Cordless mowers aim to combine the best of both petrol and electric mowers; giving you the mobility and power without the petrol or the pollution.
This is great news if you are sick of traipsing around with a cumbersome cord in tow, or worse, have ended up here because you have already ended up mowing over it.
Advances in battery technology have made cordless lawnmowers more usable than ever, and so they are now a viable alternative to a petrol mower.
Corded vs Cordless Lawnmower
Cordless mowers are generally much less noisy than petrol mowers, less polluting, and require less maintenance.
With no need to plug, cordless mowers are also far more convenient than corded electric mowers, which can be tricky to maneuverer around the lawn with the cable trailing behind you. This is especially true if there are trees, shrubs, or kids play equipment on the lawn to entangle you.
A cordless mower on the other hand, can move around far more easily, and is not limited in its range by the length of the cord. This makes them especially suitable for lawns that are not close to a power socket.
But what are the disadvantages? Well there are a few things: First off, you should know that cordless mowers have a limited run time. You can only use the mower as long as the battery allows it. Some mowers, like the Black & Decker Autosense come with two batteries so you don’t need to stop and recharge if the battery life doesn’t cover your whole lawn.
Other factors can also affect the duration of the battery life. Thick or wet grass requires more energy to cut, and will reduce the amount of lawn you can cover.
If you have neglected your lawn for a few weeks at the height of summer, thne you might find that mowing it requires significantly more energy – not only for you but for the mower. This will lead to faster depletion of the battery and may mean your usual cut is not achievable on one charge.
So when you look at a mower make sure you consider the advertised cutting area on one battery charge, and realise that most of these manufacturers give optimistic predictions.
For those with small to medium sized lawns who mow regularly, a cordless mower can be an extremely convenient way to keep the lawn nicely trimmed.
Which is the Best Cordless Mower?
Let’s find out. In this review I’ll look at my top picks of hover mowers in 4 different categories:
- Best cordless mower for small lawns – Flymo Mighti Mo
- Best cordless mower for large lawns – Bosch Rotak 43
- Best cordless mulching mower – Black & Decker Autosense
For Small Lawns: Flymo Mighti Mo Cordless Lawnmower
- Powered by a 40V li-ion battery (battery and battery charger included)
- Provide the ability to cut a Lawn up to 250 meter square
- Five different cutting heights to choose from Cutting width 30 cm Cutting height max 65 mm Cutting height min 25 mm
Compact, cordless, and weighing little more than a vacuum cleaner, the Flymo is perfect for mowing small or inaccessible lawns. If your lawn has no outdoor access, or no nearby plug sockets, then the Mighti Mo might just be the best cordless mower for you.
In terms of cut – although the collection box is small,the cuttings compress well into it, and the battery is more than adequate in terms of power and running time for most lawns. Once you have finished then the handles fold up easily for storage, allowing it to be easily stowed in a small space.
The drawback is that the battery can become hot during use and you do need to wait until it cools before you can recharge, which takes around five minutes. The battery also has an annoying habit of becoming dislodged from its position should you jolt the mower, but this shouldn’t be a concern unless you have a particularly bumpy lawn.
- Claimed Cutting Area on one Charge: one tennis court /up to 250m2
- Battery Capacity 40V, 2Ah Li-on
- Blade length: 30 cm.
- Number of Cutting Height: 5 (25mm-65mm).
- Grass box capacity: 30 L.
- Charge time: 120 minutes.
- Free run time: 25 minutes.
- Weight: 9.99 kg.
Warranty: 12 month warranty from Flymo
For Larger Lawns: Bosch Rotak Cordless 43 Li Ergoflex
- The Powerdrive LI + motor system ensures a reliable cut even under difficult conditions
- 2 x 4.0Ah Batteries
- 50-litre grass box provides greater capacity and reduces interruptions needed for emptying
- AL 3620 Charger
- 430mm Width 36V
The Bosch Rotak Cordless has won awards from consumer group Which?
and has several practical features that make it well suited to medium-sized family lawns.
If you have children around, then safety is always a concern. To this end the Rotak not only does away with the cumbersome trailing cable, but also incorporates a ‘safety key’ iwhich disables the mower if you need to leave it unattended. This means kids cannot accidentally set it off by playing with it.
For those with back problems or mobility issues, the ‘ergoflex’ ergonomic handle is designed to reduce reduce back and arm strain whilst mowing. The mower also incorporates a central carrying handle for moving to and from the lawn – and at 13 kg is light enough to be easily transported.
Other features help minimise the amount of organic matter left on the lawn that might interfere with family activities, and reduce the amount of general cleanup work needed. The serrated edges of the blade supposedly help collect leaves in autumn, and Bosch claim that the ‘Optimised airflow ‘ will allow you to effectively collect up to 90% of grass clippings. A grass comb at the edge of the mower pushes grass into the blades, which helps reduce unsightly strips left along walls and fences at the lawns edge.
Bosch recommend the Rotak 43 Li for tackling lawns of up to 150m2, and should you need to recharge, it can be 80% charged in around an hour. The amazon package linked provides two batteries, which if charged and used correctly provide a minimum of 40 minutes to 1 hours use depending on the cut and how wet the grass is.
- Claimed Cutting Area on one Charge: up to 150m2
- Battery Capacity 36V
- Motor Power: 1,800 W
- Blade length: 43 cm.
- Number of Cutting Height: (6) 20 -70 mm
- Grass box capacity: 50 L.
- Charge time: 140 minutes.
- Weight: 13.9 kg.
Cordless Mulching Mower: Black & Decker Autosense
- Autosense Technology to operate at the optimum level for the task
- 3 in 1 mulching function to enrich the soil
- Large 50l grass collection bag
- 7 height adjustable settings (38-101mm)
- Robust 48cm base
It may be cordless and electric, but this is a big and heavy mower. With a 48cm cutting width and space to carry a spare battery onboard, it weighs in it around 22kg.
All this weight and power makes it well-equipped to tackle larger lawns, and Bosch claim it can tackle areas of up to 600m2.
The idea of ‘Autosense Technology’ is that the mower detects cutting conditions and operates at the optimum level according to the power needed at that moment. This is supposed to extend runtime during lighter cutting tasks, like if the grass is already in good condition.
As for mulching, the mower does a reasonable job of chopping the grass into small pieces, and scattering them evenly.
Once the mowing is done, the mower can be hung up by a handle, or folded over the back of the body with some quick release handles.
- Claimed Cutting Area on one Charge: up to 600m2
- Battery Capacity two 36V 2.0Ah Li-Ion batteries .
- Free run time: 45 minutes.
- Blade length: 48cm
- Number of Cutting Height: 7 height adjustable settings (38-101mm)
- Grass box capacity: 50 L.
- Weight: 21.5 kg.
Maintaining your Cordless Mower
Blade: Inspect the blade for any damage, and sharpen or replace if necessary (wear gloves)
Ventilation: Clear the vents and any other areas that might fill with grass. Use a damp cloth or compressed air to remove any grass clippings that have collected here and any residue that might have stuck to the bottom.
Bolts: Check for no loose nuts and bolts
Wheels: Lubricate wheels with WD40 or Vaseline
The battery is crucial to use of the mower and can be expensive to replace. Proper battery maintenance will increase the life of your mower and reduce the cost of replacement batteries over time.
- Follow manufacturers instructions for charging
- Charge immediately after using.
- Try not to run the mower until the battery is completely empty,, and don’t store it empty.
- Remove the battery from the mower when you are storing it for a long period through the winter. Check the manufacturer’s guidance for specific notes on battery storage.