Electric Lawnmower Buyers Guide
With such a wide range of electric lawn mowers on the market today it’s not easy picking the one that is best suited to your needs which is why we’ve put together this exclusive electric mower buyers guide to help you to make the right choice.
1. Estimate the size of your garden
Lawn mower manufacturers design their products for specific lawn sizes and it’s essential to get the correct sized mower for the job otherwise you’ll spend longer than you need to cutting your grass. To help select the right size mower, you’ll need to work out the size of your garden in square metres. This is because lawn mower manufacturers generally classify gardens into three distinct sizes:
- Small lawns (less than 50 square metres)
- Medium lawns (between 50 and 150 square metres)
- Large lawns (bigger than 150 square metres)
Measuring your lawn isn’t as tricky as it sounds as we’re only looking for an approximate size. If your garden is roughly rectangular then measuring the length and width and multiplying them together is all you need to do. If, on the other hand, it has a more complex shape, try to break it down into a series of squares and rectangles and measure each of those individually before adding up their total area. If you’ve got flower beds that extend into the lawn, don’t forget to take a bit off for those too.
Now that you’ve estimated the size of your lawn it’s time to work out the type of lawn mower that you ‘ll need.
For small lawns (50 square metres or so in size) you’ll probably need an electric lawn mower with a cutting width of of around 28 cm (11 inches). In exceptional circumstances you might need a very small petrol lawn mower designed for small gardens (our sister site Petrol-Lawnmowers.co.uk reviews and advises on these).
For a medium sized garden (between 50 and 150 square metres in size) you’ll need to consider a larger electric mower with a cutting width of around 32 cm (13 inches). For lawns nearer to 150 square metres in size you’ll need to look at a wider cutting width, perhaps something around 40 cm (16 inches) or perhaps consider a petrol lawn mower designed for medium sized gardens instead.
For a large garden (150 square metres or more in size) you’ll need an electric lawn mower with a cutting width of 40 cm (16 inches) or more. However, if your garden has lots of trees, shrubs or awkward lawn shapes then an electric lawn mower may prove to be frustrating as you’ll have to thread the power lead around the garden.
An alternative might be to consider a petrol lawn mower but, for about the same price, it’s now possible to buy a cordless electric lawn mower which is half the weight, costs less to run (pennies per cut) and doesn’t need expensive annual services. Recent advances in battery technology mean that now have the power and run time necessary to cut a decent-sized lawn if you use two batteries: one in the mower and the other on charge.
Or you could even consider a robotic lawn mower which will automatically cut the grass for you so that you don’t need to. They come in a range of sizes depending on the size of the lawn that you want to maintain.
2. Decide if you want the classic English striped lawn look
Having settled on the cutting width of your mower the next decision you’ll have to make is whether you want the classic English striped lawn look.
If you do and your lawn is perfectly flat and free from stones then a cylinder mower is probably the best option as these offer the very low cutting heights which’ll give you that perfect finish.
If your lawn undulates or has lots of lumps and bumps in it then a rotary mower would be a better bet as these ride higher than a cylinder mower and won’t dig in to your lawn.
For a rotary mower to produce stripes you’ll need to buy one with wheels and a rear roller to get the straight lines that you need. Some mowers feature a sturdy rubber flap at the rear which gives the effect of a stripe without using a roller so these too may be worth considering.
Unfortunately robotic lawn mowers don’t leave a stripe so if you’ve set your heart on a beautifully striped lawn then you’ll have to roll these out.
3. Decide if you want a push mower or self-propelled one
We’re nearly there now ! Having worked out the size of your garden and thus the cutting width of your ideal electric lawn mower, and determined if you want that classic English striped look or not, and the type of mower that you want, the only real decision that remains is whether you want a mower that you need to push or whether you want a self-propelled one that will pull itself along.
For the smallest of gardens a self-propelled mower is probably overkill so you’ll almost certainly need a push mower where their excellent maneouvrability and light weight makes them easy to use.
If you’ve got a medium sized garden and don’t want a striped lawn then you have two options: to get a rotary mower with or without wheels.
Electric lawn mowers with wheels may be self-propelled which makes cutting medium sized lawns less of a chore as you don’t need to push them along. If you’ve got a sloping garden this can be a real time saver.
However, electric mowers with wheels are less manoeuvrable than those without so if you’ve got a garden with lots of trees and flower beds and relatively few straight runs then a true hover mower may be better suited to your needs.
That said though, hover mowers (in other words rotary mowers without wheels) don’t work too well on lawns with lots of undulations in them as the air air cushion that they ride can escape from the front or sides and this can make the mower ground out. In extreme cases this can scalp the top of your lawn.
4. Decide on any specific features
By now you should have a shortlist of mowers that meet your specific requirements. You should know the cutting width and whether you want a push mower or a wheeled one and whether it is self-propelled or not.
The next step is to head over to our electric lawn mower reviews section where you can browse all of our reviews by a number of different criteria.
Down the right hand side of the reviews section is our exclusive lawn mower feature finder which allows you to drill down to find the mowers that have exactly the features that you want.
We suggest that you start by clicking on the appropriate lawn size and then selecting the appropriate cutting width. This will present you with a list of all reviews that match your needs. Read through them rejecting any that don’t meet your specific needs.