Petrol or Electric Lawn Mower: Which Is Better?

Deciding between a petrol and electric lawn mower can be difficult, but to assist you, below we delve into the pros and cons of each.
Written By: Archie Rich | Updated:
Petrol or Electric Lawn Mower
Archie Rich/DIY Works

The choice of lawn mower you choose to cut your grass is often a matter of personal preference. However, some factors need to be considered, such as your lawn’s size, terrain, environmental concerns and budget.

If you’re sat on the fence about which lawnmower to buy, we’re here to help “mow-tivate” your decision!

Petrol Lawn Mowers: The Old Reliable

Petrol lawn mowers have long been the trusted companion of gardeners with larger lawns and demanding mowing tasks. With petrol engines that vary in size and power, there is a range of highly-rated petrol lawn mowers to choose from to best suit your requirements. Many also come with additional features such as self-propelling options, heavy-duty constructions and larger cutting widths, which aren’t normally offered with the electric alternatives.

To give you an idea of whether or not a petrol-powered lawn mower is the best type to choose for your gardening requirements, below are their main pros and cons:


Pros:

  • Power & Versatility: Petrol mowers are known for their robust engines, making them ideal for larger lawns or those with uneven terrain. Along with their power, they are often easier to adjust, meaning they’ll be able to power through tall grass and tougher conditions with ease.
  • No Cord Hassles: Unlike electric mowers, there’s no need to worry about extension leads, and you’ll have the freedom to roam and mow as far as your lawn extends.
  • Durability: Petrol engines are built to last, and with proper maintenance, your mower can serve you faithfully for many years.
  • Longer Runtime: Compared to cordless electric mowers, petrol mowers typically offer a longer runtime, making them suitable for larger lawns.
  • Ideal for Remote Locations: A petrol mower is often the only practical choice if you have a garden in a remote location without access to electricity.
  • Wide Cutting Decks: Petrol lawn mowers often come with wide cutting decks, allowing you to cover more ground with each pass.

Cons:

  • Noise & Emissions: They tend to be louder and emit exhaust fumes, which may not be suitable for quiet neighbourhoods or environmentally-conscious gardeners.
  • More Expensive: Petrol lawn mowers are often more expensive to buy and run than electric alternatives (fuel costs).
  • Maintenance: Regular maintenance, including oil changes and spark plug replacements, is required, and this can add to the cost and effort.
  • Heavier & Bulkier: They are often heavier and take more effort to push, transport and store (as shown in the side-by-side image below).

Regarding the servicing and maintenance of petrol lawn mowers, it isn’t too complex and sounds worse than it is. If you are wondering what’s involved, we created a detailed petrol lawn mower servicing guide.

electric vs petrol lawn mower

Archie Rich/DIY Works

Electric Lawn Mowers: The Eco-Friendly Innovator

Electric lawn mowers have gained popularity for their eco-friendliness and ease of use, especially in smaller gardens. They are also available in a cordless form, which is an excellent alternative if you get frustrated by the power cord.

To provide you with a clearer picture of whether or not an electric lawn mower is what you require to keep your lawn in perfect shape, below are some of their pros and cons.


Pros:

  • Environmentally Friendly: Electric mowers produce zero emissions and significantly reduce your carbon footprint.
  • Quiet Operation: These mowers are remarkably quiet, allowing you to mow without disturbing the peace of your neighbourhood.
  • Low Maintenance: Electric mowers require less maintenance compared to their petrol counterparts. There are no oil changes or spark plugs to replace – just plug and play.
  • No Pull Start: To start an electric lawn mower, you only need to push a button or activate a lever instead of pulling a cord.

Cons:

  • Corded Limitation: Corded electric mowers are limited by the length of the power cord, which can be cumbersome to manage, especially in larger gardens.
  • Battery Life: Battery-powered models have limited run times before needing a recharge, which may require you to pause your mowing and wait for the battery to charge.
  • Dependency On Electricity: Electric mowers rely on a constant power supply. Therefore, if there’s a power outage or if you’re mowing in an area with limited access to electricity, you won’t be able to use the mower.

Which Lawn Mower Is Better?

In the battle of petrol vs electric lawn mowers, there is no one-size-fits-all answer.

Your choice primarily depends on your unique gardening needs. For example, a petrol mower’s power might be your best bet if you have a vast area of land with uneven terrain. However, an electric mower would be better if you prioritise environmental responsibility and have a smaller, flat lawn.

Ultimately, the decision rests with you, the dedicated gardener, who knows your lawn like the back of your hand. Whether you opt for the reliability of petrol or the eco-conscious innovation of electricity, rest assured that your garden will thrive under your care, and your choice of mower will be an integral part of your green journey. Happy mowing!

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