Every lawn owner knows that mowing is an essential part of lawn maintenance and should be carried out regularly. But the issue of concern has never been with the “whys,” but the “how.”
So if you’re thinking of replacing your gas-powered lawn mower for an electric type, this guide should help answer your question on just about everything you need to know about electric lawn mowers in general and battery-powered lawn mowers in particular.
Different Types of Lawn Mowers
Lawn mowers are divided into two if you look at it from the broad sense. There’s the electric mower and the gas mower. The electric mower is further divided into two; the corded model and the cordless model.
How Are Electric Lawn Mowers Powered
As previously stated, electric lawn mowers are of two types: the cord and cordless model. The major difference between the two is that one is powered by a rechargeable battery while the other has to be plugged into a power socket.
Differences between a Corded and Cordless Lawn Mower
#1. Corded Lawn Mowers
Corded electric lawn mowers have cords that have to be connected to a power supply before they can be used. One major advantage of the corded model over the cordless type is that it has unlimited run-time. As far as it remains plugged in, it remains powered.
On the downside, you might have to deal with long tangling cords if this is what you have. There’s also the issue of cord length. If you have a bigger yard, you might have to get longer cords to get the job done. It’s this reason that makes them more suited for smaller-sized lawns.
#2. Battery Powered / Cordless Lawn Mowers
Cordless lawn mowers are powered by batteries. This means they do not have unlimited run-time like their corded counterpart, and grass-cutting time can be halted when the battery runs down.
One of the major benefits of using this mower is its longer range. Since they are not connected to a fixed power outlet or limited by a cord’s length, they can cut much further away. This attribute makes the cordless mower ideal for more extensive/ larger lawns or yards.
Some newer cordless model relies on solar. These types come with solar-powered batteries and can be easily charged with little or no cost.
Another recent invention with the cordless lawn mower is the “robotic styled mowers”—these mowers as with all cordless mower run on batteries.
It, however, comes with sensors that help the mower find its way around the lawn without additional human intervention. These models are quite prices because they’ve just been introduced to the market
How Do You Start Your Battery Powered Lawn Mower
The good thing with the corded and cordless electric mowers, as opposed to gas-powered lawn mowers, is the ease at which it can be started. Gas lawn mowers can really be tiring to start up, especially when you consider all the pilling you’ll have to do.
To start your battery-powered lawn mower, all you simply have to do is to turn the key on your mower, then push the start button or pull a lever. If it doesn’t come on after doing this, it most likely means you have a battery that needs recharging.
What Are the Controls on Your Battery Powered Lawn Mower
It’s not enough to know to turn your mower on. You need to be intimated with the functions/uses of the other plugs, switches, and buttons found on your unit.
#1. Control Levers
Control levers are hand-controlled devices. They determine the level at which your lawn/yard will be cut.
#2. Safety Cutout Switch
They are also commonly referred to as ‘cutout switches’ or ‘snap safety cutout switches.’ These are control measures put in place in electrical devices.
The safety cutout switch is designed to bring the device to a halt when a safety issue is discovered. It has the advantage of being able to save those mowing from mishaps.
#3. Rear Rollers
Rear rollers can help in flattening out longer turf grasses. This can prove very good in those times when the grass levels aren’t balanced. The rear rollers also provide added stability for the mower.
What Is the Range of a Battery Powered Lawn Mower
Before your battery might need recharging, it should most likely have covered at least 250m2. That’s about the size of an average tennis court. If you have a lawn that is larger than this size, you might need to take intermittent breaks to recharge the mower.
Another thing that might influence the range of your cordless lawn mower is the length of your turfgrass. Generally, it’s easier and faster to mow the grass when it is already cut short.
Moisture, debris, and rough surfaces can further lengthen cutting time while reducing battery life expectancy.
Having an extra battery can help cut down the time spent during a pit stop. Rather than waiting to recharge your battery immediately, you can easily switch to the other one.
What Type of Battery Can Power My Battery Powered Lawn Mower
You can decide to go for either a Li-Ion (lithium-Ion) battery or a NiCad (Nickel-Cadmium) battery. Depending on what you’re aiming for, you can choose between either of the two. Just remember that they both come with their own fair share of pros and cons.
For example, although you might find NiCad batteries more affordable, their run-time is less when compared with Li-Ion cells. They also need to be fully discharged before you can charge again; otherwise, their run-time and power density will decrease.
Li-Ion batteries, on the other hand, tend to provide higher power and also last longer, but end deteriorating only after a few years.
How Long Do the Batteries of Battery Powered Lawn Mowers Last
This is largely affected by the frequency of use and how well you maintain your unit. But on an average, the battery of your battery-powered/cordless mower should last you for about five years.
It is advisable to replace your mower’s battery after five years as older batteries tend to lose their charge more quickly. This is because your rechargeable battery loses five percent of its charge capacity in each passing year.
Maintenance Tips for Your Battery Powered Lawn Mower
While your battery is expected to work effectively and last you for at least five before needing replacement, it’s possible to have a weak battery on our hands before the five-year mark is over.
Proper care and maintenance are required if you want your mower and battery to last you long. The following tips can extend the useful life of your unit:
Cleaning is an important equipment maintenance routine for all types of mowers, be it gas, corded, or cordless. Cleaning your mower will keep it your working and moving for much longer.
To start with, don’t ever attempt cleaning your mower while still in use. Only do so after shutting off all the power source and turning it off. Ensure you clean the blades with either a plastic utensil or a wooden stick. This will help wipe away grass trimmings without damaging the blades.
Make sure to hit the mower deck as well to wipe over the residue. Then you can go on to cleaning the wheels, the ventilation system, and the power system with a soft, clean cloth.
Finally, don’t forget to tighten every loose screw and fastener, you don’t want your mower falling apart the next time you attempt using it.
#2. Proper Storage
After each use, clean then bring in your mower for storage. You can also keep your mower on the porch; it’s still very much alright. Just make sure it’s in a cool, dry place.
You should always clean and store your mower indoor, especially if you’re using an electric mower. Storing your electric mower close to your water heater, gas cans, a furnace, or generally any place with moisture can lead to it getting damaged.
#3. Keep an Extra Battery
You’ll wear out your battery faster if you’re relying on just one to do the job. Keeping an extra battery can be one easy way to extend the useful life of both batteries.
Battery-powered lawn mowers are easier to start, they don’t require as much maintenance as their gas-powered counterpart, they mow with less noise, they also result in lower air pollution, plus you also never have to bother yourself about lengthy and swirling cords.
These power mowers can literally shed off the burden associated with mowing. If you ever decide to get one of these, I can assure you that you’ve made a brilliant choice.