Is the DeWalt Self-Propelled Electric Lawn Mower as Impressive as Its Power Tools? I Tested It to Find Out
After a couple of weeks and three cuts, I’m sold on DeWalt’s cordless, brushless, battery-powered lawn mower.
When did DeWalt start making lawn mowers? As manufacturers pour resources into building the best battery-powered lawn mowers, shoppers have a wealth of options, and they’re not just coming from the traditional brands. In addition to time-tested lawn-mower companies like Toro, Snapper, and Craftsman, we’ve seen the relatively recent rise of newcomers like Greenworks and Ego. One interesting subset of battery-mower makers are the businesses known for their cordless hand tools. Suddenly drill and saw brands such as Milwaukee, Makita, and DeWalt are making lawn mowers and leaf blowers. It actually makes a lot of sense.
In the early 1990s, DeWalt was the first company to list a full line of contractor-grade cordless hand tools. The offering was a massive success, earning the company a loyal customer base that continues to grow. Continuing innovation is the key, as it was one of the first companies to upgrade from nickel-cadmium to high-efficiency lithium-ion batteries, and it constantly rolls out new features for improved ergonomics and overall performance. With DeWalt’s battery and motor expertise in-house, along with a strong culture of innovation, it makes sense that the company would easily move into battery-powered lawn equipment. This spring I finally got the chance to give one of its mowers a try.
I recently tested the DeWalt 2X20V MAX 21.5-inch self-propelled lawn mower for a couple of weeks on my own lawn. After trying out dozens of lawn mowers for previous articles, I approached the DeWalt project with certain expectations regarding overall mowing performance, battery runtime, user comfort, and convenience. In short, this mower did a great job for me, outperforming many of my expectations. Read on to learn more about the DeWalt cordless lawn mower and why I recommend it as a top pick for anyone who might be shopping for a cordless mower right now.
DeWalt 2X20V MAX 21.5-Inch Self-Propelled Lawn Mower: At a Glance
- Heavy-duty steel mower deck with 3-way grass-clipping management
- Front-wheel drive self-propel system supports safe operation and smooth turns
- Powered by 2 rechargeable DeWalt XR 20-volt (V) 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 to recharge the batteries with the included DCB107 battery chargers
- The mower’s battery compartment has an awkward design
Get the DeWalt lawn mower at:
What is the DeWalt 2X20V MAX 21.5-inch self-propelled lawn mower?
The DeWalt DCMWSP244U2 is a 3-in-1 cordless electric mower with a 21.5-inch,15-gauge stamped-steel deck and a high-output brushless motor. It features a push-button start, a padded handle, and ergonomic controls. The mower is powered by two 20V 10 amp-hour (Ah) lithium-ion batteries for a total of 40 volts of power and 400 watt-hours, and it comes with two battery chargers.
The motor is equipped with auto-sensing tech that seamlessly increases torque when encountering tougher mowing conditions. A removable discharge chute, grass catcher, and integrated mulch plug allow for quick conversion to your preferred method of grass-clipping disposal. 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. The deck can be adjusted to six different cutting heights from 1.5 to 4 inches. With up to 60 minutes of runtime per charge, this mower is ideal for properties up to a half acre.
How easy is the DeWalt lawn mower to assemble?
Upon its arrival, the first order of business was to assemble the mower and charge the batteries. At just under 80 pounds in the box (about 65 pounds fully assembled, with no batteries installed), it was a bit cumbersome to lug into the workshop and unpack, but assembly itself was a cinch.
I raised the lower section of the handle to the operating position, attached the upper handle to the lower handle with two large thumb screws, and clipped the power cord into the handle slot. That was it. The blade was preinstalled at the factory. Next, I plugged in the chargers and loaded the batteries to charge overnight. Total unboxing and assembly time was about 5 minutes, and charging time was about 8 hours.
How easy is the DeWalt lawn mower to use?
This mower runs on two batteries at the same time. One head-scratching moment occurred when I loaded the batteries in the mower. The battery compartment is oriented horizontally with the battery mounts beneath the top. I couldn’t actually see the contacts at the back unless I knelt and bent down to look inside. This was not a big problem, just awkward to align the batteries into the slots. But because the “fuel”-gauge feature on the XR battery happens to be on the contact end, it is concealed inside the mower housing when installed. In order to check the battery level, I would have to remove the battery. The only thing I didn’t like was the slow charging system, but an upgrade to the DeWalt DCB118 fast charger could reduce the 8-hour recharge time to just 1 hour.
Starting and controlling the DeWalt cordless mower was similar to the process for other mowers I’ve tested. A security key, inserted below the start button on the handle, unlocked the mower so that it would start. I pressed and held the start button, then pulled the wire lever down to the padded hand grip. This started the motor and blade. To start the self-propel system, I could squeeze one or both of the levers angling downward from the hand grip.
How well does the DeWalt lawn mower work?
I set up the test area in my yard, with about 10,000 square feet of lawn that included some short but steep slopes, weedy spots, and dense grass. I mowed the test plot with the DeWalt cordless mower three times, and it required just over two full battery charges each time. It mowed about 5,000 square feet per charge when adjusted to 2.5 inches high with the grass catcher in place. At 3.5 inches that extended to about 8,000 square feet. I got an additional few hundred square feet per charge by removing the bag and using the side-discharge and mulching options.
The DeWalt electric mower is a great choice for small and medium-size yards. The advertised 60-minute runtime per charge might hold up in some circumstances—see the manufacturer’s fine print—but I got more like 40 minutes, which, as noted, was good for up to about 8,000 square feet of lawn space. That should be plenty for anyone with a quarter-acre lot and most half-acre lots when the house, driveway, landscape beds, and other non-grass areas are removed from the equation.
Is the DeWalt lawn mower good quality?
In addition to the heavy-duty steel deck, a few key features pointed to higher-than-average quality and thoughtful design. For one thing, the integrated mulch plug, which is built into the bagger hatch, simply and effectively eliminates the need to keep track of an easy-to-lose part. For another, the FWD self-propel configuration drives quite well across all kinds of terrain and makes turning easier than with rear-wheel drive. Plus, the added forward weight of this configuration counterbalances the weight of the bag even when it’s full.
At the controls, everything was well laid out for easy operation, and the cushioned handle felt comfortable while I was mowing. Also, this mower is a space saver. With its fold-flat handle and vertical storage capability, it only needs about 2.5 square feet of storage floor space.
Is the DeWalt 2X20V 21.5-inch cordless brushless lawn mower worth the money?
At about $600, the DeWalt electric mower costs about twice as much as the cheapest self-propelled gas mowers. But it’s about the same price as higher-quality gas mowers and comparably equipped battery-powered mowers. So it’s at least a fair value if we stop there.
In my tests of other battery mowers at similar prices, I can say that this one offers a combination of features that others do not. 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. The steel deck is as stout as any I’ve tested, and 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 value purchase within the $600 range.
Is the DeWalt 2X20V MAX 21.5-inch self-propelled lawn mower right for you?
Battery-powered lawn mowers run quietly, keep the air cleaner, and eliminate the need to transport and store gasoline. Over the past couple of decades, battery technology and electric- motor efficiency have advanced, and prices have come down to approachable levels for many customers. DeWalt has leveraged its position as a leader and innovator of cordless tools to introduce this electric lawn mower.
This mower is easy and comfortable to operate on all kinds of terrain, eliminates all of the downsides of maintaining a gas engine, and delivers a nice, even cut. The price is in line with the competition, and the quality appears to be better than most. Overall, I’d say it’s a solid choice for anyone maintaining up to about 5,000 square feet of lawn, or roughly a quarter- to half-acre lot.
Where to Buy the DeWalt 2X20V MAX 21.5-Inch Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
Get the DeWalt lawn mower at:
Meet the Tester
Mark Wolfe is a writer and product tester with an extensive background in the nursery and landscaping industry. For more than 20 years he mowed, edged, planted, pruned, cultivated, irrigated, and renovated beautiful landscapes for home and business owners. Now he tests and writes reviews about the latest outdoor power equipment, hand tools, lawn-care products, and other outdoor-living goods.