Electric vs. Gas Lawn Mowers
Buying a new lawn mower is no longer a simple endeavor. Your first question may be, “Should I buy a battery-powered, corded, or gas mower?” Before you make the big cut, you’ll want to consider things like reliability, storage, maintenance, and noise level.
We’ll help you navigate this wide-open field to decide which type of mower is best for your lawn.
Three different type of mowers
If you like choices, today’s mower market is for you. Choose from a battery-powered, corded electric, or gas lawn mower to find one that is a match for your lawn, mowing style, and budget.
Battery-powered lawn mower
Battery-powered lawn mowers are the first of two types of electric lawn mowers. (Caveat: We won’t address battery-powered robotic mowers in this article, since they are a category unto themselves.)
If you don’t like gas, fumes, or oil changes, battery-powered mowers are a viable option for smaller lawns. If electric lawn tools are appealing to you, find a brand you like and stick with it. You’ll be able to power their entire line of lawn equipment with one brand of battery.
Corded electric lawn mower
Corded electric lawn mowers are the other kid on the electric lawn mower block. These mowers use an electric cord instead of a battery and are great for small, flat lawns. If you don’t like dealing with a vacuum cleaner’s electrical cord, these may not be for you. If toting a cord doesn’t phase you, these are an inexpensive option that can fit almost any budget.
Gas lawn mower
Gas lawn mowers need no introduction. They’ve been around for decades, and until recently, “lawn mower” didn’t need an adjective in front to describe its power source. Power comes at a cost, though. Be prepared to tote a gas can instead of a cord and know that you’ll need to do a little winterization once the season is over.
Pros and cons of battery-powered lawn mowers
Battery-powered lawn mowers (AKA cordless electric mowers) were once weaklings in the face of the mighty gas mower, but now they are new, improved, and ready to go head-to-head (or wheel-to-wheel) with the competition.
Over the years, battery life and power have improved, and these cordless electric lawn mowers are now a viable option for small to average-sized lawns. Homeowners appreciate their quieter, emission-free operation and low maintenance. (Look, Dad, no oil!)
But compared to gas-powered mowers, battery-powered mowers don’t always measure up. Homeowners complain that many battery-powered models slow down or stop in thicker grass. With gas mowers, this isn’t a problem.
Mowing time is also an issue. Some battery-powered machines can’t mow an average-sized, somewhat dense or weedy lawn on one battery charge. This can be frustrating for people who don’t want to do more than one mowing session on an average-sized lawn.
If you’re interested in a battery-powered mower, all is not lost. Here are a few ways to work around these common problems.
Problems and solutions for battery-powered mowers
|Mowing time||Buy more than one battery|
|Thick grass, dense vegetation||Mow slower, tilt the mower back, or raise the mowing height|
|Maintenance||Find a local service dealer before you buy|
If you have a larger yard to mow, or you have thick grass or lots of fall leaves, look for more battery power. Most battery-powered mowers use lithium-ion rechargeable batteries, and you’ll see the battery power listed in volts (18V, 20V, 80V). The higher the voltage, the longer run time you’ll have.
Another concern is maintenance. In most areas of the country, it will be more difficult to find a service center that will repair a battery-powered or corded lawn mower. (California may be an exception.) In addition, centers that repair battery-powered (or corded) mowers often work only on specific brands.
Before you buy a particular brand, go on their website to see if there is a service center near you. If so, call and ask about typical repair costs, longevity, and warranty coverage. If there’s not a service center near you, you may want to consider a different brand, or call around to see if any independent shops work with that brand.
If your lawn is one-quarter to one-third of an acre and your grass isn’t too dense, many battery-powered machines will mow the lawn on a single charge. If you plan to mulch leaves in the fall, or if your lawn starts to grow denser from all of that fall fertilizer, you may want to invest in at least one backup battery.
Pro Tip: Check the specs sheet before you buy. Battery run time, lawn size, cutting height and all of the other specs for that mower are listed in the product description or online owner’s manual.
|Pros of battery-powered lawn mowers||Cons of battery-powered lawn mowers|
|✓ Quieter✓ No gas, oil changes, or fuel filters✓ Best for small, ¼ to ½ acre lots✓ Brushless motor option✓ Many offer foldable storage✓ Most offer a push-button start✓ High marks for ease of use✓ Some offer the same features as gas models: adjustable cutting height, variable speed, mulching option, self-propelled, and steel deck||✗ Not ideal for larger lawns (½ acre or more)✗ Dense, weedy lawns may run down the battery faster, giving you less run time✗ Less power than a gas machine✗ Battery and/or charger may not be included✗ Some models aren’t recommended for uneven terrain (check the specs)✗ Harder to repair|
Popular brands of battery-powered lawn mowers
- Cub Cadet
- Sun Joe
Pros and cons of corded electric lawn mowers
If you have a very small yard, a corded electric mower may be just what you need. You’ll get the eco-friendliness and low noise of a battery-powered mower without ever running out of juice. Many homeowners with simply-shaped lawns find that corded models provide an easy, affordable mowing experience that suits their lawn and budget.
Most manufacturers recommend corded mowers for lawns up to one quarter of an acre. Some models say they’ll work on up to half an acre. But would you want to tote an extension cord across even a quarter of an acre? For some homeowners, a corded mower is ideal even for a larger lawn. It depends on personal preference and the layout of your lawn (hills, flat, outlet location).
To run a corded mower, you’ll need a conveniently placed garage or outdoor outlet and pay close attention to where your cord is at all times. (Standard grounded outlets work fine.)
Corded electric mowers don’t currently (no pun intended) have a self-propelled option, but they are very lightweight. The smallest models with plastic (poly) decks are especially lightweight, even compared with battery-powered machines. The more moderate and larger sizes weigh about the same as a midsize battery-powered model.
Corded models are tethered to an outlet, so their power is measured in amps (amperes). Most models range from 9 to 13 amps for 14- to 21-inch cutting widths. The higher the amps, the more power you have to mow tough areas and long grass.
Some homeowners have a difficult time powering through thick or tall grass with a corded mower. Follow the tips we suggested in the “Battery-Powered Workaround” section above to help your mower get through the tough sections.
The main takeaway? Corded electric mowers are an affordable, powerful-enough option for homeowners with smaller lawns. If you don’t mind learning how to manage the cord, these machines are effective for small suburban lawns.
|Pros of corded electric lawn mowers||Cons of corded electric lawn mowers|
|✓ Lightweight✓ Most affordable of the three mower types✓ Never run out of power — no fading battery or empty gas tank✓ Push-button or lever start — no pull cords✓ Mow forward or backward (watch the cord!)✓ Easy to use✓ Quiet operation✓ Ideal for small yards✓ Steel or poly deck material✓ Low environmental impact — no gas or emissions✓ Most come with the option to mulch and bag; some come with a side discharge option||✗ No option for self-propelled✗ Not ideal for lawns over ¼ of an acre✗ Extension cord not included✗ Cord can be a hassle✗ Mower may bog down in tall or thick grass✗ May be difficult to find a repair dealer for your brand. Some machines are seen as disposable.|
Popular brands of corded electric lawn mowers
- Sun Joe
Pros and cons of gas lawn mowers
(Note: Since lawn tractors and zero-turn mowers are a category unto themselves, we’ll FOCUS only on gas-powered push mowers and gas-powered self-propelled mowers in this section.)
If old gas and high decibels get your goat, a gas lawn mower is not for you. If you appreciate power and performance, you’ve met your perfect mower match.
Gas lawn mowers are the defending champions of American mowing. They have a multi-decade history of helping homeowners keep their lawns manicured and neat without the aid of a family cow or scythe. These workhorses are a key component in a DIYer’s toolkit and have many advantages:
- Gas mowers are reliable and tough — just keep them clean and oiled
- When a gas mower breaks down, you can probably fix it yourself
- Most will mow through any vegetation with no problem: leaves, grass, and weeds
- Can mow almost any size suburban lawn
Today, gas mowers have more bells and whistles and are easier to operate than older models. Here are a few of the newer features you can find on some modern gas mowers:
- Push-button electric start or spring-assist pull start
- Compact storage feature (fold up and store)
- Self-propelled or standard push mower
- Your choice of mulching, side discharge, bag, or a combination
If you’re interested in the power gas mowers provide, look at the number next to “cc” (cubic centimeters) in the product description. The higher the number, the more power you’ve got to mow tough areas.
Although there are pluses to gas mowers, many homeowners are starting to vote with their dollars and choose electric or battery-powered mowers. Homeowners cite the following reasons for going gas-free:
- High noise levels
- Messy gas and oil
- Harmful emissions
- Difficult to start (older models)
- Engine maintenance and winterization
Whether you’re gung ho for gas or an electric mower maven, it’s hard to deny that gas mowers offer a reliable history, a variety of features, and the ability to mow through whatever vegetation stands in your way.
|Pros of gas lawn mowers||Cons of gas lawn mowers|
|✓ Has the most cutting power✓ Works on larger lawns✓ Makes quick work of tall or thick grass✓ No cord to tether you or battery to limit mow time✓ Residential or commercial use✓ If it needs maintenance, small engine repair shops are equipped and knowledgeable ✓ Wide range of price points✓ Pull start, push-button electric start, or spring-assist pull start✓ Many features to choose from: Variable speed, compact storage, push or self-propelled, multiple cutting heights, and mulching, side discharge, or bag options||✗ Heavier than most battery and corded models✗ Louder than most battery and corded models✗ Pull starts may be difficult✗ Require gas, oil, spark plugs, air filters, etc.✗ Emissions may be harmful|
Popular brands of gas lawn mowers
- Briggs and Stratton
- Yard Machines
FAQ on electric vs. gas lawn mowers
How long do electric lawn mowers last?
Mower companies, like cars, put out long-lasting models and lemons. It’s hard to generalize because some people say they’ve had theirs for a decade, while other mowers go belly up in a few years.
The best way to figure out a mower’s lifespan? Call your local small engine repair shop. Ask which models are reliable and which are duds. Ask what they can fix or are willing to fix. By asking experts who have experience repairing all types of mowers, you will get great advice.
Here are a few other questions to consider:
— Do you have an engine shop that is willing or able to repair your model? (Call them and ask.) — How long will you be able to get parts for the machine? Are there generic parts available, or does your mower only accept parts from that company? — How expensive are basic repairs? If repairs cost more than buying a new machine (or almost as much), will you repair your mower, or would you rather upgrade and buy a new machine? — Can you do the repairs yourself, or would you send the mower to the shop?
Is it safe to cut wet grass with an electric lawn mower?
Remember the adage, “Electricity and water don’t mix?” Your corded electric mower manual agrees.
Can electric mowers cut long grass?
The short answer is they prefer not to. Electric mowers are like the electric hair trimmer the barber uses as he’s putting the finishing touches on your summer haircut. The scissors do the heavy cutting first. The electric clippers come in at the end and finish out the shorter hair.
Electric mowers are more of a supplemental maintenance tool. They like to cut regularly mowed lawns and take off the extra one-third of the blade that has grown since your last mow. There are ways to help your electric mower along if the grass has grown a little high: Raise the mower height, tilt the mower on the back wheels, or take those sections at a slower speed.
Betting on a new Champion or sticking with an old reliable
Whether you’re ready to get inventive and eco-friendly with electric mowers or stick with the tried-and-true gas mower, your local small engine repair shop and home improvement store are great spots to get the dirt on top-notch mower models.
If you’re not ready to take the plunge and buy your own electric or gas lawn mower just yet, don’t sweat it. Let one of our local lawn care professionals mow and edge the lawn with their time-tested, professional-grade (gas-powered) lawn care equipment.
Main Photo Credit: Rudy and Peter Skitterians | Pixabay
Greenworks Corded Electric Lawn Mower Reviews – Best Models of 2021
Affiliate Disclaimer: My content may contain links to products I use and love. As an Amazon Associate and participant in various other affiliate programs, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you from qualifying purchases. I only recommend products I personally vetted!
Many people are looking to not only grow a green lawn this year, but also looking to go green in their yard. In other words, looking to ditch using gasoline powered lawn equipment. Enter the world of green technology for lawn care. Greenworks has been one of the leaders in corded and battery powered lawn mowers for a few years already. In this review I’ll go over 2 of the more popular Greenworks Corded Lawn Mowers to give you an overview of what you can expect with using this type of mower.
Greenworks 25012 12 Amp 18-Inch Corded Electric Lawn Mower Review
- Powerful 12 amp electric motor delivers enough power to cut through the toughest grass
- Durable Steel 18-inch cutting deck gets the job done quicker and more efficiently
- 2-In-1 feature, with side discharge and mulching capable
Affiliate links and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on: 2023-06-10
The Greenworks 25012 12 Amp Corded 18-Inch Lawn Mower is stylish and powerful, with a zero-carbon footprint, producing no emissions. The 18-inch electric-powered lawn mower will efficiently trim your yard without putting out a Cloud of emission that keeps your family from enjoying the outdoors while mowing. No more hauling your gas can to the station and back- the GreenWorks offers a no-gas, no-oil, and no-maintenance function.
Mow greener with the Greenworks Electric Mower. Its durable steel cutting deck handles tough, unruly growth of more than just grass. With rear bagging and mulching capabilities, you’ll appreciate the reduced cleanup time behind the mower. This electric-powered mower has 7-inch front wheels and 8-inch rear wheels leaving an 18-inch path. A seven-position lever lets you adjust the height of your lawn.
Fold up and store with a simple cam-lock, so you never have to work around the mower in your garage. The mower comes standard with a mulch plug and offers a 4-year manufacturer’s warranty.
GREENWORKS 25012 FEATURES AND SPECIFICATIONS
The Greenworks Electric Mower is quick and easy to assemble and is ready to take on your multi-terrain lawn. This model offers features that allow it to keep up with the big boys, offering great maneuverability and small storage.
Compared to the roar of a gas-powered mower, the Greenworks Electric Mower practically hums its way across your yard, allowing your family to enjoy being outdoors while you’re mowing. No more wearing earplugs while mowing your lawn.
This light weight mower can handle some of the toughest jobs you can throw at it and will not struggle through high or thick lawns. You’ll get a lot of bang for your buck with the GreenWorks Electric Mower.
CUSTOMER REVIEWS OF THE GREENWORKS 25012 CORDED ELECTRIC LAWN MOWER
The reviews for the Greenworks 25012 12 Amp Corded 18-Inch Lawn Mower at Amazon.com have been very positive and it currently has a review rating of 4.5 stars.
THE NEGATIVE REVIEWS
The majority of the customer feedback for the Greenworks 25012 12 Amp Corded 18-Inch Lawn Mower has been very positive. There have also been a few complaints made by the reviewers and we will discuss some of them now for the benefit of our readers.
One of the most common complaints of this Greenworks Mower has been with regard to getting replacement parts, which many reviewers state is not easy. Customers express having to wait 21 days for parts to arrive in the mail, and then, arriving with no installation instructions or help for them to put the part in. Customer service did not seem to be very helpful for answering questions or for installing parts.
Another problem that buyers had with this Mower was the distance they had to drive to a repair center. Many buyers state that their repair center was 100 miles away and that to have their mower repaired or serviced required them to bring the mower to a service station that cost them a lot of gas- which they thought ironic since this mower is intended to be green.
Finally, some buyers were not happy to find they could not locate a collection bag to purchase for the mower. Some stated that they could not even get hold of customer service, even after calling many times.
THE POSITIVE REVIEWS
Despite the negative Комментарии и мнения владельцев about the Greenworks 25012 12 Amp Corded 18-Inch Lawn Mower that we have just discussed the majority of the customer feedback has been very positive and 73% of the reviewers have given the product a 5-star rating.
What has impressed customers more than anything else about the GreenWorks 25012 12 Amp Corded 18-Inch Lawn Mower is the ease with which it mows, turning small town lots into a quick and easy job and larger yards into a simple afternoon task. Customers loved that its lightweight frame and oversized tires made it manoeuvrable over a lot of different terrains. A lot of buyers expressed that this was the best electric-powered mower they had even owned.
Buyers of this mower really loved its electric feature, especially those who had not owned an electric mower prior to this one. They appreciated being able to plug in the mower and not having to run to the gas station before every mowing job. The majority of buyers were in agreement that owning a mower that did not have to be serviced continuously, with spark plugs and oil changes was refreshing.
And of course, there is the green factor, which buyers absolutely loved. Many buyers actually purchased the mower for no reason other than it does not use gasoline, only to find that the GreenWorks does not compromise any power or function. Dads who mowed their lawns with the GreenWorks said that they really liked being able to mow while their family was out enjoying the yard at the same time- something they could never do with their gas-powered mower.
Would we recommend the Greenworks 25012 12 Amp Corded 18-Inch Lawn Mower to our readers?
Absolutely yes, and here is why:
The feedback for the Greenworks 25012 12 Amp Corded 18-Inch Lawn Mower was higher than we expected to see, and when we began reading stories from owners of this mower we could see why. With only a few exceptions, buyers overwhelmingly loved the product- for the price as well as for its function. Story after story from consumers told of the reasons why they were satisfied with their purchase. When we see a product that meets a need to this degree, we feel almost obligated to tell our readers about it.
The Greenworks 25022 3-in-1 Electric Lawn Mower Review
- Powerful Cutting: The 12 amp motor and 20-inch steel deck with a 3600 RPM work together to cut through the toughest grass with ease
- Versatile Cutting Options: The 3-in-1 system allows for mulching, rear bagging, and side discharge, giving you the flexibility to handle clippings in various ways
- Easy to Use: The easy push button start and single lever 7 position height adjustment make using the mower a breeze, while the cam lock handle allows for easy folding and storage
Affiliate links and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on: 2023-05-24
Do you like the idea of a well-manicured lawn that will be the envy of all your neighbors? Does the tall grass in your front yard bother you? Why pay for a service when you can get your money’s worth in this product? Here’s what the fuss over the Greenworks 25022 is all about:
Firstly, the Greenworks 25022 comes in a box, well packaged and easy to use the minute you receive it. All you have to do is unpack the box, unfold the handle, and voila! Ready to use. It has a 12 Amp engine – which is sufficient to get the job done, a 20” Steel cutting deck that permits you to mulch, use side discharge, or just bag. Now the advantage of the 20” instead of the 18” is that you are able to make fewer passes, so you end up saving your time! A grass collection bag and mulch plug are included in the 25022 package.
THE GREENWORKS 25022 FEATURES:
Being an electric lawn mower, it means it is Eco-friendly. The Greenworks 25022 has a ZERO carbon footprint, which means you’ll be doing your bit towards saving the environment. Each year, American households use around 800 million gallons of gas. Another good point is that it is quiet as compared to gas mowers.
What probably sets the 25022 apart from other mowers is its rear wheel size. They are bigger, so there is an easy maneuverability. The front wheels of the Greenworks 25022 are 7” in diameter and the rear are 10”. This means even harder-to-access areas of your lawn can be given a good manicure, without breaking your back to reach them.
For the people who get annoyed with too many buttons to press, the Greenworks 25022 is very easy to use. Just press the control handle down and the start button and it’s ready to chomp the grass away. Another great feature of the 25022 is that the body is made of metal as compared to other lawn mowers that are constructed from plastic. Therefore, you have durability on your side too. This metal body removes the bulkiness that exists in other plastic models, making it easy to manoeuvre around your lawn.
If you haven’t been trimming the grass on your lawn, there are various height settings to tackle that problem. The Greenworks 25022 has 7 different height adjustments ranging from 1.5” to 3.75 inches. You have unkempt grass growing? No problem, the Greenworks 25022 can handle mostly everything. But you will have to remember to change your settings accordingly. You wouldn’t want a bald patch on your lawn!
Of course, with everything looking so nice and rosy, I should warn you that you will need to buy a cord to actually use this product. The Greenworks 25022 comes with a cord that is only 10 to 12 inches in length. Depending upon the size of your yard, you will have to decide upon the length of the cord you will need to purchase for the 25022. For example, if you have a yard of small to medium size, let’s say around 40 feet, you could choose to buy a 16 gauge extension cord. Even a 14 gauge cord would work, but you should check that your selection is outdoor rated.
- Metal body instead of plastic – so lighter and more manoeuvrability.
- Large rear wheels for easy handling and movement.
- Quieter than a gas powered mower, and Eco-Friendly.
- Different height adjustments for various grass lengths.
- Easy to handle with the Start button unlock Control handle.
- Has a 4 year warranty which is double of most industry’s standards.
- 20 inches of cutting deck.
- Easy to fold for occupying minimal storage space
- Suited for only small to medium-sized yards.
- Need to buy an extension cord to use the product.
FAQS ABOUT THE GREENWORKS 25022:
What type of extension cord is recommended for the 25022?
UL approved extension cord, 16 gauge for a 50 foot extension cord, 14 gauge for 100 feet.
Does this mower require a 3 or 2 conductor extension cord?
Even though the mower is double insulated and does not require the ground, the only extension cords of sufficient gauge that are available are 3 core, and we would always advise to use these
How would you factor the cost of the 25022 Electric mower?
If you run this mower for an hour, it will, more or less cost you 25 cents.
Overall, the Greenworks 25022 model promises to deliver its money’s worth. A little more expensive than a gas-powered mower, this proves to be an excellent choice for the small-medium lawn category. The warranty proves that the company has faith in its product, and with great discounts available online – you are guaranteed to get a steal deal anytime you decide to purchase the Greenworks 25022.
Best Push Lawn Mowers for the Money – 2022 Edition
Rob started his passion for lawn care before he was 10 years old when we would regularly help his grandfather tend to his yard in Jupiter, FL which got him involved with learning all about St. Augustine and Floratam grasses.
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Is it time for a new lawn mower? Go Electric!
If you are in the market for a new lawn mower, take some tips from the pros on buying a new electric lawn mower!
Electric lawn mowers are a quieter and cleaner alternative to gas mowers and have no harmful fumes to breathe in while you are working. They also often require less maintenance than gas mowers.
We’ve broken down the top things to consider when buying an electric mower.
Corded or Battery Powered—which is better?
Electric mowers can be corded or cordless. Corded mowers do not need to be charged and will not run out of power in the middle of a job, and are better for the environment, as raw materials are not needed to create the battery. They do require the user to navigate around the cord when mowing, which may be difficult, but with a quick video lesson can help! In addition, they may require the use of an extension cord for larger yards. Cordless mowers do not have these issues, however, battery life and charging times can vary. Mowers with a longer battery life or that have batteries that can be switched out easily allow users to complete longer jobs without running out of battery and waiting for it to recharge.
Does the voltage matter?
Electric mowers come in a variety of voltages, usually between around 40 and 80 volts. The amount of voltage you need depends on the type of jobs the mower will be used for. Lower voltage mowers are usually powerful enough for smaller yards or yards with very few weeds. Higher voltage mowers may be necessary for larger yards or areas with a lot of leaves or plants other than turf grass.
Should I invest in a “mulching” mower? (yes!)
Mulching mowers cut grass and leaves in to smaller pieces than regular mowers, which allows the clippings to break down faster and nutrients to be absorbed more quickly. Leaving grass clippings on lawns is recommended to help add nutrients back into lawns, so an electric mower with mulching capabilities is good option to help get the benefits of grass clippings more efficiently. Either way, always remove the grass bag. And don’t forget to set the mower blades as high as possible, to cut grass above 3 inches.
Some mower features you consider may be based more on personal preference rather than your mowing job. Some electric mowers are self-propelled, which can make jobs easier or quicker. The mower’s weight and amount of height adjustment may also make a difference in how difficult the mower is to use. Some mowers fold up, making them easier to store, especially if you have limited storage space. There are also ride on electric mowers if you have a larger yard or if you mow lawns for a living.
Ultimately, it is important to both consider what features your mowing job will require and what features will make lawn mowing less of a chore. There are many electric mower reviews online, which can help both with finding a good electric mower for your needs and to learn what features to consider based on the type of mowing job you have—check out a few recent reviews:
P.S. Don’t forget to safely dispose of your old mower! Drain all fuel and oil first and bring the old fluids or old batteries to a hazardous waste collection point and take the metal mower to scrap recycling. In Montgomery County, Maryland, we accept these at our transfer station in Derwood.
4 Комментарии и мнения владельцев on ” Is it time for a new lawn mower? Go Electric! “
Thanks for this blog post. I have come to know a lot of new things about lawnmowers. Your website is really helpful for making the right decision before buying a lawn mower. Best Wishes.
With a quieter electric mower am I allowed to cut grass before 9 on weekends? With these really hot days starting earlier can help.
I am thinking of buying a new lawn mower this December as the days are start getting hotter and its really hard to mow the lawn with my push mower. I will be buying the robot lawn mower as my neighbor. They are very small in size and work perfectly in small area.
Thanks for sharing thsi informative blog post about lawn mower. i was thinking about having a new robot lawn mower for my yard. I think this blog really helps me clear some of my doubts about vacuum cleaner. Thanks again Daniel.
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The Best Lawn Mowers of 2023
Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases made through the links below may earn us and our publishing partners a commission.
The Honda HRX217VKA is powerful, heavy and ideal for larger lawns. Read
Ego Power LM2135SP
This mower is powerful, comfortable, and a joy to use. It performed extremely well mulching and driving itself uphill. Read
Honda has produced superior power equipment for many years and this mower, which operates with rear-wheel drive, is no exception. Read
Kobalt KM 5080-06
The electric Kobalt KM 5080-06 was flexible and easy to operate, and can run bagged or bagless. Read
The Hart HLPM061US performed well across terrains and has a simple to use speed control. Read
Until just a few short years ago, gas lawn mowers were king. As more consumers are seeking eco-friendly cars, homes, and, yes, power equipment, advanced battery technology answers the call.
Today, consumers can drive an electric car, thrive in a solar-powered home and maintain their property with battery-powered equipment. But are the new electric push lawn mowers as good as the old internal combustion mowers? We decided to find out.
We tested gasoline, electric-corded, and battery-powered lawn mowers from the leading brands. We were eager to see if the battery-powered mowers could handle a large yard as well as the tried-and-true gasoline models. We weren’t disappointed. The Honda HRX217VKA (available at Amazon) came out on top as Best Overall, edging out its predecessor and our previous winner, the Honda HRN216VKA.
For the non-gasoline mowers, the Ego Power LM2135SP (available at Walmart) is our choice for Best Electric Lawn Mower. This mower set-up was quick, and it handled our testing well. The Ego Power also includes features not found on similar electric models.
The Honda HRX217VKA was a pleasure to use.
Quiet and powerful, the Honda HRX217VKA 21-inch NeXite lawn mower is the one to have for larger spaces. It is not designed for small yards, and you won’t be darting in and out of flower beds and shrubbery.
It is a pleasure to use. We had tested Honda mowers before and were familiar with their operation and overall product quality. The HRX217VKA did not disappoint. Easy to assemble and set up right out of the box, it started on the first pull of the cord.
Right away you can feel the heft of this mower with its innovative NeXite deck and powerful motor. It’s heavier than most mowers, but it feels planted on the lawn and tracks perfectly. It’s a mower for large lawns, and it makes the most difficult cuts a breeze.
With its 200cc motor and Select Drive Control, this mower easily cuts, bags and mulches the heaviest grass with ease. The Select Drive Control is almost intuitive as it lets you adjust the walking speed with a variety of settings.
The controls on the mower are large and easy to use. You can set the mower to bag or mulch or anywhere in between. Its user-friendly platform is clearly marked. You will use this lawn mower for years and years to come.
The Ego Power LM2135SP is the best electric lawn mower we’ve tested.
Until a few years ago, those who preferred not to buy an internal combustion mower had little choice. But advanced battery technology has finally arrived and the benefits can readily be seen in the Ego Power LM2135SP, a 21-inch self-propelled electric mower. This cordless mower with a cutting width of 21 inches utilizes a 56-volt lithium ion battery to power through up to 60 minutes of lawn cutting.
The Ego Power is powerful, comfortable, and a joy to use. Even though the battery only lasted about an hour, the mower performed extremely well mulching and driving itself uphill. It has plenty of torque and is capable of doing anything a gasoline-powered mower can do. It is clean, easy to use, and efficient.
The set-up on this mower was the easiest of the bunch. The handle slides and folds across the mower with ease, making storage a snap. Adjusting it to a personal height takes seconds.
A quick 50-minute charge on the battery and you’re ready to go. The battery charger even has a cooling fan that improves charging times and keeps the battery cool.
Like some of our other mowers, the Ego Power has twin blades that improve mulching and keep the trips to empty the rear bag to a minimum. Cutting height is achieved with one easy-to-access lever.
Operation is straightforward, and the composite deck makes the mower light and easy to maneuver around yard obstacles. Simply depress the power button, pull the green handle and the blades begin to spin. Dual buttons on the handle make engaging the self-propel feature safe and comfortable.
The Ego Power comes with LED headlights for convenience, and it was the only mower we tested that could propel itself when the blades were not spinning. This was a nice feature that eliminated pushing the mower back to the garage.
Other Lawn Mowers We Tested
Previously our pick for best lawn mower, the Honda HRN216VKA is a 21-inch self-propelled gas mower that’s a great choice for any yard. Honda has produced superior power equipment for many years, and this mower, which operates with rear-wheel drive, is no exception. It can handle the toughest lawns with ease and won’t take up much room in the garage.
The set-up was easy and the mower started on the first pull. Its smooth engine is quieter than the other gasoline mowers, and it has more than enough power to cut and mulch the grass even while going uphill.
The Honda has a stacked and offset blade design that produces smaller clippings, which allows for better mulching and bagging. This means more efficient cutting and fewer stops to empty the grass bag. The bagging and mulching options can be easily and safely selected, once the mower is off, by using one lever on the mowing deck.
The innovative self-propel system is comfortable on the hands, provides adequate speed control, and can even be adjusted for those who are taller or shorter. Folding the handle for storage can be done quickly. This Honda lawn mower even has a gas shut-off valve for off-season storage.
The Kobalt 80V 21-inch electric mower is a great choice for anyone that wants an affordable, flexible, compact mower that is easy to maneuver and doesn’t require extension cords or gas cans. The mower is strong enough to chop through thick grass, and offers a highly adjustable cutting height.
At 66 pounds it is very easy to operate, with the ability to go bagged or bagless, and you can fold up the push handle for compact storage.
The main draw here is the 80V battery system, which gives you an hour of runtime in our testing, enough to cut about 7,500 square feet on a full charge. It also works in a variety of other Kobalt tools, and spares will run you right around 150. Charging the battery takes around 45 minutes when it’s dead, and it just pops into the battery slot and the mower can turn on with a press of a button if the safety key is inserted—much easier than having to use a traditional pull start.
Overall if you need a nice, basic mower to get the job done and want to go cordless, this is an excellent choice. It cuts clean lines, it’s easy to use, it can handle most lawns with ease, and the light weight makes it much easier to move up and around slopes and hills.
Especially if you’re planning to invest in a range of electric tools, this is a good system to buy into.
This Hart lawnmower was a pleasant surprise.
After removing it from the box and charging the batteries, we fired it up and took it out to the thick, lush grass.
It performed beautifully; its powerful electric motor cut through the lawn with ease and even increased its revolutions when we cut thicker grass. This mower easily handles a larger lawn.
The Hart mower moved with power and confidence through the lawn, and the simple-to-use speed control was right there at your fingertips. While our winning Honda gas mower has a sophisticated Select Drive System, the Hart’s simple slide bar works as well or better.
This excellent lawnmower has the power and convenience of mowers costing much more.
The Toro is a worthy competitor to the top-ranking mowers on this list.
This Toro lawn mower has the largest cutting area at 22 inches, and it is powerful and comfortable to use, thanks to its Personal Pace self-propel system.
To engage the self-propel, simply push the lever forward a bit and the mower begins to move forward, push it a little more and the mower moves faster. After a couple of rows of cutting, you will see how easy it is to regulate speed. This system is not as intuitive as some of the others, but it still works quite well.
Another great feature: The Toro has Briggs and Stratton’s check-don’t-change oil system that never requires an oil change.
Storage is also a snap as the handle folds down and the mower can be stored vertically.
At just 58 pounds, this mower makes cutting small lawns a lot of fun. The rear discharge chute allows you trim close to trees, beds, and shrubbery. I found myself zipping around obstacles using only one hand.
This is a simple machine with one battery in the center. Charging time is quick, and once the battery is in you’re on your way.
This is not a lawn mower for the back 40. With a 20-inch cut and a small electric motor, it is just not capable of handling larger lawns. But for most mid to small yards, this mower can clean up the area in no time.
Light and easy to store, this is the perfect mower to keep a lawn looking great.
The 21-inch Ryobi RY401150 40-volt brushless mower set up quickly and easily right out of the box. It includes double blades and cuts clean and clear.
This mower comes with two batteries that can be installed in the top of the machine. One notable drawback is that only one battery powers the mower at a time—cut your grass for approximately 30 minutes and when the first battery is depleted, you stop and move a switch to engage the second battery. Ryobi says that the batteries will last for 70 minutes, but stopping to change batteries seems counterproductive.
Otherwise, the mower performed well and completed all of the tests. It has a one-lever height adjustment and is light enough to maneuver around obstacles. It has plenty of power and handled the hill with little strain.
While both the Ego Power and Ryobi were solid performers on the electric front, the Ryobi was let down by its self-propel controls. The controls are located under the bar, but the lever is vague and unresponsive. Because the lever is designed for thumbs only, you need to push the lever in an awkward manner to get the mower up to speed.
For a corded mower, the Greenworks 25022 lawn mower performed quite well. The set-up was easy, and once it was plugged in, it started right up.
Of course, before you use the mower there is the time-consuming task of unearthing your extension cord, unraveling it, and finding a suitable outdoor plug. Once plugged in, the mower embraces its purpose with ease.
It has a powerful 12-amp electric motor that may not conquer larger lawns, but is perfect for smaller yards and trimming duties. Not to mention it offers clean and even mowing.
Not being self-propelled, it takes some effort to push the lawn mower and cord uphill and then navigate a path back so as to not cut your cord.
Its small size makes storage a breeze.
The 14-inch Sun Joe MJ401E lawn mower is the easiest to store. Its diminutive size makes it the perfect lawn mower for small yards and trimming duties. It’s light enough to pick up and move, and it comes with an easy-to-use bagging system.
Still, this is not a lawn mower for cutting the typical suburban lawn, as its lightweight, short wheel base and small wheels make it a little unstable over roots and ruts.
Of all of the lawnmowers tested, the Sun Joe provided the most difficulty when it came time to adjust the height of the blades. The mower utilizes solid axles, front and rear, and the axles are located in a three-notch system under the mower. To change the height of the cut, you need to pull the spring-loaded axles from their positions and move them up or down. It’s a challenging exercise.
The Sun Joe is corded, so cutting area is limited. To its credit, it’s powerful enough when running, but the limited scope means you will have a hard time tackling an entire yard.
The Craftsman M220 is one of the more cumbersome mowers we’ve tested. Set up was more involved—to adjust it to my height I had to first kneel on the floor and remove two fasteners from the bottom of the handle and then pull the handle out of the body. Another two fasteners at the base of the handle allowed me to set the handle angle. The better mowers have release buttons and adjusting levers that allow the operator to make these adjustments quickly and safely while standing.
The mower started on the first pull and seemed to have enough power to tackle any lawn. However, the two levers on top of the handle—one to start and one for speed of self-propulsion—are difficult to operate. Both are difficult to grab if your hands are small to medium, and the levers are too far from the handle for comfortable operation. They’re also not intuitively placed; you have to look each time you make a pass.
The biggest disadvantage of this mower is that it is equipped with front-wheel drive. When self-propelled mowers first came out many years ago, a front-drive system was easy for manufacturers to design and implement and the homeowner didn’t have to push dead weight. The design worked for many years because there was nothing else. But over the years rear-drive systems were developed and it produced a more balanced, more comfortable cutting experience.
When cutting a lawn, the operator naturally has some weight on the handle. Add to this the weight of the grass in the bag off the back of the mower and you have a very light front end. Because the weight of the mower is not over the wheels, the front wheels tend to spin and grasp through each pass. This results in uneven lines, a hard to control mower (especially on a bumpy terrain), premature wearing out of the plastic front wheels, and difficulty trying to trim around obstacles. This antiquated front drive system really lets this mower down.
- Controls are cumbersome
- Front Drive System limits control and comfort
- Not nimble around obstacles
How We Tested Lawn Mowers
We spent the summer mowing a half-acre New England lawn, over and over again.
Kevin Kavanaugh is a retired public school teacher and a product tester for Reviewed. Kevin has been cutting lawns for just about 50 years. He has always been intrigued by all things mechanical, be it watches, power equipment, vintage bicycles, or classic cars.
Ray Lane is a retired supermarket store manager, avid golfer, and product tester for Reviewed. His lawn is the envy of Cumberland, Rhode Island, and he has used several push mowers over the years. At 83 years of age, his input on the mowers was critical, specifically when evaluating ease of starting, maneuverability, and safety.
We tested lawn mowers on both flat land and hills to test maneuverability and power.
After ordering from retailers like Lowe’s and The Home Depot, we assembled each mower and took note of the ease of the set up and how quickly we could adjust the handle to our preference. We then added gasoline, a battery, or an electrical cord to get the mower ready. We evaluated at the ease of setting the cutting height, first testing a high cutting height and then a lower one.
We took each mower on a few passes of an uncut half-acre lawn, measuring approximately 22,000 square feet, noting how it cut at a high height and a lower height while we monitored both the bagging and mulching features. Then we took each mower up and down a grassy hill to see how they performed. Our final test was testing storage capability.
What You Should Know About Lawn Mowers
Self-propelled lawn mowers can take some of the effort out of walk-behind mowing.
There are two basic types of walk-behind mowers: push and self-propelled.
The push type of mower is usually smaller, lighter, and easier to store. They are used primarily for smaller, level lawns. They are perfect for cleaning up areas that larger riding lawn mowers may miss. They can be run by gasoline, cords, or battery.
Self-propelled lawn mowers usually have a larger cutting diameter and can move on their own through operator controls. These mowers can also be powered by gasoline, cords, or battery. Since they take the brunt of the pushing away, self-propelled mowers are perfect for larger lawns up to a half-acre, and they can easily handle hills and sloped lawns. These self-propelled mowers aren’t fully robotic lawn mowers so you still have to do some work guiding them around your yard.
What Is A Self-propelled Lawn Mower?
The first self-propelled lawn mowers started to appear in the late-1960s. As suburbia grew and lawns got larger, pushing a heavy steel mower around on a summer afternoon wasn’t what most people wanted to be doing.
The first self-propelled mowers had primitive front-wheel drive systems that worked well enough, but the mowers often moved along too slowly. Sure, you weren’t pushing but you were caught in a slow-moving lawn-cutting procession. Early mowers either moved too slowly or too fast to match a natural walking speed.
Today’s mowers offer a much better propulsion system. The Honda NeXite Variable Speed 4-in-1 Gas Walk Behind Self-propelled Mower with Select Drive Control, for example, allows a variety of walking speed settings. Owners can literally dial in their preferred walking speed so that they become one with the mower, not being pulled and not having to push.
The Ego Power Select Cut 56-Volt Brushless 21-in Self-propelled Cordless Electric Lawn Mower even allows the operator to drive out to the lawn without the blades turning. That is a great feature.
Today’s self-propelled mowers reduce operator fatigue and make cutting the grass easier than years ago. Self-propelled mowers make cutting on hills safer and more efficient. And with modern speed options they make a summertime chore a little more enjoyable.
Gasoline, Corded Electric, or Battery—Which Lawn Mower is Right for You?
Battery-powered lawn mowers can be powerful and efficient.
Gasoline-powered lawnmowers have kept lawns manicured for decades. They are powerful, reliable, and affordable, and come with features such as self-propelled movement, mulching features, and self-cleaning availability. They are powerful enough for large lawn care jobs and can tackle any lawn from a quarter- to half-acre acre. Any lawn bigger than that would necessitate a riding mower.
But gas-powered mowers emit dangerous carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons, require yearly maintenance, and require the storage of gasoline and oil. This may not be suitable for some consumers.
Corded electric mowers have been around for years and were historically the choice of consumers who had smaller lawns and didn’t need the more powerful gasoline mower. While powerful enough to get most cutting or trimming jobs done, the one obvious drawback to a corded mower is the electrical cord.
For any yard worthy of mowing, a long electrical extension cord is required to power the mower. This can be a minor annoyance, such as having to keep the cord free from getting tangled in trees and bushes, to a major annoyance when you drive over it and cut it into small pieces.
However, corded electric mowers require no gas, oil, or maintenance and, other than a blade sharpening from time to time, can perform reliably for years.
Battery-powered cars, power equipment, and tools have been around for a long time. The electric motors were strong and reliable enough, but the battery was not. Just a few years ago, an electric car could expect to go only 100 miles on a charge, and power tools and equipment didn’t last long either. In the past few years, battery technology has improved by leaps and bounds.
Electric cars can expect hundreds of miles on a charge and power tools and equipment can last a full day. This lithium battery technology found its way to lawnmowers and it has created a viable option for those consumers who don’t want gas and don’t want a cord. These battery-powered mowers are powerful, efficient, lightweight, and green. Many now use brushless electric motors, which are more efficient, produce more torque, and are longer lasting than the older electric motors with brushes.
How often should I mow my lawn?
Cutting the lawn too often and only cutting it when it gets overgrown are both unhealthy for a lush, beautiful lawn. The rule of thumb in the lawn-care industry is to keep the grass between 3 inches and 3.5 inches in length. This allows the grass to be long enough to thrive in hot, summer weather.
When cutting grass, never take more than a third of the blade at once. In other words, never cut more than an inch or so. Not only does this cause clumping of grass on the lawn or in the mower bag, but it takes too many nutrients and moisture from the grass itself.
After the late winter fertilizer treatments and the often heavy rains, lawns start to come to life. You’ll find that the grass will need cutting every 4 to 5 days in order to remove just enough length. As the summer wanes on and the temperature rises, the grass will grow a bit slower and a once week cutting is adequate.
It is also important to keep the blades of your lawnmower good and sharp. Since the lawnmower blades are often made of steel, they will develop a dull edge after a season of cutting. A dull edge on a blade will tear the grass and not cut it. This may result in browning of the tips of the grass and put more stress on the mower as well.
While you are under the deck checking those blades—and always disconnect the spark plug wire before going under the mower—be sure there is no old clumped up grass clinging to the mower deck.
Meet the testers
Director, Content Development
TJ is the Director of Content Development at Reviewed. He is a Massachusetts native and has covered electronics, cameras, TVs, smartphones, parenting, and more for Reviewed. He is from the self-styled “Cranberry Capitol of the World,” which is, in fact, a real thing.
Kevin Kavanaugh is a retired public school teacher and a product tester for Reviewed. Kevin has been cutting lawns for just about 50 years. He has always been intrigued by all things mechanical, be it watches, power equipment, vintage bicycles, or classic cars.
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