These electric lawn mowers cut it in Consumer Reports’ tests

Testers say battery mowers are improving

If you’re thinking of going electric for your next lawn mower, Consumer Reports says battery-powered mowers and lawn tools are getting better and better.

“They’re not just strong performers; they’re also better for the earth, and your neighbors will thank you since they tend to be quieter, too,” said Consumer Reports’ Paul Hope.

Every winter, CR’s lawn mower testing team heads to Florida, where they walk, push, mow, and ride on acres of grass to get a feel for how well each machine runs, handles, and performs. Testers check for cutting evenness, mulching, and, of course, battery power.

“You want a battery mower with a run time of at least 30 minutes because that’s enough to cut a quarter-acre yard on a single charge. You can also buy additional tools like a string trimmer, hedge trimmer, or leaf blower from the brand and use the battery interchangeably,” Hope said.

As performance improves, prices are more in line with gasoline mowers.

So here are the mowers testers say cut it:

The Ryobi RY401140US, which costs $500, offers nearly the same cutting performance as the top-performing gasoline model and costs hundreds less.

You can get the most value from your mower if you’re willing to do the pushing. The Skil PM4910-10 push mower for $250 is a budget-friendly choice and offers excellent mulching, evenness and handling, and a very good run time.

If you have lots of ground to cover, ride-on mowers are ideal. The recommended Cub Cadet LT42e costs $4,000 and didn’t run as long as the top performers in CR’s tests. However, it offers excellent mulching, very good handling, and evenness. For thousands less, it’s a great value.

For larger lawns, CR said you may want to consider a zero-turn-radius mower or ZTR like the John Deere Z370R-42 for $6,400, the Ego ZT4205S for $5,500 or the Ryobi RYRM8060 for $5,000. They come with a learning curve because you operate and steer with levers instead of a steering wheel, but they are faster and can maneuver around obstacles like trees on your property.

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