Gas & Electric Versus Battery Powered Lawn Mowers
If you're in the market for a new lawn mower, sometimes the choices can become overwhelming. Many of us find it's easier to stick with what you know, or what your friends and family use, which is usually a gas powered mower.
People often start their search by asking if battery powered mowers are any good. The short and sweet answer to this is yes, yes they are.
I recently made the switch myself. Keep reading to find out why I think this was a good decision and really works for me.
Is a Battery Powered Lawnmower really the right choice for you?
As I mentioned above, I've changed from a fuel powered lawn mower to a battery powered one. Six months down the track and I'm a complete convert.
There's no need to struggle with a pull cord with these models. They are generally started by pushing a button while squeezing a trigger. This is especially good if you have any health issues or are getting a bit long in the tooth.
There are some situations where you're better off buying a gas powered lawn mower, and this is mainly due to having a very large area of lawn - and by large I mean HUGE, or you don't mow often and have very long grass.
That said, did you know there are battery powered ride-ons? The range of battery powered lawn mowers really covers just about everyone.
The gas powered mowers do have more grunt which is better for overgrown lawns. What I've found personally though, is that it is now so easy to mow my small patch of grass, that I do it regularly and it barely has a chance to grow too long.
Lightweight, and Super Manoeuvrable
I've become THAT person. I'm preaching to my friends who hate mowing their small patches of lawn, to get one. I even offered to take my mower over to show them how easy it is.
I have a 13" Ryobi 18V battery powered mower, which easily handles the job of my very small lawn. It's so lightweight that I thought nothing of lifting it into my hatchback to take to my friends unit to show her how good it is.
No Fumes and Little Maintenance
I'm not a fan of going to the gas station to fill my car, so why would filling gas cans to store for my mower be on my wish list of things to do in my time off.
Battery powered models have no fuels, fumes or pull cords to struggle with. I don't need to worry about spark plugs and carburetors, filters, oil or priming.
Just looking at this image of a fuel powered mower makes me go, uggh. Is it just me, or do these look a bit old fashioned and like hard work?
Battery Power is Eco-Friendly
It doesn't matter what your stance is on the environment and climate change, battery powered appliances that use an interchangeable power source make things nice, clean and easy.
There are no fumes to emit and being much quieter than their gas powered cousins, which means its quieter for you and your neighbors, and who amongst us doesn't want to be a better neighbor?
The Drawbacks of Gas Powered and Electric Lawn Mowers
Battery powered appliances are also known as cordless. You need to make sure your battery is charged when you want to use the appliance, but that's pretty much it when it comes to forward planning.
Being cordless gives you flexibility of movement. Not being tethered to a power outlet has big advantages which I discovered when switching from a Dyson electric vacuum to a Dyson cordless.
Like battery powered mowers, electric corded lawn mowers are much lighter and quieter than gas powered models, but a corded mower won’t suit a lawn with obstacles. You're also restricted by the length of the cord.
Gas powered mowers are more powerful and suited to big jobs, but are also heavier and higher maintenance than battery or corded mowers.
Expanding the Range - It's not all about Drills
Sure, we know about cordless drills and other home DIY type tools, but did you know there's also a big range of battery powered garden pruning tools and saws, as well as car buffers and even stick vacuum cleaners?
Until recently, I didn't realize the range of battery powered tools was as extensive as it is. You now only need to buy the one battery pack to power a range of groovy gadgets.
Manufacturers of power tools are now deliberately designing their tools to use the same battery. Doing it this way makes the appliances cheaper and therefore more accessible to more people. It's also a way of keeping you loyal to a particular brand.
One Battery or Two?
Some of the more powerful lawn mowers need two batteries to power them. The one I bought only needs the one 18V battery, but now that I'm more aware of the additional tools that can be powered by these batteries, in hindsight, I would have considered buying a twin battery pack.
This is not a big deal as I can easily buy an extra battery later on if I need to. I just pointed this out as something to consider beforehand if you already know you're going to add to your power tool and accessories range.
I'm the kind of person that if I start work in the garden and need to switch from a lawnmower to a leaf blower or hedge trimmer, then I don't want to stop waiting for a battery to charge up. This is where a twin pack would be handy.
Which Battery Powered Brand of Lawn Mower is Best?
At this stage I can only speak for the Ryobi brand as it's the one I've personally tested and am completely happy with. The thing to realize is that any of the big name brands that include lawn mowers in their battery powered range are going to be good products.
Right now, as well as Ryobi, there's Makita, DeWalt, Toro and Black & Decker that have built strong reputations on quality products and they back it up with reliable customer service.
I bought a Makita Hammer Drill complete with a new battery and charger less than 12 months ago as the older charger and battery I had with my previous drill was now redundant. My local store didn't stock the smaller Makita mowers.
To be honest, I didn't want to spend an additional $200 on something that was overkill for my lawn. If I had a larger lawn, then the Ryobi and the Makita mowers that are made for larger lawns would have been comparable.
Already having the Makita battery and charger would have made this a very strong consideration in the brand choice. As it is, I'm happy with both the powerful cordless Makita Hammer drill, and the Ryobi lawn mower.
Although completely unintentional, it now gives me the choice between these two very good brands when choosing future battery powered appliances.