Maintaining a traditional grass lawn takes a lot of labor, and while gas-powered mowers get the job done, they’re a polluter. If you aren’t yet ready to turn your patch of carefully cultivated grass into a garden of native plants, an old-fashioned reel mower or an electric mower are good options to ease up on your carbon footprint. Spend a warm afternoon tidying up the yard with one of these four choices, or bribe your teenager and relax with some lemonade while they do it for you.
You won’t find any switches or buttons on this lawn mower. It’s powered entirely by you—with the aid of sharp alloy steel blades that spin as you push. Cut 14-inch wide swaths of grass with this thing, and get a fun workout in the process. The handles are cushioned for a comfortable grip, and won’t vibrate against your hands like gas-powered machines. Mow whenever you want without disturbing the neighbor—unless you sing when you mow. Early birds can still hear their worms and sing merrily after breakfast.
You’ll pay less for an electric mower if you’re willing to try a corded model, which works just fine if you have access to an outlet and aren’t trying to mow a golf course. This affordable model has 7 levels of height adjustment so you can trim your grass to your preferred length between 1.75 inches and 3.75 inches. The machine cuts and mulches, and its four wheels can be steered easily around flower beds to cut a swath 18-inches wide. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidance to get the right gauge of outdoor extension cord, and pretend the cord is your tail so you don’t run it over.
People who find pushing their mower with an extension cord trailing behind annoying, or are extra-concerned about the possibility of mulching said cord, might want to invest in this cordless model. Freely cut a 16-inch path through your lawn and enjoy rear bagging or mulching of your grass as you mow. The wheels on the front are an inch smaller than those in the rear to help you maneuver in tighter spaces, and the push-button start is a refreshing contrast to the frustrating experience of pull starting gas-powered motors. You’ll get up to 45 minutes of run time on a charge with the included battery.
At first glance, the difference in price point between the Greenworks cordless 16-inch mower and this 18-inch Makita model seems confusing. However, the Makita has a brushless motor, which means it operates using magnets for a frictionless performance. Power up the machine at 3300 RPM to speed through your chores, or turn it down to 2500 RPM to minimize noise. Cut up to 7300 square feet without recharging the batteries and catch your grass clippings in the mower’s bag, or insert the mulching plug to send them back into your lawn. You can adjust the cutting height between 13/16 of an inch and about 3 inches with a single lever.