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Save gas! Consumer Reports tests the best battery-powered lawnmowers

Consumer Reports tests mowers & finds battery powered performs just as good as gas mowers.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Whether you’re a pusher or rider and use a gas, battery-powered, or electric mower, it’s time to get that lawn looking good with the right model. 

Consumer Reports spends part of the winter in Florida putting lawnmowers and tractors through a series of tough tests to deliver recommendations that are a cut above the rest.

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME OF DAY TO MOW?

Testers assess each mower’s cutting and mulching performance as well as handling and maneuvering.

If you’re looking for a hassle-free mowing experience, CR says you may want to consider making the switch to battery power. This year testers found that battery units performed just as well as gas in every tested category.

"You don’t have to spend as much on maintenance for them, they tend to be much quieter, and a lot of people tend to enjoy the bells and whistles that come with battery-powered units more than those on gas models. Even if you’re not spending too much, you can find a battery-powered mower that will do a great job," said Misha Kollontai, Consumer Reports Testing Engineer.

For example, you’ll save more than $200 by choosing the top-rated self-propelled battery mower Greenworks MO80L421 for $750 rather than the top-rated gas model Honda HRX217HZA for $980. Both rate highly in CR’s reliability surveys and deliver excellent mulching.

For half as much, CR says the battery-powered Kobalt Lowe’s KSPM 1040A-03 Self Propelled mower for $400 also offers excellent mulching.

If you prefer to do the pushing yourself, consider the CR-recommended $350 Ryobi RY401170VNM Battery Push Mower.

Still not convinced a battery mower is right for you? The self-propelled Honda HRN216VKA Gas Mower for $470 offers an even cut, excellent mulching, and excellent handling.

And if your lawn is big enough to require a riding mower, the John Deere S120 for $2,300 is a great choice at a great price.

The one downside to battery-powered mowers is that you’ll need to remember to charge the battery. Most get about 30 to 45 minutes of run time on a charge, so you need to plan. And around the 5-year mark, you may need to look into replacing the battery.

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