Best Battery-Powered Reel Mower
If lawn maintenance is tasking, why not let a machine do it for you? Battery-powered reel mowers have evolved and are comparable to top gas-powered reel mowers.
Battery-powered reel mowers are equipped with more battery slots. This enables them to increase the run time of mowing in one charge.
We have gone the extra mile to review the best battery-powered reel mower on the market. Their features will help you make an informed decision depending on your preference and budget.
Here are eight (8) of the best battery-powered reel mowers.
Best Battery-Powered Reel Mower-Our Top Picks
EGO Power LM2100 21-Inch 56-Volt Cordless Lawn Mower
The EGO Power LM2100 21-Inch 56-Volt Lithium-ion Cordless Lawn Mower delivers durability, fast charging, and long-lasting power.
It boasts a cut time of 45 minutes when using the EGO 56V 5.0 Ah ARC Lithium battery giving the user ample time to mow the entire lawn in one charge.
The reel mower is compatible with all EGO’s ARC lithium batteries. It has a patented 56V ARC Lithium battery technology with an ultramodern design, superb power management, and cooling technology that makes the mower perform well.
The LM2100 has a deck height that can be adjusted to six height settings of 1.5 to 4 inches. This enables you to slice through any grass type and give your lawn a meticulous look at your preferred height.
Users can mow their lawns from dawn to dusk, given the bright LED lights.
In conclusion, the battery-advanced technology exceeds the power of a gas-charged mower. Its rugged construction makes it durable to use on uneven terrains, thus giving you value for your money.
- Cutting width 21 inches
- 6-position cutting height adjustment of 1.5-4 inches
- The rear wheel sizes are 9 inches and 7 inches front wheels
- Uses 56V 5.0 Ah ARC Lithium battery
- 1-handed height adjustment and an easy push-button start
- Compatible with all EGO 56V ARC Lithium batteries
- Dimensions LXWXH 61.61×22.92×46.46 inches
- Weighs 60.5 pounds
- It has a battery-powered power source, and its operation mode is automatic
- Has bright LED lights
- The products come assembled
- 3-in-1 function; mulching, bagging, and side discharge
Makita XML06PT1 Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
This Self-Propelled Lawn Mower is an ultramodern solution with lower noise, and no emissions and is very efficient in mowing your lawn.
The mower is powered by two 18V LXT batteries that guarantee a longer mowing time. Its 4-bay battery system holds four batteries, which provide 50% more run time.
Its 18V dual port Rapid optimum charger charges the 4 18V LXT lithium-ion 5.0Ah batteries with optimum speed. Makita 18V LXT Lithium-ion batteries can power the mower with the star symbol on the battery, indicating star protection inside.
Its motor delivers up to 3300 RPM; it has a quiet mode setting that reduces noise by having a constant speed control of 2500 RPM.
The mower is made from commercial-grade steel and has the mulching capability, and height adjustment settings that increase its convenience, make it durable, and give your lawn a scissor-like cut.
Additionally, the mower also features an XPT (extreme protection technology) that acts as a protective seal to improve maneuverability by channeling water and dust out of critical areas.
It also has Star Protection Computer Controls that allow the battery and the star protection-equipped tool to exchange data in real time and monitor operations to prevent overload, overheating, and over-discharging
- Self-propelled with a variable speed of 1.5 MPH-3MPH
- Four bay battery system with two times more run time
- Powered by two 18V LXT batteries with an option of adding two extra batteries for extra run time
- 2-in-1 design for mulching and bagging
- Single lever adjusting the height of 1 ¼ to 4 inches
- The grass catcher holds up to 1.7 bushels of grass
- IPX4 weather-resistant construction
- Only uses Makita batteries to charge
- Extreme Protection Technology to protect from water and dust
- Has a three-year warranty
- Reduces noise by using constant speed control at 2500 RPM
- Manufactured from commercial-grade steel deck
- Has star protection computer controls
Kobalt KMP 40-Volt Brushless Lithium-Ion 20-in Self-Propelled Cordless Electric Lawn Mower
This cordless lawn mower is an excellent replacement for oil, fuel, and corded mowers that emit harmful gases, and are messy and noisy.
It comes with an interchangeable battery platform that only needs you to pop in a new battery and keep mowing for as long as you want. It offers a run time of 30 minutes with its 40V fully charged 5.0 Ah battery, making it a perfect choice for a yard size of ¼ – ½ acres.
The mower is compatible with all Kobalt 40V max families of products, making it easy to find a battery replacement. The mower comes with a battery and a charger.
The self-propelled rear wheel with cruise control can be easily adjusted to your convenience, thus providing traction and power to maneuver rough and steep terrains.
The cordless mower has a 3-in-1 feature that offers mulching, rear bag, and side-discharge capabilities that make it versatile. Its 7-position single lever height adjuster with a cutting width of 20 inches, can slice through tough grass.
- Cutting width of 20 inches
- 30 minutes run time with a 5.0 Ah battery
- Compatible with the Kobalt 40V max family of products
- Weighs 65 pounds
- Dimensions LXWXH 55x20x15 inches
- 5-year limited tool warranty and a 3-year limited battery warranty
- 3-in-1 features; mulching, rear bag, and side discharge
Greenworks 40V 17 inch Battery Powered Cordless Lawn Mower
The Greenworks 17 Inch is a cordless battery-powered mower with a 40V Lithium battery system which guarantees longevity with its long lifespan. Its 17-inch cutting width saves time and energy.
The mower has a 2-in-1 feature that offers mulching and rear bagging capabilities to keep your grass looking healthy. It also has a single lever 5-position height adjustment that provides a cutting height of 1¼ to 3 3/8 inches, depending on your preference.
It is important to note that the mower does not have a battery or a charger.
- Cutting width of 17 inches
- Compatible with Greenworks G-MAX 40V li-ion system
- It uses the 40V Lithium battery system
- 2-in-1 features that offer mulching and rear bagging capabilities
- Easy to push the start button
- It has a 3-year tool warranty
- Single lever 5-position height adjustment with a cutting height range of 1 ¼ to 3 3/8 inches
- Reduces noise, has minimal vibration and zero fumes produced
Ryobi 38″ Battery Electric Rear Engine Riding Lawn Mower RY48110
The Ryobi 38″ is the greener version of the traditional gas lawnmowers.
Its equipped with a dual high-powered brushless motor that enables quiet cutting and is emission-free. 75Ah batteries power the mower with an impressive run time of two hours nonstop.
Its battery operation feature makes it low maintenance and can mow up to 2 acres on a single charge—the mower charges through a standard 120-volt outlet.
The mower’s 38 inches, 2-blade deck, and manual deck adjustment of 12 that you can adjust to your preferred cutting height make mowing efficient and saves time.
It also comes with LED lights which enable one to mow from dusk to dawn. Additionally, the Ryobi 38 has a USB charger and cruise control features that help the user to adjust the ground speed gradually to match the mowing conditions.
- A maximum speed of 8mph
- Manual deck adjustment with 12 positions
- Charges via a 120V standard outlet
- Adjustable cutting height of 1.5 to 4.5 inches
- Weighs 595lbs
- Deck size of 38 inches
- Low maintenance; has no spark plugs, belts, or filters
- Three brushless motors
- Low maintenance; has no spark plugs, belts, or filters
- 3-year limited warranty
- Fully electric battery operated and has zero emissions
- 2 hours of run time that can mow 2 acres nonstop
Sun Joe MJ401C-XR 14-Inch 28-Volt 5-Amp Cordless Lawn Mower
The Sun Joe MJ401C-XR 14-Inch 28-Volt 5-Amp Cordless Lawn Mower is a cordless lawnmower powered by a 28V 5Ah lithium-ion battery that can mow an average of 12,000 sq feet on a single charge making it perfect for small to medium lawns.
It comes with a detachable 1.6 gal (40l) grass catcher that makes disposal easy. The mowers come in three colors; green, red, and dark blue. The brushless motor ensures it operates with less noise while giving you more runtime.
Its steel blades have a cutting width of 14 inches which saves time and effort and gives your lawn a scissor-like cut.
It also has a three-position manual height control to adjust to your preferred cutting height and trim a wide range of grass types. Insert the key, press the safety key, and squeeze the trigger to start the mower.
- Detachable 10.6 gal grass collection bag
- 28V 5 Ah rechargeable lithium-ion battery
- Cutting width of 14 inches
- 3-position manual cutting height adjustment
- The wheels are designed to maneuver rugged terrain
- The battery can mow up to a quarter an acre without recharging
- Perfect for small to medium-sized lawns
- The collapsible handle makes it easy to store
- Equipped with a safety switch and has an instant start
Snapper 1687914 21″ SP Walk Mower Kit, Self Propelled
This cordless self-propelled walk mower is powered by a 2.0, 4.0, or 5.0 Briggs and Stratton Lithium-ion battery, making it convenient even on rough terrain.
It has a 90-minute run time with two 2.0 batteries and adding separate 4.0 or 5.0 batteries. The kit comes with a battery and a charger.
The mower has a 3-in-1 feature of mowing, mulching, and a side discharge/ bagging option that leaves your lawn looking greener and healthier. The grass bag fits 2.1 cubic feet of grass clippings.
Its brushless motor technology ensures the durability of the mower, and its 21-inch self-propelled model provides smooth operation and enables you to control the mowing speed. It has a load sensing technology that meets the cutting blades’ demands.
The single-level allows you to adjust the 7-height adjustments easily to your desired cutting height.
- Powered by a Briggs and Stratton 82V Max Lithium-ion 2.0, 4.0, or 5.0 battery
- It has a grass bag that fits 2.1 cubic feet of grass clippings
- Cutting width of 21 inches
- Run time of 45 minutes
- Self-propelled with variable speed
- Rear-wheel size of 10 inches
- Dimensions LXWXH 44.5×21.5×19 inches
- The kit includes a battery and charger
- Weighs 80.9 inches
Sun Joe 24V-X2-17LM 48-Volt 17-Inch Mulching Walk-Behind Lawn Mower
Sun Joe 24V-X2-17LM 48-Volt 17-Inch Mulching Walk-Behind Lawn Mower has a 670-watt brushless motor that runs cooler and lasts longer than the traditional brush motors.
it is powered by 48V 2x 4.0Ah batteries that have a runtime of 25 minutes, making the lawnmower perfect for small to medium-sized lawns. The mower has a dual-port charger that powers up the two batteries simultaneously.
The steel blades cut a 17-inch path that saves time and energy. The mower has a 6-position manual adjustable deck that can cut 1-3 inches. This gives your lawn a healthier and greener look.
The mower has zero emissions and is noiseless, making it friendly to the user’s health and environment.
- Two lithium-ion batteries that have a run time of 25 minutes
- Cutting width of 17 inches
- 11-gal grass bag to collect clippings
- 6-position height adjustment level from 1-3 inches
- 670-watt brushless motor
- Weighs 33.8 pounds
- Dimensions LXWXH 48.4×17.7×42.9 inches
Factors to consider when purchasing The Best Battery-Powered Reel Mower
The power of a cordless mower is measured by the combination of battery storage measured in Volts (V) and the current/capacity to deliver the electricity measured in amp-hours (Ah).
To calculate the amount available for your motor, multiply Volt times Amp-hours.
Put into consideration the extra features of your mower. Mowers with mulching, side discharge, and bagging capabilities are flexible for different types of lawns.
Blade heights and cutting width also vary depending on your yard’s size and type of terrain.
Best Battery-Powered Reel Mower FAQs
When cleaning a battery-powered reel mower, always remove the batteries before cleaning.
Avoid getting water in the batteries, motor, or any electrical part, and instead, use compressed air or a blower to remove clippings from any water-sensitive part
Battery-powered reel mowers have a comparatively good performance which is as good as corded/gas lawnmowers.
The high power rating from the batteries allows users to shred twigs, leaves, and normal debris and they offer a clean, and quiet solution when mowing. They are also low-maintenance and just need battery replacement with a roughly 5-year interval
To enjoy years of continued use of a battery-powered mower, purchase a mower that is recommended for your lawn type, and size, and will do the work for you without overloading it.
In as much as they are low maintenance, clean out the undercarriage periodically and sharpen the blades regularly. Use air compressors to blow debris from battery compartments to keep the mower running primly.
We hope this review will be of great help in getting your next battery-powered reel mower.
Best Electric Lawn Mower 2023 – Battery-Powered Mower Reviews
As the mowing season comes up on the horizon, it’s time to offer our recommendations for the best electric lawn mowers in 2023. Whether your top priorities are for large lawns, small lawns, high value, or something in between, our experts have weighed in on these best battery-powered lawn mower models.
The good news—there are a lot of quality battery-powered lawn mowers to choose from this year!
Don’t see what you’re looking for? Ask in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев below and we’ll let you know what our choice would be!
Considering gas models, too? Check out those in our best lawn mower recommendations!
Best Electric Battery-Powered Lawn Mower Overall
Commercial Pick: Milwaukee M18 Fuel 21-Inch Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
Boasting a monstrous 10 ft-lbs of torque (more than a 200cc gas engine!), Milwaukee’s M18 Fuel self-propelled lawn mower is the strongest battery-powered walk-behind we’ve tested so far. Using a pair of 12.0Ah batteries, it can run up to an hour in light conditions and we ran it for more than 40 minutes when taking off 4 – 6 inches of growth. If there’s a downside, it’s that the drive thumb bar introduces some thumb fatigue, but we were able to adjust our grip to deal with it.
The mower also has a tough build designed to handle professional use while offering the convenience of single-point height adjustments and vertical storage. While there are larger options now available (such as Greenworks’ 82V 30-inch), Milwaukee’s price tag is much easier on your budget.
Price: 1099.00 with two 12.0Ah batteries and a dual-port Rapid charger
Residential Pick: EGO 56V Select Cut XP Self-Propelled Lawn Mower With Speed IQ
The EGO Select Cut mower became an instant favorite of ours with its stacked-blade system and solid performance level to go with its excellent cut quality. EGO stepped it up with the release of the Select Cut XP, taking everything we already loved and stepping up the torque to 8.3 ft-lbs. Now, it’s taking the next evolution by adding Speed IQ.
Speed IQ is a drive system that automatically adjusts with the pace you’re walking. Unlike Toro’s Personal Pace system, this doesn’t use springs and a sensor in the handle arms. In fact, there’s no physical movement we were able to detect at all. Yet EGO’s sensor perfectly adjusted in our tests. Is it magic? No, but there’s some crazy-good engineering in play.
Price: 599.00 bare, 999.00 with a 12.0Ah battery and a Turbo charger
Best Self-Propelled Electric Battery-Powered Lawn Mower
As self-propelled models, our recommendations from Milwaukee and EGO top the charts in this category, too. Here are two more outstanding options for you.
Commercial Pick: Greenworks Commercial 30-Inch Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
At Equip Expo 2022 (formerly GIE), we got our hands on the Greenworks Commercial 30-inch lawn mower. As the first in the 30-inch class for the commercial market, it’s an eye-opener for Pros who have been skeptical of battery power.
As we saw from the 25-inch version, the mower uses two side-by-side blades to achieve its cutting width. Thanks to brushless technology, it cuts with 16,000 fpm blade tip speed, making for clean cuts and efficient bagging/mulching and exceeding the power of a 200cc gas engine.
It’s Smart, too, taking advantage of 4G coverage to provide GPS tracking. On the “why didn’t they do that sooner?” list, it has a reverse function for its independent hub wheel motors.
Price: 1999.00 bare tool, 2999.00 with three 8.0Ah batteries and dual port charger.
Ryobi 40V HP Brushless CrossCut AWD Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
Ryobi crushed it with the development of the 40V HP Brushless CrossCut self-propelled lawn mower, making huge strides over its previous generation of mowers. Matching up very well against EGO’s Select Cut XP, it’s a stacked blade design that offers excellent power and cut quality. Where it has a clear advantage over its competitors is on the side discharge. This mower distributes clippings far better than other battery-powered lawn mowers we’ve tested.
With the upgrade to an all-wheel-drive system, the design team made it selectable so you can run AWD when you need it and just the rear wheels when you don’t. Plus, Ryobi builds this mower in the US using global materials.
Price: 849.00 with two 6.0Ah batteries and a Rapid charger
Toro 60V Stripe Dual-Blade Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
Toro is introducing what is probably the most compelling battery-powered lawn mower for 2023. Using its 60V battery platform for power (there are also gas models), it’s making the jump to a stacked two-blade system similar to EGO’s Select Cut and Ryobi’s CrossCut models. What Toro is doing differently is adding a built-in striping feature, leaving your lawn not with just a clean cut, but also a professional finish.
Price: 629.00 bare, 729.00 with 7.5Ah battery and charger
Best Electric Ride-On Lawn Mower
Commercial Pick: Greenworks Commercial OptimusZ Zero-Turn Lawn Mower
At Equip Expo 2023, it was clear that Pros have more battery-powered ride-on lawn mowers than ever, and more are coming. Greenworks revealed its second generation as it moves from the LithiumZ mowers to the OptimusZ line and embraces a whole-system approach.
With several ride-on and stand-on ZT options up to 60 inches, there’s a wide range for professional crews to build from with the runtime to back up a full day of mowing. Greenworks also unveiled a trailer to support a 100% battery-powered crew, including up to three ride-on/stand-on mowers. Taking it another step further, the team is also working on a version of the OptimusZ that can run with an operator or fully autonomous. We got to see a working prototype at Equip Expo.
If you’re looking for a residential battery-powered riding mower, there are several really good choices. Of those, two rise above the rest this year.
EGO E-Steer Residential Zero-Turn Lawn Mower
While some will argue EGO’s 54-inch zero-turn is the better option because of its wider deck, the EGO E-Steer is turning heads this year. It has a zero turning radius but uses a steering wheel rather than lap bars for turning. If the traditional lap bar steering system has been keeping you from going to a zero-turn model, it’s a big win.
Even if you’re comfortable with lap bars, there’s still a reason to consider the E-Steer system. EGO shifted the control panel from the side of the mower to the center of the wheel. Now they’re conveniently in front of you where it’s easier to keep an eye on your battery status and make quick adjustments.
Price: 5999.00 with four 12.0Ah batteries and onboard charger (scheduled for May 2023 launch)
Ryobi 80V iDrive Zero-Turn Lawn Mower
Ryobi is also joining the alternative control group this year. These 80V zero-turn lawn mowers feature the iDrive system that uses joystick control. Whether you want to think of it as playing a video game or flying a grass-maintaining fighter jet, it doesn’t take long to get used to.
For its first-generation iDrive models, you have three deck sizes to choose from: 30, 42, or 54 inches. They primarily use a suitcase-style 80V battery that can also be supplemented by 40V batteries to extend your runtime. With performance levels reaching up to that of a 42 HP gas engine, cutting power isn’t a problem.
Price: 5999.00 – 7999.00 ready to mow
Best Cordless Push Lawn Mower
EGO Select Cut Push Lawn Mower
EGO’s Select Cut mowers were the first to introduce a stacked two-blade system to battery-powered lawn mowers. By cutting high first and then following with a lower cut, you get a cleaner finish with finer clippings. EGO packs that performance and a host of convenient design features into an easy-rolling push mower for those of you who don’t want or need a self-propelled model.
Price: 379.00 bare, 649.00 kit with 7.5Ah battery and Rapid charger
Best Cordless Mower for Small Lawns
Skil PWRCore 20 18-Inch Lawn Mower
The joy of a small lawn is that it doesn’t take long to cut and you can go with a smaller mower that takes up less space. A 17 or 18-inch deck is great for that kind of lawn. The good news is, you don’t have to sacrifice all the features of larger mowers to get.
Our top pick is Skil’s PWRCore 20 18-inch lawn mower. It has the benefits of a brushless motor, folds up for vertical storage, and its 20V batteries are compatible with Skil’s entire line of PWRCore 20 lawn and power tools.
Price: 299.00 with two 4.0Ah batteries and a dual-port charger.
Best Electric Lawn Mower for Large Lawns
Ryobi 80V 30-Inch Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
We knew it would take something special to displace Greenworks 60V 25-inch mower as our top choice for large lawns. It’s taken a couple of years, but Ryobi has an 80V 30-inch self-propelled model that’s taking over.
Like the iDrive ride-on mowers, the 30-inch walk-behind uses an 80V suitcase-style battery for power. The brushless motors turn two sets of stacked twin blades, making for a total of four. By going that route, Ryobi keeps the overall blade mass down while achieving the large cutting width, performance, and runtime it needs to make sure you get the job done well.
This one is slated for launch later in the Spring. Check Home Depot for availability.
Best Budget Cordless Lawn Mower
Skil PWRCore 40 20-Inch Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
Here’s the challenge: find a brushless self-propelled lawn mower with a battery and charger for under 400. When it comes to the brands we trust, there aren’t many options.
Skil offers a lot of value with its 20-inch self-propelled lawn mower. Running on the stronger PWRCore 40 line, this brushless mower has excellent all-around performance and cut quality characteristics compared to others in the same price range. If you’re trying to make the switch to battery power on a budget, Skil offers the best value self-propelled lawn mower available.
Price: 399 with 5.0Ah battery and charger
Best Electric Battery-Powered Lawn Mower: Options From Brands We Trust
Best Echo Electric Battery-Powered Lawn Mower
Echo phased out its 58V battery lineup in favor of a completely new 56V eForce line (sorry, the old batteries are not compatible with the new tools) and that includes a new mower, the self-propelled DLM-2100SP. It’s a solid design that presses all the right buttons and makes for a well-rounded machine. It doesn’t challenge the power levels of the top performers, but it doesn’t have their price tags, either.
Price: 449.00 bare, 549.00 with a 5.0Ah battery and charger
Best Greenworks Electric Battery-Powered Lawn Mower
Greenworks has a couple of excellent CrossoverZ battery-powered ride-on lawn mowers to choose from. They use the same 60V batteries that power its other mowers and lawn care equipment (there are 80V versions, too). The design is a very easy transition if you’re switching from a gas mower and you can choose between a zero-turn or lawn tractor design.
Best HART Electric Battery-Powered Lawn Mower
HART stepped up with its SUpercharge 40V brushless self-propelled mower, demonstrating that the brand can make a mower capable of cutting 3/4-acre lawns. The performance level is in the 160cc gas engine class thanks to two active battery ports and the two 6.0Ah batteries included in the kit. Compared to the mowers we’ve used from HART before, this is by far the most capable for those of you holding out for a mid-range gas replacement.
Price: 598.00 with two 6.0Ah batteries and a Rapid charger
Best Husqvarna Electric Battery-Powered Lawn Mower
Husqvarna launched a 20-inch commercial-grade 3-in-1 battery-powered self-propelled lawn mower with an aluminum deck and front bar to protect the battery/motor housing. The W520i notably is compatible with a battery backpack. It doesn’t fit as cleanly as Makita’s ConnectX since you still need to run an adapter into the battery slots, but it does take the weight off of your back and keep you from being tethered. It also has a higher-than-normal cutting range that tops out at 4.5 inches.
Take a look at Husqvarna’s Lawn Xpert mower—a Lowe’s exclusive for 2023!
Best Kobalt Electric Battery-Powered Lawn Mower
Kobalt is quietly still making excellent electric lawn mowers and the 80V line is where its performance peaks. The most recent is a 21-inch rear-wheel-drive system with an upgrade to the handle system that makes folding it forward for vertical storage easier. In addition to its excellent cutting power, Kobalt also makes efficient use of its batteries, running up 60 minutes with a 6.0Ah battery. Plus, its high 4 1/8-inch top cutting height is great for tall grass species and reclaiming neglected areas.
Price: 699.00 with a 6.0Ah battery and charger, 749.00 with two 4.0Ah batteries and charger
Best Makita Electric Battery-Powered Lawn Mower
One of the biggest challenges with any battery-powered electric lawn mower is runtime. Makita put that problem squarely in its crosshairs and developed the ConnectX system. Unlike other designs, the 1200Wh power supply attaches directly to the top of the mower, offering more than 3x the capacity of most cordless mowers and running up to 3 hours continuously.
Similar to the 18V X2 (36V) XML08, the mower tops out at 2800 RPM with a 2300 RPM Quiet Mode and has a true 21-inch steel deck.
Price: 949.00 bare, 1399.00 power supply (2348.00 for both)
Best STIHL Electric Battery-Powered Lawn Mower
STIHL has been a little more cautious in entering the electric lawn mower market and upgraded the line with a couple of self-propelled models. Of the two available, the STIHL RMA 510 V is your top performer. It features a 21-inch steel deck (20-inch blade) with a tougher build than the 460 series and its 3.9-inch top cutting height is appropriate for taller grass species. The one downside is that this model runs through batteries quickly compared to other self-propelled mowers.
Price: 599.99 bare, 749.99 with AP 300 battery and charger
Best Electric Lawn Mower: What We Look For
Brushless motors make testing power much more challenging because of their ability to sense and adjust to the load the blade is experiencing. To gauge it, we cut an overgrown section of grass to a manageable height and follow it up by seeing how short we can cut an even standard height section of grass.
The more effectively a battery-powered lawn mower can reclaim overgrowth and the shorter it can effectively cut a baseline height, the more working power it has.
How much runtime an electric lawn mower has is only part of the equation. The best information is how much area you can cut on a charge. We start with a section of grass cut to a standard height and then see how long we can mow on one battery charge as we cut it down to 3 inches.
Once we know that, we calculate the maximum area you should be able to mow without having to stop and recharge.
We test three basic areas of cut quality: evenness, bagging efficiency, and mulching efficiency.
Evenness is simple enough—we gauge how even the cut is by looking for blades that stick out and areas that may have been cut shorter than intended.
Bagging efficiency is a matter of seeing how much grass is left behind compared to the amount that is collected in the bag.
Mulching efficiency takes in consideration the size of the clippings the mower drops and whether it creates any clumping or trailing.
We consider the quality of the build based on the materials and how well the mower is put together. We’re looking for solid components that will last well beyond the warranty period, a rigid construction, and protection for the electrical components and batteries.
Hills, Slopes, and Uneven Terrain
Sure, it’s Florida and we don’t have many legit hills. But we do have sloped lakesides and ditches to go along with plenty of uneven ground. We drive or push our mowers to see how well they hold wheel traction mowing uphill, downhill, side-to-side, and bumping along.
In addition to any standout features, here’s a list of the standard items we look for:
- Brushless motor
- Drive type and function
- Deck size
- Deck material
- Height adjustment
- Height range and number of levels
- Handle positions
- Discharge options
- Battery ports
For our team of experts, value is much more than just price. It’s about what you get for what you pay. An expensive model may very well be the best battery mower value if it’s performing far enough ahead of the budget brands to justify it.
Best Electric Lawn Mower Buying Guide
As you’re deciding on the best battery lawn mower for you in 2022, there’s a lot to consider. These electric mowers are a long way away from when we started with battery power.
What’s Your Budget?
While you can get a battery lawn mower for less than 300, plan on spending at least 500 for a quality model and more than 700 for the best electric lawn mowers.
That can cause a bit of a conflict. When you look at what you can get for the same price on a gas mower, you get more power and features from that gas engine. It won’t have the noise, emission, and maintenance benefits, though.
Are Battery Riding Mowers Viable?
There are a few riding mowers available for both professional and homeowner use. Professional crews have options such as Greenworks’ Lithium Z zero turn (they also have a battery-powered UTV).
Homeowners have more choices with well-known brands Ryobi, Cub Cadet, and EGO (along with several others) providing a handful of zero turns and more traditional lawn tractors.
The models we’ve tested work well and do the job they’re designed for. However, there are two key trade-offs you need to keep in mind. One, there’s a big premium on the cost compared to a gas model. Two, at the moment, you need to plan for long charge times.
A third consideration is simply that this class of electric lawn mower is still relatively new. It’s possible to keep a gas model running for 10 years or more and repower it if necessary. With a full electric power plant, we simply don’t know what kind of service life to expect with proper maintenance.
As battery technology continues to move forward, keep your eyes open for the first graphene or silicon lithium batteries. They’re able to take a charge much faster than standard lithium-ion or lead-acid batteries and have the potential to get you back in the saddle quicker.
Residential or Commercial Quality?
On the surface, there’s not a huge difference between commercial-quality and residential-quality walk-behind battery lawn mowers.
At the high end, power doesn’t seem to vary much (though Milwaukee just changed that expectation). In fact, one of the most powerful we’ve tested—EGO’s Select Cut XP—is technically a residential model.
What commercial battery mowers have going for them is a design and feature set that’s much more tuned in to what professionals ask for. Some of that is merely the difference between what homeowners and professional crews prefer on a mower. But there are differences in the quality of the components that brands choose for their separate lines. Commercial mowers have to be ready for far more service hours each week.
Brands such as Greenworks Commercial, Husqvarna, and STIHL rely on their dealer networks rather than big box stores. You get additional support during and after the sale that you won’t find at other retailers.
Electric riding mowers are a completely different ballgame. With those, you’ll find a much greater difference in design and performance, along with a massive gap in cost.
Self-Propelled vs Push
Considering a self-propelled drive doesn’t have a huge effect on your runtime, it’s a feature you should get if it’s in your budget. Look for variable speed controls and try working it in the store before you bring it home. You can usually tell in just a few minutes if it’s comfortable and natural for your hands.
Look for a mower that disengages its drive easily when you want to pull the mower back. Some systems have a hard time letting go and force you to drag the drive wheels rather than allowing them to roll.
Let’s not completely rule out the classic push mower style, though. When you’re on a budget, you can easily save 100 or more without losing cutting performance if you’re willing to carry more of the workload.
If that’s the direction you’re heading, look for a poly deck to help reduce weight and wheels with bearings and low rolling resistance to make your job a little easier.
Self-Propel Drive Adjustment
Our testing team generally prefers a variable speed dial separate from the presence bar. Taking a different approach, Toro’s Personal Pace and Ryobi’s Smart Trek systems offer a self-adjusting speed that some folks like.
As you’re trying different adjustment styles, look for one that’s on the stiffer side or has positive stops. This will reduce the chances of accidentally knocking it to a different speed if your hand hits it or the terrain is bumpy.
Keep an eye on the location of the dial as well. Front and center is convenient to make adjustments on the fly. However, some people hit that position with their hand or hip as they turn. If that’s you, you might prefer your adjustment on the side so you don’t accidentally change your speed with each turn.
Steel vs Poly Deck
In the gas-powered world, there are really no poly decks—most are either steel or aluminum. The cordless lawn mower world is much different with poly decks in every direction.
Steel is more durable, but it’s very unlikely you’re going to wear through a poly deck over the life of your battery-powered lawn mower. Poly also has an advantage in design. It’s much easier to make subtle changes in the shape that optimizes airflow for better lift, mulching, and bagging than a steel deck.
As we said, steel is more durable. If you have a lot of small rocks you kick up when you’re mowing or perhaps your teenager doesn’t pay quite as much attention as you’d like, then a steel deck can extend your mower’s life. Plus, it just looks good.
Bag, Mulch, or Side Discharge?
You probably already know whether you prefer to mulch or bag. Here in central Florida, we usually mulch to return nutrients to the lawn and avoid stopping every 10 minutes (literally) to dump the bag.
Sometimes, however, you go on vacation or the weather prevents you from hitting your normal mowing day. That’s when side (or rear) discharge becomes helpful.
Instead of keeping the grass up in the deck for finer mulching, it kicks it out. You could bag it, of course, but you’d spend a lot of time emptying. For the sake of getting your cut back under control, side discharging can help keep you moving along when your grass gets long.
Look for a mower that gives you all three options and keep that side discharge chute somewhere handy just in case you need it.
Deck and Blade Size
Most of the best electric lawn mowers have 20 or 21-inch deck sizes with slightly smaller blades (Several brands list the actual blade diameter rather than the deck diameter).
There are smaller models appropriate for smaller lawns or areas with a lot of landscaping to work around.
There are also larger models. Greenworks Commercial and Greenworks 60V both have 25-inch models available. Battery-powered riding mowers run up to 52 inches or more on the residential side and 74 inches for commercial.
The larger deck sizes are most helpful on lawns over 1/4-acre where they offer more significant time savings. For lawns 1/4-acre or less, the standard 20 or 21-inch deck is usually fine.
Single Point vs Multi-Point Deck Height Adjustment
There’s no doubt that single-point height adjustments are more convenient than adjusting each wheel. The relatively lighter weight of cordless lawn mowers also makes it a more viable solution.
Don’t completely discount two or four-point adjustments, though. A four-point system typically has a more rigid construction over single point. Plus, you can kick your front wheels one notch higher than the rear to improve your bagging efficiency.
This one is really about what your preference is. We find most people set their height once and leave it, so a four-point system may not be all that bad from a convenience standpoint.
Multiple Battery Ports
If you have a lawn that’s more than 1/3 of an acre, there’s a good chance you can benefit from multiple battery ports. There are three possibilities: a second storage port, a second active port with a manual switch, and a second active port with automatic switching.
Automatic switching is the most convenient and usually comes on higher-priced mowers. Manual switching and simple storage take some extra effort, but not as much as going back to the garage or trailer for another battery.
The majority of electric lawn mowers have all the height range you need to cover a wide variety of grass species. If you prefer to cut at heights over 3-1/2 inches or under 2 inches, just double check that the mower you’re looking at covers it.
Why Buy an Electric Lawn Mower?
The best electric lawn mower for you should get your lawn cut on one charge. No matter which model that is, they all share some common characteristics. There are no gas emissions and no gas engine to maintain. You still need to clean it off when you’re done, but the maintenance is much easier and takes less time.
They’re also quieter. The early bird gets the worm and if you want to start mowing at 7:00 on Saturday morning, your neighbors can probably sleep through it. of a night owl? Many battery-powered mowers have headlights, and you’re unlikely to disturb your neighbor’s Lord of the Rings marathon at 10:00 PM.
Those are some of the more obvious reasons, but one of our favorites is the ability to put the battery in and mow. There’s no cranking, no choke, and no fuel cut-off valve. As long as you have enough batteries to get the entire lawn cut, it’s an easier system to work with than gas.
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Explore all Lawn Mowers
Discover the eco-friendly and low-maintenance way to mow with Greenworks’ push and self-propelled electric lawn mowers. From 24V to 80V, find the perfect battery-powered fit for your lawn and ditch the noise, fumes, and hassle of gas mowers for good.
Compare Best Sellers
60V 25 Cordless Battery Self-Propelled Lawn Mower w/ Two (2) 4.0Ah Batteries Dual-Port Charger
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60V 21 Cordless Battery Push Lawn Mower w/ 5.0Ah Battery Charger
Frequently Asked Questions
Does this mulch?
Yes, Greenworks mowers are designed for grass and mulching weeds and foliage—and has a side discharge and a bagging option.
What maintenance is required for my Greenworks mower?
Unlike traditional gas mowers, Greenworks electric mowers require no gas or oil changes, spark plug replacements, or carburetor cleanings. This makes maintenance a breeze, our mowers only need occasional blade sharpening and cleaning (discharge, bag, etc.) to keep them running smoothly.
Can I use these batteries with the string trimmer?
Yes, one battery allows you to mow, blow, cut, trim, cultivate, and so much more! One Greenworks 80V battery works with 75 tools. One Greenworks 60V battery works with 75 tools. One Greenworks 40V battery works with 75 tools. One Greenworks 24V battery works with 125 tools
Will it work in high grass?
Greenworks Intelligent Power™ senses thick, tall, or wet grass and maintains constant high blade speed for the perfect cut.
Does battery temperature matter?
Yes, to keep your lithium batteries in peak condition, store them indoors in a dry, cool place. Check the owner’s manual for storage and temperature instructions and let the batteries warm up to room temperature before using.
Sun Joe 24V-CRLM15 15 iON Cordless Push Reel Mower Kit with 4.0Ah Battery and Charger. 24V
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- 360W motor offers optimal efficiency and cutting precision
- Easy-glide wheels for optimized handling
- Cuts at 4 different height levels
- 5-blade RAZOREEL system lifts and cuts each individual blade of grass
- Battery and charger included
Sun Joe 24V-CRLM15 Details
No longer spend time straining over pull cords hoping your mower will start with this Sun Joe 24V-CRLM15 15 iON cordless push reel mower kit. This mower allows you to mow up to 4910 sq. ft. with zero carbon emissions. This eliminates the need for gas and oil with no sacrifice to performance quality. Powered by a 4.0Ah lithium-ion battery, the 360W motor offers optimal efficiency and cutting precision. A charger is included for fast charging, allowing your battery to power back up under two hours!
Despite requiring manual push operation, the easy-glide wheels enable a more controlled handling for turns or straight paths. This unit boasts an innovative 5-blade RAZOREEL system with sharpened steel blades. This system lifts and cuts each individual blade of grass to clear a 15 wide path in a single pass. Thanks to the simple push lever, you can adjust the cutting height to 4 different height levels including 0.6, 1.0, 1.5, and 2. For the clippings, there is an 11.9 gallon bag included to collect the grass and provide easy disposal. This lightweight, cordless lawn mower is an ergonomic and eco-friendly option to maintain your lawn.
Kit Includes:– 24V iON 4.0Ah lithium-ion battery- Charger- 11.9 gallon collection bag- Sun Joe 24V-X2-17LM cordless push reel mower
Due to US DOT shipping regulations, we are unable to ship this product to Alaska, Hawaii, and international destinations. It is also ineligible for next day or second day shipping and cannot be returned. Please contact Customer Solutions prior to placing your order if you have any questions or concerns.
Because this item is not stocked in our warehouse, processing, transit times and stock availability will vary. If you need your items by a certain date, please contact us prior to placing your order. Expedited shipping availability may vary. We cannot guarantee that this item can be cancelled off of the order or returned once it is placed.
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This item meets the electrical product safety standards imposed by the ETL, a division of the Intertek Group, for use in the United States and Canada.
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Lawn mower technology has advanced in the past few decades, but there are still many reasons to opt for a reel mower. Read on for top recommendations and tips on navigating this mower market.
By Glenda Taylor and Mark Wolfe | Updated Apr 20, 2023 12:27 PM
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Quiet in operation, simple to maintain, and largely affordable, reel lawn mowers can be Smart options for yard maintenance. Taking up about a third of the storage room needed by a traditional mower, they’re easy keepers.
Reel mowers also might be better for a lawn’s health than standard mowers. They make a sharp cut along the top of the grass blade, similar to the way scissors cut. Traditional rotary mowers have blades with a tendency to tear the grass, which causes ragged brown tips and increases the risk of disease.
While all reel mowers function similarly, there are differences among the options. We tested the following models to find out how blade width, mowing height, handle design, and other details affect performance in different settings. Keep reading to learn what to look for when shopping for a reel mower, and find out why the following models are among the best reel mower options available.
- BEST OVERALL:Great States 18-Inch 5-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK:Great States 16-Inch 5-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower
- UPGRADE PICK:Fiskars StaySharp 18-Inch Max Reel Mower
- BEST FOR SMALL LAWNS:Great States 14-Inch 5-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower
- BEST FOR TOUGH GRASS:Earthwise 16-Inch 7-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower
- BEST LIGHTWEIGHT:American Lawn Mower Company 14-Inch 4-Blade Mower
- BEST WITH GRASS CATCHER: Greenworks RM1400 14-Inch Lawn Mower
- ALSO CONSIDER:Greenworks 16-Inch Reel Lawn Mower
How We Tested the Best Reel Mowers
We tested these mowers in a Georgia backyard in the middle of winter. That meant a combination of dormant warm-season grasses (some Bermuda grass and some centipede grass) along with a few areas infested with cool-season weeds like annual bluegrass, chickweed, henbit, dandelion, and wild onion. The test areas included a combination of flat, sloped, and uneven lawn.
We divided the lawn into test plots so that each mower would have a chance to prove its capability under a variety of conditions. For inclusion in this article, each mower had to effectively perform the basic function for which it was built: mowing to reduce the grass height by approximately one-third. Then, beyond basic weed-free lawn mowing, we also tested each mower on the tougher conditions of overgrown and weed-infested grass. All of the mowers included in this guide easily passed the basic functionality test and earned bonus points by tackling one or more adverse conditions, noted in the reviews.
Our Top Picks
Using a reel mower is an environmentally friendly way to mow the lawn and get a bit of fresh air and exercise at the same time. We tested these manual models on our lawn to find out which would be the best reel mowers for different users and circumstances. Learn about the performance details in the reviews.
Great States 18-Inch 5-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower
Those wanting a wide swath on a reel mower may want to consider the Great States 18-inch five-blade mower that cuts a hearty swath to reduce mowing time. This reel mower is simple in design and allows for adjusting mowing height from as low as 0.5 inch to as high as 2.75 inches. It comes with 10-inch composite wheels and back stability rollers.
The blades are made from heat-treated alloy to retain their sharpness longer, and the handle comes with nonslip cushioning to help reduce blisters and to improve grip. The loop-style handle folds down for easy storage, and the mower weighs in at 27 pounds.
In our backyard test, this mower worked quickly, quietly, and easily. It was pretty easy to push in all but the thickest grass but was abruptly stopped by twigs or debris thicker than a pencil (as were the rest of these mowers). We liked the padded wide-loop handle that gave it the familiar feel of a conventional gas mower. Sharpening the blades—a task that most users would require once or twice a season—requires disassembly of one wheel to access the blade drive mechanism. The process is typical of these mowers and was only slightly complicated.
- Wide swath cuts down mowing time; great for larger yards
- Loop handle increases user comfort and control
- 10-inch wheels roll easily over uneven terrain
- Alloy steel blades stay sharp longer; less maintenance required
- 3.5 inches from blade edge to outer edge of wheels means more edge trimming
- Sharpening, when necessary, requires disassembly of the drive wheel
- Hard plastic blade height bracket seems like it may wear out prematurely
Get the Great States 18-inch reel mower at Amazon or The Home Depot.
Great States 16-Inch 5-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower
For affordability and mowing ease, this five-blade reel mower is a worthy option. It features a smooth cutting operation and a cushioned T-handle that makes it easy to maneuver around corners. Its 16-inch swath width makes the mower relatively simple to push, and it features back rollers for added stability.
This reel mower’s five heat-treated alloy blades resist dulling, and blade height is adjustable from 1 inch to 2.5 inches, making it optimal for mowing short grass species, such as buffalo or zoysia. At just under 25 pounds, it’s also easy to maneuver.
We found this 16-inch mower to be a good “middle of the road” option: narrow enough to move well through thick grass but still wide enough to get the job done quickly. Its T-style handlebar grips gave it a more “articulate” feel that was comfortable and easy to maneuver. The 16-inch blade moved slightly easier through dense grass than the 18-inch model but still cut a generous swath.
- Lower profile for easy storage; great for busy gardeners with lots of tools to store
- Comfortable handlebar style grips; ideal for prolonged use
- Easy to use screw-knob-style height adjustment
- Cuts too low for taller grasses like fescue
- Sticks, acorns, and pine cones stop the blades abruptly
- Does not cut to the edge; may need a trimmer tool
Get the Great States 16-inch reel mower at Amazon or The Home Depot.
Fiskars StaySharp 18-Inch Max Reel Mower
The saying “You get what you pay for” rings true with this reel mower from Fiskars. Boasting high-quality StaySharp blades that reduce the need for resharpening, this model also includes two small front rollers to help balance and stabilize the mower. It also features InertiaDrive, a design that allows the mower to power through thicker grasses.
At around twice the price of the others we tested, the Fiskars Stay Sharp Max mower delivered performance to justify it. Weighing in at a hefty 52 pounds, the build feels heavy duty but works smoothly and efficiently. The ergonomic handle was extremely comfortable, and the machine moved almost effortlessly over all but the roughest ground. The only criticism we had was that the 8.5-inch drive wheels felt somewhat undersized. Unlike other reel mowers, the wheels are offset in a way that prevents them from flattening the grass before it is mowed and allows the mower to cut within an inch of the edge rather than 3.5 inches from the edge like other reel mowers. The toolless lever height adjustment worked with one hand, in seconds. It was a pleasure to mow with this tool, and the completed cut was clean and even.
Cutting height is adjustable from 1 to 4 inches, and there’s an adjustable chute so the clippings can be directed to fall in front of the mower or behind it. The Fiskars mower cuts a generous 18-inch swath, making it well suited to mowing small and medium-size yards. An optional grass catcher can be purchased separately.
- Heavy-duty construction can last for several years
- Ergonomic design feel comfortable to use
- Easy to adjust and maneuver with oversized wheels
- Cuts closest to the edges so users can skip the trimmer
- Twice the price of other reel mowers
- than twice the weight of other reel mowers
- Bulky design takes up slightly more storage space
Get the Fiskars StaySharp reel mower at Amazon or The Home Depot.
Great States 14-Inch 5-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower
With just a 14-inch swath width and a ball-bearing reel, this little mower is just right for a small lawn and more petite users. This narrower-than-most reel mower is easy to maneuver around trees and corners, and it comes with a back roller for added stability. The blades are made from a heat-treated alloy to help reduce dulling, and it comes with a low adjustable cutting height from 1 to 1.75 inches, making it best suited to short grass species.
A narrow overall body width of just 20 inches, 8.5-inch rubber tires, and a traditional handlebar with padded grips makes this mower easy to maneuver in tight spaces, and it takes up minimal storage space. At just under 20 pounds, it is even light enough to hang on a wall hook. It is essentially a scaled-down version of our 16-inch Best Bang for the Buck pick, with similar height and blade adjustments. Unfortunately, this smaller model requires a wrench to adjust the height instead of using screw-knobs. However, the narrow body was even easier to push in dense grass but took almost twice as long to mow the same amount of space when the imperfections of walking a straight line, additional turnaround times, and overlapping edges are factored in. This could be a good pick for mowing a small grass patch around a townhouse or condo.
- Compact size makes this easy to maneuver in small spaces
- Lightweight and low profile for easy storage
- No frills gardening tool makes for low maintenance
- Does not cut close to the edges (3.5 inches from blade edge to outer wheel)
- Too lightweight for mowing sloped areas
- Height adjustment requires a wrench
Get the Great States 14-inch reel mower at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Northern Tool Equipment.
Earthwise 16-Inch 7-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower
The Earthwise Reel Lawn Mower comes with seven blades—two more than most reel mowers—giving it extra oomph for powering through dense grass. The Earthwise mower cuts a 16-inch swath with its steel alloy blades that are designed to stay sharp longer. The grass-cutting height is adjustable from 0.5 to 2.5 inches, suitable for a range of grasses, including St. Augustine, buffalo, and Bermuda.
Weighing in at 26 pounds, this reel mower comes with a T-handle that makes it easier to maneuver around the corners of houses and trees, and the handgrips feature nonslip cushioning to reduce hand fatigue and blistering.
In our tests, this seven-blade mower gave the cleanest, most consistent cut. We even used it to scalp a section of dormant centipede grass, where it left a smooth, even finish. Unfortunately, the additional blades offered more resistance, making it a little harder to push than five-blade models. Because it has height adjustments ranging from 0.5 to 2.5 inches, a good strategy would be to mow regularly at 1 or 1.5 inches and leave a little room to move higher if the grass gets ahead of you.
- 7 alloy steel blades are great for mowing coarse grasses
- Easy-to-use height adjustment screw-knobs
- Cleanly maintain dense grasses at low height
- Harder to push than 5-blade models
- Does not work as well if grass grows extra long between cuts
- Not suitable for taller grasses like fescue
Get the Earthwise reel mower at Amazon.
American Lawn Mower Company 14-Inch 4-Blade Mower
With a total weight of just 20 pounds, this 14-inch American Lawn Mower is the lightest reel mower in the lineup. It features four cutting blades made from heat-treated steel alloy to reduce dulling and has 8.5-inch polymer wheels and rear rollers to increase stability.
This smaller American Lawn Mower is well suited to mowing a small lawn, and its light weight makes it simpler for more petite users to operate. It comes with a T-handle and cushioned nonslip grips for comfortable mowing. The handle on this lightweight, low-maintenance reel mower folds down for storage, and it is light enough to be hung on wall hooks in the garage if desired. Cutting height is adjustable from 0.5 to 1.5 inches.
With only four 14-inch blades slicing against the bedknife, this mower offered the least resistance of all the mowers we tested, making it the easiest mower to push. However, fewer blades meant a less consistent finish in dense or overgrown grass. Overall the ALMC 14-inch four-blade reel mower felt strong and durable and was easy to use, but it required a second pass to clean up some of the more difficult areas. It’s probably a good choice for keeping up with pathways in the veggie garden or other secondary grassy areas.
- Very budget-friendly compared to similar options
- Easy to push, even in overgrown or dense grass
- Durable construction yet still a lightweight and maneuverable design
- Fewer blades produce a less thorough cut
- Requires a wrench for height adjustments
- 8.5-inch wheels do not roll as well over rough ground
Get the American Lawn Mower Company reel mower at Amazon or The Home Depot.
Greenworks RM1400 14-Inch Lawn Mower
Bagging grass clippings is a cinch with the Greenworks Reel Mower. The mower cuts a 14-inch swath, and the mowing height adjusts from 1.06 to 2 inches, making it well suited to most low-growing lawn grass species. It comes with a T-handle that makes it easy to mow around tree trunks, and it features nonslip cushioned grips for comfort. The handle folds down for convenient storage.
The Greenworks mower comes with a handy grass catcher that connects to the rear of the mower for collecting grass clippings, and the mowing reel has five heat-treated steel alloy blades designed to remain sharp longer. The mower weighs 24 pounds.
In our trials, the Greenworks RM1400 was easy to push and maneuver, thanks to its lightweight frame, narrow wheel base, and T-style handlebar. The mowing height is easy to adjust with spring pins but only varies within a narrow 1-inch range. The sharpening process is similar to other reel mowers, with the exception of the bedknife mounting system. Where most manufacturers use pairs of set screws on both ends to adjust and hold the angle, Greenworks uses single spring-loaded bolts at the ends to hold the proper angle. The system seems less complicated but could offer less durability—only time and extended use will tell.
- Grass catcher included; no mess left behind after use
- Lightweight and easy to push; great for larger yards
- Provides a clean, consistent finish
- Full grass catcher makes the mower difficult to maneuver
- Components feel less durable than other models
- Wheel assembly is more difficult to disassemble for sharpening
Get the Greenworks 14-inch reel mower at Amazon or Greenworks.
Greenworks 16-Inch Reel Lawn Mower
With a slightly wider swath than the other Greenworks mower in the lineup, this 16-inch reel mower deserves a look. The wider swath means fewer passes when mowing, and the 10-inch front wheels make the mower easier to push. This Greenworks model also comes with two rear wheels for stability, and it features a detachable grass catcher for collecting clippings when desired.
This Greenworks reel mower offers an adjustable mow height from 1.125 to 2.25 inches, and it comes with a cushioned ergonomic loop handle that folds to take up less storage space. The mower weighs 26 pounds.
Built on the same platform as its 14-inch sibling, this Greenworks 16-inch reel mower boasts a wider range of cutting heights and a comfortable ergonomic loop-style handle. In our tests the loop handle made it much easier to push and maneuver the mower, especially as the grass catcher filled. The swath size and five-blade configuration hit the sweet spot, balancing the ability to mow tall and dense grass without causing user fatigue. However, a few design features appear less durable, including lightweight plastic rollers and a two-bolt adjustment system for the bedknife. This one would make a good pick for regular use on an otherwise well-maintained lawn.
- Handle folds down for compact storage
- Easy-to-use spring-pin height adjustment
- Comfortable ergonomic handle is ideal for prolonged use
- Lightweight bedknife-adjustment system
- Grass catcher may be somewhat undersize
- Construction feels less durable than the competition
Get the Greenworks 16-inch reel mower at Amazon.
What to Consider When Choosing a Reel Mower
For any home with a lawn, mowing is a fact of life that is required in most neighborhoods. To cultivate a lush green expanse, regular mowing is essential. When mowing is done correctly—frequently enough to remove no more than one-third the height of the grass—it promotes dense, uniform growth.
Manual vs. Powered
Unlike standard mowers, the majority of reel mowers are manual, although consumers can find a handful of gas-powered and battery-powered models.
- Manual: Everything old is new again—or so it seems with more of these old-fashioned mowers popping up in home improvement centers and online stores. One of the drivers of the manual mower’s resurgence is its eco-friendliness. No fuel to store, no fumes, and no pull cord that can cause a struggle. The downside to mowing with a manual lawn mower is the near impossibility of cutting the grass if it’s allowed to grow too tall before mowing, especially if the lawn is dense. The thickness and coarseness of the grass helps dictate if it is too tall, but if the grass is twice as tall as its recommended cutting height, it usually can pose a problem for a manual reel mower. For the best results with a manual reel mower, cut the grass more often during fast-growth periods, such as in early spring and the rainy season.
- Powered: Like traditional rotary mowers, reel mowers may be powered by either gas or a battery, which makes it immeasurably easier to mow dense or tall grass. Some gas and electric reel mowers also include self-propulsion, which virtually eliminates the need to push the mower—the user needs only to guide it. While gas reel mowers are just as noisy as their traditional counterparts, electric mowers are not as noisy as gas mowers. However, they still have a motor and will produce more noise than a manual reel mower. Opting for either a manual or powered reel mower is mostly a matter of personal choice. For those with large lawns, a gas reel mower or an electric reel mower might make better sense.
Blades and Cutting Height
Reel mowers feature between four and seven steel blades. On some models, the blades are treated with a nonstick coating for easier mowing. blades lead to a cleaner cut because the grass blade doesn’t bend as far before it’s severed. For most lawns, mowers with four or five blades work well. A few reel mowers have six or seven blades, which makes them ideal for getting a uniform cut on dense grass. Reel mowers also are suitable for lawn striping, a mowing technique that leaves an attractive alternating pattern in the grass.
The blade cutting height is preset on a few reel mowers, often at around 1.5 to 2 inches, which is well suited to short grasses but not tall-growing varieties, such as fescue. Other models offer adjustable cutting heights. Consider your grass type and its optimal growing height. If yours is a tall variety of grass, opt for a reel mower that will adjust to the best mowing height for the grass.
Swath Width and Grass Type
North American lawns feature a multitude of grass varieties. Easy-to-cut grass types include perennial rye, Kentucky bluegrass, and fescue, and these are suitable for cutting with wider mowers. On the other hand, thick grasses, such as Bermuda, St. Augustine, and zoysia, are better suited to mowing in narrower cutting widths (swaths). In either case, mowing frequently will make using a manual mower easier.
The swath width of a reel mower and the type of grass the yard contains influence usability. Standard swath widths on reel mowers range from 14 to 20 inches. While a wider swath means you won’t have to mow as many passes, it also makes the mower more challenging to push because more grass means more resistance.
Reel mowers don’t come with many bells and whistles, but a few added features can enhance the mowing experience.
- Grass catcher: Some prefer to allow grass clippings to settle back on the lawns. The clippings act as a mulch that biodegrades to offer organic nutrients to the soil. For those who prefer bagging grass clippings, look for models that feature a rear-mount grass catcher.
- Padded handles: Nonslip, padded foam handles make it easier to grip the mower handles and reduce the risk of blisters.
- Rollers: Reel mowers have two sizable front wheels, but some come with additional back rollers or front rollers that add stability to the mower and help the user maneuver the mower near borders and edges for clean cutting.
The Advantages of Using a Reel Mower
Reel mowers are almost always powered manually. The physical pushing of the mower turns the blade cylinder, which in turn cuts the grass. Since they’re push-powered, reel mowers excel when cutting fine, straight-growing grasses but can bog down in coarse, wiry grass. The following are some of the advantages of using a reel mower.
- Avoid diseases. A clean cut helps grass avoid diseases such as “brown patch,” which can leave a lawn pockmarked with areas of dead grass.
- Affordable mowers. While pricing varies based on quality and design, expect to pay about half the cost of a powered push mower.
- Low maintenance requirements. Manual reel mowers only require occasional cleaning and blade sharpening. A gas reel mower requires the addition of oil, draining fuel over winter, and other maintenance tasks.
- Relatively compact and lightweight. Many reel mowers weigh around 20 to 30 pounds, and they often feature fold-down handles for easy storage.
- Free of exhaust and fumes. Breathe the aroma of freshly cut grass rather than toxic exhaust fumes.
With no toxic fumes, no need to store fuel or charge batteries, and quiet operation, the reel mower is making a comeback. This eco-friendly mower will reduce your carbon footprint while offering some physical exercise. For those thinking of investing in a reel mower, a few questions are to be expected.
Q. Is it hard to push a reel mower?
Manual reel mowers are easy to push in thin sparse grass, but it takes more force to move one through tall, dense, or coarse grass.
Q. Can you mow wet grass with a reel mower?
Although a manual reel mower can easily cut through wet grass, doing so frequently is not advisable. As with other mowers, clippings will clump and look unsightly. Wet clippings that stick to the mower increase rust formation, dulling the blades prematurely.
Q. How often should you mow with a reel mower?
Mow as often as is necessary to keep from removing more than one-third of the grass’s blade. This may mean mowing two or more times in a week during the fast-growing grass season.
Q. When should I sharpen my reel mower?
In general, it’s a good idea to sharpen the blades on a reel mower after 20 to 25 hours of use. For some users, this may be once a year; others may need to sharpen blades two or more times in a season.
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