5 On Your Side

Electric mowers could make light work of lawn maintenance

Posted July 16, 2018 5:05 p.m. EDT
Updated July 16, 2018 5:23 p.m. EDT

Getting a lawn to look good is a lot of work, but one key to great grass is having a good lawn mower.

Electric mowers have come a long way from having cords that got in the way and kept users tethered to an outlet. Many now have lithium-ion battery technology, and Consumer Reports found the results speak for themselves.

Electric mowers are quieter than gas options and, with the lithium batteries, pack more power as well.

“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,” said Frank Spinelli with Consumer Reports.

Many electric mowers even fold up for easy storage, but Consumer Reports said some are less effective at mowing than others.

The lightweight Kobalt mower is easy to push and turn, but Consumer Reports tests found it is “subpar” at mulching, leaving clumps in its path. Clumps can cause the grass underneath to brown, so users may need to rake them. The Kobalt also does not have a side discharge.

The Black and Decker does a good job side discharging and, in mulching mode, leaves tiny bits behind to replace the nutrients in the lawn. Tests found the mower really shines at bagging, collecting up to 25 pounds of clippings in its roomy bag.

The Husqvarna is also great when bagging, and the 40-volt lithium battery can power other tools in the Husqvarna line, including a leaf blower, string trimmer and chainsaw.

When it’s time to clean up, one thing electric mowers don’t have is a washout port for the clippings that get stuck. The mowers are light enough to flip on their side and clean out, however users should remove the batteries first to prevent starting it by accident.

Battery powered mowers are best for smaller lots, under one-third of an acre.