Frugal Lawn Care: Using an Electric Lawn Mower

by Kevin on June 26, 2009

I wrote a guest post today for Frugal Dad about sharpening mower blades that goes hand-in-hand with this article, so check it out.

My wife and I moved into our first home in September 2007. It’s a decent sized garden home sitting on 1/4 of an acre. As you can imagine we don’t have much of a yard, but it is a yard nonetheless. I needed to find a mower or risk the rath of my homeowner’s association.

Selecting a Lawn Mower

Growing up I mowed my parents yard and spare lot for allowance money. We used your standard gasoline mower and it would take me an hour or so. But I remembered having to do things like change the oil, refill it with gas, swap out the air filter… you know, ordinary mower maintenance.

With a small yard I wanted to try and avoid as much of that as possible. I could get away with a small, ordinary mower. But if I could get rid of some of the maintenance I would be thrilled. The thought of a battery or plug-in electric mower crossed my mind.

Now I know what you’re thinking. How could something run off of electricity, especially a battery, cut your yard effectively? I was just as skeptical and tried visiting stores in our area to see if they had any. No one carried them in stock — not Home Depot, not Lowe’s, not Sears.

I turned to the internet for more information and discovered that Amazon sold several models. After a search and reading lots of reviews we ended up buying a Black & Decker 19-Inch Electric Mulching Mower (plug-in).

Honestly I was a bit nervous because I’d never used an electric and none of the stores in our area carried them (so I couldn’t try it out ahead of time). Thanks to Amazon’s great customer service I went ahead and ordered knowing that if I wasn’t satisfied I could send it back.

I made the order and a few days later a large box showed up on our doorstep with the mower inside.

Using an Electric Lawn Mower

Compared to your traditional gas powered mower using an electric is a little bit more of a hassle. With my plug-in mower this hassle is represented by having to have a lengthy extension cord strewn about the yard while I mow.

But for me the hassle is worth it. I simply work away from where the cord is plugged in — thus not having to worry about running over the cord.

Come to think of it the hassle is similar to a gas powered mower. With a gas mower you’ve got to refill it with gas — including occasionally driving to the gas station to fill up the gas container. With an electric I’ve got to get the cord out, not run over it, and then collect the cord at the end.

It really isn’t all that bad although my electric mower doesn’t occassionally sound like a vacuum cleaner. It still cuts the grass and keeps my yard looking neat. Plus there are no direct emissions coming from the unit — an environmental plus.

Lawn mowers: would you consider an electric or battery powered mower? Leave a comment and get the discussion rolling.

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