A theme image showing a lawn mower on green grass.

Electric Mowers – What to Know before you Buy

Considering making the switch to electric power? You’re not alone. More lawn owners and businesses are switching to electric mowers than ever before. Not only are electric mowers less painful to the ears than gas-powered equipment, but they also cut down significantly on air pollution. According to the National Gardening Association, electric mowers have a 99 percent lower emission rate of carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, and methane compared to gas-powered mowers.

The main reason behind electric mower demand by consumers is their pace of technological advancement and minimal maintenance schedule. Just a few years ago, the only electric mower options consisted of clunky extension-cord powered machines. While these types of electric mowers have slimmed down into sleeker forms, battery powered mowers have advanced to be every bit as powerful as their gas-powered counterparts. Maintenance, on the other hand, is a lot easier. As opposed to tune-ups, oil changes, spark plug replacements, etc., all that typically needs to be done in the way of maintenance is occasional battery replacements (or cord replacements) and blade changes.

Before we dive into a deeper cost-benefit analysis, let’s brush up on our knowledge of electric mowers.

Different Varieties of Electric Mowers

As mentioned earlier, electric lawnmowers are available in a variety of varieties. These including riding electric lawn mowers and zero turn electric riding lawn mowers, self propelled cordless mowers, push cordless mowers, plug-in electric lawnmowers, etc. Some have the capacity to mulch, have a side or rear discharge, or both. There are even robot lawnmowers out there that can complete their tasks without human intervention.

Mowers Powered by Electric Cords

Realistically, extension cords can only go so far. As such, plug-in mowers are typically best suited for lawns that are smaller than 8,000 square feet. Because these mowers are hooked to an outlet, there is no risk that they will run out of power and require you to wait to recharge before you can complete mowing the lawn.

This style of lawnmower makes the most sense for those on a budget and with electrical outlets in both the front and the rear of their house. For safety reasons, you should still try to remain within a hundred or so yards of the actual power supply and NEVER use a fraying or otherwise damaged cord. Cords are dirt cheap. Medical bills are not.

In summary, these types of mowers are lighter and simpler to push than a gas-powered mowers. Additionally, they are less expensive than cordless ones and provide consistent power that does not decrease while you are mowing your lawn.

Mowers that are Electric and Cordless

Cordless electric mowers are suitable for mowing lawns of any size! Their controls are typically designed to mimic similar-styled gas mowers. Additionally, there is no danger about running over an extension cord because they are not connected to a power supply.

Battery-powered lawnmowers come in a variety of designs, including walk-behind, self-propelled, and robotic types. In addition to the conventional and the zero-turn varieties, electric lawn tractors are also available. The run periods of electric riding mowers are significantly longer than those of electric walk-behind mowers, often averaging between one and a half and two hours before needing another charge or battery change. Some even extend this run time by adding solar panels onto the mower!

Although it’s wonderful to be able to move further away from an outlet, cordless mowers are often more expensive and heavier than their corded counterparts. Some homeowners keep a second battery on hand so they don’t have to wait around for the first one to recharge or finish mowing their lawn with a dying battery, translating to sluggish mower performance.

Now, time to speak about the elephant in the room – the battery. Battery performance will inevitable decay over time, meaning that you can expect a battery to last a few years before its age really starts to show. At this point, it is best to recycle the old battery and buy a new one! We highly recommend sticking to Li-ON batteries and avoiding more dangerous LIPO kinds.

Reliable Brands of Electric Lawnmowers

Some outstanding brands are :

We highly recommend Ryobi mowers for those with small to medium yards, as we have had Ryobi batteries last for years without slowing down. Additionally, Ryobi batteries are interchangeable with other Ryobi products!

Toro is our recommendation for those with larger yards needing a ride-on mower. At the time of this article, Ryobi is just entering the ride-on market and has received mixed reviews with its first products in this category.

Electric Lawnmowers: Cost-Benefit Analysis

Now that we covered the basics, it’s time for the promised cost-benefit analysis. The following is a list of the top four reasons why you should consider purchasing an electric mower:

  • Hearing: Gas mowers typically operate at or right below hearing-damaging levels. Electric mowers are much quieter.
  • Weight: Electric mowers are lighter than gas-powered mowers. They are easier to push, operate, and store than their gas-powered counterparts.
  • Starting: There is no longer any need to struggle with a pull string or try to get a mower to turn over in cold weather. Simply turn the key, and you can cut the grass.
  • Maintenance: There is no need to add gas, change the oil, oil filter, or spark plug. All that is required is changing batteries or electric cords on occasion, in addition to blades.

Things to Consider Before Purchasing an Electric Lawn Mower

When deciding whether or not to make a purchase, make sure to keep the following in mind:

Battery Type: There are two types of batteries: sealed lead-acid, which is long-lasting and inexpensive, and lithium-ion, which is more lightweight, costs less, lasts longer, and does not lose power as the charge depletes. Both types of batteries may be purchased. A third type of battery, LIPO, may be used on occasion. These batteries are notoriously dangerous, so pass on any product using one.

Battery Runtime: The runtime of a battery is affected by a number of factors in addition to the size of the battery itself. These considerations include the size of the cutting deck, the thickness and/or wetness of the grass, the topography, and any attachments that are being utilized. Additionally, weather may impact battery life. Since batteries perform worse in the cold, factor this into your buying decision.

Impact on the Environment: It is anticipated that the use of electric lawn mowers will increase in popularity, in part as a result of stricter new emissions restrictions and a growing awareness among consumers of climate change. When coupled with EV adaption, the electric mower market is expanded to skyrocket.

How to Pick the Ideal Electric Lawn Mower for your Needs

Take into consideration the following information as you search for the ideal electric mower to meet your needs:

Battery vs cord? An electric mower absolutely requires access to a nearby power outlet for battery charging, but in certain cases, you may opt to skip on the battery and use an extension cord. Verify that the length of the cable is sufficient to reach all areas of your lawn by measuring its length. If your lawn extends right up to walls, fences, or raised beds, you should seek a model that cuts all the way to the edge. If not, you will need to get a grass trimmer to tidy up these features after you mow your lawn.

What size mower do you need? Wider cutting widths result in faster mow times. There is, however, a trade-off involved: lawnmowers with a wider width have a larger deck, meaning that they are also heavier and more difficult to steer around obstacles. Therefore, larger cutting widths are great for cutting big swaths of grass, but smaller versions are ideal for nipping up and down short lawns and going around beds and borders.

Is there a risk? If you are concerned about inadvertently cutting an electric wire or stumbling over it while you are mowing the lawn, opt for a battery-powered mower or brightly-colored model and cord. If opting for a plug-in mower, we recommend using a cable relief clip. This type of clip will help keep the cord out of the way of the blade and will also prevent it from becoming snagged and torn out. Before plugging in your mower, you should always utilize a Residual Current Device (RCD) that is hooked into the electric socket. This is done for your protection.

Where are you going to keep it? Even the sleekest mowers are still rather cumbersome pieces of equipment that oftentimes go neglected during the winter months. As such, we recommend taking storage into consideration before purchasing your next mower.

Quality of the Brand

Trustworthy brands are known for producing great mowers. Unfortunately, there are a lot of low-quality electric mowers on the market nowadays since the market is growing. You should steer clear of anything sold by a strange brand and that offers few models.

Choose businesses that maintain a constant quality across their products and place an emphasis not just on showy colors but also on the finer details, even if it means paying more. Remember, a mower is a small investment into your home’s curbside appeal.

Metal where it Matters

The majority of electric mowers are made of plastic. This is done to reduce weight and cost. Still, a metal deck is the superior option whenever one is available. The surface that covers the blades and contains the engine is referred to as the deck. The presence of a metal deck offers protection from flying pebbles, branches, and other objects that may rip apart your mower if they get stuck beneath there. This is because a metal deck is more durable than a wooden deck.

Even while we strongly suggest using a metal deck, folks who have smaller mowers may not always have the option to do so. Be careful to clean up your yard completely before beginning to mow it, especially if you have a small yard and just have access to a compact electric mower with a plastic deck.

Interoperability of Batteries

A ten-dollar term is used here, but in reality, all you need to do is make sure you purchase a mower with a battery that is interchangeable with other electric products. This is especially true if you will invest in other tools in the future. Ryobi and Dewalt, in addition to several Greenworks tools, make sure that their batteries are interchangeable. This reduces the amount of clutter in your garage and saves you plug space.

Self-propelled or Push

There are a lot of individuals who enjoy using self-propelled lawn mowers, even if I don’t particularly care for them. For instance, individuals who are elderly, those who suffer from arthritis, and those who have yards that are sloped or steep might benefit from this.

To use a mower that propels itself, all you need to do is pay attention to a few details. Battery life may be reduced by the self-propulsion and the mower will most likely cost more.

Are Electric Lawnmowers Enough in Terms of Power?

Absolutely, and this is the case for the vast majority of homeowners.

The technology behind electric mowers is advancing at a breakneck pace, and some of the industry’s biggest names are releasing some insanely innovative new battery-powered zero-turn mowers. There will come a time in the near future where electric mowers are actually more powerful than gas mowers.

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