Electric Lawn Mower Reviews: Top 5 Best of 2017
Are you looking for the best and most efficient corded electric lawn mower on the market today? Maybe you just need an easy to use, economical solution for mowing your yard and want to see what reviews say about the top machines. Whether you’re looking to mulch, bag or mow, electric lawn mower technology has definitely caught up with the times. From mulching and bagging to just plain old mowing, some of the best lawn mowers for sale right now are electric. With that said, this is our list of the 2017 top 5 best electric lawn mowers…
#1. GreenWorks 25112
While it may seem many people are partial to GreenWorks lawn mowers, it’s because they really are good machines. With a high customer satisfaction rating and a wide range of features previously only found on more expensive (and more expensive to maintain) gas mowers, this company has certainly made their mark in the industry.
There popular 25112 model is no exception. With a powerful 13 amp mower (the highest amps of any electric mower) and a nice wide 21” deck, this one can make your grass mowing go very quickly, especially if you have a smaller yard. It mulches, bags or discharges grass from a side chute, and it has sturdy wheels (larger in the back) that make it a breeze to use, even on hills.
- 7 height settings
- 13 amp motor
- 10” rear wheels
- 7” front wheels
- 3 in 1 bags, mulches or discharges
- Strong motor
- 3 in 1 feature bags, mulches and side discharges
- Wide 21” steel deck
- Easy to maneuver
- Easy to maintain
- Quiet to operate
It seems like one of the few things people don’t like about this mower is that it has a cord! If this bothers you (and there are some that just plain don’t like the cord in the way), there are many battery-operated mowers available that do just as good a job as this one, though their price is usually higher.
The second thing is that while it does have a lot of power, it tends to get bogged down if you’re trying to mow tall damp grass. This really is to be expected with any electric lawnmower, as even though they do a great job on maintenance, they’re really not cut out for tougher jobs.
Can it be used without the bag?
Yes. This model comes with a bag, but you can also insert the mulch plug and use it without the bag. Another option is to use the side discharge chute to spew the clippings back onto the lawn.
How easy is it to store?
This machine can be stored in the horizontal position with the handle folded down and all four wheels on the floor. It’s not recommended to store this one in the upright position for safety and stability.
How do I keep it clean?
Since the motor is electric, it’s important not to blast it with the garden hose like you would a gas powered machine. Instead, it’s easiest to wait until any accumulated debris underneath is dry, and then give it a good shake. Most anything accumulated will then fall out. After that, you can use an old rag or brush to wipe out anything left and wipe the deck and other parts with a damp cloth.
How well does it work on mulching leaves?
Overall, it does a good job, especially on concrete or tarmac. So it will work great to mulch leaves from the driveway or sidewalks. However, if the leaves are embedded in soil or gravel, it does have a harder time getting the job done. Most mulching mowers do an adequate job with these types of leaves, but none of them are as good as a dedicated leaf blower or vacuum.
How is the engine comparable vs a gas mower?
When comparing this to a gas mower, it has about the equivalent of a 2 horsepower motor or a 100cc engine.
What’s the difference between this vs the 25022?
This one has one more amp of power and a larger cutting deck. GreenWorks redesigned the cutting deck in this model to have a better flow and to help with efficiency when mulching. Both have the side discharge, mulching and bagging features.
How does it do on high grass or small twigs and rocks?
As with any mower, you should use caution if you have larger twigs or rocks in your yard, as they can present a safety hazard if they get thrown by the mower. That said, it goes over small twigs with no extra effort.
As for tall grass, you’ll want to set the machine to its highest height adjustment to make the first pass and go slowly. If you want it shorter yet, wait a few days, then lower the height and go over it again. Make sure the grass is dry, especially if it’s tall, and you’ll have a much easier time of it.
How easy is it to change or remove the blade?
When you want to sharpen the blade, it comes out pretty easily as it is held in place with one nut.
How big of a yard is it good for?
The recommended maximum length of any extension cord used with an electric corded lawn mower is 100’, so if any part of your yard is farther than that from an outlet, you’d be better off getting a battery operated cordless model or even a riding mower.
The GreenWorks 25112 is a great machine and gets very high ratings for a reason. With a powerful motor and wide cutting path, it will make short work of smaller yards. It’s also easy to maintain and store and very cost efficient to operate. Combined with its higher-end features like the 3-in-1 capability, it’s a very handy tool to have around the house.
#2. Black + Decker MM2000
The Black + Decker MM2000 is very comparable with the Greenworks 21” mower in a lot of ways. The cutting path is slightly narrower, it will cut a little higher, and the deck is made from a hard plastic instead of steel. It seems to be just as hearty and durable though a little lighter in weight than the 25112.
- 13 amp motor
- 20” cutting path
- 7 height settings from 1.5” – 4”
- 13 gallon clippings bag
- Single lever height adjustment
- Mulches, bags and discharges
- Easy to use
- Powerful motor
- Light weight
While users give this mower 4.5 out of 5 stars, some are concerned that the deck is made of plastic instead of steel. While this makes the machine lighter in weight, it doesn’t feel quite as sturdy as its GreenWorks counterparts that have a steel deck. The upside to the plastic (aside from the weight) is that it won’t rust, so that’s a factor as well. Really, the deck material is the only reason we picked this as second in our best electric lawn mower list.
What is it made of?
Unlike the GreenWorks mowers, the cutting deck on this one is made of a hard plastic. It still seems to be durable, and it definitely makes the unit more lightweight to push around.
How reliable is it?
Most owners who have had the Black and Decker MM2000 for over a year still love it. In fact, one review from a man who has had his for over 4 years says it’s still going strong with no problems.
Do I have to use the bag?
This is a three-in-one machine meaning you can bag, use the side discharge or mulch. In other words, you don’t have to use the bag if you prefer the clippings to be left on the lawn. To do this, you will use the insert that goes inside the rear opening (where the bag normally sits). It has a spring-loaded cover so the clippings will not fly out at you when you’re mowing.
Is it hard to remove the bag?
It’s pretty easy to do as long as the bag is not really heavy from being overly full. If it’s really full, it’s harder to maneuver and lift.
How does it do on long, thick grass?
In one review, a woman said she fertilized her lawn with Weed & Feed followed by a lot of rain, making the grass grow like a jungle. She said this Black + Decker worked fantastic cutting it down. Then she loaned it to her neighbor to cut down his jungle!
Another review says the owner has had the mower for about seven months, and he mows every week to ten days. He says if he lets the grass get too long, he just raises the deck height and it goes right through with no trouble.
The most important things to know if you’re cutting tall grass is that it’s much easier to cut when the blade is sharp. Also, put it on the highest height adjustment and go slow if necessary (this depends on how tall you’ve let the grass get). If it’s really bad, you may need to make another pass or just go over it again a few days later.
How does it do on St. Augustine grass?
Many property owners have thick grasses like St. Augustine, Zoysia or Bermuda in their yard. According to user reviews, it works well on all of these thick types of grass and performs no differently than it does when cutting regular grass. Of course, whether you have regular or thick grass, try to not let it get too tall before cutting it each time. That makes the job much easier on you and is less taxing on the mower.
Is it either self powered or self propelled?
Corded electric lawn mowers in general are not self-propelled. This is because they usually are so light in weight that this feature just isn’t necessary. This one is no different: Because of plastic housing, it’s really easy to push around even on hills because it’s so lightweight.
What is the equivalent horsepower?
With a 13 amp motor at 110v, that makes it about 1430 watts, meaning it’s comparable to about 1.9 horsepower. That said, it’s much quieter (not to mention more fuel efficient) than anything with horsepower.
How easy is it to assemble?
Honestly, it’s mostly put together when you take it out of the box. All you have to do is raise the handle from the folded-down position and plug it in.
What’s with the EdgeMax feature?
The MM2000 comes with a feature called EdgeMax, meaning it’s supposed to cut closer to edges than other mowers, and it does get up close. While it seems to get closer to other edges than other mowers (electric or gas), you’ll probably still need a weed wacker, edger or trimmer to get the straggling weeds really close to a fence or wall. One user in her review says she bought it for the edging feature, and she’s happy that it will mow along the edges of her flower beds without throwing grass into them.
The Black and Decker MM2000 is a great mower. With its 3 in 1 bagging, discharging and mulching capabilities and a lightweight housing, it’s a great choice for anyone with a small yard. You don’t have to deal with either the expense or maintenance of a gas-powered machine, and it’s much easier to store and maneuver – even on hills. For the money, it’s a great investment that seems to hold up over time.
#3. GreenWorks 25022
The GreenWorks 25022 electric mower is another powerful 12 amp option, but it’s much wider than the Sun Joe with a full 20” deck. It also has the 3 in 1 feature that bags, discharges or mulches grass clippings and weeds, making it a more feature-rich option as well. Seven height positions make it very versatile for different types of grass.
- 20” steel deck
- 7 height adjustments up to 3 ¾”
- 12 amp motor
- Single blade
- Rated at 1440 watts
- Mulches, bags or side discharges grass
- Plenty of power
- 7 adjustments for height from 1.5” – 3.75”
- Wide 20” steel deck
The only con we can find with this machine is that it’s not self propelled. However, users claim this is no big deal. In fact, many users who are smaller in stature claim they have no problem handling it. It does tend to get heavier when the bag is full of clippings, so this is something to keep in mind if you plan to use it that way rather than mulching the clippings back into your lawn.
How hard is it to assemble?
It’s actually quite easy. Once you remove it from the package, you just need to raise the handle. You don’t even need any screws or bolts. From there, set the height adjustment where you want it and plug it in. That’s it.
Is it self-powered or propelled?
This electric mower is not self propelled, however more than one user review comments that it’s lightweight and easy to push, so it’s not a problem. One user says in her review that it’s really light until the bag fills up – then it gets harder to push around.
What type of cord do I need?
As with other mowers of this type, the included cord is very short, so you’ll need to have an extension cord on hand to get it going. A 12-14 gauge cord is recommended, 12 gauge being the safest option especially if the cord is long.
Can it handle small twigs?
While it’s always a good idea to clean up your lawn prior to mowing, users in their reviews say it handles small twigs without a problem. One user says he has live oaks, pine and hickory trees that shed twigs and nuts all the time, and this GreenWorks goes over them easily.
Can I use it on damp or wet grass?
Mowing wet or damp grass isn’t recommended for any mower, as grass tends to clump up when it’s not dry. However, in user reviews it’s said that as long as you don’t cut too much off at once and clean the mower afterwards, the 25022 does a great job.
How much does it cost to run?
We all know gasoline is expensive, and the there is a lot more maintenance with a gas mower vs electric since you have to change the oil and do basic upkeep like changing the spark plug and changing or cleaning the filter. Of course, with both you need to keep the blades sharp. However, in the long run, it seems like electric is really the way to go to save money.
If you run an electric mower (this one included) for an hour or so, it will cost about $.25 (this is based on $.20 per KWH, a high estimate). Even if the price of gas is only $2.00 per gallon, the electric mower still wins for efficiency. In user reviews, it’s been noted that most users see no change in their electric bill when using one. In fact, one review pointed out that using this mower is equivalent to running a fan in the bathroom as far as cost.
Can I mulch leaves with it?
Yes, the GreenWorks 20” 25022 does come with a mulching feature, which can be used on both grass and leaves. That said, it seems to a great job on leaves that are on the surface of the lawn, but if you have any that are embedded close to the soil, they are harder to reach.
How loud is it?
According to user reviews, it’s not nearly as loud as a gas mower. In one user review, it was remarked that it makes about the same amount of noise as an average weed eater or standard upright vacuum cleaner.
The GreenWorks Corded 25022 is by far one of the top electric lawn mowers on the market today. It has all the features of a gas mower without the hassle and high operating cost. If you have a smaller yard (one you can mow using a 100’ extension cord), it’s definitely a great one to buy.
#4. Sun Joe MJ401E
The Sun Joe Mow Joe MJ401E has a powerful 12 amp motor with an easy push-button start. The height can be adjusted up to 2.5 inches, and the design is very compact for easy storage.
One of the features of this model that makes it unique is the hard top grass catching bag. With soft grass catchers, a lot of the times grass tends to stick into them (think dog hair on car upholstery). The hard shell makes it much easier to both empty and keep clean.
- Grass Catcher holds 10.6 gallons
- 12 amp motor
- 14” cutting path
- 3 height settings from 1.18” – 2.52”
- 5” rear wheel size
- Hard top grass catcher bag is included
- Works with standard 110-120 volts AC power and a 3-prong plug
- Hard top grass catcher
- Powerful 12 amp motor
- Nice range of height settings
Overall, the MJ401E is a great mower, but we do wish it came with a mulching feature. Of course, it’s not expected at this price point. If you’re looking for an electric mower with mulching capabilities, look to one of the other top electric lawn mowers. However, if you’re looking at a lower budget, want value and don’t need mulching, this is a great one to get.
What kind of assembly is involved?
This Sun Joe arrives more or less fully assembled. The only thing you have to do is attach the handle with the included bolts and attach the bag to the back, and you’re all set to go. Make sure you have an extension cord ready to go as well, as the cord on the mower is very short.
What type of extension cord should I use?
For this 12 amp mower, a 12 gauge cord should be just perfect whether it’s a 50’ or 100’ cord. This type of cord will safely carry the load of this mower. In some reviews, users say this is overkill and a 14 gauge cord works fine, but we tend to err on the side of caution when it comes to electricity.
Can I use it without the grass catcher?
You can absolutely use it without the grass catcher if you prefer the clippings to be deposited back into the yard. To do so, you’ll just need to lift off the plastic lid and then lift off the catcher itself. While you can do this and it works fine, its import to note that this Sun Joe isn’t meant as-is for this purpose. The manufacturer recommends using the grass catcher unless you have purchased the attachment side chute which is intended to be used alone without the bag.
If you don’t have the side chute attachment, the clippings will come out, but they won’t be forced out. In other words, it’s more like they’re falling out from under the mower, and more of the clippings can build up underneath.
Will it handle small rocks?
You really shouldn’t go over any type of rocks with any lawn mower, as they can fly out and damage property, the operator or people or pets standing by. Additionally, hitting rocks can dull your blades quickly, so for this reason it’s not recommended.
That said, one user review says the owner has grass surrounded by little rocks, and his dog occasionally kicks small rocks onto the grass. He says he tries to get rid of them prior to mowing, but he does hit one occasionally. He says he’s gone over them without a problem and without damaging the mower. Another reviewer says mowing over small twigs and acorns is no problem at all.
Is it hard to push up hills?
Is it ETL approved or accredited?
ETL is an independent listing / approval that tests and certifies products for sale. Any product with the ETL Listed Mark has been tested, and it’s been determined that it meets the minimum requirements for safety standards for that particular product. The manufacturer has to be held to compliance to these standards. Their production sites are inspected with initial visits and follow ups to ensure continued compliance.
The Sun Joe MJ401E is ETL approved, meaning both the mower and the manufacturer meet these requirements.
How do I adjust the mowing height?
While it doesn’t have one lever on top to adjust the height, it’s still a fairly easy process. You need to tip over the mower, where you’ll find spring loaded levers next to the each wheel. The levers have three different slots they can be placed in to adjust the height.
Can I adjust the handle height?
This is a concern if you are particularly short or tall. The handle has two different height positions, and you can change to one or the other by loosening the knobs on the sides. One review from a woman who is 5’4” and disabled says she loves it so much because she can mow with one hand and the lower height position works just fine for her.
Does it leave an even, attractive cutting path?
What’s the best way to store it?
As with any electrical appliance, it’s best to store it indoors to avoid any moisture finding its way into the motor. If you can’t store it inside, at least use a good lawn mower cover and store it in an exterior shed or under an awning at the very least.
The Sun Joe MJ401E is a great little machine if you have a small yard – under ¼ acre or so. If you have more than that, you’ll probably want to get something bigger. With a 14” cutting path, a very light weight and a small footprint for storage, it’s a fantastic choice for those with smaller yards or even those who live in a condo or townhouse with limited storage space.
While it doesn’t have some of the fancier features like a one-handle height adjustment lever or a mulching feature, it also has a lower price point. If you have your eye on budget and don’t need so many of the bells and whistles of higher priced models, this is a good one to get.
#5. GreenWorks 25142
While it has less motor power than some of our other top picks, the GreenWorks 25142 is still a great mower, especially if you have a smaller yard without a big budget. With a lower price but also minus a couple of the fancier features, this machine still gets a very high rating and is might be just the machine you need if you have a small lawn without much storage space for equipment.
- 10 amp motor
- 16” cutting deck (plastic)
- Mulches and bags
- 5 height positions
- 7” rear wheels
- 6” front wheels
- Small footprint
- Easy to use and store
While this mower doesn’t have some of the fancier features of others, it also doesn’t have the price tag. It only has a 2 in 1 feature that mulches or bags (no discharge chute), and it’s only 16” wide. While it’s great for small yards, such as if you live in a townhouse or condo, if you have a larger yard, you’ll definitely want something with a wider cutting path so you have to make less passes (meaning less work overall).
What's the best way to store it?
Since this mower has a very small footprint and folding handle, it stores away easily. As with any appliance with an electric motor, the only special consideration is to do your best to keep it dry. Store it indoors if at all possible, such as in a basement or garage. If this is not an option for you, at least keep it under cover, such as in an outdoor shed. It seems to do okay if stored in hot or cold conditions as long as the motor is kept dry. In its most compact position, it measures about 30” long by 19” wide by 18” high.
How high is the handle?
There are two different levels where you can adjust the handle, and users report they find it comfortable whether they are tall or short. One woman is 4’11” tall and says she uses it comfortably as does a man who is 6’2” in his review. In the highest position, it goes up about 36-39”.
Can it cut both backwards and forwards?
While these types of machines in general are intended to use in the forward position, much like a vacuum cleaner, it still works going both ways. The blade will continue to cut even on the backward stroke.
Does it have a self-propelling or self-powered feature?
It does not, however it’s also pretty lightweight and thus easy to push. Reviews say it rolls along without much effort at all and has great wheels making it so much easier than older push or walk behind mower models.
Will it mow over pine cones?
Like any mower, its best to clean up your yard prior to setting out to cut your grass. This means its best to remove any branches, larger sticks or twigs and of course rocks prior to getting started. However, picking up every little thing just isn’t very practical.
That said, going over small sticks and pinecones doesn’t seem to be a problem, and it tackles them just like any gas mower. The only thing to keep in mind is that if you go over larger objects repeatedly, the blade is likely to get dull more quickly.
Does it mulch leaves?
The GreenWorks 25142 does an adequate job at mulching leaves. While it does especially well getting leaves on the surface, if they’re ground into the dirt, it will have a harder time picking them up for mulching. If you use the bag when mulching leaves, it’s going to fill up really quickly, so it’s best to use the mulching plug which is intended for that purpose.
Is it hard to assemble?
It’s actually really easy, as most of the work you’ll do is unpacking it from the box. From there, just unfold the handle and tighten its clamps to hold it in place.
How is it on tall grass?
If your grass is really tall, like over a foot high, you’re better off going with one of the larger mowers on our best electric lawn mowers list. This one is meant more for maintenance, and while it will tackle taller grass, the job won’t be really easy. You’ll have to put it on the highest setting and go really slow. It’s likely you’ll also to need to make more than one pass at it.
What’s the comparison between this vs the 25022 model?
First, this model has a slightly smaller motor at 10 amps vs 12. Second, it has a narrower cutting path at 16”. The cutting heights are also a bit different in that it won’t cut as high. This one also doesn’t have the side discharge feature for grass clippings – it only bags or mulches.
How does it work on thick grasses like fescue?
The GreenWorks 25142 will work fine on these types of hearty grasses as long as you mow them often. Take care to never mow more than 1/3 of the total length off at one time to keep the grass healthy, and this means you may need to mow more often if it grows quickly.
What type of cord should I use for it?
As with all electric mowers, this one comes with a very short cord, so you’ll need to purchase a heavy duty extension cord to use it. The manufacturer recommends getting a 16 gauge cord if its 50’ long and a 14 gauge cord if its 100’ long. If you get one as long as 150’, you should go for a 12 gauge cord for safety to handle the electrical load.
If you have a small yard to mow and not much room to store equipment, this GreenWorks 25142 could be the perfect machine for you. There’s no messing with gas or oil, it’s easy to store and run, lightweight and a great mower to use for maintaining your yard on a regular basis. Keep it dry and the blade sharp, and you won’t have to think much more about owning it.
Whether you have a larger yard or a postage-stamp size one, we hope these corded electric lawn mower reviews of the best machines on the market today give you a good idea of what’s available. With options for every budget, they’re all good picks. The one you choose will mostly depend on the heartiness of your grass and yard and the space you have to store a mower. Whether you need plain old grass cutting or are looking to mulch leaves, one of them is sure to suit your needs perfectly.