Maintaining a well-kept lawn is very important to me, and one of the most critical tools for this task is a lawn mower. With the plethora of options in the market, it can be quite challenging to select the right one for my specific needs. Therefore, in this article, I will compare and contrast electric vs gas lawn mower and provide helpful suggestions and reasons for my choice.
Types of Lawn Mowers
As someone who maintains a lawn, I know that there are three primary types of lawn mowers: gas-powered, electric corded, and battery-powered lawn mowers. I prefer a gas-powered lawn mower that runs on gasoline and oil. However, I understand that an electric corded mower has a cord that you plug into an electrical outlet to operate the mower, and a battery-powered mower runs on a rechargeable electric battery. I believe that each type of mower has its advantages and disadvantages, so the decision really comes down to your specific needs.
Gas-Powered Lawn Mowers
- Powerful — Gas-powered lawn mowers are typically more powerful than electric versions. This means they can handle tough terrain like hills and various types of grass including tall and wet grass. Even the smaller, cheaper models tend to have a decent amount of power.
- Increased Mobility — With a gas-powered motor, you’re not hindered by a cord, so you can mow large lawns without stopping and take the mower wherever you like.
- Good Run Times — Most gas-powered lawn mowers have fuel tanks that can hold at least a gallon of gas, which means you can mow for a few hours with a full tank. Some larger ride-on models have tanks that can hold up to two gallons of gas.
- Durable — Gas lawn mowers are typically made of strong, durable materials and designed to last for years. With proper maintenance, you should be able to get eight to 10 years of use out of a gas-powered lawn mower.
- High Maintenance — One major disadvantage of gas-powered mowers is that they require a great deal of maintenance to run properly. You will need to service your mower regularly and check on the oil, gas, filters, spark plugs, belts, and cutting blades.
- Noisy — Many gas mowers make a lot of noise, which can be a problem if you’re worried about disturbing neighbors or members of your household. You may also need to use ear plugs while operating a gas mower.
- Heavy — Gas-powered mowers can be heavier than electric models because they have robust parts and a fuel tank filled with gas. Some models might be difficult to operate for people who are not able to handle heavy machinery.
- Additional Costs — With a gas mower, you will have to buy fuel and oil to operate the mower. These costs can add up over time. In addition, you will have to take your mower in for servicing, which can also be pricey.
- Hazardous Materials — With a gas mower, you ‘ll need to find a safe place to store the gas and oil where there is no chance of them igniting or being accessed by small children.
Electric Corded Lawn Mowers
- Eco-Friendly — Corded electric lawn mowers are the most environmentally friendly because they do not require fuel. Therefore, they produce zero emissions, and there are no batteries to dispose of.
- Low Maintenance — One of the best things about electric lawn mowers is that they require very little maintenance. All you really have to do is clean the deck of clippings and debris and occasionally sharpen the blades.
- Unlimited Run Time — With an electric corded mower, you can run the mower for as long as you like without having to worry about refilling the gas or charging the battery. Basically, you just plug it in and go until the job is done.
- Lightweight — Electric corded mowers are the lightest types of lawn mowers, so they are easy to handle. This is a great option for anyone who has difficulties managing larger machines.
- Affordable — In general, corded lawn mowers are cheaper than the other types of mowers. The low maintenance also means that you won’t have to pay for fuel or new batteries.
- Limited Mobility — Because a corded mower needs to be plugged into an electrical outlet to run, you’re limited in where you can go by the length of your extension cord. You’ll also need to be careful not to run over the cord, so that might affect your mobility as well.
- Not Suited for Wet Conditions — Electricity and water don’t mix, so it’s never a good idea to use an electric mower when it is raining out or the lawn is wet.
- Less Power — Corded mowers typically have less power than gas or battery-powered mowers, so they may not be suitable for tough terrain or tall, thick grass.
Electric Battery-Powered Lawn Mowers
- Eco-friendly — Like corded mowers, battery-powered lawn mowers do not require fuel to run and they produce zero emissions. However, you will need to dispose of the batteries when they wear out.
- Low-Maintenance — Battery-powered mowers are incredibly easy to maintain because all you really need to do is clean the deck, occasionally sharpen the blades, and charge the batteries when they run out.
- Quiet — Many battery-powered mowers run very quietly. This is ideal for those who want to mow early in the morning or at night without disturbing others in the area.
- Lightweight — Battery-powered lawn mowers are also very lightweight compared to gas models, making them easier to maneuver and manage.
- Increased Mobility — Battery-powered mowers are cord-free, so you can take them wherever you like without having to worry about being close to a power source or running over a cord.
- Shorter Run Times — Your battery-powered mower will only run for as long as the battery holds out. While some batteries can last up to two hours or more, the average electric lawn mower battery typically lasts for about an hour.
- Long Charge Times — Some lawn mower batteries can take a long time to fully charge, which can be an issue if you have a large yard to mow and you run out of battery power because you may have to wait until the next day to finish the job.
- No Standardized Batteries — There is no one-size-fits-all battery for electric lawn mowers, so you will have to use batteries that are specific to your brand of mower. This can get tricky when you need to buy replacement batteries or you get a new electric mower.
What to Consider When Buying a Lawn Mower
When I’m looking for a lawn mower, one of the most important factors to consider is how much power I need. If I have a large lawn or an area that includes steep inclines, then a gas-powered lawn mower would be my best bet. Gas mowers can handle tough jobs and run for long periods of time, so I can tackle big projects all at once. However, if my lawn is on the smaller side and I don’t plan on taking on huge projects, then an electric model may be sufficient. There are also some larger battery-powered models that can handle big jobs, so those could be an option too.
Another thing I should consider is how much machine I can handle. Gas mowers are often heavy, so I will need the strength to move and maneuver them. Electric mowers are much lighter, so they’re a good option for anyone who wants an easy-to-push model. If I’m not keen on pushing a mower across my yard or I have a very large area to mow, I might want to consider a riding mower. And when it comes to maneuverability, zero-turn mowers are ideal because they can pivot on a dime. Ride-on lawn mowers and zero-turn mowers come in both gas-powered and battery-powered models.
As for run time, electric corded mowers offer the longest run time because they keep going as long as they are plugged into an electrical outlet. For gas and battery-powered mowers, the run time is entirely dependent on the fuel and battery capacity. If I’m not keen on a corded model but have a large lawn to mow and am worried about running out of fuel or battery power, I should look for mowers with a large fuel tank or a heavy-duty battery.
When it comes to maintenance, electric lawn mowers are by far the easiest to manage because I don’t have to worry about fuel, oil, or replacing parts like spark plugs and filters. That being said, every lawn mower should have its blades sharpened at least once a year or more if I use it often. With a gas-powered mower, I will need to check the fuel and oil each time I use the mower and take it in for regular servicing. I will also need to drain the fuel at the end of the mowing season before I store the mower.
Of course, price is a major consideration for me. If I’m on a budget and not concerned with extra power or fancy features, then a cheaper gas or electric lawn mower may be fine for me. There are quite a few smaller lawn mowers on the market that offer great value for money. As a general rule, the larger the lawn mower, the pricier it will be. However, I get what I pay for in terms of performance, durability, and comfort. Another thing to consider is ongoing costs. For example, a gas mower will require gas, oil, and service, and a battery-powered model will require replacement batteries every few years.
When it comes to environmental concerns, it’s a no-brainer that electric lawn mowers are better for the environment because they don’t rely on fuel to operate, so they produce zero carbon emissions. They are also fumeless, which is healthier for me in the long run. In addition, electric mowers often produce less noise, so they won’t disturb neighbors or local wildlife as much as a gas-powered mower.
So, when choosing between a gas and electric lawn mower, the decision really comes down to what type of lawn I have, how much time, energy, and money I want to put into maintaining and operating the mower, and how concerned I am about the environment. As with any large purchase, it pays to do some research on various models so that I can make an informed decision about which lawn mower to have.