Gas Vs Battery Powered Lawn Mowers: Which Is Right For You?

The relatively recent introduction of cordless electric lawn mowers has given homeowners an eco-friendly alternative to cutting grass with a gasoline-guzzling traditional lawn mower. However, there's much to consider when choosing a machine that's perfect for you since gas and battery-powered lawn mowers differ in terms of cost, ecological impact, and capability. The best model for your lawncare needs will likely depend on your yard's size, layout, and terrain. Of course, your personal mowing preferences should also factor into your decision.

Gasoline-powered models still prove to be the mower of choice for most American households. However, similar to gas-powered cars, these lawn mowers release harmful pollutants into the air that negatively impact the planet. Cordless electric mowers rely on a rechargeable battery to operate, making for a more pleasant sensory experience for the user. But these varieties aren't as efficient at cutting all types of grass, making complicated jobs all the more tricky. While push and self-propelled mowers can usually be bought for less than $500 regardless of the power source, battery-powered models tend to cost a bit more than gasoline alternatives. On the other hand, battery-powered riding and zero-turn mowers are still somewhat new to the market and tend to cost a great deal more than comparable gasoline models. But, with electric mowers generally requiring less maintenance, you may find the additional cost worth the investment.

Gasoline-powered mowers

Serving as the industry standard for decades, gas-powered self-propelled, push, and riding lawn mowers are the classic choice for homeowners looking to cover an ample amount of ground in a relatively short amount of time. Gas mowers can cut through many types of grass rather seamlessly, even when wet. The ruggedness of gasoline-powered lawn mowers also allows them to cut grass along slopes and angles and tackle weeds and leaves with little hassle. When lawn mowers inevitably break down, traditional gas models are more convenient and less expensive for homeowners to fix since their parts and accessories are widely available in home improvement stores. However, gas mowers are subject to more routine maintenance and must be checked regularly to ensure all parts run efficiently.

As for downsides, gas mowers are noisy and can emit a strong smell as gasoline burns inside the machine's engine, releasing harmful chemicals into the air as a byproduct, including nitrous oxides and carbon monoxide. Inhaling large concentrations of these fumes over time can cause many health complications. Owning a gasoline-powered mower can also increase your chances of mistakenly igniting a fire since gasoline is highly flammable. Store gas in a safe, temperature-controlled space and clean up spills immediately to prevent fatal accidents.

Battery-powered mowers

Though earlier versions of battery-powered lawn mowers were considered a hassle to use and maintain, these models are improving with time and serve as a worthy substitute for traditional gas models — for the right homeowner. Electric mowers, in general, are convenient for their ability to complete the task of mowing grass quietly, a plus for residents who enjoy landscaping in the morning but are hesitant about disturbing their neighbors. Like gas mowers, they come in push, self-propelled, and riding designs.

Battery-powered mowers aren't ideal for residents with larger yards, however, since these models take longer to cover the same amount of ground as a gas mower. This rings true for two reasons: First, electric mowers generally aren't manufactured to cut thicker grass at the same speed and consistency as thinner grass. Secondly, they run out of charge relatively quickly and are often unable to complete an average-sized lawn before recharging the batteries is necessary. This could be a significant disadvantage to homeowners wanting to knock out this chore in a single afternoon. However, if you have a large lawn and still want to invest in a battery-powered lawn mower, you can always buy an extra set of batteries.