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I am in the market for a new lawnmower. I have about 500 square metres (a little under 600 square yards) to mow, and am torn between a petrol powered and a battery powered mower.

Are there any differences in the capabilities of battery vs petrol mowers?

My question is in terms of things such as quality of cut, ability to go through long grass, rather than things like battery life or fumes.

  • Are you considering push or self-proplelled mower? – False Identity Apr 27 '18 at 8:39
  • I don't really mind. I suppose I have a slight preference for push but it's not a gamechanger. Definitely not a sit-on mower though. – Rich Apr 27 '18 at 9:57
  • What about an autonomous mower? – Graham Chiu Apr 28 '18 at 21:53
  • I did look at autonomous mowers, but while the concept is nice, it's hard to know whether the ones that cost the same price as a 'traditional' mower are any good, or if I need to spend 4x the price to be sure that I'm getting something that actually does the job. – Rich Apr 30 '18 at 8:07
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In my opinion, few advantages battery (or electric) mowers may have are quieter and cleaner operation, easier starting, no tune ups, no oil... while everything else should be better on petrol mowers (power, width of cutting, work autonomy).

Comparing battery vs. electrical mowers - with battery you'll have more freedom ie. better range as there are no cords but it might be heavier than electric mower. Also, with battery operated mower you'll probably have to store battery (or whole mower) in warm place during winter (batteries don't like cold). If you choose to buy battery mower it might be practical to get one extra battery.

Regarding quality of cut and ability to cut long grass - it depends on sharpness of blade, height adjustments and power. As long as you keep blade sharp there should be no difference in quality.

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If your priorities are quality of cut and capabilities, a battery operated mower will not have the power you'll get with gas engine. I've never seen a landscaping business using electric in my area, so I think that says something.

If you are concerned with environmental or sound electric might be a good choice. That said, I am not convinced battery powered lawn tools really are better for the environment or cheaper total cost of ownership. Batteries do not last long and need to be replaced, are not cheap, and aren't saving the environment unless properly recycled.

The purchase price for electric mowers is much higher, but maintenance cost us supposedly less. Again, I cant see that considering the battery life is not long.

My opinion is probably biased by the fact that I do my own gas engine maintenance and repairs, so my ownership costs are less than if I had to farm out the service. That said, if you really take care of a gas mower and store it properly you won't have significant maintenance costs.

If I really wanted my lawn mowing to be more eco friendly, I'd go with a propane mower.

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  • It just tells you that battery operated machines aren't useful in a commercial setting because of the recharge time. – Graham Chiu Apr 28 '18 at 21:52

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