Welcome to Mower week. Today we have a head to head. Stay tuned because the rest of the week, we will cover each mower in greater detail. Five years ago if you asked me if we would have ever had a head to head for cordless mowers, I probably would have laughed. See back then I was all about gas, all about power. The cordless mowers back then were awful. They were cheap, they didn’t last and let’s face it, manufacturers just came out of the gate too soon because they were so interested in being first to the game. However times have changed. I have sold off my gas mower, blower and string trimmer for battery powered tools. See I love the fact of not running to the gas station, finding out my gas is bad, the loud noises of the motors, dealing with spark plugs and all the other hassles of gas. Now I enjoy the peace and quiet of battery powered tools, the convenience of a single button and I am off to the races. However this has only been made possible because manufacturers and battery technology has caught up to make a usable battery powered tool, such as a lawn mower. With that being said, we get a ton of emails asking what is the best cordless mower on the market. I have also noticed that a ton more towns are coming up with noise ordinances (don’t you love politicians?). A couple years back we took a look at these mowers, but times have changed so we figured now would be a great time to put some of the main brands head to head, so here we are.
To give you a little background, I live in a residential area where the lots are small. My lot is 6,600 square feet, but the house and the driveway take up some of that. So while I can use a battery powered mower, not every mower will do the trick. So when we decided to perform a head to head, I thought about what was important to me and my decision about the best cordless mower. For me, I have five things I want in a mower:
- Run Time & Power – Run time is important because who wants the hassle of mowing part of the yard, charging the battery, then finishing it up? We all want to finish our yard with a single charge. We want to be able to power through deep grass or mulch a ton of leaves without the hassle of the battery dying. Let’s face it, our lives are unpredictable. We can’t all cut our grass every Tuesday or the exact time it needs to be cut. Sometimes we wait and the grass is long.
- Quality of Mower – For obvious reasons, this a huge selling point. Who wants to push around a mower that is heavy, bulky or just feels like a pile of junk? We want one that uses quality components and will last us for a number of years. I would prefer my lifetime, but that might be asking a little too much. Unless I check out early, which I hope isn’t the case.
- Quality of Cut – It’s one thing to cut the grass, but it’s a whole different ball game to cut the grass and it looks nice. The last time we had a lawnmower shootout, we found that a bunch of the mowers wouldn’t really cut all the grass. Some of them would actually cut part of the grass and then the rest it would just push the blades of grass down. So the next day when the grass had a chance to recover, a ton of blades would be sticking up.
- Ease of Use – We live in a world where everyone wants something easy. No one has time to fool around and waste time. We want easy start up, easy storage and easy maintenance. When we rate this category, it has more to do with how easy it is to adjust the handles, fold the handle, change deck heights and make other adjustments.
- Other tools in the line – The last item we looked at was what other tools are in the battery platform, who wants to invest in multiple platforms? I want to be able to expand my OPE tools and I want quality tools. We will touch on this aspect of the review, but it won’t be a huge talking point because we haven’t had a chance to look at all the items in every battery platform.
So when we tested these mowers to find the best cordless mower, these were the five areas we took a look at. Now I have to tell you, this test was a pain in the butt because there were so many things we never thought about before we started. We had this huge game plan in mind and a great way to compare them against each other. Once we got all the mowers, it was a whole different ball game. How could we really test the run time as there are different types of grass, different heights and other factors. As I said before I tested them on my property which is 6,600 square feet, but the house takes up a lot of that along with the driveway. I also let my neighbor test them and he has pretty much the same lot size. Here is a piece of advise I can give you. Buy the mower you want and don’t worry about run time. Once you get the mower home, test it on your yard. If it works out great and you can mow it with one charge, great. However if you can’t mow it with one charge, return it, get your money back and try a different brand. Normally for our head to head reviews, we don’t order them from least to best. However for this, I am going to order them from least to best because in my eyes, there were enough things that stood out to make an easy decision. As a side note, all these mowers are great mowers and anyone should be happy to own any of these. If you visit any of the online websites that sell these mowers, you will see they all have great ratings. However, we do think some are better than others, so let’s get started.
5. Kobalt 80V
This mower was my least favorite lawn mower. Now this doesn’t mean it’s not a great mower, but we just had issues with this right from the start. While the mower cut great and did a great job bagging, it just felt very cheap. The handle is sloppy and the overall mower just seems cheap. We also didn’t like the metal deck. While this is one of the reasons it had such a great cut, the weight and feeling didn’t appeal to us.
- Nice cut
- Bagged Great
- Great for Mulching
- Seems Cheap – Clunky
- Heavy with Steel Deck
- Handle is Flimsy
4. Echo 58V
This was our first time using an Echo 58V mower. We were impressed with the quality of the mower. The cut quality, bagging and mulching were all great. The handle is a little sloppy and could have a better design. One turn off was the fact a user needs to adjust all four wheels. Most battery mowers have a single lever that will adjust all four wheels at once.
- Great Cut
- Deck Feels Solid
- Great Job Bagging
- Great for Mulching
- Must adjust each wheel for height
- Handle is a little flimsy
3. Greenworks 80V
Greenworks makes some great OPE tools. This mower is solid and does a great job with mulching, bagging and the cut quality is great. We think the metal deck might have something to do with the cut quality as it was a top contender. However the metal deck also adds extra weight that some people will not enjoy. This mower seems to be pretty close to the Kobalt as we think Greenworks makes it for them. However this mower does seem to be better than the Kobalt.
- Great Cut
- Lots of Run Time
- Bagged Great
- Great for Mulching
- Heavy with steel deck
- Handle is flimsy
2. Ryobi 40V
Ryobi is a staple at The Home Depot. I have to say we weren’t expecting much from this mower, but it really surprised us. The mower is lightweight and easy to move around. The handle seems like a high quality handle. Bagging, mulching and cutting were all great. The one downside is charge time. The charge time was almost 50% more than the other tools. If you are just using the mower, charge time isn’t an issue. However if you start going into other Ryobi OPE tools, this can cause an issue with waiting around.
- Nice cut
- Great run time
- Bagging good
- Great for mulching
- Battery charge time
1. Ego 56V
This was by far the best mower we tested. We aren’t just saying that because EGO sponsored our mower week, but this is truly a great mower. If you don’t believe us, check out the reviews online about this mower. The quality of the mower is much higher than other battery powered mowers on the market. This does a great job with bagging, mulching and cutting. We just wish it included the side discharge for those people who still use this feature.
- Quality build
- Lots of power
- Great run time
- Quality of cut
- Bagged well
- Self propelled
- Must call company to get side discharge attachment (Free)
As I said in the beginning of this article, all the mowers are great buys. In the end we really love the EGO. EGO has the power, the build quality, ease of use and cut quality that make this stand out from the rest. Couple all that with the other OPE tools EGO offers and this is just hard to beat. What’s great about EGO is you can buy a self propelled mower or just your traditional push mower. While I would recommend the push mower over the self propelled mower for weight reasons, the self propelled mower is a very nice option for those who have larger hills or runs. The Ryobi and Greenworks were both very close and either option will make a consumer happy. If they up their game for next year, they will be sure to give EGO a run for their money. While the Kobalt and Echo aren’t bad choices, in the end they do need a little work to go along with their future designs.
Question. What is an OPE tool?
Sorry, I should have been more clear. OPE = Outdoor Power Equipment.
Great write up guys, really top notch, the ryobi is a surprise just by the name and style of it but if it works you can’t argue it right? #tiacrew
Hi Eric, if you get a chance, see my ridiculously long comment I posted on your post of the Echo 58V mower review from 2016. My question is durability. So I’m wondering, how well do these mowers hold up to accidents like that. I’ve hit roots and stakes, and the occasional pavestone or curb with my 20+ year old John Deere mower, and never had it break anything. But just a few hits (two tree root “nicks” and one good hit on a stake) and the Echo is trashed. Is it the same for other cordless mowers? Do any of these have a belt drive, or sheer pin or something to protect the motor shaft in case of a hit? IDK – for me anyway, accidental blade strikes are unavoidable. Wondering if these mowers can take it? (obviously my Echo couldn’t, unless I just happened to get a bad one). Any insight you have would be appreciated.
Also – love your reviews and especially the videos.
I saw your other comment. That’s a great question on the abuse part. I was always told they can take it but I think next spring we are going to have to put them to the test and see what they can really handle. I have the first generation Ego. In the spring and the fall, I lower the deck and always hit a paver and two tree roots. So far I haven’t had issues with that mower. Not saying I won’t but so far it has held up. I just run through blades and am always sharpening them.
Appreciate the reviews! I was wondering if you had checked out the Kobalt KMP 2580-06, which is their self-propelled, rear wheel drive model with 2×2.5amph batteries, which I would assume would give you a little more run time than 2×2.0amph batteries. Would this model run closer to the Ego? I got it for $450 with 5 year mower and 3 year battery warranties.
Thanks and appreciate any feedback.
I don’t believe we looked at that particular mower, Kobalt has come a long way with their mowers, but we would always recommend sticking with EGO. Since this post, we’ve looked at several other mowers and still feel it is the best cordless mower.