Gas-free Mowing

There are several alternatives to gas-powered lawn mowers. Here they are, with pros and cons.

Electric Mowers

Pros:
Inexpensive to use. Generally about $5 a year for electricity.
No gas or oil to spill, refill or change.
Much quieter than gas mowers.
Starts with the push of a button.
Less air pollution than a gas mower.

Cons
You have to keep track of the cord on a corded electric mower while you mow. You may need an extension cord as well.
A cordless electric mower (runs on a rechargeable battery) may run out of "juice" before you finish mowing if you yard is large.

The bottom line: Best for a small or medium lawn with any kind of grass. Makers include Neuton, Black&Decker, American Lawn Mower Co. and Ryobi. Ariens makes a riding electric mower.

Reel Mowers
Pros
Virtually silent
Powered entirely by you—no gas or electricity required.
To start it, just start walking.
Pollution free.
Cuts the lawn more gently than a power mower.
Easy to store—most can be hung on a garage wall.

Cons
Tiring and time-consuming on a large lawn.
May roll right over tall weeds such as dandelions without cutting their stems.
Different makes/models do better on different types of grass. Read more about choosing the right reel mower for your particular lawn.

The bottom line: Best for a small lawn. Makers include Fiskars, Scotts, Sunlawn and Brill.

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