There's no shortage of electric power mowers to choose from these days as suppliers add more models to meet consumer demand for quiet and eco-friendly options to gas-powered mowers. Here are several mowers that experts--including analysts at Consumer Reports--consider the best in terms of cutting power, ease of use and reliability.
Like vacuum cleaners, corded mowers need to be plugged into a power source and they are usually equipped with a 100-foot-long cord. They are less expensive than cordless mowers but lack the range and ease of use. Consumer Reports tops their list with the Craftsman 37051, which comes with a clip on the handle that secures the cord so that it stays out of the way and doesn't get run over. It represents a small investment and usually costs around $229, as of December 2009.
Cordless mowers are a little more expensive, with the lowest-priced models priced around $300. Consumer Digest ranks the Homelite 13122, sold at Home Depot, high on its list because of its low price ($330, as of December 2009) and its large, 8-inch rear wheels that make it easy to handle.
Neutron brand mowers, both the Neutron CE 5.3 and CE 6.3, are also highly-rated because they are lighter and come with an extra battery that can be installed when the other runs low on power. But they are also more expensive, priced at $390 and $490 respectively (as of December 2009). The main knock against cordless mowers is that they are heavy--due in large part to the weight of the battery--and can usually run for just 45 minutes before the battery requires a charge.
Best of the Rest
The lowest-priced electric mower is the Black & Decker LM175, a corded mower that sells for $170, as of December 2009, has a 6.5 amp motor and is consistently ranked among the best electric mowers. The Black & Decker Lawn Hog also earns high marks from owners and comes with a 12 amp motor and a $250 price tag, as of December 2009. Most electric mowers come with similar features and price tags, so choosing the best model should be a function of the lawn it will be cutting.
If you have a large lawn, choose a cordless mower with a wide base to get the maximum amount of coverage for each pass. For smaller lawns, an inexpensive corded mower should suffice.