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

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If you're shopping for a lawn mower, then you've likely already realized that the amount of choices you have can be overwhelming. One of the biggest choices is how your mower will be powered. Today, you can choose between gas, corded, and even battery lawn mowers. But which is right for you? All three types of mowers have a number of advantages and disadvantages, and there isn't a one-size-fits-all choice. The best one for you depends on your unique skills and requirements.

This article will cover battery powered lawn mowers and how they compare to gas mowers. It's goal is to help you decide if purchasing a battery mower is a good match for your needs. You may want to read our buyers guide on gas powered mowers, and even learn more about electric corded mowers. The mower you buy today, should last you many years, so doing a little research can help you better understand the best choice for you.


Red battery powered lawn mower cutting grass

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.

Crystal globe in green grass

Emissions

In today's world, buying environmentally responsible products is always a good idea. 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, then 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 hard hats and ear protection

Low Noise and Lightweight

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 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 have a low decibel hum from the electric mower. The only real noise you'll hear will be from the blade cutting the grass.

Most electric mowers are quiet enough so that you won't need to use hearing protection, and you'll never scare your pets or bother your neighbors when you're mowing the lawn.

Red 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, and if you're looking for a small to mid-sized lawn mower, then you'll find that 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. 

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 and battery powered mowers on display

Gas vs. Battery Lawn Mower

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

But, 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 it also reduces your maneuverability. So finding the sweet spot will make 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 maybe your best choice.

Close-up shot of grass

Top 3 Battery Powered Lawn Mower Picks

Here are three of our favorite battery powered lawn mowers to help you start shopping. There's plenty of great models available on the market today, so make sure the one you decide to purchase meets your needs.

Greenworks Cordless Twin Force Lawn Mower

The Greenworks Cordless Twin Force Lawn Mower is a dual-deck mower that 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 Twin Force Lawn Mower, 4Ah & 2Ah Batteries with Charger Included

The Greenworks Twin Force comes with one G-max 40v Li-Ion battery, one 2 AH battery, and the necessary charger. 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 helps the mower tackle the toughest terrains.

The two steel blades provide for a clean and better cut, as well as improve 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. 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 3-in-1 Lawn Mower, String Trimmer and Edger, 12-Inch (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.

It 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 features a gear-driven transmission to prevent the motor from bogging down. The string automatically advances with the Auto Feed System - no bumping required!

The Black + Decker 3-in-1 Lawn Mower is easy to operate, and switching between tools is as simple as pressing on the foot pedal to insert or remove the trimmer/edger from the base. The mower deck has two height adjustments options to help you find the perfect grass length. You can read our full review here.


Makita Brushless Cordless Lawn Mower

Our favorite battery powered lawn mower is the Makita Brushless Cordless Lawn Mower. It has an 18" heavy duty steel deck, and can cut up to 7,300 square feet on two 5.0Ah batteries. The handle folds down for compact storage on a shelf or under a tool bench.

Makita XML03PT1 18V X2 (36V) LXT Lithium‑Ion Brushless Cordless (5.0Ah) 18" Lawn Mower Kit with 4 Batteries, Teal

Weighing in at over 90-pounds, this is not a lightweight mower, but it more than makes for it's extra weight in durability and design. The brushless motor can run in "quiet mode" to reduce noise and still deliver 2500 RPM, or for faster cutting, it can operate at 2500 to 3300 RPM.

There are 10 cutting height options ranging from 13/16" to 2-15/16-inches. Once single lever adjusts all four wheels. The 16-gallon capacity bag catches the grass clippings.

The Makita mower is powered by two 18v LXT batteries, which gives it a collective 36v of power, and the 18v batteries are interchangeable with other Makita compatible tools. If you don't currently own other Makita tools, you should consider purchasing the kit which, in addition to the mower, includes 4 fast-charging 18v LXT Lithium-Ion 5.0Ah batteries, and a 18v dual port rapid charger.

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 the important internal components.

Last update on 2021-12-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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