Bigger is not always better – Let’s level the battery playground first:
The market (manufacturers or the government) has yet to establish a standard way to list the performance of a battery. Because of that manufacturers are free to list whatever they want so you will believe their product is the best. Let’s uncomplicate the mess.
- Higher voltage labeled on the hood of the mower does not mean it’s a better mower and will cut better!
- Higher Amps listed on the battery does not always mean longer runtimes.
- The Wh number in small print on the battery label is the best way but that’s not always accurate either.
- Simply put – more watt-hours (Wh) = more “fuel” and longer run times. That can be hard to figure out without a little education. Please read the next few paragraphs to get yourself up to speed.
There are three metrics you need to know about to make an accurate decision on which battery is the best for you. Volts, Amp-hours, and Watt-hours.
Note: I’m going to use working voltage and listed Amp-hours (Ah) to determine Watt-hours (Wh). If you don’t want to read this long explanation and already understand batteries feel free to skip to the next section. I’ll calculate Watt-hours for each mower battery.
Higher voltage does not mean a better product! All the brands use amp-hours (Ah) consistently but many have decided to list a voltage in big bold letters on the battery instead of Ah. The marketing department wants you to think that voltage is the measure of their batteries’ performance. But, some list voltage when the battery is fully charged, others list the battery voltage when the battery is being used, and a few just pull a number out of a hat. In reality, just listing the voltage is meaningless. You need more information to make an accurate comparison.
Fortunately for you and I, Lithium-ion cells operate a certain way. Lithium-ion batteries have more voltage when they are fully charged than they do when they are being used. Each individual cell in these multi-cell batteries has about 4 volts fully charged, 3.6 volts when you are using it and 3.2 volts when fully discharged. Your battery is made up of groups of these individual cells so a 40volt MAX battery will have 10 cells or a 60volt MAX battery will have 15 cells, etc.
So how do you tell which battery is the best? The most meaningful metric is watt (W), which is calculated as voltage (V) multiplied by the current in amperes (A): W = V x A. This combination of voltage and current, rather than a single metric alone, is a constant value that you can use to determine in the power of a cordless mower battery.
A few Examples:
- 80 Volt Max is the same as 72 Volt. Working voltage is actually 72 volts. So a 3Ah battery gives you 216 Wh of power.
- 60 Volt Max is the same as 56 Volt. Working voltage is actually 54 volts. So a 4Ah battery gives you 224 Wh of power.
- 40 Volt Max is the same as 36 Volt. Working voltage is actually 36 volts. So a 6Ah battery gives you 216 Wh of power.
- 20 Volt Max is the same as 18 Volt. Working voltage is actually 18 volts. So a 12Ah battery gives you 216 Wh of power.
Four different batteries with different voltages and amps but with everything else being equal they will all mow the same amount of lawn.
A couple more things to know.
- About 280-325 Wh (Watt-hours) is enough battery capacity to mow about a 1/3 acre. About 405 Wh will mow your 1/2 acre lot with a house on it. If you want to mow more than that at one time you can purchase additional batteries (or buy them bundled with other tools.) Most – but not all of the mowers include a rapid charger that will charge a battery in about an hour. So, 2-3 batteries will let you mow all day.
- Larger rear wheels make the mower easier to use. 9-11 inch is a good size.
- A Brushless Motor gives you the best run time, the most power and last ten times longer than a brushed motor.
- Most cordless mowers with the plastic deck will not allow you to use a garden hose to clean it. Many cordless mowers with a steel deck will let you use a garden hose and some even have a washout port.
- Many of these mowers are part of a system where you can use the same battery for string trimmers, leaf blowers, etc. And not just residential. A few of these mowers are part of a battery system that is designed for commercial use.
The first 6 mower brands are my top picks.
Please note! **This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. But, please feel free to visit your local authorized dealer and purchase locally. I don’t make a commission when you do that but I don’t mind.
Toro mowers come with 60 V (54-volt working) 6.0Ah 324Wh or 7.5Ah 405Wh battery
My Choice! Self-Propelled: 22-inch Personal Pace Recycler Deck with 7.5 AH battery. Buy at The Home Depot. Good for homeowners with up to 1/2 acre lots. If you think you may want the new Toro snow thrower later this year this is the best choice. Buy this mower and buy the bare-tool snow thrower this fall. The 7.5 AH battery costs $100 more than the 6.0 AH but it will give you 33% more runtime in the snow thrower.
Self-Propelled: 22-inch Personal Pace Recycler Deck with 6.0 AH battery. Buy at The Home Depot. Good for homeowners with 1/3 acre lots.
Push: 22-inch Push Recycler Deck with 6.0 AH battery. Buy at The Home Depot. Good for homeowners who mow their lawn with a rider and just need a walk-behind for trimming (or like to push:)
- 22 inch Cut
- CUTTING HEIGHT 1 in. – 4 in.
- Steel Deck with washout port
- Mulch, Bag Side Discharge
- Brushless Motor
- The battery can be used in other homeowner and professional cordless tools.
Toro has taken the proven #1 selling mower platform, added the latest brushless motor tech, and the best Lithium-ion battery tech and made a mower that cuts better, bags better, mulches better, and stores in your garage better than any other cordless walk-behind mower.
- Full 22-inch cut steel deck! I know from experience that most of you will buy a 22-inch mower over a smaller one if given the chance. This mower’s actual cutting width is a full 2 inches wider than the nearest competitor’s steel deck cordless mower.
- Proven Toro Recycler Deck. The Recycler cutting system mulches the best and provides a healthier, better-looking lawn.
- Brushless DC motor. Provides more power, more runtime, and longer life.
- RunSmart battery tech. Automatically adjusts power to match cutting conditions. (like the governor on your gas walk-behind but more responsive)
- Battery options for 1/3 and 1/2 acre lots! If your home sits on a 1/3 or 1/2 acre lot 6.0 AH and 7.5 AH battery options are available.
- Personal Pace. The Personal Pace self-propel is the easiest to use, most reliable system in the industry. Simply stand behind the mower, grab the handle and begin walking – the Personal Pace automatically adjusts to the speed you want to walk. The Personal Pace is rear-wheel drive so you get the best traction on slopes.
- Don’t want Personal Pace? A Push style mower is also available.
- 11 inch rear wheels! Both the Personal Pace and push mowers use larger 11 inch rear wheels
- Smart Stow. Save Storage Space in your garage or shed. Simply fold, lock and store upright and save up to 70% over your old gas walk-behind.
- Bag on Demand. Like all the other Toro Recycler mowers you can easily switch to bagging if needed or bag all the time if preferred.
- Clean with your garden hose. Has a both a Washout Port or you can flip the handles into the SmartStow position, tip the mower up and spray the bottom with your garden hose. (This is a big deal to me. The closest competitor requires that you DON’T spray the mower with water. They require you to clean the mower and under the deck with a brush!)
- Good Value. $100 less than the competition. (Comparing the 22-inch Flex-Force Personal Pace mower with 7.5 AH to competitor’s 20-inch steel deck self-propelled with 7.5 AH battery)
- Parts already listed on Toro.com. Buy parts online through Toro.com or at your local Toro Dealer!
- Economical! Buy your mower with a 6.AH or 7.5AH battery and use the battery this winter in the new Toro snow thrower!
The entire Toro Flex-Force line is available at your local dealer and The Home Depot
2. Husqvarna Battery Mower
Mowers come with two 36 volt (36-volt working) BLi20 4.0 Ah Batteries. 144Wh each for total 288Wh.
- 20 inch
- CUTTING HEIGHT 3/4 in. – 3 in.
- Steel Deck
- Mulch, Bag Side Discharge
- Brushless Motor
- Runs on one battery but has a compartment for two. Both compartments are powered.
The steel deck on this mower is very similar – if not exactly – like the gas-powered Husqvarna self-propelled mower you know and love. It also looks very similar to the “Pre-MTD” Craftsman that got some of the highest ratings in around 2014. Like Toro – Husqvarna has been making quality walk-behind mowers for many years. So I have no problems recommending it over most other cordless mowers made by tool and electronics companies. This mower does not come with a large battery but Husqvarna uses one battery style for all Husqvarna battery products. The battery can be used in a wide variety of homeowner and professional cordless tools. In addition, most Husqvarna batteries charge faster than you normally use them up so two or three batteries can essentially give you all day use. Batteries are available up to 9 Ah for extended run times. (See the complete line here: Husqvarna Battery Tools
3. EGO Cordless Mowers
Mowers come with one 56V (54-volt working) 5.0Ah 270Wh, two 5.0Ah 540Wh or one 7.5Ah 405 Wh Batteries.
- 21 inch
- CUTTING HEIGHT 1 3/8 in. – 3 3/4 in.
- Steel Deck
- Mulch, Bag Side Discharge
- Brushless Motor
- The battery can be used in other EGO branded homeowner cordless tools.
The mowers listed here all are highly rated by both the owners and Consumer Reports. The only negative I want to mention is they are not designed to clean with a garden hose. EGO recommend that you clean them with a dry cloth and/or brush. EGO continues to develop a line of cordless yard tools including edgers, snow throwers and even a Power Station that uses their batteries to operate USB and 110-volt products. See their complete line here: EGO at the Home Depot
4. Snapper XD 82V Max* Lawn & Garden system
Mowers come with two 80V-volt (72-volt working) 2.0Ah (144Wh x 2=288Wh) or one 5.0Ah (360Wh)
5. Ryobi Cordless Mowers
Mowers come with one 40-volt (36-volt working) 5.0Ah (180Wh), two 5.0Ah (360Wh), or one 6.0Ah (216Wh).
6. Stihl Cordless Mower
RMA 510 Self-Propelled Comes with 36 volt (36-volt working) 227 Wh battery (AP 300)
- 21 inch
- CUTTING HEIGHT 1 3/8 in. – 3 3/4 in.
- Steel Deck
- Mulch, Bag Side Discharge
- Brushless Motor
- Stihl has three battery styles. The battery used in this mower is the same as used in their high end residential and professional cordless tools. Part of the Pro Cordless Tool system
The rest of the cordless mowers
- Many, many, many articles are written just to get you to buy something from Amazon. The writer probably has no expertise or experience using the mowers they recommend. Be very careful of the “top 10” or “Best” lists.
- When reading Consumer Reports don’t use the number rating to make your pick – look at the specific area they test to find the best mower for you. For example, they tend to give the mower a poor rating if the model they tested doesn’t include a rapid charger. They also don’t test all the current models – some mowers listed may be previous year versions and the brand has improved their 2019 offerings (Snapper and Husqvarna are two examples)
- If you just need a push mower to clean up after your riding mower it’s usually a good choice to buy one that uses the same batteries as your cordless power tools. For example, two 5 AH batteries in a DEWALT 20-Volt MAX Li-Ion mower won’t last long enough to mow your 1/4 acre lawn but they have plenty of run time to do the trimming after you mow with your rider.
Makita 18-Volt X2 LXT Brushless
The Makita 18-Volt X2 LXT Brushless Mower is a small trim mower and requires two 18-volt batteries for operation. It’s also expensive. ($348 for the bare tool) but if you have 18-volt Makita tools, just need a trimming mower, and don’t want another battery platform it may be the best choice for you. They do have a comprehensive line of commercial blowers, trimmers, chainsaws, and even a powered wheelbarrow to compliment their battery line. Makita L&G at Amazon
DEWALT 20-Volt MAX Li-Ion
DeWalt has a push mower that uses the 20-Volt Max batteries you already have. It requires two batteries for operation. It’s a decent trim mower but don’t expect it to mow your entire yard on one set of 5Ah batteries. DeWalt 20-volt MAX mower at Amazon or DeWalt Outdoor tools
DEWALT 40-Volt MAX
This is the same mower as the 20-volt except it uses one 40 volt-MAX commercial DeWalt battery. This is part of DeWalt’s commercial L&G line. It’s a decent trim mower but don’t expect it to mow your entire yard on one battery. It is not compatible with 20 volt or 60-volt MAX batteries. DeWalt 40-volt MAX at Amazon
- Greenworks has two lines. The 60V (54 working volts) and the 80V (72 working volts) Greenworks focuses on just lawn & garden battery powered products and have been one of the innovators of Lithium-ion power.
- The Greenworks 60V is a homeowner line. Greenworks at Amazon
- Greenworks Pro 80V line is larger and includes stick tools like edgers and tillers. They are also getting into commercial battery powered zero-turn and stand-on riding mowers. Greenworks Pro at Amazon
Craftsman by Stanley, Black & Decker (SBD)
Worth Garden is new to the U.S. market. It looks like the company (Shanghai Worth Garden Products Co., Ltd.) is an OEM/ODM global supplier for many of the cordless tools branded and sold by other companies and they decided to market those tools under their own label. Worth 19 inch 84-volt cordless at The Home Depot.
WEN is a name that’s been around for quite a while and they have been making corded mowers for some time. One interesting fact about this mower. It has a 21-inch deck but only a 19.7-inch cut. It’s a cheap mower because it comes with 2 small batteries. They also sell a lightweight trimmer, blower, hedge trimmer and pruner that uses the batteries. If you just need a trim mower and a want smaller cordless tools this may be a good choice. (Includes one 4 Amp-hour battery, one 2 Amp-hour battery, 1-quick charger, and a 2-year warranty). Wen 21 in. 40-Volt Max Lithium-Ion Cordless 3-in-1 Walk Behind Push Lawn Mower – 16 Gal. Bag, Two Batteries/Charger Included
Many of you will be familiar with ECHO because they have a great line of semi-pro string trimmers and other yard tools. The Echo 21 In Cordless Push Mower w/Battery and Charger Model CLM-58V4AH is a good compliment to your other ECHO tools. This mower looks like it has a steel deck but it is composite. It’s 56-volt and comes with one 4Ah battery. The batteries fit their other cordless L&G tools. Echo 21 In Cordless Mower w/Battery and Charger CLM-58V4AH
Oregon has been one of the early brands to come out with cordless tools and have always had cordless lawn mowers included in their line. They have a well-round line of 40V MAX tools including a multi-tool head, area light, chainsaw, blower, pole saw, etc. They are primarily sold at dealers but ACME Tool does carry the complete line. They have the lM400 available with different battery combinations and quick or standard chargers. The Oregon LM400 is my choice:
Black & Decker
Just another in the long list of cheap cordless electric mowers. Lawnmaster 19 in. 60-Volt Brushless Lithium-Ion Cordless Battery Walk-Behind Push Mower – 5.0 Ah Battery/Charger Included
And another one: Realm 14 in. 40-Volt Brushless Lithium-Ion Cordless Battery Walk Behind Push Lawn Mower 4.0 Ah Battery/Charger Included
Again, just another one but with a twist. This mower has is 120v DC and comes with a 3.0Ah battery. That 330 Wh of power. As a former power company electrician, I’m a little concerned about that high of DC voltage. From a safety standpoint, 120 volts DC can reach out, grab you and not let go. Here’s the Link to Home Depot: Redback 21 in. 120-Volt Lithium-Ion Battery Walk-Behind Push Mower – 3.0 Ah Battery/Charger Included
I’m pretty sure this is the cheapest cordless mower for sale in the U.S. I won’t judge you if you buy it for your postage stamp sized lawn. PowerSmart PS76215A 14-Inch 36V Lithium-Ion Cordless Lawn Mower, 3Ah Battery, and Charger Included
If you bought one of their 40 or 100-volt cordless snow blowers and just need a trim mower, etc. there is a model for you. Amazon: SunJoe/SnowJoe Cordless
Poulan Pro has introduced a 58-volt platform that includes a 21 inch, steel deck push mower. If you have a Poulan Pro lawn tractor and want all your equipment to match the Black/Gold color scheme you can buy it here: Poulan Pro 58-Volt Cordless
Ryobi products have very cool designs. And this post is very informative. Thank you so much for this cool share. Greetings
Paul, GREAT job – lot’s of info. I just started looking for a cordless battery operated mower and after doing some research had narrowed it down to the Toro 20363. Went to my local dealer and they also carry Stihl. Well, now I am a little unsure. I still like the Toro a lot, but am thinking the Stihl is really well built. I do need self-propelled (age factor) for my bermuda lawn, roughly .3 acres. Would you stay with Toro or spend a few $ more for Stihl?
Also, a little concerned with 2 manufacturers, (Snapper & Stihl), both advise to NOT clean under mower with water spray. Shoot…..Toro puts a hose attachment right on the deck – What’s the scoop. Are we only allowed to cut when the grass is bone dry?
Thanks again for all your fine work and am looking forward to the RMA510V review.
Hi Phil, Thanks here is more! https://www.youtube.com/user/TheToolboxhero/videos
There are walk-around and mowing videos of both the Toro and the Stihl to help you decide.
Personally, they are both great mowers with the Toro being slightly better for cut quality – but the Stihl String trimmer and blowers use the same battery as the mower and they are the best in the industry.
Hi Paul, Great review!! I have my eye on the Toro 60v 6Ah. (The 7.5Ah version is currently out of stock at Home Depot) Realistically, what type of square footage can I achieve (bagging or side discharge) with the 60v 6Ah Toro with med./thick grass and cutting 3″ off and leaving 2″ behind? Because cutting the recommended 1″ at a time seems unrealistic; that’s every few days. Thanks.
Hi John, My guess is about a 1/3 acre. If you side discharge the battery will last longer. If you buy the trimmer or blower with the 2.5 AH battery they are all interchangeable so you can use the 2.5 AH first, then put it on the charger while you are using the 6 AH. Then grab the 2.5 AH when the 6 is done. That will get enough charge to finish your lawn.
Thanks Paul. Do you know if the Toro self-propelled mechanism can be temporarily disabled if one doesn’t want to use it sometimes? Parts of my yard has trees/bushes that requires a lot of pushing and pulling Not sure if this Personal Pace would get in the way (or become bothersome) with this type of mowing. Thx.
Hi John, The mower is free-wheeling if you don’t have your hands on the Personal Pace bar. Just grab the metal bar/handle underneath the Personal Pace bar and you can use it just like a regular mower. I use the lower bar to pull the mower backward.
I have a 12K sq. ft bermuda lawn.
I am considering the Toro 60V mower ….. should I wait for reviews on the Oregon 120V mower before making my purchase.
I would like the best quality of cut and good mulching power.
Hi William, The 120V Oregon mower is a big, heavy, tank. I don’t recommend it unless you already have the 120V commercial tools. The Toro 60 volt is a great mower. I highly recommend it.
I am switching my lawn care business over to all electric. I am buying into the Oregon 120v professional backpack system for my blowers, trimmers and edgers. What do you recommend for walk behind mowers that can hold up to daily use on my residential routes. My main concerns are durability (including the blades), battery longevity and easy cleaning. Are any of the mowers IP rated? Your input is appreciated.
Hi Tim, It makes perfect sense to buy the Oregon 120 volt mower to go with the rest of your system. I looked at the self-propelled version last week and it’s built a lot tougher than anything other than the Mena Green walk behind.
Great article Paul. I really like the Toro steel deck model with 7.5 battery but I also like the 1-hour fast charging of the Snapper. Do you know the charging time for the Toro 7.5ah battery on their fastest charger?
One more question … I can’t find the decibel rating for this Toro model 20363. Is that info available anywhere? I’d like to see how it compares to other battery models.
Hi Monty, I am not a big fan of quick chargers. Why? If you charge a battery too fast you run the risk of overheating the battery, the cells will swell, and the battery will fail (or explode) In addition fast charging greatly reduces the battery life. For example, if you charge the battery at the recommended rate a good Lithium-ion battery pack can last 2500 cycles (charge/discharge.) If you charge it too quickly that same pack may only last 5-600 cycles. I’ve spent years working with battery packs and a good charge rate for the current production run cells/batteries is about 150 Watt-Hours per hour. So, the charging time for the 7.5 AH , 400 WH Toro battery is 180 minutes. It’s not a slow charge and not a “fast” charge but right within the acceptable charge rate for these type of Lithium cells.
The only noise from this mower is the blade spinning. There is no noise from the motor or drive train. How quiet is it? Check out this video. I use my Exmark rider first, then this mower so you can see how quiet it is. It’s so quiet that my video camera barely picks up the sound from 40 feet away. Here the video:
William von Rentzell
The WH figure is a bit off reality. No battery system is 100% efficient so WH (total energy) out (in use of the battery powered device) ALWAYS = no better than ~ 90-95% of WH in via charging to full charge level. Also, total energy supplied by a fully charged rechargeable battery is affected by load / rate of energy drawn out of the battery (Higher load always = less total energy available from the battery). Then when you are talking about yard maintenance equipment, the load applied in use of just about any of it is at least as variable as the weather. Given that, having a spare battery pack for any battery powered yard equipment item, lawn mowers in particular, becomes a pretty exact equivalent to having a can of fuel to refill the tank of any combustion powered equipment. 35 years as an in hospital biomedical engineering technician required me to become intimately informed of the performance characteristics of the battery & charger systems of the literally hundreds of battery powered electric medical devices the hospital I worked for had for our shop to maintain and repair. They had various rechargeable battery chemistry, mostly Sealed lead acid, earlier Nickle cadmium, then NIMH and later lithium ion battery chemistry. Usually the whole in use mix involved more than one of them.
Hi Wiliam, Lithium-ion tech has come a long way in the last 10 years. That said, a battery is still very dependent on the individual cells and the quality control the manufacture uses to make them. No two cells are the same and the weakest cell is the WH rating of the battery when assembled. So the company assembling them into batteries has to be very diligent to match the cells and buy cells that are consistent with the performance they want to deliver to the customer. Right now there are over 200 different manufacturers making Lithium-ion cells but Samsung, Sanyo, and Panasonic have the best cells and Milwaukee is the best at combining those cells to make the best batteries.
Brian J McLane
How would you rate the Yard Force YF120vRX 22-Inch Self-Propelled Mower
Hi Brian, Stick with the first 6 models on this list. The Yard Force is way-overpriced. 300-watt hours batteries are very small compared to other brands (that cost a lot less)
Brian J McLane