6 Best Electric Lawn Mowers & Lawn Maintenance Tools (2021)
Here's what you need to know about making the switch to an electric mower.
Little decisions add up to massive consequences. Lawn equipment may seem like a drop in the bucket compared to cars, planes and trains, but opting for an electric lawn mower has a surprising effect on the climate.
Using a gas-powered leaf blower for an hour emits as much smog-forming gas as a drive from Los Angeles to Denver. Every year, Americans consume almost 3 billion gallons of gas on lawn and garden equipment — the equivalent energy use of over 3 million homes.
In the state of California, there are 14.4 million small, off-road engines (primarily used in lawn maintenance), leading California Gov. Gavin Newsom to sign a bill making California the first state in the country to phase out gasoline lawn equipment.
California's recent ban is emblematic of a larger movement of electric lawn equipment silently sweeping the country. If you're electro-curious and want to know the best electric lawn mower and lawn maintenance tools, read on.
Best Electric Mowers and Maintenance Tools
- Best Overall: Greenworks 48V Brushless Cordless Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
- Best Push Mower: Greenworks 40V Push Lawn Mower
- Best Grass Catcher: Sun Joe Mulching Walk-Behind Lawn Mower
- Best Robotic Lawn Mower: Husqvarna Automower Robotic Lawn Mower
- Best Hedge Trimmer: Black and Decker Electric Hedge Trimmer
- Best String Trimmer/Edger: Ryobi One+ String Trimmer/Edger and Blower Combo Kit
Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. Learn more about our review methodology here. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn a commission.
Benefits of Electric Lawn Mowers
Electric lawn mowers can be more expensive than the average gas mower, but don't get mowed down by the price tag. The benefits of electric lawn mowers are astounding, and they can pay for themselves in gas and maintenance savings within a few years.
Here are a few of the major benefits of switching to more eco-friendly lawn care tools:
- No gas smell: Nobody likes the smell of gas. Fresh, old or burned. Enough said.
- No need to purchase gas: With gas prices soaring past $4 in some parts of the country, mowing your lawn has become an expensive activity. Rechargeable mowers are far, far cheaper to operate than their gas-guzzling siblings.
- Easier to maneuver: Electric lawn mowers are also lighter than their fossil fuel-powered counterparts. They're easier to move around corners, lift, transport and roam throughout your lawn.
- Less maintenance: Gas lawn mowers require regular oil changes, air filter and other part replacements, plus regular cleaning of oil and gas grime. A tune-up could run you between $50 and $100, but fewer moving parts on an electric mower means you may very well avoid ever having to visit a shop. The only regular maintenance you'll face with an electric lawn mower is blade sharpening and the occasional greasing of spindles.
- No emissions: Lawn mowers contribute the majority of off-road air pollution nationwide. Burning a single gallon of gas emits nearly 19 pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere. According to the Department of Energy, U.S. lawn mowers consume 1.2 billion gallons of gas annually, emitting 11.2 million tons of CO2. Swapping half of all gas mowers with electric ones would remove emissions equivalent to taking two million cars off the road, making electric lawn mowers a smart move toward a climate-friendly lifestyle.
- No pull cord: Your granddad's old behemoth relied just as much on arm power as horsepower. Not everyone is able to use a pull cord, and few of us even want to. Unless you like a free arm workout with every lawn mowed, no pull cord is a huge plus.
- Quieter: The loudest electric mowers top out at 75 decibels, about the volume of a washing machine. Gasoline mowers crank out a steady 95 decibels, the volume of a motorcycle.
Full Reviews of Our Top Picks
Dual 24-volt batteries make this capable cordless electric mower more powerful than many gasoline options. With a 21-inch cutting width, mulch bag for clippings and variable-speed rear-wheel drive, you'll slice through grass in no time.
The Greenworks 48V self-propelled electric lawn mower boasts an impressive 45-minute maximum runtime for mowing small to medium yards up to half an acre. You can purchase extra batteries for even greater runtime or plug in an extension cord for uninterrupted mowing.
Customer Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars with over 160 Amazon ratings
Why Buy: The Greenworks 48V self-propelled mower is packed with all of the features you expect in a traditional mower but with none of the hassle. Class-leading power and no-holds-barred features make this an obvious choice for the overall best electric lawn mower.
Best Push Mower: Greenworks 40V Push Lawn Mower
A lightweight and compact mower that doesn't skimp on power, Greenworks' 40-volt push mower features a 16-inch mower deck, giving you extra maneuverability in small yards and tight spaces. You might miss a few inches per pass, but the benefits of a lightweight, powerful mower more than make up for it. The lithium-ion battery's 45-minute runtime on a single charge is ideal for yards up to half an acre.
With classic features like height adjustment and a mulching bag, plus a push-button start, you won't look back if you buy the Greenworks 40V Push Lawn Mower.
Customer Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars with over 5,800 Amazon ratings
Why Buy: This may be a no-frills option, but it's guaranteed to impress. With plenty of power, a long battery life, an attractive price and all of the features you've come to expect in a lawn mower, the Greenworks 40V Push Lawn Mower is a perfect choice for someone who's just starting to electrify their lawn maintenance game.
Best Grass Catcher: Sun Joe Mulching Walk-Behind Lawn Mower
Leave no blade behind. If you value a debris-free lawn, the Sun Joe mulching mower is a great option. A 24-volt brushless motor, 17-inch cutting deck and 11-gallon mulch basket leave small lawns spotless.
Topping out at 25 minutes, the cordless battery's runtime is a bit on the low side, but it is long enough to mow small spaces and is easily rectified if you have a spare battery on hand. Nimble and lightweight (34 pounds), you can navigate any space with ease.
Customer Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars with over 1,000 Amazon ratings
Why Buy: The Sun Joe Mulching Walk-Behind Lawn Mower's crowning feature is a spacious 11-gallon mulch basket, cutting the time you spend dumping mulch. It's lightweight, nimble and packed with standard features, culminating in an affordable mulching mower that's guaranteed to please.
Best Robotic Lawn Mower: Husqvarna Automower Robotic Lawn Mower
Husqvarna's legendary quality meets the latest in robotic design with the Automower Robotic Lawn Mower. It's perfect for homeowners who don't have the time to manually mow small to medium lawns (or often forget to do it).
The Automower comes with everything you need to get started, from boundary wires to guide wires. Bluetooth connectivity makes seamless configuration and customization possible with the swipe of a finger. Cutting-edge tech like obstacle avoidance, lift and tilt sensors, and fully autonomous mowing 24/7 means you'll have a beautiful lawn with the least amount of effort.
Customer Rating: 4.1 out of 5 stars with about 100 Amazon ratings
Why Buy: There's nothing quite like the Automower, so its unique features make it stand out from other electric mowers on this list. Easy configuration and awesome features round it out as the best robotic lawn mower on the market today. The only downside? She's pricey… But hey, if time is money, you'll get rich quick with the Automower.
Best Hedge Trimmer: Black and Decker Electric Hedge Trimmer
This highly acclaimed electric hedge trimmer packs gas-like power into a lightweight, all-electric package. With a 17-inch blade capable of cutting branches up to 5/8 inches thick, you'll make short work of disheveled hedges. With vibration control features and weighing under 5 pounds, you'll easily maneuver trimming with the Black and Decker Electric Hedge Trimmer. Built-in cord retention keeps your extension cable from unplugging, too.
Customer Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars with over 6,600 Amazon ratings
Why Buy: Black and Decker's all-electric hedge trimmer is a powerful, affordable option for making your hedge work more environmentally friendly. With its features, price point and high customer ratings, it's hard to find shortcomings with this trimmer. Some may find the cord cumbersome, but that's a double-edged sword: What you lose in maneuverability is gained with non-stop performance that isn't interrupted by low battery charge.
Best String Trimmer/Edger: Ryobi One+ String Trimmer/Edger and Blower Combo Kit
A lawn care kit for the ages, this product set features a powerful blower and string trimmer all powered by the same legendary Ryobi One+ battery system.
The trimmer features a 10-inch cutting swath with an auto-feed line and a rotating shaft for effortless transitioning between trimming and edging. The powerful blower makes piecemeal of stubborn debris. Apart from the power and convenience of these tools, the battery can be interchanged in 125 One+ tools for unparalleled latitude and value.
Customer Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars with OVER 1,500 Amazon ratings
Why Buy: Affordable electric lawn tools have a pernicious reputation of fading into obscurity, irrelevance or just flat-out failure. You get none of that with Ryobi. The company is a household name with a solid reputation, so when you buy this combo, you're getting more than great tools at a great price: You're also buying into a tried and true system of tools backed by the Ryobi name.
How to Choose the Best Electric Lawn Mower
There are many pieces of electric outdoor power equipment for lawn care. How do you narrow down the best option for your home? Here are a few key things to consider:
Corded Vs. Cordless
Battery-powered vs. corded tends to be the No. 1 consideration when folks choose an electric lawn mower or trimmer. There are distinct advantages and disadvantages to both:
- Battery: More maneuverable and modular
- Corded: You never have to worry about running out of juice (and they tend to be more powerful, too)
- Battery: Limited operation time and more expensive
- Corded: Can be cumbersome, and your range is limited by cord length
When opting for a battery-powered lawn mower, voltage is an important factor affecting power. Voltage is the amount of current your battery holds. Your battery can be thought of as a pipe, and voltage as the water pressure. The higher the voltage you have, the more power is delivered to your tool.
Cutting Deck Size
Our options for electric lawn mowers offer comparable cutting deck sizes to gas counterparts, but as a general rule, electric mowers are smaller than gasoline-powered units. If you have a medium- to large-sized lawn, go for 20 inches or wider. Small lawns can be easily tackled with 16-inch decks.
Cutting Height Adjustment
Make sure you purchase an electric mower equipped with adjustable cutting heights suitable to your lawn's needs.
Extras and Nice-To-Haves
It can be disheartening to unbox a new electric mower and discover it's lacking the features of your old gas guzzler. If you have the budget, it's worth spending a little extra for features like mulching, a collector bin, self-propulsion and more.
There's no free lunch here, so if you're on a budget, you're going to sacrifice some features. If you need plenty of specs without a battery-powered price tag, opt for a corded mower with extra features. If fancy-free is your style, you've got plenty of options across the budget spectrum. For top-shelf performance and features, expect top-shelf price.
FAQ: Electric Lawn Tools
Why are electric lawn mowers bad?
Electric mowers have come a long way in recent years. In fact, they're often comparable to gas mowers in price and performance. The only downside to electric mowers are limitations in range and battery life, and some models may not be quite as powerful as gasoline options.
Are cordless electric mowers any good?
Cordless electric lawn mowers are a great alternative to gas-powered options. They're light, maneuverable and feature the same characteristics of gasoline mowers without the noise, pollution or maintenance. The only cons are limited range and a little less oomph.
How long do electric lawn mowers last?
Electric mowers last up to 10 years, while batteries can be expected to last up to five years before needing to be replaced.
Should I switch to an electric lawn mower?
We're a bit biased, but we unashamedly believe you should switch out your gas mower for an electric one. Their negligible disadvantages are far outweighed by their benefits. They're better for the environment and human health and only fall short of gas mowers in range and power.
Christian Yonkers is a writer, photographer, filmmaker, and outdoor junkie obsessed with the intersectionality between people and planet. He partners with brands and organizations with social and environmental impact at their core, assisting them in telling stories that change the world.