What is a Cordless Lawn Mower?

Darrell Laurant
Darrell Laurant
Man mowing the grass
Man mowing the grass

Under the right circumstances, a cordless lawn mower can be a nice middle ground between two previously unsavory choices -- noisy, fume-belching gas models and hundreds of feet of clumsy extension cord. The advantages are obvious: Gas mowers are often difficult to start, can be deafening to those in close proximity to them, and are one of the prime villains in increased air pollution.

Riding lawnmowers may eliminate the start-up problem (no cords to yank), but they also eliminate the peripheral exercise benefits of do-it-yourself lawn care. And if your lawn is studded with trees, bushes, lawn sculptures, etc., trying to operate with a long cord can be an exercise in frustration. Enter the cordless lawn mower, which runs off a battery -- typically 24 volts.

This is more than enough power for the average small lawn, equal to roughly five horsepower in a gas-fueled mower. And although the battery will generally need to be recharged after each use, it can rejuvenate itself within 24 hours. Or, it may come with replaceable battery packs.

Moreover, there is no need to stockpile messy and potential dangerous gas cans, and moving away from gas can save a significant amount of money over a mowing season. Meanwhile, turning down the volume -- a cordless lawn mower typically gives off between 65-80 decibels, as opposed to 90-100 for its gas-eating cousin -- can ease the nerves of your neighbors. Some cordless mowers also offer the additional advantage of a mulching feature. For those and other reasons, the Environmental Protection Agency strongly recommends electric.

On the down side, a cordless lawn mower is a sensitive piece of equipment that tends to wilt under a heavy workload. Beyond a third of an acre, the battery will begin to lose its charge, and the mower its power. Nor is it a good idea to use a cordless lawn mower to attack abnormally high or wet grass, because this will also be a drag on the power source.

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Discussion Comments


This article talks about how the cordless lawn mowers are quieter than other mowers. Regardless of what kind of mower you are operating you should wear ear protection. When you are around a loud mower once a week for a lifetime of summers, your hearing takes a real beating. Ear plugs or noise reducing headphones can reduce a good amount of hearing loss.


These cordless lawn mowers may not last as long as a gas powered mower and maybe they can't work as hard, but I bet they are fine for the average person with a small lawn. Even if they don't work quite as well, the fact that they don't use gas and aren't polluting the air with chemicals make them worthwhile for me.


I only need to read the final paragraph to know I don't want one of these mowers. why would I want something that is going to wilt under a heavy workload?

This so called cordless mower would be more of an inconvenience than anything else for me. I need a mower I don't have to baby, and I need one that is ready to go to work when I am ready.

I don't have a problem with buying machines that are less harmful to the environment, but they need to do the same job as the machine they will replace. Also, since most lawnmowers are cordless, the name cordless lawn mower is misleading. My gas mowers are cordless.

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