RYOBI’s self-propelled 21-inch electric lawn mower is 379 (Reg. 500)
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Home Depot offers the RYOBI 21-inch 40V Cordless Electric Lawn Mower for 379 shipped. As a comparison, it originally sold for 599 but trends around 500 typically. Today’s deal is 20 less than our previous mention. This model offers a 21-inch blade width that’s powered by RYOBI’s 40V battery. It’s also a self-propelled model, which is a particularly notable upgrade less often found on electric lawn mowers. Provides up to 35-minutes of runtime. Ships with a 6Ah battery and a wall charger. Rated 4/5 stars.
If you’re really looking to go green, consider the American Reel Lawn Mower for 80 at Amazon. Going old school will seriously cut down on any emissions, both direct or otherwise, while also giving you a good workout!
Looking for more power? RYOBI’s more robust riding lawn mowers are also on sale with a fully-electric design. Deals start at 450,999 with free shipping for all. Jump over to our daily Green Deals roundup for additional price drops on energy-saving accessories and more.
RYOBI 21-inch 40V Electric Lawn Mower features:
RYOBI is leading cordless innovation with the introduction of the RYOBI 40-Volt 21 in. Smart-TREK Self-Propelled Mower. This self-propelled mower features Smart TREK technology that adapts to the user’s walking speed and has rear wheel drive for increased traction when mowing your yard.
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Honda HRN216VKA 21-Inch Gas Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
- The mower is able to cut through dense and wet grass on the first pass.
- It starts quickly and reliably with just one pull.
- Thorough mulching abilities can handle wet leaves and grass.
- Good value for a lawn mower of its size and power.
- Bag latch can become clogged with clippings and may need cleanout prior to reinserting the bag.
- Self-propelled speed doesn’t respond well to slight increases.
In terms of all-around performance, our top-recommended walk-behind mower is this model from Honda. The gas mower has a self-propelled design that’s powered by a 4-stroke 166cc engine, yet we found that it was extremely easy to start up, only ever needing one pull to get the motor going. The tool has a 21-inch cutting deck and weighs around 75 pounds, but despite its substantial weight, the self-propelled design made it easy for us to operate and navigate around obstacles in the yard.
This Honda lawn mower did a phenomenal job while cutting, and it was able to cut through dense patches of grass and weeds on a single pass. We even tested it in slightly damp conditions, and it didn’t get bogged down at all. You can choose between rear discharge, bagging, or mulching grass clippings, and we loved that the mulching setting cut debris up into fine pieces that will help feed nutrients back into the lawn. It was even able to mulch wet leaves and grass without any issues.
While we were impressed with this mower’s overall performance, there are a few small caveats worth noting. The area where the collection bag latches to the mower frequently got clogged with grass pieces, and we had to clean it out before reattaching the bag. Additionally, the self-propulsion doesn’t respond well to gradual increases in speed — it tends to go from slow to fast with no options in between.
Price at time of publish: 549
Power Source: Gas | Cutting Width: 21 inches | Weight: 74.75 pounds | Self-Propelled: Yes | Clipping Options: Rear discharge, bag, mulch
Sun Joe MJ401E-P2 Electric Lawn Mower
- This lawn mower is very lightweight, and it’s similar to operating a vacuum.
- Its small form is easy to maneuver and can fit into tight spaces.
- The mower is much quieter than a gas-powered mower.
- Grass collection bag fills up very quickly and may need to be emptied multiple times while mowing.
- Grass can get clogged underneath the mowing deck, which causes the mower to shut off.
If you have a small yard, chances are you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a push mower. Luckily for you, the Sun Joe Electric Lawn Mower is an inexpensive option that’s unbelievably easy to use and maintain. This lawn mower is half the weight of many other walk-behind models we tested, and its corded design makes it easy to mow a small yard without worrying about running out of power. In testing, we found that it requires very little effort to push — we’d compare it to pushing a vacuum cleaner across a carpet — and were impressed by how quiet it is while mowing.
This electric mower can get into tight spaces easily, thanks to its 14-inch cutting deck, but it can get stuck if you’re cutting thick grass — during testing, the mower shut off on us because the blades were clogged up. However, it was easy to clean out the cutting deck and continue mowing. The only major downside of this compact electric mower is that it solely bags grass clippings, and the collection bag is extremely small. We had to empty it two or three times while mowing a 400-square-foot area, which made the process take a little longer than expected.
Price at time of publish: 108
Power Source: Plug-in | Cutting Width: 14 inches | Weight: 29 pounds | Self-Propelled: No | Clipping Options: Bag
Greenworks 12 Amp 20-Inch 3-in-1 Corded Lawn Mower
- Good value for a larger corded mower.
- The mower performs well on both dry and damp grass, as well as tall weeds.
- It has no problem driving over uneven ground.
- The mower is easy to push with one hand, even though it’s not self-propelled.
- It can be a bit bulky to turn or maneuver around obstacles.
- Clippings often fall out when emptying the collection bag, even if it’s not full.
The Greenworks Corded Lawn Mower is a great value if you don’t mind working around an extension cord as you mow. This electric model has a fairly large 20-inch cutting deck, and it offers side discharge, bagging, and mulching abilities, unlike other corded models we tested. We used it on both dry and damp grass, and it had no problems cutting either one, breezing right through tall weeds. It also did a good job capturing grass clippings in the included collection bag, though some do spill out when you remove the bag for emptying.
We tested this mower on a fairly uneven lawn, and thanks to its large rear wheels, it didn’t have any problem driving over divots that have posed a problem for other mowers. We were able to push the mower around with just one hand, holding the power cord with the other, but it does require two hands to turn the mower around, as it’s a bit bulky (and not self-propelled). Bottom line? With its affordable price and reliable performance, this mower is a good option for anyone with a smaller yard who wants a corded lawn mower with features.
Price at time of publish: 229
Power Source: Plug-in | Cutting Width: 20 inches | Weight: 56 pounds | Self-Propelled: No | Clipping Options: Side discharge, bag, mulch
EGO Power Select Cut 56-Volt 21-Inch Self-Propelled Cordless Lawn Mower
- The battery still had power left after 50 minutes of use.
- The handle can be adjusted to different heights and angles for maximum comfort.
- The self-propelled design is easy to maneuver and takes strain off your body.
- The mower did get bogged down on a wet patch of grass and ferns.
- The process to start the mower is a bit complicated and hard to understand based on the directions.
There are several benefits to battery-powered mowers like the EGO Power Self-Propelled Lawn Mower, including its lack of emissions, quiet operation, and minimal maintenance. This 21-inch lawn mower only comes with one 56-volt battery, but it was able to mow for 50 minutes with power to spare, making it a great option even for larger yards. On first use, we struggled to figure out how to start the mower — it’s not as simple as just pushing a single button — but once we conquered that hurdle, it was smooth sailing.
The self-propelled design was easy to maneuver around the yard, and we loved that it requires minimal effort, so it won’t strain your back. The mower delivered a clean, even cut, even when the grass was damp, and it’s easy and intuitive to adjust settings like the cutting height and mower speed. We did find that the mower would occasionally get bogged down in thicker, wet areas (for instance, it had trouble cutting through a patch of ferns), but this is the case with many mowers, so we don’t think it’s a dealbreaker.
Price at time of publish: 549 (orig. 576.45)
Power Source: Battery | Cutting Width: 21 inches | Weight: 54.5 pounds | Self-Propelled: Yes | Clipping Options: Side discharge, bag, mulch
Honda HRX217VKA 21-Inch Self-Propelled Gas Lawn Mower
- The mower is easy to start without priming or worrying about flooding the motor.
- Self-propelled function locks into your desired speed, saving you from having to hold down a lever.
- There’s a setting that allows you to half bag and half mulch the grass clippings.
If you have a lot of ground to cover, we recommend this Honda HRX Lawn Mower. It’s powered by a 201cc engine that easily cuts through thick and dense grass, yet it’s incredibly easy to start up — we were able to get the mower going with a single pull, no priming needed. The Honda mower also has 4-in-1 functionality, meaning you can side discharge, bag, mulch, or shred grass clippings, and we like that there’s even an option to bag half and mulch half. This setting would definitely come in handy if you’re cutting longer grass.
This mower also stood out thanks to its convenient self-propelled design. The control bar has a knob that lets you select the speed you want, essentially locking the mower at that pace so you don’t have to worry about holding the lever down at the right pressure. It can also go quite fast — we found that a medium speed was comfortable for walking, but you could dial it up for faster mowing, if desired.
Overall, we had very few complaints about this self-propelled mower. It did take a little trial and error to find the right deck height and speed setting, but once that was done, the mower delivered a nice even cut every time.
Price at time of publish: 799 (orig. 989.99)
Power Source: Gas | Cutting Width: 21 inches | Weight: 91 pounds | Self-Propelled: Yes | Clipping Options: Side discharge, bag, mulch, leaf shred
The Best Electric Lawn Mowers of 2023
These cordless cutters are powerful, convenient, and (relatively) quiet.
By Roy Berendsohn Published: May 11, 2023
If you’re among the thousands of homeowners in the process of switching from a gas engine mower to one powered by a battery, this is the season to make your move. Battery mower technology is evolving and improving even as you read this. Our tests are proving conclusively that more of these lawn mowers cut a larger area than previous machines. And, almost certainly, if you buy a spare battery or two, you’ll have more than enough capability to handle your lawn’s requirements for the duration of the cutting season.
Many people, especially those with small yards (roughly 5,000 to 8,000 square feet of grass to cut) who can handle the job in 40 minutes to an hour find that not only can they cut their lawn with battery-powered mowers, but that they can also do their trimming and blow the surfaces clean with battery-powered tools. We’re diehard gas engine users here, but even we have to state the obvious: battery mowers are great yard-care tools and a perfect fit for many homeowners.
We’ve been testing electric lawn mowers since it came into being and this spring was no exception. As in past years, we took the latest crop of battery-powered mowers and put them through a multi-day, multi-phase test. The measured-area and bagging test required mowing approximately 85,000 square feet of turf. That’s slightly under two acres. Prior to that we had already run the mowers through a preliminary test–we didn’t even bother to measure that test area. In the process we walked somewhere in the range of 9 to 10 miles testing these mowers.
We put in that effort to help you find an electric lawn mower that’s a good fit for you, in terms of power, bagging ability, cut cleanliness and ease of operation. Our test results are shown below, followed by more specifics on how we test.
The Best Electric Lawn Mower
Ego LM2150SP Cordless Lawn Mower
Ego LM2167SP Electric Lawn Mower
Echo DLM 2100SP Electric Lawn Mower
Greenworks 25223 Cordless Lawn Mower
Ryobi RY401150US Self-Propelled Electric Mower
Toro 21466 Recycler Lithium-Ion Electric Mower
Toro 21623 Stripe Dual-Blades Self-Propelled Mower
Husqvarna Lawn Xpert LE-322 Battery-Powered Lawn Mower
Makita GML01Z Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
Ego LM2150SP Cordless Lawn Mower
Several features allowed the Ego to clinch Best Overall, no small achievement in our mower tests. First is its outstanding cut quality. Healthy grass looks like velvet after it has been mowed with the EGO. Even when the mower is used in mulching mode, we did not find clumps of accumulated clippings after the mower was finished (it’s important to specify here that these tests were performed on dry grass). We attribute that cut quality to the X-shaped blade (a design developed decades ago on Honda’s gas engine mowers) and to the smooth and unobstructed deck surface surrounding the blade.
This mower is also an excellent bagger, gathering pounds more grass per square foot of test area than most mowers. You have to be aware of that when operating this mower. Its bag will fill more quickly than you might think. Although we spend most of our time testing mowers in mulch mode, we recognize that bagging is particularly important to people who have a lot of foot traffic in parts of the yard and want to prevent grass clippings from getting dragged into the house, garage or onto patios. If that’s you, the Ego is probably a good fit for you.
Like many battery mowers today, the Ego is equipped with an all-plastic deck that will never rust, and a tilt-forward handle that also telescopically adjusts to suit the user’s height. To make it even easier to use, it has single-lever deck height adjustment with a large T-shaped handle. The combination of the spring-loaded adjustment and one of the better speed-control mechanisms we’ve seen–a simple dial that you rotate forward and back.
Since this model is sold without a battery and charger, it’s up to you how much battery to put in it. The brand recommends a battery with a minimum of 7.5 Ah of capacity, and that’s what we used to arrive at the cut area you see below. You can easily do better than that with a larger battery such as the company’s 10-Ah, a whopper of a power pack. Given that the Ego’s motor and drive system are both quite efficient, enabling it to accomplish nearly 1500 square feet of mowed surface per amp hour of battery capacity, that would translate to nearly 15,000 square feet of mowed surface with such a large battery. That’s a lot of lawn. With a 10-Ah battery, the manufacturer estimates run time as 75 minutes. That strikes us as plausible, particularly on level ground, in mulching mode.
With decades of mower testing behind us, we’ve seen just about every type of drive control imaginable. It’s difficult for us to assess these, since what one person finds comfortable someone else may not. We found the Ego’s dial-adjusted speed control (the company calls it Touch Drive) to be simple and intuitive. Move the dial forward with your left or right thumb to increase speed. Move it back to decrease. The slowest speed is a leisurely pace (.9 mph), the top speed requires a comfortably-fast walk.
The Ego is powerful, fun to operate, and cuts so well—it’s difficult to find anything to complain about. We suppose its big batteries could use a handle (like the Toro) but at least they are well shaped and have a lot of rubber-coated surface, to promote a good grip.
Who this is for
If you want to be able to stand the sight of your yard this summer, you’re going to need a lawn mower. Anything larger than a half-acre gets into riding-mower territory, but a self-propelled push mower is perfect for a half-acre or less. Going at a pace of about 3 mph (roughly average walking speed), it will take about an hour to cut this amount of grass. (If you have a particularly small lawn, a reel mower is an option—but it’s quite hard work.)
If you already own a gas mower that’s less than a decade old, you will probably not notice a tremendous difference by upgrading to a newer gas mower. Upgrading to a cordless model is a more noticeable change you could immediately appreciate.
The Best Reel Mower for Your (Small) Lawn
After 30 hours researching and testing reel mowers, we think the Scotts 2000-20 20-Inch Classic Push Reel Lawn Mower is the best pick for manual lawncare.
How we picked and tested
As a result of our years of lawn mower evaluation, we’re sure that most people will be happiest with a self-propelled, electric cordless option. Honestly, it all comes down to convenience. Every single element of a gas mower that is considered a nuisance—from the fiddly start-up to the annual maintenance schedule—is gone. Cordless mowers start with the push of a button, are easier to maneuver, and don’t need oil changes, gas, spark plugs, or air filters. They’re much quieter, they don’t smell, they don’t produce emissions, and they’re easier to store in the off-season. The run time has limitations, and charge times can be slow, but the latest models close the performance gaps between cordless and gas.
All that said, there are many capable—and several excellent—gas mowers available. Whatever type of mower you need, here are the criteria we feel matter most in making a selection:
Rear-Wheel Self-propulsion: Self-propelled mowers make life easier. With the mower moving itself across the lawn, all you have to do is throttle and steer, rather than forcing the mower’s full weight up every incline and over every bump. Self-propelled cordless mowers are all rear-wheel drive (RWD), which is preferred over front-wheel drive (FWD), because the mower’s traction improves as the grass bag fills and adds weight over the rear wheels. A self-propulsion feature adds to a mower’s price, but it’s a feature we feel is well worth it, and this requirement doesn’t narrow the field by a whole lot. It does, however, weed out the most bare-bones machines.
Performance as a mower: We researched which mowers could perform the best from a lawn-care perspective—which could make cleaner cuts in grass or promote turf health. We’ve measured this performance firsthand over years of long-term testing and in tests of new contenders against our established recommendations.
User interface and features: In years of tests, we’ve found most midrange mowers perform at a comparable level; most can cut the grass just fine. That led us to place an emphasis on user interface features—how difficult is it to adjust the push-bar height, or to raise and lower the mowing deck? Can you intuitively control and adjust the self-propulsion? Is the bag a pain to put on and take off? Are there other design details that make startup smoother, reduce engine maintenance, or make storage easier?
Cost: We looked at cost in terms of long-term value. Gas mowers are cheaper up-front, generally, but they carry long-term costs that cordless mowers avoid. Those include supplies (like gas, oil, stabilizers, air filters, and spark plugs) and the time and labor of caring for one: getting gas, changing the oil, and emptying the tank at the end of the season. With cordless mowers, a large percentage of the price tag is the battery. Most companies offer a series of outdoor tools (leaf blowers, string trimmers, hedge trimmers, etc.), all compatible with the same battery. And they cost less if you buy them without a battery. So for a high cost up-front, a cordless investment may open the door for an affordable expansion into that manufacturer’s other tools.
Charge time and run time: For cordless candidates, we looked at these two primary factors, which determine whether a battery will be adequate or frustrating. Because these two elements are so important, we looked only at mowers that used at least a 40-volt battery.
and reputation: The best mowers out there have proved satisfying for the most number of people for the longest amount of time. That led us to closely consider the differences among a smaller group of about 50 established, well-regarded models from major brands, often covered by comparable warranties of about three to five years.
Best overall lawn mower
The best lawn mower
The self-propelled Ego LM2135SP’s battery runs for an hour and easily mows down overgrown grass—and it spares you the noise, emissions, and maintenance of a typical gas mower.
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For the best in convenience, battery run time, cut quality, and value, we recommend the Ego Power Select Cut Mower LM2135SP. Compared with a gas mower, it’s quieter, doesn’t create exhaust, and requires almost no maintenance. Among other cordless models, the Ego LM2135SP has among the longest run time and shortest charge time. This Ego has a redesigned control interface that allows you to control the propulsion with either hand. It also cuts with two blades, making for a finer cut and better mulching. Rounding out the features are two forward-facing LED lights, an easy-to-use cutting-height adjustment, and a battery port that faces the battery gauge toward the operator. The battery, which is good for a solid hour of mowing, is compatible with Ego’s other lawn tools, such as the company’s leaf blower, chainsaw, and string trimmer.
Most people report getting roughly 60 minutes of run time from a full charge of the Ego’s 56-volt, 7.5 Ah battery, which is included with the purchase. We confirmed the run-time figures in tests of this pick and our runner-up in March 2019 and in 2020. In several hour-long sessions of strenuous cutting on tough grass in Los Angeles, running this mower across hills (some of which were steeper than its recommended 15-degree max), the battery never died before we expected it to. If anything, it exceeded the hour-long window by about 10 to 15 minutes. An added bonus: Once the battery was too low to power the mower blades, it still had enough juice to operate the self-propulsion function, letting us drive the mower back to the charger. Compared to older Ego batteries, this one has a ring of lights that give you an approximate gauge of the remaining charge (the previous generation communicated with a red light only when the battery got critically low). The battery regularly recharges in 60 minutes or less. (Recharge time is another advantage for Ego, as competitors’ charge times range from an hour and a half up to almost five and a half hours.)
In the mowing tests, the two-bladed Ego showed a superior cut-quality compared with our runner-up, and this is the primary reason we’d choose this model over the older version. We’ve put the mowers on some rough tufts of knotty crabgrass, knee-height rye grass, and thick purple stalks of weeds, and although the runner-up never bogged down, the LM2135SP did a better job of lifting overgrown grasses as it cut, mincing up fine mulch and effectively cutting through tall growth without pushing the grass flat. This second blade elevates the Ego into some territory that was formerly exclusive to mowers like the highly regarded Honda HRX series, making the case for cordless that much stronger.
A new-for-2020 speed-control system can be operated with your thumbs on either hand—a more versatile setup than the single, oversize, right-handed trigger on the 2019 version. Photo: Rozette Rago
With its onboard indicators displaying battery life and other troubleshooting diagnostics, the Ego is quite intuitive for anyone new to cordless mowers. Photo: Rozette Rago
A new-for-2020 speed-control system can be operated with your thumbs on either hand—a more versatile setup than the single, oversize, right-handed trigger on the 2019 version. Photo: Rozette Rago
Controlling the Ego is easy and intuitive. As with many mowers, the Ego has a metal bar (called a bail) that’s held against the handle to activate the blades. To activate the RWD self-propulsion, you press one of two buttons in the upper corners of the handle, and a central dial controls the mower’s speed. A couple of subtle changes set this mower apart from other models: The speed-control system can be operated with your thumbs on either hand—a more versatile setup than the single, oversize, right-handed trigger on the runner-up. Second, although the mower can move at a brisk pace if you want it to, the slowest speed setting available is unusually slow. This is quite handy if you’re backing in and out under a tree or in another tricky area, if you’re mowing across a hill and taking care not to let the mower slide or roll away, or if you just need to take it slow to make sure you’re not about to mow over an obstruction.
Random aside: Without the stink of gas engine exhaust in your face, the smell of mowing the grass while using Ego is entirely different and much more pleasant; unfortunately, the allergens are exactly the same.
The Ego has a number of other convenience features. The headlight, something not found on gas mowers, gives some illumination as the day starts to end. The single-adjust height control, a rarity on gas mowers, allows you to set the cutting height with a single lever. On most gas mowers, cutting height has to be adjusted at each individual wheel. The Ego has seven cutting heights, between 1½ to 4 inches—a wider range than on most cordless mowers, which top out at around 3½ to 3¾ inches.
Flaws but not dealbreakers
Although the two-handed self-propulsion control is a more convenient setup than the one-handed paddle design seen on competitors, it does make accidentally engaging the self-propulsion a little too easy. Usually this isn’t an issue, but often the moments when you’re grasping to get a better grip on the handle are the times you least want to engage the self-propulsion. For example, if you are mowing across a hill, there’s a brief moment during a turnaround when the mower is pointing up or down the hill. When adjusting your grip to make those turns, you may inadvertently tap the throttle, destabilizing your stance or your grip on the mower. If anyone from Ego’s reading this, they’ll probably say we’re mowing on too steep a hill, but hey, sometimes life throws a steep hill at you.
We think that the hour or so of run time is going to be enough for anyone keeping to about a half-acre, but if that’s not enough, additional batteries are available to extend run time infinitely. But batteries are costly. Depending on the Ah, they currently range in price from about 140 (2.5 Ah) to about 250 (5.0 Ah), and up to about 450 for a 7.5 Ah battery. They all fit, and with a second one on the charger while one is on the mower, you can really minimize or eliminate downtime.
Because the Ego is cordless and loaded with electrical components, the company does not recommend using a hose to wash out the underside of the mowing dome. Instead, the mower needs to be put on its side and the dome wiped off or scraped clean, using a plastic scraper. Because there is no gas or oil to leak out, this process is much easier than with a gas mower.
Finally, Wirecutter writer Kit Dillon, who loves his Ego mower, uncovered an issue with an older version of our pick, where the wires for the self-propulsion function run up the handle to the operating switch. “The wiring is super thin and where the arm bends over itself over time this wire breaks,” he explained. “The annoying thing is the wire is so thin it will sometimes break inside the sheath, which makes it difficult to diagnose or even find what section to repair.” Because of the large number of YouTube videos devoted to the problem, it’s clear that this isn’t an isolated incident. We’re not sure if this problem happens with this current version of the mower, but looking through the customer feedback at Lowe’s, we found a number of people saying that their mower won’t start, which makes us think the issue persists in newer models.