It’s mid-February, which in south Texas means spring has nearly sprung. If you’re a new homehowner, or your old lawn equipment has simply given up the ghost, it’s probably about time to buy a new one.
If it’s been a few years since you shopped for a lawnmower, you’ll notice an entirely new option available to you when you go to your local lawnmower store: Electric lawnmowers. There are pros and there are cons, and having experience with both electric and gas-powered mowers, we’re here to offer some sage advice.
Pros: Electric mowers are quieter, cleaner and simpler. Compared to a gas-powered mower, electric mowers have practically no moving parts, which means there are fewer things to break. Running them is still noisy, but not nearly as noisy as a gas-powered mower, and, of course, you don’t have to deal with buying gasoline, spilling it on the side of the mower, burning it inside the engine, and smelling that dirty exhaust.
Cons: Electric mowers are more expensive than comparable gas-powered ones, and the whole “delivering power to the motor” thing is more of a hassle than you might think. Some electric mowers simply run on a cord, just like a vacuum cleaner. This is nice because it doesn’t require a charged batter, but not nice because: Cord. Then there are the battery packs, which eliminate the cord, but we’re guessing that anybody who has had experience running things on battery packs knows they are fraught with their own disadvantages, mainly that they need to be charged, and slowly degrade over time.
Electric mowers also tend to be under-powered compared to their gas counterparts.
Pros: Plenty of power, robust replacement parts market, easy to fix when they break. Ye ol’ Briggs & Stratton engine is a stalwart. Yes, it burns smelly gas and, yes, internal combustion engines do sometimes need repairs, but those repairs are cheap and easy, and chances are good you’ll be using that same lawnmower 20 years from now.
Cons: That dang pull-start mechanism is a pain in the backside, and has been for all of time. Oh, you forgot to prime it … was it three pumps or five? Now pull again … nothign … well … shoot some carb cleaner in it … pull again … pull harder … HARDER … . You’re also dealing with having to buy gas and store it in a little gas can that invariably is empty when you need it. And there’s the whole concern about greenhouse gasses and noise polution.
It’s a matter of personal preference, of course, but an electric mower is a good choice for smaller yards with grass that doesn’t grow too tall or thick. For larger yards or yards with heavier turf, a more powerful gas-powered mower might be a better choice, although preferences may vary.