If you’re in the market for a new mower, you don’t necessarily have to consider a gas-powered one. Today’s electric mowers have some extra "vrroom" thanks to advances in lithium battery technology.
“Electrics are relatively maintenance-free, obviously they don’t have a gasoline engine so they’re much easier to start, and they’re much quieter,” said Consumer Reports’ Frank Spinelli.
Consumer Reports tests electric mowers to see how well they mulch, bag and discharge your grass clippings. They also test how well they handle.
“Between a gas and an electric mower you’re going to notice that electrics are much easier to push. They’re lighter and they’re easier to maneuver,” Spinelli said.
They even fold up for easy storage.
Here’s what Consumer Reports testing found:
- The lightweight Kobalt KDB 4016-06 mower is easy to push, pull and turn, but it has some limitations. CR tests find it’s “subpar” at mulching, leaving clumps in its path. Clumps can cause the grass beneath to brown, so you may need to rake them. The Kobalt does not have a side discharge.
- The Black+Decker CM2060C does a good job side discharging, and in mulching mode, leaving teeny bits behind to replace the nutrients in your lawn. But it really shines at bagging, collecting up to 25 pounds of clippings in its roomy bag.
- The Husqvarna LE121P also does a terrific job bagging. Another plus -- the 40-volt lithium battery can power other tools in the Husqvarna line -- like a leaf blower, string trimmer and chainsaw.
One thing electric mowers don’t have is a washout port for the clippings that get stuck to the underside. They are light enough to flip on their side and clean out manually, but to prevent accidental starting, you should remove the batteries first.