Riding Mower Attachments (what to own, what to avoid)
If you have a riding mower you probably either own attachments or are considering purchasing some. In today’s article I’ll talk about some of the most common riding mower attachments and I’ll discuss which ones are worth owning.
The reality is that some equipment is essential and well worth the investment and the space it will occupy in your garage or storage shed, but other riding mower add-ons simply won’t be used often enough to justify the purchase (you can spend that money better elsewhere).
I’ll go through everything you need to know here so you can make the best decisions when upgrading your mowing equipment.
First Thing’s First – Sizing Compatibility
Before you buy any attachments for your riding mower, make sure that they are compatible with the model you own.
You wouldn’t believe how many people email me asking why the attachment they purchased didn’t fit … well, it’s built for a different mower!
Best Electric Zero Turn Mower
The Zero Turn Mower I Recommend
Once you try this electric zero turn mower from Greenworks you’ll never look at battery powered tools the same way again.
- Mows up to 2.5 acres in a single charge.
- Fully charged in 90 minutes.
- Equivalent power to 24 HP gas engine.
- Quiet, no fumes, and faster than competitors (8 MPH max speed).
Save 10% on your order with promo code LAWNCHICK
Why Upgrade Your Riding Mower with Attachments?
One of the main purposes of getting attachments for a riding mower is to help the mower do more than just cut grass.
But more generally, we buy lawn equipment to make our life easier, and to accelerate the pace at which we can complete lawn care projects around the house.
Easy INSTALL and REVIEW of Leaf Bagger on Greenworks riding mower ️
Less time working on the lawn, more time enjoying the lawn. That’s the goal, right?
There are many different functions your mower can fulfill if you have the right attachments for it.
In many cases, whether an attachment is worthwhile for you will depend on the size of your property (how large it is). For example, a lawn sweeper will probably only be useful if you have an especially large area. If you don’t, it probably won’t be worth the cost and the trouble of having to store it.
Keep in mind that many of these attachments are quite large, so unless you have unlimited storage space, you will usually need to pick and choose, purchasing only the attachments that are specifically best for you.
If you have a zero-turn riding (ZTR) mower, you will find there is a more limited selection of attachments available than you might find for garden tractors and lawn tractors.
Now, let’s get into the nitty gritty.
Riding Mower Attachments
Here’s a list of some of the most popular and useful attachments for riding mowers (in no particular order).
You can get aerator attachments for your riding mower that will give your lawn the aeration it needs.
Aeration helps prepare your lawn for fertilization and reseeding. It is process in which small holes are put in the ground, allowing for better air circulation and water and fertilizer penetration. This will make your grass roots stronger and healthier.
Buying an aerator attachment for your mower is a good investment in most cases. It will mean you always have an aerator on hand whenever you want to aerate your lawn during the course of the year. And the ability to purchase this attachment is one key advantage to riding mowers (it’s not an option on a walk-behind mower).
Aerator attachments vary in size, with between 40 and 48 inches in width being very common. Keep this in mind when planning where you will store it in your garage.
Aerator attachments for riding mowers can vary quite a bit in cost. They generally range from around 100 or 150 to 750. I like and recommend this model from Agri-Fab. It’s 48 inches wide and does a nice job.
In this article I compare spike vs plug aerators, to help you determine which style tow-behind aerator may be best for you.
A bagger is a very common mower attachment. This is a useful attachment, as it makes collecting lawn clippings very easy.
You can get baggers in different sizes, including 9-bushel triple baggers and 6-bushel twin baggers. When deciding on what size of attachment to get, consider the size of your lawn.
Bagger attachments can be rather large. For example, it may be about 42 inches X 46 inches. You will need to find storage space for this, so plan this out before making your purchase.
These attachments can sometimes be quite expensive as well. In some cases, they can be as much as 500 or more, and in my experience many people are frustrated by the capacity of the leaf baggers they get from the manufacturer … it never seems like enough.
When a Simple Bagging Attachment Isn’t Enough
I have large maple trees on my property which drop a ton of leaves, and while I usual mulch and bag with my self-propelled Honda mower, I borrowed my dad’s rig one year and he has a large lawn tractor leaf bag like this one on Amazon which fits over his factory leaf bagger attachment. It allowed me to clear my front and back yard of leaves in a snap.
As long as you’re strong enough to muscle the full bag, it’s a great way to super-charge your leaf clean up, and I recommend looking into something like that if leaf clean up is a big job at your home.
If you don’t have a very large lawn, buying a bagger attachment is probably a waste of money for you – you may be better served by investing in a quality leaf blower that will take up less space (and is much more fun to use).
There are a lot of good backpack blowers on the market, but I’ve only used my PB-770T from Echo (Amazon link) because it has never given me reason to use anything else. I can recommend that model if you’re in the market for a backpack blower and are having trouble choosing one.
A lawn roller attachment is useful for getting your lawn back into shape after the winter. It will even out any parts of the ground that have been damaged in the cold weather.
The roll of a lawn roller is filled with sand or water to give it the necessary weight to press down and level your lawn as you drive across it. I generally recommend using water as you can empty it out when you’re finished (making the roller lightweight and easy to handle as you put it away.
If you ever need to put down sod, you can use the lawn roller to get your ground prepared and even for this process. You can also use it for tasks such as pressing seeds you have planted deeper into the soil to ensure good soil-to-seed contact for optimum germination.
There are lawn rollers available with different abilities and in different sizes. I use this one from Brinly by pushing it across my lawn, but it has a tow option as well. I love that it will work as a walk-behind roller or as an attachment for your riding lawn mower. There are always some areas of your property that are tough to get to on a riding mower while towing a piece of equipment.
A dethatcher attachment is a fantastic attachment to have if you ever need to dethatch your lawn.
Dethatching is a process in which you remove matted grass and other kinds of debris from your lawn. This is essential for new growth to take place, and when you dethatch just prior to overseeding you’ll see great results.
Using a dethatcher attachment will make the dethatching process easy and a lot less effort than it would be otherwise. You will be able to get rid of barriers that are stopping your lawn from getting all the nutrients, water, and air it needs.
A dethatcher attachment is quite large (for example, about 40 inches wide), and it’s a bit unwieldly because of its design, but there are a few options which are better than anything else you’ll find out there.
Check out my list of the best lawn dethatchers – there are three tow-behind models that stand out as being great options.
A disc harrow is ideal for getting your garden beds ready for replanting. You can also use it to break up hard ground to begin a new garden.
Having a disc harrow attachment will come in handy when you want to prepare your garden beds for replanting. It’s also useful for breaking up hard ground when you want to start a new garden, or complete a lawn renovation by killing your existing lawn and starting over.
Truth be told, this isn’t an attachment you’ll want unless you have a very large garden area, but it’s worth including in the list because it can save time and prevent you from wrestling with a rototiller.
We should all regularly fertilize our lawns in order to keep them healthy and beautiful. If you have a large lawn (which you probably do as you have a riding mower), it might be a good idea to buy a spreader attachment (you can see my favorite one right here).
An example of a spreader attachment is a tow-behind broadcast spreader. Using a spreader attachment will make it much easier for you to fertilize your lawn whenever you do so during the year. You can also spread good seed over your lawn, spread lime, iron, and other soil amendments with this attachment, making it a solid investment.
Spreader attachments come in different sizes, some of which are smaller than other kinds of riding mower attachments. Agri-Fab makes a good one.
If you live in a region that gets a lot of snow in the winter, it might be worth your while to get a snow blower attachment for your riding mower. This will make it easy to plow through all the snow that collects on your property.
You will be grateful you have this the next time you need to clear a driveway or pavement, and this is one attachment that can really extend the value of your riding mower, making it a year-round asset to your property.
Snowblower attachments are just as large as many other riding mower attachments, and they can be quite heavy, but if you live in a northern climate and have a large driveway it’s worth the cost and the space in your garage.
I can say from experience that if you’re buying a plow kit or snow blower for your lawn tractor it’s a good idea to invest in some snow chains for your tires as well. Most tires on riding mowers aren’t built for snow, and you’ll be frustrated with your investment unless you can get good traction. It’s worth the extra money. Measure your tires before you order, but these ones on Amazon will work for most riding mowers.
If you have a large property and spend long periods of time outside doing mowing, think about getting a canopy. A canopy attaches to your mower to give you shade from the sun, and usually can be attached to any mower with a roll bar.
The canopy attachments for many riding mowers are collapsible, so they don’t take up too much storage space, and if you leave it on your mower it doesn’t increase the footprint of your mower at all.
Most manufacturers will sell you a canopy and roll bar that’s made to fit with your mower, but there are third-party universal canopies like this one that may work for you as well.
Attachments I would Only Consider for Large Properties
The attachments below are usually only worth buying if you have quite an expansive property. Buying them if you only have a small lawn will most likely be a waste of money.
Trail Cutter or Trail Mower
A trail cutter or trail mower is really only worth considering if you have an extensive property.
This attachment will reduce the amount of time it takes to mow your grounds. You can also use it to clear paths through saplings and brush.
If you have any places that need heavy cutting power, a trail cutter or trail mower is a good investment. Swisher makes a solid one, which you can see demonstrated in the short video below from Piney Life:
A lawn sweeper attachment will gather leaves, pine needles, pine-cones, acorns, and other types of debris in your yard. You can also use it to sweep up grass clippings after you mow.
When the lawn sweeper gathers this debris, it uses a rotating sweeper brush to put it into a hopper bag. When you see that this bag is full, simply empty it.
You can find lawn sweepers in different sizes, but they do tend to require a decent amount of storage space.
The cost of a lawn sweeper can range from 150, for example, to 700. It’s probably not worth your while to buy a lawn sweeper if you don’t have a very large property.
Many riding mower owners like to have a cart attachment. You might call this a utility trailer or dump cart. You can use this kind of attachment for tasks such as hauling soil or garbage, garden tools, or mulch in your garden.
If you have a large property and do a lot of garden work, a cart attachment might be a good investment for you, but if you already have a wheelbarrow and don’t mind using it, you probably don’t need one.
Some carts are quite large and they have deep containers, meaning it might be challenging to store if you don’t have a large garage. If you’re interested in a good one, my dad owns the Agri-Fab 45-0101 (pictured), and he likes it.
Which Riding Mower Attachments Are Right for Your Lawn?
It’s clear that the types of attachments that you should consider getting for your riding mower depend on the size of your property.
The type of soil that you have will also play a role, however.
If you have a sandy lot, you may not have to invest in an aerator. You may be better off investing in a spreader to easily top-dress with compost.
If your lot is heavy clay, than an aerator will be essential.
Big trees? Get the lawn sweeper – you’ll thank me every fall.
Another factor you need to consider before you purchase any riding mower attachment is storage space. Don’t put yourself in a situation where you have more attachments than you have places to put them. And be sure that you leave room in your garage to comfortably maintain your mower every spring (even if there isn’t room to park your car in there).
Nobody likes having a garage they can’t use.
by Sarah The Lawn Chick
Sarah’s blog, Lawn Chick, is read by over 2 million homeowners each year and she is regularly cited as an expert source of lawn care knowledge by major publications. Her goal is to meet you where you are, and help you achieve a yard you’ll be proud of. Ready to take the next step toward improving your lawn? Grab her free lawn care cheat-sheet: What to Do When. Take the Guesswork Out of Lawn Care, or upgrade your garage by browsing her favorite DIY lawn care products.
thoughts on “ Riding Mower Attachments (what to own, what to avoid) ”
I was reading your April 2020 blog about Milo and Ironite….I couldn’t find anywhere to comment on that article. I wanted to ask you a question….in the article you say “I use Milorganite 4 times per year on my yard, and I supplement with a different iron supplement called Dr. Iron (Amazon link).” I was wondering HOW you supplement with Dr Iron….I do the same as you with Milo so WHEN and how much do you use Dr. Iron? Thank you….from one woman to another! Patti
Hi, Patti! Sorry about the comment situation – I’ll look into that and get it resolved this week. To your question – I do a soil test every spring and let those results guide me toward whether I need to do an Iron application in the spring (I usually choose to once every other year or so), and then I typically do one mid or late June because I have people over on the 4th of July and I want my lawn looking its best (that gives it time to take effect). Beyond that I might do it when my lawn starts to look a little tired, or if I’m having a party or gathering I apply it a few weeks beforehand to give it that nice dark green. There have been some years when I’ve just applied Dr. Iron with my Milorganite on every application and that has worked well too. If I’m applying that often I’d suggest using 1/2 the recommended quantity of Dr. Iron and just adjusting your spreader settings to reflect that and still get nice even coverage. If I’m doing the application at the same time as Milo I do them in two separate passes so I get nice even results and I don’t get clumps of Iron coming out here and there by mixing the two products. Hope this helps, and best of luck with your lawn this year! Thanks for visiting my blog.
Welcome to my blog!
Hi, my name is Sarah and I’m the chick behind LawnChick.com.
I’m glad you decided to visit and I hope you find the tips and advice about lawn care and maintenance that I this blog helpful.
© Copyright 2023. All Rights Reserved | Home | About
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.
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
Fix underpowered lawn mower and increase battery life
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.
The Best Zero-Turn Mowers of 2023
These achieve the rare feat of making lawn mowing fun.
By Roy Berendsohn Published: Mar 1, 2023
When it comes to yard work, zero turn mowers do the impossible. They make lawn mowing fun. They accomplish this by putting unprecedented speed, control and maneuverability at the disposal of the person mowing the lawn. The so-called “zero turn” feature of these mowers converts a grass cutting machine into something akin to an amusement park ride. You steer the machine with two levers—the left lever controls the left wheel, the right lever the right wheel. With that steering setup, you can zoom over the landscape cutting straight lines, curves, or pivot the mower into and out of a corner. What’s not to like?
Read on to understand how these agile grass cutters work, how we go about testing them, and see some candidates that we’ve recently tested as well as some that we haven’t but that we think look particularly promising.
How Zero-Turn Mowers Work
A zero-turn riding mower consists of an operator platform, a frame and wheels, an engine (or battery bank), transmissions (or motors), and a pair of control levers commonly known as lap bars. In gas mowers, the engine powers a pulley system. One group of pulleys drives the blades, another group powers a pair of transmissions–one at each rear wheel. When you move the lap bar forward or back, you are directing the transmission to go faster, slower, or even turn the opposite way. When one drive wheel turns clockwise and the other counter clockwise, the mower pivots. When the wheels rotate at different rates, the mower turns in an arc-shaped path. When the lap bars are in the neutral position, the mower stops. Aside from a parking brake, there’s no other braking mechanism. Battery-powered zero-turn mowers work the same way, but have separate motors to drive the rear wheels and one for each blade inside the mower deck.
When it comes to transmission, most mowers have a Hydrogear EZT—a well-known and cost-effective residential-grade transaxle with a reputation for durability.
Some mowers use a deck stamped from one piece of steel, others use a deck fabricated from multiple pieces and welded together. A fabricated deck can be built from thicker steel at a lower cost than it would be able to be built otherwise. Once you’re talking about stamping metal as thick as 10 gauge (about 1⁄8 inch thick), the cost of stamping such a deck would push up the mower’s price beyond what most people are willing to pay. The decks in the mowers below range from 42 to 52 inches, a typical size in this class of product. When powered by these engines and the Hydrogear, these mowers will deliver a decent cut quality at their rated top speed of 7 mph. Note, however, that cut quality declines steeply if you maintain that speed in very thick grass or on uneven terrain.
As to the electric mowers, they represent the leading edge of the technology in this category. These are remarkable and expensive mowers powered by large-voltage lithium-ion batteries. If you’re interested in reducing mowing noise and simplifying your maintenance routine by eliminating gas and oil, they’re worth a look.
Selecting a Zero-Turn Mower
Everyone would like to select the biggest possible zero-turn mower with the hope of whittling a big grass cutting job down to size as quickly as possible. Reality usually intercedes because these machines are expensive and the wide range of options available today quickly drive up the cost. Roughly speaking, you start somewhere in the range of a mower with a 42-inch deck costing in the vicinity of 3200 to 3500 and move up in increments of 1000 to 1500 until you reach entry-level commercial-grade equipment that costs 7000 to 8000.
Again, speaking in terms of approximation, a mower with a 42-inch deck will cut a two-acre lot (that takes into account that the house, driveway, outbuildings and various landscape features are taking up some of that space). Use a mower with a larger deck to cut anything over two acres. But here’s the caveat. That entry-level ZTR mower (3200, say) with a 42-inch deck will wear out faster and need more maintenance than a mower with a 50-inch deck, a heavier frame, larger engine and higher quality transmissions, and thicker deck with more robust blade spindles, costing 4500.
In the simplest possible terms, you can cut a smaller area with a larger mower and expect more longevity out of the machine (not to mention a nicer mowing experience) or you can cut a larger area with a smaller machine and encounter more maintenance and a mowing experience that will be, we might say, a bit more rugged.
But there are still other factors to consider, in selecting a mower other than deck size and your budget. Larger mowers take more space in a garage or outbuilding. And a mower with a 50-inch or even 60-inch deck, as useful as it might be in getting the job done more quickly, may not fit through a fence’s gate, and it might be more difficult to maneuver in tight spots without creating scalp marks on the lawn from a lot of close-quarter pivoting.
Carefully consider all these factors when shopping for a mower: your budget, maintenance and whether you will perform that work yourself, mowing speed and time, maneuverability and trimming in tight areas, the importance that you place on your comfort while mowing, cut quality, longevity, storage, and access to the landscape.
How We Select and Test
There’s only one way to test a mower, and that’s to cut grass with it. But we also do more than mow.
We raise and lower the deck and adjust the seat. We look at service point access (the air filter, the spark plug, and the oil filter) and how easy it is to remove the deck. We mow approximately an acre with each mower, considering cut and mulching quality while running uphill, downhill, across washboard, and along sidehills. (On sidehills, we’ll mow surfaces pitched up to approximately 20 degrees; manufacturers generally recommend not going steeper than 10 degrees, but we like to be thorough.) We evaluate power and speed relative to cut quality—we investigate whether the mower delivers a decent cut mowing at full speed. When mowing in damp conditions, we look at whether the mower’s tires accumulate grass and how effectively it discharges moist clippings. Finally, we test maneuverability (these machines are, generally, very nimble) and how readily they come to a stop when you back off the lap bar control levers.
Tool Box Buzz
Browse all brands »
Browse all categories »
Home » Latest Tool Reviews » Lawn Garden » Cordless Riding Mower » Greenworks PRO 80V 42 Inch CrossoverZ Zero Turn Lawn Mower Review
Greenworks Pro 80V 42″ CrossoverZ Zero Turn Lawn Mower CRZ 428
Greenworks PRO 80V 42 Inch CrossoverZ
Manufacturer: Greenworks Model number: CRZ 428 Price: 5,999 Power source: 80V Li-Ion
The expansion of electric outdoor power equipment continues and we’re getting our hands on more models to review. The most recent electric zero turn mower that we evaluated is the Greenworks PRO 80V 42″ model. This is a package offered exclusively at Costco and it’s packaged with extra batteries. There are a couple different packages for this 80V model available from Greenworks.
Last year we reviewed our first cordless zero turn mower from Ryboi so this is a great comparison for folks interested in ditching the gas! So in this review we’ll FOCUS on the Greenworks mower but also do some comparison at the end.
Greenworks is offering wide range of mowing options in their 80V lineup including two different riding mowers, several push mowers, and assorted accessory tools including blowers, string trimmers, hedge clippers and chainsaws. Buying into the battery platform allows users to get all the essential outdoor power equipment on the same battery platform.
Features and Specifications
- High-efficiency Brushless Motors Provide Power, Torque and Longer Life
- Mow up to 3 Acres on a Single Charge
- Handles Hills up to 15° Slope
- Built with a 42″ Reinforced Stamped 12-gauge Steel Deck
- Max Cutting Speed of 8 MPH
- Voltage: 80V Li-Ion
- Cutting Width: 42″
- Minimum Cutting Height: 1-1/2″
- Maximum Cutting Height: 4-1/2″
- Warranty: 4 Years Tool and Batteries
Getting To Know The Greenworks Zero Turn Mower
Our sample mower was dropped shipped via a freight company and dropped off in the hard on a pallet. This is typical of large mowers and also how we received another brands zero turn mower last year. There was some slight damage to the seat from shipping and Greenworks offered to replace the seat. The mower arrives fully assembled and ready to go. We simply cut the shipping straps and drove it right off the shipping pallet and started mowing immediately.
This particular model/package comes with 12 batteries so you can mow with six of them while you charge another six. This mower shipped with 4.0 Ah battery packs (5.0 Ah packs are also available which would increase run-time). As you can see above the mower has 6 slots of batteries located under the seat. It also ships with 3 dual port charges allowing users to charge all six batteries at once.
A side note to the battery chargers. I tried plugging all 3 chargers into the same circuit and the current draw was too much resulting in tripping the 20 amp circuit. So if you want to charge 6 batteries at once you’ll likely need to use two different circuits.
The controls on the Greenworks CRZ 428 are what you’d expect from a standard zero turn mower with a couple of unique differences. The CRZ 428 does not have a break pedal. When the control levers are pressed to their most outward position they engage the parking break instead of a pedal. One thing I really like about the control levers on this unit is the “spring” resistance as you push forward. Unlike some of the mowers I’ve driven this is a nice feature having some back pressure on the handle which makes for smoother changes in speed in my opinion.
The deck height adjustment is very typical of most mowers and easy to set. The deck raises and lowers with ease and the height adjustment seemed to be very accurate. All of the levers and controls on this unit felt robust and well made.
I found the seat to be extremely comfortable and it’s high back was a pleasant surprise for me especially because I’m over 6’3″ tall. The seat adjusts backward and forward for users of different heights. I will say the seat would be nicer if it could slide back a bit more for people with really long legs like myself. While that would be nice, the mower was still comfortable to mow with.
This mower allows the user to select both the drive and blade speeds to a slower setting. This is extremely useful for prolonging battery life and also to help with better drive control. When mowing hilly sections I found myself wanting to use the slower drive speed to help prevent spin outs. The control panel also has a nice battery gauge so you can tell how much run-time is left before swapping out the batteries. When the batteries are nearly exhausted the unit will show down the mower and allow you to ride back at a lower speed to change batteries and not get stranded in the yard.
Other notable features for this mower includes drink holders, a USB port to charge your phone, on-board material storage (up to 200 lbs), LED lights and an integrated deck cleaning nozzle to hook up a hose to. Overall the deck and other metal parts on the mower seem heavy gauge and robust.
Performance and Run-Time
The Greenworks CRZ 428 really impressed me with cutting power, cutting quality and smooth drive controls. We’ve had a fair amount of rain the last month or so here in NH and the grass has been growing like crazy. I was easily able to mow 6″ tall grass with ease with the CRZ 428. A huge benefit to these cordless zero turn mowers is the direct drive motor on each cutting spindle. These mowers have incredible torque and it shows in tall grass. In addition, the drive motors are also separate meaning you’re not relying on one motor for cutting and driving, the results speak for themselves and I’d argue battery powered mowers are far stronger than the gas competition when it comes to cutting power.
I mow just over an acre of somewhat hilly terrain and I was able to do the entire yard using all 12 batteries but it was close. Using the 12 4.0 Ah packs in deep grass was just about all I could squeeze out of them. It’s certainly worth looking at the 5.0 Ah packs if you’re going to do a yard over an acre as that should improve run-time quite a bit. The Rapid charges work well and charged the batteries in the time it took me to drain the first set.
Greenworks CRZ 428 Vs Ryobi RY48140
As I noted last year we reviewed the Ryboi RY48140 and I wanted to do a quick comparison. These two mowers are very similar yet very different. The Ryobi is a lead acid system while the Greenworks is a Li-Ion platform. The Ryobi is 54″ cutting width while this Greenworks is only 42″. So the big question is which one is better? As you might suspect it’s not that easy and there are Pro’s and Con’s to each of them.
- Run-Time: I have to give this one to Ryobi. Which a large lead acid battery this mower can easily do my full acre on one charge without having to stop and swap batteries like the Greenworks. Also, the Ryobi just plugs in to charge it Vs having to remove batteries and put them in multiple charges for the Greenworks.
- Cutting Performance: The Greenworks has a slight advantage over the Ryobi in this situation. While they both perform even better than gas mowers the Greenworks absolutely smashed through tall wet grass like nothing I’ve ever mowed with before. I attribute this to the Li-Ion battery pack being able to crank out higher amps without damaging the battery.
- Hilly Terrain: The Greenworks definitely did better on hills than the Ryobi. Again this is most likely a function of the Li-Ion battery packs being able to draw higher amps allowing the mower to climb hills at higher speeds with the additional load on the motor. The difference was quite noticeable and made my mowing time considerably faster than the Ryobi.
- Controls: The Greenworks controls are much better than the Ryobi’s. The spring loaded control arms on the Greenworks makes for a much smoother control both in turning and accelerating. I found myself spinning out far less with those controls.
- Overall: While the Greenworks mower only has a 42″ deck compared to 54″ on the Ryobi, I do believe the Greenworks CRZ 428 is a better overall mower. It’s a smoother, stronger, and faster mower with similar features to the Ryobi. It’s also a newer model and features Li-Ion batteries. While the Ryobi is definitely much more convenient to charge the overall performance of the Ryobi is just too hard to ignore.
Overall Thoughts – Greenworks CRZ 428
The Greenworks CRZ 428, 42″ Zero Turn Mower is a great option for anyone considering ditching gas motors and going to a battery operated mower. I’ve been using battery operated push mowers, string trimmers and other outdoor power equipment for several years now and I can tell you I won’t ever go back to small gas engines. This mower is significantly quieter, has zero maintenance and performs as well as gas powered equipment. Yes it takes some getting used to dealing with battery management but the benefits are worth it in my opinion. At just under 6,000 these mowers are definitely and expensive investment. But if you consider the lack of buying fuel and yearly service combined with the lack of hassles that small gas engines can have it’s a pretty good investment. On top of that Greenworks has a full compliment of outdoor power equipment you can run off the same battery platform. This is a mower you should definitely consider.