With so many lawn mower options on the market it can be hard to choose which is the right mower for you. This difficult choice doesn’t even elaborate on the electric mowers in the market. We will discuss a few pros and cons of each type of mower and which kind of mower we believe is the better one to use.
In Winnipeg there are so many retailers of lawn mowers it’s incredible. You can buy a lawn mower from a big retail store, a small engine shop, or even from a third party online. The sources are endless in Winnipeg, and the styles of mowers are just as endless.
The most common kind of mower is a small push type with a gas engine. Typically the horsepower ranges from 3hp to 8hp for a small homeowner style machine. This is the type of equipment you will see most cutting Winnipeg grass around the city. With recent upgrades to technology these mowers are often coming with a self-propelled system to allow easier operation and less fatigue when mowing grass. When self-propelled first came out it was unreliable, slow, and lacked the power to get the mower through thick grass or up any sort of hills. By now the transmissions in these systems are quite good and can reduce the operators workload very well.
The other type of mower that most people have heard of is a plug in electric mower. These machines have also been around a long time. Decades in fact. The technology is old be the beauty of it is that there is only one moving part. That is unless you mow over the extension cord that powers it, then there may be a few more moving parts and a few hairs standing on their end. This is of course the danger with the plug in style mowers. You are always moving the cord from side to side to get it out of the way of trimming the grass. This can be frustrating and make a person feel like a dog on a leash.
With technology improving there is another kind of electric mower that is more recent in its entry to market. This is the battery operated one. You simply charge the battery up before mowing the grass and a charge can last from a half hour to a couple of hours depending on the exact model and make of the machine. This obviously overcomes the “dog on a leash” problem with old mowers but it does open up a new set of problems.
Now that we’ve outlined the mowers that exist, let’s highlight some of the downsides of each mower and come up with a conclusion of which type is best for you.
Traditional gas mowers are very reliable, use known technology and mechanical systems and have excellent part availability. This makes them cheap and easy to repair and means there are more mechanics with knowledge of how to repair these mowers than any of the three listed. The downside to gas mowers is that they require more maintenance than the other two platforms. Oil changes, air filters, spark plugs, and carb kits are all a reality on an internal combustion engine. This takes time or money depending on your mechanical background. The other issue can be pollution. Small engines are much more inefficient than engines like in your car and they actually give off more pollution than a car on a per hp basis.
Plug in electric mowers are among the most reliable because of their single moving part. They’re also the lowest maintenance. The problem is that they are limited to the length of the extension cord. This limits their functionality and greatly increases cutting time when having to do cord management all of the time.
Newer version battery operated mowers are riding the tech wave and offering something new. For many small city lawns they can be effective however the technology is still very new which means reliability is always suspect. The biggest trouble is their lack of power. They have the least amount of power of any of the 3 mowers we listed in terms of their ability to handle thick grass and lots of it. There are commercial versions which have overcome this but we are more pointing the finger and the small push mower for a city lot use.
Verdict: Choose what works and that’s a traditional gas powered mowers. You’ll still have to sharpen blades no matter which mower you choose so an oil change and an air filter every year isn’t a big deal. We do think the battery operated options will improve and become very viable in the near future but we don’t think that point has occurred yet. When these options really start to catch on and prove their reliability and work out their kinks then we will be the first ones to laud them as good options.