Top 10 Best Electric Lawn Mowers Reviewed In 2017
Looking for the best Electric Lawn Mower? Read our in-depth electric lawn mower reviews, comparison charts and top picks for 2017 to help you make the right buying decision.
Lawn mowers are an essential item for any home. For those who don’t want to invest in a gasoline or a riding lawn mower, there are many electric types that can be purchased. Each has their advantages and disadvantages that make them either worth your time or a waste of it. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the seven best electric lawnmowers of 2017.
What sets this electric lawnmower apart from others like them on the market today? There are many different features and benefits that highlight them and their unique potential. So if you have ever seen any of the following electric lawn mowers for sale or otherwise need a great model that is perfect for your needs, consider any of these choices.
№1 – Black & Decker MM2000 13-Amp Corded Mower
Those looking for a light and powerful mower will find the BLACK Plus DECKER MM2000 suitable for their lawn maintenance. This electric walk-behind push lawn mower features a 20-inch broad cutting path, and it is not only efficient in mowing grass, but it can also cut the edges of flower bends and fencing, which is made possible by the innovative EdgeMax deck design. Also featured are 13-gallon nylon grass collection bag, an ultra-powerful 13 Ah motor, and a convenient handle.
№2 – Earthwise 50120
Earthwise 50120 is a three-in-one electric lawn mower that has easy controls that enable you to choose between mulching, bagging or side discharge. It features a powerful 12-amp electric motor, a 20-inch cord, a foldable Comfort “V” handle with cushion grip, smooth roll composite wheels (7-inch front wheels and 8-inch rear wheels), as well as a single lever height control.
№3 – GreenWorks 25012
If you have uneven terrain, this powerful electric lawnmower will do a thorough job. It comes with 7” front and rear wheels that enable the mower to navigate tough terrains easily. You can also expect it cut through tough grass and be quick about it as it is powered by a 12 amp electric motor. This two-in-one mower comes with mulching as well as side discharging capabilities. It also features a total of 7 position height adjustment which allows it to cut all types of grass. Also featured is an 18-inch cutting deck made of durable steel.
№4 – Earthwise 50214
Earthwise 50214 is a two-in-one lawn electric mower that mulches and side discharges. It comes with a 14-inch cord, 5.5-inch front wheels, and 6.5-inch rear wheels, regulating Comfort “V” handle with cushion grip and single lever height adjustment. This mower is an ideal choice for small lawns, yards, and flower gardens.
№5 – BLACK+DECKER EM1500
This is another great lawn mower from BLACK + DECKER that is designed for corded power and cutting efficiency for convenient lawn care. It comes with a grass bag that collects up to 25 percent more grass, and it features the edge max design that allows for edge cutting, while its low profile design allows for easy access under shrubs and obstacles. This mower is ideal for lawns of as much as 3,760 sq. ft.
№6 – GreenWorks 25142
GreenWorks 25142 corded mower features a 10 amp electric motor that is powerful enough to cut through tough grass. It features a 16-inch cutting deck that is quite durable. Also featured are 6” front wheels and 7” rear wheels that allow for easy navigation through tough terrain. Has five position height adjustment options that provide a range of cutting height adjustments, thus is capable of cutting different grass types. This lawn mower is perfect for small to medium-sized yards.
№7 – GreenWorks 27022
With a powerful 10 amp motor, this electric lawn mower is a perfect dethatcher that accomplishes tasks in record time. It has a 14-inch-sized deck and features 3-position tine depth adjustment that gives more control by eliminating matted layers to enhance continued lawn health. The stainless steel tines it comes with stay sharp for a long time. Also featured is an ergonomic, adjustable handle that boosts user comfort during mowing.
№8 – BLACK+DECKER MTE912
The efficient and high-quality tool has three functions – it acts like a lawn mower, edger, and string trimmer. It features a 6.5 amp motor and features the AFS automatic feed system that makes it possible for mowing to go on continuously. This mower is available in two versions – corded version and cordless version. This 12-inch edger/trimmer also features a gear-driven transmission that enables it to maintain a constant speed that doesn’t bog down when trimming.
№9 – GreenWorks 25022
GreenWorks 25022 is a 3-in-1 lawn mower that provides several options for grass cuttings, including mulching, side discharge, and rear bagging. It features a 7-position height adjustment which allows for all types of grass to be clipped efficiently. It comes with 7-inch front wheels and 10-inch rear wheels that enable the mower to navigate uneven and rough train.
№10 – GreenWorks 25112
With a robust 13 amp electric motor, this mower is sure to get any job done efficiently. Its 12” cutting deck is made of durable steel and ensures that the mowing process takes less time. It has the 3-in-1 feature that allows for several grass management options including mulching, side discharging, as well as rear bagging. It features 7” front wheels and 10” rear wheels, which means that it can maneuver any terrain.
How to buy the best lawn mower – which?
Lawn mowers can come with a number of features. We explain what each one does below. At the very least, look out for metal blades, which will be able to cut cleanly through grass. A large grass box can be really useful if you don’t mow that often, while a roller will give a traditional striped finish to your lawn.
A grass collector is a cloth bag or plastic box that holds the grass clippings created by your mower. A big grass collector saves numerous trips to the compost heap. A window in the top, or an indicator to tell you when it’s full, is also useful, but a lot of them don’t work particularly well.
With hand-push mowers, the grass collector is open and relies on the rotating blades to throw clippings into it. We’ve found that a lot of these types of grass collectors don’t work very well at all.
Lawn mower cutting height
This is simply the height above the ground that the lawn mower will cut the grass. A lawn mower with a wide cutting range (eg from 12-70mm) is useful if you have to cut more than one lawn of different qualities, or different heights at different times of the year. If you want to cut a fine ornamental (bowling green) lawn, look for a minimum cut of around 13mm.
A single height adjuster is easier than adjusting each wheel in turn. With the cheapest lawn mowers, you have to remove and replace each wheel, or in the case of hover mowers, remove the blade and add or remove spacers, which is fine if you rarely change the cutting height.
Choosing your lawnmower by power typeThere are several types of lawnmower to consider:
Cylinder mowers uses a series of blades at the front of the lawnmower that rotate against a fixed bottom blade, making them perfect for level lawns and really fine, short cuts such as those found in ornamental gardens. They’re available as electric, petrol-powered and hand-pushed models, and come with a variety of cutting widths. However, cylinder-mown lawns do need more regular mowing to keep it looking great.
These are the most versatile type of mower as they’re able to cope with different types of lawn, such as rougher areas of grass and sloping banks. Rotary mowers use blades that rotate horizontally at the chosen cutting height, and are available as either electric or petrol-driven models. They’re the best choice for keeping a normal family garden perfectly trimmed, and are able to deal with longer grass if you don’t cut the lawn on a regular basis.
As the name suggests, this type of lawnmower hovers just above the grass. Hover mowers are rotary mowers that float on a cushion of air, they can be extremely lightweight to push and their easy maneuverability makes them ideal if your garden features curved edges, borders or flower beds.
These can be petrol-powered lawnmowers or battery powered lawnmowers. Cordless battery lawnmowers are growing in popularity due to the performance improvements and lower costs of lithium ion batteries. Petrol lawnmowers offer the power and range benefits of an engine, and with the additional power available they can also be self-propelled which makes it easier to push them on large lawns.
Bear in mind that there are hundreds of producers competing for space in the market. Thus, some may go the extra mile to sell their products. Some might even give false information and pay for positive reviews about their products; not to mention that some brands are renowned manufacturers of defective products. To this end, you must carry out a thorough investigation by reading numerous customers reviews online. This way, you can at least, minimize the risk of being a victim of defective products.
Most electric lawn mowers have either rechargeable lead-acid batteries or lithium-ion batteries. Go for a mower with fast charging battery and enough power to mow a large lawn. Also, don’t forget that there are some mowers with double batteries for longer mowing time. This should be your priority.
No sane man would want to throw his money into a moving stream. It is a fact that like all other machines, electric lawn mowers can easily get faulty before you say “The Hail Mary!” Therefore, ensure that the mower you are purchasing has relatively good warranty coverage, good rapport and quick customer support from the manufacturer’s end view. Otherwise, take cover! The Germans are coming!
Does it matter how big or overgrown my lawn is?
It really does – not every lawn mower will cope with longer grass or larger lawns. The first and most important thing to consider before buying any lawn mower is the area you’re going to use it in and the type and length of grass you’re intending to cut. Think of your lawn as a standard tennis court; if it’s roughly that size, then it’s considered a medium-sized lawn. Any smaller, it’s a small lawn; any bigger, it’s a large lawn. And if you’re the kind of person who can’t be bothered to mow your lawn once a week, then it pays to buy a lawn mower that’ll cope with longer grass – which we’ll discuss further below.
So, what different types of lawn mower are there?
There are generally three different types of lawn mower, and each has their plus and minus points:
Cylinder Mowers have cylindrical blades that rotate vertically at the front of the mower – they work by cutting against a bottom blade which is fixed. These can give a great, close-cut finish, but they rely on a perfectly level lawn to give good results – they’re useless for bumpy lawns or longer grass.
Then there are Rotary Mowers that have a single blade which rotates horizontally underneath the main body of the mower. These will cope with longer grass and bumpier lawns, but they’re not capable of giving the consistent, super-short cut of Cylinder mowers. These are the best option for most people, however.
Lastly there are Hover Mowers. These also have rotary blades but work by creating a cushion of air between the mower and the lawn. That makes them ideal for awkward-shaped lawns as they can be manoeuvred left and right as well as backwards and forwards, and they’re easier to push up or down slopes too.
Petrol, electric, cordless or push: which is best?
If you’ve got a really small patch then you may want to consider a Push Mower. You simply push these along under your own strength, and they can give a great, close finish, but are only really suitable for tiny, flat lawns unless you want a back-breaking workout.
If your lawn is a little bigger, then think about a Cordless Mower. These are battery-powered and generally cost more than their electric-powered counterparts, but they provide enough cutting time to cover smaller lawns and are less effort than manual push mowers.
Electric Mowers are powered straight from the mains and are generally better for small or medium lawns. Make sure you check how long the cable is before buying though, or you’ll need to spend extra on a suitable extension cable (note that this needs to be rated to a high enough amperage for safety purposes).
If you’ve got a really big lawn that’s too big for a cable, then you’re probably best going for a Petrol Mower. These are much more powerful but do bare in mind that they require servicing every year or so like a car.
The power source of your chosen lawn mower will generally be dependent on the size of the lawn you plan on cutting. Typically the larger the lawn the more power you will require, so petrol or robotic lawnmowers are the preferred option.
When selecting a lawnmower, larger gardens will require a machine with more power to cope with the extra demands. Electric mowers are designed to cut grass when it’s dry and when the grass is reasonably short. Cutting wet, long grass can strain your lawnmowers motor and cause it to burn out. It is also not advisable for safety reasons.
The power of all electric lawnmowers is measured in watts. Typically, the higher the wattage – the more power the machines has, therefore the better its performance, however this is not always the case.
The Benefits of Going Electric
As you can see already, there are numerous benefits to using an electric lawn mower. Let’s see what they are:
Economical: Yes, they are a bit more expensive price-wise than a gas mower, but the money you save from no maintenance or upkeep more than compensates and puts money in your pocket in the long run. All you need to do is care for the blades every season- no gas or oil to use, making it a no-fuss machine that puts money back in your pocket.
Efficient: Electric mowers are easy to use. No filling tanks or struggling to get it started. Just plug it in and start mowing. Oh, and there’s also the cordless option: just charge the battery overnight and you’re ready to mow by morning.
Environmentally Sound: Going electric lets you do your part for our environment and not add potentially noxious chemicals to the atmosphere. Not to mention your neighbors will sing you praises for not having to smell gas every time they step outside.
Petrol lawnmowers are generally more expensive than electric mowers. Petrol lawnmowers should be purchased when you plan on cutting larger gardens or gardens that may have longer grass. One benefit of a petrol mower is that they are cordless and are not constraint to where any power cables can reach. The downside however, is that you will need to add fuel and oil to your machine which has its own challenges. The power of petrol mowers is measured in CC’s and the higher the CC rating, the more power the machine has.
These are becoming increasingly popular in previous years. Battery lawn mowers no only provide your with the benefits of a petrol lawnmower i.e. they are free of cables, but they have the benefit of being quiet like an electric lawn mower too.
What other features should I look out for?
One important thing to consider is what will happen to your grass cuttings after they’ve been cut. Many mowers will come with a clippings bag or box, but make sure to compare the sizes between the models you’re thinking of buying – if you don’t have easy access to your compost bin (if your council provides one) then bigger clipping bags will minimise the number of trips you’ll need to make back and forth.
Is weight of a mower important?
User also has to pay attention to the weight of a mower. Electric mower is usually lighter than gasoline mower, but more batteries typically mean more weight, so finding adequate ratio between weight and area of cutting up on a single charge is preferable. Lighter mowers are usually more maneuverable and easier to work with.
Grass handling systems
Electric lawn mowers normally have push-button starting. Newer models offer better technologies of mowing such as mulching or patented IntelliCut technology which makes sure that power is there when it is needed – mowing high grass or mulching leaves will be no problem anymore because Power or Quiet setting does its job.
In this case of a patented IntelliCut technology, Power setting is for mowing higher and thicker grass or in heavier conditions while the Quiet setting is for normal conditions.
Models also differ in grass handling systems. Some of them offer basic discharge to the side or rear discharge. This could be helpful because it creates healthier grass environment but if someone prefers cleaner lawn with less or no dry and waste grass then buying a mower that has rear grass bag is a good solution.
Dealing with a full bag of grass could be extra work, but great compost could be made out of it. Grass bags come in various forms and volumes. On the other hand, more spacious bag is not always a better bag because more space also presents more weight while mowing.
Better models have more-in-one grass handling system that mulches, discharges to the side or bags grass.
The size of your patch
“The most important consideration is the size of your lawn,” says Dean Speake of Handy Distribution. “Think of it as a tennis court” – a full-size tennis court would be a medium sized garden, half and less is a small garden.
A small garden would be mowable with either a hand push or electric mower. Medium and larger lawns might need a motor but with a large garden the awkwardness of an electric wire trailing behind you could steer you towards a cordless electric or petrol machine. If the power cable is not an issue then make sure it is long enough to extend to the end of the garden.
There are several main types to choose from. Cylinder mowers have a rotary blade at the front of the machine which cuts the grass in a scissor motion. These work best on frequently cut lawns, and struggle more on damp/longer grass or uneven surfaces. They tend to be the most expensive. Hover mowers can be effective on uneven surfaces, on smaller or sometimes medium sized gardens as well as irregularly shaped lawns. You can get ones that either collect the grass or just redistribute the clippings on the lawn for you to rake later. “They are very effective for ones with overhanging shrubs,” says Speake; they are also usually cheaper than electric cylinder and rotary models. Heavier machines can, however, make your arms ache if you have a large lawn. Rotary machines have a blade that rotates underneath the mower. The machine is on wheels and often have a rear roller, leaving the stripe effect seen on many football pitches. Speake says: “You need to have a flat lawn for the stripes to look good. A machine with a roller is also useful because you can go to the very limits of the lawn, cutting the edges.”
A central element of the lawn mower. Mostly it’s made of plastic, steel, and aluminum. Housing material is one of the things that affects the price of the product. That’s why cheapest lawn mowers have a plastic housing. They are not bad, not at all.
- They weight little
- is resistant to corrosion (which is unavoidable because of chemical activity of the grass)
- Perfect for electric lawn mowers because they don’t conduct electricity.
Steel housings are very durable and good for rough mowing but they are heavy, and corrosion loves steel housing. The typical lifetime of steel housings are for 4-5 seasons but depends on how you treat it. If you clean it after every mowing and repaint it time by time, then lifetime depends on the engine. Remember – wash your lawn mower after mowing!
Aluminum housing is the best, but they are expensive. Mostly aluminum housing manufacturer gives a 10-year guarantee. Aluminum housings are durable, resistant to corrosion and they weigh less than steel housings. But yes, they are expensive.
There are two types of engines – gas (petrol) and electric. Manual lawn mowers don’t have engines at all, so we will talk about them later.
Electric engine – they are environment-friendly, but cable length limits your mowing area. There are some lawn mowers with a battery inside, but they are few and expensive. But if you decide to buy an electric lawn mower, then you should pay attention to the following factors:
- You can only work in dry weather and dry grass
- It’s recommended to wear rubber boots or shoes.
Remember that if you want to increase wire length, it will also increase the loss of resistance of the cable. As a result, the output electric power may be insufficient for the engine. And in the case of that, you can damage the engine and warranty will not cover that. So, before extending the cable, check the maximum length of it.
The best thing about electric engines is that you can work with them in any angle. It means that you can even mow vertically.
Gas(petrol) engine are mobile but require protecting equipment because they are powerful and you don’t want to get hit by a flying stone. Also, they are harmful to the environment. And pay attention to the following fact: the angle limit for regular mowing must not exceed 30 degrees otherwise you will damage your engine.
One of the most important details. Cheap lawn mowers sometimes don’t have well-balanced blades which lead to engine damage and more noise. Also, if you hit a blade on a stone or somewhere else and see a blunt then visit a service and fix it, it’s better to pay extra bucks for blade fixing than later changing the engine. Some people are trying to sharpen knives in a garage, but I suggest you bring it to good service because after sharpening it needs to be balanced. And if it’s not balanced there will be an extra vibration of the motor shaft and can lead to shaft damage, and repairing or replacing it is very expensive.
Grass collector is a special container, mounted on the back or the side of the lawn mower. Mostly they are made of synthetic fabric, and they are foldable or plastic, non-foldable. Each type has advantages and disadvantages. In the plastic grass collector, grass is compacted more densely, and it’s easier to clean, but they are heavy, and you need to check time by time if it’s full or not. Some collectors have a “window” where you can see if it’s full or not.
Fabric collector is very light, but grass is not pressed there, so you will need to clean it more times than plastic container. There are also fabric collector with a plastic top and can be up to 90 liters. It means that you can mow grass for a longer time without cleaning.
Cheaper mowers have plastic wheels which are bad and not flimsy. They can break very easily and the bearings are dead almost after 2 seasons. I suggest you choose rubber wheels and the bigger radius of the wheels, the better.
Large lawn, large cutting width
A lawnmower with a wide cutting diameter means less time mowing the lawn and more time enjoying your weekend. Petrol lawnmowers commonly have a wide cutting diameter of 45–50cm. Electric and battery-powered models are more commonly available with cutting widths from 30 to 40cm. A difference of 10 or 20cm may not seem to be significant and may not be an issue if you own a smallish inner-city lawn; large lawn-owners will definitely notice if you have to make a dozen more runs for each mowing session.
Petrol vs battery (cordless) vs electric lawnmowers
Compared to electric- and battery-powered models, petrol lawnmowers can be a hassle to start and refuel. The cost to the local environment with fumes and noise may also be an issue. But if you have a huge lawn, petrol models should remain at the top of your list.
If you don’t mind the minor hassle of dragging a cord around and you have a power point close by, then an electric lawnmower is easy to run and maintain, and would be a good option if your lawn is around 50 square metres or less.
If you looked at battery-powered mowers 10 years ago and dismissed them as useless, well, you’d have been right. But improvements in cutting performance and battery life have been significant, and battery-powered options are now well worth a look. You get the low-maintenance advantages of an electric mower without having to drag the cord around, and batteries give you up to 90 minutes on one charge. Avoid the older models – many give you just 15 minutes of use – and remember to charge the battery the night before mowing, as it can take several hours to get the battery up to full power, although charge times are now improving and you can buy spare batteries as backups.
What to look for
Ease of use
The handle should be comfortable to hold and preferably height-adjustable. A turned-up handle is easier on your wrists and gives better control over the lawn mower.
Major controls should be close to hand and easy to see. The engine control lever should be on the handlebar for easy access and you should be able to operate it without too much effort. Make sure the cutting height is easily adjustable and you have several positions available.
It’s generally easier to operate a petrol-powered mower when the cord is located on the engine, but a handle-mounted cord is good if you can’t easily bend over – but make sure it’s not mounted too high, as this can require a lot of shoulder strength to pull.
The mower should be easy to push and manoeuvre in all the conditions you’ll use it. Big wheels improve handling on rough ground and a lightweight model is easier to push and turn. The catcher should be made of rigid plastic; with a bag-type catcher you can get showered in dust. The catcher should have two handles, one for carrying and one for emptying.
Mulcher vs catcher mowing
Mulching mowers produce more of a compost than a mulch, chopping grass finely and forcing the clippings back down between the blades of grass and back into the lawn. A good mulcher mower will make your lawn look neat and tidy and you shouldn’t be able to see clumps of clippings or unmown grass after you’ve finished. Normal catcher-only lawnmowers produce grass clippings that are much longer and need to be removed from the lawn to avoid suffocating the cut grass. While the vast majority of mulcher mowers tested by CHOICE are petrol, this feature may become more common on battery models.
Other lawnmower factors to consider
Some electric and petrol lawnmowers are self-propelled. This means that you don’t need to push them – simply steer them in the right direction!
It makes mowing much easier, especially with large lawns and heavy machines. Some models come with adjustable speeds, so you can set it to a comfortable walking pace.
It is generally advised to collect grass clippings rather than leaving them on the lawn. Most lawnmowers collect the clippings in a box at the back. This is better than mowers that leave you to rake them up afterwards!
- If you have a medium or large lawn, look for a high-capacity grass box. This will cut down how often you need to stop mowing and empty the box.
- Mulch mowers
You can also get lawn mowers that chop up the grass clippings very finely and push them back into the lawn as mulch. These are sometimes called recycling mowers. The mulch adds nutrients back into the lawn.
The fine shredding helps the clippings break down quickly so they don’t smother the rest of the grass. Mulching mowers are expensive but a good choice if you don’t have anywhere to dispose of grass clippings.
A lawn mower’s cutting width refers to how wide a stripe the lawnmower can cut. A larger cutting width will reduce how much time you spend mowing the lawn.
Here’s a handy guide using the lawn sizes from above.
- Small lawn: 300mm cutting width.
- Medium lawn: 350-400mm cutting width.
- Large lawn: 400mm+ cutting width.
Cutting height refers to how high the grass will be when you have cut it. Most lawnmowers have adjustable cutting heights – you simply move the blades up or down.
This helps you dictate the height of the grass, and leave it longer in autumn or during dry periods. Cutting height ranges are usually 20mm to 60mm – see my section on proper mowing technique below for advice.
If you want the striped lawn finish you see on football pitches, you need a lawnmower with a rear roller. The heavier the mower and its roller, the longer your stripes will last.
- Rear rollers also allow you to mow right up to the edge of the lawn.
- Mowing edges
If you have lots of lawn edges, it is worth looking for a model that can cut right up to the edge. Generally cylinder blades or versions with rear rollers are better at this.
Any mower with inset front wheels or a grass collection comb is also great for mowing edges – no need to go back round with a strimmer.
Robot lawn mowers
Robot lawn mowers are becoming more commonplace these days. The technology is getting better all the time and they can now recognise obstacles and lawn edges. And they are a lot more affordable, though still not cheap.
Robot lawnmowers are for you if you really, really hate mowing the lawn. There is some set-up involved as you have to lay a perimeter wire. Then just leave the mower to get on with cutting. Some models even ‘self-park’ into a charging station after mowing.
Each mower you’ll shop for will have some indication of cutting height. Most new mowers now have height adjustment, usually ranging from about an inch to in the three-inch range. You should also pay close attention to whether this adjustment is made by moving each wheel up and down individually or if you can make height adjustment with the movement of a single lever.
If you pay good money for an electric mower, you get one-button/push-button starting. This is one of the key benefits you get from moving away from a gas-powered mower. After all, convenience and ease of use are the two primary factors you should consider when making the investment in an electric mower.
Last, and certainly not least, you will probably get the best service and performance from a high-quality lithium-ion battery. Be sure to take some extra time to understand the difference between lithium-ion batteries and other types of batteries. When you shop for an electric mower, and you’re tending toward cordless, pay attention to the battery use and design. The extra knowledge will pay off in the long run.
So, TOP10 of Electric Lawn Mowers:
- №1 — Black & Decker MM2000 13-Amp Corded Mower
- №2 — Earthwise 50120
- №3 — GreenWorks 25012
- №4 — Earthwise 50214
- №5 — BLACK+DECKER EM1500
- №6 — GreenWorks 25142
- №7 — GreenWorks 27022
- №8 — BLACK+DECKER MTE912
- №9 — GreenWorks 25022
- №10 — GreenWorks 25112
by Don Oliver | Last Updated November 1, 2017