The combination of strength, good cutting performance and a low carbon footprint makes the Toro e-Cycler 20360 one of the best electric mowers on the market, according to some experts. It's powerful enough to mow through obstacles (grass and sticks) that usually stop other cordless models, but users may have trouble maneuvering up hills. Owners say the 20360 is dependable, and Toro receives a high customer satisfaction rating from J.D. Power and Associates.
Cuts evenly. The Toro e-Cycler 20360 is an impressive cordless mower, according to experts and owners. Jose Castellanos of MowersDirect.com says it "delivers both power and performance in an environmentally friendly package." And editors at GreenerChoices.org find it has "great cutting with smooth, even mowing and mulching." It's strong enough to handle small sticks, and owners say it delivers a great cut when mowing at a slow, steady speed.
However, the 20360's bagging performance suffers. Owners say the bag is small and requires frequent emptying. "There was a lot of clogging in the test with the bag attached," recall editors at GreenerChoices.org. Plus, the 20360 is unable to side-discharge clippings.
A 36-volt battery powers the 20360, with enough life to mow about one-third of an acre. The battery charger can quickly charge the lead-acid battery to 70 percent in a few hours; a full charge takes 12 hours. Steve Holdgren with 10Rate.com appreciated the battery's LED indicator, which displays the charging status.
Handling requires extra effort. While most users have no problem pushing the 20360 along level ground, it can be difficult to mow on slopes. Although a hefty 77 pounds, it's actually "about 20 pounds lighter than a standard Toro gas powered walk-behind mower," as MowersDirect.com points out.
The 20360 has seven adjustments to set the cutting height from 1 to 4 inches, but to do so, you have to adjust each wheel to change the deck height. One user at HomeDepot.com describes the height adjustment as "cumbersome," and because of the extra time needed to adjust all four wheels, reviews find it less than ideal for frequent changes.
Many owners say the 20360 is dependable, and according to two years of surveys from J.D. Power and Associates, customers are happy with the Toro brand. In 2012, Toro takes the second place slot for customer satisfaction. This is partially due to product performance, explain editors. The Toro warranty covers this mower and battery for two years.
Awkward but safe. The Toro e-Cycler 20360 uses a safety key, which must be inserted before the lawn mower can start and run. If the key is removed, the motor turns off and the blades stop spinning within three seconds. One owner at MowersDirect.com says the blade control lever can feel awkward, especially when turning, because it's "only operable by the right hand."
No information. One owner at MowersDirect.com calls the 20360 "whisper quiet." We found very little user feedback regarding noise and no expert tests that measure noise levels of the mower.
Of the 34 push mowers ConsumerReports.org tests, 20 are electric. Both corded and battery lawn mowers are reviewed, including the Toro 20360. Electric mowers go through the same tests as gas mowers -- editors analyze their ability to mulch, side-discharge and bag while they cut, and keep in mind how user-friendly the handling is.
Review: Lawn Mowers & Tractors, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not dated
Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of ConsumerReports.org, created GreenerChoices.org to "inform, engage, and empower consumers about environmentally friendly products and practices." This particular article lists lawn mowers with top-notch performance in their class while saving energy. They recommend the Toro 20360 for its first-class cutting and mulching abilities but say that it can clog when bagging.
Review: Lawn Mowers That Save Energy 8/10, Editors of GreenerChoices.org, August 2010
3. J.D. Power & Associates
Toro moves up to second place in the 2012 J. D. Power and Associates survey on customer satisfaction for walk-behind lawn mowers. According to the survey, top brands are durable, user-friendly, easy to maintain and well priced and come with a good warranty.
Review: 2012 Walk-Behind Lawn Mower Satisfaction Report, Editors of J. D. Power and Associates, Aug. 30, 2012
4. J.D. Power & Associates
Honda takes the top spot in this 2011 study on how happy customers are with their walk-behind lawn mowers. Toro is in fifth place -- just above the industry average.
Review: Although Ease of Use Is of Primary Importance in Satisfaction with Lawn Mowers, Fewer than One in 10 Owners Factor It into Their Purchase Decision, Editors of J. D. Power and Associates, April 27, 2011
Product expert Jose Castellanos calls the Toro e-Cycler 20360 the "best electric mower you will find," praising its power, performance and low-carbon footprint. Owners at MowersDirect.com agree; the 20360 has a 4.4-star score from more than 40 users. Reviewers note its strength and long battery run time.
Review: Toro e-Cycler (20") 36-Volt Rechargeable Cordless Push Lawn Mower, Editors of and Contributors to MowersDirect.com, As of June 2013
About 55 owners at Home Depot's website comment on the Toro 20360, saying it has a long run time and lasts for several years. There are mixed reviews on how well it cuts, but most users are pleased with its overall performance. Reviews from Toro.com are also included here.
Review: Toro 20 in. 36-Volt Cordless Electric Lawn Mower, Contributors to HomeDepot.com, As of June 2013
Amazon.com contains the most critical reviews for the Toro 20360 than any other site we consulted. About 40 customers give the cordless mower 3.2 stars, saying the bag doesn't function well and cut quality can be poor (several owners report they are able to solve this by sharpening the blades frequently).
Review: Toro 20360 e-Cycler 20-Inch 36-Volt Cordless Electric Lawn Mower, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of June 2013
Mechanical engineer and tester Steve Holdgren includes the Toro 20360 in his list of the 10 best walk-behind lawn mowers. The Toro's score of 8 (out of 10) is slightly below his rating of Black & Decker's SPCM1936. Holdgren likes the mulching performance on the 20360 but says the bag doesn't hold many clippings.
Review: Toro 20360 Review, Steve Holdgren, Not dated