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Old 04-02-2012, 02:05 PM   #1
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Gas Vs Electric Mower

Any recommendations on choosing a gas or electric mower? Our new place doesn't have a huge yard, so the length of an extension cord won't matter. Anyone have negative experiences with the power of an electric mower? I've read mixed reviews...

Leaning towards this one for electric: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Black-Deck...Q%26A+Exchange
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Old 04-02-2012, 06:50 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theredofshaw View Post
Any recommendations on choosing a gas or electric mower? Our new place doesn't have a huge yard, so the length of an extension cord won't matter. Anyone have negative experiences with the power of an electric mower? I've read mixed reviews...

Leaning towards this one for electric: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Black-Deck...Q%26A+Exchange
A friend of mine at work has an electric mower. He said it works good for normal grass. Anything that's tough and it will bog down too much to be useful.
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Old 04-02-2012, 06:55 PM   #3
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If you keep up the yard "weekly" then electric would be fine, but if it gets long have fun boging down.
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Old 04-03-2012, 02:43 AM   #4
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My experience with outdoor electric garden tools is that the power is decent but being tethered by that cord is annoying. You can get one of those throw away lawn mowers the chinese make for around a hundred.
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Old 04-03-2012, 05:08 AM   #5
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Electric is fine for really small yards. Plus, it's one less engine to maintain. With the ethanol these days, keeping a small engine running from season to season is becoming more difficult. I actually went with a Ryobi 18 volt string trimmer instead of gas for that very reason.
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Old 04-03-2012, 05:19 AM   #6
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Gas.

The only electric lawn equipment I own now are the hedge trimmer and leaf blower. Gas is the only way to go for mower, edger, and weed eater. Used the electric stuff in the past and I'm never going back to that. Cords get to be a pain in the ass once you know how fast you can move around your lawn with the power of gas equipment. And you don't want to get half way done with your yard and have a battery tool die on you...
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Old 04-03-2012, 05:30 AM   #7
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I have an electric mower with the battery on it. It does good for the most part but will bog down if you hit high grass (or wet grass). The charge lasts a decent time but I would need to recharge it 1/2 way through the yard so I could finish. I have done this a few times when my riding mower wasnt working.
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Old 04-03-2012, 05:45 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xJuice View Post
Gas.

The only electric lawn equipment I own now are the hedge trimmer and leaf blower. Gas is the only way to go for mower, edger, and weed eater. Used the electric stuff in the past and I'm never going back to that. Cords get to be a pain in the ass once you know how fast you can move around your lawn with the power of gas equipment. And you don't want to get half way done with your yard and have a battery tool die on you...
For a small area, I couldn't disagree with you more. For a string trimmer, I bought a Ryobi 18v battery powered trimmer. It uses the same batteries as all my other power tools so I've got 4 batteries laying around but one easily does my whole yard. Why would you want that many small engines to maintain if you didn't have to? With the crap they're putting in the gasoline these days, I'd avoid having any more small motors than I need to. That being said, I've got 1/3 acre so I went gas-powered. If you're talking a tiny little back yard strip in an urban area that can be reached with a single extension cord, I'd go electric hands down.
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Old 04-03-2012, 06:01 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Pugga View Post
For a small area, I couldn't disagree with you more. For a string trimmer, I bought a Ryobi 18v battery powered trimmer. It uses the same batteries as all my other power tools so I've got 4 batteries laying around but one easily does my whole yard. Why would you want that many small engines to maintain if you didn't have to? With the crap they're putting in the gasoline these days, I'd avoid having any more small motors than I need to. That being said, I've got 1/3 acre so I went gas-powered. If you're talking a tiny little back yard strip in an urban area that can be reached with a single extension cord, I'd go electric hands down.
Took me 5 minutes to change my oil in the mower last weekend, and 2-strokes change their own oil lol

Not really much to maintain.
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Old 04-03-2012, 10:25 AM   #10
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Gas.

My neighbor up the street has an electric mower and it cracks me up watching him mowing the grass having to drag the extension cord around. He said he's probably going to buy a gas powered mower soon. It bogs down in wet or tall grass that even a cheap underpowered gas mower wouldn't bog in. Especially mid summer with our thick bermuda lawns. I have to mow my yard twice a week.

I'm a bit biased though, I have a 36" commercial walk behind mower with a stand-on sulky to ride behind it. I can mow, trim, edge, and blow 3 yards in the time it takes him to mow his 1 yard
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Old 04-03-2012, 10:35 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by OZ-T View Post
Sheep
Dont think hoa would approve... Went to get measurements of windows and took another look at backyard, looks like it'll be gas, its larger than i thought lol.... Now to figure out which gas one to get, backyard will have sod put in sometime in the next 2weeks so crabgrass wont be an issue (i enjoy maintaining a good looking yard)
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Old 04-03-2012, 10:39 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by theredofshaw View Post
Dont think hoa would approve... Went to get measurements of windows and took another look at backyard, looks like it'll be gas, its larger than i thought lol.... Now to figure out which gas one to get, backyard will have sod put in sometime in the next 2weeks so crabgrass wont be an issue (i enjoy maintaining a good looking yard)
Make sure you either hire a lawn maintenance company to apply your chemicals or make sure you put down a pre-emergent every year. Crabgrass seeds can sit dormant for a long time.

I recommend a Honda or Toro recycler. Both are great mowers and they mulch and bag very very well. You'll pay a little more but believe me, it's worth it. Keep your blades sharp and mow often and you should be able to mulch it without leaving a lot of clippings behind.

Mulching = no grass clippings to dispose of and you're recycling nutrients back into the soil.

I mulch all of the yards that I maintain. The only time I bag is in the fall to clean up leaves.
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Old 04-03-2012, 10:39 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by xJuice View Post
Took me 5 minutes to change my oil in the mower last weekend, and 2-strokes change their own oil lol

Not really much to maintain.
I have a hell of a time getting small gas engines going every spring. The ethanol gums up the carbs and I usually end up having to do at least some work to the engine every spring. Changing the oil is the easy part. For a bigger lawn, it's worth the hassle but for a small area (I'm thinking the size of an oversized deck, like 10x12, 12x14ish) that a single extension cord could reach without having to be moved to different outlets, I wouldn't bother with gas. Just my $0.02.
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Old 04-03-2012, 10:50 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Pugga View Post
I have a hell of a time getting small gas engines going every spring. The ethanol gums up the carbs and I usually end up having to do at least some work to the engine every spring. Changing the oil is the easy part. For a bigger lawn, it's worth the hassle but for a small area (I'm thinking the size of an oversized deck, like 10x12, 12x14ish) that a single extension cord could reach without having to be moved to different outlets, I wouldn't bother with gas. Just my $0.02.
Make sure you drain all of the gas out in the fall when you put it away for winter. For trimmers and stuff, drain all the gas out, then turn it on it's side carb pointed down and let it drain out of the carb.

I just fired all of my equipment up last week for the first time since winter, it all fired right up with no problems.
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Old 04-03-2012, 10:57 AM   #16
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Gas.

The whole maintenance thing is true - gas engines require more maintenance. But there's something to be said for A) power, B) gasoline, C) more power and D) doing your own maintenance. Oh and did I mention more power?
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Old 04-03-2012, 11:06 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by macgyver View Post
Make sure you either hire a lawn maintenance company to apply your chemicals or make sure you put down a pre-emergent every year. Crabgrass seeds can sit dormant for a long time.

I recommend a Honda or Toro recycler. Both are great mowers and they mulch and bag very very well. You'll pay a little more but believe me, it's worth it. Keep your blades sharp and mow often and you should be able to mulch it without leaving a lot of clippings behind.

Mulching = no grass clippings to dispose of and you're recycling nutrients back into the soil.

I mulch all of the yards that I maintain. The only time I bag is in the fall to clean up leaves.
So does Consumer Reports. Honda #1 and Toro #2. Being that the Honda was $400 more than the Toro, I went with the Toro and love it (as much as you can love a mower). The blade disengage is nice and the personal pace feature is nice too.

As for electric, eh. If you are set on it, I would look for one of the ones that use a "car type" battery.
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Old 04-03-2012, 11:24 AM   #18
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So does Consumer Reports. Honda #1 and Toro #2. Being that the Honda was $400 more than the Toro, I went with the Toro and love it (as much as you can love a mower). The blade disengage is nice and the personal pace feature is nice too.

As for electric, eh. If you are set on it, I would look for one of the ones that use a "car type" battery.
$400 more? You can get their low end Honda for $400. The low end Toro is $300. Both are great mowers even the low end models. In fact, as someone who does landscaping as a side business, I don't really see the benefit in buying the more expensive models. I have used them both. They both mulch grass very well. The Toro gives you an extra inch of deck width over the honda.

I didn't really care for the personal pace feature. I prefer the standard self propelled over it and definitely prefer a front wheel drive self propelled over the rear wheel drive models. Much smoother operation IMO. The personal pace seemed a little jerky to me and the gears kinda grinded in off camber situations.

Also, make sure to get one with the bigger wheel in the back. They roll much smoother.
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Old 04-03-2012, 11:37 AM   #19
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I didn't really care for the personal pace feature. I prefer the standard self propelled over it and definitely prefer a front wheel drive self propelled over the rear wheel drive models. Much smoother operation IMO. The personal pace seemed a little jerky to me and the gears kinda grinded in off camber situations.
Have you used one of the newer variable Honda Smart Speed mowers? Mine has that, and I think it's exactly the way self propelled should be. Works just like a variable speed drill, push in a little or a lot depending how fast you want to go, and exactly when you do or don't want to move.
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Old 04-03-2012, 11:47 AM   #20
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Have you used one of the newer variable Honda Smart Speed mowers? Mine has that, and I think it's exactly the way self propelled should be. Works just like a variable speed drill, push in a little or a lot depending how fast you want to go, and exactly when you do or don't want to move.
Nope I haven't used the newer Honda system. I'll check it out sometime. I've only used the old style, my dad has a Honda mower that he bought about 11-12 years ago.

To be honest, I don't really use my 21"er much anymore. The only place I use it is the mow a small strip of grass on a bank behind my house and there's too many rocks so i don't want to damage my 36. I don't even keep it on my trailer. I use my 36" walk behind for 99% of what I mow and my string trimmer for the tight spaces I can't get the 36" into. I've also convinced my clients to shape their planting beds with angles/radiuses that are convenient for me to manuever my 36
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