How to choose a cordless lawn mower—according to experts

Toro 60V Max 22in Recycler Lawn Mower being tested in writer's home
(Image credit: Future)

To maintain healthy green grass, you need to keep it well maintained and cut it regularly. And if you don't want to keep stopping during mowing because the wire is getting tangled up, then investing in one of the best cordless lawn mowers is a great solution.

The difficult thing is that there is a lot of cordless mowers to choose from, with brands investing heavily in expanding this category in a bid to be more environmentally-friendly and convenient for the user. To help, we highlight some key considerations when looking for a cordless lawn mower. We've even talked to a couple of industry experts to help you narrow down the choices and find the right battery-powered lawn mower for you.

How to choose a cordless lawn mower

"When selecting a cordless lawn mower, there are several key factors to consider to ensure you make the right choice for your gardening needs," Nathan Cord, a gardening expert with Generators Direct, told Top Ten Reviews. "I suggest evaluating the following aspects: budget, yard size, cutting width, range of cutting heights, battery life, voltage, and weight." 

And we do just this. Knowing how to mow a lawn and then how you mow the lawn is going to be crucial in choosing a cordless lawn mower, amongst other things. In this article we speak to the experts to find out the need-to-know information before adding a lawn mower to cart.

1. Set and follow a budget

Arguably the most important factor to consider when looking to buy a cordless lawn mower is your budget.

Nathan says: "Setting a realistic budget is crucial as it helps narrow down your options and ensures you get the best value for your money without compromising on essential features.

Image of gardening expert Nathan Cording
Nathan Cord

Nathan Cord is Sales Manager at Generators Direct, an online retailer that specializes in garden machinery and power tools. With his extensive expertise, Nathan is dedicated to offering customers not only high-quality products, but also the comprehensive information and guidance they need to complete their gardening projects.

"Cordless lawn mowers from $150 to well over $500," says Nathan. "When you've determined how much you are willing to spend, consider the features and durability in relation to the price."

Matt Davies, lawn specialist and managing director at GardenLawncareGuy, adds: "Higher-end machines will have a larger cutting and collector box, which is particularly important if you have a mid or larger sized property and will mean less time mowing and emptying the box of clippings. 

"Some of these machines will also have features like a rear roller, which can produce lawn stripes in your grass and also be self-propelled so they will drive themselves forward - meaning less work for you pushing the unit.

"For basic models if you are on a budget you can save some money by looking at less established brands that haven't yet build up a reputation for quality or reliability. In general you will also see less premium materials like plastic parts and perhaps most importantly a smaller cutting width and grass collector box."

Keep an eye out for sales and bookmark our roundup of the best lawn mower deals if you're looking to pick up a bargain, or save money on a top-dollar mower.

2. Size your yard

The next thing you'll need to consider is the size of your yard. Even the best cordless lawn mowers will have a maximum area they can accommodate, so you will need to know how big your yard is before you buy a new machine.

Nathan says: "The size of your yard will dictate the type of mower you need. Larger gardens may require more powerful mowers with longer battery life, while smaller gardens can do well with compact models."

Nathan recommends the following:

  • Small yards (up to 807 square feet: Lightweight and smaller mowers are suitable.
  • Medium yards (up to 1883 square feet): Opt for mowers with a balance of power and battery life, and consider those with moderate cutting widths.
  • Large yards (above 3229 square feet): Look for mowers with extended battery life and larger cutting widths.

A lush green English garden in the summer

(Image credit: Getty Images)

3. Check your cutting widths

The cutting width determines how wide the cutting path is when you mow your lawn. This is affected by the diameter of the blade, as opposed to the actual width of the machine itself. As a general rule, the wider the cutting width, the less time it will take to cut the grass.

Nathan told Top Ten Reviews: "A wider cutting width reduces mowing time for larger lawns but may be less practical for smaller, intricate gardens. My best advice is to opt for a cutting width of 11.8-15.7 inches, 15.7-18.5" and 18.8" or more for large yards."

Image of Gene Caballero
Gene Caballero

Gene Caballero is the co-founder of GreenPal, a gardening agency that connects lawn care professionals with customers in need. He has been in the landscaping industry for 25 years.

4. Decide what cutting heights you need

Landscaping expert Gene Caballero, from GreenPal, says: "Look for mowers offering a range of cutting heights, which provides versatility for achieving the perfect grass length. High voltage batteries are needed for better power and efficiency, ensuring complete coverage of your lawn on a single charge."

Image of Matt Davies
Matt Davies

Matt Davies is the director at GardenLawncareGuy, a family run business and specialist supplier of grass seed, lawn feed and wildflowers. The gardening expert is a leading source of information in all things lawn care.

5. How much battery life do you require?

One factor to consider before you choose a cordless lawn mower is battery life. This will determine how long the mower can cut before it needs charging. In an ideal world you'll want to find a mower that has to be recharged as little as possible, because every time a battery recharges it loses some of its overall lifespan.

Batteries are also expensive to replace and their lifespan can be impacted by how hot and cold it is where you live as well as how often you mow the lawn.

As a general rule, most mower batteries last between two and five years, so when you buy a cordless lawn mower it's helpful to factor the replacement cost into your investment.

Gardening expert Matt: "Depending on the size of your lawn, most cordless mowers most will produce several mows off a single charge."

battery on the ego power plus cordless lawn mower

EGO Power+ LM2135SP battery under the hood (Image credit: Future)

"The number of cuts you can expect on a single charge will be reduced if you don't cut your lawn very often, as longer and overgrown grass puts more demand on the motor. Regular mowing not only improves the health of grass but means youll get more cuts from a single charge," says Matt.

"It's also worth thinking about the brand battery ecosystem. Many large power tool retailers produce mowers that use batteries which can be interchangable with other products, like drills, saws, blowers and trimmers. So a few batteries can power the whole range of tools.

"The next biggest thing that impacts the performance is the number of batteries the machine can use. Entry and mid-level machines will have one battery, which in my opinion would probably be fine for smaller lawns and ones that aren't overgrown. However, for larger areas and regular tricky mowing jobs a machine with two batteries will have a ton more power," says Matt.

6. And voltage?

A higher voltage on a cordless lawn mower generally means more power, which can handle tougher grass and longer mowing sessions, says Nathan. 

"A lower voltage (18-24V) is suitable for smaller, less demanding gardens; medium voltage (36-40V) is good for medium-sized lawns, while a higher voltage (48V and above) is best for large and dense lawns." 

7. Look at the weights

Another thing to consider is the weight of the cordless lawnmower you are thinking about buying.

"The weight of the mower affects its ease of use," explains Nathan. "Lighter models are easier to maneuver but might compromise on power and battery size. If you choose a lightweight model it will be easier to push and handle, and this is ideal for smaller gardens. By contrast, heavier models are often more powerful and better for larger gardens, but can be harder to manoeuvre.

"Look for a balance between weight and features to suit your needs. By considering these factors, you can choose a cordless lawn mower that fits your yard size and specific requirements."

Husqvarna Lawn Xpert LE-322

Husqvarna Lawn Xpert LE-322 handle bar and controls (Image credit: Future)

8. Look at customer reviews

Cordless lawn mowers are an investment so it's also a good idea to read some online reviews to get a general overview.

Once you have a wishlist of the mowers you like, take a look at trusted sources like Top Ten Reviews to find all the information you need about the right one for you.

Maddy Biddulph

Maddy has been a writer and editor for 25 years, and has worked for some of the UK's bestselling newspapers and women’s magazines, including Marie Claire, The Sunday Times and Women's Health. Maddy is also a fully qualified Level 3 Personal Trainer, specializing in helping busy women over 40 navigate menopause.