Cordless Lawn Mower Reviews
Cordless electric lawn mowers have become increasingly popular thanks in large part to sweeping advancements in battery technology, as well as more and more people “Going Green.” Cordless, battery-powered lawn mowers are especially popular with suburban homeowners who need to maintain a modest-sized lawn.
New battery-powered lawn mowers with their sophisticated lithium-ion batteries can easily store more charge, which translates into greater overall run time. They also tend to charge faster, which means you can get back to mowing sooner.
To choose the best cordless electric lawn mower for your lawn, you’ll need to consider a few important factors and answer some important questions.
Is Voltage Important When Choosing A Cordless Lawn Mower?
Voltage plays a key role in the performance and run time of a cordless lawn mower. So, it’s a good place to start filtering out the best battery-powered lawn mowers from what has become a crowded field.
With cordless lawn mowers, the voltage indicates just how many individual battery cells there are in a single battery pack, as well as how those cells are interconnected. In general, the higher the voltage rating the more cells there are in the specific battery pack. This means that a 20 Volt battery pack has only half as many cells as a 40 Volt battery pack.
It’s also worth noting that the higher the voltage rating of the battery pack the more power it can supply on demand. A higher voltage rating on a battery pack might be a priority if you frequently need to cut thick grass, or you want a self-propelled electric lawn mower to help tackle a hilly yard.
Battery Capacity Is Measured In Amp Hour Rating
The best way to measure the storage capacity of lithium-ion batteries is to look at the Amp-hour rating, which is sometimes expressed as Ah. Basically, the higher the Ah rating the greater the potential charge the battery can store at any one time. A higher Amp-hour rating essentially translates into longer overall run time. In many cases, higher Amp-hour storage also translates into superior performance when doing things like cutting thick grass.
How Long Does A Single Battery Charge Last?
This can vary from one battery pack to the next based on the voltage of the electric motor as well as the amp-hour rating of the lithium-ion battery. Mathematically you can get a good estimate of the potential runtime by multiplying the voltage rating with the amp-hour rating to get the watt-hours. This is a great comparison tool for determining which will last longer on a single charge between two different lawn mowers.
Are Lithium-Ion Batteries Lawn Mower Batteries Better Than Lead-Acid Batteries?
Lithium-ion batteries are helping to revolutionize many industries, including cordless electric lawn mowers. In their early days, lithium-ion batteries were only found in small home electronic devices, and cell phones. As they advanced lithium-ion batteries became the battery of choice for a lot of handheld power tools.
Lithium-ion batteries have taken over the place of lead-acid batteries in cordless lawn mowers. This is thanks to several factors. Lithium-ion batteries tend to charge faster than lead-acid batteries. They also discharge current at a consistent rate regardless of the charge remaining in the battery pack. This means you get the same amount of on-demand power from a lithium-ion battery at 25% charge as you do one that is at full charge.
How Long Do Lithium-Ion Lawn Mower Batteries Last?
The life of a particular lithium-ion battery pack can vary depending on the size and material build quality. When properly maintained the average lithium-ion battery should last for 3 to 4 years or possibly up to 5 years. However, low-end batteries and poorly maintained lithium-ion batteries might only live a year or two.
What Is The Best Battery Charger For A Cordless Lawn Mower?
Cordless lawn mowers come with a few different ways to recharge the batteries. This includes both built-in chargers where the batteries stay inside the cordless lawn mower, as well as two different types of chargers where you remove the batteries from the lawn mower’s electric engine housing.
The Benefits Of A Built-In Battery Charger
Some cordless electric lawn mower models keep the batteries are permanently connected to an on-board charger. After you’re done mowing the lawn, you simply plug the lawn mower into a standard electric outlet and it charges itself. An indicator light tells you when it reaches maximum charge, and you unplug it. The lithium-ion batteries will then hold their charge until you are ready to use the cordless lawn mower again.
The Benefits Of A Traditional Battery Charger
A traditional type of battery charger requires you to remove the battery pack from the cordless lawn mower to install it into the charger which then delivers a continuous charge. When the battery pack is at full charge, an indicator light comes on and you either take the batteries out or unplug the charger. These chargers tend to be relatively inexpensive and have minimal impact on the cordless lawn mower’s price tag.
The downside of traditional battery chargers is that you run the risk of accidentally overcharging the batteries. If the battery pack is left on the charger for too long, heat and excess current can gradually damage the battery. Leaving it overnight after the battery has reached full charge isn’t a big deal, but too many hours on the charger and the heat it causes can shorten the lifespan of the lithium-ion battery.
The Benefits Of A Smart Charger
Smart chargers are an innovative way to address the problem of accidental over-charging. They work just like a traditional lithium-ion battery charger, except they come with special onboard monitoring software actively reads the charge in the battery and keeps from overcharging it. This reduces the heat and risk of damage caused by overcharging.
A smart charger does increase the overall price tag of the initial purchase. Sometimes you might need to buy one as an accessory. If you are good about monitoring your batteries on the charger, you might not need to prioritize a smart charger. If you have a bad habit of leaving your batteries on the charger for more than a few hours, then a smart charger will save you money in extending the life of your batteries before they need eventual replacement.
Are Cordless Lawn Mowers Heavy?
One of the nice things about electric lawnmowers is how light they are. A corded electric lawn mower is going to be a little lighter than a cordless as it doesn’t have any batteries or complex hardware added to the equation. Still, a cordless lawn mower is going to be much lighter than the gasoline-equivalent.
Are Cordless Lawn Mowers Easy To Store?
The lightweight design and the fact that it doesn’t have any fluids in them also make cordless electric lawn mowers easy to store. Several manufacturers offer models where the handles collapse or other innovative storage features. Some lighter cordless lawn mowers can even be stored on a shelf or hung up on a heavy-duty cargo hook your garage.
What Is A Brushless Electric Motor?
Electric lawn mower motors originally started out with internal brushes that helped transfer the torque produced by the engine to drive the cutting blades. This tends to produce heat and make noise, which some people complained was too loud for small suburban yards with neighbors close by. Over time excess heat from a brushed electric motor could damage components and shorten the overall lifespan of the cordless lawn mower.
Brushless electric motors are a relatively new innovation where there isn’t any significant physical contact in the engine parts. Instead, special electromagnets drive the cutting blades at high RPMs. This reduces noise and heat for quieter performance as well as longer life. While you do pay a little bit more for a brushless electric lawn mower, you tend to see that money back over time. You also have less complaints from neighbors and sleepy children.
What Is A 2-in-1 Cordless Lawn Mower?
A lot of cordless lawn mowers come set up to side discharge the harvested grass clippings. When those clippings are long, chances are good they will dry up into thatch, which sits on the top of your lawn’s otherwise healthy turf preventing water and essential nutrients from soaking down to the roots of the grass.
Most 2-in-1 cordless lawn mowers come with a mulching accessory or a special mulching feature that speeds up the cutting blades. This essentially minces the harvested cutting blades into tiny pieces that are discharged back onto the lawn.
The small pieces of grass are then more likely to decompose rather than dry out. Not only does this help prevent thatch build-up, but it also can contribute a little boost of nitrogen back to the soil to help keep your lawn verdant green.
What Is A 3-in-1 Cordless Lawn Mower?
With a 3-in-1 cordless lawn mower, you are getting a lawn care machine that can be set up for side discharge, mulching, or bagging. With some of these models, you can set it up to mulch and bag at the same time.
This is a great option for keeping thatch out of turf, while also being able to pack a lot more grass clippings into the collection bag. It’s also worth noting that mulched grass clippings decompose quickly, which makes them a great option for boosting your compost pile or garden soil.
Do Volts Matter For A Mulching Cordless Lawn Mower?
Voltage has a lot to do with power and the kind of ramped up RPMs a cordless lawn mower needs to mulch harvested grass clippings. If you are in the market for a mulching electric lawn mower, you want to prioritize a model with a higher voltage rating and a battery pack with the highest possible amp-hours. This will translate into better mulching performance and maximum run time.
Does A Self-Propulsion System Affect Charge In A Cordless Lawn Mower?
In a self-propelled cordless lawn mower, a secondary drive system and electric motor move either the front or rear wheels. While this makes it easier to navigate your lawn and climb hills, it also does take away some of the charges from the battery pack.
While a self-propelled cordless lawn mower won’t be down on cutting performance, you will inevitably see a shorter overall run time. In a scenario like this, you want to look for a cordless self-propelled lawn mower with a higher amp-hour rating for the battery pack.
Another way to get around the shorter run time of a self-propelled cordless lawn mower is to buy additional lithium-ion batteries. Some brands like Greenworx, Worx, and Ryobi have other power tools and cordless lawn care tools that use the same batteries as their cordless lawn mowers. If you are a fan of one of these brands, you might be able to swap batteries to extend your run time.
The Best Cordless Lawn Mower Brands
Sweeping advancements in lithium-ion battery technology have made cordless lawn mowers more effective and popular than ever! While there are a lot of makes and models worthy of your hard-earned dollars, there are a few brands that quickly rise to the top.
American Lawn Mower Company
This is a company with deep roots in the lawn mower industry extending back over 125-years. They are based in the United States and while they started out selling high-quality reel mowers, they have since expanded into a line of cordless lawn mowers with superior performance and long-term value. While they face some stiff competition from international brands the American Lawn Mower Company offers lawn mowers you can trust to deliver a return on your investment.
Black & Decker
Black & Decker started out as an appliance and tool manufacturer with a broad lineup of battery-powered tools. So, it’s no surprise that they are riding the wave of advancement in lithium-ion battery technology into the cordless lawn mower niche. They have good value at their entry-level lawn mowers, all the way up to their premium models.
They also have several battery-powered tools that use the same lithium-ion batteries as some of their cordless lawn mowers. If you are a fan of Black & Decker’s lineup, you might be able to swap batteries to extend the run time of cordless lawn mower or one of their cordless string trimmers.
Greenworks was a broad lineup of electric lawn care tools and electric lawn mowers. This includes some very well-designed cordless lawn mowers with state-of-the-art lithium-ion batteries and smart chargers. If you are already a loyal Greenworks customer you might be able to use companion batteries from other tools to save money on batteries and extend your mower’s runtime.
Makita is another well-established power tool manufacturer who is riding the wave of lithium-ion batteries into the cordless lawn mower niche. They are known for providing commercial-grade tools, which include an impressive lineup of heavy-duty lithium-ion batteries. Many of their battery packs are interchangeable with their more popular cordless lawn mowers.
If you already own some Makita lawn care tools, you might be able to use those batteries in their cordless lawn mowers. To that point, Makita sometimes sells models without any batteries included in the initial purchase. This is a great way to save money on the sale price, then use batteries you already have in your power tool arsenal in your new cordless lawn mower.
Ryobi is well-known for its quality electric power tools, so it’s no surprise that they have quickly cultivated a strong following in the cordless lawn mower niche. The high-end of their battery-powered lawn mowers usually carry superior warranty coverage and are imbued with impressive build quality.
Here again, Ryobi has a broad line up of battery-powered tools that use the same batteries as their cordless lawn mower models. If you are willing to invest in Ryobi’s line of compatible cordless tools, you might be able to extend your overall run time of their lawn mowers.
Sun Joe is a somewhat new presence in the lawn mower industry. Though they have several entry-level cordless lawn mowers that are known for their great value. This is a good place to start shopping if you are looking to get into the cordless lawn mower experience, but don’t want to spend too much of your available budget. Many of Sun Joe’s cordless lawn mowers are backed by a decent warranty program.
The Worx lineup of power tools is meant to appeal to both professionals and homeowners. They have an extensive line of power tools and electric lawn care equipment. A few of their units have compatible batteries with their cordless lawn mower models. In their consumer lineup, Worx makes a concerted effort to offer several models at very affordable prices.
Advancements in lithium-ion battery technology and electric motors have made cordless lawn mowers more popular than ever. With extended run time and powerful performance, a high-quality battery-powered lawn mower can conceivably cut up to a half-acre on a single charge.
If you are looking for even longer run time, you might want to prioritize a model with a high voltage rating paired with a battery pack that has a long amp-hour rating. Especially if you are looking for a 2-in-2, 3-in-1, or a self-propelled cordless lawn mower. Though several manufacturers offer accessory batteries, or other cordless lawn care tools with lithium-ion batteries that are compatible with their cordless lawn mowers.
If you have neighbors close by, or you like to cut the grass while your kids are taking a nap, you might want to also consider a cordless lawn mower with a brushless electric motor. Not only are they quieter than their brushed older siblings, but they also produce less heat and tend to have a longer lifespan.