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Electric lawn mowers: A cutting edge  Smart Choices Archive

Electric lawn mowers: A cutting edge

Electric mower: Fotolia

Environmental

Chances are, your lawn mower is gas powered. While these traditional mowers can handle large areas of tall, thick and even wet grass, they have some disadvantages. These include fumes, frequent maintenance, tough-to-start pull cords and very noisy operation.

If you’ve been thinking about purchasing an electric mower but have heard that they don’t have the power or range you might need, you may want to take another look.

Going electric
While it’s generally true that corded electric mowers (with range limited by the length of the cord) are more powerful, battery life is improving on battery-based mowers. One top-rated cordless mower with a lithium-ion battery claims to have a 45-minute cut time and a quick 30-minute charge time (EGO Power+). Another handles yards up to 1/3 acre in a single charge and gives a boost of power when needed for going up hills or cutting heavy grass (Kobalt 80-volt cordless). Find information about the EGO and Kobalt mowers, along with descriptions of other top-rated electric mowers at Top Ten Reviews.

In addition, Consumer Reports has added electric mowers (many are cordless) to its rankings, with the EGO tying with the top-rated gas push mower, and with five electric mowers recommended in the company’s 2017 mower review.

Many electric mowers also have the features you expect in a mower, such as mulching or bagging capabilities. You may also find add-ons such as LED headlights for working early or late in the day, solar charging, extra batteries included, and many have push-button starters. There are even electric-powered riding mowers, with Consumer Reports rating the Ryobi as performing on par with some good gas models (and you can charge your phone in the USB port while you mow!).

On the “con” side, not all electric mowers have a self-propelling feature (although they are generally lighter than gas-powered mowers), and they are often more expensive than gas-powered mowers; however, you’ll save money in maintenance.

Sources: Consumer Reports, Top Ten Reviews

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