So, you’re in the market for a clean, green electric mower to let loose on that unwieldy yard of yours this spring and summer. Well, you’ve come to the right place. We dug deep to compile a shortlist of the best electric lawn mowers on the market.
Table of Contents
- General Lawn Mower Buying Tips
- Power source, motor type, and battery life
- Cutting height and cutting width
- Engine size
- Noise pollution (or measured mean value)
- Self-propelling and wheels
- Weight and shape
- Control vibrations
- Mulching and collecting
- The best electric lawn mowers
- Overall Winners for Best Electric Lawn Mowers: Ego LM2102SP and LM2142SP
- Differences Between the Ego LM2142SP and 2102SP Models
- Why we Like the Ego Line of Electric Mowers
- Our experience after one year of using the Ego electric lawn mower
- Greenworks PRO 21-Inch 80V Cordless Lawn Mower
- What we Like About the Greenworks Cordless Lawn Mower
- Snapper XD 82V MAX Electric Cordless 21-Inch Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
- Sun Joe MJ401C Pro Cordless Lawn Mower
- Black & Decker MM2000 20-Inch Corded Electric Mower
General Lawn Mower Buying Tips
If you’ve never had to buy a new lawn mower before, or if it’s been a while since your last purchase, it’s worth (re)familiarizing yourself with some of the basics of lawn mowers. Key things to look for include:
- Power source
- Motor type and motor power
- Tank volume / battery life
- Cutting height
- Cutting width
- Noise level
- Self-propulsion and wheels
- Weight and shape
- Vibration output/control
- Mulching and collecting capacity
Perhaps the biggest things to consider when buying a new mower are:
- Performance – how well they cut long, thick, and/or wet grass
- Maneuverability – can the mower navigate easily around vegetable beds, trees, statuary, fences, etc.?
- Durability – does this mower have a reputation for longevity and performance?
- Budget – most household motorized lawn mowers cost from around $100 to $800, or more
You’ll also want to consider safety, of course, but it’s highly unlikely that any mower you find for sale in the US will pose a significant threat to your immediate health. Indeed, almost every mower will have a ‘dead man’s handle’ feature whereby the mower only cuts when a control on the handle is held down or in during operation. Robot lawn mowers often have an equivalent feature where the mower automatically shuts off if lifted. Both features help prevent serious injuries from functional lawn mower blades. There are, however, other potential health and safety concerns with lawn mowers, such as exposure to vibrations and ear-damaging noise with the more powerful models.
So, let’s take a look at some of the factors to consider when buying a new mower, especially if you’re in the market for an eco-friendly, energy-efficient lawn mower.
Power source, motor type, and battery life
Power source is pretty self-explanatory and will typically be either gas, electric corded, or electric battery. If you’re really eager to be green and energy self-sufficient, you may want to convert your battery-operated mower into a solar-powered electric lawn mower to be totally emissions-free.
Gas mowers are not an eco-friendly choice
According to a technical document published by Michigan State, “mowing the average lawn in the United States creates as much air pollution as driving the family car on a 200-mile trip.” The document then goes on to outline how to convert your electric mower to a solar powered mower. According to a Swedish study published in 2001, operating a typical four-stroke, four horsepower lawn mower for an hour produced emissions equivalent to driving a car for 150 kilometers (93 miles).
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) places restrictions on emissions from lawnmowers, but there are no emission-free gas lawn mowers. Gas mowers also become less efficient and pump out ever-greater emissions the older they get.
Most modern gas-powered lawn mowers have a 4-stroke motor instead of the old-style 2-stroke motors. Knowing the difference between these two motors is essential because you could ruin your motor if you use the wrong type of oil. With a 2-stroke engine, you need to use 2-stroke oil, which requires mixing oil and fuel. For a 4-stroke engine, there’s no need to pre-mix oil and fuel.
Both types of engines are gas combustion, meaning that they belch out toxic chemicals that smell terrible and contribute to climate change. The old 2-strokes are especially bad for emissions, but you’re unlikely to find one of these new, and even most secondhand gas mowers have 4-stroke motors.
Ditching the tanks and fossil fuels for an electric mower
As for electric mowers, these are tankless and instead rely on a cord or battery. Corded mowers have no mowing time restriction as they draw energy from your main electricity hookup. For battery models, battery time means how long you can use an electric mower before having to charge the battery again.
Most battery-powered lawn mowers are powered by lithium-ion batteries, which are just bigger versions of the lithium batteries in our laptops and cellphones. You can store a lot of energy in a lithium battery compared to older types of batteries, which is why electric lawn mowers are now possible and, indeed, comparable in power to a gas-powered lawnmower.
Unfortunately, lithium batteries are expensive and deteriorate over several years, with their capacity decreasing as the cells in the battery die off. It’s a good idea, therefore, to have a spare battery and to replace the battery every few years to ensure good performance.
Beware second-hand electric mowers with older batteries; the mower itself may be sold cheap compared to a new model, but the included battery or batteries may be next to useless and cost more than the mower to replace.
When considering buying an electric lawn mower, consider the type of battery, its power, the number of batteries, whether there’s an automatic battery switchover, and both the run time and the charge time for the batteries. You’ll also want to check the battery warranty as this will likely be less than the warranty for the mower itself.
It’s also a good idea to opt for a brushless motor. Why? Because up until recently most battery-powered motors have used ‘brushes’ made with graphite as part of the mechanism to connect the magnetic field that turns the motor. Over time, these brushes wear down and the motor stops working. With a brushless motor, permanent magnets and an electronic circuit are used instead to turn the motor. This system is more complicated but allows for greater flexibility in terms of speed and the load sensing torque features that are becoming more common for electric mowers.
Brushless motors have many advantages and are used in electric vehicles, like Teslas, but the circuitry is complicated and these motors typically either work for 20 years or fail in a couple of weeks. This might sound bad, but the good news is that if they’re going to fail, they usually do so while the mower (or other tool) is still within warranty. With a brush-style motor, chances are this will fail just as your warranty expires. Funny that. So, I’d definitely recommend going with an electric mower with a brushless motor, making sure your mower is under warranty for at least a year.
Cutting height and cutting width
The cutting height of lawn mowers varies quite considerably. In most cases, the cutting height is above 20 mm and below around 80 mm. Most lawns don’t require cutting below 40 mm, so a minimum cutting height of 40 mm should be sufficient.
Cutting your lawn any shorter makes it more likely the grass will dry out and be sensitive to wear. If you have an ‘ornamental’ lawn, however, on which nobody walks or lounges, you may want to cut this shorter than 40 mm, in which case you’d look for a mower that has a lower cutting height. Lower cutting height increases the risk of damage to the blades from rocks, sticks, and general wear and tear, so you’ll want to be extra careful if you’re using your mower for management of this kind of lawn.
Cutting width also varies considerably between different lawn mowers. In general, cutting width will be 30-55 cm (about 12-21 inches), with narrower widths seen in most cheaper mowers and larger cutting widths a feature of higher end models.
Cutting height & width summary: Think of it this way, if you have a large lawn with easy to mow grass, a mower with a larger cutting width will cut the lawn much faster as the mower’s blades reach farther and cover a larger area more quickly.
If, however, you have a lawn with more difficult to cut grass, a large cutting width means your mower will need to be more powerful as each blade rotation attempts to cut more grass and, therefore, faces more resistance. A smaller mower with a narrower cutting width may end up being more efficient for both smaller lawns and larger lawns depending on the type of grass and terrain.
If you have a yard with more than an acre of grass to cut, you’ll probably want to use a ride-on mower. My top tip here is to club together with your neighbors, family, and friends to collectively share a mower. This will help keep costs and maintenance to a minimum and reduce your overall resource consumption.
For yards smaller than an acre, choosing the right size mower largely depends on how much physical labor you are willing to put in, your budget, and the type of grass and terrain with which your mower will need to contend. If you have moderate physical fitness, anything up to a quarter or even half-acre in size shouldn’t warrant anything more powerful than a walk-behind electric mower with a deck of 22-24 inches. If you have mobility issues, really robust grass, or particularly bumpy or hilly terrain, you might want to look for a self-propelled mower.
In general, the smaller the engine, the harder it has to work to cut your lawn. A bigger engine provides more power at a lower RPM (revolutions per minute), which reduces wear on the engine, and helps prolong the life of the mower.
The size of the engine also affects the weight of the mower overall. A large engine means a heavier machine and a greater need for self-propulsion and other features to improve maneuverability and ease of use.
Note: Be careful to check the weight when buying a cordless electric mower; some listings cite the weight of the machine without batteries, which can be quite a bit lighter than when the batteries are installed!
Noise pollution (or measured mean value)
One key advantage of an electric mower over a gas mower is that electric mowers are much quieter. So, while you may pay more attention to air pollution, it’s worth considering noise pollution too, especially if you have anxious dogs or small children in the family or neighborhood. In some neighborhoods, a gas-powered lawn mower may even be louder than permitted noise levels, meaning you could be fined and banned from using the mower!
Gas-powered lawn mowers can be as loud as a motorbike, which can seriously damage your hearing, upset local wildlife, and generally make summer afternoons rather obnoxious for those trying to enjoy the sunshine. (Hence those noise level restrictions.)
The noise from lawn mowers is usually given in product specifications as ‘measured mean value’ in decibels. Some models produce around 56 dB on average, while others are as loud as 87 dB or so.
For most of us, repeated or prolonged exposure to sounds above 85 decibels can cause hearing damage. For some, just 75 dB can cause hearing damage. Some of the noisiest gas mowers produce more than 100 dB at their loudest, while other gas mowers are usually quieter than 90 dB. This might not seem like much of a difference but it’s important to note that decibels are logarithmic, meaning that 100 dB is actually ten times as intense a noise as 90 dB.
Electric mowers are typically much quieter, with a measured mean value of around 60-70 dB. It’s still a good idea to wear ear protection for noisier models, but some mowers are quiet enough that you could even make a phone call or listen to music while mowing the lawn.
Self-propelling and wheels
Look at most lawn mowers and you’ll see that the front wheels are typically a few inches smaller than the rear wheels. This is because the rear wheels are usually those doing most of the work, while the front wheels help when you want to turn the lawn mower. Larger rear wheels make for an easier time mowing, and wheels with ball bearings are usually easier to move around.
Again, self-propelling is fairly apparent in meaning: a self-propelling mower has motorized wheels that propel the mower forward without needing much, if any, assistance from the user. This is a useful feature for those with less physical strength and if you have a large area of lawn and/or a steeper lawn where you struggle to push the mower uphill.
If your mower collects clippings or mulch, self-propulsion can also be useful as the collector/bag gets heavier. Some of the best mowers have an independent propulsion system, whereby you can disengage the power to the blades but keep the motor running for the mower itself. This feature is really useful if you need to move a heavier mower across areas where blades might be damaged if they’re in cutting mode.
There are three types of self-propelled lawn mowers: front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, and all-wheel drive. Front-wheel drive is helpful if you have a heavier mower and are using it on flat ground but need to steer around lots of obstacles. Pushing down on the mower’s handle reduces traction on the front wheels, making it easier to steer the mower around things. If you have a steep hill to mow, rear-wheel drive is a huge help, while all-wheel drive is excellent for all gradients and for uneven lawns.
There are two main self-propulsion mechanisms, with hydrostatic the most expensive and a belt and pulley system offering a cheaper option. Hydrostatic mowers use hydraulic power to propel/drive the wheels, creating a smooth action and offering good speed control. Front and rear-wheel drive mowers at the cheaper end of the market typically use a gearbox system with belts and pulleys to drive the wheels. This system isn’t as smooth as hydrostatic mechanisms and can also require significant maintenance.
Weight and shape
The weight and shape of your mower are other important things to consider. Electric models are much lighter and easier to store than gas mowers because they can usually be folded so they stand upright and take up less space. Some models also have an adjustable handle so that you can move the mower sideways more easily and so you can find a comfortable handle height no matter how tall you are.
Many electric mowers also have a fold-down handle, so you can collapse the mower into a smaller space and even store it sideways on a shelf (if you can lift it).
Powerful lawn mowers and other power tools can produce significant vibrations that can cause injury to the hands and arms. Specifically, the nerves and blood vessels in fingers, hands, and arms can become damaged, resulting in numbness, pins and needles, pain, tingling, and other symptoms. For most people, these symptoms are temporary and occur only after using the mower. Regular exposure to the vibrations from mowers and other equipment can lead to permanent nerve damage, however, and is not something to take lightly. And, as always, some individuals are more sensitive than others to this kind of injury, meaning that even a little exposure may cause problems.
Gas powered mowers are the biggest culprit for vibrations as these are the most powerful and have an internal combustion engine that produces greater vibrations during operation. Most electric mowers pose a much lower risk of dangerous vibrations, but damage may still occur with repeated, excessive exposure.
Vibrations are typically measured in the mower handle in meters per second squared (m/s2). According to the Swedish Work Environment Authority, the lowest risk from vibrations is seen with:
- Vibrations for 8 hours at 2.0 m/s2
- Vibrations for 5 hours at 2.5 m/s2
- Vibrations for 1 hour at 5.0 m/s2
Anything over these levels represents a greater risk for nerve damage. Unfortunately, few companies specify vibration levels for their mowers. As such, it’s best to look for a mower with a cushioned handle that can at least absorb some of the vibrations. And, where possible, use gloves while mowing. This will help reduce the likelihood of skin soreness and blisters.
Electric mowers are generally far better than gas-powered mowers in terms of vibrations, even when matched for power. Look for a model that has very low control vibrations, i.e. the amount of vibration you’ll feel when your hands are on the controls/handle.
Mulching and collecting
Mowers described as 2-in-1 usually feature a shredder that mulches lawn clippings and sends them into a collector bag. A 3-in-1 mower can work the same way but also offers an option discharging the clippings through a side chute.
Some lawn mowers just cut the grass and dump it out on the ground as you go. Others cut the grass into small pieces, i.e. mulching. Mulched grass decomposes faster and, if left on the lawn, returns nutrients and moisture to the soil, meaning healthier grass overall. If your mower mulches efficiently, there’s not much point collecting the grass after mowing.
However, if your lawn is overgrown, mulching is not the best idea as this can overtax the mower. Ideally, you won’t be cutting more than 30% of the length of the grass on any one cut. If you are, it’s better to simply cut the grass rather than mulch it. You then have the option of raking the grass clippings yourself or using a collector attachment on the mower. These clippings are an excellent addition to a home compost heap, where they break down to make lovely humus for your vegetable or flower garden.
If you are getting a mower with a grass catcher, there are two main things to look for: capacity and an indicator light or window. A larger collector will not need emptying as often but can add to the weight of the mower, so may not be ideal for all users. Some collectors have a window at the top, so you can easily see how full the catcher is and when you need to empty it. Others have a light indicator that tells you when the catcher is almost full.
Some mowers have a side discharge (or exhaust) option where grass clippings or mulch is blown out to the side. This is also a good option for when a lawn is overgrown and mulching will prove difficult for the mower on a first pass.
The best electric lawn mowers
Curious about how we rate products? Click here to view our methodology, which at its core, is about voting with our dollars to fight climate change.
Highlights: Both models fold up easily for storage, have weather-resistant construction, and have a 21-inch deck size, with 3-in-1 mulching, bagging, side discharge options.
|Mower||Ego LM2102SP and LM2142SP|
|Price||$749 (including batteries and charger)|
|Battery type||Lithium ion 7.5 Ah / 2 x 5 Ah (charger included)|
|Cutting width||21 inches|
|Run time||60 mins / 45 (x 2)|
|Product link||View Price on Amazon|
The EGO 2102SP (View Price on Amazon) is a 21 in. 56-Volt Lithium-ion Cordless Walk Behind Self Propelled Mower that 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 $450 (View Price on Amazon).
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 (View Price on Amazon) 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.
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.
Our experience after one year of using the Ego electric lawn mower
After a year of hands-on use, here’s what a member of our team, Taylor, has to say about his experience with the Ego mower:
I’m not the type of person who really enjoys and looks forward to mowing their yard, unlike many of my neighbors; it’s a chore that needs to get done just like any of the others that are part of owning a home. With that being said, the Ego mower is hands-down my favorite mower that I’ve used to date.
It’s quiet enough that I have no problems listening to a podcast or audiobook while mowing, which definitely couldn’t be said about my older gas mowers. The battery life is commendable, and assuming it hasn’t been too long between mowings, one large battery easily gets me through both my front and back yards without issue.
One of my favorite features is its ability to neatly fold up with a few quick releases of a lever or two. If you’re short on storage space for yard tools like I am (the growing arsenal of Ego products isn’t helping) this space-saving feature is super welcomed.
A surprise feature I found myself thankful for just recently was the LED lights. In Pennsylvania fall, there isn’t much time between the end of the workday and it being too dark to mow. I had half of my front yard left to mow while the sun was quickly setting, but the headlights on the mower made it a total non-issue.
Highlights: 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.
|Mower||Greenworks PRO 21-Inch 80V Cordless Lawn Mower|
|Price||$240-$700 (depending on batteries and self-propulsion)|
|Battery type||Lithium ion 4 Ah (or 2 x 2 Ah)|
|Cutting width||21 inches|
|Self-propelling||Self-propelling option available|
|Run time||60 mins|
|Product link||View Price on Amazon|
The Greenworks PRO 21-Inch 80V Cordless Lawn Mower GLM801602 (View Price on Amazon) 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 $550 for the PRO 21-Inch 80 V with a 4.0 Ah battery and charger.
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) (View Price on Amazon) 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 (View Price on Amazon), 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 their PRO 80V Lithium Ion Single Port Rapid Battery Charger GCH8040 for less than $100 (View Price on Amazon). 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.
Highlights: Quiet, powerful, and compact, with vertical storage potential.
|Mower||Snapper XD 82 V MAX Electric Cordless 21-Inch Self-Propelled Lawn Mower|
|Price||$330-$600 (without or with battery and charger)|
|Battery type||Lithium ion 2 Ah x 2|
|Cutting width||21 inches|
|Run time||45 mins (one 2 Ah battery)|
|Product link||View Price on Amazon|
The Snapper XD 82 V MAX lawn mower is a self-propelled model ideal for larger lawns (View Price on Amazon). 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 (View Price on Amazon). 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.
Highlights: A very affordable option that’s great for small lawns that includes a 10.6 gallon collector bag for convenience.
|Mower||Sun Joe MJ401C Pro Cordless Lawn Mower|
|Battery type||Lithium ion 4 Ah|
|Cutting width||14 inches|
|Run time||25 mins|
|Product link||View Price on Amazon|
Runners up include the very inexpensive (just $168!) 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.
Highlights: The most eco-friendly, high performance, corded electric lawn mower.
|Mower||Black & Decker MM2000 20-Inch Corded Electric Mower|
|Voltage||13 Amps / 120 V|
|Cutting width||19 inches|
|Product link||View Price on Amazon|
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 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 $39.99 for another 100 feet of range or $18.99 for 50 feet.
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.
Well, there you have it, our top picks for climate-friendly lawnmowers. If it snows where you live, also be sure to check out our top picks for the best electric snowblowers. If the mowing weather has you preparing for additional yard projects, make sure to also take a look at our favorite electric chainsaws too.