What To Consider When Choosing A Battery Lawn Mower
Selecting the right lawnmower for your garden can be tough decision. With so many options and models on the market today it can be a little overwhelming. The best place to start is to understand your lawn care requirements and if whether you should opt for a; petrol, electric or battery mower. Of course, each fuel type has its pros and cons which come down the requirements of the garden.
If you’re leaning towards a battery lawnmower, here’s what you need to know…
Why pick a battery lawnmower?
One of the major drawbacks with petrol engines is the number of components. From spark plugs and carburetors to yearly oil changes there can be a lot to maintain. With a battery powered mower there are fewer moving parts so maintenance time is reduced.
In general, a battery lawnmower should be able to run for a recommended 300 charges before it begins to lose its efficiency and may need replacing. To put that in perspective, if you mow twice a week for 8 months in the year, that would equate to around 64 mows just for that season. As a result, the first place you will see the benefit from a battery mower will be your wallet! Not having to fork out as much on maintenance, petrol and oil will definitely save you cash in the long term.
One of the other drawbacks in a petrol lawnmower is the noise. The sound of a lawnmower from a neighboring house on a Sunday morning is a very recognisable sound. As the battery mower runs off an electric motor it’s a much quieter affair, that would be much less annoying to your sleeping neighbours.
Another benefit is that most battery powered mowers are lightweight and easy to handle. The Flymo Mighti-Mo 300 Li weighs just 9.9kg and the handles are quick and easy to fold away so it is easy to store without any fuss. This is an attractive benefit if personal mobility is an issue or if heavier mowers aren’t a feasible option.
Finally, when it comes to electric lawnmowers the power cable are the clear drawback in comparison to battery mowers. This may not be an issue if you have a smaller lawn but cordless battery lawnmowers will centrally give you the flexibility to roam further and comes without getting the cable tangled in bushes or the fear of mowing over the line.
What type of garden is required?
Typically a battery mower would be ideal for a lawn the size of an average tennis court. This is roughly 250m2 in total provided it wouldn't have to deal with too much undulation in the ground and the grass isn’t too long each time you cut it. A battery typically would be able to last between 20-30 minutes between charges so anything larger wouldn’t realistically be feasible without a spare battery to swap out mid-way through cutting the grass. As generally petrol powered mowers are more powerful they are the stronger choice for larger gardens.
There are also a number of things in your garden that can affect the efficiency of your battery. If there is a lot of debris from overhanging trees or dramatic undulations in your garden, this will require your mower to work harder which can affect the battery charge.
In addition, long grass can also affect the battery life during mowing. Often with weekly mows throughout the summer months there shouldn't be a problem using a battery powered lawnmower..
Types of battery – Technical alert!
Battery selection is an important consideration when it comes to battery lawnmowers. More often than not it will be a battle between the Nickel-Cadmium (NiCd) batteries and the (Lithium-Ion) Li-Ion batteries.
As with the lawnmowers themselves both have pros and cons as it mostly comes down to longevity vs power. NiCd batteries can handle strenuous conditions without failing and are generally the cheaper option. The main failure with these batteries however is that they need to be fully discharged before recharging otherwise they can lose their power density thereby won’t run for as long as they used when new. The power output also gradually decreases as the battery runs out, which can cause a reduction in the performance of your machine.
Li-Ion batteries in contrast can have a very high power density (around double the power of NiCd) and a higher power output which means that it provides a better cut your mower. These batteries also need very little maintenance, which is helpful if you are going to have a mower for a long time. The main issue with the Li-Ion batteries is they can deteriorate in charge capacity after a few years.
As mentioned earlier however the 40V Flymo batteries for the Mighti-Mo 300 have been shown to keep their standard capacity for up to 300 charges (sometimes longer) before they deteriorate. This could therefore be nearly 5 years before you really see any loss of charge capacity.