Gas or Electric Lawn Mower? Which is better?

By   June 1, 2014


Which is better, a gas or electric lawn mower?  Gas is most common in the United States.  But if your gas mower didn’t start up this spring, while your grass keeps growing taller, maybe it is time to consider the benefits and drawbacks of both.

Gas benefits:

  • Powerful enough to cut through tall or wet grass
  • Some are self propelled
  • Can mow large areas without the distance limitations of a power cord
  • No power cord to run over and cut

Gas drawbacks:

  • Sometimes hard to start
  • Must buy gas regularly
  • Must store gas safely somewhere
  • Could run out of gas while mowing
  • Noisy
  • Fumes
  • Air pollution
  • May need to add stabilizer to preserve the gas
  • Must drain gas after last fall/winter mowing
  • Must buy, change, and dispose of oil

Electric benefits:

  • No gas to buy
  • No air pollution
  • Instant start-up
  • Much quieter
  • Lighter weight
  • Easier to carry up and down stairs
  • Can take up less storage space if you hang it up on a wall!
  • Could be a greener solution than gas if your power comes from hydro-electric, wind, or solar.
  • Much less maintenance than a gas motor.

Electric drawbacks:

  • Limited by length of power cord
  • Hazard of running over and cutting the cord
  • Bogs down in tall or wet grass

Usually, the size of your lawn would be the first factor in your decision making process.  And if you have acreage, you may need a riding tractor mower!  But if your lawn is small, you should consider an electric mower.  For many people, the electric benefits outweight the drawbacks.

There is a 3rd option: cordless electric!  It combines the freedom of gas mowers, without gas.  And the benefits of electric mowers, without a cord.

And there is a 4th option: 2-wheeled traditional push mower!  Several companies still manufacture them.  No gas, no cord!  Plus, you get a free workout!


As a home resident and home owner, Doug has experience with several mowers: a push mower as a kid, then several gas mowers over the years, and now an electric mower.  And yes, the cord has been run over, cut, and repaired.

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