More homeowners are undertaking a comparison of electric lawn mowers. In addition to lessening the noise pollution associated with gasoline-powered models, their electrical counterparts also do not add smelly fumes to the atmosphere. Which types are best? Which are so-so?
Why go Electric?
A comparison of electric lawn mowers starts off with a primer that highlights their most attractive features –when compared to their gasoline-powered counterparts.
As outlined by the United States Department of Transportation switching to a gas-free lawn mower makes environmental sense. A gasoline model adds as much pollution to the breathable air (per year) as 43 new cars.
The 85 decibels of noise generation associated with these mowers is known to cause hearing damage. This does not even begin to take into account the sometimes cumbersome modes of operation that include mixing gasoline and gas conditioner as well as storing the flammable liquids.
As it stands to reason that electric models offer numerous benefits, the homeowner now has to choose the features.
Electric Lawn Mower Comparison, What is the Best Electric Lawn Mower?
Mulching vs. Bagging
Grass-cycling(1) is the art and science of mowing, leaving the grass clippings on the lawn to decompose and then reaping the benefits of the quick nitrogen infusion the quickly decaying plant matter adds back to the soil.
When choosing a mulching mower, its specialized setup forces the cut clippings toward the ground and soil, which does away with the unsightly clumps or loose clippings on top of the grass that seem to stick to everything –until they are watered in.
A bagging mower, on the other hand, captures clippings and makes it possible to use them in a compost pile or for curbside recycling.
Tip: For best results, mow with a mulching grass cutting machine every five to seven days. Bagged mowers do not have this type of requirement, and a more sporadic landscaper may benefit from these models if it is impossible to commit to a grass cutting schedule.
Cordless vs. Corded
Electric models that feature a cord are lighter than their cordless counterparts. This is due to the heavy battery the latter models require for proper operation. Corded models remain plugged in throughout their entire operation while battery-powered machines need a properly (re-)charged battery to function.
Tip: Homeowners with a very small yard benefit from the corded models. They are quick and easy to use and very lightweight. A larger yard will do better with a battery-powered model. There is no worry about stretching an extension cord, wrapping it around trees and shrubs or accidentally running over it in higher grass. For even larger properties, a spare battery (also charged) ensures enough power to mow the entire property.
A comparison of electric lawn mowers would be incomplete without pointing out that these machines usually do not have the power of their gasoline-guzzling counterparts. For example, a standard self-propelled mower uses a strong 4-stroke engine to power a transmission. While it is true that there are cordless (and corded) self-propelled models on the electric side, they are frequently a lot more expensive than standard mowers.
As outlined by Seattle Public Utilities, this cost differential may be as high as $120. If the money considerations place these mowers slightly out of your reach at this time, consider push reel lawn mowers; they are the ultimate inexpensive and gas-free options!
- Grasscycle! Leave the clippings for a healthier, easy to care for lawn; http://your.kingcounty.gov/solidwaste/naturalyardcare/documents/SPU_grasscycling_mower-guide.pdf
- Photo Credit: “Electric lawn mower, frontal view” by Hedwig Storch – Wikimedia Commons at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Electric_lawn_mower_IMG_5499.JPG
Guide to Buying and Using Electric Lawn Mowers
Electric lawn mowers offer an environmentally friendly choice for the most common landscape maintenance task: cutting grass. Find out how to go gas-free and how the mowing experience may differ when compared to the gas-powered models.
- Comparison: What are the Best Electric Lawn Mowers?
- How to Mow a Lawn Fast and Professionally with an Electric Mower
- Lawn Mowing Tips for Healthy Grass, The Proper Way to Mow the Lawn