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lawn care

city boys, garden, landscaping, technology

Sorry Earth: Why I Exchanged the Battery Powered Lawn Mower for a Standard Gas Powered Mower


Toro Gas Mower on This American House

For all those folks who said that the battery powered mower wouldn’t work for us, I’m giving you this one chance. Go ahead, say it. I TOLD YOU SO! Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, allow me to explain.

When I bought the Kobalt Cordless Electric mower back in April, I was fully committed to making it work. After my first use, it was clear that I would never be able to mow our entire yard in one session. And I thought I was OK with that. So I’ll split my mowing into two days, i said to myself (and anyone else who would listen).

As the season has progressed and the grass has started growing at a faster rate, using the battery powered mower has required up to three days to get the entire yard done. I could finish most of the front and side yards in one session and then I’d have to recharge the batteries. The next day I could knock out most of the back yard before the batteries would lose their juice and I’d have to stop. By day three, it started to seem totally ridiculous.

I really wanted the rechargeable lawn mower to work for us. The thought of using gas and oil to trim down nature’s bountiful beauty seems completely wasteful. And yet spending three days seems like a waste of time. Until battery technology can catch up with my mowing needs, I’ll have to face the facts. Our yard is just too darn big for green technology.

I had purchased the battery powered lawn mower at Lowe’s because I knew that there was a chance I’d have to return it. But when I checked the return policy on the receipt I saw that I was about seven days past the 30-day window for returning the mower. Curses to procrastination! I called the nearest Lowe’s (1 1/2 hours away from the house!) and explained my situation. It takes three days to mow my yard, I said. I want to exchange the battery powered mower for a gas mower, I explained, but I’m a little past the return/exchange period. Oh, that’s no problem, the Lowe’s manager said. We’ll definitely honor the return, he promised.

I made the long trek to Lowe’s and lo and behold they did indeed accept the returned mower, no questions asked. I chose a Troy-Bilt gas powered mower as the replacement and in the end saved about $150 compared to the price of the battery powered mower.

I used the new Troy-Bilt on Monday and was pleased with the results. It’s louder than the battery powered mower, of course. And instead of a push button start like the Kobalt cordless mower, the new Troy-Bilt mower has a rip cord starter. But, hey, life is all about compromises. What I’ve lost in eco-responsibility and peace and quiet, I’ve gained in time saving convenience.

Sorry, Earth. We tried being kind to you!

Image: This American House

city boys, garden, setting up home

Shopping for a Battery Powered Rechargeable Lawn Mower


Toro Cordless Electric Lawn Mower

After many years as apartment dwellers, where landlords and landscapers are responsible for lawn maintenance, we’re facing the fact that we need to buy a lawn mower. The last time I mowed a lawn, well over ten years ago, it was with a clunky, messy and smelly gas mower. Back then, there were just three mower options: gas, electric or manual. Today there’s a fourth option: battery operated rechargeable mowers.

Rechargeable mowers seem like a great alternative for lawn care. Unlike a gas mower, battery operated models are eco-friendly, easy to start and won’t require a last minute trip to the gas station. While a corded electric mower offers some of the same eco-friendliness, I would always be concerned about mowing over the cord. And while a manual push mower seems great in theory, our yard is way too big for that.

After searching around for a greener grass cutting machine, I stumbled upon a plethora of cordless lawn mowers. While the price of rechargeable mowers is slightly higher than their gas counterparts, the dollar difference should be recouped every time you mow without filling the tank with gasoline.

My only concern about these rechargeable mowers is that I won’t be able to finish the entire yard on one charge. Most of the mowers are capable of cutting up to 1/3 acre on a single charge. From reviews I’ve read, however, that estimate is based on optimal conditions. Apparently, long or wet grass can decrease the cutting capability. To get around this issue, I could see purchasing a second battery to switch out when the first battery gets drained.

Rechargeable cordless electric lawn mowers

  1. Recharge 20″ Push Mower – 36V Lithium-ion battery, weighs 62 pounds, 45 minute run time, 4 hour battery charge time. Mower: $579. Replacement battery: $160.
  2. Ryobi Cordless Mower – 40V Lithium-ion battery, weighs 40 pounds, 40 minute run time, battery charges in 90 minutes. Mower: $329. Replacement battery: $129.
  3. GreenWorks G-Max Mower – 40V Lithium-ion battery, weighs 49 pounds, up to 60 minutes of run time, charges in 1 to 2 hours. Mower: $359. Includes 2 batteries.
  4. Homelite 20″ Cordless Mower – 24V rechargeable pull-out battery, weighs 99 pounds, 50 minutes run time, 15 hour charge time. Mower: $269. Replacement battery: $99.
  5. Neuton CE6 Battery-Powered Mower – 36V battery, weighs 69 pounds, 45 – 60 minute run time, 12 hour charge time. Mower: $439. Replacement battery: $129.
  6. Stihl RMA 370 Mower – 36V battery, weighs 31 pounds, 28 minute run time. Mower: $399. Replacement battery: No information available.
  7. Black and Decker Self Propelled Cordless Electric Mower – 36V battery, weighs 72 pounds, 1/2 acre cutting capacity, 12 hour charge time. Mower: $349. Replacement battery: $127.
  8. Toro E-Cycler – 36V battery, weighs 77 pounds, cuts up to 10,000 square feet, recharges overnight. Mower: $369. Replacement battery: Not available.


— J. Blandings

Images: Credited and linked above.