as a “cutting area” listed in acres.
You can get most of this information from the voltage listed, at least for comparison’s sake. A 36 volt battery is very powerful and will usually have a long runtime, but it will take longer to charge up than a 24 volt battery.
Again, you may wish to consider purchasing a back-up battery.
Cutting Area (by acre)
For a cordless electric lawnmower, the cutting area depends on your battery life and how efficiently you use your mower. Some can go 1/4 of an acre (or 10890 square feet), while others can go up to 1/3 of an acre (or 14375 square feet).
Your cutting area may also be influenced by the width of the cutting blade. A 14” blade needs more passes per 100 linear feet than a 24” blade.
How to Start
While the best electric lawn mower in our reviews featured a push to start button, many models still use a pull handle. If you are considering a push to start, know that they all come with a safety mechanism to prevent accidental starts. This may mean you have to occasionally restart the mower during use, although this is always fast and easy to do.
Rear Bag & Mulching Insert
When you see 3-in-1 electric mowers, this is telling you the three ways you can deposit the clippings of grass. Most mowers will include a bag to collect the clippings. You simply remove the bag and open the top to dispose of the grass clippings however you see fit. When you’re looking to do a large yard with a bagged mower, make sure to check the capacity of the bag. You don’t want to end up stopping and returning to the garage to dump grass every 10 minutes. A good bag capacity will be at least 8 gallons.
With a side or rear disposal, the mower will deposit the cut grass straight back onto the lawn. This is generally used for quick mulching, but a heavy, dense layer of cut grass can smother the healthy grass underneath it.
Generally, you’ll want to use a mulching feature. With a mulching attachment, the mower will clip the grass from the ground then hold it within the base to repeatedly chop the clippings into finer pieces. This is then deposited to the side or behind the mower to serve as mulch.
Why is this important? Well, grass clippings can return up to 25% of the fertilizer your lawn needs with its nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus returning back to the soil. The decomposing clippings also provide food for the helpful bacteria in the soil that provide for a healthy lawn.
Note that just because your mower says it features 3-in-1 does not mean it includes all the necessary parts for the mulching process. They may tell you in fine print that you have to buy the mulching accessory separately. What they really mean is that it is 3-in-1 capable.
Many electric lawn mowers, even if you buy them in store, come neatly packaged in a cardboard box. This, of course, means some assembly is required. For some units, it’s a simple as attaching the handlebars. For others, you may need to carefully attach the blade, wheels, and other parts. All of our top electric lawn mower reviews focused on easy assembly that took less than 10 minutes.
Height Adjustment for Grass
You’ll want to have adjustable height for cutting your grass. In general, a healthier lawn is on the long side. This is because grass that is cut too short will restrict its roots to conserve water. Fewer roots and less extensive root networks leads to unhealthy turf. Still, some people simply like a closely cropped lawn, so the adjustability helps maintain the health of your grass when it really needs it.
Height Adjustment for User
Speaking of height adjustment, the best lawn mower models have adjustable handles so any user can comfortably mow, whether they’re 5 feet or 7 feet tall.
Believe it or not, you can tell a lot about the ease-of-use of a mower by its wheels. Taller and wider back wheels with shorter and thinner front wheels will give you better maneuverability. Typically, a good start is a 10” rear wheel and a 7” front wheel.
Ask yourself how and where you plan to store your mower. Some models, like the Black & Decker, can fold and be stored vertically between objects. Others will need a bit more room.
The weight may also be a factor in storage. Most electric lawn mowers weigh between 30 and 100 pounds.
Any major purchase should come with at least a one year warranty. Many electric lawn mower manufacturers, under the assumption that consumers use their mowers for only half the year, will provide a two year warranty.