Electric Mower Buyer's Guide
How to Pick the Perfect Electric Lawn Mower
Imagine being able to mow the lawn at any time without making noise, spilling gasoline on your hands while refueling, or having to replace parts every year. If this sounds amazing, then an electric lawn mower could be for you!
What is an Electric Lawn Mower?
Electric lawn mowers, also known as battery lawn mowers, get their power from a rechargeable battery instead of gasoline. Batteries can range anywhere from 36 to 120 volts, and many electric mowers come with a backup battery in case one runs dry.
Benefits of Electric vs Gas Lawn Mowers
When you get rid of the gas-fueled internal combustion engine, lawn mowing becomes a totally different experience.
- Instead of being deafened by the roar of the engine, you can actually hear what is happening around you because electric mowers are much quieter.
- Electric mowers don't need gasoline, so you'll save money by not having to run to the gas station before mowing. As a result, electric mowers are much cheaper to run over their lifetime.
- No gas engine means that electric mowers don't need spark plug replacements, filter replacements, or oil changes. Your cost of maintenance goes way down.
- Say goodbye to tugging the pull cord with an electric mower, which will start with the push of a button.
- If you love planet earth, you'll love that electric mowers have no exhaust or emissions that pollute the air or blow in your face.
Electric vs Gas Lawn Mower Cost
So, what’s less expensive to run, gas or electric? Truthfully, it depends on local fuel costs where you live. In general, battery lawn mowers are cheaper to run per acre than gas mowers.
For example, suppose the cost of gas is $2.75 per gallon, you have a one-third acre yard, and a full tank of gas on your mower holds 1/3 gallons. If you can mow that one-third acre yard on one tank of gas, then you are paying around 92 cents per mowing ($2.75/3).
Now, suppose you used an electric mower on your one-third acre and the cost of electricity is 13 cents per kilowatt hour. Your battery takes 4 kilowatts to recharge. If you can mow that one-third acre yard on one battery charge, then you are paying 52 cents per mowing (13*4).
Using those numbers, if you mow once per week between April and September (24 weeks) with a gas lawn mower, you would pay roughly $22 for fuel. With an electric lawn mower, you would pay just over $12. In this clean example, you’re saving 45% by going electric.
Electric Mowing Costs—Other Factors
The above example is great as a general rule, but local fuel costs, your lawn type, and your battery will determine final costs.
Your mower's battery determines how long it can run before it needs to be recharged. The larger your yard, the higher the chance that your battery charge will run out before you finish mowing. Depending on the mower, recharging could take several hours, while refilling a gas tank takes minutes. For this reason, electric mowers can be a hassle to use on lawns that are more than 1/2 acre unless you have a second battery at the ready.
The thickness of your grass can also impact costs because thicker grass will cause your mower to work harder and use battery power faster. Zoysia grass and Bermuda grass are examples of thick grass that will quickly drain your battery.
Overall, battery mowers will be a cost-savings for people with urban and suburban yards. This is especially true when you consider long-range maintenance. By not having to change the oil, spark plugs, and filters, you are likely saving more than $100 over the electric mower’s life.
Electric Mower Features to Consider
When shopping for an electric lawn mower, pay particular attention to the following three features:
- Battery Voltage: The higher the voltage, the more the battery can handle. Look for models that have two batteries for extra power. Some brands have batteries that will work not only on your mower, but also on other power equipment, so you can get a suite of products that run on the same battery and save.
- Cutting Width: The wider your mower's cutting width, the less time it will take to mow, which may preserve battery life. However, a wider deck may also cause the battery to work harder. You’ll want to find a happy medium.
- Height Adjustment: How many different height-of-cut adjustments does the electric mower have? The more adjustments, the greater the flexibility you’ll have to cut your grass to different heights. Most mowers can cut between 1-4 inches. Any less, and you’ll want a reel mower.
- Mower Blades: The type of blades has a bearing on how the final cut will look. Some electric mowers user flatter blades that don’t lift the grass as much and preserve battery life. Others use more precise, curved blades. Changing blades is just about the only maintenance costs involved with electric mowers.
- Discharge/Mulching Capabilities: Do you mulch or collect grass clippings? That’s a debate for another day, but check to see how the mower handles these important tasks.
Charge Up Your Mowing
Electric-powered mowers have many benefits, but they’re not for everyone. If you have a large property, you won’t be saving much time or money relying on a battery.
However, most suburban and urban yards are ideal candidates for going electric. You’ll get a nice cut without all the hassle of gas. Contact Mowers Direct to speak with one of our product experts today about choosing an electric lawn mower!