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View Full Version : Lawn Mowers Gas or cordless



John Stankus
04-28-2018, 4:28 PM
My 21 year Scotts lawnmower gave three puffs of smoke and stopped just as I made the initial loop around the perimeter of my front yard.
Trying to figure out what to replace it with. (I think its problem is fatal, and if not enough other things on it are dead or dying)

If I go gas I would like self propelled, with a separate blade clutch so I don't have to restart the engine if I have to stop to move something out of the way.
But that seems like a hard feature to find.

Looking at replacements at the Lowes I was intrigued by the Kobalt 80V self propelled cordless electric mower they have. Any one have any experience with that?
It's a bit on the pricey side ($550) vs mid $300s for an equivalent to the Dead Scott's (self propelled but with motor kill rather than blade clutch)

Total yard is less than 1/4 acre...probably less than 6000 sq ft that is actually grass (not house, garage, shed, patio or driveway).

Thanks

John

Ken Fitzgerald
04-28-2018, 4:39 PM
I have a daughter who has an electric battery powered mower. I have used it to mow her small lawn when visiting. I am not impressed with the power of it. If the grass was extremely long and/or wet, I'd be a little skeptical of it's ability to mow it properly.

I have Honda gas powered, self-propelled with a blade clutch. I have had it for around 10 years. It's been trouble free and starts easily. I bought it for my wife to use. You don't have to shut it off to empty the bag.

Peter Kelly
04-28-2018, 5:39 PM
I saw that Stihl makes a cordless mower now, the one I recently saw at the dealer looked pretty snazzy.

https://www.stihlusa.com/WebContent/Images/Product/3021/rma510.png

https://www.stihlusa.com/products/lawn-mowers/homeowner-lawn-mowers

Perry Hilbert Jr
04-28-2018, 5:42 PM
I have some steep banks and neither electric or gas did a credible job with ease. I found the perfect, self propelled, lawn mower that also trims the edges and fertilizes. Our Sheep. Just close the driveway gate and open the sheep pen. Takes me all of about 45 seconds to do my part.

John Stankus
04-28-2018, 6:28 PM
I have some steep banks and neither electric or gas did a credible job with ease. I found the perfect, self propelled, lawn mower that also trims the edges and fertilizes. Our Sheep. Just close the driveway gate and open the sheep pen. Takes me all of about 45 seconds to do my part.

Well, I have always thought about that, but being in San Antonio city limits they allow maximum two sheep and require a $150/year license fee. I am guessing that I would have to supplement feed in addition to my vast 1/4 acre ranch grazing :)

Jerry Bruette
04-28-2018, 6:31 PM
I have a TORO mower that has the blade clutch, it's 20 years old and I just rebuilt the drive wheels and other two wheels last year. Other than the wheels I've had no trouble with the mower.

Nicholas Lawrence
04-28-2018, 6:39 PM
I looked at mowers a year ago. At that time I came to the conclusion the cordless electric technology is not quite there yet. A buddy of mine has a corded electric he likes, but then you have to deal with the cord. I went with a Husquevarna self propellled from Lowes, with a Honda engine.

Leo Graywacz
04-28-2018, 7:26 PM
My wife went rogue on me one year and came back with a corded electric mower. She didn't want a gasoline machine because of the upkeep and she'd have to actually pour fuel into it (gasp!)

So she used that for about 5 yrs. Cut the cord several times. Had to make sure to be vigilant about mowing the lawn before it got to long. Several times it got to long and it took quite a bit of extra time to cut it because of the lack of power. I think it was a 10" 1/2HP. Not sure about the HP rating.

So eventually we replaced it. I was the one to pick out the machine this time. We got a 5HP gas machine with a rear discharge bagger/mulcher.

The first time we used it the lawn was quite high. She was dreading how long it was going to take her. I laughed. When she came in she was ecstatic at how nice it worked and how powerful it was. All I could say was "Really?" It usually starts 1st or 2nd pull and sips gas. I put fuel in it for her.

So my choice would be a gas operated machine.

Dan Friedrichs
04-28-2018, 11:04 PM
I recently went through this process, too. Looked extensively at high-quality gas-powered ones, the cordless Stihl one Peter mentioned, cordless Makita one that uses LXT batteries, and the EGO cordless ones sold at Home Depot. Ended up buying the EGO one and could NOT BE HAPPIER.

No gas. No oil. No fumes. Start and stop instantly. Quiet enough to talk over. Has a headlight, which is actually useful, because it's quiet enough you literally could mow at night if you were so inclined. More than enough power for regular (or even wet) grass. Mulches. Bags. Lightweight. Folds flat for storage. Easily adjustable. I got the non-self propelled version (because it's so lightweight you really don't need the propulsion), but they make a self-propelled version, too. I wish I could provide more details on how it cuts, but my wife enjoys using it so much that I've barely gotten to try it, myself.

EGO also sells cordless blowers, snowblowers, trimmers, etc, that all use the same battery.

As much as I respect the Stihl brand, I think the EGO ones are more refined and mature in development. I can't see a reason to go with the Kobalt unit.

Try the EGO. I think you'll be impressed. They probably have a generous return policy if you're not.

William Adams
04-28-2018, 11:12 PM
Got a Fiskars Staysharp Max Reel Mower and have been quite pleased with it. Decent exercise since a lot of the lawn has some significant slopes.

Andrew Joiner
04-28-2018, 11:30 PM
I wish I could provide more details on how it cuts, but my wife enjoys using it so much that I've barely gotten to try it, myself.

Great info, I'm sold.

Stephen Tashiro
04-28-2018, 11:37 PM
Of my 3 lawn mowers, my favorite is:

https://www.blackanddecker.com/products/lawn-and-garden/lawn/lawn-mowers/36v-19-in-mulchingbagging-mower/cm1936

It is more powerful than my "Greenpower" 40 V mower and less powerful than my gas mower. However, one thing to keep in mind about a powerful electric mower is that if you hit an sizeable obstacle the result may be a bent motor shaft. That will require replacing the whole motor (which I've done once). By contrast hitting an sizeable obstacle with gas mower usually results in only a bent blade.

Nicholas Lawrence
04-29-2018, 9:21 AM
I recently went through this process, too. Looked extensively at high-quality gas-powered ones, the cordless Stihl one Peter mentioned, cordless Makita one that uses LXT batteries, and the EGO cordless ones sold at Home Depot. Ended up buying the EGO one and could NOT BE HAPPIER.


I have 1/3 of an acre, and could not get any real confidence from the literature I found as to whether the batteries would handle one good mow, or if I would have to recharge, and I also could not get straight how long I could expect the battery to last before the ability to hold a charge started going downhill, and whether I would have to buy a new one at that point, or how much a replacement battery would be.

I know someone who bought a Prius for example, and loved it for about five years. Then the batteries started degrading, and she was quoted something like $10,000 to put a new battery in it. The environmental and financial benefits of the thing started to look a little different to her at that point. Obviously a mower batter is not going to cost that much, but I don’t particularly care to buy a new mower every three years or five years, or whatever, or at least want to know I will have to do that up front.

How large is the area you mow? If I had a townhouse, I would definitely go with one of the electrics, or with a reel mower (which is what I used when I had a townhouse).

John C Cox
04-29-2018, 10:06 AM
I think the electrics work very well on small yards (probably under 1/5 acre or so). For that duty - they are way better than keeping up with the gas and maintenance on a gas mower... Bigger yards - you probably need the power and speed....

The second consideration is type of grass and how fast it grows.
Northern Fescues, bent, and bluegrass cut really well and would probably do quite well...
Southern bermuda and St Augustine are not nearly so cooperative.... And they grow really fast.. And they grow really thick....

I tried a reel mower on it and sold it... It would jam the reel mower after about 3 days of growth and I just didn't have the heart to mow 3x per week.... I have plenty of friends with electrics up north - and they make total sense there... But it is a different situation down here.

Dan Friedrichs
04-29-2018, 10:24 AM
How large is the area you mow? If I had a townhouse, I would definitely go with one of the electrics, or with a reel mower (which is what I used when I had a townhouse).

I have a 1/2-acre (minus an "average" number of trees, house, etc), and it can be mowed on one charge of the 5Ah battery that was included (EGO also sells a 7.5Ah battery).

lowell holmes
04-29-2018, 2:38 PM
If you had one twenty one years, you are not a pup.:)

I had one a long time, but I use a lawn service now.

John Stankus
04-29-2018, 3:50 PM
I picked up an EGO LM2100SP with the 7.5 AH battery this morning. Cut the whole yard with plenty of juice to spare. What a nice mowing experience. It is quieter than our vacuum cleaner. Easy to use, plenty of power and it recharges quickly. (and no livestock permit needed :) )

Thanks for all the recommendations.

John

Leo Graywacz
04-29-2018, 4:14 PM
Pics or it didn't happen...:rolleyes:

Mel Fulks
04-29-2018, 4:48 PM
Dan,your post is the first I've seen about those. Seriously considering buying one, thanks. There are many videos on those things.

Simon MacGowen
05-01-2018, 9:44 AM
Dan,your post is the first I've seen about those. Seriously considering buying one, thanks. There are many videos on those things.

The only cordless tools I trust in terms of longevity are cordless drills or where lightweight use is expected. All battery powered machines look great and powerful when new but the verdict in after 10 years if not shorter can be different or even a shock.

Is cordless mower a fad? We can only tell in time. I will keep an eye on EGO and study its user reviews when time comes for me to replace my lawn mower which is a workhorse after 7 years with only one oil change done and no other service needed.

Simon

Adam Herman
05-01-2018, 11:15 AM
i have had a couple of the 36volt black and deckers for small lots, they really are quite good. keep them charged and they should last a long time. the batteries are not outrageously priced either.

Wade Lippman
05-01-2018, 6:01 PM
I have a push EGO and love it for my 1/4 acre. It is about 90% as good as my old Toro self propelled (not so great on really long grass), but easier to use because it is so light. i have moderate slopes; if I had something steep I probably wouldn't be happy with it.

I also have a very small area that I need a separate mower for because they don't connect. I just bought a 16" Kobalt 40v for it, but haven't used it yet.

lowell holmes
05-02-2018, 7:09 PM
Am I the only one that remembers push mowers? :confused:

Leo Graywacz
05-02-2018, 7:22 PM
Nope. I used one for 21 years. Then my oldest son turned 15 and I decided I wasn't going to mow the lawn anymore.

So the wife decided a corded electric mower so her precious son(s) didn't have to use muscle power to mow the lawn.:rolleyes:

Larry Frank
05-02-2018, 7:36 PM
I think they are fine for smaller yards...but would not work for me.

Simon MacGowen
05-02-2018, 7:53 PM
Push mowers?!

By the time I finish my lawn, I would have no energy for anything, let alone woodworking.:D

Even with a gas mower, it is now close to an hour job, longer after a wet day or after a road trip away. The slopes are the worst.

Simon

Leo Graywacz
05-02-2018, 8:14 PM
well, I had about 1200 sf of lawn.

Bob Bouis
05-03-2018, 12:14 AM
The problem with batteries is that they have a short life (~5 years) and will cost as much to replace as a gas mower (which should last at least twice that long if cared for properly). New batteries might not even be available when the originals fail, whereas the gas mower will be serviceable if something breaks.

The calculus is a bit different for 2-stroke replacements. I do like my lithium ion weed whacker.

lowell holmes
05-03-2018, 4:39 PM
70 years ago, we had cordless lawn mowers. You walked behind them and pushed. :)

Wade Lippman
05-09-2018, 9:59 AM
70 years ago, we had cordless lawn mowers. You walked behind them and pushed. :)

I have one and actually used it one summer when I lent someone my gas mower. Now I have replaced both with a 16" battery powered.

Brian Nguyen
05-09-2018, 10:19 AM
I have a Kobalt 40V battery mower that came with dual battery (one is larger than the other), and it's still doing okay now for almost 4 years. The first mow in Spring will require the second battery to kick in but after that, my weekly mowing can be done with a single charge of the smaller capacity battery. I have a quarter acre yard that's halved by landscaping, so it's not that large but is within the mower's range. No complaints, really, as I don't really need to do any maintenance at all except needing to sharpen the blades soon.

John Stankus
05-10-2018, 3:42 PM
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Pics or it didn't happen...:rolleyes:

Iíve mowed the lawn twice with it so far and love it. Much quieter, can easily complete in one charge. Easier to deal with. Does a nice job on the lawn.

Leo Graywacz
05-10-2018, 6:35 PM
Good deal. My lawn is about 1200 sq feet. I'm sure it could handle it with the smallest battery. :D