I’m not sure if this is true for all Brits, but I grew up in a house where ‘power tool’ was pretty much synonymous with Black & Decker. Every drill, saw, and other woodworking tool was made by this company, who are known for quality construction and performance. So, when I started looking into the most eco-friendly lawn mowers, I was happy to see that Black & Decker also make electric mowers. Not only that, the company seems to be the best of the large tool companies in terms of environmental credentials and sustainability. That said, Black & Decker aren’t my top choice for a cordless electric mower (but are my top choice for a corded mower!)
Black & Decker vs. Snapper, Ego, and Greenworks
While Black & Decker are leagues ahead of the competition when it comes to CSR, their lawn mower range seems to be a bit hit and miss in terms of battery performance. The Black & Decker model (the CM2060C 60V MAX Lawn Mower, 20-Inch) is still one of my top picks for an eco-friendly electric cordless lawn mower though, because it performs incredibly well for some users and is a little more affordable at $399 compared to a starting price of around $499 for the Ego. The Greenworks push mower also costs $399, but offers significantly more power and much faster charge times.
The B&D mower is significantly lighter than all of the other mowers on this list, however, at just 48 lbs. or so without batteries (58.35 lbs. with). And, because it’s not self-propelled, all the battery power goes into cutting your lawn. Unfortunately, the battery charger included with this model is only a 20 V charger, so it takes up to 4 hours to charge one battery. There’s also something of a discrepancy between the remaining charge indicated on the mower while in use and the actual battery life left. Fortunately, this is a favorable discrepancy, where the low power light goes on long before the battery runs out.
So, while Black & Decker are a decent option for an electric mower if you have a smaller lawn that’s fairly easy to maintain, and if you don’t mind waiting for batteries to charge, you’re probably better off with a mower from Greenworks, Ego, or Snapper if you want a bit more power and rapid charging.
Our top picks for electric lawn mowers – summarized
My top picks overall are the Ego 21-inch lawn mowers, with a wide range of features and power to match any gas mower. I especially like that the battery life of the Ego batteries seems to be a tad better than for Black & Decker and Greenworks, and that the Ego product range is a bit wider, so you may be able to use these batteries across a wider range of power tools. In particular, I like the Ego LM2142SP, which comes with two 5 Ah batteries. This set-up allows you to breeze through all your yard work without having to wait around for batteries to charge. With one battery in operation and one charging at all times, you can just keep switching out the batteries ad infinitum! Also, Ego have some decent eco-credentials in that they use cleaner, greener energy at their R&D and industrial facilities.
Greenworks offer a push mower with a slightly larger deck (21-inch) and a little more power than the Black 7 Decker. This model is likely a better option if you have tougher grass, a lot of lawn, or tend to mow when grass it damp. Their self-propelled 21-inch mower is also a popular choice and for good reason, with plenty of power and user-friendliness.
As for larger lawns, the Snapper XD 82 V Max mower is one of the best mowers around. It also offers one of the lowest cutting height settings, so if you like your grass super short, this might be the beast for you. It’s also affordable and seems to have better battery life and reliability than Black & Decker (for now).
If cordless isn’t your thing, I’ve included a recommendation below for the best corded electric lawn mower.
Black and Decker CM2060C 60V Max Powerswap 20-Inch Mower
Power: 60 V
Battery type: Lithium ion 2 x 2.5 Ah
Cutting width/Deck size: 20-inch
Cutting height: 1-1/3 to 4 inch (6 settings)
Grass collector: Yes (not specified)
Weight: 47.6 lbs. (58.35 lbs. with batteries)
Average run time: 30 mins x 2
Charge time: 3.75 hours
Adjustable handle: Yes (3 positions)
Multi-cut settings: Yes (mulch, bag, side-discharge)
The Black & Decker CM2060C 60V Max Powerswap 20-inch mower is a push mower that is a good choice for smaller lawns with easy to maintain grass. It is lightweight, fairly powerful, and well designed but isn’t self-propelling, and the batteries take a while to charge. That’s because Black & Decker only include a single battery 20 V charger with this mower, even though the batteries are 60 V. Sure, that means you can also charger other 20 V and 40 V batteries from Black & Decker, but it means you’re not going to be able to fully charge one 2.5 Ah battery while you use the other. As such, if you have a larger lawn, you may need to mow half one day and half the next, leaving one of the batteries to charge overnight.
One other issue with this mower is the ‘state of the art’ battery indicator light. It seems that some users almost immediately see one of the three power lights go out after just a few minutes of use, quickly followed by the other. This can make for some nervous, hasty mowing as it makes the user feel like the battery is going to run out imminently even when it ends up lasting another 45 minutes or more. There are also some reports of batteries failing to hold a charge after just a few uses.
So, why have I even included the Black & Decker mower as a recommended model? Well, partly because when it does work, this mower seems to be pretty darned fantastic. And, in part, because Black & Decker’s customer service team seem genuinely committed to replacing faulty batteries and making sure folks are happy with their purchase. There’s also another reason why I wanted to include the best of the Black & Decker mowers in this round-up, which I’ll explain in a moment.
Black & Decker CM2060C features to highlight
First, though, let’s look at the features of the CM2060C 60 V max Powerswap. This mower is lighter than most, at just 48 lbs. or so without batteries (58.35 lbs. with). It’s also not self-propelled, meaning all the battery power goes into cutting your lawn.
The mower has six cutting height options, ranging from 1-1/3 inches to 4 inches, and it’s easy to adjust between these. You can choose between mulching, bagging, or side-discharge, with a decent mulching capacity (although not as good as the Snapper or Ego).
There’s also an adjustable handle that folds down for convenient storage. An autosense feature means the on-board computer adjusts motor power according to need, so you get more power when grass is long, wet, or dense. This helps to conserve battery power for longer run time. The Powerswap feature lets you change batteries fairly quickly, although some folks seem to struggle with switching out batteries on many Black & Decker tools.
Stanley Black & Decker certifications and credentials
Now for the main reason why I wanted to include this mower. Stanley Black & Decker, the parent company of Black & Decker, are part of the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI) as of 2018 and have been a feature of the DJSI North America for eight years in a row. If you invest your money in eco-friendly funds, chances are some of it is invested in Black & Decker stock.
The DJSI series is a gold standard for corporate sustainability, recognizing the top 10% of companies in each industry. It is the first global index to track those companies leading the sustainability charge and a great way of seeing which companies make products worth your consideration.
To be included in the index, a company has to meet certain material Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors on a Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA). This includes more than 600 criteria, including corporate governance, supply chain management, climate strategies, operational eco-efficiency, human capital development and labor practices.
Why do Black & Decker make it onto these indexes? Well, in part because of the company’s newly updated Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Strategy, which is in alignment with the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. This CSR includes mandates to ‘innovate with purpose’, ‘empower workers’, and ‘create a more sustainable world’. Indeed, by 2030, the company plans to be carbon positive in its global operations. Not just carbon neutral, Stanley Black & Decker want to capture more carbon than it emits. They also want to reduce Absolute Scope 1 and 2 Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions by 100 percent by 2030, using a 2015 base year, and reduce Scope 3 GHG emissions 35 percent by 2030, using a 2017 base year.
In addition, the company aims to achieve zero waste to landfill and sustainable water use across their operations by 2030. To learn more about the company’s CSR strategy, visit www.stanleyblackanddecker.com/social-responsibility.
Oh, and one more thing. Stanley Black & Decker also claim publicly that their products do not contain any of the toxic chemicals on the Candidate list of Substances of Very High Concern as laid out by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).
All in all, then, while this mower may itself have a few downsides, it’s built by a company that really stands out in this industry for being committed to sustainability. This is why I picked a Black & Decker model as my key recommendation for a corded lawnmower.
Greenworks PRO 21-Inch 80V Cordless Lawn Mower
Power: 80 V
Battery type: Lithium ion 4 Ah (or 2 x 2 Ah)
Cutting width/Deck size: 53.3 cm (21 inches)
Grass collector: Yes
Weight: 62 lbs. (28.12 kg) / 79.5 lbs (self-propelled)
Average run time: 60 mins
Cutting height: 35-82.6 mm (1.375 – 3.25 inch)
Charge time: 75 mins
Self-propelling: Self-propelling option available
Adjustable handle: Yes
Multi-cut settings: Yes (mulch, collector, side exhaust)
Price: $240-$700 (depending on batteries and self-propulsion)
The Greenworks PRO 21-Inch 80V Cordless Lawn Mower GLM801602 is a top pick for those looking to be convinced of the merits of electric mowers versus gas mowers. Providing the equivalent of around a 160 cc gas mower, the Greenworks 80 V models mean business and costs just $399 for either the PRO 21-Inch 80 V with 2 x 2.0 Ah batteries or a 4.0 Ah battery.
Both sets of batteries offer up to 60 minutes of run time with a full charge, and because there are two, you could just adopt a policy of one out one charging, for continual operation. Greenworks also make the Self-Propelled 80 V 21 Inch Cordless Lawn Mower (without batteries or charger), with all the same great features plus self-propulsion courtesy of the back wheels. This model is compatible with the 2 Ah and 4 Ah batteries and can also be bought as a self-propelled model with a 5 Ah battery and rapid charger, providing 70 minutes of run time and charging fully in just 75 minutes. Compared to the almost four hours needed to charge a single 2.5 Ah Black & Decker battery, this charger and battery combo is much more efficient and user friendly.
The variable speed control on the handle of these self-propelled models can be set between 0.5-1.5 m/s, which is super helpful if you struggle to push a mower around, especially as it gathers grass clippings. The self-propelled Greenworks 80 V lawn mower may also be a good option if you have hillier terrain.
Both the self-propelled and push versions of the Greenworks 80 V 21-inch Cordless Lawn Mower have lovely large rear wheels measuring 10″ (24.4 cm), with smaller 8″ (20.3 cm) front wheels for maneuverability. Greenworks brushless motor provides for a longer run-time, more torque and more power, meaning less wear and tear, extending the life of the mower.
The minimum cutting height on this model is a little higher than on some other mowers, but there are seven possible settings, easily toggled using the large lever on the handle. This means it’s likely you’ll find a setting to suit your grass. The lowest setting is 1 ¼”, the second is 1 ⅔”, the third is 2”, the fourth is 2 ⅓”, the fifth 2 ¾”, the sixth is 3 1/7”, and the seventh setting is 3 ⅝”.
Smart Cut Load sensing technology may help extend battery time, and you can definitely tell when the motor is revving up to deal with tougher spots. If you’re using the push mower, you’ll want to slow down just before hitting denser grass, to give the mower a chance to adjust. With the self-propelled model, consider switching to the slower (snail!) setting if you’re in the faster (hare!) setting.
One small issue with the Greenworks Pro is the relatively low suction compared to the Snapper XD. This can mean that grass clippings don’t always get sucked into the collector on the first pass, necessitating a bit of back and forth. With the Snapper, the greater suction means you rarely need a second pass.
The Greenworks self-propelled cordless mower is arguably one of the best electric mowers for medium to large gardens and is made by a company with a reputation for excellent build quality and cutting efficiency. This mower is also quite attractive, as mowers go, but the foam handle jiggles a bit and could be a tad more robust.
The Greenworks boasts a powerful 80 V motor and a wide steel cutting deck, so you’ll probably be able to mow a half acre lawn in one charge. However, if your grass is long, dense, wet, or all of the above, chances are you’ll need to switch out the battery (and empty the collector) at least once to cover this area of lawn though. On the slowest self-propulsion setting, two 2 Ah batteries can provide for around 60 minutes of continuous operation, with around the same run time for a single 4 or 5 Ah battery.
The Greenworks may be too large for very small lawns, with its wide cutting deck and large wheels. That said, it can easily be used by smaller people for larger lawns, thanks to an adjustable handle with three different height positions, including one suitable for folks under five feet tall.
What we like about the Greenworks cordless lawn mower
One thing I really like about Greenworks is that you could buy this mower with a battery or pair of batteries and use those batteries for around 20 other power tools from the company, including their snowblower, chainsaw, hedge trimmer, and polesaw. This not only saves you money and time, it also keeps resource use to a minimum, saving you from having to purchase, store, charge, and recycle numerous batteries for your power tool collection.
The Greenworks PRO charger takes just 30 minutes to fully charge a 2 Ah battery and around 75 minutes to charge a fully discharged 4 Ah battery. It has a useful diagnostic LED fuel indicator so you can see the current charge in the battery. This rapid charger was Energy Star rated (the program has now been discontinued), has a compact design, and can be stored on a shelf or mounted on the wall. It is compatible with battery models GBA80200 and GBA400, but, and this is a big annoyance across the industry, this charger only works with Greenworks PRO 80 V batteries. It won’t work with other brands’ 80 V batteries. The same is true of the Ego Power batteries, though, so this isn’t an annoyance unique to Greenworks.
If you buy a Greenworks PRO lawn mower or other tool without the battery and charger, you can purchase the their PRO 80V Lithium Ion Single Port Rapid Battery Charger GCH8040 here for $100 or less (just $65 at time of writing!). This charger has a built-in fan to enable rapid charge time without overheating.
Greenworks was founded in 2007 and quickly became an industry leader for electric power tools. So much so that they are now partly owned by tool giant Stihl. They opened an American headquarters in North Carolina in 2016, but their main office is in Sweden. As for their approach to corporate social responsibility (CSR), I can’t find any information on this side of the business. Instead, the focus seems to be on making high quality electric power tools that are durable and energy efficient. I’ve reached out to the company for comment and will provide updates if/when I hear back from Greenworks.
EGO LM2102SP and LM2142SP
Power: 56 V
Battery type: Lithium ion 7.5 Ah / 2 x 5 Ah (charger included)
Cutting width/Deck size: 21 inches
Cutting height: 1.5-4 inches (6 levels)
Grass collector: Yes (60 L / 70 L)
Weight: 78.8 lbs. / 75 lbs
Average run time: 60 mins / 45 (x 2)
Average charge time: 60 mins / 45 mins
Adjustable handle: Yes (3 options / 6 options)
Multi-cut settings: Yes (Bag, Mulch, Side-Discharge)
Price: $499 / $749 (including batteries and charger)
The EGO 2102SP is a 21 in. 56-Volt Lithium-ion Cordless Walk Behind Self Propelled Mower includes a 7.5 Ah battery and charger and offers 60 minutes of cutting time and a 60 minute charge time. With more than 6,000 5-star reviews at Home Depot online and a reputation elsewhere for high performance and usability, the Ego is a top pick for an electric lawn mower that can easily handle larger lawns. You can also buy the 2102SP model without battery or charger for around $320 at Amazon.com.
This mower delivers the same high torque as gas-powered mowers without the air pollution and noise, and at a lower price! If your lawn area is half an acre or more, this monster of a mower might be your new best friend. It even boasts headlights, so you can do a spot of evening mowing should you wish.
One big plus for the Ego is that huge collector bag, which means you can mow a large area of lawn without having to stop to empty the bag. The downside here, of course, is that the machine becomes quite heavy by the end of your run. Happily, this model doesn’t seem to lose traction at the front when the bag is nearing capacity, unlike some other models.
The LM2142SP is a 2 x 5 Ah battery model that is very similar to the LM2102SP 7.5 Ah model. The 2142SP offers a bit more flexibility in handle height, however, with 6 handlebar positions available rather than just 3. This makes it the better option if you’re a bit taller or shorter than average.
The differences between the Ego LM2142SP and 2102SP models
One other major difference between these two Ego mowers is that the 7.5 Ah model has a polymer composite cutting deck, while the 5 Ah model has a steel cutting deck. Both seem to perform extremely well across all kinds of grass, but the steel is, arguably, the more sustainable material.
The rear wheels on the 2 x 5 Ah model are also an inch bigger in diameter (10 inches vs. 9 inches), which may help with maneuverability in some situations and be better for sloping lawns. The 7.5 Ah model also weighs a dash more at 78.8 lbs compared to 75 lbs or the 2 x 5 Ah model.
The major difference between the two, though, is simply the run time. The 7.5 Ah gives you around 60 minutes of run time before you’ll need to charge the battery. And, of course, while you’re charging the battery, you don’t have a spare to use as a backup. With the dual battery model, you can use one 5 Ah battery for 45 minutes while charging the other battery, then switch them out to carry on mowing without having to take a break. This way, you could pretty much mow all day and, thanks to the LED headlights, all night if you wanted!
Both of these Egos have one easy to use shifter style handle that adjusts the height of all four wheels at the same time, which is much more convenient than having to adjust each one individually. Both models fold up easily for storage, and both have weather-resistant construction and a 21-inch deck size, with 3-in-1 mulching, bagging, side discharge options.
The Egos also offer independent self-propulsion, meaning you can turn off the mowing function but still use self-propulsion to move the mower easily from one spot to another, such as over surfaces that could damage the blades if they were moving.
Finally, the Egos have a 5-year limited warranty and, if you buy from Home Depot, a 90-day return window in case you’re not happy with your new mower.
Oh, and the Ego Power 56 Volt battery/batteries are shipped separately and are compatible with all Ego Power+ products. This means you can save on the cost of the mower by buying the tool only, if you already have an Ego battery and charger. Or, consider this an investment in the future of your tool collection if you’ll also be replacing any snow blowers, leaf blowers, hedge trimmers, chainsaws or so forth in the next little while.
Why we like the Ego line of electric mowers
One other reason Ego make my list of eco-friendly lawn mowers is their adoption of green power sources for their research and development facilities and industrial park. In 2004, the company installed a 7,500 square foot Green Roof system on their R&D facility, with savings of around 1.5 gallons of gas per square foot each year. The roof of their Green Power Industrial Park also features a 2-megawatt photovoltaic power station. This ‘Blue Roof’ generates, year-on-year, the equivalent power from burning 755 tons of coal. This cuts sulfur dioxide emissions by 50 tons and carbon dioxide emissions by 1677 tons annually.
In addition, the Ego Green Power Industrial Park utilizes ground-source heating, air-conditioning and water-storage technologies. They estimate that their ground source heating system alone saves 1 million kWh of electricity annually, the equivalent of 378 tons of coal. It also cuts sulfur dioxide emissions by around 25 tons and carbon dioxide emissions by 839 tons each year.
Ego hasn’t been in business quite as long as Black & Decker, but they’re an innovative company with global reach. Established in 1993, they have long been invested in cordless electric technology and are now one of the world’s largest manufacturers of tools.
Snapper XD 82V MAX Electric Cordless 21-Inch Self-Propelled Lawnmower
Power: 82 V
Battery type: Lithium ion 2 Ah x 2
Cutting width/Deck size: 21 inch
Cutting height: 1-3/8 inch to 3-3/4 inch (7 height settings)
Grass collector: Yes (1.6 bushels / 56 L)
Weight: 82 lbs.
Average run time: 45 min (one 2 Ah battery)
Charge time (mins): 2 Ah: 13 (50%), 30 (100%) / 4 Ah: 25 (50%), 60 (100%).
Adjustable handle: Yes (3 positions)
Multi-cut settings: Yes (mulch, bag or side-discharge)
Price: $330-$500 (without or with battery and charger)
The Snapper XD 82 V MAX lawn mower is a self-propelled model ideal for larger lawns. If you have half an acre to an acre to mow, this powerful electric mower is just the ticket. It includes two 2 Ah batteries to provide up to 60 minutes of run time, has 7 height settings for the cutting deck, with single lever adjustment for all wheels, and has an easy push button start.
The Snapper also features load sensing technology and the StepSense Automatic Drive System which matches the mower pace to your own, requiring no speed adjustments from the user. Quiet, powerful, and compact, with vertical storage potential, the Snapper can save you time, space, and money, all while keeping your yard free from fumes and gasoline.
The Snapper has 3-in-1 mulch, bag, side-discharge options, and a 21-inch rust-resistant 14 gauge steel deck. The cutting height can be set from a minimum of 1.4 inches to a maximum of 3.7 inches.
The brushless motor offers high efficiency, and the mower is compatible with Briggs & Stratton 82 V Max 2 Ah and 4 Ah batteries, meaning you might already have the batteries to power this beast.
Other pluses for the Snapper include a comfortable, ergonomic rubber handle and a 1.7 bushel bagger (60 L) collector bag for fewer interruptions while mowing. It’s also nice that Snapper’s lawn equipment and outdoor power products are made in the USA. Specifically, their lawn mowers are made in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Munnsville, New York, and Tupelo, Mississippi. And, as part of the Briggs & Stratton corporation, Snapper headquarters is located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The company provides more than 3,000 American jobs, but there’s no mention of CSR or sustainability programs on their website or elsewhere. I’ve reached out to the company for comment and will provide updates if/when I hear back from Snapper.
You might also want to check out the Snapper SX 21SPWM 82 V model sold at Amazon.com. This model has a slightly smaller collector bag (1.6 bushels) and doesn’t feature the StepSense system. Run time for this model is 45 minutes, with batteries charging in a half hour.
One downside to both of these models is that you can’t disengage the mower’s blades and use the self-propulsion function to easily move the mower across areas that might damage the blades. As such, the Ego is a better bet if this is something you’ll find useful.
Other decent options for an electric cordless mower
Runners up include the very inexpensive (just $124.99!) Sun Joe MJ401C Pro Cordless Lawn Mower, which is a great option for small lawns. This one has a smaller steel cutting deck of just 14 inches, and just three cutting heights. The 28 V 4 Ah battery makes it a decent little model for easier to mow grass, and the Sun Joe includes a 10.6 gallon collector bag for convenience, and the Pro model features a rear discharge chute.
The batteries and charger for the Sun Joe mower can also be used across their outdoor power tool range, including their trimmers, tillers, and snow blowers. This model also has a removable safety key to help prevent accidental starts. My advice would be to buy a spare key… for when this one inevitably gets lost in the shed. One downside to the Sun Joe is that it doesn’t fold flat. The top part of the handle does fold down, but the overall height will still be two and a half feet.
And finally, if you’re not averse to dealing with an electric cord, have a small yard, and can do without any of the faff of recharging batteries or refilling a fuel tank, Black & Decker make one of the best corded electric mowers around.
The most eco-friendly high performance corded electric lawnmower:
Black and Decker MM2000 20-inch corded electric mower
Power: 13 Amps / 120 V
Maximum extension cord length: 150 ft.
Cutting width/Deck size: 19-inch steel deck
Cutting height: 1.5 to 4 inch (7 settings)
Grass collector: Yes (13 gallon)
Weight: 53 lbs.
Adjustable handle: Yes (3 positions)
Multi-cut settings: Yes (mulch, bag, side-discharge)
The Black & Decker MM2000 is easily my top pick for a corded mower. I like this company for the reasons I’ve laid out above, and the MM2000 is very well equipped to tackle whatever you throw at it, assuming that something is within reach of an electrical outlet.
The MM2000 handles thick grass, wet grass, long grass, and the occasional foreign object with aplomb, thanks to its durable 20-inch (19-inch blade) steel deck and 13 Amps, which runs off a 120 V outlet. It’s highly maneuverable, thanks to 10-inch rear wheels, and offers mulching, side discharge and bagging functions. The mower is set to mulching mode, so if you’d rather use the collector you’ll need to first remove the mulching ‘plug’ and attach the bag, all of which is very straightforward.
This mower is super easy to push around garden beds and over uneven terrain, weighing just 53 pounds. It also has convenient carry handles! The cord on this mower extends 150 feet, and you can get a Black & Decker extension cord for just $19 for another 100 feet of range.
The MM2000 has 3 handle height settings and 7 cutting height settings, ranging from 1.5 inches to 4 inches. You can adjust the height with a single easily reached lever on the top of the housing.
Hardworking, lightweight, compact, and super user-friendly, the MM2000 comes with a 4-year guarantee. Over and over again, the Black & Decker outperforms similarly priced mowers such as those from Ryobi, making it the best corded mower around and, arguably, one of the greenest choices for a lawn mower.