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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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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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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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Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
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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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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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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Quote:
Originally Posted by saimike View Post
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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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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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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Old 07-16-2018, 10:03 AM   #11
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Re: Lawn mower: battery electric vs gas


This is old thread I know but figured it may help people if they are searching for some answers.

We recently purchased the 18V Kobalt self propelled mower. It comes with two batteries and a charger and decided on this over a gas mower as we didn't want to deal with gas and more than anything the noise.

Performance has been great so far for our I would say 1/4 acre of lawn. I tested using ALL self-propelled and I went through one full battery and 3/4 of the second battery. If I didn't use the self propel function at all, I was able to get the entire lawn done with one battery with one light bar left (not sure if that's 1/4 battery or what).

And it's SO quiet. We can mow as late as 8PM if we wanted to. It sounds like a giant fan running. Our neighbors were puzzled as to why it was so quiet. The startup is very fast and if we let go, it stops very quickly. Not worrying about pulling the cord again and starts up right away with a push of a button is a very nice feature.

Cut wise, it's great so far; I've tried as tall as 5-6" grass as we were letting the new grass grow and the mower basically increases the speed if it starts to bog down. This is where it can obviously use more battery power but so far it's never bogged down to the point the mower shuts down. Of course we cut no more than 50% of the grass and leave the clippings on the ground to recycle the nutrients back into the soil. Still makes a nice pattern on the grass even though the mower is light and can be stowed away.

I guess time will tell as far as the battery's life is concerned. I've been personally doing just about everything battery powered including the hedge trimmer (DeWalt 20V), and most of my woodworking tools. Other than wood routers, sawzall (wanted more power with corded) and obviously that can't really be run with a battery, it's all on the 20V battery.
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Old 07-16-2018, 11:07 AM   #12
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Re: Lawn mower: battery electric vs gas


Good post and I as well, have been converting slowly to all portable battery lawn tools. Tired of the gas/oil, yanking on pull cords.

I am apprehensive though, about what the electric mower battery replacements will cost. Just to get a battery for my 5 year old 36 volt B & D stringer trimmer, blower and hedger combo now, is $100.00 a battery. Ouch...
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Old 07-16-2018, 12:31 PM   #13
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Re: Lawn mower: battery electric vs gas


I just went through this exact same issue myself as I now have to resume caring for my yard now that all my son's are either in college or moved away. I was really attracted to the pros of a battery operated system, and chose to get the self propelled EGO 56V setup for the mower and blower, and the Milwaukee 18V setup for the trimmer (I have Milwaukee 18V impact driver and drill, and the third battery and extra charger dovetail perfectly into that existing platform for me. My backup, if the EGO didn;t work out, was to get the Honda HHR self-propelled gasser.

Performance, the EGO was so very quiet, but kept bogging down and shutting itself down. Granted, the grass was damp, but in all honesty, I can never count on non-damp grass here in the stormy summer weather in central Alabama. That simply killed the battery option for me in terms of a mower. I tried the blower, but after having the last 15 years of using commercial Stihl backpack blowers, the EGO blower made me feel like I was having to literally "push" the stuff it was blowing in my driveway... just did not have enough breath to it for my needs. With the extreme amount of hardwood leaf fall in the latter part of the year, I just need a stronger blower!

NOW... I took back the two EGO units and now have a Honda HHR and it performs flawlessly! I have not yet purchased my gas backpack blower, but it will be a Stihl or Echo, and I'm still searching for a decent used unit where someone is upgrading their lawn business equipment to the newer and larger models.

It pains me that the battery (Li-ion) options did not work out for me. They did perform better than I expected, but in my world, they are just not quite yet ready for prime time.

Oh... my yard... roughly 6000 sq ft of grass to mow on a perfectly flat front yard, and it's not even heavy grass... mostly light weeds until I re-sod the front in Meyer Zoysia.

If you can cut your grass with a low height and be sure that you can always cut it when it's perfectly dry, the battery mower may do well for you. With battery technology improving, I predict it will be another 2-4 years before I can find one which fits my own particular needs, and I dream of getting there so I can avoid the hassles of gas and oil and spark plugs and air filters and fuel filters and fuel additives and "prepping" the gassers every fall for their winter rest.
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Old 07-24-2018, 05:23 AM   #14
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Re: Lawn mower: battery electric vs gas


Disappointing post regarding battery powered electric OPE tools but not completely surprising.

My first electric drill was a small Sears brand unit 35+ years ago (slow, weak, but no cord), then I got a commercial use AEG drill ~30 years ago (large, powerful, heavy, but limited battery life when drilling), and now I have a Ryobi Hammer Drill only two months old (smaller and lighter than the AEG and drilled multiple holes in a concrete floor without slowing). Both upgrades were a light years improvement in regards to useability!

I am intrigued by the DR Mowers family of tools. The mower uses three battery packs and each of the smaller tools uses one pack only. All packs are identical. May still be too early though......

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Old 07-24-2018, 07:21 AM   #15
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Re: Lawn mower: battery electric vs gas


I have a 40V Yardworks lawn mower. Had it 3 or 4 years now. Works great
and I'll never go back to gas or corded. It came with 2 x 3Ah batteries and
a fast charger so you can cut forever. Not sure how big my lawn is but it
takes over an hour and that's moving fairly fast.

This year I bought a 40V Yardworks whipper snipper. It came with 1 x 2Ah
battery. Obviously this battery is smaller, but they're interchangeable. It works
great too. Lots of power.

I'd like to buy the matching chain saw. Be nice to not have to bother with
gas/oil when the job is small. Also be nice to have a lighter saw (with no
cord) when climbing the tree to cut a couple limbs. $300 has held me back
so far.
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