Is buying an electric lawn mower in 2023 worth it? These gains and losses

Is buying an electric lawn mower in 2023 worth it?  These gains and losses

For decades, lawn mowers were gas-guzzling, emissions-spewing beasts that were difficult to operate and were loud enough to wake up the neighborhood. But a new generation of electric-powered models is changing the lawn care game.

Although gas-powered models still dominate supermarket aisles, a growing number of affordable electric mowers now offer a compelling alternative, whether your priority is power, convenience or sustainability. If you’re in the market, you have more options than ever before — and the best electric mowers are now good enough to compete with their gas-powered competitors. We’ll break down the pros and cons of electric and gas mowers to help guide your purchasing decision.

Pro: Electric lawnmowers are quieter

Loud lawn mowers. While standard gas-powered mowers typically operate at 95 decibels — the equivalent of the racket made by a motorcycle revving its engine — electric mowers max out at about 75 decibels on average, which is closer to the noise of a washing machine. If you live in a neighborhood, an electric mower is the least hassle option.

Cons: Shorter run times

Once you start mowing, you want to get the job done in one fell swoop – but that may not be possible with an electric lawn mower, especially if you have a large plot of land. Electric models last between 45 to 60 minutes per charge, which is enough to handle up to a half-acre of lawn.

Some electric mowers, e.g This Sun Joe “hover” model You’ll save unlimited cutting time, as long as you have a power supply or a long enough extension cord. However, most electric models are battery powered, offering run times of 20 to 45 minutes. If it takes longer to mow your lawn, that’s going to be a problem — or a delay, at least, while recharging. You can keep a second battery on hand, but that will require an additional purchase.

Pro: Easier to maneuver and less maintenance

A gas-powered mower requires regular maintenance, including eventual replacement of the spark plug, oil filter, and air filter. However, electric mower components require less regular servicing, which will increase your savings in the long run. In this way, the electric model can be more economical than its gas-powered counterpart.

Most electric mowers are also relatively lightweight, making it easy to move around your garden and maneuver around tight corners. Our top electric pick, the EGO Power Plus, weighs 62.6 pounds — making it much lighter than the Craftsman M250, which weighs in at 90 pounds. Although the self-propelled motor improves maneuverability when cutting grass, the mower is still heavy to push.

Electric lawn mowers

Electric models may not be ideal for large lawns or lawns with hills and slopes, but they are great for regular suburban lawns.

Brian Bennett/CNET

Pro: better for the environment

Gasoline-powered engines produce a staggering amount of carbon emissions and a large number of pollutants. According to the California Air Resources Board, one hour of mowing a lawn generates the same pollution as driving a car 300 miles. The EPA says gas mowers contribute to the majority of non-road related air pollution generated nationwide.

Electric lawn mowers are a cleaner and more energy efficient alternative. The Electric Power Research Institute points out that if we replaced half of our gas-powered lawn mowers with electric models, that would reduce the same amount of emissions as removing two million vehicles from the road. This is definitely an important factor to consider when purchasing a new mower.

Ryobi electric mower

Gas-powered lawn mowers contribute to the majority of non-road related air pollution generated nationwide, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Electric models are more environmentally friendly.


Cons: Electric lawn mowers are not as powerful

Lawn mower power is measured by its torque rating, which determines the driving force behind the blade’s rotation. The higher the torque rating, the more powerful the cutting action – and the less likely the mower will get stuck or get stuck in a clump of grass or other obstruction.

The average electric lawn mower has between 2 and 2.5 lb-ft of torque. The average gas-powered mower ranges between 4.5 and 8.75 lb-ft, about three times the power. This means that a gas-powered mower will make it easier to handle difficult terrain such as hills, dips, and inclines in your garden. Homeowners with large lawns or yards with hills or slopes may need heavy equipment such as a lawn mower. While most lawn mowers are gas powered, there are electric mowers on the market, like this Ryobi model.

Pro: Can be less expensive

If you are in the market for a new mower, a basic electric mower is less expensive than a basic gas mower.

Electric models can start as low as around $100, which is… Sun Joo hovers The model has been tested by CNET experts, but this represents a particularly low-priced outlier. Most rear-wheel drive electric models can cost between $250 and $550.

Prices for gas-powered mowers can start around $200 to $250. But the most popular lawn mower brands have basic gas-powered models that fall within the $400 to $100 price range. Some gas-powered lawn mowers can cost up to $2,500.

Final thoughts

Overall, the lawn mower market continues to expand, with a range of diverse offerings. For homeowners with larger yards, gas-powered mowers may still be best, since they have the durability and power to handle larger lawns with ease. That is if you are comfortable with the environmental impact of gas mowers.

If you want to maintain a medium-sized yard, and reduce your carbon footprint (and even save some money) in the process, an electric lawn mower is probably best for your needs. Either route you take can help you have a healthy-looking lawn that enhances your home’s curb appeal and value.

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