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Best Cordless Lawn Mower of 2022

We tested cordless lawn mowers from EGO Power+, Greenworks, Black+Decker, and more to determine which of these electric machines are best
Best Cordless Lawn Mower of 2022
The Snapper will bag or mulch, whatever your lawn requires
Credit: Jenna Ammerman
By Nick Miley and Austin Palmer  ⋅  Jul 8, 2022
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We did firsthand comparative testing of 7 of the best cordless lawn mowers on the market so that you can easily find the optimal machine for your needs and budget. As consumers ourselves, we understand that there are dozens of cordless lawn mowers to choose from and that the manufacturers' marketing claims are often inconsistent and confusing. To remedy this problem, we bought the most promising machines and subjected them to a rigorous direct comparison analysis. We hope that this review will simplify the market for you, making the selection of a cordless mower a breeze.

Keeping up with the yard requires a range of tools for maintenance. That's why our expansive list of reviews cover basics like garden hoses and shovels to cordless tools like leaf blowers and string trimmers, chainsaws, and of course, our select picks of top tools.

Editor's Note: This review was updated on July 8, 2022 to remove a few discontinued products and confirm that we still stand by our award winners.

Top 7 Product Ratings

Displaying 1 - 5 of 7
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Awards Editors' Choice Award    Top Pick Award 
Price $549 List$100 List
$93.02 at Amazon
$600 List
$480.43 at Amazon
$570 List
$469.00 at Amazon
$349 List
$349.00 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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53
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Pros Extensive runtime, rapid recharge, massive cutting deck widthMinimal storage footprint, maneuverableFast recharge, fairly quiet, easy battery removalQuiet, long runtime, convenient battery meterManeuverable, broad cutting range, well designed bail
Cons Fairly expensive, more mower than some may needLoud, hard to adjust cutting height, no bagging optionLackluster maneuverability, expensive, limited runtimeUncomfortable bail, limited cutting height range, wide cutting gapShort runtime, limited cutting power, not self-propelled
Bottom Line This long-lasting mower can tackle the biggest jobs without breaking a sweatA low maintenance manual mower suited to small, tidy lawnsThis mower offers few features to rationalize its steep price tagA medium-sized mower with average performance and a price tag that will raise some eyebrowsAn economy machine that's best suited to low-demand lawns
Rating Categories Ego LM2102SP American Lawn Mower... Snapper SXD21SPWM82... Makita XML03 Black+Decker CM2043
Mowing (35%)
9.0
2.0
7.0
6.0
5.0
Battery (25%)
8.0
10.0
6.0
6.0
4.0
Handling (25%)
7.0
6.0
4.0
4.0
7.0
Ease of Use (15%)
8.0
9.0
7.0
6.0
5.0
Specs Ego LM2102SP American Lawn Mower... Snapper SXD21SPWM82... Makita XML03 Black+Decker CM2043
Self-Propelled Yes No Yes No No
Estimated Cutting Area 14,275 ft² N/A 4,382 ft² 11,513 ft² 6,457 ft²
Measured Recharge Time 57 min N/A 30 min 62 min 300 min
Cutting Deck Width 18 1/8" 14" 17 5/8" 15 1/8" 15 5/16"
Measured Cutting Gap 3/4" N/A 15/16" 3/4" 1 1/2"
Measured Noise 71 dBa 86 dBa 72 dBa 70 dBa 74.5 dBa
Power (1 - 10) 7 Manual powered 7 6 3
Folding/Unfolding Ease (1 - 10) 9 10 7 5 5


Best All-Around Lawn Mower


Ego LM2102SP


81
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Mowing 9.0
  • Battery 8.0
  • Handling 7.0
  • Ease of Use 8.0
Runtime: 86 min | Cutting Range: 1 3/8" - 4 1/8"
REASONS TO BUY
Long runtime
Fast recharge time
Wide cutting deck
REASONS TO AVOID
Overkill for smaller lawns
A bit spendy

Few lawns are too demanding for the Ego LM2102SP. With a 5 amp-hour, 56-volt battery and a mammoth cutting deck, this machine can mow down the toughest of turfs and mulch with the best of them. The Ego has all the important features you want in one of these products — like self-propulsion, a wide range of cutting heights, and easy folding and storing — to make cutting your lawn that much easier.

We have little to criticize this burly machine for other than its size — it's massive. This means it's going to require more storage space. Additionally, for those with smaller lawns, this is probably too much machine. And though it's not astronomically expensive, it's certainly not the cheapest model out there. These are minor gripes, and we feel that this electric marvel is far superior to its gas-powered relatives and rules the roost among cordless mowers.

Read review: Ego LM2102SP

Best Bang for Your Buck


Greenworks 25322


51
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Mowing 4.0
  • Battery 5.0
  • Handling 6.0
  • Ease of Use 6.0
Runtime: 73 min | Cutting range: 15/16" - 3 3/16"
REASONS TO BUY
Fast recharge time
Easy folding/unfolding
REASONS TO AVOID
Lacks self-propulsion
Narrow cutting deck

This economical machine is a good choice for those with moderately demanding lawns and modest budgets. Unlike some other affordable models, the Greenworks 25322 is not burdened with a short runtime (we clocked 73 minutes of runtime per charge). Nor does the mower suffer from a long recharge interval (we topped its battery off in an hour). To round things out, this machine packs enough cutting power to mulch well-managed lawns.

There are some negatives worth mentioning. The Greenworks isn't self-propelled, which can be a pain if you have a sloping lawn. Also, it has a meager 13 ¾" cutting deck compared to the competition, which means you'll make more passes to cut the same amount of turf. And, surprisingly, this slim mower is not as easy to maneuver as we expected. A plus to its small size is that it's easy to fold and store.

Read review: Greenworks 25322

Best for Easy Handling


Black+Decker CM2043


53
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Mowing 5.0
  • Battery 4.0
  • Handling 7.0
  • Ease of Use 5.0
Runtime: 23 min | Cutting range: 1 3/8" - 3 3/4"
REASONS TO BUY
Wide cutting range
Good in tight spots
REASONS TO AVOID
Wide cutting gap
Long recharge time

The Black+Decker CM2043 is not a high-end mower, but it has several characteristics that make it worth consideration. First, the price is well below average. Second, it's maneuverable, excelling in tight spots such as inside corners. Finally, it supplies enough power for moderately demanding jobs, which is good because the cutting deck covers a wide range.

On the other hand, it disappoints in several key areas that negate its usefulness for high-demand lawns. Of chief concern is this mower's short battery, which is only capable of cutting ~6,457 ft² (~80' x 80' area). Exacerbating this issue is a prolonged recharge interval of 300 minutes. We should also point out that the Black+Decker is not self-propelled. But if you have a small lawn, perhaps one with an irregular shape, then this little guy can get the job done while leaving enough money in your wallet to do something fun when the chores are all done.

Read review: Black+Decker CM2043

Compare Products

select up to 5 products to compare
Score Product Price Our Take
81
$549
Editors' Choice Award
This do-it-all mower eats up turf like Popeye eats spinach
61
$100
An easy to maneuver mower that performs best on small, flat turfs
60
$600
This lawn mower's humdrum performance across the board had testers scratching their heads at the exorbitant sticker price
55
$570
A compact lawnmower with middling performance at a price that may induce mild sticker shock
53
$349
Top Pick Award
A low-cost mower suited for smaller lawns
51
$300
Best Buy Award
This inexpensive, push mower has a relatively long runtime
42
$280
This petite mower is best suited for smaller lawns

cordless lawn mower - no matter what your lawn demands, the ego 56v will answer the call.
No matter what your lawn demands, the Ego 56v will answer the call.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Why You Should Trust Us


We're passionate about evaluating the full range of battery-powered tools, from string trimmers and pressure washers to chain saws, leaf blowers, and drills. Our Senior Research Analyst Austin Palmer has been tearing apart electronics with an eye for quality design and engineering for most of his adult life in our laboratory and the field.

Senior Review Editor Nick Miley draws on his research experience in university laboratories to build a predictive runtime/cutting square footage model for the mowers. He draws on 10 years of product testing, not to mention the half-acre lawn that he mowed as a kid, to analyze these machines.

cordless lawn mower - we performed a full spectrum of practical tests on the mowers in...
We performed a full spectrum of practical tests on the mowers in this review.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Analysis and Test Results


We devise a comprehensive set of testing categories or metrics to standardize and quantify all of our product evaluations. To determine the best cordless lawn mowers for each user, these metrics are mowing (35%), battery (25%), handling (25%), and ease of use (15%).


Value


There are two ways of looking at value. The first is assessing which models offer more to the consumer. This more could be features, quality, or aesthetic appeal. The second is to identify two or more products that offer the same features and compare their cost. The Makita XML03 and the Greenworks 25322 offer comparable features and performance but sell for markedly different prices. The Greenworks offers the consumer significant value over its peers.

Mowing


The performance of the mowers while they're in use is the meat and potatoes of this review. It includes cutting efficiency based on the maximum cutting width minus the minimum overlap required to eliminate a cutting gap. (The cutting gap is the space between the end of the blade and the outer edge of the cutting deck). This metric also covers the range of cutting heights compared to the claims of the manufacturer. Last, we field-tested the mowers' ability to power through shaggy and weedy knee-high grass while mulching. Mulching is the recutting of clipped grass repeatedly so that the clippings can be deposited deep into the turf.


The mowing metric makes up a whopping 35% of the overall score for each mower, and each model's performance here mirrors their final ranking. The Ego topped the class.

Battery


These cordless lawn mowers run on lithium-ion battery cells, and we consider performance here second only to mowing. We measured runtime as the time it takes a stationary mower with the blade spinning to exhaust a fully charged battery. Recharge time is simply the time it takes for a dead battery to regain its full charge. Interestingly, some models with the longest runtimes (like the Makita) also displayed the shortest recharge times.


Unfortunately, the runtime measurement tells us fairly little about the longevity of a battery charge when the mower is actually cutting grass. This is harder to measure. Some of these cordless mowers, like the Ego and Makita, can cut tens of thousands of square feet of turf on a single charge. We simply couldn't find a field of grass of sufficient size and uniform length to conduct a cutting-grass battery test. Instead, we used a statistical model based on runtime and the dimensions of each cutting deck to render square footage estimates.

cordless lawn mower - the manually propelled greenworks has a narrow cutting deck and...
The manually propelled Greenworks has a narrow cutting deck and offset wheels.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

What our model reveals is a fairly wide range of square footage cutting estimates. Unsurprisingly, one of our favorite models, the Ego, crushed the competition with an estimated 14,275 sq.ft. of turf trimmed on a single charge. The average square footage for the class is 9,270 sq.ft.

cordless lawn mower - easy extraction of the ego&#039;s 56v battery.
Easy extraction of the Ego's 56v battery.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Ease of Use


This metric evaluates the mower features that are not critical to a machine's performance but make using the mower more enjoyable. It includes the noise level of a running mower, the battery charge meter, battery removal, and mower storage.

cordless lawn mower - the on-end storage of cordless mowers gives them a clear advantage...
The on-end storage of cordless mowers gives them a clear advantage over the old gas-powered machines.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

One of the big benefits of an electric mower is the lower noise level. Gas mowers roar, electric mowers purr — a significant difference.

Deciphering the Decibel (A) Scale
The A-weighted decibel (dBA) scale measures the pressure vibrations in the air, referred to as sound intensity. The decibel scale is not linear, like measurements of distance or mass. Instead, it's logarithmic and scaled so that an increase of three decibels represents a doubling of sound intensity.

To get an objective measurement of the noise output coming from the cordless lawn mowers, we used a sound pressure level meter that records sound intensity in decibels (dBA). We found a relatively substantial difference in the sound intensity within the class that worked out to a 7.4 dBA spread between the loudest and quietest models. The Makita is the quietest of the group at 70 dBA, with the Ego coming in a close second at 71 dBA. The Federal Aviation Administration describes 80 dBA as what one can expect from a busy urban area during the day. The takeaway here is that these mowers are, in comparison to their gas-powered counterparts, quite a bit less noisy.


Let's move on to look at the battery charge meter and battery removal. Although it may seem insignificant, evaluating these two details is necessary because they frequently come up when we ask people how they like their purchase after a few uses. The Greenworks placed the battery meter under the battery cover, and the batteries themselves require two hands to remove.

Although the battery charge meter and battery removal system may seem like minor details, the folding/ unfolding mechanism is not. These mowers — even the smaller ones — take up a lot of space when stored. Old gas-powered models usually allowed you to fold the handle, but the oil and gas reservoirs prevented them from being stored in a vertical position. This is not the case for the electric models, and as such, they take up quite a bit less room when out of use. Unfortunately, some models such as the Sun Joe iON16LM and, to a lesser degree, the Black+Decker make folding and unfolding quite difficult and time-consuming.

Handling


The handling metric complements the ease of use evaluation. Both are concerned with the effort required to perform the task of mowing the lawn. The difference is that the handling evaluation focuses on the core task of mowing the lawn and not those aspects of a product that support this function. Specifically, we assess the starting mechanism. Is it easy to engage? Is there a lag in the start-up process? Next, we evaluate how much effort goes into directing the mower around the turf. This is a general assessment of maneuverability. Finally, we dig into the bail — which is the lever that engages the blade — and how it feels when gripped.


As far as starting goes, these machines all start up pretty much the same way. One simply pushes the start button. The difference from one mower to the next is in the starting delay once the button has been pushed. The Ego fires up immediately. Some mowers take longer. Despite some delay, all the models reviewed here start up without a problem.

cordless lawn mower - the push-button starter and bail lever of the sun joe are common...
The push-button starter and bail lever of the Sun Joe are common features cordless mowers.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

We saw more variance in the maneuverability of these machines than we did with the starting mechanisms. The first big difference is in the propulsion of the mowers. Some machines, such as the Ego, are self-propelled. Others have to be pushed if you want them to move. Both options offer pros and cons. In general, self-propelled models cost more, but if the lawn is large or inclined, it's probably worth the extra money. On the other hand, some models like the Ego can — even at their slowest setting — be a bit fast for tight spots or corners. While one can simply disengage the drive system in such scenarios, the Ego delivers some resistance when it is pushed.

cordless lawn mower - the ego&#039;s self-propulsion speed control offers variable settings for...
The Ego's self-propulsion speed control offers variable settings for variable lawns.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Whether you are interested in a self-propelled cordless lawn mower or not, activation of the cutting blade is controlled by a component called a bail. This is a spring-loaded bar that is connected to the handle. When the bail is depressed, the blade is engaged. When released, the blade stops spinning. Although this component may seem uniform across mower models, this turns out not to be the case. The shape and resistance of the bail can cause discomfort, especially on longer jobs. As such, we paid close attention to the feel and functionality of the bail during our various field tests.

While most of the bails went unnoticed — which is a good thing — a few were quite stiff and taxing to grip for prolonged periods. The primary offender in this evaluation is the Makita. Its stiffness seems to result from firm springs that return the bail to the off position when one's grip is loosened. It remains to be seen if these springs will loosen in time.

cordless lawn mower - a few of the models waiting for their turn to show what they&#039;re made...
A few of the models waiting for their turn to show what they're made of in practical tests.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Conclusion


The above review covers every aspect of cordless lawnmowers, from handling to mowing power. We hope that this analysis provided you with all the information to allow you to confidently select the perfect mower. Moreover, we hope that this article will shed a bit of light on some aspects of these machines that will improve your overall experience. We have had a great time testing and writing about these machines and hope that our work will help you better enjoy your time in the backyard.

Nick Miley and Austin Palmer


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