Cordless lawn mowers take much of the hassle out of mowing. There’s no need to worry about running out of cable, or cutting through the cable in long grass. Instead, you just keep on mowing until the lawn is finished or your battery runs dead – whichever happens first.
In fact, cordless lawn mowers seem to have it all, giving you the freedom of a petrol mower without the weight or hassle, and they’re lighter, cheaper and more powerful than ever before. They’re perfect if you’ve got a larger garden, but also incredibly convenient on a smaller plot.
However, not all cordless mowers are equally good. Some don’t have the grunt to tackle longer grass or a decent-sized lawn, while others struggle with poor battery life or an uncomfortable design. That’s why we’ve picked out the best cordless lawn mowers, so you can get out there and take care of your grass without any trouble.
The most crucial thing is to get the size right. If you’ve only got a small oblong of grass to cut, you can get away with the smallest mowers – and they’ll be easier to store and use. If you have large areas of lawn, however, then you’ll need a bigger mower to get the job done. The key thing is the cutting width, determined by the size of the mower deck and the size of the blade. Mowers with a cutting width of 32cm or less are really only good for smaller lawns. Most of the cutting width of 33cm to 38cm should cover a lawn roughly the size of a tennis court, and often a bit larger. If you’ve got a bigger area than that to mow, then you’ll need a mower with a cutting width of 40 cm or more. You might also want to think about a self-propelled lawn mower, which will move around under its own steam without you having to actively push it along.
Of course, with a cordless mower battery life also comes into play. Some mowers come with only a single battery with a relatively low capacity, and you’re going to have to stop and recharge long before you finish cutting the grass – particularly if you have to tackle both the front and back lawns. That said, you can often buy higher-capacity batteries or a second battery to keep your mower in juice for longer.
Most cordless mowers fit into a specific manufacturer’s battery and charger system, which means you can share batteries and a charger between several garden and power tools. This is great if you want to save money by buying a “bare tool” product without a battery and charger, although only if you have them already. Packages with them included are usually cheaper than buying everything separately.
All cordless lawn mowers offer a range of different cutting heights, meaning you can leave your grass a little longer or cut it really short. What’s more, when you do the first cut of the season you might need to do one cut at the maximum cutting height then take it down for a second run. As a rule of thumb, mowers with a higher maximum cutting height will be better at tackling longer or wetter grass.
You also want to think about what the lawn mower will do with your clippings. Almost all mowers come with some kind of collapsible collecting box or bag and, the bigger it is, the more grass you’ll be able to cut without stopping to empty the collector. However, some mowers offer the option of a mulcher, which breaks apart any clippings into tiny pieces that can fall on the ground where they decompose and feed your lawn. This also makes your lawn more drought-resistant – and you never need to worry about emptying any box or bag.
Perhaps the most important thing, though, is ergonomics. Things like how much you can adjust the handle and how comfortable the mower is to push matter a lot when you spend more than just a few minutes mowing. Even the location of any controls can make a huge difference, especially if you have to keep them pressed or squeezed while you’re busy cutting the grass. And don’t forget storage, either. If you’re stuck for space in your shed or garage, then having a mower that can fold up really small is a definite bonus.
With a single 18V battery driving its motor, you might expect this mower to be underpowered. Luckily, while big and surprisingly heavy, it delivers an outstanding cut. It’s very solidly built but easy to manoeuvre and is particularly effective on flat lawns. It’s not quite so good on steep slopes when tackling thicker, longer grass, but you won’t have any problems on the average small or medium-sized lawn, and you can always use the cheerfully chunky height-adjustment handle to increase the cutting height if you’re having trouble.
The battery could be faster to charge – it takes more than two hours to charge up fully – and it only runs for around 24 minutes. However, with a 36cm cutting deck, that’s enough time to cut a decent-sized lawn and fill the 45l collection bag. Or, if you prefer, you can fit the mulching plug provided and mulch the clippings. We’re not so keen on the over-snappy battery compartment or the LCD charge level readout on the battery itself – good luck reading it on a sunny afternoon – but otherwise this is a cracking mower.
Key specs – Size: 104 x 40 x 130.9cm (HWD); Weight: 14.2kg; Height of cut: 2-7cm; Grass box capacity: 45l; Power: 18v 5Ah lithium-ion battery (charge time: 2hrs 23mins); Width of cut: 36cm
If your garden’s small and you’re short on muscle, the Easistore 340R Li might be the mower of your dreams. It’s very light and compact, and it folds up with the handles folded over the body into a shape not much bigger than the average cabin bag. You can easily carry it around by the handle on the body, and the small size and wheelbase make it one of the most manoeuvrable mowers around.
That doesn’t mean it can’t tackle some hard graft; it whistled through flat areas of lawn, but also handled our sloping, slightly overgrown sections better than some other cordless models. Push the cutting height upwards, and it will even manage some fairly thick, long and weed-infested grass. The two 20V lithium-ion batteries last roughly 25 minutes and take just below two hours to recharge. If you don’t need a massive mower, this one makes the job very easy.
Key specs – Size: 95 x 39 x 120cm (HWD); Weight: 13kg; Height of cut: 2.5-6.5cm; Grass box capacity: 35l; Power: 2 x 20V 2.6Ah lithium-ion battery (charge time: 2hrs); Width of cut: 34cm
While not much bigger or even heavier than some of the mowers on test, the Bosch Universal Rotak 36-550 has a bit more cutting power. With a 38cm deck, it can easily tackle medium-sized lawns, and while it’s fantastic on flat lawns and shorter grass, we found that it could also handle tricky slopes and longer, wetter grass that left some other mowers floundering.
It’s the little things, though, that really sell this mower. The well-designed handle gives you a choice of hand positions and makes it easier to push around, and we love the one-click height adjustment, where you just press and hold a button on the top handle and lift the body up and down to change the cutting height. Bosch’s ProSilence motor technology makes it much, much easier on the ears and with a 40l grass box, you’re not forever stopping to empty out the clippings. We found that the 36V battery would comfortably last 25 to 30 minutes of mowing, and took just over two hours to recharge. As a nice extra, its specially designed blade even collects and grinds up any leaves that have dropped on the grass. An exceptional mid-range mower.
Key specs – Size: 105 x 40 x 135cm (HWD); Weight: 15kg; Height of cut: 2.5-7cm; Grass box capacity: 40l; Power: 36V 4Ah lithium-ion battery (charge time: 2hrs 5mins); Width of cut: 38cm
The Husqvarna LC 347iVX is the Range Rover Evoque of cordless mowers, combining great design, fantastic build quality and a lot of power into one fairly sizable package. Let’s make no bones about it: it’s very big and very heavy. Even with the lifting handles at the front and rear, it’s a lot of work to lift. But once it’s in action it’s anything but cumbersome. It’s self-propelled, with intuitive digital speed controls, and on flat and slightly sloping lawns it will do much of the work for you. What’s more, it’s not short on power, so areas of thick or wet grass won’t faze it. And, with a 47cm cutting deck, neither will the largest lawns.
It certainly helps that, while a pair of 36V 4.0Ah batteries will run for around 40 minutes, they also recharge in roughly half an hour. A single 7.7Ah BLi30 battery will run for around 30 minutes or most of an hour if doubled up. You can find the mower in bundles with the charger and batteries included or, as on Husqvarna’s website, sold as a bare tool. This means you can pick the right mix of charger and batteries to fit your needs. This mower even throws in Bluetooth, so that you can monitor its operations using Husqvarna’s smartphone app. If you’ve got a lot of land in need of mowing, this is a credible alternative to big petrol mowers – and a whole lot easier on the ears and eyes.
Key specs – Size: 127 x 55 x 137cm (HWD); Weight: 26Kg; Height of cut: 2.5-7.5cm; Grass box capacity: 55l; Power: 2 x 36V 4Ah – 7.5Ah lithium-ion battery (charge time: 30mins); Width of cut: 47cm
Shipping with two 2.5Ah batteries and a dual-slot charger for less than £200, the Worx WG779E is something of a bargain. The 34cm cutting deck and 30l grass collection back make it a good bet for small to medium-sized lawns and it’s nice and light to work with, folding down into a surprisingly compact form when not in use. The two batteries take around two hours to charge and last for around 35 minutes.
One big plus with this mower is that you’re buying into the Worx 20V cordless system, so you can share batteries and chargers with a range of grass trimmers, hedge trimmers, pole pruners and other various power tools. But even if you just stick to the mower, it’s a great option. The rotary blade cuts almost to the edge of the deck, while Worx’s IntelliCut technology gives you more power when you need it to cut areas of thick or wet grass. The WG779E doesn’t have quite as much cutting power as the Bosch Universal Rotak 36-550, but has more than enough for the average garden. It’s an easy mower to recommend.
Key specs – Size: 95 x 37 x 127cm (HWD); Weight: 10.5Kg; Height of cut: 2-7cm; Grass box capacity: 30l; Power: 2 x 20V 2Ah lithium-ion battery (charge time: 1hr); Width of cut: 34cm
Want an affordable mower for a mid-sized garden? The Murray IQ18WM37 could be it. It combines a 37cm cutting deck with a powerful 36V brushless motor, which means it can handle areas of up to 425m². The twin 18V batteries last for just over 30 minutes, but take just under an hour to recharge, so even if you have to mow over a couple of stints, you won’t be left waiting for long.
The great thing about this mower is that it hits a sweet spot for medium-sized lawns. It’s neither very big nor very heavy, but it has enough oomph to tackle larger areas and copes well with unruly sections where the grass has grown a bit too long. It also feels much more solid than some other budget models, with chunky, rugged wheels and good ergonomics. What’s more, if you need something just a little bigger, its sister model – the IQ18WM44 – takes the cutting width up to 44cm for another £50.
Key specs – Size: 105 x 41 x 128cm (HWD); Weight: 13.5kg; Height of cut: 2.5-7.5cm; Grass box capacity: 40l; Power: 2 x 18V 2.5Ah lithium-ion battery (charge time: 55mins); Width of cut: 37cm
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