Author Topic: Battery Electric Lawn Mowers Worthwhile?  (Read 1460 times)

LD_TAndK

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Battery Electric Lawn Mowers Worthwhile?
« on: July 24, 2020, 05:22:33 AM »
Anyone have experience with battery electric lawn mowers?

Do they generate enough of a whirlwind to get grass to stand up like a gas mower? Any longevity issues with batteries?

Also, are they really any better for the environment? I estimate I used 2 gallons of gas per year with my old gas mower, the carbon savings of electric seem minimal with this low of use.

BikeFanatic

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Re: Battery Electric Lawn Mowers Worthwhile?
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2020, 05:29:52 AM »
I have electric one and I do love it. I have only had the plug in and the battery operated types.  I am fine with the plug in long cord, but my spouse prefers the battery operated one, very light and works good enough if you keep the blade sharp. Those gas ones are so loud so noise pollution is a thing. Also even though you only use 2 gallons a year they smell and I wonder if the engines have any pollution control devices at all. To me my neighbor lawn mower sounds like a 2 stroke moped or a pocket rocket from the 1980’s remember them? Loud as hell. Just my 2 cents,

LD_TAndK

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Re: Battery Electric Lawn Mowers Worthwhile?
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2020, 05:34:25 AM »
That's true, I don't think small lawn mowers ever have pollution controls so a gallon of gas burned through lawn care is definitely much worse than in a vehicle

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Re: Battery Electric Lawn Mowers Worthwhile?
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2020, 06:07:55 AM »
Yes I use a battery mower and have done for a few years now. I find a single charge is enough to cover my front and back lawns. It's fairly quiet, I love the fact there is no cable to run over and providing the grass is not crazily long it cuts very well. It has a roller on it to give some stripes too! I've had it over 5 years and the battery is still going strong.

If I could purchase again I would probably go for a manual mower as cost wise I'm not sure I could justify another battery one. It was a pre-Mustachian purchase but I assume must be better than using a petrol mower environment wise.

herbgeek

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Re: Battery Electric Lawn Mowers Worthwhile?
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2020, 06:15:51 AM »
We've had a battery operated one for many years (on the second one now).  We got it because we didn't want to be inhaling gas fumes on a regular basis.  Its still louder than I'd like, but less so than a gas powered one.  I suspect some of that is marketing (like it is for vacuum cleaners):  if it was really quiet, some people would perceive it as less powerful.

Greystache

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Re: Battery Electric Lawn Mowers Worthwhile?
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2020, 08:15:39 AM »
I have used a Black and Decker battery (lead/acid) powered mower for over 5 years. Over all, I am very happy with it. The down sides of battery powered mowers are that most of them have smaller blades than the gas powered counterparts. If you have a large yard it will take longer to mow. Battery powered mowers are not as powerful as gas mowers. If I let the grass grow too long, I have a tough time getting through the tall grass without bogging down. Some of the newer battery powered mowers seem a bit more powerful, but still not as much horsepower as a gas mower.
On the plus side, there is zero maintenance except for sharpening blades.  I never have to go to the gas station and haul and store gas. Never have to change oil, clean filters or figure out what is wrong with the engine.

dcozad999

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Re: Battery Electric Lawn Mowers Worthwhile?
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2020, 08:34:51 AM »
I've used a battery powered mower for 3 years and it's still running well. I'm able to mow the front and back on a single charge if I don't let it get to long.
I have a second, smaller batter for the same branded trimmer and blower that I can finish it off with in those cases.

Another benefit (at least with mine) is that it folds up so I can tuck it under the storage shelf in my garage.

Daley

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Re: Battery Electric Lawn Mowers Worthwhile?
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2020, 08:50:31 AM »
Don't just look at alternative mowers to a gas powered one, re-think how you care for your little suburban hellstrip if you're not brave enough to go full-on xeriscaping.

Get a reel mower, specifically the 18" Fiskars model, and learn how to maintain it and sharpen the blades every spring. Still the easiest mower I've pushed in my entire life after five years, the cleanest, the quietest, and leaves the nicest and cleanest cut. On hot days, I can either go out and mow well after 10pm or get up at 5am and I have zero concern about disturbing the neighbors.

If anything's too tall for the blades pre or post-mowing (weeds, rough and stringy wild grass, etc.), keep around a yoyo and a stand-up weeder. Using a landscape edger and aerators sandals will round out the silent lawncare kit, and will get everything left except the cracks in the pavement and right up against walls or fences. Using soapy, salty vinegar water can usually tame most of the pavement growth, but I've still not found a good manual replacement for an electric weed eater to hack out those spots or get right up against the walls/fences.

The neighbors thought I was nuts going nearly all manual and no chemicals, but it's cheap, a free home gym, it lets me do yard work any time of the day or night so I'm not stuck outside in the heat of the day, the only energy it uses is my own calorie intake, and it really doesn't take any longer to do than the old powered stuff most of the time.

The only honest downside is if the grass is too wet, and you have a long rainy spell. Reel mowers and wet grass don't get along too well, and you have to wait until it mostly dries out first, or the clippings will bog the mower down. (This is actually a pretty big problem with electric mowers, too.) That's happened a half-dozen times or so to myself over the years resulting in a fair bit of extra effort to re-tame it, and the lawn will get too long to cut in a single pass, or even a double pass, even starting at the highest deck setting. That's where the yoyo comes in handy. Way faster than a weed eater to knock it down to height. Best way to slow the growth, however, is to leave the lawn longer in the first place, and try not to cut much shorter than 2". Cutting it too short and scalping the ground actually causes it to grow faster. I'll have a mostly green lawn in the heat of summer with very few dry patches because I keep the lawn a bit longer than the neighbors, and I literally never have to water my yard.

You'll also need to rake out or remove the larger twigs and sticks from the yard, but again, it's a similar hazard with electric mowers.

I also deliberately sew in a lot of clover into the lawn, and it helps encourage the more behaved grass, chokes out most of the weeds if I let it bloom, and adds a lot of nitrogen to the ground without fertilizing. I also ignore the dandelions, henbit, and wild onions, and only deal with the real noxious weeds that're hard to mow, grow tall and get prickly. The white of the clover, purple of the henbit, and occasional yellow splash and white puff of the dandelions on the rich green of the clover and grass make for a very pretty yard in the spring, and the bees love it. Then the grass and non-flowering clover mostly takes over in the summer. I don't actively go out of my way to discourage the cow parsley, but the clover usually chokes most of it out. I also just let the clippings mulch where they fall and don't bother bagging or raking them up.

It's easier to care for, and outside of the occasional weed eater sessions, I'm never covered in anything more than my own sweat, and smell nothing but fresh cut grass when I'm done. No dust, no dirt, no vegetation pulp, no dust masks, rarely even goggles, and I usually can get an easy two to three weeks between sessions, and sometimes a month during the summer with nothing more than a random yoyo and weeding session between cuts. I never have to mess with or stock gas, or mess with extension cords, and I rarely ever even worrying about battery charge. The best part is the equipment barely takes up any storage space, and there's something almost peaceful about mowing a yard in relative silence beyond the soft and rhythmic whoosh-snikt-whoosh-snikt of the reel mower.

The transition can take a bit of work, as can getting used to the new methods and tools, and there will be the occasional mowing session where you'll long for the gas mower just to get it over with... but overall, it's actually easier and far more environmentally friendly overall than even just switching over to an electric mower.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2020, 08:59:03 AM by Daley »

nereo

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Re: Battery Electric Lawn Mowers Worthwhile?
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2020, 09:06:56 AM »
Anyone have experience with battery electric lawn mowers?

Yes - Recently bought an electric (battery) mower and absolutely love it. 
A few key reasons
  • So much quieter. Easy to hold a conversation with my spouse while mowing
  • Mower is much lighter/easier to handle
  • I don't need to store gasoline/oil.  Big reduction in fire-risk
  • Mower folds upright and is easy to store.
  • Works just as well as any push mower I've used
  • I'm not breathing gasoline fumes as I mow

My 5amp battery is enough for me to mow my lawn twice (~40 minute run time).  Since I recharge each time I'm usually around 50% power when done.

Also, are they really any better for the environment? I estimate I used 2 gallons of gas per year with my old gas mower, the carbon savings of electric seem minimal with this low of use.
Harder to quantify.  Certainly at ~2gal/year your mower isn't contributing a ton of greenhouse gases relative to a typical car or even an air conditioner. Batteries themselves have a large carbon footprint, but the battery packs are reasonably sized.   But with regards to environmental health the real win for me is that I'm not walking 18" behind a 2-stroke combustion engine.  Power-for-power lawnmower engines have very high emissions...both in terms of airborne particulates and incomplete combustion of petrol-fuel.  Think about it - even if you ignored the loud drone of an ICE lawn mower you can smell the engine anytime one is used. All I smell with my battery mower is cut grass.  It also makes me feel like a better neighbor if I'm cutting my lawn early on a Sunday since it's so quiet.  Don't know about you but I get irritated when someone decides to fire up a noisy mower at 6:00am when I was hoping to sleep in.

As for power generation we installed solar and generate a surplus.  I'm almost always charging the battery pack after mowing (i.e. during the daytime on a nice summer day).  If your local grid is powered by coal the answers might be a bit different. So.... while I enjoy not burning fossil fuels each time I cut my grass it's really not a driving reason why we have one.

As for longevity, the lithium batteries are difficult to recycle, but a lot of thought (finally!) went into heat management and ours has an intelligent charger which should give us a decade or more of use with our current usage (~weekly x 6mo/year).  We do plan on getting a trimmer and blower that will run off the same battery system, so that increases the functionality for us.

The clincher for us was that with energy rebates the cost of a top-rated electric mower with a 3-year warranty wound up being slightly less than the cheaper 2-stroke mowers available at big-box stores.  If all I cared about was price I would have just bought a used model off CL for ~$75 (they come up often) but the advantages (above) make it worth it to me.

ETA:  Daley has a great point about reel mowers.  The (stupid) reason why I stopped using one was because we (pre-Covid) would often travel and come back to way-too-tall grass, and that's a big weak point with reel mowers (once the grass gets > 5" it basically just matts it down instead of cutting it effectively.  If you cut your grass regularly and never let it get too long I think a reel mower is a swell investment, and cheaper than either electric or gas mowers.

Daley

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Re: Battery Electric Lawn Mowers Worthwhile?
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2020, 09:16:15 AM »
ETA:  Daley has a great point about reel mowers.  The (stupid) reason why I stopped using one was because we (pre-Covid) would often travel and come back to way-too-tall grass, and that's a big weak point with reel mowers (once the grass gets > 5" it basically just matts it down instead of cutting it effectively.  If you cut your grass regularly and never let it get too long I think a reel mower is a swell investment, and cheaper than either electric or gas mowers.

This is why I emphasized the changes in cut height and the sewing of clover. It took a couple three years to fine tune this part through experience, and the healthier patches of lawn will now mostly self-limit to under 4-5" between the clover and the finer blade grass. It still gets out of hand on occasion with heavy rain and in spots, but that's where the yoyo comes in handy and really helps get the long stuff whacked back to a height the reel mower can chew on. This is typically that rare mentioned circumstance where you'll long for the gas mower, but gosh if that yoyo really doesn't improve your golf/baseball/hockey/cricket game. ;)
« Last Edit: July 24, 2020, 09:18:59 AM by Daley »

LD_TAndK

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Re: Battery Electric Lawn Mowers Worthwhile?
« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2020, 10:14:48 AM »
ETA:  Daley has a great point about reel mowers.  The (stupid) reason why I stopped using one was because we (pre-Covid) would often travel and come back to way-too-tall grass, and that's a big weak point with reel mowers (once the grass gets > 5" it basically just matts it down instead of cutting it effectively.  If you cut your grass regularly and never let it get too long I think a reel mower is a swell investment, and cheaper than either electric or gas mowers.

Yeah I actually used to reel mow a .2 acre lawn for a year and had similar issues. In the peak of spring I'd reel mow literally daily to keep the grass low enough to not be bent over.

The wheels would also matt down the grass which I'd rake so it'd stand up for another cutting pass.

Definitely possible, not worth it to me though.


Daley

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Re: Battery Electric Lawn Mowers Worthwhile?
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2020, 10:38:47 AM »
ETA:  Daley has a great point about reel mowers.  The (stupid) reason why I stopped using one was because we (pre-Covid) would often travel and come back to way-too-tall grass, and that's a big weak point with reel mowers (once the grass gets > 5" it basically just matts it down instead of cutting it effectively.  If you cut your grass regularly and never let it get too long I think a reel mower is a swell investment, and cheaper than either electric or gas mowers.

Yeah I actually used to reel mow a .2 acre lawn for a year and had similar issues. In the peak of spring I'd reel mow literally daily to keep the grass low enough to not be bent over.

The wheels would also matt down the grass which I'd rake so it'd stand up for another cutting pass.

Definitely possible, not worth it to me though.

Again, you need to change your approach to lawn care to overcome this issue... but it can be overcome if you use a nicer reel mower than the average $80 Scott's special, let it grow longer in the first place, sew a lot of clover in the lawn, strategically target pulling the tall weeds, aerate occasionally, and do half passes back and forth. I don't have to mow daily in the height of spring, or even weekly, and the growth is robust enough now to not push down. The biggest improvements honestly came after overseeding clover into the lawn.

What I've found is that the motorized lawnmower, sprinklers, bagged synthetic fertilizer and herbicides actually breed habits that will make it harder to keep a lawn actually low maintenance in the first place, no matter what lawnmower you use. If you just swap the average ICE Toro or Murray lawnmower with a good reel mower and just keep abusing the grass the same way you always did, you're going to have a bad time of it... but if you embrace the older lawn practices of back when reel mowers were the only game in town outside of scythes, sheep or goats, you're going to realize that the care method will simplify as you change your habits and approach.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2020, 10:52:22 AM by Daley »

nereo

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Re: Battery Electric Lawn Mowers Worthwhile?
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2020, 11:29:02 AM »
Now I'm thinking I should just get a couple of goats...


Daley

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Re: Battery Electric Lawn Mowers Worthwhile?
« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2020, 01:39:36 PM »
Now I'm thinking I should just get a couple of goats...

Honestly, it's what I'd do if the city would let me.

I don't have great health, and I'm honestly inclined toward the simplest path forward with the least work long term. Learning to make a reel mower work actually forced me to learn how to grow a healthier lawn, and a healthier lawn actually takes care of itself a lot better than we can. Now if only I could get edible plants to grow this well...

big_owl

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Re: Battery Electric Lawn Mowers Worthwhile?
« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2020, 03:22:09 PM »
I got rid of my 6.5HP self-propelled Snapper mower and bought a self-propelled EGO mower a few years ago.  Hell fucking yeah.  I will never go back to a yard tool that's ICE.  I use the same battery for my mower, chainsaw and pole saw, all from EGO.  I even bought a battery powered Muck Truck to haul whatever the fuck I want to haul. 

I can literally cut the lawn and listen to music with my headphones at a low volume.  It's sooooo much more civilized, it's quieter than my vacuum.  And bonus the battery mower is much lighter and can be stored in the garage vertically folded up because there are no fluids to worry about.  And zero maintenance other than sharpening the blade.

LD_TAndK

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Re: Battery Electric Lawn Mowers Worthwhile?
« Reply #15 on: July 31, 2020, 04:36:29 AM »
Picked up a refurbished EGO non self-propelled mower from Home Depot for $300. Feels high quality. It had no problem with thick grass, but it doesn't make the same whirlwind as a gas mower so some debris stay on the ground that would have been mulched with a gas mower. Still did a good job though.

Time will tell on the battery.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2020, 04:41:00 AM by LD_TAndK »

RobERE

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Re: Battery Electric Lawn Mowers Worthwhile?
« Reply #16 on: July 31, 2020, 05:22:02 AM »

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Battery Electric Lawn Mowers Worthwhile?
« Reply #17 on: July 31, 2020, 05:28:46 AM »
I'm confused – is this the MMM forum?

https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/12/05/muscle-over-motor/

It hasn't been for quite some time now.....

LD_TAndK

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Re: Battery Electric Lawn Mowers Worthwhile?
« Reply #18 on: July 31, 2020, 07:15:16 AM »
It's a rule of thumb not a dogma. I bike to work, kayak on the water etc. Tried a reel mower for a year and wasn't happy with it.

Case

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Re: Battery Electric Lawn Mowers Worthwhile?
« Reply #19 on: July 31, 2020, 08:08:30 AM »
Anyone have experience with battery electric lawn mowers?

Do they generate enough of a whirlwind to get grass to stand up like a gas mower? Any longevity issues with batteries?

Also, are they really any better for the environment? I estimate I used 2 gallons of gas per year with my old gas mower, the carbon savings of electric seem minimal with this low of use.

I have a Ryobi battery mower.  I invested in their 40V system.  In short, the shower is a little underpowered, especially because the battery size is insufficient.  I have a 1/3 acre lot, which is on the larger side of what a battery mower might target, but is definitely within what should be reasonable (as well as what is marketed by Ryobi).  Under ideal conditions, I can mow my lawn using ~2x 5Ah batteries.  However, in more common conditions it takes 2x5Ah + an additional 4 Ah I have, possible with extra recharging.  And last weekend there was so much grass growth, it took approximately 5x 5Ah. 

Consider that the mowers usually sell with a single 5 Ah battery, and buying an additional one costs you an extra $100 ish.  On top of all this, I"ll have to let you know a couple years from now how the batteries are holding up.  If they eat it after a few years, then I'd say the system is totally not worth it.

I hear the Ego mowers are better, and I htink they have a 56V system with a 7Ah battery, or something like that.  They are more expensive too.

On the plus side, with battery mowers you don't have to deal with engine oil, they are much quieter (you don't have to wear ear protection but I do anyways), and they are much lighter so easier to push.  Also on the plus side, although Ryobi's 40V system is not quite good enough for mowers, they are plenty good for the other equipment they sell (trimmers, edgers, leaf blowers, etc)

Overall, battery mowers are well suited for small lots.  My Ryobi is really only suited for a 1/4 acre lot or less.  Perhaps more expensive premium models like the Ego can handle larger lots.

rmorris50

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Re: Battery Electric Lawn Mowers Worthwhile?
« Reply #20 on: July 31, 2020, 08:22:03 AM »
How long does it take the battery lawn mower to charge? I am moving into a house soon that doesn't have a garage (close to downtown) but instead will have to have a shed built, which won't have an outlet. So I'll have to charge it outside, plugged into the house before use I presume.

LD_TAndK

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Re: Battery Electric Lawn Mowers Worthwhile?
« Reply #21 on: July 31, 2020, 08:29:48 AM »
How long does it take the battery lawn mower to charge? I am moving into a house soon that doesn't have a garage (close to downtown) but instead will have to have a shed built, which won't have an outlet. So I'll have to charge it outside, plugged into the house before use I presume.

My EGO 5 amp hour battery took 40 minutes to go from 25% to 100%. The charger is compact and could be charged indoors without taking up much space (unless there's some hazard I'm unaware of)

Daley

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Re: Battery Electric Lawn Mowers Worthwhile?
« Reply #22 on: July 31, 2020, 08:51:37 AM »
I'm confused – is this the MMM forum?

https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/12/05/muscle-over-motor/

It hasn't been for quite some time now.....

...even when you drop the science to make it actually work and overcome the usual complaints.

LD_TAndK

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Re: Battery Electric Lawn Mowers Worthwhile?
« Reply #23 on: July 31, 2020, 09:09:21 AM »
...even when you drop the science to make it actually work and overcome the usual complaints.

I don't doubt your method works but there are more variables to optimize here than the use of muscle power.

Daley

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Re: Battery Electric Lawn Mowers Worthwhile?
« Reply #24 on: July 31, 2020, 09:12:51 AM »
...even when you drop the science to make it actually work and overcome the usual complaints.

I don't doubt your method works but there are more variables to optimize here than the use of muscle power.

There always is, but it always takes work to get to where you want something to be, and there are rarely shortcuts that actually pay off.

Enjoy your shortcut.

TrMama

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Re: Battery Electric Lawn Mowers Worthwhile?
« Reply #25 on: July 31, 2020, 11:23:13 AM »
How big is this lawn? Would a corded electric mower suffice?

I swapped my old gas mower for a corded electric one years ago and have been very happy with it. The main impetuous was that I was tired of carrying the heavy gas mower up and down the flight of stairs between the front and back yards. Felt like it was only a matter of time until I tripped and hurt myself. Anyway, our yard is small and doesn't have much grass so I'm never more than one extension cord length from an outlet. I love that the electric mower never needs maintenance and I never have to worry about whether the battery is charged or how to replace it when it dies. Just plug in and go. Also, it's plenty powerful enough to cut through the thick spring grass. I had no idea that could be an issue for battery mowers.

TheAnonOne

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Re: Battery Electric Lawn Mowers Worthwhile?
« Reply #26 on: July 31, 2020, 11:48:11 AM »
I have the lowes self propelled, 6AH battery. Basically the top-end battery push mower out there.

Its just better than gas in every way. It can cut our entire lawn ( .7A) in 1 charge and I can use the battery in the weed whipper to finish the edges.

It senses if the grass is taller/harder to cut and works harder on those spots.


Highly recommended if you have $500 to blow.

ChickenStash

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Re: Battery Electric Lawn Mowers Worthwhile?
« Reply #27 on: July 31, 2020, 01:09:36 PM »
I've been running a Greenworks 40v twin blade for a few years and am pleased with it. It's a twin battery unit with a 4 and 2 Ah and they usually do my full yard (.3ac) on a charge unless it's wet or I get lazy and miss a cut. It's not self-propelled but my yard is flat and the mower is very light so it's easy to deal with.

The battery usage is heavily dependent on the blade sharpness so I have to sharpen them more often than I did with a gas mower. Also, it's primarily a mulcher but the deck design is a bit iffy so if the grass gets a little long it has trouble leaving a clean cut (clumps, missed spots). Not much different than a gas mower but it has a lower threshold.

I'm waiting for my Stihl trimmer to die so I can replace it with a Greenworks trimmer that uses the same batteries. It would be nice to be rid of 2-cycle mix.

Fomerly known as something

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Re: Battery Electric Lawn Mowers Worthwhile?
« Reply #28 on: July 31, 2020, 03:54:55 PM »
I love my ego.  The battery doesn’t quite mow my 1/3 of an acre but I just swap out with the battery that came with my ego snow blower.  I have always charged the batteries inside.

MyAlterEgoIsTaller

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Re: Battery Electric Lawn Mowers Worthwhile?
« Reply #29 on: July 31, 2020, 04:15:30 PM »
I have a battery-powered Black + Decker lawnmower.  I like it.  Here is a review I wrote for it on Amazon years ago:  https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R25JLLQ1TWEH5B/ref=cm_cr_srp_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B00HH4K8E0

(I don't get any sort of incentive for directing you to Amazon - I just figured it was better than posting all the same info again here.)

nereo

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Re: Battery Electric Lawn Mowers Worthwhile?
« Reply #30 on: August 04, 2020, 07:25:43 AM »
I have a battery-powered Black + Decker lawnmower.  I like it.  Here is a review I wrote for it on Amazon years ago:  https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R25JLLQ1TWEH5B/ref=cm_cr_srp_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B00HH4K8E0

Your review made me laugh.  I'm glad you find the cat before mowing down your brush.

MudPuppy

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Re: Battery Electric Lawn Mowers Worthwhile?
« Reply #31 on: August 04, 2020, 07:36:29 AM »
Anyone have experience with battery electric lawn mowers?

Do they generate enough of a whirlwind to get grass to stand up like a gas mower? Any longevity issues with batteries?

Also, are they really any better for the environment? I estimate I used 2 gallons of gas per year with my old gas mower, the carbon savings of electric seem minimal with this low of use.


We have a battery mower and do like it, though the charge is weakening at this point.

We also have a reel mower but unfortunately our area is prone to heavy storms and just two days of rain can make the lawn taller and thicker than the reel mower can reasonably manage
« Last Edit: August 04, 2020, 07:38:50 AM by MudPuppy »

Fuzz

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Re: Battery Electric Lawn Mowers Worthwhile?
« Reply #32 on: August 04, 2020, 11:46:53 AM »
Don't just look at alternative mowers to a gas powered one, re-think how you care for your little suburban hellstrip if you're not brave enough to go full-on xeriscaping.

Get a reel mower, specifically the 18" Fiskars model, and learn how to maintain it and sharpen the blades every spring. Still the easiest mower I've pushed in my entire life after five years, the cleanest, the quietest, and leaves the nicest and cleanest cut. On hot days, I can either go out and mow well after 10pm or get up at 5am and I have zero concern about disturbing the neighbors.

If anything's too tall for the blades pre or post-mowing (weeds, rough and stringy wild grass, etc.), keep around a yoyo and a stand-up weeder. Using a landscape edger and aerators sandals will round out the silent lawncare kit, and will get everything left except the cracks in the pavement and right up against walls or fences. Using soapy, salty vinegar water can usually tame most of the pavement growth, but I've still not found a good manual replacement for an electric weed eater to hack out those spots or get right up against the walls/fences.

The neighbors thought I was nuts going nearly all manual and no chemicals, but it's cheap, a free home gym, it lets me do yard work any time of the day or night so I'm not stuck outside in the heat of the day, the only energy it uses is my own calorie intake, and it really doesn't take any longer to do than the old powered stuff most of the time.

The only honest downside is if the grass is too wet, and you have a long rainy spell. Reel mowers and wet grass don't get along too well, and you have to wait until it mostly dries out first, or the cli

I love the internet! This is a completely different approach to lawns than I have. First, I am comfortable with an only okay postage stamp lawn that gets mowed with a battery mower when I feel like it. Second, I would rather spend an hour figuring out how to increase my income (or straight working) and use that money to pay someone to deal with my lawn (or again, just let it ride) than figure out how to sew in clover. I don't even know what that is. And sharpening a lawn mower blade is not my zen. But you do you!

MudPuppy

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Re: Battery Electric Lawn Mowers Worthwhile?
« Reply #33 on: August 04, 2020, 12:08:49 PM »
You don’t have clover?! Half my yard seems to be clover! I keep it for the bees, since they love it.

Just Joe

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Re: Battery Electric Lawn Mowers Worthwhile?
« Reply #34 on: August 04, 2020, 12:10:12 PM »
A few years back and one house back I mowed the grass with a reel mower. Loved it when my yard was cooperative. Little sticks are a show stopper. Still, the quiet, the safety, the lack of dust and pollen stirred up by mower blades. I could mow as early or late as I wanted and disturbed nobody. The trick was to keep the blades sharp. Each spring I did the mower maintenance.

These days we have a much larger patch of rural ground. I mow with a 20+ year old lawn tractor. Love the yard. Good tractor. Do nothing but trim and knock down the grass every few weeks. Initially the lawn tractor needed alot of maintenance due to its age and the previous owner who put some things off. Still no real cost compared to the cost of a new machine or paying a service.

Would love to eventually tear out the engine and DIY an electric drive for it. No motor noise. No exhaust. ;)

Haven't done my homework yet. I've done plenty of DIY projects like this. Want a modern Li-Ion battery though. No lead acid.

Daley

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Re: Battery Electric Lawn Mowers Worthwhile?
« Reply #35 on: August 04, 2020, 12:51:36 PM »
I love the internet! This is a completely different approach to lawns than I have. First, I am comfortable with an only okay postage stamp lawn that gets mowed with a battery mower when I feel like it. Second, I would rather spend an hour figuring out how to increase my income (or straight working) and use that money to pay someone to deal with my lawn (or again, just let it ride) than figure out how to sew in clover. I don't even know what that is. And sharpening a lawn mower blade is not my zen. But you do you!

Yeah, here's the thing... all lawnmowers need maintenance, including at least an annual blade sharpening. I've found smearing some gritty paste, turning a crank and adjusting a couple screws far faster and easier to do on a reel mower than removing and sharpening a traditional lawnmower blade. If you're not sharpening every spring, you're just mutilating the plant life (which encourages even faster growth) and working both yourself and the mower even harder than you have to. The only difference is, it's easier to tell when a reel blade is dull than a gas or electric.

Also, you know how to sow clover? You buy a $5 bag of clover seed, and you just take small handfuls and throw it out across the yard. That's some real backbreaking, high skilled labor there, Fuzz.

Here's the thing, once a lawn is better under control with some clover and the more heinous tall grass/weeds mostly cleared out, I'll bet you dollars to donuts that per square yard? My approach spends far less time and money on lawncare than yours does, because I prioritized getting the fool growth to not need excessive care in the first place. I don't give a toss what the yard looks like, I just wanted a yard that didn't go untamed wilderness every week or heavy rain, whichever comes first, because fostering slower growth and healthier plant life means... less work. Who'd have thought it, right?

I just mowed the yard yesterday, standard city lot. It had been three weeks with heavy rains between since I last touched it. It was a little "shaggy" in spots, and I probably could have punted it another week, but the weather was nice, I had some time and needed a little workout. I spent ten minutes with the yoyo, and 20 with the mower, and I was done before I even broke a real sweat. There was less than an inch of growth, and that growth wasn't thick at the cut height.

But, you know what? You're right. The internet is bananas, especially how people would rather mock and dismiss approaches foreign to their understanding than learn from them. The money, equipment and services people will pay for to fool themselves into thinking their working harder is cheaper and easier than working smarter is astounding. But you do you, too!
« Last Edit: August 04, 2020, 01:02:07 PM by Daley »

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Re: Battery Electric Lawn Mowers Worthwhile?
« Reply #36 on: August 05, 2020, 07:35:12 PM »
I really liked my battery powered mower, but we moved to a house that had a lot about twice the size of our previously good sized yard, and I needed to charge the battery 3 times in order to mow it all, even with a sharp blade.  If I ever have a small yard again I would not hesitate to go back to a battery powered mower.