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Best electric lawn mowers 2021: Self-propelled and push mowers

Best electric lawn mowers 2021: Self-propelled and push mowers
(Image credit: Getty)

Armed with one of the best electric lawn mowers, your lawn can look perfectly manicured all year round while ticking off some eco-friendly credentials. But when it comes to choosing the perfect electric mower for you, it’s important to consider a few things, like the size of your backyard, how often you’ll be cutting it and your budget. Which is why, to help you discover the most suitable mower, we’ve compiled up a list of top-rated electric models that would suit both small and medium-sized lawns. All of which start at a range of price points.

The best electric lawn mowers do all the hard work. In our guide we’ve included a handful that are push designs along with self-propelled options. This means that the mower propels itself forward as it cuts the grass. All you have to do is steer the machine in the right direction. Plus, electric lawn mowers can come corded and cordless. A cordless battered-powered model is brilliant, especially if you don’t want to be reliant on access to a socket or tied to a cord. While corded lawn mowers are just as fantastic, especially if you just want to plug in and go.

Along with power and design it’s imperative to look out for a few other features on your hunt for the best electric lawn mowers. These lawn mowers come with features such as adjustable cutting heights, comfortable grip handles and a large cutting stance to help you mow faster. Our buying guide includes top picks from the likes of Greenworks, Ryobi and more. If you’ve got a large lawn, check out our handy guide to the best riding lawn mowers, or if you’re looking for something with more power, check out our best gas lawn mowers

1. EGO Power+ 21-inch LM2102: Best electric lawn mower overall 

Best electric lawn mowers: EGO Power+ 21-inch LM2102

(Image credit: EGO)

EGO Power+ 21-inch LM2102

Best overall for power and performance

Deck size: 21-inch | Battery: 7.5Ah | LED headlights: Yes | Dual battery: No | Self-propelled: No

Fast charging battery
Quiet operation
Powerful motor
Expensive battery to replace

The EGO Power+ 21-inch LM2102 battery mower is one of the best all round electric mowers you can buy. It offers gas-level power while operating quietly and for a long time on a charge thanks to the large 7.5Ah battery. 

This isn't self-propelled which means it's lighter than most and can last up to an hour, about a quarter of an acre, before you need to charge. Even then the battery will fast charge in an hour to full. 

You get LED headlights, battery level notifications, 3-in-1 bagging, mulching and discharging, foldable storage plus an impressive five year warranty – one of the best on any battery mower.

2. Greenworks 48V 131380: Best electric lawn mower for small gardens

Greenworks 48V 1313802

(Image credit: Greenworks)

Greenworks 48V 20-inch Brushless Lawn Mower 1313802

A perfect product for quietly mowing smaller gardens

Deck size: 20-inch | Battery: (2x) 4.0Ah | LED headlights: Yes | Dual battery: Yes | Self-propelled: No

Quiet in use
Easy to charge
Collapsible handlebars make it easy to move
Not powerful enough for large gardens

The Greenworks 48V 20-inch lawn mower is for small garden owners. By using two 24 volt batteries as a power source, it is surprisingly quiet and easy to operate. The batteries let it start up quickly and means it has a relatively short assembly time, and are also usable as portable chargers. It also comes with a free drill that uses the same power source. 

It can be stored vertically, taking up 70% less storage space than a regular mower of this size. This simple and lightweight design philosophy extends to the rest of the mower as well, with collapsible handles that help with both storage and pushing. Finally, a three year limited warranty that includes the batteries covers the product.  

3. Snapper XD 82V Max StepSense: Best self-propelled electric lawn mower

Best electric lawn mowers: Snapper XD 82V Max StepSense

(Image credit: Snapper)

Snapper XD 82V Max StepSense

Best for self-propelled battery performance

Deck size: 21-inch | Battery: 5Ah | LED headlights: No | Dual battery: Yes | Self-propelled: Yes

Long battery life
Dual battery
Grass collection could be more efficient

The Snapper XD 82V Max StepSense is a self-propelled battery mower that still manages to offer up to an hour of cutting thanks to its dual battery bay. The mower is smart enough to up power when needed in tougher grass areas and save battery on simple cut sections. 

The self-propulsion is just as smart, adding drive as you lean into the mower. This also has a five year warranty and is reassuringly solid at 90 pounds in weight, but is also maneuverable and can be folded for vertical storage.

4. Greenworks 21-inch 60V MO60L410: Best electric lawn mower for battery life

Best electric lawn mowers: Greenworks Pro 60V

(Image credit: Greenworks)

Greenworks 21-inch 60V MO60L410

Best for battery life

Deck size: 21-inch | Battery: 5Ah | LED headlights: No | Dual battery: Yes | Self-propelled: Yes

Dual battery
Turbo mode
Could self-propel faster

The Greenworks 21-inch 60V MO60L410 is the leader when it comes to battery life, churning out a massive 90 minutes, aka an hour and a half, on a single charge. That's up to an acre in one go. 

This is thanks to a dual battery system but that does still give you self-propelled power to make mowing easier. A nice touch here is Turbo Mode which allows you to override battery saving for maximum power, ideal if you get to a longer patch of grass or weed that needs clearing fast. 

The battery life indicator, on the handle, is a nice unique touch which makes timing your cuts a breeze.

5. Ryobi RY48ZTR100: Best ride on battery lawn mower

Best electric lawn mowers: Ryobi RY48ZTR100

(Image credit: Ryobi)

Ryobi RY48ZTR100

Best ride on battery mower

Deck size: 42-inch | Battery: 100Ah | LED headlights: Yes | Dual battery: No | Self-propelled: Yes

Three hour battery life
Zero-turn controls
12 height positions
Could be comfier

The Ryobi RY48ZTR100 is the best ride on battery mower out there with a whopping 42-inch cutting deck powered by a massive 100Ah battery, this can handle any job. The four brushless motors power the dual blades and four wheels across 12 cut heights and work in forward and reverse with a top speed of 7mph. 

The zero point control arms make for accurate driving and the LED lights let you work day or night. There's even a drinks holder and USB charger for your phone plus a snow plough attachment for use in the winter – just don't expect this to be a cheap option.

6. Stihl RMA 510 V: Best electric lawn mower for ease of use

Best electric lawn mowers: Stihl 510 V

(Image credit: Stihl)

Stihl RMA 510 V

Best for ease of use

Deck size: 20-inch | Battery: 6.3Ah | LED headlights: No | Dual battery: Yes | Self-propelled: Yes

Dual battery
Seven height options
Lots of torque
Not cheap

The Stihl RMA 510 V might be a self-propelled mower but it's still one of the easiest battery mowers out there. By easy we mean simple single point adjustments for height or bag removal and easy slide in batteries. 

You get a dual battery bay meaning a good long life with up to 2.8mph assist and 2,500 square feet of cutting on a charge, aka 45 minutes on a single battery. 

At 80dB this is also a quiet mower and you get a decent three year limited warranty from a company that's known for building quality products that last.

7. Sun Joe MJ401E-PRO 13: Best electric lawn mower for tight spaces 

Sun Joe MJ401E-PRO 13

(Image credit: Sun Joe)

Sun Joe MJ401E-PRO 13

This tiny yet efficient mower offers great value for money

Deck size: 14-inch | Battery: Corded | LED headlights: No | Dual battery: No | Self-propelled: No

Adjustable cutting heights
Two-year warranty
Cutting height prone to slipping down

The Sun Joe MJ401E-PRO 13 packs a 14-inch blade into a 16-inch body, meaning it is one of the lightest models in our guide to the best electric lawn mowers. The mower is only 30lbs, less than 50 inches long and just over 40 inches in height. 

Snow Joe’s electric mower blends this compact build with a potent 13-amp motor. Alongside this diminutive build are collapsible handles, making storage simple. 

Although it will not win any awards mowing large lawns, its size means it handles hilly areas with great ease. It also handles garden edges much better than more unwieldy mowers. 

In short, the Sun Joe MJ401E-PRO 13 is great if you are a novice gardener on a budget, or are looking for a cheap but effective electric mower for a small garden.

8. Toro Recycler 21 Inch SmartStow 60V: Best electric lawn mower for speed

Best electric lawn mowers: Toro Recycler 21 Inch SmartStow 60-Volt Cordless Mower

(Image credit: Toro)

Toro Recycler 21" SmartStow 60-Volt Cordless Mower

Best overall for getting the job done fast

Deck size: 21-inch | Battery: 4.Ah | LED headlights: No | Dual Battery: Yes | Self propelled: Yes

Quiet running 
Short cutting time,
Lengthy charging time 

The Toro Recycler 21 inch SmartStow 60-Volt Cordless mower excels when it comes to small, flat lawns. This is all down to its cordless design and self propelled operation. The only drawback is that it takes a while to fully charge, and can only be used for 45 minutes at the time when the battery is finally full. 

There is an added bonus when it comes to storage though, as it can be placed upright when it is not in use. You can also choose from three different options when it comes to discharging grass clippings. The warranty on this model is two years, which is average for a mower of this type. 

9. Ryobi 40V 21-inch Brushless Smart Trek: Best affordable electric lawn mower

Best electric lawn mowers: Ryobi 40V 21

(Image credit: Ryobi)

Ryobi 40V 21-inch Brushless Smart Trek

Best for price

Deck size: 21-inch | Battery: 6.3Ah | LED headlights: Yes | Dual battery: Yes | Self-propelled: Yes

Five year limited warranty
Awkward full extension handle start required
No battery indicator on mower
Slow charging

The Ryobi 40V 21-inch Brushless Smart Trek gives a huge amount of features for the price and comes with an impressive five year limited warranty. The mower is powerful and has a 21-inch deck that's backed by dual batteries for up to half an acre with both in place. 

The self-propulsion takes some getting used to but with easy height adjusting, simple start button and great grass collection bag removal and replacing, this is great to use. The LED headlights and quiet running are nice touches on this mower that help it go above and beyond the price.

How to choose the right electric lawn mower for you

Firstly, unless you’re shopping within a tight budget, our top tip would be to opt for a cordless mower. The engineering behind cordless mowers has accelerated massively within the past few years, meaning that even the more affordable cordless models can run for 45 minutes to an hour. That’s ample time for mowing an average-sized lawn, and you won’t ever be restricted again by a cord as you make your way around your garden. You’ll also be choosing the greener option, and having a better impact on the environment. 

Naturally, if you have a very big garden with plenty of grass to handle then we’d point you in the direction of a gas lawn mower instead, as these have no cables and can run for hours and hours without needing a fuel refill. 

As most electric lawn mower batteries only take about 40 minutes to fully charge, though, we think most users will find them perfectly suited to their needs, as many people probably won’t need to refuel mid-session. 

Aside from going cordless if at all possible, then we’d also suggest that you ascertain exactly what type of cutting needs you require before going out and ringing a machine up. That’s because there are plenty of great electric mowers out there that offer a wide-selection of cutting modes and features, however not everyone will need them, and it makes no sense in spending much more than you need to for a machine that is over the top for your patch.

What types of electric lawn mower are there?

Rotary mowers: Rotary mowers are characterised by one very high speed rotating cutting blade, which slices the grass on impact. These types of mowers are very common as they allow medium to high cut grass to be quickly cut and deposited in a rear-mounted grass box. These mowers typically have four fixed wheels for maneuvering.

Cylinder mowers: Cylinder mowers have a series of blades which tend to be exposed in a cylindrical drum structure on the front of the machine. Unlike rotary mowers, these cut grass by slicing against a fixed bottom plate, with a series of smaller blades doing the work of one. These machines work best when cutting low to medium height grass.

Hover mowers: Hover mowers are similar to rotary mowers in that they cut grass with a rotating cutting blade or disc, they differ in that they don’t have wheels for maneuvering. Instead the hover mowers create a downward firing cushion of air that allows them to move easily in any direction, like a hovercraft.

Are electric mowers good?  

Electric mowers are a great option if you want a machine that isn’t too heavy to move around - and won’t cost you a fortune either. They are best suited for smaller lawns, rather than huge areas of grass and this is because you’ll be restricted by a power cord. There are, of course, battery lawn mowers that solve the cord problem but you’ll need to note how long the run time is on each battery. Many battery-powered mowers can be purchased with a spare battery so that your mower is never out of action. 

Electric lawn mowers don’t require any fuel which makes them more affordable to power than gas mowers. There’s also the added benefit of electric mowers operating more quietly than their gas counterparts. 

How much do electric lawn mowers cost?

In general, prices for corded electric lawn mowers tend to start at about $100; however, it can be awkward to deal with a cord while mowing, and it limits your mobility and the distance you can cover. You can buy extensions for your mower, but this might be inconvenient if you have an extremely large backyard. 

Battery-operated mowers cost a little more, starting in the low $200 range up to about $500, but the convenience of battery power, for many consumers, is worth paying extra. These models can also run for up to 90 minutes, so unless you have acres of land to cover, you should be able to get the job done. Be aware that cordless mowers tend to have somewhat less power than corded models, and you’ll have to recharge the batteries, but they offer much more mobility. 

Running costs may be another concern when it comes to buying an electric lawn mower. Compared to gas models, you can rest assured that the money you’ll spend on charging on powering your electric mower will be considerably less, costing around 20 to 60 cents an hour to run, depending on the exact wattage of your model. 

The most powerful electric lawn mower isn’t necessarily the best

You should consider how large your yard is and how often you intend to mow it. If your lawn is 1/3 acre or bigger, you’ll want to spring for a high-performance model with a high-voltage battery, wide cutting path and multiple height settings. If you have a smaller yard or don’t need to mow very often, you can probably get away with one that has less power.

How high should you cut your grass? 

Although it might seem simple at first, choosing a cutting height for your lawn actually depends on the type of grass you have. If you live in northern parts of the US, your grass will typically be cool-season grass. Select a cutting height of between two and three inches high. 

If you’re based in the southern regions, aim for a cutting height of two inches. Wherever you’re based, don’t be tempted to cut the grass shorter than two inches as this can damage it and you’ll end up with a sad looking lawn.