Electric lawn mowers continue to gain popularity as reliable lawn mowers that can help you maintain a well-kept lawn. The pros and cons of electric lawn mowers reveal unique benefits and drawbacks over traditional mowers.
But are electric lawn mowers worth it?
Electric lawn mowers are a worthwhile investment thanks to lower maintenance costs, ease of use, quiet operation, and reduced carbon emissions. However, they come with some limitations you need to be aware of.
Every situation is different, and it’s essential to determine whether electric lawn mowers offer you a true advantage over traditional mowers when making your purchasing decision.
Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of electric lawn mowers to help you determine whether an electric lawn mower is a right choice.
- In Short – Should I Get an Electric Mower?
- What are the Pros of Electric Lawn Mowers?
- What are the Cons of Electric Lawn Mowers?
- Should I Get an Electric Lawn Mower?
- Are electric lawnmowers better than gas?
- How long do electric lawn mowers last?
- Are electric mowers powerful enough?
- Can electric lawnmowers cut long grass?
- Is it safe to cut wet grass with an electric mower?
- Can I hose off my electric lawn mower?
- How big of a yard can an electric mower handle?
- Do electric mowers need oil?
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In Short – Should I Get an Electric Mower?
Here’s why you should get an electric lawn mower:
- It offers a quiet mowing experience.
- It’s easy to use, maneuver and store.
- You don’t need mechanical knowledge to maintain it.
- It will help you reduce your carbon footprint.
- It’s an affordable mower with low operating costs.
What are the Pros of Electric Lawn Mowers?
Less maintenance is involved with electric lawn mowers compared to gas lawn mowers. If the idea of changing oil, replacing fuel filters, and cleaning a carburetor intimidates you, an electric mower is an ideal choice.
Although electric mowers need a degree of regular upkeep, it’s much easier than gas-powered alternatives. They have fewer moving parts like spark plugs and filters and don’t have fuel that can leak or gum up the system.
That’s not all.
You don’t need to replace parts annually with electric mowers, translating to savings that make them more economical.
One of the main reasons you should choose an electric mower is its ease of use. You simply plug it in or insert a charged battery and press a button to start mowing.
Why is this important?
Most non-electric lawn mowers use a manual crank cord that can be difficult for operators to use. It’s also prone to issues caused by simple things like forgetting to depress the brake lever when pulling the starter rope.
With electric lawn mowers, there’s no pull start needed, making it easy and convenient to use even if you have mobility issues. They’re also lighter than gas-powered alternatives, making them easier to maneuver around tight corners or move through your yard.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), gas-powered lawn mowers are a source of high levels of localized emissions, including carbon dioxide, criteria pollutants, and hazardous air pollutants that damage the environment.
That’s not all.
Using such equipment exposes you and members of the public, including children, to emissions with adverse health effects like respiratory and cardiovascular disease, cancer, and premature death.
An electric lawn mower is cleaner, greener, and better for the environment overall. No harmful fumes or toxins are released since it only uses electricity, making it an eco-friendlier option for maintaining your lawn.
You also need to consider the lawn mower’s noise level, especially if you live in a neighborhood with noise zoning rules. Gas-powered lawn mowers are the noisiest type and can be loud enough to cause noise pollution and disturb your neighbors.
This is especially true in urban areas where noise bounces off walls and structures. Although electric lawn mowers are not purely silent, they’re significantly quieter.
So how loud is an electric lawn mower?
An electric lawn mower is about as loud as the average washing machine and emits approximately 75 decibels. Gas-powered lawn mowers have average noise levels of around 80 to 85 decibels. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it can damage hearing after two hours of exposure.
Affordability is a significant factor when choosing a mower for your lawn. The prices of electric lawn mowers are now lower than ever. For example, you can get a 10 Amp electric hover walk-behind push mower for as little as $95.
By contrast, most of the cheapest gas-powered lawn mowers can set you back $200 or more, and you still have to buy and store fuel. The operating costs of gas mowers are also much higher in terms of parts, repairs, and labor.
If you’d rather not deal with rising fuel costs and expensive upfront and maintenance costs, an electric lawn mower is your best bet.
What are the Cons of Electric Lawn Mowers?
Limited Cord Length
Corded electric lawn mowers can be significantly cheap, but they come with a trade-off of convenience. The mower will be tethered to an extension cord the entire time you’re mowing, which can be a significant drawback depending on the size of your yard.
The length of the cable will limit your range, and you must ensure you don’t accidentally mow over the cable. Add shrubbery and trees into the mix, and it can be too much of a hassle to fight off a tangled mess.
While a battery-powered lawn mower can be a solution to prevent cord length issues, it comes with limited mow time.
Electric models that run on charged batteries offer runtimes of 20 to 45 minutes, which can present a problem if it takes longer to mow your lawn.
You’ll need to wait for the mower to recharge to continue with the job. You may need to buy an extra standalone battery and have it on hand to extend mowing time.
Batteries also degrade over time, and although it may take a few years, they’ll eventually fail to charge and run as long as they initially did.
May Not Tackle More Challenging Terrain
Electric lawn mowers generate less torque and power compared to gas mowers. They can struggle when handling longer grass and stricter terrain, especially if you live on a large property with tough grass, stones, and bumps.
Gas mowers have the highest power output and can eat through the grass without any issues in challenging terrains like dips and hills. Rugged terrain may put too much strain on an electric lawn mower and can even burn out after a few months.
Battery-powered options are also more suited for manicured lawns and can present a problem using them on rougher ground.
Should I Get an Electric Lawn Mower?
A corded or battery-powered electric lawn mower can be a worthwhile investment if:
- You have a relatively small, easy-to-manage yard.
- You prefer a quieter mowing experience.
- You don’t want the hassle of engine maintenance.
- You’re looking for an environmentally-friendly option with no carbon emissions.
In addition to the above pros and cons of electric lawn mowers, other factors to keep in mind when buying an electric mower include:
The Size and Condition of Your Yard
Whether plug-in or battery-powered, an electric lawn mower is best suited for small yards. They’re not intended or designed for large areas, and according to consumer reports, most electric mowers can manage up to a 1/3 of an acre at best without needing recharging.
Consider the condition of the grass, whether there are trees, flower beds, or things you can’t move quickly.
The quality will determine how well the long the lawn mower works and how long it lasts. Consider the material used for the housing, handles, and wheels.
Reviews can give you insight into the experience of other users to help you evaluate the quality of the mower.
Different lawn mowers have varying sizes, maneuverability, and capabilities. The size of your yard and the condition of your grass can help you determine the most suitable features for your mower.
An electric mower with multiple interchangeable functions can provide you with different characteristics in one.
Battery Life and Charging Time
Battery life and how quickly it charges are critical factors when choosing a battery-powered electric mower.
The battery life will determine how quickly you can complete the job, while fast charging batteries can help you save on considerable waiting time.
The best electric land mower should be easy to pack away when done. Consider how much storage space you have and whether you can store the mower vertically on the wall in case of limited floor space.
Most electric mowers are lightweight, with front guards you can use as carrying handles or storage hooks.
Do you prefer mulching, bagging, or side discharge when disposing of clippings?
You can choose a mower that vacuums the cut grass into a bag, one that cuts it into tiny clippings that decompose and feed the lawn, or one with a discharge attachment or port that allows cuttings to blow out into your yard.
Your budget will determine the lawnmower you can afford, and prices will vary depending on quality and size.
Remember, the highest prices don’t always indicate the best quality, and you can still find excellent functionality and efficiency with low-cost options within your budget.
Are electric lawnmowers better than gas?
It will depend on your yard size and condition, and goals. If you have a small, easy-to-manage, or manicured lawn and want something environmentally friendly, electric lawnmowers are a better choice.
Gas mowers are more suitable for more extensive yards with tall grass and rugged terrain.
Here is a full comparison between gas-powered and electric lawn mowers.
How long do electric lawn mowers last?
The average electric lawn mower can last eight to ten years with proper care and maintenance. The life expectancy of an electric lawn mower is influenced by how long and how often you use it.
If it’s battery-powered, you may likely need to replace the battery after around five years because the battery’s charge capacity decreases over time.
Are electric mowers powerful enough?
Electric mowers are powerful enough for smaller yards where you mow in small swarths and turn often. With a corded electric mower, you get continuous power as long as you’re plugged in.
With battery-powered electric mowers, the power decreases as the battery drains, and you must have a full charge to cut thick grass.
Can electric lawnmowers cut long grass?
Electric lawn mowers will struggle with long grass, especially if it’s tough. It can put too much strain on the electric motor during operation.
The blade of the electric lawn mower doesn’t have the level of torque found in gas-powered mowers, meaning it can’t effectively handle tall, thick grass.
Is it safe to cut wet grass with an electric mower?
No. There are various reasons to avoid mowing grass when it is wet, including:
- You risk your safety because you can slip and hurt yourself on the mower’s blades.
- You risk electric shock if the connections are exposed to moisture.
- You’ll end up with a raggedy mess instead of a clean cut because wet grass clamps together.
- You can stain your clothes, driveway, and house with chlorophyll.
- There’s a greater chance of damaging your mower.
Can I hose off my electric lawn mower?
Yes. But there are a few rules you should follow. Ensure the mower is turned off at the power outlet and never spray water onto the engine or use a pressure washer, as it can be too powerful.
Ensure you keep the water away from the electrical components, cables, transmissions, and belts which can rust or break. Leave the mower outside in the sun to dry after hosing it down.
How big of a yard can an electric mower handle?
According to consumer reports, a battery-powered electric mower can cut one-third to half an acre on a single charge. Most battery mowers get 30 to 45 minutes on a single charge, and the area you can mow will depend on factors like grass density and height.
Do electric mowers need oil?
Electric mowers don’t need oil to function. Electricity powers the motors that move the blades.
However, a little oiling or routine lubrication can help maintain the gears. Most units come pre-lubed with enough lubrication for life, and you can find such information in the owner’s manual.
An electric lawn mower is an excellent choice if you have a small yard and want to reduce your carbon footprint. It’s user-friendly, low maintenance, quiet, eco-friendly, and offers low operating costs.
Do you have any experience with an electric lawn mower, and do you think it’s worth it? Share your tips and advice in the comment section below.