How High Should You Cut Your Grass
Although it might seem simple at first, choosing a cutting height for your lawn actually depends on the type of grass you have. If you live in northern parts of the US, your grass will typically be cool-season grass. Select a cutting height of between two and three inches high.
If youre based in the southern regions, aim for a cutting height of two inches. Wherever youre based, dont be tempted to cut the grass shorter than two inches as this can damage it and youll end up with a sad looking lawn.
Should I Get An Electric Or Petrol Lawn Mower
It all comes down to your yard and your preferences. For most modern suburban blocks with a small yard, an electric mower is probably good enough. Electric mowers benefit from quieter operation and having no emissions, and are also commonly found for cheaper than petrol mowers. However, where petrol mowers win out is their sheer ability to just get the job done. They often feature more powerful motors, with leading torque figures and cutting widths. For those living on older, bigger blocks or semi-rurally, a petrol lawn mower is probably still king. In any case, one isnt necessarily better than the other, but they each have their strengths and weaknesses and suit different needs and lawns, meaning its best to do your research before cutting into your bank account.
Best String Trimmer/edger: Ryobi One+ String Trimmer/edger And Blower Combo Kit
A lawn care kit for the ages, this product set features a powerful blower and string trimmer all powered by the same legendary Ryobi One+ battery system.
The trimmer features a 10-inch cutting swath with an auto-feed line and a rotating shaft for effortless transitioning between trimming and edging. The powerful blower makes piecemeal of stubborn debris. Apart from the power and convenience of these tools, the battery can be interchanged in 125 One+ tools for unparalleled latitude and value.
Customer Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars with OVER 1,500 Amazon ratings
Why Buy: Affordable electric lawn tools have a pernicious reputation of fading into obscurity, irrelevance or just flat-out failure. You get none of that with Ryobi. The company is a household name with a solid reputation, so when you buy this combo, you’re getting more than great tools at a great price: You’re also buying into a tried and true system of tools backed by the Ryobi name.
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Cordless Lawn Mowers Batteries
The power source in a cordless lawn mower is a small, rechargeable lithium-ion battery.
The power of the batteries can vary from 36 volts up to a huge 80 volts. This determines the cutting power and runtime on a single charge.
Many manufacturers ensure that the battery can be used in other tools they produce. On some premium models, you can use two batteries in tandem allowing you to mow for longer.
How long do cordless lawn mower batteries last?
How long the battery lasts on a single charge depends on the model. Some cordless lawn mowers have an eco or power saving mode to extend the battery life.
A battery can take anywhere from 60 minutes to over two hours to charge. Lithium-ion batteries can be used when partly charged if you are in a rush.
Some brands have faster chargers cutting the waiting time down to 30 minutes, but these often have to be bought separately.
A cordless lawn mower battery will typically last between three and five years before needing replacing.
Best For Small Yards: Ryobi 16
Just because a lawn mower isn’t self-propelled doesn’t mean it’s hard to use. Case in point: the Ryobi 16-inch One Plus HP 18-Volt push mower. Even though it’s extremely compact and weighs just 34.5 pounds, this tiny machine packs a punch. It stalled less than some of the larger, more powerful mowers in my test group, and the Ryobi’s light weight made it simple for me to push.
This machine uses Ryobi’s standard 18-volt rechargeable batteries too. They’re the same lithium ion power packs that the company uses in its popular line of home power tools. The mower comes with two batteries plus a charger — in case you don’t have one sitting around.
Its 16 inch cutting width, however, is on the narrow side. Still, for those with smaller yards the surprising power of this mower will suit their needs just fine.
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Im Still Undecided Which Is The Best Lawn Mower
If youve used gas-powered mowers extensively, you may be hesitant to upgrade to a cordless electric lawn mower and think that you will give up speed and power. It really comes down to this:
If mowing speed and power are essential to you, if you have a tendency to let your grass get tall, if you occasionally or even weekly walk your mower into tall, non-turf grasses to keep border areas from overtaking your yard, or if you do regular shifts of volunteer work , then you should stick with a gas-engine mower.
If you have a small to medium-sized yard with cutting conditions that arent very tough, you regularly take care of your grass, and you dont have a lot of elevation changes, a cordless electric lawn mower is far superior to a gas-engine machine in getting the job done quickly and quietly. Take a look at our list, though there are some electric mowers there that rival their gas-powered cousins!
Heres what changed my mind: I can now listen to music while mowing the grass without wearing ear protection! That made all the difference for me.
Electric Vs Gas Lawn Mower Cost
So, whats less expensive to run, gas or electric? Truthfully, it depends on local fuel costs where you live. In general, battery lawn mowers are cheaper to run per acre than gas mowers.
For example, suppose the cost of gas is $2.75 per gallon, you have a one-third acre yard, and a full tank of gas on your mower holds 1/3 gallons. If you can mow that one-third acre yard on one tank of gas, then you are paying around 92 cents per mowing .
Now, suppose you used an electric mower on your one-third acre and the cost of electricity is 13 cents per kilowatt hour. Your battery takes 4 kilowatts to recharge. If you can mow that one-third acre yard on one battery charge, then you are paying 52 cents per mowing .
Using those numbers, if you mow once per week between April and September with a gas lawn mower, you would pay roughly $22 for fuel. With an electric lawn mower, you would pay just over $12. In this clean example, youre saving 45% by going electric.
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Why You Should Trust Us
Over the past eight mowing seasons, weve spent more than 120 hours researching nearly 225 mowers, interviewing experts, and extensively testing some of our top picks.
An invaluable source has been Roy Berendsohn, a Popular Mechanics lawn mower guru who has more than 20 years of experience testing and writing about mowers. If Berendsohn isnt writing about mowers, hes often being interviewed about them .
Weve interviewed landscapers, including Chad Crosby of West Michigan Lawn Services and Paul Koehler of Koehler Landscape Construction Services. Weve called people at lawn mower retail/service outlets, like Nick Ortiz at Kellam Lawn Mower in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania, and Boston Lawnmower Companys David . Weve talked to product managers at Honda, Toro, Troy-Bilt, Ego, Cub Cadet, and other manufacturers.
Personally, I maintain a rural property in New Hampshire that is far too large for a push mower to cover but that does provide ample room to test our recommendations. This guides editor, Harry Sawyers, assists with testing mowers on his LA property and draws from his previous experience as a professional landscaper.
Can I Replace My Gas Mower With A Cordless Version
The main benefits to owning a cordless electric lawn mower are convenience and quieter operation. You dont have to worry about storing gas, changing oil or tuning up the mower. You wont struggle with starting the battery powered lawn mower or have to worry about old gas gumming up the carburetor. And since a rechargeable lawn more is quieter than gas mowers, you can mow in the morning or later in the evening without disturbing your neighbors.
But youre probably wondering if a cordless electric lawn mower would work for you. The answer is maybe. It depends on the size of your lawn and how much time you want to spend mowing it. Manufacturers claim that most of these battery powered lawn mower models will run between 25 and 45 minutes and can cut between one-quarter and one-third of an acre on a fully charged battery. An average city lot is between one-tenth and one-quarter of an acre, so folks on these properties can finish mowing on one charge with a battery powered lawn mower. If your lawn is larger than about one-third of an acre, then you would need to divide the mowing to allow time to recharge the battery, or keep an extra battery on hand.
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What To Consider When Buying An Electric Mower
Not all budget mowers are simple, basic machines. Consider the following points to help you choose the right electric mower for you:
Where are you mowing?
A convenient power socket is essential for an electric mower but you may need an extension lead too. Check that the length of the cable is long enough to reach all parts of your lawn. If your lawn runs right up to walls, fences or raised beds look for a model that cuts to the edge or youll need to invest in a grass trimmer to neaten them up afterwards.
What size do you need?
The wider the cutting width, the quicker the mower will cut your lawn. However, there is a trade-off, mowers with a wider width have a bigger deck and are heavier and less easy to manoeuvre around trees or furniture. A wider cutting width is therefore best for large expanses of grass while smaller models are ideal for nipping up and down little lawns and negotiating beds and borders.
Is it safe?
An electric cable is an obvious safety hazard and if youre concerned about tripping over the cable or cutting it accidentally when youre mowing, look for a model with a brightly coloured lead thats easy to spot. A cable relief clip will help to keep it tucked out of the way of the blade and will also prevent it being snagged and ripped out. For safety always use an RCD plugged into the electric socket before plugging in your mower.
Where will you store it?
For more advice, check out our budget lawn mowers Buyers Guide.
How We Picked And Tested
As a result of our years of lawn mower evaluation, were sure that most people will be happiest with a self-propelled, electric cordless option. Honestly, it all comes down to convenience. Every single element of a gas mower that is considered a nuisancefrom the fiddly start-up to the annual maintenance scheduleis gone. Cordless mowers start with the push of a button, are easier to maneuver, and dont need oil changes, gas, spark plugs, or air filters. Theyre much quieter, they dont smell, they dont produce emissions, and theyre easier to store in the off-season. The run time has limitations, and charge times can be slow, but the latest models close the performance gaps between cordless and gas.
All that said, there are many capableand several excellentgas mowers available. Whatever type of mower you need, here are the criteria we feel matter most in making a selection:
Performance as a mower: We researched which mowers could perform the best from a lawn-care perspectivewhich could make cleaner cuts in grass or promote turf health. Weve measured this performance firsthand over years of long-term testing and in tests of new contenders against our established recommendations.
Charge time and run time: For cordless candidates, we looked at these two primary factors, which determine whether a battery will be adequate or frustrating. Because these two elements are so important, we looked only at mowers that used at least a 40-volt battery.
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Best Hedge Trimmer: Black And Decker Electric Hedge Trimmer
This highly acclaimed electric hedge trimmer packs gas-like power into a lightweight, all-electric package. With a 17-inch blade capable of cutting branches up to 5/8 inches thick, you’ll make short work of disheveled hedges. With vibration control features and weighing under 5 pounds, you’ll easily maneuver trimming with the Black and Decker Electric Hedge Trimmer. Built-in cord retention keeps your extension cable from unplugging, too.
Customer Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars with over 6,600 Amazon ratings
Why Buy: Black and Decker’s all-electric hedge trimmer is a powerful, affordable option for making your hedge work more environmentally friendly. With its features, price point and high customer ratings, it’s hard to find shortcomings with this trimmer. Some may find the cord cumbersome, but that’s a double-edged sword: What you lose in maneuverability is gained with non-stop performance that isn’t interrupted by low battery charge.
Petrol Vs Battery Vs Electric Lawnmowers
Compared to electric- and battery-powered models, petrol lawnmowers can be a hassle to start and refuel. The cost to the local environment with fumes and noise may also be an issue. But while the top performing battery mowers are now on par with their fossil fuel burning counterparts, if you have a huge lawn then opting for a petrol mower will give you more options that are capable of getting the job done.
If you don’t mind the minor hassle of dragging a cord around and you have a power point close by, then an electric lawnmower is easy to run and maintain.
Battery-powered mowers would be a good option if your lawn is up to 500 square metres. The more battery life improves, the bigger the acreage you’ll be able to mow, with some holding enough charge for up to 1300 square metres, though if you’ve got spare batteries and / or a fast charger to hand you’ll be able to mow all day, just as with a petrol mower.
Battery technology is improving…
If you looked at battery-powered mowers 10 years ago and dismissed them as useless, well, you’d have been right. But improvements in cutting performance and battery life have been significant, and battery-powered options are now well worth a look.
You get the low-maintenance advantages of an electric mower without having to drag the cord around, and batteries give you up to 90 minutes on one charge.
But there’s still a downside
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Thinking Of Going Electric You’re Not Alone Electric Mowers Are Becoming Mainstream Here Are Some Considerations If You’re Thinking Of Going Green
If neighborhoods start sounding a little quieter, the growing popularity of electric lawnmowers might have something to do with it. With a noise level on par with a dishwasher, electric mowers are less ear-piercing than gas-powered machines. Firing up the mower early in the morning to beat the heat of day is no longer out of the question.
Along with a big reduction in noise pollution, electric mowers also reduce air pollution. Compared to gas mowers, electric mowers reduce emissions of carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides and methane by 99 percent, according to the National Gardening Association. And even after factoring in the power plant, they reduce carbon dioxide by 38 percent.
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Ryobi Ry48ztr: Best Ride On Battery Lawn Mower
The Ryobi RY48ZTR100 is the best ride on battery mower out there with a whopping 42-inch cutting deck powered by a massive 100Ah battery, this can handle any job. The four brushless motors power the dual blades and four wheels across 12 cut heights and work in forward and reverse with a top speed of 7mph.
The zero point control arms make for accurate driving and the LED lights let you work day or night. There’s even a drinks holder and USB charger for your phone plus a snow plough attachment for use in the winter just don’t expect this to be a cheap option.
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Ego 56v Steel Deck Self
If youre the kind of guy or gal that wants the toughest build, consider EGOs steel deck mowers. Unsurprisingly, we prefer the self-propelled model, though theres also a push mower if you have a smaller lawn and want to save some money.
The debate between steel and poly decks runs deep. Generally speaking, steel decks can take more abuse. That said, we havent had a poly deck fail on us yet. Theres also more design flexibility to optimize airflow compared to steel.
But theres still no denying that steel mower decks inspire a lot of confidence for the long haul. With EGOs 5-year warranty backing it up, were totally on board with a steel deck sealing that long-term commitment.
Estimated kit runtime: 60 minutes
Price: $499 bare, $699 with 7.5Ah battery and rapid charger
Electric & Battery Lawn Mowers
Power is equally important for an electric lawn mower or even a battery lawn mower for that matter. For areas over 300 to 400 square meters I would suggest a petrol mower unless there was some other overriding reason to have an electric lawnmower weight for example. But as many many lawns come in under 300 square meters an electric mower or battery lawnmower can be the best option. Just get the most power in that width of lawnmower they generally range from 900 watts to about 1500 watts for rotary mowers and upwards of 300 watts for cylinder mowers. With cylinder mowers you will need to mow at least twice a week as an electric cylinder mower will struggle with a whole week of late spring growth.
The advantage of an electric power source is no engine to service just keep it clean and sharp. There are no polluting exhaust fumes and electric lawn mowers are a lot lighter than petrol lawnmowers. If a cable is likely to snag in your garden or distance is a problem then a battery lawnmower, though slightly heavier may be the solution.
Electric hover mowers with integral grass compartment are very common but unless you have a good reason for having one then DONT. You need a spanner to adjust the mowing height, they are comparatively poor at collecting clippings and as the box fills up with clippings the extra weight lowers the cut.
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