Choosing Between Gas Vs. Electric Lawn Mower
A lush, beautiful lawn requires more than a sprinkle of water and a weekly mow. Lawn maintenance is an intricate science requiring proper feeding, aeration, and pest control for optimal protection from weeds, insects, and diseases that can wreak havoc on your grassy paradise. With the proper care program in place, you can rest assured knowing your flowers, shrubs grass are well-defended against all manner of lawn-damaging pests.
Mowing your lawn is not only necessary for a pristine appearance but also essential to ensure the health and strength of each blade. By mowing regularly, you’ll guarantee that every part of your grass receives adequate sunlight, water, and fertilizers – promoting strong growth with time. over, during each trimming session, the strongest blades will thrive while weaker ones wither away – providing optimal results. You can take care of the lawn and garden better using Smart home gardening products. These products integrate technology with lawn and garden maintenance, making your work easier. To achieve this, you need to use the premium garden tools in the market.
When it comes to choosing the right lawn mower, consumers have two lawn mower types: gas-powered or electric. Both models offer unique advantages, so here’s a look at which option best fits your needs.
Comparison Of Electric and Gas Lawn Mowers
Choosing between an electric lawn mower and a gas-powered lawn mower can be a difficult process. With both mowers offering their distinct benefits, it’s essential to consider the pros and cons of each before making your final choice.
What Is an Electric Lawn Mower?
Battery-powered electric lawn mowers are considered as one of the best-rated garden tools and are more powerful and efficient than ever before, providing the convenience of cordless operation while being better for the environment than gas models.
On the other hand, a corded electric mower is an economical alternative to a battery-powered lawnmower, but it requires being plugged into a nearby outlet while in use.
You can expect both electric mowers to be lightweight, with some models weighing a little over 34 pounds. This makes them easy to maneuver and store after each trimming session. The noise output of electric mowers is significantly lower as well, making them an excellent choice for those who prefer a quieter operation.
How Do Electric Mowers Work?
The lawn-and-garden industry has two types of electric mowers that operate with electricity, yet the distinction between them lies in their power source. There are two primary types of tools: corded and cordless. It’s evident that the main difference is cords versus no cords; however, there are a few more differences between them.
Corded electric mowers are perfect for small lawns due to their unlimited run time as long as they can access an adequate power source. However, the larger the yard size is, the longer cord you will need to reach everywhere. That being said, corded electric mowers offer a reliable and continuous supply of energy that makes them suitable for cutting grass over short distances seamlessly.
Cordless mowers are powered by batteries, meaning you must charge them for extended periods to continue trimming your grass. Once the battery runs out, so does your grass-cutting session – like any other battery-operated device. It is essential to properly charge up its power source to maximize cutting times and get the most use out of a cordless mower.
Benefits Offered by an Electric Mower
If you have a small yard and mostly flat terrain with few obstacles, then an electric lawnmower can truly elevate your mowing experience. Here are some reasons why battery-powered mowers are the better choice for yards up to two acres:
- Lower Maintenance Cost – Since electric mowers do not use oil, clutch, throttle, belts, and gears, you’ll avoid a lot of maintenance compared to their gas counterparts. You wouldn’t have to bother about refilling on petrol either; that equates to no more fuss with spills or extra expenditure for fuel!
- Zero Emissions.Electric-powered mowers provide an eco-friendly, zero-emission ride. Exhaust, carbon monoxide, and unburned hydrocarbons are not emitted from the onboard power source for a healthier environment. Not only does this benefit the planet, but it also helps you breathe cleaner air!
- Quieter Operation – A battery-powered mower can generate up to 82 decibels, lower than the threshold for a person to experience harmful exposure. On the other hand, gasoline mowers are much louder and boast 95 decibels- similar in sound volume to a motorcycle! Using an electric lawnmower will be significantly less disruptive for your neighbors if you reside in an urban or suburban area.
- Easier Maneuverability – Electric lawnmowers are not as heavy as their gas-powered counterparts. Due to this, this weed removal machine is easier to maneuver around tight corners and navigate through your yard.
What Is A Gas Lawn Mower?
Gas-powered mowers depend on the capacity of their fuel tank for runtime. Most lawnmowers have a one-gallon gas tank that is enough to finish cutting a sizable family-sized yard in one go from start to finish. Refilling the tank is possible when you run out, but remember to add oil as well! A two-stroke motor calls for this lubrication so it can operate efficiently and its engine parts glide seamlessly.
How Do Gas Mowers Work?
A gas-burning mower combines air and fuel to generate an internal explosion inside the cylinder. The machine then captures this blast and converts it into kinetic energy that powers it forward.
Don’t assume what type of fuel your lawn mower needs – it could be detrimental to the engine and even lead to voiding its warranty. To avoid mishaps, check the owner’s manual for your model’s specific requirements. However, most mowers require high-grade unleaded fuel or a mix of oil and gas.
Two-stroke engines necessitate a combination of gas and oil, with the proportions varying according to brand. Additionally, if you don’t plan on using your lawnmower for over 30 days, then make sure to add a fuel stabilizer into a full tank of gasoline, as this will protect the machine’s carburetor and engine from deteriorating due to stale petrol.
Benefits Offered by a Gas Mower
Gas mowers offer plenty of advantages over electric models, particularly when it comes to larger lawns or yards with hills. You can expect the following benefits from this type of machine:
- Longer Operational Time – Gas-powered lawn mowers come in a variety of styles, with the largest versions packing up to two gallons of fuel capacity. Nevertheless, most models boast one-gallon tanks that are perfect for keeping your backyard looking neat and tidy! You can easily take on larger yards with this much fuel without stopping mid-mow.
- Plenty of Power – With a gas-powered lawnmower, getting the job done has never been easier! These machines are designed to slice through even the toughest grasses effortlessly as soon as you turn them on. Plus, with more affordable models possessing powerful motors that can handle any terrain or climate condition, your mowing experience is sure to be second to none.
- Suitable for Wet Grass – A gas-powered lawnmower is the ultimate solution for managing moist turf. Its high-torque motor can easily breeze through the grass with maximum efficiency, running for extended periods without issue.
- Strong and Durable – Gas-powered lawnmowers are incredibly indestructible compared to electric models. This is because the solid motor efficiently cuts through even long grass with minimal effort and for a longer duration than electric models. Plus, you get more value for your money since one pass will suffice, unlike regular electric mowers that require multiple passes over areas to achieve an acceptable result.
Which Is Better: Electric Vs. Gas Lawn Mowers?
Gas-powered lawnmowers are still the go-to choice for many homeowners. Gas mowers offer more power than battery-powered models to handle challenging conditions and longer grass – even in the hottest temperatures!
On the other hand, electric lawnmowers make less noise and are more eco-friendly than gas-powered motors. They are also much more lightweight and easier to maneuver, so they’re great for smaller lawns.
Overall, the choice between electric vs. gas lawnmowers comes down to your needs, budget, and preferred features. An electric mower may be the perfect option if you have a small or flat yard with limited obstacles and like quiet operation. However, a gas-powered mower could be the better choice if you have a larger yard with thick or damp grass. Consider all your options and select the best lawn-mowing solution that fits your needs!
In conclusion, these lawn mower types offer their benefits and drawbacks. Ultimately it is up to you and your preferences to choose the best type of mower for your lawn. Consider factors such as the size of the yard, terrain, budget, and environmental impact when selecting the perfect lawn mower for your needs. With either option – electric or gas – you can get a beautiful, healthy lawn that will make any homeowner proud.
Electric Lawn Mower Reviews
You probably are ready to say goodbye to checking the oil, yanking the start chain, monitoring the gas, and enduring the noise of your gas mower. You can’t even listen to a podcast with that thing on! Still, the best reason to buy an electric lawn mower is that it’s one step closer to a carbon-neutral existence. Do your little part to halt climate change—if you need a mower, buy electric.
Best Electric Lawn Mower
Hands down, the best electric lawn mower is the Ego Power Plus Mower. We’re basing this on reviews, reliability, and the fact that we believe in the company.
EGO isn’t a traditional mower company with an electric line. They aren’t an electric tool company that also makes mowers. EGO focuses on electric lawn products, and that FOCUS shows in their products.
What we like about the EGO is the obvious thought that went into the design.
- The EGO folds up into a rectangular shape that’s not only easy to get home from the store, but takes up less space in your garage.
- The EGO has a ridiculously simple height adjustment system that’s as easy as shifting an automatic car from park to drive.
- The EGO has lights, so you can mow in the dark. (Remember, electric mowers are practically silent; your neighbors won’t mind.)
- The EGO’s powerful lithium-ion battery charges in just 30 minutes, and mows for 45. Plus, the battery fits their other tools…if you have a little charge left over, use it to blow away some leaves.
Are Electric Lawnmowers Any Good?
Yes, electric mowers are good. If your lawn is in decent condition, gets dry enough to mow, and isn’t subject to infestation by excessive amounts of falling twigs or pinecones, and isn’t serving as the putting surface for The Masters, an electric mower will do just fine.
The main thing that should excite you about an electric mower is energy efficiency. You can use the same electric power that powers your hair clippers—power which in many states is increasingly generated with renewable resources. You’ll save money by using an electric mower, and you’ll also be doing your part to save the Earth.
Electric mowers will provide the quietest lawn care experience of your life. One of the worst aspects of mowing the gas-powered way is that, unlike with other outdoor work like weeding, raking, fence post digging—you can’t listen to music or the ballgame while you do it…even through headphones. With your largely quiet electric mower, noise pollution’s at a minimum. You can enjoy your favorite form of aural entertainment, and your neighbors will have peace and quiet.
Electric Mower Durability
Like any mechanical product, electric mowers are prone to the occasional breakdown. Most mowers carry a warranty that protect you against product defects. Any mower will need blade sharpening at some point. The known durability issue with electric mowers is that—if you choose a cordless one—the battery will eventually lose power. Most companies also offer a warranty on the battery as well, but the fact is that, like your car battery, it will need to be replaced every few years, depending on how much you use it.
Electric Mower Power Needs
A cordless mower simply needs its battery charged to run properly. Mower batteries vary in how long they take to charge. How long they will run depends on the terrain of your yard and how long your grass is. The longest-running cordless mower on the market, the EGO, runs about 45 minutes.
If you buy a corded electric mower, you can mow for as long as you like, but you must use a high-rated extension cord. Extension cords are rated by the size of the wires within, or wire gauge. The sizing isn’t very intuitive: the lower the number, the thicker the wire, and thus the more power can run through the cord. The size you’ll need will depend on the mower you buy, and how far away from your outlet you plan to mow. Consult the owner’s manual before you mow to avoid blowing a fuse.
Electric Lawn Mowers vs. Gas Lawn Mowers
This is the fun part. Let’s count the reasons you should choose electric mowers over gas ones.
Electric Lawn Mower Cost
Top-of-the-line electric mowers cost about the same as self-propelled gas mowers. Given that electric mowers are much lighter, and require very little exertion to push, you’re basically getting the same product without the hassle of using gas. On the low-end, electric mowers are cheaper than gas ones. You’ll have a tough time finding a gas mower for less than 150, while you many choices at that price point with electric mowers. The least-expensive electric mower we were able to find you can get for less than 100.
Electric Lawn Mower Performance
Gas has electric beat on pure mowing performance. The engines of gas mowers are more powerful, so they are going to do better with tough mowing tasks like high grass, wet grass, and debris. If you deal with these situations—you’re either going to stick with gas or buy a very high-end electric mower. The EGO runs at 3300 RPM, which is comparable to gas mowers. But the average person, with a relatively basic lawn, doesn’t notice any difference in performance between a gas and electric mower.
Electric Lawn Mower Energy Use
Using a corded electric lawn mower won’t save you much in energy costs—Consumer Reports estimates that you’ll save around 15/year. But you will be using cleaner energy—instead of polluting the air around your home with gas fumes, you’ll drop your emissions to zero.
Electric Lawn Mower Batteries
Most cordless electric lawn mowers now come with lithium-ion batteries, replacing the lead-acid batteries that most had used. Lithium ion batteries are longer-lasting and lighter than lead-acid batteries; on the other hand, they aren’t as powerful and cost more. Some models, like the Black Decker CM1936ZA 36V Cordless Lawn Mower, still use lead-acid batteries to generate a little more power. However, it’s 90 lbs; some cordless mowers weigh as little as 30 lbs.
Electric Lawn Mower Motors
Because your mower is creating torque with electric power rather than through internal combustion, it’s much quieter. Most make hardly any noise at all. The power of the motor depends on the voltage of the battery—the higher the voltage, the more powerful the motor. You’ll spend more for a more powerful mower.
Electric Mulching Lawn Mowers
Most electric mowers on the market have some sort of mulching capability, with a bag to capture the mulch or by shooting the clippings out the side of the mower. Don’t expect an electric mower to shred twigs, pinecones or other debris the way a heavy-duty gas mower might.
Used Electric Lawn Mowers
Most electric mowers on Amazon are available used on their site as well, usually at a 10-25% discount. You’ll find a pretty good selection on Craiglist as well. Just about everyone has a mower, and if they move or trade up they’ll sell theirs for a decent price. You do need to be careful, though, if you buy a used cordless electric mower.
The batteries of cordless models wear down over time, taking longer to charge and not holding as much of a charge. If you are buying a used cordless mower, you might ask for a test drive to see just how much battery power is left.
Going electric isn’t just about ease of use. It’s also about doing the right thing for the Earth. Along with choices like avoiding unhealthy chemical fertilizers, mowing your lawn with electric power will reduce your footprint on the only world we have.
How To Choose An Electric Mower for Your Lawn?
Corey Majeau is a researcher, product tester, and writer for many sites including Homedit. With ten years of experience as a content writer, graphic designer, and hands-on product tester. Corey brings a certain level of quality and personality to the team.
Man cutting green grass with lawn mower in backyard. Gardening country lifestyle background. Beautiful view on fresh green grass lawn in sunlight, garden landscape in spring or summer season. Man cutting green grass with lawn mower in backyard. Gardening country lifestyle background. Beautiful view on fresh green grass lawn in sunlight, garden landscape in spring or summer season
Back in the past, gas-powered mowers (even the old-fashioned push mowers) were the only way your lawn could be cut. It was time-consuming and you used a lot of gas. Fast forward to today, we have electric mowers.
The best electric mowers are powered in two ways. Either by battery or by using a cord. There are many forms of electric mowers, which we will discuss today.
“Greenworks offers the right tools for every job.”
“First off, everything about this mower SCREAMS quality, and durability” customer review
“The mower is lightweight, but powerful and easy to operate.” customer review
“To my UTTER ASTONISHMENT and PURE DELIGHT, I was not only able give it a “test push,” but, steering my power wheelchair with my right hand on the joystick and the mower with my weakened left hand and arm, I was able to mow my entire front lawn!” customer review
“The first time I got this, the grass was pretty long and wet in the morning – this thing just plowed through it all.” customer review
“Not a power house but a light, easy to push grass mower. grass bag easy to get off and on.” customer review
“I like the power drive, the maneuverability and the cutting swath” customer review
How to Choose an Electric Lawn Mower?
If you are in the market for a new lawnmower, you have probably considered an electric mower at some point. You’ve done some window shopping online to see which ones you want to buy. Perhaps you are one of those people who want to reduce their carbon print on Earth (which is always a good thing) so you definitely want to explore some options.
As you know, battery-powered mowers have been extremely popular in recent years because they’re electric and you’re not tripping over the cord while mowing your lawn. These types of mowers certainly have their advantages such as being quiet, they don’t smell, and literally just push the button to start. Those advantages, of course, get you excited but you should consider the disadvantages so that you are well informed when it comes to choosing an electric mower. As you are mowing, it takes energy from the battery. That means, if it’s low, it won’t perform at its best. Electric mowers are simply not powerful enough for difficult mowing situations that their gas counterparts are made for. However, the electric lawn mower does a good enough job for any normal-sized lawn.
If you are still considering an electric mower, that’s great! But you should base your decision on these factors:
Size of your yard
As we previously talked about, an electric mower is amazing for a small-medium yard. The battery on an electric mower will die out as you use it, so that’s why it is recommended that you are buying it for smaller to medium-sized yards. (up to max of half acres). Imagine waiting for your battery to recharge and you want to do another chore, that’s no fun at all. So, the size of your yard matters when it comes to these mowers. If you have a large property, it’s probably best if you consider a gas powered or ride-on mower.
For an electric mower, it’s extremely important that it’s on a FLAT terrain. A lot of electric mowers have a ton of power, but do you really want to waste it trying to push it up a hilly terrain? It’ll probably be low performing by then. Leave that to the more powerful gas mowers and stick with flat areas.
No tall grass or weeds
As amazing as electric mowers are, none of them have the strength that the gas mowers have. If you’re the kind of person who mows their yard every 2 weeks or so, an electric mower is perfect for you. But if you let it grow for say a month or two, you’ll have to resort to a gas mower.
An electric lawnmower is perfect if you have a small, maintained yard. If you like the low noise and ease of you, it’s definitely for you.
Rotary mowers: One very high-speed spinning cutting blade, which cuts the grass on contact, characterizes rotary mowers. These types of mowers are very common as they allow Rapid cutting and depositing of medium to high cut grass in a rear-mounted grass box. For maneuvering, these mowers usually have four fixed wheels.
Cylinder mowers: These types of mowers have blades that tend to be exposed in a cylindrical drum structure that you see in front of the mower. They cut grass by slicing against a fixed bottom plate with the smaller blades doing all the work for the mower.
Hover mowers: These types of mowers are similar to the rotary mowers where they have a rotating cutting disc but that’s where the similarity ends. A hover mower doesn’t have wheels so for them to move they created a downward force of air that makes them move like a hovercraft.
Facts about electric mowers
Electric mowers run on the cord and batteries. Some people like the cord one, some don’t. Here are some facts about the electric mowers you should know about:
How to care for your electric mower
The electric mower is quieter and less messy than their gas counterparts, but they will still require some maintenance. One of the most important things about them is they need to be kept clean. Things like muck and thick grass will be on the blades and if not wiped off, can affect the function of the mower. For this, all you simply need to do is take a moist rag, remove any muck and grass that you see on the blades, undercarriages, and vents. When you are cleaning your mower, make sure you are wearing gloves to prevent being cut from the blades and such.
After you’ve cleaned the parts, you’ll want to make sure that all the bolts and nuts are still on the mower because sometimes one or two can be loose, or worse missing somewhere on your lawn. This is usually done before you actually use the mower. When that is all said and done, most importantly, you’ll want to make sure the blades are sharp. If the blade isn’t, you’ll have to get it sharpened before use, otherwise, it won’t cut grass.
How much power the electric mower consumes
It really depends on which model you have. A corded electric mower can run endlessly, but have little maneuvering and can’t do a large lawn. A battery mower has more flexibility, but it dies down faster.
A corded electric mower uses between 700 and 1800 watts of electricity per hour. A battery-operated one, which is weaker than the corded ones, typically uses 600 to 1400 watts, depending on the battery amps.
How to store your electric mower
Just like their gas counterparts, you can store in the garage or shed if you have one. Some electric models have the ability to fold up so they can fit in even smaller spaces which is a benefit of owning an electric one vs a gas one.
What is The Best Time to Mow Your Lawn
Most people just mow the lawn whenever in the daytime that they have free time. However, there is an optimal time to mow your lawn. Why is there an optimal time? Unless you’re an expert landscaper, you probably didn’t even know there’s an optimal time to mow your lawn. Let’s look into the times of the day:
A lot of people like to get up early and start mowing their lawns. This is actually not a good time. The morning mildew makes the grass very wet, and especially for an electric mower, will bog down the mower’s performance and you won’t get that nice, manicured lawn you were looking for.
By now, the mildew is gone, and your lawn is finally dry enough (if it’s not raining). It’s also not too hot for yourself or the lawn itself. This time of day also gives the lawn a chance to heal during the day after it’s been mowed.
This is usually the hottest part of the day, so it’s usually not optimal for yourself or the lawn. Why? The lawn can get extremely stressed. But if your lawn is not too bad, you can give it a normal cut. But if it’s like the jungle, you’ll probably burn the lawn, giving them that brown look that you do not want.
This is another good time to mow your lawn, especially in the late afternoon. If you didn’t get up in the morning, this is another good time because the chances of burning your lawn is less now.
After work, people like to mow their lawns because they want to get it done for the day. But mowing in the evening means you’re likely to get your lawn sick. Dew sets in at night, and when you’re attempting to mow, the lawn will be exposed to fungus and infections.
Mid-morning and afternoons (especially late afternoons) are the most optimal times to mow your lawn and keep it in good condition.
Best Electric Mowers of 2021
Greenworks PRO 21-Inch 80V Self-Propelled Cordless Lawn Mower
The Greenworks PRO Self-Propelled Electric Mower is one of the best self-propelled mowers that you can get on the market. It is designed to make your life easier by being lightweight. It is 21” high, with a weight of 73 pounds. The material is made out of steel. This model also takes an 80-volt battery which means that it should last for at least 30 minutes of mowing time. You do have to buy the battery and charger separately.
- Cordless, runs on battery
- Self-propelled lawn mower
Snapper XD 82V MAX Cordless Electric 19″ Push Lawn Mower
The Snapper Cordless Electric Mower includes a kit of 2 batteries and a charger. That’s already a plus with many buyers who want it included. There is a 19” and a 21” with a weight of 59.5 pounds. It has a 90-minute run time which means you can probably do a full small yard and possibly medium yard before it dies. The Snapper also has a load sensing technology that helps adjust the blades as you are cutting your lawn. It also has a push-button start, which makes everyone’s lives easier so they can just push and go.
- 90-minute run time, great for huge backyards
- Come with batteries
- Cordless electric mower
- Folds up to save space in sheds/garage
WORX WG751 40V Power Share 5.0 Ah 20″ Lawn Mower
The WORX Electric Mower is a 20” mowerweighing in at 66.1 pounds. It has more capabilities than the first 2 mowers we’ve talked about. This model in particular has a mulching capability because it was built with steel. What that means is, when grass and dirt get inside, it will come out on the lawn, instead of being stuck inside the mower. You’ll also make fewer passes on the grass because of the 20” steel.
- Electric mower
- Mulching capabilities
- Comes with 2 batteries
Greenworks 19-Inch 40V Cordless Lawn Mower
Yes, we have another Greenworks model in this roundup. The Greenworks 19” Cordless mower is obviously 19” and weighs in at 53.1 pounds. This model includes the battery and charger, which will make buyers happy. It has a 19” inch cutting steel that helps give you an efficient cut on your lawn. It also has large 10” wheels which makes maneuvering easy, and with the light weight, even better.
This model has a 3 in 1 feature, which includes mulching, rear bagging and side discharge capabilities. Like most electric mowers, you can push with a touch of a button. The mower runs on 2 40V batteries which should give you enough time to mow your lawn.
Yard Force YOLMX225300 120V 2.5Ah x 2 Lithium-Ion 22” SP 3-in-1 Mower Torque-Sense
This Yard Force 22” SP 3-in-1 Mower has a lot going for it. It has a 22” steel deck to make mulching easy. It weighs in at 108.8 pounds, which is heavier than the previous mowers we’ve talked about. It also runs on a 120-volt battery which means you can mow your lawn without the fear of it dying on you. This battery fully recharges in 30 minutes.
This model has a 3 in 1 feature which includes the mulching, a vortex tunnel to help make dispensing clippings easier, and the side-discharge capability. This particular model also has a torque sense technology where it senses if it needs more power (if cutting thicker grass). It’s also a self-propeller which is always nice.
- Torque sense technology
- Self-propelled mower
- 3 in 1
- Comes with batteries
BLACKDECKER Lawn Mower
The Black and Decker Corded Lawn Mower is one of the best-corded mowers on the market. While it’s corded, it means you can get your lawn mowed without the fear of it dying. It has a 20” mower deck, and a 13-amp motor. It also has a 6 setting so you can adjust the height if needed. It is one of the most affordable electric mowers on the market.
Makita XML06PT1 (36V) LXT
The Makita 18” Self-Propeller is a best seller on Amazon for a reason. This model runs on 18V batteries, and there’s 2 extra batteries to give it even more power. This mower can mow up to 2 miles without it dying. It’s also weather resistant which is a plus if you are mowing wet grass or mowing in the rain.
Is an electric lawn mower worth it?
Besides being environmentally friendly, they are worth it if you don’t let your yard go out of control. While not as powerful as their gas counterparts, technology is getting better with the electric mowers. For example, Greenworks now have a 80-volt battery lawn mower, which can last 30-40 minutes before needing to charge. It’s worth it if you have small normally maintained lawns should you decide to get an electric mower.
Are electric mowers powerful enough?
There are newer models out there on the market that claim to have torque power, but simply put they will never be as powerful as the gas mowers. However, electric mowers have 1-3 “horsepower” which is strong enough to cut through a normal-sized lawn that has been maintained.
Are battery mowers any good?
If you hate lugging around the heavy gas mower and constantly getting gas for it, then yes this is where battery mowers may be beneficial for you. A battery mower is lightweight and environmentally friendly. This means you can maneuver the battery operated one much easier and quicker.
Electric mowers are all the rage now. So, if you’re in the market looking for one, make sure it’s suitable to your yard. If you live out in the country, it may not be suitable. But if you live with a small to medium yard, as you saw in this article, there are many options you can choose from.
Corey Majeau is a researcher, product tester, and writer for many sites including Homedit. With ten years of experience as a content writer, graphic designer, and hands-on product tester. Corey brings a certain level of quality and personality to the team.
Outdated lawn mowers: why we don’t recommend gas lawn mowers
A good lawn mower is essential. It keeps grass healthy, tidy and beautiful, making it a safe and and useful part of your yard for kids to play, the dog to run around, or simply for sitting out. However, we’re no longer recommending gas lawn mowers.
Today, when you’re searching for the best lawn mowers to suit your yard there are better choices you can make than opting for a gas-powered mower, and for a variety of reasons, too.
Here, we explain the arguments that have led us to no longer advise that you buy a gas lawn mower and reveal the benefits their electric counterparts can offer with advice from experts.
Why we don’t recommend gas lawn mowers
We’ve weighed up the evidence, and our conclusion is that gas lawn mowers are outdated, and that’s why we’re no longer recommending them. And we’re not alone in reaching this conclusion.
‘Gas-powered lawn mowers have fallen out of favor with with the domestic gardener for a variety of reasons,’ says Steve Bradley, an expert for Amateur Gardening. ‘They are noisy, smoky and usually heavier than other types of mower and need more maintenance. Many have a high proportion of metal parts which can be corroded by close contact with grass sap if not thoroughly cleaned after use. and more gardeners are considering the environmental impact of their actions and see electric power as a cleaner, eco-friendly method of gardening.’
This is what you need to know about your buying options.
Steve has written (or co-written) over 40 practical gardening books. He has been Gardening Correspondent for The Sun newspaper since 2002, answering hundreds of readers’ letters every year. He also has a weekly column in Amateur Gardening magazine.
Lawn mower power
You don’t need to use a gas lawn mower to get great results. ‘There’s no difference in cut,’ says product expert at Homes Gardens Alex David.
‘A good, top-line electric or cordless mower will perform as well – if not better – than a gas mower. Electric and cordless mowers put out the same power output while being much lighter because their motors are smaller. That improves the quality of cut, because they’re easier to handle and lets you be precise along the edges of your lawn. You don’t need an expensive gas mower for a perfectly level lawn when a cheap electric mower can do the same job.’
As Head of eCommerce, Alex makes sure our readers find the right information to help them make the best purchase. After graduating from Cambridge University, Alex got his start in reviewing at the iconic Good Housekeeping Institute, testing a wide range of household products and appliances. He then moved to BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine, assessing gardening tools, machinery, and wildlife products, including dozens of lawn mowers.
The environment is one reason for choosing a mower that doesn’t use gas – although this is a complex issue. ‘Electric and corded mowers are probably more eco-friendly than petrol mowers,’ says outdoor expert at Homes Gardens Alex David.
‘I’m a little skeptical of this one – electric mowers are powered from the grid, and most of that energy is produced by coal and gas anyway. That’s doubly true for cordless mowers, which are marketed as a green alternative but will likely be charged up with electricity produced in fossil-fuel power plants, as well as using lithium cells; lithium mining is also environmentally harmful.
‘I’m yet to anything truly convincing, but given that these batteries produce no greenhouse gases in use, unlike gas mowers, I’d carefully suggest that electric and cordless mowers are a little more environmentally friendly.’
Noise is another reason why we don’t favor gas lawn mowers. ‘Both types of electric mowers (corded and battery powered) are much quieter than gas-powered versions,’ says Steve Bradley.
‘Mechanical engines are loud, particularly if you need to keep revving the machine to cope with long grass, an uneven surface or an incline. With electric mowers, the machine provides a constant low-level hum, and the most noise actually comes from the sound of the blades cutting through longer grass. Even then, the noise is much less intrusive.’
HG’s Alex David agrees. ‘Electric and corded mowers are also much less antisocial than gas mowers,’ he says. ‘Gas mowers are much louder, because not only do they have blades whirring over grass, but they also have the revving sound of the engine. They give off noxious petrol fumes, too – it’s not something your neighbors want to breathe in while they enjoy their yards.’
The issue of electric mower running time might have you thinking that gas lawn mowers aren’t an out-of-date buying choice but – as in issues of lawn mower power – things have moved on, and batteries provide power for longer than they did in the past.
‘Most manufacturers will provide an estimated run time for a battery-powered machine,’ says Steve Bradley. ‘This can only be an estimate, as it will vary depending on the lawn’s condition: length of grass and how wet/dry it is when you mow (we found these average at approximately 50 minutes on a full charge). However, this can easily be extended by purchasing a second battery (or more) and/or a “fast charger”. A corded mower will have few limitations to the run time.’
Bear in mind, too, that most of us use mowers for relatively short periods at a time, and likely only once a week.
Issues of maintenance – both what’s required and the costs – also led us to change our recommendations on mowers.
‘Gas-powered mowers have many moving parts and, to work efficiently, they should have at least one routine overhaul a year (usually in winter), to keep them in good condition,’ says Steve Bradley. ‘This can be done at home, but is most commonly done by the supplier or dealership, which can make it costly.
‘Electric mowers need very little maintenance, other than being cleaned after use. The blades can be sharpened at home and, if they become damaged, are easily replaced. These machines contain a large proportion of plastic-type materials to reduce weight and these do not corrode when exposed to grass sap.
‘In the event that a battery fails (and they do), it can be replaced without affecting the actual lawnmower. Many actually come with their own warranty of around two to three years.’
Law and regulations
Changes to the law also influenced our decision to no longer recommend gas lawn mowers. California is phasing out gas-powered mowers and leaf blowers, for example, while other states are considering similar measures.
It’s also the case that in municipalities where yard noise is regulated, a powerful gas lawn mower can exceed the level that’s acceptable, where a quieter electric mower won’t make your activity out of line.
It’s worth bearing in mind that gas lawn mower choice is reducing. ‘Lots of companies are phasing them out of use,’ explains HG’s Alex David. ‘Honda has already stopped production on their gas mowers. I’ve not seen anything explicit on this, but my hunch is that gas mowers are expensive to manufacture and are necessarily more expensive for consumers.
‘Electric and cordless mowers can cost as little as 100 and therefore open up a whole new mowing market which isn’t served by gas mowers. This means that even if you buy a gas mower before they stop production, it will be hard to find replacement parts or to make claims on warranty.’
Are electric lawn mowers better than gas?
There are a variety of factors than mean electric lawn mowers are better than gas. ‘I stopped reviewing and using gas mowers a few years ago for several reasons,’ says product expert at Homes Gardens Alex David.
‘The first is that electric and cordless mowers are just faster and easier to use. There’s no extra hassle of going to a gas station or hardware store and buying gas and filling up the tank. You don’t need somewhere safe to store your gas, and there’s no risk of spills. You also don’t have a temperamental rope pull start. With electric and cordless mowers, you switch them on. That’s it.’
When will California ban gas mowers?
The state of California will ban small off-road engines on January 1 2024. This includes gas mowers and and gas-powered leaf blowers. There is a 30m rebate budget, but it doesn’t apply to domestic use in every air district; you can check if the rebate applies to you at the California Air Resources Board.
Can cordless mowers cut tall grass?
Yes, they can. Early cordless models would struggle, but more recent, efficient mowers can easily cut tall grass.
Electric mowers are worth choosing because they’ve reached a level that makes them the top option. ‘While the pitfalls of gas-powered machinery are not new, it is only recently that users have been offered a viable alternative,’ explains Steve Bradley, an expert for Amateur Gardening.
‘Until recently electric mowers were simply not a practical alternative – the cords were too short or the batteries too weak. However, new lithium ion battery technology means that modern mowers can offer higher torque, longer run times and, crucially, faster recharge times. Things have improved so much that several manufacturers offer high-voltage battery tools systems aimed entirely towards the professional user.’
Why You Shouldn’t Buy an Electric Riding Lawn Mower
Riding lawn mowers are great for making quick work of lawn care. But they’re loud, jerky, and chug through oil and gas. An electric riding lawn mower promises to solve all of that. But after two years of owning one, I’m here to say don’t make the mistake of buying one. At least not yet.
I’ve owned a variety of lawn mowers, both of the push and riding variety, and have tried both gas and electric options. I switched over to electric mowers years ago, first with my push mowers and then my rider. And while I absolutely loved my electric riding lawn mower in the beginning, now I’m sorry I bought it. The purchase feels like a mistake, and it’s all down to using old technology.
The Benefits of an Electric Mower
Although it’s easy to think an electric mower sounds like a dumb idea, that’s not true. Range really isn’t as much of an issue as you might assume. While corded electric mowers were once a thing, battery tech has come a long way. If you have an electric push mower, chances are a single battery can get through the average 1/4th acre yard found in the U.S., and if not, you can swap it out with another battery on the fly.
It helps that companies selling electric push mowers also typically sell other yard tools, like weed whips, that use the same batteries. It’s a lot like power tools at this point—stick with a brand, buy more batteries, and you’ll have plenty of juice for the job. And you get other benefits along the way.
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For one, whether we’re talking push or riding, electric mowers are much quieter thanks to skipping the traditional engine. Depending on your machine, the loudest part will be the blades themselves; you may not even need hearing protection as you do with conventional mowers. In the case of my riding lawn mower, I once helped out a neighbor who ran out of gas partway through a mowing job. When I started mowing, she grabbed my attention as though something was wrong. It turned out she thought I hadn’t started the blades on the machine because it was so quiet.
An electric mower is easier to use, too. No seriously. Think about all the times you’ve pulled the chain of a gas mower only to have to pull it again and then a third time. If you’re lucky, that’s all it took. Even with a riding lawn mower, you’ve probably dealt with getting everything set just right, so it starts when you turn the key. Electric mowers are nothing that. You push a button, and it just goes. Every single time, assuming you remembered to charge the battery.
On top of all that, while an electric mower is typically more expensive to purchase than a gas mower, it’s also less costly to use. Electricity is cheaper than gas, especially right now, and you won’t have to deal with oil. Depending on where you live, it’ll cost you pennies to mow your lawn with an electric mower.
When I first purchased my electric riding lawn mower, I loved it for all these reasons. It starts quickly, it’s quiet, it doesn’t cost much to run, and it felt like I finished mowing the lawn faster than with my old gas-riding lawn mower.
But two years later, I’m not so in love with it anymore.
The Problem With Most Electric Riding Lawn Mowers
The first year and a half I owned my riding lawn mower, I loved the thing. But starting this summer, I changed my mind. In fact, I can’t in good conscience advise anyone to buy an electric riding mower right now. You should not buy one at all. You’re better off with a gas mower, at least for the next few years.
Why did I change my mind so much? The batteries. When you buy an electric push mower, you get a nice set of easy-to-change long-lasting lithium-ion batteries. But that’s not the case with an electric riding mower. Instead, most currently use a Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) battery. You’re probably already familiar with SLA batteries—there’s one in your car. Yes, it’s the same kind of battery your car uses. And chances are, if you have a gas riding mower, it also uses one as well!
But there’s a big difference between how your gas riding mower, your car, and an electric riding mower use that battery. In very basic terms with the former two, the battery starts the engine before the gas components take over to keep things going. After that, the battery powers other electrical functions, like those useless headlights on your mower.
Electric riding mowers are entirely reliant on SLA batteries. In the case of my machine, it houses four SLA batteries under the seat, and they all work together to provide 48 volts or about an “hour of run time.” My mower promises to get through an acre before needing a recharge, but I can tell you from my experience that’s inaccurate. It’s probably something closer to 3/4ths of an acre.
So what’s bad about that? Well, SLA batteries are, frankly, terrible. They don’t last long at all and are easy to damage. They work well enough in a car (though some people might disagree) because most people drive their vehicles daily. But you probably don’t mow your lawn every day, and you definitely don’t during the winter.
And therein lies the problem. Buy any electric mower with an SLA battery, and you’ll find heavy warnings:
Always connect the mower to the charger when the unit is not in use. If it is not possible to leave the mower charger connected, make sure to charge the batteries fully at least once a month.
Unlike other battery tech, SLA batteries need to remain charged, and letting them drop below 50% can damage them. They don’t do well with cold either. Ignore those warnings, and you can kill batteries. Or the batteries may not hold a charge anymore. We tried our best to keep to those rules, but our batteries aren’t working correctly two years later.
I think range issues ended up killing the batteries. Our mower is rated for a full acre before needing a recharge, but it’s realistically closer to 3/4ths an acre. We have a half acre of land, so just mowing the lawn regularly drained the battery below 50%. Again, going below 50% can deplete an SLA battery’s recharge life.
From the information I’m now getting from the battery indicator display, I can tell two of the four batteries are dead. That tracks, as when I get the mower to start (it now takes several tries), I only get half the range I had when I first bought the mower. Two years in, and my electric mower needs two new SLA batteries—that’ll cost around 480 to swap out. And doing so requires a tricky procedure that entails taking apart the mower, dragging a heavy tray back, avoiding toppling the mower over in the process, then avoiding shorting out the system since the four batteries are tied together. It’s not pretty.
I spent over 2,000 on a mower that’s now half as useful as it once was, and I’ll spend hundreds more getting it back into shape. Only to have to repeat the process two years from now. That same mower now costs even more than when I first purchased it. A gas mower would be better. You might be wondering if better electric riding mowers are on the way, and the answer is yes. But it’s not all good news.
The Future of Electric Riding Lawn Mowers
Obviously, the biggest complaint and downfall of most current electric riding lawnmowers is the reliance on SLA batteries. And if that’s the case, the solution is, in theory, pretty easy—switch to Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries. You probably own devices that already use Li-ion batteries. Do you have a smartphone, cordless drill, true wireless earbuds, or an electric vehicle? All of those use Li-ion batteries.
It’s not surprising that so many gadgets made that choice either because Li-ion solves many of the problems plaguing SLA batteries. It doesn’t damage them to drain the battery to zero (at least not as much), you can keep them charged all the time (modern tech prevents “overcharging”), it doesn’t suffer from “memory issues,” and as much it’s generally longer lasting. With a Li-ion battery-powered electric mower, you won’t have to worry about maintaining charge as much or plugging in over the winter.
So what’s the catch? Price. Electric riding mowers are already expensive. You’ll pay over 2,000 for a model that promises to mow just one acre on a charge, more if you need something that can handle a bigger yard. Compared to other similar riding mowers, that’s a 20% premium. But if you want to buy a Li-ion electric riding mower, the price goes way up.
Ryobi only recently started selling its first Li-ion options, and the starting price is a wallet-busting 6,000. That giant price gets you a mower that only promises to mow around an acre of land on a single charge. And remember, companies tend to overpromise and underdeliver on charge claims. When it comes time to recharge, you’ll need to wait an hour and a half to get back to a full charge. You can buy a model with more range, but each step up adds another 1,000 to the price.
Other mowers either go for a similar price or come from lesser-known manufacturers. The most affordable entry I can find is a Craftsman, tipping the scales at 3,000. But scroll through the reviews, and any Комментарии и мнения владельцев not tagged as a promotion are pretty negative.
For that kind of money, you can buy professional-grade gear that’ll cut your lawn in a fraction of the time.
The bottom line is until come down and enough time has passed to prove reliability; you probably shouldn’t drop a ton of cash on a Li-ion electric riding mower. Push mowers, on the other hand, are a solid bet. Those work well and won’t break the bank. For now, electric riding mowers just aren’t worth the money, despite their benefits. They’ll either cost way too much up front, or cost too much down the road as you replace batteries again and again.
Josh Hendrickson Josh Hendrickson is the Editor in Chief of Review Geek and is responsible for the site’s content direction. He has worked in IT for nearly a decade, including four years spent repairing and servicing computers for Microsoft. He’s also a Smart home enthusiast who built his own Smart mirror with just a frame, some electronics, a Raspberry Pi, and open-source code. Read Full Bio »