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Greenworks 25052 Review

This compact, manually powered mower is simple and easy to use on even turf
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:   $90 List | $109 at Amazon
Pros:  Inexpensive, simple, minimal maintenance
Cons:  Limited cutting heights, manual powered, relatively loud
Manufacturer:   Greenworks
By Nick Miley and Austin Palmer  ⋅  Sep 1, 2020
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70
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 11
  • Mowing - 35% 4
  • Battery - 25% 10
  • Handling - 25% 7
  • Ease of Use - 15% 9

Our Verdict

This is a great mower for well-maintained lawns that are primarily flat and of a small to medium size. This machine cuts well but only cuts when in motion. Thus, it may require more than one pass in odd spots where the mower is slowed down. Additionally, the model has limited cutting heights that are on the shorter side. That said, this minimalistic — and economic — mower is always ready to go as long as the operator is willing to push it along.

Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

What sets this machine apart from the class is that it lacks a motor. This absence can be both a good and bad thing depending on your needs. If you have minimal storage space and your lawn is on the smaller side, and the turf is well maintained, it's a good fit. If you want to mow the back forty and don't want to spend all season doing it, it would be better to look at some of the models with motors. With that in mind, this machine is inexpensive and has virtually no long-term costs.

Performance Comparison


Simple and effective. Reel mowers do a real good job on well maintained turf.
Simple and effective. Reel mowers do a real good job on well maintained turf.

Mowing


When compared to other models in the class, the Greenworks 25052 is below average in mowing capability. Our mowing analysis looks at the cutting deck adjustability — this machine has four settings between 1 and 2 inches which is on the shorter side — and the ability to trim long or otherwise dense grass. Given the direct relationship between this mower's forward motion and the revolution of its blades, we weren't surprised that it delivered a subpar performance on uneven and unmaintained turfs. That said, the Greenworks will sheer rougher lawns if the user is game to put in the additional elbow grease.

This manual mower has a limited cutting range best suited to short turf.
This manual mower has a limited cutting range best suited to short turf.

While the Greenworks 25052 is human-powered, the upshot is that it has a reasonably wide cutting deck (19.5 inches) housing a 16 inch blade. These broad dimensions result in fewer passes required to cover the same square footage as several of its electric cohorts. Additionally, it will both mulch and bag depending on your needs or preference.

Given the elbow grease  this machine will cleave shaggy grass.
Given the elbow grease, this machine will cleave shaggy grass.

Battery


The Greenworks 25052 is a manually powered mower and thus, does not have a battery. Given the lack of a battery, it gets really good scores in the runtime and recharge time since the recharge time is zero and the runtime is theoretically infinite. The lack of a battery (and the motor that it would power) could either be a pro or con depending on the size and type of your lawn as well as how regularly the turf requires trimming.

The user's stamina is the battery -- it will go as long as you do.
The user's stamina is the battery -- it will go as long as you do.

Handling


Considering that the Greenworks 25052 is a completely manual mower, we were pleasantly surprised with its above average handling capabilities. As the name suggests, this metric assesses how easy it is to get the mower started and get it where you want it to go. The first step in this analysis is easy for the 25052, you just push it and it's "on". That said, it does take a little bit of umph to get it moving. Once the user and mower are on the move, the handling largely depends on grass type, length, and the user's fitness.


Obviously, a manual mover is going to be more difficult to push than the self-propelled variety. Moreover, uneven ground is especially difficult in the Greenworks' 2 wheel platform, and, given that the blade's effectiveness is governed by one's walking speed, you can't ease into difficult sections. Despite these shortcomings, the blade cuts quite well when the RPM is right. Aside from having to actually push this mower around, it is very easy to maneuver.

The blade's RPMs are in proportion to the wheel's RPMs -- this can make maneuvering somewhat challenging.
The blade's RPMs are in proportion to the wheel's RPMs -- this can make maneuvering somewhat challenging.

Ease of Use


The ease of use analysis is a catch all for the remaining features that have yet to be captured in the other metrics discussed above. Here we take stock of features like the machine's folding mechanism, storage footprint, how easy it is to insert/remove the battery and whether there is a battery life meter. This metric also measures the noise put off by the machine. Given the small size and simplicity of the Greenworks 25052, many of these features are absent as they are not needed. Thus, the machine is all the more easy to operate.


The Greenworks doesn't fold but takes up less footprint space than many of the power mowers we tested. It doesn't have a battery to remove, so it does good there as well. It is, however, among the loudest machines in the class at 86 dBa.

Simplicity is this mower's strength.
Simplicity is this mower's strength.

Value


We look at value as a ratio of price to performance. The Greenworks 25052 is one of the most affordable models in the class. At the same time, the machine earned some of the best scores in our evaluation. While we think that this machine is a good value, this appraisal comes with a caveat. If you have a large or demanding lawn, this is not going to be a fitting mower.

Conclusion


The Greenworks 25052 is a quality manual mower. However, that doesn't mean that it is a good fit for every lawn. The mower struggles on uneven ground and in tight spots where the wheel RMP, and thus the blade RPM, necessarily slows down. That said, the machine is effective on well-maintained turf, it's inexpensive, compact, and requires very little maintenance. On an appropriately matched lawn, this unit can't be beat.

Nick Miley and Austin Palmer