Lawn maintenance is a tough job, so having a reliable, low-maintenance lawn mower is a must-have. We recently tested 10 cordless lawn mowers of various sizes, price points, and power ranges. To put these to the test, we mowed more than 50 acres of grass, ranging from weedy overgrowth to well-manicured grasses and everything in between to find the best of the best—and no oil changes required.
The best cordless lawn mowers have the power and capability to mow an average-size lawn just as well as gas-powered models without bogging down in patches of taller or thicker grass. This guide lists the best cordless lawn mowers on the market and notes some of the top features to look for to take care of your yard maintenance needs.
- BEST OVERALL: Ego Power+ Self-Propelled Mower
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Greenworks Pro 80V 21-Inch Brushless Lawn Mower
- BEST FOR SMALL YARDS: Makita XML03 36V LXT Brushless Lawn Mower
- BEST FOR LARGE YARDS: Greenworks 40V 21-Inch Cordless Lawn Mower
- BEST RIDING: Ego Power+ 42-Inch Z6 Zero-Turn Riding Mower
- BEST SELF-PROPELLED: Toro 60V MAX 21-Inch Super Recycler Lawn Mower
- BEST ROBOTIC: Worx Landroid M 20V 4.0Ah Robotic Lawn Mower
- BEST 3-IN-1: DeWalt 2X20V MAX 21½-Inch Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
- BEST REEL: Great States 18-Inch Manual Reel Mower
- ALSO CONSIDER: Worx Nitro 80V 21-Inch Cordless Lawn Mower
How We Tested the Best Cordless Lawn Mowers
When testing any battery-powered tool, we always begin by charging the batteries fully, taking note of how long it actually takes and comparing that to the manufacturer’s stated times. We did the same with these cordless lawn mowers.
Then, depending on the mower’s runtime, we mowed until the batteries ran out and took note of the runtime and the area the mower covered. We also mowed the grass in optimal, well-maintained conditions, and also in poorly maintained conditions, noting how well each mower fared in each setting. We also looked at the finished cut in all conditions. In addition to assessing each mower’s power and quality of cut, we also looked at ease of use, comfort, and the effectiveness of additional features, such as mulching.
Our Top Picks
Choosing the right cordless lawn mower can be challenging. Our top picks aim to streamline the shopping process as they’re some of the best cordless lawn mowers on the market.
In addition to the convenience of powerful cordless operation, the Ego Power+ self-propelled mower offers feature upgrades typical of more expensive models, which helped put this mower at the top of our list.
It boasts 60 minutes of runtime, thanks to its high-efficiency brushless motor and 56-volt (V) 7.5 amp-hour (Ah) battery. With its 21-inch deck and variable-speed, self-propelled wheels that give it the capability to mow more than 3 miles per hour (mph), this mower is suitable for yards up to a half acre. It also includes speed controls that the user operates with an intuitive lever, LED headlights, and a rapid charger that powers up the 7.5Ah battery in just 60 minutes. Plus, cutting power automatically increases when conditions get tougher, such as in dense weedy areas or tall grass.
Ego got it right on the basics, too. The oversize wheels roll smoothly over rough terrain and make for easy manual operation when the user isn’t using the self-propelled feature. The handle easily adjusts for different user heights and folds up neatly for storage.
We were impressed by this mower’s blend of mowing ability, operator comfort, affordability, and rapid recharging ability. The only time we didn’t get a clean finish in a single pass was when the grass grew for an extra week. That was fixed by simply mowing stringy areas again.
In our tests, it easily mowed down tall weeds and traversed steep slopes. Its battery life appeared to be less affected by the added workload. In tough conditions where we experienced declines in battery life up to 50 percent with some of the other mowers, the Ego mower only lost about 25 percent of its runtime.
However, we did notice that mowing in “push” mode (without the self-propelled motor running) extended battery life by about 20 minutes to as much as 65 minutes per charge. That said, a decrease in runtime when using self-propel is not unusual for battery-powered mowers. Still, buying a second battery for extended runtime, or as backup for tougher mowing, may be a wise investment. The drive motor also seemed excessively noisy. But even with a couple of minor faults, the Ego Power+ is comfortable and easy to use, and is honestly a good value.
Read our full review: Ego Power+ 21-Inch Self-Propelled Mower
- Cutting width: 21 inches
- Weight: 83 pounds
- Battery runtime: Up to 60 minutes
- 7.5Ah lithium-ion battery and efficient brushless motors provide up to an hour of runtime
- Automatically increases power output for tough cutting conditions
- Convenient handle-mounted control lever adjusts self-propel pace for user comfort
- LED headlight improves visibility for evening mowing or maneuvering through a dimly lit garage
- Wheel motors are excessively noisy compared with those of other self-propelled mowers
- Using the self-propel feature decreases battery runtime by up to half, depending on terrain
Get the Ego self-propelled cordless lawn mower at Amazon (two 4.0Ah batteries), Ace Hardware, or Acme Tools.
Greenworks is known for its advancements in battery technology, and this model has two 2Ah batteries that allow for up to 60 minutes of runtime from a full charge, with a combined recharge time of just 60 minutes. This push mower features a 21-inch-wide mowing deck. Technology that adjusts the motor speed based on load helps to maximize battery life and maintain excellent cut quality.
Adding to this impressive mowing coverage is a steel deck with seven positions that are easy to adjust with a large handle near the right rear wheel. Its sturdy steel deck gives it the tough feel of gas-powered models.
A large start button and easy-to-maneuver speed control mean it can be manipulated with gloved hands. This push mower does not have motorized wheels, which keeps the price low and maximizes battery life for cutting grass. The 3-in-1 grass clipping capability allows for bagging, mulching, or side discharging, and a foldable handle design facilitates compact storage.
Although this Greenworks push mower required a bit more effort to move around the yard than the self-propelled mowers, its simplified design made it an extremely capable mower. The powerful motor offered the most “gas-like” performance of the group. It had no trouble cutting dense, weedy grass up to 10 inches tall and left possibly the best finish of all the mowers we tested. In all three modes, bagging, mulching, and side discharging, it left the grass perfectly smooth, with no uneven spots or stringy weeds left behind. It had plenty of power to mulch thick grass into virtually invisible clippings.
The only downside of this mower was that hilly ground reduced the amount of area mowed per charge, not because of demand on the mower, but because the operator’s pace slowed. Everything else considered, we felt that this push mower delivered the strongest mowing capability, even though we had to push it. And the price was significantly less than the others.
- Cutting width: 21 inches
- Weight: 71.21 pounds
- Battery runtime: Up to 60 minutes
- Two 2Ah batteries offer up to 60 minutes of runtime
- Strong motor delivers powerful cutting performance, even for thicker grasses
- Easy-to-use controls integrated into the handle
- Included charger only charges 1 battery at a time
- Not self-propelled; may cause some strain on the user
Get the Greenworks 80V cordless lawn mower at Amazon.
The Makita XML03 is an 18-inch battery-powered lawn mower that comes with four batteries. Makita claims that it can mow up to one-third acre on a single charge, so we tested that claim. We marked out a third-acre area on our lawn and mowed with the Makita XML03 six times over 3 weeks.
During testing, the Makita mower completed all but one mowing session without battery depletion—with a small battery charge remaining. However, when we tested the mower on damp grass, we depleted all four batteries before we could finish the session. Keep in mind that the Makita mower is not self-propelled, so ultimately, the mowing area that it can cover in a single charge depends on user speed and grass thickness.
Operating at 3,300 revolutions per minute (rpm), its single blade matches the speed of a gas lawn mower, but dense grass resistance can hinder its spinning speed. The trick to overcoming this issue is to mow more frequently so that you’re not removing any more than one-third of the grass blade.
The height adjustment (a single lever on the back right wheel) is convenient; the mower’s deck height range of 13/16 inch to 3 inches could have been improved. This limitation may impact those with specific grass types or desired cutting heights. Although a typical range of 2½ to 3 inches covers many grass varieties, species such as tall fescue are often mowed at 3½ inches high.
The Makita’s detachable grass-catching bag holds 1.7 bushels (16 gallons), which is on the small side, and we had to empty the clippings frequently. But overall, the Makita XML03 meets its mowing claims with reliable battery performance. It starts at the press of a button and is much quieter than gas-powered mowers, so you won’t upset the neighbors if you mow early on a Saturday morning. Though it can cut up to one-third acre on a single charge, its narrower cutting swath makes it particularly suitable for smaller yards.
Read our full review: Makita XML03 36V Brushless Lawn Mower
- Cutting width: 18 inches
- Weight: 63.3 pounds
- Battery runtime: Up to 43 minutes
- Comes with four 18V LXT 4Ah batteries for maximum torque and 43 minutes of runtime
- Quiet mode reduces noise and keeps the engine running at 3,300 rpm
- Collapsible rubberized handles provide comfortable use and easy storage
- Lacks self-propulsion, making it challenging to push on inclines
- Grass-clipping bag has a small capacity, so frequent emptying may be necessary
Get the Makita cordless lawn mower at The Home Depot or Acme Tools.
With its 21-inch mowing swath and up to 70 minutes of runtime (with both batteries installed), this efficient brushless lawn mower from Greenworks tackles larger yards, from one-third to one-half acre. Two 40V 4Ah batteries power it, and it comes with a single-port battery charger.
This mower features a Smart Pace self-propelled system operated by a pressure-sensitive handle that automatically adjusts the speed of the wheels to the user’s walking pace. The single-lever height adjustment feature quickly sets the mowing deck to cut at any of seven positions from 1⅜ to 3¾ inches. The kit includes a side discharge chute, bagger, and mulch plug to handle clippings in whichever way works best.
In our tests, we were somewhat surprised that this mower performed similarly to others with significantly more battery power. It did have a greater tendency than the others to bog down in dense grass areas while in mulching mode, but otherwise, it delivered excellent results. With the discharge chute in place, we had no trouble mowing overgrown weedy areas, but those areas diminished runtime by about half. Overall, the cut quality was quite good. Only the most difficult grass patches required a second pass to get acceptable results.
The Greenworks 40V system runs off one battery at a time and automatically switches to the second battery when the first battery is depleted. This system allowed us to pull the depleted battery and start charging it while mowing on the second battery, reducing downtime after depleting the second battery. On a single battery, we averaged from 20 to 30 minutes of runtime depending on mowing conditions, terrain, and pace.
The self-propel system worked fairly well, but as is the case with most of these pressure-sensitive handle systems, it was not perfect. The sliding-handle mechanism felt a little sticky, so the mower did not accelerate as smoothly as we would have liked, especially going uphill. Going downhill and and on flats, it occasionally felt as if the mower were running away instead of decelerating with the operator. Still, it was much easier to adjust to these minor sensations than to push the mower for an hour at a time. For its extended runtime and battery-management abilities, this would be a good choice for those with larger lawns.
- Cutting width: 21 inches
- Weight: 73.26 pounds
- Battery runtime: Up to 70 minutes
- Battery system allows users to mow longer without stopping to recharge
- Self-adjusting, self-propelled system is easy to use and prevents user strain
- Large front and rear wheels help users maneuver bumps and uneven patches
- Self-paced systems didn’t operate as smoothly as other models did, especially on hills
- Less effective at mulching than competitors, especially in dense grass
Get the Greenworks 40V cordless lawn mower at Amazon or Greenworks.
Those who have larger acreage can now have a battery-powered mower that can actually cut all of the grass on a single charge. The Ego Power+ riding mower is capable of mowing up to 2 acres per charge, with easy upgrades that can increase runtime to cut more than 3 acres per charge.
Plus, it offers many of the same features found on gas-powered zero-turn mowers, such as adjustable lap bars to independently control the rear drive wheels, heavy-duty front swivel casters, and a comfortable high back seat with adjustable suspension.
The electric motor delivers power equivalent to a 22-horsepower (hp) gasoline engine and features independently adjustable modes and blade speeds. It also comes with four 56V 10Ah batteries, with six available battery slots onboard.
With so many features to test, we spent a lot of time using the Z6. For our first run, we charged the four included batteries and cut as much grass as possible until the batteries ran out. Then we repeated the process with only two batteries, and again with a full “tank” of six batteries.
Runtime and charge time were as follows: Two batteries charged in 1¼ hours and mowed ¾ acre, four batteries charged in 2 hours and mowed 1¾ acres, and six batteries charged in 3 hours and mowed more than 2 acres. We mowed the entire available area with about 12 percent charge left in the batteries. We mowed a 1-acre rectangular field and two 1-acre home lots for a total of about 2¼ acres, with some significant slopes and obstacles to navigate. For most mowing, we kept the machine in “standard” mode and the blades on half power with excellent results.
The Ego Power+ Z6’s operation was mostly excellent. Startup was easy, and maneuvering was intuitive. The apparent noise level was extremely quiet and limited to operating the mower deck. It’s nearly silent when the blades are not running.
The lap bars and drive wheels felt somewhat imprecise compared with other zero-turn mowers we’ve used. The machine pulled slightly to the left at full speed on flat ground under an average mowing load. The suspension seat was comfortable, but the mower’s light weight and relatively small rear tires made for a bouncy ride at times. It climbed and maneuvered fairly well on slopes, which is not a strength for most zero-turn mowers.
Overall, the Ego Power+ battery-powered zero-turn mower would make a great choice for any large-acreage owner with lots of grass to maintain.
- Cutting width: 42 inches
- Weight: 437.6 pounds (with 4 included batteries)
- Battery runtime: Up to 30 minutes (with 4 included batteries)
- Includes four 56V 10Ah batteries, with room for 2 additional batteries
- Onboard, rapid battery-charging system
- 10-position, 42-inch deck allows for ample cutting per pass
- Mows at speeds up to 7 mph/2.67 acres per hour
- Bright LED headlights for low-light mowing
- Batteries, which retail for $499 each, will need to be replaced in 5 to 10 years
Get the Ego cordless riding lawn mower at Amazon, Lowe’s, or Ace Hardware.
The Toro Super Recycler lawn mower is built for powerful mowing performance with superior operator comfort. This three-phase motor automatically increases power output when it detects tougher mowing conditions, then eases off to conserve battery life when the mowing gets easier again.
Featuring a 21-inch military-grade cast-aluminum deck, this mower uses a powerful vortex air-intake system that stands the grass blades up straight for a smoother, cleaner cut. It has a shock-absorbing Personal Pace self-adjusting, self-propelled system that operates smoothly regardless of the terrain. Bright LED headlights make it easier to mow later in the evening.
The Toro Super Recycler was the most comfortable battery-powered mower we tested, primarily because of its robust self-propulsion system. Although it was not the only mower with a pressure-sensitive handle, this one functioned the best. It paired the slightly more resistant (but buttery smooth) handle movement with a higher top-end speed for self-movement that felt almost effortless on most terrain. Only slight pressure was required to climb the uphill areas, and it didn’t try to run away when going downhill.
Toro’s excellent cut quality was second only to the Greenworks 80V (mainly because the Greenworks mower performed exceptionally well in overgrown areas, and the Toro needed a second pass for best results there). However, we were underwhelmed by its battery performance at only 45 to 50 minutes of runtime in average conditions and the necessary 3 hours to recharge. Still, anyone with less than a half-acre who is shopping for smooth operation and a top-quality cut may want to consider the Toro Super Recycler.
- Cutting width: 21 inches
- Weight: 90 pounds
- Battery runtime: Up to 50 minutes
- Motor automatically adjusts to match mowing conditions, tackling up to 0.4 acre per charge
- LED highlights allow for increased visibility at dusk or in evenings
- Comfortable to use and delivers excellent cut quality
- Battery performance could be better; shorter runtime and longer recharge time than other options
- Self-propelled mowing speed is too fast if terrain is uneven
Get the Toro cordless lawn mower at Ace Hardware, The Home Depot, Acme Tools, or Toro.
Anyone who’d prefer to kick back and relax rather than push a mower through the grass will want to give the Worx WR147 Landroid M robotic lawn mower a look. This mower maintains properties up to a quarter-acre in size on a set schedule, allowing users to forget about lawn maintenance altogether. It even has Wi-Fi capability and an app interface, allowing users to set the mowing schedule via their smartphones.
The Landroid M performed at or near the top in most of our robot mower testing 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 robot mowers we tested.
Unfortunately, we subtracted points for poor docking ability. Landroid was the only robot 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 level in all directions with a long, straight approach, we finally achieved satisfactory results.
Aside from that issue, Landroid provides outstanding overall functionality for the price. 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, and its blade height manually adjusts from 1½ to 3½ inches.
- Cutting width: 8 inches
- Weight: 25.6 pounds
- Battery runtime: Up to 155 minutes
- Mows the lawn by itself; suitable for hands-free use for those with busy schedules
- Customizable schedules and paths; app-controlled automation can be adjusted anytime
- Compact unit stores easily and can maneuver under patio furniture, swing sets, and more
- Base station must be installed perfectly for the self-docking feature to work
- Some users report difficulty programming the device
Get the Worx cordless lawn mower at Amazon, Lowe’s, Tractor Supply Co., The Home Depot, or Worx.
With mulching, bagging, and side-discharge capabilities, the DeWalt 2X20V MAX self-propelled cordless lawn mower has a better-than-average build quality and thoughtful design. Its heavy-duty deck adjusts to six different cutting heights from 1½ inches to 4 inches. Running on two batteries and offering up to 60 minutes of runtime per charge, this mower is ideal for yards up to a half-acre.
In testing, the DeWalt did a great job, outperforming many of our expectations regarding overall mowing performance, battery runtime, user comfort, and convenience. It runs on two batteries at the same time, but the battery compartment’s orientation is a little odd—you can’t actually see the battery contacts at the back unless you kneel to look inside. This isn’t a big problem, but aligning the batteries into the slots is awkward.
At the controls, however, everything is well laid out for easy operation. The DeWalt 3-in-1 lawn mower features a security key–enabled push-button start. Its adjustable front-wheel-drive (FWD) self-propulsion eliminates half the work of mowing, lets you choose your own pace, and works on all kinds of terrain. Its motor is equipped with auto-sensing technology that seamlessly increases torque when encountering tougher mowing conditions. A removable discharge chute, grass catcher, and integrated mulch plug allow for quick conversion to the user’s preferred method of grass-clipping disposal.
Operating the mower is also comfortable. The handle is cushioned and folds flat to allow for vertical storage, meaning the mower only needs about 2½ square feet of storage floor space. Compared with similar battery mowers that we’ve tested, the DeWalt gets all of the basics right: Mowing power, operational comfort, battery life, and overall functionality are all at least as good as anything else out there.
This mower also offers a combination of features that others do not. The steel deck is as stout as and even better than most. The FWD self-propel system is a rarity among battery mowers, and it’s a nice touch. Altogether, the base quality and thoughtful features make it a solid purchase.
Read our full review: DeWalt 2X20V MAX Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
- Cutting width: 21½ inches
- Weight: 65 pounds
- Runtime: Up to 60 minutes
- Heavy-duty steel mower deck with 3-way grass-clipping management
- FWD self-propel system supports safe operation and smooth turns
- Powered by 2 rechargeable DeWalt XR 20V lithium-ion batteries
- 2-stage brushless motor preserves battery life and automatically increases power for tougher mowing conditions
- Ergonomic cushioned hand grip reduces operator fatigue
- Heavy and cumbersome to maneuver manually without the self-propel feature engaged
- Takes a long time, about 8 hours, to recharge the batteries with the included battery chargers
- The mower’s battery compartment has an awkward design
Get the DeWalt cordless lawn mower at Amazon, Tractor Supply Co., Ace Hardware, or Acme Tools.
Those wanting to eliminate even charging cords while still mowing with a wide swath will want to take a look at the Great States 18-inch five-blade reel mower. This fully manual mower is simple in design and allows for adjusting mowing height from as low as ½ inch to as high as 2¾ inches. It comes with 10-inch composite wheels and back stability rollers.
The Great States’ five mower blades are made from heat-treated alloy to retain their sharpness longer, and the handle comes with nonslip cushioning to help reduce blisters and to improve grip. The loop-style handle folds down for easy storage, and the mower weighs in at 27 pounds.
In our backyard test, this mower worked quickly, quietly, and easily. It was pretty easy to push in all but the thickest grass, but it was abruptly stopped by twigs or debris thicker than a pencil (as were the rest of the reel mowers we tested). We liked that its padded wide-loop handle gave it the familiar feel of a conventional gas mower. Sharpening the blades—a task that most mowers would require once or twice a season—requires disassembly of one wheel to access the blade drive mechanism. The process is typical of this type of mower and was only slightly complicated.
- Cutting width: 18 inches
- Weight: 27 pounds
- Battery runtime: N/A
- 10-inch wheels with back stability rollers move easily over uneven terrain
- Padded loop handle feels comfortable and folds down for storage
- Simple design and width swath make it efficient and easy to use
- Blades need occasional sharpening, which requires disassembly of the drive wheel
- Requires fully manual operation, which is ultimately less powerful than an automated mower
Get the Great States cordless lawn mower at Amazon, The Home Depot, or American Lawn Mower.
The Worx Nitro 80V power-share system packs a serious lawn-mowing punch. This mower uses four 20V 5Ah batteries to deliver 80 volts of power for up to 60 minutes of mowing time per charge. It is a moderately priced, highly capable, self-propelled 21-inch mower that offers numerous features to compete with others we’ve tested.
For ease of operation, it incorporates a single-lever deck height adjustment; a one-touch fully collapsible handle; a charge-level indicator; and a choice of side discharging, bagging, or mulching. The built-in mulch/discharge lever eliminates dealing with a mulch plug. The quiet, load-sensing multistage motor automatically increases output for difficult conditions. Plus, LED headlights extend mowing time past sundown.
A standout feature on the Nitro mower is the Base Camp power pack. It combines the power of the four included 20V 5Ah Worx Power Share Pro batteries to produce 80V 5Ah of power output. The power pack doubles as a four-way charger, recharging the depleted batteries in about 5 hours. It can be used for both onboard and offboard charging, and it is also compatible with the Worx Nitro 80V leaf blower.
In our tests, the Worx mower performed better than the average of the group in terms of smart power output and finish quality. It did a great job conserving power while providing an excellent cut on previously maintained lawn areas, then increased output almost immediately to power through overgrown weedy lawn areas. The finish quality was good to excellent in both the previously maintained area and in the overgrown area, with no need for a second pass.
Battery runtime decreased by as much as 50 percent under a heavy mowing load, but the difference between sloped areas and flat ground was less pronounced.
- Cutting width: 20 inches
- Weight: 77.2 pounds
- Runtime: Up to 60 minutes
- Four 20V batteries achieve 80V 5Ah output
- Flexible onboard or removable charging system
- Single-lever deck height adjustment for user-friendliness
- Bag, side discharge, or mulch; no mulch plug required
- Features LED headlamps for mowing in low-light conditions
- Removing and installing Base Camp power pack is more awkward than installing a single battery
Get the Worx battery-powered lawn mower at Amazon, Lowe’s, Target, or Walmart.
What to Consider When Choosing a Cordless Lawn Mower
Many people love the scent of fresh-cut grass, but the smell and noise of gas-powered lawn mowers aren’t always a hit. The best cordless and electric lawn mowers take care of that problem. Here are a few things shoppers may want to know and consider before buying one.
Lawn mowers aren’t as simple as they used to be. Cordless lawn mowers come in a few varieties, and choosing the right type depends on the lawn and how involved the user wants to be in the mowing process.
- Push mowers operate like traditional lawn mowers, except that they feature electric motors, unlike mowers with gasoline-powered engines. Once push mowers are started, the motor runs the blade and the user must push the cordless mower across a lawn. Push mowers are usually lightweight and easy to maneuver.
- Self-propelled mowers look just like push mowers and require the user to operate them, but they do most of the pushing themselves. There are usually two motors in this case: one for the blade and one for the drive wheels (whether they are the front or the back set). Self-propelled mowers can be a bit of a handful when mowing under bushes or making tight turns, but they’re much less effort to operate over the rest of the lawn.
- Robotic mowers have only become popular in recent years, as the technology they use is still relatively fresh. They operate like robotic vacuums, mowing the user’s lawn without any input or guidance from the user. Other than checking the property for obstructions or debris, the user can let a robotic mower go about its job on its own.
- Reel mowers are generally manually powered, with a small number of gas and electric models available. With no toxic fumes, no need to store fuel or charge batteries, and quiet operation, manual reel mowers are making a comeback. Standard swath widths on reel mowers range from 14 to 20 inches and they have between four and seven steel blades. For most lawns, mowers with four or five blades work well. A few reel mowers have six or seven blades, which makes them ideal for getting a uniform cut on dense grass.
Battery-powered cordless lawn mowers range in their power output, and this is usually determined by the voltage. The higher the voltage, the more powerful the mower. This indicates whether a cordless mower will bog down in thicker grass, cut tall grass effectively, and make it through a yard that isn’t completely dry.
The lower end of the power range is around 20 volts, and these mowers usually use one battery. They’re suitable for small yards with rather thin grass. Models with power ratings between 40 volts and 80 volts tend to use multiple smaller batteries or one large one, and they are excellent for matching the capability of a basic push mower. There are even models with as much as 120 volts of power that outperform most gas push mowers, though they’re still a bit rare.
Each battery-powered cordless lawn mower has its own battery ecosystem with different voltages and amperages. Because this is relative, there isn’t an exact guideline to look for when choosing a model with the best runtime.
In general, most of the top models feature runtimes between 45 and 60 minutes. Some accomplish that with higher voltage models with low amp-hour (Ah) ratings, while others achieve it with lower voltage models with high Ah ratings.
Some models can achieve 90 minutes of runtime, but they’re not all that common. If runtime is a concern, it’s best to purchase additional batteries and ensure they’re charged for when you need to swap them out.
Most cordless lawn mowers use interchangeable batteries that can be removed and recharged rather than plugging in the entire mower. There are several benefits to this:
- Interchangeable batteries allow you to replace batteries if they stop charging without replacing or servicing the entire mower.
- You can purchase extra batteries and swap them out when the first dies, keeping a set on a charger at all times.
- Some power tool lineups use the same set of batteries, and they’ll work with each tool. For example, the batteries that operate the lawn mower might also fit a weed wacker, a power drill, or a reciprocating saw. For that reason, batteries allow for the most flexibility across the brands.
Adjustable Cutting Height
When a lawn’s cut too short, it can burn in the sun. But cut it too long and it will need another trim within a day or two. It’s all about hitting the sweet spot of long-lasting cuts and lawn health. For that reason, the best cordless lawn mowers feature adjustable cutting heights, usually with at least four or five options, in roughly ¼- to ½-inch increments.
In some cases, users can adjust the blade using a lever on the front and a lever on the back wheels. This is a quick and effective way to adjust the height of the cut. Some models, however, have one-lever adjustments that lift or lower the entire deck at once, ensuring the mower cuts evenly and consistently.
Blade Cutting Width
Other than the power source, there isn’t a world of difference between cordless and gas-powered mowers. Both types come in varying widths, and the ideal width is a matter of preference and lawn size.
Smaller cordless lawn mowers might feature cutting widths in the 14- to 16-inch range. While the wheels add another couple of inches in width, these are the models to go for if you have small garden gates to pass through or a small garage in which to store the mower.
Larger cordless lawn mowers can be as wide as 25 inches, putting them right on par with some of the largest gas-powered models. It’ll take fewer passes to mow an entire lawn with one of these, but they can be challenging to store or maneuver through tight yards and garden beds.
Whether you believe in mulching your grass clippings and letting them restore nutrients to the soil, leaving them on top for raking, or collecting them so the yard looks neat and tidy, the best cordless lawn mower can oblige.
Usually, cordless electric lawn mowers feature standard clipping chutes, mulching covers, and grass baggers. The chutes deposit full-length clips on the surface of the grass for raking. Mulching covers contain the grass clippings so the blade has a few more passes at them, cutting them to shorter lengths and allowing them to break down into the soil. Baggers collect the grass clippings, allowing users to add them to compost piles or throw them away.
When one uses a push mower, much of the exertion involved is with the hands and arms, with the palms taking the majority of the blows dealt by uneven terrain and vibrations. For that reason, the comfort of the handle may be a significant factor.
Typically, manufacturers offer ergonomic handles with padded grips, allowing operators to use a less pronated hand position while also absorbing some of the vibrations and bumps along the way. These designs can make a world of difference for someone with wrist- or hand-related mobility problems.
Ease of Use
Beyond running quietly and requiring minimal maintenance, cordless lawn mowers are easy to operate. These mowers don’t need complicated fuel priming, oil checks, or choke adjustments. It’s literally a click of a battery and the pull of a handle (or a simple push in the case of a reel mower), and you’re off to the races. Some models even feature onboard battery indicators that display how much runtime is left before the batteries need a swap.
Some electric lawn mowers have advanced safety features. Removable lockout switches allow users to keep children from accidentally starting the mower. Throttle bars or triggers a user can release to quickly shut down the mower are also important, especially in the event of a fall.
Weight and Storage
All things considered, lawn mowers—cordless or otherwise—aren’t lightweight tools. The best cordless lawn mowers can weigh between 50 and 90 pounds, depending on the batteries, whether it has a heavy-duty motor, and whether it’s self-propelled. Robotic models can even weigh around 30 pounds or so. Finding a blend of the most capability (or power) and a manageable weight could be an important consideration for some.
When it comes to storing cordless mowers, size and additional features (such as folding handles) are important factors. A 22-inch model will be harder to store than a 14-inch model, so keep that in mind if you’re storing your cordless lawn mower in a shed or a tight garage. If the handle folds, users might be able to get away with storing the mower in a smaller area.
Tips for Using a Cordless Lawn Mower
One of the best ways to get the most out of a cordless lawn mower is to invest in some extra power. Whether a lawn mower uses one, two, or three batteries, having some extra batteries charging can turn a user into a nonstop lawn-mowing machine. If you have a large lawn, consider getting an extra charger or purchasing a multi-battery electric mower.
For those who already have a cordless power tool lineup, it makes sense to look for a lawn mower from the same brand. Very often, the batteries will be interchangeable between tools, allowing you to swap in a high amp-hour battery from a lawn mower for use in a tool such as a weed wacker or a reciprocating saw, getting two or three times the amount of runtime.
Another benefit of cordless lawn mowers is they don’t contain oil and gasoline reservoirs, which can make them much handier to store in a shed. In fact, since these mowers don’t contain any liquids, they can be stored vertically if the handles fold.
- Make sure you store battery-powered lawn mowers in a ventilated, dry place after mowing season, as any moisture could result in problems with the battery.
- Frequent cleaning will ensure that battery-powered lawn mowers will run correctly, as dust and debris can get into the inner workings of the mower.
- Ensure there are no rocks or hard objects on your lawn before mowing to ensure you don’t damage the blades and motor.
Now that you’re armed with a lot of new information about choosing the best cordless lawn mower, some additional questions might be sprouting up like dandelions. The following section is a collection of the most frequently asked questions and answers about cordless lawn mowers.
Q. Is a higher voltage better for cordless lawn mowers?
Cordless lawn mowers come with two battery types: lead-acid batteries and lithium-ion batteries. Each model comes with a different voltage for a certain amount of torque and runtime. For example, the Greenworks Pro 80V cordless lawn mower has a 21-inch steel deck and comes with dual 40V batteries to provide 60 minutes of runtime.
Q. How is a cordless lawn mower started?
Lucky for most cordless lawn mower buyers, clunky starts and bulky storage have become things of the past. Unlike gas-powered lawn mowers, most cordless lawn mowers feature a push-button start or a key switch, allowing for incredibly easy starts.
Q. How long do battery-powered lawn mowers last on a single charge?
Most of the best battery-powered lawn mowers feature runtimes between 45 minutes and an hour, with a few rare models lasting up to 90 minutes. Luckily, many electric mowers are also quick charging and can be used just 40 to 60 minutes after they are plugged in.
Q. Do cordless lawn mowers need oil?
Cordless lawn mowers are low maintenance, and they don’t require any motor oil or gasoline. However, some models may require oiling or lubrication to stay optimal, and for this users can always rely on WD-40.
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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 Testers
Glenda Taylor is a product tester and writer specializing in the construction, remodeling, and real estate industries. She and her husband own a general contracting company, and Taylor is experienced in both residential and commercial building applications. She tests a wide range of power tools as well as other home improvement, household, and lawn-and-garden products.
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 Tom Scalisi.