Our Top Pick for 2017: EGO Power+ 20-Inch 56-Volt Lithium-ion Cordless Lawn Mower
Read our full review.
It is no secret: the world is going green. Years of greenhouse gases has led to global warming which threatens catastrophic climate change. To do their part, many people are switching over to renewable energy sources, like solar power, and electric out door machines, like a Tesla. While the electric lawn mower has been in existence for some time, it has only been relatively recently that it became an acceptable substitute for the gas powered mowers.
For a long time, the electric lawn mowers simply could not provide a motor powerful enough to substantiate its cost. With recent technological developments, that has changed, and electric mowers are now a viable alternative to their heavy, costly, gas-guzzling brethren.
#1. EGO Power+ 20-Inch 56-Volt Lithium-ion Cordless Lawn Mower
View it on Amazon: $449.00*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.
The EGO takes our top slot as the Gold Pick Winner of our list and for good reason. Whereas electric lawn mowers had developed a bit of a reputation for not being able to hang with gas powered models and generally not being up to snuff when it comes to the normal everyday scenarios you expect a lawn mower to handle, the EGO has made great strides in the electric lawn mower field and overturned even some of its harshest critics.
First, and most importantly, the EGO is a cordless electric lawn mower which means it requires batteries. This can be a tricky situation for an electric lawn mower, because batteries necessarily entail a limited power supply. Moreover, unlike gas powered lawn mowers, electric lawn mowers do not simply work until the run out of power. Generally, electric lawn mowers are known for slowly losing their effectiveness as the power from their batteries decreases. This is one of the more frustrating qualities about electric lawn mowers—not only do you have to worry about the fuel supply and the general inferiority of the cut when compared to a gas powered lawn mower, your will oftentimes only have about half of the battery’s runtime to get the best performance from the electric mower in the first place.
That is not at all the case with the EGO. The EGO uses a 56V lithium ion battery. According to EGO, this is the most powerful battery that is offered among electric lawn mower manufacturers. Regardless of whether that claim is true or not, one thing is for certain: this battery does its job, and it does its job well. To point, the EGO does not generally run into the decreased performance issues that you see with some of the other cordless electric lawn mowers. This is a huge advantage, because it means that you can simply use up all of the juice, recharge, and go back out there without having to run over the same areas you already cut—increasing your total cut time and potentially damaging your lawn in the process.
However, the EGO’s battery benefits are not limited simply to its steady supply of power. The official specs on the EGO’s battery give it a runtime of 45 minutes, but this is mostly to ensure that the large majority of consumers will report a generally agreement of the battery lasting at least that long. However, for general lawn cutting that is regularly maintained, the battery has been regularly tested to last up to an hour. On the contrary, if you are cutting down seriously tall, thick, or heavy grasses, the battery has also been known to last as little as 20 minutes. Of course, the grass in those tests are generally the hardier versions of around one foot in height. Needless to say, you likely will not have to worry about cutting that type of grass too often, assuming you keep up with your regular lawn maintenance. Even if you do have a job that calls for that type of work, you should only have to do it once.
Still, the EGO has gone out of its way to ensure that the battery is not an issue. Specifically, the EGO has designed a quick charging station that allows the battery to be fully charged in 30 minutes. This is one of the more impressive qualities about the EGO. Essentially, if you run out of juice, all you have to do is plug the battery into the charging station, take a short break—maybe get something to drink—and by the time you are done, your battery should be ready to continue the process. Of course, another quality that makes this even more convenient is that the battery is only 3 lbs. and easy to remove and install. Aside from the fact that a 3 lb. battery means the EGO will not be weighed down too heavily, you could get 2 batteries and have very little downtime. Essentially, if you buy a second battery, which is not an insubstantial investment at around $200, you could keep one charged while using the other. By the time your first battery runs out of juice, the second is fully charged. Simply switch the batteries out with the fully charged one in the EGO and the drained one on the charger and you will have only the transfer time to hold you back.
It really does feel as though the EGO was designed to account for all of the flaws that once held electric lawn mowers out of being serious contenders in the lawn mowing market. For instance, the EGO has a nice, wide deck of 20 inches. This is not necessarily the biggest deck in the lawn mower market, but it is easily on the larger side for push mowers in general and electric mowers in particular. With this 20-inch deck, you can expect to finish mowing the average sized lawn quicker than even many gas powered mowers whose decks can be as small as 15 to 17 inches.
Still, the EGO is not the Gold Pick simply because of its impressive battery design—though that certainly weighs heavier than the other features. The EGO has also made an impressively functioning mower that has a true 3-in-1 cutting mechanism. This means that the mower not only cuts the grass, it mulches it simultaneously. Also, you are given the option about post-cut distribution. You are able to have the mulching put into a rear-mounted bag or discharged out of the side. Furthermore, you will not have to worry much about the clippings as the magnetic motor has 600W of high-torque to ensure that the grass is cut at a consistently high power.
The EGO continues to impress with a body design that not only looks sharp but provides some of the easiest storage options available. To point, when you open the EGO, it will already be folded in on itself. The folding design is intuitive and does not require any assembly, but it can likewise be folded up again relatively easy once you are finished using it. This means that the EGO will occupy less than half of the space that most gas powered lawn mowers will when stored.
The EGO has really changed the game for electric lawn mowers and raised the bar for its competitors. It offers a 5-year manufacturer’s warrantee on the lawn mower’s tool parts and a 3-year warrantee on the battery—though, only the battery kit that was included in the purchase of the mower is covered. Additional batteries bought separately are not covered under this specific warrantee. The EGO also has a dead man’s bar that cuts the mower off if you let go. Perhaps the only knock against this electric mower is that it is not self-propelled, and at 65 lbs. that means you will have to put a little bit of oomph into it. Still, if you are looking to get out of the dirty gas powered lawn mower game and get with the future of electric lawn mowers, this is one of, if not, the best products you will find.
#2. GreenWorks 25302 Twin Force G-MAX 40V Li-Ion 20-Inch Cordless Lawn Mower
View it on Amazon: $369.99*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.
The Silver Pick Runner-Up is a notable step down from the EGO. This does not mean it is a poor choice in general, and it does provide some convenience—especially on your wallet—that the EGO lacks. Still, you will have to consider far more carefully the job you expect this electric lawn mower to do than you would for the Gold Pick Winner.
When looking at the GreenWorks, you will definitely need to consider what size yard and what kind of grass you will be cutting. For one, the battery for the GreenWorks is not nearly as impressive as that of the EGO. The GreenWorks battery is only 40V, whereas the EGO uses a 56 V battery. This is important, because the GreenWorks will simply not be able to compete at the top level of cutting power. Therefore, if you purchase this mower, you should keep in mind that taller grasses or those grasses which are thicker and hardier will drain the juice from the battery much quicker for the GreenWorks than it would for the EGO. This will also affect the purported 60 minutes of battery life that GreenWorks boasts. While this is distinctly more battery life than the EGO advertises, there may be a bit of sleight of hand going on. Specifically, that 60-minute estimate is given under optimal cutting conditions. This means the grass is short, not too thick, and dry. The contrasts with the EGO where the grass may be a bit longer, thicker, or even wet when considering the 45 minute cut time.
Still, the GreenWorks seeks to be a solid competitor with the EGO which is substantially more powerful, and it does this with a novel battery use design. Whereas the EGO comes with a single battery, the GreenWorks gives you 2 with the initial purchase. Aside from the fact that this is fairly generous—especially considering how expensive the larger lithium ion batteries can be—the GreenWorks is not simply a plug and play electric lawn mower. You are actually able to install both batteries in the mower at one-time. This is a big advantage, because once the juice in one of the batteries is depleted, the GreenWorks automatically switches over the other battery. It is this dual-battery system which give the GreenWorks it long running time. Of course, this is somewhat mitigated by the fact that once you have used the first battery’s reserves, your best bet would be to stop the mower, place the depleted battery on the charge, then start mowing with the second battery. However, if you do not have an excessively large lawn to cut, the two batteries should provide more than enough power to cut in one run—assuming of course the grass is too difficult.
Another feature that the GreenWorks capitalizes on to compete with the EGO is deck width. Both the Gold and the Silver Pick winners on this list boast decks of 20 inches. The next entries on this list do not have nearly as big of decks and thus will require more passes and more time spent. That also means the entries further down on this last will require more battery power to do the same job. However, with a good-sized 20-inch deck, the GreenWorks should cut the same amount of lawn in the same amount of time as the EGO. However, the GreenWorks has another advantage that may in fact make it a bit quicker than the EGO. The GreenWorks is about 50 lbs. This is a solid 15 lbs. less than the EGO. Since neither mower is self-propelled, this means it is far easier to push the GreenWorks than it is the EGO. This lighter weight allows you to mow quicker, though you will still want to take care and ensure that you are mowing at the appropriate pace so that you get a complete cut. However, the GreenWorks also uses a dual-blade system to ensure that this should not be much of an issue. In this way, the GreenWorks may have another advantage over the EGO which only uses a single blade cutting mechanism. Moreover, each blade runs on its own motor, so you do not have to worry about the two blades causing the electric motor to overheat.
The GreenWorks does not provide quite as robust a warrantee as the EGO, with the Greenworks’ only being 4 years for the tool and 2 years for the batteries, but this electric mower does have a few indicator features that tell you when different factors are being stressed. For instance, you will get an indicator that tells you when the battery runs low, another indicator will tell you when the clippings’ bag is full, and a third indicator will tell you how much of a strain the grass is placing on the motors. With this, you should be able to ensure that the extra year of warranty on the EGO is not an issue.
#3. Sun Joe iON16LM iON 40V Cordless 16-Inch Lawn Mower
View it on Amazon: $274.96*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.
As we continue to move down the list, the electric mowers continue to take large steps down in ability. In some respects, this is to be expected, but it is more important for electric lawn mowers than some other types of products. Whereas other products may not be so dependent on the core features or the difference in quality may not affect the experience as much, this is not the case for electric lawn mowers.
The Sun Joe is not a bad mower in any sense, but similarly to the EGO compared to the GreenWorks, the Sun Joe will force you to take a hard look at the job you need it to do. This makes it an even more difficult sell, because both the EGO and the GreenWorks could potentially finish an average sized yard in one session—perhaps with a little downtime to switch out the batteries. Both could cut at least one third of an acre, with the EGO being able to handle up to an acre alone—using two batteries. The Sun Joe simply cannot keep up at level. What makes this more troubling for the Sun Joe is that the price point between the EGO and the GreenWorks is fairly substantial while the drop in effectiveness is not so steep. However, moving down the line, the difference in price between the GreenWorks and the Sun Joe is far less than between the EGO and GreenWorks, while the difference in effectiveness is much more pronounced.
Keep in mind, this is not an indictment on the Sun Joe’s cutting ability. On the contrary, the Sun Joe uses a 40V lithium ion battery just like the GreenWorks. This means that both electric lawn mowers’ motors will be able to generate about the same amount of power. The Sun Joe’s main disadvantage comes with its battery. Whereas the GreenWorks could actually go toe-to-toe with the EGO in terms of battery, and instead lost on power, the Sun Joe has the opposite problem. Of course, for an electric lawn mower that at least has the marginal ability to effectively cut grass, battery life becomes pretty much the all-important factor. To make things even more difficult for the Sun Joe, its advertised battery life is 40 minutes. Of course, that estimate is based on the better cutting conditions—short grass that is not thick or wet. If you are cutting on difficult grass condition, this will be far less. Another issue is that the deck is only 16 inches which means you will have to make about 20 percent more passes than with the top two picks, which increases runtime and battery drain.
In an effort to mitigate the potential battery issues, the Sun Joe does at least have a lower recharge time of 30 minutes, putting it on par with the EGO. Moreover, the Sun Joe goes a step further with its electric motor by using a brushless system. This allows the motor to have a decent lifespan. Of course, that does not really give you much confidence considering the manufacturer’s warrantee is only 2 years. Still, the motor itself is tested for up to 2000 hours of use, which is impressive.
Another factor that brings the Sun Joe down a notch is its cutting mechanism. The Sun Joe does not utilize a mulching mechanism, so you are more likely to have the blade get jammed with grass clippings. Even if the blades are able to power through the gunking, it will still increase the load on the motor which will inevitably deplete the battery quicker. Again, with the Sun Joe, it comes back down to the battery. Also, there is no side-discharge. All of the clipping a discharged into the bag behind. This means you will definitely be emptying the bag after use. Like the other entries on this list, it is not self-propelled, but it does come in at the lightest so far at a svelte 37 lbs.
#4. WORX WG775 Lil’Mo 14-Inch 24-Volt Cordless Lawn Mower
View it on Amazon: $163.40*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.
To finish the trend of big jumps in effectiveness, we end our list with the WORX. Unfortunately for the WORX, the price is also not a substantial decrease, much like the difference between the GreenWorks and the Sun Joe.
To start, this mower does not even compare to the other in terms of raw cutting power. You better not attempt tall grass with this mower. Thick or wet grass is also a no-no. The battery is 24V, which is easily the weakest in this group—it is over more than 50 percent less volts than the EGO and almost 50 percent less than both the GreenWorks and the Sun Joe. This means that if you do happen to hit a rough patch of grass along the way, the battery will drain even quicker than with the other 3 electric mowers above it. All the same, if you have fairly ideal cutting conditions, you can expect about 60 minutes of use from this mower. Of course, if you do not have ideal cutting conditions, you may not even be able to effectively cut the grass at all.
To make matters more difficult, the WORX has an even smaller cutting deck than the SUN JOE at 14 inches. This will further increase the number of passes necessary to cut the same amount of grass and further deplete the battery. Still, the smaller size does at least translate to a lighter mower, and the WORX is the lightest mower of the group at 33 lbs. However, with the Sun Joe only being 4 lbs. more, this advantage is somewhat negligible in the field.
One benefit that the WORX has over the Sun Joe—though not the EGO or the GreenWorks—is that its cutting mechanism does perform the 3-in-1 function. At the very least, you can rest assured that your grass will be mulched as well as cut. This means that, unlike the Sun Joe, you are less likely to have to deal with the grass gunking up the blade and adding another load on the motor and drain on the battery. Moreover, the WORX does feature a side discharge, so unlike the Sun Joe, you do not necessarily have to worry about emptying the bag.
When looked at from a bird’s eye view so to speak, these for mowers can roughly be split down the middle. The EGO and the GreenWorks are competitors. While the Sun Joe and WORX lag behind them, they are competitors with each other in a similar vein. In this regard, the choice between the Sun Joe and the WORX will very likely come down to power and features. The Sun Joe is a more effective electric lawn mower in terms of basic cutting, but the WORX is a much easier mower to use—even if it cannot be used for as wide a variety of cutting situations.
Corded or Cordless
This really should not be much of a question, but it will all depend on the job you have to do. Most consumers who live on an average-sized yard, 1 acre or less, will likely not need to consider the corded option. Most electric lawnmowers have enough juice to carry them through a single cutting of a lawn this size. However, if your yard is substantially larger, you will either have to get the corded version or regularly stop simply to recharge the battery.
Moreover, if you have a large yard and opt for the corded version, you will also likely have to get extension cords simply to reach the distances necessary to cut the lawn. This is a frustrating scenario, because not only does it add an extra expense and more hassle to use the product, you also have to worry about the lawn mower running over the cord, chopping it up, and essentially ruining your electric lawn mower in the process. If you can avoid it, we recommend cordless electric lawn mowers. It would not be a bad idea to get one that can easily swap out batteries and keep an extra charged battery laying around.
This is a consideration that would apply to all lawn mowers, regardless of their power method. However, with an electric lawn mower, this specification becomes more than issue of convenience—it may become a deciding factor of necessity. The deck size is a short-hand term for describing the width of the lawn mower’s cutting swath. The wider your lawn mower’s deck, the fewer passes you have to make to cut the lawn. The fewer passes you have to make to cut the lawn, the shorter it takes you to cut the lawn. The shorter it takes you to cut the lawn, the less electricity you need to cut the lawn.
Since the decision of whether to get a cordless or corded electric lawn mower depends on how it takes you to cut the lawn, the deck size will factor heavily in that decision too. Moreover, a difference of inches can have a huge impact on the overall cutting time. The difference between a 20-inch deck and a 15-inch deck can be a 25 percent reduction in cutting time.
Type of Grass
When it comes right down to it, electric lawn mowers are simply not as effective as gas powered lawn mowers—at least not yet, maybe if Tesla takes a crack at it, we’ll see an improved electric lawn mower. Until such time, you will simply have to deal with the fact that electric lawn mowers do not have the cutting power of gas powered lawnmowers. This should not be too much of an issue for most lawns, but if you live out in the country or your lawn is populated with incredibly thick or tall grass, this can become a real hindrance for electric lawn mowers.
Quite frankly, electric lawn mowers will have difficulty cutting the hardier grasses. This can lead to a situation where the grass gets unevenly cut, where the electric lawn mower runs out of juice quicker than anticipated—if it is a cordless model, or where the lawn mower simply stops working. That last option is generally only a temporary concern, and removing the buildup of thicker grasses should return the electric lawn mower to normal working function. However, extended use of an electric lawn mower in those situations can cause motor failure.
One of the benefits of using an electric lawn mower is that you do not have to pull a cord to jump the motor, nor do you have to prime the motor. Still, not all electric motors have the same starting mechanism, and this can actually play an important safety feature. Most electric mowers do at least require you to insert and turn a key.
Much like with your automobile, the key essentially closes a circuit which allows the electric signal to start the mower. However, from there, mowers often use either a push start button or a starter handle. The starter handles functions much in the same way as a gas powered lawn mower with a starter handle does. If you let go of the handle, the lawn mower will shut off. This can be a nice safety mechanism and prevent accidental cuttings, but it also requires that you hold the handle the entire time.
If you have a yard that requires a fair amount of maneuvering, this may not be the best option for you. However, if you have small children, then this is almost certainly the way to go to prevent accidental injury or even loss of limb.
Similarly to gas powered lawn mowers, some electric lawn mowers will self-propel. For cordless electric lawn mowers, this is a bit of a trade-off. If your lawn mower is battery powered, then the self-propelled feature will simply be another strain or your power reserve. However, if you have a corded electric lawn mower, then the self-propulsion only increases the risk that you will eventually run over the cord and potentially chop it up at some point in time. Of course, depending on your physical health or even your willingness to be vigilant, a self-propelled lawn mower will make cutting your lawn that much easier.
If you are watchful and efficient, you can actually cut your lawn in a shorter amount of time, potentially mitigating the drain the self-propulsion would otherwise have on a cordless electric lawn mower.
This consideration is obviously only really relevant if you are using a cordless electric lawn mower. However, if that is the direction you chosen to go, then this will be one of the more important factors to consider. The battery should be approached from at least a twofold perspective. First, and most obviously, you will want to know exactly how much electric charge the battery is capable of holding.
The capacity of the battery will directly effect, if not determine, the viability of whether or not you can effectively go with a cordless electric motor in the first place. The other factor with the battery to consider is how much of the charge the battery delivers to the motor. This is important, because it will determine how much cutting power the lawn mower is able to produce. Since electric lawn mowers are already at a disadvantage when it comes to cutting power when compared to gas powered lawn mowers, you will want to do yourself a favor and at least get an electric lawn mower that delivers enough juice to the motor to be comparable for the appropriate cutting conditions and situations for which an electric lawn mower can be effective. Another potential consideration with the battery is whether or not it is easy to change out.
If you get an electric lawn mower that has an easy installation and removal of the battery, it would be a good idea to get an extra battery and keep it charged so that you can quickly switch it out if and when the other one starts to lose power mid-cut.
Conclusion (Wrapping it up)
When it comes right down to it, none of the mowers on this list are sub-par. However, the difference between the effectiveness of each mower is somewhat significant. When picking between these 4, you need to take into account your lawn conditions. This perhaps more relevant for these products than the general considerations for other types of products. Still, each of these mowers have their advantages and uses. Even the humble WORX can be a great mower if you have a small yard that requires excellent maneuverability.
Of course, the EGO is head and shoulder above the competition, and if you have a serious yard that requires a serious mower, then this the only electric lawn mower option for you.