Are Electric Lawn Mowers Any Good?

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Electric lawn mowers have come a long way since the corded models hit markets decades ago. But are electric mowers worth the price?

While older electric mowers were limited to very small lawns and the length of extension cords you were willing to string together, most electric models available today are capable of mowing the average residential lawn with a single battery charge.

With no engine, electric lawn mowers are also incredibly easy to use and maintain. Simply charge the battery, turn the mower on with the flick of a switch, and you’re ready to cut the grass. There’s no need to buy and store gas or perform messy, difficult maintenance like oil changes or routine tune ups.

If you’ve been asking the question, “are electric lawn mowers any good?” read on for a closer look at some of the many benefits of going green with your lawn mower.

Are Electric Lawn Mowers Worth It?

If you’re considering buying an electric mower, you’re probably wondering if it’s really worth it to buy one. After all, buying a new lawn mower is no small investment and many electric models are more expensive than even the best gas powered-models.

But, with the advancements that have been made to electric mowers and the improved batteries available, an electric model is definitely worth your consideration.

Most electric mowers are really best suited to average size, or smaller yards. While power equipment batteries really have come a long way, they do have their limits. Most battery-powered mowers can mow up to 30 or 45 minutes on a single charge. Corded mowers, on the other hand, can only go as far as your extension cord will allow but can run as long as needed.

The type of grass growing in your yard and the condition of your lawn are also important factors to consider when shopping for an electric mower. If you have a well-kept lawn with a thinner grass type, an electric mower is an excellent choice. Thicker grasses or a rough, weedy lawn will be more difficult for an electric mower to cut.

Remember: the average lawn can be cut quickly and efficiently with an electric mower, making this type of mower a worthwhile consideration for the average homeowner.

If you’re still on the fence, check out this resource we’ve created for comparing gas vs electric mowers.

Are They Reliable?

As we’ve already pointed out, electric power equipment has made significant advancements in recent years. While early electric lawn mowers and other electric lawn care tools, like string trimmers and leaf blowers, were not particularly powerful or reliable, today’s electric mowers are often just as reliable as their gas-powered counterparts.

In fact, If you consider how complex maintenance can be for the average user, electric mowers can be an even more reliable solution.

Electric mowers don’t require regular oil changes. And since they don’t have spark plugs, air filters or other items that require frequent maintenance, there’s no need to worry that you’ve just permanently damaged your mower by failing to do routine maintenance.

How Long Will the Batteries Last?

Although you still can find some corded models, most electric lawn mowers today are battery-powered. This means the mower is really only as good as the battery powering it.

Fortunately, battery technology has advanced tremendously in recent years.

Remember how long your cell phone held a charge just a few years ago?

You were probably lucky to make it to the end of the day. The same advancements that have helped your phone survive the day, have given power tools much longer life.

Most modern rechargeable electronics and tools are powered by lithium ion batteries. These batteries are designed to hold a charge and put out more power than older battery types. Engineers are also constantly improving battery life. It’s estimated that each year, lithium ion battery life increases by about 7.5%.

With improved battery technology, most electric mowers on the market today can run for 30 minutes to one hour on a single charge — depending on the mower model and the yard being mowed.

Do They Use a lot of Electricity?

Many people who are opposed to using electric power equipment like to point out the fact that electricity isn’t free.

While this is certainly true, it doesn’t tell the whole truth about the situation.

Based on the cost of electricity in most areas of the US, the average homeowner will spend pennies to recharge a lawn mower battery or two.

Most modern lithium ion batteries don’t take long to charge and take very little time to get up to speed. Compare that to purchasing gas every few weeks and oil when needed.

The average user will not even notice the difference in electricity used each month to recharge an electric lawn mower.

Can You Cut Wet Grass with An Electric Mower?

Sometimes, you just don’t have a choice… the lawn needs to be cut and you don’t have time to wait for it to dry completely.

It’s only natural to wonder whether or not wet grass can be cut with an electric mower. Electricity and water, after all, are not a particularly safe mix.

Corded electric mowers should NOT be used on wet grass. Since the cord connections are not completely waterproof, it’s not safe to use a corded mower in wet conditions.

If you need to give the grass a trim while it’s still wet, you can use a battery powered model. Since battery powered mowers are sealed up nice and tight anyway, they’re totally safe to use in a variety of situations without the risk of electric shock.

That said, you should use common sense. A battery powered-mower can still get damaged if used under extremely wet conditions.

Check out our article on mowing wet grass for more on managing your lawn after it rains.

Should You Buy an Electric Lawn Mower?

Electric lawn mowers have improved significantly in recent years. They are quiet, lightweight, and incredibly easy to start.

Once limited to very small yards, battery powered electric mowers are now capable of mowing bigger areas without the bothersome difficulty of dragging around an extension cord or waiting to recharge the mower after very short run times.

While really big lawns, thick grasses, or tough terrain are still a challenge for these mowers, the average homeowner will be very happy with today’s electric mowers.

About the Author

Karl is a former welder and landscaper who now enjoys tinkering and teaching at his local DIY shop. His favorite shop activities are TIG welding and plasma cutting. In his spare time he also enjoys deer and elk hunting in the mountains of Oregon. You can also find him on Facebook, Twitter, and can contact him via email.