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Gasoline or battery powered lawn mower | Leaf Probably

Gasoline vs. Battery Lawn Mowers Debate

Reasons to buy a gas lawn mower

Despite the advent of battery powered lawn mowers, petrol lawn mowers still enjoy a major performance advantage overall. Where battery-powered models prefer cooler temperatures, shorter grass and drier grass, petrol mowers get the job done no matter what time of day you need to cut and can cope with less than ideal conditions. You can raise your glass to your neighbor using his battery-powered lawnmower at midday while you get ready for kick-off in the AC.

Compared to most battery powered lawn mowers, petrol mowers tend to run longer, especially in difficult cutting conditions. If you run out of gas, all you have to do is head back to the garage or trailer to refill, rather than waiting 45 minutes to 3+ hours for a battery to be recharged. In the worst case, you make a 10-minute drive to the gas station.

Another advantage is the long shelf life. Cordless mowers need to have their battery replaced every 3 to 5 years and many don’t last more than 5 years thanks to their more complex electronics. A cheap gas mower can last 5 years with little maintenance and good ones can last 10 years or more with some basic care.

Price is a big consideration. You can get a gas lawn mower for less than $200 and a really good residential model with a Honda engine for around $400 and up. You can spend hundreds more to get a battery mower with comparable performance, features and run time.

Let’s not discount the service. In most areas, if you need service or repairs, a small engine mechanic is a relatively short drive away. There aren’t nearly as many service centers for battery powered lawn care equipment and you may have to wait weeks or months to get your lawn mower back.

Reasons to buy a cordless lawn mower

There are three main reasons to buy a battery lawnmower over a petrol lawnmower: noise, emissions and convenience.

There’s no question that battery-powered lawn mowers run quieter than their petrol-powered counterparts. Gas mowers that we’ve tested get up to 94 decibels (86 decibels is the lowest we’ve tested), while battery-powered mowers range from 74 to 88. These numbers are measured at our driver’s ear. In terms of sound pressure level, that’s a huge difference!

One topic that isn’t as big of a deal in the noise talk is safety. While it’s arguably a bigger issue for professional crews, even homeowners can benefit from a noise level that’s low enough to still be able to hear around you. Whether it’s a car or a cyclist on the road while you’re mowing the front, or your toddler running into the backyard, increasing your situational awareness is a good thing.

Emissions are another big hit with battery performance. As far as direct emissions are concerned, there are none. Indirectly there are probably some coming from wherever you get your power to charge the batteries. However, compared to the most emission-friendly gas mower, it is quite small.

The convenience of a cordless lawnmower cannot be denied either. Just grab your charged batteries, pop them in and go mow. There’s no oil to mix with the gasoline, no fuel stabilizer to worry about, no choking, no carburetor issues, no pull starting, and no wintering. It’s just easier to use on both the first and last day of your mowing season.

Technological updates make battery powered mowers an even better choice today. High-end self-propelled models can surpass the torque of a petrol engine, and there are stacked blade systems that offer a better cut. There are even legitimate zero-turn mowers that can handle tougher cuts with longer run times than we thought possible a few years ago.

Another thing to keep in mind is the increasing number of municipalities, counties, businesses, universities, cities and the state of California that are banning the use of outdoor gas powered devices. As these regulations continue to be introduced, gas is not an option at all.

The final result

We’ve laid out the case for petrol and battery powered lawnmowers, but everyone’s situation is different and the final decision is yours. Even in our office, some of the guys use battery mowers and others use petrol.

Do you have any thoughts to add to the conversation? Feel free to leave these in the comments!

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