How to buy the best electric lawn mower

best electric lawn mower

How do you choose an electric mower?

Are you looking for a new electric lawn mower – may be as an upgrade from an older model or because you’ve got your own lawn to mow for the first time.

Either way, an electric lawn mower will suit you if you have a relatively small lawn, you want a quiet machine and you are not worried about having to handle the extension cord as you mow.

If you’re in that category, then there are some good value models out there and the expert information you’ll find here will help you make the right choice.

If you want to buy the best lawn mower for your situation and you think that an electric lawn mower might suit you, this article will give you the well-researched guidance you need.

To be clear, in this article we’ll be looking at corded electric mowers – i.e. mowers with a cord or lead that has to be plugged into the electricity supply. We look at cordless electric lawn mowers in a separate post.

How does an electric lawn mower work?

Your electric outlet delivers power, via an extension cord, to an electric motor seated on the top of the mower deck.

In the most common arrangement, at the flick of a switch, the motor delivers power to spin the rotary cutting blade that is seated in the deck housing. Some modern models use a cutting line, like a string trimmer, instead of a steel blade.

Your lawn is cut as you push the mower, or the mower self-propels itself, around your lawn as a result of power from the motor being directed to the wheels.

Size and power of electric lawn mowers

Corded electric lawn mowers range in size, with 13 to 21 inch cutting widths and 10 to 13 amp electric motors. A good example of the small electric lawn mower is this Ryobi 13 inch 11 amp model:

If you have a small garden or, importantly, only limited storage space for your mower, then a small electric lawn mower is likely to be a good option for you. The smaller mowers are easier to turn in tight spaces and lighter to carry out of storage.

However, the smaller the cutting width, the less lawn you can cut in each pass, so the longer it will take you to cut the lawn. If your lawn is small anyway then this is unlikely to make much difference to you.

Types of electric lawn mowers

Apart from the differences in size of motor and cutting width, there is not a huge amount to distinguish different types of corded electric lawn mowers.

These machines are light in weight and designed for small flat areas, so they are generally all push mowers.

The main distinction lies in the means of grass discharge. Some mowers are 3 in 1 mowers, offering side discharge, mulching and bagging options, whilst some only offer bagging and mulching.

There is full discussion of these various option on our page showing you how to compare lawn mowers.

How do electric lawn mowers compare to gas/petrol powered lawn mowers?

Electric lawn mowers are cheaper, quieter and more environmentally friendly than gas powered lawn mowers.

They are also lighter in weight and usually smaller and easier to store.

Apart from blade sharpening or replacement, little maintenance is required with an electric mower, whereas a gas mower needs fuelling, oil changes and sometimes a bit of tinkering to get it started.

On the downside, corded electric mowers are less powerful than gas mowers, so they are not suitable for rough ground and long, wet or tall grass.

At the risk of stating the obvious, they are also limited in range by the length of an electric extension cord.

The extension cord also makes it less easy to mow freely than is the case with a gas powered or cordless electric model, especially if you have trees, shrubs or other features in you lawn.

This ‘cord management’ issue, as it is rather grandly called, is one of the main reasons why people might opt for a gas or cordless model.

If you want to avoid the noise and maintenance issues associated with gas models then a cordless lawn mower might suit you. However, cordless models are much heavier and more expensive than corded models and even the best are limited to a run time of around an hour to an hour and half by their battery life.

Features to look out for in electric lawn mowers

Best electric lawn mower:  Greenworks model

Corded electric mowers are the cheapest kind of mower available, so they are do not generally have tons of features.

However look out for the following:

  • The right grass discharge option for your preference – bagging, mulching, side or rear discharge, or all 3
  • A cord holder that lets you mange your cord more easily when you turn
  • Enough height adjustment for your needs and, preferably, a single lever adjustment mechanism
  • Comfortable handles
  • Handles that can be adjusted to your height
  • Handles that fold for easy storage
  • Decent size wheels for better stability and traction.

The other most important point to remember is the bigger your lawn, the bigger the cutting width of your mower should be. This is because it will take you less time to cut with a wider mower, because you’ll cover more ground with each pass.

Likewise, if you have a bigger lawn or rougher type grass, you’ll want to opt for a more powerful model.

Best uses for electric lawn mowers

A corded electric mower will suit you if:

  • You have a smallish, flattish lawn to mow
  • You have few or no obstacles in your lawn
  • You want a budget lawn mower option
  • You want a quiet, environmentally friendly lawn mower
  • You want a light weight machine
  • You want the minimum in maintenance
  • You don’t have an inbuilt urge to tinker with engines
  • You don’t mind ‘cord management’.

A word about ‘cord management’

It sounds like something they should run classes in doesn’t it? But actually it’s quite straightforward.

First up, start at the point on you lawn nearest your power outlet and then mow away from there.

So, if your power source is in the bottom left corner, start there and mow up the lawn first and then progress across to the right.

Try also to keep you cord on the same side of the mower as your power source.

You should also make sure you get an extension cord that is properly rated for your mower.

A 14 gauge cord up to fifty feet long, will be fine for a load of between 10 and 15 amps.

For a similar load but a greater length you’ll need a 12 guage cord, like the LifeSupply cord featured above.

US Buyers

The mowers below are current Amazon best sellers. So these are worth considering given that the best sellers are almost exclusively those that have received a high number of good customer reviews.

Are you a UK buyers? There are further options for you below.

And, if you think about it, the best experts for judging these mowers are the people who are using them on a regular basis.

Bestseller No. 1
Greenworks 2 x 24V (48V) 17" Cordless Lawn Mower, (2) 4.0Ah USB Batteries (USB Hub) and Dual Port Rapid Charger Included
  • Powered by 2 Greenworks 24V batteries for 48V of exceptional power, without leaving the 24V battery platform
  • Up To 45-minutes run-time with (2) fully charged 4Ah batteries, run-time varies based on grass condition and operator technique
  • 17 in. rust-resistant lightweight deck designed for easy maneuverability
  • 2-in-1 feature provides mulching and rear bagging capabilities
  • Comes with 17" Cordless Lawn Mower, (2) 4Ah batteries, and charger
SaleBestseller No. 2
Greenworks 40V 16" Cordless Electric Lawn Mower, 4.0Ah Battery and Charger Included
  • CORDLESS LAWN MOWER – Get more done, faster, with Greenworks electric lawn mowers. This 40v push lawn mower provides the power you need with up to 45 minutes of runtime on a fully charged 4.0Ah battery. The battery completely charges in 120 minutes.
  • LIGHTWEIGHT, EASY TO USE – A lightweight 16” cutting deck allows for easy maneuvering through small to medium yards (up to ½ acre) more efficiently. Easy push button start and lighter weight make it a great choice for your lawn.
  • VERSATILE – Battery powered lawn mower has a single lever 5-position height adjustment with a cutting height range from 1-1/4" to 3-3/8" for the best cut in all environments. The 2-in-1 feature offers versatile use with mulching and rear bagging options.
  • MAINTENANCE FREE – This walk behind lawn mower is virtually maintenance free, with no gas, no oil and no emissions. It starts instantly and is quiet but delivers gas-like power for your toughest projects.
  • INCLUDES – Battery operated lawn mower comes with mower, grass collection bag, 40V 4.0Ah battery, charger and operators manual. It offers a 3 year tool and 3 year battery warranty.
SaleBestseller No. 3
Greenworks 10 Amp 16-inch Corded Mower, 25142
  • Greenworks, 10 Amp 16-Inch 2 in 1, Rear Bag or Mulch Electric Lawn Mower, Converts Easily from Rear Bag to Mulch, Model 25142
  • 10 Amp electric motor delivers enough power to cut through touch grass. Assembled product weight: 48.0 Pounds
  • Durable 16-Inch cutting deck gets the job done quicker and more efficiently
  • 2-in-1 feature provides mulching and rear discharge capabilities
  • 5 position height adjustment offers a range of cutting height from 5/8-Inch to 2-5/8-Inch for the perfect cut on all types of grass
Bestseller No. 4
Makita XML03CM1 36V (18V X2) LXT® Brushless 18" Lawn Mower Kit with 4 Batteries
  • No gas, emissions, oil mixing or pull starts with reduced maintenance and low noise levels
  • Cuts over 1/3 acre in 43 minutes or less with four 18V LXT 4.0Ah batteries
  • Commercial-grade steel deck
  • BL Brushless motor delivers up to 3,300 RPM
  • Quiet mode reduces noise by providing constant speed control at 2,500 RPM
SaleBestseller No. 5
Sun Joe MJ401C 14-Inch 28-Volt Cordless Push Lawn Mower, w/10.6-Gallon Collection Bag, 3-Position Height Adjustment, Safety Key, 14 inches, Green
  • Questions, Text 563563 to chat directly with a Sun Joe expert
  • POWERFUL: Perfect for small to medium lawns, battery-powered mower's durable steel blade cuts a crisp 14" wide path with precision in a single pass
  • PERFORMANCE: The 28 V 4 Ah rechargeable lithium-ion battery for up to a quarter acre of continuous mowing per charge
  • ADJUSTABLE DECK: Tailor cutting height with 3-position manual height adjustment
  • ACCESSORIES: Detachable 10. 6-gal (40 l) grass catcher for easy disposal
SaleBestseller No. 6
Sun Joe MJ400E 12-Amp 13-Inch Electric Lawn Mower w/ Grass Collection Bag
  • POWERFUL: 12-amp motor cuts a crisp 13.4 in. Wide path
  • ADJUSTABLE: customize your cut with 3-position adjustable Height control: 0.98 in., 1.77 in., 2.56 in
  • COMPACT: Design is ideal for maneuvering around small lawns
  • ACCESSORIES: 9.2-Gallon rear collection bag for convenient grass disposal plus a grass indicator flap
  • LIGHTWEIGHT: Weighs in at under 22 lbs
Bestseller No. 7
Greenworks 40V 21" Brushless (Smart Pace) Self-Propelled Lawn Mower, 2 x 4Ah USB (Power Bank) Batteries and Charger Included MO40L4413
  • CORDLESS LAWN MOWER – Get more done, faster, with Greenworks electric lawn mowers. This 40V self-propelled lawn mower provides to 70 minutes of run-time on (2) fully charged 4.0Ah batteries (varies based on grass condition and operator technique)
  • DURABLE 21” STEEL DECK – The 21” steel deck allows you to handle large areas of grass quickly and easily. Brushless motor provides more torque, quiet operation, and a longer life.
  • SMART PACE – The smart pace self-propelled system automatically & smoothly adjusts to your walking speed. Dual battery ports with automatic switchover for longer, uninterrupted run-times. When one battery depletes, it auto switches to the second battery.
  • VERSATILE – Single lever, 7-position height adjustment for the best cut in all environments. The 3-in-1 design allows you to mulch, side discharge, and rear bag grass clippings.
  • MAINTENANCE FREE – This self-propelled lawn mower is virtually maintenance free, with no gas, no oil, and no emissions. Push button start, quiet operation, and delivers gas-like performance. Use up to 70% less space in your garage with vertical storage.
SaleBestseller No. 8
Sun Joe 24V-X2-17LM 48-Volt 17-Inch Mulching Walk-Behind Lawn Mower w/11-Gallon Grass Catcher & 6-Position Height Adjustment, Included, Cordless, Kit (w/ 2x 4.0-Ah Battery and Charger)
  • Questions, Text 563563 to chat directly with a Sun Joe expert
  • POWERFUL:670-watt brushless motor runs cooler and lasts longer than traditional brush motors
  • 48V POWER: Included 2x 4. 0 Ah batteries offer up to 25 minutes of rechargeable runtime
  • VERSATILE: Perfect for small to medium lawns, the battery-powered mower's durable steel blade cuts a crisp 17" wide path with precision in a single pass
  • ADJUSTABLE DECK: Tailor cutting height with 6-position manual height adjustment
Bestseller No. 9
Electric Lawn Mower Grass Cutter Machine,Corded, 12 Amp, Dethatcher,13-Inch with Collection Box
  • 【13-Inch】--The Lawn Mower have Smaller size and weight make The Lawn mower very comfortable to use, carry and store. Fits through narrower areas and around obstacles easier than larger mowers.
  • 【Powerful】--The Lawn Mower have12 Amp motor supplies ample power for cutting through thick grass and overgrowth.
  • 【3 Levels of Height Adjustment】--The Lawn Mower have 3 position height adjustment offers a range of cutting height from 1-Inch to 2.2-Inch for the perfect cut on all types of grass.
  • 【More Better】--The Lawn Mower is No oil. No gas. Just plug it in. Very productivity.electric motor is more better than the gas.
  • 【easy to use】--The Lawn Mower is Lightweight and very easy to operate It's so quiet requires to no maintenance.  
Bestseller No. 10
EGO Power+ LM2101 21-Inch 56-Volt Lithium-ion Cordless Lawn Mower 5.0Ah Battery and Rapid Charger Included
  • Up to 45 minutes of run time on single charge with the recommended 56V 5.0 Ah ARC Lithium battery
  • 6-position cutting height adjustments: 1.5"- 4"
  • 3-in-1 function: Mulching, bagging, side discharge
  • Quick and easy push-button start
  • 21" deck

Last update on 2022-07-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Interestingly, most of the best sellers are on the small side, which probably reflects the fact they these mowers are generally used for the smaller lawns.

If I was looking for a bigger model, then the 21 inch, 13 Amp Greenworks model is a great option:

Greenworks 13 Amp 21-Inch Electric Lawn Mower, MO13B00 (Lawn & Patio)

Features:
  • 13 Amp Electric Motor delivers enough power to cut through the toughest grass
  • Durable steel 21-Inch cutting deck gets the job done quicker and more efficiently
  • 3-in-1 feature provides multiple options for grass clippings from rear bagging, side discharge and mulching capabilities for versatile needs
  • 7 position height adjustment offers a range of cutting height from 1 1/2-Inch to 3 3/4-Inch for the perfect cut on all grass types
  • Wide 10-Inch rear wheels and 7-Inch front wheels. Please lift the rear discharge cover to find the mulching plug. Weight:  56 lbs

List Price:
$199.00
New From:
$199.00 In Stock
 

UK buyers

For buyers in the U.K, here is an excellent selection of top electric mowers, with a variety of sizes to cater for most gardens. However, as indicated above, corded electric mowers don’t work for very large spaces because of the limitations of the electric cords.

AL-KO 34E Comfort Electric Rotary Lawn mower

£179.00  in stock
Lawnmowers-uk.co.uk
as of July 2, 2022 6:29 pm

-34 cm cutting width
-Powerful 240V 1200 watt induction motor
- Suited to small lawns of up to 300m2
- 6 stage cutting heights (28 to 68mm), easy to change due to the spring loaded support
- High volume (37 litres) grass catcher with aerodynamic air channel.
- 16m cable Length
- 15kg weight
- 3 year manufacturer's 3 year warranty (2 year machine + 1 year parts only)

AL-KO 40E Comfort Electric Lawn mower (incl. mulch plug)

£209.00  in stock
Lawnmowers-uk.co.uk
as of July 2, 2022 6:29 pm

- 240v 1400 watt induction motor
- 40cm cutting width
- 6 stage, centrally adjusting cutting height from 28mm to 68mm
- Easy emptying 43 litre collection box volume, with fill level indicator
- mulch plug to allow for mulching instead of grass collection
- Weight - 19kg
- Folding handles for ease of transport and storage
- 2 year manufacturer's warranty.

Bosch Rotak 32 Electric Rotary Lawn mower

£104.99  in stock
Lawnmowers-uk.co.uk
as of July 2, 2022 6:29 pm

- Motor : 1100w Powerdrive electric
- Cutting Width : 32cm
- Cutting Height: 20-60mm with 3 way cutting height adjustment
- Grass Collector : 31 litres
- Lightweight 6.6kg design
- Ergonomic handles
- Grass combs which provide close cutting up to walls and around flowerbeds

Bosch Rotak 34 R Electric Rotary Lawn mower

£124.99  in stock
Lawnmowers-uk.co.uk
as of July 2, 2022 6:29 pm

- 1300w Powerdrive electric motor
- 34 cm cutting Width
- Lawn Drum for creating stripes on your lawn
- 6 stage cutting height adjuster - 20-70mm
- 40 litres grass Collector
- Integrated ergonomic carry handle
- Manufacturer's 2 year warranty
- Grass combs for close cutting up to walls and around flowerbeds
- Easy push wheel design

Bosch Rotak 650 Electric Lawn Mower

£279.98  in stock
Lawnmowers-uk.co.uk
as of July 2, 2022 6:29 pm

- 1700 W Powerdrive motor for constant power even in long grass
- Width of cut: 41 cm
- Height of cut: 20- 80 mm with 7 height cutting system and one button operation
- Hardened and ground steel blade
- 50 litre grass box capacity and digital display to prompt emptying
- Sound power level: 89 dB(A)
- Weight 20kg
- Warranty: 2 Year Parts and Labour (This can increased to 3 years)
- Up to the edge grass cutting, including walls and flower beds
- Ergoflex - Ergonomic handle design for an easy mowing experience
- Lightweight and compact for convenient storage and mobility
- Leaf Collect blade shreds autumn leaves into the collection bag
- Grass combs
- Motor overload cut-out
- High tech rubber coated wheels and composite bearings

Bosch Rotak 36R Electric Rotary Lawn mower

£159.98  in stock
Lawnmowers-uk.co.uk
as of July 2, 2022 6:29 pm

- Electric rotary mower
- Power : 1400w motor
- Cutting Width : 36cm
- Hardened steel cutting blade
- Grass combs which mow the grass right up to the edge
- Bosch airflow technology
- Quick click handle system for easy assembly
- Cutting Heights : 6 adjustments from 20 - 70mm
- Ergonomic handles reduce fatigue
- Lawn drum to produce stripes on lawn
- Grass Collector Capacity : 40 litre
- Weight : 12kg
- Warranty : Manufacturer's 2 year

Bosch Rotak 550 Electric Lawn Mower

£229.99  in stock
Lawnmowers-uk.co.uk
as of July 2, 2022 6:29 pm

- 1300 Watts Powerdrive motor for consistent power even whilst cutting longer grass
- Width of cut: 37 cm
- Height of cut: 20-70 mm
- Height cut settings: 6, with one button operation
- Cutting system: Hardened and ground steel blade
- Grass box capacity 40l (collapsible bag), with digital display
- Sound power level: 89 dB(A)
- Weight 15kg
- Warranty: 2 Year Parts and Labour (can be increased to 3 years)
- Up to the edge grass cutting, including walls and flower beds
- Ergoflex - Ergonomic handle design for an easy mowing experience
- Lightweight and compact for convenient storage and mobility
- Powerdrive motor
- Fitted with LeafCollect blade for shredding fallen leaves
- Grass combs
- Motor overload cut-out

Cobra GTRM34 1200W 34cm Cut Electric Lawn mower

£106.99  in stock
Lawnmowers-uk.co.uk
as of July 2, 2022 6:29 pm

- Great Value
- Motor : 1200w
- Cutting Width : 34cm / 13 inch
- Cutting Heights : 7 stages from 20 - 75mm with central cutting height adjustment
- Grass Bag Capacity : 40 litres with collection window
- Rear Roller for lawn stripes
- Mains Cable : 10 metres
- Weight : 12kg
- Sound Level : 96dB
- Warranty : Manufacturer's 1 Year

Cobra GTRM38 1400W 38cm Cut Electric Lawn mower

£121.99  in stock
Lawnmowers-uk.co.uk
as of July 2, 2022 6:29 pm

- Motor : 1400w
- Cutting Width : 38cm / 15 inch
- Cutting Heights : 6 stages from 20 - 75mm with central cutting height adjustment
- Grass Bag Capacity : 40 litres with collection window
- Rear Roller for lawn stripes
- Mains Cable : 10 metres
- Weight : 12kg
- Sound Level : 96dB
- Warranty : Manufacturer's 1 Year

Summing Up

As with all outdoor power equipment, it’s a matter of horses for courses when choosing the best electric lawn mower for your needs.

If your circumstances fit within the categories outline under ‘best uses’ heading above, then a corded electric lawn mower is likely to suit you well.

However, if you’ve anything much more than a quarter of an acre to mow, or you might have in the future, you might be well advised to think about a gas or cordless lawn mower model.

Just beginning your lawn mower research? Start with our definitive guide on how to buy the best lawn mower.

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