Can You Use A Mower With An Extension Cord?

It’s your first time mowing your lawn with your new electric lawn mower, and you’ve got halfway down the lawn before realizing the mower’s cord isn’t long enough to take you all the way.


This is a common scenario, and you’re probably wondering whether you can safely use your electric lawn mower with an extension cord.


We’ve discussed this and other similar questions you might have below.

✅Key Takeaways:

  • Yes, you can plug a lawn mower into an extension cord.

  • Extension cords allow you to mow a greater distance from your front door, but they may reduce your mower’s performance power, and there are some additional safety aspects to be aware of.

  • Our top tip to get the best, safest experience from an extension cord with your lawn mower is to choose a thick, sturdy lead designed for outdoor use, and limit power loss to the mower by choosing the right cord length for your lawn – no longer.

Table of Contents

🤷‍♂️ Can You Use Your Mower With An Extension Cord?

Yes, you can use your lawn mower with an extension cord. In fact, this is very common amongst electric lawn mower owners, since most electric mowers in the UK have a 10-metre cable length.


You’ll probably lose a bit of length from the power plug to your garden before you even reach the grassy area. If your lawn is bigger than around 80 metres squared, you’ll need to plug your mower into an extension cord.

👷‍♂️ Is It Safe To Use A Lawn Mower With An Extension Cord?

Yes, it’s safe to use a lawn mower with an extension cord. Just make sure to use a cord that’s designed for outdoor use and can handle your lawn mower’s power requirements.


Safety aside, also look for a cord that’s long enough for you to mow your entire lawn without being too long, which will reduce the power to the mower and affect its performance efficiency.

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🧐 What Length Extension Lead Can You Use With A Lawn Mower?

We recommend using a 10-metre extension lead with your lawn mower, giving you an extra 10 metres of lead to work with. That makes your mower suitable for a space of approximately 180 metres squared, max (the average lawn size in the UK is 188 square metres).


Make sure to choose an extension cord length that’s long enough for your garden size, but don’t overcompensate. The longer the lead, the greater the distance that the electricity must travel before it reaches the mower, and the less power is supplied to the mower engine.


There’s a limit to the length of the extension cord you should buy, regardless of your situation. The typical extension lead for household use won’t do if you need to mow a very large garden (and by the way, making a conga train of extension leads plugged into extension leads is NOT a good idea!). Eventually, the lead length will reduce the power capacity to the point where the mower is no longer able to perform efficiently.

🤔 Which Extension Cord Is Best For A Lawn Mower?

The best extension cords generally for lawn mowers are outdoor extension cords that are designed to withstand general wear and tear and have safety features, like a thicker wire to reduce possible damage from accidental mowing over, that make them better suited to this purpose.


As we advised earlier, go for shorter extension cords rather than longer cords. Only extend your mower’s distance as far as it needs to go.


We also recommend looking for a cord with a thicker wire and a larger capacity to carry electricity, reducing the likelihood of voltage drop.


We’ve been using the Schneider Electric Thorsman 40-socket lead (<Amazon link) for several years now and have found it to be a solid piece of equipment, probably because it’s intended for tradesmen and DIY. You don’t have to use this lead – any sturdy lead that’s designed for outdoor use and has a good wire thickness is fine.

👍👎 Pros And Cons Of Using A Mower With An Extension Lead

Let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of plugging your electric lawn mower into an extension cord.

👍 Pros

Mow Bigger Spaces

The most obvious advantage of an extension cord for your lawn mower is that you’ll be able to mow beyond the mower cable’s 10-metre distance, making it possible for you to mow larger spaces.


You can use an extension power cord to double or even triple your mowing distance. This isn’t just a benefit in most scenarios – it’s essential. It’s not like you could simply mow the only third of your lawn you could reach, leaving the other two-thirds to grow wild.


Easy, Affordable Solution

Plugging your mower into an extension cord is also an easy, affordable solution when compared to your alternative options.


You won’t have to spend money on a new lawn mower if you’ve moved house and have the same mower but a bigger space to mow.


Extension cords cost £10-£35 on average, so they won’t break the bank. Plus, the act of plugging a mower into an extension cord socket is quick and easy, so it won’t waste valuable time when you want to start mowing.


Doesn’t Usually Affect Mower Performance

Extension cords provide a convenient solution without drastically affecting your mower’s performance.


If you use an extension cord to extend your mowing distance by around around 5-10 metres, you shouldn’t notice a reduction in your mowing efficiency.


That means you can enjoy the practical benefits of your mower at an extended distance from your home without compromising on results.

👎 Cons

Reduced Power To Mower Engine

The biggest disadvantage of using a lawn mower with an extension cord is the reduced power supply to the mower’s engine, which, in turn, could affect its performance.


Electric lawn mowers are designed to run optimally when they’re directly plugged into a power outlet. Unfortunately, that isn’t possible unless your garden is very small.


You shouldn’t notice much of a difference in your mowing abilities if your extension cord is short, but if you need a long extension cord, the voltage drop that occurs as electricity travels over a longer distance will reduce the power that reaches the mower.


The longer the cord and the smaller the wire gauge, the greater the voltage drop. This will slow the speed at which the mower blade can spin, making it more challenging to cut longer, thicker grass, and reducing the cleanness of the cut.


Additional Cord Management

Another disadvantage of using extension cords for lawn mowing is the extra hassle of managing the additional length of cord.


The longer the extension cord you use, the more cord you’ll need to navigate when mowing your lawn.


We all know the annoyance of mowing even with a corded mowr plugged straight into a power outlet. Having to move an extra-long section of cord as you mow back and forth on your lawn is even more of a pain.


More Dangerous

Finally, mowing with the wrong extension cord may pose a safety hazard.

Using the wrong cord could lead to shock, fire hazards, or very poor mower performance. Many extension cords designed for indoor use aren’t as sturdy and resistant to damage as outdoor extension cords, so you’re more likely to damage the lead if you accidentally mow over it – and possibly shock yourself in the process.


Always make sure to buy the right type of extension cord for a lawn mower. In terms of wire thickness, go for a 12-gauge extension cord, which is the safest option for using with lawn mowers.

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🏁 Final Word

Hopefully, we’ve discussed everything you wanted to know about using a lawn mower with an extension cord in this article.


Of course, if you don’t want the hassle of a power cord but you still want to use an electric mower, you have the option to switch to a battery-powered mower! That means you can avoid the extra expense, noise, and fumes of a petrol mower and enjoy the convenience of cord-free mowing. The best battery-powered mowers can take you to any point in your lawn without the restriction of a cord – and some are even self-propelled.


Can you plug a lawn mower into an extension lead?

Yes, you can plug a lawn mower into an extension cord or lead. Just make sure to follow the correct safety practices, including using an extension cord that’s intended for outdoor use and has a good thickness, and don’t use a longer cord than you need – this will reduce the power supply to the mower and hinder its performance.


Why do electric lawnmowers lose power when they’re plugged into extension leads?

An electric lawn mower loses power when it’s plugged into an extension cord due to a drop in electrical current as it travels over a longer distance to reach the mower. When electricity flows through a wire, it encounters resistance, and this resistance increases with the length of the wire and the gauge of the wire. The voltage at the end of a long extension cord will be lower than the voltage at the outlet, which reduces the power available to the lawn mower, possibly reducing its performance efficiency.


How do you mow a lawn with an extension cord?

To mow the lawn with an extension cord, start by plugging the socket box into a power outlet, then plug the mower into the socket box. Don’t unrwap the cord from the socket box yet. Place it on a flat surface somewhere between the power outlet and your lawn, then begin mowing perpendicular to your home, starting from either the left or right side of your garden. Mow in horizontal laps, unwrapping more cord from the socket box as and when you need it. By the time you reach the bottom of your lawn, you should have finished mowing, so you can switch off the mower, turn off the switch at the power outlet, unplug the mower, and wrap the extension cord back around the socket box.