The Worst Electric Lawn Mowers and What to Buy Instead

According to data gathered by Consumer Reports (CR), electric lawn mowers are selling at a faster pace than gas-powered mowers. While that’s certainly good news, it’s important to keep in mind that not all electric lawn mowers are worth the money. Fortunately, CR has the inside scoop on the worst and best electric lawn mowers.

Are electric lawn mowers any good?

First things first, let’s talk about whether or not buying an electric lawn mower is a good idea. As it turns out, CR recommends several electric lawn mowers. These mowers are best for lawns that are less than 1⁄2 an acre and, because they’re electric, are also more eco-friendly than their gas-powered counterparts. Electric lawn mowers tend to be quieter too.

The bad news is that electric lawn mowers are typically more expensive. Unfortunately, though, there is a reason that electric lawn mowers are more expensive. In fact, according to CR, you can blame their high price on the cost of their lithium-ion battery. The good news is that prices are trending downward, and you can score an electric lawn mower for roughly $300 or less.

CR says to avoid these electric lawn mowers

A man testing an electric lawn mower to find the best electric lawn mower
Electric lawn mower. | Karl Gehring, The Denver Post

But which electric lawn mowers should you avoid? After all, that is the matter at hand here. Overall, CR reports that less than a quarter of the electric lawn mowers earned a CR recommendation. And when it comes to self-propelled electric lawn mowers? CR recommends about half of the self-propelled electric mowers that it tested.

Of all the electric lawn mowers it tested, two models struggled enough that CR reports they really aren’t worth the money. The Worx WG779, for example, earned a 43 overall score. According to CR, this electric lawn mower was given a Fair rating for its mediocre mulching and bagging performance. It also struggled with cutting evenness, and its battery only runs for about 25 minutes. 

CR also says to avoid the Sun Joe MJ401C-XR. It not only lacks the ability to mulch but doesn’t cut grass all that well either. In fact, according to CR, the Sun Joe MJ401C-XR earned a Fair score for cutting evenness. It also earned a Poor rating for side-discharging and a Fair score for bagging. Overall, CR says you would be wise to look for something else when it comes to this mower.

The best electric push lawn mowers to buy instead

The good news is that CR highlighted several mowers among its picks for the best electric push lawn mowers. Take, for example, the 21-inch Ryobi RY401200. This electric lawn mower earned Excellent ratings in handling, side discharging, mulching, and cutting evenness. Perhaps the only drawback to this particular mower is that it only lasts roughly 40 minutes on a single charge.

The 21-inch DR Power Equipment CE75021XEN0 also found itself among CR’s picks for the best electric lawn mowers. This particular mower earned Excellent scores for mulching and handling. However, it earned slightly lower ratings for side discharging and cutting evenness. However, the major selling point to this mower is that it has a very long run time of 80 minutes and doesn’t take all that long to charge.

CR’s picks for the best electric self-propelled lawn mowers

And if you’d prefer an electric self-propelled lawn mower instead? CR reports that the 21-inch Ego LM2156SP is one of the best electric self-propelled lawn mowers to buy. While it is on the pricier side and will have you spending about $750, CR gave this mower Excellent scores in nearly every category. This mower runs for about 60 minutes, too, and reportedly takes less time to charge than other mowers.

The 21-inch Ryobi RY401140US is also one of the best electric self-propelled lawn mowers to buy. It’s not only a CR Best Buy, but it also earned Excellent ratings in almost all categories. It also runs for roughly 60 minutes on a single charge. Perhaps the only downside to this electric lawn mower is that it is reportedly noisier than other battery-powered mowers.

The right mower makes cutting your lawn a breeze

There’s no beating around the bush here. Owning the right lawn mower can make cutting your lawn an absolute breeze. Fortunately, with CR’s picks for the worst and best electric lawn mowers in hand, choosing the right mower for your lawn is an even more manageable feat.

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