Traditional gas-powered lawn mowers have big footprints, require lots of maintenance, and consume gas and oil. Not only that, gas-powered lawn mowers produce harmful emissions and are quite noisy. Luckily for homeowners, clever innovators use new technology to create the electric lawn mower. It’s as capable as its gas-powered counterparts in crisp, clean cuts, but without the added fuel consumption and loud air and noise pollution. Because of their convenience, eco-friendliness, and minimal maintenance, electric lawn mowers are the best-selling mowers on the market.
There are a plethora of options out there to choose from. This buying guide will explain the benefits of using an them, features to consider when purchasing one, and reviews of the best electric lawn mowers on the market.
|Black & Decker MM2000|
|GreenWorks 25302 Twin Force G-MAX|
|Sun Joe MJ401E Mow Joe|
|Black & Decker MTE912|
|Black & Decker SPCM1936|
|WORX WG775 Lil'Mo|
What are the benefits?
No Fuel Needed
Electric mowers operate via battery or plugged into an electrical socket. Therefore, there’s no need to spend money on fuel, or going back and forth from your home to get some before mowing.
The Environmental Protection Agency estimated that 17 million gallons of gas were accidentally spilled onto lawns in the year 2007. Because electric mowers do not consume fuel, they also do not have any harmful emissions that are created from gasoline combustion. No fuel also means lowering your consumption of natural resources.
The electric motors in these lawn mowers operate very quietly compared to gas-powered ones. Noise from traditional mowers, on average, is at 106 decibels, which can cause damage to your ears. With an electric mower, you won’t have to worry about destroying your ears, and your neighbors won’t mind you mowing early on weekend mornings.
Ease of Use
Electric mowers start with a button, while gas-powered ones require a pull cord. Maintenance includes sharpening the blades occasionally, and for battery-operated ones, recharging the batteries. Meanwhile, traditional mowers require oil changes, engine tune-ups, refueling, and blade sharpening.
What are the Features?
Convinced that you need to buy an electric lawn mower? Finding the best one for you and your household can be challenging. Educate yourself on the features different electric lawn mowers have to offer.
Corded vs. Cordless
Electric lawn mowers fall under two categories: corded or cordless. Cordless mowers are synonymous to battery-powered ones.
A plugged-in mower means you’ll probably need to buy extension cords, so you can mow your entire lawn. Also, when mowing the lawn, a corded mower user must take caution not to trip over or slice the power cord. A corded mower is ideal for those who have an outdoor power source or a smaller lawn.
With battery-powered mowers, you don’t have to worry about accidentally pulling the cord out of the socket or power cords getting in the way of you mowing your lawn. Maneuvering a cordless mower is easy. Buyers should look for an electric mower that has the ability to recharge quickly and has enough power to mow your entire lawn on a single charge.
Some mowers on the market come with several batteries, so you can prolong your mowing time without having to wait to recharge. Also available are mowers with lightweight batters, so you can mow for a long time without feeling fatigued. With cordless mowers, buyers have the option of getting one with a removable battery or an integrated one. Removable batteries don’t hold a charge as well as an integrated battery and are easier to replace.
Deck Size and Cutting Swath
The deck size of a mower is a way of describing the width of the mower’s cutting swath. A wider deck means the mower will cut a lawn with fewer passes, saving on time and electricity used. A mower with a 20” deck size will cut the same lawn in 75% of the time than a mower with a 15” deck. However, a larger deck size doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better.
Larger deck sizes usually means a larger and heavier mower, which takes more human energy to push around the yard. Because the larger mower is cutting through more grass at a time, it will be harder to push. The extra work will drain the battery quicker, so if you have a larger lawn, you must take this into account. A larger mower will also take up more room in your garage or wherever you plan on storing it.
Mowers can shoot grass clippings to the side, collect clippings in a bag, or mulch the clippings back into the lawn. Those that shoot clippings to the side will then need to be raked or swept up after you complete mowing. Clippings collected in a bag means less work for the mower. Mulching is great for the health of your lawn and prevents weeds from taking over. If you’re indecisive or want to have many grass management options from your mower, you can get a mower that has all three options. Of course the mowers with three grass management systems will be more expensive.
Lawn care experts say that you shouldn’t cut your grass to less than 30% of its overall height. Cutting grass shorter than 30% weakens it. Disease is more likely to overcome the grass, and it will be less resilient to hot, dry spells. Therefore, being able to adjust the height of the mower is important.
One method employed by manufacturers is to use a separate lever to adjust each mower’s wheel. This method is difficult because it is hard to gauge when the mower is level. Another method is to have one lever that adjusts the height of all four wheels simultaneously. However, this method is harder to operate. Mowers also come with different height options and range of height. We recommend a mower with four height options minimum and a height range between 1.5 to 4 inches.
Starting Mechanism and Safety Features
Some electric lawn mowers are started with a key and pulling a handle. Others are started using a key and button. Those with a starter handle have an added safety bonus built in. If you let go of the handle, the mower automatically shuts off, minimizing the risk of accidents. Along with that means the added inconvenience of never letting go of the handle while using the mower. Other safety options include guards around the deck to prevent small rocks from the blade spitting out small rocks, inability to adjust the height of the mower while it is in operation, and a rubber flap on the back of the mower to protect the user’s feet from dirt.
Push Type vs. Self-Propelled
Push type mowers need human energy to move the machine. Self-propelled mowers have a motor to push it forward. The second option is more expensive and is great for thick grass or if you need a mower with a wide deck. Self-propelled mowers saves your back and legs from physical strain. Push type mowers are great for smaller lawns and have fewer parts, so the potential for breakdowns and additional maintenance is reduced.
Warranty & Support
Whether or not your mower is functioning, your grass needs to get cut. Therefore, high-quality customer support is essential for any lawn mower owner. Some companies are better at timely email and phone support, and others offer convenient service center locations.
Top 10 Electric Lawn Mower Reviews
Electric lawn mowers are eco-friendly alternatives to gas-powered mowers. They are quieter, require little maintenance, but cut just as efficiently as traditional lawn mowers. Buying a mower does not have to be stressful, use these reviews and the above features to find the right electric lawn mower for your lawn’s needs.
GreenWorks 25142 10 Amp Corded 16” Review
The GreenWorks 25142 has a 10 Amp motor that has enough power to cut through tough grass. It features a 16” cutting deck, 2-in-1 mulching and rear discharge capabilities, a 5-position height adjustment with a cutting height range from 7/8” to 2 ¾”, single-lever height adjustment, 7” rear wheels and 6” front wheels, a fold-down handle for simple and convenient storage, easy cord management with cord lock feature, and is just 39 lbs with minimal assembly.
This mower doesn’t have a huge deck, so it’s great for those with small yards. It is small and lightweight, which makes it useful in narrow areas, or areas with many obstacles. The difference in wheel height works well with uneven lawns. The only assembly required is tightening the handle. The cutting deck is made of a composite, which will last longer than steel ones (rust). Cutting heigh adjustment is quick and painless. This GreenWorks 25142 is able to cut tall grass and weeds. However, it has issues cutting wet grass. The blades audibly slow down and the motor starts to make more noise.
Black & Decker MM2000 13 Amp Corded 20” Review
The Black & Decker MM2000 is powered with a 13 Amp motor. It features a 20” EdgeMax cutting deck for close to the edge cutting with 3-in-1 mulching, bagging and side discharge capabilities, and a single lever height adjuster with 7 height settings from 1.5 to 4 inches.
This mower is fairly portable, very comfortable, easy to operate and highly versatile with its 3-in-1 grass management systems. It has a fairly wide cutting radius of 20 inches and a very large capacity grass collection bag, However, the range of operation is only 0.25 to 0.5 acres due to its cord. This mower doesn’t operate well on uneven terrain and has a high power consumption which translates to a large electricity bill. In addition, assembly requires some technical skill, which might mean the buyer may need to hire a qualified technician.
Earthwise 50220 12 Amp Corded 20” Review
The Earthwise 50220 is powered by a 12 Amp motor. It features a 20” blade, 7” front wheels, 9.5” rear wheels, a V-shaped handle with cushioned grips, 3-in-1 mulching, bagging and side discharge capabilities, and a single-lever height adjuster with height settings from 1.5 to 4 inches.
This mower is easy to assemble, with most users completing the task in 15 minutes. It can handle moderate-sized lawns pretty well. The handles, modeled after the handles found on gym equipment are extremely comfortable. The Earthwise 50220 has good cut quality, however, the motor is not strong enough to cut through heavy patches, or if it’s pushed beyond 3,500 RPM.
GreenWorks 25022 12 Amp Corded 20” Review
The GreenWorks 25022 is powered by a 12 Amp motor. It features a 20” cutting deck, 7” front wheels, 10” rear wheels, a foldable handle, 3-in-1 mulching, bagging and side discharge capabilities, and 7 height settings from 1.5 to 3.75 inches. This machine weighs 56 lbs.
This mower is great for small to medium-sized lawns. It is lightweight, ergonomic and comfortable in design. The difference in wheel height is great for maneuverability. This mower comes with a 4-year warranty, longer than most electric lawn mowers made by other companies. However, the GreenWorks 25022 does not come with a long cable, so purchasing a long extension cord is recommended. Also, service centers may be inconveniently located far from your home.
GreenWorks 25302 Twin Force G-MAX 20” 40V
The GreenWorks 25302 is powered by two 40V G-MAX 4 AH Li-ion batteries for up to 90 minutes of runtime. It features a 20” cutting deck, innovative SMART CUT technology, dual blades, an automatic battery switchover, 5 position single level height adjuster with a height range of 1 3/8 to 3 3/8 inches, 2-in-1mulching and rear bagging capabilities, 7” front wheels, 10” rear wheels. This lawn mower weighs only 42.5 lbs.
This mower is not self-propelled, but it is light and agile. The two battery capability is great for larger jobs, and the battery is quite powerful. However, the safety rubber that acts as a toe guard is too flexible. It may turn inwards when the mower is moving backwards, which can injure your toe. The GreenWorks 25302 does not work well on tall grass.
Sun Joe MJ401E 12 Amp 14”
The Sun Joe MJ401E is powered by a 12 Amp motor. It features a 14” cutting width, a rear bag discharge, and a 3 position height adjuster with a height range from 1.18 to 2.52 inches. This mower weighs only 29 lbs.
This machine is extremely easy to assemble. It’s very lightweight, so it’s easy to maneuver. The Sun Joe MJ401E is user-friendly, and its small and compact design allows better access to hard-to-reach areas and easy storage. However, this mower has small front and rear wheels (6”) which does not work well in rough or muddy terrain. The frame is made of plastic, which is not durable. The accompany grass bag is small, so you’ll have to empty it often. Lastly, the manual fails to aid the user on how to adjust the height, and the assembly instructions are unclear.
Earthwise 50214 8 Amp 14”
The Earthwise 50214 is powered by an 8 Amp motor. It features a 14” cutting deck, 2-in-1 mulch and side discharge capabilities, and a single-level height adjuster with a cutting height range from 1.5 to 4 inches. This machine weighs in at 36 lbs.
Assembly of this mower is fairly straightforward and should take up to 15 minutes maximum. The cutting deck is small, so it’s a good choice for users with small lawns. This mower is made of plastic, so it’s not as durable.
Black & Decker MTE912 6.5 Amp 12”
The Black & Decker MTE 912 is powered by a 6.5 Amp motor. It features a 12” cutting deck, and a cutting height range from 1.5 to 2.4 inches. This machine is 3 tools in 1, converting from mower, trimmer, and edger.
This 3-in-1 tool has an automatic string feeder which makes sure the string is at the right length without bumping the trimmer or having to stop to adjust the length. The tool is compact, so it doesn’t have a large footprint. The trimmer and edger works great. However, this tool does not mow well and has no mulching capabilities.
Black & Decker SPCM1936 19” 36V Cordless
The Black & Decker SPCM1936 is powered by a 36V removable battery. It features a 19” deck size, 3-in-1 mulching, rear bagging and side discharge capabilities, a height range of 1.5 to 3.5 inches, and is self-propelling. This mower weighs 92 lbs.
The machine comes mostly pre-assembled, and takes the user an additional 10 minutes to finish putting it together. It’s great for uneven ground. The battery life is about one hour, so if it takes you longer to cut your lawn, you should look into another mower. Replacement batteries aren’t cheap, so keep that in mind.
WORX WG775 Lil’Mo 14” 24V Cordless
The WORX WG775 is powered by a 24V lead acid battery. It’s deck size is 14” and features 3-in-1 discharge capabilities, and a cutting height range from 1.8 to 3.3 inches. The machine weighs 32 lbs.
This mower is best suited for small lawns due to its small deck size and battery life and for women and the elderly due to its ease of use and maneuverability. This machine is also great as a second mower for larger yards that has small spaces where larger mowers can’t get to. The WORX WG775 is not great on uneven ground.
Electric lawn mowers save the environment, your aural health, and your wallet. There are many types of electric mowers on the market. When considering an electric mower, keep in mind features such as corded vs. cordless, deck size, cutting swath, grass management, height adjustment, starting mechanism, safety features, push type vs. self-propelled, warranty, support and pricing. With this buying guide and reviews, you will be well-informed when choosing the best electric lawn mower for you and your lawn needs.