Electric vs Gas Lawn Mower – Differences + How They Work

Lawn mowers come in variety of models featuring different prices, sizes and power. Not long ago, a heated debate on electric vs. gas lawn mowers left everyone confused on which type to trust. If you are about to purchase a lawn mower, here we help you make informed decision by highlighting on the differences between electric and gas lawn mower and their pros and cons.

Electric lawn mowers are powered either by charged lithium-ion batteries or direct electric current via an extension cord. They start instantly, produces no fumes, run quietly and requires little maintenance. However, they are only ideal for cutting grass on small lawns.

Gas lawn mowers on the other hand are powered by fossil fuels. They are more powerful, durable and suitable for mowing large fields. However, gas mowers are heavier, produce polluting hydrocarbon fumes, run loudly and has more maintenance needs.

Electric vs Gas Lawn Mower – Comparisons

Let’s look at the two lawn mower’s power rating, ease of use, maintenance, operational costs and their effect on environment.

Operating Power

There is no doubt gas powered mowers are more powerful than electric. The machines easily slice through any type of grass without any difficulty. Further, a gas lawn mower is the right machine to use when cutting grass on large lawns as long as the gas tank is fuel- loaded.

This does not mean that electric lawn mowers are inferior. They still do a great job cutting grass in small to medium-sized lawns. Improvements in technology have led to invention of powerful electric motors for mowers although they are costly to acquire. You can run them on large lawns as long as you have a longer extension cord.

However, battery powered versions of electric lawn model may be limited to the battery life. You will need more than one battery to fully cover a large areas. Battery operated motors sometimes lack power to cut wet or very tough grass.

Ease of use

Electric lawn mowers become a winner in this category. They are lightweight, start instantly and easy to maneuver. All you do is to install charged batteries or plug in a nearby power outlet and press a switch to start cutting grass. However, corded electric lawn mowers may be difficult to use around obstacles like trees.

Heavy weight is what makes gas lawn mowers difficult to push and incline. Even with a self-propelled feature, you can easily go over your flowerbeds if you are not strong enough to handle the machine. In addition to heavy hardware, the weight of the gas makes these models to be extra heavy.


Basic maintenance is important for any lawn mower whether electric or gas. The blades has to be sharpened and the mower has to be cleaned and stored appropriately. There is no much required beyond this if you are operating an electric lawn mower.

Gas lawn mower calls for regular and thorough level of maintenance. On regular, you have to change lawn mower engine oil, replace spark plugs, and clean the carburetor and air filters. When storing, you also have to drain the fuel or add a stabilizer into the gas tank. These requirements can be costly.

Mower Costs

Gas lawn mowers are pricier to acquire and maintain. Apart from costly maintenance requirements, you need to get deeper in pocket to fuel your lawn mower. The price of gas mowers on the market are usually higher as compared to corded or battery operated models.

If you want to save on purchase and operation costs, then an electric lawn mower will be the ideal choice. You will only be dealing with moderate electric bills that cannot be compared to higher gas price. However, your decision will depend on the size of your yard and the amount of work to cover.

Eco friendliness

Both corded and battery operated lawn mower produce zero emission of fumes but the process of mining of lithium, a useful addition to lawn mower batteries is known to be highly polluting. Corded-electric lawn mower are the most suitable at reducing carbon footprint.

Gas lawn mowers are noisy and produce hydrocarbon fumes which contributes to atmospheric pollution and climate change. Additionally, these models use highly flammable fuel that can start fire if not properly stored.

Differences between Electric and Gas Lawn Mowers

Electric Lawn MowerGas Lawn Mower
Less expensive to acquire, run and maintainCostly to acquire, run and maintain
Only suitable for cutting grass in small yardsMore powerful and suitable for mowing larger lawns
Lightweight, fast to start with a push of a button and easy to maneuverHeavy, not easy to maneuver and sometimes not easy to start by pulling cord.
Runtime is limited to battery life and the availability of power or electric outletCan be used anywhere as long as the fuel tank is loaded
Does not produce harmful fumes nor noise when runningProduces tons of fumes and loud noise which pollutes the environment.
Recommended to use on dry lawn as electricity and water does not mixCan be used in both dry and wet conditions without any problem
No need to winterize as long as it is cleaned and stored in a dry clean place.Needs to be winterized when storing for winter and fuel must be drained or stabilized

Electric Lawn Mower Pros

The following are advantages of an electric lawn mower

  • Requires little running and maintenance costs – no oil change, fuelling, filter replacements
  • Zero carbon emissions and less noise thus great for reduction of carbon footprint
  • Lightweight, easy to start and easy to push and maneuver

Electric Lawn Mower Cons

The following are downsides of electric powered lawn mower

  • Battery power only lasts a couple of hours and need charging to continue with mowing task
  • Corded electric lawn mower models can only be used near a power source or an extremely long extension cord.
  • Extension cords are difficult to lay out and use around obstacles and roll up again for storage
  • Electric lawn mowers have much less power as compared to their gas counterparts.
  • Lithium ion batteries are often expensive to replace
  • Not suitable to cut grass on wet lawns as water and electricity does not mix
  • The motor may not handle the heavy loads making them only ideal for small yards

Gas Lawn Mower Pros

You get the following benefits by owning a gas powered lawn mower

  • Produces more power which makes them ideal for mowing larger lawns
  • Can be used on any type of grass including wet lawns
  • More durable as compared to electric models
  • Less costly to replace damaged parts as compared to electric versions

Gas Lawn Mower Cons

Be ready to face the following challenges that comes with a gas mower

  • Usually costly to acquire, run and maintain
  • Pollutes the environment through carbon emissions and loud noise
  • Heavy and not easy to maneuver

Which is better between Electric and Gas Lawn Mower?

The most important thing to look at when choosing a lawn mower is the work to be done. Electric lawn mowers are efficient if you have a small yard. You’ll need a gas lawn mower if you have a large lawn but be ready to spend slightly more on fuel and maintenance. If you have environmental interests at heart, then electric lawn mower carries the day.

Leave a Comment