How to Choose the Best Electric Lawn Mower

If you’ve shopped for lawn maintenance equipment in the past few years, you’ve likely been introduced to electrical lawn care products. Everything from lawn mowers and leaf blowers to hedge trimmers and weed eaters have become electrified, eliminating oily cans and smelly fumes from routine lawn care.

This article will discuss how electric mowers offer a cleaner alternative to conventional equipment and what products are available for your lawn maintenance needs. We’ll discuss the types of electric mowers you can buy and the features to look for during your search.

What Is an Electric Lawn Mower?

Electric lawn mowers are powered by either batteries or electrical outlets. Corded models will run as long as they’re connected to a power source. On the other hand, cordless models contain lithium-ion batteries that allow them to run without an external power source. These devices must be recharged between uses.

The electric lawn mower market has exploded in the past decade, producing $1 billion in revenue and growth of over 92%. Despite this unquestionable popularity, you might still be wondering why you should give up your trusty gas-powered mower for a higher-tech option – especially when the old model worked just fine.

The primary reason for the rise in electric and battery-powered devices is the environmental benefit. Unlike gas mowers, which produce more pollution per hour than pickup trucks, electric models contribute zero volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to the atmosphere. These devices allow homeowners to care for their lawns without compromising the environment’s well-being.

Electric Vs. Gas-Powered Mowers

If you’re stuck choosing between an electric mower or a gas model, consider some of these pros and cons. Depending on your yard size, storage capacity, and lawn care goals, one option may be better suited for you.

Electric Lawn Mower Gas-Powered Lawn Mower
Pros:

  • Lighter-weight and easier to maneuver by hand
  • Produces zero greenhouse gas emissions
  • Provides long-term savings on gas
  • Quieter

Cons:

  • Less powerful than gas mowers
  • Sometimes have poor battery life
  • Not suited for huge lawns
  • More expensive
Pros:

  • Last about two mowing sessions before needing a gas refill
  • No cumbersome cords or battery replacement costs
  • More powerful than battery-powered mowers

Cons:

  • Harmful to the environment
  • Heavy and bulky
  • Noisy

Types of Electric Mowers

Before jumping into top brands and features on the market, we must go over the different types of electric mower models you can buy. Most traditional lawn mower models are now available as electric devices, making your selection better but your buying decision more difficult.

The following sections will discuss the features, pros, and cons of different models to help you decide what type of electric mower you need.

Riding Lawn Mowers

A riding mower is a seated mowing device that resembles a small tractor. These models have become increasingly popular over time, and for a good reason. They allow homeowners to exert little energy yet precise control while trimming even the largest lawn spaces. Many riding mower models include multiple blades that allow for quick and easy cutting of acre after acre.

You could choose an electric zero turn riding mower for even more maneuverability and precision. Zero turn riding mowers have incredibly low turn radiuses that allow for high-quality, precise cuts. Many models have long-lasting batteries that mow up to two acres on a single charge, allowing the user to manicure a large lawn without cutting corners.

The convenience of any riding mower may not be worth the cost if you have a small yard. According to Lowe’s Riding Mower Buying Guide, riding mowers are best suited for yards larger than .75 acres. Homeowners with lower acreage lawns should consider a push mower model instead.

Determine how much storage space is available for your mower. Riding mowers are much larger than push models, so you’ll need to consider this before bringing home a riding mower.

Pros: Cons:
  • Little effort required of the driver
  • Mows larger yards quicker
  • Produces an even mowing job on sloped or bumpy terrain
  • Zero turn models allow for precise maneuverability
  • Harder to store
  • More potential repair needs
  • Most expensive mower type

Push Mowers

Push lawn mowers are exactly what they sound like. The user must push the device with pure muscle power to make it move. Electric push mowers are smaller and lighter than self-propelled and riding mowers, making them a good choice for homeowners with little storage space. These models include rotary blades, which are more suited for residential lawn cutting than their cylindrical counterparts.

Push mowers are typically better for homeowners with small, level lawns without many curves, slopes, or turns. They’re also best suited for homeowners able to handle the physical task of manual mowing. If you don’t mind pushing the mower yourself – and you’d like a more affordable lawn mower option – a push mower might be the right choice.

On the other hand, the affordability of a push mower might not be worth the inconvenience for homeowners with large yards or low mobility. The same goes for even small lawns covered in slopes, hills, and holes.

If the user guides the mower over hilly terrain or stays in one spot too long, they risk an uneven mowing job and damage to the device. Before choosing a push mower over a self-propelled or riding model, consider whether the lower cost will be worth the extra work.

Pros: Cons:
  • Lighter than other mower types
  • More affordable
  • Great for small, flat lawns
  • Smaller and easier to store
  • Require physical pushing
  • Can produce uneven mowing on sloped lawns
  • Not good for mowing large spaces

Self-propelled Mowers

Self-propelled lawn mowers look similar to push mowers, but they’re quite different. Self-propelled models contain a motorized system that drives the mower forward on its own. All the user has to do is walk behind the mower to navigate it around the lawn. The devices use a bail bar mechanism to control the blades and wheels. Once the user initiates the bail or “control” bar, the mower’s blades begin spinning, and the mower propels forward. Otherwise, the user can typically adjust the mower’s speed with a throttle on the handlebar.

These models are good for homeowners tired of heaving push models across the lawn. A self-propelled mower’s ability to drive forward independently removes much of the hassle of trimming a large area. It can also be a game changer for lawns with slopes and hills that make push mowing even more challenging and dangerous.

On the downside, the extra features that make a mower self-propel add to the product’s costs and potential repair needs. No matter what kind of lawn mower you buy, the more special features and technological advancements it offers will undoubtedly increase the price. However, the added dollar signs could be well worth the product’s convenience and long-term performance.

Pros: Cons:
  • Require less physical labor
  • Easier to maneuver
  • Better for large lawns
  • Well suited to hilly or sloped spaces
  • Heavier than push mowers
  • More expensive
  • Potential for more repair costs

Automowers

A robotic lawn mower, or automower, is a laid-back homeowner’s dream. These handy devices maneuver themselves across the lawn without any pushing or guidance from a human. Better yet, automowers are now available as battery-powered lawn mowers, allowing for easy charging and fewer harmful fume emissions.

The obvious benefit of robotic mowers is that they complete the arduous task of mowing the lawn without you lifting a finger. This is a big pro for low-mobility homeowners or those lacking free time for lawn care.

Remember that robotic mowers require installation and programming upfront; you’ll need to establish boundary wires and mower settings before putting the robot to work. Once you’ve programmed the automower and established its charging station, the robot does the rest independently – even returning itself to its charger when it needs extra power.

Like all lawn care devices, automowers have their drawbacks. They aren’t a good option for homeowners seeking a perfectly striped, manicured lawn. Automowers ride along random patterns within the established boundary wires, producing even cuttings but no particular patterns.

Likewise, they won’t go outside the boundary, which may leave strips of unkempt grass around your lawn’s border. Lastly, these devices aren’t equipped to ride over obstacles or out of divots. If your lawn is covered in holes and ditches, your automower may get stuck.

Pros: Cons:
  • Saves the homeowner time by operating on its own
  • Returns to its charging station automatically
  • Uses boundary wires to stay within the designated area
  • Might get stuck on obstacles or holes
  • Requires some initial programming and boundary setup

Common Mower Features to Consider

Now that you know the types of electric mowers available, let’s look at some of the best features on the market. We’ll cover everything from mulching bags to speed control so you get the lowdown on what an electric lawn mower can accomplish.

Corded Vs. Cordless Lawn Mowers

Some folks fear that using an electric mower means being tethered to a power outlet or maneuvering around an extension cord. Luckily, cordless electric mowers have made this fear a thing of the past. Cordless models contain rechargeable batteries that allow the mower to run without connecting to a wall outlet. This is incredibly useful for homeowners with large lawns or grassy patches far away from a power source.

The drawback to battery-powered mowers is that they need recharging between (or in the middle of) mowing sessions. Corded mowers receive a constant stream of power from the wall outlet, allowing them to run for as long as you need. A plug-in model may be the way to go if you have a small lawn or conveniently placed electrical outlets.

Mulching

An electric mower with mulching capabilities is an excellent choice for homeowners seeking extra lawn care benefits. Mulching mowers have extra blades that finely chop grass before spitting it back out onto the lawn. This feature eliminates the need to go behind your mower and rake up bag after bag of clippings. Better yet, the finely chopped grass clippings function as composting fertilizer, breaking down over time and providing essential nutrients to the soil.

You can select an electric mulching mower with a side-discharge feature or a mulching bag, depending on your preference. Side-discharge models cut grass and immediately shoot the mulched clippings back onto the lawn. A mulching bag add-on stores the chopped clippings for later.

Battery Capacity

Electric mower batteries typically have 30 to 90 minutes of run time, or enough capacity to mow at least half an acre. Buying a mower with a higher battery capacity will undoubtedly provide a more convenient experience, saving you from needing to stop and charge during the middle of a mowing session.

Some homeowners purchase two batteries and charge one while the other is in use. In this case, we think the cost of two batteries is worth having an extra around in case your primary one dies out. The battery itself should remain functional and rechargeable for about five years before it needs replacing.

Cutting Height Adjustment

Selecting an electric mower with adjustable blades is key to a healthy, beautiful lawn. Low mower blades trim the grass too short, putting it at a higher risk of developing fungal infections, weeds, and nutrient deficiencies. On the other hand, blades set too high will fail to cut the grass, leading to problems with matting, pest infestations, and yellow patches.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends mowing your lawn to about 3 inches tall to keep it healthy and strong. If the grass becomes overgrown, don’t hack it all down at once. Remove only about a third of the lawn’s height at a time to prevent it from going into shock.

The Best Electric Mowers of 2022

Now that you understand the nuts and bolts of electric mowers, we’ll look at some of the best products on the market. These lawn mowers are either battery-powered or plug-in, making them eco-friendly alternatives to traditional gas guzzlers.

Ryobi 50 Ah Battery Electric Rear-Engine Riding Mower

Ryobi has one of the best electric riding mowers on the market, with three powerful brushless motors, a 3-inch height adjustment range, and up to an hour of runtime per charge. The mower’s blades are shielded by a 30-inch steel deck perfect for safely trimming around edges, fences, and obstacles. It includes a battery level indicator, bright LED headlights, and a handy cup holder for a comfortable mowing experience.

The Ryobi 48-volt electric riding mower is available at the Home Depot for $2,899.

Home Depot

Additional product specs:

  • Type – Cordless riding mower
  • Battery runtime – 60 minutes
  • Charge time – Approximately 10 hours
  • Cutting width– 30 inches
  • Drive type – Rear-wheel drive
  • Maximum speed – 5 miles per hour
  • Product weight – 442 pounds

Husqvarna Automower with GPS Assisted Navigation

Husqvarna is a market leader for robotic mowing equipment, so it’s no surprise our top pick for the best electric automower comes from the brand. You can buy an automower self-installation kit, complete with a charging station, boundary wires, and guide wiring, for just $2,500 at Walmart.

The Husqvarna mower uses GPS navigation and smart technology to navigate quietly around your lawn, all while producing a clean, even cut. Like manual mowers, the automower includes an adjustable cutting deck for customizable heights of 2 to 3.6 inches.

Amazon

Additional product specs:

  • Type – Robotic lawn mower
  • Battery runtime – 145 minutes
  • Charge time – 60 minutes
  • Cutting width – 45 inches
  • Product weight – 4 pounds
  • Other features
    • Tilt sensor
    • Rain sensor
    • Smartphone compatibility
    • Theft protection
    • Auto-charge programming
    • Bluetooth compatibility

American Lawn Mower Company 11-Amp Corded Electric Lawn Mower

The American Lawn Mower Company’s corded electric lawn mower is a fantastic choice for homeowners seeking reliable manual lawn equipment. The device is just 20.3 pounds, making it a lightweight, easy-to-push option for users of all ages and sizes. It includes a two-in-one rear-discharge and mulching feature, complete with a 16-gallon grass container for easy cleanup, storage, and disposal.

The American Lawn Mower Company is also our top pick for affordability; the corded electric mower costs under $200. Amazon is currently running a sale on the device, bringing it down to $141.

Amazon

Additional product specs:

  • Type – Corded push mower
  • Cutting width – 14 inches
  • Drive type – Manual
  • Cutting height – 1 to 2.5 inches
  • Product weight – 3 pounds

EGO POWER+ 56-Volt Cordless Electric Lawn Mower

EGO POWER has one of the best self-propelled electric mowers. The product’s self-propelled motor allows it to glide across uneven terrain, producing a clean cut with gas-like torque. You can adjust the mower’s height between 1.5 and 4 inches for a customizable cut every time.

The mower is currently on sale at Lowe’s for $499, which is $100 off the usual listing price. The product comes with a five-year limited warranty to cover any manufacturing defects or specific part problems.

Amazon

Additional product specs:

  • Type – Cordless self-propelled mower
  • Battery runtime – 60 minutes
  • Charge time – 60 minutes
  • Cutting width – 21 inches
  • Drive type – Rear-wheel drive
  • Maximum speed – 1 miles per hour
  • Product weight – 6 pounds
  • Other features –
    • LED lights
    • 2-bushel grass collection bag
    • Foldability for compact storage

Greenworks Pro CrossoverZ Zero Turn Lawn Mower

The Greenworks Pro is our top pick for electric zero turn lawn mowers. This device is an excellent choice for homeowners with large lawns and various grass types. The Pro CrossoverZ mower can cut up to 2.5 acres on a single charge, making it one of the longest-lasting electric mowers in the industry. It uses microchip technology to monitor grass conditions and adjust power outputs, breezing through tall, matted, and wet grass with ease.

The Greenworks Pro 60-volt mower is currently on sale for $4,500, which is $500 off the original price.

Greenworks

Additional product specs:

  • Type – Zero turn cordless riding mower
  • Battery runtime – 60 minutes
  • Charge time – 90 minutes
  • Cutting width – 42 inches
  • Drive type – Rear-wheel drive
  • Maximum speed – 8 miles per hour
  • Product weight – 456 pounds
  • Other features –
    • Theft protection
    • 4-year warranty for tools and batteries
    • Front and rear-mount attachment ports
    • High-back padded seat and foldable armrests

Final Thoughts

We hope this guide helped you understand what electric lawn mowers are and how they can provide a cleaner, greener lawn care solution for your home. The popularity of electric lawn equipment has spiked so rapidly in recent years that the technology will undoubtedly continue to become more efficient and functional.

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