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Electric mowers were first introduced back in the 1930s, but they hadn't caught on with homeowners until very recently. The biggest draw for electric mowers is that they don't require the same maintenance as their gas-powered cousins: no stocking up on fuel, oil changes, filter and spark plug replacements, or exhaust repairs. They typically use brushless motors -- similar to what you see in cordless power tools -- which create horsepower and torque similar to a gas engine in a much smaller package.
Many models use rechargeable batteries for power -- and can use the same batteries you may already own if you are a brand loyalist -- making them easier to integrate into your workshop. There are models powered by extension cords, though I can't recommend them; there is always the risk of running over the live wire and getting hurt.
While an electric mower won't have the same run time as a gas-powered model, you can still get at least 30 to 50 minutes of work out of a fully-charged battery on average. You'll typically see electric push mowers, but there are a few different models of electric riding mowers as well.
To help you find the perfect electric mower for your yard, we rounded up five of the best models you can buy. We compare their features and price points below, so you can decide which one is the best fit for you.
The Ego Power+ 21-inch, battery-powered push mower is one of the most popular choices for customers looking to make the switch from gas to electric lawn equipment -- and for good reason. With an ultra-easy push-button start, you can say goodbye to frustrating rip cords and get near-instant motor starts.
You can adjust the 21-inch cutting deck at six different heights with the simple shifter knob on the side, and the included bagger attachment means you won't have to spend hours of your day raking up clumps of clippings. But if you prefer not to bag your lawn cuttings, the mower also has a mulching feature to create extra-fine clippings to feed your lawn between landscaping appointments.
The entire unit folds up into a compact form for easier storage, which is perfect for garages and tool sheds where space is at a premium. Its 56-volt battery can be used with other Ego Power branded tools and gives you up to 45 minutes of run time on a full charge. It even has LED headlights for when you need to cut your grass early in the morning or later in the evening.
Most electric mowers are pricey -- or just down right expensive -- but the Worx 40V, 14-inch push mower is one of the most budget-friendly on the market. And just because it retails comfortably under $300 doesn't mean it skimps on features.
You can adjust the cutting deck to three different heights, so you can tackle everything from the first spring mow to a quick re-cut before it rains. It includes a .85 bushel bagger attachment for collecting clippings, or you can use the mulching feature to re-feed your lawn with cuttings.
The on-board battery meter lets you know at a glance how much run time you have left before you need to recharge, and the included dual-port charger lets you top up both batteries at the same time. A push-button start eliminates difficult rip-cords, and the dual-battery power system gives you up to two full hours of run time.
Cub Cadet is one of the most recognizable names in lawn mowers, and they've released a battery-powered version of their XT1 Enduro series. It has the same 42-inch, dual-blade cutting deck and three-year warranty as its gas-powered cousin, but it doesn't require all of the maintenance.
The 56V battery provides enough power for 90 minutes of run time, which is plenty of time to mow up to two acres of grass before you need to recharge. And when you do need to plug in, you can recharge your mower with a standard wall outlet -- no special cords or equipment needed.
A push-button cruise control lets you set-and-forget your mowing speed for a consistent cut across your whole lawn, and two USB ports let you charge your phone while you ride. The mower has a 16-inch turn radius, which gives it zero-turn quality performance when cutting grass around obstacles like trees, light posts, and mailboxes. This model doesn't include any accessories, though you can buy a bagger attachment, mulching blades, and tow-behind wagons to tackle all of your yard work.
Using a push mower can be a workout, but the Ryobi 40V self-propelled electric push mower makes it a bit easier to cut your grass. The brushless motor works with the 10-inch rear wheels to move the whole unit forward, and you can adjust the speed with the integrated clutch.
If you have other battery-powered Ryobi tools, this push mower uses the same 40V battery to make it easier to integrate into your workshop or tool shed. The two batteries on full charge give you up to 70 minutes of run time, which is enough to handle up to .75 acres of grass.
You can adjust the 21-inch cutting deck to seven different heights to handle mowing in any season, and the deck is covered by a lifetime warranty against damage. It includes a bagger attachment for collecting grass clippings, or you can use the mulching feature to re-feed your lawn as you mow. The whole mower also folds up into a compact size for easier storage, which is perfect if your garage or tool shed is on the smaller side.
The biggest drawback of an electric mower is waiting for your batteries to charge. Fortunately, the Greenworks 60V CrossoverT has one of the fastest charging times on the market. The mower comes with six batteries and three dual-port chargers, which allow you to top up your mower batteries in as few as 90 minutes. This is perfect for quick-charging your mower while you tackle other chores like pulling weeds, trimming hedges and tree limbs, or tending to your flower and garden beds.
The 42-inch cutting deck is perfect for lawns up to 2.5 acres, and the 20-inch rear-drive tires give you forward and reverse speeds up to 8 and 5MPH, respectively. You'll also get zero-turn maneuverability for mowing around obstacles like lawn decorations, trees, and lamp posts. There is even an integrated cargo bed, which allows you to haul up to 200 pounds at a time. An integrated USB port lets you charge your phone while you drive, and a built-in GPS lets you track your mower in case of theft.
The Ego Power+ 21-inch, 56V push mower is the best electric mower you can buy. It has a 45-minute run time, which is perfect for most suburban yards, and it includes a bagger attachment and a mulching feature to make clean-up easier. You can adjust the cutting deck to six different heights for mowing in almost any season, and the push-button start means you don't have to waste time with frustrating rip cords to get your mower to run.
Cutting deck size
Ego Power+ push mower
Worx push mower
Dual 20V batteries
Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro LT
Ryobi self-propelled push mower
Yard size is very important to keep in mind while shopping for a new electric mower. Since many models, both push and rider alike, have run times in the 45- to 60-minute range, they're best used in smaller plots (ideally less than one acre).
If you have a yard that's larger than an acre, you'll want to avoid a push mower and invest in a riding tractor. These models have 42- or 46-inch cutting decks, which makes short work of larger yards, even within the typical 60-minute time limit. Electric riding mowers tend to be very expensive, but what you spend on the unit itself is saved in the long run by not having to purchase fuel, oil, filters, and other parts you see in gas-powered mowers.
Choose this electric mower...
If you need...
Ego Power+ 21-inch push mower
A well-rounded electric mower for smaller lawns
Worx 40V 14-inch push mower
An affordable electric mower
Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro LT
Gas performance with battery power
Ryobi 40V 21-inch push mower
A self-propelled lawn mower
Greenworks 60V CrossoverT
Quick-charging batteries and zero-turn maneuverability
We chose both push and rider lawn mowers to suit a variety of different yard sizes and terrains. We also chose different sized cutting decks to allow you to maximize your efficiency and take full advantage of each model's run time.
We avoided electric mowers that require an extension cord, since they can be a hassle to set up -- and you run the risk of running over the electrical cable, which can cause injuries and even death.
While an electric mower won't have the same run time as its gas-powered counterparts, you can still get a decent amount of work done before you need to recharge. Most electric mowers, push and rider alike, have a run time in the 45- to 60-minute range; this is just about perfect for yards up to one acre. If you have a larger yard, you'll want to choose a model that has a rapid-charge feature, so you don't have to wait around all day to finish mowing.
Absolutely not. Just like with gas-powered models, cutting wet grass (whether it's from rain or morning dew) can damage your blades and cutting deck by making the drive belts work harder, resulting in dulling, jammed discharge chutes, broken belts, and stripped gears. Mowing wet grass also makes your yard look terrible, since the blades can't make a clean cut and clippings tend to bunch up in huge clumps, which can lead to dead spots.
With electric mowers, you also run the risk of electric shock and shortages. Water can work its way into the motor and electronics housings, which may lead to damage to the electrical components (requiring costly repairs or even replacing the whole unit) or electrocuting yourself (which not only hurts, but can also lead to disability or even death).
So make sure your yard is as dry as possible to avoid ruining your new mower or getting injured.
Electric mowers can last 8 to 10 years on average with the proper maintenance. However, you'll likely need to replace your battery beforehand, as they have an average operational life of 5 years.
While there aren't quite as many options for electric mowers as there are gas-powered models, you can still find a wide variety of battery-powered models. Here's a short list of other electric mowers that are great choices: