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Gone are the days of having to fight with a long power cable when mowing the lawn. If you haven’t jumped on the battery cordless lawn mower bandwagon yet, I’m sure it’s something you’ve considered.
Many of the best cordless lawn mowers are designed for ease of use and efficient cutting but there are differences between models which is why it’s incredibly important to assess a mower to see if it’s right for you.
One of the best ways to do this is to ask yourself a few simple but crucial questions that will help you to determine exactly the right model for your yard. But if you’re not sure where to start then don’t worry, I’ve put together this guide to make life easier. You can also check out my video on the 8 important steps to buying a battery cordless lawn mower over on YouTube.
Question 1 – What’s The Best Deck Size For My Lawn?
Before you think about anything else, I would strongly recommend you think about what deck size you’re going to need for your battery cordless lawn mower. The reason that this is such a critical consideration is because choosing something too small means you’ll spend far longer mowing than you need to. On the other hand, if you choose something that’s too big for your yard, you’ll find it hard to maneuver.
Lawn mower deck sizes are given in inches. Generally speaking, if your lawn is under 2150 square feet then you’ll need to choose a mower with a deck size between 11 and 13 inches. For medium sized yards up to 3,700 square feet, I would recommend choosing a deck size around 15 inches.
In the US, it’s not uncommon for homes to have much larger yards than other places in the world so there’s a good chance you have a lawn that exceeds 5000 square feet. In this case, you’ll want to look for a mower deck over 15 inches; something around 18 inches might be a good choice as this will mean you can cover the entire lawn in fewer passes.
Question 2 – What Charger and Battery Do I Need?
While it is possible to purchase a battery cordless lawn mower as a bare tool, most models are supplied with a charger and batteries. Unless you already have several tools from the brand you are considering and have power shareable batteries, I’d recommend choosing something that comes with batteries and a charger as this is more cost effective. When you purchase cordless mower batteries on their own, they can be very expensive and may even cost the same as the mower itself.
When it comes to looking at the batteries, there are two numbers you need to consider; the voltage and the amp hours which are written as V and Ah respectively.
The amp hours tell you how much capacity the battery has and this is a really important consideration if you have a large lawn as you’re going to want to make sure the battery will give you enough running time to complete the mow. It’s simple to understand because the higher the Ah number, the more run time you’ll get out of the battery. Something with 5.0 Ah is going to give you around 40 minutes whereas a 2.5Ah battery might only give you 30 minutes. However, one thing I should point out is that the run time isn’t always guaranteed because the mowing conditions will impact it.
Now onto voltage which is something that a lot of people get confused about but it’s a lot simpler to understand than you might think. In the most straightforward terms, voltage tells you how powerful a battery is. As with Ah, the higher the number, the more powerful it’ll be.
One thing you should keep in mind is that a lot of cordless lawn mowers are advertised as having a particular voltage but the individual batteries may not reflect this. For example, you might purchase an 80 v lawn mower only to find that each battery is 40 v. The idea here is that you use both batteries at once for the combined power of 80 v.
However, that’s quite a powerful machine which you may not need if you have a smaller lawn. Not only will you need to think about the yard size to find the right battery, you’ll also want to think about the type of terrain, whether there are any slopes, and whether the mower is self propelled as all of these things will put more pressure on the battery and demand greater power.
It’s not only the battery you’ll need to think about; your cordless mower also comes with a charger and you’ll need something that isn’t going to take hours to boost the power. If your lawn mower comes with two batteries, it is essential that you have a dual charger so you can charge them together which will save a lot of time.
Look at how long it takes to charge the batteries. There are fast chargers which are ideal if you’re in a hurry and these can fully charge a battery in around 30 minutes. However, for most people, a standard charger is sufficient and you’ll only have to wait around 90 minutes for the battery to fully charge.
Question 3 – What Are The Right Cutting Options For My Lawn?
There is very little point in buying an all singing, all dancing lawn mower if you’re not going to use all of the options. There are usually four cutting options that you’ll find on a cordless lawn mower but I would recommend considering how versatile you need the machine to be as this will allow you to make the most cost effective decision; a 4 in 1 mower is going to cost much more than a regular cut and collect model.
Cut and collect is the most common cutting option and people favor it because of its convenience. There is a grass catcher in the form of a bag or box which attaches to the back of the lawn mower and the grass clippings are blown in. You can then remove the catcher and dispose of the contents.
A lot of cordless lawn mowers come with a mulching plug which plugs up the hole that the grass clippings would normally go through to enter the grass box. Instead, they remain in the mower deck where they’re chopped up into fine pieces and then they drop back onto the lawn. The benefit of this is that it’s a great and natural way of fertilizing your lawn thanks to the high level of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus in the clippings.
Some of the more advanced cordless lawn mowers might also have a rear and/or side discharge chute. These are designed to deposit the grass clippings onto the lawn without chopping them up in the same way as mulching. In reality, these are not functions that most people need so it might be worth saving a bit of money by not having them.
Question 4 – Do I Need A Self Propelled Model?
If you’ve ever used a gas lawn mower then you’ll be familiar with self propelled models and this is something that we’re now seeing a lot of in cordless mowers. However, you have to keep in mind that this function means you’ll likely pay a lot more for your mower so I’d only really recommend it if it’s something you actually need.
So, who would benefit from a self propelled cordless lawn mower? Anyone whose yard is sloped or uneven will find it much easier to move the mower around when it’s driving itself; all you need to do is steer!
I’d also suggest this type of cordless mower for those with a very large yard and it can get pretty tiresome pushing a heavy lawn mower around over a massive expanse of grass. That said, since a self propelled model will demand more power from the battery, you will need to make sure you buy something that’s powerful enough to cope with the extra consumption.
Another reason that some people buy a cordless self propelled lawn mower is if they have any physical limitations. If you suffer with things like back pain, mobility issues or simply find that you get tired easily, having this function can take a lot of the work out of mowing the lawn. For older people, it’s a great way to retain some independence in your yard chores. What’s more, a lot of models come with variable speed so you can set the mower to a pace that matches your own.
Question 5 – What Size And Type Of Grass Catcher Do I Need?
Earlier, I talked about the cut and collect mowing function which is common on most cordless lawn mowers. But one thing I find super annoying is when the size of the grass box doesn’t match the size of the mower.
If you have purchased a large 20 inch lawn mower, the last thing you want is a puny grass catcher that needs to be emptied every two minutes. So make sure you check the size.
I’d also recommend looking at the type of grass catcher that comes with the lawn mower as this can affect how easy it is to use. For the most part, I would recommend a hybrid grass catcher which features a plastic lid and fabric sides. This gives you the best of both worlds as you have stability provided by the lid but when it’s not in use, you can collapse the grass catcher for easy storage. On top of this, having fabric sides results in improved airflow to keep the cuttings moving and this will allow you to get more in before you have to empty it.
If you want to take the guesswork out of when it’s time to empty the grass catcher then I would recommend choosing one that has a full flap indicator. This is a small flap that moves when air passes through it. Once the grass box fills up, air can no longer get through and the flap stays closed, telling you it’s time to empty. It’s simple but really handy!
Question 6 – Are There Any Special Features And Functions I Would Like?
There are some cordless lawn mowers that are incredibly simple in their design while others come with a staggering number of features. I’d never recommend buying anything more than you need because those additional features will just go to waste but it is worth assessing your needs and working out which features will work best for you. Here are some of the options you will need to consider.
- Cutting heights: you’ll usually find that your cordless lawn mower comes with between six and seven cutting height options and this is usually more than enough for a domestic lawn. However, you will need to check what variation is offered so you have better versatility. Generally speaking, you’ll want options between 25 mm and 75 mm although there are some models that have cutting heights as low as 20 mm. Moreover, you’ll need to consider how easy it is to change the cutting height; a central lever is the simplest option and it makes altering the height super quick.
- Rear roller: some, but not all cordless lawn mowers come with a rear roller which you can use to achieve a striped lawn. Even if this isn’t something you’re fussy about, it might still be worth choosing a rear roller if your lawn is uneven as it can improve the stability of the mower and will allow you to cut over the edges with ease. Moreover, using a mower with a rear roller will reduce the risk of scalping the lawn.
- Battery gauge: the last thing that anyone wants is their lawn mower cutting out on them halfway through the mow which is why I think it’s really important to make sure that you have a clear view of the batteries so you can see the lights on them. Even better is a battery gauge which is usually located on the handles and allows you to keep an eye on how much power is left in the battery.
- Handles: one of the first things I would suggest looking at in terms of the lawn mower handles is how easily they fold; if at all because this will impact how easy the machine is to store. Some fold at the mid point whereas others also have a hinge at the bottom, allowing you to completely collapse the handle so it sits flat on top of the mower. I would also take a look at whether the handle is adjustable in terms of height and angle as this will allow you to set it so it’s comfortable to use. Other comfort features include a padded handle, dual starter buttons and a full width starter bar.
- Grass combs: I think that the addition of grass combs on a cordless lawn mower is a wonderful thing as it ensures that you get a much neater cut. These combs lift the grass and bring it into the path of the blade so that the result is much more uniform. What’s more, they allow you to cut closer to the edge so you’ll need to do less work with the trimmer.
- Large rear wheels: if your yard is uneven then having larger rear wheels can really work in your favor as they will give the lawn mower much greater stability. Not only this but you will find it much easier to mow over bumpy ground as the large wheels improve maneuverability.
Question 7 – How Much Money Am I Willing To Spend?
You could pick up one of the cheapest cordless lawn mowers for less than $250 but of course, this isn’t going to have the same number of features as the ones at the other end of the scale which could cost upwards of $1,250!
When choosing a mower, it is essential to set a budget and never spend outside of your means. It is perfectly possible to find a good cordless mower regardless of your budget but you’ll have to figure out which features you desperately need and which ones you’re happy to go without. It can be tempting to go over the top and spend hundreds on a fancy mower with all the mod cons only to find you don’t ever actually use them. What a waste of money!
The price of the lawn mower will be influenced by several factors including how powerful the batteries are, the deck size and what mowing functions it has. Many people fall under the false belief that cheaper models won’t last nor will they perform well but this couldn’t be further from the truth. There are lots of really well made budget models from some of the most trusted manufacturers so it’s worth shopping around.
If you’re looking to get the best deal then I would suggest buying the battery, charger, and mower as a package. However, if you already have appropriate batteries then buying a bare tool is an excellent way to save a little money.
Question 8 – Does The Mower Come With A Good Warranty And Customer Support?
The last thing I would urge you to ask yourself is whether you are going to get a decent warranty on your new cordless lawn mower. Even with the most reputable brands, there is always a risk of something going wrong so you want to make sure that you’re covered. Normally, you will find that cordless lawn mowers come with a warranty between two and three years. But there are some companies that offer much more generous five-year warranties, like Hyundai.
In addition to this, I would recommend finding out how easy it is to source spare parts or get your mower fixed by the company. While cordless lawn mowers are low maintenance, there will come a time that you have to replace the blades and the battery and you don’t want this to be a lot of effort so look for companies that have stockists for parts in the US.
Finally, take the time to do some research on the customer support from the manufacturer. Previous customers will be very willing to share their experiences online, both good and bad and these are usually very reliable reviews.
If you have decided that now is the right time to buy a battery cordless lawn mower then the last thing I would advise doing is going out and spending money on the first tool you find. There are a few important questions you should ask yourself before you start shopping and these will help you to figure out which cordless mower is going to be right for your yard.
If you have any questions you would like to ask, feel free to use the comment’s box below – I will be happy to respond. Alternatively, you can head over to my easy-to-use lawn mower selection tool to quickly and easily shortlist your perfect Battery Powered Lawn Mower, by clicking the image link below.