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Battery Lawn Mowers vs. Gas Mowers (Which is Right for You?)

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Choosing a lawn mower can be an overwhelming experience. If you're on the fence of whether to purchase a battery powered lawn mower or a gas mower you'll want to take a close look how they compare.

This article will cover battery powered lawn mowers and how they compare to gas mowers, and to help you decide if purchasing a battery mower is a good match for your lawn needs. 


Mowing lawn with gas lawn mower

Battery vs Gas: Maintenance

When it comes to maintenance, battery operated lawn mowers are so much easier.

With a gas mower, you'll have more moving parts to worry about, as well as the engine components that ensure the mower runs at peak performance.

This means you'll need to replace the fuel and oil regularly, and you'll need to clean and/or replace the air filter. Spark plugs need to be checked and replaced, and when the winter months come, the engine should be winterized to protect it from the cold.

Gas powered lawn mowers are excellent for some situations, particularly if you have a large lawn. But for the average homeowner who doesn't want to deal with the additional maintenance requirements, a battery lawn mower is often a better choice.

Battery lawn mowers, or as they are often called, cordless electric lawn mowers, are far simpler to use and maintain. You'll only need to worry about cleaning, charging the battery, and sharpening the mower's blades periodically. And if sharpening isn't your thing, you can simply purchase a new set at a very reasonable price.

Glass world globe in green grass

Emissions

Battery operated lawn mowers produce fewer emissions (in fact, they produce zero emissions), so if you're in a state where gas powered devices are heavily regulated, such as California, it's much easier and often more affordable to choose a battery powered mower rather than find a CARB compliant gas device that meets your needs. 

With a battery lawn mower, you won't need to worry about emissions since there are none. You won't be using fossil fuel to power your lawn mower, and if your state gets the majority of its electricity from renewable resources, you'll be making the least environmental impact possible.

Using battery power can also be more convenient since you won't have to worry about running out of gas or storing fuel at home.

Sure, your battery may run low, but if you have a spare, you can easily swap it out and be back mowing again. No mess, no fuss!

Keep in mind, that should you need to replace your battery, you'll want to dispose of it properly. However, there are plenty of places where you can drop it off at no cost

Man and woman wearing ear protection

Lightweight and Low Noise

If you're someone who struggles with a large and heavy gas powered lawn mower, then you'll appreciate how light an electric mower can be.

With a battery powered cordless mower, you'll have a mower that uses a combination of metal and plastic in order to keep weight down. And there's no heavy engine to make it difficult to push around the lawn.

Noise levels are also significantly reduced.

Instead of the sound of the engine running, you'll hear a low decibel hum from the electric mower. In fact, the only real noise is when the blade is cutting the grass.

Most electric mowers are quiet enough that wearing ear protection isn't necessary. And you'll never scare your pets or bother your neighbors when you're mowing the lawn.

Close-up of a red gas lawn mower

Power

In the past, a battery powered lawn mower would come with significant compromises in power and operating time.

Older battery technology simply didn't offer long enough running cycles or enough voltage to make battery mowers comparable to gas mowers.

But today, the story is very different. If you're looking for a small to mid-sized lawn mower, then you'll find a battery powered mower can hold it's own against a gas mower. This is particularly true if you're looking for a mower with a 16" to 22" mowing path size. 

Batteries

Modern batteries use lithium ion cells that charge quickly, and can run at power output levels of up to 40v. This means you'll have a fast spinning blade with plenty of torque.

Finishing your lawn with a battery powered lawn mower will leave the grass looking just as good as it would with a traditional gas mower.

With most battery lawn mowers, you'll be able to get between 30 to 40 minutes of total cut time, which is enough for the average homeowner to finish their mowing. If your lawn is slightly larger than average, then simply swap in a fresh battery pack and you're on your way.  

If you've been reluctant to look at battery lawn mowers because you thought they wouldn't have enough power or enough running time from a single charge, then you'll be pleasantly surprised. 

Red gas lawn mowers on display

Battery Lawn Mower vs. Gas Mower

Gas powered lawn mowers are not obsolete, and they are the industry standard when it comes to highly demanding mowing jobs. However, it does make sense to switch from a gas mower to a battery powered lawn mower.

For the average homeowner, a battery powered electric mower is more than capable of providing enough running time to cover a medium-sized yard. In addition, the reduced maintenance makes them much more appealing for busy families, or those who are less mechanically inclined.

When purchasing a battery powered mower (or any mower for that matter), it's critical to find a mower with a large enough mowing deck to meet your needs. For the average lawn, that's a 16-inch deck.

The larger the deck size, the fewer passes you'll need to make to get your lawn mowed, but keep in mind, the larger decks will reduce your maneuverability. So finding the sweet spot makes your job easier in the long run.

If you want to take advantage of an easy-to-use and maintain mower, and you don't want to worry about dragging a power cord everywhere you go, then a battery operated lawn mower may be your best choice.

Green Grass Close-up

Top 3 Battery Powered Lawn Mower Picks

If you've decided that a battery powered lawn mower is for you, here are three of our top picks to help you start shopping.

There's plenty of great models available on the market today, so make sure that the one you choose meets your lawn needs.

Greenworks Cordless Twin Force Lawn Mower

The Greenworks Cordless Twin Force Lawn Mower is a dual-deck mower which uses two cutting blades to increase the efficiency and expand the mowing path. The total mowing path is 20-inches, which is comparable to a mid-sized gas mower.

Greenworks 40V 20-Inch Cordless (2-In-1) Push Lawn Mower, 4.0Ah + 2.0Ah Battery and Charger Included 25302

The Greenworks Twin Force comes with one G-max 4.0v AH battery, one 2.0 AH battery, and the necessary charger. With both batteries fully charged, you can expect up to 45-minutes of run time.

The 40V Li-Ion battery system is interchangeable with over 40 other Greenworks yard tools, and can easily handle lawns of up to 1/2-acre in size.

With a 20-inch cutting deck, and weighing in at just over 42-pounds, the Greenworks Twin Force is lightweight and maneuverable. It's also 40-pounds lighter than the average gas lawn mower.

The 7-inch front wheels, and 10-inch rear wheels are ideal for tackling tough terrains.

A clean and better cut is achieved with this mowers two steel blades, as well as improved mulching. Or, if you choose, you can bag your clippings.

The Greenworks Twin Force has dual battery ports, a push button start, and smart cut technology, which allows the mower to automatically adjust the power based on the grass height.


Black + Decker 3-in-1 Lawn Mower

The Black + Decker 3-in-1 Lawn Mower is a unique yard tool that's ideal for homeowners who have a small yard and wants a multi-function mower which you can mow your yard, yet trim and edge pathways and flower beds. The multi-purpose string trimmer and edger can operate as a lawn mower when it's inserted into the 12-inch wheeled base.

BLACK+DECKER Cordless Lawn Mower, String Trimmer, Edger, 3-in-1 (MTC220)

It's ideal for small yards of up to 1,200 square feet, and because of it's small footprint, it is excellent at reaching those "difficult to get-to spots" that other mowers miss. The MTC220 model is battery powered, but there's also a corded model available.

The Black + Decker 3-in-1 Lawn Mower comes with two 20-volt MAX Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries which can be used on any of Black + Decker's 20-volt MAX line of power tools. And it features a gear-driven transmission to prevent the motor from bogging down. The string automatically advances with the Auto Feed System - no bumping required!

Switching between tools is as simple as pressing the foot pedal to insert or remove the trimmer/edger from the base. The mower deck has two height adjustment options to help you find the perfect grass length. 


Makita Brushless Cordless Lawn Mower

Our favorite battery powered lawn mower is the Makita XML03CM1 Brushless Cordless Lawn Mower. It has a 18" alloy steel deck, and cuts non-stop for up to 2 miles. It comes with four fast-charging 18v LXT 4.0Ah batteries and a dual port battery charger.

Makita XML03CM1 36V (18V X2) LXT® Brushless 18" Lawn Mower Kit with 4 Batteries

Weighing in at over 80-pounds, this is not a lightweight mower, however it is self-propelled which makes it very easy to maneuver and handle. In addition, the durability and design more than make up for its extra weight.

The Makita-built brushless motor delivers up to 3,300 RPM, and the commercial-grade steel deck is built to last. The mower runs off two 18v LXT batteries, and includes features such as a folding handle for compact storage, a 16-gallon grass collector bag, and a quick height adjustment mechanism. 

Possibly the best feature about this mower is Makita's Extreme Protection Technology (XPT). This feature is built to enhance the mower's weather-resistant construction by providing a protective seal inside the mower. With focused engineering, Makita pays special attention to improving the mower's operation in harsh conditions by channeling dust and water away from important internal components.

Last update on 2022-09-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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