Electric lawn mowers are on their way to taking over the market. They have reached a point where their features and price are attractive to homeowners. They require almost no maintenance and their overall cost of ownership is a lot lower than conventional gas mowers.
We researched the top ten electric mowers on the market to help you find the perfect machine to cut your lawn. Here they are, all in one place, for your shopping enjoyment. We’ll start with the number one lawn mower, with the best price for the features it offers, and a high level of customer satisfaction.
- 1 Best Value for the Money
- 2 Big Power for Large Yards
- 3 For medium-size yards
- 4 For medium to small yards
- 5 For small yards
- 6 Automatic mowing with a Robot
- 7 Multi-tool: Edge and Mow
- 8 How much will you save with an electric mower?
- 9 Hints and Tips for Easy Mowing with an Electric Mower
- 10 A little insight on grass types and choosing the right mower for them
- 11 Features we love in electric lawn mowers
- 12 How to choose the perfect electric mower for your yard
- 13 Recommendations on which mower to buy
- 14 Conclusion
Best Value for the Money
Corded Electric: GreenWorks 25022 12 Amp Corded 20-Inch Lawn Mower
The GreenWorks brand has been gaining in popularity over the past few years for good reasons. Their lawn mowers are durable and user-friendly and their price is attractive.
The 25022 is a 12Amp electric mower with a 20-inch blade. As long as you don’t mind doing some cord management as you mow, you can cover a lot of ground fast. The tall 10-inch rear wheels and reasonably large 7-inch front wheels help this mower handle bumpy ground without issues.
The superior steel blade does a great job even if you let the grass grow for a couple of weeks. It helps that the mower itself isn’t a featherweight. At 56 pounds, it’s easy to push but heavy enough to tackle tough jobs. The one-touch height adjustment raises or lowers the deck to cut between 1-1/2-inches for centipede grass up to 3-3/4-inches for bluegrass. This is the kind of wide range seen on more expensive mowers.
One of the things we like best about the 25022 is that it’s a 3-in-1 machine. That means it mulches, bags, or discharges clippings to the side. This is a setup seen on more expensive gas mowers. The mulching capability is fantastic for reducing yard cleanup and waste and it cuts down on how much you spend on fertilizer.
When you’re done mowing, the handle folds down for storage. You can pop the mower in your trunk or keep it in the garage for next time. There’s no oil or gas to mess with, no odor, no tune-ups needed. Your only cost of ownership is blade-sharpening and the small amount of electricity you’ll use. Plus, you’re covered by GreenWorks 4-year warranty, longer coverage than on most electric mowers.
If cords aren’t your thing, check out this best-selling cordless electric mower below.
Cordless Battery: BLACK+DECKER CM2040 Lithium 3-in-1 Cordless Mower, 20-Inch, 40-volt
Black+Decker makes cordless vacuums, cordless power tools, and yes, cordless mowers. The CM2040 is the sweet spot for them. Their previous cordless mowers suffered complaints over short runtime and weak cutting capability. Now the CM2040 is new, improved, and raring to cut your grass in record time.
It comes with two 2.5Ah 40-volt lithium-ion batteries that will last you up to 45 minutes of runtime. These batteries are compatible with some other Black+Decker outdoor power tools, too, so it could save you money and time to rotate batteries between them.
Like the GreenWorks corded mower, this baby has a 20-inch wide cutting path. But there are no cords to manage here. You’re free to run all over the lawn in whatever mowing pattern suits your fancy. Since you don’t need both batteries present to run the mower, you could top one up on the charger while you work.
The one touch blade height adjuster looks like something in a sports car. It moves the deck up and down to cut from 1-1/2-inches up to 4-inches high. This wide range makes the CM2040 useful for all types of residential lawns.
The 15-gallon collector bag has a nice touch—there is an indicator to tell you if the bag is full. And when it’s full, it’s heavy, up to 40 pounds or so if you’re cutting Kentucky Bluegrass. While it can bag, this mower can also discharge and mulch. Again, these are features that used to be seen only on expensive gas mowers. But now the CM2040 and other electric mowers have the power to mulch even leaves well.
Black+Decker offers a 2-year limited warranty on the CM2040. One thing to keep in mind: while some owners have complained that the deck of this mower is plastic, they forget that it will never rust out on them.
Big Power for Large Yards
EGO Power+ 20-Inch 56-Volt Lithium-ion Cordless Lawn Mower – 5.0Ah Battery and Charger Kit
Let’s imagine that you have a huge lawn. You think to yourself that there is no way you can cut it without a gas mower. If it’s more than you can mow in an hour, that may be true. But the EGO Power+ 20-inch mower runs up to 55 minutes so you can cover as much as half an acre on one charge.
EGO Power stacked this machine with a 5Ah 56-volt lithium-ion battery for maximum runtime. While it’s a monster at cutting grass, it’s very quiet as it runs. You can mow without hearing protection and listen to your music playing. It even comes equipped with headlights in case you prefer to mow at night or early in the morning.
Like the previous two mowers, the EGO Power+ has 3-in-1 capability. Choose from bagging, side discharging, or mulching. Mount the bag, or insert the mulch plug, or set it to discharge, push the button, and go.
EGO Power backs up this lawn mower with a 5-year limited warranty on it and a 3-year warranty on the battery and charger.
For medium-size yards
WORX WG719 13 Amp Caster Wheeled Electric Lawn Mower, 19-Inch
We’re back to corded electric models with the WORX WG719 13Amp mower. It has a 19-inch blade to cover ground fast. We recommend this one for small to medium-size yards for two reasons. One, the smaller the cut path, the more back and forth you’ll have to do. Two, any corded mower means you’ll have to deal with moving an extension cord back and forth and around obstacles. The maximum cord length is 100 feet, and that means you’re limited to where you can mow unless you have electrical outlets in strategic places.
While the WORX is quite similar to its competitors in that it also offers 3-in-1 mulching, bagging, and discharge, it has some key differences. For one, it has caster wheels in the front, something you may have seen on Cub Cadet mowers and grocery carts. It makes this mower very, very maneuverable.
Secondly, it has a slightly wider range of cutting heights. The steel cutting deck adjusts between 1-1/4-inches and 4 inches so this mower can handle all sorts of lawn grasses. The foam padded handle folds down for super-flat, easy storage when you’re all done. WORX makes their mowers in the USA and offers a 3-year warranty on the WG719.
For medium to small yards
Sun Joe MJ402E Mow Joe 16-Inch 12-Amp Electric Lawn Mower + Mulcher
We’re shrinking down in size now to smaller mowers for smaller yards. Sun Joe offers their compact but powerful MJ402E with a 15-inch cutting width. (Yes, the mower is 16 inches wide, but the blade cuts 15 inches across.) This makes it perfect for yards under 1/5-acre in size with lots of obstacles and tight places to squeeze through.
While the MJ402E seems tiny, it romps through grass, twigs, and it mulches, too. It’s very lightweight at just 30.4 pounds. In fact, it’s one of the lightest lawn mowers in our reviews. It comes with a 9.3-gallon collection bag. That doesn’t sound like much, but keeping it small makes it easier for the user to lift and empty it. Everything about the MJ402E, from the price and the weight, to the size and ease of use, makes it a good mower for retirees.
The six-position height adjuster ranges from 1.2 to 2.52 inches. This means folks who prefer longer grass may be shaving too close for their preference. On the other hand, people with southern grasses will find it right on the money.
Sun Joe offers a 2-year limited warranty. The MJ402E is ETL-listed for safety compliance. The most you’ll have to invest in to care for it is sharpening the blade once a season, and keeping the electricity on.
For small yards
Sun Joe MJ401E Mow Joe 14-Inch 12 Amp Electric Lawn Mower With Grass Bag
We’re down to postage-stamp size yards and mowers for folks who want to get the job done with minimum fuss. The Sun Joe MJ401E only mows a 14-inch wide path, but that’s plenty when you have a tiny yard and not a lot of storage space for a mower.
The 12Amp motor cuts smoothly as it mows as long as you’ve selected the right gauge extension cord for it. (See our Hints and Tips section below.) There are three cutting heights between 1.18 and 2.52 inches, perfect for centipede and St. Augustine grass.
The mower is the lightest one in this top ten guide. It weighs only 29 pounds. The hard-top grass catcher can hold up to 10.6 gallons of clippings. It has a convenient handle right on top to make it easy to carry.
When you’re done cutting the grass, the padded handle folds down for storage. Sun Joe offers a 2-year warranty. The MJ401E is ETL-approved for safety.
If you’re not a fan of Sun Joe’s green mowing machines, check out their competitor’s model below.
Earthwise 14-Inch 8-Amp Side Discharge/Mulching Corded Electric Lawn Mower, Model 50214
As part of the famous Great States/American Lawn Mower Company umbrella, Earthwise offers a 14-inch mower, the 50214. It has an 8Amp motor so it uses less electricity as it works than the Sun Joe MJ401E. If you happen to have a long, tough grassy jungle right now, mow it once with a gas mower before you begin maintaining it with the Earthwise. The Earthwise isn’t super-powerful, but it’s perfect keeping a small yard in shape once the big, wild weeds are under control.
The 50214 has some advantages over the Sun Joe mower. For one, it can mulch. Two, the one-touch deck height adjustment lever lets you select a wider range of cutting heights, from 1.5 to 4 inches, making the Earthwise preferable for northern grasses like fescue and bluegrass. You may find the padded V-shape ergonomic handle more comfortable for pushing and easier to control while turning than the straight bar handles on other mowers.
This is a simple little mower. There’s no collector bag or fancy features. It mulches so you can leave the clippings on the lawn, or it discharges out the side. If you want a budget-priced mulching mower for a small yard, this is it. Earthwise offers a 2-year limited warranty.
Gardena 4025-U 15-Inch 25-Volt 3.2 amp Lithium-Ion Cordless Push Reel Lawn Mower
We’ll take a little hop up in size now to a 15-inch mower. This one is special. It’s a cordless electric model that can operate as a conventional reel mower. Yes, if you forget to charge it, you can push it and cut the grass anyway. How cool is that? In the zombie apocalypse, yours will be the only house with a neatly cut lawn.
The 25-volt lithium-ion battery has enough charge to do a quarter-acre lot if you mow in two sessions. Or like we mentioned, you can push-mow the rest of the lawn if the battery dies. Keep an eye on the LED display to see how close you are to needing a charge.
Another neat feature on the Gardena 4025-U is the cutting height adjuster. Instead of pre-set slots, you can choose any height you want within the total overall range. So between the minimum of 0.47 and the maximum of 1.65 inches, you can select 0.87 or 1.13 or whatever strikes your fancy. Do keep in mind that this will provide a very close cut for northern grasses, so it’s better for centipede and southern grasses…unless you want a putting green in your yard.
Gardena offers a 12-month parts and labor warranty. If your mower breaks down after the warranty ends, their national repair service offers a free estimate on how much it should cost to fix so you can find the best deal.
Automatic mowing with a Robot
Robomow RS622 Battery Operated Lawn Mower
If you love your Roomba for vacuuming inside the house, you’ll enjoy the Robomow RS622 cutting the grass for you outside. Although it’s not affiliated with the same company, the two robots have a lot in common.
The RS622 (now doesn’t that sound a little like R2D2? hmm…) departs from its base station to mow your lawn right on schedule. You don’t even have to be there for it to work. When it finishes, it returns to the base for a recharge. You can control it directly through Bluetooth from your phone or tablet or set up a schedule for when it runs.
The lithium-ion batteries last up to 70 minutes of runtime and refill in 90 minutes on the base station. Robomow anticipates that you won’t need a new battery for up to 5 years because the base station charger helps keep it in top condition.
The two brushless motors inside the RS622 are some of its most durable features. Each motor turns one of the 11-inch blades. Each motor is maintenance-free—you’ll never have to give it a tune-up. Brushless motors outlast regular brushed motors by years. They run cooler and are more energy-efficient. The motors in the Robomow have no problem blasting through tough grass, twigs, leaves, or pine cones so you don’t have to do yard cleanup before you mow.
If the Robomow senses high humidity or rain, it can delay mowing until it senses drier conditions. It can handle up to ½-acres lawns with 20-degree slopes, no problem. If it senses that it’s being lifted or tipped over, the blades automatically stop for safety. The RS622 won’t run off either as long as you post the border wire around your lawn so it knows its boundaries.
Speaking of blades, the three blades have dual cutting edges for a neat, sharp trim. The cutting height adjusts with the turn of a knob between 0.8 and 3 inches. The cutting width is wider than any of the other mowers in this review—a whopping 22 inches.
The Robomow itself measures 29 inches long by 26 inches wide. It weighs 51 pounds. The sturdy plastic housing is water-resistant so the mower won’t rust if it’s out in a rain shower or near the sprinklers.
The two 8-inch wheels in the rear and 3-inch roller in the front adjust to the contours of your lawn. The sensors in the front bumper halt the blade’s rotation and change the mower’s direction if it comes in contact with an object.
Finally, if you’re worried about leaving the Robomow where someone might steal it, it has two anti-theft features. One is an alarm that sounds if the mower is removed from its designated zone. Second, you can lock it with a 4-digit PIN code to stop unauthorized persons from being able to use it.
Multi-tool: Edge and Mow
BLACK+DECKER MTE912 12-Inch Electric 3-in-1 Trimmer/Edger and Mower, corded, 6.5-Amp
We’ll wrap up this buyer’s guide with a multi-purpose tool that mows, trims, and edges. If you have a tiny yard and a few shrubs, or a big yard with narrow passages, this could be the perfect yardwork tool for you.
The Black+Decker MTE912 12-inch mower converts into a string trimmer and edger. As a mower, it makes use of the four-wheeled based to support the string trimmer like a mower blade. Press the foot pedal release and the trimmer separates from the base. Turn it sideways to edge alongside sidewalks and paving stones. The Automatic Feed System doesn’t require bumping to ready new string when the old wears out.
The 6.5Amp motor will need an extension cord to operate. Black+Decker also sells a cordless model of this same tool that uses a 20-volt battery.
Now that we’ve covered the top ten electric mowers, let’s take a look at the criteria we used to choose them, and why we like electric lawn mowers in the first place.
How much will you save with an electric mower?
Why should you switch to an electric mower, or buy one as your first grass-cutting tool in a new home? Why not go for gas or even a push reel lawn mower? It’s all about the money and a little about the ease of use. We’ll explain.
Electric vs. Gas Mowers
If you’ve filled up your gas tank recently, you know that it adds up fast. Yes, gas mowers use less than a gallon to mow a yard, but that’s not the only cost you’ll pay over time. Gas mowers need oil, they need spark plugs, air and fuel filters, and tune-ups. That adds on about $80 a year unless you can do all that yourself.
Then there’s the long-term cost. Combustion engines pollute the air, no matter how efficient they are. The old oil from oil changes pollutes. The noise from a gas mower also pollutes the environment.
There will probably always be a place for gas mowers, but that need is shrinking as technology advances. Electric mowers get better every year. They have more features formerly found only on high-end gas mowers. Their purchase prices have dropped to make them accessible to just about everyone.
Yes, by running off electricity or having to recharge a battery, you are still indirectly polluting the environment, but much less than when you use gas. In fact, it really depends on your local utilities company. If you were to use solar panels to recharge your mower’s battery, that’s great!
Electric mowers, whether corded or cordless, only need basic maintenance. Clean them, sharpen their blades, and that’s it.
Electric vs. Push Reel Mowers
If you want to have as light a carbon footprint as possible, you’ll probably invest in a manual push reel mower. But as anyone who has used one can tell you, pushing one back and forth on a ¼-acre yard on a hot day is quite the workout. An electric mower is a great compromise between helping the environment and helping your back stay healthy.
Cost of using an electric mower
A few years ago someone did the math and found that an electric mower costs about $1.04 to mow an acre while a gas mower cost $4.70 for the same area.
Someone else figured out that while tuning up a gas mower costs about $18 if you do it all yourself, you’ll pay about $80 for a pro to do it.
The average cost of having a shop sharpen your mower blades (for either gas or electric mowers) is between $9.95 and $20. The cost of replacement blades hovers around $15 to $25, depending on brand and style.
Let’s add it all up:
Electric mower blade sharpening once a season= $15
Cost to mow ¼-acre yard weekly for 7 months or 26 times= $6.76
Total cost for one year of grass-cutting with an electric mower= $23.76
Now that sounds like a good deal!
Hints and Tips for Easy Mowing with an Electric Mower
In case you’re new to electric mowers, or just want to brush up on how to use one, here’s a quick cheat sheet.
- Choose the right gauge of extension cord—This is essential for two reasons—safety first, and proper operation of your mower. It needs power to run, so make sure the wire gauge is thick enough to handle the current that the mower demands. For mowers that need between 10 to 15Amps of current, choose 12 gauge wire for cords between 50 to 100 feet long.
- Use outdoor extension cords only, and GFCI electrical outlets if you have them. GFCI outlets have a red reset button. Look in your bathroom, you probably have one there. They are made to trip the circuit if there’s a problem, which is very important when you operate an electrical appliance near water.
- Plan your cord management BEFORE you mow, or even before you buy a mower. You’ll suddenly see obstacles you forgot were there.
- Don’t mow wet grass. We know, you have a limited schedule. If you must mow on damp ground, don’t do it with a corded electric mower. At least use a cordless one to reduce your risk. And be prepared to deal with two things: grass may clog the blade and the mower itself will be a lot harder to push.
- Check your wheels once a month and keep your mower clean. Kick the tires, make sure they’re on tight, and don’t let leaves and clippings build up on your machine. That just leads to to problems down the road. Check your owner’s manual for the type of cleaning they recommend. Some mowers can handle a splash with the hose better than others.
- Sharpen the blade. Ever shave with a dull razor? Eeew. Please keep your blades sharp. You can do it yourself with a metal file or pay to have someone else do it. Your grass will thank you.
- For cordless mowers: take care of those batteries. Lithium-ion batteries are the most common type now found in electric lawn mowers although lead-acid still pops up in some models. Li-ion are great for power tools because they have no memory effect. You can recharge them without running them all the way down. They last three to five years under typical circumstances. But do keep them away from high heat, and store them over the winter months with only 30-50% charge remaining in them instead of all the way full.
A little insight on grass types and choosing the right mower for them
We love to see healthy green lawns. We want to help you maintain your lawn in top condition. When you choose a mower, think about what kind of grass you have growing there. Check the mower’s cut height range to see if it suits your kind of lawn.
If you have northern grasses, like tall fescue, blue grama, buffalo, and bluegrass, you’ll want to let them grow a little taller, between 2-1/2 and 3 inches in the spring and fall, and 3 to 3-1/2 inches in the summer. Cut it too short and you’ll pave the way for burning the grass tips and turning patches yellow and dry. Longer grass resists the heat better, conserves water longer, and keeps roots strong. But leaving northern grass too long can cause matting and open the lawn up for insect infestations. You’ll still need to stay on top of mowing the lawn.
Southern grasses like St. Augustine, centipede, zoysia, and Bermuda do best around an inch in height, up to 1-1/2-inches. The same problems happen with these grasses if they are too short or too long. Plus, they generally grow where the mowing season lasts longer because of moderate climates.
For southern grasses, take a look at the Sun Joe, Earthwise, and Gardena mowers in this buyer’s guide.
The Robomow RS622 also has a wide range of cutting heights good for both southern and northern grasses.
If your grass has grown too long, but it’s doing well, follow the 1/3 rule. Only cut off the top third of the grass on the first mow. That way you won’t shock the grass too much and cause it to sicken. Then wait a few days and go back to your normal cutting height.
Features we love in electric lawn mowers
We love electric mowers and we believe you will, too. Here are the features we like best.
- There’s no pull cord to start the engine. Push a button, sometimes turn a key, and go. No stress.
- They are so quiet. You can mow at weird times of the day without making neighbors angry. You can hear music while you mow.
- They are lightweight, fold up for storage, and fit in a car trunk. That means they’re easy to bring to the mother-in-law’s house to cut her lawn, too.
- Yes, there are electric mowers that have metal decks and that’s fine. But plastic decks will never ever rust out.
- They cost less to use. See our math in the section above.
- Not only do they cost less to use than gas mowers, they cost less than paying someone else to mow the lawn, too.
- No stink from gas fumes, just the sweet smell of freshly cut grass.
- 3-in-1 mulching, mowing, and bagging for a reasonable price. Even electric mowers under $200 have these features while 3-in-1 gas mowers run well over $300.
- Robot mowers. This is our dream to own. There are no gas-powered robots, only battery models.
How to choose the perfect electric mower for your yard
Even though we limited our buyer’s guide to the top ten electric mowers, the choice can still be a little overwhelming. Let’s try to narrow it down for you.
If you have a postage-stamp size yard like those seen in front of row houses or condos, you’ll save the most money with a corded electric model.
For yards between postage-stamp and 1/6-acre (about 7000 square feet), you’ll do well with either corded electric or cordless battery mowers. You don’t need a 20-inch or larger mower unless you want to cover your lawn in record time.
For yards from 1/6 up to ¼-acre or about 10,000 square feet, save yourself time and effort with a cordless electric model that has at least 45 minutes’ runtime. If your lawn has slopes, consider getting a 40-volt mower. Also, you’ll want one that has a 20-inch cut path.
Over ¼-acre, you’ll need to plan to cut your lawn in two sessions with a cordless battery mower, buy an extra battery, or else use a corded electric model. Just remember that the maximum extension cord length for these mowers is 100 feet. You’ll need electrical outlets in strategic places.
Features like mulching and bagging
All mowers can discharge clippings—some to the rear and some to the side. The question is whether you want to bag or mulch, or both. Mulch can also be bagged, or it can be discharged, depending on the mower.
Mulch is just grass clippings cut even smaller than usual. If you leave it on the lawn, it’s not as unsightly as regular clippings, and it helps fertilize. If you bag it, you can dump it in your compost bin. Mulching keeps after-mowing cleanup to a minimum because you don’t need to rake.
Bagging may be more your style if you want a neat lawn, but consider the bagging setup on the mower you want to buy. Does it hold enough for your size of lawn? Is it easy to mount and remove, and will it be too heavy for you to lift when it’s full? For example, Kentucky Bluegrass weighs up to 30 pounds per bushel, and there’s about a bushel of grass in a 10-gallon mower bag.
Warranty and customer service
We hope you’ll get years of trouble-free work from your new electric mower. But if you end up with a defective model, how well will you be covered? The average warranty length for electric mowers hovers around 2 years, with some companies offering three years, and a few offering as long as five.
If the mower is something you can afford to replace in a few years, you may not be concerned. But if you’ve had problems in the past, check this one thing before you buy. What exactly is the policy for a warranty repair? Will you have to pay shipping even though the repair is free? If so, it may be worth it to check with another brand because shipping an appliance like a mower is expensive.
Recommendations on which mower to buy
Here’s where we go down the list and give you our opinion on which mower in our top 10 will be the best one for you. We’ll start with small yards and work our way up.
If you have a miniscule amount of grass, or a narrow strip where you can’t use a regular mower, or simply like the idea of a multi-tool, get the Black+Decker MTE912 mower/edger/trimmer.
If you want to lay back in the hammock and sip a lemonade while someone else mows, check out the Robomow RS622.
The Gardena 4025-U is the perfect balance between an electric mower and a manual reel mower. If you’re teetering on the edge between the two options, settle for this one, as long as you have grass that can be cut down to under 2 inches in height.
The Earthwise and Sun Joe 14-inch mowers are ideal for small yards in warmer climates with southern grasses. They are oftentimes the favorite choices of retired persons who balance budget with ease of use.
The WORX WG719 is very maneuverable and flexible, with a wide range of cutting heights and 3-in-1 functionality. It’s made in the USA and that’s a big selling point for a lot of folks.
The EGO Power+ 56-Volt mower is great for yards up to ½-acre in size. It’s a monster 3-in-1 mowing machine, complete with headlights and a 5-year warranty.
The Black+Decker CM2040 has the advantage of batteries that are compatible with other B+D yard power tools. It’s perfect for yards up to ¼-acre in size with its 45-minute runtime and 3-in-1 capability.
And our top pick is the GreenWorks 25022 12Amp corded electric mower with a 20-inch cutting width and a wide range of cutting heights. It mulches, it bags, it discharges out the side. It’s super easy to operate and push. You’ll get excellent value for the money you’ll spend and you’re covered by a 4-year warranty.
We hope you enjoyed our reviews and buyer’s guide to the best electric mower. Check back again soon for more insightful product reviews.