Electric and battery powered lawn mowers are definitely more comfortable and cleaner compared to their petrol and gas based cousins. They have also improved substantially over time in terms of power and value for money they offer. However, even the electric lawn mowers come in hundreds of different varieties and models. So, knowing what specs and features you actually need will help you buy a perfect machine for your lawn.
Begin your search with basic considerations like – how small or large your lawn is, how long the grass usually gets before you give it a trim, how clean you want the lawn to look after mowing, whether you’d be using it on a slope, so on and so forth. Electric lawn mowers would be a good choice for small to mid-sized gardens. They are almost maintenance free and come with attractive features.
Corded or Cordless?
With corded mowers, you don’t have to worry about charging the battery, and the runtime it delivers in a single charge. However, if you are allergic to that electric cord hanging around all through the operation, then the cordless, battery powered mowers are the way to go. They nowadays come with a runtime of up to an hour or even more. Don’t forget to check out how long your shortlisted model can run on a fully charged battery. You should also consider the charging time, overall life of the battery, whether it’s replaceable, and the replacement cost involved.
Self-Propelled or a Push Mower?
Self-propelled lawn mowers are costlier but they will save you all the time and efforts of pushing the machine through the grass. They make more sense especially when you are buying a large mowing machine, or have thicker varieties of grass in the garden which makes it difficult to push through. But if you have a small lawn with soft grass, you should be just fine with a push type mower which will have a comparatively simpler build, and hence require less maintenance.
Mulching and Grass Management Options
Electric lawn mowers offer various options to manage grass clippings. The simpler models may just throw them on the ground while others may offer some advanced features like collecting the grass for disposal or even recutting the clippings and mulching them back on the lawn. For those looking to use different options at different times (for example, mulching only in the backyard, and only collecting the clippings in the front yard), mowers with multiple options too are available, but only with some additional burden on your pocket. So, depending upon what you really need to do, choose a mulcher mower, catcher mower or a machine that offers both.
Grass Cutting Capability
A lawnmower with large cutting blades (and hence wider cutting diameter) will take less time to cut your garden grass. A difference of even 5 cm in deck size may matter in case of larger gardens whereas in smaller yards, the difference may be hardly visible. However, also keep in mind that larger swath diameter means cutting through a larger amount of grass at a time; so it will be a bit more difficult to push the machine through the grass.
The height adjustment feature allows you to lower the wheels in order to cut the grass to different desired levels. But the height adjustment mechanism in some mowers may be really difficult to operate. So, it’s important to see how many height adjustment options a lawn mower offers, and how easily it does that. Also check out what length you can cut at the lowest cutting height.
Some lawn mowers may require you to press and hold a starter button while others may require you to keep pulling a starter handle as long as you want to keep them running. Though this is a great safety feature, it also calls for additional strain on your hand. Yet some other mowers may have just a single switch or handle only on the right side. This would further mean all the strain on a single hand. The best electric lawn mower would make a smart trade-off between safety and comfort.
As a rule of thumb, don’t go for a size larger than what you really need. Big wheels would be a plus though since that would make it easy to handle and maneuver.