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Electric vs. Gas Lawn Tools - Comparing Your Options

Updated: Aug 12, 2023

Please note TLDR Dad Reviews is reader-supported, meaning, at no cost to you, we may earn a commission if you buy after clicking an affiliate link. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.


Looking for lawn tools?


The first question you need to answer is electric or gas. I love giving the default answer of it depends, but it really does this time!


This comparison article is written for the average American homeowner, with a yard less than 3/4 of an acre. In your case, electric tools will get the job done and I will outline the advantages of them.


If you're not the average American homeowner and have a huge property to maintain, you'll likely need a gas-powered mower at least. But your other tools could be electric!

If you're a professional landscaper, don't read this. It's not meant for you and I don't want to embarrass myself.

Use the comparison below if you need to convince your wife or justify your decision when your father-in-law heckles you about it. Gotta love generational differences!


*This article excludes riding lawnmowers. Any time mower is used I'm referring to a push lawnmower.*


Length of Use

You drive a car, so you should hopefully know how gas-powered equipment works. It works as long as your gas tank isn't empty. The average gas-powered push mower can run for two hours on a full tank, but that can change depending on the grass height and the slope of your yard.


Remember the old tube TVs and how bulky and expensive they were? Now you can get a 55-inch smart TV for $350. The same type of technological advancement is happening in the lithium-ion battery industry.


Depending on the brand, today's electric mowers can run for up to 45-60 minutes on a single charge, which translates to 3/4 - 1 acre of mowing.

Reminder: the average-sized American lawn is only 1/4 of an acre.

A second battery is always good insurance, especially if you weed-whack and leaf-blow right after mowing, but depending on the size of your yard you may not need it.


Upkeep & Maintenance

According to Home Guide, the annual maintenance costs of a gas-powered push mower are between $45 - $75. Just googling 'lawn mower maintenance' stressed me out. You also need to empty the gas tank before storing it for the winter, which is essentially lighting a few dollars on fire.


If you have a full array of gas-powered tools, the annual maintenance costs can get out of hand quickly.


On the other hand, electric lawn tools are incredibly easy to maintain.


No more filling up with gasoline. No more dealing with oil changes, oil spills, filter cleanings, spark plugs, cable adjustments, and worry about other components.


To be honest, half the reason I went electric to begin with was not knowing the protocols for filling up a jerry can with gasoline.


With electric lawn tools, the only real maintenance expense is replacing the battery every few years. You'll know when it's time because your battery won't last as long.


You'll need to sharpen or replace lawn mower blades periodically for the best results, regardless of the type of mower you have.


Exhaust Fumes and Carbon Footprint

"I love the smell of napalm in the morning" - said no wife ever.


Gas-powered brands haven't figured out a way to stop you from smelling after, which can ruin the lovely smell of freshly mowed grass. And they have a much larger carbon footprint than electric tools.


The electric mowers themselves give off no smell or fumes so you can admire your freshly cut lawn AND enjoy the smell.


If you do need to replace your lithium-ion battery down the road, make sure you dispose of it properly at your local recycling center.


Keep in mind that you do need to properly dispose of batteries with electric tools. However, you can easily recycle your lithium-ion battery for free at your local recycling center (search for your zip code at Earth911.com).


Noise Level

Gas-powered tools are great if you want to piss off your neighbors by using them at the crack of dawn. Or enjoy wearing earplugs for some reason.


If you have young kids, don't torture yourself and go the electric route.


As a general rule, if you can see your neighbor's house, the electric tools are a much more polite option.


More Power!!!

How much power do we really need? We don't need to overcompensate like we do with the big trucks.


The newest electric cordless mowers have plenty of power and even increase power automatically when the grass gets thicker.


If you're mowing thick grass or foliage, then a gas-powered mower may get the job done smoother, but if you don't plan to let it grow that long again the electric can do the trick.


Easier to Use & Lighter on Your Back

The one gas-powered tool I have is a snowblower and the engine on that thing is a pain to start. Yanking on the pull cord when it's 15 degrees out is not my favorite activity.


One of the biggest advantages of electric tools is they all have a "Start" button. Electric tools don't even have pull cords or primers!


Thanks to technology, new batteries are also much lighter than their predecessors. Nowadays, electric push mowers are roughly 5 pounds lighter than gas mowers on average.


Both gas and electric pushmowers come with self-propelling technology that makes the actual lawnmowing easier.


What's It Going to Cost?

Thanks to innovation, the cost to purchase a lineup of gas or electric tools is generally the same. You can always spend more or less depending on which brand you choose.


According to a variety of Google results, the average cost to buy the basic lawn tools in 2023 is:

Tool

Gas

Electric

$630

$675

$206

​$137

​$200

$200

Total

$1,036

$1,012

Since electric tools require basically no maintenance (and no gas or oil), the actual cost favor electric even more.


You can also find good deals throughout the year. Greenworks has a bundle with all 3 tools + 2 batteries for $619.99 right now (there is a $110 coupon to apply).


The replacement cost for a lithium-ion battery has gotten more affordable and you can find them on Amazon for $75 - $150. A second battery is an investment that should be budgeted for in most cases.


Once again, it all goes back to the size of your property and what you want to do with battery-powered tools.


The biggest tip for electric tools is to make sure they work with the same battery. Most brands sell two versions of each product: Tool Only or Tool + Battery. This allows you to operate all of them with one or two batteries.


If You're Average, Opt for Electric Lawn Tools

The decision between gas and electric lawn tools depends on your yard and your preferences. Both options will get the job done well in most situations, but here is how I think about it:


Thick or tall grass = Gas

Large Yard = Gas

Everything Else = Electric


That being said, just because you have a gas-powered mower doesn't mean the rest of your tools can't be electric.


Helpful? I'd love to hear your thoughts and questions in the comment section below!

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