Craftsman 40V Cordless Lawn Mower Review
Craftsman has come out with a new cordless 40-volt dual-blade 20″ cordless push lawn mower for 2014, and we were anxious to put it to the test. The new mower boasts up to 70 minutes of runtime with two batteries and is said to be an efficient mulcher, thanks to its dual-bladed design.
The most interesting feature about the new Craftsman 40V mower is its 2-battery power system. It is only powered by one battery at a time – and can switchover automatically once the first is drained – but the ability to mount two batteries means potentially longer mowing sessions before you have to return the batteries to the charger.
At a street price of only around ~370 the new Craftsman cordless mower looks like a sure winner.
Upon receiving the mower I promptly unpacked and prepared to assemble it. To my pleasant surprise it only needed to have the handle unfolded and locked into place. After removing a few pieces of packing materials the mower was ready to go!
Before the first mow, I fully charged both batteries using the included charger. The batteries are inserted into two covered compartments at the top of the mower, and the covers feature LED lights that illuminate to indicate which of the two batteries is currently in use.
I started on a section of lawn that I had mowed with a gas mower just a few days earlier. I hoped to mow the grass a little lower than my first few cuttings of the season, so I set the single lever height adjustment to its 3rd (middle) setting.
The height adjustment moves very smoothly and is a very nice feature to have on a push mower, compared to having to adjust individual levers on each wheel. Speaking of wheels, the Craftsman mower has rather large rear wheels that, combined with the mower’s light weight, make it very easy to maneuver.
To get the mower going, you must press and hold a start button, and then depress the bail/control lever. Release the start button once the cutting blades begin to spin. There is a small instructional graphic near the switch that shows this procedure, but the startup sequence was still not obvious to me until I read the instructions.
For those unused to battery or electric powered mowers, you will be greeted with an eerily quiet-sounding whir. It made me think of a toy airplane or quadcopter.
As I started my first pass, the whir of the blades changed as the mower sensed the grass resistance and automatically adjusted motor speed for performance. The cut quality was certainly nothing to get excited about; many blades of grass looked torn or frayed, which I would either attribute to the new blades not being very sharp, or turning at a lower velocity as the mower adjusted itself.
The cut is still acceptable, and can likely be improved by sharpening the blades, although this shouldn’t be necessary for a brand new product that came straight out of the box.
A little while into my mowing the blades gently spun down before speeding back up. This was accompanied with the battery compartments’ LED lights indicating that the second battery was taking over after the first was depleted. I mistakenly thought that the battery changeover would be seamless, but the mower essentially stops and restarts in the span of a couple of seconds as it switches to the fresh battery.
With renewed vigor the mower sprang to life and I was back to mowing the next few rows. Only a few minutes later, the entire mower stopped and could not be restarted. I checked the batteries, and they were both drained. A look at my watch showed that my mowing session had lasted the grand total of 26 minutes.
The batteries went back to the charger with the hope that battery life would improve after a few charges or once my lawn was under control. My second and third mowing sessions both lasted 36 minutes. I tried to be careful to not to cut the grass as low, but runtime was still far short of the advertised runtime of up to 70 minutes.
On my fourth mowing session, the batteries lasted 50 minutes. This is a great improvement over 26 and 36 minutes, but I am not sure yet if this is due to the batteries improving after the first few charges, or if the mower had to work less, stretching the runtime. I suspect it is the latter and plan to do additional testing to see if battery performance improves any further.
On paper, the Craftsman mower looks sure to beat every other option on the battery-powered mower market. However in real-world use, I’ve so far found that the battery life is quite short and that it has generally required 2 sessions to mow my lawn. In the last test session I was able to completely mow the lawn before the batteries gave out, and plan to continue testing to see if runtime improves further.
The battery charger does not charge quickly: the larger 4.0 ah battery takes about 2 hours and the 2.0 ah takes an hour to fully charge. This usually means that I start mowing the lawn one day and have to finish up another day. Because of the narrow compartments the batteries mount into, and how the latch is designed, it is somewhat difficult to remove the batteries from the mower.
Much of the mower is made from a tough plastic material, making it very light and easy to maneuver around the lawn. Although it helps save space, I found the handle’s folding mechanism to be very clumsy. There are locking levers on four points that need to be adjusted for tension pretty tightly to keep the handle it from feeling floppy and cheap.
Overall, the mower is capable enough to adequately handle smaller lawns and mowing needs, but its runtime performance could be a problem for those looking for a new battery-powered mower than can handle larger lawns.
Buy Now(via Sears) Model #: 25081 Price: ~370
Ease of Use: 4/5
Pictorial diagram on starting mower is unclear, and the batteries are somewhat difficult to remove from covered s due to latch design. Overall the mower is still very easy to use.
Build Quality: 3/5
Folding handle and latches are flimsy, battery covers feel very fragile, blades are very thin, mostly-plastic construction leads to some concerns over long-term durability.
Very light, large rear wheels make the mower easy to maneuver.
Cutting Performance: 2/5
Dull blades or variable speed left many “torn” looking blades of grass. Good blades should cleanly cut and not rip/tear grass.
Cutting thick grass dramatically reduces runtime. Longest runtime observed was still more than 25% shorter than claimed runtime of “up to 70 minutes”.
Thank you to Craftsman for providing the review samples unconditionally. Review samples are typically given away, donated, or retained for editorial and comparison purposes.
27 Комментарии и мнения владельцев
Upon seeing it, the first thing that came to mind was the Batman’s car from the movie ‘Batman Begins’. An interesting hack would be to build a mains-powered 40VDC power supply that could be plugged into the battery connector to finish the job if the batteries give out. Hard to say how big a PSU would be needed though given your worst-case experience (26 minutes), might be able to do it with a 15-20A unit. That would give people the best of both worlds. Well, except that they’d have to deal with a cord, of course. (One could perhaps mitigate the cord issues by re-thinking one’s mowing patterns so that the grass furthest away from the power outlet is mowed first under battery power…that way one doesn’t have to drag a cord as far)
Growing up, we had two different electric powered lawnmowers. This was late 80’s, early 90’s. I think we had a Black and Decker and a Craftsman after the first one died. The most interesting thing about them was that the handles flipped. So instead of having to spin the mower around like a traditional gas mower, you’d pull a lever and flip the handle so the mower will now push the opposite direction. By flipping the handle, you didn’t have to worry about cord management, it would ALWAYS be out of your way. Another side effect was the discharge chute always pointed the same direction. So you could choose to mulch the clippings or not, depending on if you were blowing on cut grass or un-cut grass. I kinda liked ’em, but I never owned one of my own. (shrugs)
We purchased a Homelite 24v cordless mower about six years ago. We have a smallish yard and it does okay. I did have to replaced the batteries a couple of years ago. Should not have stored it in an unheated garage. Over all I like it. It does take all day to charge.
Doesn’t matter how it looks or all the nifty features. The battery life is all that counts. Gas powered mowers every time in my life. And its not from a lack of trying.
I have an electric mower, a lower end, Black Decker CM1836 with sealed, non-replaceable, lead acid batteries. You are experiencing a problem common to electric mowers. When the grass gets high, the mower doesn’t run as long. If I’m lazy and let the lawn go, I’ll end up with an unmowed patch in my backyard that will have to wait until the next day, an I only have a sixth of an acre to mow. Still, the lightness, relative quiet and nearly zero maintenance of an electric mower means that I’ll never go back to using a gas mower. Plus, electric mowers are far more friendly to the environment. I’ve seen estimates that say up to five percent of all air pollution is generated by gas-powered lawn and yard equipment.
I completely agree that the first time I mowed I probably tried to take off too much at once. I hoped too much for it to perform like a gas mower. On my second and third mows I intentionally cut a little higher, and was only rewarded with 10 more minutes of battery life. The 4th time was much longer, so I hope to continue testing and see if this is closer to normal. Even so, I thought I was barely cutting on the 4th mow, and it was still 25% shorter than the runtime claims.
Manufacturers spend a lot of time marketing the green and low maintenance advantages of these items. Most of those things are self evident however. They would otherwise convince most buyers if all other variables were the same. The issue has always been and continues to be the power source. Batteries are not only an issue regarding run time, but also proprietary and generally expensive. That’s assuming by the way that you can continue to purchase or even find them for the life of the mower. These things will continue to get better and better, and gas powered equipment will eventually become old news. That’s at least true as far as non-professional equipment is concerned. In the meantime, batteries haven’t exactly been the great equalizer compared to gas powered products. If I had a small lawn, I might consider something like this. My experiences with battery equipment however, tells me to stick with gas for now.
I ‘m wondering if the batteries are in fact 36 volts… That is, ten 3.6 volt cells. Apparently, to keep the cost down, they came up short on battery capacity… at least for my lawn. I won’t consider a lawnmower if there is any chance I can’t fully cut my forgotten grass when I finally feel like it. A spare battery or two would help, but no doubt raise the total cost of the machine. Presently I have a Lawnboy. My first Lawnboy, which I inherited, lasted over 20 years. The new one is much heavier than the old one due to it being a 4-stroke, and having all the required safety stuff (crap) on it. As I get older, I will need a lighter mower. Hopefully battery power technology progress will equal my own power capacity decline, and my next mower will be an electric… as maybe will a car be sometime in the future.
I think this is just Craftsman version of a Greenworks 40v mower. Lowes also has a Kobalt version of the same mower they released this spring. The only thing that kind of surprised me was Craftsman was using rebranded Ryobi 40v lawn tools before this new model Greenworks version. I hope they make things clear for people that the battery systems are probably in compatible between the two product lines.
The Craftsman and Greenworks 40v dual battery, dual blade models do look very similar. It would be nice if their batteries were interchangeable but I do not know if they are.
Also, in doing research for Jimmie’s question below, I found that the Greenworks and Craftsman mowers share the same part numbers for blades, which I think would further support them being at least very similar.
Why can’t they make the mower run on already existing battery platforms? For example, Craftsman already has a 19.2 volt lithium batter platform. Double them up, and you’d have 38.4 volts to work with. The mower has two batteries, operates on one 40v battery at a time, so I dont see why that wouldnt work. I think it would be a good thing to have as many things using the same batteries as possible. If one already had a Craftsman drill, driver, saw, etc and batteries a couple chargers, a mower using the same batteries would be a perfect compliment. It could come as a basic unit with 2 batteries and a double charger (assuming it operated on two batteries). This would be a great addition for one with Craftsman tools, a couple chargers and batteries already. Also offer it with 4 batteries in a deluxe kit, and homeowners could buy bare tools to compliment it, or use batteries/chargers they already have to give it a longer runtime. I wonder, if it would run 20 minutes on a pair of batteries, and one had a total of 6 batteries, and charging capacity for 4 batteries at one time, if it wouldn’t VA able to run almost continuously?
It does seem to be that way lately they had the DeWALT cordless framing nailer a whole year before it was released in the USA. I think they like it as a place to test the popularity of a tool before the release it in the USA is all I can think of. That Ryobi mower would sell really well in the USA. At this point I think Ryobi is the most popular budget brand tool because of all the tools you can buy just on one battery platform.
Having gone through a Sears riding mower, a Bobcat riding mower, a small Case tractor and finally a Kubota – I was never in the market for an electric corded or cordless mower. While battery powered tools have their place for small lots – for larger properties there is the case to be made for engine-driven mowing. Alternatively, as a society we may someday wise-up and realize that nature really would prefer us to adorn our properties with something more environmentally friendly than a artificially fertilized, crabgrass- and weed-free, well-watered, nicely manicured lawn. In the meantime, I’ll enjoy my grass and I’m now happy to say that I’ve reached a point in my life where I pay others to mow the lawns and keep them green and weed-free.
After thinking about this mower for a bit, here are some other questions if you don’t mind answering: 1) The blades are offset front to back. Looks like the left blade cuts maybe 5 inches forward of the right blade. Seems to me this might make it difficult to deal with certain obstacles. Consider mowing between two obstacles (shrubs maybe) where you don’t have room to turn the mower around. So you push the mower in and then pull it back out. Seems like this will leave a 5″ section of grass in front of the right blade untouched? 2) What’s your gut feel for the long-term durability of the plastic chassis? 3) How difficult is it to find replacement mower blades? I don’t think I’ve ever seen a 10″ blade in a store aside from perhaps an edger blade.
Hi Jimmie, The blades are offset, but I don’t think it is even by 5″, probably closer to 3-4″. So far in practice it hasn’t been noticeable, though I don’t have many obstacles like that. I can try once the weather drys up here and report back. The plastic chassis feels kind of cheap, but I actually think it will hold up fine. It keeps the deck lightweight, and I could see it being less affected by weather than a metal deck. However, I think the underside is going to be prone to collecting grass, as I’ve already had to clean it out a few times. The least durable feeling part of the mower feels like the metal handle and latches due to their quick release style, and gradually working themselves loose. I found the replacement blades (Part Nos: 33308486, and 33307486) on SearsPartsDirect.com, but only one of them is listed as “in-stock” for 14.97. I also found a package of both blades for the Greenworks 40v Dual Blade, Dual Battery model on Amazon for 16.97 (http://www.amazon.com/GreenWorks-29712-Mower-Replacement-20-Inch/dp/B00KA783HK/). The Greenworks part numbers are exactly the same as the Craftsman, which further leads me to believe they are essentially the same mower.
I had a Remington from Sears. Problems each of the two years I had it. They finally gave up and gave me this new Craftsman. Used it first time yesterday. I have a small yard. Two 15 x 15 sections in the front one in the back. Easily finished mine so I also cut my neighbors back yard which is easily more than I have. I didn’t know the blades were off set until I was finished. I noticed no problems in tight spaces. The Remington was steel and weighed a ton. I had a Black and Decker several years ago. It was fine but the battery being built in made getting it close to an outlet difficult and the charging plug was small and difficult. Also had a used Newton. It was ALL plastic and lasted a good long time. Clearly the battery mowers are not for large lawns. But on small to medium they’re great. The manual says that the battery DOES NOT fully charge the first time. Just used it once so we’ll see. Handles seemed fine to me. Once locked in they were quite stiff.
There could be a market for these things if they addressed the single biggest drawback…battery life. For the life of me I don’t understand why they introduce alternative machines which are crippled. Anybody who might have purchased them and talked to a neighbor first probably won’t look at them for another 10 years.
My biggest caution about this mower is that with two very small blades, the tip speed is very low compared to a larger blade. This is safer for toes… and for grass. Slower, lighter, smaller blades lack both the momentum and energy for cutting thick grass.
The technology to create a very efficient electric lawn mower is out there. The problem is the way manufacturing works. IOW, too expensive and not profitable to get a good money return. Take for example why can’t, let say DeWALT, build a lawnmower with a good top of the line motor that has battery ports for 5 3.0Ah/4.0Ah batteries that can work with only two at least connected to two ports? Again, good quality motors are out there….by quality I mean with good ball bearings, extra long carbon brushes and designed to better dissipate heat (heat kills magnetism). With bearings that can be replaced also the brushes. My true coat plus ll paint sprayer has such a motor…the motor will outlast the piston for sure. At anyrate…. That lawn mower would work great for DeWALT tool owner who easily owns quite a few batteries for work. I’m sure it could run for over an hour and with enough torque. But the demand for that would be low and not profitable, just saying the technology is there…it’s just at a stage where there is no demand I guess. Having said that, I would buy a good quality battery operated mower if I had to mow a small lawn.
How does this compare to the kobalt mower? They look the same and it also comes with a 2 ah and a 4 ah battery.
Hi, we have one of these, and one blade has stopped working. Both batteries are charged, and only 1 red light comes on, any help is appreciated-we can not find a shop that works on these
I picked one up from the curb this week. The right motor was not working. I took it apart and found one of the brushes had come out (the holder came off). I put it back together and it runs like new. However, I didn’t get the charger. And chargers are expensive and hard to find.
The 10 Best Electric Lawn Mowers of 2023, Tested and Reviewed
Sage McHugh has written for Dotdash Meredith since 2019. With over a decade of experience in consumer-oriented content, Sage has a passion for products and how they enhance our everyday lives.
Barbara Gillette is a Master Gardener, herbalist, beekeeper, and journalist. She has 30 years of experience propagating and growing fruits, vegetables, herbs, and ornamentals.
Shereen Jegtvig is an author, fact-checker, and expert with over two decades of experience in health and wellness in the lifestyle space. In addition, she is a Developmental Editor for Dotdash Meredith where she reviews the work of other fact checkers.
Electric lawn mowers have many advantages over gas-powered models. For example, electric models don’t release exhaust fumes and can be significantly quieter and easier to operate, resulting in a much more pleasant mowing experience all around. “Electric lawn mowers come with many features to help owners stay safe, comfortable, and productive,” says Kris Kiser, president and CEO of Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI).
We researched many different types of electric lawn mowers and tested several in our own backyards across the country. We then evaluated products based on their setup, design, performance, usability, safety, and value and selected our favorites in a range of categories for this list. During our first run with the mower, we timed the assembly process and made careful notes about how clear and simple the included directions were. Following this, we utilized the mowers on three separate occasions, taking note of the grass length cut, the total area of the yard mowed, and the time it took to complete the task.
In our latest round of testing, we put six riding lawn mowers through their paces in our personal yards and selected the best electric ones based on its power, maneuverability, and noise level.
EGO Power Select Cut 56-Volt 21-Inch Self-Propelled Cordless Lawn Mower
- Powerful and easy to use
- Lightweight and foldable for vertical storage
- 60-minute runtime and recharging
- Relatively affordable
After testing other electric mowers across the country, the EGO LM2102SP POWER 21-Inch Cordless Self-Propelled Mower is our best overall pick because it is very easy to use, lightweight and compact, and offers additional power when you need it, all at a relatively affordable price. Self-propelled mowers make mowing—especially over hills and rugged terrain—much easier because the mower moves for you at your pace, while you simply guide it around your yard. This option is no exception. While we tested this mower, we almost found it too powerful at first, especially because it was our first time using a self-propelled mower. But once we got the hang of it, we turned it off and on easily, and adjusted the speeds when needed by using the levers on the handle. We found the self-propulsion helpful for going up small hills (the lowest speed was all we needed) and turned it off when navigating around obstacles.
We also appreciated the battery life and fast recharging this mower offers. Although it comes with just one EGO 56V ARC Lithium battery, it has a 60-minute runtime and only takes about the same time to recharge using the included Rapid charger. And while it only took 50 minutes to mow our lawn, we are happy to report that the battery did not run out. If you have other EGO products at home with the same battery, you could always swap in that battery if you have a larger lawn and want to continue mowing without much of a break.
Other user-friendly features we love include the easily-adjustable handle: You have two options for the height and three options for the angle, so you can pick the one that is most comfortable for you. We also found adjusting the cutting height to be a simple task, with six settings to choose from ranging in height from 1.5 to 4 inches. And when you are done, the handle is just as easy to fold, so you can store your mower vertically in your garage or shed. We do want to note that while we think this mower did a great job mowing in dry and damp conditions, once when mowing over a particularly wet area, an orange light came on and the mower stopped. However, once we moved the mower to a more drier area, we were able to start it again easily. The only other minor issue we reported is putting on the grass collection bag. We found it would be much easier with two people since it clips on tightly and it’s a bit hard to get around the support bar (it popped off a few times during this process). But other than those small issues, we think this is an excellent electric mower for navigating different types of terrain with ease.
How It Performed Long-Term
We’ve been testing this lawn mower for three months and are impressed with its long-lasting battery life. With the ability to mow the lawn three times before requiring a recharge, which only takes around 20 minutes, it is a reliable and efficient machine. This mower can effortlessly handle thick, tall grass and can even manage up to 10 days of uncut grass without any issues. While we initially experienced some issues with the mower stopping and a light running orange while mowing grass, we have since been able to handle damp grass with ease. Overall, this mower is ideal for individuals who may not have the hand or upper body strength to adjust tires or use a pull cord.
Price at time of publish: 549
Cutting Width: 21 inches | Weight: 62.61 pounds | Power Source: Battery | Cutting Options: Bag, mulch, side-discharge
Greenworks 12 Amp 20-Inch 3-in-1 Corded Lawn Mower
- Affordable, powerful, and compact
- Unlimited run time
- Seven cutting positions
- Bag, mulch, and side-discharge settings
We’ve tested the Greenworks Electric Corded Lawn Mower several times over the last few years, and it continues to stand out as the best affordable choice for small yards and tight spaces, even those with somewhat challenging terrain. In fact, while testing this mower in our latest round of testing, we had no issues navigating over divots, clumps, bumps, and other parts of our lawn that were uneven—we found that this mower powered right through them. Plus, the 12-amp motor is powerful enough for tough cutting and mulching, including the tall, spindly weeds in our yard. We didn’t report any issues mowing over slightly wet grass either.
The 20-inch cutting deck is narrower than some other options, but we found that it helped us get through the tight areas of our yard easily. Adjusting the cutting height (seven different heights ranging from 1.5 to 3.75 inches) is simple as well, and really is the only setting you need to worry about. However, we did note that the mower didn’t go quite low enough to cut some patches of clover. Although it’s budget-friendly, we love that you have three options for your grass clippings—bag, mulch, or side discharge—and you don’t have to purchase any of these features separately (which would add to the cost). The grass collection bag was easy to clip on, although we did spill some grass clippings the first time we removed it and noted that the bag was not even full. However, we think this won’t be an issue once we get the hang of it.
Although this electric model is corded, we appreciated the unlimited runtime and didn’t find the cord to be cumbersome. We did find ourselves holding on to the cord even though there was a cord restraint system that kept it in place, but we were able to mow the lawn easily with our other hand. It’s important to note that this mower must be used with a 14-gauge 50-foot extension cord or a 12-gauge 100-foot extension cord (not included). Overall, we found this to be a really easy lawn mower to set up (just a few screws are needed for the handle), use, and store (just fold the handle), and it continues to impress us with its performance and price.
Price at time of publish: 230
Cutting Width: 20 inches | Weight: 56 pounds | Power Source: Corded | Cutting Options: Bag, mulch, side-discharge
Ryobi 40V HP Brushless 21-Inch Dual-Blade Self-Propelled Mower
- Powerful performance
- 70-minute runtime
- Fast, 60-minute charging
- Lightweight and folds for storage
Although it is a little more of a splurge compared to other options we tested, The Ryobi 40V HP Brushless 21 Inch Cordless Self-Propelled Mower stands out for its powerful performance (comparable to some gas models), and long, 70-minute runtime. We tested this mower on the first grass of the season and were quickly impressed by its ease of use and quiet performance (we thought it almost sounded like white noise), especially compared to gas models we’ve used in the past. Thanks to the self-propelled technology, it was a breeze to mow over uneven terrain, even over hills, with little effort on our part. It did take a little bit of time to select the right cutting height for our uneven lawn (the blade did get stuck a few times), but once we adjusted the height, we were impressed by the cutting performance. Luckily this mower offers seven adjustable cutting heights (1.5 to 4 inches), so you can easily pick the one you need. We also want to mention that like our best overall mower, the EGO LM2102SP POWER 21-Inch Cordless Self-Propelled Mower, the self-propelled feature does take some time to get used to, and you may feel like the mower will run away on you at first until you figure out which setting you need for each part of your yard.
This model comes with two 40-volt batteries and a Rapid charger. Since only one battery is needed at a time, you will always have one ready to go should you need it. Our lawn took only 45 minutes to an hour each time to mow, and we never had to stop and recharge it to finish the job. However, we did have to stop the first time we mowed to empty the grass collection bag, which we found to be surprisingly small. It filled up after mowing about 25-30 feet of tall grass. The next two times weren’t as much of an issue because the grass wasn’t as overgrown. It was very simple to remove the full bag, but we found that it spilled easily and a few blades even spilled when the mower was in use (whether or not it was filled.) These few issues aside, we appreciated the bag, mulching, and side-discharge options for the grass clippings overall, although it is worth noting that it did not break up older leaves very well.
Like most of the mowers on this list, the Ryobi 40V HP Brushless 21 Inch Cordless Self-Propelled Mower is easy to fold and store vertically to save space. We were equally impressed with all of the safety features. Although it has a simple, push-button start, the mower has a key that you can store separately so no one can accidentally start the mower. When ready to use, the key has to be inserted behind a flap. Plus, the mower only works while you are gripping a lever. The LED headlights provide extra light that might be helpful when mowing around dusk or dawn. Although this mower is a bit more pricey than our best overall (which is also a battery-powered self-propel model), we think it’s worth the extra cost for the power, long runtime, and extra battery.
How It Performed Long-Term
After three months of use, we can report that this lawn mower has continued to impress us with its ease of use and quiet operation. The self-propelled feature makes navigating hills and uneven terrain a breeze, and we were able to get up to 4 uses out of a single charge. The mower excels at cutting grass and collecting clippings, and while it may struggle with heavier weeds, we had no issues with damp grass. It’s worth noting that the grass bag became heavy with clippings, but overall, we are confident in recommending this lawn mower to anyone in need of a reliable and efficient cutting tool.
Price at time of publish: 799
Cutting Width: 21 inches | Weight: 75 pounds | Power Source: Battery | Cutting Options: Bag, mulch, side-discharge
Sun Joe MJ401E-P2 Electric Lawn Mower
- Lightweight and easy to handle
- Relatively quiet
- Folds for compact storage
While testing, we found that the Sun Joe MJ401E-P2 Electric Lawn Mower was as easy to use as a corded vacuum. At under 30 pounds, this mower is very easy to push, even though it’s not a self-propelled model. It is corded, so you will most likely have to use an extension cord. However, you won’t have to worry about the battery running out, stopping to recharge a battery, or fumes from a gas model. We were also impressed by how quiet this mower was, especially compared to gas mowers we’ve used in the past. This mower was simple to set up—we just had to attach the bag and two parts for the handle.
Thanks to the 14-inch cutting deck, we found this to be a great push mower for navigating around tight corners and spaces. However, we do want to point out a few issues we came across while testing. We found that the grass collection bag filled up pretty quickly (after mowing about 20-30 feet). And when we mowed without the bag, we did notice that the grass would get stuck underneath the blades. As a great safety feature, the mower would immediately shut off. The grass was easy to remove though, and we were able to get back to mowing quickly. Also, it’s worth noting that this mower only has three settings for the cutting height, ranging from 1.12 to 2.52 inches. While you won’t get as a precise cut as other models, and you may have to stop to empty a bag or remove grass from underneath the mower when tackling long grass, we think this is a great budget-friendly push mower that is perfect for small lawns.
How It Performed Long-Term
We are still very satisfied with its performance, even after using it for three months. The grass has grown thicker and longer since we first tested the lawn mower, but we were able to adjust the height of the mower to handle it with ease. Even after it rained, we were able to cut through the grass without any problems. However, it should be noted that the grass catcher bag becomes heavier with damp clippings and more difficult to empty. Although we appreciate not having to refill the mower with gasoline constantly, we believe it would be more convenient if it ran on batteries rather than a cord. Having to connect the extension cord to different outlets in the yard can be a bit inconvenient. All in all, we believe it is a dependable mower for its price.
Price at time of publish: 108
Cutting Width: 14 inches | Weight: 29 pounds | Power Source: Corded electric | Cutting Options: Bag, side-discharge
Ryobi 80V HP Brushless 42-Inch Electric Cordless Riding Lawn Tractor
- Powerful Performance
- LCD Screen and app for tracking battery life
- 13 cutting heights
- Many extra features
If you have a larger yard to mow, a riding lawn mower can save you time and energy with its speed and efficiency. While testing the Ryobi 80V HP Brushless 42-inch Battery Riding Lawn Tractor we were impressed with its exceptional cutting performance, long battery runtime, and maneuverability. The electric mower has four steel blades that provide 13 different cutting height positions, ranging from 1.5 to 4.5 inches, for a very precise cut. We found that the mower was able to handle a variety of debris with ease, effectively chopping up sticks, leaves, grass clippings, and even short dandelions that normally would be difficult to cut. The cutting height can be adjusted using a manual lever on the mower’s right side. However, we did find that the lever was surprisingly close to your leg, which can result in unintentionally changing the cutting height, although we did not experience this issue ourselves.
While putting this battery-powered mower to the test after a rainy morning, we found that it had no trouble dealing with wet grass and cutting it evenly. Even when the grass was damp, the lawn mower effectively discharged the grass clippings. While we love that this mower gives you three options for grass clippings—bag, side-discharge, or mulch—note that you will have to purchase the bagger and mulching kit separately. We were also impressed with the riding mower’s quietness despite its size. When the cutting blades were not moving, the riding mower sound resembled that of a battery-powered ride-on car for kids. And, when the blades were spinning, the noise level was super low compared to traditional gas mowers.
The mower has an onboard LCD screen that lets you check the runtime and charging status and control the LED headlights, drive, and blade speeds. The battery percentage also appears on the digital display menu. You can even monitor the charging status while you are taking a break, using the Ryobi Riding Mower app. We found charging the mower to be a simple process. The battery arrived with just 23 percent charge, and it only took us about an hour to fully recharge. For each mowing session we did, only about 10 percent of the battery was utilized. While we would have preferred a physical speed control lever, we found it manageable to switch while driving. The mower has an accelerator pedal that allows for slow and precise maneuvering around obstacles while providing instant speed when necessary. The mower is also equipped with a backup beeping noise, which is intended as a safety feature but we found it annoying over time.
All in all, the Ryobi 80V HP Brushless 42-inch Battery Riding Lawn Tractor is a great riding mower that offers a quiet and efficient mowing experience that eliminates the hassle of gas and oil. While this isn’t the best choice for small yards, if you want to keep your large yard looking great without a lot of effort, this is an excellent choice with lots of extras.
Price at time of publish: 4,999
Cutting Width: 42 inches | Weight: 557 pounds | Power Source: Battery | Cutting Options: Mulch, bag, or side-discharge
Ryobi 80V HP Brushless 42-Inch Battery Electric Cordless Zero Turn Riding Mower
- 12 height settings
- Powerful performance
- LCD screen and app to monitor battery life
- Joystick steering
Zero-turn mowers are built to be fast and easily navigate obstacles, and the Ryobi Battery Electric Cordless Zero Turn Riding Mower does just that. We put the riding mower through its paces and found it to be a highly intuitive and easy-to-operate machine. Instead of a steering wheel, this riding mower has a joystick that can be operated with just one hand, for better maneuverability while turning. The joystick gave us complete control over the mower’s direction and speed, from a complete stop to top speed. With its impressive turning abilities, we were effortlessly able to mow around trees in a single pass, a task that would have previously required about four passes with a different mower.
Setting the cutting height was equally simple, thanks to the conveniently located lever that offered twelve height settings ranging from 1.5 to 4.5 inches. The mower even comes with a height-stopping key, that allowed us to adjust the mowing deck to our desired cutting height quickly. Overall, the mower did a phenomenal job of cutting the grass evenly. We did encounter some thicker grass areas in the yard, but we found that slowing down the mower’s speed allowed it to power through without any issues. We were able to mow our half-acre yard much faster with this mower compared to the Troy-Built Pony 17 HP 42-inch Deck Rider we previously used. In fact, it took us 40 percent less time to complete the task. It also is much quieter than the gas riding mower, and you don’t have to deal with flammable gas or oil changes.
The RYOBI 80V HP Brushless Riding Mower is equipped with two 80-volt, 10-amp hour batteries and two 40-volt, 12-amp hour batteries, providing ample power for extended mowing sessions. During our testing, we appreciated the ability to install up to three 80-volt and four 40-volt batteries, allowing us to extend the mower’s runtime even further. Charging the batteries was a breeze. We simply had to plug the charging cord into the rear of the mower to simultaneously charge all the onboard batteries. We were also delighted to find out that the 40-volt batteries can be used with different cordless Ryobi tools like trimmers and blowers, expanding the range of our outdoor power equipment collection.
And while it has many of the same features as the Ryobi 80V HP Brushless 42 in. Battery Riding Lawn Tractor, this option has the power equivalent of a 31-horsepower gas engine and the ability to cut up to three acres on a single charge, according to the manufacturer. It also offers an app to monitor the battery status and has an LCD screen onboard so you can control the LED headlights, blade and drive speed, as well as monitor the battery, runtime, and charging status. This is an expensive mower, but we think it is an excellent zero-turn option that will make your lawn look great quickly and efficiently.
Price at time of publish: 6,999
Cutting Width: 42 inches | Weight: 700 pounds | Power Source: Battery | Cutting Options: Bag, mulch, side-discharge
Toro 22 60V MAX Electric Battery SMARTSTOW Personal Pace High Wheel Mower
- Automatically adjusts to walking pace
- Nine cutting positions
- Vortex Technology results in finer grass clippings
- Quick-connect bagging and mulching
Toro’s cordless, walk-behind mower is a powerful and precise piece of machinery. It has a three-phase brushless motor that maximizes RPM and torque, and a 22-inch deck. While it may come with a fairly steep price tag, its advanced features make mowing hassle-free. There are nine different cutting positions available, ranging from 1 inch to 4 inches, so you can make a clean cut even in tight spaces. Toro’s patented Vortex Technology also ensures finer grass clippings and a healthier lawn.
The mower comes with one battery that can run for up to 40 minutes, allowing you to cut up to 0.33 of an acre on a single charge. However, some users have reported the battery running out of juice in half that time. The mower’s 10-inch rear wheels provide excellent traction on tough terrain without damaging your lawn. It also features a self-propelled transmission that adjusts to your walking pace, making it easy to maneuver. Thanks to its quick-connect bagging system, you can easily switch from mulching to bagging. Despite its heavy weight, the Toro Recycler Walk Behind Mower folds up compactly for easy storage.
Price at time of publish: 729
Cutting Width: 22 inches | Weight: 95 pounds | Power Source: Battery | Cutting Options: Mulch, bag, or side-discharge
Best for Small Yards
Worx WG779 Power Share 40-Volt 14-Inch Cordless Walk Behind Mower
- Lightweight and easy to maneuver
- Dual charging port for batteries
- Battery charge indicator
- Batteries compatible with other Worx tools
The Worx Power Share Battery Walk-Behind Mower has a 14-inch cutting deck that can cut up to 0.12 acres per charge, making it an ideal choice for smaller yards. At 29 pounds, it’s light enough for almost any user to handle. This unit is equipped with two batteries and a dual charging port to maximize the recharging time. For added convenience, there’s an on-board battery charge indicator that lets you know when you’re running out of juice. Another great thing about these batteries is that they’re compatible with a variety of other Worx tools.
This mower has six height adjustments, and you can easily add more torque with the turn of a knob. It also has the ability to mulch or bag grass clippings, and you can easily gauge when the bag is full, thanks to its transparent plastic top. Keep in mind that this compact model is best-suited for smaller jobs, so you will need to limit your expectations when it comes to performance. According to some reports that we read, it has difficulty powering through tough grass, and it sometimes stalls on lips and edges.
Price at time of publish: 300
Cutting Width: 14 inches | Weight: 29.1 pounds | Power Source: Battery | Cutting Options: Bag, mulch
Makita 36-Volt Lithium-Ion Push Lawn Mower
- Powerful motor
- Durable construction
- 10 cutting heights
- Optional quiet mode
- Includes extra set of batteries
If you’re looking for a cordless, battery-powered option, this push mower from Makita won’t disappoint. The brushless motor is incredibly powerful, delivering up to 3,300 RPM. This tool is powered by two 18-volt batteries, but four batteries are included, so you can swap them out for extended run time. All together, the batteries deliver up to 43 minutes of runtime. The handlebar has a rubberized grip for user comfort, and the handles fold for compact storage.
The Makita Push Lawn Mower has an 18-inch commercial-grade steel deck for optimal durability. It features a wide range of cutting heights—10 settings ranging from 0.81 to 3 inches. Though it performs well on most turf types, this mower may struggle a bit in overgrown grass. It has the ability to bag, mulch, or rear-discharge clippings. There’s even a quiet mode so you can mow your lawn without disturbing your neighbors.
Price at time of publish: 599
Cutting Width: 18 inches | Weight: 60.46 pounds | Power Source: Battery | Cutting Options: Bag, mulch, rear-discharge
Worx Landroid Robotic Mower
- Fully automated
- Customize mowing schedules via app
- Navigates 20-degree slopes
- Detects rain and avoids obstacles
Tired of mowing the lawn? This fully automated, robotic lawn mower does all of the work for you. It can mow medium-sized lawns up to 1/4 acre in size. To set it up, you’ll need to put down a boundary wire around your yard and connect the mower to the app. You can start or stop the machine, set up a mowing schedule, and check the mowing progress via the app. The Landroid is equipped with an 8-inch cutting width, the height of which can be adjusted between 1.9 and 3.5 inches. Two brushless wheel motors give it enough traction to navigate 20-degree slopes.
If the mower encounters an obstacle, it will simply back away. For more precise detection, an additional collision is available at an additional cost. It can also be programmed to avoid certain areas of your yard. When the Landroid detects rain or the battery runs low, it will return to the docking to either recharge or wait until the lawn is dry. With all of these features, the Landroid Robotic Mower is certainly worthy of its steep price tag. One thing worth noting is that even though this robotic option gets fairly close to the edges of a yard, you’ll likely need a string trimmer for touch-ups every so often.
Price at time of publish: 2,000
Cutting Width: 8 inches | Weight: 48.5 pounds | Power Source: Battery | Cutting Options: None
After testing this mower in our own backyard, the EGO LM2102SP POWER 21-Inch Cordless Self-Propelled Mower earns our top spot. This powerful mower offers up to an hour of uninterrupted runtime and is easy to use, thanks to self-propelled technology. We also love the adjustable and foldable handle for compact storage. If you’re looking for a more affordable option for your small yard, we found the Greenworks Electric Corded Lawn Mower to be compact and lightweight enough to navigate around obstacles with ease, and offers unlimited runtime, as long as you don’t mind a cord.
How We Tested the Electric Lawn Mowers
We tested eight walk-behind lawn mowers including gas, electric corded, and cordless, battery-powered models in our own yards across the country. After putting them to the test on our own lawns—ranging from small to large—we evaluated them on setup, design, performance, usability, safety, and value. For the first use, we timed setting up the lawn mower and noted what assembly, if any, was required, and if the instructions were detailed and easy to follow. We also recorded the battery charging time if it was a cordless model. We then used the mowers on three separate occasions when the weather and growing conditions allowed and recorded the length of grass cut, the surface area of the yard mowed, and the time it took to accomplish the task. We noted how easy (or not) it was to start the mower, adjust the handle, adjust the speed (if self-propelled), and change the cutting heights. We also evaluated the different features including bagging, mulching, and side-discharge options (if included) for the grass clippings. Aside from evaluating each mower’s set up and features, after use, we noted how easy it was to navigate around obstacles, up slopes, and other challenging areas including uneven or tall grass. We then looked at the appearance of the lawn and noted if it looked evenly cut. We also noted all of the safety features as well as any extra features such as LED headlights, foldable handles for storage, cord management systems, and more. After testing, the top electric mowers were added to this list. In our latest round of testing, we tested six riding lawn mowers in our yards and evaluated them on the same criteria explained above. We conducted thorough testing and compared the results with our previous product recommendations in order to provide the best suggestions possible. We made adjustments to the categories based on standout performance, either by swapping out or adding new options.
What to Look for in an Electric Lawn Mower
Electric mowers fall into four main categories: push, self-propelled, riding, and robot mowers. Choosing the right model depends on the size of your lawn, budget, and how much labor you’re willing to put in. Push mowers require that you walk behind them and manually propel them. Since they lack many of the features that you’ll find on more advanced electric lawn mowers, push mowers tend to cost significantly less. Push mowers also require the most amount of labor, making them an ideal choice for small to medium-sized yards with relatively flat terrain. We like the Greenworks Electric Corded Lawn Mower because it is very easy to navigate around your yard and comes at a very budget-friendly price. Self-propelled mowers are equipped with technology that propels the wheels as you mow. These mowers are often significantly pricier than push mowers, but they require a lot less effort on the user’s part. A self-propelled mower like the Ryobi 40V HP Brushless 21 Inch Cordless Self-Propelled Mower is a great choice for medium-sized to large lawns with sloped or uneven terrain. An electric riding mower is the most powerful option—and likewise the most expensive. Users must either sit or stand on the machine in order to operate it. With an ultra-wide cutting swath and the ability to navigate difficult terrain, a riding mower is well-suited for large yards with steeper slopes. We love the Ryobi Battery Electric Cordless Riding Lawn Tractor because it can cut up to two acres on a single charge and offers plenty of great features. Robot lawn mowers are typically programmed through an app, allowing them to operate autonomously with little to no effort. Some initial setup is required, but a robot mower can be programmed to mow your lawn automatically, avoid collisions and inclement weather, and more. Although they’re incredibly convenient, robotic models also have a shorter runtime and a smaller cutting width swath, limiting their use to smaller yards. Our top choice in this category, the Worx WR147 Landroid Robotic Mower, is almost 100 percent autonomous once it’s been set up.
Cordless electric lawn mowers run on rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. A cordless model gives you more flexibility and portability because it doesn’t restrict your movement. However, you will have to be mindful of the battery life, which typically runs down between 30 and 60 minutes. Some cordless electric mowers come with extra batteries that can be swapped out to extend their runtime. You could also purchase a second battery to increase the operating time. That way, you don’t have to worry about running out of juice mid-task. Our top choice for a cordless model, Makita 18-Volt X2 LXT Lithium-Ion Push Lawn Mower, includes an extra set of batteries so users can mow longer without having to recharge. The biggest advantage to a corded electric lawn mower is that it provides unlimited power. Corded models typically cost less than their battery-operated counterparts. However, your movement is restricted to the cord’s length. A corded mower must be used with a heavy-duty extension cord, which is often sold separately. Most manufacturers recommend a 12-gauge or 14-gauge cord, but you should always refer to the owner’s manual to ensure safe operation.
Deck size refers to the width of the mower, and determines how wide a path it can cut. A wider deck size results in a wider cutting swath, allowing you to cover a larger area in one pass. The standard deck size on both push and self-propelled mowers typically ranges from 13 to 22 inches. Robotic mowers usually have a much smaller cutting deck between 5 and 10 inches. Riding mowers, on the other hand, can have a deck size as wide as 54 inches. A riding mower is best-suited for large lawns that normally take a good deal of time to mow. Our top pick for zero-turn, the Ryobi Battery Electric Cordless Zero Turn Riding Mower has a 42-inch deck and 12 cutting heights to make short work of a big job, navigating around obstacles with ease.
Motor Power and Type
Cordless electric mowers that run on batteries produce anywhere from 18 to 20 volts of power. The higher the voltage, the longer the motor will run on a single charge. Likewise, a mower with a higher voltage will allow you to cover more ground in one pass. Higher voltage is usually necessary to mow large lawns and generate enough torque to cut through tall, dense grass. The amp rating is also important in determining how powerful an electric lawn mower is. For example, a 12-amp electric mower can power through tough grass, while a 6-amp model would struggle. A corded electric lawn mower typically draws between 6 and 13 amps from a standard outlet. The battery on most cordless models delivers about 18 amps per hour.
Brushless vs. Brushed Motor
Brushless motors are more efficient, because they don’t lose much energy through friction and heat, both of which could potentially damage the motor. Plus, you don’t have to worry about replacing brushes when they wear out. All of these factors contribute to a more reliable performance and less maintenance. Brushed motors, on the other hand, generate more heat, which explains their tendency to stall and overheat. Although brushed motors are more affordable upfront, you may pay more for maintenance in the long run. You’ll also need to replace worn-out brushes as needed, which is an additional expense.
Grass Bag Catcher
A grass bag catcher attaches to the side or rear of a lawn mower and collects grass clippings. Grass cuttings are collected in a bag at the same time as they are cut. This is a convenient feature because it saves you from having to bag or clean up the clippings yourself. With a grass-catching bag, your lawn will look neat and well-maintained after mowing.
An electric lawn mower with mulching capabilities will chop grass up finely and drop the clippings back onto the lawn. As the clippings decompose, they release nutrients, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, into the soil. Since mulching naturally improves the health of your lawn, it may need fewer fertilizer treatments.
Adjustable Cutting Height
Most electric lawn mowers have an adjustable cutting height, ranging from 1 to 4 inches, which allows users to cut a variety of grasses and tackle tall, overgrown lawns. As a general rule of thumb, the ideal height for cool-season grass is about 2 1/2 inches. When mowing, you should only remove about the top third of the grass blades.
“The lifespan of an electric lawn mower varies, based on make, model, and consumer care practices,” says Kris Kiser, president and CEO of Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI). “Just like other outdoor equipment, with proper maintenance, charging, and battery storage practices, then the electric lawn mower can easily meet the user’s expectations.”
- Regularly inspect the cords for nicks and frays, as well as the batteries for any damage or deformities.
- Confirm that all of the vents are free from debris.
- Be sure to only use batteries and chargers in conjunction with manufacturer recommendations.
In the case of electric lawn mowers, convenience comes with a cost. Push mowers are on the lower end of the price scale, but they also require the most amount of manual labor. Self-propelled mowers typically cost several hundred dollars more than push mowers, but they reduce the amount of manual labor that’s needed. advanced models, such as robotic and riding mowers, can be quite expensive, but they essentially do all the work for you. It’s up to you to decide whether you want to put in the labor or pay more to make your life easier.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was written by Sage McHugh, a home and lifestyle writer who has been contributing to The Spruce since 2019. To select the best electric lawn mowers for this roundup, she considered dozens of products, carefully evaluating their motor type, power source, cutting width, special features, and overall performance. McHugh consulted hundreds of customer reviews, as well as write-ups from third-party websites. For additional insight, she interviewed Kris Kiser, president and CEO of Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI).
Jenica Currie, Commerce Editor for The Spruce updated this list with insights gathered from testing various electric lawn mowers in our own backyards across the country. She also added additional picks and reporting.
What Is The Spruce Approved?
Here at The Spruce, we want to ensure that we fully stand behind every product we recommend and that when we say something is the best, we mean it. You might have noticed The Spruce Approved badge next to the products on this list. Every product with this badge has been rigorously tested in person and carefully selected by our expert team of lab testers and editors. In most cases, we buy all of these products ourselves, though occasionally, we get samples provided to us directly by companies. No matter how we procure products, they all go through the same tests and must meet the same strict criteria to make the best-of cut.
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Head to Head Lawn Mower Shootout
UPDATE: We have recently done a NEW Cordless Law Mower Head-to-Head article. Click on the link to view that one with the latest models tested.
Cordless Lawn Mowers are quickly taking over the lawn and gardens section in stores, so we wanted to test several of the leading brands and find out who makes the best Cordless Lawn Mower.
The first U.S., gasoline powered lawn mower was manufactured in 1914 by Ideal Power Mower Co. and they certainly do a great job cutting small to medium size lawns and trimming tough areas on large lawns. But gas mowers are noisy, smelly, and require a bunch of regular maintenance on the gas powered engine.
Why Cordless Lawn Mowers?
Cordless Lawn Mowers are being touted for being quieter, odorless, and nearly maintenance free. On the other hand, gas powered mowers require lots of service including oil changes, fuel filters, spark plugs and air filters. Any often times people wait to do service until the mower won’t start and the lawn is growing faster than the hair on your head! Cordless mowers eliminate much of the maintenance and they are quieter and odorless.
Our cordless lawn mower head to head will tell you who we think makes the best model, and we’ll answer the question whether cordless mowers perform similar to a gas powered mower.
Cordless Lawn Mower Head to Head Comparisons
While this head to head isn’t a scientific research project, we did make an attempt to evaluate each mower in several categories and rank them against each other. The results are not necessarily comparative to other models on the market, but they are relative to the 5 models tested. For this comparison we looked at the following categories:
- Quality of Cut – This was a subject comparison based on mowing adjacent areas of lawn and comparing the quality of the cut areas.
- Noise – We measured decibel levels for each mower. The test was performed with each mower set at the highest deck level, sitting on a concrete slab. We measured the noise at the highest motor speed and the lowest ( Note – some models motors ra mp down due to demand to save battery life).
- Run Time – Run time is affected by so many different variables that there’s no great way to test this. However, we wanted to give a relative comparison for discussion purposes so we tested the run time under “no load” conditions.
- Handle Comfort Adjustment – Another subjective comparison focusing on the handle height, adjustments, and overall comfort.
- Maneuverability – We evaluated how easily the mowers were to push. This category is largely factored based on the mower weight and wheel design.
- Deck Height Adjustability – We ranked each of the mowers based on how easy they were to adjust th e cutting deck hei ght.
Cordless Lawn Mower Lineup
We reached out to several of the top cordless lawn mower manufacturers and asked if they would like to participate in our head to head article. We received 5 different models from 4 manufacturers including: Kobalt, Craftsman, Black Decker and EGO. The models we tested include:
- Black Decker 36V Lead Acid 19″ Single Blade Cordless Lawn Mower – Model CM1936
- Craftsman 40V Lithium-Ion 20″ Dual Blade Cordless Lawn Mower – Model 25081
- EGO Power 56V Lithium-Ion 20″ Single Blade Cordless Lawn Mower – Model LM2001
- Kobalt 40V Lithium-Ion 19″ Single Blade Cordless Lawn Mower – Model KM1940-06
- Kobalt 40V Lithium-Ion 20″ Dual Blade Cordless Lawn Mower – Model KM2040X-06
Cordless Lawn Mower Features
All 5 mowers have fairly similar features included the ones noted in the table below. The EGO does offer a unique LED light system to help mow in the dark if you feel like stretching your work day!
Cut” Quality & Performance Winner – EGO LM2001
To evaluate the cut quality we mowed areas of lawn with each mower side by side. After cutting the grass with both a bag and in mulching mode we looked over the grass to evaluate how well the grass was cut. Two mowers really stood out with excellent cut quality and they are the EGO and Black & Decker models.
Both mowers did a great job cutting tall grass. To test the mowers in an extreme (really tall grass to strain the motor) case we mowed a section of lawn that was just over 6″ tall. The EGO really excelled when mowing tall grass due to it’s powerful 56V engine. The EGO also edged out the Black & Decker slightly when cutting in mulching mode and that’s was also a result of power of power. The 56V battery platform pushes the EGO LM2001 into an entire category by itself with respect to power and I really felt like I was using a gas powered mower.
Noise – Winner Kobalt KM1940-06
One of the biggest questions readers have asked about cordless mowers seems to be how loud are they?
We did a basic decibel test to measure the noise of the mowers in a controlled situation to get a relative comparison of noise. The test consisted of running each mower with the deck raised to it’s highest level sitting on a concrete slab. We measured the decibel levels with a simple cell phone app. Many of the mower motors start at a high RPM and cycle down to a slower speed to save energy (the motors cycle up in RPMs with tall er or thick grass). We measured the noise at both high and low levels where applicable.
The average gas powered lawn mower is approximately 90 dB. Therefore, these cordless mowers are almost 100 times less noisy compared to the gas mower. (decibels are a logarithmic scale, 20 decibels difference is 100 times louder). While the Kobalt did edge out the other models, all of them are significantly quieter compared to a traditional gas powered mower which is a good thing!
Run Time Winner – Black & Decker CM1936
Run time is another big question on the minds of people considering the move from gas powered to battery powered mowers. Huge advancements in battery technology are making these cordless mowers a viable option but the million dollar question on everyone’s mind is how long can you mow on a charge? Mowing run time will vary greatly depending on height of grass, thickness of grass, and type of grass.
In order to get a relative comparison of run time we tested the mowers under “no load” conditions. Obviously this results in longer run times than can be expected while mowing grass, it does allow us to compare the mowers on the same conditions to rank them from longest run time to shortest run time.
While the Black & Decker definitely took the run time category it does come at a price and that’s overall weight. The large, bulky battery weighs 30 lbs and it’s the size of a small car battery. The battery is a sealed lead acid battery much like an automobile battery which is much different than the other battery types.
All of the other mowers averaged about 1 hour of run time. The Craftsman and 20″ Kobalt both use two batteries so we tested them with the 4.0 and 2.0 Ah batteries that came standard with the mowers. The run time would definitely go up if you used two 4.0 Ah batteries in them so that’s certainly something to consider as an upgrade.
Also, another thing to consider in this category is the charge time for the batteries. While the B&D lasts longer, it takes MUCH longer to charge. The user manual states 12 to 20 hours to charge the battery compared to just an hour or two with all the other models. EGO really does great with their 30 minute fast charger which really comes in handy.
Handle Comfort & Adjustability Winner – EGO LM2001
When it comes to comfort with respect to push mowers the handle is a big deal. We evaluated the five mowers on comfort and adjustability and found that the EGO LM2001 was not only the more comfortable but it offered the easiest height adjustment. The EGO offers a durable, yet comfortable foam/rubber padding on the handle and a comfortable angle configuration on the main handle that allows for a couple different hand positions.
It’s worth noting that the EGO had a much higher handle height than the other models which I prefer as I’m over 6′ tall. For shorter users, this height may be an issue to consider. Rob is quite a bit shorter than I am and he still found the lower setting to be comfortable.
Maneuverability Winner – Craftsman, EGO & Kobalt
Maneuverability of push mowers is especially important when trimming around gardens, trees and other landscaping features. The ease with which the mowers role is largely a result of the wheels and mower weight. We had a 3 way tie for this category between the Craftsman 25081, EGO LM2001, and the Kobalt KM2040X-06. All three mowers had good size wheels, relatively low total weight, and comfortable handles.
The heavier weight and smaller wheels on the Black & Decker made this mower feel much harder to push and maneuver around obstacles. The steel deck Kobalt KM1940-06 also felt “heavy” and less nimble in this category.
Deck Height Adjustability Winner – Black & Decker CM1936
All of the mowers we tested include a single lever deck height adjustment feature. This sure does beat adjusting each wheel like the old style mowers. Four of the mowers use some sort of lever while the Black & Decker uses a unique patented One-Touch height adjustment. The Black & Decker CM1936 is very easy to move both up and down with a single hand. All the other models need a bit of assistance from a second hand to help lift the mowers up. The Kobalt KM1940-06 came in 2nd place because it offered 7 positions (more than any other model) and it has a spring assisted system that also helps moving the deck up with less effort compared to other models.
Compact Design & Storage Winner – EGO LM2001
One of the big reasons you should consider one of these cordless mowers is some of them offer a very compact design that allows you to store them in small spaces. Garages seem to be taken over by mowers, trimmers and tools during the summer and some of these models do a great job minimizing storage space. The EGO LM2001 really blew away the competition with their very easy to store design. In just 15 seconds you can quickly fold the unit up and store it vertically in a space the size of a suitcase.
Because the EGO can be stored both horizontal and vertically, it offers a better solution in tight spaces. Also, with the vertical solution you can even hang it on the wall which I think is a great option for those of us with a need to hang everything in it’s place.
The Kobalt and Craftsman models also fold up fairly small, but the handles don’t lock into place making it hard to store vertically like the EGO. The B&D model only folds at the deck so it doesn’t fold up as small as some of the other models.
Fit & Finish Winner – EGO LM2001
Two of the mowers really stood out with regard to fit and finish. The EGO LM2001 was our first choice with heavy duty parts, simple operate levers and clamps, and a very polished appearance. The runner up in this category goes to the Black & Decker CM1936. It too has heavy duty parts and smooth operating features. It’s worth noting that all five mowers are well built and operated easily.
Winner of Fit & Finish – EGO LM2001
Runner-Up Fit & Finish – Black & Decker CM1936
Value Winner – Kobalt KM1940-06
This category was tough to decide on a winner but we are giving it to the Kobalt KM1940-06 because it’s the cheapest model we tested and it comes with two batteries (2.0 Ah and 4.0 Ah). Kobalt has a great line of outdoor power equipment that runs off this same platform so having a mower for 349 including two batteries is a great value. The Black & Decker CM1936 is roughly the same price but the big bulky battery isn’t useful for anything else so in our opinion it’s not nearly the same value.
Best Value – Kobalt KM1940-06
The EGO was the most expensive at 499 but we believe it’s a case of you get what you pay for. The great fit and finish along with exceptional design features make the extra cost worth it in our opinion.
Best” Cordless Lawn Mower – EGO LM2001 56V Mower
Best Cordless Mower – EGO LM2001
Each of the mowers we tested did a good job cutting grass and offer features that you’d expect from a good push mower. However, the EGO LM2001 was definitely a cut above the competition. Starting with it’s excellent portable design to the powerful 56V motor, the EGO outperformed the competition when it came to performance, store-ability, and durability.
EGO also offers a platform of outdoor power equipment with a blower, trimmer and chainsaw so you can combine batteries and have one platform and a solution for all of your lawn and garden tasks. Th e EGO was the most expensive model we tested but we feel the extra cost is worth it and likely to pay off in a very short period of time.
If the Black & Decker was on a more current battery platform it would have competed much closer for the top billing. A newer battery platform would help the mower shed some unnecessary weight and make it more versatile.