Everything to know about electric lawn mowers

electric lawn mower on grass

Jessica Taylor Yates

Posted December 14, 2022

Plug-in, battery-powered, or self-driving robot? Check out our guide for electric lawn mowers so you can find the right one for you. 

Anyone maintaining a property with a yard will invariably need to think about lawn care. If you’ve made the decision to have native grass over synthetic lawn alternatives, mowing the lawn is just as important as any other house-cleaning activity.  

While many of us will remember the smell of petrol mixed with grass clipping on a Sunday morning waft through the neighbourhood, times have changed, and gardeners are embracing electric power at rapid pace. 

Unlike petrol mowers, electric lawn mowers are a great sustainable option that are smaller, easier to manoeuvre, and have no need to quickly run to the servo for fuel.  

So, whether you have a small lawn or patio, or a boundless field of luscious green under your feet, know what you need to update your gardening gear with the best type of electric lawn mower for you.

What to consider when buying an electric lawn mower

If you’ve made the decision to purchase an electric lawn mower, consider the following features to make sure it is right for you:

  • Check the cutting diameter – the wider it is, the more lawn it will catch 
  • The same goes for wheels – the bigger, the easier to manoeuvre
  • Check the battery duration and voltage – 45 minutes and up is a fairly good amount of time
  • Does the mower only takes a specific brand of battery? Can you purchase additional ones?
  • Consider the comfort of the handle, your strength and the weight of the mower, and the ease of turning on and adjusting settings
  • Height adjustment – different heights will result in different lawn treatments - mulching, cutting, or trimming
  • For corded electric lawn mowers, ensure the cord is long enough for you, or you may want to purchase a retractable extension cord
  • A safety key for battery powered lawn mowers is a good option for those with children

Type of grass

Before buying an electric lawn mower, consider the type of grass you have in your lawn. Top turf? Native grass? Soft leaf buffalo? Is it thick or thin? 

The type of grass will affect how often you need to mow, and in turn, the type of electric lawn mower you buy. For instance, top turf is fast growing, which means it will require maintenance more often, whilst some native grass alternatives like Wallaby grass may only require mowing a few times a year. 

Size of area to mow

If you have a small or confined outdoor space, like a patio with little lawn maintenance that may not require the power of an electric lawn mower, a whipper snipper or edge trimmer may be better for your situation. While they may not catch large amounts of grass or cut as evenly, these are cheaper, easier to get into small spaces, and easier to manoeuvre. 

An extremely large space, such as a big backyard, acreage, or field of grass may field better (pardon the pun) with a ride-on mower or garden tractor that can mow larger-size gardens. 

For your average Australian backyard, an electric lawn mower can be of great assistance. 


man mowing grass with electric lawn mower

Make sure to keep the cord clear of the blades. Image: Getty. 


Types of electric lawn mowers

So, what is an electric lawn mower?

These grass cutting machines get their power by either getting plugged into an electric outlet, or with a rechargeable battery. 

They can be hand-held, pushed, ride-on, or come as a self-driving mower. Now becoming increasingly affordable, they are also relatively easy to run and maintain. 

Electric lawn mowers can be a popular choice for people who want a lawn mower that is eco-friendly, makes less noise, is easier to move around, doesn’t require petrol (so is therefore cheaper in the long run) and can provide precise quality grass cutting. They also come in two versions - corded and battery-powered (cordless). 

Corded electric lawn mowers

A corded electric lawn mower uses electricity from an outlet through the cord, and is generally recommended for your average to larger size lawn.  

Pros: Being plugged in means you never have to worry about running out of power. They are also pretty lightweight for using around the yard, and overall make for a more economical and eco-friendly choice. 

Cons: A cord can be potentially hazardous if someone is to trip or if you accidentally mow over it. Ensure you have provisions in place when using a corded electric product inside and outside the home, such as ensuring the grass is dry, taping down your cord in the home, and ensuring not to run over it with your lawn mower. 

Battery-powered electric lawn mowers

Cordless electric lawn mowers are battery powered, and can accommodate most backyards, from small to quite large.  

Pros: No cord means less of a hazard, and larger mobility without having to stay within the realms of how far the cord stretches. They are also cost-efficient and are a great 'green' alternative to mowing. 

Cons: You will need to remember to charge the lawn mower before use, and once it’s out of power, it cannot be used until you recharge. Battery powered electric lawn mowers are also typically heavier due to the battery insert. Cordless electric lawn mowers are pricier, but are often much more convenient.

Self-driving electric robot lawn mowers

These are the latest in lawn-mowing tech. Just as robot vacuum cleaners can sweep and mop your home with the touch of a button, so too can these new lawn moving robots.

Pros: Sit back, relax and enjoy the power of technology to do the hard work for you. These robots can cut your lawn to perfection without you needing to lift a muscle. 

Cons: Much like any new technology, these come with a hefty price tag compared to their electric human-pushed counterparts. While these robots are designed to cut your lawn methodically and perfectly, obstacles can obstruct the path and the mower can decide to avoid them altogether. 


woman with electric lawn mower

Many electric lawnmowers are lighter than their petrol-powered ancestors. Image: Getty. 

Electric lawn mower maintenance and care

While all electric lawn mowers are slightly different, there are some key factors to note to keep your lawn mower’s longevity: 

  • Electric lawn mowers are not waterproof, so be sure to store them in shelter before and after use
  • Change the blades regularly
  • Continue to clear out the undercarriage periodically for grass clippings
  • Lubricate the wheels regularly
  • Give your electric lawn mower the once-over every now and again: check the bolts and fasteners, blow out the battery compartments, sharpen the blades, and get rid of dust and built-up debris 
  • If you have a battery powered electric lawn mower, store the batteries inside so they don’t get too cold, which affects the battery shelf life, and store them fully charged


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