The selection of lawnmowers on the market is mind-boggling. You can buy ride-on or riding mowers, lawn tractors, walk-behind mowers, cylinder or reel mowers, rotary mowers, self-propelled mowers, and good, old-fashioned push mowers. But the difference we are looking at here is how lawnmowers are powered.
You have a choice when it comes to power types: manual, gas (petrol), battery, or electric. Generally, the most expensive of these is the battery-powered type followed by electric lawnmowers. Gas-powered mowers are more expensive than manual push mowers, but they cost less than battery-powered lawn mowers, which are electric mowers.
Why are electric mowers so expensive?
Consumer Reports, a nonprofit American consumer organization researching consumer goods, confirms that electric lawnmowers are typically more expensive than gas or battery-powered lawnmowers. But it gets confusing because battery-powered lawn mowers are a type of electric lawn mower.
They are cordless electric mowers and are more expensive than those with a cord plugged into an electric socket. The reason they are more expensive is that most run off a costly lithium-ion battery.
Another confusing aspect is that some electric mowers are regarded as push lawnmowers. Others are self-propelled. You also get electric riding lawnmowers.
The push-type electric mower is more correctly known as a walk-behind mower. You will also find push mowers that are gas-powered.
It stands to reason that the push or walk-behind electric mower is less expensive than those that are self-propelled.
Traditional push mowers, which are the cheapest type, are reel mowers. They have a horizontal cylinder of blades that are attached to the wheels.
When you push it, the wheels spin the blades and the blades cut the grass with an action similar to scissors. It’s easy to see why they are the cheapest since they don’t incorporate any motor or battery.
The more technologically advanced a lawn mower is, the more expensive it’s going to be.
Advantages of having electric lawnmowers
There are so many different options when it comes to lawnmowers, you need to decide what you are comparing an electric lawnmower with. You also need to know which type of electric mower you are comparing it with.
For example, anyone who has pushed a manual lawn mower around their garden for years will say that the top advantage of having an electric mower is not having to push it.
By comparison, an electric lawn mower, particularly a self-propelled one, is effortless. But then, so too are some gas mowers.
Walk-behind electric mowers are also considerably less expensive than battery-powered mowers, which is also an advantage.
If you’re thinking of going cheaper and opting for a less expensive gas mower, here are some thoughts. Electric-powered mowers are much quieter than gas lawnmowers.
Electric lawnmowers are also a lot lighter than gas-powered mowers. This makes them considerably easier to maneuver.
They are also more environmentally friendly. We know this because of gasoline vs electric vehicles. They don’t burn gas, they don’t produce fumes, they don’t contain hazardous liquids, and they don’t smell.
Disadvantages of electric lawnmowers
As with the advantages we have discussed, when you consider the disadvantages, it depends on what other type of lawn mower you are comparing electric mowers with. There are even disadvantages and advantages of different types of electric lawnmowers.
For example, cordless, battery-powered electric mowers have a limited battery capacity. Those powered from an electric outlet via an extension cable or cord have an unlimited run time.
Similarly, a cordless electric lawn mower has a battery that needs to be charged, whereas your corded mower doesn’t. At the same time, because it has a cord, the latter can only be used to a distance equal to the length of the cord.
When comparing an electric riding lawn mower with a cordless electric mower you might not see an immediate variation. After all, both incorporate batteries.
But riding mowers generally have sealed lead acid (SLA) batteries, which is the type used in most electric vehicles. One of the biggest problems is that they damage easily.
It is also important to make sure that SLA batteries stay charged. You shouldn’t let the battery charge drop below 50% as this in itself can damage them.
If you have a large property with lots of grass to cut, you could drain it below this level very quickly.
Electric lawn mowers aren’t as tough as gas-powered lawn mowers when it comes to mowing thick grass and weeds. But if you mow your lawn regularly, this shouldn’t be an issue.
Additionally, a gas lawn mower will run further and for longer than any type of electric mower.
How long will an electric lawn mower last?
Having looked at the pros, cons, and other factors, you will probably be wondering how long an electric lawn mower will last. It’s impossible to give a single answer that will cover all types and makes.
Even though a good quality cordless electric mower will likely come with a three-year limited warranty, chances are it will last between eight and ten years. This means you can’t judge projected lifespan by the length of a warranty.
At the same time, most lawnmower batteries only last between three and five years. So, replacing batteries may become a form of maintenance.
Some people get between ten and fifteen years out of corded electric mowers.
If you are looking for the best electric lawn mower, the best thing is to read online reviews about those you like the look of. Don’t let a salesman talk you into buying something you don’t know anything about.
So are electric mowers worth the cost? Frankly, some are and some aren’t.
Before you buy an electric mower, you need to do some homework. Apart from anything else, some brands offer more value than others, and some are considerably better quality.
If the one you choose is considerably more expensive than others, it is vital to be sure that the lawn mower is worth the extra cost. As you have seen, there are pros and cons electric lawnmowers offer.
Once you establish its reliability, probably lifespan, maintenance, and other issues, you need to be sure that the lawn mower of your choice really does suit your needs. It may not be the best electric lawn mower on the market, but it must be the best for you in terms of price and capability.