Best Cordless Lawn Mower – Head to Head Comparison

Handle Comfort & Adjustability Winner – EGO LM2001

When it comes to comfort with respect to push mowers the handle is a big deal. We evaluated the five mowers on comfort and adjustability and found that the EGO LM2001 was not only the more comfortable but it offered the easiest height adjustment. The EGO offers a durable, yet comfortable foam/rubber padding on the handle and a comfortable angle configuration on the main handle that allows for a couple different hand positions.

BrandModel #GripHandle HeightAdjustments
Black & DeckerCM1936Foam/Rubber39″ – 40″3 positions – remove bolts
Craftsman25081Foam38″ – 39″2 positions – remove bolts
EGOLM2001Foam/Rubber42″ – 46″2 positions – quick release
KobaltKM1940-06Foam38″ – 39″2 positions – remove bolts
KobaltKM2040X-06Foam38″ – 39″2 positions – remove bolts

It’s worth noting that the EGO had a much higher handle height than the other models which I prefer as I’m over 6′ tall. For shorter users, this height may be an issue to consider. Rob is quite a bit shorter than I am and he still found the lower setting to be comfortable.

EGO Handle Design

Maneuverability Winner – Craftsman, EGO & Kobalt

Maneuverability of push mowers is especially important when trimming around gardens, trees and other landscaping features. The ease with which the mowers role is largely a result of the wheels and mower weight. We had a 3 way tie for this category between the Craftsman 25081, EGO LM2001, and the Kobalt KM2040X-06. All three mowers had good size wheels, relatively low total weight, and comfortable handles.

The heavier weight and smaller wheels on the Black & Decker made this mower feel much harder to push and maneuver around obstacles. The steel deck Kobalt KM1940-06 also felt “heavy” and less nimble in this category.

About the author

Todd Fratzel

Todd Fratzel is the Editor of Tool Box Buzz and the President of Front Steps Media, LLC, a web based media company focused on the Home Improvement and Construction Industry.

He is also the Principal Engineer for United Construction Corp., located in Newport, NH. In his capacity at United he oversees the Residential and Commercial Building Division along with all Design-Build projects.

He is also the editor of several other sites including:
Home Construction & Improvement and
Today’s Green Construction

@tfratzelTodd Fratzel

All posts by Todd »

43 Comments

  1. Excellent article, packed full of important information and well researched.

    1. william ericson

      But he failed to mention that all mowers, gas or electric do require maintenance, yet you cannot buy the spare parts for the kobalt mowers if they are like the corded 21 inch model. Parts you cannot get include the motor, motor brushes, plastic fan, steel fan sleeve, square blade retainer.
      You kid yourself if you think you will not need these parts.

      I consider electric mowers a joy to use, amazingly powerful, and even for big yards cords are not too bad. But you better buy the service contract for kobalt, because the parts they spare are the ones you will not need. A shame considering the right spares and 10 minutes would make any electric new.

      1. William Ericson

        Despite the no spares – I will say the kobalt is great for moderate grass – (not for a foot tall huge field) and small brush – and in general is a great joy to own and use. I would recommend it. IT will even weed overgrown gardens. The grass catcher bag will need re-engineering fairly soon – since the bottom plastic panel can crack easily with Floria heat. Can be fixed – but you will need to do some sewing and find a flexible plastic to cut a new bottom panel from. I suppose all grass catcher bags can need repair now and then – the material will disintegrate over time.

        IF certain spare parts were available for this mower – it would be quite perfect – and you probably could keep it new forever.
        I am the kind of guy that can use a mower like this to the point of melting the wires to the motor – but those are easily beefed up. I just bought another to add to my fleet – and noticed that Lowes would not offer a warranty at all. For me – a throwaway – is still a value at $200.
        The power is good and the cutting is exceptional. But try not to use it for
        huge fields – more for tight quarters finish work. For a while I used the kobalt electric to do a job that a 3 thousand dollar troy built mustang does now. Amazing how well kobalt held up. Considering with the mustang I only get two yard mowings with a set of blades – the kobalt did amazingly well. Grass catcher will have to be resewn, motor wires beefed up, some knobs may fall off and need replacing – but still an amazing tool. The blades even hold up pretty well. If all parts were available as spares – this would be the best value I have ever seen in a mower.

  2. Jason C

    I’ll admit I’m a big fan of Ego’s out door tools. I currently have the leaf blower and hedge trimmer after my old ones plastic parts decided to break. The worst was the leaf blower the impeller just randomly decided to break, and you cant even get replacement parts for the model that broke. While you can get one or 2, but nothing regarding the internal parts. I would like to get the Ego mower I love that is has tons of power and stores really compact. I have a small garage full of stuff and it all takes up needed space. The the only problem is I have a Honda HRX mower I got a steal of a Deal at Home Depot back in 2006. I cant see any reason to replace it yet even though its overkill for a lawn my size a cordless mower would be the way to go. Either way the Ego leaf blow is amazing for a battery powered tool it’s as good as most of the residential gas versions. The hedge trimmer is nice too, but its nothing like the wow this is at another level of power like the leaf blower.

  3. Charles Nichter

    Great article !
    I have been wondering what the differences and capabilities were of these battery operated mowers . My lawn is too big to use this type of mower, but I would use it to do trimming and hard to reach areas that my tractor can’t do.
    You put the info out there for me so I can make a wiser decision. Thanks I appreciate your work.

  4. Ireene

    Great comprehensive article. One of the best I’ve seen in ages.

  5. Josh

    I would really like to see a comparison of the EGO to the Stihl RMA 370: http://www.stihlusa.com/products/lawn-mower/homeowner-lawn-mower/rma370/

  6. […] If you want to see how this mower performed in a head to head comparison with 4 other cordless mowers please check it out here:  Best Cordless Lawn Mower Article. […]

  7. Tim

    I would imagine how well the lawn is cut would be debatable between each person. I can’t imagine there is that much difference.

    I don’t really care for the looks of the EGO mower… it looks rather cheap appearance wise. The Kobalt mowers look more like real mowers in my opinion anyways.

  8. Tim

    The Kobalt mowers also have a great warranty from what I have read.

    1. william ericson

      You will need a great warranty with kobalt since you cannot buy the motor, brushes, fan, steel fan sleeve or blade retainer. Those parts would make a mower new, no matter how bad you beat it, with 10 minutes of labor. But you cannot buy them. Shame on kobalt for a policy like this. As bad as Sears was, at least you could buy parts for their mowers.

      If you hate maintaining gas mowers, electric will be a total joy, but if you cannot buy parts, you better have a machine shop and be creative since you will be making your own spares. Warranty be damned, let me buy spares and spend my 10 minutes rather than the time and effort of dealing with a warranty.

  9. Sam

    Thank you for the great article! How about battery lifetime and durability? Given the high cost of the extra batteries, how long can they reasonably be expected to last? I have the Ryobi 40V platform and the batteries seem tremendously unreliable. Having to purchase 1-2 new batteries every 2-3 years seems excessive and expensive.

    1. Todd Fratzel

      Sam – Great question. We hope to update the article after these mowers have seen a season or two of service and that is an issue we’d like to comment on. Stay tuned!

    2. Brian

      I know this was asked a couple years ago, but just wanted to note my experience. We bought our Greenworks 40V twin blade mower in spring of 2012 I believe, as well as their trimmer and blower with an additional battery. Toward the end of our 5th mowing season, and the original batteries are still holding strong. We have since moved to a bigger property and requires doing the mowing in 2 segments. So we usually do the front on one charge and do the back the next day. I will say the mower performed better at the older property, but its probably just because our grass now is a thicker Bermuda (newly sodded within the last several years) compared to the previous field grass. As long as we don’t let it get too long, we can get through half the yard (front OR back) on a single charge.

      We are considering trying out one of the newer 80v mowers, or even the Ego. Not that we are unhappy with the Greenworks 40v, but because of the thicker bermuda, it does get bogged down and requires to backup an go over again occasionally.

  10. Sam

    Thx Todd. I look forward to hearing more on the topic. Suggestion for another blog article in the meanwhile: Best practice maintenance tips for extending battery life. I purchased an EGO based on the online reviews (including yours) and in the community forums (search “battery life”), there are some good bits of information:

    “As you should be aware, optimal battery storage for this type of battery is around 35-50% charge, the cooler the better. Storing them drained after use or charging them to full is actually quite hard on the battery long term.”

    “after a little research, I have learned that lithium ion batteries last longer when recharged often and that you shouldn’t wait until they are fully discharged. with proper care, they should last a long time.”
    This is news to me. I would fully charge and leave the battery on the shelf for the next job. It is certainly possible that I could be at fault for the shortened life of my current batteries and I’ll certainly change that behaviour with the EGO system.

    “…EGO Power+ 56V Battery 2.0 Ah is comprised of 14 4-volt cells. The EGO Power+ 56V Battery 4.0 Ah is comprised of 28 4-volt cells and will run approximately twice as long as the 2.0 Ah battery.”

    “http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/how_to_prolong_lithium_based_batteries”
    – Primer on lithium batteries

    Of course, remember :
    “We do have a 3 (three) year warranty on all batteries and chargers,”

    Some best practices:
    “1. Keep batteries inside a cool place. Not in a hot garage. (yes or no)
    Yes. For storage longer than 30 days, it is best to keep the batteries below 80°F (26°C) and free of moisture.

    2. Store battery charged, 1/2 charged, or discharged?
    It is advantageous to store them at a 30%-50% charge level. Fortunately, the EGO Power+ batteries self-regulate and will take themselves to a 30% charge after one month of storage.

    3. Store battery in or out of charger.
    Out of charger

    One added “best practice”: fully charge the battery pack after 6 months of storage.”

  11. Richard

    I just saw the Kobalt 80-Volt Max 21-in which I guess was not out when most of this article was published. Has anyone checked this out for feedback – Would like to get this or the EGO but at 499 each I am not looking to make a mistake. Does 80 volt mean more power than the 56 ? Pretty clueless on this, thanks

    1. Todd Fratzel

      Richard – That mower was not out when we did the article. Higher voltage can result in more power. Whether that’s longer run time or more torque the results will depend on the design of the mower. I can tell you the EGO is an amazing mower that you won’t be disappointed in.

      1. Phillip W

        I believe a higher voltage would equate to a higher horsepower motor4, not longer run time.

        My neighbor bought a Green works 40 volt 16″ job. I’ve used in on my lawn a few times. It left me wishing he’d waited for the 80 volt version. I could slow (and stall) hius 40 volter in thicker grass. Overall these battery powered mowers are pretty cool!

        1. Todd Fratzel

          Phil – Higher voltage certainly can result in more power, but they can also result in longer run time. These are the trade offs that the engineers work through with their design. The best way to evaluate them is through trying them out.

    2. Jim

      It should mean more power, but note that the Kobalt mower also comes with 2 batteries. With a claimed run time of about 45 minutes and a battery recharge time of 30 minutes, theoretically running out of batteries should not be a problem.

    3. Scott

      I have just ordered the Kobalt 80 Volt mower. Greenworks makes a similar model, but none are currently available.

      The fact that it is a single blade and more voltage is enough for me.

      I found a 10% off coupon online that save 49.90 dollars.

      I don’t believe the 2 blades on the 40 volt will mulch very well.

      1. G. Vogel

        Scott, it is in your power to save me from making a big mistake but l am llanning to drive to the big city to get a Kobalt 80 V tomorrow. The prospect of not get spare parts is daunting but may have improved over the past year.

        Thanks!

  12. j

    I am wondering about Echo cordless VS Stihl cordless. i have lost interest in the Ego. The german made Stihl is supposed to be la creme de la creme .The Echo is 58V with dual batteries. what do you think?

    1. Todd Fratzel

      We haven’t tested the Stihl. After doing this head 2 head I still use the EGO. It’s a hell of a mower.

  13. RickC

    Sam said: “after a little research, I have learned that lithium ion batteries last longer when recharged often and that you shouldn’t wait until they are fully discharged. with proper care, they should last a long time.”

    I think that Sam is referring to other Li-ion batteries like those used in laptops because the batteries used in lawn equipment have chips that prevent fully discharging (and over-charging) of the battery. That’s why the batteries don’t slowly lose power but they continue to work at peak efficiency until the chip ‘turns it off.’

    Great article. I’m considering the Ego mower but I’m undecided at this time. Too bad Lowes doesn’t carry the Ego then I could use their card and get a 5% discount too.

    1. Todd Fratzel

      Rick – You’re correct about the chips. However, sometimes users keep trying to get a bit more juice out of a battery after it shuts down, and that can ultimately damage a li-ion battery. The EGO is a really great mower, I use it in my own yard.

    2. soapgal

      You’re probably no longer on here, but I had to comment that I have same exact dilemma, and can’t decide! Have Lowe’s card so I can get the special financing, but not Home Depot & don’t want theirs at this time; yet the Ego seems better in several aspects. And Kobalt weighs a lot more, maybe that’ll tip the scale (bad one!) Another article said neither gave very even cuts, but this guy here insists EGO cuts great.
      Gotta decide tonight, as lawns looking fuzzy already. More on my problem below as respects Ryobi and their battery issue.

  14. Dave

    Great article. I know you said you would revisit the durability after a couple seasons, but do you have any observations at this point about the durability of the underside of the plastic decks? I have a tree-laden yard, so small sticks, pine cones, etc. in the lawn are unavoidable. I presume the blade will handle them as good as any gas mower, but wonder if the chopped pieces will gouge the underside of the deck and affect the airflow and mulching action. Your thoughts? Thanks.

    1. Todd Fratzel

      Dave – After the first full season I didn’t observe anything unusual under the EGO which is the mower I used all Summer. These plastics that are used are extremely hard and durable.

    2. William Ericson

      The deck and motor will hold up just fine. The grass catcher bag bottom will only last so long – the plastic in the bottom of that cracks and splits open – but you could replace it yourself. All grass catcher bags wear out over time.

      the plastic fan is vulnerable – but I think there might be a way to get spares on that – it might be the same as another manufacturer uses. Kobalt should sell spare grass catcher bags, and the plastic fan and the square blade retainer. Let me know if you find sources.

  15. Puneet

    Hi Todd

    A sales agent was really pushing me towards buying
    “Brushless” lawn mowers as compared to conventional one. Specifically Ryobi 40v RY40170.

    Which cordless ones are better ? Brushless ones or conventional ones ?
    Also what do you say about any reviews on this Ryobi model compared to EGo210 0

    I have no idea.

    Thanks

    Puneet

    1. Todd Fratzel

      Puneet – I can’t speak for the Ryobi as we never tested it. I can tell you the EGO mower is an incredible mower and you will not be disappointed. In general, brushless mowers should run longer than a traditional brushed mower on a single charge. Having said that, brushless motors are newer, have more technology in them, and haven’t been tested like brushed mowers in this application for very long. I hope that helps.

  16. Mark

    Hi Todd,

    I am buying a lawn mower this weekend. Was going to purchase a Honda with the Composite deck with Versamatic drive & 2 blades. Highly reviewed. I do not want gas if i can find something comparable that can mulch leaving yard nice.

    I am reviewing intensely cordless lithium ion battery Lawn mowers. I see great reviews with the 56 Volt Ego. Home Depot has it on sale for $399. Good price compared to last years model. They said they made some up grades this year. I wanted to know if you have compared the New 80 volt Kobalt to the Ego & also the Stihl? I will be buying the weed wacker with mower. The Leaf blower & Trimmer – hedger will be purchased at a later time.

    Ease my mind & help me to choose best Mower with other equipment i mentioned to attach to battery. Mulching is very important.
    Would be greatly appreciated Todd.

    Mark

    1. Todd Fratzel

      Mark – I haven’t tested the new 80V from Kobalt yet (it’s in the shop ready to test though). However, after using the EGO the last year I’m sold! That mower is amazing and does a great job. I won’t own a gas powered push mower ever again. Good luck!

      1. Grant

        Todd, Have you tried the 80v Kobalt yet? I am between that and the 56V Ego… Is there a big power difference? I like the design of the Ego better, but will to sacrifice that for more power. Plus i like that the 80v comes with 2 batteries… do you know run time? Please let me know what you think. Thanks!

        1. Todd Fratzel

          Grant – I’ve tried both. I still think the EGO is the better mower and has plenty of power. I use the EGO at home and it’s been amazing. Having said that, I think the Kobalt is good as well. I haven’t done a full blown run test comparison on both, but I can do all my trimming/push sections in my yard on a single battery. I mow around my pool area and trim around a large yard with it.

          1. Grant

            perfect, thanks!! i am still up in the air, but if i can find a good deal on the ego, i might go that route. thanks!

  17. Armando Smithee

    Do you know if it’s ok to leave the batteries in the Kobalt after using or to take them out. Would it be better to take them in the house where it is cooler?

    1. Todd Fratzel

      Interesting question. I’ve always felt that removing batteries is a good safety measure, but I can’t say why other than my gut feeling. Keeping batteries in a moderate temperature is always a good thing.

  18. Mark

    Hi Todd,

    I haven’t purchased a Battery operated mower yet. I took apart & cleaned the carburetor on my gas mower. When it needs any more repairs i will be switching.

    I will be keeping an eye on your reviews to see if you had any changes on what battery operated mower is the best at a clean even cut at mulching.

    I have a 4 cylinder all gas Ryobi Weed Wacker. It started for a year & hasn’t started since. So now i would like to ask you what is the best 2 string battery operated weed wacker. I have a universal head that all you do is replace the string thats cut into 5-6 inch strips on both sides of head when needed. I love it.

    I would like to put that universal head on the New battery operated Weed Wacker you suggest if its possible.

    I have a Makita 18 volt Lithium Ion battery operated Drill & impact driver. I would like to get a Weed Wacker thats made by Makita that can use these batteries. If Not possible what do you recommend.

    Thank You,
    Mark

    1. Mark i

      Hi Todd,

      Its Spring time & i need to purchase a Weed wacker soon. As the message i left above do you have any input before i go out & get a battery operated weed wacker?

      Mark

      1. Todd Fratzel

        Mark – There are several really good ones on the market. It’s more of a question about an entire platform….mowers are getting better all the time, cordless chain saws, etc. I like the EGO platform, DEWALT, Kobalt and Ryobi.

  19. Siva

    I just bought a Greenworks Pro 80 volt 4 Amp 21″ mower from Costco.com for $499. Mowed my yard yesterday in Florida. Excellent quality. Steel deck. Battery charges fast. With Costco guarantee, if anything happens, I can return it.

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