Best lawnmower 2017: the best electric, cordless sward swallowers

For you, lawn, the turf war is over. These are the best no-fuss, battery-powered lawnmowers of summer

Sun's out, lawnmowers out. It's what summer's for.

We strongly recommend cordless, electric lawnmowers for most users, and we think the best lawnmower of that type right now is the Greenworks G-MAX 40V 41cm

Its powerful, 40-volt battery helps it scythe through 400 square metres of grass on a single 60-minute charge. But there are plenty of other choices for you to browse through below. 

How to buy the best lawnmower for you

For most lawnsmen, we'd now recommend a cordless mower. 

That's because there are few more incompatible duos than a 240-volt electric cable and a fast-spinning blade. 

Standard electric lawnmowers are not only potentially dangerous but they take much longer to cut a lawn simply because of the time spent grappling with the cable. Modern, battery-powered cordless mowers, on the other hand, are invariably as powerful as their wired counterparts and so much easier to use.

Their lithium-Ion batteries are relatively quick to charge and provide between 20 and 40 minutes of hassle-free mowing, which is plenty long enough for the average UK garden. 

Of course, you could try a petrol-driven beast, especially if you have a larger garden. 

Bear in mind that what you gain in pristine stripes on your lawn, you lose in noise, smell and cost. Although on the other hand, many old school heads prefer a whiff of unleaded and a manly battle to push a hulking beast up a slight incline towards the herbaceous border.

Assuming you don't want a sit-on tractor type thing, your other option of a robo mower. This is theoretically the most convenient, lazy way to maintain your lawn. 

We say 'theoretically', because in truth these can be a pain to set up, and incredibly slow.

They're also obviously not recommended for owners of smaller or stupider pets or toddlers. But if you don't mind the setup and have no livestock or offspring to imperil, check out the best robot mowers currently in existence.

We've listed them in our order of preference.

The best lawnmowers you can buy today

1. Greenworks G-MAX 40V 41cm

Best lawnmower for casual users

Well built
Wide cut, low-ish price
Easy to use
Not especially lightweight
Quite noisy

Greenworks’ diminutive 35cm model was one of the best budget-priced cordless mowers on the market, but if you want to step up a notch, then give this brand new 41cm version a whirl. 

It’s not as light as the smaller model at 16kg and the motor’s noisier, but the rest of the design and build are definite improvements.

This garden stylist’s 41cm cutting deck is perfect for medium to large lawns and features a one-touch cutting height button (six positions), a foldaway handle for easy storage and a mulching plug for those who like mulching much mulch. 

It comes with two powerful 40-volt batteries, each capable of scything through 400m2 of sward on a single 60-minute charge. 

Lamborghini green adds a certain sexy raciness to your turf barbering. 

2. Cobra MX46S40V

Best semi-pro-grade cordless lawnmower

Self propelled
Wide cutting deck
Heavy to lift

This striking self-propelled 40-volt cordless model is just the thing for the lazy owner of a broad sward who can’t be bothered with pushing a mower up and down all day long. Here you simply pull on the wire bar and it moves off, pulling you along – at a fairly brisk pace it must be said.

The Cobra has a wide 18-inch (46cm) cutting width, a nice big seven-stage cutting height lever that raises the mower from 25mm to 75mm, a usefully large 60-litre grass bag and the wherewithal to mulch till the cows come home.

It also has a charge indicator on the comfy handlebar that lets you know when you’re about to run out of power and, ingeniously, a storage bay for two batteries that automatically change over when the first one reaches depleted stage. 

You can expect around 30 minutes of cutting time when using the self-propulsion feature. 

At 29kg, this mower’s quite a heavyweight, so perhaps avoid it if you have steps to negotiate.

3. Mountfield Princess 38Li Freedom48

Best lawnmower for striped, medium to large lawns

Good roller for stripes
Mulching system returns cuttings to the lawn
Slightly more expensive
Flimsy hight adjustment lever

The Mountfield comes with two whopping 48v Lithium Ion batteries, providing enough charge to cover an impressive 300m2 or around an hour of continuous mowing. Each battery takes just over an hour to charge and can be used in other Mountfield Freedom48 products.

The 500-watt Princess produces a 38cm cut – good for medium-sized lawns – and features a rear roller for creating stripes, a generous 40-litre grass collector, a mulching plug that directs nitrogen-rich grass cuttings back into the lawn and, get this, a push handle that can be adjusted for various heights. 

Rather usefully, the handle also folds in two making the whole package one of the smallest stowaway units in this roundup.

Needless to say, the Mountfield cut the test lawn impeccably well and even handled the longer jungle sections with aplomb. It was also very quiet. 

Mind you, the flimsy six-position cut-height adjuster lever seems out of place on such a well-crafted unit.

4. Gtech Falcon

Cuts well and looks the part

Big grass collector
Easy-to-adjust cutting height
£99 extra for quick charger
A bit heftier than you'd like

The home-grown Gtech Falcon is far and away the coolest looking mower in this roundup. Admittedly, 'coolness' and 'mowing the lawn' aren't the easiest of bedfellows.

It's also superbly built and comes with an extraordinarily comfortable gorilla-proof, fold-over handle, a 40-litre mesh grass collector and a gear lever-style cutting-height adjuster.

The 36-volt Li-ion battery powers the mower's wide, 43cm blade for up to 40 minutes or 300 meters squared of greensward

At five hours, this has much the longest charging period on test, but this can be alleviated by splashing a further £99 on a quick charger, which cuts juicing time to an hour. 

Interestingly, it appears to be exactly the same battery as is used in Gtech's excellent electric bike, so theoretically you could swap between the two, which is unusual to say the least.

At 16.95kg, the Gtech is a tad awkward to push up inclines, and it's a little noisy as well. However, its large rubber-coated wheels make light work of the flat stuff and cut our garden pasture remarkably well, leaving no unsightly clumps in its wake. A keenly-priced, solidly-built cracker. 

5. Ego LM2014E-SP

Best lawnmower for larger lawns

Huge grass collector
Fast charging
Pretty damn weighty
Not cheap

There's no two ways about it – this green reaper is a monster. It weighs almost as much as a petrol-driven machine but then it does come equipped with a gargantuan 7.5Ah, 56-volt Li-Ion battery, and looks like a powerup from Halo.

Also onboard are vari-speed self propulsion and LED headlights for… er, gardening at night? If you have a large lawn to mow and can't be arsed with pushing, then this is the model for you. 

Its wide 50cm blade scythes through everything with aplomb and keeps on going for up to 35 minutes on a single charge. Recharging takes just 45 minutes.

The huge grass collector, meanwhile, ensures fewer trips to the compost heap. The Ego also folds up surprisingly small and can be stored upright, or, if you have the muscles of Hercules and can lift it, on your garage wall. 

A true beefcake amongst cordless mowers.

6. Flymo Glider 330

Best value for money lawnmower

Very lightweight
Great for small lawns
Quite a low max cutting height
No stripes, of course
Not actually wireless

Okay, this one isn't cordless. Flymo has gone wireless in 2017 with the Mighti-Mo 300 Li, 'a small but powerful Lithium Ion powered lawnmower with the capacity to mow a lawn up to the size of a tennis court on a single charge', but we haven't had a review sample of that in yet.

Because Flymo is the biggest brand in this 'field' – ho ho! – we're including this massively popular, wired model in the mean time.

A hover mower is ideal for smooth lawns with no gnarly lumps and bumps. This 33cm Flymo model is for small patches and, because it hovers on a pocket of air, you can literally swing it around when you get to the end of each strip.

Its 26-litre grass box is ample and easy to disengage but you'll need to remove the blade to fit or add plastic spacers if you want to change the cutting height. 

Also bear in mind that its maximum height setting is just 3.2cm which may be a shave too close for some types of grass.

7. Qualcast 36V

Quick to charge, even if it doesn't last as long as some

Quick charge time
Generally solid
Only lasts 18 minutes per charge

This green machine has a 34cm blade, and is a decent choice for small to medium-sized gardens.

However, while it did indeed cut our test patch right up to the edges, it also left it looking a bit unsightly in parts and the 36-volt battery ran out of puff after 18 minutes, though on the plus side, it only took 70 minutes to charge.

The Qualcast is a comfortable machine to use if you're right handed but not much fun if you're a southpaw since the single operation lever is positioned on the right.