How Long Will an Electric Mower Last? Surprisingly durable!
From small manual mowers to giant lawn tractors, there are countless lawn mowers to choose from, and with so many shapes and sizes available, choosing the right one can sometimes feel like a chore in itself. However, with the surging gas prices, more and more people are starting to wonder if they should go electric, but how long will an electric mower last?
If bought new and maintained, most lawn mowers will last between 8 and 10 years. However, homeowners should be prepared to replace the battery in an electric mower after about five years.
Continue reading to learn more about electric mowers, including the pros and cons of owning one and things you should know before you buy one.
Electric Mowers — What Are They?
Electric lawnmowers are mowers that run on electricity. There are two types of electric mowers—corded and cordless. The difference between the two is fairly obvious: one has a cord, and the other does not. Corded mowers draw power from the power source that they are plugged into, while cordless mowers have batteries that must be charged in order to run.
There are advantages and disadvantages to both types. While a corded mower is not limited by a battery charge, having to deal with a lengthy cord can be a pain. On the other hand, while you do not have to mess with a cord with a cordless machine, its running time is limited to how long the battery will hold a charge.
Pros and Cons of an Electric Mower
Although there has been a noticeable shift away from gas-powered machines in recent years, you might be surprised to know that electric mowers have been around since the 1930s. So why aren’t these handy little machines more popular? Perhaps the answer to that question lies within the pros and cons listed below.
Advantages of an Electric Mower
- Less Maintenance
Electric mowers are much quieter than gas-powered mowers because they do not have a noisy engine. While this is obviously more peaceful, it might be better for your health as well. Electric mowers emit sounds at around 75 decibels, while most gas mowers run at 95 decibels. Sounds below 75 decibels are not harmful to your ears, while anything above 75 decibels may damage your hearing after prolonged exposure.
Cheaper Maintenance Costs
Although some maintenance tasks are universal across all models, electric mowers typically require less maintenance than gas mowers. For example, gas mowers require a lot of engine maintenance that electric mowers do not need, such as oil changes and spark plug replacements.
Most electric mowers are lighter than their gas-powered counterparts and because of this, they are easier to handle, move, and maneuver around your lawn.
Cheaper Price Tag
While both options can be found in a variety of price ranges, electric mowers tend to be less expensive than gas-powered mowers. For example, the average price of an electric mower is between 250 and 580, while gas-powered mowers cost around 1,000 mark.
Cheaper to Run
With gas soaring, it seems obvious that gas-powered mowers are more expensive to run, but with electricity costs rising around the country as well, are you saving that much?
Well, last season I bought my father a new electric Husqvarna mower, I’d tune up his old gas mower at the start of each season so she’d run with one pull and while it was reliable, it was just too much work for him.
The electric is a gift, he’s not buying gas, fuel stabilizer, oil, spark plugs, air filters, and associated labor to fit, and not paying the associated labor with fitting, cleaning, and tuning. Electric mowers are a ton cheaper to maintain.
Consider a gas mower that needs a service every season, that costs about 90 depending on the size and model. We’ll need a fuel stabilizer for the season, and oil for top-ups, let’s call that 20.
Now let’s estimate the cost of gas per cut. Mower engines, gas tank sizes, gas and electricity will all affect our figures. Bear in mind these are ballpark figures. Better to be roughly right than exactly wrong if you know what I mean)
let’s consider you have a 1/4 acre lawn, and you have an average size gas-powered walk-behind mower.
Most mowers will cut a half-acre to a tank of gas. And a tank of gas is somewhere around a half-gallon (usually a little more, but let’s keep this simple.) And so, let’s say our mower will cut our 1/4 acre on a half tank of gas. With gas at 4 plus currently that’s somewhere around a dollar a cut.
Not bad, you might say, now lest consider what an electric mower might cost to cut the same lawn.
Most walk-behind electric mowers will run a 40v 5ah battery which is capable of cutting a 1/4 acre on one charge. To recharge said battery requires about 2 Kwh, and with electricity currently charged at 14 c per Kwh, that’s 28c.
Now let’s take a look at the running cost of both gas and electric mowers side by side:
Besides being in many ways the cheaper choice, electric lawnmowers are also more eco-friendly than their gas-powered cousins. In fact, according to the California Air Resource Board, running a gas mower for one hour is equivalent to driving around 300 miles in a car!
Disadvantages of an Electric Mower
Battery Charge Time
Utilizing a battery instead of gasoline is one of the biggest advantages of these machines, but it is also a giant disadvantage as well. Most electric mowers have batteries that will last anywhere from 45 to 60 minutes before needing to be recharged, which can be a pain if it takes longer than that to mow your lawn.
You can avoid recharging by opting for a corded mower but having a cord can significantly reduce your mobility. You must be aware of where the cord is always, and most cords span less than 1 acre.
The type of lawn that you have may or may not be suitable for an electric mower. Hills will drain the battery much quicker than flat terrain and electric mowers do not work well on long or coarse grasses. Additionally, if your lawn is over an acre, you may have to stop and recharge multiple times.
Although many manufacturers will boast that their electric product is comparable to a gas-powered counterpart, this is simply not true. While there are many things to love about electric mowers, gas mowers are still king when it comes to sheer grunt.
This is an unfair disadvantage because all lawnmowers pose a certain level of danger to their riders/pushers. However, electric corded mowers have the added electrical element to worry about. Operators must be aware of their cord to ensure they do not run it over, and wet grass should be avoided all the time. Admittedly, battery-powered mowers don’t pose an electric shock risk.
The average deck size for an electric mower is between 19 and 21 inches. This is much smaller than the average gas-powered deck, which can range anywhere from 30 plus inches. So, not only are you limited by a battery, but you are cutting less grass on each pass as well.
How Long Will a Cordless Mowers Battery Last?
For the most part, the life of your electric mower will depend on the life of its battery, and how long the battery will last will depend on several factors, such as:
Sound Test. MeanGreen Electric Mower vs. Gas Powered
- what type of battery it is,
- how the battery is cared for and maintained,
- how often you charge the battery,
- your charging habits,
- your lawn size and terrain,
- and how often you run your mower.
However, the average lifespan of a cordless mower’s battery is around 3 to 5 years.
How Long Will a Cordless Mowers Battery Stay Charged?
Again, this depends on several factors, such as the type of battery you are using and how you are using your machine. For example, lawns that have a lot of hilly areas may drain a battery faster than a level lawn would.
That being said, most batteries will last anywhere from forty-five minutes to upwards of two hours (for a top Lithium-ion battery).
Ways To Extend the Life of Your Electric Mower
Now that you have a basic idea of how long an electric mower will last you, let’s talk about ways that you can extend the life of your machine.
Charge the battery appropriately and make sure to follow the directions that come with your mower. There is a lot of science behind how and when a battery should be charged, including at what amperage is best to charge it, but what is best for your battery will depend on the type of battery you have. Make sure to research the battery and find out the best way to charge it.
Keep it dry. Nothing will kill an electric mower faster than water, especially if it gets into the electrical components of the machine. Do not mow after a rainstorm and watch out for dew and boggy areas. You should also keep the machine covered when it is not being used.
Keep it clean. Although water is a fear for electric machines, it is important to keep your mower clean and battery-free from corrosion. You can do this with a damp cloth and a bit of mild soap, just make sure to use the least amount of water possible.
Do not push it. It is easy to lose track of time and forget to mow, but if you allow the grass to grow too long, you might strain your electric mower. Additionally, try not to mow on steep inclines as this will drain the battery much quicker.
Use a trickle charger. Trickle charges will not charge your battery as quickly, but you can place it on the charger and keep it warm and protect it against sulfation while it is not being used.
Make sure you store the battery away from harsh weather and bring it indoors during the colder seasons.
Keep up on the maintenance of your machine.
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How Loud Is a Lawn Mower in Decibels (dB)? With Noise Comparison Chart
It’s normal to be a little irritated by the loud hum of your lawn mower, but have you ever considered just how much it affects your hearing? While many electric lawn mowers are quiet enough to use without worry, your typical gas lawn mower could be chipping away at your hearing with each use, causing permanent and undue damage. A gas lawn mower runs at roughly 85 dB.
A pristine lawn is never worth your hearing! We’ll detail how loud the different types of lawn mowers can get and what you can do to make sure you’re staying safe.
How Loud Is a Lawn Mower?
A gas lawn mower runs at roughly 85 dB, the level at which hearing loss can begin to set in after prolonged exposure. Hearing loss is gradual, cumulative, and often irreversible, so it’s crucial to limit the amount of time that you spend mowing the lawn at this volume. OSHA requires companies to use hearing conservation practices in areas where employees are subject to average noise levels over 85 dB during an 8-hour shift. At this noise level, it’s possible to begin experiencing hearing loss after just 2 hours of continuous exposure.
The quietest lawn mowers are non-powered push reel lawn mowers, which average around 55 dB. It’s equivalent to a coffee machine or humming refrigerator. These lawn mowers are slightly quieter than a typical conversation volume (~60dB), and there is no chance of hearing loss no matter how long you spend mowing your lawn.
At 75 dB, electric lawn mowers are the second-quietest option. These run at roughly the same volume as a vacuum cleaner or coffee grinder. While the noise level may cause some annoyance for the user, it’s unlikely that you’ll experience hearing loss or bother the neighbors.
Riding options are the loudest, with lawn mowers and tractors averaging 90–100 dB. These run about as loud as a belt sander, fire alarm, or subway. At these volumes, it’s possible to start experiencing hearing loss in under an hour.
How to Protect Your Hearing
The best way to protect yourself from hearing loss when using a lawn mower is to wear ear protection.
Not sure whether you need ear protection? If you have to raise your voice to be heard from only a few feet away, the volume is likely at least 85 dB, and you should either consider wearing ear protection or limiting your time mowing. There are also smartphone apps available to test the decibel level of your lawn mower.
You can decrease the volume by 15–30 decibels with properly fitting ear plugs or ear muffs. That’s often enough to lower the volume of gas-powered and riding lawn mowers to a safe level. To make life more pleasant for you and the neighborhood, you can also try these tips to make your lawn mower quieter:
- Clean or replace the muffler
- Use sound-dampening mats on your lawn mower deck to absorb pings and rattling sounds
- Attach a silencer to reduce engine noises
While these fixes can help substantially cut your lawn mower’s volume, regular maintenance is the best way to reduce the noise and ensure long-term performance. You should change the oil at least once a year and check the air filter and spark plugs every few months. Keep the blades sharpened and tightened and the area free of clippings.
Most people wish they had a quieter lawn mower, but it’s not often we consider how much it can permanently affect our hearing. The next time you fire up your lawn mower, take a quick reading of the volume and estimate your mowing time. It could be time for you to invest in a pair of earplugs or change to an electric mower. When it comes to your hearing, you’ll be thanking yourself later for the simple steps you take today.
Featured Image Credit: Piqsels
Professional landscapers are reluctant to plug into electric mowers due to cost
Austin Acocella, co-owner of Acocella Landscaping in Westchester County, N.Y., is holding onto his gas-powered mowers. He says electric ride-ons are too expensive for him to switch right now. Matthew Schuerman hide caption
Austin Acocella, co-owner of Acocella Landscaping in Westchester County, N.Y., is holding onto his gas-powered mowers. He says electric ride-ons are too expensive for him to switch right now.
SCARSDALE, N.Y. — Electric lawn mowers have taken the U.S. consumer market by storm over the past few years. And they’ve done so quietly — about 20 decibels more quietly in some cases.
Once restricted to lawns no larger than the length of an extension cord, mowers on the market today run on lithium ion batteries that can last 45 minutes or more without charging and cost about as much as gas-powered versions. And in 2021, according to market research company FactMR, electric lawn mowers made up 37% of all sales.
But professional landscapers, who have to run their machines all day, day after day, have yet to join the trend in large numbers. Electric heavy-duty ride-on mowers make up just 11% of the total market for all heavy-duty ride-on mowers.
For homeowners, I feel like it’s great, said Austin Acocella, co-owner of Acocella Landscaping in Scarsdale, N.Y. The battery just doesn’t last long, especially for the stuff that I do.
He has checked out commercial-grade mowers with batteries that can last six or more hours, but hasn’t wanted to pay the upfront costs. A 52-inch-wide ride-on model, the Rival from Mean Green Mowers, starts at nearly 30,000. That is more than three times a comparable gas-powered machine – though the manufacturer says the customer will break even given significantly lower operation and maintenance costs.
In the future I would love to buy them, but right at this second, I just can’t because of inflation and just everything that’s going on, Acocella says. I just can’t swing it yet.
Acocella and his employees began using hand-held electric devices – leaf blowers, weed whackers and hedge trimmers – last year when one of his clients, the town of Larchmont, required it. He’s begun to use them on other properties as well because they are lighter, much quieter, and don’t emit pollutants. But with the exception of the hedge trimmer, he says, they need frequent battery changes and are not as powerful.
I need something that’s going to last long or something that’s easy, Austin says. Like I have a gas can, it’s on a truck that I just fuel up and I go. How many batteries do I need to have in order to get through the day?
Mean Green Mowers, a 10-year-old electric lawn mower company based in Ohio, sells commercial-grade ride-on lawn mowers with long-lasting batteries. Jen Stroker (left), regional development manager for the company, and Raymond Rocco, co-owner of C.R. Power, which sells the products, demonstrated the Rival model in a Port Chester, N.Y., park recently. Matthew Schuerman hide caption
Mean Green Mowers, a 10-year-old electric lawn mower company based in Ohio, sells commercial-grade ride-on lawn mowers with long-lasting batteries. Jen Stroker (left), regional development manager for the company, and Raymond Rocco, co-owner of C.R. Power, which sells the products, demonstrated the Rival model in a Port Chester, N.Y., park recently.
Bans on gas-powered gear
Yet landscapers are being pressured to change – sometimes by clients and sometimes by governments. Last fall, the California Legislature passed a law requiring that all new landscaping equipment sold in the state be emissions-free beginning Jan. 1, 2024.
The state and national landscaping associations objected, arguing that electric equipment wasn’t advanced enough to operate for long periods of time, and in some cases, did not work as well as gas equipment. As proof, they cited a study from the California State University at Fullerton to show that zero emissions equipment hadn’t caught on among professionals. The study found that less than 6% of equipment used by landscapers were zero-emissions, compared to more than 50% of the gear used by homeowners.
But Assemblymember Marc Berman, the bill’s author, disputes the industry’s characterization of zero-emissions equipment.
This equipment is ready today, said Berman, a Democrat from Palo Alto. There are at least eight brands that produce zero emission equipment in each major equipment category for commercial equipment.
After that bill was passed, New York State Sen. Pete Harckham introduced a similar bill in Albany. Though it did not pass in the regular session, Harckham told NPR he plans to re-introduce it but has not decided on when the mandate would take effect.
Both the California legislation and the New York proposal only address the sale of new equipment, meaning landscapers and homeowners can continue using their existing gas-powered tools.
Numerous cities and towns across the country have gone further and restricted the use – as opposed to just the purchase – of gas-powered leaf blowers. And this month, two municipalities in Marin County, Calif., – Fairfax and Sausalito – banned the use of other gas-powered equipment as well, including mowers, to be phased in over the next 18 months.
Mixed environmental impact
Electric lawn mowers won’t help much in terms of climate-changing emissions – people just don’t mow their lawns nearly as much as they drive. The California Air Resources Board, for example, estimates that phasing out gasoline-powered lawn equipment will save an average of 0.66 million metric tons of CO2 a year, while the state produced 418 million tons in 2019 – the last year data was available.
But the agency found that gasoline-powered engines produce substantial amounts of other pollutants, such as nitrogen oxide, which can lead to respiratory difficulties and smog. In addition, researchers have raised concerns about the impact of the equipment’s noise and vibrations on operators’ health.
Large, commercial-grade equipment is used on a significant proportion of green spaces around the country – not only public properties and office parks. The California State University survey found, for example, that half of the state’s residents with lawns hired landscapers to take care of them, either partially or fully.
Drawbacks of mandates
Still, even some supporters of green landscaping oppose mandating electric equipment, arguing that it may cause small landscapers – an important employer of immigrants and limited-skill workers – to go out of business.
If you just ban the use of equipment, you’re really putting the entire onus on the landscapers to come up with the money that they need to purchase the equipment, said Jamie Banks, the founder and CEO of the non-profit Quiet Communities, Inc. It’s not just purchasing the tool but also purchasing enough batteries and enough chargers that they can meet their work production needs.
And some of those batteries are expensive – as much as 1,500 for a backpack-style one to power a leaf blower. California lawmakers have so far allocated 30 million for subsidies to offset the higher landscapers will have to pay for new electric equipment. But the National Association of Landscape Professionals said the amount breaks down to just 15 for each piece of gas-powered equipment that landscapers in the state need to replace.
Berman, the state legislator, said that he is hoping to get more subsidies in the budget for the coming year.
Quiet Communities and another nonprofit, the American Green Zone Alliance, have been working with towns, school districts, and other entities to adopt zero-emissions equipment for their own properties, but to do so voluntarily. So far, they say they have recruited about 20 locales and institutions across the country to take part in their program.
I think the writing is on the wall, Banks said. It’s just, how do we get there in a way that’s, you know, fair, most efficient and so forth.
Can a battery-powered mower make the cut? I tested Makita’s eco-friendly 18-inch lawn mower and was impressed by the power of this whisper-quiet lawn tool.
By Glenda Taylor | Updated May 22, 2023 8:34 AM
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Photo: Glenda Taylor for Bob Vila
Maintaining a regular mowing schedule is vital to achieving lush and healthy turfgrass. However, a battery-powered lawn mower is worth considering if you prefer a quieter and eco-friendly option to loud gas-powered mowers. I have plenty of experience with lawn mowers, but until now, they’ve all been gas-powered models. I put off buying a battery-powered electric lawn mower because many models are pricey, plus I had my doubts that the batteries would last long enough to mow my entire yard. I was wrong.
Thanks to constant improvements in rechargeable batteries, manufacturers like Makita—an industry leader in battery-operated tools and appliances—are producing some of today’s best battery-powered lawn mowers. I’ve used dozens of Makita cordless tools over the years, and I’ve come to know the brand for its high-quality workmanship and cutting-edge technology. Recently, I got the chance to test a Makita lawn mower—the XML03, an 18-inch model—in my own yard. Over 3 weeks, I mowed a large section of my yard (about ⅓ acre) six times—twice per week—with the XML03. Keep reading to find out how the Makita mower fared in my hands-on testing and learn the features I liked best, plus a couple I wish Makita would consider changing.
The Makita XML03 Brushless Cordless 18-Inch Lawn Mower: At a Glance
Photo: Glenda Taylor for Bob Vila
EGO Electric Lawn Mower 1 Year Later.Was It Worth It?
- Eco-friendly battery power eliminates the need for carbon-producing gas and oil
- Quieter than fuel-powered mowers—early morning mowing won’t bother neighbors
- 4 batteries included with purchase; when 1 set runs down, swap in a charged set
- Handle located in front of mower for easy (and safe) lifting
- Simple push-button start—no cords to pull or pumps to prime
- Fold-down handles reduce storage-space requirements in a garage or shed
- Relatively narrow 18-inch swath width can make it time-consuming to mow large yards
- The Makita XML03 is not self-propelled and can be challenging to push on inclines
- Grass-clipping bag is on the small side and may require frequent dumping
Get the XML03 Makita electric lawn mower at:
What is the Makita lawn mower?
The Makita XML03 is a battery-powered lawn mower with an 18-inch-wide cutting swath. The mower’s relatively narrow swath width puts it in the category of a small-to-medium yard mower. Makita claims the four batteries, which are included, will mow up to ⅓ acre on a single charge. However, the XML03 is not a self-propelled mower, so the actual area it will mow will depend on how quickly you push the mower and how thick the grass is. The Makita lawn mower has a detachable grass-catching bag and an optional mulching attachment. The bag holds up to 1.7 bushels (16 gallons) of grass clippings, and I emptied the bag an average of six times every time I mowed the test area.
The XML03 features a single mowing blade that spins at up to 3,300 revolutions per minute (rpm). That’s right in-line with gas-powered mowers that typically range between 2,800 and 3,600 rpm. But rpm also depends on resistance—because the thicker or higher the grass, the more resistance the blade will run into, which can slow down the spinning speed. This is also a factor with gas-powered mowers but to a lesser extent. The best mowing practice for any lawn is to cut no more than ⅓ of the grass blade. This will require mowing more frequently during spring and early summer when grass grows the quickest. Cutting ⅓ of the grass blade or less puts less strain on a mower, and it’s better for the health of the grass.
Photo: Glenda Taylor for Bob Vila
How long do the batteries last when mowing with the Makita lawn mower?
One of my goals when testing the Makita lawn mower was to see if it would meet the manufacturer’s claim of mowing ⅓ acre without stopping for recharging of the batteries. The XML03 runs on two 18-volt batteries simultaneously, giving it the equivalent of 36 volts of power. The batteries that come with the mower are 4.0 amp hours (Ah), which are considered mid-to-high capacity batteries.
Before each mowing test, I fully charged all four batteries. In all but one of the six times I mowed, the batteries not only lasted long enough for me to finish cutting the test area, but I also still had some leftover charge according to the battery indicator on the handle. The only time I could not mow the entire test area—a 130-feet-long by 112-feet-wide section—was when the grass was still damp from an overnight rain shower. Even the best cordless lawn mowers are typically a bit less powerful than gas-powered mowers.
Mowing when the grass is damp increases the resistance on the cutting blade, plus it’s not a good idea to mow wet grass for the health of the turf—but I wanted to conduct a thorough test. I had just two strips of lawn left to go when the second set of batteries ran down. But when the grass was dry, I had no problem cutting the entire test area.
The XML03 has a brushless motor, which helps with both power and battery runtime, but remember that lithium-ion batteries lose power over time. For the best battery life, always charge the batteries completely before use. In addition, remove batteries from the charger when they’re fully charged, which is better for battery health.
Photo: Glenda Taylor for Bob Vila
Is the grass-cutting height on the Makita lawn mower adjustable?
Nearly nothing could be simpler than adjusting the mowing height on the XML03. It features a universal adjustment lever on the back right wheel. I found it easy to use the height-adjustment lever to raise or lower the mower’s deck height as needed. While adjusting the height is easy, however, this is also where I feel Makita could have done a little better. The XML03 cuts as low as 13/16 inch and as high as 3 inches. The lowest height adjustment works well for the buffalo grass I have planted in the front of my yard, but I also have tall fescue growing in another area, and I like to keep it mowed at 3½ inches. Still, 2½ to 3 inches is a typical height for many types of grass, so not being able to raise the deck height to 3½ inches wasn’t a deal breaker for me.
How does the Makita lawn mower compare to a traditional gas mower?
A gas-powered mower will run as long as you have gasoline to dump in the tank. The Makita XML03 will run as long as the batteries retain a charge. Buying an extra set of Makita batteries will increase overall runtime, so if you need to mow more than ⅓ acre at one time, consider investing in another set or two of Makita 18-volt rechargeable batteries.
The last couple of gas mowers I owned came with start buttons, but they stopped working after a few months, and I had to pull the starter cord to get the engines to fire. The Makita lawn mower has the easiest start of all—I just turned on the mower from the control panel on the handle, pushed the button, and the motor started right up. There’s no need to repeatedly pull a start cord, and no smoke or fumes.
The most significant differences between the Makita lawn mower and traditional gas mowers are noise and pollution. A conventional gas mower can generate up to 95 decibels of noise—anything over 85 decibels may damage hearing. Many electric mowers top out around 75 decibels, but according to my decibel tester, the Makita XML03 generated even less noise—about 71 decibels. For comparison, a typical vacuum cleaner generates about 70 decibels.
There’s no question that a battery-powered lawn mower is more eco-friendly. There’s no gasoline to buy or store (a fire hazard), plus there are no toxic fumes emitted as you mow. The sustainability value alone is reason enough for me to consider switching to a more eco-friendly way to mow.
How easy is the Makita lawn mower to maneuver?
The Makita XML03 is not a self-propelled mower, so I had to push it along physically. That said, I didn’t find it too difficult to push. The wheels roll smoothly, but it’s strictly a mower for a flat yard. I tried pushing it up and down slopes as well as horizontally along the sides of slopes. Mowing down a slope was super easy, but pushing the mower up an incline was challenging, to say the least.
Mowing horizontally on an incline was less demanding, but like most mowers, the XML03 tended to slip downward as I mowed. Although the XML03 isn’t self-propelled, some battery-powered lawn mowers are, such as the DeWALT 2X20V MAX that another Bob Vila product-testing team member recently tested.
Making uniform back-and-forth turns was easy, but I discovered something as I was mowing the test area—the Makita lawn mower doesn’t leave noticeable wheel stripes in the lawn. I guessed this was due to its relatively light weight—63.3 pounds with batteries—compared to my gas-powered mowers, which weigh closer to 100 pounds. Less weight on the tires leaves less of a track behind in the grass.
Maneuvering isn’t only about pushing and turning a mower; it’s also about how easy it is to clean out from under the mowing deck and sharpen the blade. It was nice to tip the Makita lawn mower over on its side to access the underside without oil draining out of a tank (like a gas mower). I was cautious about removing the batteries before tipping it over. Included with the mower, Makita sent along a T wrench that fits the nut that holds the blade in place. That’s a nice perk that I’ll appreciate when sharpening or replacing the blade.
Photo: Glenda Taylor for Bob Vila
Should you buy a battery-powered Makita lawn mower?
Before buying the Makita lawn mower, or any battery-powered mower, consider a few things. While the XML03 sells for a reasonable 399 at a handful of retailers, many battery-powered mowers are significantly more expensive than comparable gas-powered ones. Makita can keep the price down on the XML03 by offering a narrow (18-inch) swatch width and omitting a self-propulsion feature. This is an excellent option for when I need to mow early in the morning without waking up the rest of the family and for reducing my carbon footprint.
It takes a little bit more energy and strength to push a nonpropelled mower, but I found that by mowing frequently—so the grass wasn’t too high between mowings—and by cutting only when the grass was dry, the mowing process was pretty enjoyable. However, if you’re not thrilled about pushing a mower, this might not be the best lawn mower for you. The XML03 is among the smaller electric mowers available. However, it’s perfect for those who are serious about reducing greenhouse gas emissions while still having a perfectly manicured lawn.
Where to Buy the Battery-powered Makita Lawn Mower
Get the XML03 Makita electric lawn mower at:
Meet the Tester
Glenda Taylor is a seasoned product tester and writer focusing on construction, remodeling, and DIY home improvement. As a general contracting company co-owner with experience in residential and commercial building applications, she brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reviews. She tests and reviews a wide range of products, including power tools, household appliances, and lawn-and-garden products to help consumers make informed decisions.