Petrol or Electric Lawn Mower: Which is the Best Fit for You?

Keeping the lawn in top condition is a time-honoured tradition in Britain. Whether it’s a large sprawling garden or a compact patch of urban greenery, lawn maintenance is a task that many of us undertake on a weekly basis. If you’re in the market for a new mower, you might be wrestling with the question of whether to go with a petrol or electric lawnmower. We’ve done the hard work, so you don’t have to, exploring the key factors you need to consider to make the best choice for your gardening needs.

petrol vs electric lawnmower

Understanding Your Lawn and Mowing Needs

Before plunging into the petrol or electric lawnmower debate, it’s crucial to understand the nature of your lawn and mowing needs. This assessment will guide you to the most suitable type of mower, ensuring efficient mowing and a healthier lawn.

Lawn Size

The size of your lawn is a significant consideration in your lawnmower choice. Smaller lawns generally range in size from a few hundred square feet to a quarter acre, while larger or more extensive lawns could be a quarter acre and beyond. A petrol lawn mower, renowned for its excellent power plants and wider lawnmowers, can easily handle large and extensive lawns, offering efficient cutting over wide areas and typically the one more favoured by a commercial gardener or landscaping company. However, if your lawn size is modest, an electric or battery lawn mower might be a lighter weight, quieter, and more energy-efficient option.

Grass Type and Conditions

The type of grass and its condition is another determinant. Some grasses are tougher, creating a challenging grass environment that requires a reliable lawn mower with more power, like a petrol mower. If you’re dealing with late spring growth or damp grass, a petrol mower’s extra power might be more beneficial.

Mowing Frequency

How often you mow your lawn also factors into your lawnmower choice. Petrol mowers, known for their durability and power, are excellent for frequent mowing, especially if your lawn experiences fast growth or you prefer a neatly trimmed lawn year-round.

Petrol Lawnmowers: Power and Performance

When it comes to power and performance, petrol lawn mowers often hold the upper hand. Powered by robust petrol engines, these mowers deliver the most power, capable of tackling large lawns, dense grass, and offering wide cutting widths. They’re an excellent option if your lawn size is large, or if you’re dealing with more challenging grass types.

Power and Efficiency

Petrol mowers, often known for their Honda engines, are renowned for their ample power, making them ideal for extensive lawns or lawns with tougher grass types. The added power can also come in handy if your lawn has more intricate landscaping features that require precise mowing.


Most petrol mowers offer features such as variable speed control, allowing you to adjust the mowing pace to your stride and the grass conditions. Furthermore, many models offer self-propelled features, with driven wheels saving you effort, especially on larger lawns or slopes.

Noise and Emissions

While petrol mowers excel in power and performance, they also tend to produce more noise, contributing to noise pollution. Moreover, they emit exhaust fumes, which can contribute to air pollution. It’s essential to consider these factors, especially if you live in a community with noise and emission restrictions.


Petrol lawn mowers require more regular maintenance than their electric counterparts. Essential tasks include checking and changing the oil, cleaning or replacing spark plugs, and ensuring the petrol tank is appropriately filled and functioning.

In conclusion, while petrol mowers deliver unparalleled power and performance, they do require more maintenance and contribute more to noise and air pollution. In the next section, we’ll examine electric lawnmowers and how they compare in these areas.

Electric Lawnmowers: Efficiency and Environmentally Friendly

Electric lawnmowers, including corded and cordless mowers, offer an appealing alternative to petrol mowers, boasting efficiency, quieter operation, and a more eco-friendly approach. There are two main types of electric mowers: corded electric mowers and battery, or cordless, lawn mowers.

Efficiency and Quiet Operation

One of the main advantages of electric lawn mowers is their efficiency. Whether it’s a corded or cordless mower, electric mowers start instantly with the push of a button, eliminating the need for a spark plug or pull-cord start. This easy start feature, coupled with a generally lighter weight, makes them less physically demanding to use, leading to easier grass mowing.

Unlike petrol mowers, electric models operate quietly, reducing noise pollution significantly. This quiet operation is particularly advantageous in residential areas, where noise can be a concern.

Environmentally Friendly

Electric lawnmowers run on an electric power source, producing no polluting exhaust fumes, which makes them a more environmentally friendly option. This is an important consideration in an era of increasing environmental consciousness and in places where air pollution regulations are stringent.


Maintenance for electric lawnmowers is typically simpler than for petrol lawnmowers. There’s no need for oil changes, spark plug replacements, or petrol tank refills. However, corded models do require a power outlet nearby, and the cord can limit mobility, especially for larger lawns.

A Closer Look at Battery Technology in Electric Lawn Mowers

Battery, or cordless, lawn mowers have seen significant advancements thanks to the evolution of battery technology. Nowadays, many of these mowers are powered by lithium-ion batteries, which are lighter and more efficient than traditional batteries.

Battery Life and Power

The battery life of a cordless lawn mower determines how much power the machine can deliver and for how long. Modern cordless mowers, powered by lithium-ion batteries, offer performance close to that of petrol mowers, especially when fully charged. However, the power might wane as the battery drains.

Convenience and Mobility

Cordless lawn mowers provide greater mobility, as they don’t need a power cord. This freedom makes them suitable for lawns where access to power outlets is limited or where the size of the lawn would make managing a cord challenging.

Battery Care

While battery lawn mowers offer convenience, their batteries do need care. It’s essential to monitor the battery life and recharge as needed, and in colder months, it’s recommended to store batteries indoors to preserve their lifespan.

In conclusion, electric lawnmowers, especially those powered by lithium-ion batteries, offer a quieter, more eco-friendly mowing experience. However, they might not offer as much power as petrol models, and their running time is limited to the battery life. In the next section, we’ll compare petrol and electric mowers side-by-side to help you decide which is the best option for you.

Additional Features to Consider

Regardless of whether you’re choosing a petrol or electric lawnmower, there are several additional features you should take into consideration.

Mulching Plugs

Mulching plugs allow the lawn mower to shred grass clippings finely and distribute them back onto the lawn. These small pieces of grass decompose quickly and act as a natural fertiliser for your lawn, providing valuable nutrients. Both petrol and electric models can include this feature, but it’s worth noting that the use of mulching plugs may require more power from the mower.

Self-Propelled Mowers

Some of the best lawn mowers are self-propelled, a feature often found in petrol mowers but also available in electric models. This feature is beneficial for large or more extensive lawns and can save physical effort as the mower moves forward without being pushed.

Cutting Widths

The cutting width of the mower, also known as the deck size, can impact the time it takes to mow your lawn. Wide cutting widths are beneficial for larger lawns as they can cover more ground in fewer passes. The sizes generally range from 30cm to 50cm, with wider lawnmowers suitable for more extensive lawns.

Vertical Storage and Weight

Many lawn mower manufacturers are now designing mowers with vertical storage in mind to save space in your garage or shed. Electric mowers, particularly cordless models, have the advantage here, often offering a lighter weight and the capability for vertical storage.

Rear Rollers

Rear rollers can give your lawn either a ribbed effect, making your lawn appear professionally manicured. Cylinder lawn mowers, whether petrol or electric, typically offer this feature.

Different Mower Types

From electric cylinder mowers to rotary mowers, there are many lawn mower types to consider. Cylinder mowers have multiple blades that rotate vertically and are excellent for fine, short lawns. Rotary mowers, with one blade rotating horizontally, are versatile and cope well with longer and damp grass.

Making Your Decision: Which Mower is Right for You?

Deciding between a petrol lawnmower and an electric lawnmower can feel challenging, but by considering your specific needs and understanding the pros and cons of each type, you can find the best fit for you.

Power and Lawn Size

If power is your primary concern, a petrol mower may be the best choice. Petrol lawn mowers often provide the most power, able to tackle challenging grass conditions and larger lawns with ease. Honda lawn mowers, for instance, are renowned for their robust Honda engines, which are considered excellent power plants for mowing the lawn, especially during the late spring growth.

Environmental Impact and Maintenance

Electric lawn mowers offer a more eco-friendly approach, producing no air pollution compared to the polluting exhaust fumes a petrol lawn mower produces. The maintenance of an electric mower, whether it’s a corded or battery lawn mower, is typically simpler, with no need for spark plugs or petrol tank refills.

Battery Vs. Corded

If you’re leaning towards an electric lawnmower, consider whether a corded model or a cordless mower would be best for your needs. Cordless mowers, such as battery lawn mowers, offer more mobility but are limited by battery life. Corded electric mowers can operate as long as they’re plugged in, but their range is limited by the length of their cord.

Ultimately, choosing between a petrol or electric lawnmower depends on your specific lawn size, mowing needs, and personal preferences. Whether you’re a fan of the ample power and self-reliance of petrol mowers or appreciate the quieter, more eco-friendly operation of electric lawnmowers, understanding these factors will help you make an informed choice for your new mower.


Selecting the right lawn mower is no small task. There are countless lawn mower manufacturers offering a wide array of models, each with its unique strengths and limitations. Whether it’s a petrol or electric lawnmower, the decision boils down to your individual needs and preferences.

Petrol mowers, be it Honda lawn mowers with their robust Honda engines or other brands, often deliver the most power, making them a solid choice for larger, more extensive lawns or areas with challenging grass. However, the petrol engine does require regular maintenance such as replacing spark plugs and refilling the petrol tank. Moreover, the petrol lawn mower produces polluting exhaust fumes, which can contribute to noise and air pollution.

On the other hand, electric lawnmowers, including both corded and cordless models, provide a quieter, more environmentally friendly alternative. An electric power source eliminates the need for spark plugs or petrol, reducing maintenance. Electric models, including the electric cylinder mower, are often lighter weight, making for easier grass mowing. Cordless mowers are powered by lithium-ion batteries, offering the freedom to roam without the restriction of a cord, although the mowing time is limited by the battery life.

Additional features such as mulching plugs, which turn grass clippings into natural fertiliser, or rear rollers for a professionally manicured lawn, can also influence your decision. The key is to understand how much power you need, your lawn size, and what features will make mowing the lawn less of a chore and more of a pleasure.

When choosing between a petrol lawnmower and an electric lawnmower, remember to consider your environmental impact, the physical effort required, the lawn mower’s maintenance, and, of course, your budget. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, and what works best for you may be different from what works best for someone else.

In the end, the best lawn mowers are those that serve your specific needs and make lawn care a more manageable and even enjoyable task. Whether you’re handling late spring growth, navigating around garden features, or tackling damp grass, there’s a reliable lawn mower out there for you.

Here’s to making the chore of mowing the lawn a little easier, more efficient, and maybe even a bit more fun with your new mower. After all, gardening tools should be your partners in maintaining a beautiful outdoor space, not a source of frustration. Happy mowing!

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