Electric vs. Gasoline Lawn Mowers: Make The Best Decision With Our Guide

Un homme coupe le gazon avec une tondeuse

Mowing the lawn may not be one of the greatest pleasures of summer, but it is something that most homeowners cannot avoid. You may even be thinking of buying a new lawn mower. Do you get a lawn mower that uses gasoline or an electric cable? Unfortunately, comparing the two is not an exact science.

To do so effectively, we actually need to consider three types of lawn mowers:

  • Gasoline
  • Electric (Corded)
  • Battery powered

To help better come to a decision, here is a list of the six things to consider when shopping for an electric or gasoline lawn mower.

Engine power

When considering the purchase of a lawn mower, its power and durability should be among the first thing to consider when comparing models.

Compared to other models, gasoline-powered lawn mowers are generally more powerful; this means that gasoline mowers can have larger blades, which make mowing the lawn much faster. For smaller properties, that is to say less than 10,000 ft2, the engine power is more or less important. However, if you live on a large property and are dealing with rough terrain, a gasoline engine may be your best option. Engine power varies by model, but an average of 190 cc may be sufficient for this type of terrain.

Electric mowers, on the other hand, are not always able to do effective work on large or uneven terrain. Rocks and debris on the ground can damage the blades of the lawn mower, or put too much pressure on the engine during operation. As a result, your electric mower’s engine could give up after just a few months of operation.

Ease of use

When we compare the different models of lawn mowers, we must also take into account the weight of the machine as well as its maneuverability.

The electric lawn mower is light and handy, it emits no toxic fumes and starts easily. Several models offer the choice between regular cutting and shredding. On the other hand, you have to think about how you are going to use the lawn mower, and ask yourself if a cord will not interfere with your work. If the cord goes under the lawn mower when mowing the lawn, you could damage the cord and you will need to replace it.

The battery-powered electric mower is heavier than the corded electric mower, but lighter than the gasoline mower and has no cords to drag.

Operating time

If you prefer a lawn mower with the longest possible operating life, an electric model with a cord is your best option. As long as you have electricity nearby, you can mow your lawn. However, if you have a power outage in your area, you will need to put off mowing until another day.

A battery model can save you from a power outage situation. Once the battery is fully charged, you should have enough time to mow your lawn, provided you have medium-sized lawn. However, what happens if you forget to charge the mower after your last use? What if you haven’t plugged in the charger properly and it’s dead when you are ready to use it?

A gasoline lawn mower relies on the capacity of its fuel tank to determine its operating time. Most gas-powered lawn mower have a one-gallon gas tank that’s enough to mow mid-size lawns. If you run out of gas, you can always fill the tank. However, you will also need to add oil to the fuel. The two-stroke engine needs oil for efficient operation and smooth movement of engine parts.


An electric lawn mower produces very little noise when operating, unlike a gasoline lawn mower which can have a decibel level up to 96. Your ears therefore could suffer less damage with an electric clipper. Your neighbors may also appreciate a quieter electric lawn mower.

Environmental impact

It’s no secret that the engine of a gas-powered lawn mower creates emissions when in use. However, newer gasoline models have lower emission levels. Proper maintenance also reduces the amount of pollution created by a gas mower. Electric mowers remain to be the best option for the environment by minimizing the pollution generated, since no combustion of gasoline is involved.


While the initial costs of gasoline and electric mowers are broadly similar, any associated expenses may incur depending on which model is chosen.

A gasoline mower will need regular maintenance; over time, you may need to replace certain components such as the spark plugs and the filter.

Though this is not a problem for electric mowers, that doesn’t mean there are no ongoing costs. If you have a model which uses a cord, your electricity consumption will increase – unless you have installed solar panels or other means to generate your own electricity. It won’t add much to your bills, but it’s a cost that incurs nonetheless. Over time, the batteries in the wireless models will wear out and these can be quite expensive to replace.

Regardless of the type of mower you choose, safety remains the number one priority. According to statistics collected by Public Health Canada, from April 2011 to June 2018, 512 cases of unintentional injuries attributable to a lawn mower have been noted. Despite safety tips and recommended protective gear, injuries related to operating lawn mowers continue to increase for people of all ages.

One of the most essential tools for lawn care are lawn mowers. With different models to choose from, if you live on a big property and you are dealing with rough terrain, it’s recommended you purchase a combustion mower. For those with a smaller lawn, an electric mower might be a good option.

A good lawn mower will allow you to keep an impeccable green lawn. Therefore when purchasing a new lawn mower, most importantly, you will have to take into account your budget and that it will be a compromise between performance, comfort and durability!