After a couple of years of frustration with my old lawn mower, I finally bit the bullet and bought a new one. The old one was a gas mower, but over the last couple of years, it got quite difficult to start. I got tired of yanking on the starter cord over and over, almost putting my shoulder out, only to have to borrow my neighbour’s mower to get the job done. It had a side chute, and I bought a side bagger attachment for it, which was OK, but I really wanted a rear-bagger.
I read somewhere earlier this year that an old two-stroke lawnmower dumps as much pollution into the air in one hour as the average car does over a 600 km trip. Since I had changed the oil in that mower exactly once in the eleven years that I owned it, I suspect it was probably even worse than that (and that probably explains the engine trouble I had with it too). So I did a bit of research, and although the newer four-stroke engines are much more efficient and less polluting than the old ones, I decided to go electric. The one I bought was a cordless model from Canadian Tire (Yardworks 24V, 20″ — sorry, couldn’t find a functional link), so I have the advantage of electric (no emissions, no gas or oil, instant start) with no extension cord to drag around. I charged the battery overnight and then cut the lawn on Sunday.
My dad always had gas mowers, and as I said mine was gas as well. In fact, I’ve only used an electric mower once in my life, when mowing my neighbour’s lawn back when I was a teenager — and that one time I used it I ran over his extension cord and cut it in half. So when I started this new one by pressing a button and holding down a bar rather than yanking on the starter cord, I was very excited. It’s quieter than the old mower, though not by much. The mower itself is very light, but the battery is a monster. I was worried that it would be heavier and harder to push around because of that, but it wasn’t noticeably different. Being able to adjust the height of the mower with one lever rather than one per wheel is very nice. There’s also a battery level meter which is kind of hard to see, and even a drink holder that will probably never be used.
The battery can be easily removed from the mower, which is good since the mower lives in the shed which has no electricity. According to some online reviews, I will probably have to charge the battery about once a month or so, and I’m supposed to charge it up every couple of weeks in the winter as well. Right now I’m all gung ho to do just that, but we’ll see next winter. I was all set to empty and clean the humidifier every week or so last winter, and I think I did it twice.
Update: One thing I didn’t think about — if your gas mower runs out of gas when you’re halfway done, you can just put more gas in it. You may need to run to the gas station. But if your battery dies halfway through, you’re stuck. Nothing to do but wait. This didn’t actually happen to me (the battery died just as I was finishing), but I hadn’t thought about it before.