Have a Ryobi Battery That Won’t Charge? You Can Fix That.
Lithium ion batteries are a wondrous invention that are lightweight and long lasting. But it’s infuriating when the battery won’t recharge. You stick the battery in the charger and. nothing. Guess what? You can fix these batteries that appear to be completely dead. Read on.
This post is NOT sponsored by Ryobi. They do not approve of or endorse this method for fixing a Ryobi battery. AT all.
One of two things are going to happen as you read this post. You will either unfollow me due to my pathological boringness or. you will propose marriage. So get ready to act accordingly.
If you have any sort of cordless power tool, but especially one powered by a Ryobi 18V battery, you have no doubt encountered the dreaded flashing red charger light.
And if you haven’t. you will.
It inevitably goes like this. you run to the basement to grab your cordless drill because after 10 years of thinking about it, you’re finally going to build that 4 level, Tudor style treehouse with kitchenette.
Or you’re going to hang a picture.
Either way you put your battery in the charger and all you get is a flashing red light, which according to the label on the charger means your battery is defective. It isn’t just dead. It’s defective.
I’m here to tell you you it isn’t. You probably left it in the charger too long which drains the battery.
Your battery is fine. It just needs a little boost.
You Can Fix a Rechargeable Battery That Won’t Take a Charge.
You heard me right. You do NOT have to buy a new 50 battery. You do not have to call the company and swear at them because this stupid defective battery is only 2 weeks old. (although by all means feel free to do so) You do not have to wait until they ship you a replacement battery to finish your project. You can get that battery up and working in about 5 minutes.
NOTE: First try pulse charging.
Pulse charge your battery by plugging and unplugging your charger (with the battery in it) for 10 seconds. Try this a few times. If it doesn’t correct the problem, continue on with this tutorial.
How to Fix an 18V Battery
What You Need
- A multimeter. (this is actually optional but helpful. if you don’t have one don’t worry, you can still fix your battery)
Note: If you aren’t used to doing this sort of thing, or using things like a multimeter this is going to seem crazy and hard and way out of your DIY league. It isn’t.
Step 1. Cut the end off of your AC adapter. That’s right. Just cut it off. It’s for a 10 year old cell phone, you’re never going to use it again anyway. It’s frankly kind of weird that you saved it to begin with.
Step 2. Separate and strip off 1 of each wire. You have just made booster cables! Good for you.
Black wire = negative Striped or solid white wire = positive
IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO NOT MIX THE TWO UP.
Step 3. Remove the screws holding the battery together.
For Ryobi batteries it’s a star shaped screw head like the one below.
A few years ago I bought a kit of small screwdriver heads from Amazon that has every small, weird, head you’d ever need.
There’s a hidden screw under a piece of plastic. You need to pry the plastic off to get at the screw underneath. I used a very thin screwdriver to pry it off.
Step 4. Pull the top off of the battery case.
Step 5. Remove the 2 plastic side pieces. They’re the things you press in to remove your battery from your drill.
Step 6. Lift the battery pack out.
Step 7. Set the Multimeter to read volts. For testing an 18 volt battery choose the 20 volts setting. This will give you the most accurate reading. (If you don’t have a multimeter skip to Step 9 and hope for the best)
Volts are symbolized by a V with one or two straight lines over it on a multimeter so it’s that section of the multimeter that you use. The section under the V with the straight line(s). Not the squiggly line. The straight line.
Step 8. Touching the red probe to the positive (red) terminal and the black probe to the negative (black) terminal, read the voltage shown on the multimeter. In my case the battery was carrying a charge of 0.06 volts. Which is almost nothing, but not completely nothing.
Step 9. Plug your AC adapter in and using the wires, boost your dead battery. Just touch the black wire to the negative terminal (the one with the black wire going to it) and the white wire (or striped wire) to the positive terminal (the one with the red wire going to it). Do this on and off for approximately a minute.
Apparently lithium ion batteries should be pulse charged. Which means you hold your wires down for 15 seconds or so, then release them. Then hold them down again. Over and over.
DOUBLE CHECK THAT YOU ARE TOUCHING POSITIVE TO POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE TO NEGATIVE.
Step 10. Test your the voltage on your battery pack again. It should be higher than it was before boosting. (Again, if you don’t have a multimeter don’t worry about this. you’ll just have to press on without one)
Mine went from 0.06 volts to 7.58 volts after a minute long boosting session.
Step 11. Put the plastic cover back on the battery pack (just the part that goes into the charger) and set your battery on the charger to see if it will take a charge.
If you still only get a red flashing light and the battery won’t charge, boost the battery some more. I find the battery charger will recognize that the battery is good again when you boost it to between 10 and 14 volts.
Just keep repeating the pulse boosting and testing the battery until it will finally be recognized by the charger and you get the green light.
To those of you who found this subject matter to be on par with spending 3 hours in a waiting room, sorry ’bout that.
For the rest of you? I know exactly how you feel. I felt the same way. Let me know exactly how elated you were after you brought your first battery back to life in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев section.
Here’s a 3 minute tutorial video showing me as I fix my own battery.
How to Fix a Ryobi 18v Rechargeable Battery
You have an almost brand new Ryobi battery that the charger won’t recognize and won’t charge. Here’s how to fix that.
NOTE: Before doing all this, first try to pulse charge your battery by plugging and unplugging your charger (with the battery in it) for 10 seconds. Try this a few times. If it doesn’t correct the problem, continue on with this tutorial.
Cut the end off of your AC adapter. That’s right. Just cut it off. It’s for a 10 year old cell phone, you’re never going to use it again anyway. It’s frankly kind of weird that you saved it to begin with.
Remove the screws holding the battery together. There’s a hidden screw under a piece of plastic. You need to pry the plastic off to get at the screw underneath. I used a very thin screwdriver to pry it off.
Remove the 2 plastic side pieces. They’re the things you press in to remove your battery from your drill.
Set the Multimeter to read volts. For testing an 18 volt battery choose the 20 volts setting. This will give you the most accurate reading. (If you don’t have a multimeter skip to Step 9 and hope for the best)
Touching the red probe to the positive (red) terminal and the black probe to the negative (black) terminal, read the voltage shown on the multimeter. In my case the battery was carrying a charge of 0.06 volts. Which is almost nothing, but not completely nothing.
Plug your AC adapter in and using the wires, boost your dead battery. Just touch the black wire to the negative terminal (the one with the black wire going to it) and the white wire (or striped wire) to the positive terminal (the one with the red wire going to it). Do this on and off for approximately a minute. DOUBLE CHECK THAT YOU ARE TOUCHING POSITIVE TO POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE TO NEGATIVE.
Test your the voltage on your battery pack again. It should be higher than it was before boosting. IF IT IS NOT, THEN STOP. YOUR CELL COULD BE DAMAGED AND CONTINUING COULD BE DANGEROUS.
Put the plastic cover back on the battery pack (just the part that goes into the charger) and set your battery on the charger to see if it will take a charge. If you still only get a red flashing light and the battery won’t charge, boost the battery some more. I find the battery charger will recognize that the battery is good again when you boost it to between 10 and 14 volts.
Repeat the pulse boosting and testing the battery until it will finally be recognized by the charger and you get the green light.
How Many Volts is a Lawn Mower Battery? (Answer Tips)
When talking about lawn mower battery voltage, there is a bit of a range depending on the kind of lawn mower it is and the year it was made. Because of this, there isn’t just one answer to the question of how many volts a lawn mower battery is.
So to get down to the bottom of this question, it’s a good idea to look into what different lawn mower batteries are used for and some of the ways that you can identify their voltage.
In general, lawn mower batteries are used for one of two reasons: either to power the starter of a gas engine, or to actually power an electric motor. Let’s talk about some of the standard voltages in either case.
Lawn Mower Battery Voltage (The Short Answer)
The most important variable when it comes to lawn mower battery voltage is the type of mower in question. Riding lawn mower battery voltage is usually 12 volts for gas-powered models, but some older mowers use 6-volt batteries. Electric mowers on the other hand typically use lithium-ion batteries that range from 36 to 120 volts.
Push Lawn Mower vs Riding Lawn Mower Battery Voltage
Since we’ve already established that lawn mower batteries are used for either starting gas-powered engines, or powering electric motors, let’s talk in more detail about the differences between riding and push mower batteries. Riding lawn mowers that have gas engines use lead-acid batteries while push mowers (and electric riding mowers) usually use lithium-ion batteries.
The main differences between lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries are cost, range, and charging time. Lead-acid batteries are less expensive but they have a shorter lifespan and require more time to charge. Lithium-ion batteries are newer technology and they are lightweight, fast-charging, and can deliver more voltage.
Since riding mowers mainly use the battery to get started, they don’t need the added benefits of a lithium-ion battery. However, cordless push mowers and electric riding mowers rely on higher voltage lithium-ion batteries to deliver tons of power for a long period of time.
Because of this, you’ll find that most push mower batteries (or lithium-ion lawn mower batteries in general) tend to have almost 5 times the amount of voltage as riding lawn mower batteries.
How to Find Out How Many Volts a Lawn Mower Battery Is
Figuring out how many volts a lawn mower battery is can be done in a few different ways. Sometimes you get lucky and can find your battery’s voltage listed right on its side, but in other cases, a bit more investigation is required.
I’ll list some of the easiest ways to find out your lawn mower battery’s voltage below.
Inspect the Battery
In my experience the simplest way to answer the question of “how many volts is a lawn mower battery?” is to take a look at the battery itself. Nearly all batteries I’ve seen have a large label on one side that contains a lot of useful information.
You might notice a line of text that could say, for example, “12v7Ah”. This would mean that you have a 12-volt battery with 7 amp-hours. Whatever the case may be, just look for the number just before the “V” for volts.
Most lawn mowers that use lithium-ion batteries will advertise the amount of voltage the mower produces. The only thing to watch out for is sometimes cordless electric push mowers will use two batteries in tandem to produce a higher total voltage. So when looking at your lithium-ion batteries, make sure to take that into consideration.
Reference Owner’s Manual
Another trustworthy means of determining your battery’s voltage is to search your owner’s manual. You should be able to flip to the electrical or battery section without much difficulty and find out what type of battery your lawn mower uses. This works great for both mowers that use lead-acid batteries and mowers that use lithium-ion batteries.
Find Mower’s Serial Number
For those of you who don’t have an owner’s manual, or just can’t seem to find it, take a look at your mower’s deck for the serial and model number. Most of the time you can find these numbers on a small label stuck to the deck. This label may be hard to locate but usually, it is stuck to one of the sides of the deck, the front or rear of the mower, or on top of the deck just behind the engine.
Once you have the serial number, a quick internet search should bring you to your manufacturer’s page or pull up a digital owner’s manual you can reference.
Count Battery Cells
If you have a lead-acid battery, and you can’t find any information on your battery or lawn mower itself, counting the number of cells your battery has is a good trick. The cells on most lead-acid batteries are pretty easy to identify by the small plastic caps on the top of the battery. This is where the electrolyte and acid mixture is added to the battery.
Once you see the cells on your battery, count them. Each lead-acid battery cell will produce just over 2 volts. So, count the number of cells, multiply that number by 2, and that will give you the voltage. As an example, 12 volts batteries will have 6 cells whereas 6-volt batteries will only have 3.
About Tom Greene
I’ve always had a keen interest in lawn care as long as I can remember. Friends used to call me the lawn mower guru (hence the site name), but I’m anything but. I just enjoy cutting my lawn and spending time outdoors. I also love the well-deserved doughnuts and coffee afterward!
Комментарии и мнения владельцев
Can I use a small 12 volt car battery in my gas powered 12volt lawnmower to power the starter on the gas engine?
Hi Billy John, Car chargers are perfectly fine to use on lawn mower starter batteries as long as the charger matches your specific battery. For example, if your charger is designed to charge AGM batteries and you do, in fact, actually have an AGM battery on your lawn mower, you’ll be fine. Now if you are trying to start your lawn mower that has a dead battery or a battery without enough power, then you’ll need to have a charger that can be used for starting. This isn’t something all chargers can do. You’ll need a charger that can produce enough CCA (Cold Cranking Amps). So a charger that doesn’t have an engine start feature isn’t going to be able to start your lawn mower. You’ll have to wait for the charger to charge the battery. Then the battery will have enough CCA’s to fire up your lawn mower. Thanks for the question! Tom.
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gardening tool manufacturers are opting for battery power over fuel or electric, and today’s string trimmers are a case in point. We tested these eco-friendly yard maintenance devices to help consumers make the right purchase for their property.
By Glenda Taylor and Mark Wolfe | Updated Jul 13, 2023 6:44 AM
We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs.
Handy outdoor power tools make quick work of tackling overgrown weeds and grass, giving the yard a tidy look and trimming hedges and shrubs. We put battery-powered trimmers through their paces on several grass or weed types to see how well they ran and cut, ultimately arriving at this list of the best battery trimmers.
For ensuring a polished look to a lawn, the best string trimmer is a great investment. These yard-care tools spin a cutting head loaded with nylon string (instead of a fixed blade) to cleanly trim the grass at the edge of a lawn or mow down weedy areas. Though gas and electric models once dominated, new and improved battery-powered versions don’t require mixing fuel or storing gasoline like gas string trimmers do, nor are they limited by the length of an extension cord, like corded electric string trimmers are.
Some battery trimmers are better suited to different-size yards, users, and budgets. So we could help consumers make the right choice, we tested some of the most popular string trimmers to find out how they perform under real-world conditions. To qualify as a top pick, a string trimmer should be durable, powerful, and easy to operate. The string line should exit the reel easily with no need for the user to constantly remove the reel cover and untangle the line.
The following battery-powered string trimmers are at the top of their class. Anyone looking to invest in a trimmer is likely to find one here to fit their landscaping needs.
- BEST OVERALL:STIHL FSA 60 R 36V Battery Trimmer
- RUNNER-UP:Ego ST1511T Power 15-Inch Powerload String Trimmer
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK:BlackDecker LST300 LBXR2020-OPE 20V String Trimmer
- UPGRADE PICK:Makita XRU15PT1 36V LXT Brushless String Trimmer Kit
- BEST HEAVY-DUTY:DeWALT DCST972X1 60V MAX 17-Inch String Trimmer Kit
- BEST LIGHTWEIGHT:BlackDecker LSTE525 20V MAX String Trimmer/Edger
- BEST FOR LARGE YARDS:Echo DSRM-2100 eFORCE 56V 16-Inch Battery Trimmer
- BEST FOR SMALL YARDS:Worx WG163 20V Power Share GT 3.0 String Trimmer
- BEST DUAL DIRECTION:Husqvarna 320iL 40V Battery String Trimmer
- BEST TRIMMER/EDGER COMBO:Worx WG170 20V Power Share Revolution String Trimmer
- MOST VERSATILE:Greenworks Pro 80V 16-Inch Cordless String Trimmer
How We Tested the Best Battery Trimmers
To truly test these battery-powered string trimmers, we started by assembling the tools and charging the batteries. Most trimmers arrived with the batteries about 25 percent charged right out of the box, but a full charge allowed us to gauge runtime at full power. Although some of the trimmers offer lower power settings that could extend runtime, we found that the lower settings simply made them less capable when it came to coarse weeds, so we ran them at full power for testing.
We put each trimmer through its paces in a variety of real-world scenarios: “clean” lawn grass, weedy grass, and natural areas featuring coarse, weedy seedlings and vines. To earn a spot in our lineup, the lightweight 20-volt (V) trimmers had to deliver a clean, crisp cut in both clean and weedy grass sections. In addition to trimming the grass zones, we used the 36V, 56V, and 80V models to cut through woody, viny growth in natural areas. Along with cutting power, we tested for battery runtime, maneuverability, and operator comfort and determined the best battery trimmer by category.
Our Top Picks
These reviews describe the key features of each cordless string trimmer and how the models performed in our backyard tests.
STIHL FSA 60 R 36V Battery Trimmer
It makes sense that the STIHL FSA 60 R would be a top performer in this test group. It comes from a brand with a long history of industry-leading outdoor power equipment. This string trimmer measures just over 66 inches long, weighs less than 10 pounds with the battery installed, and works for about 25 minutes per charge. The 36V 3.9 amp hours (Ah) battery charges in a little more than 2 hours.
The tough polymer material used for the motor housing and debris shield help keep the weight down. A few other standout features include a variable-speed throttle trigger, trigger interlock, battery retainer latch, EasySpool cutting head, bump guard, and hang loop. The trigger interlock and battery retainer latch prevent accidental startup. The variable trigger and EasySpool head improve operating efficiency by saving battery life and minimizing the time it takes to reload, respectively. The bump guard protects sensitive surfaces during close trimming, and the hang loop offers a convenient way to store the tool when not in use.
This is a great all-around pick for quarter- to a half-acre yards. The relatively short runtime of the STIHL FSA 60 R belies a very capable trimmer. In our tests it easily and cleanly sliced through all kinds of grass and weeds, including tough tree saplings up to about ¼ inch thick. The shorter runtime actually mattered less because the trimmer cut so well, and we moved at a faster pace than with some of the other trimmers with longer runtimes.
The other thing we noted here was the amazing level of operating comfort. The trimmer was fairly lightweight to begin with, but the weight was so well balanced—with just enough weight forward of the front handle to keep the head near ground level—that using it required significantly less effort than what was required of some of the other trimmers that weighed about the same. Also, vibration was minimal, so after trimming we had plenty of energy to keep working.
- Weighs less than 10 pounds but easily powers through tough weeds
- 25-minute runtime per charge for about 5,000 linear feet of trimming
- Excellent balance to keep the head at ground level
- EasySpool head, bump guard, variable-speed throttle, and accidental start protection
- Smallish 13.8-inch cutting swath is on the small side for open spaces
- 2-hour recharge time for battery is longer than that of some competitors
Get the STIHL battery trimmer at Ace Hardware or Blain’s Farm Fleet.
Ego ST1511T Power 15-Inch Powerload String Trimmer
Ego Power has made a name for itself in the outdoor power-equipment category by building an affordable battery-powered tool line that competes favorably against old-fashioned 2-cycle gas-powered equipment. The ST1511T 15-inch string trimmer proved to be powerful, clean, and quiet in testing. The 56V 2.5Ah lithium-ion battery delivers up to 45 minutes of runtime, with a recharging time of just 50 minutes. The bump-feed trimmer head comes preloaded with 0.095-inch trimmer line for more cutting force and less noise. Taller users will appreciate the straight shaft design, and the unit weighs in at just over 10 pounds.
Ryobi 40 volt battery reset.
In our tests, the Ego trimmer showed ample power to cut through everything in its path, including overgrown, weedy grass; privet seedlings; and honeysuckle vines. Its well-balanced design, with the heavy battery in back offset by the long, straight shaft, made it comfortable to work with and more agile than others we tested. Our only caveat: For seasonal yard cleanup or maintaining larger landscapes, the 45-minute maximum runtime may not be quite enough.
- Auto-loading trimmer head reduces downtime while working
- Adjustable telescoping straight shaft provides a custom fit for different users
- Excellent power and runtime value at a moderate price point
- Heavier than some with less forward weight to keep head down
- Battery is bulkier than others, making the tool tiring to use over an extended period
Get the Ego Power battery trimmer at Amazon, Ace Hardware, or Lowe’s.
BlackDecker LST300 LBXR2020-OPE 20V String Trimmer
To give the yard a polished look without breaking the bank, consider the BlackDecker cordless string trimmer. It features a 12-inch cutting swath to cut down the corners and clean up the edges of small- to medium-size yards. An automatic feed spool means no more stopping to bump the tool when new string is needed. Two 20V lithium-ion batteries are included.
In our tests, this trimmer performed very well in weed-free grass and in weedy lawn areas. With a light weight of just 5.7 pounds, this trimmer is easy to handle without causing arm and shoulder fatigue. The short, straight shaft design is most comfortable for users under 5 feet 9 inches tall. We also liked that with a quick adjustment to the head, the trimmer becomes an edger to neaten up the grass along sidewalks and driveways. In all, we found this affordable tool a solid pick for small obstacle-free landscapes.
- Pack includes 2 batteries for more runtime, less downtime
- Automatic feed spool
- Money- and space-saving design that both trims and edges
- Battery recharges in just 45 minutes
- Best for grass only; struggles with coarse, woody weeds
- Wide debris guard doesn’t fit well into tight spaces
Get the BlackDecker battery string trimmer at Amazon (with extra battery) or The Home Depot.
Makita XRU15PT1 36V LXT Brushless String Trimmer Kit
The Makita XRU15PT1 string trimmer is a premium option to keep the lawn and garden under control. It can handle large yards with enough power to tackle dense weed growth. This cordless string trimmer comes with four 18V 5.0Ah batteries so you’ll never run out of power. Shoppers can purchase this model as a kit that includes a dual battery charger and two sets of batteries, or as a “tool only” for those who already have items from the Makita 18V tool platform.
With a long, straight shaft and high-power cutting head, this 10.4-pound trimmer feels like a pro-quality tool. It was well balanced and articulate while trimming around shrubs and between obstacles. It had plenty of power to cut through tough vegetation. In our tests, it made nice clean cuts and crisp edges in the grassy areas and tore through weedy privet seedlings and honeysuckle vines without hesitation. It’s an excellent candidate to replace gas equipment for medium to large landscapes, though the price may be high for budget-minded shoppers.
- Runtime is longer than charge time for ready-to-go fresh batteries
- Includes a second set of batteries for extended work
- Gas-like power and performance for tough trimming jobs
- Expensive trimmer due to the high cost of batteries
- Small debris guard allows some material close to operator
- Stiff bump head required a hard strike to let out line
Get the Makita battery trimmer at Amazon or Mowers Direct.
DeWALT DCST972X1 60V MAX 17-Inch String Trimmer Kit
When an established leader in pro-grade cordless hand tools enters the lawn-care category, shoppers will want to take note. The DeWALT 60V battery trimmer packs a heavy-duty brushless motor powered by a 60V 3Ah FlexVolt lithium battery that lets it tear through all kinds of tough weeds for at least 40 minutes per charge.
This attachment-capable trimmer comes equipped with a straight shaft and Rapid- loading adjustable spool. It uses.080-inch trimmer line to cut either a 15-inch or 17-inch swath. A safety switch in the grip prevents accidental starts. Users can select high or low power, depending on the project, and control the trimming RPM with a variable-speed trigger. The universal attachment feature lets owners replace the trimmer attachment with a variety of other tool heads, including an edger, hedge trimmer, pole saw, and more.
The DeWALT battery trimmer was one of the heaviest we tested, but also the most powerful. With the standard.080-inch trimmer line that came pre-spooled, this tool had no trouble cutting anything from grass to thin tree seedlings and even tough blackberry canes. In low-power mode it offered more cutting force than the high- power setting of most others we tested. In high range it beat all but the STIHL, which was about an even match in terms of pure power. To be honest, high power was too much for many of our applications, so we also tested thoroughly in low range. It ran about 40 minutes on high, and about 60 on low.
Other than the heavy weight, the only negative point we have to offer is the noise. The trimmer is loud to begin with, and when initially triggering or feathering the trigger it makes an even louder whine/whistle sound. Still, it’s a very impressive tool at a fair price for the power and runtime and a good choice for large properties or cleaning up overgrown areas.
- Battery type: 60V 3Ah FlexVolt lithium ion
- Runtime: 40 minutes
- Weight: 12.95 pounds
- Outstanding power for clearing overgrown weeds and brush
- Works with.080-inch or.095-inch trimmer line for normal or heavy trimming
- Excellent runtime of up to an hour for average grass trimming
- Power head can run other landscaping tool attachments
- Heavy weight of just under 13 pounds, but no shoulder strap
- Longer battery charge time at 135 minutes
- Noisy operation, especially when initially triggering
Get the DeWALT battery trimmer at Amazon, Ace Hardware, or The Home Depot.
BlackDecker LSTE525 20V MAX String Trimmer/Edger
Weighing just 8.8 pounds, this string trimmer is easy to carry, maneuver, and control with an adjustable handle and a safety trigger switch to prevent accidental starts. The 12-inch trimming radius is suitable for keeping the lawn properly maintained without damaging fencing, decks, trees, or other common yard obstacles.
This cordless string trimmer operates with a 20V battery that can last for up to 20 minutes, and a spare battery is included. For edging, simply turn the head and use the built-in wheel to balance as the trimmer string handles the task.
When we used the tool to trim weedy lawn grass patches and edge the curb and driveway, it made nice clean cuts and tracked well to make good straight edges. The shaft and handle adjusted to comfortably fit our 6-foot user. The tool is amazingly lightweight for the amount of power it offers, but the weight is mostly balanced to the front of the handle, and having to manually counterbalance it while working fatigued our tester. Though not built for heavily weed-infested yards, it has ample power and runtime to clean up curb lines, driveway edges, and otherwise maintain a smaller landscape.
- Very lightweight and easy to carry
- Handle is customizable to fit the size of user
- Trimmer doubles as an edger with a simple turn of the head
- Battery provides limited runtime, although a spare is included
- Not enough power to tackle coarse, woody weeds
- Weighted toward the front, which may cause user fatigue
Get the BlackDecker MAX battery trimmer/edger at The Home Depot or Tractor Supply Co.
Echo DSRM-2100 eFORCE 56V 16-Inch Battery Trimmer
A wide cutting swath, extended runtime, and powerful trimming ability make the Echo DSRM-2100 eFORCE battery trimmer an excellent choice for large yards. The straight-shaft trimmer is powered by a brushless motor and 56V 2.5Ah lithium battery for up to 56 minutes of powerful performance that rivals traditional 2-cycle trimmers. It cuts a 16-inch-wide swath to get the job done efficiently.
Ryobi Battery Repair. Battery is not charging, how to fix [Quick Version]
This battery trimmer weighs in at a comfortable 9.75 pounds, making it a relatively lightweight choice at this level of capability. It features battery-saving low/high power settings for different cutting conditions, a variable-speed trigger, and a cushioned handle grip for comfort. The Speed-Feed cutting head comes preloaded with.095 trimmer line and reloads quickly without disassembly.
The Echo eForce battery trimmer is an excellent value for large-property maintenance. In our tests, the cutting power seemed to be slightly less than that of the DeWALT and STIHL trimmers, but it was still very capable. In high-power mode we trimmed for about 40 minutes. But the better-than-average power and wider swath meant that in 40 minutes with the Echo, we were able to complete work that other trimmers would need an hour to accomplish. The noise level was good, and reloading was fast and easy.
This trimmer could have scored higher with improved balance. Although it is a lightweight trimmer overall, most of the weight is in the working end. The heavy cutting head forces the operator to compensate by lifting upward on the front handle and pushing downward on the rear handle while working. We tested with the 2.5Ah battery that comes standard. Working with the available 5Ah battery (sold separately) would rebalance the trimmer to some degree while doubling runtime and increasing overall weight.
- Excellent price for this combination of power and runtime
- Wide cutting swath and power performance for large properties
- Rapid charging system charges the battery in less than 40 minutes
Get the Echo battery trimmer at The Home Depot or Acme Tools.
Worx WG163 20V Power Share GT 3.0 String Trimmer
Owners of small yards may find this lightweight string trimmer an excellent option. It weighs just 5.5 pounds and easily converts from a trimmer to an edging tool; a built-in wheel helps balance the tool while edging. A push-button feed system gives the ability to extend the trimmer string without bumping the 12-inch trimmer head or manually pulling additional string from the trimmer. It comes with two 20V batteries and a charger, and the battery lasts for up to 20 minutes on a full charge.
This Worx string trimmer tackled our grassy areas with ease, both the weedy and weed-free zones, but it wasn’t as capable on rough areas. We were particularly impressed by the edger function, which we found comfortable and well balanced thanks to the 90-degree shaft-rotation capability. The adjustable trimmer head and upper handle let us customize the working angle, but the process of doing so proved clunky. We had to reach down and turn a rather stiff knob at the connection point between the shaft and cutting head to unlock and relock the angle for each adjustment.
- Trimmer and edger in a single tool
- Smooth push-button Command Feed spool system
- Adjustable head tilts to 90 degrees
- Battery provides limited runtime, although a second battery is included
- Head-tilt adjustment is somewhat awkward and clunky
- Relatively long 60-minute charging time for 20 minutes of runtime
Husqvarna 320iL 40V Battery String Trimmer
One limiting factor of most string trimmers is the cutting head’s direction of rotation; it matters more than one might think. The direction of rotation determines where the clippings will go, and in some situations, how the user should grip the trimmer. The Husqvarna 320iL 40V battery trimmer offers a solution, thanks to its dual-direction cutting head. At the touch of a button, we could change from clockwise to counterclockwise rotation and back, without changing grip on the handles.
This straight-shaft trimmer is powered by an efficient brushless motor and 40V 4Ah battery that drives about 45 minutes of runtime per charge. It features a Rapid-load cutting head that comes prespooled with.080 trimmer line and cuts a 16-inch swath. Low-vibration technology improves operator comfort, and the machine weighs in at just over 10 pounds with the battery.
Anyone not interested in going off the beaten path might still do well to consider this trimmer. Its balance is impeccable, rivaling the STIHL in comfort even though it’s a fraction of a pound heavier. And for quiet operation, this one takes the gold medal. The only real question regarding comfort and control was, why so many buttons? Its four thumb-operated buttons control on/off, high/low power, clockwise rotation, and counterclockwise rotation.
- Dual-direction trimmer head leaves clippings where desired
- Excellent balance for comfortable extended use and less fatigue
- Among the quietest of the trimmers we tested
- The 4 buttons and a trigger seem like too many controls
- Even the high power is not adequate for heavy-duty trimming
Get the Husqvarna battery trimmer at Lowe’s.
Worx WG170 20V Power Share Revolution String Trimmer
While plenty of string trimmers also function as edgers, we found this model to have the best dual-function design. At the push of a button, the trimming head on the Worx WG170 Revolution trimmer converts to an edger that rolls easily along the edge of a sidewalk or driveway. The head tilts up to 90 degrees, so it is easy to reach weeds on slopes while standing comfortably.
The trimmer comes with two batteries plus a charger and three extra spools of trimmer line. The string trimmer also boasts a handy spacer guard that keeps it from bumping into plants, and the shaft adjusts to suit taller or shorter users. It cuts a 12-inch swath and operates on a 20V lithium-ion battery. We tested the tool with the 2Ah battery, but it also comes with a 4Ah battery at some retailers.
In our yard, this trimmer cut through and created a crisp edge on both weedless and weedy lawn areas. We really liked the easy adjustable feature on the trimmer head: A twist lock holds it in just the right position, up to 90 degrees, for a customized working angle for users of different heights. Also, the batteries are interchangeable with those of many other Worx 20V cordless tools.
- Adjustable upper handle to accommodate users of different sizes
- Trimmer head converts to an edger for use along sidewalks or driveways
- Comes with 2 batteries to make up for shorter runtime
- Requires a relatively long charging time
- Trimmer feels underpowered for tackling coarse, heavy weeds
- Only 20 minutes of runtime per charge
Get the Worx WG170 GT battery trimmer at Amazon or Target.
Greenworks Pro 80V 16-Inch Cordless String Trimmer
The Greenworks Pro 80V trimmer is a quality tool that adapts to a variety of other functions with attachments such as a brush cutter. (However, attachments are sold separately.) The 2Ah battery provides up to 45 minutes of runtime and recharges in just 30 minutes. The brushless electric motor is efficient and quiet, providing plenty of torque to cut through heavy weeds without the noise and smell of a gas-powered unit.
In our test areas, the Greenworks Pro trimmer was powerful enough to cut through the toughest weeds and vines with ease. The heavy battery weighs the machine down toward the rear, but the included adjustable shoulder strap makes operation more comfortable. The battery is compatible with other Greenworks 80V tools. Just don’t get too excited about the variable-speed trigger: Although it’s intended to allow a gradual increase from “off” to “high” speed, we found the range of movement between the two to be minuscule; in effect, the trimmer is either “off” or “on.”
- Battery type: 80V 2Ah lithium ion
- Runtime: 45 minutes
- Weight: 10.6 pounds without battery
- Trimmer has a quiet, efficient brushless motor
- The recharging time is only 30 minutes; runtime is 45 minutes
- Gas-like power and performance without the noise and smell
- Slight lag time between triggering and full power
- The trimmer’s adjustable speed feature is difficult to use
- Weight is balanced toward the rear, but shoulder strap helps
Get the Greenworks Pro battery trimmer at Amazon.
What to Consider When Choosing a Battery Trimmer
When shopping for string trimmers, also known as weed eaters, keep in mind yard size, how often the tool will be used, and the height and strength of the primary user. The following key considerations will help in selection.
Trim width, also called swath width, indicates how wide a path the trimmer will cut through weeds in a single pass. Many models on the market today feature swath widths of 10 to 18 inches. The wider the width, the more power the trimmer must have, which often means the tool will be heavier because it will require a larger, more powerful battery.
Running a string trimmer requires a hefty dose of power. Though most of today’s trimmers run on rechargeable lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries, a few accept nickel cadmium (NiCad) batteries. Li-ion batteries are more powerful, but NiCad batteries are less expensive (an average of 70 to 125 less). Li-ion batteries also are smaller, hold a charge longer, and provide full power throughout the discharge cycle.
NiCad batteries suffer from “memory effect,” meaning if the battery is used before it has fully charged—or if it’s recharged before its power depletes—it will “remember” the earlier charge level and won’t hold a longer charge in the future. If choosing a trimmer that has a NiCad battery, let it charge fully before use and drain completely before charging. For most users, a string trimmer with a Li-ion battery will be the best choice.
Along with battery type, consider how much operating power the battery has, which is measured in volts. Today’s rechargeable string trimmer batteries average from 18 volts up to an average of 60 volts of power. powerful batteries at the high end often are intended for commercial use and can cost 200 or more per battery.
Some string trimmers in this category sell without a battery (or battery charger), which the user must purchase separately. This could be a cost-saving benefit for those who are adding to a same-brand, battery-compatible cordless tool collection, since the same battery will power multiple tools. However, it can be more convenient to purchase a kit with multiple batteries to have one on the charger while the other is in use.
The “feed” of a string trimmer indicates how the trimmer head releases additional trimmer line as it becomes frayed and broken during use. The standby is a bump feed where the user bumps the bottom of the trimmer (the area where the spool attaches) on the ground to release a few inches of fresh line.
Some newer models feature an auto-feed sensor that gauges the length of the strings and releases more when needed. Still others have a push button to release more line. Auto and button feeds eliminate the need to bump the spool, which can reduce the risk of damage if bumped too hard, but many commercial-type trimmers still use bump feed because it’s quick and easy.
Curved vs. Straight Shaft
Some string trimmers feature a straight shaft that runs from the handle to the cutting head, while other models feature a distinct curve in the lower shaft about two-thirds of the way down. Some users find curved-shaft trimmers to be easier to operate since the spool end already rests at a handy angle for weed whacking.
Straight-shaft trimmers often accommodate interchangeable tools, such as a tree trimmer head, which can be swapped out depending on the task at hand. In general, straight-shaft trimmers work better for users at least 6 feet tall, while shorter users will appreciate curved-shaft trimmers.
Battery-powered string trimmers have a distinct advantage over gas-powered trimmers when it comes to noise pollution. Gas-powered trimmers are moderately loud, emitting an average of 90 decibels (about as loud as a motorcycle passing by from 25 feet away). By contrast, a cordless string trimmer emits approximately 77 decibels, which is comparable to casual conversation.
Those who are still unsure about how to use a battery string trimmer may find the following answers to common questions about these tools helpful.
Q. Can a string trimmer cut weeds?
A string trimmer is used to cut and control weed growth around the home and garden. However, light-duty trimmers may have issues with very dense weed growth.
Q. Can you use a string trimmer to cut grass?
A string trimmer can be used to cut grass, though you need to be careful not to cut the grass too short while trying to keep the trimmer balanced. It isn’t the easiest way to cut the grass, but it is possible.
Q. Can you edge with a string trimmer?
Yes, a string trimmer can be used for edging the garden, driveway, walkway, or sidewalk. If you have a large yard, it may be better to invest in a separate edging tool.
Q. How many volts should be in a trimmer?
String trimmer batteries average from 18 volts up to 80 volts. Typically, the higher the voltage, the longer the battery life.
Q. How do you edge a lawn with a string trimmer?
Hold the string trimmer perpendicular to the lawn to keep the cut even. Position the head about 4 inches off the soil so the string has space to rotate. The string should rotate and cut through the grass and dirt. As you move along the desired borders, keep the head balanced and even. Clean up the cut grass and dirt to finish the job.
Why Trust Bob Vila
Bob Vila has been America’s Handyman since 1979. As the host of beloved and groundbreaking TV series including “This Old House” and “Bob Vila’s Home Again,” he popularized and became synonymous with “do-it-yourself” home improvement.
Over the course of his decades-long career, Bob Vila has helped millions of people build, renovate, repair, and live better each day—a tradition that continues today with expert yet accessible home advice. The Bob Vila team distills need-to-know information into project tutorials, maintenance guides, tool 101s, and more. These home and garden experts then thoroughly research, vet, and recommend products that support homeowners, renters, DIYers, and professionals in their to-do lists.
Meet the Tester
Mark Wolfe is a writer and product tester with a background in the nursery and landscaping industry. For more than 20 years he mowed, edged, planted, pruned, cultivated, irrigated, and renovated beautiful landscapes. Now he tests and writes reviews about the latest outdoor power equipment, hand tools, lawn-care products, and other outdoor-living goods.
Additional research provided by Glenda Taylor.
The best cordless lawn mowers in 2023
Looking for the best cordless mower? Browse our experts’ pick, from budget to premium models.
A lawn mower may be one of the first purchases we make when getting a garden of our own, but that doesn’t mean finding a good quality one is easy. There are so many models and brands on the market to choose from, including corded electric and petrol, but as their range increases and fall, cordless, battery-powered models are an increasingly popular option.
Light and compact compared with traditional petrol models, cordless mowers are simple to use, easy to manoeuvre around the garden, and have none of the maintenance and servicing needs or costs of petrol lawnmowers. Powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, which charges up quickly and won’t lose power in storage, they’re also quiet and emission free.
To compare these cordless mowers against other types of mower, we’ve reviewed the best lawn mowers, robotic lawn mowers, electric lawn mowers and push mowers, too. And if your lawn needs a bit of attention, our experts have tested a range of the best manual and powered aerators and scarifiers.Keep edges looking neat with our pick of the best strimmers, the best garden shears and the best lawn edging, and if you’re thinking about somewhere to store your new mower, our comprehensive guide to choosing the best garden shed will be helpful.
For your next DIY project, have a look at the best cordless drills.
The best cordless mowers to buy at a glance
Cordless mowers. Buyer’s Guide video
Many thanks to Rosie Yeomans and Sparsholt College for their help in making this video.
Getting the best cordless lawn mower for you means ensuring it has the correct cutting width, range of cutting heights, and weight plus a battery run time that matches the size of your lawn. We’ve tested a range of cordless push mowers, putting them through their paces across a range of grass and terrains, to help you find the right one for your garden.
Each mower has a detailed list of pros and cons for clarity and has been rated according to set up and storage, handling, mowing and value for money. Every mower in our round up below has scored a minimum of four out of five stars, so you can buy with confidence.
In every review we award outstanding products our coveted Best Buy award. To see these and the others we recommend, browse our pick of the best cordless lawn mowers, below.
Best Buy cordless mowers
Husqvarna Aspire LC34-P4A
Our rating: 4.9 out of 5
- Cuts even long grass with ease
- Battery level visible while mowing
- Small and compact for easy storage
- Part of the POWER FOR ALL cordless range
Part of the new Husqvarna Aspire cordless range, which includes a hedge trimmer, pruner and leaf blower, this 34cm mower is powered by an 18V POWER FOR ALL ALLIANCE battery and charger. These are interchangeable with tools in other leading brands such as Flymo, Gardena and Bosch so if you also invest in tools in these ranges, you’ll only need to buy the bare tool and won’t have different batteries and chargers taking up space in the shed.Great for small gardens the mower comes ready to go, there’s no assembly or handles to attach, and it folds down to a compact size when you’re finished, with a telescopic handle that folds completely flat over the body of the mower. It can then be stood up against a wall or hung up, and even comes with a handy hook. The 30l grass bag also flattens down to take up very little room and can be hung on the mower. The Aspire is light, with a carry handle so that lifting it up steps or into other areas is easy and it has an adjustable handle to suit different height users. It’s comfortable and easy to manoeuvre around the garden and has just four cutting heights to choose from, ranging from 25-65mm and changed easily with a single lever on the body of the mower. It cuts grass quietly and smoothly and has an automatic boost that increases blade speed when you’re mowing in tougher, longer areas that works well. You can hear it kick in when you push the mower into longer grass and unlike other cordless mowers that can cut out, just carries on cutting the grass. While you mow the battery charge level is always clearly visible so you know how much battery you have left and when it needs charging. It comes with a two year warranty and we awarded it a BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine Best Buy in 2023 for ease of use.
Specs: Battery: charge time. 95 mins; run time. 500sqm. Cutting: width. 34cm; height. 25-65mm. Grass box. 30 litre.
Buy the Husqvarna Aspire C34-P4A cordless mower from Husqvarna and Sam Turner
Our rating: 4.5 out of 5
- Easy to assemble and use
- Comfortable padded handle
- Choice of mulching or collecting clippings
- Interchangeable battery with Greenworks 24V family
Ideal for smaller gardens this sturdy, great value cordless mower is easy to put together, well thought out and simple to use. Thanks to a padded handle it’s comfortable to push, although it did feel a little short for our taller tester, and it’s light and easy to manoeuvre around trees and beds and borders. There are five cutting heights to choose from, adjusted with the simple lift of a lever and it offers the choice of collecting clippings in the 30 litre fabric grass bag or inserting the mulching plug and leaving them on the lawn to break down and feed the grass. It mows well but doesn’t like very long grass, with the battery cutting out occasionally but its long lasting brushless motor offers a a decent run time of 46 minutes and it charges in two hours. Plus, as part of the Greenworks 24V family, both the battery and charger are interchangeable with all the other tools in the range, saving you money if you invest in more in the future. We awarded it a BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine Best Buy for the best budget cordless mower in 2023.
Specs: Battery: charge time. 120 mins; run time. 46mins. Cutting: width. 33cm; height. 25-70mm. Grass box. 30 litre.
Yard Force LMG37A 40v 37cm
Our rating: 4.8 out of 5
- Rear roller
- Double folding handle for easy storage
- Quickest charge time
- Part of the Yardforce GR40 cordless range
This sturdy mower has a 37cm cutting width and useful features including a rear roller for those much desired stripes. Awarded a BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine Best Buy in 2022 for small to medium lawns, clippings are collected in the large 40 litre fabric grass bag. It offers a wide choice of seven cutting heights, from 25-75mm, and is easy to fold away at the end of the day. The 40V battery is quick to charge, taking just 50 minutes and when full it has the capacity to cut a 400m2 lawn.
Specs: Battery: charge time. 50 mins; run time. 400sqm. Cutting: width. 37cm; height. 25-75mm. Grass box. 40 litre.
Buy the Yard Force LMG37A 40V 37cm cordless mower from Yard Force, Amazon and Wickes
Why spend weekends pushing a loud gas mower and breathing exhaust fumes? Let one of these autonomous electric mowers do the work cleanly and quietly.
By Mark Wolfe | Updated Jul 18, 2023 10:43 AM
We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs.
Photo: Debbie Wolfe for Bob Vila
Improvements in rechargeable battery tech and intelligent software have dramatically changed the way we live. Smart televisions and lighting systems improve our sensory environment, while other automated home devices like vacuum cleaners, thermostats, and refrigerators minimize many more mundane tasks. Similarly, robotic lawn mowers can now keep the grass at just the right height, eliminating a time-consuming weekend chore.
These devices may even cost less to own and operate than gasoline-powered mowers while making very little noise and producing no exhaust emissions. They maintain up to an acre or more on most types of terrain, and they work automatically so folks with lawns have more time to relax and enjoy their green space.
No doubt, all of this sounds great—but how well do these robots actually perform? To find out, we put some popular models through their paces on real-life lawns. Read on to learn about the criteria we used to select these mowers, and then check out our product reviews to find out how each one did on our test turf. Anyone in the market for a new mower might just discover that a robot model can be a Smart, time-saving investment. R2-D2 would surely approve!
- BEST OVERALL:Worx Landroid M 20V Robotic Lawn Mower
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK:Gardena 15001-20 Sileno City Automatic Robotic Mower
- UPGRADE PICK:Husqvarna Automower 415X Robotic Lawn Mower
- BEST FOR STEEP HILLS:Redback MowRo 9.5-Inch Robot Lawn Mower
- BEST FOR LARGE LAWNS:Husqvarna Automower 115H Robotic Lawn Mower
- BEST FOR SMALL LAWNS:Gardena 15202-41 Sileno Minimo Robotic Mowe
Photo: Debbie Wolfe for Bob Vila
How We Tested the Best Robotic Lawn Mowers
All of the robotic lawn mowers we tested use 14-gauge low-voltage wire to establish the barrier. We assembled two barriers around two 1,200-square-foot patches of lawn—one with Bermuda grass and a steep slope and one mostly flat area with centipede grass. Each test area included two large open spaces connected by a narrow bottleneck corridor, and all the mowers were tested on both test areas.
We established a daily mowing schedule for 7 days in each location. We observed the ease of programming and communication with the mower as well as its actual performance. Criteria to be included in this guide were as follows:
- Consistently reliable mowing on schedule and returning to the base station after initial setup and first-day adjustments
- Consistently navigating the narrow corridor to mow both large areas
- Avoiding random obstacles intentionally left within the boundaries
- Returning to the base station in the event of rain or sprinklers
- Avoiding excessively steep slopes without becoming stuck
- Complete coverage of the test area—no noticeable missed spots for the entire test week
Our Top Picks
We measured the following robotic lawn mowers against our shopping considerations (detailed below) and put each one to work for a 7-day home trial. Find out why we recommend them among the best robot lawn mowers available.
Worx Landroid M 20V Robotic Lawn Mower
The popular Worx Landroid robotic mower lineup includes models S, M, and L for yards up to 0.125 acre, 0.25 acre, and 0.5 acre, respectively. While they offer many similarities, we found that the Worx Landroid M offers the best combination of capability and affordability. It is powered by a 20-volt 4-amp-hour lithium-ion battery for 2 hours of runtime per 90-minute charge. It can mow on a 20-degree slope thanks to a pair of high-efficiency brushless wheel motors that provide extra traction. The Landroid’s 8-inch self-leveling mowing disc cuts closer to the edges of the yard than many competitors. The blade height manually adjusts from 1.5 to 3.5 inches.
Landroid connects to a home Wi-Fi network via Bluetooth and automatically keeps its own software up to date. You can easily set or adjust the custom mowing schedule or monitor the mower on the go via the Landroid mobile app. An integrated rain sensor stops the mower from cutting if rain starts and sends it back to its charging station.
The Landroid M performed at or near the top in most of our testing rubric categories. Assembly and programming were easy, mowing was reliable with excellent coverage, communication through the mobile app was intuitive, and runtime was superior—all for a very competitive price. Runtime was especially impressive: We clocked it at 2 hours 35 minutes, the longest of all the mowers we tested.
Unfortunately, we subtracted points for poor docking ability. Landroid was the only mower we tested with recharging contacts located on the side of the machine rather than the front or back. To recharge, it must be perfectly positioned in relation to two flexible contact points as it passes over the base station; otherwise, it continues tracking along the perimeter wire without stopping. After resetting the base station three times and ensuring it was absolutely level in all directions with a long, straight approach, we finally achieved satisfactory results.
Aside from that issue, the Landroid provides outstanding overall functionality for the price. Available upgrades include the ACS module that prevents collisions, Find My Landroid GPS cellular module, Radio Link module to extend Wi-Fi connectivity for improved artificial intelligence, an Off Limits module for wire-free no-mow zones within the main mowing area, and the Landroid Garage.
- Coverage area: 0.25 acre (10,890 square feet)
- Mowing height range: 1.5 to 3.5 inches
- Slope rating: 20 degrees
- Includes everything you need to get started and clear step-by-step instructions for easy installation
- User-friendly mobile app makes it simple to control the mower and check status remotely
- 2 hours of runtime per charge means more mowing and less time spent charging
- Competitive price point for a highly capable robotic lawn mower
- Base station must be installed perfectly or the mower may not align properly for charging
- Some desirable features are not included with the base kit
Get the Worx robot lawn mower at Amazon, Lowe’s, or The Home Depot.
Gardena 15001-20 Sileno City Automatic Robotic Mower
Anyone shopping for an affordable and uncomplicated robotic lawn mower for a small yard would do well to consider the Gardena Sileno City. It navigates slopes up to 25 percent and corridors as narrow as 24 inches wide. Plus, it works rain or shine, day or night.
Available with either a 2,700-square-foot or 5,400-square-foot maximum mowing capacity, the Sileno City is a great option for most urban landscapes. It requires a flat, level area for the charging station and a nearby power source. A low-voltage perimeter wire keeps the mower inbounds and may be configured to mow a secondary area that is isolated from the primary lawn.
You can customize the mowing height between 0.8 inch and 2 inches high by means of a manual adjustment knob. The Gardena Bluetooth app makes it easy to operate the mower or customize the schedule and other settings from any mobile device, or use the onboard control panel to make adjustments.
It took about 1.5 hours to set up the Gardena Sileno City in our testing area. The kit included everything needed to get started, along with clear instructions. We plugged in the base station and allowed the mower to charge while we installed the perimeter wire and guide wire. The guide wire is an extra wire that bisects the lawn from the base station to the most distant portion of the perimeter wire. All Gardena (and parent company Husqvarna) robot mowers use it to navigate more efficiently.
After installation, we followed the instructions to calibrate the system and program the schedule. Starting with a pre-mowed lawn, we adjusted the mower height to mow 1.5 inches high, and the yard looked great throughout the test period.
One feature that shoppers should be aware of is the maximum daily runtime of about 3.5 hours per day (for the 2,700-square-foot version that we tested). Don’t bother scheduling the mower to run more than 3.5 hours total per day since after reaching the time limit, the device will simply return home until the following day. Since we mowed no more than 2.5 hours per day, we didn’t have a problem.
- Coverage area: 2,700 square feet
- Mowing height range: 0.8 to 2.0 inches
- Slope rating: 14.04 degrees
- Value-priced yet feature-rich robotic mower ideal for smaller lawn areas
- Kit includes everything needed for installation and easy-to-follow instructions
- Reliably and quietly mows all kinds of grass, day or night, rain or shine
- Navigates slopes up to 25 percent and passages as narrow as 24 inches
- Preprogrammed with a daily runtime limit that stops the mower regardless of battery status
- Not Wi-Fi or GPS enabled
Get the Gardena 15001-20 robot lawn mower at Amazon or Gardena.
Husqvarna Automower 415X Robotic Lawn Mower
Here is a well-equipped mower for warm-season grasses up to 0.4 acre, especially lawns with challenging obstacles, narrow passages, and sloped terrain. With a mowing height range of 0.8 to 2 inches, the Husqvarna Automower 415X is designed for maintaining low-mow grasses like zoysia, Bermuda, and centipede. It is powered by an 18-volt 2-amp-hour lithium-ion battery that delivers a runtime of 50 minutes per charge and recharges in 60 minutes. This premium mower features a high-resolution onboard display, rugged poly front bumper, LED headlights, and coarse-tread wheels that easily handle slopes up to 40 percent.
The Automower 415X is loaded with communication and control features, beginning with cellular and Bluetooth connectivity. It is easily controlled via the Automower Connect mobile app and is compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home Smart devices. Husqvarna’s intelligent mapping technology uses GPS sensors to virtually map the lawn, enabling zone control with customized settings, and real-time tracking through the app. This high level of communication pairs nicely with precision control and automated features like electric height adjustment, automatic passage handling, remote location starting, spiral- and spot-cutting capabilities, wireless firmware updates, theft protection system with GPS tracking, and more.
The Automower 415X arrived for testing with everything we needed for a quick and easy DIY installation. The layout and setup were similar to the other models we tested but with the unique addition of a central guide wire running through the middle of the mowing area to assist with navigation back to the home base. Initial programming was fast and intuitive with the mower’s onboard controls. After downloading the app, we spent some time customizing mowing options, adding the targeted mowing height and spiral mowing options. Targeted mowing automatically lowered the cutting height each day until our preselected height was achieved. With spiral mowing engaged, the mower automatically detects extra-tall or dense growth and mows that isolated area in a spiral pattern. These two options were especially helpful in combination, as we needed to get our overgrown Bermuda grass under control.
Our testing lawn was an irregularly shaped area encompassing 1,200 square feet, with a tree isolated by the boundary wire near the middle and two larger lawn areas on either side. Part of the test area included a steep slope, close to 50 percent in one small area, and the 415X had no trouble. We noticed after the third or fourth mowing that the robot was making more efficient linear cuts and less frequently getting caught up in multipoint turns.
During the target-height adjustment period, the mower seemed to FOCUS more time on a section after it had been sufficiently cut, then running out of battery before fully cutting the other section. Once the target was achieved, however, daily mowing at 1.25 inches kept the grass looking great. Docking at the base station went perfectly every time. Easy setup, reliable operation, Smart tech, and a lower mowing height range make this a good choice for most small to midsize yards with warm-season lawn grass.
- Coverage area: 0.4 acre (17,424 square feet)
- Mowing height range: 0.8 to 2 inches
- Slope rating: 22 degrees
- Precision control features allow you to target portions of the lawn that require more attention
- GPS-assisted navigation allows the robot to mow challenging areas more efficiently
- Easily navigates obstructions like toys and lawn furniture as well as difficult terrain
- Cellular and Bluetooth connectivity make it easy to connect and control the mower remotely
- Premium price point for top-of-the-line robotic mowing technology
- Highly efficient mowing capability is offset by a somewhat limited runtime per charge
Get the Husqvarna Automower 415X robot lawn mower at Amazon or Lowe’s.