The green revolution has brought many wonderful things. Tiny, funny-looking cars that can dance on the head of a pin. Energy-efficient washing machines that work as well as beating your clothes with a rock down at the ol’ creek and something called “clean coal” which is an oxymoron of the highest order. One of the more interesting developments is in the ability of electric lawnmowers to operate without cords which means you’ll need to find a new way to wake the neighborhood since your old gas model is rapidly becoming obsolete.
These generally come in two flavors: cordless and corded. The choice is yours but dragging a cord around on a machine that is basically whirring blades is just asking for trouble. That being said, the corded variety are smaller, cheaper, and you can mow so long as there isn’t a blackout. Whatever way you choose to go, we’ve broken down the game tape to give you the 5 best electric lawnmowers.
Sun Joe MJ401E Mow Joe 14″
Tiny Dancer: Sustainability means more and more people are moving to efficient yards rather than great sprawling acres of ground. This little beauty handles smaller plots without being cumbersome to move or to store so it won’t take up precious inches in your garage or shed. It also works well for unusual shapes and yard types by being very maneuverable. Can be used for teaching kids about proper yard maintenance or allowing the petite operator to get a stunning lawn every time.
The motor is a 12 amp that doesn’t skimp on cutting ability. The grass catcher is an unusual hard-top design that means no slipping or spilling with softer bags, but you’ll find yourself replacing it more often. This is a corded model, but given that it clearly isn’t meant for big jobs, you’re unlikely to be more than 100 feet away from an outlet. You’ll find the triple height settings slightly limited but unless your tackling a lawn that is totally overgrown, it isn’t too bad. [Purchase: $120]
GreenWorks 25142 16″
Most for the Money: If you’re in the market for one of these, you’ll quickly realize that GreenWorks is the name to be trusted. This model is for people who might need a little more than a 14″ space-saver, but don’t need a Boss Hog to chop, mulch, dice, and slice. The motor is just 10 amps so your lights won’t flicker whenever you turn it on but it will still give your lawn a lovely trim.
You do get rear bagging and mulching, but this lacks a side output option. Everything about the construction feels heavy, solid, and sturdy so if you were worried about the grit of an electric this will put your fears to rest. 5 level options handle all of the standard lawn lengths. The 7″ wheels both front and back mean getting around your yard is a breeze. The bag is a little on the small side but very easy to pop on and off for quick emptying action. [Purchase: $150]
Remington RM212B 19″
Takes on Tough Terrain: Larger cordless electric lawnmower models are often plagued with heavy weight thanks to the extra power they need, they are grossly underpowered, or they require a charge every pass. This Remington eliminates all three issues. It can run for a solid 75 minutes before it needs to juice up yet it doesn’t feel cumbersome so you aren’t straining every time you need to turn it. It does offer the rear gas bag, side discharge, or mulching ability to keep you cutting style.
One of the best parts of the Remington is the ergonomic comfort handle. It gives you the leverage you need for movement over hills or uneven terrain but feels comfortable. It even reduces fatigue from extended use so you won’t get a jarring sensation or vibrations that settle into your bones. The large front and rear wheels help it carve a path through whatever hills or dales you need to trim. The cutting power is decent but is definitely entry-level. You’re also going to be shelling out the higher cost of a cordless, so expect some sticker shock. [Purchase: $320]
Black & Decker CM1836 18″
Work Horse: When you’ve got a tough row to hoe – or mow – B&D can do it. The motor is a 36-Volt that carries tons of chopping power. It also can take on a typical 1/3 acre yard on just one charge which means less time plugging it in and more time in the trenches of your war against an unmanicured lawn. Despite being a hardy model meant for manly yard care, everything about this mower is easy. One button start and rapid and simple height adjustment that moves all four wheels so you won’t need to lose your momentum.
At 64 pounds this can be a little heavier to move around and lifting it up is awkward. Mostly it isn’t too cumbersome. While it’s pure hell on straightaways, it tends to corner like a ’80’s Buick. You won’t be threading the needle any time soon nor doing of that fancy artisanal lawn sculpture. It just cuts like a fiend. The battery is energy star certified and charges quickly without sucking up a lot of juice. [Purchase: $274]
Greenworks 20″ 3-in-1
Any Yard, Anywhere: Greenworks has basically taken the electric lawnmower world by storm. They push out power and versatility that most electrics can’t touch, which is why you’re paying more even for corded models. They handle the tough jobs so whether you’re hacking down stubborn crabgrass or just giving your sod a trim it will rise to the challenge then cut that challenge down to size. This 3-in-1 gives you the ability to mulch or mow and even gives you a side mount if you prefer to keep your clippings handy.
This big electric uses a 1440-Watt motor and 12 amps of raw cutting ability. The 20-inch size can handle bigger yards, but you might find it overkill for maintaining a small suburban lot. You’ll never find yourself going back over your lawn or embarrassing yourself with a patchwork look. The height is easily adjustable on the go to help prevent clotting. The cord lock system is one of the best and doesn’t allow your plug to slip away even when pulling and pushing through annoying pieces of ground. [Purchase: $370]