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Electric vs Gas Lawn Mower: Which One to Choose?

Last Updated on May 1, 2020

Lawn Mower

Image Credit By: Creative Commons Zero, maxipixel

If you are considering purchasing a new lawnmower, you may wonder what the difference is between an electric mower and a gas mower. Electric mowers run on either electricity or a rechargeable battery, while a gas mower utilizes a four-stroke or two-stroke engine.

Both have pros and cons, but either will get the job done. Before purchasing a mower, it is sensible to research each type to help make a decision. This article is to help you determine which push mower is best for you and your lawn.

Electric Lawn Mowers

Electric Lawn Mower

Image Credit By: 5513214, pixabay

Why you’ll love it

The electric lawnmower has come a long way in the last few years. There are now more options, with the best one being a cordless version. Some folks may still prefer to use a corded mower if they don’t want to deal with charging and replacing the battery. But the majority prefer a cordless since it now has 30 to 60 minutes of run time with new technological advances. The life of the battery is longer too, only needing a replacement every 2 to 3 years.

Electric lawnmowers are quiet, running at 75 decibels. Earplugs aren’t needed when operating these machines, and you can easily jam to your music while mowing the yard.

If engine maintenance isn’t your style, the electric mower could be a great fit. There’s no need for oil changes, spark plug replacements, or carburetor maintenance. If you are short on space, some mowers can fold up and store vertically.

Forget about pulling a cord to start your mower, the electric mowers offer a simple flip of a switch, and then you are on your merry way. Plus, they are environmentally friendly, considering there are no gas emissions.

Why you won’t

As with anything you buy, there are negative aspects to owning an electric mower. The corded version is difficult to maneuver around trees and shrubs, and you must know where the cord is at all times, so you don’t accidentally run it over. When buying a corded lawnmower, you will also need to purchase an extension cord that meets requirements for that mower and your home power source. Outside outlets must be available and most cords run about 100 feet.

Battery-powered mowers have a limited run time with an average of 30 to 60 minutes. The battery will last 3 to 5 years and it’s recommended you buy a second battery if you have a larger yard. Even though electric mowers don’t release greenhouse gases, if equipped with a lithium-ion battery, there are environmental impacts in the making of these batteries.

Electric mowers rarely perform well with a large yard or uneven terrain. They also don’t have the torque for thick or wet grass and can have a difficult time bagging all the grass clippings due to not enough suction power. Keep in mind the mowers with plastic decks are less durable and prone to show more wear and tear over time.

Electric Lawn Mower: At a Glance

  • Lightweight
  • Best for small yards
  • Relatively quiet
  • No exhaust or pollutants
  • No engine maintenance
  • Easy to start
  • Easy storage
  • No storage of gas & oil
  • Less durable
  • Cannot cut thick, wet grass
  • Must replace battery every 2-3 years
  • Less power & torque
  • 30-60 minutes of battery life
  • More expensive
  • Batteries are expensive to replace

Gas Lawn Mowers

Gas Lawn Mower

Image Credit By: Creative Commons Zero, peakpx

Why you’ll love it

Gas mowers have also improved over the years. The emissions they produce are cleaner compared to the past. It’s easy to keep it full of gas and ready to go at any time. There are models available that are self-propelled or that come with a push button ignition.

The gas mower has more torque and can cut the toughest of grass. If you have a large lawn, it is your best bet. Plus, you will find there is plenty of power to handle slopes and uneven terrain.

Gas engines last longer, especially when maintained. Essentially, a gas mower could be environmentally friendly since you won’t have to buy a new mower for at least 10 years. Typically, the initial cost of a gas mower is lower, and their steel construction makes them more durable.

Why you won’t

The negative side to owning a gas mower relates to its construction. Gas mowers are heavier and harder to push, and the pull-start can be difficult for some people. There is no getting around engine maintenance to keep it running well.

With increased power comes more noise, and gas engines are loud at 95-100 decibels. Not only is noise pollution an issue, don’t forget to factor in air pollution from the emissions of these engines.

Some models may be more cost effective, but once you add other bells and whistles, they can be just as much, if not more efficient, than an electric mower.

Gas Lawn Mower: At a Glance

  • Less expensive
  • More durable
  • More power
  • Last longer if maintained
  • Long run time, no charging a battery
  • Options to get self-propelled & electric start
  • Heavier and harder to push (if not self-propelled)
  • Harder to start (if pull-start)
  • Engine maintenance required
  • Exhaust emissions
  • Relatively loud
  • Gas & oil storage
  • Oil disposal (with maintenance)
  • Storage space

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As you can see, there are definite advantages and disadvantages for each mower. Keep in mind that both mowers need to be cleaned regularly and the blades sharpened to maintain their functionality. When choosing the lawn mower that will perform best for your landscape and intentions, it is important to consider cost, environmental impact, and level of maintenance.

If you have a small, level yard with thinner grass, the electric mower may be adequate. On the other hand, if you need more power and something that will last longer, the gas mower may be a better option. Now you can take your new-found information and visit your local home improvement store with confidence.

About the Author Adam Harris

Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!