Once you have already decided to get a lawn mower for your yard, the next thing you will have to think about is which one to choose. Choosing the best lawn mower for your garden can be a difficult decision. There are many available models on the market today to choose from that picking one among them can really give you a hard time.
If you own a small to mid-sized property, electric lawn mowers are incredibly useful. Basically, there are two types of electric lawn mowers. There are corded electric lawn mowers and there are cordless electric lawn-mowers which are battery-operated. If you are considering to get a battery-operated lawn mower, we will be going through the basic things you’ll need to know in this guide.
Why Get a Cordless Electric Lawn Mower?
Cordless electric lawn mowers are powered by rechargeable batteries. Older models use lead acid batteries while newly released models use lithium-ion batteries (LIB). Why do people choose cordless electric mowers over other types of mowers? Well, there are many great reasons to get one:
- They don’t need gas to operate. You won’t have to spend too much on gas ever again.
- They don’t emit pollutants. You are actually helping the environment by using a cordless mower.
- They produce less noise. You won’t have to disturb your neighbors when mowing. So you can also save yourself from noise complaints.
- Cordless mowers are very user-friendly. With just a press of a button or squeeze of a handle, you’ll be ready to go.
- You’ll have better mobility. You won’t have to drag extensions cords around. While they may not be an issue when you have a smaller lawn, cordless mowers will definitely give you the much flexibility to roam around without worrying about the cable getting tangled with with bushes and compromise your safety. Moreover, since they don’t have so many parts, they are very lightweight. Compared to their gas-mower counterparts, they’re very light and easy to move around.
- Cordless mowers can be stored easily since they are compact. They don’t have gas tanks and they can be folded.
- With the advance in lithium-ion battery technology in the recent years, cordless mowers are made more powerful and long-lasting in terms of cutting time.
- Some models are designed to have removable batteries allowing its user to own multiple batteries. So when your current battery runs out, you can insert a fully-charged one.
What to Consider When Buying a Cordless Lawn Mower
How do you know you are getting the best cordless mower for your yard? What are the best features of a battery-operated electric mower? We have gathered here a list of the things you must look for and consider when choosing a cordless lawn mower.
One of the most important consideration when it comes to cordless electric lawn mowers is the type of battery used. The type of battery used will primarily determine the cutting time you’ll have. Cordless mowers can come with lithium-ion (Li-Ion) batteries, lead-acid batteries, or nickel-cadmium (NiCd) batteries.
|Battery Type||Lithium-Ion||Nickel Cadmium||Lead-Acid|
|Life Cycle||< 1900 cycles||1000 + cycles||< 1200 cycles|
|Capacity||> 3.0 Ah||1.2 Ah to 2.2 (low)||Varies with battery size|
|Memory Effect||No memory effect||Susceptible to memory effect||No memory effect|
|Self-Discharge||8 %||10 %||3 to 20 %|
|Cost||High cost||Low cost||Low cost|
- Memory effect: It occurs when a battery is constantly drained partially then charged without being discharged fully. The battery then ‘remembers’ how much of its charge was drained before being charged and uses the shorter charge period as its new capacity. This can be detrimental to your battery’s lifespan.
- Self-discharge: When your cordless mower has been charged and not used for a period of time, the batteries slowly discharge on its own. Self-discharge iis the percentage of charge lost per month.
Most people consider Li-Ion batteries as the best choice for many cordless tools. Li-ion batteries don’t suffer from memory effect and won’t get affected by poor charging habits. Unlike other batteries, these ones are very lightweight and compact. They can hold a large amount of energy and self-discharge rate is very low at normal room temperatures.
Some older models of cordless mowers use lead acid batteries. Like Li-ion batteries, they don’t suffer from memory effect but they are not as expensive as Li-ion. However, they discharge more significantly in cold weather than Li-ion. Also, they’re a lot heavier than Li-ion batteries.
Nickel Cadmium (NiCd)
If you want longer lasting batteries with high discharge rate, but are not too costly, you can opt for NiCd batteries. These batteries prefer fast charge to slow charge and pulse charged to DC charge. However, if you are going for NiCd batteries, note that these guys need to be fully discharged first before recharging to preserve their power density. Moreover, as these batteries run out, the power output decreases as well, so you can expect a significant reduction in your mower’s performance.
Lawn Mower Size
In order to pick the right cordless mower for your lawn, you need to make sure you get the right size lawn mower. Many forget to consider this and end up buying the wrong size. Battery-operated mowers would be ideal for a small to medium-sized lawn (around 250 sq. m). It may be tempting to get a larger width mower for you to mow more quickly but it may be harder to push or move around. For small-sized lawns, consider getting a mower with around 28-35 cm cutting width. For medium-sized lawns, a mower with 35-40 cm cutting width can suffice and a mower with cutting width of more than 40 cm would be ideal.
In choosing a cordless mower, check whether they mulch, bag and have a side discharge feature. Depending on the type of lawn, you may want to opt for mowers with blades that can execute finer quality cut, bagging and mulching.
Just like in any product, the longer the warranty, the better. The length of the warranty period determines how well-manufactured the mower is. It’s good to have a list of mowers and compare their warranty periods.
Most cordless mowers have multiple useful features, good runtime, are lightweight and easy-to-use functions such as push-button start feature, single lever, and fold-up storage option. Choose the mower that’s most convenient to you. Don’t settle with mowers that you can’t start.
Most homeowners know very well how important a lawn mower is to maintain their properties. However, they still often choose the cheapest one in the market. While it’s good to compare prices, you also have to remember that good quality tools can be more cost efficient in the long run. So rather than choosing based on their price, look at the features, warranty, build and efficiency.