Everything You Need to Know About Electric Lawn Mowers

Electric lawn mowers have been around for quite some time. In fact, the very first electric lawn mower was developed back in 1930, but due to its energy and power constraints, these mowers weren’t used widely up until recently. 

Unlike their predecessors, the latest electric lawn mowers pack the raw power people always looked for. No, the electric lawn mowers still don’t go anywhere near the power a gas-powered lawn mower would provide. However, the power provided by these is more than enough for most households. Mowers have continued to evolve, offering riding mowers as well as mowers that automatically drive themselves.

This is why the usage of electric lawn mowers is increasing exponentially. However, this is also leading many people to question, “How long will an electric lawn mower last?” In this article, we’ll try to answer that. Just remember to also stow it properly for winter!

Garden with tools by tree
Garden With Tools by Tree

How Long Will an Electric Lawn Mower Last?

How long will an electric lawn mower last? As we’ve said before, there are tons of factors that determine how long an electric lawn mower lasts. However, if you’re looking for the average lifespan of an electric lawn mower, it’s safe to say that an electric lawn mower can last up to 10 years. 

However, this doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to use that product for ten years straight. This is because the battery that powers the electric lawn mower can last up to five years at max. So, even if your lawn mower lasts for more than five years, you’re going to need a battery replacement to keep it running. 

As you can see, electric lawn mowers last quite some time, but they won’t last as long as the gas-powered lawn mowers do. Even then, getting an electric lawn mower will be more cost-effective. How? The gas-powered lawn mowers require a lot of fuel. Compared to them, you won’t have to spend a lot behind charging electric lawn mowers. Plus, electric lawn mowers are cheaper than gas-powered lawn mowers, and these are easier to maintain as well. 

So, overall, the electric lawn mowers are the better choice if you’re thinking long term. 

Types of Electric Lawn Mowers

You can find two types of electric lawn mowers on the market. Firstly, there are corded electric lawn mowers, and secondly, there are cordless electric lawn mowers. Each of these types offers different longevity, and now we’re going to get right to that. 

Corded Lawn Mowers

Firstly, we’ll talk about corded lawn mowers. These gears don’t carry any power source like a battery with them. These come with long cords that you need to connect to a power outlet. If these lawn mowers are taken care of properly, they can last for at least ten years smoothly. 

However, the user needs to be careful when it comes to choosing an extension cable. These lawn mowers don’t usually come with a cord that meets the demand of the user, and the user is forced to resort to an extension. 

However, there are a lot of people who cheap out on the extensions. A cheap extension cable can damage the components of the lawn mower by supplying too much or too little electricity. Even if it doesn’t stop the lawn mower from working, it’ll certainly reduce their lifespan. 

If you want to be safe from such a mishap, you can follow the guideline provided by the manufacturers. Most of the electric lawn mower manufacturers and almost all the good brands provide a handbook that provides information on the minimum gauge requirement and the cord length of the extension cords. If you maintain the instructions provided by the manufacturer, you’ll be good to go. 

Don’t know what’s meant by cable gauge? 

Well, the gauge of the cable is essentially its thickness. More voltage will be delivered to the cord with a thicker gauge, as it provides lesser resistance. However, there’s a paradox here, and try to remember this if you want to avoid an accidental purchase. 

The bigger the number of the cable, the thinner it actually is. This means a number 14 cable will be thinner than a number 12 cable. 

Now, here are a few more things that you must remember. By now, I’m sure that you understand that you have to take the whole voltage thing seriously. Let me tell you what happens if you don’t.

Now, let’s learn basic physics. The more the resistance of the wire, the less voltage you will get. The less the voltage, the more current will that cable is drawing. 

Now, if you take a cord that’s thinner than the prescribed number, it will be capable of providing the lawn mower more electricity than it can handle, and trust me, it will do so under some circumstances. 

Every electric lawn mower tends to draw higher power when the blades face stronger objects—for example, thicker grass, pebbles, etc. So, when the lawn mower faces any of these items, it’ll try to draw more power. If you’re using a thin cable that can provide more power than the lawn mower needs, the lawn mower will get damaged due to an overflow of electricity. 

Then again, the wall outlet that you’ll be using also comes into play. If you’re plugging it into a high voltage wall outlet, more current will flow to the lawn mower, which will result in the same. Usually, most electric lawn mowers provide a stable performance if they’re plugged into a 110V wall outlet. 

Then again, if you’re using an 110V wall outlet, you shouldn’t use a cable thinner than a 12-gauge cable, or you can end up damaging your lawn mower. 

Then again, there’s the size of the extension cable. Now, you may have a small yard, or you may have a very large yard. If you have a small yard, you’ll need an extension cable of 25 to 50 feet—usually, the size increases or decreases with a difference of 25 meters. If you’re using 25, 50, or 75 feet extension cords, you won’t have to worry about anything. 

However, things get a bit complicated when you’re using extension cords longer than a hundred meters. Starting from a hundred meters, electrical extension cords start experiencing an electrical degradation. So, if you use a cord over 100 feet, we recommend you use 12-gauge cords. 

Then again, to counter the electrical degradation, a lot of people combine two 100 feet cords. You can do this, but make sure that you’re using either 12 gauge or 14-gauge cables. If you go any further, you may end up damaging your components. 

Now, a lot of people buy a longer wire than they actually need. We certainly don’t recommend this. The longer the wire is, the more amperage you will lose. The more amperage you lose, the harder your motor will work, and it’ll burn out faster. This makes your motor work more and heats it up to a great extent, which can damage your motor easily. 

If you ever feel that the cord is getting warm, then you’re not using the appropriate cord for your lawn mower. If the cord gets warm, it only means that the current draw is too high for the cord. This can damage the internal components of your electric lawn mower, and if you find yourself in such circumstances, you better change your cord to a heavier one.

Then again, it’s always safer to use heavier cables than the requirement. Doing so will ensure that your electric lawn mower doesn’t end up getting more power draw than it actually needs. 

We understand that all of these were a bit hard for you to digest, but if you’re planning on getting a cordless electric lawn mower, we urge you to remember these. Trust me, when you buy an electric lawn mower, you don’t want it to last for less than ten years. So, you should maintain it properly to make sure it lasts ten years, at least.

Cordless Electric Lawn Mowers

Unlike the corded electric lawn mowers, the cordless ones are quite simple to maintain. However, these ones have a higher chance of failure. The cordless electric lawn mowers carry batteries that power the motor. Now, these batteries are certainly going to fail, and the only question is when?

The cordless lawn mowers usually come with lithium batteries, and most lithium batteries start losing capacity after 500 charges. So, it matters how often you charge these. It’s wise to charge them the least number of times you can. 

This can only be done if you charge them fully every time and deplete the battery fully when you’re using them. This will help you extract the most out of the battery, and it will also reduce the number of charges the battery gets.

Then again, the temperature at which the lithium-ion battery is being stored matters a lot. The battery is most likely to stay best if you store it under a temperature between 40- and 80-degrees Fahrenheit. 

How Long will a Fully Charged Lawn Mower Last?

When you’re using a corded electric lawn mower, this question becomes obsolete, as you’ll be plugging that into a power source. However, when you’re using a cordless lawn mower, there’s a definite time at which the lawn mower will run out. 

Previously, lawn mowers didn’t last long, and the ones that lasted didn’t offer much power. Fortunately, with the innovative new batteries and motors, electric lawn mowers can last a considerable amount of time nowadays. 

Most modern electric lawn mowers will last for an hour before their battery runs out. If you’re considering the distance, well, they can travel an average of half an acre before the battery gives up. 

Depending on the brand you’re buying, the battery will take from half an hour to an hour and a half to recharge. 

Gas Lawnmowers vs. Electric Lawn Mowers: Which One Will Last Longer?

It’s true that gas lawn mowers used to last longer previously as the technology that was used to create electric lawn mowers wasn’t much advanced. However, technology is advancing, and more and more people are switching from gas lawn mowers to electric ones.

This is why the manufacturers are emphasizing on the longevity of the electric lawn mowers. Gas lawn mowers usually last for ten years. On the other hand, electric lawn mowers used to last for 5-6 years only.

However, the tables have turned, and electric lawn mowers can last from 8 to 15 years now! Here, a lot of people point out that you have to change the battery of an electric lawn mower every three to five years, and we agree with that.

What you’re missing here is, electric lawn mowers are far more energy-efficient than gas lawn mowers, and this makes them the more cost and energy-efficient choice among the two. 

So, the bottom line is electric lawn mowers will last longer than gas lawn mowers. Not only that, but they’re more cost and energy-efficient as well. 

Do Electric Lawn Mowers Need Maintenance?

Yes, electric lawn mowers need maintenance. Although electric lawn mowers don’t require maintenance as much as gas lawn mowers, there are still some things that you can do to make them last for a long time. Here are the things that you can do to make your electric lawn mower last for a long time.

Clean it Regularly

This goes without saying that the cleaner you keep your electric lawn mower, the longer will it last. The body and the blades of the lawn mower always get stained with mud, and you should wipe them clean after each use. If you can maintain these, not only will the lawn mower last for a long time, but it will also look very clean.

Oil the Mower Wheels

You don’t have to take a look at the wheels regularly to keep them running. However, this part is often overlooked, so we’re mentioning it. The wheels are an integral part of your lawn mower. These keep your mower moving. As the blades keep cutting grass and other debris right next to the wheels, often debris gets stuck into them.

That’s why it’s necessary to oil these wheels, and also, they need to be checked often for debris. If any debris gets stuck into these wheels, they will keep the wheels from rotating properly. So, you should check for this once in a while.

Sharpen the Blades

The blades of your mower are one of the most important parts of your mower, and they can contribute to the mower’s longevity directly. Not sure how? Let’s explain that! 

As you can guess, the sharper your blades will be, the easier it will be able to cut through the grass. Now, previously we talked about how your electric lawn mower’s motor can draw on more power if it encounters thicker or stronger objects. 

Now, if the blades are dull, the motor will require more power than usual to cut through any standard grass even. So, there will be overheating and a higher chance of your mower getting damaged. 

So, we highly recommend you re-sharpen the blades regularly. If your lawn mower’s blades are kept sharp, the motor will be in perfect shape as well! Overall, the longevity of your lawn mower will increase!

Set the Height Accordingly

The thought of trying out your new lawn mower can be very tempting, and it’s very likely that you’ll never consider changing anything about it once you get used to the settings with which you started. This is a big mistake. 

The height of the blades of an electric lawn mower can be adjusted to different settings. Now, you have to find the right height for your yard before you start out. If the blades are too high, then they won’t be able to cut the grass. Then again, if they’re too low, they will end up hitting the mud, soil, or even the pavement, and the blades will get damaged, dull, or broken. 

So, before you fire away with your new gear, we highly recommend you take a minute to consider the height settings. 

Keep the Nuts Tight

Lawn mowers often get damaged due to losing nuts and bolts. If one of these is loose, they might fall anytime during the usage of the mower, as at this time, the mower keeps shaking violently. If the nut or bolt falls under the blades, they might end up damaging the blade. 

Then again, if your lawn mower loses too many screws, there’s a big chance that the mower deck will fall apart. If this happens, then the longevity of the lawn mower will decrease greatly. So, you should keep an eye out for the nuts and bolts of your electric lawn mower. If you find any one of them to slightly lose even, you should tighten them out straight away!

Other than these, there are some other methods that you can follow if you want to increase the longevity of your lawn mower. We’ll talk about them in detail now. 

How to Improve the Longevity of Your Lawn Mower?

Keeping your electric lawn mower clean and maintained is great, but it can’t ensure the longevity of it completely. If you want your electric lawn mower to last for a considerable amount of time, you can follow the procedures mentioned below:

Avoid Wet Grass

Although electric lawn mowers are far more energy and cost-efficient, it’s undeniable that gas lawn mowers are far more powerful. Gas lawn mowers can cut through acres of wet grass without a hitch. However, the same can’t be said for electric lawn mowers. 

If you use an electric lawn mower, you will do best to avoid wet grass. If grass gets wet, it’s harder for an electric lawn mower to cut through it. 

Then again, it’s simple science that electricity and water aren’t made for each other. If you cut wet grass with your electric lawn mower, there’s a great chance that the water can end up damaging the core components of the lawn mower. 

Also, there’s a great chance that you may get electrocuted as well! So, it’s highly recommended that you avoid wet grass. Otherwise, you’ll be putting both yourself and your lawn mower at risk.

Store Your Lawn Mower Properly

There are a lot of people who think that lawn mowers are extremely sturdy tools and that these can withstand anything that you throw at them. This leads these people to leave their lawn mowers outside after every use, which decreases the longevity of the lawn mowers greatly. 

You should store your lawn mower properly if you want it to last for a long time. There are two things you should keep in mind when you’re storing your electric lawn mower. These are:

  • Moisture: Moisture can damage any electrical component, which means it can damage an electric lawn mower as well. Moisture not only damages the electrical components of a lawn mower, but it can also electrocute the user. To avoid such an accident, we recommend you cover the lawn mower after every use. In this way, they can be safe from moisture.
  • Sun: Sunlight is a great enemy to your electric lawn mower. If you leave your lawn mower in sunlight, it can overheat the motor and can damage it permanently. 

To avoid these, we highly recommend you cover your lawn mower when you’re storing it. Plus, you’ll be better off putting your lawn mower in a shed or your garage. No matter what, don’t put your lawn mower outside. It will end up damaging the tool. 

Get it Checked by a Professional Regularly

We recommend you check the electric lawn mower yourself. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t take it to a professional once in a while. If you take your lawn mower to a professional, they can have it checked for you, and they’ll tune it up so that it can provide you the maximum performance. 

Plus, they can fix any minor problems when you take them for a check-up, which will prevent bigger problems. 

Steer Clear of Large Debris

It’s very normal that you’ll get distracted while mowing your yard. Unfortunately, we must inform you that if you lose your focus, you’ll be putting your lawn mower at risk. 

Our yards are often littered with debris and sharp objects. If the blades come across such objects, they fail to cut through these. In fact, the debris may end up damaging the lawn mower itself! 

So, you should always keep a lookout for what’s in front of you. If you find any large or sharp object in front of you, you should throw that object away. This will keep your lawn mower safe and will increase longevity.

Stop if the Blades Jam

As we’ve said earlier, if the blade fails to cut through something, the motor will keep getting more electricity so it can cut the object. However, often the blades get jammed. This happens if you’re using the blades at an improper height, mowing in a muddy yard, or if debris gets stuck on the blades. 

If you face jamming, you should stop the lawn mower immediately. If you don’t do it, the motor will keep increasing the power limit, and it will burn out eventually. 

Take Care of the Batteries

The batteries are a major component of electric lawn mowers, so it’s no wonder that you need to take extra care of them. The most electric lawn mower comes with a battery, and the battery includes a handbook that instructs on how you can keep the battery running for a long time. 

Before you start using, we highly recommend you follow this book and try to maintain everything, as mentioned in the book. If the instructions are followed properly, the battery may get damaged. In fact, it can also reduce the lifespan of the battery. 

Then again, you shouldn’t wait for the battery to die. Once the battery reaches a low level of charge, you should stop using the lawn mower. Recharge it and start using it again. However, if you keep using the lawn mower until the battery dies, you’ll end up damaging the battery.

If it’s winter, you should never leave the battery inside the lawn mower. The freezing temperature can be detrimental to the battery. That’s why you should always open up the battery and carry it to your home during the winter. 

Otherwise, if you leave the battery with the lawn mower, the cold will reduce the longevity of the battery. 

Use the Appropriate Extension Cord

We’ve talked about the extension cord in-depth previously in this very article, so we won’t say much. Just remember to use cords no longer than you need. If you use extension cables longer than 100 feet, you should use 12 gauge cords. 

Then again, if you use two 100 meter extension cords combined, use 12 gauge and 14 gauge cables. The extension cord is a major factor that impacts the longevity of the electric lawn mower directly, so you should pick the right one for yourself after thorough research. 

Final Words

If you don’t own an electric lawn mower already, you should get yourself one as soon as possible. Electric lawn mowers are only getting better, and it won’t be long till they replace gas lawn mowers as well. 

How long will an electric lawn mower last? Well, it’ll last for a very long time if you maintain it properly! Plus, these tools have gotten far more powerful and convenient with time, and as their usage is increasing, you’re most likely to get better support for these in the future. So, don’t hesitate to buy an electric lawn mower for your yard! 

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I've been raised in a family of international gardeners spanning multiple generations, from vegetable growers in Germany to fruit tree growers in Iran. I hope you find the information you read useful to using electric gardening tools in gardening.

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