Cordless electric walk-behind lawnmowers certainly give more flexibility than their corded cousins, but how do they compare with gasoline-fueled lawnmowers? According to Consumer Reports, cordless electric mowers offer cleaner and quieter running, as well as easy maintenance. Is a cordless electric model right for your lawn? Let's take a look.
How cordless electric mowers work
Conventional lawnmowers operate using a gasoline-fueled combustion engine. Cordless mowers, by contrast, use an electric motor powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. The batteries used to power cordless mowers average between 36 and 120 volts. Once the battery runs down, you plug it to recharge it. It generally takes between one and two hours to fully recharge the battery, but fast chargers can do it in less than an hour.
Comparing gas and electric mowers
Battery-powered mowers have a number of advantages over gasoline models:
- Easy to maintain. No engine maintenance — such as changing spark plugs, engine oil, and filters — is required.
- Safer. No flammable gasoline to store in your garage or shed
- Environmentally friendly. Electric mowers produce no carbon dioxide or other harmful emissions
- Quieter operation. Electric mowers produce only 65 to 75 decibels of noise — similar to normal conversation. Gasoline mowers produce 95 to 100 decibels — similar to a motorcycle.
Cordless electric mowers do have some potential downsides. Mowing time is limited to how long the battery holds a charge — generally 30 to 60 minutes for most models. If you have a larger lawn, it may be a good idea to invest in a second backup battery.
Electric mowers are generally not as powerful as gasoline models, making them less effective on thick, dense lawns or tall grass. You can get around this issue by adjusting the blade higher and mowing more often.
Cordless electric mowers are typically more expensive than gasoline mowers, although costs are coming down. Cordless models generally cost between $200 and $450, although some higher-end models can cost as much as $600.
If you're looking for a quieter, more convenient and cleaner way to care for your lawn, cordless electric mowers definitely make the cut.