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Feb 20

Electric vs Gas Lawn Mower

The options are so many but you have to pick just one. It is tough to have to make many important choices when buying a lawn mower. One of the major decisions is whether to go for an electric or gas powered mower. I am not the person who will provide a straightforward recommendation or advocate in favor of one type against the other. I will, however, help you decide which option is better for you. I have plenty of experience using such machines as a professional gardener in California so I am sure that my comparison will be of great assistance to you.

Electric vs. Gas Lawn Mower

Electric vs Gas Lawn Mower

The electric lawn mower uses an electric motor whose job is to convert electrical energy to mechanical. Typically, the motor has standard construction in line with the modern standards for mowers. The motor uses electricity to run and there are two ways in which it can be powered. It can be directly connected to the electric grid via an electric cord. Alternatively, it can run on a battery which is typically removed from the unit to be charged with a charger at a preferred power outlet.

The gas powered lawn mower uses a gasoline engine. Inside the engine fuel combustion takes place thanks to the spark ignition. The mowers which use such an engine come equipped with a fuel tank whose volume typically corresponds to the power which the engine can produce.

I should point out that there are three main types of gas engines available with mowers. There is the standard engine which has a flat head and a side valve. The overhead cams (OHC) engine is superior to the standard one because it is more powerful. The overhead valve (OHV) engine is considered the best because it is more powerful, more efficient in the long term and less noisy.

There are no other major differences between the electric lawn mower and the gas powered mower. Factors such as size, weight, cutting system and clippings collection system vary from one model to another irrespective of the power source. Similarly, a self propelled unit can be powered by either a motor or an engine. Now let us take a look at the good and bad sides of both options.

Electric Lawn Mower

Electric Lawn Mower

Electric Lawn Mower

Pros

  • Clean operation – This is one of the major benefits of the electric lawn mower. There no exhaust fumes during the operation of the machine and you and the people around you do not have to breathe dirty air.
  • Environmentally friendly – The electric mower produces no harmful gas emissions. It has no carbon footprint. This makes it totally green.
  • Fairly quiet – The electric machines typically produce less than 75 decibels. This makes them much quieter than their gas powered counterparts. When the unit operates quietly, you do not have to worry about disturbing your neighbors or your family. You can mow the lawn at any time.
  • No motor maintenance – This is one of the best things about electric mowers. You will not have to spend extra time and effort caring for the mower and get dirty.
  • Versatile options – You can go for a corded electric mower. Typically the operating range of such a machine is between 100 and 150 feet. The battery powered models have cordless operation.

Cons

  • Smaller amount of power – An electric mower with a weight equal to that of a gas powered unit will typically produce less power. Simply put, the average electric unit is less powerful than the average gas powered one. This affects the capability of the machine as well. It is capable of mowing a smaller area. In general, the average electric mower is capable of handling a cutting area smaller than 1/3 acre. This corresponds to a small to medium-sized lawn.
  • Battery replacement – The battery of a battery powered mower will have to be replaced eventually and this will add considerably to the cost of using the machine. Besides, you will have to provide for the safe disposal of the old battery.

Gas Powered Lawn Mower

Gas Lawn Mower

Gas Lawn Mower

Pros

  • More powerful – The average gas powered mower produces more power than the average electric one. The engine of such a machine can make as much as 7 horsepower and sometimes even more.
  • Better capabilities – With a more powerful engine, the gas powered lawn mower is capable of clearing a larger area. Typically, these machines can handle an area as large as 1/2 acre. This makes them suitable for small, medium-sized and large lawns. You can expect excellent grass cutting efficiency and less operating time.
  • Various options – You can select from three different types of engines depending on your preferences, requirements and budget.

Cons

  • Considerable maintenance required – You will have to perform several engine maintenance tasks on an annual basis. These include emptying the fuel tank, changing the oil and replacing the filter and spark plug.
  • Noise pollution – A gas powered mower can be as loud as 95 decibels and even more. The noisy operation can be an issue especially if you have a bigger lawn or very particular neighbors.
  • Air pollution – Carbon dioxide and other harmful gases will go into the atmosphere. The amount of exhaust fumes is not large, but it could be more than unpleasant.

Conclusion

 

In conclusion, you are the one who has to decide between an electric and gas powered lawn mower.

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