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Best and Worst Electric Lawn Mowers

New models cost less and cut as well as gas mowers in Consumer Reports' tests

The best and worst electric lawn mowers from CR's tests.

For years, electric lawn mowers were little more than a novelty. Most were corded, meaning you were tethered to an electrical outlet, constantly moving the cord out of the mower’s path while you worked.

And early iterations of battery-powered mowers (often expensive and underpowered) could rarely cut even a ¼-acre yard on a single charge.

That all changed a few years ago, when the Ego LM2002, $400, became the first electric model that performed well enough in our tests to make CR’s list of recommended mowers. Since then, other mower manufacturers have gotten serious about investing in lithium-ion battery technology, and the results speak for themselves.

“For the first time, we can say that the best electric push mowers really do cut as well as comparable gas versions,” says Frank Spinelli, who oversees CR’s lawn mower testing.

More on lawn mowers

In our lawn mower ratings you’ll find electric mowers from more than a dozen brands, and we now recommend more electric push mowers than gas push mowers. You’ll also see lower prices. You can now score a top-tier electric mower for about $400. 

Remember that while electrics are still typically more expensive than gas mowers, a big part of that cost lies in the lithium-ion battery that powers the machine. But that investment pays off: You can use your mower’s battery to power other outdoor gear from the same brand, including string trimmers, leaf blowers, and even a few snow blowers.

How CR Tests Lawn Mowers

Regardless of whether a mower uses gas or a battery, we put each model through the same exhaustive tests. At our mower test facility in Florida, we plant a blend of grass that’s prized for dense growth, cut the grass in three modes (mulching, bagging, and side-discharge), and review the convenience features on every model we assess. Here’s what all that testing looks like:

4,900 pounds of grass seed planted, predominantly annual rye.
991,800 square feet of grass cut. We cut on level turf, slopes, and in ditches to get a feel for each and every model.
2,000 pounds of clippings bagged. If composted and returned to your lawn, this amount would eliminate the need for 1,300 pounds of commercial fertilizer.
58,651 miles traveled by CR experts and staff to test mowers.

We test electric lawn mowers from all the brands you’ll see at home centers, including Black+Decker, Echo, Ego, Husqvarna, Lawn-Boy, Ryobi, Sun Joe, and Troy-Bilt. 

Electric Mowers That Don't Make the Cut

Only about a third of the electric battery mowers in our ratings perform well enough for CR to recommend. And only a single electric self-propelled model is up to snuff. We don’t currently recommend any corded electric mowers or compact battery-powered mowers. These battery-powered push mowers struggled in our cutting tests:

·      Earthwise 60220, $300
·      GreenWorks 25302, $340
·      Kobalt KDB 4016-06 (Lowe’s), $280

The Best Electric Lawn Mowers

Ready for a great electric mower? Start with our lawn mower buying guide to find the right type for your needs. Read on for ratings and reviews of this year’s very best battery-powered walk-behind mowers.

Battery-Powered Electric Push Mowers

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