Did you know 38% of all residential lawn mowers sold are corded electric?
Here’s the electric mower market breakdown for 2021:
Today we’ll talk about the pros and cons of corded vs. cordless vs. gas mowers and show you the 4 best corded electric on the market (and tell you if they’re the best lawn mower for you).
Why Are Corded Electric Lawn Mowers Still So Popular?
- They are the most affordable mower on the market
- They are light, compact and the same or more powerful than cordless battery powered electric
- They are zero maintenance, quiet (how loud?), no fumes and did we mention they are only $140?
Corded Electric Lawn Mower vs. Cordless Battery Powered vs. Gas Powered
- Pros: Lowest price. Same or more power than cordless electric. All the benefits of electric: no maintenance, no fumes, quiet, compact and light for easy storage.
- Cons: The cord is annoying when mowing. The cord tethers you to your house electric outlets sometimes you need an extension cord to reach the back of your yard. Thus, only suitable for small yards close to the house. Use a brushed universal motor (instead of a brushless) for shorter lifetime and less efficiency.
Cordless Battery Powered
- Pros: Don’t have to deal with the electric cord. Can mow anywhere as long as you have the batteries. Use a brushless motor for high efficiency, better speed and acceleration and less noise compared to corded electric. All the benefits of electric mowers: low maintenance, low noise, no fumes and no winter storage preparation.
- Cons: Have to deal with the battery capacity limit of 30 minutes – 1 hour. Are expensive even compared to entry and mid level gas mowers. Generally less powerful than corded electric since they are limited by the batteries which are usually a 40-Volt – 60-Volt system whereas corded are 120-Volt from your home.
- Pros: Most powerful for cutting the toughest grass giving the nicest looking lawn. Can mow all day with just an extra jerry can. Wide range of mowers available for all price ranges.
- Cons: Loud. Requires periodic maintenance. Gives off fumes.
What You Need To Know About Extension Cords Before Using One With Your Corded Electric Lawn Mower
Built-in Cord Length
Corded mowers will come built-in with a 30 ft – 50 ft electric cord length. It is almost never enough and you will need to use an extension cord.
Extension Cord Gauge vs. Length
Not all extension cords are made equal.
The gauge/wire thickness of your extension cord matters the same or more as the length.
In the chart below you can see as the gauge of an extension cord decreases the wire thickness increases.
- 10 gauge is much thicker than 16 gauge.
- 10 gauge can handle bigger current (amperage) loads than 16 gauge because the wire is thicker and more electrons can flow at one time.
So what does this mean?
Your corded mower will have a 10 Amp – 13 Amp motor.
You can see from the chart above that if you have the 13 Amp corded mower and want to use a 100-ft extension cable then you need to spend more money and get the 14 gauge.
The 16 gauge cord at 100-ft length can only handle (recommended max) 10 Amps. And so the mower motor will be trying to draw 13 Amps from the 10 Amp cord causing a premature failure or burn out.
The Best Corded Electric Lawn Mower
Greenworks 13 Amp 21-Inch Corded Mower
We think the best corded electric lawn mower on the market is the Greenworks model #2507702 with a 13 Amp motor and a 21-Inch mowing width.
It is perfect if you have a small lawn you mow once a week and are looking for an affordable mower that doesn’t suck.
With a 13 Amp motor and a 120-Volt home electric circuit the electric motor is able to give the mower blades around 1.5 – 1.7 horsepower (depending on the motor efficiency). This puts in the upper power level of all electric lawn mowers and about 30% of the way to gas power.
This means even if you forget to mow your lawn for 3 weeks the Greenworks corded electric mower will still be able to cut the overgrown grass.
Another feature we love is the ability to choose where you want to put the cut grass clippings. You can mulch, bag it or side discharge. Many corded electrics don’t have this option. It also has a steel deck for great strength and peace of mind when in use as many other corded electrics have nylon or plastic decks.
If you want the best corded electric then check it out here:
American Lawn Mower Company 11 Amp 14-Inch
For really small lawns the best corded mower is the little 14-Inch 11 Amp one from American Lawn Mower Company.
It is one of the top 3 most affordable mowers on the market and is American built.
- It only weights 20 pounds
- It has a steel deck
- It has 5 cutting heights
Since it only has 14 inch blades the 11 Amp motor plugged in to your home’s 120-Volt circuit gives enough power to cut your lawn great and leave it looking neat and not uneven.
If you want the lights and easiest push mower to push around your small yard then this is the mower to get.
Black & Decker 13 Amp 20-Inch
A runner-up best corded electric mower is the Black & Decker also with a 13 Amp electric motor for great cut quality and power.
It is about the same price as the #1 choice Greenworks but a little lighter because it has a nylon deck material instead of steel.
The mower folds up easy and Black + Decker has put a great feature on it. They call it “EdgeMax”. It is the blades coming outside the wheel width so you can hug up close to planters and edge work without needing to get the trimmer out.
Sun Joe MJ403E 13 Amp 17-Inch
Another great option in the corded electric category is the Sun Joe brand.
They have the most popular electric pressure washer on the market and have learned a thing or two about corded electric lawn equipment.
Their popular lawn mower has everything you would imagine for its mid-$100 price range including a 13 Amp motor and metal deck material.
It did leave some “mohawk” in the grass that had to be mowed over twice but it was minimal.
If you already have the Sun Joe pressure washer then it makes sense to get the Sun Joe lawn mower.
Craftsman 13 Amp 20-Inch
Rounding out the list of the best corded mowers is the Craftsman 13 Amp 20-inch.
In 2017, Stanley Black & Decker bought the Craftsman brand from Sears for $900 million. In 2021, Stanley Black & Decker bought lawn and garden equipment giant MTD Products for billions.
So now: Craftsman mowers are made by MTD Products who also make Cub Cadet, Troy Bilt, Remington and Bolens products.
The Craftsman is this far down the list because of price. It is more expensive than the others despite not giving any extra features or benefits.
It is the 13 Amp motor, which is great. It has the bagging, mulching and side discharge option. It has an easy to fold handle for simple storage in your garage or shed. It has high ratings from customer users. But still it is more expensive by about $70.
If you love the Craftsman brand then possibly it is on special. Check here:
Other Corded Electric Mowers We Looked Closely At
Here are 3 corded mowers we looked seriously at but decided not to put on the list of the best 4 above.
They are all great mowers in their own right but missed the mark with a few features.
Let’s talk about them.
Earthwise is a brand owned and made by American Lawn Mower Company – our #2 pick corded electric mower. They are basically the same mower so we went with the American Lawn Mower Company version since it makes no sense to include 2 of the same mowers in the list. Earthwise brand is the most popular reel mower on the market.
Scotts Outdoor 51519S
John Deere makes Scotts walk behind mowers and American Lawn Mower Company makes their reel mowers. We preferred the above corded electric lawn mowers but still think John Deere/Scotts is a good model which we will keep testing new models.
Q: What is the RPM on my corded mower?
Every electric motor will have a stamped RPM rating. So depending on which brand and model of motor the RPM will be different. Also, it depends on your home electric circuit frequency 50 Hz (3,000 RPM) or 60 Hz (3,600 RPM). But with losses in the system from friction and inefficiency the range of RPM for a corded mower motor could be from 2,200 RPM to 3,200 RPM depending.
Q: How many decibels is my corded mower?
Corded mowers use a brushed universal motor and so are louder than battery powered brushless mowers but more quiet than a small gas engine (although somewhat more of an annoying screeching sound).
The decibel rating varies but will be in the 85 – 90 dBA range.
Q: How long (in hours usage) does a corded mower last?
As long as you use the correct extension cord gauge so the motor isn’t overdrawing there is no reason it can’t last 500 hours (2 hours use per week for 5 years). This will vary widely mower to mower and person to person as other things on the mostly plastic corded mowers will fail before the motor.