6th Aug, 2020

GARDENING TIME: Battery mowers tried and tested

Redditch Editorial 7th Jul, 2020 Updated: 8th Jul, 2020

Wondering how battery-powered mowers compare with electric models? Hannah Stephenson puts three top picks to the best.

Fed up with struggling to avoid electric cables when you mow, or having to fill your mower up with petrol? If reducing emissions and lowering the noise factor are also concerns, battery mowers could be the answer.

We tested three cordless models on a hilly lawn measuring around 400-square-metres. Read on to find out how they performed…

Mountfield S42R PD LI Lawn Mower, £599 inc battery and charger, Gardenmachinerydirect.co.uk

Undated Handout Photo of Hannah Stephenson trying out the Mountfield battery-powered mower. See PA Feature GARDENING Mowers. Picture credit should read: Hannah Stephenson/ PA. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature GARDENING Mowers.

The big plus for this model is that it was the only one I tried out of the three to have a built-in roller, heavy enough to guarantee stripes for those who want their lawns to have a bowling green finish.

It has plenty of oomph to go up a hill, with an 80V battery providing all the power you need, easy to slot into its compartment on the mower deck.

What I liked – The finish. The blade is designed to maximise airflow for a better cut with the roller and also made light work of border edges. The roller gives impressive stripes.

An easy single lever changes cutting heights – there’s a choice of five heights, which can be set between 20-70mm.

The powerful 80v battery will give you around an hour’s running time, depending on conditions, plenty of time to mow an average or larger lawn. It takes 75 minutes to recharge.

The battery easily lasted to do my lawns and would suit larger gardens as its run-time is around an hour, depending on the conditions.

What I didn’t like – It is quite heavy to turn. The lever to drive it can run away with you a bit and doesn’t have a variable speed.

EGO LM1701E-SP 42cm Mower, £529 Egopowerplus.co.uk

In jazzy green and grey, this impressive self-propelled mower, new this year, is robust in build, its polymer deck won’t rust, it’s easy to clean, and it comes with some funky gizmos including LED headlights.

For those with limited space it will fold and stand upright in your shed. If you want stripes, you can fit an AR1700 rear roller kit for around £50 more.

What I liked – Easy to assemble – you only need to assemble the grassbox, which is straightforward. Solid, well-made piece of kit with a durable polymer deck.

Mows the lawn with ease, taking hills and rough grass in its stride, with a 42cm cutting capacity. Its seven height positions, adjustable with one handle, can take you from a cut of 25mm-80mm.

It has a variable drive speed, so doesn’t run away with you. It can also be driven with the blade inactive, which can be useful if you’ve mowed the lawn and are just wanting to get the mower up the hill to put it away.

EGO LM1701E-SP 42cm Mower. Picture by Hannah Stephenson/PA.

Whether you’re short or tall won’t matter as the mower has an adjustable main handle height, offering three different heights for different users. The battery can be used with other EGO Power+ tools. The handle arms slide down for easy storage and the mower can be stored vertically, taking up less floor space.

What I didn’t like – The relatively short run time of the battery which comes in the package – 15-20 minutes – although it will recharge in 50 minutes on the standard charger (also included).

With so many impressive features, this superior mower is suitable for lawns which would take much longer than 20 minutes to mow, but you’ll have to buy a more expensive EGO battery for that. And if you want a fast charger, that will cost you too.

If you want stripes, you’ll have to spend another £50 on a rear roller kit, which comprises a heavy metal roller which you attach on to the rear of the mower with fixings. It’s a clunky addition to an otherwise sleek product and you’ll need to remove the roller after mowing if you want your machine to fold away vertically.

Honda IZY HRG 416 XB Cordless Lawnmower, £376 (was £451) excluding battery and charger;

£575 including 4Ah battery and charger, Store.honda.co.uk

This new addition to Honda’s fleet of mowers is the only push mower I tried – and it didn’t disappoint. Its good-looking pressed steel deck will resist corrosion and it cut through grass like butter, felt less cumbersome than its weighty competitors and is simple to use.

Just insert the battery into the deck, press the button and push the cutting control lever to start up the blade. Then all you need to do is push!

The pressed steel deck of the Honda mower. Picture by Hannah Stephenson/ PA.

With a smaller 4Ah battery, its run time is around 35 minutes. For around £60 more you can get a bigger battery which will run for approximately 55 minutes, depending on conditions.

What I liked – It’s a lovely looking machine – red and grey pressed steel, which required virtually no set-up apart from the handle and the grass box. Simple to use, lightweight and easy to turn in small spaces. You can tell your battery level from an indicator on the left-hand side of the handle.

The smallest battery, the 4Ah, will recharge in just 35 minutes, while the next size up, the 6Ah, will recharge in 55 minutes.

This machine is great for flat lawns you can mow in around half an hour and won’t take too much pushing. Batteries are interchangeable with other Honda tools.

What I didn’t like – It’s a similar price to the self-propelled mowers, so a little expensive. You’ll need to exert more energy to push it up hilly lawns than with self-propelled models – but if you need the exercise, it’s the one to choose.

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