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Electric Lawn Mower vs. Gas Lawn Mower - Comparison

It is nearly the second nature for all lawnmowers to utilize the latest models. You can become a brand loyal…

By
15/06/2020 5:48 PM

It is nearly the second nature for all lawnmowers to utilize the latest models. You can become a brand loyal without considering the benefits offered by the other options.

For instance, sometimes back, many people expressed their interest in the gas mower. However, there were electric mowers that people thought were useless and somehow gimmick. That doesn’t apply now! Technology has transformed everything in the last 10 years and so corded and battery electric mowers are viable options.
Basically, the electric and the gas mowers literally serve the same purpose- cut grass. With the nature of their work, both are fitted with sharp blades that rotate to cut grass. But which of them is better than the other? Well, before discussing that, let’s first try to get a better understanding of the terminologies "electric" and "gas" mowers. The two machines are; however, named based on their source of power.

Electric Lawnmower

From the term electric, an electrical lawn mower uses electricity to operate. The mower could be used while connected directly to electricity (corded mower) or it could be powered by a battery. Both have different features that form the basis for their pros and cons as below.

Corded Electric Lawnmowers

Pros

  • Lightweight

If you are not comfortable pushing heavy mowers, then the corded option might be the right option. They are light and easy to maneuver.

  • Low maintenance

Corded electric lawn mowers are easy to maintain than their gas counterparts. You only require keeping their blades sharp and keeping the machine clean, and that’s all.

  • Endless run time

As long as where you want to cut the grass electricity source is available, then the corded machine will work perfectly. No need for battery or fuel to keep it running.

Cons

  • A cord is required

The most disgusting thing about corded mowers is that they should be plugged into an electricity source for it to run all the time. This can be painful and somehow difficult, especially when mowing garden beds, trees, and other obstacles while dragging a cord behind you.

Using a corded mower can as well be dangerous to the user. If you mistakenly cut the cables, then you’ll probably live the live wires exposed.

  • Not ideal for wet conditions

You can all attest that electricity and water don’t mix. Although they might take some moisture, they aren’t tailored to be used in wet conditions. Utilizing them in wet areas can make it fail to perform and somehow can be dangerous.

Battery-Powered Electric Mowers

Pros

  • Low maintenance

Battery-powered options have a rechargeable battery that can perform well without the need to change spark plug and oil. However, you will have to maintain the blades sharp and the machine in clean condition. Basically, the overall maintenance required is less compared to the gas option.

  • Does not require gasoline

Basically, it is painful to go to mow your lawn only to realize that no gas is left. While you have the option of charging your battery, you don’t need to visit a gas station to have it filled. You simply plug its charger into a power outlet to charge the battery.
In addition, gas is smelly; therefore, if you are allergic to such smell, you’ll need a special storage item, of which it is dangerous. Battery options are normally safer and easier to clean.

  • Easy to push

Battery-powered electric mowers are lighter compared to their gas counterparts, although not lighter than the corded option. This feature makes it easy to push and maneuver around the garden ornaments and garden beds. If you consider buying a mower that is not hard to push, then the powered option is probably a great choice.

Cons

  • Battery replacement

Probably, the battery requires replacement since they are rechargeable. They are designed to be recharged for a number of times before they are replaced. Usually, how often you replace them depends on how good care you look after them and the brand you select. Normally, the battery lasts up to 2-3 years of use.
Basically, cordless batteries are absolutely expensive to replace, just research well before investing in this particular brand.

  • Less run time

The time of mowing between batteries powered and gas models are unmatched. Basically, the performance in the powered model reduces as the charge on the battery reduces. This is not the case with the gas model. The performance of the gas model doesn’t change unless when it depletes. A battery mower will work for 30-60 minutes.

  • Long charging time

Charging your mower at the comfort of your home can be interesting. Unfortunately, it can be time-consuming to charge the batteries. Normally, some batteries take overnight charging before being used again. Although there are great models in the market that charges super-fast, you’ll need to spend more to enjoy this convenience.

  • Not ideal for wet conditions

Battery-powered options use electricity to work. Usually, water and electricity should never mix. While they can’t harm the user, battery-powered options are not appropriate for use in wet areas. If water gets into the machine, electronic components can spoil, damaging your mower.

  • Batteries are not standardized

Most likely, the biggest concern when using battery-powered models is that every brand has its own battery. This means that they are not shared, an effort made by manufacturers to lock buyers in their brands for the longest time possible. This causes the price of these batteries to increase while more batteries being disposed of–an ideal that is not safe for the environment.

Gas Lawnmower

A gas lawn mower has an oil reservoir and uses gasoline to run. Fill the mower with the right gasoline when it gets empty to ensure that it keeps operating as desired.

Pros

  • Lots of power

One of the greatest things about gas lawn mowers is that they possess a lot of power. Even the cheaper brands are more powerful than their battery electric-powered counterparts.

  • Long run time

Depending on the gas tank included in your mower, they may last for several hours without adding fuel. This is beneficial, especially for people owning large lawns as the most disgusting thing you’d want in a mower is to stop and wait for it to recharge after every 45 minutes.

  • More durable

Undoubtedly, gas lawn mowers are usually more durable compared to electric counterparts. They are normally made from steel that is strong enough to last for years. This is particularly beneficial if the lawn you want to mow has several sticks or obstacles.

  • Ideal in wet conditions

While people presumably think mowing in wet areas generally leads to imperfect results, gas mowers help to disregard that mentality. Basically, gas mowers help to mow despite the weather condition.

  • Standardized fuel

The great thing about gas models is that fuel is readily available almost everywhere, and it is actually the same everywhere.

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Cons

  • High maintenance

Compared to electric mowers, gas mowers require more maintenance. You’ll have to regularly maintain and check on items like;

    • Oil level
    • Fuel filter
    • Cutting blades
    • Fuel level
    • Air filter
    • Spark plug
    • General cleanliness of the machine
  • More dangerous

More power requires a lot of care for safety reasons. Since they are more powerful, it implies that blades are dangerous and can cut your bone or flesh easily. They can as well fling sticks and stones out at a high speed. Apart from danger caused by power, the gas model also utilizes flammable liquids as fuel. Therefore, you need to use it with a lot of care.

  • Weight

Gas mowers are basically heavy since they are made of heavier materials. Their heavier weight makes it challenging to push around the garden.

  • Sometimes it is difficult to start

They utilize a pull cord to get started; therefore, you need some strength to use them. Besides, as they get older, the motor suffers from wear and tear, resulting in low efficiency. This means that you’ll need to pull it many times compared to a new one.

Just keep in mind that there are new models with an electric start. It can be your preferred option if you don’t have enough energy to pull.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Electric vs. Gas Mower

Deciding on the choice of lawnmower shouldn’t be a daunting task as long as you know the features for each. Well, given that each mower has its positives and downsides, either of them could be the best choice depending on what you really want to achieve from the mower. On this note, look no further than the below criteria that should aid your choice of the mower;

Accessibility to The Power Source

For a better view of this point, begin by asking yourself what could be the most suitable or rather available and easily accessible power source.

For a gas mower, you’ll require not just any gasoline, but the right type will go a long way. Is that gasoline within your reach? How fast could you reach it in case you run out of gas while using your mower?

If it’s about an electric mower, consider whether you have an electricity supply in the area you want to mow. This is important as the electric mower could be used when connected directly to electricity, or maybe you could easily charge the mower’s battery when it gets low.

Size of Lawn to be Mowed

Just how small/big is your lawn? On a full battery, a battery-powered electric mower can run for approximately one hour before the charge starts winding up. However, some, not all, electric mowers allow you to switch batteries thus increasing the run time.

Worse though, as the charge continues to drain, the mower reduces its ability to cut thicker grass respectfully. If mowing a small lawn, that time would be enough and vice versa.

A corded mower can operate for the longest time possible as long as the electricity supply is not cut. On a similar note, a gas mower would only need you to keep adding the right gasoline to mow a significantly large lawn.

Does Noise Bother You?

Unless you are a contrarian, you’ll agree with me that noise is no fun. Regardless of the presence of effective engines, gas mowers will always produce a loud noise. While you can protect yourself using earmuffs, you might not do much to prevent the noise from being felt in your neighborhood.

An electric mower is much quieter. The mower runs at 75 decibels, thus you’d not require earplugs when working with it. You can listen to your favorite music without interference by noise.

Noise aside; electric mowers are more environment friendly, producing zero emissions of greenhouses gases. When gasoline burns during operation with gas mowers, it puts the mower and the surrounding environment in great danger of emissions. However, battery-powered electric mowers have an indirect effect on the environment, given the making of the lithium batteries.

Usability

When dealing with mowers, we base usability on 3 specific aspects: weight, maneuverability, and ease of operation. So, what type of mower would match with your yard requirements?

Would you rather push a heavy mower or a light mower? Needless to say, you need to be strong enough to push a gas lawnmower. Gas lawn mowers are in most cases 10 to 30 pounds heavier than electric mowers. The materials used in making electric mowers are lightweight, making the whole thing light.

Compare the easier option between pulling a cord to start a gas mower and flipping a switch to start an electric mower. Also, consider how easy it will be for you to cut your grass; is your grass thick or thin? It’s much easier to cut thicker grass using gas mower because the heavy weight of the machine exerts equal pressure on grass and makes the machine very stable to work with. Using an electric mower on thick grass would be hard and would require you to use much of your energy during the operation.

As for maneuverability, consider whether a corded electric mower’s cord will get in your way when mowing. It's difficult to maneuver along shrubs and trees using a corded mower. Also, you must be very keen on a corded mower because you have to know where the cord is every time so that you don’t run over it by accident.

Ease of Maintenance

If you’re the type that doesn’t get along with maintenance activities, an electric mower could be a great choice. An electric mower’s engine is easy to maintain. Unlike its opponent the gas mower, this engine doesn’t need you to keep changing the oil or to keep replacing the spark plug. Importantly, you’ll also not need to think of maintaining the carburetor.

Budget - How Much Are You Willing to Spend?

Gas mowers are way too expensive for two reasons: initial purchasing cost and maintenance cost. On the other hand, electric mowers are much cheaper, especially the corded version. The battery-powered version is more expensive than the corded one for the obvious reason- the battery is expensive. When choosing between electric and gas mowers, consider how much you’ll be willing to spend in the short term during purchase and in the long term during maintenance.

Final Word

This comprehensive guide of electric vs. gas lawn mowers will help you make an informed decision if you are looking forward to investing in a lawnmower. The best option will actually depend on your needs and taste. Just compare their features, pros, and cons and make a wise decision.

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Steve Tarcos

I`m Steve, an Engineer who is highly involved and interested in the world of renewable energy. In my spare time, I play with my kids and watch documentaries.