Corded electric mowers are cheaper to buy and petrol mowers are very efficient on large country lawns, but if your lawn is small to medium sized and you want to save a lot of time and effort, then one of the best cordless lawn mowers is most definitely the way to go. There’s no cable to grapple with and you won’t have to keep buying petrol and oil, and pay annual servicing costs.
Today we’re looking at two highly-rated cordless mowers for medium sized lawns. But which one is best for your needs: the quietly charming Kärcher LMO 18-36 or the extraordinarily light Gtech Cordless Lawnmower 2.0?
Well you’ll just have to read on to find out.
Kärcher LMO 18-36 vs Gtech Cordless Lawnmower 2.0: Design
You’ll never lose the Kärcher LMO 18-36 in the back of the shed because its bright yellow livery stands out like a beacon. The Gtech Cordless Lawnmower 2.0, by comparison, is much more subdued in black and grey. Personally speaking, when it comes to mowers, I find myself drawn to models that have been thoughtfully designed from a chassis and colour scheme point of view. And in this regard the Gtech is one of the finest looking machines in the man-shed. In fact, its curvy profile and hunkered down posture is almost Aston Martin-esque. Whereas the Kärcher is quite angular in design and, well, yellow. You’ll be pleased to know that both models come with a battery and charger.
Kärcher LMO 18-36 vs Gtech Cordless Lawnmower 2.0: Key features
When it comes to mowing, you don’t want something that feels like you’re pushing a bag of bricks. At 14.2kgs, the Kärcher LMO 18-36 is definitely on the lighter side of the spectrum so it can be carried a small distance up some garden steps. However, while being bigger overall, the Gtech Cordless Lawnmower 2.0 is almost a kilo lighter – 13.5kgs. In fact, for its size, I don’t think there’s a lighter mower on the market. It’s easy to carry and a doddle to push. And that’s really what you want in a mower.
Taking a peek below their impact-resistant polymer chassis, the Kärcher clocks in with a 36cm cutting deck against the Gtech’s more substantial 42cm. To be honest, there’s not a great deal of difference in total width between these two but those extra six centimetres on the Gtech make it a slightly better bet for medium sized lawns.
Both machines have gear stick-style height adjusters. The Gtech’s adjuster ranges from 30mm to 80mm in six 10mm increments while the Kärcher has just four levels, from 30mm to 70mm. It’s the shortest cut figure you really need to worry about and in that respect both mowers cut down to a respectable shortness for most grass species. However, they don’t really go low enough for a bowling green finish so look at something like a cylinder mower for that level of shave or even a standard electric Flymo.
Aside from cutting width and height range, another key consideration when choosing a lawnmower is the size of the grass collector because this may determine how many times you have to schlep to the compost bin to empty it. The Kärcher LMO 18-36 is equipped with a 45-litre fabric grass box but the Gtech 2.0 has 50 litres to account for the extra width of its blade.
And speaking of blades, the Gtech’s is actually half a blade with a counterweight on the other end. According to Gtech, its carbon steel mono blade is said to be just as efficient as a full-two-sided blade only it requires less energy to spin it. All I know is that it cuts supremely well, and right to the edge of the border. Rather unusually, the blade also produces a completely different texture of cuttings that seem much finer than most other mowers. Sound wise, the half blade also produces a low growl that is radically different in tone to any other lawnmower. It also causes a bit more vibration in the handlebar assembly. The Kärcher’s blade is a much more simple, bog-standard affair but it too cuts exceedingly well, though not quite up to the very edge.
From a comfort point of view, the Kärcher comes with a widely adjustable two-stage folding foam-covered handlebar that’s great for users of shorter stature. It also has two comfortable power grips. The Gtech’s handlebar also folds in two places for easy storage but while its shape is better suited for different hand positions, I’m not so keen on the slim metal power bar which doesn’t feel as comfortable. The handlebar also sits higher than most mowers and isn’t adjustable so perhaps look elsewhere if you’re of shorter stature (for reference, I'm 5'6").
Kärcher LMO 18-36 vs Gtech Cordless Lawnmower 2.0: Battery
This is an area where the Kärcher trounces every other cordless lawn mower I’ve thus far encountered. Where all other batteries use a simple row of lights to highlight the amount of remaining juice, this model’s 18-volt Lithium Ion battery comes with an LCD display that shows accurate levels in percentages and minutes. This is a major boon because you can more accurately gauge how much juice is left and whether you need to recharge it before the next mowing session. And when you do recharge it (over 90 minutes), it also gives you a minute countdown for the time remaining to full charge. Just be sure to press the battery into the housing really firmly or the mower simply won’t start – an issue that has caused some owners to return their purchase. The Kärcher's battery can also be used with many other Kärcher power tools.
The Gtech’s more powerful 48v Li-Ion battery is quite a bit bigger and heavier and uses a simple light system to let you know about the level of juice left. But in its favour it recharges in just 60 minutes. However, my test model from about 18 months ago has developed an issue where the battery clicks into its housing. It seems that a small but crucial tab may have snapped off and I have to be doubly careful when ejecting the battery in case it breaks completely. As far as I can tell, if the whole sprung ejector tab breaks, it could be curtains for the whole shebang. I’m hoping Gtech has since addressed this small but significant issue.
In terms of running times, both models run for around 40 minutes per charge, which is better than many of their competitors. In fact, 40 minutes is usually plenty enough time to complete a full mow of a medium sized lawn or two or three sessions on a small one.
Kärcher LMO 18-36 vs Gtech Cordless Lawnmower 2.0: Performance
In my experience, every cordless mower I’ve used has cut the grass well though some do cut right to the edge more efficiently. In this regard the Gtech outperforms the Kärcher, but only by a few centimetres. The Gtech also forces the grass cuttings further towards the back of the grass collector. In the Kärcher’s favour, it also comes with a mulching plug so you can have the nitrogen-rich cuttings fed back into the lawn instead of the grass bag.
When it comes down to noise levels, the Kärcher is remarkably quiet – indeed so quiet your neighbours may not hear it. By comparison, the Gtech is definitely louder but again not to the point that any obstreperous neighbours will be taking out legal action against you. It is, as I said above, a lot more growlier, like a grumpy bear with a headache.
Kärcher LMO 18-36 vs Gtech Cordless Lawnmower 2.0: Verdict
Both of these mowers excel at cutting grass or they would never have made it into our Best Cordless Mowers guide. If you have a some extra cash to throw at the lawn then the Gtech is definitely the best choice. It’s just so light and effortless to use and I love the way it’s half-blade somehow produces finer grass clippings. However, the Kärcher is over a third cheaper, a little smaller, not quite as light but still as efficient at mowing the lawn. It also comes with a mulching plug and the very best battery in the land of lawn.
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