I've finally gone and done it. Reserving my riding mower for the larger
expanse of my back yard, I'm replacing my old gas-powered
semi-effectively self-propelled walk behind mower with a spanking new
electric model for the smaller front yard.
I am a glutton for punishment. Even with COPD, I still push a mower just
for the hell of it AND because it's easier in small areas. It's feels
like Hell's own work to do it, but it's ultimately good for me. It'll be
even better for me when I'm not blasting my rotator cuff with a pull
start or tanking up on engine fumes with every step. It's also quieter,
easier to adjust cutting height, and makes infinitely less noise than
It's corded. I don't mind. My trimmer extension cord reaches the length
and breadth of both the front and back yards, so I know the mower will
get out there on the same cord. And I'm not worried about tangling the
cord or running it over. I learned to operate a vacuum cleaner eons ago
and can thread its cord cunningly through the house during various
death-defying maneuvers, and I haven't severed it nor electrocuted,
tripped, garroted, snared or hung myself with it even once. My
confidence level re an electric lawn mower is high!
How nice it will be to mow without that gas engine racket!
Now if they would just get to work on an electric riding mower.
They've been around since the '70s--plan on spending about $12,000.
http://www.econogics.com/ev/evtools.htm lists a number of models with
links to some of the manufacturers (scroll down to get to the riders).
Most of the ones currently available seem to be general purpose small
tractors with mower attachments being only one capability.
runs great and I actually have stopped traffic while I mowed, becuase
it looks different than normal riding mowers and its quiet. People stop and
ask what it is. They really should go back to making these.
Electric mowers typically operate at higher decibels than petrol
models, also at higher pitch so much more annoying and ear damaging...
be sure to wear quality ear protection... shooter's muffs are hot but
they work. If your petrol mower is excessively loud ask yourself when
you last replaced the muffler, few people ever spend the $3,99 for a
new muffler each season.
And the cord will be much more of a hassle in smaller more crowded
areas... you'd be better off using the electric for your larger area
and get a small light weight gas push mower for your front yard, and
don't even think about self propelled for a small area, serves no real
purpose over short distances and just adds a lot of extra weight and
Many years ago I bought a Black & Decker electric mower (cost like $50
back then), used it once and relegated it to the shed, eventually gave
it away... mowing with a wire is a lot different from hedge trimming
with a wire... with mowing you move along a lot faster than with hedge
trimming, the wire is one big PIA. They do make rechargeable battery
operated electric mowers but I never looked into those. Electric
mowers are also a lot more dangerous, be absolutely certain to disable
it from the power source before even looking underneath. Maybe now
they have better safety features but my B & D had an ordinary toggle
switch, very easy to brush against and turn the unit on, for safety it
had to be unplugged manually every time it was turned off... and make
sure the switch was off before plugging in. I really see no advantage
to an electric mower... won't save on fuel either, electric ain't
free. The *only* advantage I can think of is not having to store
gasolene, but you will be using that rider so...
I use a Ryobi rechargeable electric and it is MUCH quieter than a gas or
electric model. Neighbors comment on how quiet it is.
About 10 - 15 years ago rechargeable electrics where the "hot new
thing". Now it is seems that no one makes them. I wonder why? Mine
has been very reliable (two 12 volt batteries need to be changed about
every 5 years). For small yards they are great. With new battery and
electric motor technology they would likely be even better. And, it
seems that there is a real market for them.
Bill R. (Ohio Valley, U.S.A)
To see pictures from my garden visit http://members.iglou.com/brosen
My mowers are serviced every fall after the mowing season ends. Whatever
needs to be replaced gets replaced. The neighbors have corded electrics
and they operate at a whisper compared to the gas mower, even when it
was new and in top form.
I can't push a mower, any mower, through my larger back yard. That's
specifically why I have a rider. And I already have a small light weight
gas push mower for the smaller front yard. It's the one I'm replacing
with the electric, 'cuz it's a killer. It's too heavy to push and
maneuver easily, it gets really hard to function in its carbon monoxide
wake, and because I must stop frequently and sometimes for protracted
periods when mowing with a walk behind it is outrageously inconvenient
when I must stop and start the engine continually. A CO-less electric
with quick and easy on and off function is the way to go for me when it
comes to walk behinds.
I'm not what I used to be, Sheldon, and I don't move very fast anymore.
Keeping track of a cord is pretty easy for one who needs to stop as
often as I do.
Twenty pounds heavier, and up to four hundred dollars more depending on
the make and model.
I will, Dad.
Electricity ain't free but these days it's a damn sight cheaper than
shelling out for gasoline. Moreover, I'm in Utah, the land of perpetual
sunshine. Solar energy is a reality here.
The walk behind was used more than the rider, so eliminating it should
make a difference in how much gasoline I have to purchase just to store
it. And HOT DAMN! I know I can't afford them, but I'm off to ogle those
I briefly owned an electric mower and it was worthless. I forget the
brand. But for rough ground or areas of long grass I think all are likely
to be equally worthless. For a dinnertable sized lawn kept perfectly
manicured at all times an electric would probably do.
The cord was an impossible nuisance as well. You WILL eventually run over
it and sparks will fly. I never used one with a rechargeable battery pack,
though. That'd be essential before I ever even samples the use of one
again, as the cord has GOT to not be there.
-paghat the ratgirl
visit my temperate gardening website:
Thanks for the vote of confidence, everyone. Of course your experience
will be my experience too.
Meanwhile, I'll be off doing what I have to do. These are the
compromises I make to keep going. I hope when it's your turn, you get as
much support as you've given here.
Some good old friends of mine had an electric Black & Decker
mower I used when their lawn needed mowing and I was
watching the house. It did an okay job, typical subdivision
property/lot. You need to start mowing close to where the
cord comes from. Then you go back & forth moving away from
the cord source so it is laying on what has already been
mowed. This particular mower had what I'll call a flopper
bar that held the cord off to the side a bit. Each time you
reached the end you turned and flopped the bar & cord to the
other side. A bit of an extra fling on the cord was helpful.
Later models had the handles centrally mounted and you just
flopped the whole handlebar assembly over, never turning the
mower around. Just go to what was the front of the mower and
push in the opposite direction. Using a bagger with it was
really annoying, putting up with the cord was tolerable
without bagging too.
Learning how to best mow with a trailing power cord will be
your most difficult chore. Usually they come with good
directions for this, read and follow them. Once you get the
hang of that you'll be okay :)
I talked (sort of) before my ability to vacuum with deftness that
beggars belief. The motions and movements you're describing here are the
blood and bone of those of us who use upright vacuum cleaners. We
learned to avoid power cords looooong ago.
Honestly, I am not worried about the cord! I'm worried about
desaturating with exertion, huffing exhaust and being forced to make
frequent stops while working. Thus my choice of an easy start,
economical start, low emissions, lightweight electric mower.
I do believe that on Tue, 15 Apr 2008 21:54:44 -0600,
I have previously used a light weight electric lawn mower and was able to
manage the cord too as I'm sure you will manage and I wish you luck.
It is too late now anyway but I love my Honda 5HP Self Propelled which is a
walk behind mower with 2 speeds and I always use low speed.
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