Electric Vs Petrol Mower: Which Is Best For You?

Trying to decide whether an electric lawn mower or petrol mower is best for you?


In this electric vs petrol lawn mower comparison guide, we’ve discussed the most important features of these mower types, including their differences, pros, and cons, to help you choose the best option for your situation.

✅Key Takeaways:

  • The main difference between electric and petrol mowers is that electric mowers have a motor that’s powered by mains electricity, while petrol lawnmowers use a petrol-powered engine.

  • You may prefer an electric lawn mower if you have a limited budget and a small lawn with obstacles or tight spots.

  • Petrol mowers are more powerful, so they’re best for bigger lawns and long grass.

Table of Contents

🤷‍♂️ Are Electric Or Petrol Mowers Best? Short Answer

Neither electric nor petrol mowers are the best choice for everyone. However, a certain mower type might be best for your situation.


Electric mowers are best for anyone with a tight budget who wants to efficiently mow a smaller lawn, while petrol mowers are best for anyone with a bigger lawn who doesn’t want to be tethered to a power supply, or anyone looking for the most powerful mower that makes quick and easy work of mowing all terrain.

⚡️ What Are Electric Lawn Mowers?

Electric lawn mowers are powered by electricity.


An electric mower comes with a power cord, which needs to be plugged into a power socket in order for the mower to operate.


This mower has a motor that powers the blades when you switch it on. Most electric mowers have a 10-metre cord, and you can extend your distance from the power socket by using an extension lead.


Note: In this article, we’re only discussing electric corded lawn mowers. Some people class battery lawn mower models as electric mowers, but we class these in their own category: cordless or battery-powered mowers.

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👍 Pros of Electric Lawn Mowers

  • Electric lawnmowers are up to 50-60% cheaper than petrol-powered mowers, so they’re better for small budgets.

  • These mowers don’t have the hassle of maintenance and servicing, so they’re the best low-maintenance option. You simply sharpen the blades once or twice a year and keep the mower deck clean.

  • You can start mowing the lawn right away, without having to change the fuel or top up the oil.

  • You can buy electric lawnmower models with narrower cutting widths (as narrow as 25-30cm), which are easier to manoeuvre in very small lawns with lots of obstacles and tight spots.

  • These mowers are typically lighter, so they’re easier to transport and store compared to petrol lawnmowers.

👎 Cons of Electric Lawn Mowers

  • A power cord presents a safety hazard, and mowing over the cord could cause electric shock.

  • You’ll need to keep an eye on the cord while you’re mowing, which may slow down your mowing pace.

  • Electric lawnmowers are less practical or convenient for medium-to-large lawns because the length of the cord is pretty short (usually around 10 metres).

  • In some situations, you’ll have to buy an extension lead, at an additional expense.

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🤔 What Are Petrol Lawn Mowers?

Petrol lawn mowers are powered by petrol.


A petrol lawn mower uses a petrol engine (a bit like a car). As with an electric lawn mower, the engine produces the power to spin the blades, which cut grass as you push the mower over your lawn.


When you switch a petrol mower on, the engine converts the chemical energy stored in petrol into mechanical energy. A cycle of reactions occurs to create combustion with the fuel and a spark, forcing down the piston in the cylinder, and rotating the crank shaft.


This cycle continues again and again, powering the blades until you cut the engine.

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👍 Pros of Petrol Lawn Mowers

  • Petrol-powered engines are more powerful than electric motors, so petrol lawnmowers are best for mowing thicker, longer grass with ease.

  • It’s quicker to mow with a petrol lawnmower than an electric mower for the same reason.

  • Petrol models often have more features to choose from than electric models, including self-propulsion, mulching, and rear rollers.

  • Most petrol lawn mower models are tougher and more durable than electric mowers. They have more metal parts and fewer plastic components.

  • You can use a petrol mower to mow in all weather conditions without risk of electrocution (although it’s still recommended that you don’t mow a wet lawn).

👎 Cons of Petrol Lawn Mowers

  • A petrol lawnmower is up to twice the price of an electric model, so this mower type isn’t suitable for small budgets.

  • There’s much more maintenance and servicing involved in owning a petrol lawn mower, including fuel/oil changes, cleaning the spark plug, and changing the air filters.

  • Starting this mower type is more difficult (unless you have an electric start lawn mower).

  • Petrol mowers are less practical on smaller lawns due to their large size.

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🤼‍♀️ Electric Vs Petrol Mowers: Main Differences

Let’s take a look at the main differences between corded and cordless lawn mowers.

💰 Cost

There’s a big difference in cost between a petrol lawn mower and an electric mower.


Electric mowers are the best budget-friendly mowers. Aside from manual mowers, they’re the cheapest on the market, costing as little as £75-£110.


Petrol mowers are costlier due to the speed and convenience of their powerful engines, their additional features, and their wider cutting widths. The starting price for a petrol-powered mower is around £160-£220.


Verdict: Electric lawnmowers are best if you have a smaller budget, while petrol mowers are the more expensive mower type.

🔌 Mowing Range

Mowing range is another feature that sets electric mowers apart from petrol models.


An electric lawnmower has a mowing range that’s restricted by a power cord. You can plug the mower into an extension lead to mow further from your power socket, but a lead that’s too long will limit the power to the motor, reducing its ability to cleanly cut grass.


Petrol mowers have an unlimited mowing range. You can mow as far from your home as needed, as long as you have enough fuel in the petrol tank.


Verdict: Petrol mowers allow you to mow in any location and at any distance from your home, while corded electric mowers can only take you so far away from a power socket.

lawn, mower, power, cord, wrapped, up

🔧 Maintenance

Electric mowers and petrol mowers have different maintenance requirements.


Electric lawnmowers just need basic maintenance, including cleaning the mower deck after every use and sharpening the mower blade once or twice a year.


Petrol lawnmowers require dedicated maintenance tasks, including topping up the fuel tank, checking the oil, cleaning the spark plugs, and replacing the air filters – as well as general maintenance like blade sharpening and cleaning the mower.


Verdict: Electric lawn mowers are easier to maintain than petrol lawn mowers, which have a more demanding list of maintenance/servicing tasks.

📏 Size & Design

Electric lawn mowers typically have a smaller, more basic design than petrol mowers.


The average cutting width range for an electric mower is 30-36cm. Electric mowers have narrower builds and are easier to manoeuvre and mow in tight spots.


Petrol mowers have wider cutting widths of around 42-56cm. This makes them better for cutting larger lawns because they cover more ground with every pass.


As well as being larger, petrol mowers usually have more design features than electric models. These include multiple cut options, including mulching and side/rear discharge, and heavy rear rollers for a striped lawn.


Many petrol models are self-propelled mowers. You can also find petrol-powered rotary mowers and cylinder mowers, while electric cylinder mower models are much rarer to come by.


Verdict: Petrol lawn mowers are larger and more feature-heavy, while electric lawn mowers tend to be smaller and more basic in design.

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💪 Performance Power

Electric lawn mower models are powered by a motor, which uses electricity from a power outlet in your home.


You should get enough power from an electric mower to effortlessly cut longer, thicker grass. The average electric lawnmower delivers 1,300-1,700 watts of power, depending on the mower size.


Petrol mowers are the most powerful mower type. They’re the best lawn mowers for damp grass, hilly lawns, and long, thick grass because their powerful petrol engines enable the blades to cut through even the most challenging terrain. The average power range of petrol mowers is typically between 140cc and 190cc (cubic centimeters).


Verdict: Electric mowers are powerful, but petrol mowers are even more powerful and have better performance capabilities.

♻️ Environmental Impact

Electric corded mowers have a small environmental impact. They produce noise emissions, and they use energy, but their carbon dioxide emissions are much lower.


A petrol lawn mower produces CO2 emissions. It also releases harmful gases like methane, ethene, ethane, ethanol, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxides. There have been calls for action from pressure groups in recent years after research into the environmental effects of petrol mowers.


Verdict: Electric lawn mowers are better for the environment than petrol mowers because they produce no tail emissions.

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🤨 Which Mower Is Best For Which Lawn Type, Size, & Use Points?

Wondering whether you should choose a petrol or electric lawn mower based on your lawn type or size, or how you plan to use the mower?


Here are our recommendations:

Hills & Uneven Terrain: Petrol Lawn Mowers

A petrol lawn mower produces more power, so it’s the best choice for hilly or uneven terrain. You can buy self-propelled petrol mowers that eliminate the need to physically push the mower, so they reduce the physical exertion of mowing up and down hills.


Long, Thick Grass: Petrol Lawn Mowers

Again, petrol mowers are best for lawns with long, thick grass because they produce more power. You’re less likely to stall the engine or get the blades clogged when mowing a thick, overgrown lawn with a petrol-powered lawn mower.


Small Lawns With Tight Spots: Electric Lawn Mowers

Electric lawn mowers are smaller, lighter, and easier to manoeuvre, making them the better choice for small lawns with obstacles and tight spots. A petrol mower, on the other hand, might be too bulky to easily use in a small garden.


Large Lawns: Petrol Lawn Mowers

Petrol mowers are large, powerful, and often equipped with features that speed up the mowing process (such as self-propulsion), which makes them the best option for mowing large lawns. A petrol mower with a wide cutting width will allow you to quickly mow a large lawn with fewer passes.


Commercial Purposes: Petrol Lawn Mowers

The best lawn mower power type for commercial use is a petrol mower. Petrol mowers offer a faster, more powerful performance, with 100% reliability, and you don’t have to worry about finding a power source to plug the mower into.

🤯 Should You Choose An Electric Mower Or A Petrol Mower?

When deciding between an electric mower and a petrol mower for your lawn, consider the following things:

  • How big is your lawn? If you have a medium-to-large lawn, a petrol mower is the more practical option. If your lawn is small, an electric mower is best.

  • What budget do you have? If you have less than £150 to spend, you’ll be limited to electric mowers. If your budget can stretch to £200, £300, or beyond, you can also consider petrol mowers.

  • What do you personally prefer? If you like the power of a petrol mower and are happy to commit to the extra maintenance, then go for it. If you prefer a low-maintenance mower and don’t mind the reduced power, then an electric mower is best.

Ultimately, the decision is yours – there’s no clear winner for every situation when comparing petrol and electric lawn mowers. When it comes down to it, a certain mower type may simply be the more practical solution, and that’s the option you should go for.


Just remember to spend your money wisely, regardless of whether you choose an electric or petrol mower. Check customer reviews and make sure the mower has plenty of positive feedback before you click “buy”.

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Corded Electric Lawn Mower

Petrol Lawn Mower

🔌🛢 Electric Vs Petrol Mower FAQ

What are the disadvantages of an electric lawn mower?

The key disadvantages of an electric lawn mower are that your mowing distance is limited by a power cord, and you might need to buy an extension lead if you’re cutting a larger lawn.


Are petrol mowers more powerful than electric?

Yes, petrol mowers are more powerful than electric. Petrol mowers use internal combustion engines, which are known for their high power output. While electric corded mowers are still powerful, their motors don’t compare to petrol engines.


Are electric mowers powerful enough?

Yes, electric mowers are generally powerful enough to cut through long or thick grass. Go for a mower with a 1,500-1,700-watt motor for the most powerful, capable grass-cutting performance.


What are the cons of a petrol mower?

The main cons of a petrol mower are that it’s more expensive than other types, it produces emissions that are bad for the environment, it requires more maintenance, and it’s impractical to use on a small, tight lawn.