So you have been mowing for the last decade or more with a gas mower and it is time to replace it. Or maybe this is your first time out buying a lawn mower. The question is no longer just which gas mower should I get, but rather what type of power do I want my mower to use. Electric mowers are becoming far more common and, in many cases, preferred over gas mowers. This is particularly true for small to medium sized yards in the city or suburbs. We think an electric mower, which comes in corded or cordless models, is definitely worth a look and maybe even given preferential consideration.
- 1 A few things you need to know about electric lawn mowers vs. gas mowers
- 2 The Seven Best Cordless Mowers: 2017 Reviews and Buyers Guide
- 3 GreenWorks 25302 G-Max Lawnmower
- 4 GreenWorks 2500502 G-Max Lawnmower
- 5 Black & Decker CM1640 Cordless Lawnmower
- 6 Sun Joe iON16LM Lawnmower
- 7 EGO Power+ 20-inch Lawnmower
- 8 Black & Decker CM2040 Lawnmower
- 9 GreenWorks Pro MO80L510 Lawnmower
- 10 Conclusion
- 11 Related
A few things you need to know about electric lawn mowers vs. gas mowers
Electric mowers are definitely on the rise. They still can’t reach the same power levels as gas mowers for the most part, but they are very much relevant because of their eco-friendliness and low maintenance. So, the first thing you need to know is that the electric mowers – and this pertains to cordless mowers too – are a green and maintenance-free option. This is their biggest selling point. Gas mowers have a gasoline-powered engine, and, like any engine, you will have to provide gas for it, as well as oil it regularly, change the air filter and perform tune-ups. Needless to say, this is often dirty and tiring work. With an electric mower, there is absolutely need for any of that.
Secondly, gas mowers pollute. And we don’t mean just the air. They are a big source of noise pollution too. A powerful gas mower can be louder than a rock concert, and people often use ear protection when operating them. On the other hand, electric mowers produce no emissions and are much, much quieter. You won’t be disturbing others in your own home or the neighbors, either, with the quiet cutting of the electric mower.
And, the cost of operation is a lot less with an electric mower. The difference in the cost of gasoline versus electricity to power the mowers is almost enough to pay for the electric mower over a period of three or four years. That does not include oil changes, air filter changes, spark plug changes, gas cans and trips to the gas station.
But, what makes a cordless mower special? The answer – they don’t use a power cord. Instead, they have a rechargeable battery that allows them to run. With that being said, cordless mowers are much more convenient than corded models. Corded machines rely on an outlet and an extension cord. They can be very hard to maneuver around the lawn with the cable trailing behind you, especially if there are trees and shrubs or flower gardens to wrap the cord around or to entangle it. Such machines also have a much shorter range due to cord length, and a cordless mower can move around unimpeded.
However, there are a couple of things that might deter some people from buying a battery-powered mower. First off, you should know that such mowers have a very limited run time. You can only use the mower as long as the battery allows it, and you will need to stop and recharge the battery (or have a spare battery) to continue. This could lead to some frustration; if you don’t manage to finish the mowing in one go, you will have to stop and recharge or spend extra cash on another battery, if you have only one, so you can switch out the one that’s been spent. It is definitely best to have two batteries fully charged before beginning. Fortunately, many of the mowers come with two batteries.
Also, cordless mowers in the past were known for producing uneven results. With the older lead acid or Ni-Cad batteries, as the battery charge dropped so did the power of the motor, and the mower could not cut the grass as well. Fortunately, most all cordless mowers these days use lithium-ion batteries which allows the mower to run without a power drop until it is virtually fully discharged.
If you’re dealing with thicker and longer grass or grass that is wet, the mower will have to expend more energy, and this will lead to faster depletion of the battery charge. Many electric mowers just don’t cut well in these conditions, either. Their blades will often get caught on the grass and the mowers will simply stall. It is best to keep the blades very sharp, and the lawn trimmed frequently and mow only when the grass is dry. There are, however, very powerful and notable mowers that can go through such grass, although such models are more expensive.
The Seven Best Cordless Mowers: 2017 Reviews and Buyers Guide
|Mower Brand and Model||Battery Volts||Battery Ah||Cut Width||Cut Height||Weight||Warranty|
|GreenWorks 25302 G-Max||40V||4ah & 2ah||20″||1.25″ to 3.38″||42.5 lbs.||4 yrs.|
|GreenWorks 2500502 G-Max||40V||4ah & 2ah||19″||1.25″ to 3.5″||56 lbs.||4 yrs.|
|Black & Decker CM1640||40V||2ah||16″||1.2″ to 3.2″||48.8 lbs.||2 yr.|
|Sun Joe iON16ML||40V||4ah||15″||1.18″ to 3.15″||37.3 lbs.||2 yr.|
|EGO Power+ LM2001||56V||4ah||20″||1.2″ to 3.5″||65.3 lbs.||3 yr.|
|Black & Decker CM2040||40V||2.5ah||20″||1.5″ to 4″||55 lbs.||2 yr.|
|GreenWorks Pro MO80L510||80V||4ah||21″||1.25″ to 3.75″||79.5 lbs.||4 yr.|
GreenWorks 25302 G-Max Lawnmower
Some of the best electric mowers definitely come from GreenWorks. Whether corded or cordless, GreenWorks likes to keep their products eco-friendly. But for a mower to be good, it’s not enough for it to be green – it has to be efficient and effective, too. The GreenWorks 25302 G-Max mower is one of the best cordless mowers around, owing to its wide deck, powerful motor, and excellent battery.
This mower comes with two batteries and a charger. Its 4ah, 40 V battery will operate the mower for up to 120 minutes, and the 2ah battery provides you with a total of up to 60 minutes runtime under good conditions. Both batteries are mounted on the mower and when one is discharged the other kicks in automatically. Battery usage is adjusted by means of what GreenWorks calls their Smart Cut Technology. Which means it ramps up or down depending on the need due to grass thickness or toughness.
This, combined with dual 10” blades, makes it very easy for the mower to power through even some tougher grass, an ordeal quite troublesome for electric mowers. However, 25302 can be trusted, and the mower will do a good job of cutting or mulching the grass as needed. A bag to catch the grass is also included, but there’s no chute for side discharging.
It should also be noted that this is a wider push mower than most. The polymer deck measures 20 inches in width. This will increase the mower’s effectiveness, and reduce the overall completion time, which, for a cordless mower, is very important for the reason stated in the guide. You will also be able to adjust the height of the mower and make it cut either shorter or longer with a single lever. There are five height positions, and you can set the mower to 1.25” at the lowest point to 3 3/8” at the highest.
Greenworks provides a 4-year warranty on the mower and 2 year warranty on the batteries, which is about the best in the industry and speaks volumes about their own confidence in their equipment.
The Not So Good
No product is ever free of cons, and so with GreenWorks 25302. One of the biggest cons might be its biggest selling point – the twin blade. While very adept at dealing with dry and even tall grass, if will be a much different with wet and heavy grass. Many customers report that the twin blades don’t overlap perfectly, so, when cutting wet grass, the mower doesn’t cut very consistently, creating a “Mohawk” effect. This can be avoided to a large degree by keeping the blades perfectly sharp. And when the blades are worn on the outer edges, they should be replaced in order to keep the cut consistent across the full 20” width.
All in all, this is a solid mower. It has a good runtime, is relatively light and cuts the grass well. It does have problems with wet grass, but, if you avoid it, you will have a great time with this machine.
GreenWorks 2500502 G-Max Lawnmower
Our second product comes again from GreenWorks. Like we said, GreenWorks is a company which specializes in electric mowers, and some of the best instances belong to them. GreenWorks 2500502 G-Max is another in the line of stellar mowers, and it is just as powerful and has the same runtime as the 25302, making these two practically interchangeable.
Like the 25302, the 2500502 has a 40V, 2ah battery and a 4ah battery. Combine the battery with a stellar DigiPro brushless motor, and the mower’s blade will be cutting through the grass with ease. The DigiPro motor, amazingly, has a 10-year warranty.
This mower also has a classic, single blade, so you won’t experience inconsistency and “mohawks” along the strips that is sometimes experienced with the 25302. The mower can also mulch the grass as needed, and the mulch will be as consistent as the cut, without the clumps that are often seen in electric mowers. You’re also offered the opportunity to bag the grass, and, unlike with the 25302, you can also discharge it through the chute.
This mower is also capable of single lever height-adjustment. However, this time you get a total of 7 positions, with the lowest point being 1.25 inches and the highest being 3.5 inches. The mower is pretty wide too, its stamped steel deck being 19 inches across. This allows the mower to cut the lawn more efficiently and allows you to finish the work a little sooner.
Again, the mower has a 60-minute runtime on a single 2ah battery, with a two-hour recharge time. It should be noted that you can opt to buy the mower without the charger and the battery if you already have a compatible battery and charger, effectively putting the price quite a bit lower.
The Not So Good
As we mentioned, electric mowers still can’t reach the power output gas-operated tools have. That being said, it is no wonder that the mower can’t overcome grass that it too tall and/or wet. The mower will chew the grass, and provide an all-around uneven cut. So, for the best results, you need to cut the grass fairly regularly, for, if you let it go, you might not be able to rectify the situation. If the grass is too long, going over it a second time will normally take care of it.
Another nuisance when it comes to this particular mower is that the bag is rather small. For a 19-inch mower, we would expect that the bag could hold a bit more grass.
Overall, you can always expect from GreenWorks to deliver a decent machine. The 2500502 is a worthy alternative to the 25302, and it even outclasses it in some instances, so, if you’re looking for a GreenWorks machine in particular, you might want to consider both of these machines as viable purchasing options.
Black & Decker CM1640 Cordless Lawnmower
Black & Decker has been making electric lawn mowers since 1966, and cordless mowers since 1969. As an early pioneer in designing and manufacturing electric mowers and other lawn care equipment, they have had some very fine and durable mowers over the years.
If you’re in the market for a smaller model, then Black & Decker’s CM1640 might be just the thing you’ve been looking for. This small, albeit quite powerful, mower is perfect for smaller yards, up to about 1/8 of an acre (about 5,400 s.f.) big. It has a solid blade that cuts the grass with relative ease, as long as it’s not too long or wet, but its runtime might be a slight issue.
But let’s start with the good first. Just like the previous models, CM1640 has a 40V, 2ah battery. If you purchase this mower, you will receive not one, but two of these batteries, making it much more convenient to mow, as you don’t have to stop to recharge the battery, but just switch it out. The blade sits on the underside of a 16-inch deck, which is much more convenient if you have a smaller yard and not that much storage space to work with. Not only that, but the mower has a collapsible handle which will, again, make the mower easier to put away when not needed.
Of course, people will want to trim the grass to different lengths, so the Black & Decker CM1640 gives you the possibility of adjusting the height of the deck. Like other models, the height can be adjusted with a convenient lever that, when pulled, will adjust the height of all the wheels at once. The range of cut on this mower is from a short 1.2” to 3.2” in height.
Finally, the Black & Decker CM1640 can mulch and bag the grass, but there is no side chute that will let you discharge it.
The Not So Good
One the other hand, CM1640 has some drawbacks that might prove to be a deal-breaker for some. For starters, the mower has an unimpressive runtime. Where GreenWorks machines can run for an hour on one battery, CM1640, while using the same battery, can only run for half an hour. Luckily, the manufacturer includes two batteries with every purchase, so you can compensate for the short runtime, albeit you will have to stop and change the battery once it’s depleted.
Secondly, there is a problem with the bag. At only 9.5 gallons, the bag will fill up quickly, and you will often have to empty the bag then mount it again for the continuation of mowing. This can be frustrating, as the only other option you have is mulching since there isn’t a side discharge chute.
Overall, for smaller jobs, this mower will do the trick. The device’s 16-inch deck is perfect for less spacious yards and can be easily folded down and stored in a smaller area, making it a favorite among suburban dwellers.
Sun Joe iON16LM Lawnmower
Our next item on the list is another product is another prominent name in the industry. The iON16LM from Sun Joe is a superb mower, made especially for smaller lawns – the device’s small yet light deck, a solid motor and good battery make short work of anything below 1/4 acre. The mower is also quite affordable, making it a very good choice for anyone living in suburbia.
One of the most distinguishing features of this model is its 600W brushless motor. This motor propels a 15-inch high-quality steel blade, which goes through the grass with incredible ease. The mower sports the same 40V battery we’ve seen on all other models and delivers a solid runtime of 40 minutes. However, if 600W isn’t enough, you can go with a slightly upgraded iON16ML-HYB iteration that has a 750W motor which will surely end all your troubles. However, since both iterations use the same battery, this means that they have different runtimes – fifteen minutes different, to be precise.
Aside from that, the mower is pretty standard when it comes to other features. Again, you can raise or lower the deck if you need, and you can set it to 1.18 inches at the lowest setting, and 3.15 at the highest, with there being 6 different positions. There is also a lever that will adjust all of the wheels simultaneously. As for clipping management capabilities, the mower can mulch or bag the grass.
Alas, not even Sun Joe mowers can escape problems. The main problem is that the bag is quite small, being rated to 9.25 gallons, so you will need to change it regularly. The other problem that you only get 40 minutes of runtime with a 40V, 4ah battery. However, this is to be expected, actually, as the mower uses a pretty powerful motor. The battery life is even worse if you go with the –HYB iteration, with the runtime being cut to only 25 minutes.
We are a little disappointed that the Sun Joe iON16LM is advertised as a 16” mower, but it only cuts a 15” swath of grass. Calling it a 15” mower would seem a little more forthright.
Of course, the bane of all electric mowers is that thick, tall and wet grass. In such conditions, even the 600W motor will be lacking in power. If you trim your lawn frequently and keep the blade sharp, however, this mower will do the trick for you.
All in all, Sun Joe iON16ML is a very good little mower, perfect for small and small-to-medium yards. A nice little motor will make it easier to deal with grass that is a little taller than usual, and the 40-minute runtime will keep you going long enough to finish your yard in one go.
EGO Power+ 20-inch Lawnmower
We find that our fifth mower in this review a most interesting product. Of all the mowers on our list, EGO Power+ LM2001 is certainly one of the most powerful. In our opinion this mower is the second best one around of this category, topping the class with its outstanding performances and design. If you’re after a serious mower (though one that will not come cheap) that can go through even wet and tall grass, then LM2001 is just the machine for you.
Unlike all other mowers, the LM2001 doesn’t use a 40V battery, but a 56V one, at 4ah. Now, this does not mean that the mower can run for longer, but it does allow the manufacturer to fit it with a much more powerful motor, that will allow for easier cutting of even the toughest grass, while not reducing the runtime all that much. So, the mower can cut all that tough grass, and one charge will still yield 45 minutes of continuous work. But the fun doesn’t stop there, as the battery is very quick to charge, and it charges within a mere half an hour, meaning that this mower has an excellent work-to-charge ratio. There are, by the way, 5.0ah and 7.5 ah battery options for quite a few more bucks that will keep you mowing for longer durations.
The mower is also pretty large, and the blade will leave a 20-inch stripe on your turf. Because of this, combined with a good runtime and short charging time, you can tackle even larger, but still not overly large, yards. The mower also allows you to mulch, bag and side discharge the grass.
If you find yourself mowing in the evening and working past dusk, this mower has some low energy usage LED lights that will help you see to finish cutting the lawn so you won’t have to come back in the morning. Of course the lights will use up some of the battery charge.
Lastly, despite its 20-inch deck, this mower is pretty compact. Because the mower folds, you can very conveniently store the machine in a small area, a function that will no doubt bring the mower closer to those with not much place to spare. The mower is also relatively light for its size, adding not only to the storing convenience, but to the overall maneuverability as well.
The Not So Good
The bad thing about this machine is that it is expensive, about 20%-40% more than other mowers we are reviewing. However, considering the power and the capabilities of this machine, the price seems very fair. After all, you get what you pay for most of the time.
Another problem with the machine is that it does not mulch well. The motor, despite being fairly powerful, just can’t suck up the grass well, and it certainly can’t mulch the grass as well as gas mowers can.
All in all, this is, by far, the most powerful mower on our list. EGO Power+ is the only mower capable of taking down tough and tall grass, and, despite its less than ideal mulching capabilities, it is more than worth its price.
Black & Decker CM2040 Lawnmower
Our penultimate entry comes from Black & Decker. The CM2040 is one of the best mowers for mid-sized lawns around. The machine is very innovative when it comes to its deck design, and allows for maneuvering easily around flower beds and cutting near fences. On top of that, the mower has a good runtime and a surprisingly large bag, which is a common problem with smaller mowers.
As with most of the mowers, the Black & Decker CM2040 is powered by a 40V battery, although this one is rated to 2.5ah, instead of the more typical 2.0ah, with two batteries included. The mower has a runtime of about 45 minutes, which is very solid. Not only that, but the mower has several running modes, changed automatically as the mower detects either the ease or difficulty of mowing the lawn, a feature that can increase the overall runtime of the mower. The mower sports a wide 20-inch deck, which further fortifies this machine as a lawnmower designed for a mid-sized yard.
Naturally, you’ll want to adjust the height of your deck. CM2040 has 6 height levels, the lowest being 1.5 inches, and the highest 4 inches. The height adjustment is done using a single lever for all four wheels.
The mower is a full 3-in-1 type, and you have the ability to mulch, bag and discharge the clippings. The machine is fitted with the most voluminous bag on our list – it holds 15 gallons.
The Not So Good
This mower is, as we said, intended for mid-sized lawns. However, if the grass on your lawn is very thick, then you might start to experience problems. One of the biggest ones is that the mower’s battery is very much dependent on the workload. The thicker the grass, and the more strenuous the job, the mower will lose charge more quickly, sometimes shutting off just after 8-10 minutes. If your grass is wet, don’t even attempt going at it – the mower cannot deal with it, and will just beat the grass instead of cutting it.
While the Edgemax design allows for close side cutting, the design also lets the mower catch of objects such as fencing, borders with stakes and such, since the leading edge is straight instead of slightly curved.
All in all, Black & Decker products can usually be trusted, and you can certainly trust that CM2040 will do well on your lawn, as long as you mow it fairly regularly. As we mentioned, the mower has a very good deck design that allows you to go mow easily around fences and flowerbeds, which is something you certainly won’t be able to do with the other mowers on this list. Overall, this is a solid mower and one that you should certainly check out in our opinion.
GreenWorks Pro MO80L510 Lawnmower
It is tradition to leave the best for the last and put the cherry on top. Our cherry comes in the form of our third GreenWorks lawnmower, the GreenWorks Pro MO80L510. Of all the mowers on our list, this one is the most powerful, and the only one topping the EGO Power+ mower. With a very powerful motor, a wide deck, and superb battery, GreenWorks Pro is by far our favorite mower on our list.
We said that this mower is the most powerful. But just how powerful is it? The manufacturer claims that this mower’s motor is equivalent to a 160cc gas engine. And that is a lot of power – enough to go easily through the thickest, tallest and wettest grass. However, this surely means that the mower can’t run for long, right? Wrong. Pro features an 80V 5ah battery that lets you go about your business for up to a staggering 70 minutes. We say staggering because it takes a very big battery to move the motor this powerful for that long.
But the most interesting part is that this is a self-propelled cordless mower. All of the models so far are push mowers, but with Pro you’ll be able to let the mower do its thing, with you simply steering it around. This is a great addition, as self-propelled mowers are vastly more convenient, especially for those who don’t have the capability to walk around for long when you are mowing for whatever reason.
Of course, no high-class mower is complete without the 3-in-1 capability. The mower can mulch, discharge or bag the clippings, so you can deal with the grass however you wish. And compared to many electric mowers, this one has the oomph to put the grass in the bag.
The Not So Good
Self-propelled mowers are expensive. Self-propelled battery powered mowers are very expensive. And the Pro MO80L510 is no exception. If you’re interested in this mower, the cost will be quite a bit higher—almost double—what the previously reviewed mowers cost. Indeed, the self-propelled function in combination with a powerful motor and excellent battery warrants such a price, but it is still much more than what one might want to spend. At the time of this review the kit price was pretty high on Amazon. You would likely do better buying the lawn tool, the battery and the charger separately.
Another problem with the mower is that it is very hard to move it around without the self-propelling function engaged. This makes you entirely dependent on the mower to do the work for you, and you can’t disengage the feature in order to preserve the battery. This mower is also quite a bit heavier at around 80 lbs. So even though it is self-propelled, maneuvering in turns and up and down hills can be a little tiring. It is best to mow horizontally on a hill instead of up and down with this mower.
Overall, if you want some serious mowing done, and want to avoid noise and engine maintenance, you need to check the GreenWorks Pro MO80L510 out. Powerful but pricey, the mower is perfect for heavy-duty jobs and larger lawns with tougher grass.
And there you have it, seven of the best cordless lawn mowers around. Our intent is to provide a great selection of top quality mowers that would cater to anyone’s needs. We included powerful and less powerful machines, with bigger and smaller decks, some best used for smaller lawns and some intended for mid-sized and even larger ones. All in all the choice is, of course, yours. You will know best what you need, and choose a mower accordingly.
Check out our reviews of corded electric mowers, too. If you decide a gas mower is what you want, read our reviews on push mowers, self-propelled mowers and riding mowers. Or, if you have a very small yard, a reel mower might be what you prefer. (See above menu.)
Feel free to leave a like or share – after all, it is your feedback that fuels our passion for writing. Thanks for checking out our review, and happy mowing!