Pros and Cons of Electric and Gas Lawn Mowers - Quicken Loans Zing Blog

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While I’m sitting near my office window enjoying the summer sunshine, I’m looking forward to getting out to enjoy my absolute favorite summertime activity: mowing the lawn. … OK, that was sarcasm.

Much like with snowblowers, I discovered that there are two directions you can go when purchasing a lawn mower. You can go the old-school method with the gas-powered mower, or you can go the more modern route and purchase an electric lawn mower.

If you’re in the market for a home, don’t overlook the greener side of things. Before you run out and buy whichever version you think sounds best at the moment, take a second to consider the pros and cons of each type. Are you curious to see which mower will fit your needs? Read on to learn more.

Electric Lawn Mowers

Electric mowers come in two varieties: corded and cordless. I’m glad to hear that there’s a model out there that doesn’t plug into an outlet. Say what you will, but I would be paranoid of running the cord over with the mower and electrocuting myself.

Looking past my fear of electrocution, I discovered that electric lawn mowers offer some pretty great benefits:

  • No sparkplugs to change
  • No fuel filters to change
  • No oil to change
  • No gasoline to fiddle with
  • They may save money over time (check out this graph for more info)
  • They’re better for the environment
  • They’re quieter than traditional mowers

These are all some pretty great benefits, right? Well, before you run to the hardware store to scoop one up, think about a few of the drawbacks:

  • Corded models limit your mobility
  • Cordless models may not offer a lot of mowing time – some only last for an hour before they require changing
  • They may not handle thicker grass well
  • Watch for water when you mow
  • They tend to be more expensive than gas mowers

Gas Lawn Mowers

My parents had an old gas mower, and my dad was able to fix and maintain it. Because of this, it’s lasted a long time. Aside from longevity, gas-powered lawn mowers have a few other benefits:

  • They can cut through tougher grass with ease
  • There’s no cord to limit mobility
  • They have the ability to mow larger areas without waiting for a battery to charge
  • A little bit of gas goes a long way when mowing a lawn
  • They’re more durable than most electric mowers

What might make you think twice about buying a gas-powered mower? Consider a few of these points below:

  • Most gas mowers are heavier than electric mowers
  • They’re louder than electric mowers
  • They require regular engine maintenance
  • They have pull-start cords that can make it difficult to turn them on
  • They emit carbon monoxide and dioxide into the atmosphere

A gas lawn mower works well if you don’t mind a little maintenance. The extra power and mobility make it a great option, particularly if you have a big yard. However, if you have a small lawn and aren’t comfortable working on engines, opting for an electric mower might be the best option for you. Also, remember to consider what works best with your budget and speak to an expert to answer any specific questions you might have.

If you’re buying a home, do you have a clear picture of what you want your dream yard to look like? Contact a Home Loan Expert today to stake a claim on your favorite patch of grass.

This Post Has 27 Comments

  1. I have a cordless electric mower:
    a. Before buying the mower, I reduced the size of my lawn by planting low maintenance, drought resistant vegetation (I live in Central Texas) and decorative use of rocks. Best thing I ever did; did not like mowing, and would have went to no lawn but for the dogs. With the next dog, I will put in a discrete 4’x4′ gravelled area in my backyard and will train the dog to do its business there (will install an inground container to store the poo until it is disposed of.) Then I will sell the mover, edger, trimmer, etc. Until then,
    b. I have two batteries – one on charge at all times. But with the reduced lawn area, I only use a quarter to one half of the charge each time.
    c. There is little to no maintenance with the battery mower – keep blade sharp and replace mower (had mine four years and the Li-ion batteries show no loss in capacity.) Most of the maintenance associated with gas mowers comes not from use, but rather from lack of use. Gas stored in mowers and gas cans deteriorates rapidly. When “bad” gas is used the next season, the spark plugs and combustion chamber are fouled leading to hard starts and shortened mower life. There are additives that solve this problem, but most gas mower owners don’t use them. In any case, mowers and gas cans not only take up space in the garage, shed, whatever, they are a safety hazard; Li-ion may present a combustion problem, but can be stored in metal containers and the mowers can be stored without the battery in place.
    c. Lastly, we talk about emissions; here is an area where we could do something about them. The amount of emissions from gas powered lawn maintenace equipment is sizable and could be curbed by using battery powered equipment. The cost of the battery alternatives is coming down and battery technology will improve over time. There are now battery operated riding mowers on the market and more will come.

  2. Curious if you could tell me the expected life span of an electric mower vs. life span of a gas powered? Thanks!

  3. One other downside of gas mowers, they can be a pain to store. You can’t hang them on the wall like you could with an electric. I have a cheap gas mower. Between the actual mower and the handlebar, I lose probably ten square feet of floor space in my small garage. Annoying. Especially since the mower just sits there, taking up space, in the winter months.

      1. You know, you can EASILY fold or take off the handle of gas mowers right? Like wing nut easy? They come in a box so they are easy to make that small if that is really a HUGE concern for you.

        1. Not every lawnmower design is the same, Brock. Also, not everyone wants to take something apart to store it. That said, I’m glad that works for you.

  4. I have a cordless weed eater and a corded edger . I’m happy with both, but am less crazy about having to drag a cord across my yard. I have a question though about mowers. Is the corded mower more powerful than the cordless?

  5. I currently have a Greenworks corded mower and previously owned a Black & Decker corded mower until it finally give out after 20 years ! (the motor still ran but the handle and throttle gave out). So pretty good ROI on a $200 purchase. I use a 100′ cord (13 amp) and have only
    cut it twice in all that time (most currently this year because I wasn’t paying attention). I have not calculated the cost to operate, but considering I don’t have to deal with gas, then storing it over the winter, etc. , a few cents of electricity per every couple weeks seems pretty economical to me. I have a large front yard with some embankments, and a steep back yard so having a lighter electric mower makes mowing it easier and I have never had a problem with not enough power. So that is my story – good luck!

  6. I have a Neuton battery operated mower. A local battery warehouse carries the battery in stock for about $80. I have had both of my out door receptacles change to GFI. Prior to this change, I had been using a corded mower. The cord was cut at least 3 times. I now have 4 batteries and can cut forever it seems.

    1. Hi Nan:

      You won’t be electrocuted using an electric mower if the grass is damp or dewy. I use an electric wheelchair and have taken it over wet grass, wet pavement and the occasional small puddle. I wouldn’t advise taking it out in a flood, but you should be okay.

      Thanks,
      Kevin Graham

    2. No. Dampness is not a big deal. The thing about water contacting the electrical components its more likely to fry out the wires and circuitry than pass directly into you.

  7. I have a Greenworks and a Black and Decker cordless electric mower. The Greenworks is 40v lithium and the B & D. is 36v deep cycle. Both are just dream machines! The B & D is heaver due to the battery type, but it is self-propelled. I have 2 batteries for the B & D which i use to mow about an acre. So I mow until it dies, switch out the battery and continue mowing….no need to wait for recharge. The lithium charges faster, and I can mow all day with 2 batteries. The batteries last about 5 years and are easily replaceable. They just slide into place on both brands…they are not part of the machine itself….they slide into place on the machine….. I am waiting for the rest of the world to wake up to the advantages of electric!!!

    1. i love my Greenworks mower. This is my third season with it. I have a city lot to mow and can usually mow it twice before it needs to be recharged. No more buying gas in a can, it is quiet. If I want to i can mow on an “ozone action day” We bought it on sale and paid about the same as for a gas mower. Wish i would have bought it sooner.

    2. Getting ready to switch to cordless electric after old gas mower leaking all over my shed. I am tired of it not starting and the maintenance which no one is available to help me with. Good to know electric cordless mowers are an option. I am a little nervous but figure I cannot lose. Which brand should I go with? Greenworks or Black and Decker?

      1. Hi Denise:

        I wouldn’t worry so much about a particular brand as I would how they are reviewed. You can check consumer reviews online and that might be a good place to start. It does sound like a cordless mower would be a good option for you.

        Thanks,
        Kevin

    1. Hi Wyatt:

      A quick search online showed quite a few results for lawn mower batteries. I would imagine you could look at the manufacturer’s specs for what kind of battery your mower takes and either replace it yourself or take it somewhere to have it serviced. The batteries themselves don’t look that expensive.

      Thanks,
      Kevin Graham

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