Electric lawn mowers are the future, but before you purchase your first one it is important to know what they are, how they work, and what to look for in a quality electric lawn mower. This guide to electric lawn mowers will help you on your journey.
That being said, lawn mowers of any kind aren’t going to be cheap impulse purchases at the grocery store checkout. Therefore, some research needs to go into what it takes to select the best possible option for individual needs. Keep reading to learn about various points regarding electric lawn mowers in order to help make the most informed decision possible.
Types of Electric Lawn Mowers
The modern world is one full of choices and ideas. Very little is excluded from that, especially in a capitalist society where products reign supreme. What that means for electric lawn mowers is that there are also options to choose from, starting with how they receive their power…cordless and corded.
Corded mowers are good choices for people with small lawns and a high awareness of the world around them. A corded lawn mower is going to never run out of power like its cordless counterpart, but there is always a risk of the cord getting tangled, damaged, or posing a tripping hazard. Additionally, if there are no exterior outlets, they will have to be run inside which poses another whole slew of potential problems.
However, they aren’t all doom and gloom. Here are some positives surrounding corded electric mowers:
- They are much lighter than other models due to a lack of a gas tank or battery.
- Their power doesn’t diminish as it has a steady supply of electricity from the outlet.
- They are significantly cheaper than most other mowers.
- They are good for the environment just like other electric lawn mowers.
- They are great for small lawns that don’t need a whole lot of work.
Almost everyone wants to avoid a corded lawn mower, but they do have their bright sides as well.
- Priced to fit most budgets
- Powerful 12 amp motor cuts through the toughest grass
- 3-in-1 system - mulch, rear bagging, and side discharge
- Easy push button start. No gas, no oil, no emissions
Cordless mowers are some of the most popular types of lawn mowers out there. They keep getting more advanced as time goes on and with that, their price keeps going up. These are excellent choices for medium-sized lawns that will only take a few hours maximum to finish.
Here are some pros and cons to a cordless lawn mower:
- Low Maintenance and Operating Costs
- Low Environmental Impact
- Further Range
- Easier Maneuverability
- High Up-Front Costs
- Heavier Than Corded
- Needs Charged
There are riding mowers with much longer battery life than push mowers which are good options for larger lawns. However, for quite a few acres, they might need some charging breaks to get through it all.
- Get 45 minutes of run time on a single charge
- Select Cut Multi-Blade System for premium cutting performance that exceeds gas
- 3-in-1 function: mulching, bagging, side discharge
Benefits of Electric Lawn Mowers
Despite being on the pricier side, electric lawn mowers have a good number of good points to consider when looking into purchasing one. They are extremely solid purchases for a wide range of people and worth looking into.
One of the major draws of an electric mower is their environmental impact being so much lower than other machines. Electricity is a renewable resource that burns clean, unlike oil and gasoline. That’s part of why so many things are trying to move to alternative fuel sources, and lawn mowers make the jump excellently.
They also help the environment when grass clippings are left to decompose and return nutrients to the soil. It’s just a whole bunch of good in one package.
The overall maintenance of an electric lawn mower is pennies compared to gas models. They don’t require trips to an expensive gas station, nor are their parts typically too hard to get ahold of for a reasonable price. They don’t need a lot of care and looking after, just basic cleanliness and storing them away from the elements is enough to keep them running for a very long time.
In fact, it’s likely that the charger for the batteries is going to break well before the mower itself. It’s just something about how cords love to get in the way and damage so much easier than big chunks of metal.
If there is ever anything that stands out more than the extreme quietness of an electric lawn mower, it’s one for the books. They still make considerable noise, but rarely at high enough decibels to cause concern for hearing. That also means they’re going to be less obnoxious to those nosy neighbors or people still inside the house.
Some of them are also so quiet that they can barely be heard from indoors unless it’s running right next to a window. Typically, electric mowers aren’t as high powered as some gas mowers, but it is still something special with this type of lawn mower.
Typically, electric lawn mowers forego the traditional, sticky pull cord in favor of an ignition button. There are exceptions of course, but that is an extremely common feature. It also makes a lot of sense considering they’re powered by an outlet or a battery.
In the end this also saves a lot of time and energy as nobody has to stand around fighting with a pull cord and hoping they can go fast enough to turn on the thing. That’s great for those with mobility issues and those who might not be as strong as their peers.
The typical electric lawn mower only uses approximately $3-$4 USD a year, whereas a gas powered one is around $20-$40 USD. This is significant savings overall, even if it doesn’t look like it from the start. With ever rising gas prices especially in more urban areas, alternative fuel sources are extremely appealing.
Additionally, their overall maintenance costs are significantly cheaper than their gas counterparts. That really helps heal the blow from the high up front cost for sure.
The major perk of an electric lawn mower is that it is extremely lightweight. This lightweight factor becomes even more so if the machine is a corded one. That is because it doesn’t have a big gas tank full of fluid in it or big heavy batteries to keep it powered.
This also means that it is going to be easier to use and maneuver which in turn leads to less energy spent in order to use it. That’s great, because nobody wants to spend all day getting sore, tired, and sweaty because of a clunky lawn mower.
Important Considerations When Purchasing an Electric Lawn Mower
There are always a million and one factors to consider when purchasing anything big, and electric lawn mowers are no exception. They have a lot of moving parts, cost a pretty penny, and aren’t exactly drive-through snacks. While it is easy to ask a friend or family member what they have and just go off of that, individual needs are also important to consider as are the various features of the machine itself.
For cordless machines, battery life is extremely important. Nobody likes to stop halfway through a project just because the batteries died and need to be recharged. So, make sure that the batteries are going to be able to hold up to the size of the needed space, or have a few spares to get the job done all at once.
Another note is that the larger tractor-style mowers have a significantly higher battery life than the walk-behind counterparts, being able to run for hours in some cases. However, that also means that the time to recharge is typically a bit longer, so that is the drawback.
In some industries, it’s not worth it to care about brands or to even develop brand loyalty. When it comes to lawn mowers, branding is a key component of the decision-making process. Companies that don’t usually make heavy equipment might not be the best idea to go with, whereas a company that’s been building tractors, lawn mowers, and similar machines for decades is probably going to be a better bet overall.
Not to mention, good brands also come with good customer service. They want their products to sell, and they want their customers to keep coming back to them. They know that their purchases are going to be few and far between, so they absolutely must keep a good impression. That is all good news for the customer who is looking for quality products.
Our top three brands for electric lawn mowers:
No matter what, mowing lawns takes some time. It takes even longer if the machine has to be pushed along at a snail’s pace in order to actually cut effectively. Therefore, it’s important to check the cutting speed when selecting one of them. Be sure to also check if it is adequate for the landscaping, as the tires are going to move slower if they aren’t suited for the terrain itself.
Also keep in mind that they will cut faster and better as long as the blades are sharp. Dull blades will need to take longer to achieve the same results, and that’s if they can manage at all.
Lawn mowers, including electric ones, are getting more durable all the time. It’s not common that they break down after only a few uses, nor do parts break quickly with proper maintenance. However, there are some factors that can chip away at the durability of the machine.
Such factors to consider with the durability of the lawn mower might include:
- Quality of Materials: Higher quality materials are going to last far longer than cheaper ones.
- Landscaping Issues: Can it stand up to rocks, twigs, etc.
- Moisture: Wet grass is notorious for gunking up and ruining lawn mowers.
- Exposure to the Elements: Exposure to significant rainfall/sun/hail/etc. causes damage over time.
- Longevity: How long does the machine typically last for if taken care of properly?
This is one of the things that paying attention to the reviews and the branding can help with. Sticking with a trusted brand, especially one with good customer service, can help ease concerns about durability and help ensure a quality product is being purchased.
Ease of Use
There is nothing worse than purchasing a product and it being aggravating to use. Pull cords that take twenty tries, don’t have a lot of cutting heights, or machines themselves that are too heavy are not worth it.
Self-propelled lawn mowers are popular for good reason. They need less physical power to move them about. Mowers that have a push button instead of a pull cord are also extremely popular. However, if these things aren’t big deals to the individual, there’s no point in springing for them. What matters is how easy it is going to be to use for the person who’s actually using it.
Comfort is important in every aspect of daily life. Most of the time when ergonomics is mentioned, it’s in the context of furniture. Poor ergonomics such as sitting badly can cause detrimental health issues and is a well-studied aspect of medicine and the human condition. It’s not only applicable to furniture settings either, and in fact, it is a crucial point to consider in the purchase of a lawn mower.
Here are some examples of ergonomics to consider when looking at an electric mower:
- Comfort grip
- Adjustable bar height
- Seat and legroom on tractor models
- Easy start options such as a button instead of a cord
- Weight of the machine
- Shock resistance
The lawn mower should be comfortable and easy to use for extended periods of time. Typically, it is best to look for something that is a slightly lighter weight than what can be moved so that it can be used comfortably longer without straining the body.
The overall terrain is extremely important to consider due to the fact that some machines are going to be better on totally flat ground, while others are better suited for lumpy, hilly, and areas needing a lot of maneuvering. Smaller machines typically don’t have wheels suited for heavy bumps or the overall construction to put up with soft ground. Taking into consideration the landscape where the machine is going to be used is definitely a worthwhile consideration.
Here are some landscaping points to consider:
- Roughness of the terrain: how lumpy/hilly the ground is
- Potential obstacles:trees, garden spaces, fencing, décor, etc.
- Softness of the ground: is it softer soil with a lot of shifting or does it dry out and crack through the sod
- Grass height needs: it is typically better to err on the taller side of local requirements rather than chopping the grass down to the roots, but at the same point not too tall or it will invite pests
Things like this are worth considering to make sure the right machine is chosen and no money is wasted. It wouldn’t be worthwhile if the mower couldn’t get everywhere it needs to go just because of a tree or something in the way.
Motor power is the same thing as horsepower. It’s how strong the motor is and how well it can run. While gas powered mowers still take the cake for overall power, electric mowers are catching up and catching up fast. Corded ones are going to have a more constant and unwavering force due to the continual power supply that a cordless lacks.
However, that doesn’t mean that a cordless can’t have good power too. The better ones are going to be the tractor style, but those aren’t going to be as feasible for people with small lawns. Stronger motors also means that it takes less time and energy to finish the task at hand. Therefore, it’s a relatively important point to consider.
As with most machines, people want to know how well something actually works. It’s a good judge of how well-spent their money was. There’s often the assumption that the most expensive option is going to be the one that performs the best, but that isn’t always true. Branding is something that matters quite a bit within the lawn mower world as some companies are known for having better performance.
A good place to find out about the performance of a potential machine is to check out reviews on various websites. If they all seem positive or all seem negative, these should both be red flags. A good mix of both is a better bet that the reviews weren’t bought and instead are legitimate reviews from people who weren’t getting paid to say one thing or another. That includes the sales associate at the store, as they are also often told what to push by higher-ups in the business.
Unfortunately, one of these mowers are likely to run much higher than their gas counterparts up front. However, they make it up in spades by the overall maintenance and power costs throughout the year. That doesn’t mean that they are going to perfectly pay for themselves.
It’s also never worth blowing the budget over the newest, shiniest machine. Come up with a reasonable budget and stick to it, even if that means not getting the best of the best. Also be sure to keep an eye out for sales, rebates, and coupons that can help with the budget.
Size and Style
Tiny lawn mowers might be significantly cheaper, but they’re not going to help much on a large yard. On the same token, large mowers are going to take up too much space in small yards. Therefore, it’s important to consider the size of the machine itself. That also includes the style, as a standard mower is going to be significantly smaller than a tractor-styled one.
Here are some various sized styles to consider:
- Traditional Lawn Tractor
Additionally, be sure to check the size of the cutting deck. That is the part of the lawn mower that is actually doing the cutting. There’s no point getting a big clunky machine if it doesn’t actually have much space where it actually cuts the grass for example.
Electric mowers typically cut shallower than a gas powered one, and therefore they are likely to require more passes than their counterparts. That extra time would need to be factored in especially for those with busier schedules or mobility issues.
Additionally, electric mowers need to be charged. That charging time also needs to be factored in on top of the overall battery life of the machine. How much battery there is determines how long it has to operate without being swapped out for a fresh one. Be sure to consider this factor too. Otherwise, there might be a lot of time waiting for things to charge due to poor choices in the beginning.
There’s nothing worse than not being able to finish up chores for the day due to being too physically exhausted. When selecting a mower, pick something that feels like it might be a little too light and the future will be very thankful for it.
Corded mowers are going to be significantly lighter than the other mowers, but that doesn’t mean that someone is out of luck if they need or want a cordless. They are still lighter than gas powered machines, and many of them have self-propelled features that helps compensate for their weight.
Visit our article on the Best Electric Lawn Mowers!
There is a lot to take into consideration when purchasing any lawn mower, and that includes electric ones. It’s a pricy decision that requires quite a bit of research and consideration of personal needs and wants.
The good news is that they are becoming so popular in recent years that there are many options to choose from. The important thing to remember is that all machines are going to be useful for different things, so take into consideration where it’s going and the budget for it in both time and finances.
If you would like to learn more about the savings that comes with purchasing an electric lawn mower be sure to read Are Electric Mowers Cheaper Than Gas.