The Takeaway: Ideal for small spaces, the mid-voltage Worx is the happy medium between a too-powerful gas mower and an inconvenient corded model.
• A two-function mower that mulches and bags, but doesn't side discharge
• Single-lever deck-height adjustment, and one of the best handles we've seen on a grass bag, especially on a mower at this price
• Small and light, the Worx has a 16-inch cutting diameter and weighs 35 pounds
Weight: 35 lb.
We just finished testing one of this spring’s newest mowers, the Worx WG743, a competent 40-volt machine, nicely sized for small yards. After its test was complete, it made us realize why many homeowners are opting for these small-but-spunky, mid-voltage machines.
Types of Battery Mowers
Battery mowers come in three distinct types: those powered by motors in the range of 28- to 36 volts, such as these from Sun Joe and Stihl. Mid-voltage mowers in the 40- to 60-volt range, such as the Worx WG 743, reviewed here, and this one from Greenworks occupy the range from 40 to 60 volts. Larger-voltage mowers, such as these from Snapper and Oregon, operate at a much higher (and more powerful) voltage, in the range of 82 to 120 volts. They aim to provide performance closer to what a gas engine mower will deliver.
How the Mid-Voltage Worx WG 743 Performed
We were pleasantly surprised at the Worx’s work ethic. It appears to address what homeowners have wanted in a machine more appropriately sized and powered for small, well-maintained yards. For many people, it may be that any gas engine mower is too much machine, and a corded model is a pain in the neck. Until recently, they didn’t have a good choice. Now, mid-voltage mowers, like the Worx, provide a third way.
We’re not saying this machine provides gas engine or corded performance. We ran it into some 6-inch-deep grass with oak leaves mixed in and it promptly stalled. But when we raised the deck to its full height of 4 inches and switched to the mower’s turbo setting, we managed to take care of that patch in three passes. And remember, this is a two-function mower. It mulches and bags; it doesn’t side discharge. So naturally, these mowers have a tough time in tall grass.
But what really stands out when you start mowing with the Worx is just how small and light it is. With a cutting diameter of 16 inches and a weight of about 35 pounds, the Worx feels more like a vacuum cleaner when you’re walking behind it than it does a typical walk-behind lawn mower. But you’ll be grateful for that lack of weight when you push it uphill or make long, plodding sidehill cuts, which we did (and do with every mower we test).
The Worx is typical of this second generation of battery mowers in that it makes provision for reduced motor rpm to deal with shorter or thinner grass. Running the motor at lower rpm reduces current drain from the battery and extends run time while reducing noise. To operate the mower at reduced rpm, twist the knob on the front of the mower’s deck to the Eco setting. When the grass gets thick or tall, stop, reach down and turn the dial to Turbo.
As for bagging, a small flap on the back of the 1.2-bushel grass bag alerts you when the bag is full. Airflow through the mesh bag keeps the flap closed, but as clippings build up and block airflow, some of the air is diverted out the back of the bag and lifts the flap—at least in theory. As anybody who routinely bags clippings will tell you, many factors affect bagging performance, such as grass density or leaves and other debris. In any case, the flap is still a good indicator.
Several other features combine to make the Worx a likable mid-voltage yard tool: single-lever deck height adjustment, a mid-fold handle that shrinks its storage volume, and one of the better handles we’ve seen on a grass bag, especially at this price.
As to improvements, we think the through-the-handle access to the bag is a bit awkward. You have to turn the bag sideways to lift it out. Likewise, we prefer a rear-located deck lift lever. Neither of these is a deal breaker, though. The Worx proves why many homeowners are looking at mid-voltage mowers for their small lawn.
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