Best cordless lawn mower: Yard maintenance made easy

Tired of all the noise and fumes from cutting the grass? Choose the best cordless lawn mower for a well-manicured yard.

The gas lawn mower has been the king of lawn maintenance equipment for many decades. It was a fantastic upgrade over mechanical reel mowers with their limited functionality on all but the cleanest, flattest grass. Gas mowers offered unparalleled power and functionality over their predecessors, but it came at the cost of noise and exhaust fumes. Although both of these negative elements have been mitigated over the years, they have by no means disappeared. But now there’s a better way.

Electric mowers became popular in the 1970s in response to the desire for a powerful grass cutter that didn’t rely on fossil fuels. These plug-in models proved effective, although limited by access to an outlet, as well as the length of the extension cord. In recent years, improvements in battery technology have given rise to electric mowers that can go anywhere. If you’ve been searching for a lawn mower that is clean, powerful, and quiet, a cordless mower may be your best bet. Read on to find the best cordless lawn mower to take care of your outdoors. 

The best cordless lawn mower will offer outstanding performance with clean, quiet operation

The best cordless electric lawn mowers offer functionality that compares to traditional gas outdoor power equipment. What’s more, these machines feature emission-free operation, and noise levels similar to, or lower than, plug-in electric mowers. With a wide variety of rotary, reel, and robotic options, there are battery-powered mowers to fit the needs of virtually any residential landscape. If you are shopping for a small lawnmower, a cordless electric type could be an excellent fit. Rechargeable batteries make these mowers possible. Relatively inexpensive lead-acid batteries work reliably, but they rely on potentially hazardous lead and are 10 to 15 percent less efficient than lithium-ion. They also weigh about three times as much as lithium-ion, which makes a significant difference as you push them around the yard. Lithium-ion batteries are considered the premium choice due to their long life, easy-care, lightweight form, and high efficiency. 

Clean, quiet, and powerful rotary or reel type cordless mowers compare favorably with their gas and plug-in electric counterparts, but are only the beginning of what is possible. Rechargeable battery power and state-of-the-art digital tech also make robotic mowers an intriguing option. You can free up your weekend by letting the self-propelled lawn mower cut the grass for you on a pre-programmed schedule. Still unsure on what the best cordless lawn mower for you will be? Keep reading. 

Related: This is the Future…of Cutting the Grass

Features to consider when shopping for a cordless lawn mower

If you’ve ever mowed a lawn with the wrong size mower, then you know how important it is to shop around for the best model before buying. One of the benefits of cordless mowers is that they are relatively lightweight. They weigh on average between 40 and 90 pounds, topping out at the lower end of most gas mowers. Mower weight is closely related to the power rating and cutting width.  Larger units require more power, so the beefier battery and motor increase weight. These heavier mowers may be fine for some users, but others may find them unwieldy. 

Power is another important consideration. A cordless mower’s power is reflected in the combination of battery storage and current. Battery storage is measured in volts (V), while capacity to deliver the electricity, or current, is measured in amp hours (Ah). Multiply V times Ah to calculate the amount of available power for an apples-to-apples comparison. 

Finally, consider the added features in your landscaping equipment. Self-propelled mowers offer convenience, but they use up a significant amount of power to drive their wheels. The ability to switch between side-discharge, mulching, and bagging offers flexibility for different lawn care needs. Variable blade heights are useful for varying terrains or different times of year. Up next, our reviews.

Best cordless lawn mower overall: Snapper XD 82V MAX Cordless 19-inch Push Mower

Powerful Motor, Versatile Design, Comfortable Operation

Combines power, runtime, comfort, and versatility for a great all-around mowing experience. Amazon

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Our best overall pick features a sturdy steel mower deck with seven different cutting heights, and 3-in-1 mulch-discharge-bag versatility. The powerful battery of this Snapper lawn mower delivers up to 45 minutes of runtime per charge with the standard 2.0 Ah battery, with the option to upgrade to either a 4.0 or 5.0 battery for even longer runtime. Added convenience features include a padded, ergonomic handle, push button starting, space-saving folding storage, and load sensing operation that automatically increases power output for thick grass.

Best push mower for large properties: Greenworks Pro 80V 21-inch Cordless Push Mower

Cuts a Wide Path

This push mower can cut up to one acre of grass on a single charge. Amazon

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If your property is too big for extension cords, but you want the clean, quiet operation of electric mowing, this Greenworks mower could be your pick. The wide mowing deck, 10-inch rear wheels, and extended battery life combine for up to an hour of highly productive runtime. The powerful motor with load sensing technology cuts like a 160cc gas engine, minus the noise and exhaust.

Best robotic lawn mower: WORX WR140 Landroid

Carefree Lawn Care

Mows up to a quarter-acre per charge, all by itself. Amazon

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Take back your weekends and still enjoy a consistently fresh cut. After an easy installation and programming, WORX Landroid automatically cuts on the customized schedule that you create. You can control this mower via WiFi and mobile app, or directly on the housing, and onboard sensors automatically adjust for obstacles and rainy weather.

Best reel mower: Scotts Outdoor Power Tools 2020-16S

Fresh Cut

Cuts clean every time and works in either battery-powered or manual mode. Amazon

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Give your lawn the cleanest, quietest cut with the scissor-like action of a reel mower. This modern, hybrid Scotts reel mower works with or without the motor. It includes a convenient, removable grass catcher to collect yard debris and grass clippings for composting or disposal.

Best cordless lawn mower on a budget: Sun Joe MJ401C-XR 14-inch 28V Cordless Push Mower

Small and Strong

Bigtime functionality in a small size at a budget-friendly price. Amazon

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The narrow 14-inch cutting path of this Sun Joe lawn mower easily navigates narrow spaces, and takes up minimal storage space. Choose from side discharge, mulching, or bagging the clippings. This is a great choice for small to medium sized lawns (up to a quarter acre).

Best cordless mower FAQ

How good are battery powered lawn mowers?

Battery powered lawn mowers offer a clean, quiet way to mow the lawn, without the maintenance or environmental damage associated with gas engines. They perform comparably to gas and corded electric mowers in terms of cutting grass. Those with higher power ratings also remove twigs, leaves, and other normal lawn debris, similarly to their gas-fueled counterparts. An electric motor can last for several decades, while the batteries must be replaced at approximately five-year intervals. 

Is 40V better than 20V?

These voltage ratings reflect the battery’s power storage capacity, like the size of a fuel tank. They are based on the number of individual cells within the battery pack and how the cells are configured. So a 40V battery has twice the capacity of a 20V battery. Voltage multiplied by amp hours (Ah) equals the runtime. If the Ah rating is the same as the voltage, the larger battery offers a longer runtime.

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What should I use to clean my lawn mower?

Avoid getting water on the motor, batteries, and other electrical parts when cleaning an electric mower. Remove the batteries before cleaning. Use a blower or compressed air to remove grass clippings and other loose debris from the engine area, undercarriage, and vents. If needed, scrape old built-up clippings off the deck with a thin, flat tool, such as a putty knife.

The bottom line on buying the best cordless lawn mower

With so many great choices, you may find it difficult to choose the best cordless lawn mower for you. The Snapper is a great all around choice for its performance, but also offers the nostalgic look of a gas lawn mower. If you find the tasks of yard maintenance totally unappealing, why not let a robot do it? In the Scotts mower, the superior cut of a reel model with the aid of a powerful electric motor may be the best of both worlds. Buy for performance as well as personal style and you won’t go wrong.