Electric Mowers v's Gas Mowers - Which is the Best for the Money?

The short answer is it depends on your garden size and landscaping, budget, mowing habits and frequency, environmental conscience and your physical condition.

Main Types of Lawnmowers

If you are thinking about buying a new lawnmower for your yard this year, you are probably wondering what type of mower to buy. There are three main types of lawn-cutting machines, reel, electric and gas mowers.   

The reel mower involves hand-pushing a light sharp rotating reel of blades of blades along the lawn to cut the grass. Electric lawnmowers are a second option and there are two main types, the electric battery-powered grass cutting equipment, or the electric corded lawnmower. The final type of power of fuel for your lawnmower is gasoline. The gas powered mowers can be push, or self-propelled.Fiskars 6201 18-Inch StaySharp Max Push Reel Lawn MowerCredit: Amazon

This is mainly a comparison of the more inexpensive and affordable electric corded lawnmowers and push and self-propelled gas mowers. There is another article that compares electric battery-powered mowers to electric corded mowers right here.


Environmental concerns

So in response to consumer concerns over the environment and emissions that come from gas mowers, and the retiring and household downsizing of a large proportion of the market, there are a lot more options in the world of electric lawnmowers. They still are not ideal for every situation or lawn, so gas powered lawn equipment still has its merits.

Gas powered lawnmowers directly use gasoline or petrol to fill the tank and drive the mower. These fossil fuels can be expensive and can provide the opportunity for environmental spills on your property.

While electric lawnmowers do not use the fossil fuel directly, it is fossil fuels that are used to power the electricity to keep used to power the generation stations that provide electricity either directly, or to charge the battery models.


Garden type and size

There is no strict consensus on what the maximum lawn size that can be cut with an electric mower.  There is really no wrong or right answer. If you push the limits of an electric mower by mowing half an acre with it weekly and you may find that it does not last as long as a gas powered grass cutting machine.

It seems as though once your yard is larger than a fifth or o a third of an acre, gas lawn equipment is the way to go. Part of that is due to the time to cut the grass is a lot shorter with gasoline. You can move faster, as it has more power to cut as you go along. 

Yard-Man 11A-A19Q701 21-Inch 160cc Honda GCV Mulch Side Discharge Bagging Gas Powered Push Lawn MowerCredit: Amazon

Also the range with an electric mower can be limited by the length and power of your extension cord, so it not the bets for a long narrow garden. If your extension power cord is improper it can damage the machine's motor and also is a large expense so considerate when purchasing electric for large Lawn.


Time to mow and quality of cut

As far as quality of cut, as long as the mowers are well-maintained, the blade level and properly adjusted, and relatively sharp, the grass cut should look very similar between and electric and gas mower if all else is equal.    The reel mowers have a little bit of an advantage here because of the style of cutting, each grass blade is sheared from the top instead of a rotating blade passing over it horizontally.

Time taken to cut the grass is less with the extra power with a gas lawn machine.  You can motor through the grass-cutting chores relatively quickly. An electric motor run from a 110V circuit main can only draw the equivalent of about one and three-quarter horsepower, less than the gas engines provide.  The electric motors do have a more instant torque, so this does make up for the lower HP to a degree, but certainly you're looking at a higher horsepower with a gas machine.


Frequency of grass cutting

If you tend to leave the grass and only cut once a week or less often than that, you may find that an electric lawnmower comes up short performing at that level. If grass is a little dew covered or damp, or longer than is ideal, the electric mowers can struggle, clogging and unable to power through the longer grass blades.

This can just be down to personal habit the frequency of mowing, but also with a large yard when you know it is going to take a few hours to cut your lawn, it tends to be relegated to weekends or other times when it is convenient. This generally is the case when the large garden is larger and so a gas powered mower tends to be a better choice.


Do you want to mulch or bag your grass cuttings?Greenworks 25022 20-Inch 12 Amp Electric Bag Mulch Side Discharge Lawn MowerCredit: Amazon

Depending on whether you want to mulch or bag your grass cuttings, also is tied into the frequency of cutting. If you tend to wait a while between cuttings and have a large amount of cut grass matter laying on top of the lawn when you're finished mowing, you may want to mulch or bag the grass cuttings.  This can be for aesthetics or even to feed the grass without using chemical fertilizers. 

There are the options of bagging up and composting the grass cuttings to feed other parts of the garden, or mulching them directly back into the ground.  Either way you are probably going to do better with a gasoline power unit.  The gas lawnmower with its extra power and torque it can blow the clippings further making bag filling easier and avoid leaving less grass clippings laying on top of the cut lawn.


Best riding mower under $2000Credit: Amazon


Your physical condition

This is important to mention, because if you have physical limitations or cannot move heavy objects, a light electric mower may be the best option for your small yard.  Many of the electric mowers are designed to be light, and easy to use.   If you have a large yard, certainly a self-propelled gas mower is an option, or even better a riding lawn tractor may really save you some effort and trouble

It is not just the walking around pushing your mower while it cuts your lawn that is the issue, there is also the issue of easily starting the mower. If the equipment requires a pull cord, this can certainly strain and frustrate a weaker individual, especially on a hot humid day.  Many of the gas powered mowers now have pushbutton start so pushbutton primers but it is still a frustration at times.


Storage space when not in use

Yard Machines 11A-020B000 20-Inch 148cc Briggs & Stratton Mulch/Side Discharge Gas Powered Push Lawn MowerCredit: Amazon


If your storage space is limited, along with your lawn size, there will be more of an advantage with the electric mowers.  Not only is there the option of folding down handles and even hanging the mowers up the storage between cuts, but there is also no need to store gerry cans full of gasoline on your property.

If you have limited storage space and need gasoline mower, it is certainly wise to measure the dimensions of the mower, before purchase, whether a  riding lawntractor or push mower to make sure that it will fit into your storage area or garage.



Convenience and maintenance


Generally, apart from sharpening the blades and keeping the electric mower clear of dried-on grass cuttings, there is minimal maintenance.

Best riding lawnmower under $1500Credit: Amazon


With a lawnmower that has a gas powered engine, there is not only the blade sharpening cost, but also the purchase and installation of oil filters, spark-plugs as well as annual tune-ups. Purchasing and filling with gasoline and also the need for oil are other incidental costs.


Safety considerations

With corded electric lawnmowers there is always the risk of running over the power cord and damaging the cord, or shocking yourself and ruining the mower. The electric battery mowers have been developed to get around this, but there are other disadvantages to and limits to them especially when it comes to overall power and duration of use. The gas mowers do not have a cord that you can run over, but dealing with gasoline and its flammability can be challenging for smokers.


Costs of an electric versus gas Best electric mower under $500Credit: Amazonlawnmower

Initial costs can be higher especially for the electric battery-powered lawnmowers, but running costs can be significantly than fueling the gas power equipment.  It can cost as little to run an electric mower for a year than it can to fill the fuel tank of a push or self propelled gas mower twice.   With electric power equipment, you also have the convenience of having the cost all on one electricity bill.


Value for money and longevity

As with anything, you get what you pay for.   With any investment in power equipment, you will want the best lawnmower for the money, especially if you have a set budget.   This depends on your situation.  If you have a decent sized lawn and want to have your lawnmower for many years, a gas mower is probably the best mower for the money.

If you want the convenience of a lightweight, lightly built, and inexpensive electric mower, then that may be the way to go. The electric mowers being built today are not as long-lasting or as sturdy as previous machines. Best lawn tractor under $1500Credit: Amazon

If you are buying an electric mower now do not expect it to last very long unless you up paying a lot of money for it.  With the battery mower, a further consideration is the length of lifetime from the batteries and whether you will need to purchase extra batteries for convenient use as well.

If you are tempted by a riding mower, there are options under $1000.