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Will That Be Gas, Battery, Hand or Electrically Powered Tools?

According to the Union of Concerned Scientists (WCS), electric mowers can be 50 percent cheaper to maintain over a 10-year period than their gas-powered counterparts.

In addition to maintenance costs, some environmentalists cite earth-friendly reasons for eliminating gasoline from home lawn care. Statistics on their web site show the average running gas mower emits as much pollution in 60 minutes as eight new cars traveling 55 mph for the same amount of time.

Electric mowers run cleaner than gas versions, because it's easier to control pollution from a single power plant than from thousands of gasoline-powered yard tools. Push reel, or motorless mowers emit no smog-producing pollution at all.

As a general rule, non-gas models produce less noise and require little or no maintenance whereas "Gas-powered mowers have to be maintained every season." You have to run the gas dry before winter sets in, change the oil, get a new spark plug, change the air filter and sharpen the blade.

For electric lawn mowers, maintenance is nil, outside of sharpening the blade every season. And there's no spark plug and no oil. Another nice thing about electric mowers is that they're not loud. You can cut the grass at midnight and not bother your neighbor.

Electric lawn trimmers never prompt a trip to the gas station, but most require a lengthy extension cord. Homeowners who find the cord cumbersome can opt for a cordless battery-operated mower.

Battery versions can run for up to 90 minutes, and then need to be recharged for 24 hours. You can usually cut one-third of an acre per charge. Modern reel lawn mowers need a lot more muscle to operate, but the only maintenance is sharpening the blade.

If you want a workout when mowing the grass, the push mower is the way to go. Most electric and battery-operated mowers have mulching options, but reel mowers do not. When it comes to purchasing costs, non-gas mowers are comparable to their gas-powered cousins. The perfect application for a non-gas mower is a suburban homeowner whose lawn is a half-acre or less.

The lawn and garden tools industry is moving more in that direction because people are more economy-efficient and more green, or because of rising gas prices, or a combination of the three.