Tell me about your cordless electric mower?

Thanks to everybody who tried to help with our lawnmower last year - I mentioned the lawnmower now, as the grass is growing again, and my husband… I don’t even think he swore, I think he went past swearing. Like to filling the air with Beetle Bailey-style ampersands and such.

So we’re definitely getting a new lawnmower, which I don’t like because we’re working on debt, but I also like not spending Saturday afternoons watching my husband work a Sisyphus machine, so there’s that.

I’m very much interested in rechargeable electrics. The price has definitely gone down in the past few years and the quality seems to have good reviews. We have a fairly small yard with not that much slope. On the other hand, it’s more expensive than a more reliable gas mower; on the other hand, it’s better for the environment and solves that “goddamn it we don’t have gas EITHER” or “the gas might be old?” or “I don’t remember, does it have oil mixed in or not?” problem, too.

I looked in Consumer Reports and don’t see that they’ve done mowers yet this year; they had some in the buying guide from last year and the last year’s reviews. Looked at some Black and Decker models on Amazon, they’re a bit cheaper than some of the top scorers but they have good user reviews. Then there are some that are way cheaper and also have good reviews, but then you think maybe they’re “good for the money” reviews.

We don’t want a cord.

Feelings? Thoughts? Experiences?

I’ve tried two different models before going back to gas.

Bottom line in my experience is that they just didn’t cut the grass well - meaning lots of uneven spots and/or difficulty with thick/long grass.

They also tend to be heavier than gas models, but this varies.

We go out of town lots in the summer, or I’m just lazy some weeks, or there’s been extra rain and there wasn’t a dry day for a while, or whatever - once the grass gets longer an electric really becomes a pain.

Gas mowers spin the blade much faster than the electrics I had (one was a Remington model, the other a Black and Decker) and have so much more power to get through the longer/thicker/wet or damp grass. There were more than enough occasions with the electrics where I had to mow twice. And anything except bagging the grass wasn’t an option ever. Trying to mulch was frustrating at best.

But when the grass isn’t too long, they work pretty good. I had no issues with battery life or overall equipment failure. Never needed any tinkering or repair aside from blade sharpening.

I’m really good with small gas engines and can always get the gas mowers running well from season to season. I’ve helped neighbors fix theirs, etc. So going back to gas for me wasn’t a problem. I just liked the green factor of an electric - and less maintenance, even when you know what you’re doing, is always a bonus.

But I would rather take apart and clean a gummed out carburetor than have to mow twice. But that’s me.

I have this one:

And I mow about 1/3 of an acre with a good amount of landscaping. My experience was that the cut was less than stellar, especially if you’re not mowing 2x per week in the heavy growing season. I needed more than 2 batteries to complete the job, but I had bought the yard tools (weedwhacker/edger combo, blower) which also used the same batteries, so I had enough to get the job done, but it just doesn’t do a great job.

I ended up with a corded electric one, and once you learn how to manage the cord, it’s really not so bad, and because it can really crank out the power you get a pretty decent cut.

I have a friend with one of the B/D ones with the much heavier batteries, and he seems to like it. I have some lower back issues so muscling around a really heavy mower isn’t really an option for me.

I have a Kolalt rechargeable. I love how quiet it is, and I never have trouble starting, running out of gas, etc. (I always have problems with small gas engines)

It does a perfectly fine job on my lawn.

Check craigslist for cordless mowers. You can often get them for very cheap or even free. The batteries eventually die and many people just buy a new mower instead of replacing the batteries in their existing one. I’ve gotten my 2 cordless mowers that way. A new set of batteries is about $75. For both of my mowers, the batteries weren’t anything special. Each one needed 2 motorocycle-sized 12V batteries that I could get at BatteriesPlus or an auto parts store. Other mowers may take a more specialized battery, so do your research before you get one from craigslist so you know their cost.

I have a Craftsman I bought in 1997 or so, soon after buying my first house. I replace the batteries every five years or so, and the price is similar to what filmore indicated.

It’s capable of mulching, discharging, or bagging, and I usually mulch. It performs splendidly.

Nearly 20 years later, I can’t wait until I’m in the market again just to see what’s new.

I have a Greenworks that I can’t remember if it came from HD or Amazon. My lawn takes a little more oomph than the 2 batteries have, so I usually have to do it over two days because the batteries take at least a couple of hours to charge. I’ve used it for 3 or 4 seasons so far, and I like it over my old gas mowers that were castoffs from friends. It’s lighter and quieter, though I still wear earmuffs (with an audiobook on earbuds underneath). I like the mulcher thing so I can add the grass clippings and fallen leaf bits to the compost pile or use as actual mulch. After years of free old lawn mowers I was happy to pay real money for this one.

I have a Black and Decker one with a lead acid battery. I think it generally works okay, but you definitely sacrifice some power and convenience. One, the li-ion batteries most new mowers come with don’t last as long. They are lighter and they charge quicker, but you need more of them. The lead acid batteries are being phased out and they heavy, and take a while to charge. I don’t regret the purchase, but you will probably need to mow more often, and it will not save you money in the long run.

Short recent thread.

I bought a Black & Decker mower at a yard sale for my son, who wanted one very badly. He was on a “Green” kick. I knew the batteries were probably shot & that new ones would cost about $75.00.

Before I bought the batteries, just for grins, I looked up the service bullions. There was one about that model catching fire while charging. It went on to say that some S/Ns were subject to a recall. The one I had bought was one of the recalled ones. B & D sent me a box & label for me to use & UPS to picked it up. Two weeks later, I got it back with a new motor, charger & larger batteries. Yes! They gave me free batteries! Cool Beans! Great customer service!

The machine worked OK. Not good, just OK. Installing a new, sharp blade made no difference. If the grass was wet or slightly long, it did not cut evenly. Living in the western desert, & not irrigating the lawn, one would think that mowing every two weeks should be enough. No! We found that unless we mowed every week, we had to go over the lawn twice to get the cut to be fairly even.

Heck, I now have cows to take care of my lawn, but when I lived in town, I only mowed the lawn once a month in the summer & every two weeks in the spring & early fall. My old gasoline mower did a good job for me with just one pass. The B & D cordless electric mower needed to mow the lawn once a week in the summer & twice a week in the spring & early fall.

Unless mowing the lawn is therapeutic for you, I would skip the cordless mowers & buy a good gas, or corded electric mower.


We’ve run cordless for quite a few years now; we’re in the city and our yard is small enough that gas just never made sense. Our current one is a Craftsman 138.98818. Its got two batteries but you can run just one which is how we usually use it. The weight is less than the B&Ds we’ve had in the past and the bag is much better but I personally wish it had a flip handle. We haven’t had any of the problems other people have mentioned (having to cut the grass more often, etc) but because of experiences in the past I do still keep a couple back-ups in the coal cellar; one an old-style push mower and one corded.

My only real complaint with cordless is that they get cranky or break sooner than anything else I’ve ever used; average life has been maybe 5 years for us. Our corded mower still works fine after 35 years (20 of regular usage) and the push mower is over 60 years old or so - I’m “second generation” owner. To be frank, lots of times I will use it rather than mess around with the electric although its a little heavy for my wife to manage.