Why I Switched to Electric Lawn Tools

I recently needed to get a new lawn mower as my 15 year old gas mower finally gave up. Luckily, a neighbor up the street hipped me to his electric mower from EGO Power and sang its praises.

He dispelled a few myths for me that I have proven with my own experience. These include:

  • Mowing with electric means hassling with a long power cord
    • They use batteries now!
  • Electric won’t work on tall grass wetted by Oregon springs because of a lack of power
    • Quite the opposite! I have enough power / torque and this has not been a concern one month in
  • This class of lawn tools are super expensive and won’t have longevity
    • There are many classes and of electric lawn tools – and costs rival their gas equivalents

Meet my new mower!

After reviewing a few options that included the EGO Power 21″ push-behind mower at Home Depot/Ace for $499 and a Ryobi 20″ electric push-behind for $279, I went for the Ryobi.

RYOBI 20 in. 40-Volt Brushless Lithium-Ion Cordless Battery Walk Behind Push Lawn Mower

Luckily, I have a friend who also has the Ryobi and he assured me that the marketed ’40 volt’ power of the Ryobi is more than enough power for his lawn – the EGO Power markets 56 volts, for comparison.

Another tip he gave me – when you buy a mower or lawn tool, choose a brand that you’re going all-in with, as the batteries work between tools. So, a Ryobi mower’s battery won’t work in an EGO trimmer, for example.

Electric benefits I love

There are a few facets I love about my new setup:

  • No gas / motor maintenance!
    • I don’t have to worry about trips to the gas stations, engine oil changes or anything associated with motor maintenance
  • Easy push button start
  • The mower is light! My small kids love mowing the lawn with me and the light weight makes it easy
  • It’s whisper quiet! The Ryobi mower is about as loud as a box fan in your house. This way you can talk to folks while mowing the lawn
  • No emissions! I love that this mower doesn’t put stinky fumes in my neighborhood
  • With the included 6Ah battery I have with my mower – I can mow my lawn 4 times in-between charges. For reference, my yard is probably 3,500 square feet.

The only facet that I miss about my old gas mower

In the spring, Oregon trees (which my yard has many of) drop all sorts of blossoms, leaves and debris. My old mower acted as a vacuum, sucking up all this mess and easily allowing me to empty the bag into my yard debris container.

The one facet about the electric Ryobi – it doesn’t ‘suck’ as much debris into away.

That’s it – that’s the only ‘downside’ I’ve found so far.

Tip: Look for refurbished deals

In my case, I *needed* to buy a mower in the spring because of demand. However, I’ve learned that in the fall/winter or otherwise in the off-season, there are many, many refurbished lawn tool deals on sites such as Slick Deals and Direct Tools Outlet.

In fact, I was able to score a great deal on the Ryobi string trimmer – for just $89, I got a trimmer, charger and additional 4Ah battery. So, now, I have two batteries for lawn tools, meaning I can always have one I’m using and one that’s charged in case I run out of battery mid-mow.