Best Electric Lawn Mower Review – Top 5 Sharpest List for Dec. 2017 with Buying Guide
If you’re old enough to remember the early days of electric lawn mowers, you probably also remember that no matter how careful you were, it never took long to run over and destroy the mower’s power cord.
Corded electric lawn mowers are still with us, of course, but to our mind, there’s no way they can compete with today’s modern cordless battery powered/electric lawn mowers. If you are really old school you might want to consider a trip back to the future and looking into reel or push lawn mowers – yes, they still exist!
Take your time and read the electric lawn mower buying guide information just below, and then read through the top 5 list one by one. Alternatively, click this link to check out our top 5 best cordless electric lawnmower comparison table.
An electric lawn mower may not have all of the power that some types of grass require, but it’s infinitely quieter and environmentally-friendly, doesn’t require lots of maintenance or regular expenditures on gas, oil, and plugs, and can do just as good a job on most lawns. There’s no fighting with the pull cord to get the machine started, either.
Buying Guide – Corded vs. Cordless (Battery Powered) Electric Lawn Mowers
The first decision to make when shopping for an electric mower is whether to go old school with a corded unit or choose a modern battery-powered mower. A plug-in mower is generally less expensive but definitely less convenient because the power cord (even with extensions) limits how far you can mow.
But if you’re drawing power from an outlet you won’t have to worry about a battery running out of juice half-way through the job or mowing power decreasing as the battery level gets low. For many with small lawns, a corded model is the right choice – as long as they can avoid running over that pesky cord. For everyone else, cordless is the way to go.
Other Factors to Consider When Choosing Your Electric Lawnmower
Let’s take a quick look at some of the other decisions you’ll be facing as you choose the best electric lawnmower.
Potential Weak Spot: The Battery
Most battery-powered appliances and devices are able to run long enough to accomplish their task on a single charge. That’s a challenge for homeowners using an electric mower on a large lawn because the batteries in these mowers can only run for about an hour at most. Not surprisingly, a lawnmower’s battery is the most important attribute to consider before buying.
The majority of cordless lawn mowers run on lithium-ion batteries because they’re much lighter, more efficient and last longer than the other, less-expensive battery choice, lead acid. A heavy lead acid battery needs to be replaced often and has to be recharged after it’s used 50-80% of its stored power, while a lithium-ion battery can run until it’s fully discharged and should last for years.
For a complete rundown on the different rechargeable battery types and how to care for them please read our article linked below.
Some manufacturers outfit their mowers with dual Li-ion batteries, which can increase run-time or supply additional power. All of the cordless mowers on our top-5 list have Li-ion batteries.
The amount of time a battery can run between charges, and how long it takes to recharge, will be key questions to ask when looking at any cordless mower.
Another important specification to check is the battery’s voltage because higher voltage lessens power demands on the battery and makes the overall cut smoother. The voltage multiplied by the amperage gives you the total power of the mower, another important spec to look at.
Other Key Features of a Cordless Lawn Mower
Many more considerations should go into your choice of an electric lawn mower.
Deck size: This is the term used to describe the width of grass a lawn mower cuts on each pass. For example, a mower with a 15” deck cuts a 15-inch wide swath. A lawn would take 25% more time to mow with that unit, than with a model that has a wider, 20” deck. 14-20 inches is the normal range of deck sizes you’ll find on electric lawn mowers.
Mower size and width: The larger the deck, the larger the mower will be. A large, heavier mower will be harder to push and maneuver, particularly if you’re small in build or your grass is thick. Choose a mower that’s comfortable to use, since you’ll be spending lots of quality time together.
Height adjustment: You never want to cut your grass too short because it will turn brown or die, and you definitely don’t want to try cutting tall grass with a mower that’s too low to the ground. A height adjustment feature is important for all lawnmowers, including electric ones.
Mulching vs. Collecting: Like gas mowers, electric mowers can dispose of the clippings in several ways. Consider your preference and then check to see if a model has an attached bag, mulches the clippings to be left on the lawn, or just powers the cut grass out of a side chute. Many mowers now have a 3-in-1 option letting you mulch, collect or toss.
Self-propelling: A machine with a motor that does most of the pushing will be more expensive, but many older or disabled homeowners find that a self-propelling mower was the best investment they’ve ever made on their lawn.
You might also want to consider whether the mower has a child-proof starting mechanism, shields to deflect rocks or pebbles from being thrown from the discharge chute, or headlights for nighttime mowing.
Here’s our list of the top 5 best electric lawn mowers currently available. They’re all cordless models because the Groom+Style review team felt they performed just as well as the best-corded mower while providing more convenience.
1. Ego LM2001 3-in-1 and LM2102SP (self-propelled model) Cordless Lawn Mower
There are a lot of electric mowers which cut grass very nicely. The reason the Ego LM2001 earns our top ranking as the best electric lawn mower is that it does the job more quickly, thanks to its large deck and a battery which recharges faster than its competitors.
The team looked at the battery first; it’s a 56-volt lithium-ion battery, so it can produce 40% more power than the “normal” sized 40-volt battery usually found on lawn mowers. This battery will run for as long as an hour and only requires only about 30 minutes to recharge.
Sixty minutes should be enough to cut most small lawns (1/4 acre or so), but if it’s not, you don’t have wait long in order to finish up. And all of that power comes from a battery weighing only about three pounds, making this a very lightweight lawnmower to push – a very good thing because the one feature the LM2001 is missing is a self-propelling function (there is a self-propelled model which has just been released the LM2102SP – see below).
The more grass a mower can cut in one pass, the faster you’ll be able to finish the job, and the Ego’s large 20-inch deck allows you to cut swatches nearly two feet wide. You can lower or raise the lawnmower’s height from 3.5 inches down to 1.2 inches, making it easy to cut tall grass as well as do regular maintenance mowing.
And the 3-in-1 function, which lets you choose between bagging, mulching or discharging your clippings from the side chute, works extremely well.
The LM2001 has LED headlights so you can work at night and folds up into an easily-storable size. The only limitation is that it’s not ideal for mowing steep banks.
If you prefer a self-propelled electric mower with all of these features, Ego has recently released the LM2102SP, a more expensive choice but just as terrific as the LM2001.
To most people, a lawn mower is just a lawn mower – until they start using one and quickly realize what they don’t like about it. Groom+Style doubt you’ll find many things to dislike about this model.
Looking at the specs of the Ego LM2001 3-in-1 Cordless Electric Lawn Mower:
2. Earthwise 60420 Cordless Electric Lawn Mower
This is another lightweight mower (in fact, lighter than the Ego) that runs on power from lithium-ion batteries – and when we use the plural for “batteries,” it’s because the distinctive feature of the Earthwise is that it has two Li-ion batteries onboard, one 4aH and one 2aH.
The dual batteries can combine for about 45-50 minutes of cutting time, allowing you to finish a decent-sized lawn without needing to recharge (a process that takes about two hours).
Other nice features of this lawnmower include a 20-inch steel deck for a wide cutting area and oversized wheels for maneuverability, plus an ergonomic folding handle.
The Groom+Style team also found that the Earthwise 60420 is one of the quietest electric mowers on the market, and the single-lever height adjustment system gives you seven cutting levels to choose from, 1½ to 4 inches.
The Earthwise has a 3-in-1 discharge system with your choice of side discharge for clippings, a rear bag for collection, or automatic mulching as it cuts.
The Earthwise 60420 is a great choice for thinner grass, although we’d go with the slightly higher-priced Ego if you let the lawn go for long stretches between mows. The review team loves the rugged steel deck and the quiet operation.
Looking at the specs of the Earthwise 60420 Cordless Electric Lawn Mower:
3. Black+Decker CM2040 3-in-1 Cordless Lawn Mower
Like the Earthwise, this Black+Decker mower has two 40-volt lithium-ion batteries on board. Only one powers the lawnmower at a time, but the extra battery provides double the normal runtime with a quick switch to the second battery. There’s a 20-inch polymer cutting deck and height can be easily adjusted all the way up to a four-inch cutting level.
A nice feature of the CM2040 is what Black+Decker calls AutoSense. It adjusts the amount of power used depending on the thickness of the grass being cut. That conserves battery life when mowing thin grass and provides an extra boost for heavy grass.
There are also the now-common 3-in-1 mulch, bag or discharge options.
The CM2040 didn’t seriously challenge for our top ranking, though, because battery life can be a problem. B+D claims 45-60 minutes per charge but you’re more likely to get 30 minutes, and even less if you’re mowing heavy and thick grass. The flip side of the coin is recharging, which takes as long as two hours. The review team really likes the performance of this mower, but that’s just too long to wait.
The CM2040 performs quite well, but battery power can be an issue. Thankfully, you can just switch to the onboard backup battery and finish the job.
An in-depth look at the Black & Decker CM2040 3-in-1 Cordless Lawn Mower’s specifications:
4. Sun Joe iON16LM Cordless Lawn Mower with Brushless Motor
Here is Groom+Style’s choice for homeowners with small lawns and a relatively small budget. You may associate Sun Joe with snow blowers, but they’ve used their technological knowledge to build a lawn mower with the same strong performance as their snow machines.
Specifically, this mower uses a strong brushless motor which last longer, puts less drain on the battery and creates less vibration and noise than similar lawn mowers.
The iON16LM uses a 40-volt lithium-ion battery, which means that it is lightweight (37 pounds) and easy to push (there’s no self-propelled feature, but none is really needed). And even though a battery charge will only last about 40 minutes, recharging only takes half-an-hour.
That’s why the team think this is a great choice for smaller lawns and gardens that are 1/3 – 1/4 of an acre in size. The only real drawbacks are that the deck is only 16 inches, requiring an extra few passes to get all of the grass cut; and there’s no mulching feature available, although a grass-catching bag comes with the machine.
The lower price for the Sun Joe iON16LM cordless may well be worth the sacrifices for those who don’t need a full-featured mower for their small lawn.
Here are the specs for the Sun Joe iON16LM Cordless Electric Lawn Mower:
5. Ryobi RY40180 Cordless Electric Lawnmower
Ryobi has released a new cordless model which has a wider deck, 20 inches, than the lawnmower which previously occupied this spot on Groom+Style’s list of the top 5 best electric lawn mowers. We like it even more than its predecessor, but it still ranks #5 because it’s more expensive than many competitors while providing less mowing time.
The mower now comes with a single 5.0 Ah (amp hour, where the battery can supply 5 amps for 1 hour ) 40-volt lithium-ion high capacity battery for extended run time. Like with the previous models, the Ryobi 40180 has two battery slots – one with electrical contacts and another slot to hold a spare battery.
This model comes with only 1 battery and charger, so if your lawn is larger than about 1/2 acre or will take longer than 40 minutes to mow, you could consider buying a spare battery (the 5 Ah battery would be the best value) and placing it in the spare battery slot for when you need it.
The included battery and charger are compatible with other Ryobi 40-Volt tools.
We weren’t as thrilled with the battery’s long recharging time of 90 minutes (compared to 30 minutes for many of the lithium-ion batteries in our Groom+Style reviews), and you can still only get about 40 minutes of cutting time per battery. However, Ryobi has also increased the number of height settings and maximum height, making this a more versatile mower than its older brother.
The Ryobi RY40180 is lightweight, efficient, and cuts grass exactly the way it should. It will do the job quite nicely on a smaller lawn.
The specifications for the Ryobi RY40180 Cordless Electric Lawnmower:
Groom+Style’s Best Cordless Electric Lawn Mower Comparison Table
Use the comparison table to help you identify if there is a specific lawn mower that interests you, and identify the key differences. You can then choose to:
- use the “Quick Navigation” button at the bottom of the table to navigate straight to the model you are interested in reading more about
- use the “Check Price on Amazon” button if you know exactly what you want to buy
- Take your time and read more about the different types of cordless electric lawn mowers and the key buying considerations back at the top of the article
1. Ego LM2001 3-in-1
- For the person who wants the best lawnmower available at an affordable price, with a long lasting and quick charging battery. High quality is backed by a five year warranty.
- PRO: 20-inch deck, long battery life, fast recharge time, 3-1 disposal options, LED headlights.
- CON: Slightly heavier than other options (but if you buy the self-propelled model LM2102SP this will be even less of an issue).
2. Earthwise 60420
- For the person who values comfort and relaxation - provided by this extremely quiet and ergonomically designed mower which is easy to maneuver.
- PRO: 20-inch deck, lighter that the LM2001, good battery life, 3-1 disposal options, ergonomic handle and oversized wheels.
- CON: Long recharge time at 2 hours.
3. Black+Decker CM2040 3-in-1
- For the person who wants a small lawn cut their way, prioritising personalisation over power and battery life.
- PRO: 20-inch deck, AutoSense power conservation feature, 3-1 disposal options, large range of cutting heights, 2 batteries included.
- CON: Short battery life (about 30 minutes for 1 battery), long recharge time (about 2 hours). These factors are mitigated by the fact that you get 2 batteries.
4. Sun Joe iON16LM
- For the person who doesn’t want to break the bank, but who still wants excellent performance, with minimal excessive features.
- PRO: Cheapest option reviewed, lightweight, low noise and vibration, quick recharge time (30 minutes).
- CON: 16 inch deck, no mulching feature.
5. Ryobi RY40180
- For the person who wants another budget option, that is slightly more expensive than the Sun Joe but with a larger deck and mulching capabilities.
- PRO: 20-inch deck, mulching option.
- CON: Long recharge time (90 minutes).
That is it for our updated list of the top 5 best electric lawn mowers for Dec. 2017 – if you are curious about our choices from previous years then continue reading.
Black & Decker SPCM1936 Cordless Electric Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
Note – the SPCM 1936 self-propelled model is no longer available on Amazon. The links now direct users to the Black & Decker CM1936ZA 36V Cordless Lawn Mower – which is not self-propelled.
Those who are looking for a self-propelled electric lawn mower – and who don’t mind a much heavier machine – should find the SPCM1936 the right choice. One reason it’s so heavy is that it runs on a 30-pound lead-acid battery, which can either be charged while in the mower or when removed; Groom+Style were not a fan of the older style lead-acid models because they take a long time to charge (12 hours for this one) and have to be plugged in if they’re not being used. They’re fine for smaller yards and for small gardens, though, with the charge lasting between 45-60 minutes and letting you mow about 1/3 of an acre.
As far as performance, the Black and Decker delivers as well as the two other models we’ve reviewed so far, cutting almost any size grass you can throw at it and moving easily thanks to its variable-speed self-propel mode, which is controlled by a handle and can “learn” your personal pace of mowing.
The 19-inch polymer cutting deck is a little smaller than on the mowers we’ve previously discussed, but it’s close enough to still make a good dent on your lawn on each pass. The SPCM1936 also has the now-common 3-in-1 mulch, bag or discharge options, as well as a one-touch system for changing mowing height.
You can probably tell why this electric lawn mower didn’t challenge for the top spot on our list – the battery, with its associated weight and charging-time limitations. But when it comes to the simple question of whether or not it can do a nice job mowing your lawn – it certainly can.
An in-depth look at the Black & Decker SPCM1936 Cordless Electric Self-Propelled Lawn Mower’s specifications:
Tip: While you’re investigating gardening equipment you probably want to check out Black and Decker’s top leaf blower.
Ryobi RY40112A Cordless Electric Lawnmower
There is one thing Groom+Style liked very much about the Ryobi RY40112A, but also a couple of negatives which knocked it down to number five on our list of top 5 best electric lawn mowers.
Here’s what we liked: the mower comes with two 40-volt lithium-ion batteries; only one of them can be used at a time, but the second one can be recharging while you mow so you can minimize downtime. Additionally, the batteries are interchangeable with those on all other Ryobi tools and lawn equipment.
We weren’t as thrilled with the batteries’ recharging time of 90 minutes (compared to 30 minutes with the lithium-ion batteries in our other reviewed models), and the smaller cutting footprint of the RY40112A’s 16-inch deck.
This lawnmower is lightweight, efficient, and cuts grass exactly the way it should. It’s not quite as versatile as some of the competition, only allowing a maximum cutting height of 2 ¾ inches, but it will still do the job quite nicely for a small garden and lawn.
The specifications for the Ryobi RY40112A Cordless Electric Lawn mower:
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