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. MowersDirect.com gives the Toro e-Cycler 20360 an overall rating of B+ saying 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. 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.
Handling requires extra effort. While most users have no problem pushing the Toro e-Cycler 20360 along level ground, it can be difficult to mow on slopes. Although a hefty 77 pounds, MowersDirect.com points out it's actually "about 20 pounds lighter than a standard Toro gas powered walk-behind mower."
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. Still, 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. 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."
One owner at MowersDirect.com calls the 20360 "whisper quiet," but we found very little user feedback regarding noise and no expert tests that measure noise levels of the mower.
Of the 42 push mowers ConsumerReports.org tests, 25 are electric. Both corded and battery lawn mowers are reviewed, including the Toro e-Cycler 20360. Electric mowers go through the same tests as gas mowers -- editors analyze their ability to mulch, side-discharge and bag while they cut.
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 energy-efficient lawn mowers with top-notch performance in their class. Editors recommend the Toro 20360 for its first-class cutting and mulching abilities.
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
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, based on a 5-star scale, from 50 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 2014
About 65 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 2014
At Amazon.com about 60 customers give the cordless mower 3.2 stars out of 5, saying the bag doesn't function well and cut quality can be poor, although 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 2014
Mechanical engineer and tester Steve Holdgren includes the Toro 20360 in his list of the 10 best walk-behind lawn mowers. He gives it an overall score of 8 out of 10. Holdgren praises its mulching performance but says the bag doesn't hold many clippings.
Review: Toro 20360 Review, Steve Holdgren, Not Dated
The Toro 20360 comes in third place in TopTenReviews.com's list of best electric mowers. Editors give it an overall rating of 8 out of 10. They point out that it needs some improvement on its bagging feature but "makes up for it" with excellent mulching capabilities.
Review: Toro e-Cycler 20360, Editors of TopTenReviews.com, Not Dated