Lawnmowers have a well-manicured history and have evolved from humble push reels to powerful garden mowers. As people migrated into suburbia, they acquired larger lawns which are quite common in these homes.
Unless you’re looking to make a jungle of your home, cutting and maintaining the grass in your yard is a necessary chore to keep it trim and maintain curb appeal. When shopping for a home lawnmower today, the options are electric, gas, ride-on, human-powered and robotic mowers.
What are Electric Mowers?
Electric lawnmowers can be corded and cordless. The former has an extension cord that draws power from an electric outlet. The latter draws electric power from a chargeable on-board battery.
Battery voltage ranges from 18 to 36 volts. Battery operated mowers with high voltage means they are more powerful. Recharging the battery can take 40 minutes to 24 hours, depending on the manufacturer’s specifications.
Using an Electric Mower
Modern electric mowers are ideal for small to medium-sized lawns. They are suited for typical cool-season slow-growing turf like bluegrass, fescue and perennial rye. Grass that grows faster in warm climates is lush and can cause more resistance than the electric lawn mower is built for.
Cordless mowers allow for unrestricted movement. Homeowners with big yards can buy two batteries so they don’t run out of juice before the job is done. They also have the option to cut their front yard first, charge the battery and take care of the back yard after.
Today battery-operated mowers offer longer running times with more power. The battery mower is configured like a gas mower, with a rotary steel blade spinning inside a deck. Raising and lowering the deck is all that is required when working on different grass height and density. The mower can be pushed or pushes itself.
Electric mowers can be operated as side discharge where the cut grass is ejected out of the side and leaves large clippings that with time decay into the lawn.
They can also be operated as mulching mowers where the grass clippings are chopped into finer pieces to settle onto the grass without clumping. The clippings disintegrate and decompose quickly to nourish the grass.
Some electric mowers have bagging features. This accessory allows for efficient collection of grass clippings, especially when the grass is overgrown. Leaving large clumps of grass on the lawn to rot can kill the live grass growing underneath.
Electric Mower vs Gas Mower
Electric mowers are cheaper than the gas models. They are also quiet and will not disturb the neighbours. They operate at an average of 75 decibels, quiet enough to enjoy listening to music as you mow. Gas mowers operate at around 90 decibels a noise level that draws frowns from your neighbours. Prolonged and repeated exposure to these noise levels can cause hearing loss and requires the use of earplugs.
Gas lawn mowers are bulky and can induce back and shoulder strain when pushing the machine. Electric mowers are lighter, facilitating easier manoeuvrability and mowing. Some electric mowers fold up and can be stored away vertically. Some people find the pull-to-start function of gas mowers to be difficult. With no cord to pull with an electric mower, all that is required is turning on the switch.
Maintaining an electric mower is not as expensive as other mowers because they don’t require gasoline, oil changes, tune-ups, spark plugs or air filters. All that is required is dusting off dirt, grass clipping and any other debris from the top and underside. Blade sharpening can be done by at home by hand or with a machine.
Gas mowers incur the risk of spilling petrol when refuelling. Lugging around heavy gas tanks or going to the gas station is not any more fun. All fire risks associated with fuel storage are not an issue when you opt for an electric mower.
Running costs for an electric mower are lower than buying petrol or diesel by the gallon to use a gas mower. The electric mower can be used in any season and electricity costs can be as low as $5. The cordless variety may require a battery change every two to five years, depending on the manufacturer’s specifications.
Electric mowers are environmentally friendly and do not emit any exhaust or pollutants. Gas-powered lawn mowers produce about one-third of the pollutants of a new car. Electric and battery-powered mowers are the green machine for those who are environmentally conscious.
Purchasing and maintaining an electric mower is kinder on your wallet. This noticeably quieter machine only requires electric current. Electric mowers will not choke you in its fumes and with no tune ups or oil changes, you will enjoy the low maintenance. The cordless variety works with a removable chargeable battery allowing the user to cover more ground in less time.
The advantages of using an electric mower outweigh the disadvantages. Don’t let your yard look unkempt and neglected. Use of an electric lawn mower will make trimming the yard a more enjoyable chore.