EGO Power Plus
Best electric lawn mower overall and best for gas mower-like power
Ryobi One Plus HP 18-volt Brushless
Best electric lawn mower for small yards
Hart 40-Volt Cordless Brushless
Best budget electric lawn mower
If you aren’t a fan of the smell of gas, or you want a cleaner alternative to a gas-powered lawn mower, you have an excellent option: an electric mower. Electric lawn mowers are available in both battery-powered and corded models, but we’ll focus exclusively on the battery-powered variety.
Mowers that run on a battery are more powerful than ever before, while also managing to be more convenient than a mower with a long cord, and they’re better for the environment than gas. And now’s the perfect time to look for a new electric lawn mower, since we’re inching closer to summer and peak lawn care season. Here’s what you need to know.
What’s the best electric lawn mower overall?
From price to performance to add-ons, there’s a lot to consider when purchasing a new mower. That plus the many electric lawnmower deals can make shopping a little intimidating.
While testing, I found there’s huge variation in how well an electric lawn mower performs versus how it’s advertised, and how well battery mowers perform compared to corded electric lawn mowers or gas mowers. Plus, it isn’t just raw performance that’s critical.
Before splurging on one of these machines, you’ll need to consider what types of batteries they use. Some mowers rely on batteries that also power popular brands of home power tools. DeWalt, EGO and Ryobi are good examples of this type of cross-compatibility. If you already own tools from one of these or similar brands, you may not have to spend extra cash on additional hardware.
With these factors in mind, we’ve chosen the EGO Power Plus, because it rivals the power of standard gas mowers with no dip in quality or ability. It’s not just easy to use, the machine also boasts noteworthy features, like a wide, 21-inch cutting platform and a 56-volt battery that works with EGO’s entire line of yard power tools.
If you’re in the market for an electric lawn mower this year, you’re in luck. I’ve gathered a group of the most popular battery-powered electric lawn mowers on the market today. I stuck to push-from-behind models only, which cost anywhere from $250 to $550. I then unpacked, assembled and personally put each unit through its paces. After the grass clippings from my mowing spree settled, these were my top picks.
Best electric lawn mowers of 2023
Anyone that doubts that an electric mower can’t rival the power of gas models, hasn’t used an EGO. At 62.6 pounds, this machine is one of the biggest and heaviest in my test group. That said, the EGO Power Plus definitely had the most oomph. Whether cutting grass or barreling through low-brush, this mower performed like a tank. Where other lesser mowers stalled, it was simply unstoppable.
Despite its heft, the EGO Power Plus was a cinch to drive around the yard. I found it fast and stable, too. I also appreciated that I could engage its variable speed engine without having to spin the mower’s blade. Other noteworthy features include a wide, 21-inch cutting platform and 56-volt battery that works with EGO’s entire line of yard power tools.
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Just because a lawn mower isn’t self-propelled doesn’t mean it’s hard to use. Case in point: the Ryobi 16-inch One Plus HP 18-volt push mower. Even though it’s extremely compact and weighs just 34.5 pounds, this tiny machine packs a punch. It stalled less than some of the larger, more powerful mowers in my test group, and the Ryobi’s light weight made it simple for me to push.
This machine uses Ryobi’s standard 18-volt rechargeable batteries too. They’re the same lithium-ion power packs that the company uses in its popular line of home power tools. The mower comes with two batteries plus a charger — in case you don’t have one sitting around.
Its 16-inch cutting width, however, is on the narrow side. Still, for those with smaller yards (a quarter of an acre or less) the surprising power of this mower will suit their needs just fine.
While the Hart 40-volt Cordless Brushlessmower doesn’t have the raw cutting power of other electric push machines, it’s no slouch either. This mower’s blades never stalled during my test trims. It also powered through challenging low brush without choking.
Despite offering a wide 20-inch cutting width, the 52-pound machine felt relatively light. It isn’t self-propelled, so pushing the mower uphill is a challenge. Even so, the mower’s low price and solid performance make it compelling to budget shoppers. The pair of 40-volt batteries and charger are compatible with Hart’s lineup of power tools to sweeten the deal.
Other electric lawn mowers we tested
Dewalt 20-Volt MAX
I had high hopes for this Dewalt mower because of its large size, steel chassis and Dewalt’s long history of making power tools. However, in the field, its performance was disappointing. The Dewalt 21.5-inch 20-volt MAX stalled often due to cut grass becoming caught between the mower blade and frame wall. Adding insult to injury is the mower’s relatively high $499 price tag.
Ryobi 21-inch 40V Brushless
Close to the EGO mower in terms of power, speed and cutting ability, the Ryobi 21-inch mower handled our test lawn well. It slowed down a few times, but it recovered quickly and didn’t stall once. For even less than the Ryobi’s $587 price tag, the more powerful EGO is the better buy.
Kobalt 40-Volt Max Brushless
Light for its size, this 56-pound mower isn’t self-propelled but it was easy to push. However, its underside got clogged a few times during our tests. Its battery also takes some force to push into place.
Greenworks G-MAX 40V
Compact and lightweight, this model from Greenworks performed well. It didn’t stall during my test mows and it was easy to push across the lawn. However, the battery mount inside the mower sits on the top inside edge of its socket. That makes it more awkward to insert compared with other machines.
Sun Joe 24V-X2-17LM 48-volt
This model from Sun Joe may be light and a snap to push. If you walk too quickly the mower can get bogged down with grass trimmings. You also have to slide the machine’s batteries into their sockets at an angle which isn’t as intuitive as it should be.
How we tested electric lawn mowers
To test each lawn mower, I selected one flat area of turf within the lawn of the CNET Smart Home. With all mower batteries fully charged, I set each mower’s cutting height to its No. 4 position (higher number means greater cutting height). Next, I used each machine to mow at least four full rows (15 feet) of lawn in both directions, with 180-degree turns between each row.
I paid close attention to whether mowers stalled, got bogged down, or struggled in any way while cutting. I also ran the same test through a low-brush section on the outer edge of the lawn. This served as a torture test for high-powered models, and a good way to determine which mowers are truly worth your money.
Electric lawn mower FAQ
Is an electric lawn mower worth it?
That depends on the specific requirements of your yard, your personal budget and whether the potential benefits of owning an electric lawn mower outweigh the potential downsides. I would urge you to start by considering your needs and then taking a look at our article weighing the pros and cons of an electric mower.
We have a nice list of options here, but if the limitations of an electric mower don’t suit the needs of your yard, you’ll end up unhappy with your purchase.
Is it safe to mow wet grass with an electric mower?
No, it isn’t recommended to mow wet grass with an electric mower. Always consult the specific user manual for your product to determine its optimal safe usage beforehand, and reach out to the manufacturer directly with questions.
What’s the best time to buy an electric lawn mower?
According to Consumer Reports, the best months to make a lawn mower purchase are the spring, late summer and early fall months, specifically April, May, August, September and October. Many companies and manufacturers offer seasonal deals and discounts, especially right before and after the peak lawn care season in June/July.
Are battery lawn mowers the same as electric lawn mowers?
Yes. Battery-powered lawn mowers are one type of electric lawn mower, but some electric mowers are corded instead.
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(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by PostX Digital and is published from a syndicated feed.)