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6 Things to Consider When Buying a Lawn Mower

Electric battery vs. gas, environmental impact and ease of use make the list

a battery powered lawn mower and a gas powered lawn mower

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En español | It is important to have the right lawn mower. The average American spends about 17 minutes a day, or about 103 hours a year, caring for their lawn or garden, according to the “American Time Use Survey” by the U.S. Department of Labor. In recent years battery-powered mowers have become increasingly popular. Research and Markets, an online platform that provides market data, expects the global electric lawn mower market size to surpass revenues of $8 billion by 2025.

Lightweight, and with less fueling and maintenance hassle, models that run on electricity may benefit older Americans. “I like battery-powered over gas-powered for older people because of a few reasons,” says Alex Kuritz, owner of Lawn Liberty, a service that connects homeowners with lawn-maintenance workers. “First is that they are much lighter weight and are easier to handle and navigate around your yard. Second is they are easier to start and maintain, as well. With a battery-powered mower, you just need to remember to charge the batteries and do some basic cleaning, where with a gas mower, you will have more upkeep to keep it working optimally, such as yearly oil changes, making sure you have fresh gas and belt changes."

Here's a guide.

1. Weight

A battery-powered mower is the lightest option. “For maneuverability, battery-powered mowers are by far the easiest. Especially on hills and slopes,” says Kuritz. “The lighter weight and self-propelled option on newer models make these a breeze to handle.”

Battery: About 50 or 60 pounds

Gas: About 90 pounds.

2. Power

While battery-powered mowers are lighter, they are frequently less powerful than gas options. “If you have a large lawn, one third of an acre or more, then you should consider using a gas-powered lawn mower,” advises David Hillock, Oklahoma State University extension consumer horticulturist.

Battery: 40-volt models work well for small yards without thick grass; 80-volt models are similar in power to gas mowers.

Gas: Any good mower should be able to cut through longer grass or weeds.

3. Noise

Battery-powered mowers are quieter, in the same way that electric cars run with a hum and not a roar.

Battery: Roughly 70 decibels, about the same as a vacuum cleaner

Gas: About 80 to 85 decibels, similar to a blender


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4. Cutting time

If you go with a battery-operated mower, you will probably have to charge it in between uses, says Hillock. Some people will buy two batteries, so they can charge one while the other is in use. For a gas mower, you can probably get two mows before needing to fill up.

Battery: A charge can last from 30 to 90 minutes.

Gas: One or two mows per tank

5. Price

Battery: About $300 and up

Gas: About $200 and up

This is just the initial cost. You will probably save money with the battery-powered option. “You might spend $20 to $30 a year on gasoline, depending, of course, on how big your lawn is and what the gas prices are,” says Hillock. “Versus maybe $15 to $20 a year on electricity recharging your batteries."

6. Environmental impact

Lawn maintenance can be harmful to the earth. Battery-powered mowers help mitigate the impact.

Battery: Electric mowers could cut down on the amount of gas burned in the United States. According to the U.S Environmental Protection Agency, Americans burn about 800 million gallons of gas caring for their lawns.

Gas: According to the same report, a new gas mower emits the same amount of atmospheric pollutants as driving 11 new cars for one hour.
 

Electric vs. Gas Mowers

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