There’s a cleaner way to keep your lawn looking good this year. Electric mowers, which are powered by lithium-ion batteries, are now challenging gas mowers with a simple appeal: They start instantly, run quietly, spew no exhaust fumes, and require no regular engine maintenance.
After years of testing electric mowers—with mostly disappointing results due to limited battery life—Consumer Reports now recommends four models. And for the first time, our top-rated electric push mower, the Ego LM2101, $500, is in the same class as its gas counterpart, the Cub Cadet SC100, $250.
Top 10 Electric Mowers
- Durable 20-Inch Steel Deck
- Powerful 12 Amp Motor
- Easily converts from mower to trimmer to edger for 3 tools in 1
- The 6.5 amp motor and PowerDrive transmission provide maximum performance when trimming through the toughest...
- IMPROVED ERGONOMICS: Comfort grip handle makes the lawn mower easy to maneuver
- BETTER CLIPPING COLLECTION: Our winged blade achieves 30% better clipping collection
- Powerful 11-amp motor provides the power to cut all types of grasses; high efficiency motor for gas-like power
- Large 14" Cutting width with 5-position easy-change cutting Height adjustment from 1" To 2. 5"
- Powerful 13-amp motor cuts a 14-inch wide path
- Tailor cutting Height with 3-position Height control
- Powerful 10 Amp motor delivers enough power to cut through tough grass
- Durable 16-Inch cutting deck gets the job done quicker and more efficiently
- Includes (1) Max Capacity 4 AH - 40V Lithium Battery
- 17'' deck is versatile and light weight
- G-max 40V Li-Ion battery system powers multiple tools for complete yard work system--includes one 4 Ah battery...
- 20-inch cutting deck offers a great balance of maneuverability and cutting capacity making it ideal for...
- Self-propelled transmission with variable speed
- Up to 45-minutes run time with the Briggs & Stratton 82V Lithium ion 2.0Ah Battery - kit comes with (2) 2Ah...
- 40 V 4.0 Ah iONMAX rechargeable lithium-ion battery provides up to 40 minutes of whisper-quiet runtime and is...
- Featuring exclusive EcoSharp® technology for no fade power and maximum performance
How We Chose These Mowers
We selected these mowers based on comparisons of gas and electric mowers where we examined mowing performance and industrial design as it relates to ease of use, maintenance, and storage. We either tested these products directly or are recommending them based on having tested previous models, or similar versions.
Why Choose a Battery-Powered Mower?
Quiet, lightweight, easy to store mechanically simple with few moving parts, cool running, no fuel storage or tune-ups. More than adequate power for average cutting conditions, especially mulching and average bagging. Simple to start because all you do is insert a battery.
Tough mowing conditions such as tall or wet grass, and non-turf grass mowing, will rapidly drain the mower’s battery. Really tough mowing conditions can also cause the mower’s circuit overload protection to kick in, stopping the current flow from the battery to the motor. Repeatedly using the mower under these conditions will shorten battery and motor life.
What types of electric lawn mower are there?
Rotary mowers: Rotary mowers are characterized by one very high speed rotating the cutting blade, which slices the grass on impact. These types of mowers are very common as they allow the medium to high cut grass to be quickly cut and deposited in a rear-mounted grass box. These mowers typically have four fixed wheels for maneuvering.
Cylinder mowers: Cylinder mowers have a series of blades which tend to be exposed in a cylindrical drum structure on the front of the machine. Unlike rotary mowers, these cut grass by slicing against a fixed bottom plate, with a series of smaller blades doing the work of one. These machines work best when cutting low to medium height grass.
Hover mowers: Hover mowers are similar to rotary mowers in that they cut grass with a rotating cutting blade or disc, they differ in that they don’t have wheels for maneuvering. Instead, the hover mowers create a downward firing cushion of air that allows them to move easily in any direction, like a hovercraft.
Important features to consider when choosing an electric lawn mower
Battery Power: Our team of in-house reviewers found that battery power is the most important consideration when buying an electric lawn mower. They were often frustrated when a lesser machine’s battery died in the middle of a mowing job. To measure battery power, our team noted how long each one lasted on a full charge as well as how long it took to recharge it after it died.
Performance: The most powerful lawn mower isn’t necessarily the best one for your lawn. You should consider how large your yard is and how often you intend to mow it. If your lawn is 1/3 acre or bigger, you’ll want to spring for a high-performance model with a high-voltage battery, wide cutting path, and multiple height settings. If you have a smaller yard or don’t need to mow very often, you can probably get away with one that has less power.
Design: The reviewers found that using a mower that has multiple height settings is imperative to getting your grass cut just the way you want it. Different types of grass have their own unique needs and look better when cut at certain heights. The more height adjustments you have on your mower the better. We also factored weight into our analysis. Mowers that weigh more are harder to push around your yard.
Pricing: Corded electric lawn mowers start at about $100; however, it can be awkward to deal with a cord while mowing, and it limits your mobility and the distance you can cover. Battery-operated mowers cost a little more, starting in the low $200 range up to about $500, but the convenience of battery power, for many consumers, is worth paying extra. Be aware that cordless mowers tend to have somewhat less power than corded models, and you’ll have to recharge the batteries, but they offer much more mobility.