Electric Lawnmower Experiences?

I will purchasing a new lawnmower soon and I am considering an electric model. I have a relatively small lawn and mulch rather than bag the clippings. I am leaning towards a corded rather than battery driven model.

I have heard electrics are much cleaner, quieter, lighter and require minimal maintenance. I’ve also heard they don’t have as much power as gas engines and are rather cheaply built (plastic deck!?)

I am interested in hearing people’s experiences with electric lawnmowers.

Worked with 2 different ones. (sorry, don’t recall specific brands/models)

Ideal for small yards i.e. ones that can be done using only one extention cord.

Powerful enough to handle even overgrown grass and built pretty damn well. Don’t let the plastic bother you. Its some tough stuff. I think mine is a Black and Decker (cause its orange) and has 2 h.p. Mom has a red one (don’t know what h.p.) but does a real good job. On the rare occasion when it bogs down, it is so light, you just tip it back with the handle and allow the motor to spool up again and away you go! The height adjustment on both are far superior to the gas Craftsman I also have. (up for sale, with weed-eater by the way) Extremely easy to adjust with one hand!

My mom has one that the handle flips over, so you can push either way. This seems to be the way to go. Mine doesn’t do that and is not nearly as easy to use. They cord is always getting in the way when I reverse direction.

I say they are the way to go. No mixing gas, no starting hassles, no spark plugs to dick with, no worrys at all.

Of course, I am planning on putting in a 3600 sq ft lawn this summer and may change my tune…

But I doubt it. Still not big enough to justify a gas mower.

She said I was terribly handsome. Was that an insult?

Please consider a push-reel mower. Today’s modern push-reels are a lot easier to push than the ones from the old days. Some of them easily adjust for different mowing heights.

We have small lawns, and we are done with all the mowing in barely the time it would take to bother coiling up s cord! There is virtually no maintenance, and it is very lightweight, so you can just hang it up for storage. And it makes that wonderful thwick-thwick-thwick noise.

Plus, you can feel all proud of yourself for doing the environmentally correct thing!

That said, our next-door-neighbor has a corded electric lawnmower, and it works great, even on overgrown stuff.

I would second the recommendation of a push mower. The new, lightweight ones rock!

I used to have a Sears (Craftsman?) electric mower. It had the flip-over handle mentioned earlier. I was perfectly satisfied with it.

Sometimes people run over the electric cord with the mower, that’s pretty interesting to see…

I use gas, a plastic mower from lawn boy, very quiet. New mowers come with mulching blades so you don’t have any grass to deal with later.

My husband has run over the electric cord once, so he says. As long as it gets the job done.

The push ones are good, but I have heard they become difficult to maintain when the blades get dull. Not too many people offer that type of blade sharpening.

Have used electric for years. The 1st model was a sunbeam ‘exceeds the high load torque of a 3hp gas mower’ Which means it’s 3hp from a start (when electric motors are most powerful) as it spins up HP drops. It did bog down in long grass and damp grass but OK in dry/shorter grass. Sometimes you had to go real slow or only mow a 1/2 width at a time due to bog-down.

The cord was also a PITA. The rare cutting of the cord happens but just having to lift the coard on every pass gets tiresome.

The sunbeam finally bit the dust after 15 years of almost maintance free opperation (2 wheel replacements and 2 sets of brushes) and got another 3 HP sumbeam, now with the flip handle. The flip handle made it harder to control as the handle attached to the middle of the deck instead of the end (less mechanical advantage). I quiclky pulled out the broken sunbeam and switched the motors, which gave me a new motor on the old - easy to use deck. My parents are still using that one.

Then normally bagged, I would bag or let it fly out of the side discharge, I’ve heard that mulching was too much for an electric but never tried.

When I got my 1st house someone gave me a old self propelled gas mower. It was in poor shape - but free. IT was like night and day, the (IIRC) 3 hp gas mulcher was far more powerful then the electric, & could cut through long AND wet grass at self propelled speeds. Also no cord to worry about. Unless I have a very small lawn I will never go to an electric again.

THat was replaces with another self propelled this time 5hp gas mower that eats anythign I throw at it, and moves about 1.5x as fast as the free one.

I also have a rebuilt 5hp mower not self propelled which works very well too.

Electric pros:
no motor maintance
light weight
Longer life

Electric Cons
Blade sharpness much more importaint then gas
will sometimes bog down (easilly cleared - but it’s not smooth going)
have to mess with the cord

Gas pros
Usually power to spare - even works w/ totally dull blade.
self propelled models easier to move then electric IMHO
Gas cons
Engine maintance
Less control

Oohh… lawn geek mode on.

I’ve used self propelled gas mowers, push gas mowers, and electric mowers.

Currently, for my home lawn, I’m using a 6 horse push gas mower, and I love it. My lawn is thick and fast growing, and it gets through it like nothing else can. I’m also sidelining this summer doing lawn maintenance and yardwork foe my uber-boss, and she has an electric mower. I can’t stand it. I almost ran over the cord twice, and it seems ridiculously underpowered. I think it is just because it is so quiet, though. Next time I head over, I’m taking the green beast with me. I don’t mind the self propelled mowers, but I find them to be a bit less manoeuvrable than the push gas types. They are nice when mowing very large areas. I used one a couple of summers ago, when I was mowing a cemetery (very cool job, BTW). Just a push mower would have been a killer.

If you have a small lawn, an electric is a good choice. Just make sure that you get one with the handle that can switch sides. Fiddling with the cord is a royal PITA, and can get very frustrating if you have to do it too much. The fiddling can be lessened somewhat by planning out a route that minimizes switchbacking, but following the same pattern over and over again can lead to ruts forming in the lawn, and making it lumpy. I personally would go with gas. I just lurve the roar.

      • The main thing with engine-type push mowers is to get one with the big wheels in back–they are much easier to manage than the ones with the little wheels in back.
  • Otherwise, I don’t think electrics are worth the trouble, myself. The only advantage they have is if you are someone who cannot possibly pull-start a regular gas mower–an electric turns on with a flip of a switch. I have never seen for sale, or seen anyone using a battery-operated electric mower; all the L-ectric ones I seen had cords on them…

I’ve got a Black & Decker mulching cordless electric mower and love it. Quiet, maintenance-free and has the power to cut tall grass – even after I neglect to cut my lawn for two weeks.

I’d never consider an electric mower with a cord.

My recommendation is to not rule out the battery-powered mowers right off the bat.

I’ve had mine for 7-8 years, and it’s still going strong. And I’ll bet that battery technology has improved significantly since I bought mine.

I’ve got one with a cord. No problem.
Quieter than the gas mowers and still working just fine on its fourth summer.

I wish I had bought the rechargeable (didn’t even think to ask about one) especially after I found out it was only about $50 more than the one with the cord.

As far as running over the cord? Well…not even once, not even close.

Of course, I am extra careful around mowers…my first job was mowing grass for the city and I saw too many idiots with nine fingers telling me the best way to mow lawns.

Mine’s OK, I’m thinking about switching to a push mower just because it’s a pain to get in and out of our storage spot and we have such a small yard.

To keep from running over the cord, I start closest to the outlet and move my way out from there, that way i’m always moving away from the cord.