Here are the best electric lawn mowers for sprucing up your backyard, just in time for the summer. Unlike the best gas lawn mowers, electric lawn mowers are available with both corded and cordless power supplies and have a better environmental impact due to their greener power supply.
If you opt for a battery-powered electric lawn mower, then you have the freedom of taking it further afield without having to be hooked up to power. Some cordless models in our best electric lawn mowers guide can even run for up to 90 minutes, which is enough time to get a small space looking fresh. If you’re less inclined to charging, then a corded electric lawn mower can also do an excellent job, with no hassle involved in the setup.
It’s worth considering just how much power you need your electric lawn mower to have, with some models holding powerful motors and getting up to impressive speeds. That should be plenty to cover a normal-sized garden, but if you need a seriously far-ranging gardening appliance, then you may want to consider one of the best riding lawn mowers instead, which make quick work of large spaces.
There’s plenty of variation in the features of the best electric lawn mowers, with some models being self-propelled. Self-propelled lawn mowers take the weight off when it comes to inclines and can do more of the manual work for you, with other lightweight models available to make gardening easy for all. The cutting size of your chosen electric lawn mower is also important, as the width of the path your machine can take will have an impact on how intricate you can be when mowing.
1. EGO Power+ 21-inch LM2102: Best electric lawn mower overall
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.
- Read our EGO Power+ 21-inch LM2102 review
2. Snapper XD 82V Max StepSense: Best self-propelled electric lawn mower
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.
- Read our Snapper XD 82V Max StepSense review
3. Greenworks 21-inch 60V MO60L410: Best electric lawn mower for battery life
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.
4. Ryobi RY48ZTR100: Best ride on battery lawn mower
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.
- Read our Ryobi RY48ZTR100 review
5. Stihl RMA 510 V: Best electric lawn mower for ease of use
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.
- Read our Stihl RMA 510 V review
6. Ryobi 40V 21-inch Brushless Smart Trek: Best value electric lawn mower
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.
As well as electric lawn mowers, we've also reviewed and rated the best gas lawn mowers, as well as the best robot lawn mowers if you want to sit back and relax. If you've got a big yard, we also round up the best ride on lawn mowers.
How to choose the right electric lawn mower for you
First off, we think that unless you are shopping on a restricted budget then most lawn owners should be looking at a cordless mower in 2020. That’s because there has been big leaps forward in mower battery tech over the past five years and that has allowed even the most modestly priced electric mower to run for 45 minutes to an hour on a single charge, which is more than enough time for the averaged sized lawn to be well and truly cut.
The other option, of course, is to get a cabled electric mower, and that is just fine providing you are happy to manipulate the wire while you mow. Naturally, if you have a very big garden with plenty of turf to master 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.
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 brand of electric lawn mower is best?
Lawn mowers aren’t exactly a new product category, so right now in 2019 there are plenty of brands that have serious, multi-decade heritage in the business of making them. However, there are also some relative newcomers that are also producing top lawn mowers, too, so you really do have a very broad range of quality makers to choose from. Makers such as: Ego, American Lawn Mower, Stihl, Ryobi, GreenWorks, Bosch and Husqvarna.
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.
How much do electric lawn mowers cost?
Corded electric lawn mowers 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. 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.
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.
Electric lawn mower battery power
Our team of in-house reviewers found that battery power is the most important consideration when buying an electric lawn mower. They were often frustrated when a lesser machine’s battery died in the middle of a mowing job.
To measure battery power, our team noted how long each one lasted on a full charge as well as how long it took to recharge it after it died. They found that electric lawn mower batteries last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and can take as long as two hours to charge. Mowers that come with a backup battery earned higher scores as it means you can charge one while using the other, swapping them over as you need to.
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.
Electric lawn mower design
The reviewers found that using a mower that has multiple height settings is imperative to getting your grass cut just the way you want it. Different types of grass have their own unique needs and look better when cut at certain heights. The more height adjustments you have on your mower the better.
We also factored weight into our analysis. Mowers that weigh more are harder to push around your yard. Also, because these machines don’t have internal combustion engines, they have little to no self-propulsion.
Lighter mowers scored higher in our analysis, but our reviewers’ experiences maneuvering them was also considered. Only one model we reviewed had additional self-propulsion technology, and it got bonus points. Comfort and convenience should be key considerations when picking an electric lawn mower.
The best electric lawn mowers have padded, ergonomically designed handles that prevent chaffing and blisters on your hands. Additionally, the models we reviewed all have a primary ignition system of either a key or a button, both of which are far superior to the rip-cords on gas mowers.