We got our hands on the GreenWorks 20-inch Corded lawn mower (model 25022) for testing in mid-2019, and were pleasantly surprised by its ease of use, effectiveness, efficiency, noise levels, reliability, and power.
Overall, we give it 4.5 stars, and have been pleased with its efficiency, features, and durability. Below is our full review, including pros and cons.
Unpacking and Assembly
This lawn mower came in a pretty heavy box. If you're not comfortable lifting a 60-pound box and carrying it into your garage (or shed, or yard), then you might want to consider bringing along a buddy to help haul it around!
The same goes for taking it out of the box - it's heavy and you need to lift it up and out of the box. This will take some strength and dexterity, so definitely ask for help if you're not ready to lift a 60-pound object straight up. Note that the handles aren't attached at this point, so don't try to lift it by the hands, you need to grab it by the green metal frame.
Once you get it out of the box, there are a few things you need to do. These assembly steps should be pretty straight-forward, but there was one we were surprised by - number 3:
- First, unscrew the lower handle arm by removing the two bolts holding it on. This is so you can remove the little pieces of cardboard they stuffed in the hinges. Then screw them back on. No screwdriver needed, they are all hand-turned knobs.
- Second, unscrew the upper handle arm screws and nuts. This is where you will attach the upper handle. There are two possible holes you can use, one for shorter and one for taller people. Basically if you're under 6 feet tall, you probably want to use the shorter setting, and if you're above 6 feet tall use the higher setting.
- Third, you need to access the bottom of the lawnmower for this step, so tip it onto its side. You will notice a large styrofoam block stuffed into the bottom of the lawnmower near the blade. You need to pull that straight out. It's in there pretty snug, so you might need to pull pretty hard to get it out (at least we did!).
You should definitely read the instruction manual if you're unsure about any of this. It has some helpful tips, such as how to properly use the extension cord retainer to keep it out of the way while mowing! Once you complete these simple assembly steps, you're ready to plug it in and try it out!
Recommended Extension Cord
This is a corded lawnmower, which means that you'll need to purchase an extension cord if you don't already have one. Because it's a 12 Amp lawn mower, you'll need to purchase at least a 14 gauge or thicker extension cord, depending on how long you need the cord to be.
- For a 25 foot cord, you can get away with using a 16 gauge extension cord, like this extension cord on Amazon.
- For a 50 foot cord, we suggest using a 14 gauge extension cord, like this extension cord on Amazon.
- For a 100 foot cord, we suggest using a 14 gauge extension cord, like this extension cord on Amazon (pictured to the right, this is the one we used).
Lower numbers in cord gauge actually mean thicker, which is counter-intuitive. So the longer the extension cord you need, the lower the gauge (thicker the cord) you will need.
Remember, don't cheap out and get a thinner (higher gauge) extension cord, or you could do damage to the lawn mower or cause an electrical hazard or fire.
First Lawn Mowing with the Greenworks 20" Corded Lawn Mower
Our overall impression was "pleasantly surprised" with a bit of "this is a good deal" thrown in!
To start the lawn mower, you hold down the big black button and pull back on the metal lever. It starts up immediately with a nice quiet hum that sounds a bit like a small shop vacuum. It sounds powerful but not too noisy, and there were no strange sounds coming from it, which was a good sign!
When I first began mowing the lawn with it, it took me about 10 minutes to get used to using a corded (rather than gas) lawn mower for the first time. The lawn mower comes with a nice black plastic cord holder that you definitely want to use: you squeeze the extension cord in half, stick it through the hole and attach it to the hook. This way, the extension cord will never drape onto the ground within a few feet of the back of the mower.
There are a few things to keep in mind while using a corded lawn mower:
- Order of operations: You want to start your mowing closest to where your extension cord is plugged in, and work your way farther away from it as you mow the lawn. Figuring this out helped a lot in terms of cord management; if you do it this way, you don't really need to worry much about the extension cord at all.
- No backing up: Because the cord follows behind the mower, you can back up a couple feet but not any more than that (unless you pick up and move the extension cord).
- Don't get lazy: If you get distracted or lazy and don't pay attention to where the extension cord is, you could end up with a bit of a mess (a dangerous one). The cord could get wrapped around the wheel or even worse go under the lawn mower. I'm a pretty careful person and realized that after about 30 minutes of mowing I nearly ran the cord over because I wasn't being vigilant enough.
- Moving the cord around: Unless you have a perfectly square or rectangular yard and an outlet perfectly positioned, you will need to move the cord around. I never needed to stop the mower and move it substantially, I mostly just needed to grab it and flip it out of the way.
Once I got a hang of mowing with an electric lawn mower and dealing with the cord, I honestly think the mowing process went just as quickly and smoothly as with my old gas mower. And no fumes, no vibrations (and a numb hand because of it), and no refilling the gas tank or worrying about running out of gas.
The blade was sharp and very effective, even with thick Zoysia grass. It chomped through some random twigs and mulch without any issue. The only time it bogged down a bit was on really tall and thick grass (about 6" tall). I just needed to slow down and bit and it powered through. I would say I have a medium-sized yard overall, and this 12-amp lawn mower with a 20" deck was a good size and level of power.
My first use was a big success! Here is a picture of my lawn after mowing with the Greenworks 20-inch 12 Amp Corded Lawn Mower:
We've been using this electric lawn mower for about 6 weeks now, once a week. Nothing has changed: it starts right up, powers through the yard, and does it all really cleanly and without a fuss.
Some things we've really liked about the mower include:
- Good height adjustments: The height of rear and front wheels adjusts with the movement of a single lever (not 4 of them!). And it's super easy to use and intuitive. And it covers a good range. The low was way too low for us (like 1.5" high), and the high was way too high (like just under 4" high). The perfect height lever adjustment for us was the third notch from the bottom, which gave us a cut about 2.5" high.
- Nice sturdy and large wheels: The rear wheels were a good diameter that made turns nice and easy, and going over bumps not an issue at all; at first we were worried that the front ones seemed a little flimsy, but we gave them a lickin' and they were perfectly fine.
- Lightweight and easy to manuever: The lawn mower feels super lightweight when you're using it. It's not self-propelled, but realistically we didn't find any use for it: it's a really light and easily maneuvered lawn mower that doesn't really need any sort of self-powering wheels.
- Good mulching and discharge options: We tried out the mulching, bagging, and side discharge. Personally, we use mulching on our yard and it worked like a charm. For the purposes of this test, we also tested out the side discharge and bagging settings. The side discharge worked well and shot grass all over the place, by design. The bagging worked well, though the bag could stand to be a little larger, it filled up pretty quickly.
- Easy storage: For storing the lawn mower, it's easy to fold down the upper half of the handle to make it take up a little less space. To do so, the mower uses quick-release handles (like on a bicycle wheel or seat) that are easy to use. We left the extension cord plugged into the mower and wrapped it up around the upper handle bar, which worked pretty well.
Of course, there are also a lot of benefits of an electric mower in general, that we probably don't need to get into details about; in general, they include environmental, health, and convenience benefits. But you probably know that already if you're on the market for an electric mower!
Here are some things we didn't like about the mower:
- Cords can be a pain: The corded version of this lawn mower is about half the price of the cordless version that uses rechargeable batteries. We didn't want to get into the battery deal because it can be a real pain to swap and recharge batteries all the time, and they tend to lose power and battery life after a year or two (especially if they are not charged and discharged properly). So we opted for the corded version. But the corded aspect is probably the biggest con because it takes some getting used to the fact that you'll be trailing a cord behind yourself while mowing. It won't take forever to get used to, but during your first use, plan on spending a good 15-20 minutes thinking to yourself "why did I get a corded a mower!?" and then getting used to it and realizing it was probably a good decision for cost and long-term reliability.
- Not amazing at edges: In comparison to the gas Honda mower we've been using for years, this lawn mower doesn't get as close to edges as we'd like. In our testing, this seemed like it was mostly related to the wheels sticking out a bit farther on the sides (about a half an inch) than the mower blade frame. On our other mower, the edge of the mower blade cover is at the same width as the outer edge of the wheels. A half inch difference doesn't seem like a lot, but you'll notice it when you're mowing along the edge of steps, bricks, etc. Another reason to have a good weed wacker!
We'll return to this article after a longer-term testing. At the end of the season, we'll give an update on the lawn mower's longer term reliability. We also plan on coming back and doing the same next year to make sure you're making a good investment!
So, overall, we highly recommend this electric lawnmower for small or medium yards. Once you get used to having a corded mower, we think you'll appreciate all the benefits it has to offer! Overall, we give it 4.5 stars!
Definitely worth checking it: see it at Amazon here.