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 have 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.
How to choose the best cordless mower for you
What size mower do I need for my garden?
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.
What about the mower’s battery life?
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.
What else should I look out for?
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.
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The best cordless lawn mowers you can buy
1. Karcher LMO 18-36: The best cordless mower for flat lawns
Price: £243 | Buy now from Amazon
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
£330.01 Buy now
2. Flymo Easistore 340R Li: The most compact and convenient cordless mower
Price: £240 | Buy now from Wickes
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