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Gas-free Mowing

Thinking about trading your gas-powered machine for a more eco-friendly lawn mower? Read about the gas-free alternatives and their pros and cons.
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There are several alternatives to gas-powered lawn mowers. Here they are, with pros and cons.

Electric Mowers


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.


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


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.


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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