Atlas Lawn Mower Review: A Welcome Addition to Your Lawn-Tool Collection

Updated: May 03, 2024

We tested the 80-volt, battery-op Atlas Lawn Mower and found it had everything we needed for our spring lawn care.

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Lists and reviews of the best lawn mowers still often give gas-powered machines more praise for their power than electric or battery-operated models. However, I was given the opportunity to put my brand-name, self-propelled, 163cc gas mower up against the 80-volt, battery-op Atlas Lawn Mower, and it’s safe to say I’m impressed.

With as much versatility as my gas-powered machine and plenty of run-time to handle my small yard with ease, the Atlas performed well as I moved for the first time this spring after an unusual winter that left plenty of trouble spots and debris.

Here’s a detailed look at how the Atlas mower managed the task at hand, what I liked about the machine, and where it could improve.

What is the Atlas Mower?

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The Atlas Lawn Mower is a professional-grade, 80-volt, battery-operated, 21-inch-wide, self-propelled lawn mower with a number of features designed to make yard work easy, quiet, and eco-friendly. While not quite as hands-off as the best robot lawn mowers, the Atlas Lawn Mower combines reasonable pricing with excellent convenience and versatile controls.

During testing, I found that the machine lived up to the battery-powered lawn mower hype. Customer reviews generally rate the Atlas over 4.5 stars on average. And after testing, I agree with most reviewers, with a few additions and just a couple of concerns.

I also spoke with Scott McLeod, 30-year owner of McLeod Landscaping. He said his professional landscaping team also continues to be impressed with the performance of similar battery-operated models as they transition to more eco-friendly technology.

Out of the box, the setup was as simple as any other walk-behind mower, with the addition of an easy-to-use handle height adjustment that took me a few seconds to figure out. However, the height adjustment is a welcome feature that’s well worth the 30 seconds it took to sort out.

The tool is only available with no batteries included, and Harbor Freight is very upfront about that fact. However, that means the price you see in the ad is much less than the total cost. Battery prices for the Atlas mower start at roughly half of the mower’s cost, plus another $50 to $80 for a charger. I opted for a single battery and charger because the yard I own is tiny, measuring about 1,100 square feet in total.

Atlas Lawn MowerVIA MERCHANT VIA MERCHANT

We Tried It

Atlas Lawn Mower

This professional self-propelled powers through thick, tall or wet grass.

Atlas Mower Features

Speaking as a product reviewer and writer, I noted that the Atlas Lawn Mower has several features related to convenience and performance. Here’s the list:

  • Mulching, side-discharge, and bagging options in one purchase
  • Seven deck heights that are easily adjustable and raise or lower all four wheels
  • Variable-speed drive control that’s releasable for detail work
  • Uses 40/80V dual voltage batteries that are usable in other Atlas lawn tools.
  • Operates on a single battery, or on two batteries for added runtime.
  • Requires two hands to start the blades for safety.
  • Height-adjustable and foldable handles for ergonomics and storage
  • Automatic load-sensing capability

Speaking as a lawn/tool geek, I noticed a couple of other features and drawbacks. First, the machine comes with a safety key in the battery compartment. I learned that I could remove the key to cut power to the machine and eliminate the chance of bumping the always-on drive control bar. Additionally, I felt safe leaving the battery in place for a time without discharging it completely after removing the safety key.

The second feature that I couldn’t find literature about is the responsive and precise drive speed control. While my gas-powered machine also has speed control, it’s quite limited. I didn’t realize how much I had to adjust my walk-behind speed to match the mower’s. The Atlas Lawn Mower’s speed control, on the other hand, adjusted easily to my speed on the fly.

The two drawbacks I discovered may or may not be shared by other yard owners. The first drawback is what I can only describe as the bounciness of the front wheels. My yard was put in place over 100 years ago and has a high clay content. In other words, it’s bumpy. While it didn’t affect the cut of the grass, the machine did feel like it was bumping around quite a bit. Perhaps it was a testament to the light weight of the mower versus my gas-powered one.

Secondly, when testing the bagging functions, I managed to kick the bag more than a couple of times. However, that may have less to do with being a design flaw and more to do with me having a long stride. When I turned the drive speed up somewhat, the issue went away.

How We Tested It

Atlas Lawn Mower Review SseditDEANE BIERMEIER FOR FAMILY HANDYMAN

I live in a northern state with brutal winters. However, the autumn season is typically long enough to allow time for proper yard cleanups before it snows. The past year was different than most. Autumn was particularly long, luring my neighbors and me to put off lawn care until it was too late. Additionally, the winter was mellow and generated plenty of dead grass spots, coupled with the unraked leaf globs being generally wet and destructive all winter.

When I was offered the chance to try the Atlas Lawn Mower, I felt a little bad knowing that its first test would be hard enough to challenge even my gas-powered machine. While it didn’t seem like a fair first test, the Atlas lived up to the challenge with ease.

The battery arrived with a partial charge. After an hour and a half on the charger, it was ready to go. After dropping the battery in its port on the mower, it took just seconds to start the machine and get underway.

Starting in the backyard, with grass that always seems to grow better than the front, the Atlas was up against everything from six-inch-tall patches to bare spots. While the Atlas never bogged down in the tall stuff, the first spot I passed over was slightly uneven after the first go. However, on subsequent tall spots, I slowed the drive speed down to just under half-rabbit and it made the cut just fine.

My front yard is more dedicated to flower and rock gardens, with very little grass that grows poorly most years. The first mowing of the year is typically just a shave to keep up with the fast-growing backyard. In the front yard, I learned of the versatility of the Atlas Lawn Mower.

While the drive control feature was excellent for use in the backyard, disengaging the drive for much of the front yard allowed me to get close to the gardens and rocks without feeling rushed or in fear of losing control. It took a little discovery to learn that the drive wheels can stay locked sometimes, and I had to push forward a few inches to release them. After a little practice, it became almost instinctual.

In total, the yard took approximately 25 minutes to complete. During that time and after chewing up an unnoticed ¾-inch thick rogue tree branch, the Atlas showed no signs of slowing down, and the battery power indicator notified me that there was still half of the battery power remaining.

Pros

  • Easy height-adjustable handle
  • Responsive drive speed control
  • Can disengage drive control for detail work
  • Easy storage with a foldable handle
  • Mostly metal housing for durability
  • Four-wheel height adjustment with one control lever
  • Safety features with safety key and two-hand blade starting
  • Uses two batteries or one, depending on the needed run time

Cons

  • Front wheels were bouncy on my old, hard, clay yard
  • Front plastic piece could suffer damage if mistreated
  • Mowing very tall grass evenly required slowed speed
  • Battery not included in mower purchase

FAQ

Where can I buy an Atlas mower?

The Atlas Lawn Mower and other battery-operated Atlas lawn tools are available at Harbor Freight stores. The company also sells Atlas lawn edgers, string trimmers, and leaf blowers that operate using the same battery as the 80V lawn mower.

How many cutting height adjustments does the Atlas mower have?

The Atlas Lawn Mower has a single lever that adjusts the mowing height of all four wheels to any of seven settings. I tested the mower with the setting in the number three position.

What Other Experts Had to Say

Scott McLeod had this to say about battery-operated lawn mowing equipment in general: “I’ve seen the evolution of lawn care technology, especially the transition towards more sustainable options like battery-operated electric lawn mowers.

These mowers have become increasingly relevant due to their environmental benefits, reduced noise pollution, and lowered operating costs. In our operations, we’ve observed that electric mowers can significantly cut down on emissions, making them a popular choice for our residential and commercial clients looking to maintain their green spaces more sustainably.

One specific aspect where electric lawnmowers shine is their efficiency and ease of use. For instance, without the need for gasoline storage and oil changes, maintenance becomes simpler and cleaner. This translates into more time spent on crafting beautiful landscapes and less on equipment upkeep.”

He went on to encourage others to consider battery-op lawn tools by saying, “I encourage landscaping professionals and homeowners alike to consider the long-term benefits of electric lawn equipment. It’s not just about the immediate savings in fuel costs but also about investing in the health of our planet and future generations.”

That said, the Atlas Lawn Mower receives an average of 4.6 out of 5 stars from its current owners. Positive reviews echo my surprise at how well it performed, especially for those of us with small yards. Reviewers often comment on the Atlas mower’s ease of use and appreciate the minimal maintenance requirements that really entail simply keeping the batteries properly stored.

Not all reviews are positive, however. A few poor reviews cited quality concerns on models they returned. I found two reviews that mentioned the battery becoming too overheated to recharge immediately and one that noted that the bagging feature was weak when it came to collecting all of the clippings or leaf mulch.

Atlas Mower vs. Ego Mower

Comparing the Atlas Lawn Mower to the Ego Power+ 21 mower revealed many similarities. The Ego mower is a 56-volt battery-operated machine that features seven cutting heights, variable speed drive, and three functions, including bagging, side-discharge, or mulching, like the Atlas mower.

The primary difference between the two is power management. Although the Atlas mower’s battery can operate at a higher 80 volts, it’s only rated for 4 amp-hours at full power. On the other hand, the Ego battery, at just 56V, is rated for 10 amp-hours. However, the Atlas mower can increase its run time by using a second battery, whereas the Ego mower doesn’t offer that option.

The differences in power management mean that, although the Ego mower may be slightly less powerful than the Atlas, it’s more geared towards homeowners with larger lawns that require long run times to complete the job without having to recharge batteries.

From a pricing perspective, the Ego retails between roughly $430 and $750, depending on battery choice, while the Atlas goes for similar pricing, depending on the battery quantity and power level chosen.

Final Verdict

My yard is slightly too large for me to feel comfortable with a reel mower, but certainly not large enough for a riding mower option. However, I also think that my heavy-duty gas-powered mower is even a bit overkill. The Atlas 80V Lawn Mower turned out to be the perfect solution for my situation—a small yard with plenty of tight corners and interruptions.

While I highly recommend the Atlas mower for yard owners in a similar situation, for owners of very large properties, I’d be hesitant and direct them toward a bulkier riding option or something similar. Additionally, if you’re the type that likes to let your lawn grow long between mowings, consider purchasing a second Atlas battery, as the run time will diminish if it has to work harder than it did in my lawn.

Where to Buy the Atlas Mower

The Atlas 80V Brushless Cordless 21-inch Self-Propelled Lawn Mower is available at Harbor Freight stores for $269.99 without a battery. Available batteries include a standard option at $139.99 each or an extended run time option for $249.99. The charger is also a separate purchase, costing $49.99 or $79.99, depending on your choice of rapid or standard charging.

Atlas Lawn Mower ReviewDEANE BIERMEIER FOR FAMILY HANDYMAN DEANE BIERMEIER FOR FAMILY HANDYMAN

We Tried It

Atlas Lawn Mower

The 80V, brushless and cordless 21-inch mower features automatic load sensing technology to power through any job, small or large.