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Old 05-24-2013, 10:32 AM   #1
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Lawn mower: battery electric vs gas


I am looking to get a lawn mower. I have about 5000 sq ft total to mow and about 1500 of it is my front yard. There is a slight gradient in the backyard so I am leaning towards a self-propelled push mower. I might consider a really outstanding regular push mower.

With this in mind, what are some concerns of battery electric vs gas? From reading the web, I like the lower maintenance (no oil change!) and operational (no need to buy gas!) requirements of electric but worry if it would come up short when I actually use it. I am not really worried about the battery capacity -- if it can't do all 5000 sq ft in one go, I can do the front yard one week and the back yard the following week and nobody would notice

Home Depot has the HRR216K9VKA (Honda gas) and SPCM1936 (Black and Decker electric) for $399. I'd appreciate it if somebody can suggest other models I should look at, if any. Thanks!

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Old 05-24-2013, 10:38 AM   #2
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Lawn mower: battery electric vs gas


Do a Google or Bing search on "electric lawn mower reviews"

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Old 05-24-2013, 10:47 AM   #3
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Lawn mower: battery electric vs gas


I keep hoping my gas mower will die so I can justify buying an cordless electric mower.

I did have a cordless trimmer....dropped it once too many times, broke the handle. I had it about 7 years...replaced the battery once....now I have a corded one....and I hate dragging the cord around. I'm keeping an eye out for the Ryobi cordless to go on sale...I'll be able to use the battery on it on my cordless tools as well.

So...Yea....I'm a fan of cordless....

The B&D gets a pretty good reviews.
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Old 05-24-2013, 11:52 AM   #4
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Lawn mower: battery electric vs gas


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Do a Google or Bing search on "electric lawn mower reviews"
Already did that, and found many "advertorials" instead of bona fide reviews. That's why I posted here, to get some experiences of folks who have owned either electric or gas.

Do you have anything else to add?
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Old 05-24-2013, 12:35 PM   #5
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I keep hoping my gas mower will die so I can justify buying an cordless electric mower.

I did have a cordless trimmer....dropped it once too many times, broke the handle. I had it about 7 years...replaced the battery once....now I have a corded one....and I hate dragging the cord around. I'm keeping an eye out for the Ryobi cordless to go on sale...I'll be able to use the battery on it on my cordless tools as well.

So...Yea....I'm a fan of cordless....

The B&D gets a pretty good reviews.
I'm pretty intrigued by the Ryobi 18v Li battery system too -- seems good for amateurs like me in terms of tool selection and price. How has it worked out for you?
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Old 05-24-2013, 12:53 PM   #6
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Lawn mower: battery electric vs gas


That's a fair sized lawn. A self propelled mower will take a lot of the work out of the task. I have bought a couple of battery electric mowers. For sure its convenient that there is no gas to fill, no cord to pull. But the weak link was the battery in those days (i.e. the weak link was how many years the battery lasted). I think those would have been lead-acid batteries in those days. The Lithium-ion batteries might last longer. But I would suggest gas.
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Old 05-24-2013, 01:12 PM   #7
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Lawn mower: battery electric vs gas


I've been real happy with Ryobi overall. My cordless tools have built both a 2-story garage and now the 2-story addition to my house....in the 14 years I have started collecting the Ryobi stuff, I've used up one drill and 3 batteries...I have 2 batteries now (nicad) still in good shape...but I'm looking to go to Li..

If I was doing this for a living...I might upgrade...but for me...it's been a very good value.

One of the keys to selecting any cordless system is getting the most out of them. Having 5 different types of batteries is not practical. And considering that the battery is the weak point of any cordless system...and deteriorate if not used, it only makes sense to have all the same batteries.

For the homeowner/DIY'r....Ryobi is a good value and seems to have the broadest range of cordless tools.
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Old 05-29-2013, 07:38 AM   #8
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Lawn mower: battery electric vs gas


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I'm pretty intrigued by the Ryobi 18v Li battery system too -- seems good for amateurs like me in terms of tool selection and price. How has it worked out for you?
I have them and I love them. The trimmer has been solid, only downside is the unusually sized string replacement thingies are a bit pricey. My wife loves the blower for cleaning off the decks and walks. I use all of the hand tools too. Reciprocating saw is good for everything including pruning, power drill is solid, circular saw is basic and easy, etc.

But Ryobi also has a 24v and 40v lithium ion battery set. The 40v includes an electric mower, chainsaw, trimmer, etc. If you're headed in the electric direction it might be worth looking at these. I wouldn't get a plug-in electric tool.

To be honest tho, changing the oil and gassing up a mower isn't very hard. I used to fear and hate it, but honestly I freakishly enjoy doing maintenance on my tools like this now. Satisfaction I guess.
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Old 06-03-2013, 05:29 PM   #9
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Lawn mower: battery electric vs gas


If you've got a well controlled and manicured yard I think electric is OK, but for a yard where you've got weeded side areas, etc, it can be a pain.

I had a corded electric to start with for my 10,000sqft yard (yes, idiotic for something that large) and I found that the mower would not handle less than ideal conditions very well--if the grass was not completely dry, if I left the grass go too long between mowings, if I was trying to knock down weed growth under bushes at the sides of the yards...

With a yard that size I wonder how often you'll be replacing batteries or running out of juice before the lawn is complete?

Since going to gas I am much happier. Changing the oil is honestly a non-event, you unscrew a cap, tip the thing on its side into a plastic pan and then stop by your local auto parts store to get rid of the ~pint of used oil. Stabil in the gas cans all years, along with an inline shut off valve (which they all have these days) and you'll always have a fairly easy start in spring if you run the mower "out of gas" at the end of each season.
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Old 06-04-2013, 06:06 AM   #10
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Lawn mower: battery electric vs gas


The electric are well proven at this point.

Battery models are less so but are coming around. Li-ion batteries aren't cheap though. Be prepared to spend and I would say that 5,000 sq/ft is near the top of what many of the ranges are.

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