Milwaukee Tool’s M18 Fuel cordless mower – their first ever – was first teased about in August 2021 with early information, and then officially announced in January 2022 with full details.
The new cordless mower, model 2823, is a walk-behind model with 21” blade, steel deck, and self-propelled drive.
For the first time in what felt like years, the rain stopped, the clouds parted, and the sun — not to mention the warmth that comes from it — returned to Wisconsin last month
Milwaukee sent over a test sample, and the grass finally grew long enough for me to see how well the mower performed.
Milwaukee M18 Mower Features
Milwaukee says the mower delivers more max torque compared to a 200cc gas mower, and also surpasses those models with “instantaneous throttle response” for both the drive and blade motors, along with the ability to maintain blade speed without bogging down during thicker and more challenging cuts.
The mower runs on a pair of M18 batteries and is optimized for Milwaukee’s 12.0Ah High Output batteries, two of which are included in the kit (2823-22HD) along with a dual-bay simultaneous charger.
A tool-only version is not available at this time.
The mower will fit any of the brand’s M18 batteries, but you’ll probably want to stick to their high capacity battery sizes.
- Variable speed self-propelled drive (0.1-4.0 MPH)
- Full 21-inch cut capacity*
- High lift mode – increases blade speed for superior air flow and better lift
- 3-in-1 grass management – mulch, bag, rear-side discharge
- Front and side LED lights – 180-degree visibility in low light situations
- Single-point height adjustment – easier changes between cutting heights (7 positions; 1-4 inches)
- Requires (2) M18 Li-ion batteries for operation
- 3-year warranty
* The blade that came with my review sample measured almost exactly 21 inches from end-to-end. Some other brands’ cordless mowers are instead advertised according to deck width. A mower with a 21” blade will cut a wider path than one that’s advertised as having a 21” deck size.
What’s in the Box
The 2823-22HD kit comes with:
- Mower (2823-20)
- (2) M18 HD 12.0 batteries (48-11-1812)
- M18 Dual Bay Simultaneous Rapid Charger (48-59-1802)
- Grass Collection Bag
- Rear-side discharge chute
- Mulch Plug
My Journey from Gas to Cordless Mowers
I’ve long been skeptical of battery-powered mowers, but finally took the plunge last spring, after being impressed when a neighbor brought one home. I bought a used Ryobi model to get me through the season, and it was convenient enough that I haven’t used my gas mower since.
Personally, I like the simplicity of a battery-powered mower. Not having to buy gas is a pretty big selling point right now, given the high pricing. A cordless battery-powered mower also means I no longer have to worry about running out of gas or, as I seem to do every year, forget to empty the gas tank before putting the mower away for the winter.
There’s also the benefit of lower maintenance needs – I don’t have to worry about checking or changing the oil, replacing the spark plug, getting a tune-up, or cleaning the carburetor. I also won’t be dislocating my shoulder while trying to pull-start a non-cooperative gas mower, cussing up a storm so loudly the neighbors close their windows.
Speaking of, I was trying to do a sound comparison between the Milwaukee mower and my old gas mower (the Milwaukee is a lot quieter!), and snapped the gas engine pull-start cord with the first yank.
Another benefit is that cordless mowers are fume-free.
Assembling the Milwaukee M18 Mower
Out of the box, the mower required minora little bit of assembly. It was pretty simple and involved little more that connecting a few screws to the handle, finding the appropriate angle for the handle, connecting the bag to the frame, and then attaching the bag.
From an operational standpoint, things couldn’t be easier. To get started, you hold down the bail bar and press the on/off power button. The mower blade will start to spin, and the power button will lock in position. To stop the blade, release the bail bar.
The self-propel function is easily controlled with a paddle at the center of the handle.
Self-Propel Drive Function
The self-propel drive speed can be adjusted with a dial, and the activation paddle also allows for variable speed, up to the maximum speed set by the self-propel speed dial.
The self-propel function can work whether the blade is spinning or not. Its combination of power and speed are no joke; I didn’t realize I had it set to full speed when I engaged the self-propulsion, and nearly took off like a cartoon character as the mower sped into action.
High Lift Mode and LED Light Controls
In the above photo, you can also see the high lift mode activation button, which increases the blade speed for increased air flow and lift. Milwaukee says this will result in better bagging or mulching performance. Below it is the LED activation button. Both are on/off buttons with LED indicator lights.
When I was done, I was pleased to see the clean, even cut left behind. The mower only missed a few blades of grass, and there were hardly any cuttings to be found. This is important to me, because even though cuttings are good for the lawn, they’re not great for a dog with grass allergies who would rather nap on the lawn than on one of the many beds and platforms that have been built for him over the years.
I was impressed, too, with the machine’s “intelligence.” There are some patches of my lawn, especially along the street, that are significantly thicker than others, and the mower automatically adjusted to those patches; speeding up then slowing down without bogging down as my gas mower would.
As with the top-notch build quality, the mower’s performance is exactly what you would expect from Milwaukee.
Testing the Mower with Lower Capacity Batteries
I made a mistake and did not charge the batteries prior to the quick assembly process. Because I have a tendency to be a little impatient when it comes to new toys, I thought I’d grab two batteries out of my arsenal just to get a feel for the machine while the 12.0Ah batteries charged.
For reference, Milwaukee says that when powered by 2x 12.0Ah batteries, the mower can deliver up to 60 minutes of runtime, allowing up to 1/2 acre of cutting when removing 1″ of grass at a 3 MPH self-propelled pace.
I started out with a pair of M18 9.0Ah batteries, which proved more than capable of powering the mower through my small yet challenging front yard, as well as the two curb strips on either side of my corner lot. When I was done, the grass bag was full, and there were very few missed blades or left-behind clumps. Both batteries still showed four full bars.
Since I still had my backyard to mow and the 12.0Ah batteries weren’t fully charged, I decided to see how smaller-capacity batteries would fare, so I popped in a pair of 5.0Ah batteries.
The box does say that it fits ALL M18 batteries.
I didn’t have a large area to mow, but it was the first cut after nearly a month of non-stop rain, and so there was plenty of grass to cut. Even with the XC 5.0Ah batteries, the mower sliced through my lawn with ease and showed three bars of power when I was done.
This showed me that, although you will get the most runtime and best performance when powering the mower with High Output 12.0Ah batteries, it can work with lower capacity batteries in a pinch.
One other thing worth mentioning here: no matter what battery you are using, you won’t have to stop and open the battery compartment to see how much juice is left; there’s a built-in 4-LED battery fuel gauge located right on the back of the mower, so you’ll always know when it’s time to take a break.
Additional Thoughts and Opinions
The 180-degree LED lights are perfect for cutting in low-light situations like early mornings or late evenings. You can see in front of you as well as on either side of the mower, which is a definite help in terms of safety.
Speaking of cutting in the dark, on a whim I tested out the mower’s lights during the recent lunar eclipse, and it was quiet enough that my neighbors one yard over didn’t even realize I was mowing my lawn at 11:30 pm.
Maybe it was just because the blade was brand-spanking-new, but never has my lawn been cut so cleanly, evenly, and completely.
Stuart’s Note: Milwaukee does advertise that their mower delivers “best cut quality.” They also say that the mower’s “higher blade speed and superior air flow delivers increased lift which reduces missed grass blades and clumps for the best cut quality.”
I’ve yet to mow with the mulch plug or rear-side discharge, but the almost complete lack of cuttings left behind was another plus for me.
One of my biggest gripes about any mower I’ve previously used is about how their handles are often too short and at an awkward angle for someone like myself, who stands 6-foot-5. That’s not the case with Milwaukee’s M18 mower, which has an adjustable handle that I could hold out in front of me comfortably and operate with a natural posture. This may seem insignificant to some, but will come in handy for taller users who will be pushing this thing around a lot.
No emissions, no pull start, lower noise, no engine maintenance, no gas hassle. The mower is quick to assemble, easy to use, well-made, and so far it’s done a superb job cutting my grass.
My gas mower is obsolete – good riddance.
I have more testing to do, and based on my experiences thus far, I’m looking forward to it. Any questions or things you want me to look out for?
Pricing & Availability
The mower is available at Milwaukee Tool dealers for $999 to $1,099. Some online dealers offer free shipping, others tack on delivery fees given the shipping size and weight.
(At the time of this posting, Tool Nut has the best price of $999 with free shipping.)
Thank you to Milwaukee Tool for providing the test sample.
Looks like a nice mower, I have to admit it sounds a lot better than I expected when this was first mentioned on Toolguyd months ago.
I have a Dewalt cordless model I use for tight areas (my property is far too large and rough to mow entirely with a walk-behind) and it sounds like the Milwaukee has an important advantage over my Dewalt: you can operate the self-propulsion independent of the blade. I have a small spot near the fence by the entrance to my property where my large ZTR won’t fit. That’s one of the things I use the cordless for, and it’s a long walk from my shed. It would be real nice if I could simply “drive” the mower there rather than having to push it, but the Dewalt’s power drive won’t work unless the blade is spinning.
I like the addition of the lights and the handle at the front too, those look like great convenience features.
Will not buy as long as the make you buy batteries and charger! I have 12.0 batteries and charger already.
How are they holding up? I have 4 of the 12.0 and only one fully charges. 1 goes to 3 bars and 2 of them max out at 2 bars.
I have 6 12.0 batteries, 8 8.0, a bunch of 5.0 several 4.0. the 4.0 batteries are over 10 years old. They still charge just fine and run drills and impact drills quite well. The 5.0 batteries are newer but still some several years old. They work quite well in all of our hand tools. the 8.0 and 12.0 we got on sale by this tool get a free battery from HD two years ago. We made out with $3000 in tools and ended up with about $1400 in free batteries. They all work fine; no failures and we use them every day. We have one 4.0 battery that has a bad terminal on it so it powers our Milwaukee radio and because it’s not moving around seems to be ok in that tool only.
I understand there are some bad ones out there so I can only speak from experience on the batteries we own and to date I have never had to return a battery or replace a battery.
I had samething happen to a 12. And then it quit all together.
They can’t take heat from grinders and possibly other HO tools that draw hi amp draw. They trip out and then best to let cool. Also now my supercharger has issues with temperature
A large is too much for a mower
Thank you for the review. I have wanted one since it was announced, but the price was just too much of an entrance fee. I get that it comes with 2 of Milwaukee’s biggest batteries and a nice charger, but it is a hard sell with my wife.
It is good to know that it will run on the other sized batteries. Based on your experience, I might consider one of the ones I see on marketplace where someone bought the kit and sold the batteries and charger for a premium and are looking to move the mower for a discount.
In Florida we cut grass pretty much year round. The gas savings would still take a while to offset the cost, but it is a consideration when ethanol-free gas is nearing $6 a gallon.
I’ve been cutting my lawn with an Ego battery mower since 2014 and would never go back to a gas model. The convenience of battery OPE is incredible.
This Milwaukee mower is extremely expensive. I don’t doubt it’s good, but there are excellent options for far less money.
Of course Milwaukie would charge that much for the mower. I’ll stick with the best, EGO. Much better and with a better battery.
EGO is the way to go. No doubt.
I’ve got the DeWalt and it’s decent. Certainly I’m happy to get away from gas even if it isn’t the world’s best mower. That Milwaukee price tag though…. Ouch.
How many other tools can you operate with your ego??? I have over 100 tools in my M18 lineup. Not arguing the EGO makes a fine mower but other than yard tools it’s a hard sell for me. At least I can by other tools o do just about anything to offset that lawn mower cost. Milwaukee’s bare tos are priced well and with two 12.0 batteries I can operate any of them for quite a long time.
I have Milwaukee tools as well but for a $400 difference between ego and Milwaukee, it’s not crazy to opt for ego yard work and Milwaukee for construction.
The price difference between the Milwaukee mower and the Ego is so much that you could buy a mower kit, a string trimmer kit, and a blower for less than just the Milwaukee mower kit. Add bare tools as you need them for less money as well.
Ego makes everything you could want for OPE, at the same or lower prices compared to Milwaukee. Their batteries are also superior, with super fast charge times. Their new 700W charger will fully charge their monster 10Ah battery (504 Wh) in 60 min, and their 5Ah and smaller batteries charge in 30 min, while being fan cooled to keep from stressing the cells.
If Milwaukee’s stuff was just as good and the same price or cheaper, sure, go with them for convenience of the same platform. But when the mower is crazy expensive like that and there are disadvantages to the platform, I just don’t see the point.
EGO is a fine brand but to call their mower the best is a bit of a stretch. From my perspective they’ve left a gaping hole in their product portfolio because their mowers only go 3.1 mph at max speed. To get anything better from EGO means you’d have to step up to the zero-turn to the tune of $5k. I bought the EGO but after one cut returned it due to this very reason and am going to stick with my gas mower that does 4+ mph.
However this review of the Milwaukee has peaked my interest because it says it’ll do 4.0 mph so maybe I don’t have to wait for EGO and the Milwaukee would suffice.
I’m used to using a “personal pace” mower from Toro. If you set this Milwaukee mower to 4.0mph, do you have to explicitly dial it down when you’re turning?
It’s variable speed at 4.0 you are gonna struggle to stay behind it. I keep mine just over 3 that leaves a great cut. When you turn you simply let up on the thumb bar as you lift the front wheels it turns with little to no effort. The self propelled feature on the electric mower is on demand no waiting for it to engage like the Makita where there is a 2 second delay at least. I’ll also note that very rarely does turbo mode kick in when it does it’s necessary and when it feels resistance ease up it dials down. Very well put together.
Hi, Jason. So one thing I left out of the review since I was already reach the length of a novel was just how much speed this has. I didn’t realize that the dial was turned all the way up the first time I engaged the self-propulsion so it took off like a street racer at a red light. In fact, my neighbor described it as like he was watch a cartoon, where the mower started going and I was flying behind it like Goofy skiing down a mountain.
Long story short: it’s pretty fast.
I’m wondering how it would handle Florida’s lawns. Much tougher cut than rye, fescue or Kentucky Blue.
Hey, Randell. So, I know this isn’t the same as an actual Florida lawn but a few blocks from my house is a strip of land that once carried a streetcar/rapid transit line and now is vacant because of the power lines above it. The company that is supposed to maintain the property rarely does so when I saw the grass, weeds and other brush had started turning into a forest, I decided to see how the mower would handle it and …. not a problem. That was some thick, thick mess and I went about 125 yards and back (average height setting, no mulch plug, no side discharge) with no problem.
Thanks for the insight.
I bought mine a month ago. It mows great and I only use 1 bar on the batteries doing my whole yard.
I have the Ryobi mower. How does this compare?
Difference? Close to $500.
When I inherited my grandmother’s house I also inherited her Ryobi mower. No disrespect to Ryobi, as my sister has one and likes it, but it’s hot garbage performance wise. My experience is anecdotal but it ate batteries, couldn’t handle thick lawn, and most recently the power button is stuck in a depressed position so I cannot even start the mower. I’d avoid at all costs.
We need to see more on these Waukee mowers, bit if they hold up long term, this could be a buy once, cry once situation.
I’m currently using a Honda powered push mower that is probably 16 years old and has been absolutely abused. No more safety mechanisms….I start it and stop it by connecting or disconnecting the spark plug. No self propel. But man, she starts up every time and leaves a nice cut.
Not sure if anyone mentioned this, but if you inherited it from your grandmother, I assume it is not the most recent model. Ryobi has been making 18v and 40v mowers for about 10 years or more…before EGO came on the market.
The older versions were definitely not as performant as the most current. Especially if it is an 18v model.
Just saying that it would not be a fair assessment to trash Ryobi battery mowers unless it is the most recent 40v model.
Hopefully they introduce a robot version down the line.
What about Reviews. On Milwaukee official website, review for the product is 3.5 stars. 35% of review is below 3 stars.
The issue is common one:” The mower shuts off constantly, even every 15 seconds”
Do we need to wait for Gen#2?
I would love to hear from Milwaukee about this, maybe there was a run of defective units? I read those as well and it is troubling…
I have had mine for over 3 months, it hasn’t shutoff once u less I release the handle. Not sure what those people are referring too. Cut my entire 3/4 of an acre today with self propelled. I had two bars left on the charge when I was done.
I have had no such problem with that issue, for what it’s worth.
I have had mine now for 6wks. No problem. With what I could research about this, it’s a battery issue. Apparently the 12ah new packs have had their issues.
I was trying to hold out to next year to make the change. I wanted to hear/read reports about leaf mulching.
I’m a snapper fan for mulching. but after my commercial snapper’s engine gave up the ghost, I rolled it to the curb and went to the big orange box store and picked up the Milwaukee mower.
Apparently the snapper commercial engines have a compression release system that falls apart, and fix and repeat. Only 5y old, and it was blowing smoke already. Residential use. Disappointed with that engine. Had to switch a year early.
I’m very happy with the Milwaukee. Glad I got forced into the switch. With this heat, electric is a blessing. And a m12 fan mounts nicely to the handle area.
We haven’t had an actual grass yard in decades but your headline sounds exactly like my feelings about my first EV. No dealer contact in two years: zero. And $5 for a 250+ mile fill up on my Level 2 home charger.
I’ve seen quite a few very positive reviews and videos. If it were closer to $700-800 then I might be interested. At the current price which went up $100 since introduction, it’s a pass. I mow maybe a dozen times a year, and my 10 yr old Honda mower will go for another 10 years.
Exactly. And how many gallons of gas do you put through a honda push mower for a standard yard annually? 4-5 gallons if that? Even at $5/gallon, its probably cheaper than $400 every 3-4 years in batteries.
I’m not saying they don’t have advantages or aren’t worth using, just a hard sell for someone not already heavily invested in the battery platform.
I understand planning battery replacement around the warranty period, but that still sounds a little inflated as time periods go. I’ve got batteries from at least 2015 (gave the Bluetooth stuff a go at release) that I can confirm, and several others even older though less identifiable, which are still going strong having been used professionally in industrial construction and maintenance their entire life. Most I’ve done maintaining them is keeping them in a cooler and not letting them sit at one bar. The cost offset is still there compared to a small amount of fuel over time, but the storage life of gas in a sealed container is roughly 6 months in comparison to at least 36 months of no cost with the battery. That’s if you’re storing a Jerry can, of course. Ballparking averages on a light duty once/month 1 hour mow, maybe something like 1/2 gal each time? Little less for an easy cut, little more on a wet day? 2 gal tank was on the higher capacity home game model last I was paying attention, so 6 gallons a year over 3 years is 18, probably less if you’re proactive and don’t run things dry for math’s sake lol Your 5 gal/yr figure to a 3 year 15 sounds fair. I’m not trying to make some gotcha point or anything, just interested in as inclusive a comparison as possible in the straight across battery vs gas thing. 15 gallons of gas in 3 years doesn’t really sound that bad compared to a worst case scenario 3.1 year non warranty battery turn around for $250 on the recommended 12ah. Absolute worse case would be the pair, but I’ve only ever had multiple batteries crap out at the same time with Makita a long time ago. That being, platform investment and actual battery life will throw that all out of whack. If you get 6 out of the packs, now that’s against 30 gallons. If you use m18 tools you’re also getting a much better price per ah with kitted tools. Lemon battery dies after a year, clock starts over and you’ve got 4 years now from the initial investment. I guess my point is that there is an easily comparable price difference up front, but I think the data is a lot more dynamic than marketing would be wise to get into the weeds on, despite the short version not necessarily favoring them until they start addressing stuff other than fuel involved with the whole unit. I’m the last person to try and defend Milwaukee marketing from being disingenuous haha but I think they did a decent job here to not necessarily fudge/hide the itemized fuel stuff per se, but to focus on other whole-picture benefits instead.
“$400 every 3-4 years in batteries”….I am not sure where you are coming up with 3-4 years.
I have about 40-50 batteries. They are mixed, from most to least….Makita 18v, Milwaukee M12, Ryobi, Metabo ( original, not HPT), Fein 18v, Milwaukee M18, Dewalt 20v & also Flexvolt, and a few oddball brands.
I always grab a Sharpie or Paint Pen when I get a new battery and right the month/year purchased. I have some Makita 18v that go back to 2008 and some M12 that go back to 2010, and various other dates along the way.
Going back to 2008, I have had 2 Makita batteries go dead on me, that’s it (Makita being the batteries I have the most of and also some of the oldest). So $400 is quite an expense when it comes time to replace the batteries, but my guess is that they will easily go 10 years or more for the average homeowner, even using them in other tools in between grass cuttings.
I’ve got plenty of older life batteries, and they work fine in tools like drills that are generally used in short bursts.
Take some of your 10 year old batteries and try cutting the grass with them.
10 year old batteries are going to be 3.0 amp. They didn’t have 5 to 12 amp batteries back in the day. But I can say that I use them in recip saws, circ saws and grinders. I don’t remember one not holding up to the task.
I have been reading the many comments coming in. So many naysayers just hoping to heck this mower fails. It’s a personal choice. Some don’t mind the gas mowers and all that is involved with owning one. Others do and prefer the battery version, along with whatever pros & cons their may be to owning one….leave it at that. I think a lot of people are talking out of their a**es just to say they are right.
Personally, too expensive for me and not in the market for one; I have 3/4’s of an acre and have a 20 year old Craftsman riding mower/tractor…though other OPE might happen down the road.
I think you might be taking comments about a mower a little too seriously.
At the end of the day, you’re exactly right. It boils down to preference.
Lithium batteries have a great lifespan on them (compared to previous battery technologies), but that doesn’t mean they perform the same at year 10 as they did at year 1. In my personal experience, older batteries still work fine for short bursts and small tasks, but fall on their face when it comes to sustained power draw. There’s a reason manufacturers warranty their batteries for 2-3 years (not Ridgid), and its because they start to fail after that timeframe. Not to say that they all fail, but clearly they are MUCH more likely to fail. Searching on the internet yields 3-6 years expected life and/.or 1-2k charges seems to be the expected lifespan.
I think cost of ownership of a gas mower (assuming you didn’t get a lemon and you can properly maintain it) will destroy that of an electric model. This will be abundantly clear the longer you own it. I’ve never had a gas mower that didn’t make it at least 10 years. My current push mower is a Honda I purchased in 2008. It runs great at 14 years old.
Electric is hands down the winner from a convenience(assuming you have enough juice to make it through your entire cut without a recharge), smell, and noise perspective.
Different strokes for different folks. Have a good one.
These are Milwaukee 12.0 batteries in a highly demanding application and they get rapidly charged without fan cooling. 12.0’s already fail pretty regularly within warranty. This mower isn’t going to help
How do you know this or is this just I ternet news? I have 12.0 batteries over a year old still hold the same charge as new. I have original M18 batteries over 10 years old that still work for e.
I have had two 12.0 batteries die in the past year and I mostly use them for OPE. 12.0 failures are a real issue. I recently had a Makita battery die from my 1yr old mower, having the same issue with the Milwaukee is one factor I have not bought it yet. I can forsee 12.0 failures from Milwaukees mower in the future, especially with their poor quality control of the mower.
For most people buying these it’s not about the savings or trying to recoup those savings over time. It’s the convenience. I own one, I am ready to mow all the time. No gas, no oil, no pulling the cord, no storing gas. It’s so quiet I can talk with it on. Power is instant, it doesn’t stink up my garage. There is no service of any kind and I can cross cut my 1/2 acre in front and get the 1/4 acre in back done on one charge. All of that is worth the cost to me even though cost wasn’t a care to begin with. I have a Ford F-150 Lightning platinum on order that will replace my FORD F150 ICE and I can’t wait until I do t have to deal with fuel in that truck.
My experience with my Ryobi twin blade echos yours. I bought it this spring because I needed to replace my worn out gas mower. Cost was equivilent to a similarly featured gas mower. So far so good. I have a wooded two acre property with perhaps three quarters of an acre grass. I can mow the entire lawn and have two bars on the second battery remaining.
I was skeptical about battery ope. What sold me was the chain saw. I need one semi frequently and when they sit for any amount of time, starting is a pain. I bought an 18 inch Ryobi and never looked back.
I can’t see myself converting to battery for snow removal but I’ll keep tru fuel on hand for that. Otherwise I’m very happy with the electric equipment I’ve bought.
“Heavily Invested in the battery platform” will only be a selling point when they offer a bare tool version. As it is, it doesn’t really matter how many batteries you have because you are forced to buy 2 more, plus a charger.
Price seems high to me too even if the mower is capable.
The Dewalt I purchased, while not as nice as this mower, was $599 if I recall correctly. It came with 2x 10ah 20V max batts. I thought even that was a bit of a steep price given what I expected out of its performance. If I had a normal suburban lawn and I wasn’t already a Dewalt user I don’t think I would have bought it and I’d be looking real hard at another Honda. I have owned Honda gas mowers before and I have always been impressed with them.
The deciding factors for me were that I am already a user of the Dewalt battery platform so having two extra 10ah batts floating around is a very good thing, and I’m not so concerned about power or durability because I’m only using this mower for a handful of small tight areas my big mower can’t access.
I think for someone who is already a M18 user and can get good use out of the batteries this mower might make sense but I think it’s pretty pricey for the average homeowner looking for a walk-behind. You can get an Ego cordless for a lot less, or a great gas mower and an awful lot of tank refills for the same.
I have 100s of M18 tools so this was a no brainer. They are marketing this mower as commercial so it’s gonna cost more but it does come with $500 worth of batteries and chargers so the mower itself is competively priced. It’s far better than any other Electric mower I have used
My concerns have been more around electric yard equipment like chainsaws and trimmers. They just seem poorly made for the long term. Replacement parts are near non-existent. The batteries won’t come close to lasting the life of a gas equivalent piece of equipment. I can generally get at least a decade out of any gas equipment. How many batteries would it take to make it through 10 years+?
I guess my main concern is it seems like they’re built like everything else lately. Use it for a few years and toss it, in a throw away capacity.
I have a makita battery powered trimmer, hedge trimmer, and top handle chainsaw. They have their advantages (especially for people unfamiliar with maintenance or that just don’t want to deal with it) but with 15 acres, I still have to own a gas one as well.
Like you my property is just too large to go 100% cordless, but I’ve been impressed with a lot of cordless OPE.
I have a family member who purchased the smallest model Ryobi cordless trimmer about 5 years ago. They love to garden and they work that thing HARD. They also store the batteries on the charger in an un-airconditioned un-insulated shed in Texas. So far that little guy, and its original batteries, have been going on strong for 5 years. The only work it’s needed is a replacement cap for the trimmer line spool a couple months ago. I didn’t think it was going to last one year let alone 5+, but it certainly has proved me wrong. And this is the wimpiest, flimsiest, cordless trimmer that I’ve ever seen. As far as other brands go, I am still using some of the original 20V max batteries that I got when I first bought into the platform…batteries say made in 2013 on them and they’re still working. I’ve also got M12 batteries from just a couple years later that are still in service too. Obviously they won’t last forever, but it’s hard to complain.
Not OPE but I have original Makita LXT batteries from 2007 which have seen a lot of use. Out of 3 of that age, only one has died about a year ago. Others are startimg to show their age in terms of holding a charge, but they are 15 years now.
I’ve got a suburban lot and other than a snow blower, cannot imagine buying a gas mower/trimmer/etc again. Why live with the hastle.
I’ve got a handful of 3ah old Makita batteries, some around a decade old or so. Don’t confuse still able to charge and run a drill with being able to take sustained abuse from a trimmer or mower.
Those older batteries can’t run my trimmer a fraction of the time that a new 3ah can.
I have a gas powered Cub Cadet lawn tractor bought new in 1981. Also a cheap push mower from K Mart for 35 years. Not a fan of electric.
At that price, Milwaukee is aiming at commercial users more than homeowners, so if the price puts you off electric, there are definitely other solid options. If I was as enthusiastic about mowing as some folks are, I’d have bought an Ego. Instead, I bought the Greenworks Pro 21” last season at a great sale price and haven’t looked back.
Actually, I did look back the first few mows of the season when I was using up the last of the snowblower gas. I couldn’t believe how loud that thing was and how much exhaust I’d been breathing every time I mowed the grass.
It might be true that battery replacement costs might make long term operating expenses of the mower higher than for gas, but I don’t care. Totally worth it for smaller storage space, not having to transport or store gas, not having to clean the carburetor, quieter operation, no fumes.
Now I’m eager to find a capable electric snowblower.
Hey, MT. Like you, I’m still looking for a capable electric snowblower. Tried both Ryobi offerings last winter but was unimpressed with them. Hoping the Milwaukee model that was hinted at during the most recent product event will be what I’m looking for.
Why are you guys still looking??? Ego has three excellent snowblowers, and a snow shovel attachment coming for the powerhead.
I have the original Ego single stage snowblower as well as the new two-stage. They’re both excellent. I bought the two-stage as the single can struggle a bit with the plow pile if it hardens before I get a chance to deal with it. The newer single with the steel auger will likely be better, but the two-stage just chews through like butter.
The single is better everywhere else as it’s so light and easy to manoeuvre. Only when the snow is 8-10” or deeper do I really need the two-stage in the main part of the driveway.
Huge props to Milwaukee for not falsely advertising their mowers like Dewalt!
When you buy a gas mower that is 21″, the blade is 21″. When you buy many electrics the 21″ usually refers to the deck size, not the blade size. The blade is often 1/2″ to 1″ (or more) shorter. Companies are actively trying to confuse consumers about the cutting width.
When I asked the Dewalt product manager about it she said that’s the way everybody does it. I got in trouble for saying that I though it was “scummy” of Dewalt to continue that practice and they should label their mowers correctly.
The last mower from Dewalt I reviewed has a 21.5″ deck and a 21″ blade, where as the first one I reviewed had a 20″ deck and a 19″ blade, so they have gotten better, but still they are not being completely honest.
Might want to remind them they are the only tool manufacture that has an asterix next to their 20v tools for a reason.
Ohhh boo hoo cry us a river!
They also like to make up their own metric for measure how powerful a drill is instead of just using the standard torque values that almost every other manufacturer has used for decades.
To be fair, UWO is a good metric, but only useful for comparing across SBD brand products.
Of course Milwaukie would charge that much for the mower. I’ll stick with the best, EGO. Much better and with a better battery.
Opinion for sure
Wow people are lazy. There is no way in hell I’d pay $1,000 for an electric push mower. I bought a gas powered Troy Built 7HP push mower from Lowes like 12 years ago. It starts first pull like nearly every time. I’ve replaced the spark plug maybe once as well as air filter. Change the oil every other year which is so easy a caveman can do it, and I put Stabil in it before winter so never have to drain the gas and have never needed to clean the carburetor. It cuts a lot of grass on one very small tank of gas and it’ll go all day. I hate all this electric crap. Not for me.
In a couple of years, you might not have a choice. https://toolguyd.com/gas-leaf-blower-bans/
Seems like the government’s helping everyone out these days.
I agree. I can’t stand when people say “I don’t have to worry about gas.” no, now you need to worry about batteries which take time to charge, it takes no time to refill with gas. Or when they say gas is expensive, well you have to pay to charge the batteries. I spend maybe $30 in gas/yr in my mower, on the high end. Since I have a $700 mower that’s many years of “free gas” compared to battery. And then to top it off spark plugs? Really? I’ve gone 10 years and no need to touch the spark plug. Typical battery nonsense. First time I’ve hated a tool guyd article, but it sounds like a paid for advertisement.
To each their, you’ve paid as much in total for the 10 years of use and when you are on to the next gas mower you will have paid more than the electric. Just cause you think it’s a waste doesn’t mean others do. I’d say your argument is BS, but your opinion and you are entitled to that. So keep filling it up with gas and mow on. Mine is ready to go along with the electric weed whacker and chainsaw, always charged and I have 6 batteries I can mow my acre of lawn on one charge so your argument about charging batteries is irrelevant. You probably feel the same way about electric cars. At some point you won’t have a gas option so enjoy it while you can.
How much did the 6 batteries cost. And electric cars are way more expensive, on top of the cost to get the charger and again electricity. Gas cars will be around for a long time. I love watching people like you sit in your tesla for hours at wawa to charge. I will easily get more than 10 years on my mower, let’s see you get 10 years on those batteries. I guess you can say my post is BS, but math is math. Too bad they stopped teaching basic math in schools.
I’ve already proven you wrong I have Milwaukee batteries over 10 years old. Battery longevity in part is due to how many times it’s charge. Once a week for mowing for only part of the year is never going to render these batteries useless. You are obviously un educated when it comes to charging especially in the EV space. It doesn’t take hours charge a vehicle in fact at the right station you can charge a Tesla to 80% in less than 20 minutes. Sure longer than a fill up but go and do the math on how much you will spend in gas over ten years. It might surprise you that could be $30 to $50 thousand dollars. I also don’t own a Tesla I have an EV F150 on order.
I also own and operate and outdoor living space business so I have 30 batteries in varying sizes already and 100s of tools.
I agree with Mike. This is a funny argument. I’ve had my Honda push since 1996, it’s never been in the shop and I just sharpen the blade and change the oil every few years. I couldn’t imagine cutting the lawn and having to stop and wait for a battery to charge up. Maybe someday when prices come down and charging speeds improve but not yet.
Depends on how big your lawn is, and whether you have more batteries. I have enough batteries to cut 3 acres of land if I needed to, but I can cut my entire almost 1 acre of land on one charge, there is no waiting for anything, another misconception to some.
I think those batteries should get 10+ years. I have lots of batteries that have 10+ years.
You are right, math is math, but you still need to do the correct math.
Hey, Mike. To each their own. I happen to have a fair number of batteries for my various tools and try to keep them charged as much as possible so yes, I don’t have to worry about gas.
Some other thoughts, gas stations aren’t always convienently-located for some people.
Or, perhaps there is somebody who doesn’t drive – for whatever reason – so non-gas powered OPE is a good choice for them.
Heck, I gave my 16-inch Ryobi mower to a very nice older lady in my neighborhood who doesn’t drive any more but is very independent and enjoys cutting her grass.
I’m also not driving for the time being, thanks to a recent accident that left my vehicle totaled and wanting to try and take advantage of the situation to get back in shape, walking and biking. Closest gas station to my house is about 2.5 miles. Not really interesting in walking there and back to gas up a mower.
The gist here is, what’s great for you may not be for someone else and vice-versa.
My one thought of many but just want to address the battery material issue. In long run, what raw materials are being used at what cost? How do we dispose/recycle these batteries. What long term effects?
Who’s benefiting off the current vs the old?
All this push to go from one to another without knowing long term disposal/ recycling issues.
Let’s talk about solar panels and wind turbines!
We dig a hole and bury the blades of wind energy because they cant recycle them when in need of replacement.
Just want to bring up what all this new stuff do we really know the true long term effects caused by implementation.
Raw material exploration damage, after life disposal damage.
Do like my M fuel drills and M18 batteries Have found the cordless reciprocating saw a God send to a chain saw. Just pop on a pruning blade and easily cut thru pine to oak as long as the blade can handle. I know large scale chain saw can do more and larger but I used the cordless this spring. Was wonderful
That’s definitely a concern, Pete. In fact, I’m staring at a notebook full of questions and ideas for an upcoming battery-related story I’ve been working on and one of the things I have scribbled down is “sustainability of materials.”
You’re right, though. There does always seem to be an unintended side effect to every “great idea.”
I’d love to see some articles on this. True cost (wallet and earth) of some of these technologies. Both sides are trying to throw FUD, so the typical consumer doesn’t know if using battery OPE equipment is truly net good for the environment or not. I assume it is, with responsible recycling, assuming its available and people bother to use it. Sometimes “recycling” is just a word used to make you feel good about using a product, when the actual process is as bad or worse for the environment.
I agree, this sounds like a great topic for an article, Andrew.
Comparing environmental harm between different options isn’t always easy. Sure it’s simple to think about one engine being more fuel-efficient than another. But when you’re comparing, say, the atmospheric pollution generated by an IC engine with the toxic wastes associated with lithium batteries things get a lot more complicated. Many modern technologies are “clean” in many ways, like reduced smog, only to be “dirty” in other ways, like how many composites are essentially impossible to recycle or the nasty chemicals involved with manufacturing semiconductors. Having some tools to get a better look at the big picture would be helpful!
Koko The Talking Ape
Pricey, but it would be worth it to me to avoid putting out literally thousands of times more pollution than a modern car. The quiet operation and reliable starting are icing on the cake.
While it is true a battery mower does not expel any emissions itself, the manufacturing and charging of the batteries is not pollution free. The electric grid is still mostly fossil fuel powered (coal and natural gas). Nuclear and hydro (both are no longer considered “green”) make up most of the rest. Wind and solar are a fraction of the supply.
If you were charging it from your own solar array I guess you could say pollution free charging. But even then there is the mining of the lithium, manufacturing of the battery and overseas transport.
Common misconception that electrics are pollution free. In some/many cases they are worse than their fossil fuel alternative. Potentially after a couple battery revolutions we can get to the point we can store enough energy during the day to power the grid at night when PV doesn’t produce. Or geothermal might take off. Or cold fusion.
You are spot on about quiet and no starting issues!
Koko The Talking Ape
Thanks for that, but I don’t think anybody claims electric mowers and their production are pollution free. But even considering production and electricity consumption, they cause far, far less pollution than 2-cycle gasoline motors (which typically don’t have catalytic converters or any other pollution mitigation measures.)
I’m sure there are some odd ball two-strokes out there somewhere but most all push mowers are four stroke. Stricter environmental emission standards have been in place for 2&4 stroke engines for many years now. Including minimum emission standards. We have seen companies experiment with “four mix” or more efficient 2 stroke engines, fuel injection, non tunable carburetors, particulate filters and a host of other ideas to clean up the tail pipe as it were.
Don’t get me wrong I’m a fan of EV’s, battery OPE and battery tools but I’m also not naïve enough to believe it’s going to pollute less. There is definitely potential in these arenas but unfortunately there is a ton of smoke and mirrors.
I always make the analogy it’s easier to put in a solar farm next to a neighborhood than an oil pipeline. Both have serious impacts on the environment, however right now the solar farm gets better PR so it’s easier to push that through. The solar farm thanks to subsidies, supply and demand and public perception has a higher ROI. Wall Street, government and ironically fossil fuel companies are hip to this. They continue to perpetuate that any and all of this is green and great for the planet.
Sorry to be so pessimistic. I am involved with this daily and I have to remind myself that sure there are charlatans and questionable business practices operating under the guise of green energy but there are actually positive changes happening concurrently.
Back on topic. I think the LED headlights on the mower are pretty cool. I bet those would come in handy in the fall doing leaf cleanup’s as the days grow shorter. Although it sounds like they might need a “high lift” blade option to suck up the debris better from what folks are saying. If it’s not some proprietary blade attachment I bet somebody like gator blades would come out with them. Or heck maybe even Milwaukee themselves will offer as an accessory?
Koko The Talking Ape
Er, I thought we were talking about electric mowers vs gasoline mowers, not solar power, etc.
And to reiterate, electric mowers put out a tiny fraction of the pollution of gasoline mowers, even considering the source of the electricity. The precise difference will depend on location, because some areas rely more on coal or natural gas for electricity than others. But even so, the difference is enormous.
If you disagree, I’d love to see some figures. I can provide figures too if you’d like.
Keep in mind that there are $500 worth of batteries in this package. I have owned this mower for the last 3 months and it cuts far better than the Makita cordless mower I had before it which was a POS. Using anything other than 12.0 batteries would be pointless as you would be swapping them out far faster than you will with two 12.0. that being said I can cut over a half acre crosscut with self-propelled on one charge. The self-propelled action is better than electric and on demand when needed at multiple and variable speeds. It cuts as well as a gas-powered motor it just needs a little more uplift for things like loose leaves twigs and small branches that otherwise would be chewed up.
There are two issues that I’ve addressed with Milwaukee but have not received any feedback. The first one is that there needs to be more uplift with the blade it leaves a lot of debris on the lawn that is not related to grass. The second is the mag style wheel does nothing more than collect grass and mud especially on the inside of the wheels which is a pointless place to have mags. My recommendation would be to have smooth Wheels that are simply just flat surfaced so that nothing can get caught in them it takes an inordinate amount of time to spray out the grass from the insides of the wheels.
Toolguyd weekend edition. I like it. 👍
The news never stops, Jared! And neither does lawn care!
Thanks for reading and taking the time to let us know.
I wonder if it would handle thick zoysia. My grass bogs down gas mowers, except the riding type
Yes, and I’d like to add cutting through a swath of clover and crabgrass. And then cutting through weeds that are 6 inches tall, and then 12 inch and taller. Just situations where gasoline powered mowers find themselves in from time to time.
A mower like this makes sense when you already have a lot of batteries on hand, and you can grab the mower at a low cost and extend capabilities to yard work. At $1000, that’s not the case at all. It needs 2 high capacity batteries which you aren’t likely to have nor will use with many other non OPE tools, so I don’t see this product being a whole lot different than the 40V mowers from EGO, Toro, Kobalt, etc that can be had for less. Definitely for the professional, business, or die hard milwaukee fans.
“2 high capacity batteries which you aren’t likely to have nor will use with many other non OPE tools, “…not true. Non OPE devices the homeowner could have are recip saw, grinder, table saw, miter saw and many others that consume battery power and a 12 amp would be great.
“Not likely to have” ? That $1000 includes two 12Ah batteries and a two port rapid charger.
Bought all the Craftsman V60 gear when it went on fire sale – ain’t missin’ gas one bit.
Amen. I’ve had Ryobi 40v for 6 years now. I’m not going to try to change anyone’s mind here about switching from gas. Over the years I’ve used reel mowers, corded electric, and gas. By far I prefer battery powered for my needs.
Researched numbers, but could be off by 50% depending where you live, what gas mower you’re comparing to, etc.
A charge gets you about as much work done as .2 gal of gas.
A full charge costs about $.10
The batteries should last 600 cycles before they’re down to 70% capacity
Gas and battery/charging costs are in the same ballpark.
Relevant reasons to purchase any electric mower:
Noise (work earlier/later to avoid heat)
Ease of use
Less maintenance especially in places with long winters
Much lower emissions, even if charged by coal power, even factoring battery manufacturing
Perceived greenness by clients for lawn maintenance company
Reasons not to purchase:
Upfront cost compared to consumer mowers
160cc Gas can sustain 2HP to the blade all day for heavy mowing. M18 for about 12 minutes.
Hot storage will reduce the lifespan of batteries
Hey Stuart I have an Ego Cordless, I’ve had it for around 4 years and I love it. I have the plastic body unit which I was advised to get, with some reservations on my part, but to this day there has never been an issue with the body or for that matter any other part of the machine. I look at the Ego web site and salivate over the new models and looking at this Milwaukee unit I am not salivating but nevertheless I’m impressed by its quality, so what about a comparison of like products with like features Ego V Milwaukee?
Am I doing my math right? My Ego mower came with a 56V, 7.5 Ah battery, which is 420 Wh. The Milwaukee mower with (2) 18V, 12 Ah batteries comes out to 432 Wh — more energy in theory. At ~twice the price, though.
It’s twice the mower…no offense to the EGO but they won’t compare. The Milwaukee is also commercial grade and I suspect the batteries are probably better made. The increased cost is not just the batteries it’s the entire form and fit of the unit.
Ego uses max voltage, so really it’s 50.4V and 378 Wh from 42 cells, while Milwaukee is 30 larger cells. between the 2 batteries. The cost per Wh is fairly close but Ego has the edge.
I definitely don’t understand your comment, what is “max voltage”? And what would the Wh be for the Milwaukee?
Although we talk about “18 volt batteries” or “12 volt batteries” or whatever other number, those numbers aren’t really accurate. Batteries don’t have a single voltage, their voltage is a really a curve based on their current % charge.
Some companies quote the maximum voltage that a battery will be charged to, like Dewalt’s “20 V max” series or Ego’s “56 volt”. Other companies quote a nominal voltage which is measured when the battery is partly discharged, like Milwaukee’s M18. Both Dewalt’s 20V max and Milwaukee’s M18 use similar batteries, the difference is in name only. 20V is the max figure, 18v is nominal. A Dewalt 20V max battery isn’t more powerful than a Milwaukee M18 battery, they just use different standards for how they measure the voltage of the packs. Dewalt is quoting max and Milwaukee is quoting nominal.
If going by Max voltage figures:
Ego 56 x 7.5 = 420 wh
Milwaukee 20 x 12 x 2 = 480 wh
If going by Nominal voltages:
Ego 50.4 x 7.5 = 378 wh
Milwaukee 18 x 12 x 2 = 432 wh
Nominal voltage is more accurately the average voltage over the course of a gentle discharge, which is why it should be used for Wh calculation.
Got it, that makes sense — thanks @MM and @neandrewthal.
The top of the line EGO Select Cut XP, which is the best comparison to the M18, comes with a 10Ah battery (560Ah max, 504Ah nominal).
They also have a model that takes 2x batteries, so you can have up to 20Ah of juice (comes with 2x5Ah).
Both are still a few hundred less than the M18 at $799 for the kit. The dual blade set up on the SelectCut is supposed to be a pretty nice upgrade over a single blade.
“the dual blade setup….”
I was wondering if anyone made an electric mower with enough grunt to run doubles!
I think EGO may be the only one, at the moment. The M18 actually has more torque (10 ft-lbs vs. 8.3 ft-lbs), but they chose to stick with the single blade. Guess they had to leave room for improvement so they can sell everyone the gen II in a few years.
Why no pictures of the underside? Does the Milwaukee use a “high lift” blade by default? Does it store upright?
It has a lift blade by by no means a high lift blade. One thing it needs more of is uplift in normal mode.
You can store it upright but the handles dont have a quick release to make that process quick and easy and it certainly wasn’t designed for that consideration as this is marketed towards commercial use and upright would not be necessary
Comes with a mulching blade. You can buy an optional high lift blade. Check out the link for the blade and pictures of its underside:
Hi, BH. That’s on me. Underside was on my list of things to photograph but I think it just slipped my mind. I’ll snap one next time I mow and put it on my social media platforms and let you know.
Taking a cue from Makita and using standard batteries is very smart!
It’s far more sensible to use 2 $100 common tool batteries than 1 $250 battery that fits nothing else. Battery failure is not as scary when it only costs $100.
It comes with two M18 12.0ah batteries… which cost $250 each to purchase separately.
It’s $899 for three days at Red Tool Store with free shipping.
just was on sale for 800 at toolup, so I pulled the trigger. I’ve been happy with my honda, but electric would be awesome. And probably good to get a few more 12amp batteries.
Am pro, we mow a couple of lawns for maintenance. Small, so this should be perfect. Already using M18 trimmer and blower
I use Hart Brand yard landscaping tools available at Wally World (Wal-Mart). Including the self – propelled lawn mower. I have no complaints. Works flawlessly. For the price you could buy 3 for the price of the Milwaukee. I’m a Milwaukee guy too. With several impacts, drills and ratchets. All which are very good quality tools. But for the Lawn it’s Hard Brand. I beat the heck out the thing. Knowing full well I could return it via any Wal-Mart store within the warranty. Nice to have that piece of mind. Not having to deal with warranty down time essentially. Also I looked up the manufacturer the HART Brand it’s TTI which also produces Milwaukee power tools in house. So you get a lawn mower made by the same manufacturer as Milwaukee Tools for 1/3 the cost at Wal-Mart. It’s a good looking Machine too. Just an option I figure to throw out there.
I’ve had Milwaukee outdoor cordless tools for several years. Due to a garage fire I’m having to replace. I have been looking at EGO in particular to because of the snow blower. How does this Milwaukee lawnmower compare to that of EGO? Any thoughts on EGO?