OUT OF GAS
More battery-powered lawn mowers making the cut
By Maggie Reed
Copley News Service
Be kind to yourself, your neighbors and the environment by trading in your gas lawn mower for a battery-powered model.
While the upfront cost of battery-operated mowers may be more, you'll be saving lots of money in the long run.
Best used on small to medium lawns in normal grass conditions, these mowers get high marks for a number of reasons, including:
- Noise. You know that loud mower is the sound no one wants to hear early on a Sunday morning. Not only are gas mowers hard on your neighbors' ears, they are hard on your ears. In order not to harm your hearing, a gas-powered mower that produces 95 decibels should not be used more than an hour a day, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
- Pollution. Battery-operated mowers offer incredible environmental benefits. Even with newer Environmental Protection Agency emission standards for lawn and garden equipment, there are a lot of old models out there. A recent study by the EPA concluded that one hour of lawn mower usage produces as much air pollution as driving a car 20 miles.
- Maintenance. Getting a gas mower ready for the season and maintaining it throughout can be a drag, not to mention costly. With battery-operated mowers there is no time or money spent on gas, oil changes, spark plugs, air filters and tune-ups. Beyond regular charging and replacing the battery (which can be recycled) every five to 10 years, along with an occasional cleaning and blade sharpening, there is no maintenance.
- Cost. It costs an average of 10 cents to charge the mower, which adds up to about $5 of electricity a year. And with the price of gas these days, that'a money in your pocket.
- Ease of use. Most of these mowers also start with a simple push-button so you can forget throwing your back out with the old pull-cord starters. Cutting heights normally range from 1 1/2 to 3 1/2 inches and can be adjusted with a single lever.
Here's a look at some of the more popular models:
BLACK & DECKER
Black & Decker offers a 24-volt, battery-operated mulching mower. The cutting width is large at 19 inches and it weighs in at 76 pounds. It's folding handle also makes for easy storage.
The mower deck, with a mulch plate and bag included, comes with a lifetime warranty and is easy to clean. The battery recharges to 60 percent in four hours and 100 percent in 10. A full charge will cover about a third acre.
The cordless mower retails around $400. For more information, visit www.blackanddecker.com.
Neuton, the nation's top selling battery-powered lawn mower company, has added two bigger and more powerful models for 2008. The new line is able to cut larger lawns on a single charge. The 19-inch model can tackle up to a third acre while the 14-inch will cover a quarter acre.
Bagging, mulching and side discharge is standard on both models. The mower housing and user controls have also been ergonomically designed for maximum maneuverability.
The Neuton's removable, rechargeable battery charges in about 10 hours and runs for up to an hour, depending on grass conditions. The drop-in battery can be charged inside or outside of the mower.
The mowers are lightweight with the smaller model weighing in at 48 pounds, including battery, and the larger a mere 69 pounds.
Retailing for $400 and $500, respectively, Neutron offers a free six-month trial and the mowers come with a two-year warranty. For more information, visit www.neutonmowers.com.
Weighing in at only 60 pounds, the Cordless PowerMower by Remington Power Tools features a 60-volt battery that will give you 60 minutes of nonstop mowing.
This mower also gives you the unique option of running it cordless or plugging it in for extra time or power. Plug it in and select the boost mode to achieve all the power of a gas mower.
The PowerMower comes with a grass collection bag, mulch plug, and water bottle and holder that mounts to the mower handle. It comes with a two-year warranty and retails for around $400. For more information, visit www.remingtonmower.com.
? Copley News Service
Visit Copley News Service at www.copleynews.com.
Black and Decker: Roger A. Young, Vice President, Investor and Media Relations, +1-410-716-3979