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Corded lawn mowers have been a popular choice in the past.
They’re much quieter than their gas counterparts, and a lot cheaper to run too, but they’re held back by that cord of theirs (literally!).
Then came the cordless lawn mower, which solved the problem of the cable limiting the range of your yard maintenance, but did it solve one problem only to create multiple others?
If you’ve been thinking about picking up a new lawn mower, you’re probably wondering whether a corded or cordless model is best for you.
Well, you’re in the right place, for in this article, I’ll be breaking down the benefits and drawbacks of both machines. Let’s get to it!
Corded Lawn Mower: Pros
With no battery on board, the typical corded lawn mower is much easier to maintain than a cordless model, which is perfect for those who aren’t too knowledgeable about machine maintenance.
It costs next to nothing to run a corded lawn mower, but some might argue that a battery-powered unit uses less power.
That said, with a corded lawn mower, you don’t have to worry about recharging and replacing a battery multiple times throughout the service life of your mower.
So, in the long run, a corded lawn mower is the one to go for if you’re looking to save a few bucks over the years.
The convenience factor of a cordless lawn mower is costly, which means if you can stomach a cord, you stand to save some serious cash upfront when you make the purchase. On a budget? Stick with cordless!
In a price-to-power ratio, corded lawn mowers will almost always be far more powerful, so it’s a win-win.
If you have a lot of stubborn or long grass to mow, a corded lawn mower is absolutely your best bet.
A gas mower might be even better, but they’re not so great for the environment, so sticking with electric models is a responsible decision.
Batteries are getting amazingly efficient these days, but they’re still not 100% consistent. As they reach the final stage of their charge cycle, their output drops significantly, meaning they don’t really last for quite as long as the manufacturer claims.
You won’t have this issue with a corded mower, as the wall outlet is providing a steady flow of power that never dips.
This is why a corded mower is definitely the best choice if you’re doing battle with a lot of tough grass and rough terrain.
What The Pros Use
After a gas unit, a corded lawn mower is always going to be the mower of choice for professional yard maintenance, which isn’t a practical benefit for you, but it does provide peace of mind and consumer confidence.
With no battery weighing a corded unit down, they’re a little lighter than cordless models, which may be something to consider if you’ve got some inclines to conquer in your yard.
Corded Lawn Mower: Cons
They may be powerful and consistent enough to tackle large jungle-like yards, but this is offset by their limited range.
That cord has to be plugged into an outlet at all times, so your movement is relatively limited. Still, this can be remedied with a high quality extension reel.
When using a corded mower, you have to be aware of the cord at all times. If you accidentally mow over it, it’s game over, and it can also be a trip hazard, which is particularly dangerous while mowing.
As mentioned earlier, depending on the battery technology used in a cordless unit, corded units may use slightly more energy in the long run, but it’s fairly negligible.
Cordless Lawn Mower: Pros
Freedom Of Movement
As the name implies, with a cordless lawn mower, you are free to move about the place as you’d like — no restrictions.
You can take your cordless lawn mower anywhere with you, as it carries its power source wherever it goes.
If you purchase a model with an especially powerful battery, assuming that your grass is relatively easygoing, you can mow large areas quite easily with corded lawn mowers.
They’re also fantastic for small yards with lots of obstacles to navigate. Without that pesky cable holding you back, you can weave around trees, planters, and borders with no problems whatsoever!
It may well cost less to charge a battery once every so often than it does to run a corded lawn mower with a wall outlet, but, as I said a moment ago, the difference is marginal at best.
Cordless Lawn Mowers: Cons
If you have your heart set on a cordless lawn mower, you should prepare your bank account for a bit of a hit, as the technology and convenience they bring to the yard don’t come cheap.
Not As Powerful
You’ll also have to make peace with the fact that you’re paying more for less power when you choose a cordless mower.
Batteries simply cannot match the output of an outlet, meaning that your mower may struggle to tackle thick or long grass.
We’ve touched on this a little already; batteries aren’t all that consistent. When their juice runs low, so does their output, meaning, unless they have an exceptionally beefy (not to mention pricey) battery, a cordless model may struggle with larger yards.
The battery in a cordless lawn mower will only go so far, so, again, if you’ve got a lot of ground to cover, it might not get the job done in one sitting.
I’d recommend investing in at least one spare battery you can use to double your productivity, but these can be costly.
You’re looking at a charge time of between 12 and 24 hours for a cordless lawn mower battery, which may mean you have to split your yard work across multiple days.
Battery Cycle Life
Every time you recharge a battery, a little part of it dies for good. As such, you’ll have to replace yours once every 7 years or so.
That battery is also going to add some lbs to your mower, meaning cordless units are best for flat yards.
Final Thoughts: Which Is Right For You?
Now you know the score, it’s time to figure out which of these lawn mowers is right for you. The trick is to think carefully about how you’ll be using your mower and what your yard is like.
Both will struggle with large yards in different ways.
Those with cords are great within a certain radius, while those without them can go further, but won’t run as long; however, this issue can be fixed with either an extension cord or a spare battery, so we’re no closer to making a decision.
Next, you should think about the difficulty of the job, i.e the length and species of grass/if there are any inclines to deal with.
For inclines or long/tough grass, the lighter, more powerful corded mower is best. For easygoing grass and minimal inclines, a cordless unit is best.
For small yards, if you’ve got fairly tame grass and perhaps a few obstacles to deal with, a cordless unit is the way to go, but if it’s a fairly clear space, with lots of tough/long grass, a corded mower will be best. Happy mowing!