Electric vs. Gas Lawn Mower: Which is Better for You?

It takes a lot of effort to grow a neat and healthy lawn and so it is only fair to give it the best care possible. And when it comes to maintaining your lawn, one of the most important things is mowing it often enough.

When shopping for a lawnmower to help keep your lawn tidy, there are typically two options to choose from which are electric and gas-powered mowers.

Both still get the job done but they are quite different. And these differences will go beyond the price tag and features. They will also have both positive and negative attributes which will affect your buying decision.

Understanding how both the electric and gas-powered mowers work and some of their pros and shortcomings will help you choose something efficient to keep your lawn in great shape.

1. Electric Lawn Mower

Electric Lawn Mower

If you hate the noise that comes with gas-powered lawnmowers or the occasional messy fuel and oil leaks as your mower ages, an electric lawn mower is your best option.

Electric lawn mowers are available in two types which are the corded and battery-operated or cordless models. As their names suggest, the corded are the types that will require plugging-in to operate while the cordless ones run on rechargeable batteries.

These mowers are super silent when compared to the traditional gas-powered models and in most instances, you will not even need to cover your ears when mowing.

Also, they are easy to start, as there are no cords to pull or lengthy preparations to make as all it takes is a push of a button. And they will not produce any emissions and hence making them a great choice for the environmentally-conscious users.

Since electric mowers do not have many moveable parts, they are also easier to maintain than the gas-powered types as they do not require regular oil or spark plug changes.

And because they do not use gas, they are relatively cheaper to use in the long run. For most electric mowers, an entire summer of mowing will not add any significant cost to your monthly electric bills.

However, it is also important to note that most electric lawnmowers tend to be pricier than the gas-powered ones, and so they will require a high initial investment. Some can cost as much as double what you would pay for a gas lawn mower.

Pros

  • Quiet operation. An electric lawnmower will produce very little sound when in operation, and most of the times you will not even need to cover your ears when mowing. With a gas lawnmower, you have to deal with noises of up to 106 dB.
  • Easy start-up. Electric lawnmowers will start instantly at the push of a button which is unlike the gas-powered ones that require you to prime the motor and pull the start cord several times.
  • Require less maintenance. Electric lawn mowers will require almost no maintenance at all as they have fewer parts. There are no spark plugs or filters to change and you also do not have to change the oil and other components. And this means that they are more convenient and cheaper to own in the long run.
  • No emissions. A gas mower will create emissions when in operation as it burns gasoline. The emissions or pollutant can have some impact on the user’s health and also on the environment. But, this is a problem that you never have to worry about when using an electric lawnmower as it does not burn any fuel.

Cons

  • Relatively expensive. On average the electric lawn mowers tend to be pricier than the gas-powered ones. Some models can even cost double of what you would pay for a good gas lawn mower. And in case you go for the less expensive electric models, they will also be limited to cutting lawns without thick grass and the dry grass only as they are not very powerful.
  • Limited runtime/range of use. If you are using a battery-powered electric lawn mower its use will be limited to the amount of time that the batteries can keep a charge and you will hardly find a model that can run for more than a couple of hours at most. And when you are using the corded types, you can only mow as far as the cord will allow. These restrictions are not present when using gas-powered mowers.

2. Gas Lawn Mower

Gas Lawn Mower

Gas-powered lawnmowers are the oldest type and they are characterized by a highly powerful gas engine that might be very noisy when running but produces enough power to tackle any grass type and thickness.

This traditional mower comes with both an oil and gas tank as they are both vital for its operation. And it is typically a larger and heavier machine than the electric models.

One of the best things about these mowers is that their use is not restricted by cord or batteries running out of charge.

As long as the mower is in good working condition and there is enough fuel in the tank, it will continue running and this makes it ideal for those with relatively larger lawns.

Gas lawn mowers are also made to be rugged and highly durable and as long as you maintain them well they can last for many years. Some people often end up using the same gas lawn mower for decades.

But, noise and the emissions are their greatest shortcomings. Gas-powered lawn mowers can be quite noisy and if you are using one of the older models, it is almost impossible to operate one without covering your ears.

Also, these mowers can be quite messy, and this is more so if you are using the types that require an oil and gas mixture. And like any other gas-powered machine, they will require regular maintenance which makes them expensive to operate in the long run.

Pros

  • More powerful. Generally, gas-powered mowers tend to be more powerful than the electric ones. The gas combustion produces more power than what the electric motors can generate, and this means that the mowers can handle even the toughest lawn grasses and other plants. This also makes them the best choice for large yards.
  • Relatively affordable. Although there are some modern and more efficient gas lawn mowers that can cost thousands of dollars, gas-powered mowers are often cheaper than the electric ones. And this means that they will require less initial investment. Also, these mowers are more widely available and so you will have many brands and models to pick from.
  • Longer run times and more convenient. Modern gas lawn mowers will not use up a lot of fuel, and so a full tank will provide a longer run time than what most electric mowers that run on batteries can provide. And they are also more convenient to use as most are self-propelled and there are also no cords to deal with.

Cons

  • Terrible emissions. If you are going to use a gas-powered lawnmower you should be ready for the annoying emissions that result from the combustion in the engine. These emissions are not only dangerous for your health but also for the environment. This is unlike the electric ones that do not produce any emissions at all.
  • Can be quite noisy and messy. Gas lawn mowers are quite noisy, and most of them will exceed the 85-90 dB threshold above which hearing protection is necessary. And the presence of oil and fuel always leaves the possibility of having to deal with some messy situations in case of leaks.

Conclusion

Whether you buy an electric or gas lawn mower you can still get a highly efficient machine that will help to keep your lawn in pristine conditions provided you pick a good model.

However, when it comes to choosing between the two types, your budget, the size of your yard and your preferences should guide you.

An electric lawn mower is a great choice from those with small or medium size lawns and are looking for something more environmentally-friendly and do not have budgetary constraints.

Choose a gas lawn mower if you want something relatively affordable and easy to find for mowing your large yard and do not mind the noise and emissions that come with it.

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