Electric lawn mower funny. A lawn mower story to top all othersA lawn mower story to top all others

A lawn mower story to top all others A lawn mower story to top all others

Front Porch: You can’t make stories like this one up!

TRUSTY MOWER? This person has an all-electric riding lawnmower. Will it be trouble-free? Time will tell — but wouldn’t that be boring if it is? No good stories to tell! Tom J. Bechman

An Indianapolis-area radio personality promotes “the popcorn moment.” He says, “It’s the story you must hear to believe. So, grab your popcorn.”

This story is funny. It’s 98% true, and it didn’t happen to me! So, grab your favorite snack.

Joe and Betty Lou Park, Trafalgar, Ind., mow enough acreage to justify owning a heavy-duty riding lawn mower. Joe’s trusty lawn mower developed issues as the 2021 mowing season ended. He hauled it to his local dealer.

“Well, it needs about 1,000 in parts and repairs,” the mechanic said.

“Yes, I’m not surprised,” Joe replied.

“And it needs a new motor, too.”

“My engine is toast? Are you sure?”

“It’s kaput,” the mechanic insisted. A new engine was costly, if they could find one — COVID-19, you know.

Back home, someone told Joe and Betty Lou about a wholesale engine warehouse. He discovered he could buy an engine from there considerably cheaper than any other options. It could be shipped to the repair shop. Joe agreed, hoping the engine would appear before the Easter Bunny.

Chapter 2

Unfortunately, it never showed. Joe got the runaround from the warehouse. To this day, the engine hasn’t shown up!

On a warm spring day, Joe browsed for new lawn mowers like his. He liked a model with new features. Just one problem: The only dealer with one was two hours away.

“Let’s go get it. The grass is growing,” Joe said.

Off they went, truck and trailer, down I-65 into Kentucky. Back home, Joe was like a kid in Toyland —except his “toy” was pricier than any child’s.

Two weeks later, Joe’s phone rang.

“Mr. Park, your mower will be ready this week,” said the service manager for the local dealership.

“Did the new engine come in?” Joe asked.

Silence. Finally, he responded, “It didn’t need a new engine. For 1,000, it’s ready to mow.”

“But the mechanic said …” Joe began.

electric, lawn, mower, funny, story, others

“That mechanic doesn’t work here anymore,” the manager deadpanned.


End of story, right? Not quite. The good news? Joe and Betty Lou sold their old mower to recoup some costs. The bad news?

Barely into mowing season, the new mower wouldn’t start. Joe charged the battery. A couple of weeks later, the same thing happened. Since it was under warranty, he got a new battery for free, only he had to install it.

Two weeks later, he turned the switch — nothing! He charged the battery. Two weeks later, turned the switch, nothing again.

“Our local dealer said he couldn’t work on the mower because it was under warranty and we bought it somewhere else,” Betty Lou explained. “That’s a two-hour trip on expensive gas — not happening.”

A third dealer — yes, grab a scorecard — 30 minutes away said, “Bring it over.” But after they unloaded the mower, the service manager said, “Oh, it’s a warranty issue? We can’t fix it.”

Back at the truck, Joe gave Betty Lou the bad news.

“Let’s just head to Kentucky,” Joe said.

“Not happening,” Betty Lou insisted.

While they chatted, the service manager reappeared. “Good news,” he said. “It’s not a warranty issue. Someone didn’t install the new battery correctly. Give us 30 minutes and 35, and you’re good to go.”

On their way home, Betty Lou called me.

“Tom, we have a story for your Front Porch,” she said, and told me the tale. “Is it good enough?”

“Oh, yes, it’s good enough,” I replied, still laughing.

About the Author(s)

Editor, Indiana Prairie Farmer

Electric lawn mower vs. gas mower: Don’t fear the cord

When we first bought our house, we had no idea what we were doing. We were overwhelmed — not just by the house, but by the yard as well. While I’d grown up mowing the lawn every weekend at my parents’ house, it had been decades since I’d had a yard to deal with. And this one was getting out of control fast.

We didn’t own a lawn mower when we moved in, but the previous owner had left an electric weedwacker in the garage. And so one of the enduring memories that would come to define our first week in our new home is of me haplessly weedwacking the entire front lawn like some kind of jackass. It was ridiculous, but it got the job done until we could track down a mower on the cheap.

We eventually bought a very used Craftsman electric mower from a guy in Dorchester for 20, and thus began my appreciation for electric lawn mowers. I was able to fit the whole thing into my tiny Kia RIO — and without spilling gasoline all over the car. What’s more, that thing did a bang-up job cutting our grass for another three full seasons before it finally quit. When it did, I bought the newer model for under 200 and we’ve had that since.

So yeah, I prefer electric lawn mowers to their gas-powered brethren, for two big reasons: They’re better for the environment, and they require way less maintenance.

Electric mowers are better for the environment

Most Americans use gas-powered lawn mowers and leaf blowers, but their two-stroke engines are simply TERRIBLE for the environment. A typical gas leaf blower emits 299 times as much pollution as a Ford 150, and using a gas mower for an hour emits as much pollution as driving 100 miles. That’s not to mention the deafening roar they make.

And fine: In much of America, an electric mower isn’t a great option — if you have a two-acre yard in Texas, you can’t be tethered to your house with an extension cord, and battery-powered mowers still get mixed reviews. (Until technology improves and drop, I still think you get more oomph for your money with corded tools, from power drills to mowers. And for the record, you need a gas snowblower; electric’s not cutting it in that regard.)

But in Greater Boston, where most lots are measured in square feet and not acres — the median lot size of a single family home in Boston is 4,899 square feet — there’s no reason not to plug in your mower.

They require less maintenance

An electric mower is also a lot less of a hassle. You don’t have to remember to keep gas and motor oil on hand, deal with spark plugs or carburetors, or any of that stuff. You just plug it in. The only maintenance I’ve ever done on my electric mowers was to sharpen the blades every couple of years (which you should do with any mower).

Consider this checklist item from the May 2016 issue of This Old House magazine:

Tune up the lawn mower: Start the season with new air and fuel filters and a fresh spark plug, then change the oil and add a fuel stabilizer. In electric models, clean the air vent.

If you’re keeping score, a gas mower requires you to do five separate things, including replacing spark plugs and draining and changing the oil. I have no idea how to do all that. With an electric mower, you just have to clean a vent. That I can handle.

Cord Envy

So why aren’t electric mowers more popular, especially in our increasingly eco-conscious world?

I think the biggest obstacle is that men have traditionally done the yard work around the house, and mowing the lawn with a big, noisy gas motor feels manly. That’s to say nothing of riding on a tractor-style mower.

But when you mow the lawn plugged in, and you’re going back and forth in straight lines and yanking the cord out of the way… I’ll be honest, it feels a lot like you’re vacuuming the yard. Which, okay, doesn’t feel as manly. But who cares? It’s time for people to get over it!

Plus, it’s certainly more impressive than wandering around the yard wielding a weedwacker.


9 things I hate about old houses You know I love old houses. LOVE them. I honestly don’t think I’d buy a new-construction house even if I could afford one (which I can’t). Even new condos.-…

Review: EGO Power battery-powered lawn mower takes much of the pain out of mowing the lawn

I like the idea of doing lawn work. Through all of the sweat and heat, there’s a deep sense of satisfaction once the job is completed. I think I enjoy it primarily because it’s the antithesis of my daily routine as a tech blogger.

Sadly, there are some things that make it hard to enjoy the traditional lawn care routine. The putrid smell of gasoline, the allergies, dealing with mowers that won’t start, the deafening noise, the numbing vibrations of the handle, running out of gas, etc.

I just put the two best electric lawnmowers up against each other and was shocked by the outcome.

The very idea of an alternative-powered lawn mower always appealed to me, but their shortcomings were too much for me to seriously consider one…until now.

Things I hate about gas-powered mowers

  • Gasoline fumes smell awful
  • Refilling the gas tank
  • Starting can be difficult
  • The noise is deafening
  • They can be very heavy
  • The exhaust pollution makes me sick
  • They can take up a lot of space

Things that made me dismiss electric mowers up until now

  • Not enough power
  • Not large enough to make efficient passes
  • Cords, if corded, can be dangerous and annoying
  • Batteries ran out too quickly
  • Charging took too long
  • Terrible designs

Video review

The EGO Power mower not only eliminates the issues presented by gas-powered mowers, but solves many of the conundrums raised by electric mowers as well.

Not only does this 56V mower pack the power, but it features the battery longevity, the quick charging, and a deck size large enough to compete with gas powered dinosaurs of old. The EGO Power even features a design that isn’t downright offensive, which is a trend that seems to be catching on. Dare I say that this mower makes caring for my lawn fun?

If there is one potential downside to be had with the EGO Power, it would have to be its price. Although the mower is available in a bare tool configuration that omits the battery and charger, once you acquire all of the necessary parts it, adds up to a substantial price.

Thankfully, there are several pricing options and deck configurations to lend as much variety to customers as possible. I purchased my EGO Power from a brick and mortar Home Depot store, as I wanted to view it in person before pulling the trigger on such a product. After testing it out, I’d be confident buying any of EGO’s products from Home Depot’s online store, or even from Amazon.

I purchased the 21″ model from HomeDepot, but if you’re okay with downsizing an inch and losing a few amenities, you can get the 20″ model in several configurations directly fulfilled by Amazon with free shipping. All mowers come with a 5-year limited factory warranty for the mower, and a 3-year factory warranty for the battery charger.

Amazon availability

If you have a small to medium-sized yard, then the 20″ mower will most likely work for you. That said, I wanted to get the largest mower that I could get, so I opted for the extra inch. Along with the extra blade width, you get a wider range of cutting heights that can be adjusted. The 21″ EGO Power mower features six cutting heights ranging from 1.5″ to 4.0″, while the smaller version features five heights ranging from 1.2″ to 3.5″. Depending on your needs, this is something to consider.

Cutting height comparison

Cutting Height 20″ LM2001 21″ LM2100
1 1.2″ (30mm) 1.5″ (41mm)
2 1.8″ (45mm) 2.0″ (51mm)
3 2.4″ (60mm) 2.5″ (65mm)
4 3.0″ (75mm) 3.0″ (77mm)
5 3.5″ (90mm) 3.5″ (93mm)
6 4.0″ (107mm)

Along with the width of the blade and the cutting height positions, there are a few other amenities that you’ll only find on the larger mower. The larger mower features three adjustable handlebar positions versus two on the smaller mower. Along with the size difference, there are also self-propelled options to consider, which can add an extra 100 to the price.

Unboxing and Initial setup

The unboxing was surprisingly pleasant for an outdoor appliance, and it was evident that at least some amount of care went into the product’s presentation. The mower arrives completely assembled, which is awesome for someone who wants to get down to business as quickly as possible.

The box that the EGO Power ships in is fairly sizable, but it’s not so large or heavy that it’s unwieldy. If you’re buying the mower from a brick and mortar store, or moving it from the front porch after it’s shipped to your house, it would definitely help to use a small dolly to cart it around.

Included in the package is a 56V 5Ah battery and corresponding quick charger. The first thing that you’ll need to do upon unboxing is begin charging the battery, and EGO’s design makes this as painless and as idiot-proof as possible.

Charging the battery involves removing it from its box, plugging in the quick charger, and placing the battery on the charger so that it lines up with the contacts. After a series of calibration noises, you’ll hear a fan turn on as the unit starts to charge. The fan is moderately loud, but that’s the price you have to pay for being able to charge a 5Ah battery in less than an hour.

Once I took care of the battery charging, it was just a matter of preparing the mower for first use. Initial setup was super easy, because there’s basically nothing to set up. The mower arrives in its storage position, which means that the handle is compressed and folded flat to take up a smaller footprint.

The quick-adjust lever located on the side of the mower’s handle allows you to reposition the handle from its folded position into the upright position. Once the handle is upright, you can then use the handle-locking clamps to extend the position of the handles into operating position.

The mower ships with an optional grass catcher bag that can be affixed to the rear in order to catch leaves and grass clippings. As someone with a grass allergy, sneezing and itchy eyes are inevitable, but I find that the grass catcher bag helps keep my allergies somewhat in check.

Starting the mower

Once the handle is in its upright position and fully extended, simply lift the battery lid and push the charged battery into the battery slot until it clicks into place. From there, it’s just a matter of holding the safety button near the top of the handle while pulling the bail switch upward. The mower will immediately start, but the process will be much faster and quieter than you may be used to if coming from a gas-powered rig.

The wonderful thing about battery-powered motors is that there’s no string pulling in order to start the mower. You literally just press the safety button followed by a pull of the bail switch, and the mower starts — instantly. It’s such a satisfying feeling to know that you can start and stop the mower on a whim.

Mowing the lawn

I didn’t opt for the self-propelled version of the EGO Power, and although it would be nice, I wasn’t sure if the 100 premium was worth it given my small, flat lawn. The majority of this mower is made out of high-grade plastic, and while plastic isn’t usually a material that’s deemed to be desirable, I find that it makes the Power. at a nimble-feeling 62lbs (with battery pack), light and easy to maneuver.

Obviously, the most important thing about a mower is how well it performs cutting grass, and after testing it several times, I can say that it performs admirably. Grass was cut on the first pass, and there’s enough power available to easily cut through taller, thicker grass as well.

Although it’s not exactly recommended, I was even able to cut through lightly damp grass with no issues. Cutting my lawn with this mower felt like I activated some sort of lawn care cheat code, lending me an unfair advantage against my itchy allergy-causing nemesis.

Many of the cordless mowers that you’ll see out there feature smaller decks, which require more passes to cut an entire yard. The 21″ deck on the EGO Power feels like a traditional gasoline-powered mower, in that its deck is large enough to cut a yard with fewer passes. I imagine that the 20″ model wouldn’t be all that different from the 21″ model in this regard, so it may be worth the money and weight saved to go smaller.

Battery life

One of the most impressive things about this mower is its battery life. With the 5Ah battery that it’s bundled with, it features a run-time (45 minutes) that’s longer than it’s total charge time (40 minutes). That’s mighty impressive. For those of you who opt for the slightly smaller 20″ model with the 4Ah battery, you’ll enjoy the same run-time but even less charge time (30 minutes).

Having such charging and battery performance really takes one of the major pain points out of green lawn care. It’s battery-powered, so you don’t have to finagle with cords, and it features a battery that can fully charge and be ready in well short of an hour. importantly, a single charge adds enough run time to be able to completely mow most small to medium yards.


There are a lot of little details that make me admire this mower the more that I use it. One such detail, the LED headlights, makes it easier to cut the lawn in the later hours of the evening. Another detail, the battery gauge on the lithium-ion battery, makes it possible to tell how much juice is left on the mower’s battery. Although I enjoy both of these features, as you’ll see below, each could stand to improve on EGO Power’s later model revisions.

All of the products in EGO Power’s lineup — mower, blowers, trimmers, etc. — work with the same battery packs. That means that I can use the same battery pack from my mower to power my blower. I can even upgrade to a 7.5Ah battery to extend the mower’s 45-minute run time, although that’s probably overkill for my yard size.

I especially love how the mower is capable of folding up for storage. If you’re short on space, this is a huge space-saving feature. Once folded, the mower can stand upright or even be hung on a wall.

Improvements that can be made

The EGO Power isn’t perfect, but I much prefer it to gasoline powered mowers that I’ve used in the past. That said, there are a few areas where improvements could be made.

The battery features a power indicator button that gives users an idea as to how much battery power is left. Unfortunately it only starts to tell you when the battery is low when it’s at 15% battery remaining or below. That seems a little drastic. I wish the battery included a more incremental way to monitor its remaining life.

I also don’t like that I have to stoop down and press a button on the mower’s deck to engage the LED light. I love having a light available, but I often forgot that the light was even there.


I’m far from a lawn care connoisseur, but having a green mower makes me excited about lawn care much in the same way that those who weren’t previously car enthusiasts are excited about driving since Tesla has emerged.

Many gasoline powered mowers make mowing a chore, and many battery-powered mowers make it needlessly tedious. The EGO Power mower throws out many of the negatives about both technologies, and can make mowing enjoyable. It’s not perfect, but it’s as close as I’ve gotten to a gasoline powered mower without any of the negative side effects.

Yes, it’s quite pricey starting at 449 for the 20″ model with 4Ah battery, but the more adoption this technology receives, the faster the will drop. I certainly don’t regret paying a premium if it means not having to deal with gasoline fumes, pulling strings, and all of the other negatives associated with mowing with a traditional mower.

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The Truth About Electric Lawn Mower Horsepower

For the first time in nearly 20 years, I finally have a real yard to maintain at our new house, after living in apartments since 2000 and then our yardless townhouse since 2007. I’ve been having both fun, and frustration, purchasing lawn and garden equipment! Who knew there would come a time where I’d get so annoyed with lawn mower manufacturers that I’d feel the need to write a blog about them. All I’ll say is that considering the overall topic of my website, cancer support, I guess it’s nice to have some first world problems for a change!

Why Is It So Hard To Shop For An Electric Lawn Mower?

When we moved into our new home in July of 2017, the grass was growing and a lawn mower was the last thing I had time to think about on top of all of the logistics of moving and hectic work schedules. I figured I’d try to be green and buy an electric mower, and save myself the trouble of oil changes and maintenance and all that. Our lot is big for our area at 8800 sq ft, but still relatively small in the grand scheme of things, so how are you supposed to know what you really need with an electric mower?

What makes it difficult to shop for electric lawn mowers is that they only advertise the voltage that the battery and electric motor run at, and not how much power they actually produce. These are two different things. How are you supposed to know the differences between how 20V, 40V, 56V, or even 80V electric lawn mowers perform, compared to what actual gas powered lawn mowers with anywhere from 3 to 6 horsepower will do? It’s apples to oranges, and then you get to the issue of endurance. This is a non-issue with gas mowers, as they typically have more than enough internal fuel capacity for even larger yards, and if you run out you can just refill the tank and keep going. With an electric mower, if you can’t finish mowing your yard on a single battery charge, you either need a very expensive additional battery, or have to wait an hour to recharge the first, which can be a major inconvenience.

Claims of gas-like power or torque of gas, enough battery capacity to cover 90% of yards, and run times of up to 60 minutes or whatever are all incredibly generic weasel words, and highly prone to interpretation and misinterpretation. I guess I thought in my mind that a middle of the range 40V electric lawn mower ought to be enough. Was it? Well, I think you might know where I’m going, but read on to find out!

A 4HP Self-Propelled Gas Lawn Mower BASELINE

In the 1990’s, Homelite was a very reputable company that produced a full range of highly rated gas powered lawn and garden equipment. They don’t have the full line of products that they used to, but they’re still around, and I still remember my Homelite HSB21P4C mower. That’s Homelite Super Bagger, 21, Self-Propelled, with a 4HP gas engine, and a blade Clutch that allowed you to just idle the engine with the blade stopped while you emptied the bag without having to restart the engine. Don’t ask me how the heck I remembered that, but when you’re a kid and can’t even drive yet, getting a new lawn mower is pretty exciting. It was a pretty darned good mower, too. I was worried that 4 HP might not be enough when there were 5 to 6.5 HP mowers out there, but it was never lacking for power. It propelled itself up hills with a heavy bag filled with clippings just fine, and although it may have bogged down at times in taller grass that might have been a bit wet or required you to slow down a tad, it always kept going and never quit. It had just the right amount of power, not too little and not too much. I guess this was what I was expecting out of my 40V electric lawn mower, which wasn’t even self-propelled, and so all motor energy would be going straight to the blades and none to the wheels. Surely this must be enough, right?

MY 40V/4AHr Electric Lawn Mower

My wife knew I was looking for an electric lawn mower as we were moving. She saw this one come up on Amazon Prime Day on July 11, 2017 for just 199 last year and told me about it. It looked good enough to me, and heck for only 199 why not? I took a leap of faith and just blindly hip-fired the mower and jumped on it, hoping it would be enough. Honestly, it’s a great 3 in 1 mower for the money (rear bagging, side discharge, or mulching), but unfortunately it just couldn’t get the job done.

One of the first things I noticed was that it would shut down in heavier grass, and I was constantly tilting it on its side trying to clear all of the clippings out from under the deck in mulching mode. It just couldn’t maintain the blade RPM needed and would stall all the time, and overall didn’t do the greatest job of mowing. Not only did it not have the power to really mulch well, but it also didn’t have the suction to stand our mix of grass and weeds up straight enough to get a clean cut either. It would always leave rows of grass and weeds that would just get knocked over more than cut, and I’d have to end up going at certain areas again from the opposite direction to get a better cut. Even more frustrating was the lack of manual power control combined with all of the irregularities of our lawn. It would leave itself in high power mode as I exited thick grass, and would drop itself down to normal power mode right as I was hitting thick stuff again, and couldn’t stay in sync. What it really needed was a High, Normal, and an Auto power control lever, but didn’t have one.

As far as yard size and capacity, our house is on an 8800 sq ft lot with a front and rear portion, about half of which is mowable lawn. In the late summer and into the fall when the grass wasn’t really growing that much, it would finish the whole yard on its 4 AHr battery with about 25% or less charge left. I knew this was pretty marginal, and I wondered how it would do in peak growing season or as the battery aged and lost a bit of its natural capacity? The answer came this past spring when the grass started growing like crazy. This forced the mower into its high power mode almost all the time, and then it could only do just over half of our yard on a single charge! I had to wait an hour for it to recharge before finishing the backyard, which was annoying. There’s a slot for a second battery right on the mower itself, but they really kill you on these batteries. 100 for another 40V 4AHr battery was a bit steep for me, especially when the mower was already under-powered and not mowing that well in the first place.

Overall I was pretty disappointed. Clearly I needed more mower, and decided to just cut my losses and get another one.

THe electric lawn mower Marketing Weasel Words

I love all of these claims about gas-like power and torque of gas for electric mowers, and how even the lower end gas mower manufacturers are playing stupid games by only advertising the peak gross torque of their gas engines. None of this tells you a damned thing, and since since when did the lawn mower market become so ridiculous with such deceptive marketing? Really? You can’t just be straightforward with freaking lawn mowers? What on earth??

Hey, I have torque of gas! If I apply my entire 260 pound weight to a bicycle pedal with a 1 foot long crank, I’m making 260 ft-lbs of torque. Sweet! So I can power a car, right? Ha! No, because how quickly can I spin that pedal while applying that force to get actual work done? Not that fast. Just like electric motors, human beings make peak torque at 0 RPM, and then our torque curves rapidly fall off from there. How much power can I really produce?

This isn’t rocket science. There’s a very simple formula for this.

Horsepower = (Torque x RPM) / 5252

Lets say I could still apply 10% of that torque at 100rpm. How much power am I making? Per the formula, (26 ft-lbs x 100 rpm) / 5252 = 0.5 HP!! Right. That’s not powering a car, or even a lawn mower. If I go all out in spinning class at the gym, I can hit a little over 1000 watts for a brief and glorious few completely unsustainable seconds, which is 1.34 horsepower (746 Watts = 1 horsepower). In that burst of glory, that comes out to about 54 ft-lbs of torque at 130 rpm (or 47 ft-lbs at 150 rpm). In reality, most professional cyclists can sustain an output of about 280-300 watts for hours on end, which is around 0.4 horsepower.

Gas torque doesn’t mean that you have gas horsepower. And what does gas-like power even mean? If an electric mower really had gas power they could just advertise the horsepower of the electric mower, right? But they don’t, so obviously they’re hiding something. If you hit a patch of thick grass at a given speed, you need a certain amount of power (not torque) to get through it. If your lawn mower doesn’t have enough power, it’s going to bog down or even stop, unless you reduce your power demands on the mower by slowing down, possibly to a crawl, such that the rate at which you’re demanding power to mow isn’t exceeding the amount of power your lawn mower can deliver.

Lawn Mowing Is An Endurance Race, Not A Drag Race

There’s an old saying that horsepower sells cars, but torque wins races. Well, that can be true for automobiles if we’re talking about runs down the drag strip, and getting a nice hole shot off the line thanks to a mountain of torque (and traction). Watch most any Tesla Model S P85D or higher at the drag strip destroying tons of exotic cars, and you’ll see what I mean. Maybe that’s what the lawn mower manufacturers want you to think, and are preying upon consumer ignorance here by advertising gross torque and not even net torque, and are constantly trying to hide the actual horsepower output! Torque alone tells you nothing.

But we’re not talking about drag racing here. We’re talking about steady state mowing with very small engines or motors running at their maximum operating speeds. Horsepower is what’s going to win this race and get your lawn mowed, without having to slow to a crawl to avoid your engine stalling. What happens to electric cars at higher speeds or from 50 km/h rolls? They make a ton of torque (and power) up to a given speed, but after that they just fall off like a rock and get walked all over by cars that don’t necessarily have more horsepower, but that maintain higher levels of horsepower to higher speeds, and thus can do more work at higher speeds. Horsepower is what you need for mowing your lawn, not gas-like power or torque of gas. That’s total BS!

How Much Horsepower Does This THing Really Have?

When it comes to actual mowing performance, all I can say about my 40V electric mower is that it’s nowhere close to my old Homelite 4 HP gas mower that I used growing up, which I guess is kinda what I was expecting or hoping for. To be fair, the manufacturer, which I’m not singling out here or even identifying, never made any horsepower claims about this mower, but it doesn’t even mow like a low end 3 horsepower gas mower would either. A 3 HP lawn mower will bog down when you start running it through thick grass, but will keep going if you’re gentle enough. This electric mower doesn’t bog down in heavy grass, it just stops. It can’t handle it at all. It will get it done, but you have to be exceedingly gentle with it. So based purely on how it mows, I’d say this 40V electric lawn mower has a best of just 2 horsepower!

I’m an engineer, so I figured I’d try to be a little more scientific than just run what ya brung type butt dyno (grass dyno?) type testing. We can get a ballpark estimate of how much power this thing is cranking out based on the energy content of the battery, and how quickly it can drain itself. The battery is a claimed 40V and 4AHr battery which means it should be able to deliver 4 Amps of current for 1 hour at 40 volts. However, while pretty solidly in high power mode, it will actually go through an entire battery in a matter of 15-20 minutes. Let’s say that it has an endurance of 15 minutes in high power mode. That means it’s drawing about 16 Amps of current. 40V x 16 Amps = 640 Watts of power.

Electrical Horsepower is defined as 746 Watts, so 640 Watts is not even 1 HP.

Umm, Houston, we have a problem here.

electric, lawn, mower, funny, story, others

I haven’t precisely measured how long the battery will drain if the mower is at high power mode the entire time. Maybe it’s 10 minutes? That would be 24 Amps of current and let’s say a peak power of 1000 Watts, or 1KW. And more than likely, 40 volts is just the nominal rating of the battery, and it’s probably running more like 45 volts. And maybe the battery is really more than about 4 AHr, or there’s a variance to the high power mode that you can’t really tell to give it an extra boost when needed, and assume 100% efficiency all around which isn’t true even with electric motors, and blah blah blah.

Even being as generous as possible and making every assumption in favor of this mower that I can, I can’t get the math to work out with this thing having anything more than about 1.5 peak horsepower!

And the reality is that it’s probably really sub 1-horsepower, as I suspect.

Gas like power? Compared to what? A weed whacker??

A Honda GX35 4-stroke 35cc weed-whacker type engine is rated to make 1.3 net horsepower, so there you go. That’s what they mean by gas-like power.

What a friggin joke.

It’s Not Just Electric Lawn Mower Manufacturers

This isn’t just about electric lawn mowers, though. I have to call out gas mower companies too, for the completely misleading claims that they’re making also. What ever happened to the base model 3 HP gas lawn mowers? Well, when you see a gas mower only advertising gross torque and not horsepower, that’s apparently how they market 3 HP class gas mowers today.

A certain gas lawn mower I saw with an unnamed but very well known brand of engine was advertising itself as having 6.75 ft-lbs of gross torque. What the hell is that? Well if you look up the engine directly at the engine manufacturer’s website, you can get the full torque curve in a PDF and see that it’s actually only making 5.25 ft-lbs of gross torque at the operational speed of 3600 rpm that most gas lawn mower engines have always run at. Using the formula, (5.25 ft-lbs x 3600 rpm) / 5252 = 3.6 gross horsepower. Now keep reading the fine print, and you’ll see that’s without air cleaner or an exhaust or small muffler installed, which is absolutely NOT how gas freaking lawn mowers that can kick up all sorts of dust and debris are ever run. That would be like instant death for a mower. The actual power you’ll be getting to the pavement (the grass) is the net horsepower, so figure maybe 10% lower figures than gross. You now have 3.25 net horsepower.

electric, lawn, mower, funny, story, others

Boy, 6.75 ft-lbs of gross torque at a lower RPM that the mower never operates at sure sounds a lot better, so that’s what they go with these days, and they figure that consumers are stupid enough to fall for it or just won’t know any better. Better yet, if you end up buying something that ends up not working for you due to confusion, you have to buy another lawn mower, and they love that even more. That’s what they want. They want you to be as confused as possible so that you hopefully buy the wrong thing, and then have to buy again. You see how this little scam works? Yeah (bleep) that.

So yeah, I fell for it, but fortunately was only out 199, and now needed to buy another mower. Too much money for another battery for the electric mower that I bought that doesn’t even do a very good job in the first place isn’t Smart money.

Time To Upgrade, BUt What To Get?

Considering I had done exactly zero research on this mower or electric mowers in general and just sort of hip-fired it off of Amazon and hoped it would work out, I was perfectly willing to give another electric mower a chance, now having a much better idea of what I needed. I’m not biased one way or another, and actually kinda wanted an electric mower to work out. They’re quieter and can be stored vertically and take up a ton less garage space, and ultimately are going to have much lower operational costs than a gas. I wanted an electric mower to work for me, so if I was biased at all, it was actually towards getting another electric mower.

I knew that I clearly needed something with more oomph than a 40V motor could provide, and about double the capacity of the 40V/4AHr battery. Based on a read through Consumer Reports magazine online and other reviews, which I should have checked the first time around (I’m a lifelong subscriber to CR), it looked like the EGO 56V self-propelled lawn mower with a 7.5 AHr battery probably would do the trick for me. This is actually the only electric lawn mower that Consumer Reports magazine recommends, and seems to be at a pretty good price point at 499 with the battery and cooled charger included!

At a 40% higher operating voltage and assuming all other factors are equal, this 56V EGO mower might be equivalent to about a 2.0 to 2.5 HP gas mower on its best day or peak power level. That’s still marginal power at best, but it’s important to FOCUS on how well something actually works, and less on the numbers. The Consumer Reports review was pretty favorable, as were a few YouTube reviews, but I actually saw another YouTube video of this mower grinding to a stop in the same irregular grass that I have. Not exactly confidence inspiring. I was already committing to buying a second mower, and would have been kicking myself if this next one couldn’t hack it either. I felt like I needed a mower with both double the power and double the capacity at the same time. I was confident about the EGO having enough endurance, but only 40% more assumed power just wasn’t what I was looking for. I don’t have a big yard, but definitely need the power to get through grass, crab grass, weeds, and other super thick patches of combinations of all of the above that I have, otherwise a mower will just grind to a stop like my 40V electric was doing all the time.

I was torn and could have gone either way between the 56V EGO mower with 7.5 AHr and a base level Honda lawn mower that had a 160cc engine with a legit 4.5 net horsepower that would run all day for 100 less money. I actually have a Honda powered pressure washer that I’ve owned for years now, so it’s not like I don’t already have a small gas can for it, and oil to change once in awhile.

Our homeowners association ended up making the decision for me!

Electric Would Have Been Fine, but My HOA inadvertently Convinced Me To Get Gas!

This is now a funny story, but yes, my homeowners association mistakenly cited me for grass that was too long, even though I had just mowed it literally hours before we started getting over a week of solid rain. Yes, the grass got quite long, but adding injury to insult, the alleged inspection came during all of the rain when nobody could mow. I was already pretty pissed off about falling prey to deceptive and misleading marketing practices and needing to buy another lawn mower, and now I was double pissed off about being hassled by our HOA, not yet realizing it was a mistake and meant for another property.

My 1.5 horsepower on the best possible day electric mower would have absolutely choked on this grass after all of the rain we got. It literally has weed-whacker levels of power, which explains quite a bit! I would have had to raise the deck height all the way up, and probably run through the battery a few times, and mow a few times just to get it back into HOA spec. Needless to say, I don’t have time for crap like this, and I especially don’t have the patience to be hassled by our HOA for something so absurd! My wife and I are two busy professionals with two young children at home, a dog, and a disabled person that we care for full time, and I’ve had to travel for work quite a bit lately. I just need to be able to mow when I have time to mow, and not think about if it’s dry enough, what the weather forecast says, what time of day it is, or when our HOA might be eyeing our property (we live right across the street from their office!)

So I just said (bleep) it and got a Honda HRX21VKABCDEFG blah blah blah professional grade mower with the bigger 190cc vs 160cc engine, and 5.1 net (3.8kW) all day horsepower rather than 4.4 HP with the slightly smaller engine, and paid 599 for it rather than 399 for the lower tier Honda. Yes, this is total absolute overkill for my yard, but the first time I mowed with it put a smile on my face, and I knew I had made a great choice. It plowed right through even the thickest portions of my tall and still very slightly damp grass with zero bleeps given amounts of power. It has so much power and suction that it stands even the annoying weeds straight up and delivers a nice clean cut. It’s awesome. I can mow whenever I want with my ‘big block’ Honda mower, and if anybody asks me why I’ve gone all ‘eco-terrorist’ and didn’t get an electric mower, I can point right across the street to our HOA’s office, too. 🙂

Ultimately, both I and the HOA realized the mistake at about the same time. This was actually the second fix-it notice that I had received, and there were other fix-it requests on this notice that just made no sense at all, and seemed to fit some nearby properties better. I brought it to the HOA’s attention who had already realized the mistake themselves, and were profusely apologetic about it. It didn’t change the fact that it pissed me off to high heaven at the time, and that I bought fat and happy gas mower because of it. Hey, it’s fate. I was just meant to get a gas mower. 🙂 Even if a better electric would have had enough power, it still wouldn’t have mowed as well with the raw power this gas mower has to stand everything straight up as you mow and give a nice clean cut. Our yard and mixture of grass and weeds is very irregular, which is precisely where extra power comes in handy.

A SUmmary of Electric Lawn Mower Horsepower guEsstimates

In summary, here’s my best guesstimate of actual electric lawn mower horsepower based on some back of the envelope calculations from my 40V electric mower, and comparisons with actual ownership and use of 4 HP and 5 HP gas mowers, watching a few YouTube videos and reading reviews of the 56V EGO mower, and some feedback from someone I know who has an 80V mower.

Less than 40V: don’t even freaking bother. You’re talking sub 1 horsepower here. Maybe there are some lawns out there where this might be enough, but certainly not mine!

40V class: about 1.0 to 1.5 horsepower being as optimistic as possible. Enough if you have nice even grass and few weeds, but consider this the bare minimum, and totally inadequate if you have thicker stuff and/or weeds to get through. You’ll regret it like I did. There’s a reason why none of these lower voltage electric mowers are recommended by Consumer Reports magazine.

56/60V class: maybe about 2.0 to 2.5 horsepower also being very optimistic, but finally kinda like a real gas mower. Although I haven’t used one, they seem to be reasonably powerful and enough to cut through taller grass and some weeds, but YMMV, and the video I saw of one choking on some taller grass wasn’t really confidence inspiring for a 499 investment. Given one bad experience with an electric mower, if this one crapped out on me too I’d have instant buyer’s remorse and kick myself for not just getting a gas!

80V class: I honestly have no idea. The person that I know who has one has never felt like theirs was underpowered, but every yard and perspective is different, and the 80V motors could just be setup to deliver the same amount of power as a 56/60V mower with a bit less current draw from the battery. All other factors being equal, an 80V class mower could maybe be edging closer to 3 horsepower, but who knows? The people who make these aren’t claiming gas power, either!

120V Plug In Electric Mowers: Standard wall outlets in the U.S. are nominally 120V with 15A circuit breakers, but the maximum for continuous loads is 20% below that at 12 Amps, which is just below 1500W (1440W), and why our wives’ hair dryers all have a maximum of 1500W. What’s a few watts between friends? Thus, the theoretical maximum power you can get from a standard outlet for a plug-in electric lawn mower would be 1440W / 746W (per HP) = 1.93 gross electrical horsepower. The reality with all of these electric motors is that they’re not 100% efficient. Assuming 75-80% efficiency, you’re looking at about 1.5 net electrical horsepower at the blades, which is probably a bit better than my 40V mower, as my 1.5 HP estimate for my 40V mower is based on gross consumption and not net power after efficiency losses.

How Much Horsepower Are Those “Gross Peak Torque” Ratings Worth?

What 6.75 ft-lbs of gross torque on a gas engine comes out to

The very well known small engine manufacturer that I called out earlier, and whose initials perhaps not ironically are BS, is only advertising the peak gross torque rating of their engines these days. They have a bunch of engines, but here’s the actual peak net horsepower at 3600 rpm of their engines that I had to hand calculate from their datasheet, because they don’t want you to know. Net figures include the.10% correction going from gross to net.

150cc. 6.25 ft-lbs gross TQ at 2600 rpm but 5.70 ft-lbs @ 3600 rpm = 3.5 HP net163cc. 6.75 ft-lbs gross TQ at 2600 rpm but 5.25 ft-lbs @ 3600 rpm = 3.25 HP net163cc. 7.25 ft-lbs gross TQ at 2600 rpm but 6.00 ft-lbs @ 3600 rpm = 3.7 HP net

Yes, isn’t it interesting that one of the engines with higher advertised peak gross torque actually has LESS peak horsepower than another with less torque? This is because the torque curve drops off like a rock on this engine at higher RPM, and thus it’s less powerful while mowing your lawn with the engine at its high RPM operating speed! This is why advertising lawn mower engines by their peak gross torque ratings at engine speeds they never operate at while mowing is so freaking stupid and totally misleading.

Final Thoughts

It’s so stupid that I managed to get pissed off enough at just how intentionally deceptive and misleading lawn mower manufacturers are being that I felt the need to go on a big rant and write this blog, but here we are, and here are my final thoughts.

ELECTRIC: If you want a pretty good electric lawn mower with a nice combination of both power and endurance, the EGO 56V 7.5AHr seems to be the sweet spot for both of those as of 2018, which is probably why it’s the only electric mower that’s been recommended by Consumer Reports magazine. I probably would have gotten one of these if it weren’t for the mistaken citation by my HOA.

On a final side note, I saw a customer review at the EGO site claiming that this lawn mower out-performed a 6.25 horsepower gas lawn mower. Uhh, with a new blade? And was it running properly? Were they actually running it at full power, unlike certain neighbors of mine that I constantly hear running their gas mower at idle while trying to mow their lawn? (I’m not joking!) Let’s say it actually had the same 5.1 net horsepower as my Honda, and assume 100% efficiency. That’s an output of 3.8kW, which would require 68 amps of current from the 56V battery. Based on the energy content of the battery, you would have 6 minutes of run time at that power level, and it would be smoldering hot when you were done. You would need 4 gauge wiring to handle that much current, which is what they might typically put on large electric furnaces for homes!! Call me skeptical, but this isn’t passing my sniff test at all. I’m sure it’s a great mower, but I can pretty much guarantee you that it doesn’t have anywhere close to 5 or even 6 horsepower, or even gas mower power, and they don’t even claim that it does!

I’m pretty darned sure that this person surely must have confused horsepower with the peak gross torque rating of their gas mower, and that it actually only has around 3 horsepower. That would be far more believable and make sense!

But anyways, the EGO gets a recommendation from CR and a lot of positive reviews elsewhere, so I’m sure it’s a fine mower.

GAS: For gas mowers, I would just get a Honda. The base Honda mowers are very good and highly rated at Consumer Reports, and 4.4 net horsepower is more than enough power. I’m extremely pleased with my 5.1 net horsepower (3.8 kW) Honda HRX21VKA. It will plow through anything, at any time, no questions asked, and with zero bleeps given, and has a solid warranty. It ran right through my super tall grass at full speed, and probably has triple if not quadruple the power of whatever my 40V electric mower has just based on mowing performance alone, so I know my estimate and calculations of about 1.0 to 1.5 HP peak for my electric is probably pretty accurate.

Another thing I like about Honda is that they’re actually being HONEST, and publish the full power and torque curves for the engines, and in NET horsepower and torque rather than gross. Unlike a lot of the other manufacturers, Honda has a very powerful brand name to stand behind, so perhaps they can let the quality of their products and engineering speak for itself, and don’t feel the need, or like it would be beneath them, to resort to cheap lies, dirty tricks, and lying by omission to sell their product. In a world filled with so much BS, I appreciate a company that’s honest. Thanks, Honda. There are cheaper gas mowers out there from reputable brands that I’m sure do a perfectly good job of mowing, but I can’t recommend the products of companies that are marketing their goods in such stupid and misleading ways, even if they work OK in the end.

I hope this helped!

Don’t lie or mislead about technical things to an engineer, because they’ll find you out and call you out! I really can’t believe all of the shenanigans going on in the lawn mower industry, and that I felt the need to write a blog about it, but this is just plain ridiculous. How on earth did the lawn mower industry become so freaking dishonest and misleading? What in the world?? No standards, no shame, but considering the overall topic of my website, it’s nice to have some first world problems to rant about once in awhile. 🙂 Honda is actually being honest, and so I’m happy to give them my money.

Top 9 Best Cordless Lawn Mowers in 2023 | Detailed Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

If you’re someone who has more technical information about these things, or better ability to test them than I do with insights to share, get in touch. I’d love to hear from you.


For awhile this has been the #1 blog on my entire website, and it gets thousands of hits per month from early spring through the summer. It’s the first search result for “electric lawn mower horsepower” on most search engines, and I appreciate all of the Комментарии и мнения владельцев and emails that I get. I’m glad so many have found this blog and enjoyed it, and hopefully gotten a laugh or two out of it. So thanks, and I figured I’d post a quick update nearly two years out from this fiasco.

I donated the electric mower to the local Habitat for Humanity Re-Store last year in 2019, so hopefully it went to a good home while contributing to a good non-profit organization, and that the person who bought it didn’t find this blog! LOL!

For the record, I do have a Ryobi 40V string trimmer, that I also got the hedge trimmer, leaf blower, and pole saw attachments for. When it went on sale last year, I also got the Ryobi 40V dedicated chain saw as much for the extra 40V battery as for having a real saw. THOSE I LIKE. They all have an appropriate amount of power, and it’s nice to have a second 40V battery now also. They’re all very nice products, and saves me the trouble of having to have another gas can with 2-cycle fuel-oil mix.

The fire-breathing 190cc Honda “big block VTEC” mower is running great. No regrets on that, but I probably could have saved myself some money by just getting the 160cc model. I was obviously pissed off when I bought the bigger one, but it seriously has “zero fcks given” amounts of power, and it puts a smile on my face whenever I plow through way too tall grass at full speed, and it just takes it. Professional grade, bruh. I bought one for my parents also, the fancier one with the electric start, because their old mower was crap. They love it too and said it’s amazing, and that they can mow their yard in half the time with it, and that it gives them a good workout keeping up with it! Lol! They have a much larger yard, but it’s too hilly and sloped for a rider, so it’s the perfect mower for them. Honda truly makes good stuff.

Thanks again for stopping by and reading!