Goodbye Gas Mower, Hello Electric!

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Goodbye Gas Mower, Hello Electric!

Postby daveesl77 » Fri May 20, 2016 9:30 am

We got off the gas mower bandwagon and bought a 13amp, 21" Kobalt CORDED electric mower. Yes, it is a push mower and corded. Why? We have had 5 gas mowers in the past 13 years. 2 self propelled, 3 riders. No More. My neighbors thought I was nuts because we have a fairly large lot, almost 1/2 acre, with a number of trees, gardens, pond, waterfall, and junk.

Engines blown (3), flat tires constantly, clogged carbs (3), dead batteries, spark plugs, yada yada yada. No matter what brand you buy, unless maybe you go up into the multiple thousands of dollars, they are all junk. I did not want battery power, as they are expensive and seem to have a lot of problems. This Kobalt corded has a 5 year warranty. Anything goes wrong, I take it back to Lowes and they replace it. We paid $200 for it, from the proceeds from our yard sale. The electric cord was another $50.

I did my full yard test cut over the past 2 days. I wanted to do an objective comparison. Back yard yesterday, front yard today. I got up just before 8. Total time to cut the back yard - less than 30 minutes. Front yard - 40 minutes. I would cut 1/2 of each yard area, take a break, then cut the other half. The yard portion of my lot is 1/3 acre and very steep. So, I just cut side to side. The mower is really light and I barely broke a sweat. The temps and humidity are essentially the same as they would be on any summer morning, 75-79 with high humidity at the start. This is more like walking than mowing. The riding mower would take me about 45 minutes to cut the two sections, but then I would have to come back with a weed whacker to get to all the places the rider couldn't get to. No problem with the push mower.

In the past it has always taken about 1 gallon of gas to cut the yard. I would go through 2 sets of blades each year (2 blades per set). The avg. annual cost to cut the grass with gas was $160 per year. Now it should be $35. 20 cents per kwh for electricity vs $2.50 per gal for gas. $12 per blade instead of $35 per pair. This does not include the frustration of dead batteries, riding mower just stopping and me having to push it the 100' uphill, the flat tires. I would change the oil and filter every year, using only synthetic.

And finally, the cut ability. There is absolutely no comparison. None of my riding mowers could come close to the quality of this little electric. I honestly tried to think of a single reason why the riding mower was better than the electric, and I could not come up with one.

Maybe a year from now I'll feel different, but for now, never another gas job.

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Re: Goodbye Gas Mower, Hello Electric!

Postby halfdome, Danny » Fri May 20, 2016 10:56 am

Had an electric in the 1980's and was constantly worried about getting electrocuted from accidentally mowing over the chord.
Bought a Honda self propelled in the late 80's for $600 and it's still in use.
Had it serviced once so far, runs like a champ.
Can't go wrong with a Honda, we've got 2 of them now.
:D Danny
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Re: Goodbye Gas Mower, Hello Electric!

Postby PKCSPT » Sat May 21, 2016 12:22 am

Love my electric mower. A tad bit quieter and less vibration. I do not have to worry about getting gas, no gassy smell. Haven't even worried about running over the cord. We have about 100 by 160 foot lot.
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Re: Goodbye Gas Mower, Hello Electric!

Postby minstrel » Sat May 21, 2016 11:19 am

Or you could just move out to beautiful Arizona! No grass to cut....no mosquitos to slap! :D
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Re: Goodbye Gas Mower, Hello Electric!

Postby Tomterrific » Sat May 21, 2016 12:28 pm

I haven't bought a mower in years. I find nice mowers on the curb and fix them. A common problem is hitting a root, stump, rock or curb. This stops the engine suddenly and it will not start again. TIP! The flywheel key has sheared knocking the engine out of time. A key is not needed to get the engine back into time. Just position the flywheel over the keyway, it is held in place by an interference taper.

I live in a neighborhood with common 65x150 lots. I have just started seeing battery powered mowers using lithium batteries. They have plenty of reserve power and people love them. So quiet. None on the curb yet.

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Re: Goodbye Gas Mower, Hello Electric!

Postby S. Heisley » Sat May 21, 2016 2:06 pm

IMO, no mower is a good mower. With most -if not all- mowers being made in China, they are made to fail and wear out way too soon. I've had gas mowers and hated having to practically rebuild them every couple years. Battery operated weren't much (but a little) better. I've used an electric and they weren't too bad, except the fear of absentmindedly running over the cord. My sister used an electric mower and ran over and chopped up the cord a few times. She never electrocuted herself doing that, thank heavens. My dad had a gas riding mower; and, when he was in a hurry and it got stuck in a ditch, he didn't think to shut the engine off before he picked it up and set it back down...right on his foot. He lost a couple toes in that move; sold the riding mower and went back to a push mower. It's good exercise.

I took out my back lawn last fall and just finished the same with my front lawn. ...No more lawn! At first, my neighbors thought I'd gone off the deep end; but, by this spring, I was getting compliments before it was even done. No more mowing; not a lot of chemicals needed; less water usage. Win, win, win!
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Re: Goodbye Gas Mower, Hello Electric!

Postby lrrowe » Sat May 21, 2016 3:18 pm

I guess I am an exception. I have a gas self propelled Toro for over 12 years now. I am terrible in maintenace...hmm, when did I last change the oil. Started back to mowing my own yard after having a bad back issue thus requiring a mowing service. I am on a hill and started back doing it myself. I go slow and get about 2 mowings per fill up. I buy ethanol free gas which might be a good reason for the lasting experieced (now watch something go wrong).

While I would never consider a corded mower, a very high power battery electric at a reasonable price would be considred. Like Sharon, I did mulch over the worse hilly part 5 years ago and continue to mulch new areas. We are planning on selling and my ideal lot will be wooded with no grass to mow except for drain field area.
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Re: Goodbye Gas Mower, Hello Electric!

Postby daveesl77 » Sat May 21, 2016 7:05 pm

I figured out a neat trick to the corded mower, and I'm going the full length of a 100' cord. I start in the middle of my yard, with starting point being at the edge, with the cord secured at the starting point (front yard is convenient oak tree, back yard is a big cedar stump). Walk straight across, hold cord out to side you'll be cutting away from. Turn and walk the mower back to starting point, keeping the lay to the side not being cut yet. Cord then naturally goes to half-way point and after 2 passes it is now out of harms way. Just keep mowing away from the cord. Like I said, my yard has trees, gardens, a small pond, so it is not an open rectangle. I have a really steep yard, like people are terrified to park their cars in my driveway steep, fedex drivers won't drive up it and postal guy drives up but refuses to get out and just blows his horn. But I found that cutting side to side it is really easy and the cut quality is beyond any mower I've ever had. Remember, this puppy is spinning at 3,500 rpm, not 1700 like a gas job.

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Re: Goodbye Gas Mower, Hello Electric!

Postby Fenlason » Sun May 22, 2016 7:31 am

I also love my mowers. I have an older Toro Zero turn. I have replaced, an electronic module, a battery… and just had a flat tire. [the valve stem dry rotted] This thing is around 20 years old. I inherited an older Cut Cadet rider. Hmmm I just replaced a starter gear, I have replaced a battery… and the front tires don't stay inflated all that well. I haven't bothered to address that yet, I just re-inflate them.

I have a few acres that I mow.. as well as paths into the woods. The zero turn… is a smaller commercial unit. I have quite a bit of lawn.. and a lot of trees and such to mow around. I learned some time ago, generally paying for quality, saves in the long run. It is from a local dealer, that does good work and treats me well. The Cub Cadet is also a dealer machine.

If I had a very small in town lawn, I am not sure what I would do? I have not really researched that equipment.

There are many tools that can hurt you if you get stupid. How is that the tools fault?
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Re: Goodbye Gas Mower, Hello Electric!

Postby wagondude » Sun May 22, 2016 7:55 pm

lrrowe wrote:I guess I am an exception. I have a gas self propelled Toro for over 12 years now. I am terrible in maintenace...hmm, when did I last change the oil. Started back to mowing my own yard after having a bad back issue thus requiring a mowing service. I am on a hill and started back doing it myself. I go slow and get about 2 mowings per fill up. I buy ethanol free gas which might be a good reason for the lasting experieced (now watch something go wrong).

While I would never consider a corded mower, a very high power battery electric at a reasonable price would be considred. Like Sharon, I did mulch over the worse hilly part 5 years ago and continue to mulch new areas. We are planning on selling and my ideal lot will be wooded with no grass to mow except for drain field area.


You and me both. My push mower is over 30 years old. I only changed the oil in it once. Now I just top it off once a year. The only reason for the one oil change was that I moved the motor to an even older deck to get adjustable wheels. Not bad for a Walmart cheapie that I only paid $100 for. As far as blades go, they are pretty easy to sharpen if you have a Dremmel handy. Still using the original blade, too. I haven't even changed a spark plug in it.
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Re: Goodbye Gas Mower, Hello Electric!

Postby KennethW » Sun May 22, 2016 8:19 pm

Fenlason wrote: the front tires don't stay inflated all that well. I haven't bothered to address that yet, I just re-inflate them.

I litttle full strength antifreeze in the tires will seal the cracks in older tires so you can get a few more years out of them. :thumbsup:
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Re: Goodbye Gas Mower, Hello Electric!

Postby S. Heisley » Sun May 22, 2016 8:20 pm

Don't get rid of those old mowers! The new ones, like most things, aren't what they used to be.
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Re: Goodbye Gas Mower, Hello Electric!

Postby lrrowe » Mon May 23, 2016 1:03 am

Yes Cindy and there are a lot of things like that.
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Re: Goodbye Gas Mower, Hello Electric!

Postby Westy » Mon May 23, 2016 8:01 am

Australian lawnmower.

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No petrol, no blades and fertilises as it goes.

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Re: Goodbye Gas Mower, Hello Electric!

Postby lrrowe » Mon May 23, 2016 8:17 am

Hmmmm, I wonder if using them would help me get even with the neighqbors who are ticking me off in our development.

:lol:
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