The fact that we published a best self-propelled lawn mower article and also a best electric lawn mowers, you know we know mowers. We’ve spent countless hours testing these lawnmowers on our property. So what if you’ve already decided on Makita as your manufacturer of choice? You still have over a half dozen models to choose from! We polled our best Makita lawnmower reviews for many different applications to help you decide. We’ve reviewed nearly every model and have the testing, data, runtime, and more to help you make an informed decision.
Best Makita Lawnmower Buying Guide
Before you can really choose the best Makita battery-powered lawnmower you have to consider the available models and options. Since the first model, Makita has done nothing but add new capabilities, options, and configurations to appeal to everyone from homeowners to professional landscapers and lawn maintenance crews.
Start by Setting a Budget
Entry level Makita battery lawnmowers start at under $500. For most people, however, plan to spend about $700 or more if you want a truly commercial-level tool. That typically includes 4 XLT lithium-ion batteries. You can also pay over $800 for the company’s high-end commercial mowers.
That can cause a bit of confusion if you don’t carry out the math. Looking at what you can buy in a gas lawnmower for the same money, you can purchase more power and features. It won’t have the noise, emission, and maintenance benefits, though.
Do You Need a Residential or Commercial Mower?
With many manufacturers, you don’t see a ton of differences between commercial and residential walk-behind battery lawnmowers. Makita, however, dedicates most of its efforts on professional or commercial lawnmowers.
These professional 18V Makita lawnmowers include a familiar design and have features that meet the expectations of landscaping and turf maintenance professionals. Makita also has a well-established dealer network that should help them make their expected 100% transition into battery-powered outdoor power equipment.
Self-Propelled vs Push Mowers
Self-propelled lawnmowers have some effect on runtime, but it won’t cut that time in half by any means. Just make sure it doesn’t tip your budget. We like to see variable speeds that let you walk at your own pace without difficulty. If you’re lucky, your local dealer might have one in stock for you to try out before buying. It only takes a few minutes to know if a mower feels comfortable to use.
You also want to ensure the mower easily lets you pull back and stop the drive system when turning around or making turns. Some lawnmowers lock up on you and this forces you to drag the wheels rather than letting them roll freely once you disengage the self-propel mechanism.
We have to admit—we still love the classic push mower. If you’re on a budget, you can save $100 or more while maintaining identical cut quality to a model with a self-propelled drive system.
If that’s the direction you’re heading, look for a poly deck to help reduce weight and wheels with low rolling resistance to further lighten the force required to push the lawnmower.
Self-Propel Drive Adjustment
Our testing team generally prefers a variable speed control separate from the presence bar. The Makita XML03 also includes a “Whisper Mode”. This tells the brushless motor to maintain 2500 RPM to keep the noise down and your battery efficiency up.
The Makita XML11 uses an easy-to-use speed control on the left to set the speed between the minimum and maximum extremes.
Are Steel, Aluminum, or Plastic Decks Best?
Makita makes mowers with all three decks—though not in every model. Gas mowers don’t have poly (plastic) decks. They are typically steel, though some feature aluminum (which is lighter and resists corrosion). The battery-powered lawnmower world seems to favor poly decks except for models that specifically target professional users.
While steel is more durable, we have yet to wear through a plastic deck—and we “mow” a lot of sand here in Florida. Poly also has the advantage of letting engineers really optimize the airflow for better lift, mulching, and bagging.
Improving upon steel, aluminum saves on weight and resists corrosion.
Bag, Mulch, or Side Discharge?
Here in Florida, we cut a lot of grass. Bagging would be somewhat intrusive since you’d have to stop every 5-10 minutes to empty the bag. Instead, we tend to mulch. This has the added benefit of returning nutrients to the lawn.
If you leave your lawn to grow too high, however, side-discharge comes in handy. Side discharge ejects the grass from the deck instead of letting it bunch up underneath and clog your blade. Bagging offers another solution—but a good blade should handle distributing even thick mulch well. A good side discharge system helps you keep mowing when your grass gets long after a vacation.
Many Makita mowers give you all three options. This lets you switch to the side discharge chute whenever you happen to need it.
Deck and Blade Size
Most of the best electric lawn mowers have 20 or 21-inch deck sizes with slightly smaller blades (Makita is one brand that actually lists the blade diameter as opposed to just the inner deck diameter). With a Makita 21-inch lawnmower you actually get a 21-inch cut.
For smaller yards or yards with a ton of intricate landscaping items and/or detail work, Makita also has smaller lawnmowers.
Large mowing decks help with lawns exceeding 1/4-acre. You really do save a lot of mowing time. For lawns under 1/4-acre, even a 17-inch deck works well. Those smaller decks also work for taking care of spaces that you cannot access with your zero-turn or stand-on lawnmower.
Adjusting the Deck Height
Most Pros and consumers set their deck height once and forget about it. The exception comes when coming back from a vacation or mowing when the grass has grown considerably. Then, you may benefit from setting the deck higher for a “first pass”.
Most Makita lawnmowers (and mowers from other manufacturers) include all the height adjustments you need for almost any type of grass.
Multiple Battery Ports
When mowing lawns over 1/3 of an acre, you might benefit from a mower with more than one battery port. Manufacturers typically provide three options:
- A second “passive” battery storage compartment
- An active second battery port with a manual switch
- Dual active battery ports with automatic switching
That third option—automatic switching—is the most convenient and helpful, You find that on most premium lawnmowers including models from Makita. Manual switching and simple battery storage require extra effort. Still, it beats heading back to the shed or trailer to grab another battery pack! The best Makita lawnmowers include four 18V battery ports for extending runtime.
Best Makita Lawn Mower Review Overall
Makita XML08 21″ Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Review
If you want the best Makita lawn mower review we did all year, we have to recommend the XML08 we first reviewed in 2021. This model gives you the goods without quite going overboard. In fact, we’ve seen the mower and batteries on sale for $699. You can also buy just the mower and add your own set of batteries. For commercial Pros or anyone on a 1-acre lot or less, this Makita lawnmower should do the trick.
Testing during the summer, we set the deck to 3-inches and loaded up four 6.0Ah batteries. We didn’t exactly take it easy—cutting Bermuda, Bahia, and St. Augustine. About 2/3 of our cutting area was pre-cut to 5 inches. The other 1/3 hadn’t been cut at all in two weeks. We had a runtime total of 47 minutes. On a regular maintenance cut, we would have easily cut for more than an hour.
Commercial self-propelled mowers often cost in excess of $1000. Even if you compare against battery-powered competitors, Stihl’s self-propelled model with a similar battery capacity is $879. Compared to residential mowers, $1000 or more might seem prohibitively expensive. However, professional need additional build quality and cutting power (not to mention more runtime). The Makita XML08 self-propelled lawn mower is a good solution when your crew needs a solution for where gas mowers are unwanted or unwelcome.
Aside from perhaps making the battery switch automatic, there’s not much to complain about with this mower. Take a look at the XML09 if you want a true aluminum deck that adds a bit more weight as a tradeoff for better weather resistance and a higher price point.
Our Favorite Makita Lawnmower for Landscaping Professionals
Makita XML09 21″ Self-Propelled Lawnmower
We already declared the XML08 the best Makita lawnmower we reviewed so far. However, if you want to kick it up a notch, the nearly-identical XML09 adds an all-aluminum deck that makes this mower even more weather-proof. It does add some weight, but nothing you wouldn’t get from a commercial gas model. Of our Makita lawn mower reviews, the XML09 really stands apart (it’s also the most expensive model Makita makes).
You get the same power and runtime as the XML08, but it eliminates the plastic on the front of the deck. Instead, the aluminum (not steel) deck extends all the way front with a metal guard out front as well to avoid damage from obstructions, stone borders, etc.
Look for the Makita XML09PT1 lawnmower to run about $999 with a set of four 5.0Ah batteries.
Makita CML01 ConnectX 21-inch Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
For landscaping crews, the Makita ConnectX 21-inch self-propelled lawn mower takes direct aim at the problem of runtime. Its ConnectX 1200Wh backpack gives you the power and runtime equivalent of just over thirteen (13) 18V LXT 5Ah battery packs! While Makita isn’t the first manufacturer to release a backpack battery, we like how they did the execution. The ConnectX backpack battery attaches right to the top of the ConnectX lawn mower. You don’t need to tether yourself to the lawnmower with a cord to use it.
With respect to runtime, this ConnectX lawnmower gives you up to 3 continuous hours of use. For professional crews who use push mowers as a supplement to zero-turn mowers, this should equate to an entire day’s work.
As a pro-grade lawnmower, the Makita CML01 costs $949 without the battery or charger. The battery adds another $1399, maing the grand total $2348 if you buy them separately. Like Makita’s other lithium-ion tools, you get a 3-year warranty on both the mower and the battery.
Best Makita 36V Push Lawn Mower for Homeowners
Makita XML11 21″ 36V (X2) Self-propelled Push Mower
If you don’t need a self-propelled lawnmower, the Makita XML11 gives homeowners a solid entry-level solution. It has enough capability to mow larger properties up to 1/2-acre in size. The Makita XML11CT1 lawnmower kit runs about $499 and comes with four 5Ah batteries. That price includes a rear bagger and a dual-port charger.
Makita claims you get up to 40 minutes of runtime using a quad set of 5Ah batteries. With respect to speed, the self-propelled mechanism cruises between 1.5 and 3 MPH. A single-lever height adjustment gives you flexibililty between 1-1/4″ and 4″ cutting heights. When you’re done for the day, fold down the handle to store the mower upright in your shed or garage. For $499, this Makita lawnmower might just be the best bang for your buck in the 21-inch self-propelled range.
Best Makita 18V (X2) Lawn Mower for Really Small Yards
Makita XML03 18″ Push Mower
It may be that you want a self-propelled lawnmower for a bit less than the available commercial models from Makita. In that case, the Makita XML03 lawnmower provides an excellent compromise. This push mower runs just $399 for a kit that includes four 4.0Ah batteries and a dual charger. That’s an insanely low price for a fully-electric battery-powered mower.
Of our Makita lawnmower reviews, the Makita XML03 might seem diminished. It lacks a self-propelled motor, and you “only” get an 18-inch wide deck. However, it can cut up to a 1/3-acre in 43 minutes or less. The steel deck also provides commercial-level quality—letting it work just as well for a more maneuverable solution for landscapers.
With a folding handle for easy storage and a single-lever cut height adjustment (13/16″ – 3″), you have everything you need for a smaller yard or super-maneuverable commercial mowing tool.
Best Electric Push Lawn Mower (Not Self-Propelled)
Makita XML07 Push Lawn Mower
The Makita XML07 is essentially the same as the XML08 that we recommended above but without the self-propelled drive. Makita made huge improvements to this model compared to earlier versions to get it ready for commercial use.
You get the same steel deck commercial landscapers love. Like other Makita lawnmowers, the XML07 uses two 18V batteries to run (it’s a 36V mower) and has room for four packs so you don’t have to go back to the trailer or garage as often.
Makita also dialed in a Quiet Mode for its brushless motor. When you’re trying to conserve runtime or keep the noise level down in lighter cutting conditions, it keeps the blade at a lower—and quieter—RPM. Pick up this capable commercial-level push mower for $699 with four 5.0Ah batteries and a dual-port charger.
How We Make Our Best Makita Lawnmower Picks
Deck Size and Material
When doing Makita lawnmower reviews we have to understand the deck size and material. Pros typically want steel decks (Makita even has a model with an aluminum deck to save on weight). While most insist on 21-inch deck size for cutting grass, many Pros need a solution that can get into tighter areas where the zero turn or stand-on cannot. For that, 17-inch and 18-inch models excel.
How much runtime a battery-powered lawnmower has is only part of the equation. The best information is how much area you can cut on a charge. We recommend Makita mowers with an eye to the amount of cutting they can be expected to accomplish on a set of 4 batteries.
The build quality largely includes the deck material, but also takes into account the other items consumers and Pros need for extended use. We’re looking for solid components that will last well beyond the warranty period, a rigid construction, and protection for the electrical components and batteries.
In addition to any standout features, here’s a list of the standard items we look for:
- Drive type and function
- Height adjustment and range
- Handle positions
- Discharge options
For our team of experts, value is much more than just price. It’s about what you get for what you pay. An expensive model may very well be the best battery mower value if it’s performing far enough ahead of the budget brands to justify it.
Why Buy an Electric Lawnmower?
The best Makita electric lawnmower for you should get your lawn cut on one charge. No matter which model that is, they all share some common characteristics. There are no gas emissions and no gas engine to maintain. You still need to clean it off when you’re done, but the maintenance is much easier and takes less time.
Makita lawnmowers also dramatically cut down noise compared to gas mowers. The early bird gets the worm and if you want to start mowing at 7:00 on Saturday morning, your neighbors can probably sleep through it. More of a night owl? While many battery-powered mowers have headlights, Makita’s do not—so no night mowing for you!
Our favorite reason to buy a Makita electric battery lawnmower is that you can just insert the batteries and mow. There’s no cranking, no choke, and no fuel cut-off valve. As long as you have enough batteries to get the entire lawn cut, it’s an easier system to work with than gas.
Why You Can Trust OPE Reviews
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We’ve been in business since 2016 covering outdoor power equipment, writing reviews, and reporting on industry news in the landscaping, heavy equipment, and lawn care industries. Our Pro reviewers have lots of experience in these fields as well as the skills and experience to know whether these products can perform well on the job.
Each year, our team reviews and gets their hands on hundreds of additional landscaping tools and equipment at our shop and at media events and trade shows.
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