Gas Vs. Electric Lawn Mowers – A Complete Comparison

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Are you on the hunt for a new lawnmower? Well,’ maybe you have noticed that there seems to be an enormous amount of mower types and styles available on the market, so which one do you choose?

Gas Vs. Electric Lawnmowers

In this article we will explore the pros and cons of both gas-powered and electric-powered push style lawnmowers so you can find the mower of your dreams and know that it will fill your needs for years to come.

Let’s start with the familiar gas-powered push mower and get down and dirty in the details.

Gas-powered Lawn Mowers

A simple description is a lawnmower that has a combustible engine as a power source and requires gasoline and oil to run.

Almost everyone has either used or seen someone use this type of lawnmower to cut the grass. They are fast and efficient and can get the job done; however, in today’s greener society, they may be giving up some ground to their electric counterparts.

Gas-powered lawnmowers

Why might you ask? Well like gasoline-powered cars, some today believe that these types of mowers are adding to the environmental pollution in the world and feel electric to be cleaner power. Well, like all things, both have their pros and cons, as you will see.

Pros

1. Power

A gas-powered lawnmower will always be considered more powerful than its electric counterpart. This could be a huge advantage of your decision to purchase a gas-powered model. If you allow your grass to grow longer in between mowing, then you will most likely want the power of a gas-powered mower.

2. Longer continuous run time

This may also be another major factor in your decision making, as a gas-mower can cut for a longer period without needing to be recharged. If you have a large property you don’t want to stop in the middle to recharge batteries, and extremely long extension cords are not only pricey but cause issue of their own.

3. The initial cost may be lower

While I’m not saying, you can’t find gas-powered mowers that are ridiculously expensive there are a plethora of affordable and often cheap models of gas-powered lawnmowers available. If you are budget-minded, you will be able to readily find a gas-powered mower in your price range.

4. Repairs can be made

Gas-powered lawnmowers can usually be repaired, and even the smallest towns usually have a small engine or lawn mower repair shop. This can help to extend the life of your purchase, and not many of these shops have the capabilities to fix electric mowers.

Cons

1. Maintenance costs

Like your gas-powered car there is a need to do maintenance on a gas-powered lawnmower regularly to help extend the longevity of the engine. Aside from the cost of the gasoline needed to run the motor you will need to change the oil, air filter, and sparkplug to keep your mower in tip-top condition.

While most gas and oil prices are manageable, you may find plugs and air filters can get a bit pricey, so keep this in mind when looking at the different models.

2. Messy

Associated with the above, the maintenance of your gas-powered mower can be messy. Gas and oil can spill and also need to be disposed of properly. Depending on where you live, the waste disposal of these liquids may cost you a few bucks, so this can add to the overall cost of running this type of mower.

3. Emissions

Like anything gas-powered, lawnmowers have an exhaust and produce emissions. Exhaust gasses from a lawnmower are considered just as harmful as emissions from your car, and in a world that is trying to reduce these emissions, your lawnmower choice may not set well with your neighbors.

4. Noisy

Most of us, at one time or another, have been awoken on a Sunday morning to the sound of the neighbor mowing the grass at first light. The noise from a gas-powered mower is considerably more than the noise from an electric mower, and this may make you better liked by your neighbors if you are the one mowing in the early AM.

Now let’s take a look into the details of the electric lawnmowers.

Electric Lawn Mowers

Electric lawnmowers

An electric lawn mower may either be a battery-powered model or require an electrical cord to power the motor. The older models all had to use the electrical cords as batteries of old couldn’t provide enough power, but today new technology has batteries in just about all power equipment, and dare I say some have impressed me on the power they can supply.

Pros

1. Plugin and go

No gas or oil needed just slap in the battery or plug in the cord and go; it’s that easy to start and use an electric mower. If you have mobility issues or a disability that prevents you from starting the traditional gas mower you can easily start the electric version, push the power button, and off you go.

2. No mess

Unlike their gas-powered counterparts’ electric mowers don’t have gas or oil or filters or plugs to change. If you don’t have the ability to readily dispose of these contaminants, then an electric mower may be the best model for your needs.

Also, you won’t have to take the mower into the shop to have maintenance done, and this can save you money in the long run.

3. Lighter and easier to store

When a mower is not in use it can occupy a significant amount of space in your garage or shed. The electric mowers both battery and corded are lighter than gas mowers, so you could easily put them on storage hooks to free up that floor space. Also, you don’t need to worry about gas and oil leakage with an electric mower.

4. Quieter and no emissions

An electric mower of either variety has no exhaust. This makes them incredibly quiet when they are cutting the grass, and they are not propelling exhaust fumes into the air reducing emissions. In some communities you may no longer be permitted to use power equipment that produces exhaust, so this could play a significant role in your selection.

Cons

1. Batteries and cords

Electric mowers require the use of either batteries or electrical cords to get power. If you have a large yard or landscape that makes running a cord difficult, then an electric mower may not be the best choice.

You may be forced to stop in the middle of mowing to recharge your mower’s battery extending the time it takes you to mow, or you may not have enough length in your extension cord to cover the entire property.

2. May struggle with longer or wet grass

Electric mowers may not have sufficient power to cut longer grass or wet grass. While the electric models have come a long way from the one, I first used twenty years ago they still lack the overall power of a gas-powered mower for cutting wet or tall grass.

If you are not going to mow the grass on a regular schedule, then you may be better suited to a gas-powered mower over the electric variety.

3. Expensive

The initial cost of an electric mower can be substantially higher than an adequate gas-powered mower. Like I stated earlier, you can choose to spend a lot on a gas-powered mower for features, but all-electric mowers will have a higher initial cost.

The cost of a replacement or extra battery can be high and keep in mind that a good outdoor electrical cord of any length can also be expensive.

TIP: Make sure the battery and charger are included as these can increase the cost of an electric mower.

Head to Head

Head to Head

Both gas and electric mowers can cut the grass, and both come with pros and cons, so let’s compare them head to head.

A gas mower will allow you to cut longer grass, wet grass and a larger lawn easier and faster than an electric mower. However, an electric mower has no mess, is quieter, and is much lighter and easier to start.

An electric mower has no maintenance costs involved like plugs, filters oil, etc., but you may find replacement batteries expensive, and the initial cost of the mower may be out of budget.

A gas mower may be cheaper to purchase and can be repaired, but the maintenance and repair costs may exceed the initial cost of the mower.

Bottom Line

If you have a small lawn and regularly cut the grass, you would be well suited to an electric mower of either variety. If you have a large yard or are going to use the mower for more than one yard, it might be in your best interest to have a gas-powered mower.

Weigh out the pros and cons for yourself; you know your needs best, and this should help you to decide on the best type of mower. After you have selected the type of mower then you can start comparing features within your budget to get the most mower for your money.

Rose Hawes

Rose Hawes

A former master gardener, I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in creative writing and have been published in magazines such as Woman's World, Birds and Blooms, and Writer's Digest. I've also created hundreds of gardening articles for online sites such as Dave's Garden, eHow, and SFGate.

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