Ready your garden: Top Picks for battery-operated lawn mowers this summer

Mowing efficiency is tested on homogeneous grass surfaces. Photo: SLG
The function of the collector is evaluated as part of the test. Stihl's needed to be emptied after mowing 28 sqm. Photo: SLG
Makita’s collector left some residue on the lawn and had to be emptied after mowing 22 sqm. Photo: SLG
Husqvarna’s collector had to be emptied after mowing 38 sqm. Photo: SLG
The mowing result was evaluated for, among other things, the evenness of the mowed area. Photo: SLG
The quality and durability of the lawn mowers are tested over 100 hours. Photo: SLG

Light, quiet, easy to use, and cheaper than a gasoline lawn mower. A battery-powered electric lawn mower has many advantages, but there are several aspects to consider when choosing a machine. And no model is perfect; in most cases, you must choose between a perfect end result and higher mowing speed.

Malin Hefvelin/ Testfakta Published: 10 May, 2024

A well-mowed lawn is the pride of many garden owners, whether it is as large as a golf course or just a small green patch to grill on after work. But a lot of work goes into keeping the grass short and well-maintained, and it's important to choose the right machine for the job.

Electric lawn mowers are noise-free, weigh less than their gasoline counterparts, and are easy to maneuver. They are also environmentally friendly, and you avoid sweating in the fuel fumes of gasoline mowers. The electric mowers also emit less vibration and are therefore more gentle on the arms. Finally – and an aspect that can be just as significant – you avoid the embarrassment of standing in the driveway pulling the start cord on a machine that only coughs and smokes after a half-year overwintered in the garage. With a battery-powered electric lawn mower, you just insert the charged battery and go.

To evaluate battery-powered electric lawn mowers, Testfakta assigned the independent test laboratory SLG in Germany. The laboratory evaluated the lawn mowers based on various factors such as the quality of the mowing, how fast they mow, battery performance, and overall ease of use.


Husqvarna mows the fastest, Gardena the most evenly
One of the most important aspects when choosing a lawn mower is, of course, how nice one's lawn looks after mowing. However, the test showed that several of the machines leave a fairly uneven surface behind, where Ryobi and Jula give the worst result. Both cut unevenly, and Ryobi also misses several spots on the lawn. The finest mowing result is instead obtained with the lawn mower from Gardena. However, it is quite slow, something that can be perceived as disturbing if you want to be efficient. Husqvarna is the fastest, able to mow up to 742 sqm per hour. Husqvarna, however, switches between different power modes and therefore leaves a somewhat uneven mowing pattern behind. Stihl, along with Jula, is the slowest and can only mow 615 and 590 sqm per hour, respectively, and Stihl also has a tendency to shut down in longer grass.

Big difference in operating time and charging time
Another crucial point is the performance of the included battery. Although the tested machines' batteries have roughly the same capacity (between 4-6 Ah), the results in operating time differ significantly. The test shows that the worst machines can only mow for 12-13 minutes before it's time to charge the battery, which in area means just over 130 sqm. Husqvarna performs best in terms of capacity and provides up to 250 sqm of mowed lawn, equivalent to just over 20 minutes on one battery.

  • The difference in operating time is primarily due to the design of the cutting blade, the construction of the mowing cap, and of course the motor's efficiency, says Martin Kirschen, testing engineer at SLG.

If you have a larger lawn, one battery may not go very far.

  • I would say that you need one, and in some cases two extra batteries to be able to mow the entire lawn efficiently with most of the machines, he continues.

Several batteries are required to avoid long waiting times
He also notes that there is a remarkably large difference between the batteries' measured charging time, from the efficient Makita's just under an hour to Gardena's nearly four hours. With Gardena, it therefore takes a whole day to mow a small lawn of 300-400 square meters with just one battery. The reason for the different charging times depends on how efficient the charger is rather than on the battery itself. At the same time, you avoid the problem of long charging time if you buy several batteries.

No model gets full marks in all aspects of the test, and in most cases, you must choose between speed, battery life, and the quality of the mowing result. Overall, Husqvarna gets the highest rating thanks to good mowing efficiency and battery capacity, reasonable charging times, high ease of use, and simple assembly. Close behind comes the most expensive lawn mower in the test from Makita, which despite leaving some residue on the lawn still gets a high overall rating thanks to efficient mowing, relatively high mowing capacity, and fast battery charging. The low-cost model from Jula places at the bottom due to its slow cutting speed and uneven results.


Facts about the test

Testfakta's news agency, commissioned by Nordic media, has conducted a comparative laboratory test of battery-powered electric lawn mowers. The laboratory test was performed by the independent laboratory SLG Prüf- und Zertifizierungs GmbH in Hartmannsdorf, Germany.

The following products have been tested:

  • Husqvarna Aspire LC34
  • Gardena PowerMax 32/18V P4A
  • Makita LXT DLM330
  • Stihl RMA 235.1
  • Ryobi RY18LMX33A-150
  • Bosch EasyMower 18V-32-200
  • Jula-Meec Tools GY215004

Product selection criteria: battery-powered electric lawn mowers for lawns ranging from 200 to 500 square meters. Two lawn mowers of each model were acquired in January 2024.

Laboratory test
Before the test, the laboratory checks that all units are undamaged and function as intended, and technical data is documented and verified against declared information.

The test covers the following parameters:

Mowing efficiency and results
Maximum and minimum cutting heights and cutting widths.
Manageability when mowing in a slope with a 20% incline.
Mowing efficiency on dry grass from 80 to 40 mm (sqm per hour).
Mowing results (evenness, missed areas, spillage from the collector).

Battery capacity and charging
Measured battery capacity (Ah)
Mowing capacity per charge (sqm per charge).
Battery charging time.
Manageability of battery and charger.

Ergonomics and manageability
Ergonomics and design of the handle and steering bar.
Steering on flat and uneven surfaces.
Steering in narrow passages and near edges.
Emptying of the collector.

Vibrations and noise level
Assessment of vibrations in the handle and noise level.
Quality and durability
Damage and wear after 100 hours of mowing.

Assembly, storage, and cleaning
Assembly time.
Transport and storage.
Cleaning of the mowing cap and the exterior.

Interpretation and rating of the test results
The results from the laboratory test are interpreted and rated in consultation with the conducting laboratory. The ratings are made on a scale from 1 to 10 where 10 is the best. Ratings below 6 are given only if the results are considered poor or significantly worse than other products in the test.

In the overall rating, the test results are given the following weights:

Mowing efficiency and results: 40%
Battery capacity and charging: 30%
Ergonomics and manageability: 20%
Assembly, storage, and cleaning: 10%

Battery systems allow tools to share batteries

All the tested lawn mowers are part of their respective manufacturer's battery systems, where various types of garden machines and tools of the same brand share the same battery charger, allowing them to share batteries. This gives the owner the ability to use the lawn mower's removable batteries in other devices such as hedge trimmers, drills, and angle grinders, thereby reducing the costs of their fleet of machines.

The lawn mowers from Bosch, Gardena, and Husqvarna are now part of the same external battery system for 18-volt batteries, the brand-transcending Power For All Alliance. This alliance includes a dozen major brands in gardening and tools. This means that one is not limited to one of the brands if one has invested in a battery-powered tool and wants to use the battery in other products. One can freely choose between the different brands' tools and equipment. However, this only applies to the battery; the charger is not universal and therefore charging speed may vary between the different brands.